Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, August 03, 2008

August 3, 2008

Gary Sauer-Thompson
Here is an Adelaide man who is producing and interesting blog, rich with interesting words and pictures. Gary describes himself as someone for whom “Adelaide is home. Work is often in Canberra. Relaxation is in Victor Harbor.” He says he is a “frustrated photographer & philosopher who has lost his way in life. I used to be a policy wonk. Now, as a knowledge worker I have trouble learning to live in a complex digital world. Personal expression is the way I critically cope in a technological mode of being.”
His blog, which I am linking to, has four main sections – conversations, public opinion, philosophy and junk for code. It is the junk for code part I will link you to so that you can watch his pictorial essay on the River Murray unfold. At the time of linking to this section of his site, there is a prominent story on his recent trip to the Milang Jetty. He weaves in political comment, regarding Brendan Nelson’s recent visit as part of the Mayo by-election campaign for Jamie Briggs, along with a wonderful picture of the jetty. If you scroll further down the page, you will see more dramatic pictures of our River Murray in all its resplendent distress. The colour and detail that Gary achieves in his photographs is stunning, and he is doing an important job of keeping the river in our consciousness while we dodge occasional rain showers and run our hot water taps without fail every morning. You can see this blog stream at
Make sure you scroll down to the Mundoo Channel photograph near the Murray Mouth just south of the barrages. Surrounding the photograph, Gary reminds us “the barrages were constructed seven decades ago to pool freshwater behind them, providing drinking and irrigation supplies to farms and towns … the situation is one whereby the levels of the freshwater lakes continue to drop behind barrages that currently keep out the sea. Scientists warn they could within months turn acidic, irretrievably damaging them.”.

Food facts
Now this is an interesting site on many levels. Firstly, it is funded by Meat and Livestock Australia so straight away we know we need to be on guard for “spin”. We know that only research that supports the consumption of red meat will be included. We know that censorship by omission will be the key to keeping the funding body happy. That being said, I am a meat eater and they are selecting research from authoritative bodies, so it is a site that will be in harmony with my expectations and understanding of the world.
Secondly, I don’t know how such a nicely designed site can be created and NOT be compatible with Mozilla Firefox. It is incredible. This site totally breaks in Firefox, the second most popular browser used today. I would be having a few words with my web designer if I was the funding body.
Thirdly, there are some interesting comments in the “facts” that would make juicy conversation pieces for your next dinner party (as you eat your red meat, of course), here are just a few:

  • It is important to eat a wide variety of fruits from apples to citrus to berries and bananas, “from fresh to stewed to canned varieties”. Now I know that canned and stewed fruits are not totally bad for you, and can be handy back ups when fresh fruit is out of season, but who has ever heard of making sure we mix canned and stewed fruit into our diets? That would be similar to saying you must eat red meat but must also include jerky in your diet. Bizarre.
  • It mentions we need to include cheese in our diets and then on the next point it says we need to reduce consumption of cheese and other foods with saturated fats.
  • Interestingly, it does point out the down side of dairy food, sugars, oils, and alcohol, but when it talks about meat it gives a glowing reference apart from lightly mentioning we should trim fat from our meat. I am sure there must be other points of concern and it would have lent more credibility to the page if they were included in the way pros and cons were included for other food types.

On the Weight Management page, it states that we need, for our evening meal, 4 servings per week of 200g of red meat, 2 servings per week of 200g of fish, and 1 serving of chicken without fat or more meat. For lunch we MUST eat 100g of lean protein – beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, etc. It says we need just 40g of high fibre cereal, 2 and a half cups of non-starchy vegetables, one serve of fruit and dairy, and a dribble of vegetable oil.There is advice on eating less, namely, setting times for eating, not eating in front of tv, chewing more, and washing your plate straight after eating (that also helps marital bliss). The other classic piece of advice is to choose smaller plates and bowls. I must say, I think the jury is out on that one. Having to go back for a second plate all the time would be annoying, leading to frustration, leading to depression, leading to more consumption of comfort food.
Overall, this is an interesting site that will easily keep you interested for a few hours. Just don’t sit down with a bowl of snack food next to you as you explore it! Using Internet Explorer, you can visit the site at

Ugly Dresses
Oh my! Just what do girls do to each other? You must see this collection of ugly dresses, mainly bridesmaid dresses that charming brides have foisted upon their best friends.
There are some interesting categories of pictures from bad shape and bad colours to the must see categories of bad shoes, ugly weddings and tattoos and skanks. Some highlights are:

  • Ugly weddings – Was this made in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts, Deodorant Application.
  • Ugly shoes – Bridal Sneakers Complete With The Ankle Tattoo, and Minivan, Sneekers, Man-Calves.
  • Tattoos and skanks – Tat, Beer, Cig, and a Casino, and Wedding Tattoo Rule #3. Actually, I have to paraphrase tattoo rule number three which features a girl with some pseudo eastern tattoo on her left shoulder blade, fully exposed by her low cut wedding dress. The advice is: Don’t let a $50 tattoo ruin a $20,000 wedding. If you still think that your tattoo is meaningful and that everyone else actually gives a rat’s about what it signifies you are wrong. The only people who actually pretended to listen to that crap were guys who were trying to “get to know you better” in your past, and guess what? You are married now.”

Actually, the most razor sharp commentary was also saved for the tattoo section. It is the picture entitled “shark tattoo and a million other things”. The commentary goes: “Ivory Dress & White Bra. Bleached blond hair and leathery skin. Black plastic watch and crappy tribal shark tattoo. Also, someone should slap the Maid of Honor for screwing up the pearl buttons.” Unleash the sarcasm within and visit

Fast talking Fred
I was alerted to Fast Talking Fred by an article in The Age, in which it highlights that Fred’s creator, Lucas Cruikshank, is already a minor celebrity at the age of 14, still two years away from being legally able to drive, vote or get married. On YouTube, Lucas’s character, Fred, is attracting hundreds of thousands of subscribers, leading to sponsorship deals and talk of television shows.
Fred is “a six-year-old with anger management issues who lives with his alcoholic mother and whose absentee father is doing time in jail.” The attraction comes from Lucas’ baby face, the timeworn comic device of having someone older play someone younger, and the “chipmunking” of his voice.
Fred’s weekly videos began in May and four of the episodes have had more than one million viewings. You can see his YouTube channel at