World Paper Boat Race Begins in Melbourne

paper boatThe inaugural World Paper Boat Race is set to be held in Melbourne, with paper boat mechanics flocking from all parts of the globe to take part in the race.

“This is a triumph, not just for aquatic engineering but also the city of Melbourne,” said WPBR head chairperson Molly Sinkable. “Our city has always prided itself on producing fine engineers that make changes on a world scale. And our Melbourne boat mechanics are known everywhere for their attention to detail and work ethic. It’s only too appropriate that the paper boats will be launching en masse from our fine docks.”

The event is set to involve hundreds of participants, with the goal being to make a paper boat the size of a row boat to sail across the bay and around a set course, before it returns to the shore. The competition was organised by a group of boating enthusiasts who wanted to make sailing accessible to people of all incomes.

“Sorry, did you say paper?” said one anonymous outboard motor repair engineer. “Like…the boats are going to be made of paper, and people have to sail in them? That sounds a bit dangerous. Like, for a few minutes maybe…are they sure they’ve thought this out?”

The organisers have assured participants that in the unlikely event of a boat failing, there will be qualified rescuers nearby. Participating boats must be formed entirely from A4 sheets of paper, and must pass a qualifying test to ensure that they are the correct size and shape.

“No, we haven’t conducted any field tests,” said Sinkable, “But paper floats. That’s just basic science. Trust me, some of the people on the organizing team have tenuous connections to some of Melbourne’s best anchor winch specialists. I’m sure if there was something wrong, they’d be the first to speak up, probably, if they know about this. This will be a wonderful event that will make sailing an equal-opportunity sport, to be enjoyed by all with access to large amounts of paper.”

Sydney Air Conditioning Moves Underground

alleywaySydney’s air conditioning has been beset with black market issues, as many disgruntled citizens are turning to cheap knock-offs to cool their public places after the government regulations on heating and cooling.

The new rules, which tightly control the temperature in many public places, have angered Sydney residents and caused protests in several areas. Many nightclub attendees have expressed outrage at the clubs being heated, which lessens the time they can spend tearing up the dance floor. Police have made several raids on clubs that have been revealed to be using illegal cooling, often with air con units that are not up to a national standard.

“It’s horrifying to hear about,” said one Sydney air con specialist. “Sometimes the way these machines cool is plain awful for the environment and everyone in range. They’re made of cheap materials, can often break down and cool by breathing harmful cooling agents into the air, which can irritate asthma sufferers and cause general breathing problems. It’s much safer to buy local and have them installed by professionals.”

Investigations are still underway to uncover the source of the illicit technology, though police suspect it may be imported and assembled in underground clubs that are illegally cooled.

“We simply can’t break into the groove,” said Officer Burns, a local police chief. “They could be making anything on those red-hot D-floors, and we wouldn’t know. All those shifty corners and dark booths of iniquity…and the dancing is so furious and intense in the cool air, there’s no way we can get close. A couple of times we’ve conducted a raid and people have just kept dancing because the music is so loud. We cannot compete with the groove, making this a sad day for Sydney’s air conditioning services.”

Councils are warning citizens to have their air con units checked by professionals, and to not by units sold in dark alleyways by suspicious people in very bulky trench coats.

Heating Regulations Stifle Groove

dance floorMultiple complaints have been made to local Sydney councils after new nightclubs have been forced to adhere to strict guidelines, including regulations on club temperatures.

Disgruntled citizens have noted how the new rules force clubs to keep their temperatures relatively high during winter months, with many citing how difficult it is to get funky with the ducted heating set high.

“My John Travolta act is ruined,” says one clubgoer in the eastern suburbs. “I swear, Sydney ducted heating used to be one of our main draws. People would come from around the world to see how quickly we can change the temperature in a room. But now my favourite club is forced to keep the place at a constant temperature that’s only good for chilling and nothing else. Only yesterday night, Night Fever started playing over the speakers, and that is one song I just cannot sit still for. I had to get up a strut all of my funky stuff. Problem was, I was left dripping with sweat after just a few minutes. Many of my fellow dancing enthusiasts are having the same problem. We just want the freedom to be our natural, funky selves without all this unnecessary heat.”

Meanwhile, heating professionals have described how they have been set upon with bribes and coercion to alter the heating guages in many institutions so that it displays a legal heat while actually providing another.

“I feel terrible, being asked to break the law,” said one such heating professional. “Gas heating is my life, and to be asked to do something as diabolical as turn down the heat…it’s almost forced me into early retirement.”

Official explanations from the government are to curb Sydney’s heating and cooling problem by keeping heating services at a constant temperature and preventing damage from lack of use, though many still believe that it is all a ploy to stop residents from getting their groove on and thus being less productive members of society.


Rich People Feel ‘Disconnected’

richThe rich and wealthy in Melbourne have described their plight in a special edition of A Pressing State of Affairs, in which many of the city’s elite complained of not being connected to the real world enough the make significant decisions.

The hour-long programme revealed the inner fears of Melbourne’s wealthiest citizens, who despite being filthy rich and not having a care in the world, actually did have a care in the sense that they had no idea how to interact with the world.

