Tag Archives: floods

10 Flood related words/phrases I don’t want to hear again for a long time

1. Mother Nature – a gross misrepresentation of agency. At least be prepared to blame God, but better yet, blame the broken world we live in thanks to sin. See here.
2. Grave fears – seems insensitive in the extreme. How about “serious fears” or just “we fear for their lives”…
3. Inundated – seriously. I heard a lady who had miraculously survived a torrent but who had been cut by barbed wire say her legs had been “inundated” with scratches.
4. Essential items – when talking about bread, milk, and toilet paper).
5. Road closed – especially when it comes to people who have been stupid enough to drive through flooded causeways
6. “Channel Seven” – Ben was onto something when he suggested Channel Seven’s coverage seems to be more about self promoting than flood coverage. You don’t have to throw the words “Channel Seven” in front of any noun to indicate possession. Try “our”… or don’t talk about the thing you’re flying in at all. Mention your reporter by name. Humanise yourselves.
7. Rubbernecking – it’s an ok word when it’s original, but it becomes hackneyed very quickly.
8. We are “____” – insert parochial catchcry here – but “Queenslander” is particularly abhorrent. Anna Bligh’s “Remember who we are, we’re Queenslanders” represents most of the things that are wrong with our state. Least of all, because it works.
9. Anything Julia Gillard says – she talks like a robot version of Kath and Kim. Emotionless strine. If Anna Bligh can run rings around you then you’re in big trouble.
10. Inland tsunami/wall of water.

Some flood related puns/cliches for good measure:

1. Anything Noah related – any jokes about pairs of animals or building an ark.
2. “uncharted waters”
3. A new watermark.
4. “pooling our resources”
5. “swamped”
6. “fatal flood” – alliterative, but unoriginal. Headline writers have been using it since the early chapters of Genesis.
7. “burst its banks”
8. Any personification or application of agency to a stream of water that is actually simply taking the path of least resistance from one place to another.
9. Describing flood losses as “down the drain” or “down the gurgler”
10. Descriptions of flood damaged locales as “ground zero” or a “war zone”

The “Sainted Krishna” prize for “Mixed Spiritual Metaphor” goes to Anna Bligh for:

“I hope and pray that mother nature is leaving us alone to get on with the job of cleaning up and recovering from this event.” source: halfway down this story

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How to serve a community during a flood

I was talking to my friend Mike O’Connor on Facebook today. Mike is the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Rockhampton. And I love the way he thinks about how to serve and engage the Rocky community. He’s got a good eye for a media story and keeps Christianity on the agenda in a positive way.

I’ve been watching on Facebook as the Rockhampton flood situation unravelled. Mike has been on the front foot the whole time. And the stuff they’re doing up there, with help from his network of friends around the country, is pretty phenomenal.

Here’s a little video they put together:

Here’s what they’ve got on the agenda as a church so far as Rocky continues to deal with current flooding, and future clean up. From Mike:

What they’re doing
1. We have become the child care facility for anyone wanting to have their kids minded during the clean up
1.a We are going to do evening BBQ to feed people when they pick up their kids
2. We were GIVEN 5 chest freezers (new) yesterday to freeze meals to give to people and when we’re done we can give the freezers away.
3. We are still organising a team of people who can just labour – door knocking an area to assist people in the clean up.
already in place and set to roll when the waters go down.
4. Obviously helping people from church flooded in.

How you can help

This sounds like a CMS ad – but you can help by praying, giving, or going.

  1. Pray for the Rockhampton Church as they seek to serve their city.
  2. There was a team from Brisbane lined up to come to Rockhampton to help – their status is now “unsure.” If you’ve got some spare time in the next weeks or months, and would consider travelling to tropical North Queensland to help out – let me know, and I’ll pass your details on to Mike. They’re particularly interested in hearing from tradesmen of all varieties. Especially electricians – who need to certify each house. But they’ll take anybody.
  3. Give money…

You can give money to the Presbyterian Church’s Flood appeal by Direct Debit:

Presbyterian Church of Queensland
Westpac Bank
BSB 034 010
Account No 131237

The Building I work in…

So, I have a summer job. And for today and tomorrow that summer job involves sitting at home. Not being flooded. This is why. This is the building I am working in.

Maybe Friday won’t be my first day back after all.

Dead birds and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

People get in real trouble if they try to link world events to specific acts by members of specific governments. We saw that with Danny Naliah yesterday. Exhibit B is YouTube Prophetess (or televangelist) Cindy Jacobs – who suggests a bunch of birds are dying because of a decision to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy regarding homosexuals in the US Army.

If we could track God’s direct intervention in judgment like these guys suggest:
a) I’d be a very rich man.
b) He’d be using a better logical connection than “the Governor’s name is B.B and this is happening in a place called B.B.”
c) He’d be doing much nastier things to much nastier places. Queensland is Australia’s Bible belt. We’re the birthplace of Ken Ham. Why isn’t Kings Cross flooding?

H/T Scotteriology.

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Danny Naliah: Australia’s Westboro Baptist

Some people should learn to keep their mouths shut. A few years back Danny Naliah had much of Australian Christendom on his side when he spoke out against Islam and fell foul of Australia’s religious vilification laws… free speech is important. But it seems he has a desire to walk around as a test case. Here’s his idiot filled statement about the Queensland floods.

“Around 8pm on Friday night the 7th of January we had a strong prompting by the Holy Spirit to repent on behalf of Australia. As we started doing so, I was reminded that every time America went against Israel, there was disaster in the land and this has been documented over the years.

Then at once I was reminded of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel in Israel on 14th December 2010.  It is very interesting that Kevin Rudd is from QLD.  Is God trying to get our attention?  Yes,  I believe so.

Also the Lord said to us, “ I will humble Australia and bring her down on her knees. As she has taken pride in my blessing, and man has taken the glory and not given it to Me”.”

Idiot.

Apparently the floods are God’s punishment of K-Rudd for speaking against Israel. This is the same guy who said the bushfires were God punishing Victoria.

I wonder what he’s going to do if New South Wales goes under. And you’ve got to wonder what these people did wrong (using his thinking).

Here’s what Jesus said about people in natural disasters (from Luke 13) as quoted last time Naliah opened his stupid mouth…

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sac­ri­fices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sin­ners than all the other Galileans because they suf­fered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all per­ish. 4Or those eigh­teen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the oth­ers liv­ing in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all per­ish.””

Don’t be one of those classless Christians who meets people’s grief with talk of judgment. I’ve seen murmurings like that from friends on Facebook. And I don’t like it. Sure. Judgment is part of the broken world we live in. Be one of those Christians who meets grief with love, and the promise of hope in Jesus.

That is all.

More flood photos taken with Instagram

I like this app a lot.

The Go-Between Bridge from the Library window

Boats doing their thing on the river

I took a walk down to the pontoon on the way home.

The walkway is pretty covered

It started getting a bit foggy

I managed to get the train home


And I reckon this sign was a little redundant

Watching the flood

At the moment I’m sitting on level five of a building in Southbank, overlooking the river. I’m watching a truck out the window, across the river, on the Riverside Expressway. It’s crawling. The same truck has been in about the same spot for the last fifteen minutes.

I’m also playing with Instagram – an iPhone photo app that I like.



And delving into the Twitter hash tag world for the first time.

These floods are amazing – and weeks of watching the rest of Queensland go underwater have instilled an odd panic in lots of people. The office is pretty bare. Lots of people have left. Rumours are flying (thanks to Sky News) about the impending closure of Brisbane’s public transport system. Nobody is quite sure whether or not that’s happening. Us marketers/PR people are a hardy bunch, and will no doubt be the last out of the doors.

Yesterday my sister-in-law who lives in Toowoomba walked into a shop just before the inland tsunami swept cars and utes around the streets like an over-zealous street cleaner.

My parents-in-law are bracing for a second round of flooding on their farm outside Dalby. It’ll probably go higher than the last one – and doubtless do more damage.

These floods are crazy. Crazy.

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Mothering instinct

You know what gets my goat. People who blame “mother nature” for things like massive bushfires and floods. 

How come “mother nature” is allowed to be evil and nasty and yet atheists and other anti-Christian philosophers say their big problem with the Christian God is that an “all loving, benevolent God” would not allow suffering.

Other thoughts:

I don’t know where the idea of God being “all loving” is – I think he’s holy and righteously angry as well. It’s in the bible people. 

Fires and floods don’t seem to be particularly “motherly” unless you’re a really nasty parent.

Why is it “more rational” to attribute this sort of disaster to “mother nature” than to God? I confess I don’t see “mother nature” out there trying to find followers. 

If there’s one thing that annoys me more than Christians trying to piggyback their causes cynically on the back of a disaster it’s hippies doing the same. If I hear one more hippy claiming that these fires are proof that we need more stringent carbon targets I will scream. My thoughts on climate change not withstanding the idea that Australia, a piddling island nation in the scheme of things, has much influence on the climate anyway is ridiculous. And calling for something that will cost Australian jobs while people are struggling with massive loss of life and a looming recession is not very sensitive. It could be political suicide though. On second thoughts. Go for it Greens. And invoke “mother nature” as you do it.

Lies, dam lies, and statistics

The mighty Ross River is filled to bursting and the dam gates are being opened to reduce pressure on the dam wall. 

This presents a sticky situation for the Townsville City Council – flood the streets or risk the structual integrity of the dam. Tough call. Not what I’m writing about though.

When I moved here I was really excited to be living life on the edge. Crocodiles, stingers, etc – you know the drill. And the dreaded Ross River Fever – named for Townsville’s iconic waterway. Or so I thought. Until a couple of old, wise, boaties in Hinchinbrook “set me straight.”  They laughed at me. To my face. They told me that Ross River Fever was named after a Ross River in Darwin. I was adamant they were wrong.  But they swore black and blue that the it were true… and I believed them. Any time it came up in conversation at future points I spouted this fallacy fed to me by two wizened fishermen. I staked my reputation on it. I scoffed at those ignorami perpetuating the viscious slur on Townsville’s reputation. I apologise. Ross River Fever is in fact named after the river in Townsville. For that we can be truly thankful. 

I’ve learned a lesson here. Never believe a fisherman, and if something sounds dodgy you should look it up on wikipedia. 

Perhaps Bill Gates needs to visit Townsville to release a swarm of mosquitoes on those paid to promote the city, who clearly know so little about the local landscape.

Another Test

I’ve changed a setting. I tried showing off my messy desk last time. This time here’s a picture of one of the Townsville weirs (Aplins Weir) from this week.

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Life in the Tropics


“Life in the Tropics” is our tagline for tourism and relocation promotion here in the ‘ville. It’s one of those suitably generic lines that is meant to be partly aspirational and partly functional. I don’t like it. I do like life in the tropics. We have water, sunshine and temperate winters. And air conditioning. Suffer in your jocks Melbournians (literally).

There are plenty of bad things that come along with the good. When I moved here an ex-Townsvillian friend from Brisbane warned me of several of them. Lets just call her Donna. That’s her real name. She told me that if the crocodiles, stingers, tropical diseases, cyclones, or sunshine didn’t kill me – I’d probably die due to lack of water. She said “it never rains in Townsville”…

For two many years Townsville was known as Brownsville. See what I did there. Two instead of too. I did that on purpose. Townsville started receiving pretty regular rain, and looking green all round, for a couple of years before the rest of the world caught on. Townsville is actually nice. And we have secured water supply. More than four times the size of Sydney Harbour.

What we no longer have is the 300 days of sunshine we claim in our marketing material. There is no way that’s true. Well, it might be, depending on your definition of “sunshine”… I think it rained on about 90 days in my first full year here. And it has rained pretty regularly since.

But I digress. I can put up with that sort of hyperbolic description of tropical life from a jaded ex-resident trying to scare me. But when the same sort of thing comes from a Channel Ten reporter bundling all of those together in the name of “news” I get upset. It creates work for me for one, and number two – it’s shoddy reporting.

So reporters of the world – you can’t have it both ways. Townsville can’t be “brownsville” on one hand and a flooding tropical metropolis on the other.

I don’t even know why I wrote this post. But it was cathartic.