Categories
Daily Life

It’s All the Greens’ fault… but really it’s not

Hmmm let’s see:

The Australian Greens started as a party in 1992, almost all bans to grazing in national parks happened before this time. 

Kosciuszko National Park grazing was ceased in 1958 in all areas above 4,500. In 1972 grazing ceased in all parts of the national park.

Brindabella National Park: was declared as a national park in 1996. Grazing was never permitted in the park.

Namadgi National Park: Grazing has been banned in the catchment area since 1917, banned throughout the park since 1990.

Baw Baw National Park: Grazing ceased in the early 80s after recommendations by the Land Council in 1977.

Mount Buffalo: Was first ceased in early 1980s, along with Baw Baw.   Was again banned in 2005 by the Labor Bracks government, and finally in 2015 by the Labor Andrews government.

Snowy River National Park: Ceased throughout the park following a recommendation by the Land Council in 1987

Avon Wilderness Park: Grazing ceased in 1991 following recommendations made my the Land Council in 1979

The greater Alpine National Park: Mt Bogong in 1955, Mt Feathertop in 1958, before the park was even declared. 1989 and 1991 Wonnangatta Station and many other areas in the park in 1988. And some other areas in the 1998 and 2003 to assist with recovery from fires in those years, years where grazing was permitted in the areas ravaged by fire.

Source: environment.gov.au “ATTACHMENT A STATEMENTS OF UNACCEPTABILITY OF GRAZING IN THE AUSTRALIAN ALPS“.

Further reading includes https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aec.12104 which determines that grazing does little to nothing in the face of eucalypt fires.

With regard to the Alpine National Park, one of the last to see these changes, an attempt to ban grazing was thwarted by the Federal Government in 2012/13 when the feds overruled the state and allowed a “Scientific Study” to take place. This was overruled again by the Labor Andrews state government when they simply refused to reissue licenses in 2015; effectively banning the practice by agreeing to NEVER issue licenses to graze cattle in the park in the future.

Interestingly in contrast to the sentiment of the above post, grazing was permitted in the park for years prior to the massive fires that swept through the Alpine National Park in 2002/03 and 2006/07. So clearly the grazing of cattle did little to mitigate the threat of fire.

In short, the cows eat grasses. They don’t eat the fallen trees and branches that form most of the fuel for these fires. And once the eucalyptus canopy is alight there is little to stop the fire, what’s on the ground no longer matters once the fires are going at full force, trees have been seen to literally explode as the radiant heat approaches.

Why the Greens, who have never really held enough seats to be decision makers in both the House and Senate of the Federal or State governments can be held accountable is beyond me.

And of course, let’s not be bothered with the facts: If you read the policies of any of the State or Federal Green parties, you see they never call for the cessation of back-burning or clearing of land to prevent bushfires. All they have stated is that it should be done in a more coordinated way with proper oversight. One of the fires in NSW during this current rash of fires was the result of a back-burn that got away from those conducting it!

Categories
Daily Life

Welcome to 2020

By Nathan Pyle

It’s another year… 2020 already. Another decade, another time.

On the global scale the past few years have been a bit of a mishmash of bad things. Bad governments, bad climate, bad local choices. Let’s hope that 2020 will be better all around.

Categories
Photography

Flickr…

Flickr is offering 25% off Pro plans with the code 25in2019

Flickr was the first major photo-sharing platform in the world, you may not know, it actually started as part of a video game… “Game Neverending“, players basically had to “collect” things by taking photos of them… well that game didn’t ever see the light of day; but Flickr was birthed from its ashes.In recent times it has obviously found competition in Facebook, Instagram, 500px, etc and it hasn’t been able to sustain itself, even while being, in my opinion, a much better platform for photographers.

  • Instagram: only hosts small files, with little engagement, it has become “tap-tap scroll”, and little else.
  • Facebook: now officially the world’s largest image sharing platform, does horrible things to our images. It crunches them and ads artefacts into the files, it’s a constant struggle to try and figure out the right way to upload your images so they look the best.
  • 500px: recently sold to a Chinese company and wants to be a user-generated stock library more than anything else.

Flickr continues

Sold by Yahoo (via Verizon) to SmugMug it’s losing money and a letter today from SmugMug is a call-to-arms to the photography community to try and keep the lights on.