“You’d think I’d know houses,” says Perdita Jeffreys, a socialite from the Northern suburbs. “I’ve lived in one all my life. But I had to get Melbourne’s premier buyers advocates on the job when starting my property portfolio, since all those housing ads just confused me. So many numbers and lovely pictures. I couldn’t help but be distracted.”

The programme dedicated a segment to buyers agents, many of whom confirmed the plight of the rich, in that they found themselves out of touch and unable to make important decisions.

“We’ve had all kinds of requests,” says Kathleen Maybury, a buyers agent secretary. “People don’t just want us to search for potential homes. They want to know where to buy shopping, where the internet comes from and why cars don’t just run forever. Obviously we aren’t qualified to answer many of these queries, but we do our best. It’s just heartbreaking at times. They have so much, but it’s created a rift between them and the world. We do our best, but it can’t mend that divide.”

Top psychologists have said that the internet is the main cause of the consternation, as many wealthy and privileged citizens are finally discovering the layman’s world and realising how little they know.

“It’s tough, finding out that you’ve been living in a bubble,” says Seager Frond, psychologist. “Needing a Melbourne property advocate is relatively normal when making an important property decision. Not knowing how so many internet cats have gained the ability to speak is something else entirely.”


Carrie’s Cuts: The Age of the ‘Nerd’

nerd loveApps! That’s where it’s…app. Ha! But seriously, it’s wonderful that we’re living in an age with so much technological innovation. I can just pull out my smart phone, easy as anything, check the weather, read the news, watch teenage guys be idiots on YouTube…all that jazz. It should never be seen as a ‘bad’ thing that we have access to so much technology. We should be happy that there’s so much choice. And with people who do app design courses around Melbourne, it’s a pretty sure sign that things are only getting better from here. I mean, really…people who do app design for a job! It’s not just something some tech ‘nerds’ do in their spare time. There’s really not even such thing as a nerd any more. It’s the age of the nerd!

Of course, there’s always going to be this lingering stereotype of the computer geek, working away in their parents’ basement…stereotypes definitely die hard. But I’ve been to pick up my brother from his software development course, and I’ve seen his classmates. All normal people, wide range of ages, just folks who want to make a career in computers, or at least learn more about them. It’s not something you can afford to ignore for very long, what with so many jobs being automated. You can either find yourself out of a job, or IN a job programming the robot that stole your job. Hard truths, but still truths.

Robots aside, there are a ton of benefits to taking an IT course. Learn to work with the fabric of society, help people around you who are struggling to keep up…you might end up being the designated tech support, but at least you’ll have people who value your skills. In fact, I’ve been inspired by all this talk. I’d like to go and find out about the IT courses in Melbourne, see if my tech-savvy measures up. It probably doesn’t, but it’s something to try!


Governess Trend Revived

governessAn old-fashioned trend is being revived in Australia, as upper-class families are hiring governesses to educate their young children.

“I don’t often trust teachers at schools,” says Majesta de Souza Creme Fraiche, an ordinary millionaire living in the Brisbane suburb of Leovale. “I mean, even with all that private school funding, I send my darling Henrietta off for terms at a time and I don’t see what she gets up to. With a governess, I can sit and watch the lessons, or just have her in the house, under scrutiny. And of course, I’ll accept nothing less than a diploma of early childhood education and care from Brisbane’s top institutions. Nothing but the best for Henrietta. Quite.”

A number of Leovale’s wealthy households have followed suit, with reports of governesses being hired as far as Melbourne. Many are hand-picked following a completion of a diploma of early childhood, amongst other significant accomplishments. Educational institutions have yet to comment on the change.

“They’re doing what now?” says Edwin Bates, head of an educational institution making a comment on the change. “So this is where all our good nursery teachers and carers keep going. Well, their talents would be better used in a classroom environment. That’s why they did their diplomas. This whole governess craze is a throwback, and not in a good way.”

The trend of having a governess dates back centuries, though the increase in local education and lessening social classes eventually rendered them obsolete. Wealthy folk such as Majesta de Souza Creme Fraiche have declared their intent to revive the trend.

“I’m thinking of funding a school,” says Lady Frioche. “One that gives people early child care courses, but focuses on the education of the wealthy, elite and beautiful.”

Antennas Linked to TV Watching

In a stunning turn of events, it turns out that television is not wirelessly broadcast from the heavens, but may be delivered via some kind of signal with specialised equipment.

“The general assumption has always been assumed to be valid,” says a researcher at the University of Television and Broadcasting. “That is, we don’t know where television comes from. It seems to have been broadcast from space, possibly created by extraterrestrials. This is obviously why you never see so-called celebrities walking the streets, and only in places like magazines. They don’t really exist. However, new research has forced us to conclude that television does come from somewhere.”

TVResearch has involved a number of antenna specialists around Melbourne, though many researchers have reported receiving ‘strange looks’ when asking their questions.

“Sorry, what?” said one specialist, questioned while fixing an antenna to the side of a building. “I don’t really believe in aliens. Sorry, I’m up really high here and these people need their TV signal back.”

Melbourne citizens have expressed shock that their favourite TV programmes are transmitted via antenna and not from somewhere in space, though the existence of satellites has seen several scientists claim that they may also play a role in transmitting television.

“Does this mean that the people from the telly are real?” says Sandra Kidderminster, mother of six. “As in, you can actually meet fictional characters walking around? Or are they different when you meet them in real life? This is huge. I always thought the squiggly thing on the roof was just for show.”

Meanwhile research continues into the prevalence of TV antennas in Melbourne, and whether they have some kind of connection to the talking picture box.

Air Con Expo Comes to Adelaide

fanCitizens in Adelaide have welcomed the air conditioning and heating expo, a yearly celebration of all technology to do with heating and cooling that has been running for over forty years.

The expo has become surprisingly popular in recent years, with a number of celebrity appearances and speeches from well-known scientists. This year’s show is set to feature Adrian Weston, fresh off the set of the latest Yaival DuMesque film A Raging Population. His appearance is not simply coincidence, as Weston is set to portray a man acting as a simple air conditioning repair man who discovers a plot to wipe out the elderly with a mind-control bomb that causes them to think about nothing but the wastefulness of the younger generation, which in turn cause them to die from anger-induced heart attacks. Weston has described the plot as making more sense when you see the film.

Meanwhile, several new heating and cooling innovations are ready to roll out at the expo, including a new prototype air purifier for the Mars Mission in 2022.

“It purifies AND cools the air,” said one developer, speaking in a special pre-expo presentation. “So it’s an air conditioner that will keep the astronauts alive, basically. I anticipate that we’ll keep improving the technology until we can get rid of that glitch that sucks all the air out of the room when it detects someone sneezing. Don’t really know what that is, but I feel like we should probably deal with it.”

The expo will also showcase regular developments, with an air conditioner to be unveiled that reportedly responds to voice commands and can suggest suitable modes for a person’s health.

“It’s always an exciting time,” said one air conditioning repair technician from Perth. “We can see what the future holds for us, and where the industry is going.”

Heating Alternatives for Perth

PerthExperts are looking into new and improved ways of heating Perth after the heating grid idea has been proven to be a failure.

Despite ducted heating services being mostly dismantled in preparation for the grid, heating technicians are looking into ways the existing underfloor ducts can be re-employed more safely.

“It’ll be a form of ducted heating, but Perth need not worry,” says Harriet Brand, one of the technicians. “It’ll be far safer than the initial grid, of that everyone can be sure. Now that winter is over, we can properly get to work making sure that by next year, the citizens of this city will have warm and toasty homes, and even streets.”

However, reaction has not been entirely positive, with a vocal minority requesting that heating go back to the way it was before.

“For many years, Perth was heated beautifully with ducted heating, gas heating, and many others, such as fireplaces,” said one protester, as written on their extremely large sign. “Perth isn’t even that cold. We’re in Australia. I mean, come on. All you need is a burst from a fan heater on most mornings. Why do we need a heating system that could destroy us all at the errant flick of a switch?”

However, the local councils have begun campaigns assuring citizens that their safety is a top priority, with their comfort a very close second. Most prominent is a television ad campaign that acknowledges the mistakes of the past, but also uses an anthropomorphic flame called ‘Burny’ to explain to people the proposed new plans.

“Burny will be our mascot in the future, as well as the mascot of Perth’s gas heating ambitions,” said one council member. “Lava was a bad idea. But I’m sure lots of flammable gas will be fine.”

Renovation Program Breaks Records

floorThe popular tv programme Renos 4 U has taken off in Australia, with record viewer ratings and a strong impact on the industry within its first week of airing.

The show, which chronicles the lives of several randomly chosen participants as they are given time-sensitive buildings tasks, is wildly popular in the US and has recently made the jump to Australia, where it has experienced similar success. Contestants must renovate a certain location within a time-limit with no experience and often the wrong tools, leading to hilarious results. This head lead to greater numbers of homeowners choosing professionals for jobs instead of doing things themselves.

“It’s fun to watch someone mess up horribly,” says Shona Jacobs, a behavioural psychologist, “But the effect is logical. Bathroom renovations around Melbourne, and also Sydney, have seen a great increase in business. People don’t want these DIY disaster to happen to them, so they enjoy the hilarity on television but then get in people who know what they are doing for their own jobs.”

The show has been credited with causing an upsurge in people requesting various renovations, as often scenes will be shown of amateurs completing a job compared to a professional.

“There’s no contest,” says Andrea Everywoman, an avid fan of the show. “These idiots blunder in, smash up the place, ruin their equipment and we all have a laugh when they start arguing and they leave the place in a worse state. But then the professional tradespeople come in, and wow…the place is just beautiful afterwards.”

Bathroom renovators in Melbourne have advised against following the formula of the show, however, as an outdated bathroom is far easier to work on than one that has been left in smithereens from a failed attempt.

Renos 4 U is broadcast on Tuesdays at 7:30pm.