A tale of two Facebooks

I love science. And not just in a passive Brian-Cox-marvelling-at-a-distant-galaxy-way.

I want to make love to it in an expletive fashion. So I’m extremely fortunate there is a Facebook group that caters to my specific fetish.

I Fucking Love Science probably rates in between The Big Bang Theory and Mythbusters in promoting scientific knowledge to a mainstream audience. Continue reading


Costume dramas

Source: Aimo at Deviant Art

Source: Aimo at Deviant Art

One of ironies of my life is the older I get, the more costume parties I am invited to. Not a month goes by without someone insisting the only way to celebrate reaching the same age their mother was when she had them is to dress as my favourite superhero.

Come Monday morning there is an exhibition’s worth of photos on Facebook of otherwise sensible public servants and engineers dressed as Breaking Bad characters.

It’s not how young Ben imagined adulthood back in the early 1990s. I pictured myself getting married (tick), buying a house (tick) and owning a flying car (seriously, who do we have to give millions of dollars in government bailouts to to make this happen?). Continue reading

The Pirates Strike Back

Source: latuffcartoons.wordpress.com

In 1908 a group of American companies involved in the nascent motion picture industry, including Thomas Edison’s Edison Manufacturing Company and film supplier Kodak, formed the Motion Picture Patents Company.

The MPPC’s brief was to enforce the patents on the film making equipment developed by Edison. Groups of independent film makers in New York and New Jersey had been pirating equipment produced by Edison to make their own wildly popular films. Continue reading

All the nuance that’s fit to print


For me the standout aspect of the interesting times that have beset Australian politics recently was a line in Julia Gillard’s concession speech on the effect gender had on her term in office.

“It explains some things. And it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey.”

It was refreshing to hear one of our leaders acknowledge, albeit belatedly, that some issues are beyond black and white. That we as a nation might be able to appreciate the complexities of a situation. Continue reading

Timeline of a media controversy

8am Monday: Public figure John Smith causes a furore following a breakfast radio interview/off-the-cuff tweet/chat with Mel and Kochie (delete whichever inappropriate) by accidentally giving his honest opinion on the issue of the day.

8.30am: The president of the Australian Federation of Vested Interests reels off a media release calling Smith’s comments extreme and demands either a public apology or more government subsidies for local manufacturers.

Read the rest of Timeline of a media controversy on the ABC’s The Drum.