Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.

Popular Posts Today

Secrets from a hotel front desk

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 29 Agustus 2014 | 15.48

Guest didn't pay ... Source: ThinkStock

HAVE you ever had a sneaking suspicion that the hotel employees are making notes while you engage in a heated conversation about your utter disappointment in the room?

Well, you're probably right.

A former front desk agent has revealed just what they do when a guest complains or acts up. That includes entering details of the incident into their system and even using special phrases to warn others the next time you check in, the employee told the Conde Nast Traveler.

Here are five scenarios where you could land on their alert list:

1. Failing to pay on time

Nothing strikes dread into the hearts of hotel employees quite like this awkward scenario. The staff member says he was just a week into the job when this message first popped up on the computer screen: "Beware of guest. Outstanding invoice. Take full payment of room and incidentals in full before processing check in. Guest CC on file does not authorise for payment. Guest is EPO NOT SAC/SC."

This particular guest frequented the hotel and had earned the privilege of paying for his stay after check out, but had failed to cough up the cash on several occasions. Embarrassed hotel staff had to call over security and insist the guest settle his debts on the spot.

2. Damaging the room

When a large wedding party booked a stay in the hotel's newly renovated presidential suite, staff were on high alert, worried things could get out of hand. The next day they got a call from the housekeeper; their worst fears had came true: "Wedding cake was smeared all over the carpet, champagne was soaked into every crevice of the furniture, there was some weird substance on the curtains, and a chair was broken."

Deciding that the guests would have to pay up for the damage, this comment was left in the system to alert whoever was on duty when they checked out: "Contact GM/Events Manager before guest checks out. Payment for Wedding Group Presidential Suite damages posted to guest folio."

The guests weren't thrilled, but paid the bill.

A messy hotel room. Source: ThinkStock

3. Security fears

According to the employee, almost all incidents are recorded in the system for when the guest makes future reservations, to try to ensure a better stay next time.

Security concerns are definitely among those incidents noted. On one ocassion, a man had mistakenly entered a woman's room in the middle of the night. She'd alerted the front desk about the incident. It turns out it was an error by staff that had sent him in the wrong direction (they'd handed him the wrong room key — hers!).

So they left a note in the system to alert the general manager to follow up with the woman and ensure she was happy with the care and compensation given. And make sure her next stay went smoothly.

4. Unhappy about the room

Problem with the accommodation? It's likely this will be noted down by staff for future reference. It may read something like this: "Treat guest with care! Guest was upset that front desk agent lied about when his room would be ready and then gave him noisy, small room. Guest is very upset."

5. Requests for special treatment

This one is a no-brainer. How will the staff remember what to give you if they don't note it down? Especially for guests who stay so frequently at a certain hotel that they earn extra privileges such as whatever room they want, or a "walk in check-in" where they're handed the keys by a bellman and walk right to their room without having to stop.

Their record may look something like this: "Guest must always have room 660 or room 760. Platinum Lifetime/No Exceptions as Per GM."

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Schapelle parole tighter after drug bust

Schapelle Corby's boyfriend has been arrested on drugs charges in Bali after being found with marijuana.

Facing jail....Schapelle Corby is pictured with her boyfriend, Ben Panangian, who has been arrested on drug charges. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

Schapelle Corby's parole will come under tighter scrutiny after her boyfriend was arrested on drugs charges and locked up in a police jail in Bali.

Ben Panangian faces a maximum 12 years in jail after police allege that he was caught with marijuana in a Bali street. A later search of his Kuta home also allegedly found more marijuana in his wardrobe.

This week the 32-year-old was among a group of drug suspects paraded by police in Denpasar, wearing orange suspect overalls and balaclavas on their heads. At the time his face was covered, he was not named and police gave only the initials BPS.

Several different police sources confirmed to News Corporation that the man arrested was Corby's boyfriend.

His arrest is not good news for Corby, who must, as part of her parole conditions, stay away from anything to do with drugs or crime.