Flickr gives us large images, the ability to see an artist’s work in all its digital glory. It gives us groups and galleries, it is better for photographers that Facebook will ever be. I’m personally sad to see it in decline.

https://www.flickr.com/account/upgrade/pro?coupon=25in2019

Categories
Technology

Issue with WordPress & Tags/Categories

So I recently returned to my blog and have started updating a bunch of content.

What I’ve done is left Facebook… took a dump of my data from there and am now back-filling it to my blog.

I used to blog all the time, which you can see from the archives, so I have a very old base installation of WordPress that has been upgraded over the years.

At some point, WordPress has combined the Tags and Categories sections of the site into a single table, and they have a joining table that says which is what type of thing, either a Tag or a Category.

Well somewhere along the way it would create duplicates of these, while I never really looked under the hood of the database structure previously, I reckon they probably had one table for tags and another for categories, but as I said above, they have now combined these and the duplicates are causing issues.

In my case, I had something like 209 posts using the category: “Photography” and I had 3 using the tag: “Photography”, when they merged them one of the the items was not copied over and only the one with a 1 after it was copied over… so the slug for Photography example, was “photography1”.

The Issue

When I tried to use this term as a tag or a category I would get the error “Sorry, you are not allowed to assign the provided terms.”.

When I tried to edit the category or term I would get an error which reads “You need a higher level of permission.”, but I am already the admin for the site.

The Fix

It requires access to the database for an easy fix.

  1. Go to the “terms” table. Add a new entry for the problematic term. Give it a unique slug, and save.
  2. Jot down the ID that was just assigned.
  3. Go to the “wp_term_taxonomy” find the two entries for your term and modify one of them to change the term_id to the newly created id.
  4. Do this for each term that is causing you issues, because the odds are it will be because the same terms has a record for both “category” and “post_tag” in the “wp_term_taxonomy” table.

Once done you should be right to go.

Thankfully WP uses yet another table “wp_term_relationships” so the posts that had the tags should retain them and same with categories if it was the category you changed.

Categories
Daily Life Technology

Farewell Facebook

I have left Facebook once more. It’s funny how they make you jump through a few hoops just to get to the delete account button, but I guess they don’t want you to go.

The last time I deleted my account was in 2011, funnily the reason then was because I felt disconnected, even in the connected environment, yet I returned because of a sense of disconnection and I stayed strong on Facebook for a time.

This time I’m out because of the distractions it creates. Facebook is a time-suck. It presents BS that I can’t keep quiet on so I reply to posts, mostly by friends and family, that annoy me because of their inaccuracies. But often, in replying to these posts I spend a bunch of time researching the thing I’m replying about… something the original poster seems never to do, else they wouldn’t post the BS in the first place.

I have other things I need to do, like work, and I have things I want to do, my personal projects, and I find that with Facebook in my life I’m spending too much time dealing with things I don’t need to, things that ultimately have no impact on my life.

I ‘suspended’ my account about three years ago, it’s something Facebook encourages you to do when you hit the delete button. Unlike a delete, your account just stays in stasis. When you delete though, after the requisite 30 days they give you to change your mind, everything is removed. If you go back, you need to sign up again.

Of course I think most know that nothing is ever really deleted on Facebook… were I to go an signup again I am certain my personalisation of the site would be immediate as they’d link my new login to my old profile, even though they wouldn’t show me that old content. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So I’m out again. Painfully I have to maintain an account for the Camera Club work, but that is under a different login that has no friends and only links to the two camera club groups we maintain. If I get around to building the new camera club website the way I want to, my hope is that we won’t need Facebook for that anymore either.

My final post on Facebook, below, pretty much says what I said above I guess, but I post it here for posterity…

At a time when most people come together I will be pulling away… 

We have so much work on at the moment and much of it is using new concepts and tools I haven’t really used before so I need to remove distraction so I can concentrate on filling my brain with new things.

I know I’m too easily distracted and can have my time consumed researching and ruminating on things that, in the scheme of it all, have little impact in my life, yet they keep my mind churning. To that end I will be bidding Facebook farewell for a time. 

I currently have 6 tasks on, a couple with deadlines that have already sailed by. I also have my own projects that I want to work on, so I need to remove the impediments to doing these things, and the main one is (mostly) useless stimulus that enters my brain and just rattles around in there.

Should anyone need me during this time, you can get me via my email or message me on my phone number. Feel free to send message me your details too. Seems these days most of us only contact each other via Facebook, so when that goes away I won’t be able to find any of you. 🤭

Write it down if you think you’ll need it because once I disable my Facebook tomorrow night this will be no longer available.

