Nigerian scams at the Post Office

Nigerian scams have been a problem in Australia. The concept is that they make contact by sending you an email and asking for money. They entice you to send money by creating a scenario that requires money to release a large amount of money that is locked away.

Now this column 8 article reports a gentleman who noticed an individual sending some money to Nigeria. Something that may raise questions who is aware of this scam.

"Bernard Kealey, of Stanmore, has a quandary he would like to share with us. "I was at a post office counter recently, standing next to a man in a wheelchair who was buying a US dollar money order to send to Nigeria. Should I have asked what he thought he was doing, and warned him that he was most likely being scammed? Or can someone offer me a sensible reason why anyone would be sending US dollars to Nigeria?""
smh col-8 3/11/05

The true story about Michelle Leslie

A Sydney Morning Herald investigation finally reveals the truth behind Michelle Leslie's story.

In this story is a a story about two ecstasy pills, web of lies, bribes and simple proof that knowing the "right people" can mean your freedom.

"MICHELLE LESLIE'S desperation to avoid a 15-year jail term fuelled a stream of lies and deceptions, supplemented by a $600,000 campaign to buy her freedom.

An investigation by the Herald has uncovered bribes paid by the Michelle Leslie camp and calls into question the core planks of the defence she mounted publicly and in court. It reveals the extremes to which she had to go to win swift release from a Bali prison after being arrested with two ecstasy pills in August.

Michelle Leslie, her lawyers and advisers have said she did not take ecstasy, that she did not know what the pills found in her bag were, that a friend had slipped them in her bag, and that they were substitutes for Ritalin."

Read More - Lies and bribes what she had to do to win her freedom

Diligence and Skill - Perseverence

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.

— Samuel Johnson

Fight School - English Reality TV

Fight School was aired in Australia in the early hours of the morning - 1am, 2am etc. mid 2005.

In this reality television show, Fight School breaks barriers. Here they have ten amateur martial artists from England ­ five men and five women, go through "Fight School" in a dojo in china - possibly based somewhere near Beijing. At that School they train together and undertake tasks - undergoing mental and physical challenges. These ten pupils are all established champions in their field of martial arts.

Towards the end of the episode - after the challenges have taken place, the strongest performer is chosen by the sifu (the teacher) and the weakest performer is also chosen. From there, the strongest chooses another pupil to compete against the weakest. The weakest and the one chosen then competes in a tournament style match. These fights are not judged on force but on skill alone. The loser immediately leaves and the winner stays.

There is one main sifu - some chinese guy and three sub sifu's whose names were:
Sifu Becky, Clive and Nathan the Megatron

The final three were:
Paul - specialty: kickboxing
Toby - specialty: Tae Kwon Do
Emma - specialty: Kung Fu, Kickboxing and Wu Shu

Lane Cove Tunnel Helmet

Lane Cove Tunnel Helmet
My old Lane Cove Tunnel Helmet. My work experience that is part of my engineering degree.

I've previously covered the lane cove collapse in the following articles:

More on the Lane Cove Tunnel Collapse

Update on the Lane Cove Tunnel Incident

Sydney Lane Cove Tunnel Collapses

Yet another one of those friendship websites

A friend just invited me to join Where are you now?... I'm tired of joining up to these places... I'm on so many databases, friendster being one of them - who knows where the spammers get my email now?

Thank-God I carry quite a few email alias' so I can manage my junk...

Save Van Nguyen Petition - Singapore Hanging on December 2

I've mentioned this case before. Well, I guess time is running out for Van Nguyen - his hanging is due on December 2. His mother and twin mother has made the journey up to Singapore.

The Prime Minister, John Howard is throwing up his hands claiming there is not much more that can be done for him. The Victorian premier, Steve Bracks offered to do a prisoner exchange. Avenues are being sought through the International Courts. Legal loopholes are also being considered.

What can I do as an individual? How can i stop this hanging in Singapore? Well you can sign this petition online: Australia Unites Petition

Although he was guilty of drug smuggling - and he had his own personal reasons why he did it - The issue here is in the principal in hanging someone as punishment. As Australians we don't condone taking the life of someone else as punishment. None of our states have it. All we have are "life sentences".

Toot and Hot Black Girl - Drawn Together

Toot and Hot Black Girl - Drawn Together
A screen capture of Toot and the Hot Black Girl (with a tail) from Drawn Together a Comedy Central Cartoon Comedy.

This is a hilarious cartoon show that spoofs the reality show "Big Brother" cartoon style. Taking cartoon characters putting them into various situations. The cartoon characters themselves are wild imitations of superman, pikachu, zelda (from the nintendo game), a princess and sponge bob. You can probably figure out who Toot is spoofing.

Bungarribee International Buffet

Bungarribee International Buffet - Price List

I was at this buffet a while back for a cousin's birthday.
It's an RSL buffet. Notice the cheap prices. And keep in mind - you get what you pay for. This isn't one place I would ever plan to go to on my own or with friends.

Bungarribee International Buffet Rating
$$$$ (4/5) for Value * (1/5) for Quality

Blacktown Workers Club facade
The Bungarribee International Buffet is located in Blacktown Workers Club in Sydney Australia.

Beef Lamb Ham Etc
This dish is from the Bungarribee International Buffet.

