Airshows down under

I’ve had the opportunity to see the Australian International airshow that’s on this week in Avalon. Now, I’m not really into airplanes so although I walked around the huge field where they’re holding the exhibit, I just admired the outer appearance of the aircrafts and didn’t bother looking at the names, models and specifications.


Cool planes galore! Click on the photo to see more.

Visitors from several countries were there to participate – yes, even the Philippines was represented. I was walking around one of the exhibition halls when I spotted the Philippine flag but it wasn’t until I was walking near a display of black hawks that I realised that there were Filipinos within the grounds. There in one spot is a Filipino soldier talking to two other men in Tagalog! It was all I could do to refrain from shouting Hoy, kabayan! (Hey, fellow countrymen!)

Anyway, despite my lack of enthusiasm, I enjoyed the flying displays. The aircrafts were made to do some low-level flying, flips and other tricks showcasing the individual capability and power of the planes.

If you’re within the vicinity of Melbourne and into airplanes, you could still catch the show till Sunday. A word of caution though, make sure you bring something to snack on unless you don’t mind eating some greasy (and might I add, very salty) fare. Even the sandwiches would benefit from a little less salt and there are no healthier options nearby.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring a pair of ear plugs as well. Your ears would thank you for it specially when those planes are flying low.

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Published in: on March 18, 2005 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tuned In to Podcasts

Let me start by quoting the Wikipedia definition of a Podcast:

“Podcasting” is a web-based broadcast medium. Audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) are made available online in a way that allows software to automatically detect the availability of new files (generally via RSS), and download the files for listening at the user’s convenience.

The word “podcasting” is a portmanteau of the words iPod and broadcasting. A podcast is like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and can listen to them at their leisure.

So think of Podcasts as mp3-recorded blogs but the format is very similar to AM radio shows. I didn’t immediately buy into it as it would require you to download what could be massive mp3 files on a regular basis. One of the popular podcasts around has a 30 minute episode that is around 15 Mb on average. And the said podcast could have a new episode as often as once a day.

But fortunately, we now have broadband and I realised that we weren’t really utilising all of the bandwidth allocated to us by our Internet service provider. So, I tried out podcasting by downloading a podcast aggregator called Doppler. Next, I searched for podcasts I might be interested in. There are a number of podcast directories out there and according to Google rankings, iPodder.org seems to be the most popular one. I prefer these two directories though:

  • Podcast.net. I like this directory because each podcast would have details about the podcast as well as a list of all the episodes available under that podcast. There is also the ability to preview the episodes on the site itself. So, you have a better idea of what you’re getting even before adding it to your podcast aggregator.
  • PodcastAlley.com. Same as Podcast.net plus the ability to vote for your favourites. This means that there is ranking of podcasts involved and that also means that it could help you pick which podcasts are better (or at least more popular) than the others. However, I seem to like how Podcast.net categorises the listed podcasts. But that’s just my personal preference.

I’ve picked a few podcasts that I thought were a waste of my time and bandwidth. You’ll know these lemons when you hear them, I assure you.

I have found podcasts that I actually like, too. I’ll list some of them here:

  • Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code (Podcast RSS). A daily podcast about podcasting and a lot of other things. I think it may be the most popular podcast at the moment.
  • Catholic Insider (Podcast RSS). It’s by a Fr. Roderick Vonhogen of the Netherlands. It’s a podcast about his adventures as a priest while in Rome and in his archdiocese. Includes Catholic trivia and comments on the inner workings of the Catholic Church.
  • Digital Strips (Podcast RSS). News and reviews of webcomics and sometimes even interviews with people in the biz.
  • Meanwhile (Podcast RSS). Another podcast about comics and other things that are associated with comics. And by the way, one of the two hosts is T. Campbell who is my editor at Graphic Smash.
  • Slacker Astronomy (Podcast RSS). A very entertaining and funny way to learn about astronomy.
  • Wizard News Radio (Podcast RSS). News and goss about Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and anything remotely associated with these two series.

That’s all I have for the moment. There are other podcasts I’m subscribed to but the ones listed above are my must-hear picks as of this time.

Published in: on March 18, 2005 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment