Saturday, June 30, 2007

Who Told You To Settle?

It's preposterous and scandalous.

They're the heated words from the lawyer of ex-astronaut Lisa Nowak who's dismayed by the media's fixation on one part of a love-triangle gone wrong.

THE attorney for former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak said his client's right to a fair trial is being jeopardized by a "big lie" that she wore a diaper during a nonstop 1530km drive to confront a romantic rival.

Ms Nowak, who flew on a space shuttle mission last year, was arrested on February 6 in Orlando on charges of assaulting and trying to kidnap an Air Force captain she saw as competition for the affections of fellow astronaut William Oefelein.
And the lawyer is not impressed:

“It holds my client up to ridicule.

"It jeopardises our ability to pick a jury.

"It jeopardises our ability to get a fair trial when the client is the butt of jokes.” (ha, ha, the butt of jokes -- Nora)

Mr (Donald) Lykkebak limited questions from reporters and was vague on whether Ms Nowak ever used a diaper on her drive, but said that prosecutors have not entered a diaper as evidence in the case.

“The officer did not investigate the diaper. The diaper is not in evidence,” Mr Lykkebak said.

“If the diaper was important, why was it not in evidence?

"Why didn't the officer seize it and investigate it?”
Sounds like this lawyer attended the Jackie Chiles school of lawyering.

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

-- Nora

Friday, June 29, 2007

Can I Haz A Kitty?

As many people know, Nicky and I try to be fastidious with our spelling and grammar. Nick is more successful at this than me.

However, the English language is ever changing and even incorrectly spelled words when done for a reason can be a valid form of communication.

And, thanks to the Internet, this phenomenon can spread virally - particularly amongst English speakers who in this particular case appear to share in this universal joke.

The joke is I Can Has Cheezburger, a blog which posts cute pictures of animals with captions in a childish voice or English as a second language syntax. For the over 35s think Mind Your Language with animals instead of people and without the racist overtones.

Nick and I came across a variation of this some weeks ago with I Has A Bucket, which has now been adopted into everyday conversation (strangely enough the joke hasn't worn out in our household yet, which may be part of the appeal of this and I Can Has Cheezburger).

So, enjoy this links and smile this Friday with a kitty who may be forced to consider his 'lifetime rating one'.

-- Nora

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gotta Have Faith(fulness)

GEORGE Michael is too scared to take an HIV test a new doco reveals.

The Fast Love singer hasn't been tested for the virus for at least three years because he fears the results could come back positive.

Stephen Fry - HIV and Me producer, Ross Wilson, said: "George says he does not believe in tests. He says he finds the wait for results too harrowing and that he hasn't had a test since at least 2004 due to his fears it might be positive."
But, but how can that be?

George is supposed to have 'married' long-time beau Kenny Goss last year.

You know marriage:

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health. I will love you
and honor you all the days of my life.
Perhaps monogamy means something else to George and friends.

-- Nora

Fernwood Politics

Fresh from the 'look what's stupid' file comes this exercise in futility:

A new Australian political party just for women - the What Women Want party.

Launching the What Women Want Australia party in Brisbane today, Justine Caines said women needed better representation and were sick of being paid lip service on key issues.

These included paid maternity leave, post-natal services, access to child care, education and the environment.

Ms Caines, a NSW senate candidate with a background in maternity services, said a looming, tight election made the timing right for the party's launch.
Speaking as a woman - a female-only party is not what I want.

The issues that we face as a society should be addressed by society as a whole, not along gender lines.

Frankly one becomes a little tired of the old feminist belief that society's default setting is male.

Perhaps it was once, but it certainly hasn't been in a very, very long time. And it can be compellingly argued that any lack of representation of women in past societies was not a result of an oppressive patriarchy and that the rise of female representation is driven by advances in medical and reproductive technology.

Amongst the idiot positioning is this on the Iraq war:

A recent article in the respected medical journal The Lancet estimated 600,000 violent deaths in Iraq since the invasion (Lancet figures are wildly inaccurate - Nora). That number grows by the day. How many innocent children, women and men have been killed? John Howard has given George Bush blind support. We do not believe this should have happened. Australian support should be from a humanitarian position.
Well golly gee, perhaps these women think the Hussein family rape rooms were quite alright then.

And as one might expect the rest of their policies are typical airy, fairy, touchy, feely, impractical, soft socialist rubbish.

I agree whole heartedly with the wickedly sharp feminist critic, academic and author Camille Paglia who had this observation - “If women ruled the world, we’d still be living in grass huts.”

Amen to that sister.

-- Nora

Monday, June 25, 2007

Picture Post

This couple


is unsuitable to adopt children.

So is this couple:


It is not in the child's best interests.

This couple


is suitable.

So is this couple:


Not that there's anything wrong with that.

-- Nick

Unreasonable Doubt

Australian Muslim cleric claims Hezbollah, the Islamic terrorist organisation, is a 'resistance group'.

Sheik Mousselmani said Hezbollah did not have a branch in Australia.

"Hezbollah is not operating outside of Lebanon," he said.

"Hezbollah is defending Lebanon against Israel.
Well, well, I thought that's what the Lebanese armed forces were for. So what are they doing?

Oh yes, they're fighting Islamic terrorists in northern Lebanon.

...the army battled Fatah al-Islam in the camp near the northern port city of Tripoli, the search pressed on for the militants who fired rockets into Israel yesterday.
You know, that part of Lebanon in which several Australians (all of them Muslim, no doubt) are now being held on suspicion.

Hezbollah and their fellow travellers are nothing more than murderers. Kamal Mousselmani of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council of Australia is part of the Islamic caliphate fifth column.

-- Nora

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Number 69, Your Meal's Ready...

A Geelong strip bar has outraged family groups by awarding a brothel voucher to the winner of its Saturday night poker tournament.

Kudos to both the hotel and the Australian Family Association - when a hotel's handing out daft prizes and conservative groups are jumping up and down in response, then all is right with the world.

Alley Cat Hotel owner Fred Scharkosi says 'some venues offer a drink card or a chicken parma' but his pub's prize - a half-hour session at the local bordello - has made it the busiest Texas hold 'em poker house in Geelong.

No wonder - a chicken parmigiana is worth six bucks tops, but a roll with a chick has to be worth ten times that.


-- Nick

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cuddling By A Cozy Fire

Winter hit Queensland with a vengeance this week.

Why, we even had to wear long sleeves.

So for a short time only, Nick and Nora's weekly cocktails will be on the warm side.

Cuddle up with the one you love and share a:

Dreamy Winter Delight
2 oz Irish cream
6 oz hot chocolate
amaretto almond liqueur
Pour irish cream into a heatproof cup with hot chocolate. Add amaretto, to taste. Stir, and serve.
-- Nora

PS - Don't forget to check out all the updates to Nick and Nora's Nifty Knick-Knacks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rumble In The Jungle

A championship bout has started between upmarket friend Tim Blair and the ABC's Media Watch over free speech in the media and particular in the blogosphere.

It's unfortunate because it's no contest.

Tim to win by a Knock Out.

-- Nora

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lurking In Some Darkened Doorway

He has a powerful weapon
He charges a million a shot,
An assassin that's second to none,
The man with the golden gun.
Not Francisco Scaramanga, but Saddam Huessein.

Title weapon finds a new home at the Australian War Museum.

-- Nora

Tossed By Every Wind

If anyone had any doubts of some Anglican/Episcopal communicants commitment to Christianity, then take a look at this story from The Seattle Times:

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.

She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word "Islam."

"It wasn't about intellect," she said.
Damn straight.

Maybe Ms Redding needs to do a bit of reading to find out what it is she really believes in.

-- Nora

Green Hatred

Late last month we made a comparison between environmental types and misanthropes and frankly, I'm not sure we were believed.

But the always entertaining Tex from Wacking Day highlights this exchange on a motorcycle discussion forum (scroll down to A Deep Love Of Humanity):

>> We need a good pandemic we do.
>Unfortunatly I think you're right.

Fortunately we won't have long to wait...


Well _something's_ gotta decimate this toxic plague known as"humanity" [misnomer alert] or else every other species is in dire peril...
As Tex himself says - charming fellow.

-- Nora

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vertical Integration

As Agence France-Presse reports that the next mayor of Dallas could also be:

...the first openly gay man to be elected mayor of a major US city... comes as no surprise to learn that the candidate in question is:

...Democratic party-endorsed...
The Democrats like to put 'edgy' leaders into local government, such as crack cocaine smoking Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry who returned from a six month Federal prison stint to get re-elected mayor and busted again in 2005 for testing positive for cocaine and marijuana and failing to pay federal and local taxes.


Neil Goldschmidt - Democrat - Oregon governor. Admitted to having an illegal sexual relationship with a 14-year-old teenager while he was serving as Mayor of Portland

Lee Alexander - Democrat - Mayor of Syracuse, N.Y. from 1970 to 1985. Was indicted over a $1.5 million kickback scandal. Pleaded guilty to racketeering and tax evasion charges. Served six years in prison.

Bill Campbell - Democrat - Mayor of Atlanta. Indicted and charged with fraud over claims he accepted improper payments from contractors seeking city contracts.

