Naming games

Coming back from a work trip to Rutherglen, I was struck again how what logically should be the Northern Ring Road, as distinct from the Western Ring Road, is instead labelled the Metropolitan Ring Road. Wikipedia tells us that it is officially the Northern Ring Road, but the signage says it is the Metropolitan Ring Road. As if being not Western makes it somehow more serious, indeed Metropolitan.

The Wikipedia entry also directs one to the 1969 Melbourne Transport Plan, which has been criticised as really a highway plan yet, if it had been fully implemented, would have resulted in rather more public transport infrastructure than currently exists. As for only 14% of proposed expenditure in the 1969 Plan being on public transport, as roughly 14% of trips in Melbourne are public transport, that was about proportional (in fact, slightly more than).

Much of the plan has since been implemented, just much later than originally scheduled. The (new) infrastructure drought from the end of the Hamer Government to the beginning of the Kennett Government (replacing trams doesn't count) meant that Melbourne has being playing "catch up" ever since. 

Amusements and frustrations

Came across this funny and touching short memoir of the time the LA Count Dracula Society screened the gay porn film Gayracula (nws), and the poster ended up interviewing, and becoming friends with, the star, Tim Kramer.

Was at a delightful girls grammar school on Thursday--the girls were charming, and some very bright. (Also, the expression "hits like a girl" is getting very dated.) But they have "energy saving" lights, which took a bit of getting used to (you had to just touch the buttons to make them go off, but hold them down for a length of time for them to come on--which was fine, if you knew that). We have an "energy saving" hot water system, which wastes lots of water as you have to run it for quite a while before you get actual hot water. I used to amuse myself when I worked in the public service by considering how much expensive labour was wasted waiting for the photocopier to power back up to save cheap energy.

I had come to be strongly against approval systems (rather than just having explicit rules) before I moved out West, but living in the suburban wilds of the Hopper's Crossing area (where nothing is in walking distance), I am now viscerally against them. They patently fail to result in sensible outcomes, they discourage innovation, are an open invitation to corruption of various levels (even if it just making developers, etc major donors to political parties as they so need access to officials just as a matter of doing business) and they ensure that you only get big developers (since small operators cannot afford the uncertainties of delays in the approval process) who then game the system. So we can't get full speed internet in our less than 3 years old suburb, because the developer put in "pair gain" lines. But I am sure it passed "approval".

Meanwhile, the suburbs have only a few access roads each, feeding into a few single carriageway roads that begin to clog up about 7am. All "approved". But the land rationing the approval system supports drives up the value of "land approved for housing" and means government revenues are only very weakly connected to provision of infrastructure, which is also made much more expensive, leading to said infrastructure being systematically under-provided. Much of the point of having the government provide infrastructure is that it can capture via taxes the increased property values and commercial activity that a private provider can't. Now, not so much.

Then there is the whole "infrastructure is evil" thing: dams are evil, power stations are evil, freeways and tollways are evil, railways are evil (the Doncaster line did not get built because the Hamer Government folded when faced with resident complaints--I wonder if some of the same local activists are now agitating for a Doncaster line?), and so on. But suggesting we lower immigration--that's evil too. Oh, and suburban sprawl is evil, infill is evil. As a set of policy positions, it makes no sense. But if the point is to increase the value of existing inner city property values and to show one's moral "soundness" by accepting the entire, utterly incoherent, package, I suppose it works just fine.


Really cool 100-episodes-of-Castle tribute.

George Takei has a wicked sense of humour. A nice discussion by George Takei of the casting as John Cho as Sulu, extending to Gene Roddenberry's philosophy and where the name Sulu came from.

My favourite musical number in any movie.  Though Heath Ledger singing Can't Take My Eyes Off You in 10 Things I Hate About You (most fun teen Shakespeare movie ever) is pretty good too.

Ah, the youth of today.

The best (and funniest) comment on the dis-invitations at US campuses.

If you want to visit a society a bit like that depicted in the film Elysium, you can--it's called Cuba.

Why Marvel Super!Hero! moves are more fun than DC (super)hero movies.


Linkage fun

Eye-witness story of police doing their bit to ensure that sexual assault is such an under-reported crime.

Ice hockey rivalry brilliantly expressed in a picture and three words.

2 cellos do Smooth Criminal and Smells like Teen Spirit.

Suppose you had a twin brother and you hadn't got around to mentioning to him that you were gay …
Nice short about having a go and it turning out better than it might have. A short which is a disturbing story all round. A wistful short.

Scene from a German movie where, if you squint in the right way, it looks like Harry and Draco.  At least, Harry and some boy ...

Best of homoerotic TeenWolf moments.  Put together with a nice sense of humour. And Part 2. Combined version. Part 3.

And that's why there are hook turns

Was in the Melbourne CBD today, walking along Elizabeth St when heard this sudden loud crunch! Looked around and a small hatchback with P plates had made a highly illegal right-hand-turn from Elizabeth St into A'Beckett St from the right hand lane directly into the path of a tram. Trams are big things, hard to miss, one would think. Fortunately, the little hatchback had only just started to make the turn when it ran into the tram, so was not too crunched.

But that is a big reason why Melbourne's CBD has 19 hook turn locations (listed here). The other being to not block trams when lights are green.

Star Trek as technology pioneer.

This frog does not sound as one expects.

Computer games are largely written by adolescent males who never grow up.

Oooh, pretty plus fan stuff

Oooh, pretty. Great shots of 10 spectacular caves

A fun comparison of why Sam Winchester (Supernatural) and Derek Hale (Teen Wolf) have a lot in common. And. of course one watches Teen Wolf for the … And also.

An amusing comparison of a relationship in the story and a shipped one.

A key part of the appeal of fanfic.  The best description of medieval Arthurian tales I have heard is that it was medieval fanfic--the story doesn't end until we say so.

A TeenWolf fan wrote a song which has been adopted by MTV as the Season 3B trailer.
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Various video fanfic

A fun Sterek video with explicit inserts (SO not office or child friendly) to the tune of S&M by Rihanna.

And, generally identified by background song: Sterek (kiss me hard before you go); Sterek (why do you care); Sterek (I know you loved him), with Giles voiceover; Sterek (but the sex is good); Sterek (crush). Sterek (teenage dream + a thousand years). Sterek (apathy).

Sterek (clever, instrumental).

A really nice post on Sterek and heternormativity (dreadful word, but this is the first time I have seen it used in a way that it is not academic-pretentious-cringeworthy) in TV series and why Teen Wolf is in a very unusual situation.

Scissac just doesn't excite me, but this a sweet Scissac (rainy day), as is this (wonder wall) and this (draw your sword).

Amused by this list of gay characters who left in 2013 from TV series. Was struck by how many of them there were.

Possibly, you will never look at Captain Hook and Peter Pan quite the same way again.