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Wait till the Herald Sun works out about the chance of lightning in Melbourne…

So, once again I can get my rant on….

Today the Herald Sun picked up the perennial favourite of all newspapers and politicians (well politicians around election time), law and order and public transport.

After an exhaustive FOI request, headline numbers and the shocking statistics of assaults at train stations has come out.

Now, firstly, I must say, for anyone that has been attacked in this way for you I am sure it was a horrific crime and certainly I don’t mean to denigrate what you have experienced.  I am just trying to put it into perspective for the rest of us.

So we will start with the headline.

“Suburban assaults are on track with Flinders St station”

WTF does this even mean.  I think they are trying to have a clever play on words, but it got lost in sub-editing land, and we thought it was bad for The Age…

But moving on as it were… to the first in bold par.

FLINDERS St may be the most dangerous station in Melbourne, but a suburban transport hub isn’t far behind.

OMG you are saying, but that is the busiest station in Melbourne, chances are if you live in Melbourne you’ll get off there at some point.  Better watch your back when you get of the train….

There were more assaults (31) at Flinders St than any other station last year, but close behind the city’s busiest station was Dandenong (28).

OMG again… 31 assaults at Flinders St.  But wait there is something that is missing from the rest of articles text that is only in the image header.  “Stations with most assaults last year”

Now I am sure that the Herald Sun is familiar with the laws around accessibility as well, so I wouldn’t need to tell them that having a vital part of the story only has a graphic which only has a alt tag that says alt=”rail assault” would be a really bad thing.  Also any one that looked at the story say on a mobile phone with out images would get a very very different story.

The Herald Sun obviously forget to put in an FOI request for the number of people that visit these stations each year.  Instead of wasting money on an FOI request a quick Google search tells me that..  and wait for it…

“Over 100,000 people use Flinders Street Station each day.”

So, we are looking at a total of 31 Assaults each YEAR, yes year, not day, week, or month.. but year.  Now compare that to the 36,500,000 people that pass through Flinders St Station per year you will see the scale of the problem. You will notice that that number is MORE than the total population of Australia.  Yes, those 31 assaults are moving into the realms of complete improbability.

That is to say that the chances of assault at Flinders St station are beyond insignificant are in the .000000 kind of range. Or for the mathematically lazy, 1:1 177 419.  The chance of lightning strike is 1:1,603,250, dying from a venomous bite/bee sting 1:1,159,364.  Even more scary, the chance of dying from falling out out of your bed or chair — 1 in 513,142.  So you are 2 times more likely to die from getting out of bed that get assaulted at Flinders St Station. (*These stats from here )

You can run an Improbability Drive on these kind of odds.

Perhaps if the Herald Sun stopped and thought before creating a fear campaign we would realise just how safe and wonderful our country really is.

— Update–

Turns out the Herald Sun did an article on the dangers of falling out of bed.( 28/6/11 )

More than 1600 were admitted to hospital in the year to June 2010 after tumbling out of bed, Monash University Accident Research Centre data shows.

Falls accounted for 43,772 hospital admissions, with people more likely to hurt themselves falling out of bed or slipping off chairs than falling from ladders or trees.

While more than three-quarters of patients went home within a week, nearly 900 died in hospital.

When will the Victorian Government put armed guards at our bedsides to stop this outrage of death and serious injury!


The death of Distribute IT, backups and back online

As Posted on the ABC Tech Site: June 22, 2011

They say a day is a long time on the internet.  Watch a meme unfold and you’ll see what I mean. Image taking your blog, website and business offline for 9 days.  Not just 9 days where you know what is happening, but 9 days where there is scant information and most of the information that comes isn’t from the source.

I am talking about what happened to not just my domain, but 4800 others that have gone and a huge number that disappeared for quite some time.  I was until recently a very happy customer of Distribute IT.  Up until the start of this year anyway.  Sure there had been the odd outage here and there, but nothing too long and too extreme.  In the last few months things had gone seemingly downhill.  A visit to Whirlpool will show the increasing dissatisfaction that people had been experiencing.

Yet all of this was nothing compared to what happened at 5:50pm on Saturday June 11. Whilst the clients of Distribute knew something was up within seconds of this outage quickly updating Whirlpools thread from the previous weekends outage, it wasn’t until Sunday, 12 June 2011 2:35:12 AM that Distribute were to say anything.

“Engineers are at DC working on restoring services asap. Very deliberate, coordinated & malicious attack on DIT network the cause. No ETA yet Via their Twitter account.

It felt early on that Distribute had taken the “Sony” approach to corporate communications telling as little as possible and certainly not highlighting what possibly could have gone wrong.

So I lost my email, my little personal blog and really not a great deal.  On Whirlpool I would watch as people told stories of massive advertising campaigns locked in for the long weekend which were vaporised by this outage. I watched as people talked about the fact all Distributes phones were IP based and where taken out as well.  I swore and cursed that I’d lost my personal email, grateful I wasn’t running a business off my website.

After a number of emails and 9 days my worst fears were confirmed, it was all gone.  Everything that I had on that website was lost.  Every email from what will be nearly 2 weeks gone into the ether.

Sure, everyone says, have a backup.  Guess what, I do.  But a backup wouldn’t have helped those businesses that had advertising tied to their website over the long weekend.  A backup wouldn’t ensure that you could find a new host over a long weekend in Australia, and a backup wouldn’t ensure that your settings were in place.

Finally now that Distribute have finally said that the data is gone and that mine and 4800 other websites are gone, I am putting into play my backup plans.

Still I wait 2 days or so for my domain to move to a new host, upload all the FTP content, setup a new version of WordPress, upload my old blog XML document, put in a couple of posts manually that weren’t in my last backup.  I’ll then have to find all the email lists that I have dropped off and resign to them.  Hope like hell I didn’t receive a really important email on an email account I have had for 12 years now.

Yes I have a backup, and yes I have a plan in play to get things backup by weeks end.  But there are a lot of business that may not have, and a lot of business that wouldn’t think to watch Twitter for the only updates for days.

Early on, people said they would leave Distribute not for the “hack” which may well have been out of their control, but simply for their lack of communication.  I was at that point last week.  Ready to leave, just hoping I’d get something back.  Instead the money I paid them two months ago to renew my site has gone much like my site and email… into the ether.

Having backups helps, it will help me, but think about your hosting what would you do on a long weekend with an advertising campaign hooked into a website that just got deleted.

– Update: 26/6/2011

Finally back up and online.  Turns out a few things took a lot longer than I thought.  I had all but 20 posts, but those missing 20, of which I had the content were a pain.  Having them as emails, meant I had to strip HTML, fix errors in the HTML etc.  Surprisingly tedious as task as well.  I did get the domain back by Thursday, but was another 24 hours for the name servers to catch up as well, so really have only had email for the last day or so.

That means two weeks downtime in total.  Yikes….  Well I have automated some more of the backups, but it was all the little tweaks to WordPress that I am still sorting out, but all seems good now.

Those last twenty posts are also broken to Google.  All the Post ID’s were out on the new posts.  Bugger, so inbound links on those 20 posts ( inc a couple of most my popular posts ) are going to be confusing to some folk.  So a few annoyances, but as I said in the orignal post, mine is just a little blog.  If this was a companies website I’d be in deep poo as it were :-).

So I’m off to make a backup now I have put it all back together…. have you backed up?


#wolfcatcubs update week 34….


Yes, the ticking has got much louder.

Way way much louder.  And now that the blog is back up and running, I can update long form again.

One BIG bit of news.. the Date has been set.


July 7 is what we are aiming for.  That is the date that has been booked in for the C-section.  Which is less than 2 weeks away.

Mrs Wolfcat is basically full, and the Twins are doing really well, so now it is a matter of holding on two more weeks.


Someone asked me if I was excited… well only if the words excited and terrified can be interchanged.


So I really should stop writing on the blog, and go and put the first of the two cots together…

Before I know it the TICK TICK TICK will the the BUZZZZZZZ as the timer runs to zero.


