Friday, September 29, 2006

"Fame lasts a lifetime, immortality is through Persiflage"

That all-too poignant quote was thought up by me two minutes ago.

But why did I think of it? What frame of mind was I in to think of such truths? Well, after a recent exchange of ideas and suggestions between myself and the good Samuel Gordon-Stewart (of and of Samuel's Persiflage fame) I have come to believe that my name, Thomas, will live on, throughout the ages of mankind, and into the endless void that is time and space. What was that exchange you ask?

Well ...

It began a few days ago, September 16th, on my blog no less. Some of my friends and I had toyed with, neigh, whispered about the prospect of appearing on the award-winning Samuel's Persiflage, though never thought my mere blog or meager mind capable of being summoned by the great boy himself, Samuel. The following comment was left by one of those friends on a post about Samuel's 'activities' with scammers:

Well done Mr Northcutt. Your valiant efforts on behalf of all consumers have been rewarded by well deserved recognition on Samuel’s blog. I sincerely hope that this will embolden the followers of your cause, perhaps leading to further recognition with an interview on the subject on the widely renowned Samuel’s Persiflage.

What a suggestion! To merely utter Thomas, Samuel and Persiflage in the same comment, much less suggest the three be mingled into an outcome could be seen as blasphemous! However, we let the comment stand, hoping Samuel would respond in kind. And then, September 27the, I saw an opportunity to ask Samuel to his blog-face about my prospects of attaining glory through Persiflage, as I don't doubt that he, with his busy and hectic life, had no spare time to read the comments left on my frivolous blog:

Samuel, I have a question:

What would it take to immortalise my fame and be interviewed on Samuel’s Persiflage? Would I be required to drive to Chateau de Gordon-Stewart, because I’d be more than willing? We could talk about scammers, or blogging.


However, I received no reply, though, granted, it was foolish of I to reply 6th in a thread of comments in post that wasn't even the latest! However, still determined, I persevered, head-strong due to the strength that I have gained from the young Samuel Gordon-Stewart:


I ask thou again, as with, no doubt, the overwhelming amount of fan mail and letters you get, it may have slipped by simply by leaving it as the sixth comment on an old thread:

What would it take to immortalise my fame and be interviewed on Samuel’s Persiflage? Would I be required to drive to Chateau de Gordon-Stewart, because I’d be more than willing? We could talk about scammers, or blogging.


To my overwhelming excitement I received a reply, not half an hour after posting my comment (20 minutes to the minute to be precise actually):

Sorry Thomas, I’ve been intending on replying for the last few nights…I almost had time last night, but I didn’t get to bed until 4am…interview was at 2am, finished around 3pm (we started later than expected), and I was fiddling with the audio for a while after wards.

Probably the best thing to do is send me an email outlining what you would like to talk about, I’m very interested in your idea of talking about scammers given your experiences with them.

You don’t need to come to Canberra…Skypre would be preferable (and would probably deliver near-studio quality), but telephone is fine. The interview I did last night utilised Skype…the quality was that good that I could have said that the guest was in the studio and had flown in from the US just to be on the show, and nobody would have known.

And yes, the identity of the guest is a secret for now, but I will give you a couple clues:
Based in the US
Mentioned on this site previously

I thought I was due for an apology and comment of thanks for bestowing upon me such a prestigious opportunity. I whipped this up nine minutes into the new day, after returning from a function, and am still guilt-ridden for the tardiness of my reply:

I do apologise for giving you such a hard time over not replying and all, especially given that you are running on minimal sleep after an 11 hour interview.

I shall send you an email very soon about what I would like to talk about. I believe some time on Sunday will be the most likely.

Thank-you for your response and consideration of this humble person for such an illustrious audio show.
Also, to venture a guess as to who you interviewed, did you repay the favour (and relive the great exchange that you two had) with Wayne Mac? If you have interviewed him it would, no doubt, be the greatest Persiflage in the history of Persiflages.


Imagine! Everyone's favourite blogger, Samuel Gordon-Stewart, interviewing a scammer's worst nightmare, and blogger (though no where in Samuel's league) Thomas, on Samuel's Persiflage. I am sure it would rank among the top of all Persiflages downloaded.

With swift mind and steadfast hand, I will email young Samuel my ideas for an interview and report back, though only after Samuel has given me his feedback so as I don't give away too many spoilers of said interview.

Also, while I have your attention, you will find that Samuel received some rather nasty emails, someone claiming his website is a "waste of space". Now, far be it from me to defend to young boy, but I will be devoting a post of length to this topic very soon, outlining why the Internet is everyone's to use, as they see fit mind you (within the law of course), and why anyone (or any majority's opinion) is null and void in a 'free space' like this.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Here's a nice little quote I happened upon today, and all too relevant with what I want to talk about next:

"We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions."

