Posts of the week: Also leftoids of the week. A whole team, selected by Professor Bunyip!
Henry on ALP financial estimates.
After all, Labor quietly released its 2007 costings the night before the election, simply posting them on its website. The lack of publicity was understandable, for they could scarcely be taken seriously. Dismantling Howard’s Pacific Solution would save $60 million, they claimed; instead, it cost an additional $10.3bn. Industrial relations reform would mean “less bureaucracy”, saving $260m; instead, spending increased by more than that amount. Further millions would be saved by slashing government advertising and entirely eliminating the communications unit; in fact, spending on government spin is reaching record highs. And the National Broadband Network would be financed entirely from “existing investments” for a total of “up to” $4.7bn – less than one-tenth of the outcome.
Culture. This is a short speech by a kid who you might expect to be the leftoid of the week, but he is not. Put up with the first 1.30 of this 4 minute clip and enjoy the rest. It is like Sammy Davis Junior telling the black kids to stop being cool and do their homework.
Health and beauty. Coulrophobia. Fear of clowns.
Even the people who are supposed to like clowns—children—supposedly don’t. In 2008, a widely reported University of Sheffield, England, survey of 250 children between the ages of four and 16 found that most of the children disliked and even feared images of clowns. The BBC’s report on the study featured a child psychologist who broadly declared, “Very few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don’t look funny, they just look odd.”
Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. Warning, until the new one goes up this afternoon, you will see last weeks edition.
Feelgood picture of the week. Caption required.
Pictorial. Weasels. To get the pictures you may have to click the blue box at the top of the page.
For nerds. Good news for Japanese nerds, two of the Guides in the Popular Popper series are being translated into Japanese.
Hot off the Amazon Press from Michael Giffin, Sydney-based independent scholar and path-breaking commentator on the themes of modern fiction, pamphlets on kindle: on Patrick White and Graham Green’s religious novels.
The importance of ignorance in research by Stuart Firestein, a very interesting idea and an interesting person as well, from stage manager in showbiz to an academic position at Columbia University.