This dates back to 1999 in its original form, and was last updated in 2004, as afterwards the newsgroup became moribund. Continue reading
Some religious folks hate Darwin’s theory of natural selection as the major mechanism underlying biological evolution , because they accuse “evolutionists” of wanting to make man “just another animal” so that sin, particularly sexual sin, is OK Continue reading
A journal of my breast reduction mammoplasty (and the load it took off my spine): ever since I studied physiotherapy many years ago I expected that I would one day need reducing surgery… Continue reading
Originally published 2003-09-07
PRELUDE TO DUNE is a trilogy written as a prequel set one generation before the events in Frank Herbert’s classic sf opus DUNE, perpetrated by his son Brian Herbert and a co-writer. They’ve now written another trilogy set thousands of years earlier in the Duniverse at the time of the Butlerian Jihad (LEGENDS OF DUNE). These books were obviously always going to be Continue reading
Life is looking even bleaker for young Harry Potter. The malevolence he has battled all his life seems slimier and more powerful than ever. When he defends himself and his vile cousin Dudley against magical attack in Privet Drive he is threatened with expulsion from Hogwarts and is put on trial by the Ministry of Magic. Continue reading
Originally published June 21st, 2003 Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
An enormous crowd of wizardly types thronged Platform 9 ¾ at Sydney’s Central Station early this morning, as well as a few Muggles tagging along for the show. The Ministry of Magic provided entertainment by jugglers, fire-eaters and harpists, while sundry robed dignitaries greatly resembling Professors from Hogwarts took time from their busy schedule to be there.
I largely “got over” fiction a few years ago – I still read it, I still mostly enjoy it, but it has to be superbly written now for me to get lost in it: my inner critic gets jolted out of the willing suspension of disbelief far too often by clumsy prose, slipshod research and implausible characterisation. The few rare occasions when I am swept up entirely in the narrative are precious discoveries, to be savoured. Continue reading
Originally published May 2003. Since then the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps have become even more infamous.
BIBLICAL BIGOT: Fred Phelps, the minister of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas organises evangelical pickets of the funerals of homosexual men with anti-gay placards and chants of Bible verses promising damnation. Continue reading
Originally published May 2003, as the introduction to a proposed series.
All too often, people (both famous and obscure) show themselves to be hypocrites, cowards, bigots and worse. Yet most of them sail blithely on, offending again and yet again, because their free speech is protected and they haven’t done anything actually criminal.
But free speech cuts both ways – they are free to say what they think, no matter how Continue reading
Part of the Hunk of the Month series: originally published in May 2003
Here is George of the Jungle giving us one of his best looks – the puzzled buff(oon).
I only recently became acquainted with this early incarnation of Brendan Fraser. I had seen him as Mountie and fighting Mummy, but he wore more clothes in those. Not that I’m superficial or anything (perish the thought) – Continue reading