I know, I know, there seems to be a lot stacked in this one dish. But when your in a buffet line, waiting for about 10 minutes to get to the actual buffet, well you tend to get a bit too much of everything.

On this one dish is Beef, Lamb, Ham, noodles and a bit of pork skin.

This dish was from the Bungarribee International Buffet is located in Blacktown Workers Club in Sydney Australia.

Drawn Together Spoofing Donald Trump

Drawn Together Spoof of Donald Trump

Here is a screen capture of Donald Trump being spoofed by "Drawn Together" a Comedy Central Cartoon Comedy.

Behind Trump stands his right hand man and woman George H. Ross and Carol Kepcher.

Snack Food for Exams

Choice of snack food is critical when studying for exams.
Here's what I have for this year's round of final exams:

All Natural Confectionary Company - Squirms

All Natural Confectionary Company - Squirms
This snack food's ingredients
hooked me from day 1.
Squirms are basically glucose based snakes coated in some sort of sour sugar.

Roasted Wasabi Green Peas

Roasted Wasabi Green Peas
This is 120 gram packet of Wasabi Green Peas. This snack food is totally addictive - a sort of nut-like attaction. Crunchy and it has that wasabi bite in it too. What I also like about is that it tends to last longer than a packet of chips and it doesn't leave your fingers all oily or covered in flavouring.


This snack food is basically ovalteen packed in tablet form. If you don't know what ovalteen is it's like Nestle's Milo or Quick - basically a milk type flavouring. I consider this as a 'classic' snack - been around scince I was a kid.

The Original Peanut Slab - Made by Whittaker's

The Original Peanut Slab - Made by Whittaker's

Car Number Plates - Airforce


I was driving home from an interview (yep, I'm looking for a job) and I happened to notice that the plate number for Australia's Air Force tagline was "AIRPOWER FOR AUSTRALIA'S SECURITY".

Do I have a fetish with plate numbers? Maybe - while I was in the US I ran out of things to take with my first digital camera (Sony Cybershot P-7) that I started taking photos of plate numbers from different states.

Useless fact #983: I took some 6000+ photos and mpg videos on that cybershot for the three month duration I was in the USA. Thats about 67 photos a day in the 90 day period.

The real issues in our world - The opportunity cost

Ross Gittins (the SMH economic editor) had an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald today about the issues that we should be concerned about in our world.

He writes "FORGIVE me if I'm not shaking in my shoes over the risk of terrorism on our shores. There is a risk, of course, but it's being greatly exaggerated. My scepticism comes after 30 years in journalism, watching such scares from close quarters."

He claims that "In that time I've learnt three things: how easy it is to scare the pants off a public looking for bad news stories to spice up humdrum lives; how many interest groups stand to benefit by manipulating the public's emotions; and how much more we'd be able to do to reduce risks to life and limb if only we'd assess those risks in a more cool-headed way."

In in true economic style he links it to opportunity cost: "There are plenty of things that offer a greater threat to our wellbeing than local terrorism, and they aren't getting nearly as much attention or money lavished on them. Getting overexcited about terrorism, in other words, has its opportunity cost."

It's so true. I think if you ask around, the general consensus would be that the main cause of concern was terrorism.

Airbus A380 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

Airbus A380 over Sydney Harbour
The world's larget commerical jet, the Airbus A380-841 visited Sydney, Australia, leaving Europe for the first time since it's manufacture.

The seven storey A380 touched down in Sydney on November 13, 2005 at the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (Mascot) (SYD / YSSY).

The Airbus made very low passes (2000 ft) over the Sydney Harbour area scheduled between 8am and 9am on Sunday 13th November 2005.

Airbus A380 landing at Sydney Airport
A small accompanying aircraft carried out air to air photography.

Hundreds of enthusiasts gathered around the airport for a glimpse of the large commercial airliner.

Qantas has pre-purchased 12 of the A380, but the airline is one of several seeking compensation for late delivery. Qantas will take delivery of all 12 planes by June 2009.

The A380, with its capacity to carry 840 passengers in a single-class economy configuration, is vastly bigger than the Boeing 747, which can carry 600 economy passengers.

Column 8 Mathematics

Here were some exerpts from the past week regarding mathematical magic tricks. For those who love maths, you won't be fooled but for other people, here it is:

"We haven't dabbled in mathematics for a while, and it's time that we did. At least, that's what Mick Costelloe, of South Coogee, reckons. He wants to know how this works: "Grab a calculator," he writes. "You won't be able to do this in your head. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (but not the area code or the first 9). Multiply by 80. Add 1. Multiply by 250. Add the last four digits of your phone number. Add the last four digits of your phone number again. Subtract 250, and divide the result by 2. Recognise the answer?" Mick reckons that this is "Pretty cool!" and indeed it is. Why is it so?"
smh col-8 10/11/05

If you do the above make sure you press equals after each command. And of course this is 'configured' for Sydney numbers, or I guess any other phone number with seven digits.

"Don't you love those questions for people who are not good at algebra?" asks Bruce Miles, of Abbotsford. That's the kind of rhetorical query that sends a shiver up Column 8's spine, as in: "Uh oh, look's like we've exposed ourselves as ne're-do-thinks with yesterday's 'pretty cool' maths item." Bruce was one of dozens of readers with basic high-school maths skills to expose the phone-number trick as a roundabout way of getting back to the number you first thought of.