Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Reality TV show's fans confused after contestants stop repeating the rules every 8 seconds

Fans of popular show Survivor Australia were plunged into darkness this week as the contestants seemed to be forcibly restraining themselves from reminding viewers the rules of the game every time the camera lands on them. Phrases like "It's a numbers game," "If we lose this challenge we're facing elimination," "The tribes could merge tomorrow, or the next day, or even the day after that we don't know," and "Someone will be going home tonight" were noticeably absent, to the chagrin of some.

"Is it still a numbers game? I don't get it. Is there still an elimination at every tribal council? This is a ridiculous way to treat loyal viewers, it's resembling a season of Lost right now," said loyal fan Betty.

This may be the reason for the lowish ratings the show has been receiving. When compared to 2016's My Kitchen Rules, Survivor's numbers are poor, just over half. Experts say this could have to do with MKR's dedication to mentioning the rules at least once every 8 seconds.

"You'll notice every episode of MKR, every contestant is basically reading from a prompter," Jack Davis, veteran reality TV show blogger said. "'If we screw this up we're going home tonight.' 'This is the semi-finals.' Notice the simplicity, it's a safe haven for fans who come home from work and don't want to have to think about rules, complications, and what I basically call the 'fine print' of a TV show."

If the numbers keep sliding, producers will have little choice but to encourage their contestants to return to normal dialogue.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Man makes it all the way to car holding six-pack by just the cardboard

A Lithgow man told of how incredibly lucky he was over the weekend, when he picked up a six pack of Hahn SuperDry and made it all the way from the counter to his car carrying it by just the two holes in the top of the cardboard packaging.

Josh Hastings was shopping at the LiquorLand in Valley Plaza late Saturday afternoon, when he picked out a six pack, and, mind wandering, made the roughly 80 metre walk through the car park to his ute.

"I wasn't even thinking about it. Normally I'd buy a case and carry it on my shoulder, but I had work Sunday morning, and my brother drinks SuperDry. It was even slightly wet too, from condensation. I carried it back and didn't realise until I was in the car how lucky I'd been."

Some bottle shops have taken to posting signs informing customers the responsibility lies with the purchaser if they carry a cardboard six pack and it tears, resulting in shattered beer and a shattered afternoon. 

"Just last month I was packing the groceries in the car, and I saw a young bloke walk out with one finger in the hole. His six pack fell and shattered. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It really hammers home how fortunate I was." 

It's advised you either cradle your six pack, or ask the person on the register to double bag it, ensuring maximum security. Never carry a six pack by the neck of one bottle, unless you're feeling particularly fortuitous. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Lamington crowned the most iconic Australian afternoon tea snack

In an exhaustive survey conducted over a 3 year period, 20,000 Australian's of all demographic groups have unanimously voted the Lamington as the most iconic afternoon tea sweet treat. Beating off a lacklustre challenge from the Tim Tam, and a non-start from both the finger bun and the neenish tart, Lamington gained a whopping 80% of the vote, with some pundits claiming that a perceived lack of availability makes it all the more special.

"Baker's Delight, Breadtop, Pie Face... None of these establishments regularly stock a Lamington. When someone whips one out at arvo tea, you know they've made the effort to visit Woolworth's and pick up a 20 pack for 8 bucks." said Joe, a Sydney bakery owner.

"We've been stocking Lamingtons since we stole them from New Zealand. We even have a gluten-free version. We sell it with a small paper plate because it's got the consistency of sand, but customers seem to love it."

The Lamington remains largely untouched by zeitgeist food trends of the Instagram generation, with only cursory attempts made at a Lamington Cronut (nicknamed the Cramington, and as ugly as its name), although Lamington Gelato has snuck onto the radar.

However, one burning question this study hasn't managed to answer is this: fill with cream or leave it be?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Office worker "throws coffee mug through monitor" after accidentally closing browser window with 15 tabs open

Jack Horton was fired from his job on Thursday after allegedly losing his temper when he accidentally clicked the "x" button on his browser, with 15 important and information-filled tabs open. He was so incensed he threw a half full mug of coffee at the monitor, which crashed through the other side and burnt a fellow employee on the arm.

