Health, transport

Living near busy roads

As reported in The Age, the US Health Effects Institute recently published a report on the effects of living near busy roads. Its conclusion was that: ...there is sufficient evidence that exposures to traffic-related air pollution cause asthma exacerbation in children and suggestive evidence that they might cause other health effects. ...the zones most impacted by traffic-related poll

Culture, transport

Lego PT stereotypes

I'm probably reading too much into this, but here's a PT stereotype: Lego's Duplo bus. It appears that in the view of whoever designed this set, only old people and kids ride the bus. Okay, okay, we all know that in some cases this is probably very realistic. Many services simply aren't good enough to attract anybody other than those who have no choice: those who can't drive, or can't affor



I've mentioned it before, but Joel Spolsky wrote a great article a few years ago about pricing, and noted that companies would ideally like everybody to pay as much as they are willing to for their products. In economist jargon, capitalists want to capture the consumer surplus. Let's do this. Instead of charging $220, let's ask each of our customers if they are rich or if they are poor. If t

music, Retrospectives, TV

When You Walk In The Room

Some songs evoke a particular memory, of either a specific event or a period of my life. So it is with Paul Carrack's version of Jackie DeShannon's "When You Walk In The Room", from 1987. I bought the 45 (rpm, single) of it, primarily because the (quite amusing) video clip included all of the cast of Who Dares Wins -- a sketch show of the time that I absolutely loved that included Tony Robin

Politics and activism

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister

I for one would like to welcome our new red-headed overlord. One of the things about the Westminster system is that if the ruling party loses confidence in the leader, they can replace him. And for those of you watching from overseas, that's what happened this morning: Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister since the 2007 election, got the arse. Compared to the Hawke/Keating coup of 1991, the informatio


Poor advert placement?

Not sure this advert placement is a good idea: Not that the exhaust actually comes out of that grill, of course. And one should not overstate the pollution caused by buses. Measuring just the CO2 emissions, a diesel bus emits about 1800 grams per kilometre. By comparison a diesel Landrover emits 295 grams per kilometre. At an average 1.2 people per private vehicle, that's 245 grams pe


The secret door

I only go into the post office for three reasons. 1. To buy postage (either stamps, or to send packages). 2. To pick up parcels. 3. To renew my post office box. (And in fact I think you can pay that online these days.) I don't understand the people that go to pay endless numbers of bills, not to mention buy the other crap they seem to sell in post offices these days -- anything from pr

Home life


And now for something completely different. Glasses. I've got a few different types of glasses in my kitchen, many of them remnants from previous collections. From left to right: (1) These used to come as IXL jam jars. You'd use up the jam, dispose of the label and the lid, and get to keep the jar as a glass. Given that was a good 11-12 years ago, I'm amazed they've lasted this long,

Culture, Melbourne

Stuff white Melburnians like

Love a bit of cultural satire. Via Nathan I found the article Stuff Melbourne white people like. Some funny stuff, and since I'm a bit light-on for writing my own blog content this week, here are some excerpts: The Monthly: Buying a subscription to The Monthly for the object of your affections is tantamount to expressing your undying love for them and saying that you intend to spend the r