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Archived Posts for November 2004

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
Nov 04

The Summer Ahead

It hit 40 degrees today. Summer’s only a couple days away and I start my clerkship tomorrow. Hopefully it’s not that hot this week – nothing worse than going home in a crowded, humid bus on sticky vinyl seats. I’m working a three-day week, not sure which days yet. The other two days will be spent with Shan and Fi working on the space moot, unfortunately most of that time will probably be in the library. The uni gave us 24 hour access to the law library and I went up there late at night during the exams a couple weeks ago for a change of environment. It’s pretty eerie there at 1am – it’s dead silent because the airconditioning switches off after hours – but it’s also kinda cool how the place is deserted, no distractions and all that. Except for the distraction of Dave lasciviously ranting on about all the KASI SIKIT action you could get in a deserted library (sorry, injoke).

The Dolls
Which reminds me. On the way back from another late night Maccas runs, we drove past the Creepy Doll again, just for kicks. When I pulled up alongside the house, the doll was dangling off the clothesline as usual, but my heart skipped a beat when I realised that there was the silhouette of a person sitting down on a chair underneath the doll, its eyes staring back at me. We freaked out, I hit the accelerator and we were off.

I drove by the house the next day and snapped a photo:

You can imagine how unsettling that would look at night in the shadows, this row of dolls staring out into an alleyway at passer-bys. Why would someone do something like that???

I always get the travel bug during exam times. Procrastination takes me to a bunch of travel blogs which make me wish I was somewhere far away. Parents leave for Singapore, Egypt and Taiwan in the week after next. Unfortunately, I’m stuck here, but at least there’s Beijing for me in January, which apparently is getting bloody cold:

Beijing is getting bloody cold. Forecast for snow today, but as yet has not started, but the wind is worse than when we were in Vienna, and all the locals laugh at me when I ask whether this is normal… ominously they say that this is nothing, and the best is yet to come. Apparently the worst is February, so when you come in January, be prepared.

Next Year
On the topic of travel, current plans are to finish my degree in the first half of next year and spend the remainder of it travelling. Don’t know where yet, but I’m happy as long as it’s somewhere I haven’t been before. Don’t know with who, but I’ve got a couple of friends who are interested. Anyone else free at any point during the second-half of next year who’s interested? E-mail me.

And now for something completely different
Sighted at last night’s birthday party:

I am so going to get in trouble for posting this

Photo courtesy of Papparazzi Dan.

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National Treasure

Cool movie. Everyone loves a good treasure hunt with a good dose of history and conspiracies thrown in for good measure. I guess I was in the right mindset for it because I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code. Justin also linked this which I thought was interesting.

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Nov 04
Nov 04
Nov 04

The Da Vinci Code

Finally got around to reading The Da Vinci Code. It was really popular during the start of this year. It’s pretty engrossing and reasonably interesting. I think conspiracy theory nuts will especially like it.

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Half-Life 2 Again

I finished HL2. It offered me about 20 hours worth of gameplay. The game engine and game world are amazing. Just about everything is interactive and some of the scripted sequences are really creative. The way characters interact with you is terrific – facial expressions, turning to look directly at you, gesticulations, everything. The only weakness of the game, and this is pretty common from what I gather, is the plot. The first HL had an excellent overarching storyline, but HL2 doesn’t immerse you as much in the plot. You don’t really get to hear much about City 17 or what happened in the years between HL or HL2. For the first half of the game it just seems as if you’re being asked to move from place to place before you’ll get an explanation – an explanation which never really comes because people keep getting kidnapped. By the time the ending comes, you don’t even have enough information to make any speculations about things such as who G-Man is, who the Benefactors are and so on.

HL definitely was richer in terms of story ideas – alien worlds, big bosses, exotic weapons and bizarre monsters. HL2 is much more standard in comparison and things really only get interesting in the last chapter. But don’t get me wrong, the “standard world” of HL2 is incredible – a city that looks like how you’d imagine the old eastern European communist countries were like, a ghost town, etc. They need to release an expansion pack which does a proper plot, now that they’ve produced a kickass FPS engine.

Nov 04

Half-Life 2

Waiting for it to install… the installation for this game really bites. Takes forever!

Nov 04
Nov 04
Nov 04

New Video Card

I need a solid, but cheapish video card that can run Half-Life 2 at a decent resolution and at a decent framerate. I have a P4 2.4Ghz. Has anyone got any suggestions? I’m pretty out of touch with the video card market…

Nov 04
Nov 04

Worst. Exam. Ever.

Litigation was an absolute nightmare. Never before have I not even been able to spot the issues. For the non-lawyers out there, let’s just say this is a Very Bad Thing. No issues = no writing = no marks. So screwed. I guess I’m just not cut out to be a criminal litigator.


Gadling is a pretty decent newsblog focused on travel. Run by the same bunch as Engadget. Gives me the travel bug. Now is a bad time to be getting that.

Nov 04


… is killing me. It’s not making any sense! Arrrgh!

Nov 04
Nov 04

A Photoessay

Here’s a photoessay of the World Social Forum 2004 held in India. I confess that I found the event almost strange and realised it was my western cultural worldview coming through. We don’t often think of social activism occurring in developing countries, but even developing countries do care what happens elsewhere in the world.

Nov 04

Red vs Blue

This site wonders why the American blue (democratic) states should worry more about issues that affect red (republican) states, such as the war, abortion, etc.

Red state voters voted on two key issues: terrorism, and gay marriage. Which is funny, since there have been no terrorist attacks in any red states, and there have been no gay marriages in any red states. Red state voters therefore seem mostly concerned with preventing terrorist attacks and gay marriages in blue states.

I found it a little strange that the “wealthy”, densely populated areas of the country (especially those clustered around major cities) were liberal leaning, because the wealthy normally lean to the right. But I had it explained to me that being around in the city doesn’t mean you’re wealthy. Also, the city also has a higher concentration of academics and people who have the luxury of sitting back and thinking about things that don’t affect them directly, because they can afford to. Still, it seems strange that the post I linked can generalise America like that – because it doesn’t make sense (more so the situation, not the actual post). But what in America ever makes sense?

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Nov 04
Nov 04
Nov 04
Nov 04

Krispy Kremes: Now I’ve seen it all

David’s friend, Aris, who studies in Melbourne, needed half a dozen for his girlfriend’s 21st. Melbourne doesn’t have Kripsy Kreme donuts. So, what to do? Get them shipped down by express post. Naturally.

The donuts cost about $5. The postage and packaging cost $15 ($12 postage + $2 post box + $1 padding). $20 for six, two-day-old glazed donuts. How, uh… sweet.

Better than studying Geotechnical Engineering

I’m currently studying the Leases part of the Property 2 course. I’m a little bored so I was thinking about what the situation is in this apartment. Forget exam hypotheticals, real life problems are much more interesting. I’ll write up an answer when I’ve finished revising… (Yeah yeah I know you probably aren’t doing law and aren’t interested, I don’t care.)

Fact scenario: David is a tenant who has entered into an oral agreement for a lease. He is an international university student and is expected to complete his degree in 5 years. Rent is to be payable every four weeks in advance. He has been in residence and paying rent with the owner’s consent for 4 years. It is understood that the lease can be terminated with two month’s notice by either party. Questions: (1) What type of lease is it and what is the status of the lease? (2) What happens if David has been late in paying rent for the last three times they were due by about 5 days each time? (3) What happens to David if the owner (registered proprietor) of the apartment sells it to another bona fide third party purchaser for value who registers their interest?

Answer (CA refers to the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW); RPA refers to the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW)):
1. An oral agreement for a lease of duration 3 years or less (including any time that may be added through an option to renew) will create a legal interest (CA s 23D(2)). However, this lease is clearly more than 4 years. No requirements have been met to form a legal lease at this stage. An oral agreement cannot create an equitable lease either (s 54A(1)), unless there is part performance (Bunny Industries). A tenant going into actual possession (and also paying rent) constitutes part performance, as has occurred in this instance. The agreement is one that is presumably specifically enforceable as well, and thus a Walsh v Lonsdale-type equitable lease is formed. This equitable lease does not seem to have an agreement as to its overall duration, so it seems to be a periodic lease. [I don’t know if you can have equitable periodic tenancies?]

At common law, an implied periodic tenancy may arise as a result of the pattern of rent payments. If the rent is paid in aliquots or by reference to a year, and if it is based on an equitable lease that is longer than one year, then a yearly periodic tenancy will be implied (Dockrill v Cavanagh). In this case, the rent is being paid every four weeks. It might be argued that these payments may be somehow referable to the whole 5 years period (Moore v Dimond), but this is a weak argument given these facts and that the 5 year period was not a part of the oral agreement at all. Therefore, it seems like there is an implied 4-weekly periodic tenancy at common law.

2. The lease has a covenant implied by s 85(1)(a) of the CA that rent will be paid when it is due. There is no express term which replaces this implied term. By paying rent late, David has breached this covenant. What the landlord can do depends on the nature of the breach. A covenant to pay rent in advance is not, by itself, an essential condition (J & C Reid v Abau Holdings). Breach only gives rise to a right to sue for damages (payment of the rent due). If we assume that paying rent on time has been made an essential condition of the lease, then the breach of this may give rise to a right for the landlord to rescind the lease contract, or forfeit the lease (Progressive Mailing House v Tabali) and sue for damages.

Forfeiture brings the lease to an end. Before forfeiture can be enacted by an act of re-entry, notice must normally be served under s 129 of the CA. Section 129 notice does not have to be given where the breach is of the covenant to pay rent (s 129(8)). Instead, a formal demand for rent must be made (unless the rent is more than one month in arrears (s 85(1)(d), which it is not in this case). The landlord must allow a reasonable time for David to respond. Assuming David fails to pay, the landlord may then re-enter the premises and forfeit the lease – either by peaceable re-entry or serving a writ with an unequivocal demand for possession (Moore v Ullcoats Mining). Even after forfeiture, if David ends up paying, relief against forfeiture may be available at the court’s discretion (Hayes v Gunbola). The payments, although consistently late, may just reflect forgetfulness instead of an inability to pay (cf Greenwood Village). As no other breaches have been committed, it is likely a court would grant relief.