Asked why he opted out of the "warn me when I attempt to close multiple tabs" feature on the Chrome browser, he said:

"Because it bloody well pops up all the time. I was reckless, I figured if I am clicking to close the window I know I want to close it, why should I have to confirm my decision?"

Horton was inputting data into one of the tabs, and using the others to research via the internet. In attempting to click the drop down menu on the right, he missed and hit the close button.

"Devastated, and in a blind rage I hurled the coffee mug. When I explained it to the co-worker I injured he agreed not to press charges out of solidarity, but my boss had no choice but to pull the plug. I fear I am un-hirable, who is going to hire a data processor who keeps closing windows accidentally?"

Horton's co-worker, Andy, who was the unlucky bystander during the event, said it could happen to anyone.

"We've all done it, and Lord knows if there was a hot beverage near me the last time I mis-clicked I'd be out on the street too. There's no hard feelings, but it serves as a sobering reminder to re-employ that little warning box. It may be irritating, but it could save your career."

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Woman experiences brutal FOMO after filling Census form out the night before "Census Night."

A Greystanes woman presented to a local medical centre today after she was struck down by the condition "fear of missing out," or FOMO. After being inundated by friends' Facebook statuses maligning the Australian Bureau of Statistics and their handling of "Census night," Jackie Williamson awoke on Wednesday morning to an avalanche of memes she felt no connection to.

After fighting through an hour of work, she was tipped over the edge by water cooler talk about whether non-compliance with the initiative would result in fines to her coworkers.

"I knew I'd be out to dinner on Tuesday night, so I used my log-in and completed my census Monday. No-one was even talking about it until I got home on Tuesday night, and at least 6 friends were commenting on each other's Facebook pages about how the website had crashed and they were all unable to submit their forms."

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson was contacted for comment, and explained the phenomenon is nowhere near as rare as you might think.

"It's not common, but it does happen. In July we had a spike thanks to Pokemon Go, mainly from baby boomers without children who had never encountered the game before. Patients typically present with a drained smartphone battery, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and a sense of loss. It's difficult to treat."

As for Jackie, she's taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.

"I've followed the @SBSComedy Twitter account and am notified every time they send out a Tweet. I've also made 'The Shovel' my homepage, so every time my computer starts I'll be connected to the latest."

Australian man banned from office boadroom after admitting he hasn't watched a single Rio Olympic event

Parramatta man Adam Brian revealed via his Twitter account on Tuesday that he's been banned from attending office meetings, after his work mates discovered he had yet to see a single Rio Olympic event.

"I just don't trust him" superior Joe Walsh said. "Anyone who doesn't support our Aussie boys and girls, at least in the pool, doesn't have a place in the cut-throat world of business."

In his defence, Adam Brian of Parramatta said that the events were on when he was either at work, or looking after his kids.

"The time difference makes it difficult, I am always busy when the best events are on, like the swimming. Every time I come home from work they're replaying the water polo or the archery. I'm as Australian as the next guy, but I really can't get enthused about a bunch of guys splashing after a ball for half an hour."

He also blames some of the exclusion on his name.

"Everyone keeps saying 'never trust a man with two first names.' I think that plays into it, because Kevin Perkins in accounts has never seen an Olympic event in his life, and he's still welcome in board meetings." 

It's unclear if Brian will seek the help of the Fair Work Ombudsman, or if he even has a case. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Gluten Free Golden Gaytime Cake

Gluten Free Golden Gaytime Cake

So Tinman and his Golden Gaytime cake have been setting Instagram and Pinterest alight lately. Unfortunately, his recipe is gluten-filled, and no-one has yet attempted a gluten free version. Well I did, and it turned out significantly better than Tinman's cake (which doesn't appear to have a trace of honey anywhere, inexplicably) and I would recommend my recipe over his, personally. 

But this isn't Cupcake Wars.

You have a choice to make before you begin the cake. You can purchase gluten free biscuits from Woolworth's or Coles, and crush them for the outside of the cake, or you can make your own. There are positives and negatives to both. Making your own takes longer, and is much less convenient, but they taste better than store bought cookies.

