Australia

Globalization Entertainment Inc.

Some naive people on this planet still think that I have invented globalization, and invented it just that you can get the cheap, low quality goods from China.

No, in fact my Intelligent Design was driven by a much deeper principle:

It is the i\rho{}ny, stupid!

Ok, I'll try to give you an example in the distant hope that you gain some insight into my divine work.

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Strawberry Fields Forever

The research center I work in is in the south of Vienna, closer to the traditional strawberry fields. So it is quite natural that the farmers directly drive by at noon and offer strawberries, fresh only a few hours after having been harvested.

http://kill.devc.at/system/files/strawberry-small.jpg

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Australia Going Green

Australian politicians are like other politicians. Only more, uhm, australian. Which entitles them to clear opinions, straight views and unabashed public statements.

In the light that Australia's massive coal exports into China probably will account single-handedly for most of the Global Warming, Australia is going green recently. They even go as far as to consider banning one-way plastic bags from shopping malls.

This results in dramatic shifts in policy making.

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Mostly Clueless (Curious George II)

I looked at my wife. Her face had turned to stone. I immediately understood that in her eyes George Earl had just committed intellectual suicide. And it was just like watching someone jumping from a basement window killing himself.

What had happened:

1

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Winter, On its Way Out

There is one thing many Europeans do not understand about seasons (the climatic ones, yes):

  • You would miss them, if you didn't have 'em.

And there is one thing many Australians do not understand about seasons:

  • You cannot miss them, because you never had 'em.

Mostly for our Australian friends, those who have been so overly supportive over the last years, those we had to leave behind, those we sorely miss (no, I don't mean you, Warren) ... here a recent view from our window for your education:

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Spot the 5 Differences

Here are two versions of "aliens emerging from the sea".

1

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You know you are from Queensland when...

This was too good to leave it unprotected on the open Internet. With some editing.

You know you are from QLD when...

  • Both of your parents were born in another state.
  • You are unsure if you're a racist or not because you have never met someone from outside Australia.
  • You are generally confused why someone would choose to live where the weather is as bad as it is in Melbourne.
  • You don't own an umbrella.
  • You believe 3rd degree sunburn from a solarium in the middle of winter will make you look more attractive. And your girlfriend thinks it does...
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Syntactic Christmas, Again

Australians also celebrate christmas around that time. It is not as big as the Easter holidays and not as intrusive as the Indy 300 car race, but it is getting bigger over the years.

More and higher (artificial) christmas trees, more (artificial) red noses on 15-year old girls, and more Santa Clauses meandering in the shopping centers. BTW, they are artificial too. No one has seen the North Pole. Yes, I asked.

It is quite difficult to get into the christmas mood (if there is such a thing) when it has more than 40 degrees \

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Bond(age) and Submission? No thanks.

While I have made some larger mistakes in life (allowing myself to be stranded on this planet is one of them), I also made one or two minor ones. Such as asking Bond University students to submit URLs to their assignments via email.

Trust me, this is a mistake you only make once:

  • From 90 students, only about 80% could actually send you an email. The rest was sending something to a wrong address, or were not mailing at all.
  • From those who managed, about 40% forgot to include the URL itself. 20% forgot to provide either a name or a student
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At least I'm wearing my own underwear...

Fashion in Australia, so-called "Australian Fashion", sometimes also coined "Australian style" is an interesting anthropological concept. At least for an European. Or for a linguist. Or for an european linguist.

You cannot have too many eyebrows which you will want to raise when being confronted with attempts of being fashionable. Worse, Australians do not miss any opportunity to show off their interpretation of the concept fashion [1]:

http://kill.devc.at/system/files/fashionable.jpg

This pair won the "Fashions on the Field" competition for

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Great White Sharks, uhm Lies

On Australian news you will regularily hear about encounters between sharks and surfers, more on the West than on the East coast. These encounters usually do not end well for the shark: it manages to bite off only small bits and pieces of the surfer himself, usually arms, shoulders or legs. The rest involves chewing of glass fibre.

Sort-of an encounter of the feed-th kind.

With that background, close encounter stories are quite credible among the surfer community and so are also pictures a professional photographer published onto a

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Euphemism Kung-Fu

I secretly aspire to become a master of euphemism-fu. You name me one defect on this planet, I will phrase it into a neutral, if not positive wording. Protein-challenged infantile population for starving babies, Java software engineer for I-rewrite-software-because-I-can or informed Bond University administrator are just some of the more medium entertaining examples for euphemism.

I am also rather competitive in this sector and take it almost as personal defeat if someone comes up with new

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You're Ugly as Hell

Australians are an extremely polite bunch of people. On the verge to complete political correctness perhaps, but they definitely know how and when to chat someone up:

You're ugly as hell.

Ok, I have never deluded myself to be a 100% lookalike of George Clooney, but...

So I was standing some hours at the Bond University booth at one of these education fairs. It is not easy to get the attention of 15-year olds; maybe I should also add that I do

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Higher Education, the daily grind

Being Associate Professor at a private, world-class university may have the whizbang sound (and it can be fun, sometimes), but it also exposes you to a rich variety of social backgrounds. And it involves you into more or less highly intellectual discussions, with colleagues as with students. Such as the following between HI (a student) and some lecturer RHO who wants to remain anonymous:

  • HI: For this assignment we have to make on this application server Zope, .... I have created a login for me in Zope, but now my Zope is dead.
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Do despair.com !

Sure, sure, we all know that the Internet is full of ... uhm not so overly useful things. We are on the same page here then.

Still, the Internet has its gems. Apart from my all-time favourite http://www.supersluttymomsover100.com/ (don't bother to follow that, of course I made it up. You should know me by now)...

... ok, so apart of that I just adore

http://www.despair.com/

and its slick, clearcut design and message. Look at the recently added video section and replay your last working days in your office in your head.

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