When the sun sets over Carlton

To steal a line from the Skyhooks, there is a lot to see when the sun sets over Carlton.

1960s concrete Housing Commission towers.

Housing Commission of Victoria apartment towers

Jeff Kennett’s legacy in the Melbourne Museum ‘blade’.

Central 'blade' at the Melbourne Museum

The dome of the Royal Exhibition Building.

Royal Exhibition Building towers over Carlton

ICI House and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Orica House and St Patrick's Cathedral

The east end of the CBD.

East end of the Melbourne CBD

And finally, the west end.

Sunset on the north end of the Melbourne CBD


All of the above photos were taken from atop the former Royal Women’s Hospital car park at the corner of Grattan and Cardigan Streets.

‘I recognise that’ in a TV advertisement

I was watching television the other night when one of the insipid ‘I bought a Jeep’ advertisements came on. If anything, the commercials make me think of Jeep owners as wankers, but I did notice one interesting thing…

And that thing was the filming location at the 21 second mark, where there is a tail view of the car driving along the coast.

Yep – by the water in Geelong, with the car driving along Hearne Parade with Corio Bay in the background.

Hearne Parade, Geelong, Victoria - via Google Streetview

Skip forward to another day, and another ‘I bought a Jeep’ commercial, with another familar looking location.

This time it is a car driving over a bridge at the 24 second mark, followed by a parting shot of the same bridge.

Again the footage is from Geelong, but in a much more remote location –
Blackgate Road in Connewarre, with the bridge crossing over Thompson Creek.

Blackgate Road, Connewarre, Victoria - via Google Streetview

You can take the boy out of Geelong, but you can’t take Geelong out of the boy!

‘Something, Say Something’ at Flagstaff station

A week or two ago, Flagstaff station was blanketed in yellow posters reading “If You See Something, Say Something”.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering blankets Flagstaff station

It is part of a Victorian Government scaremongering campaign, which was launched after the national terrorism alert level was raised to “high” last month.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering along the escalators at Flagstaff station

As a regular reader of my blog, you should know that that seeing ‘something’ is what I do best.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering blankets Flagstaff station

In this case, the thing I saw was a low bluestone platform on the edge of Flagstaff Gardens, next door to Flagstaff station.

Upper level of the Flagstaff Gardens draft relief shaft

So what can I say about it? It is actually a ventilation structure for the City Loop, with a vertical shaft ending about 13 metres below the surface, where another tunnel heads sideways towards the underground draught relief structure.

Fine welded mesh covers the top of the draft relief shaft


The access hatch into the ventilation structure is both locked and fitted with an alarm – you didn’t think something like this would be just laying around unsecured, would you?

As for the cost of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign:

Final costs for the campaign are not expected to be available until next year’s annual department report.

Motorail – loading cars onto a train

‘Motorail’ is a service provided on a handful of long distance trains in Australia, allowing passengers to bring their car along for the ride. So how do they get the cars on and off the train?

Great Southern Rail

Great Southern Rail offers a motorail service on all three of their services – Indian Pacific, The Ghan, and The Overland.

Their wagons have enough room to fit eight small cars aboard, split across two decks.

Motorail wagon AMRZ 240B with four cars

Loading and unloading cars takes a lot of messing around at each end – the wagons needs to be uncoupled from the rest of the train.

Shunting the wagon into the dock

Then pushed up against the unloading ramp.

Getting ready to unload the car

The car is then driven down the ramp…

Driving down the ramp...

And away for the owner to pick up.

And away

Queensland Rail

Queensland Rail also offers motorail service on their long distance locomotive-hauled services. However their car carrying wagons blend into the rest of the train.

Tail end of the train during the station stop at Townsville

Each wagon has a pair of doors on the side. The top ‘gull wing’ door opens upwards.

First stage of unloading cars is opening the roof door

While the lower door moves downwards to form a ramp.

Next the lower door is lowered to form a ramp

With the wagon parked right beside the passenger platform, there is no need for any shunting moves.

Motorail wagon open and ready for the cars to be driven off

Allowing cars to be driven straight off the train.

Driving a car off the motorail wagon and onto the platform at Cairns

Note that the above Queensland Rail example is from the Sunlander service – come December 31, 2014 the sleeping train service will be replaced by the slightly faster Tilt Train, which has aircraft style lie-flat beds.

Fake Facebook screenshots aren’t hard at all

A few weeks ago an article about political staffers and faked Facebook posts appeared the The Age

Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy may ask police to investigate a series of Facebook posts purporting to be one of his staffers making highly racist and sexist comments about senior Liberals.

In a bizarre twist to the state government’s recent social media woes, several Facebook screen grabs claiming to come from one of Mr Guy’s employees have been distributed, with offensive references to Asians as “slopes”, Arabs as “towel-heads” and Arts Minister Heidi Victoria as a “dumb blonde.”

A spokesman for Mr Guy, who is also the state’s planning minister, insisted the statements were fabricated, and the Minister’s office is now considering whether to refer them to police on the grounds of fraud and defamation.

But the fact they were distributed in the first place – and the considerable effort it would have taken to get them looking like genuine Facebook material – paints a worrying sign of the battles now being waged in politics using social media.

The “considerable effort” line is the part that caught my eye, as creating a fake Facebook page is incredibly easy once you know what you are doing – such as this example I created years ago.

Fake Facebook page for diesel locomotive T378

In the ‘old’ days of the internet creating fake web pages required one to take a screenshot of a source web page, find a font that matches the original, and then add your own text in using Photoshop.

Today you don’t need to go to anywhere near as much effort – just open up the ‘Developer Tools’ panel of your web browser (my example is Google Chrome), find the text you want to change, and then type in your new slanderous text.

Fake Facebook page for the Victorian Greens

I can’t imagine the Greens ever supporting an expansion of brown coal mining in Victoria, but just look at what their Facebook page says!