Walter Rayford Tucker - Democrat - Mayor of Compton, California from 1991 to 1992; U.S. Representative from California from 1993 to 1995. Sentenced to 27 months in prison for extortion and tax evasion.
And that's just those heading up local government. (Source)

-- Nick

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Final Frontier

Aging hippies and Gen X wannabes relive the glory days are fined for breaking into satellite tracking station Pine Gap

Computer glitches connected with a new power supply cause the International Space Station inhabitants to consider evacuation.

Researchers have successfully performed another test on a scramjet engine that offers the possibility of jet speeds 10 times faster than today, meaning here to the UK in two hours.

-- Nora

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nick and Nora's Nifty Celebration

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of The Thin Man Returns Blog.

Thank you everyone who's read, left a passing comment, heck, even disagreed with us.

To mark the occasion, Nick and I have started a second blog, Nick and Nora's Nifty Knick-Knacks to share our collection of interesting odds and ends.

We intend to update this regularly, so please check back if all things retro appeal to you.


Champagne Celebration
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz brandy
1 sugar cube
Angostura bitters
4 oz Champagne
Add Cointreau, Brandy and a sugar cube saturated with Bitters to a champagne flute. Fill with your favorite champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.
-- Nora

Monday, June 11, 2007

Unpublished Critics

In March 2006, The Thin Man Returns linked to an article on that stated that Simon Binks, one time member of Australian Crawl, was planning to sue the North Sydney Council for injuries suffered in a car crash.

The report also said Mr Binks recorded an over the limit blood alcohol limit at the time of the accident.

On May 23 this year Mr Binks left two comments on our blog disputing and clarifying claims made in the article which we reproduced in part in a block quote.

In the interests of fairness Nicky and I are highlighting this update.

We have no way of verifying the identify of the poster calling himself SimonJBinks but we have no reason to doubt it. And we have no way of verifying the claims made in his comments, but in the interests of natural justice we are more than happy to host his right of reply.

What this episode does is highlight the issue regarding the laws of libel and their application in a Web 2.0 world.

As the world becomes a smaller place, it might be helpful to not only apply common sense but also to try to find an agreed upon standard that protects not only bloggers but also those who have legitmate grounds for grievance.

For more information about defamation, protecting the vitality of debate and freedom of speech on the Internet visit Electronic Frontier Foundation's Blue Ribbon project and the Australian Electronic Frontiers.

-- Nora

So, What's Left?

Recommended reading for today from The Australian: Reality Bites The Psychotic Left. The money paragraph is reproduced below:

While the Left is still fighting the intellectual battles of the 1970s, the rest of the world has moved on. Progressive only in their own, inflated self image, the commentariat finds itself stranded on the outer fringes of the national debate, stuck in an intellectual cul-de-sac without the courage or confidence to retrace its steps. Their voices have not been silenced, they have simply lost their relevance. While the mainstream debate is conducted elsewhere, the progressives are stuck in the corner, muttering darkly among themselves. Seventeen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they are rebels without a cause still trapped in dialectical Marxist maze.
-- Nora

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Radio Daze

Raise your glasses and help Nicky and I celebrate the successful restoration of our 1950s radiogram cocktail cabinet.

This fabulous site has a fine selection of vintage cocktails just right for the occasion.

Here are a couple of favourites:

Gin and Sin
1.5 Shots Gin
1 Shot Lemon Juice
0.5 Shot Orange Juice
0.5 Shot Sugar Syrup
Dash Grenadine
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass.

Bikini Martini
1.5 Shots Gin
1 Teaspoon Peach Schnapps
1.5 Shots Blue Curaçao
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass.
-- Nora

That's Not An Argument, THIS Is An Argument

There is an old truism, 'say something long enough and people will believe it'.

We've seen it with idiot 9/11 conspiracy theorists whose crazy ideas resonate in the echo chamber of like-minded fools.

The 'truthers' seem so sincere and their hysteria gets so much coverage that it seems circumspect to nod and say that maybe there is something to it after all.

But they’re wrong.

When not armed with facts and confident in the truth, it's very easy to find oneself swayed by sentiment or by someone else's argument, especially if they're arguing with passion.

Witness the reaction to the story on on the Prime Minister's comments on Victorian Law Reform Commission recommendations that homosexual couples be allowed to adopt or have IVF treatment.

Howard said, quite sensibly that children should have a mother and a father.

The 359 comments that follow the story are a revelation and point to three forms of debating style that cannot correctly be called argument.

Monty Python wittily describes the difference.

The Mantra
C of Bris, did you get to choose the colour of eyes or hair, or skin? No... Homosexuality is not a choice. let's repeat this and try and drum it into your stupid mind. Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice! Being gay is NOT a choice!
Posted by: Ignorance Example Number1 of City 1:03pm today
Comment 137 of 359
Apart from being an example of obsessive behaviour, Ignorance Example Number1 of City epitomises the noise that people whose position is unsupportable have to make in order to get their message heard.

It serves to wear down any innate or instinctive belief in the contrary position.

It's similar to the old psychology class experiment on peer pressure and independent thought. You clue in all the class with the exception of three to five people that a simple question with only one right answer is to be asked. The students will be asked to agree on and support a wrong answer (for example 3+5=9) to see what happens.

More often than not the handful of students who are subjects of the experiment will end up agreeing with their peers because of weight of numbers, even though they know their classmates are wrong. In other words they don't have the courage of their beliefs or the ability to articulate them or it's just easier to go with the flow.

The ‘Hater’
My own position on whether homosexuals are appropriate parents for children is well known, but what is striking about the News comments is the utter inability for some people to see what is perfectly true because of their own bias.

I'm stunned that a common sense statement like 'kids need a mum and a dad' is seen as controversial.
Posted by: Nora Charles of Queensland 2:56pm today
Comment 255 of 359
Which elicits this response:

" I'm stunned that a common sense statement like 'kids need a mum and a dad' is seen as controversial " Common sense? it may very well not be true. I'm sure centuries ago people like you were stunned when they were told the Earth is round.
Posted by: Pj of Sydney 3:35pm today
Comment 283 of 359
The truth is children do grow up healthier (both physically and psychologically), happier and wealthier when raised by their biological mother and father (under the commitment of marriage) and this is supported by an overwhelming range of evidence.

The fact that some children do not have that opportunity for a variety of reasons doesn't invalidate this. To argue otherwise is specious.

Another tactic used by people who don't have the weight of reason on their side is to shut down debate by accusing their opponent of 'hating'. In this case invectives of redneck, hater, bigot and homophobe are used liberally in the comments.

Funnily enough, those who argue that homosexuality is normal and is just as good an arrangement to raise children in as heterosexual families and claim evidence to do so, aren't even supported by the gay advocacy research with which they try to use to bolster their argument.

I’m entitled to my opinion
But repeated mantras and accusations of ‘-isms’ (racism, sexism etc) do not a convincing argument make and in fact point to another problem we have in society – holding beliefs based on nothing more substantial than feelings.

We see this in another form of style often phrased as, ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’. Indeed everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it doesn’t mean their opinion, no matter how sincerely held is correct.

Unfortunately a lot of young people often try to validate their beliefs with this phrase possibly as a result of two generations of education experimentation that has taught them that there are no absolutes, only opinions, all of which are equally valid.

While this might be true of truly subjective things (chocolate cake is better than marzipan), it cannot be true of objective things (gravity will still pull things back down to Earth no matter what your opinion).

It would appear that people aren’t taught or have forgotten the difference between subjectivity and objectivity in the pursuit of trying to validate all beliefs.

-- Nora

Saturday, June 09, 2007

School For Scandal

Just as the ancient Greeks eagerly awaited the latest scroll "νέος ιδέα" to hit the papyrus stands to find out what their favourite god or godess was up to, we too appear to fascinated by 21st century demigods from Mount Hollywood.

Hitting the headlines today:

A LOS ANGELES judge has ordered a screaming and crying Paris Hilton back to jail to finish a sentence for probation violation, overturning a decision by the LA Sheriff's Department to have the celebrity heiress serve the sentence at home for medical reasons.

BRITISH pop star George Michael has been banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 100 hours' community service after pleading guilty to driving while unfit through drugs.
The cult of celebrity has been often bandied about as a superficial explanation of our fascination with these quite obviously psychologically maladjusted people, but that hides a more serious issue.

Looking to celebrities for style and fashion tips is one thing, but asking them to comment on anything else just makes them and the interviewing journalist look silly.

While all of the above may seem terribly amusing - unless someone is killed, of course - there is a disturbing side effect of celebrity emulation.

It could be argued that the rise in eating disorders and binge drinking amongst young girls is a result of using celebrities as role models.

And while we're on the subject, can anyone name ten hot Hollywood names who can hold together a stable relationship? As an example, Kylie Minogue, who seems a nice enough person is nearing 40 and has never had a stable, long-term relationship. That's sad really.

While celebrities give us something to talk about, there needs to be a reminder that these people as we see them depicted on TV and celeb gossip mags are no more real and should be taken no more seriously than the ancient Greek gods on Olympus.

-- Nora

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Great White North

We're not as friendly as Canadians?

What's all that a-boot - eh?

Canada Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Canadian whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
3 drops Angostura bitters
Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with broken ice and a sprig of mint.
-- Nora