Oh FFS, Not Again: The Economist Worldwide Cost of Living Index is Not a Cost of Living Index

So every six months it seems The Age re-runs what is essentially the same story as the latest incarnation of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Index is released. In the most recent of these, they lead with a typically startling claim: It’s cheaper to live in Copenhagen, Hong Kong or New York ...

Modern Life Is Not Rubbish

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: 1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and ...

China Eastern Airlines Passenger Eats For Free For A Year? I Call Bullsh…

So there’s this story doing the rounds. It tells of an enterprising guy in China who supposedly managed to eat for free for the best part of a year, purely by purchasing a first class ticket, which he then used to access the airline lounge. Once he’d finished eating for free in the lounge, he ...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Sloppy Data Journalism

Lies, Damned Lies, and Sloppy Data Journalism
Flicking through The Age as I chewed on my lunchtime sandwich yesterday, this article, about car thefts in Victoria, caught my eye: It’s more interesting for what it doesn’t say than for what it does. It quickly skips right over what to me would be the most interesting part of the story: While total thefts ...

Schrödinger’s Medicines

Schrödinger's Medicines
So there I was flipping through the paper yesterday when I noticed something a little, um, odd about the massive full page ad on page 6 of The Sunday Age: You can’t quite see it from that distance, so lets look a little closer… Yeah. That’s odd. All the labels on those little bottles of ...

Old Media

Old Media
I’m a little behind on this one, but I found this recent message from the old media rather amusing: Bloggers terrorizing politicians? Well that will never do. That’s your job, isn’t it Rupert? Also, while I’m at it Rupe, do try to remember that if you’re going to make claims about what results a particular ...

Mr Pot, Meet Mr Kettle’s Web Presence

Mr Pot, Meet Mr Kettle's Web Presence
Just catching up on a couple of recent Private Eyes, I couldn’t help notice that they chose to conclude a story about recent problems at the Times Literary Supplement with this somewhat surprising paragraph: The resulting outcry is awkwardly timed for [Sir Peter Stothard, the editor of the TLS], since to access his organ online ...

MWF 2011

MWF 2011
As someone was pointing out in The Age the other day, this city sure loves a festival. Pick any time of the year at random and you can be sure that a festival of some kind will be taking place at that very moment. Just as some world cities are on a permanently heightened terrorism ...

It’s All Happening In Fitzroy

So there we were, out on a sunny Saturday afternoon for a bit of a walk. we’d already been over to Brunswick Street for a bit a lunch (where there was an amusing incident with a newspaper) and then wandered up towards North Fitzroy and over to Rathdowne Street before heading back towards home. As ...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Exchange Rates

According to today’s The Age: RISING living costs and a surging Australian dollar mean it is now more expensive to live in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth than in London, Vienna, Rome or New York. A startling claim, I’m sure you’ll agree, but something doesn’t quite ring true for me about this. Why should a ...