The MON Blogs is Dead, Long Live Haloumi Parmigiana

After a long period of self imposed blogging exile the MON Productions team has turned it’s attention to blogging about food.

For a tasty treat visit the new MON Blog, Haloumi Parmigiana.

The financial crisis

Just some thoughts on the Wall St financial crisis.

Following the Second World War geo-politics became dominated by the Cold War between Communist and Capitalist ideologies.

When the Cold War ended free-market capitalism was often seen as the victorious ideology and successive Governments in the US and around the world pursued free-market economic policies and de-regulatory practices.

It seems however, that just as the fall of the Berlin Wall left communism discredited as a political and economic ideology, so to has the recent financial crisis, the result of a lack of effective regulation and oversight, discredited the notion of pure free-market ideology.

Seems like the answer to the debate between socialist style Government control and intervention and free market capitalism is not about one extreme or the other, but as always somewhere in the fuzzy middle.

WordPress iPhone App

I’m writing this using the WordPress iPhone app, although running on my iPod touch. At the moment I’m tethered to a wifi connection but it does actually seem kind of cool.

I can blog about train delays now – except of course if I’m stuck in a tunnel with no mobile coverage.

I’m also getting pretty sick of typing this post on the soft keyboard. In three paragraphs! Still, it’s far better than my old Palm and it’s grafitti… Enough for now!

Oh, and a photo of Dino is attached because I can!


Is Lazy Town the new Captain Planet?

Obviously, they are fairly different shows, both Captain Planet and the new to ABC show Lazy Town. I think Captain Planet addressed more macro issues of the environment and socio-economic problems as both a cause and effect (which could be defeated using classical elemental rings). However, promoting eating vegetables, drinking water and exercise are other important issues in (at least 1st world) society. It does this better than any initiative, commercial, show (or a complaint of a show, such as the news) does to tackle what is proclaimed by the government (and, of course, the news) as an epidemic.

But the comparison goes deeper than just against issues. It’s wacky. The way it’s stylised is really crazy. If you ever wanted to study colour grading, puppeteering, CGI, prosthetics or a range of film techniques you wouldn’t need to go any further. Bright, bold colours and entertaining ways of showing fruit (in individual ice-cubes, anyone?) are actually more interesting than it seems. If you can get past the long monologues of Robbie Rotten (or the original Icelandic name Glanni Glæpur), his character is insane – is he puppet? Is he human? Where does the prosthetic stop and the man begin? Why doesn’t he change clothes normally, rather than use a contraption? Why don’t they ever know it was him?

And if I ever create a hero that flips everywhere possible, is named Sporticus, and is indeed the creator and writer of the show (he was a famous gymnast in Iceland) then I’ll consider this life a life well lived. As a deus ex machina of a hero, Sporticus is just as good as Captain Planet. Maybe even better. He has a moustache and his own blimp. And doesn’t need to be summoned, his crystal on his shirt will do it for him.

So it’s wacky, it has a message. How many people my age remembers the Captain Planet theme song, I wonder? Perhaps this time in 10 years or so there’ll be a ‘retro’ nostalgia to Lazy Town, people singing the theme song and laughing (or many of the other Eurovision-sounding songs). I know I’ve got the theme song stuck in my head already. Lovely.

Mobisnap isn’t Real

A big hello to everyone who has sent me Mobisnap related e-mails. It’s really cool to see that this blog does get visitors. I hate to break it to you though, Mobisnap isn’t real! It was simply the interface design created for a university project last year. The main focus of the project was the design of the application and how it affected usability and the user experience.

Mobisnap was never intended to be coded (by me at least). But I’ve always liked the idea of a mobile photo editor and I’d love to see it in action…

So therefore, if anyone wants to take this project on-board I’d love to support it! I’d like to see it developed using the Official iPhone SDK (it can’t be that hard to raise $99 online can it?). If there is enough interest, it might make a cute little open-source project. :)

Scroll back through the DECO1200 category for more information on the application design, I’m sure it will be useful!

Post comments with ideas, suggestions!


Hello. It seems as thought I’m back. You heard right. Thought.

Hmmm perhaps I should think of some content next time.

New Blog Theme

As an interim step to relaunching the MON Blogs, I’ve updated the blog theme to be more “cool” and “vibrant” etc. Do you like? It’s a slight modification of Sandpress, get it here.

A Quick Note

Hi readers,

Due to the incredible amount of spam that has been hitting the site recently, we’ve changed the comment publishing policy to be moderated before publication. So those of you leaving legitimate comments, don’t fear, they will be published.

2008: The Year in Preview

Okay, so we’ve been quiet recently. I’m going to try and blame the Christmas and New Year holidays, work, The Orange Box and CityRail… But I really can’t. The truth is that we’re all lazy and can’t be bothered to blog.

As you can see, Colonel is a bit stir crazy from all the time off. So we’re going to try and get into a more regular blogging pattern from now on. He could post a trip-report of his world tour, but “my photos are at home”, he says.

Of course, like most new-years resolutions, saying we’ll blog more often has been made to be broken.

Futher to tradition, I also tend to begin the year by posting ideas for the website in coming months. But of course I don’t get to them. On the current MON to-do list is a redesign of the blogs. The current WordPress theme has served us well since 2005, but it doesn’t support WP Tagging, the sidebar has become an unruly list of dates (which no-one cares about [much like the blog itself]), and quite honestly it just needs a good update :) So that hopefully will come soon. I have some Photoshop mockups of what I want it to look like. I just have to implement it using the Plaintxt Sandbox theme as a base. In the meantime, here is a sneak-peek at what’s to come on The MON Blogs.

Also in MON Update news, there is a longer term goal to post content more regularly to the site. Hopefully with the benefit of people actually seeing it. If anyone does read this, please post some opinions of the rest of the MON Site. Pretty please?

The Ballad of Bobby the Cheesemaker

Bobby made cheese. Not just any cheese but the finest cheese in all the land. That was, until the arrival of the Dark Wizard Von Chunsagona.

The Dark Wizard was not just any ordinary cheesemaker. He was an insane, cheese making machine with robotic arms and milk as black as his heart. The Dark Wizard wowed the villagers with cheese so tasty it made roses smell like rotting flesh in comparison. Bobby was driven out of town, his cheese making deemed substandard and ordinary.

Bobby ventured high into the Patagonian Mountains, his life’s works and accomplishments a distant memory, his back hunched over and riddled with arthritis, his pantaloons long abandoned and replaced with plain trousers, lacking in style as they were. Onward he climbed into the deepest depths of the mountains, the chill air sapping at his strength.

It was there he found a cave which he climbed into for shelter. The cave was small and Bobby had to duck down low and crawl through the entrance. But once inside he gazed upon a wondrous sight. Bobby had stumbled upon an ancient secret, a secret that had once been guarded by an order of Religious Warriors that had long since died away. For thousands of years the secret had laid unguarded but now Bobby had uncovered it.

Back in the village the peasants grew fat and became addicted to the Dark Wizard’s delectable cheese. They craved his Gouda and Swiss, and fought over his Blue Vein. Soon dark clouds began to form around the town. The villagers became more and more agitated. Fights began to break out and soon a great fire began to rise up in the town centre. Hotter and hotter the fire grew while the Dark Wizard concocted more and more dark and delicious rolls of cheese.

Then, out of the fog, mist and smoke that had embroiled the town emerged Bobby, returned from the cave and sporting the flashiest pantaloons crafted out of the finest mole hair and embroidered with jewels and cheese making equipment the likes of which had not been seen since the time of Alexander the Great and sometimes sheep herder. The people cowered from Bobby as he passed by, his pants jingling as he walked, clutching a banjo, whose origins had long been forgotten and whose inclusion in this story was a late decision, above his head.

Slowly he began to play the banjo and the smoke, clouds and mist began to clear. Louder and louder his music became until nothing else could be heard. Then a second banjo appeared, then a third and a fourth. Higher and higher Bobby stacked the banjos until no less then 8 (and no more then 9) had been stacked. Bobby’s hands ran with blood as he furiously played the stack of banjos.

Then out of nowhere Bobby produced a roll of Tasty cheese that had been forged in the pit of a great volcano. With expert precision he began to strum the banjos with the cheese and as he did so the shaved pieces tumbled atop a salad his feet had been preparing while he played. More and more cheese was shaven until the roll had been shaven down to a perfect arrow. And it was with this arrow that Bobby speared himself a moose that had been minding its own business and lofting the moose with the arrow he strummed the banjos with the moose’s antlers.

The villagers cried out as one, as the music Bobby had produced reached its dramatic crescendo for at the final note Bobby made his Coup d’état. He thrust an Atomic Bomb into the mouth of the moose and strummed the most beautiful note the Universe would ever know… the note from the long forgotten Double Atomic Whipsnake.