Archive for June, 2012

Yesterday the Australian Institute of Criminology released a report that independently verified what they had already been told by users themselves:  when ecstasy is not available, recreational drug users turn to crystal meth.

Your dunny might be telling tales on you

The verification came from an analysis of sewerage water from a municipality in Queensland.  “Estimates were made of the average daily dose and average daily street value per 1,000 people. On the basis of estimated dose and price, the methamphetamine market appeared considerably stronger than either MDMA or cocaine.”


This is something a little different.  I’ve had an obsession with Banksy for a while now.  Recently a new biography was released.  The author claims to know Banksy’s true identity but chose not to reveal it.  I’m glad. Here I say why.

This Banksy seemed to be the most appropriate for my blog

It was the rats I first noticed.

I moved to London in 2006 and right from the start, on the morning walk from my east end flat to work in the city, I began to notice half a dozen spray painted rats hidden in various little nooks and crannies along the way.  Each rat was different and most held signs of some sort, or sometimes an umbrella.  The last one on my journey was directly outside my office building, a belligerent little fellow holding a placard saying ‘London doesn’t work.’

I’m no fan of graffiti.  Tagging disgusts me and I can’t stand the colourful American-style hip hop graffiti that apparently is edgy and cool but all looks the same to me.  But I loved the rats and would greet each one cheerfully, arriving at the Job That Ate My Soul with a smile that lasted all the way through my first coffee.  At that workplace, a smile was a rare thing indeed.


Online drugs marketplaces are far better than the current alternative.

The author outside a perfectly innocent restaurant

Despite what certain newspapers and ‘current affairs’ shows would have you believe, the vast majority of drug users – even chronic drugs users – are happy, non-violent people who hold down regular jobs.  They don’t take drugs because there’s something lacking in their lives.  They take them because they enjoy them and because most recreational drugs don’t put the imbiber out of control like, say, alcohol.  And are far less likely to kill users than, say, tobacco.

The so-called ‘war on drugs’ has been a complete failure.  This is the opinion of pretty much all the people who ought to know – drug researchers, health professionals, former premiers, a former national police chief and former Defence Department chief Paul Barratt.  It seems the only people who don’t think so are politicians who need to appear ‘tough on crime’ to procure the votes of shock jock listeners who believe that all drug users are junkies ready to steal their wallet for their next fix.  Oh, and criminals.  Criminals don’t want prohibition lifted.


Earlier this year I had the privilege of being invited along to watch a pretty spectacular event – four lads, dressed in suits, who had a drink at the bar on the 55th floor of the Rialto, then donned parachutes and jumped off – all in peak hour.  Here’s the (vastly incorrect) story:

Leap of Faith – Age Article

And here’s a random pic of a BASE jumper who may or may not be one of the lads in the story… (hint: it is)


I can’t blame the media for getting it so wrong; virtually every word Shannon Bennett said was incorrect and I actually suspect he got it secondhand from someone who mixed up the groups of guys.  For example:


The Dark Web

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Dark Web
Tags: , , , ,

So The Age surprised me this morning by pulling my latest feature forward because editorial staff were on strike and Management came in and just ran whatever they could find, adding any photos they could find.  Here she is:  The New Underbelly.

What makes me sad is that, judging by most of the comments beneath it, I haven’t done the greatest job of getting my point across, which is this:

– Tor and services like it exist for legitimate and important reasons – i.e. retaining privacy and circumventing censorship

– The third arm of Tor – the Hidden Services – contain sites that most would consider objectionable and very few legitimate sites.  I mentioned what some of them are.

– The government’s suggestions for filters and tracking traffic will have no effect on criminals who know how to use the web and are draconian measures that will only harm regular people.

This commentator got it: