Stupidity or altruism?

‘Fair go’ not stupidity gives scammers millions: police

Apparently, up to AUD 400 000 a month leaves Queensland, bound for Nigerian-based email scams.

“I think the Australian culture is to give everyone a fair go and I think we give people the benefit of the doubt and I think because of that sometimes we’re more prone to be a victim to scams.”

Non-Australians will miss the subtext of this story. You know how every country likes to joke that the residents of one particular region are – how to put this – not too smart? So it is with Queensland. It’s not true, by the way.

So the good superintendent is just being protective of his residents. I’d suggest that stupid doesn’t mean “lacking in intelligence” – it means “prone to not using what intelligence you have”. By that definition we’re all stupid once in a while and most definitely if we fall for an email scam.

It’s a big call…

…but Professor Grigg may be right when he states that:

No fish on earth is of more interest than Queensland lungfish…

This little creature has been in the news for some time now because a proposed dam has a good chance of driving it extinct. The logic of building a dam when there’s no rain to fall in it escapes me.

Anyone have a favourite fish that they feel is more interesting? Feel free to comment ;)

Fire on the Reef

I often wish that I’d studied marine biology. Of course at school, I was told that there were no jobs in the field and I should do something “real”. Neither my advisors nor I seemed able to imagine that 10 years down the track, I might be living in a country with some of the best diving in the world and plenty of opportunity to explore the sea.

I digress – the point of this post is to show you what a small electrical fault can do to a marine biology research station. Specifically Heron Island station, run by the University of Queensland for over 50 years.

Happily there were no casualties and “most of the long-term data sets had been backed up” (well, you’d hope so – in fact you’d hope all of them were backed up).

Australiana

Suburban rainbow Non-science random thoughts this weekend:

  • On this last day of March – 16.8 mm of rain for the month. March average = 139.5 mm. See some Brisbane climate stats.
  • First weekend of the AFL season! Deep sadness as I realise that the first Swans game won’t be on TV here as it clashes with the Lions. Surely the great Grand Final rematch should be free to air in all states.
  • Wonder how the Pixies sound after all these years? Looking forward to reports from the V Festival.

Science/computing news snippets

The UK government have decided to steal 68 million pounds from the science budget to pay for corporate failures. This is unprecented so far as I know – this is earmarked science money which is now being taken away. If there’s any legal recourse available to the UK research community, I hope that they’re pursuing it.

In local news, the tentacles of the Fairfax media empire have reached Brisbane and according to issue #1 of the Brisbane Times, Australian university students are being offered Microsoft Office for AUD 75. The question is – why? Don’t they know that they could get Open Office for free? If not, they should be told.

Comet McNaught update

Comet McNaught Still bright last night with a clearly-visible tail. I had to get a better view and image than the the last attempt, so I wandered up the road to Dutton Park which has clear views west and is reasonably dark.
Image at left links to Flickr, which I’ve resolved to make better use of this year (with thanks to Duncan for spurring me on).