May 27 2012



An enormous iTunes store – where every song is free?

The Swedish-based Spotify Music Streaming Service was released in Australia this weekend.

Spotify is an free app for Mac/PC or iPhone that allows you to ‘stream’ music from an enormous ‘jukebox in the cloud’. It reallly does contatin just about any song you can think of. And it is a legal service – a proportion of income is returned to the artists.

Once you have downloaded the app (from or from the App Store), you create a Spotify account by logging in using your Facebook details.

You can then search for an artist or song, choose from a suggested list, or listen to a playlist that one of your Facebook friends has uploaded. You can also share your playlists with them.

You never ‘own’ the songs you play as you do with iTunes – its like a radio station in which you get to request each song.

You’ll need an Internet connection to listen. Unless you have a very big 3G download allowance, the best time to use Spotify is when you are in WiFi range.

Like a radio station, if you listen in ‘free mode’ there are ads between songs.

You can remove the ads by subscribing to Spotify Unlimited at $6.99 per month.

To listen on your mobile, you’ll need to join Spotify premium at $11.99 per month. This has the added feature of allowing you to store up to 3,333 songs on your computer or phone so that you can listen at any time without an internet connection. However, if you stop paying the subscription your access to the songs is all over, baby blue.

When you first download Spotify you have 48 hours in which you can access the Premium Service free of charge. After that, you’ll revert to free mode.

Here’s a cool playlist to get you started,


What I Learnt On 27th May in other years

Add a comment


It is largely unknown to players and followers of the modern game that rugby started off purely as a contest for forwards in opposition in line-outs, scrums, rucks and mauls. This pitted eight men of statuesque physique, supreme fitness and superior intelligence in packs against one another. In those days, the winner was the pack that won the most set pieces. The debasement of the game began when backs were introduced. This occurred because a major problem was where to locate the next scrum or line-out. Selecting positions on the ground for these had become a constant source of friction and even violence.


The problem was resolved by employing forward rejects, men of small stature and limited intelligence, to run aimlessly around within the field of play. Following a set piece, the ball would be thrown to one of them, who would establish the next location either by dropping it or by throwing it to another reject for dropping. Very occasionally, a third reject would receive the ball before it would be dropped, and crowds would wildly cheer on these rare occasions. Initially these additional players were entirely disorganized but with the passing of time they adopted set positions.


For instance, take the half-back. He was usually one of the smallest and least intelligent of the backs whose role was simply to accept the ball from a forward and to pass it on to one of the other rejects who would drop it, providing the new location for the forwards to compete. He could easily (given his general size) have been called a quarter forward or a ball monkey but then tolerance and compassion are the keys to forward play and the present euphemism was decided on.


The five-eighth plays next to the half-back and his role is essentially the same except that when pressured, he usually panics and kicks the ball. Normally, he is somewhat taller and slightly better built than the half-back and hence his name. One-eighth less and he would have been a half-back, three-eighths more and he might well have qualified to become a forward.


The centres were opportunists who had no expertise but wanted to share in the glamour associated with forward packs. After repeated supplication to the forwards for a role in the game they would be told to get out in the middle of the field and wait for instructions. Thus, when asked where they played, they would reply “in the centre”. And they remain to this day, parasites and scroungers who mostly work as lawyers or used car dealers.


You may ask, why wingers? The answer is simple. Because these were players who had very little ability and were the lowest in the backline pecking order, they were placed as far away from the ball as possible. Consequently, and because the inside backs were so diligent in their assigned role of dropping the ball whenever they received it, the main contribution to the game made by the winger was not to get involved. Their instructions were to run away as quickly as possible whenever trouble appeared, and to avoid tackles at all costs. The fact that the game was organised so that the wingers didn’t get to touch the ball led to an incessant flow of complaints from them and eventually the apt description “whingers” was applied. Even though the “h” dropped off over the years, the whingeing itself unfortunately has not.


Lastly, the full-back. This was the position given to the worst handler, the person least able to accept or pass the ball, someone who was always in the way. The name arose because the forwards would understandably become infuriated by the poor play invariably demonstrated by that person, and call out “send that fool back”. He would then be relegated well out of everyone’s way to the rear of the field.


So there you have it. Let’s return to the glory days of a contest between two packs of eight men of statuesque physique, supreme fitness and superior intelligence. The rest can go off to where they will be happier – playing soccer.

(Received via What Brendan Learnt Today)

What I Learnt On 18th May in other years

View or Add Comment

May 13 2012

500 steps…..


500 steps ….Straight up Kings Canyon.
Plus a 7 hour drive to Alice.
Brendan, you would have been proud of my 4WD expertise on the dirt back roads – right up to the point where I had to ask the toothless fellow traveller from Toowoomba how to open the fuel tank.

View (3 comments) or Add Comment

May 12 2012

30000 steps…..


Uluru Base Walk. 10.7 km

Kata Tjinta ‘Valley of the Winds’ 4.7km

Walk to Outback Pioneer Pub 700m

Walk home from Outback Pioneer Pub. ??

What I Learnt On 12th May in other years

Add a comment

May 11 2012



What I Learnt On 11th May in other years

Add a comment