That's from American writer Jessamyn West. Now, as for my main topic, keep that in mind. What is the topic you ask? Well, it's pretty serious, so a couple of you will probably switch off, but bear with me. Recently, i.e. within the past 24 hours, a video has gone up on YouTube, from Fox News, interviewing Bill Clinton, and, hand-in-hand with the "true-to-truth" show Path to 9/11, blaming him and his government for Osama Bin Laden still being alive and 9/11 effectively. Clinton holds his own very well, but lets think about this, and the quote I gave you, a little more.

Everyone thinks, and probably with some degree of correctness, the actual 9/11 events could have been stopped. Albeit, it would have required a stacked deck on the States' behalf and a hell of a lot of luck, but but they could have picked up on "warning signs" and the like. However, the 9/11 concept and idealistic event, I feel, was inevitable. If it wasn't the events that happened on 9/11 it could have been something worse two and a half years later. It could have been anything, really. But there is this preconceived notion that the events could have been stopped, yes?

So, after watching that interview and the show Path to 9/11, what facts are being forgotten, ignored, replaced and construed to fit that preconceived notion? I'm not some left-wing nut who can tell you everything good that Clinton did during his run as President that hindered terrorists, but nor can I tell you what he did right. But what I can tell you is this: there was no modern-day "Dummies Guide to a Terrorist Attack (and how to prevent one)" because the type of event characterised by 9/11 had never happened to America before: had never happened in the World before. Granted there were embassy bombings, kidnappings, etc. etc. prior to, but some of those were just pissed off nations looking to get recognised or some cause out in the open, and the others were single events.

Is that to say America didn't care? Of course not. They went after those who were responsible. That's a fact. They didn't kill him: that's a fact too. But what of these two facts are being ignored for the preconceived notion that 9/11 could have been prevented, but the opposite political party did nothing? And guess what's happening soon? The political divide will be rip-roared into high gear as, yes, elections are held. A coincidence, maybe (hell, almost certainly unlikely, that the most recent left-wing President is being forced onto the back-foot? And what facts are going to be ignored for the preconceived notion that "It's bad to change horse midstream" and you should elect whatever right-wing nut-bar they pull out of the works for the next election? That a war they instigated is, in reality, hurting their efforts against 'fighting' terrorism and is endangering more U.S. lives? The fact that more American soldiers have died than those who were victims of 9/11, an event that (without a doubt) triggered a war to save American lives?

Just ask yourself those questions, and remember that quote, next time some hot potato like all these events and 'attacks' happen.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

At long, long last I have finally been able to get my hands on one of the greatest films of all time: On The Waterfront. For years now I've been on the hunt for the DVD and had all but given up hope on buying it. But now, thanks to Borders, I finally get to relive Brando's greatest performance (though on any given day I could easily say that his role in The Godfather or A Streetcar Name Desire are just as good, if not better), and the quotable, famous line:

"I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let's face it......"

So expect a post of praise for this movie very soon. It's not only one of the greatest of all times, it is in the Northcutt Top Five, an accolade that rivals any award or recognition the world over.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

20 to 1 was quite good this week. It generally is, unless they get ridiculously stupid people (Find: Mr. Gary Anderson) to comment, a good, thought-provoking show. This week: 'Mysteries and Conspiracies'. There's just one problem: they didn't ask Thomas, who has all the answers, the right answers, to all these so-called mysteries and conspiracies. So, for anything who thinks that they will never get answers with these things, I'll tell you what happened, and your hearts can rest content that you have Thomas's answers, which are guaranteed to be right.

20. Is Elvis alive? - Nope, though I wish the opposite.
19. American divers - Silly, uneducated, Australian school drop-outs left them out there.
18. Private Jessica Lynch - Yet another example of the American propaganda machine.
17. Harry (The Lovechild) - Yes, though I don't want to besmirch the name of Princess Diana
16. Jack The Ripper - Francis Thompson; case solved.
15. Bigfoot - Nope.
14. Death of Marilyn Monroe - CIA had her killed (I believe this).
13. Ghosts - Don't exist.
12. Natasha Ryan (wardrobe girl) - What's the conspiracy? Send her to gaol.
11. Phar Lap - Americans killed her.
10. Area 51 / UFO's (sightings around the world) - There have probably been UFOs, but were government tests, not aliens.
8. Y2K Hoax - Hahahahahaha, nerds getting their revenge on the stupid.
7. Bermuda Triangle - Nothing there except water. When something crashes into water, what else is bound to happen?
6. Princess Di Murder Cover-Up - No cover-up, only paparazzi murder.
5. Patanela - Pirates.
4. Da Vinci Code - Soooooooooooo fake. Fiction ladies and gentlemen, fiction. Well, no, Jesus I accept existed, and he may very well have had a kid, but there's nothing special about Jesus.
3. Loch Ness Monster - Nope.
2. J.F.K Assassination - There was a man on the Grassy Knoll, and there was a man in the book depository, but neither of then were Lee Harvey Oswald, and both (not taking into consideration the other shooters that were there as well) were CIA agents.
1. Fake Moon Landing - Not fake.

There you have it. If you get anything from this (apart from the fact that I know everything) is that you can't trust the CIA. Or American media. Or America as an institute.