TAKING HER TIME: Schapelle Corby picks reading and surfing over getting a job

WHO IS BEN PANANGIAN: Schapelle Corby rekindles relationship after leaving prison

One source said that shortly after the arrest, in Nusa Dua, that locals in the area who witnessed the bust told police the man was "Corby's boyfriend".

On show...at a press conference in Denpasar police paraded six suspects however they relate to different drugs cases and were trumpeted as part of a drug operation. Picture: News Corp Australia Source: News Corp Australia

He was arrested under the name Bernard P Simanjuntak. This is his full name but he shortens the first name to Ben and his second name is Panangian. He is from the Indonesian province of Sumatra.

Some in the community have questioned the arrest and whether it may have been a set up, given Panangian's profile since becoming the lover of Corby.

Set ups of drug arrests are not uncommon in Bali.


Parole board boss Ketut Artha says officers will now watch the convicted drug smuggler more closely.

He may also personally warn her about the company she is keeping - but he won't revoke her parole.

"With this case, we will tighten supervision for her," he said today.

"We will also warn her and visit her more often.

"Early next month she is due to report (to the parole office) and we will warn her." Police on Friday said they had no plans to investigate Corby because the pair's relationship is unclear.

Corby's parole officer has also said she never mentioned a boyfriend in her counselling sessions.

In a letter signed on August 4, 2013, Corby pledged: not to commit any criminal acts; not to use or distribute any kind of narcotics; report monthly to the parole board; recieve guidance from the parole team; dress modestly and neatly when meeting the parole officers.

Set up...Some community members have said the arrest may have been a set up, due to Panangian's profile since becoming Corby's lover. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

Corby reports monthly to the parole board and the prosecutions office.

Earlier this month rumours had circulated in Bali that Corby had died and this was the last time the parole authorities had spoken to Corby, who ensured them she was fine.

Corby and Panangian met in Bali's Kerobokan Jail when both were prisoners. At the time, Panangian was serving time on drugs charges. He was later transferred to Bangli jail and then released.

After his release he continued to visit Corby in jail and the pair was often seen cuddling and kissing in the visiting area. However in the months before Corby's release on parole, in February this year, Panangian rarely visited the jail or Corby.

Island love... Schapelle and Ben were spotted out on a romantic night in Bali in May. Picture: Media Mode Source: Media Mode

He did however regularly drop off food and water for her but wanted to stay away from the spotlight.

Then after her release the pair rekindled their relationship and have been photographed together on several occasions, most recently by News Corporation as Corby worked to refurbish her brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha's surfwear shop in central Kuta.

News Corporation understands they also went on a diving trip together.

Panangian, who is known on the police records as Bernard P Simanjuntak, was arrested on August 20 in Nusa Dua.

It was about 6pm and Panangian had just arrived on his motorbike at an address in Nusa Dua.

Police were there conducting a raid on another man, known only as TMY, and when they approached Panangian, he allegedly threw two packages onto the street.

Arrested...Ben Panangian has been charged with possession of marijuana in Bali Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Happier times... Ben Panangian pictured after his release from Prison where he had been serving time on drugs charges. Picture: AAP Image Source: AAP

Denpasar police chief, Djoko Hari Utomo, said the packages were found to contain marijuana.

A police raid on his home later also allegedly found marijuana in a wardrobe.

The amounts involved are 0.64 grams and 8.21 grams of marijuana.

Panangian faces charges under Article 111 of Indonesia's narcotic laws which carries a maximum 12-year sentence for drug possession, planting, storage or providing.

The other man, TMY, outside whose home Panangian was arrested, faces charges in relation to 5.31 grams of methamphetamine.

At the press conference this week in Denpasar police paraded six suspects however they relate to different drugs cases and were trumpeted as part of a drug operation. The drugs allegedly seized were displayed on the table in front of the suspects.

A top stand-up paddle boarder, Panangian had a business teaching but that business now appears closed. In 2013 he was hailed a hero after a Lion Air plane plunged off the runway at Bali airport and crashed into the sea, near where Panangian was surfing. He rushed to help save the passengers of the jet.

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Meet the real-life Into the Wild guy

Campbell Walker, 23, from Sydney, has booked a one-way ticket to Nepal and will travel around Asia and the Middle East with three friends and his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

HAVE you ever dreamed of quitting your job, selling all your stuff and booking a one-way ticket to the other side of the world?

Many young would-be adventurers have daydreamed about this ultimate travel fantasy, but far fewer people have actually bitten the bullet and done it.

Campbell Walker, a 23-year-old guy from Sydney, is set to become one of these valiant few.

He's selling all of his possessions - except about 100 essential items - quitting his job in publishing and has bought a one-way ticket to Nepal.

Along with his girlfriend and two best mates, he plans to travel indefinitely, starting in western China, Mongolia and through the Middle East.

He's saving $10,000 - which includes a buffer of a few thousand dollars - and plans to live on $15 a day.

Campbell says the daily grind of work-sleep-eat-repeat isn't how he wants to spend the rest of his life.

"Time is extremely finite. It's the one resource you can't buy or exchange," he told news.com.au.

"You're only as good as what you did yesterday. If I wrote down everything that I wanted to do yesterday, and everything that I actually did, there would be a massive difference.

"All I did was go to work, come home and eat three meals in between."

Cam on a previous overseas adventure. Source: Supplied

"Work and sleep takes up about 90 per cent of my time. In the end you're only left with about 10 per cent of your day to do the things you actually like doing and have a wonderful time.

"I love music, travel, and meeting interesting people."

Campbell's light bulb moment came after he returned from a recent trip to Central America.

He had just landed his dream job back in Australia and had two months travelling ahead of him. "I saw those two months as an opportunity to treat the world as my playground," he said.

Along the way, Campbell was offered a job and place to live permanently in Guatemala, but turned it down.

He returned home and launched himself into a demanding role with long hours.

"I actually quite like my job but I was really coming to grips with just being a cog in the wheel.

I felt like I had lost my freedom. I became really quite critical against not just work, but the whole concept of work, capitalism, consumerism, the working world and all those things.

You reflect on whether working 50, 60, 70 hours a week is really going to give you anything in the long run."

Cam and his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

"I want to cut my ties, particularly with Sydney as a city. Sydney used to be far less competitive. People's opinions are as monochromatic as the clothes they wear and the cars they drive.

"I also had a brush with my own mortality and I got my priorities in order. It made me realise what's important.

"I wrote down the 10 things in life that I love so much, and asked myself if there was a way I could combine them into one lifestyle."

With the help of his friends - an artist and a documentary director - Cam will produce a documentary series about his adventure.

"We want to get inside the heads of people who have gone AWOL — particularly artists and musicians around the world."

"My girlfriend is coming with me. She's just as fed up with the gravity of Western living. Neither of us, nor our friends see an exciting future in sticking round and rotting.

"The best we could hope for, if we all stayed, is a good night out. That's a pretty contagious thought in my opinion.

Cam and his mate Bart, who will be travelling with him across Asia and the Middle East. Source: Supplied

Campbell's parents have mixed views on his decision to go AWOL.

"My mum is generally supportive. She's actually on the verge of doing something similar.

But my values are conflicted with my Dad's.

"When I told him [about my plan], he came back at me with a list of reasons that I should stay in both my job and the workforce during my twenties.

But will there be anything about his current life that he'll miss?

"It will be the small, comfortable things. I could find myself living in some half-built house just stinging to be back home in a warm bed watching some series on my laptop.

"But if that's the biggest luxury that I'm idolising, it's not worth staying for.

"If you're not feeling happy you can't keep doing the same thing. If you don't quite know what you want to do, then do something wild and irrational and bizarre."

Have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch at rebecca.sullivan@news.com.au or on Twitter @beck_sullivan.

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

What being on The Amazing Race is really like

Daniel Ryan from The Amazing Race Australia vs New Zealand season, talks to news.com.au about their experience on the show.

IT looks like the greatest reality TV show on Earth, an all-expenses paid trip around the world, but is the Amazing Race the ultimate travel experience or is it actually a nightmare?

"It's hell," jokes Daniel, who with his teammate Ryan has just finished the Australia v New Zealand instalment of the race.

"You would never choose this sort of travel in normal life because you want to spend a few days in a place, but this sort of experience, some people describe it as like 'Contiki tour on crack'. It's a nightmare ... it's quick, it's extreme but it's a beautiful experience."

Added Ryan: "It's a money can't buy experience, it's insane, even if you tried to recreate it you couldn't."

The Sydney-based intensive care nurses joined forces to tackle the latest local series which sees Aussies and Kiwis pitted against each other for the race around the world.

Daniel and Ryan on The Amazing Race: Australia v New Zealand. Source: Supplied

"We do a lot of night shifts doing intensive care, often 12 hour nights, so we're used to trying to perform under fatigue. Shift work is very much like jet lag, when you've got to turn your body clock around 12 hours on it's head, so we thought operating under pressure with a lack of sleep — we've got this ... but we didn't," said Ryan.

"You think you've got the race, but the race is full on, 24/7, after a few days of not sleeping and eating properly, you're ready to tear your hair out and that's where things get interesting."

It's the first time the show has pitted the two nations against each other, but the pair say there wasn't as much Trans-Tasman rivalry and tension as they'd first thought.

"To be honest, there's more that bonds us together as Australians and New Zealanders than drives us apart. It's really only the rugby that really separates us as nations, but generally when the times get tough we bond together and that's what we found on the race."

Australian teams: Elizabeth and Todd, Sally and Tyson, Ashleigh and Jarrod, Tiharna and Inga, Daniel and Ryan. Source: Channel 7

In the franchise's thirteen years on air, there's been 25 seasons of the shows in the US and three local, ensuring nearly every TV viewer has caught at least an episode or two.

So with that in mind, we decided to grill Dan and Ryan on what really goes on behind the scenes.

What do the contestants eat when they're travelling?

"Anything you can get your hands on, muesli bars are great, because if you stop, you're stopping in the race, you're not having a degustation meal, you're not spending money, you're just trying to do your best on minimal time, I mean you'd be searching everywhere for a woodfired pizza in Namibia. The key is to bring snacks."

How do you pay for everything?

"You've got a budget for the leg, you rip and read (the card) and they say 'you've got $125 for this leg of the race' but it's up to you, you do what you want, sometimes you have some money leftover, sometimes you're scraping by, living on the bare minimum, living on mars bars and muesli bars. You just have to manage it well and then you end up having to beg and that becomes quite awkward."

New Zealand Team L-R: Cat and Jesse, Carla and Hereni, John and Murray, Emily and Jono. Front: Aston and Christie. Australian Team L-R: Inga and Tiharna, Elizabeth and Todd, Sally and Tyson, Daniel and Ryan. Front: Ashleigh and Jarrod Source: Channel 7

How many crew are travelling with you?

"You've got a little crew and they change around, they're always with you, you're a team of four people running around. You're always aware of what they're doing because you look after them, but you sort of tune out as well, you're not constantly aware there's a camera right next to you because it's the two of you talking and you've got to do your thing. No one's directing you, you can go where you want."

Which is the best airport in the world?

"It'd have to be Munich, we've been there several times. They do free coffees and hot chocolates and have kick-ass pretzels and when you're on a race and you don't have money and you're trying to scrounge food, that's the best thing."

What do you pack and what can you not pack?

"No technology, no maps, no cameras, no phones, no books, nothing that's going to help you or assist you. No money, no credit cards. In terms of everything else, what you bring is up to you, but you have to carry it so we ended up turfing stuff along the way. Half the bag is just underwear and you throw them out as you go."

Bonnie Sveen and Philippa Northeast and Daniel Little and Ryan Thomas at Westfield Parramatta. Source: Supplied

How much time do you have in between legs?

"It's a 12 hour turnaround or less but in that time you have to fit everything in. You have to get back to the hotel, do an interview, eat, get an hour and a half's sleep, unpack your bags, wash your clothes, repack your bags and your clothes are still wet because you haven't had time to dry them. It's pandemonium sometimes and they really keep you going in that race mode, they want to keep you going and keep you in that state and it adds to that point of getting to emotional and physical fatigue."

Do you get any days off to explore?
"That's the mystery of the race, you come on the show thinking 'yeh, I'm going to get a day off between episodes, I'll chill out, I'll have a rest', but you don't get that, you get a couple of hours sleep at max and you'll sleep on the planes if you can, that's why you're so fatigued constantly because you're only getting a few zzz's here and there."

Daniel and Ryan in their day jobs at intensive care nurses. Source: Channel 7

How do you manage to catch up on sleep?

"Drugs, definitely and that's coming from the nurses, the medical professionals here and earplugs are an absolute must on the planes. Also always try and get the exit row seating or if you think the flight's not going to be that full, book a seat up the back of the plane and hope that you get a full row to yourself to put your head down. A sneaky red is always good to wind down a bit."

What do you think the audience wouldn't know about how the race is run?

"I think people don't realise the amount of commuting and travel you do, because it just says teams are now on their way from Thailand to Namibia, but that's like a 36 hour long haul and you're doing four flights just to get there so its epic, its huge, you've had 36 hours travelling and no sleep and you feel like rubbish when you get there. You're stressed, jet-lagged, tired, hungry and tensions are bubbling."

Your advice for anyone considering entering the show?

"Anyone who's in a relationship, anyone who goes on the show saying 'I think our relationship is great and I think this would be the perfect test for our relationship', it's not for you, don't do it, don't do it. It's a pressure cooker environment."

The Amazing Race airs Monday nights at 8.40pm

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

The nation breeding itself into extinction

Written By kom limapulan on Rabu, 27 Agustus 2014 | 15.48

Kim Jong-un will be happy about reports on arch enemy South Korea's declining population rate. Source: AP

IT'S news that's music to Kim Jong-un's ears and might even make him crack a smile.

And if reports are true that arch enemy South Korea is breeding itself into extinction then Dear Leader will no doubt be a very happy man.

The future of South Korea is under threat with the Asian nation suffering such an alarming declining fertility rate that it will cease to exist by 2750, it has been predicted.

A study by The National Assembly Research Service in Seoul has warned the nation needs to take urgent action to address the issue or face the worse case scenario future, The Telegraph reported.

According to the study, the country's fertility rate hit a new low of 1.19 children per woman last year which is worryingly below the fertility rate needed to sustain South Korea's 50 million population.

It predicts that South Korea's population will plummet to 40 million by 2056 and drop to just 10 million in 2136.

Rising healthcare costs and a growing ageing population are also throwing up new challenges to South Korea which 38 per cent of its population set to retire by 2050, The Telegraph reported.

The nation's expected fertility dive is in start contrast to a French study released last year into world population levels which are on the rise.

The biannual report by the French Institute of Demographic Studies predicts there will be 10 to 11 billion people on the planet by the end of the century, rising from 9.7 billion in 2050 from the current level of 7.1 billion.

According to its authors, by 2050, India will lead the world population charge with 1.6 billion people, followed by China in second place with 1.3 billion.

South Korea is suffering a very-low fertility rate. Source: AFP

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is this the world’s scariest selfie?

Whoa! Is this the most extreme selfie ever? Source: YouTube/Frank Wu Source: Supplied

DON'T look down. An extreme selfie captured on top of a Hong Kong skyscraper could be the scariest one ever snapped.