If you buy your own biscuits, may I suggest Coles Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits. They have a delicious flavour and really add another element to the cake. Any plain, sweet gluten free biscuit will do though!

Whatever route you decide, this recipe is guaranteed to delight. I have switched the butter cake with a sponge, because sponge cake is just better, and I made it for my Grandma's 90th birthday, so the idea of a heavy cake with heavy icing didn't appeal. 

You can start making the biscuits a day before, and refrigerate the dough overnight, which is what I did, or you can do it on the day. The refrigeration allows the flavours in the dough to develop (apparently), and I did notice a difference in texture and taste between those I cooked straight away, and those I cooked the day after. Day after were more dense and the honey really came out.


1/2 cup shortening, softened and chopped roughly
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups gluten free flour (all purpose or your own mix. If there's no xantham gum in your mix, add half a teaspoon)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbs vanilla
2 eggs

1 cup white sugar
3 tbs water
4 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups cornflour (gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
1/2 tsp salt

115g butter, softened, chopped
2 cups icing sugar
4 tbs Top n Fill caramel

190g butter, softened, chopped
2 cups icing sugar
4 tbs milk
4 tbs cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced)
2. Cream the sugar, honey, and shortening together in mixer until wet and sticky, about 5 minutes on high speed
3. Add eggs individually, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla
4. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix well. Add flour to the wet ingredients gradually, beating on medium until combined. You won't be able to knead the dough, it will be too sticky, but it shouldn't be so wet that it falls off the back of a spoon. If it's too wet, add flour by the tablespoon. Too dry, add milk by the tabelspoon.
5. Refrigerate dough until firm, about half an hour
6. Dollop tablespoon portions of the dough on a baking sheet on a tray, flattening slightly. They will spread out alarmingly so leave enough room.
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until, golden. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack.

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced)
2. Line 2 spring form pans with baking paper
3. In a saucepan place the sugar and the water, and bring to a boil, sitrring every now and then to dissolve the sugar
4. Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff. Beat hard on a high speed
5. Slowly drizzle the sugar mixture in with the mixer running on a medium setting. Beat hard for 3 minutes, then add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined.
6. Sift cornflour and baking powder and salt, and carefully fold in to the egg mixture. Watch this video for a bit of instruction. You want to make sure there are no visible pockets of flour, but don't disturb the egg mixture too much or it will collapse
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Drop the pans heavily on the counter when they are done to stop them deflating (google that if you're unsure). Turn cakes on to baking paper to cool

1. Beat butter in a bowl with electric mixer until pale, add caramel and beat until combined
2. Beat in sifted icing sugar
3. If the mixture is too firm add milk by the tablespoon to soften. If too wet, add more icing sugar

1. Beat butter in bowl with electric mixer until pale
2. Beat in sifted icing sugar, milk, and chocolate until combined

1. Take one of your sponge cakes and flip it, so the top is on the bottom and the smooth bottom is facing up. IMPORTANT: Place the cake on whatever you plan to serve it on. It is difficult to lift and move a gluten free sponge cake once you've already filled and iced it
2. Spread the caramel filling on top of the cake to desired thickness. I spread it about 1cm thick, but you can vary this depending on your taste
3. Crush your biscuits. You cna crush them any size, it depends on your preference. Spread a small amount on top of the caramel filling, enough to provide a slight crunch when you bite in
4. Place the second sponge on top of the first, with the bottom facing up again
5. Ice the outside of the cake with the chocolate buttercream icing. See this link for instructions. Spread the outside first, spinning the cake as you go. It helps to have the cake close to your eye-line and on something that is easy to turn (I just used the cake stand I was presenting it on). Fill in all the gaps and make it nice and smooth with a spatular, knife, or Mike Elder if you can get hold of him
6. Adding the biscuits is the hard and fun part. Make sure they're crushed, they don't look as good if you just place them on the cake fully formed. Sprinkle them over the top, and then grab a handful and gently massage them in to the sides, cleaning up as you go. It's a long process, but tilting the cake can be an exercise fraught with danger and isn't advisable
8. Serve :)