Travel Disasters: Siberia 2003

In 2003, I made a trip outside Australia. I was 21. I visited a few different places. The story I want to tell happens in June, in Siberia. Continue reading Travel Disasters: Siberia 2003

iSnack Two Point – Oh dear…

The Kraft company has released a new Vegemite product made of cream cheese and Vegemite.

The product is a high-risk variation on the classic Vegemite recipe – a Vegemite you keep in the fridge. Apparently items kept in the fridge get used more than things in the cupboard, so this creamy new guy should improve sales!

To improve awareness, Kraft ran a competition to name the new product. And the result they chose from thousands of entries?

My lord. Continue reading iSnack Two Point – Oh dear…

The Grand Final

Tomorrow is the Grand Final. If you live in Melbourne you already know. It’s all over the newspapers, the news, the radio and now the internet too.

Two teams face off. The Geelong Football Club – the Cats

The St Kilda Football Club – the Saints

Continue reading The Grand Final

A long, green Big Apple

I was not browsing the Christian Science Monitor the other day.  I did not find the following article on it:

(Ok, ok.  I was, I did, and then I lied about it. I’m sorry.  Hush now.)

It’s an article about how New York City is environmentally friendly. Continue reading A long, green Big Apple

Little Red do ACDC’s ‘Long Way to the Top’

Little Red are a Melbourne doo-wop quintet.

Continue reading Little Red do ACDC’s ‘Long Way to the Top’


GDP doesn’t make us happy. Economics denies the enjoyment we get from stuff that is free: sunsets, conversation, going for a walk.

“Judging progress by GDP is like judging an orchestra by how loud it is.”
Continue reading GDP?

Krugman – what’s wrong with economics

I studied economics.  Then I worked at Treasury.  So I should know about economics.  But instead I find it confusing.

There are two types of things I find confusing, normally.  One: things that are complicated.  The other: things that don’t make sense.

Fortunately, Paul Krugman has just written an article in the New York Times which confirms what I hoped.  Turns out large parts of economics don’t make sense! Krugman has good evidence for how ridiculous some economic theory is, in the form of the financial and economic crises we’re having.

This makes me feel heaps better about not getting it. The article goes through some of the biggest, dumbest ideas in contemporary economics and calmly explodes them. Continue reading Krugman – what’s wrong with economics


I lived in China for about 9 months in 2003.  Before I went, I was familiar with chopsticks.  I knew how to use them and I appreciated their novelty.  I got compliments from the locals.  Ni hui yong kuaizi! (You can use chopsticks!)

But I firmly believed that chopsticks were a rudimentary way to eat food.   Chopsticks, I would have told you, were to cutlery as the horse drawn cart is to the car.  I thought the Chinese just hadn’t invented the knife and fork.

Continue reading Chopsticks

Confession time

When I have a little time on my hands, I play Scrabble.   I do not play in real life, because my insistence on the status of words like taeniae, st, and yin makes me unpleasant to normal people.

Continue reading Confession time