Either Tony Abbott is behind an organised campaign, or he has no control of his party

Filed under: — Bravus @ 12:58 pm

Either way, the barrage of intimidating phone calls to the Independents from Liberal politicians is just more evidence that Abbott is unfit to be Prime Minister.


I try to accentuate the positive…

Filed under: — Bravus @ 7:00 am

… in relation to environmental stories, and seek solutions rather than just report catastrophes… but it’s hard to find a positive spin on this story:


I still believe that, given the will, there are technological fixes available. But, absent the will, we’re gonna see some hard times.


Something I’ve been thinking about

Filed under: — Bravus @ 6:11 am

First, check out this amazing video. You might have seen it before, but watch it again anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo&feature=search

Now, God could have just walked over to the car and switched it on, metaphorically speaking. But how much more amazing and awe-inspiring to do it this way!

Similarly, he absolutely has the power to speak and have the universe appear just as it is: but how much more amazing and awe-inspiring to speak it all in potentia in the one great word of the Big Bang, and then have all the parts connect in precise, incredible ways over nearly 14 billion years of connections to have us here to marvel at it all.


Just in case you thought, for a moment, that ‘Lord’ Monckton was credible…

Filed under: — Bravus @ 7:39 pm

George Monbiot gives the overview in the Guardian

Here’s John Abrahams’ actual presentation, slides and audio: http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/jpabraham/ It’s about 67 minutes, so set aside some time, but it’s a worthwhile watch, partly because it will help you learn some science, and because he’s not about telling you what to believe, but about empowering you to search out the evidence for yourself

On Evidence

Filed under: — Bravus @ 6:45 am

The ‘no evidence would convince you’ argument – usually bolstered with the relevant texts – from Christians wears a bit thin, particularly when those making it claim that no evidence would convince them to change their views.

Those of us compelled to follow the evidence are deluged in it every day… but it’s evidence that, if God exists at all, He does not fit the advertising. It’s not a case of waiting around for the once-in-a-lifetime miracle, it’s a case of seeing the world around us, day in and day out, as a cascade of evidence. If God was there and acting as advertised, it could not help but show… but it doesn’t, so either He’s not there or He’s not acting as advertised.

Bad News and Good News

Filed under: — Bravus @ 4:24 am

First, one of the candidates for Australian Prime Minister – election coming up this Saturday – believes warming has stopped:


I’m not a one-issue voter, and there are plenty of other reasons to oppose him anyway, but this level of plain disconnect from reality in itself disqualifies him for the job in my opinion.

On the other hand, though:



Belated Evidence

Filed under: — Bravus @ 9:21 am

Between general crazy busy-ness and the fact that there are fewer computers at home and the fact that my site was hacked and was down for a day, it’s taken a while to post these:



Insurance assessor guy came out yesterday and a new computer is on its way.


Progfest Brisbane 2010

Filed under: — Bravus @ 12:58 pm

Saw a brief reference in one of the local free rags to ‘Progfest’ at Rosies in Brisbane on Friday night. Lots and lots of Aussie progressive bands, from post-rock to metal. For 15 bucks, at the end of a long week… how bad could it be?

The answer, as it turned out, was that it could be freaking amazing! We saw 5 of the 10 bands who played on the night – some played on another stage, and we had to leave before ‘Neath played, but apparently they were also amazing – and of those 5, 4 just completely blew me away. Lots and lots of fantastic new Australian music to listen to: and Matt and I both snarfed up many CDs from the merch table.

So Cassie, Matt and I wandered out. Sue dropped us off on her way to work, so we were in town a bit early. Had coffee and thought about waiting around a bit longer, but ended off heading to Rosies at 7 pm when the doors opened. And we’re so glad we did.