For Camera Club folk, don’t worry, I have another account that is JUST for our Facebook group so I can still post updates there, though given our last meeting was last night they will be few until we start up again in the new year.

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and new year. I’ll catch you on the flip side, whenever that may be…

Categories
Daily Life

Mac Pro or new House, you decide!

So who’s lining up to get a Mac Pro? The “cheese grater”, fully-speced including the screen and stand, will run you almost $100,000, so I’m sure you’re all asking Santa for one this year. 🤓

She is mighty pretty and if I had the cash I’d have been first in line. I can only imagine how awesomely Photoshop runs on this thing, not to mention video editing on it!

In fact, the demos, the specs, the everything about it screams that it has been build with the movie industry and video editing in mind, and well, I don’t do enough of that, nor am I paid highly enough for that kind of work to warrant the kind of spend it would take to get a set up like this on my desk.

You can of course get a much less specced out version for about $10,000 + $9,999 for the screen + $1,699 for the stand for the screen. So a minimum buy is a small car… the biggest is a chunk of a house (or a Tesla).

I think I’ll stick with my iMac Pro with two additional screens for now, which probably still ran us about $10,000.

An older photo of my desk, it’s a lot messier than this right now.

Categories
Daily Life

Gratitude Journal

An Antidote to Dissatisfaction by Kurzgesagt

Watch the video above, it may be a great eye-opener into what ails you if you’re feeling melancholy.

But you can’t get their Gratitude Journal yet because it’s all sold out. You can join an email list to be advised when it come back in stock.

I bought one, probably the last available 🤭. Going to give it a go, could have done it with just plain paper but Kurzgesagt’s stuff is so darn pretty so I had to have one.

Kurzgesagt's Gratitude Journal
Kurzgesagt’s Gratitude Journal
Kurzgesagt's Gratitude Journal
Inside pages of the Kurzgesagt Gratitude Journal

I may actually still do it on plain paper… I have a couple of lovely notebooks around in which I haven’t dared to touch pen out of fear I’ll just ruin its beauty with my dodgy handwriting.

Categories
Politics Rants

Being a Good MP

My recipe for being a good member of parliament:

  1. Understand that your position is as a representative for the Australian People, with a focus on your local constituency.
  2. Leave your biases at the door; this includes personal feelings and religious leanings (or lack there of). Surround yourself with people who have differing opinions.
  3. With each Bill that comes across your desk ask: How will this make life better for the people of Australia? Seek out those who will be affected by the Bill and hear first-hand their opinions.
  4. No deals! Don’t do things you know are not good for the people because it might get you something else, even if that something else is better for the people. It’s your job to do the right thing by the people and to call out those who don’t want to do the same.
  5. Transparency is key. Open your diary, your expenses, your office. How often are we told by the government: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” While it’s a BS line and the people have a right to privacy, you as a politician are a representative of the people and where your interactions as a politician are concerned you should feel they have an absolute right to know these things.
  6. Get amongst the people. You can’t be a very good representative from atop the ivory tower. Meet with your people often, listen to their opinions and grievances. You don’t have to have answers for them then and there, in fact I implore you to listen more than you talk. People want to be heard. As a representative of the Australian people you also need to get amongst all the people. Visit areas that have issues, see what you can do for them.
  7. Be honest in your interactions. Along the lines of Transparency. Don’t say one thing and do another. If you tell someone you’ll get back to them, get back to them. Own your mistakes.
  8. The future is your goal. Short term wins are not the focus. Too many MPs are there for their term and think only of the now. What will this get for me? Will this get me reelected? If there is a short term win that sacrifices a long-term plan, abandon the short term win for the long term goal.
  9. Understand your position ends when your time in parliament ends. There are no other employment positions where your benefits continue after you leave your place of employment. Work to end continuing entitlements that are beyond those other Australians receive for politicians after they leave office. Our former PMs have gone on to do million dollar speaking engagements, book deals, appointments to numerous boards; all while receiving a parliamentary pension and continuing entitlements for staff and travel. That’s all after a time of being some of the highest paid politicians in the world and receiving a bunch of entitlements while in office which likely saw them spending very little of the money they were receiving.
  10. Do no harm. It’s an all encompassing rule. A catch-all to round out our list. It’s not hard to be a good person. Be one.

It’s not a definitive list, it just came off the top of my head, I’m sure it can easily be improved, but I guess what I’m saying is it isn’t hard to not be an ass and I don’t know why our politicians seem to have a problem with it.