Quick Update… we are back….

Yes the blog is back….. no thanks to Distribute IT nuking the site from orbit.

but it will be next week before I get the missing 20 posts back in…

and I still need to finish tweaking the layout of the blog… at least I had most of the content backed up.. but the not the custom wordpress layout stuff, which is annoying…

the really annoying thing is that I can’t force new posts in WordPress to have a specific PostID which means that all old inbound links are now rooted…


so.. beer with me ( yes I spelt it that way on purpose…. )

Bugger this shit is getting real #wolfcatcubs

Bugger this shit is getting real #wolfcatcubs by wolfcat_aus
Bugger this shit is getting real #wolfcatcubs, a photo by wolfcat_aus on Flickr.

Well… still need to set up the bassinet version for the cubs, but that is a job for later this evening.

Welcome to the City Select Baby Jogger. We decided this seemed more practical than a side by side.

Is it, no idea, but given it may well be the last practical choice we get to make ( although, really is having wolfcatcubs practical anyway…… )

#wolfcatcubs RC2 Week 32

Well, RC1 is being much better behaved.. To the point we only need weekly scans now, not twice weekly…

But of course, I think RC1 may want to be a dentist, so we cant show you their face. Or it could just be that RC1 is facing the wrong way.

Anyway…. meet RC2

#wolfcatcubs RC2 Week 32 by wolfcat_aus

#wolfcatcubs week 31.6 update…

here is a photo of Mrs Wolfcat and the Cubs….

31 weeks and Counting for #wolfcatcubs

This possibly would explain why she is sleeping so badly at the moment.

RC1’s heart seems to have slowed down, but still is a bit higher than RC2’s. Kind of handy to have a built in control unit

So regular monitoring will be continuing. Worst case scenario at the moment is early delivery at week 34, but fingers cross we keep going. Although Mrs wolfcat is feeling very full at the moment

McDonalds introduce IQ test in Job advertising…

well either that or the company tasked with making the banners screwed up.

Personally, I’ll go with the later.


Funny thing about web addresses, is that they need a full domain name.  Not sure when that rule was introduced… oh wait when the internet was invented…

Still, at least browsers are getting smarter…  IE9 bounced me to Google as the search engine for the result..  Firefox sent me to the US McDonalds careers page….

( This was the McDonalds on North Road, Ormond )

The real reason track maintaince is so slow in Victoria

This video speaks for itself…

Metro really shouldn’t have outsourced track maintenance to birds…

Gardenvale Train Station, Melbourne

#wolfcatcubs Week 30.4 Scan Update

This is an update to the previous Week 30 post.

The upshot is that we still don’t know anything, but will be having another scan in a few days. RC1’s heart rate wasn’t as high as last time, but still peaked over 207bpm which is shouldn’t.

Hopefully on Thursday we will have a much clearer idea as well, as the OB is aiming to have spoken to/and or Mrs Wolfcat will see a pediatric cardiologist. The ultrasound man didn’t see anything wrong the RC1’s heart which is good news.

So, I guess RC1 is just giving us practice for being a pain and causing worry where there doesn’t need to be any. That said, we aren’t really worried anyway for a number of reasons, mainly, there isn’t a lot we could do about it. And secondly, it isn’t anything we have done anyway as RC2 is acting as a great control unit.

The other big advantage of the place we had the scan was more video (process as I type – will upload later tonight ) and some more photos as well.

So here are the images.

RC1’s heart ( they are camera shy and facing away )

#wolfcatcubs Week 30 RC1

RC2 is not camera shy

#wolfcatcubs Week 30 RC2


Update: 1/6/11

Got an email from the OB this morning…

Good news is that the heart rate is mostly normal. When the heart goes fast it looks like a normal rhythm still, just fast. There is a hint of some fluid around the heart. If this is increasing it might suggest that the baby is a bit compromised by the fast periods of heart rate. So the OB is now planning scans twice per week to check on the heart. So it will be closely monitored. The good news is that tomorrow marks week 31 and they are ahead of the curve on size, so all good really.