The poster said ‘Toe Hider’s Mike Mills‘, and we wondered ‘what’s that about?’ As it turned out, it was Mike Mills on a stool with an electric guitar, and a Brisbane muso on keys as backup, because it wasn’t possible to bring the full band, Toe Hider, up from Melbourne for the show. There was hardly anyone in the room, so we just sat at a table, with cold ones, and had our socks comprehensively blown off. Brilliant, funny, amazing songs, and the voice of a horny angel. Toe Hider (which, it has to be said, are pretty much Mike Mills’ band) are producing 12 EPs in 12 months, each with 6-10 songs… and they’re all amazing. We bought a two-CD set of ‘The First Six’ – so something like 40 original songs – for 25 bucks. If you want to get a sense of what they’re about, go here: http://www.toehider.com/12in12/ (but acoustic, in terms of the show on Friday… which if anything showed the songs off even better)

Next up were Silver Ocean Storm – kind of progressive melo-death, I guess. Competent, and with interesting elements, but overall the least interesting band of the night, for mine…

Sleepmakeswaves were the point of departure for me from Matt and Cassie – they found them amiable enough but not very interesting, with their long evolving post-rock excursions. Being a big fan of Agalloch and post-rock generally, I found them absolutely mesmerising. Their music is all available for free streaming and download, so check it out here: http://www.archive.org/details/LostChildren077

I’d been hearing good things about local Brisbane band Arcane for a long time. They were a fair bit more metal live than on record – but amazing in both forms. Proggy metal that’s fascinating and complex, with an amazing vocalist. Definitely a band that will be huge if there’s any justice at all. The word ‘arcane’ is used enough to make it a bit tricky to find them on YouTube, but ‘arcane brisbane’ will find you lots of examples of their stuff.

The really surprising band of the night were ‘Ne Obliviscaris‘. Cass and Matt were sitting down in another room while they were setting up, but I saw the chops of the guitarists and bassist in sound-check and dragged them in. So we were in the second row from the stage when they came on. Their name is rare enough to be easy to find on YouTube and there’s some good live footage that will give you the idea. In short, right in front of us was a very business-like looking guy in chinos and a business shirt, short hair, looked a bit like a young Guy Pearce, could easily have walked straight out of an accountants’ office. And he was playing violin and singing clean vocals. Next to him was a cadaverous-looking pale freak with long straight black hair and a complex skirt-like outfit covered in zips, singing extreme death-black vocals. And around them an incredible tech-prog-death band… with a drummer who looked like a blonde rugby player. Just stunning music.

I would have been absolutely stoked to see any of these bands for 15 bucks – to see all of them together with amazing.

The Ceiling Fell In

Filed under: — Bravus @ 12:35 pm

There will be photos, when I get them off the camera


I’m not antiChristian

Filed under: — Bravus @ 6:21 pm

I am antibigotry, antihomophobia, antiprejudice, antipedophilia, antisexism, antiracism and so on. And when I see Christians being pro… any of those things, I’ll call them on it. When I see them ascribing it to their faith, I’ll call them on it even more.

As I said to Matt the other day, though, I still regard that as critiquing ‘my side’.


Filed under: — Bravus @ 3:20 pm

A few years ago Trisha Goddard (who as far as I know now hosts a very trashy Jerry Springer style TV talk show in the UK) completed a stint on TV in Australia for a couple of years, and in leaving called Australia “the most racist country in the world”.

I thought she was wrong then, and I think she’s wrong now, but have a gander at the Comments section below this newspaper article: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/burqas-are-confronting-and-i-wish-fewer-people-wore-them-says-tony-abbott/comments-fn5z3z83-1225901091959



Filed under: — Bravus @ 10:45 am

Just a kind of blah-mingled-with-panic day. It’s cold, I have half a flu, my office computer has died, I have to teach later. I have work piling up, and more and more of it coming in… and just can’t really get motivated to do any of it.

At some point I’ll get started, I assume. But while I’m not either clinically depressed or bipolar, I do tend to have cycles of massive productivity and focus, and others when it just doesn’t really happen… and forcing it doesn’t help.

Sadly, the rhythms of work and my personal rhythms don’t always synchronize well. 😉


On Certainty (again/still/more)

Filed under: — Bravus @ 1:07 pm

This status discussion on Facebook kinda took off, so I thought I’d share it here:



Filed under: — Bravus @ 9:23 am

Recent creationism and plain bad science being taught in Queensland schools:


Religious Instruction (RI) classes are taught by volunteers from the churches, not by teachers, and there is really no control at all of what kids are taught. Parents can opt their children out, but it takes effort and there are few meaningful alternatives.