For a month leading up to now, I've had fliers and political rhetoric shoved into my face from every spectrum of the divide. Yes! It's election time, well, was. The past two days were polling days, and after the massive lead up, the whole thing went a little like this:

"Wow! Voting day! I can't wait! *ZOOM!* Wait? What was that? Voting days? That went quick."

It's over already! Huzzah! No more speeches from S.A.R.A.W. and Angus and The Greens ...

Wait, not many people will really know who it is I'm talking about right now. But fear not, I have a way to remedy that.

Voting papers.

Yes, that's right. In the ultimate slap on democracy that I can do; I lined up, I got my student card punched and I got my forms. All five of them. And I brought them home with the intent of totally bucking the system. Alas, making fake copies proved harder than I expect (damn those colour-coordinated papers!), so I dropped that idea. So, other than being useful for burning, paper-mache pigs and doodling on, I thought I would make it the focus of this post.

But five pieces of paper can't really be the topic of this post. And it's not. What is going to happen is I will prove the futility of these stupid University elections which, from the onset, are rigged.

But let's start off with something that won't make you lose all hope in the future lawyers (not that there was any hope for them anyway), doctors, teachers, McDonalds workers (aka Arts Graduates) and, yes, politicians. There was a referendum on as well, asking student's their opinions of what the University should be doing about green energy and all that stuff. You can find that slip of paper here.

As you can see, I did intend on voting "Yes" for all those questions, and hopefully it doesn't come down to one vote. This will probably be my closest interaction with the left-left in my entire life. I didn't like the smell (the aroma of dreadlocks and bare feet was present) or the prospects I saw (glarey banners and posters, all funded by my dollars), but this needed Northcutt support.

Next up, the ballot for the Editor of Honi Soit. This University magazine/newsletter/political publication is the only evidence I have for my Union fees over the past few years. When ever one of my parents ask what I'm getting for it, I hold up the front page of the Soit (usually a savage mock of a current event, sometimes further than I agree on, but always with a left-left slant) and roll my eyes. In fact, weekly editions of the Soit might be the only thing I get from Sydney Uni. Either way, that slip of paper can be found here, and, as you can see, I have preferenced "Voice" #1. Why is that do you ask? Aren't they all a bunch of pinko-commies? Well, most of these people are, but in last year's elections, I voted for Mr. Simon Fontana (to the centre of the political divide) and Mr. Tom Watson (surprisingly not a closet Liberal, as I saw from his campaign last year (an excellent one by the way) and that you will see soon enough). I spotted those two names (and Sonia Lipski, which will explain itself in the next paragraph) and numbered accordingly. WHAM! received second preference, as current editor and President of something of other (perhaps the SRC) was supporting this party. I liked this year's roll-out of Honi, so who ever the current team support have to be alright. Finally, Mosaic got my last vote for two reasons:

1) There was no one left
2) With all the names in that line up, not one of them included the letter 'f'. The letter 'f' is very important to me, spiritually, politically and artistically, and any party that doesn't have at least one person with the letter 'f' in it would not adequately represent my needs and wants in the Honi Soit. Check yourselves if you want, again, here.

Next up, Mr. President. Now I've known my fair share of stupid presidents in my time ... ah forget it, Bush jokes have just got tedious these days. He's on the way out, anyway. But who's on the way in for the 79th SRC? Well, there were four candidates, which you can paruze at your leisure here. You will see that I have (shock and awe!) voted for one of those pesky women first. Sonia Lipski. Main reason? She's backed by the Liberals! Yay, another Liberal candidate, though you wouldn't know it, well, at all, unless you read the Election Honi that came out weeks ago. Second preference, Angus McFarland, well, there was no way I was voting for Alma Torlakovic (expanded on later), and Dan Jones' photo on his campaign posters made him look like a used-car salesman peddling lines of coke in the trunk for fifty bucks a pop. Again I got a good whiff of the left with this slip as Angus is backed by the NLS and poor Dan is running with the support of the 'rest' of the left: that being the Greens, so-called 'independents', and any hippie not stoned off their face to write a vertical stick in a box.

Next up, we venture into A4 territory, in an effort to elect a whole 7 delegates to the National Union of Students. You can read this large, pink sheet here (though not the largest yet). Apologies that it is sideways, well, no, not really apologies, tough. I've filled out my three preferences, upholding my loyalty to Simon Fontana, and, once more (I'm just as shocked as you here) another foray into the left-side of things, and voted for Nick Wood, who appears to have been doing a good enough job with what his position is now, and Angus, because any votes for this dude are probably headed towards Nick anyway, as his name comes first. Now, you might see a few strange slogans, or think you are in some sort of time warp with Tom Patton's slogan/party name "It's time". Well, fear not, for I shall bring, exclusive (in as much as no one else has nothing to talk about other than Uni elections) to you all a copy of (yes) the Gough Whitlam flier.

And, at last, we come into the dark, dangerous, deadly papers of A3, where your wills, wants and individual thoughts are all all confounded, mixed up and deceived as preferentials and phony candidates come out in force. Now, due to the monstrous size of this piece of garbage, I've had to scan it in here, here and here. And what is it for? Well, the SRC of course! The same group that's supposedly representing me and my wants and wills. Good ol' SRC. Give 'em a beer.

Then throw it in their face! Let's take this apart, shall we? Come on the journey of politicking in politics.

Now, if you've been able to put together that puzzle of pictures, take a look at all those names. Then take a look at all those places that need to be filled. Forty-five places my friends. FORTY-FIVE! Every dog and his fleas could get in, much less his owner. There are two-hundred person running. One might think that a fair few. Think again. Because, well, party names give a lot away here. Let's take, for example, WHAM!:

WHAM! for Freshers, WHAM! for Commerce, WHAM! for College, WHAM! for AUJS, WHAM! for SRC, WHAM! for First Years, WHAM! for Law, WHAM! for Arts

Eight party candidates. Eight! What's worse, they have a total of 75 different people running! That's roughly 38% of all candidates. And we know, we all know that the only party that counts out of all these is WHAM! for SRC: IT'S IN THEIR BLOODY NAME! Every other party is going on the naivety of those specific people, say, the Commerce students, to vote for them. Those votes are preferenced to the main WHAM! party, and then that bunch of loonies get in. Or perhaps, if a person got enough votes, and it was worth it, another WHAM! person gets on the board. What a crock. The laws of averages and statistics and all that crap math means that there's going to be a WHAM!-stacked SRC now, not to mention all their allies from the left that are already there.

Then there are the "just stupid" parties. While they may stand for something smart (Abolish the SRC) or reasonable (Free Parking), everyone knows they won't win anything. So what happens then? More preferences and more dodgy voting.

You might as well lump in all the parties who haven't campaigned or put up one poster in the above group as well. Like any group that has "Voice" in it's title (similar to WHAM!, no?), or called "Larry" (I do wish these people had campaigned, even though there isn't anyone in the party called Larry) or Socialist Alternative Alternative (The Socialist Alternative is the extreme-extreme left, renounced by every other party, and, with that in mind, the name just becomes totally ambiguous in meaning) and Conservatorium Voice (The Conservatorium students are the butt of all jokes, even, yes, among the Arts students, especially since they ran Andrew Quah, who believes (at least in last semester's campaign) that Bonsai trees are the cure to all the World's problems (I do wish I were joking)).

So, in the end, we have a few serious parties, then "vote-getter" people running, then mock candidates. Why even bother if it's pretty much pre-determined that the left branch parties will get elected and dominate? Sure, it's supposedly the 'democratic' process, but less than half, I wouldn't even think a quarter, actually vote, so for me, who isn't represented by any side, but by the Simon Fontanas out there, it's a futile effort even to think that my vote counts. And that's what's convinced everyone to not vote. Simple: they won't be represented adequately after preferences, politicking and "alliances".

Therefore the SRC is bunk, the Union is bunk and this whole process is bunk. If all this is supposed to get me represented and my voice heard and my thoughts considered, it's a total failure.

And here's me thinking that with 'democracy', there isn't meant to be a loser.


Monday, September 18, 2006

"You're fired."

I didn't expect to hear those words again (well, at least on T.V., as I'm bound to be booted from a job for one reason or another). But, to my surprise, The Apprentice is back on. What time I hear you ask? The ever-so intelligent time-slot of 11:30 p.m., Sunday nights. Good thinking Channel 9. Way to bury a show. For future references Eddie, don't do what Channel 7 did with Arrested Development, or Channel 10 with The Office.

Back to the topic, when I heard that Donald Trump fired Carolyn, either the eyes or the ears for Donald on tasks (because The Don doesn't get his hands, eyes or ears dirty), I thought that would be the end of the series. However, lo-and-behold, I found that Season 5 is up and running. Suffice to say that it has already finished in the States (something I found out the hard way), but at least we are getting it none-the-less.

Last nights opener: fantastic. It took it back to the old, original, business-based Apprentice that was the first series. It had it all: a great competition between the two groups (a very close result), a great, back-to-basics reward (lunch with Trump), and an even better boardroom. In fact, I think it could have been a better boardroom meeting than all of Season 4's.

What made the meeting great was that it was Donald going to town on the failed team leader, Terek, who (one would assume) was the fittest choice at being said leader. Trump had picked him, so I guess he felt that it reflected poorly on him when he ended up loser leader. As a note, Trump picked him because he was a member of Mensa, that I.Q. group who are supposed to be among the "smartest" 2% of the world. So, yeah, the Donald just went to town on him about being a crap-house leader.

But isn't it always the case, the person who probably should have been fired as well (because Terek should have been booted out for his failures also), Summer (who did very little ... well, nothing in the challenge), opened her mouth just as Trump is rip-roaring into Terek, and got herself fired. Silly people. She should have listened to the advice of 'The Russian'.

