the daily column

World Cup 2006 Drinking Game

Pushing the Sky does not condone the excessive or otherwise illegal consumption of alcohol (beyond your body’s ability to cope with it) and prefaces the following, uh, “game” with the warning that World Cup match that fulfils many of the conditions of this game could leave your body quite broken, and your head dearly regretting in the morning. You may wish to keep a path to the toilet well clear.

Feel free to replace alcohol with a non-liver-damaging drink of your choice, although if you pick tea you may wish to keep the way to the toilet clear anyway.

The Rules

  • A “drink” is at least a mouthful of liquid
  • A “sip” must involve liquid passing your lips, not just making a sipping sound. Cheater.
  • A “skol” or “scull” or “skull” (you try spelling it) means the whole glass, or however much remains of a glass if you’re less than half way through, in one go.
  • Get some mates. Drinking alone is a deep, dark well you do not want to jump in to.
  • Rules are enforced by mates. Majority wins.
  • Must be watching in a timezone which forces you to be awake at hours of the night no sane person would (i.e. in Australia)

The Details

  • At the start of every match, line up the glasses/cups/mugs/schooners/bowls/liquid container of choice. Ensure you have sufficient supply. How much is “sufficient” is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • For every goal, scull. If Saudi Arabia (or other lucky-to-be-there team) are playing, you may wish to sip instead. To pace yourself.
  • If Saudi Arabia scores a goal, scull twice.
  • For every corner, drink.
  • For every penalty kick, drink.
  • If the penalty kick was awarded because of a theatrical fall worthy of a Tony, drink.
  • For every hand ball, drink.
  • For every offside, sip.
  • For every goal denied because of an offside, drink.
  • For every free kick, sip.
  • If the free kick was awarded for a fall that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Ben Hur, drink.
  • For every yellow card, drink.
  • For every red card, scull.
  • If the yellow or red card follows a fall that could be considered a strong contender for the Best Actor Oscar, scull twice.
  • For every time the ball goes out, sip.
  • If it looked like it was truly intentional, drink.
  • For every time the ball is passed back to the goalie, sip.
  • If a goal is scored because of a bad pass back to the goalie, scull.
  • If a goal is scored in injury time, scull.
  • If the game goes to penalty shoot outs, drink for every miss. If the shootouts are level at 4-4, scull.
  • Every time a commentator mentions a previous World Cup, drink.
  • If Australia beats one of the teams ranked higher than them (42), drink.
  • If Australia beats one of the teams considered one of the “traditional powers”, scull. A few, maybe.

Any more to add? Suggestions welcome =)


Social Engineering, The USB way

Social Engineering, The USB Way – Interesting, in a you-need-to-know way (via)

the daily column


Life’s settled into a kind of regularity these days, which isn’t really conducive to creativity, so I’m just going to run through a little update of what’s happening…

  • Just crossed a major milestone at work, with things finally moving in the right direction (from development to test). Within a month or so I’ll actually have some work that people in the real world are using to earn real money. Which is scary in one sense, but gives me this buzz occasionally. Of course, we’re yet to “go live” so it could still end in tears
  • Am fiddling around the site a bit, prompted by WordPress 2.0.3 update. Realised I’ve gone at least two months without actually having the fixed list of links for everyone to see, which is bad ‘net citizenery really.
  • I’ve put in ZenPhoto for a photos page, which doesn’t have too much at the moment (just the cooking photos) but I think I’ll start putting more on there and moving away from registration-required-to-comment Flickr. Plus I don’t have the restriction of just 3 albums and 200 photos, without paying to go “pro” (which I think is a misnomer anyway). If anyone has any suggestions for photo gallery stuff, let me know.
  • Wanting to read more blogs, but have been unable to discover new stuff I actually want to read. If anything, I’ve been unsubscribing from blogs that are feeling like they’re in a rut – e.g., the Dilbert blog started out good, but now it’s just Scott Adams poking fun at people from his intellectual high ground. Any suggestions?
  • Watched X-Men 3, and waited for after the credits. Groaned. It felt like it needed so much more depth, and the fact that it was billed as “The Last Stand”, but a hook was left in for later makes it feel… well, sleazy is probably the wrong word, but definitely not a classic in my mind.
  • World Cup! The four-yearly sudden interest in soccer (“football”) has invariably risen again. It’s fun organising a tipping competition.
  • Looking for something to do this long weekend.

Also, feeling sorry for the people who’ve got to do exams. I feel for you, I really do. Best of luck, guys.


In the Spirit of Xiao Xiao

In the spirit of Xiao Xiao: Flash 8


25-Way Rock-Paper-Scissors-…

Rock-Paper-Scissors-And-25-Other-Things-Too: “No! I swear it’s a monkey!”


Sunday Recipe: Aloo Gobi (Potatoes & Cauliflower)

Aloo Gobi is a classic Indian recipe, and one of the easiest to pick up for total Indian cooking novices. It’s also where I was first introduced to Indian cooking, so I think it serves as a good starter here, too. I considered starting with the simple stir-fry noodles, but that seems to be aiming a little low. If you can’t do noodles, stir-fry or otherwise, please find your way around a kitchen before attempting the following.

Pardon the terrible pictures. My phone camera really isn’t up to the task…


Indian cooking tends to be very open to interpretation when it comes to amounts, so I’m going to give some rough estimates here.

  • Cauliflower – Half can typically feed two or three people as a main, or four to five people as a side. I’ll use half, as it’s easily available from the supermarket, wrapped in plastic & ready to last longer.
  • Potatoes – dependent on how large the potatoes are, how many people there are, and how much of a fan of potatoes you are. I’ve used two average sized potatoes, diced. I aim for a roughly even amount in visual terms:
    Roughly this much

    The best potatoes to use for Indian cooking is Desiree – they’re pinkish and dirtless, readily available from your local supermarket.

  • Cooking oil – take your pick. Canola, Sunflower or Olive oil work well. Keep the bottle on hand.
  • Spices –
    • Haldi (Tumeric) – for colour, approx half a tea spoon. We’re going for a nice yellow-brown colour.
    • Salt – about 1 and a 1/2 to 2 tea spoons
    • Garam Masala – a mix of spices, lit. “Hot Spice”, available from all good Indian shops and maybe even your local supermarket – it’s one of the basics of Indian cooking. About 1 tea spoon.
    • Lal Mirch (Red Chilli) – powdered form, about 1/2 to 1 tea spoon, to taste. Not strictly necessary, but it gives it that little bit of zing, I think.
    • Podhina (Coriander) – powdered, about 1/2 to 1 tea spoon, to taste. I’m not sure what it does to the taste in the end, but it’s in there. Similarly available from Indian stores or supermarkets if you look hard enough.

    Again, spices tend to make the cooking, so these items will probably be the hardest for you to find. If stuck at all, let me know and I’ll try to find out what the closest Indian store is to you. I’ve also added some seeds I know not the name of (in either language), but they taste good. You’re going to have to ask my mum for those.

  • Ginger, chopped – can also use frozen & preprocessed one that I do. About 1 tea spoon of the processed stuff, or about 20g of the chopped stuff, though that’s really a guess. If you think I sound vague about this, it’s because I really am – it’s never actually quantified, and the amount you use is entirely to taste.
  • A wok or saucepan with a lid.
  • Half an hour to 45 minutes.
the daily column

Yellow on Black

It’s just so… yellow…

pushing the sky

Modern Spam

In the past month or two, there’s been a steady trickle of spam comment attempts on this site, and while most of them are the usual viagra-xanax-casino deal, some spammers have been trying to get creative. There’s the flattering comments, which say “Wow, love your post” or “Great site!”, and occasionally they tack on “Can we exchange links with your site?” and so on. At first, the not-so-vigilant moderator might in a moment of weakness allow the comment, before they check out the site that the commenters name is linked to – but when you do, you easily realise and can that spam that slipped through.

The ones that are really getting creative are putting complex words & sentences in so that the average spam-detection algorithm might think it a particularly intelligent reader expressing overly-complex thoughts. This of course fails the first-comment test (all first comments are held in moderation) and provides me with some amusement when attempting to understand the meaning and/or the source (blockquotes from famous books, for example). One of these attempts at intelligence simply states “Your site is very cognitive”, which is a dead giveaway to me – who the hell ever uses words like “cognitive”?

But the one that amuses me the most is this:

I just don’t have anything to say right now.

I mean, come on, just try a little?