In the alternative, the landlord could rescind the contract, which does not require notice and entitles the landlord to loss of bargain damages.

3. Registration gives immediate indefeasibility (RPA s 42; Frazer v Walker), absent of fraud. Even if the third party purchaser in this case had notice of David’s legal lease, this notice doesn’t vitiate the registration as it is not fraud (RPA s 43). David’s lease does not seem to come under any other exception to the rule of immediate indefeasibility (s 42(1)(d) does not apply as the current lease is not one of that nature) and thus the new registered proprietor takes free of that interest and David can be evicted. This would be true even if David had lodged a caveat.

Nov 04
Nov 04

Election hinges on Ohio

I’m pretty sure Ohio has gone to Bush despite the news sites refusing to call it. Bush is up by over 130,000 votes. Very depressing. The Democrats insist on waiting for the absentee/provisional ballots (of which there are 175k to 250k), but even with the most generous figures, if there are 250k absentee ballots, people will have to vote 76% Kerry in those in order for him to level the votes. If there are 175k ballots, Kerry will need to poll 87%. That is pretty much unobtainable.

Sounds like Australia: “With the Republicans also tightening their hold on the Senate, keeping control of the House of Representatives and the possibility of more changes in the supreme court, a second Bush term would see the Republicans controlling all four key levers of government. Mr Bush can therefore claim with some foundation that he now possesses the clear mandate that eluded him four years ago.”

Sarni has had good coverage of the figures throughout the day.

Nov 04


Okay I’ve been following for about 2 straight hours, and if I had to make a call now, I would call the election at this stage for Bush. Let’s hope I’m wrong. It’s half past midnight on America’s east coast currently.

Looks like Florida has gone Republican

Even with a lot of absentee ballots from Democratic counties like Broward uncounted, it looks like Bush, several hundreds of thousands of votes ahead, it going to take Florida. News services are still refusing to call the state, however, no doubt given the events of 2000. Hard to figure out what’s going on without TV commentary, have to rely on American news web sites…

Midnight Macca’s Run Mascot

It’s that time of year again. Exams are around the corner. I’m currently ploughing through Litigation 2, otherwise know as rules of evidence. Evidence is probably the most intricate and technical law subject I’ve had so far. There’s virtually a thousand hoops a piece of evidence may have to jump through in order to be admitted into court. Want to give evidence in court about what someone said to you? Welcome to the Hearsay Rule and its 101 exceptions! The thing about Lit 2 is that the whole course is intricately connected – a single piece of evidence may be affected by relevance considerations, the credibility rule, the hearsay rule, general discretions and so on – and these are all separate topics which are hard enough to understand on their own, let alone when you try to combine them. Horrible!

I'll CLIP you!

But anyway, exam time also means the reappearance of late night trips down to Maccas (they really need to open another 24 hour eatery around here). Our route there takes us into this dingy, narrow side road. On that road is a property with an old pre-Hills Hoist clothesline, and on that clothesline is hung a doll. It’s a rather creepy doll. It’s been there for years and it hangs there in the orange gloom cast by a mercury-vapour streetlamp further down the road. Although the clothesline can rotate, the foot-high doll always faces outwards towards the road.

Nov 04

Good Morning America

It’s US election day. The world is waiting. Get out and vote.

The Amazing Race

I absolutely love The Amazing Race (Ch 7, 8.30pm, Thursday), it’s such an awesome show. We’re up to Season 5, Episode 4 this week in Australia… the season has concluded in the US already. I couldn’t resist and downloaded the 4 and 5. I have the rest of the season coming in now.

Of Charla and Mirna, I’m finding the larger cousin pretty annoying. She’s useless! The midget (I figure it’s okay to call her that because she exploits other people’s perceptions of her size to her advantage) is impressive.

At this point in the season it seems it’s most useful to have these skills: knowing how to book the right flights, a sense of direction, physical strength and being able to eat anything.


Well, I was complaining about my e-mail going down early last week, but the entire UNSW unimail system collapsed late last week because of a “massive power outage”. That’s 30,000 accounts rendered inaccessible. The system was down for a few days for most people, and now the people that can access it are complaining about lost mail, which I understand is in the process of being recovered.

Update: Apparently the power outage caused the air-conditioning to fail. If the temperature hits 28°C, failsafe is meant to kick in and the whole server room is meant to shut down. That, it did. Everything shut down. Except, all at once and not going through the proper shutdown procedure. Apparently the mail is stored on a RAID 5 set of hard drives which are themselves mirrored – the drives all lost power at the same time and hence, corruption.

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