Ah, yes, 'The Russian'. A nickname given to Lenny Veltman probably because Don forgot his name. But even though Lenny is from Azerbaijan, it doesn't matter, because it's Donald Trump, and he's always right. Except in his politics, when he is pro-Trump and anti-idiocracy. Lenny, I like. He seems like one of those guys who is just no bullshit, all business, calls a spade a spade and is ready to go to work. He gave Summer the advice to shut-up and stay quiet, and she wouldn't get fired. Best advice ever, because if she had followed it, she would have still been in the show. It had worked right up to the final, crucial moment, when Trump took his last breath, raised his fist (because Trump has hands of gold and doesn't need a hammer) to put the last nail in Terek's coffin.

A few other interesting characters on the show, Sean Yazbeck looks to be one to keep an eye on as well. Seems to bring something to this show (possibly the British accent) that hasn't been there since Bill Rancic and Kelly Perdew won. A sort of air of professionalism and ability, they didn't need to have their hand held or anything and, most of all, unassuming until the crunch.

Here's to hoping that the rest of the season is just as good, no, gets better, and climbs the ladder to be the best series yet. But then again, we are talking about Donald here. What has he ever done that's failed?


Saturday, September 16, 2006

In what would be construed as a homage of sorts to Thomast, the young, witty and clever Mr. Samuel Gordon-Stewart has included some of my prior activities in his latest post on his blog, In it he relays to us his 'adventures' of, yes, scamming the scammers, an activity I throughly enjoyed, though have subsequently failed to recieve any further 'invites' to take part in conterfiet whitegoods rings and illegal Russian money.

I was quite humbled (an experience rarely had by me) to read that the ever-so-popular Samuel not only enjoyed my little pranks, but decided that he would like to take part in them as well. Suffice to say, I will remember this day for quite some time.

Good luck to the young chap. It's nice to see that, although Samuel doesn't appear to be up for my vigilante idea, he is a keen spirit at dealing out retribution to those that make this world a disgusting, revolting, evil and fearful world. Though the efforts of two mere bloggers from Australia will far from adequately deal out the punishment these people deserve, I do hope that word spreads, through the millions and millions of Samuel Gordon-Stewarts' fans and the dozen or so of Thomas' fans (or blog-frequenters, as fans may insinuate some sort of 'like').

Power to the people, Samuel. Power to the people.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

I watched 20:1 last night. I watched it an it pissed me off. Not because they had (pft) Imagine as the number one song, nor that Elvis was something like number sixteen, but because of some pathetic, disgusting response to the issue of suicide made Mr. Gary Anderson, otherwise known as that bald, fat, ugly, revolting Angry Anderson.

Now I know that I shouldn't pick on those that are uneducated, those who are mentally-disadvantaged, the disabled, but this guy really pissed me off with his comment. Kurt Cobain's unfortunate suicide was brought up at the same time as Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit song was put into the list (deservedly I might add). And Anderson's comment was, well, I can't describe it much worse than what it actually implied:
"It's [suicide] a piss-poor excuse"

A piss-poor excuse? Does this person have a brain or a walnut rubbing up against a peanut? And in case anyone thought that it was an accident, or something spur-of-the-moment, he went on to say: "Don't get me started on that". So quite clearly this idiot actually believes that suicide is an excuse.

This is what you get as a product of drugs, alcohol and pure, unadulterated stupidity. Suicide is so far removed from an excuse, it's like saying this view is pardonable. It's a joke and a disgrace that Channel 9 aired those comments, it's even worse that someone believes this, and it's a real shame that someone may have watched this, who has had suicidal thoughts, who now thinks that suicide has some sort of public stigma attached to it (because of what celebrities of this type represent), and will not speak out about their problems, won't seek any sort of help, and just succumb to this "piss-poor" excuse.

Some people just piss me off beyond belief.


Isn't that what happens. I recently commented on New Lines from a Floating Life that I have very few problems with Blogspot. In an effort to once again shift blame from me (clicking the Back button by accident) to something else (Blogspot not auto-saving drafts) I have once again made my world blame-free!

And it was quite a good post too. I have about half of what I wrote, but some things in there could have cut against a lot of people's grain. Perhaps this was a sign. So, instead, I'll post something else I was working on. It's something I call "The Blame Game". Here follows:

I blame this person for any state of agitation I experience due to telemarketers:

Gandhi - If he hadn't demanded full independence from the British Empire, the country wouldn't have dropped (further) economically than that which the British we exploiting them to. If their economy hadn't become so so de-valued (in a sense) then labour wouldn't have become so cheap. If labour hadn't become so cheap, foreign investment and employment wouldn't have hit an all-time high. If none of that had happened, those damn trans-national corporations wouldn't be hiring those damn telemarketers who damn well piss me off every day.

If you're looking for anyone to blame for my existence, blame:

The French - Two words: Maginot Line. What happens when there is a brick wall in your way? Well, the Germans sure do have the answer: walk around it! Now if the French had held out and fought (yes, fought, shock and awe!), then the Germans wouldn't have had a chance to fly the swastika from the Eiffel Tower. If occupied France (better known as Vichy "We're Still French, Honestly" France) hadn't happened, the Battle of Britain wouldn't have happened. If the Germans hadn't bombed my grandmother's house, she wouldn't have moved to where my grandfather lived. If she hadn't moved there, they would have never met. If they didn't meet, no mother. No mother = no me. Easy.

I blame this person for my total lack of faith in mathematics, and my lack of knowledge in said subject:

Ms. Daniels - In being unable to give me an adequate reason as to why a number divided by zero has no answer made me shun the subject and turn to my preferred subjects of English and History. I still can't understand to this day. Now, I don't profess to be knowledgeable in maths, as stated, I lost all hope with it and dropped it faster than you could say "what maths?", and, as a result, have lost much of what I once knew. But, to my basic skills, I would conceive that any number divided by zero should equal either infinity or zero. Wikipedia, every studying person' best friend, states the following:

"[Division] is often considered as a description of dividing a set of objects into equal parts ... example, if you have 10 blocks, and you make subsets of 5 blocks, then you have created 2 equal sets. This would be a demonstration that 10/5 = 2. The divisor is the number of blocks in each set. The result of division answers the question, "If I have equal sets of 5, how many of those sets will combine to make a set of 10?"

We can apply this to show the problems of dividing by zero. It is not meaningful for us to ask, "If I have equal sets of 0, how many of those sets will combine to give me a set of 10?", because adding many sets of zero will never amount to 10. Therefore, as far as elementary arithmetic is concerned, division by zero cannot be defined."

I held, and still hold (though, probably, if not certainly, wrongly), that because "zero will never amount to 10", then zero, which is representative of no quantity, could be added together for eternity and never amount to any number other than zero. Thus, either infinity rules or no no quantity could ever add up to ten, and thus zero amount of zero could add to ten. As a result of the lacking explanation (the lacking explanation being "Because it is") I dropped maths from my life at the start of Year 12 and haven't needed parabolas, hyperbolas and quadratic equations since. But if I ever need it, I'll blame Ms. Daniels for not knowing it.

I blame this guy for any academic 'failures' I may experience:

Mr. Munsies - This incompetent hack of a teacher, wait, no, human being, failed in his duty to facilitate the education of his students (not only myself surprisingly, I seem to be talking about other people here for some odd reason) and help them perform at their full potential. Such was Year 12, the final year, the year that counts, in a subject that contributes marks towards my final U.A.I., a subject that could have very well decided whether I got into the course I wanted to or not, in this year, in this subject.

I'll set the scene: we, a group, had to build a robot, program it with instructions to perform certain tasks and let it run wild, do its thing and get a mark for it. Well well well, up comes Open Night, and, as per, the Year 12 work is on display, including these robots. However, none of our group members were asked if we wanted to take part, none of our group members were asked if we wanted to donate our robot, our major assignment, to the cause, nothing at all was communicated to our group members what-so-ever. The next morning (note I am not a morning person, or for that fact a day, an afternoon or night person either) I stroll into class and, Mr. Munsies, with grin and the look that got me going, along with my normal teacher (note Mr. Munsies was the head teacher, not the class teacher) had the pleasure and displeasure, respectably, laughed and chuckled his way through informing us that he had crashed out robot off the presentation table and sent it to lego oblivion.

Allow me, my loyal readers, to set the situation further. I hate Mr. Munsies. Everyone has that one person where you don't wish death upon them (you shouldn't wish death upon anyone really), but there's that certain person that you just think "Well, I couldn't really care less". A total feeling of indifference I held towards him. And I will forever more. He and I had many clash of the titans. In fact, all those encounters warrant posts of their own, so I with refrain from bringing any up here. But suffice to say: he and I never got along.

As soon as Mr. Munsies told me of my now deceased robot, I had had enough. For the past term he had been on our class's case, and mine, because, as stated, he and I didn't get along, about missing lego pieces, about slacking in class, about doing no work, about anything he could get his fat brain around. I exploded, and I truly remember the outline of our argument, in which I dominated. I'm not afraid to say that I am a proficient arguer. Not the world's greatest, but I am quite good. Combine that with the teenager-esque attitude I held at the time (that being I am always right, though, funnily enough, I still hold that view), my ability to speak so much faster than most of the people you know, and the RIGHTFUL position that he is ruining my chances at university and a further education, the argument was as follows (grammar true to speech)(Note 1):

