The things people say

September 30th, 2006

It’s pet peeve time again.

It may start with the use of unnecessary and increasingly annoying phrases like “at the end of the day” and “in relation to”, but please let’s be clear about where this sort of thing leads.

Today’s copy of The Age carried a story by Brendan Nicholson about the status of David Hicks and other Guantanamo Bay inmates. In it he quotes US ambassador Robert McCallum, whom he interviewed for the story:

At least 12 previously detained enemy combatants have reappeared on the battlefield and that has been confirmed by normal forensic evidence which could include, but would not necessarily conclude, DNA testing, photographs, medical records, things of that nature that allow forensic scientists to identify individuals . . .

Well, I’m open to learning new turns of phrase. At least that one was understandable. Can’t really say the same about his next pronouncement:

There has not been to my knowledge any dispute that some of the individuals who have been adjudged to be no longer a risk to the United States, and have been released, have then been either apprehended and detained again or have been killed and then identified.

It could just be my simple mind . . . . Did anyone else need to draw a flow chart to extract the meaning from that sentence?

And finally:

Therefore it is indisputable, and I don’t think anyone disputes it, that Mr Hicks qualifies as an enemy combatant.

To my mind, not only does this qualify Mr McCallum as unique among diplomats, I’d go so far as to say there’s no-one else like him.

BBC Sudo-Q Quiz Show

September 22nd, 2006

A number of readers have connections in the UK so I thought I’d post this call for contestants from the BBC for a new quiz show called Sudo-Q:

Are you a fan of SUDOKU?

Do you enjoy general knowledge quizzes?

If you answered yes and are lively and outgoing then we want to hear from you.

The BBC are looking for teams of two people to compete in SUDO-Q – a fun and exciting quiz show presented by Eamonn Holmes If you are interested in taking part and are over 18 please contact

* phone: 09011 110 849(calls cost 25p)
* email:

Uberpet of the moment: Toby

September 18th, 2006

D says:

Here is my poor orphan dogger, Toby. Formerly a salty, seafaring pup from San Remo, he’s now adjusting to a grittier, urban life of keeping it real on the mean streets of Yarraville.

Uberpet of the moment: Wilbur

September 17th, 2006
Wilbur lives on mommamia’s flickr photostream

World Championship Sudoku

September 4th, 2006

For those of you with a Sudoku fetish or addiction, here is a copy of the world Sudoku championship final puzzle–courtesy of

The winning time for this puzzle was 15 minutes. Why not have a crack at it and post your time as a comment.