When a man with quest for the ultimate selfie (and a death wish) managed to say cheese on top of Brazil's Christ the redeemer statue we thought it was game over for the selfie wars, but this one-upmanship has reached new heights with a selfie that'll make your stomach flip and palms sweat.


Perched on the top of The Centre — Hong Kong's fifth tallest skyscraper — Daniel Lau, joined by his two friends, stands up without any safety harnesses and stretches out his smartphone on a selfie stick to take a video that'll make you weak at the knees with vertigo.

At 346 metres high (73 storeys), the clip shows the vertical, high-rise, landscape of Hong Kong from an impressively gut-churning perspective, but it is yet unknown how the group managed to gain access to the scary summit of the building.

So who wins in a straight shootout between this bonkers honkers shot or the Redeemer statue snapper? While the latter gains kudos for its iconic status we have to go for the unbelievable antics atop of this skyscraper as the craziest selfie we've seen.

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Can Australia do the unthinkable?

Hands in for Team Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

FORGET the Socceroos. Forget the Aussie cricket team. This is the Australian World Cup team we all need to get behind.

The Australian Boomers. Our 6-foot-something average height basketball team is getting stronger and stronger every year, and for the first time in a long time, it looks like we might come home with a medal at next month's FIBA World Cup.

Here's why we all need to take notice of Australia's next great sporting team.

We have a team that will scare the crap out of Team USA

While the USA and Spain are the two favourites to win the tournament, there are a few teams that are all pretty evenly expected to grab the bronze medal, or even upset the big two and take home the silver or gold. Australia is one of them. While we come into the tournament without our two best players, Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills, our squad is full of young and exciting players who will do anything to make their mark.

Matthew Dellavedova will eliminate turnovers, something teams like the USA capitalise on, plus Joe Ingles can defend just about any player in the world. So as long as our other three key players, Aron Baynes, Cameron Bairstow and Dante Exum can score some points, we could be a nightmare for every team to face.

There's no getting past big Aron Baynes! Source: AFP

The international man of mystery

Dante Exum is the 19 year old from Melbourne was drafted number five in this year's draft. He's been compared to superstars of the past and has already shown glimpses of his greatness in some warm-up games, especially against the Philippines where Exum showed off some excellent playmaking skills.

Dante Exum dominated at least years U19 FIBA World Cup. Source: Supplied

We're about to enter a golden age

Australian basketball is about to enter its first golden age of basketball stars. Already we have NBA champions Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, plus former number 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut taking the USA by storm. Dante Exum is the name on every US basketball fan's lip after being drafted number 5 by the Utah Jazz earlier in the year, plus we have young guns Thon Maker and Ben Simmons who are both expected to go for the number 1 pick in the 2015 and 2016 drafts.

Let's not forget either that Cameron Bairstow has just been signed by the Chicago Bulls and Matthew Dellavedova has improved out of sight and will be playing alongside superstars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving in the next NBA season. This World Cup will be our first look at our next team of superstars that will believe it has a genuine medal chance at the 2016 Olympics.

Matthew Dellavedova is about to carve up as part of one of the best teams the NBA has ever seen. Source: Getty Images

What other sport can be as exciting as this?

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Rove on The Project: What viewers are saying

Former chat show host Rove McManus is expected to replace Charlie Pickering as co-host of The Project on Channel Ten.

Rove McManus is the new co-host of Ten's The Project. Source: Facebook

AFTER leaving our shores in 2009, Rove McManus is back.

The popular television presenter is the new co-host of Ten's The Project, alongside Carrie Bickmore and Pete Helliar.

After a big shuffle in names behind the desk over the past 10 months, Rove's presence has brought a noticeable bump in ratings for Ten, lifting the show by around 100,000 viewers on average last week.

Here's what viewers were saying about Rove after his first week fronting the panel.

The band is back together again

Having Rove, Carrie and Pete side-by-side seems to be working well, with viewers commenting that the trio has great chemistry. They are clearly thrilled to be working together again and it's showing.

