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But it’s not our fault, says the Queensland Nurses Union.

We’re like, you know, really busy and that. Really. And really, it just looks like we lost more than twice as many as in 2006 because we’re, you know, taking the time to report these things. And getting better at reporting and that. But really we didn’t. Really.

I’m sure nursing staff having time to improve their incident reporting skills is a great consolation to parents who are given the wrong baby.

Perhaps if you are planning on having a baby in a Queensland hospital you should take your own luggage labels, or laundry marker, or tattooist.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a hoot. Or whatever it was.

Ashton Kutcher of ‘That 70s Show,’ husband of Demi Moore, has beaten CNN to be the first Twitter ‘microblogger’ to reach 1 million followers.

For all that I prefer real blogging to that other kind, it is still a pretty remarkable achievement for one person against the massive publicity power CNN can muster.

But the reason I am mentioning this at all is that when he hit 1 million followers Kutcher gave $100,000 to Malaria No More. This will buy 10,000 mosquito nets.

A child dies from Malaria every thirty seconds, so this is a big deal.

You can help.

This is a Dutch shopping site.

It’s an absolute scream. Or I have a very strange sense of humour.

You may to have to watch a couple of times to get the whole thing. Sound on.

According to the Man Booker Prize website, ‘The Man Booker International Prize recognises one writer for their achievement in fiction.’  Arrgh!

Bizarre that such a horrible gramatical blunder should be sticking out on the front page of a website for a prize dedicated to quality in writing.

One writer cannot be ‘their’. ‘Their’ is plural.

It is an increasingly common error. I suspect because people want to avoid appearing to be sexist, as they would if they wrote ‘one writer for his achievement.’ And quite right – there are as many brilliant female writers as male.

So write ‘for his or her.’ It’s not rocket science.

I saw something similar recently in a newsletter from an expensive Queensland private boys’ school. ‘Your son must wear their hat…’ Not even the wanting to avoid sexism excuse applied in that case. A son could not be ‘her’ by definition. ‘Your son must wear his hat…’ could not have offended anyone.

But back to Peter Carey. He has already won twice – for Oscar and Lucinda, and True History of the Kelly Gang.

The only other two time winner is also a Australian – J.M. Coetzee, who was born in South Africa but lives in Adelaide.

Carey is the bookies’ favourite this year. If chosen, he will be the first three-time winner. On ya mate!

Like I said a few days ago, the times, they are a changing.

The facts were always there, but it is hard to imagine this news would have been reported this fairly a year or so ago.

Minister for Pussy Cats Peter Garrett still claims that ice in Antarctica is melting because, you know, the world is getting warmer and everything, and it’s all our fault and everything.

But measurements of ice and temperatures show this is a load of cobblers.

The Australian reports that ‘The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week’s meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades”.’ And incidentally, that over most of Antarctica ice is denser and more extensive.

via Andrew Bolt

It’s a health risk, and endangers public welfare. Where did they read that – Dolly Magazine?

Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, and it is not a pollutant. It is as necessary to plant life as oxygen is for us, and vital for all life on the planet.

Contrary to some advertising claims, the trees will not thank you for reducing CO2 output, any more than we would be thankful for reduced levels of oxygen.

When most modern trees and flowering plants evolved, levels of CO2 were as much as ten times higher than they are now. Most plants now struggle in what from their point of view is a seriously CO2 depleted atmosphere.

Lower carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means less green, not more. More CO2 means more green, more forests, more productive crops.

We are warned that increasing levels of CO2 will turn the seas acid and destroy coral reefs. Coral reefs evolved and thrived during the Mesozoic Period, when atmospheric CO2 levels stayed above 1,000 parts per million for 150 million years and exceeded 2,000 parts per million for several million years, compared with 380 ppm now.

There is no evidence of any correlation between changing CO2 rates and changing temperatures in the 20th Century. And historical records show changes in CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature, not the reverse.

For more detail, with graphs and pretty pictures, read my Introduction to Global Warming Science.

And more science, less politics, please, you EPA guys.

With a conference to condemn Israel. You couldn’t make this up, honestly.

Hitler was born on 20th April 1889. 20th April 2009 is the first day of Durban II, the second United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Except of course it isn’t against any of those things. It’s just against Israel. And perhaps the US.

There is one country in the Middle East where people of any race and religion have full rights of citizenship. There is one country in the Middle East where human rights are guaranteed, where there is an independent judiciary, open press and freedom of speech. One country where men and women are equal under the law. One country with fully democratic government. That same country has a consistent record of accepting refugees, and delivering emergency and humanitarian aid around the world.

Of course, that is the only country in the world ever to have been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Council – on average once every two months since the UNHRC was established in 2006. The UNHRC once expressed some concern about Burma, but that’s it. No other country in the world – not Sudan, not Zimbabwe, not North Korea or Iran, has been considered worthy of attention.

Likewise, the only country condemned at Durban I was Israel. Some media opinions and comment at the time.

The US had already said it would not send delegates if Durban II were to be a repeat of Durban I. Austalia is dithering

Diplomats yesterday reached agreement on the text of Durban II’s declaration. In an effort to encourage the US, and any fence-sitters like Australia to attend, the text does not ake any specific mention of Israel or Zionism. But it ratifies the statements issued at Durban I.

I am glad Barack Obama’s administration has stood firm on this so far.

In addition, an ‘Israel Review Conference’ is being held in Geneva, starting two days before Hitler’s birthday, so people who want to review Israel can then travel straight across the road for the main celebration.

I’m sure Hitler would be delighted.

Further reading and resources on Zionism, anti-semitism, the UN and Durban.

Just ordered this book from Amazon: The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You to Know About–Because They Helped Cause Them

Like most people, I want to live in a world where we are responsible in our care for creation, and treat the resources of the world as gifts to be nurtured, shared and valued, rather than just as objects to be consumed. But environmental activism and legislation has a pretty sorry history – and has more often harmed than helped.

We need to be wiser, and policy and action need to be based on fact, not feel-good fantasy.

From the book’s cover:

Al Gore is bad for the planet…

Talk about really inconvenient truths–that’s one of the many you’ll find in Iain Murray’s rollicking exposé of environmental blowhards who waste more energy, endanger more species, and actually kill more people (yes, that’s right) than the environmental villains they finger. Did you know that estrogen from birth control and “morning after” pills is causing male fish across America to develop female sex organs? Funny how “pro-choice” and “environmentalist” liberals never talk about that. Or how about this: the Live Earth concert to “save the planet” released more CO2 into the atmosphere than a fleet of 2,000 Humvees emit in a year? We hear a lot about AIDS in Africa, but the number one killer of children in much of Africa is malaria–and guess who was responsible for banning the pesticide that used to have malaria under control? Iain Murray, a sprightly conservative environmental analyst with a long record of skewering liberal hypocrisy, has dug up seven of the all-time great environmental catastrophes caused by the Left and exposed them in The Really Inconvenient Truths. Murray lays bare:

* How ethanol, the liberals’ favorite fuel, is destroying the world’s rainforests–and could cause global food shortages
* How Al Gore’s hero Rachel Carson cost the lives of millions of Africans through her efforts to ban DDT
* How the environmentalists have covered up the polluting effects of contraceptive and chemical abortion drugs
* How the Endangered Species Act actually endangers species
* How Gore’s vision of greater state control over the economy has already produced some of the greatest environmental disasters in history

All of us want a planet with clean air and clean water, vibrant forests, healthy animal populations, and glorious open space. But liberal environmentalists aren’t the ones to deliver it. In fact, they’ve made the planet worse, while old-fashioned property rights, unpopular hunters, and the innovative engine of capitalism have made it better. The facts are all here, in a book that Al Gore would rather burn than read.

A couple of posts with an entertainment theme today, so I thought I might as well include this trailer for the new Harry Potter movie – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

David Yates, who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – easily the best of the series so far, and better than the book, which was filled with page after page of tedious teenage angst – also directed Half Blood Prince. So it should be good.

Due to open in the US on July 15th. And no doubt available on the internet shortly after. Or even before.

Sorry, that was just too hard to resist.

Green Lantern

Warner Bros will start filming the Green Lantern in Sydney in November. It wasn’t one of my favourite comics – I loved Iron Man (and enjoyed the film version with Robert Downey Jnr, too) and Dr Strange. But Green Lantern was still pretty cool. His abilities come from a ring of power given to him by Ganthet, last Guardian of the Universe (in the current incarnation anyway – earlier versions had him being given the ring by a dying alien called Abin Sur).

But his real power comes from within – the power of an unbreakable will informed by reason and moral sense.

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!

If you like the idea of becoming a hero or building an empire while interacting with people around the world, but want to play for free, these two games might be for you.

Travian – start as the chief of a small village and end up building a wonder of the world.

Or start as a raider and become a civilisation builder with Civony.

Development and server time is funded by in-game gold purchases, but you can manage perfectly well without buying gold.

Both games have had good reviews. Enjoy!

As for me and my house, we will stick with World of Warcraft!

Update. I forgot about Last Chaos, which is probably the biggest of the free MMORPGs (massivley multi-player online role-playing games). Again, I haven’t played it, but it looks great.

So (blinding flash of religious insight) Barack Obama must be wonderful, and Sarah Palin is really, really bad.

Just overlook the fact that Bill Clinton was also a governor. Because he was like, you know, cool and stuff. And so supportive of women. Lots of them.

But just ask yourself: ‘Who of Obama or Pailn is more likely to ask himself (there’s a hint right there) “What is truth?” and then to wash his hands of it?’

I think when it comes to washing your hands because of condemning innocent blood surely this is the modern Democratic party. When it comes to abortion, cloning, ESCR, Euthanasia, and even some cases infanticide then surely you hear the sounds of washing hands from the likes of Obama and company. State Senator Obama determined that it was more politically expedient to let children die that were born alive after a failed abortion to protect abortion. Pilate would have understood Obama’s politically expediency since he did the same thing.

Historian and former teacher Frederick Toben has been found guilty of contempt of court because he continued to publish material claiming the Holocaust never happened, and that some people (notably some Jews) were making money out of keeping the story going.

Holocaust denial is stupid, and probably motivated by racism.

But fining people or putting them in jail for disagreeing doesn’t make sense. It makes the deniers look like victims of bullying. Even worse, it makes people wonder why free speech on this subject is not permitted, and then begin to wonder whether someone is hiding something that someone doesn’t want anyone to know.

You may remember this story: Fiji’s military strongman, Frank Bainimarama, has clamped down on radio and internet access in the troubled Pacific country, declaring free speech causes too much trouble.

He’s right. Free speech does cause trouble, because it means people can say things that are untrue, inconvenient, even harmful.

Look at Minister for Hot Air Penny Wong, for example.

She is free to say, despite the evidence of scientists like Professor Bob Carter, and the cautionary remarks of Labor’s hand picked guru Ross Garnaut, that the government is going to do as it jolly well pleases, and spend billions of dollars fixing a problem that doesn’t exist, seriously damaging our resource and energy industries, and further wrecking our economy in the process.

That is going to cause vastly more damage than some silly old goat saying the Holocaust didn’t happen.

With sometimes tragic results.

A boat carrying illegal immigrants exploded this morning as it was being escorted to Christmas Island by Australian naval ship HMAS Albany. It is not clear yet whether the boat was deliberately set on fire by the illegal immigrants, who had reportedly doused the small wooden boat with petrol.

Three are dead, two are missing, and most of the others on the boat at the time are injured, including four Australian navy personnel.

I’m not going to call these people asylum seekers – they are (apparently) from Afghanistan which means they have travelled half way round the world and through at least half a dozen countries to get to Australia. They are illegal immigrants, people who had enough money to try to push their way ahead of other refugees.

People who jump the queue take resources from those who don’t, because immigration, customs, naval and medical staff have to be diverted to take care of them.

There has been a substantial jump in people-smuggling into Australia over the last six months. Malcolm Turnbull says this is because the Federal Labor Government has quite consciously and deliberately given the impression that it is kinder and more accommodating than the former Liberal (conservative) government.

The end result is a government that feels virtuous, but causes more suffering for those who jump the queue and are still turned back. And because of the need to divert resources to process the queue jumpers, more delays and therefore more suffering for people who are in equal if not greater need, but do the right thing and go through proper refugee channels.

But it is pretty amazing nonetheless.

Hand of God captured by Chandra X-ray Observatory

This image of a spectacular dust cloud with a pulsar at its centre, was captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which orbits 580 kilometres above the Earth.