Monday, October 5, 2009

Further Behind...

Here we are again, WA falling further behind the rest of Australia as the rest of the nation moves into daylight savings time. Just like the good old days. My curtains can rest easy, my cows will be settled and the kids will be in bed on time. Brilliant. I'm sick to death of the state of WA living in denial that they are a part of the rest of Australia. Not moving our clocks ahead an hour has far more problems associated with it than biting the bullet and just going with it.
In a time when financial markets are not quite out of the water, I'm sure people in the market are far from pleased at starting an hour earlier as the Australian Stock Exchange now closes an hour earlier. And its hard enough dealing with eastern states businesses but having to have any orders in or problems addressed by 2pm is rediculous. Now lets look at the TAB. At the start of the much celebrated Spring Carnival, most pubs which open at 10am now miss out on an hour of racing, while WA races start an hour earlier to make sure they are finished before pubs close in the east. That's a hell of a lot of tax that the state misses out on. Couple that with lost revenue on interstate trading, tourism and drinking time, NOT having daylight savings is costing WA a heap. Finally, when there is a bit of swell around in summer, the sea breeze comes in an hour earlier and messes it up all up again, just as we're finishing work. Thanks Nannas of the Nanny State, you've ruined my summer.

But I'm not finished with WA yet. Trading hours have again been in the headlines, and once again extensions were knocked back in Parliament. Eric Ripper apparently spoke to thousands of small business owners to ask their opinions and apparently got a resounding no. Really? The exact results and numbers have not been published, and I'm sure never will be because they're bullshit. It never happened, and now poor old Colinn Barnett is hoping for an 8pm compromise.
Have you ever had a call at 10 o'clock on a Sunday morning inviting you to a barbie? Great idea. Just head down to Woolies, grad some snags, chops, a salad, rolls, chips and soft drink, then pop into the bottlo in the same complex on the way out for a slab and some ice and away you go. Hang on... How about we make 4 stops, pay twice as much, and finally find a bottle shop attached to a pub somewhere then turn up late, miss half the cricket then have to head inside the house because the sun has gone down? Absurd.
The argument is all about this mythical catchphrase of work/life balance and families and how the old days were better. Have a look at the system used in Queensland. Major shopping centres (Westfields etc) are open 7 days a week. Sunday trading is 10am - 4pm, and only the one night a week (Thursday) of late night shopping. Stand alone Woolies and Coles open 7 days a week, just like IGA's, until 9pm on weeknights, 6pm on weekends. Its fantastic. I can work until 5, head to footy training and still get something decent to eat on the way home. I didn't witness the disintergration of society or families breaking up left, right and centre. Perth will never be a dynamic cityif things don't begin to change. And change is not evil. From now on all future referendums should be limited to under 35's as these are the people who will have to live in the dark ages as a result.

Lets hope WA is awarded the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project. That will be proof that we really are the quietest place on earth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fit but you know it

150 years of Darwin

2009 is the 150th anniversary of the release of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' and still we have doubters. Now I'm not about to say that Darwin had it all right in 1859 but basically he was on the money. But perhaps now, more than ever, the theory of evolution faces its sternest challenges from religious corners.
Intelligent Design (a more marketable term for Creationism) reared its ugly head in 1987 after the release of the book of Pandas and People and is gaining renewed popularity, particulary amongst Evangelist Christians across America. With 'science' institutions investigating this new theory and the fact that it is pushed into high schools to be studied alongside evolution and natural selection Darwin is getting a flogging. It would be (and has been) wildly condemned in the public forum if scientists denying the affects of smoking on the human body were found to be funded by Big Tobacco. Links between Design theorists and the huge budgets of Fundamentalist Christian organisations in the States go quietly unidentified. Why? Because Intelligent Design/Creationism is scientifically rediculous.
The Earth is not 6000 years old and a new line of species can not appear from nowhere. We are descended not from apes, but from a common anscestor 6 to 8 million years ago. But the real proof Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' is in front of us every day.
Friday night. You're going to the pub. You do what you can to look your best. You may have your dance moves down pat or be relying on wit and charm. Whatever. Like it or not, we are genetically programmed to want to pass our genes on to the next generation. You want to have sex. Everything you do in life you do, consciously or not, is to have sex. You exercise, buy nice clothes, work for money to buy nice clothes, save for a house (think cave), and on it goes. If you do all this, you know you will move up the pecking order and give your genes the best chance of finding the best match.
Evolution stares us in the face wherever we go, and the religious organisations know this.
Big Tobacco funding doctors = More smokers, more money.
Christian Churches funding scientists = More believers, more money.
One can't be wrong without the other.

Quickly, Magda's little outburst about cyclists on GNW has caused a stir. She picked the wrong group to target. Middle aged men write to papers and ring talk back radio. If it was targeted at surfers making swimming unsafe, young people swearing in public, or smokers giving us all a soar throat there would not have been a backlash. These groups would have laugh and say 'yeah, you're probably right, but oh well.' We build roads for cars, pull your heads in.

By the way, good to see Channel 10 backed up my criticism of the Encore Presentation by having 'Big Encore Friday.' Three shows from earlier in the week back to back. Salivating stuff. Was Celebrity Masterchef really that good? And Channel Nine played Hey Hey twice on Wednesday night. Great stuff programmers, your school holiday work experience program is really paying off.