Rove vs. politicians

It's been too long since an Australian Prime Minister was asked who they'd turn gay for. Rove's unpredictable approach to interviews can disarm even the most experienced pollies and lead to unexpected results.

Last week, he tried to get Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg MP, to admit Australia is headed for war with China. It was funnier than it should have been.

Rove vs. Steve Price

When Charlie Pickering left The Project, you might have been forgiven for thinking regular panellist, Steve Price, would finally get some respect. Not so. Last Wednesday night at the end of an interview on the latest NRL scandal, Rove had a crack at the 2GB radio host for failing to dress appropriately for his TV appearance. Poor Pricey.

Rove vs. celebrities

He's interviewed plenty of celebrities during his time, and in just one week he managed to embarrass Joel Edgerton after noticing his name didn't even make the movie poster for a film Edgerton wrote, produced and starred in. Awkward.

Rove is pretty random

Even in the ad breaks, Rove gets up to mischief. Most viewers seem to agree that he's a pretty funny bloke, while some think he's a tad too zany for The Project.

What do you think of Rove's hosting gig on The Project so far? Share with us below.

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

Fact: We were wrong about ‘lame’ banner

Written By kom limapulan on Selasa, 26 Agustus 2014 | 15.48

Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney says Sydney Swans were a cut above.

Today's story. Not as long or as tall as yesterday's - FACT Source: NewsComAu

Yesterday, we had a red hot crack at a Western Bulldogs banner. We called it the "lamest banner ever" and declared it both unfunny and wrong.

The abridged version of this story is: we were wrong. Source: NewsComAu

Well, it now appears that we were in fact wrong.

Actually, we weren't entirely wrong. As we showed with some quick bridge research (and who doesn't love googling bridge facts on a Monday afternoon?), the Westgate Bridge is clearly inferior in terms of both dimensions and aesthetics to its northern counterpart, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

But there is one important thing we did get wrong: the tone of the banner.

See, we thought it was a lame dig at the Sydney Swans concocted by the humourless (albeit admirably hardworking) Western Bulldogs cheer squad. In fact, the banner was the work of Melbourne comedian Danny McGinlay.

Danny was stunned when we told him that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the widest and heaviest steel span bridge in the world whereas the Westgate is a boring old steel box girder cable-stayed bridge. Source: Supplied

McGinlay conceived of the bridge comparison banner not as a serious cross-border sledge, but as a rather amusing piece of throwaway banter of the sort he's been writing for several weeks now.

This all started back in June when McGinlay, a Bulldogs fan, was at a game when he saw a Bulldogs banner which really was on the lame side. He tweeted as much too.

"I thought it was the cheer squad writing it and I went on social media and bagged them," McGinlay tells his new best friends at news.com.au.

"We got into a bit of back and forth and then I found out it wasn't them so I contacted the club and told them I want to formally offer my services to write the banner."

McGinlay had previously worked behind the scenes on the defunct AFL comedy show Before the Game, so he knew his way around a footy joke.

"That piqued the club's interest," he says.

It basically came down to a situation where the club said "show us what you got", and what Danny had was this very excellent banner at the Port Adelaide game on June 21 this year.

A Bulldogs staffer told McGinlay, "Oh, wow, that's funny, you've got the job."

For the uninitiated, the banner was funny because the Dogs had never played at Port's new home ground, the Adelaide Oval, so of course they were undefeated there.

He'll have to make a new sign next year, though. The Dogs lost by a humbling 72 points.

Two weeks later, he pulled out an excellent sledge against the Cats. Reeeeow! Take that!

The Dogs sadly lost that one too, although not by too much.

A few weeks later, McGinlay was at it again with a banner cleverly referencing Bulldogs club legend Doug "The Hawk" Hawkins.

Alas, the Bulldogs lost that game by 63 points. You clearly need a sense of humour to follow this club.

Not every Danny McGinlay banner has gotten past the kennel keepers at Bulldogs HQ. For the St Kilda match, he proposed a banner that read: "Patron Saint of Wooden Spoons". Insulting the opposition was clearly a bridge too far, if you'll excuse the pun.

But mostly, the banners have been brilliant and McGinlay hopes to keep writing them next year.

"I do this for free," he says. "I just want to contribute to my beloved club."

We think that's a pretty top attitude. So today, instead of bagging an anonymous banner maker, we salute both the dedication and wit of Danny McGinlay. There. We said it. Who said we journalists are *stubborn people?

On by the way, it's Danny's birthday today so happy 32nd, champ. Our gift to you is this story and a ridiculous plug for loads of your stuff, including:

* A funny thing you can buy and listen to called "Danny McGinlay — The Complete First Season". Get it here at his website.

* The play Danny is starring in at Melbourne Fringe called "Death of a Salesman: The Sitcom".

And of course, Danny is on Twitter @dannymcginlay.

*Actually we are quite stubborn, so as a side note, we'd like to point out that McGinlay's surname starts with the letters MCG, which also happens to be the acronym for a football ground where the Western Bulldogs NEVER play on the last Saturday in September. On the positive side, being a fan of the Bulldogs must provide a rich vein of comic material for Danny.

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More

What we want in the iPhone 6

Lots of rumors claim that Apple will launch several new iPhone models so what do you think, will the new iPhone 6 look like this?

The much anticipated iPhone 6 will be announced in two weeks. What do you want to see? Source: Getty Images

BIGGER screen, better battery and great selfies.

The iPhone 6 is expected to drop in two weeks. It will come full of new features and attempts to wow consumers. There have been non-stop rumours and alleged leaks over the past few months, but what do we actually want to see?

Bigger screen (but not too big)

Before the iPhone 5 came out with a 4-inch display, up from previous generation's 3.5-inch, users swore that the smaller screen was the perfect size. Fast-forward to now and those 4 inches can't be made bigger soon enough.

Most users are hoping for the rumoured 4.7-inch screen size, which would be about the same size as a Samsung Galaxy S3.

If Apple manages to eliminate bezel around the screen we could be left with an iPhone that once again is just right.

An alleged leak of a bigger iPhone 6 with the current 5s. Source: Twitter

A battery that can actually get you through the day

There's no doubt that every iPhone user's biggest gripe is that you're lucky to make it past 3pm without searching for the charger, so fixing that is a must for the next iPhone. With a bigger screen, it means you can fit a bigger battery and therefore have better battery life. Currently, the iPhone 5s has a battery size of 1,570 mAh, while LG's flagship device, the G3 has a battery nearly double the size, at 3000mAh.

Take a guess which phone lasts longer.

A stronger sapphire based display

Currently in the news.com.au office I can think of at least 3 people with shattered iPhone screens. My clumsy colleagues are constantly suffering through their shattered phones, but a strengthened display could help this.

The rumoured sapphire crystal display would measure a nine on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, up from 7 that the current quartz based glass display receives. If this glass was used, it would give the iPhone the ability to handle rougher use than ever before.

NFC for wireless payments

Flagship Android devices have had near field communication (NFC) chips for a few years now, giving them the ability to pay for things wirelessly like you do with your tap-and-pay credit card.

Apple is yet to embrace the technology, but combining it with Passbook, Apple could set itself up to be a major player in the payment market and the world could move one step closer to a cashless, cardless society.

Using Commonwealth Bank's PayTag on the back of my iPhone to pay for lunch. Source: NewsComAu

A better front-facing camera

As much as I try to fight it, the selfies is a thing, and it seems that it is here to stay. Considering that, it makes sense for Apple improve its front facing camera for all those amazing selfies we deserve.

What do you want to see on the next iPhone? Let us known on Twitter | @harrytuckerr or @newscomauhq

15.48 | 0 komentar | Read More
Techie Blogger