Brendan Nelson apologises over his “sorry” speech

From the ABC news:

Federal Opposition leader Brendan Nelson has issued another very specific apology to a member of the Stolen Generations. In his speech in reply to the national apology this week, Dr Nelson referred to the story of a Victorian Aboriginal elder, Faye Lyman. But Ms Lyman says Dr Nelson did not ask her if he could use her story. When he incorporated it in what she describes as a “toxic speech”, she says he took her comments out of context, misrepresented the way she was taken from her family, and made her feel “stolen all over again”.

She goes on to say:

My Dad was not happy that I was taken […] They cheated us, they cheated me of my life with him. Now, I feel like I’m stolen all over again. My dignity, and I’m ashamed he’s done this to me, I’m so ashamed.

No wonder that hundreds of people turned their back on him as he spoke in response to the sorry motion in Parliament (see picture 7 in the ABC News slideshow).


I’ve not been able to get to blog for the last week, so I thought my first post would be in support of the Federal Governments apology (flash video) for their treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia (the text of the motion is here).

So whilst I am a (very) new Australian I recognise the fact that the people who came from the same island that gave me life were responsible for many of the wrongs visited upon indigenous people here, and for that I say sorry.

As a footnote, if you haven’t yet seen the complete footage of the “Welcome to Country” ceremony that preceded the opening of Parliament I suggest you do so soon, it appears it will expire from the ABC News website on the 11th March. 🙁

Earthquake near Lake Kivu (Updated)

The USGS has reported a magnitude 6.0 quake in the area of Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu is one of three known “exploding lakes“, and Wikipedia says:

The trigger for lake overturns in Lake Kivu’s case is unknown but periodic volcanic activity is suspected. The gaseous chemical composition of exploding lakes is unique to each lake; in Lake Kivu’s case, methane and carbon dioxide due to lake water interaction with a volcano. The risk from a possible Lake Kivu overturn would be catastrophic, dwarfing other documented lake overturns at Lakes Nyos and Monoun, since approximately 2 million people live in the lake basin.

The USGS maps show the epicenter on dry land, but with a possible error margin of over 4 miles it could just be under the southern part of the lake. Even in the current location the USGS shake map shows a large area of the lake that could be affected.

Shake map for earthquake near Lake Kivu, 20080203

The BBC has the first reports of casualties, though thankfully no reports of a lake overturn.

Vacation update

Just a quick update to explain the lack of commits to SVN recently!

I’ve found that Vacation does not handle folded RFC2822 headers correctly (at all in fact) and so I’ve been working on fixing that.

In the process I’ve come across a rather nice dual license BSD/GPL string library called bstrlib ( and I’ve started converting Vacation over to it as it both promises to make life easier for me and safer for you (it has far better security than the standard C string functions).

Current state of play is that my new code for reading email headers seems to work in a test harness and I’ve now got to start porting all the old code over to using it.

It’s a non-trivial update but one that I believe is well worth doing.