Thomas: Yeah real funny. It's only one of our major assignments. (I said with sarcasm dripping from each word).
Mr. Munsies: What (He asked with the tone of authority)?
Thomas: This is our second last assignment, and, in an effort to recover lost marks, lost marks that you steal from the students of this subject in failing us in our exams and assignments over trivial points that you think are important. Obviously you don't care about the students in this class, but your class is oh-so important. How many of their robots did you break? Who cares about Mr. Albonese's class (Munsies had tried to interject a few times but I just talked over him). Fail them, wreck our assignments. What do we matter? This subject actually counts towards my U.A.I. sir, and I know you don't care about my future, or, really, anyones, but far out, at least give us a chance (The class, at the start of our conversation had been about 5 or so, but by now it had swelled to around 15).
Mr. Munsies: I don't like the way you're talking to me.
Thomas: I don't like the fact you broke our robot. And then I come in and I'm laughed at, not told, laughed at that my robot is broken. And you don't care. It will take a day out of our schedule to rebuild it to the specifics it had before you guys got your hands on it. Who asked us if you can use it?
Mr Munsies: It's school property ...
Thomas: Well, if it's school property, have you rebuilt it?
Mr. Munsies: Well ... no ... I didn't have time last night ...
Thomas: Why not? It's your property, you broke it, you used it. I built it once already, I don't have time to do it again.
Mr. Munsies: It's might only take one lesson ...
Thomas: Then you shouldn't have a problem giving our group a day extension for the due date.
Mr. Munsies: No, that wouldn't be fair ...
Thomas: Then are you going to go round and crush everyone else's robot?
Mr. Munsies: If you don't calm down, I'll send you out.
Thomas: Sir, can't you see that you've put us at a disadvantage. I expect a day extension on our due date or for you *I pointed at him* to rebuild the damn thing. (He tried to interject with a "I don't know how" but ...) Fine, I'll sit with you as you put it together, but I'm using another second of my precious time on rebuilding the damn thing.
Mr. Munsies: ... Get out.

At some point I had thrown down my bag. That's the Thomas method to winning arguments, to looking imposing, to looking important, to coming off as a bad ass: throwing something. When I got accused of plagiarising an (no prize for those who can guess what subject or who the accuser were) assignment, I threw it from one corner of the room to another. When I won handball, I threw the ball away, screaming in victory. When I got thrown out of the hall for talking I threw the bunch of pamphlets that were being handed out on the ground. Sure, I looked like a twat and an idiot, but when you see some, well, solidly built teenager, already with an established reputation among the students and staff of being mentally unbalanced (and with due reason), you're going to think twice before going head to head with this whack-job. Anyway, I ripped my bag from the floor and stormed out in a huff, mumbling (because I had learned that REALLY got to Munsies) under my breath.

As I brushed past the late arrivals for the class, who looked with (some, though not much (Note 2)) astonishment, a murmur went up in the class. I could hear some whispers, though, being outside the room, it made it difficult (though I believe one of my readers, who can corroborate the entire story, could better inform myself and others as to what was said specifically). Never-the-less I heard sounds of "woah", "holy crap" and "Thomas is king!". The late arrivals asked what happened, and, quite simply, I said "I put Munsies back in his place". Perhaps I didn't, but I like to think that as the only person in the entire grade to stand up to a teacher, more, a head teacher and, of all people, Mr. Munsies, I had got the reputation that I wasn't the golden child I was made out to be by my academic achievements. This wasn't the first teacher I had argued with (see teacher who I blame for my lack of interest and faith in maths for a specific), and they knew it wasn't going to be the last. They all looked questioningly to one another and continued inside, where I suspect they were informed of the total story. This was because I know everyone started talking about it when Mr. Munsies exited the room to 'deal' with me.

Mr. Munsies: What's your problem.
Thomas: You broke our robot.
Mr. Munsies: It was an accident. Don't you ever make them.
Thomas: Ok, one: I admit, in front of people, when I make an accident. This is the first time you said the word. Two: the way you are treating this, as if it were some trivial detail and a joke, the way you were laughing when you told me about you breaking our robot, is a joke in itself. Three: you broke our robot, and you haven't even shown any sort of remorse or care ...
Mr. Munsies: I would have said something but you didn't let me in class.
Thomas: Was that between laughing about our potential to fail the assignment and throwing me out?
Mr. Munsies: Lets calm down, ok? I'm sorry ok. I didn't mean for your robot to break, the programming ...
Thomas: That's right, you broke our robot after you took it, without asking, because it's OUR assignment, not your equipment, or the school's, it's OUR assignment. And now you want to blame the programming? If you had asked anyone from our group before taking the damn thing you would have known that the programming wasn't finished. You just had to ask one of us ... (We can both tell I'm pretty ticked off and sick and tired with the bastard)
Mr. Munsies: Ok I'm sorry. (Pause ... pause ... pause) Do you have something you want to say?
Thomas: Yeah, can I go in now? I've got to rebuild a robot.
Mr. Munsies: ... Get out of here (With a glare that could have killed some weaker person).

Ok, this blame-game has gone on for quite a while. Anyway, I blame Mr. Munsies for all my academic failings, my lack of want to study, my disinterest in learning things that may stretch my mind, my non-existent care for the learning of technology beyond OpenOffice and SpellCheck, and so forth. Mr. Munsies: I blame you for my academic problems and turning me off my own education.

When I think of more problems that I have, I'll be sure to update you all with who I plan on, or currently am, blaming for them. And trust me, I have a lot of problems, and there's a lot of people out there to blame something one.


Note 1: You won't get an argument out of me, I'm one of the worst students to grace the halls of the education system. I feel it's quite an honour actually.
Note 2: The lack of astonishment stems from the fact that, from the beginning of Year 11 I.P.T. and the point where I had been thrown out in the 'Robot Encounter', it was far from my first 'educational experience' outside of the classroom. As a rough (and, honestly, conservative counting) I had been thrown out at east 40 times (which deserves a post on its own as well).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The ugly head of CityRail was reared once again today. Between the possibility of drowning simply by walking in the rain and winds as fast as a bogan on Dole Day, CityRail managed to remain faithful to their "Elderly Driver Policy" for rainy days.

Now look, I'm (supposedly, though I'll deny it) a somewhat educated person who knows that:

(wet tracks) + (breaking train) = (longer it takes to stop)

Thus, admittedly, I'd be expecting trains to be somewhat late. And when I say "somewhat" I mean 5 minutes, give or take to 7 minutes at the most.

Wait! That's what I would have expected 14 years ago, when I was still a kid, didn't know any better, and, in all reality, hadn't used the good ol' trains extensively, or in the rain. But after the first experience, this is now the formula I have some to suspect that CityRail use:

(wet tracks) + (breaking trains) = (longer it takes to stop) = (begin breaking two suburbs away)

Upon arriving at Central Station, I watched, honestly, as the monitor display hanging from the roof said that the next train I intended to catch went front 16 minutes until arrival to 12, to 20, to 32, to 16 again, then came to a stop at 26. This happened between me stepping onto the platform and walking to the other end; hardly a lengthy distance.

However, this is far from the only problem. As the train that was to arrive after the train I was intending to catch was, actually, arriving in 16 minutes. Pondered, did I, about why that train would be arriving before the, supposed, next train. Then, not to my amazement, the third train in the list was to arrive before the first two! My shoulders slumped, my brain slowed ..... slowed ..... stopped. It was going to be one of those CityRail days was it?

What could possibly happen next? Well, I brought a Coke, because, of course, they were out of Vanilla Coke, returned to position where, once again, the "arrival times" had been changed again. Now the second train in the list was to arrive first, then the third, then the first. I had given up all hope of getting home while Global Warming prevailed and contemplated traveling to my grandparents to bum a ride from them.

Yet, what was left to tamper with that hadn't already been messed around with? Stopping pattern. My train, the (formerly 26 minutes, no) 28 minutes till arrival train now was stopping all stations half way down my line and (as I assumed) would cease to exist as a physical entity. Lo how I was dismayed as I now had no idea when a new train would arrive, what time, what its stopping pattern would be. But by that point I didn't care. I had reserved myself to the frame of mind "when your train comes, it comes". Other than that, what could I do? Imagine abusing some poor CityRail staff member (as imaging is as close as I would probably come)? Get on a train that wasn't actually going anywhere near to where I wanted to go?

Thus I contented myself with annoying random persons on the train. There was a Mediterranean man doing laps around the booth/store that is on the train, counting his worry-beads. He caught my attention after his first lap, whereby he rudely and inexcusably shoulder blocked me (it was more of a brush by, but with enough 'force' to warrant an apology in my mind). I made it my mission to then block his 'track'; stepping rather near to some tourist who, no doubt, was headed to one of the airport terminals. However, not close enough, as he managed to sneak through. So I stepped closer, and the next time he came by, there was no way he was getting through. He went around, but it was a victory for the little man (albeit I probably stood a full two feet above this man).

Next was how I was appalled at how lots (excess of ten) of little 'Asian' women (alas I have to categorise in such as way as I was unable to attain any answers of true nationality, and by oath they all had the 'oriental' look) would rudely and, again, unapologetic-ly, crash into this poor girl (likely a year or two younger than I), who, alarmingly, was already standing near to the platform's edge. Abandoning my intent to cause further worry to Mr. Worry-beads, I then decided to stand in some awkward position so that if any more Kamikaze Ladies felt the need to crash into this poor girl, then they would also be crashing into me. Now, anyone who knows me probably knows I am one of the least imposing persons in Sydney. However, from three and a half feet from the ground, I probably look like I could slap someone pretty darn good. One little lady tried her luck, shoved the girl, got caught up in my (quite full) bag and jacket and got a good glare from your's truly and, as she murmured something, either inaudible or non-English, and tried to continue on. I leaned down to her, in an effort to, once again, do my daily good and stand up for the oppressed, and said "No need to apologise I don't carry anything too important". She looked to me and continued on her way as I stood tall, crossed my arms with a smirk and a slight shake of the head (probably similar to everyone's favourite Treasurer).

I came to blame many things for my (then) state of agitation:
- CityRail for screwing up my trains in the morning
- CityRail for screwing up my trains of an afternoon
- Terrorists for diverting much-needed resources from public infrastructure to defense
- Mankind for Global Warming
- God for the weather
- Me for being an ass all the time

Do note that this list is not complete as I intend to blame more people for my own shortcomings.
What worries me more, more than the CityRail incompetencies, more than the lack of respect shown by others, for others, in public, more than the crazy weather, is that I remember that short half an hour at Central station and yet I can't remember a single thing I am supposed to have 'learned' at University the rest of the day prior. Quite sad really.