Weekly Wrap 708: I transform myself for Christmas with a quiz and a podcast and two uncooperative cats, plus some AI

My week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 December 2023 was a suitably productive wind-down for the 2023 working year. A fun quiz. An interesting podcast. The usual Friday blog post. And positioning myself for a Christmas period of cat-sitting down in Sydney.


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  • In case you missed it, you can watch the replay of  The 8pm Quiz of the Year 2023 Part 1. It won’t be the same without the live interaction with other players, but it will probably still be fun.


  • Digital developments from Canberra 67. There’s always something big in the final days before Christmas, and this year it’s a discussion paper about Home Affairs’ powers over critical infrastructure. The ATO has a new website, more on the news bargaining code, and myGov will get some fixes but not all.

You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.

Media Appearances, Photos, Corporate Largesse

None of these. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear and when livestreams are scheduled. I plan to catch up on posting photos and videos over summer.


Next week may or may not be the last time I feature Elon Musk in this section. I’m doing a weekly update for my own interest, so it’s almost no extra work to copy-paste a few lines. But it does kinda make me look obsessed.

In other news:

  • There’s been a lot to talk this week about newsletter platform Substack declining to remove the so-called Nazis from its customer based. One of the more rational responses is this one from Ken White: Substack Has A Nazi Opportunity. For the record, while I plan to make some of my work available in newsletter format next year, I won’t be using Substack. People have been suggesting Buttondown, but I haven’t looked at it properly yet.
  • I very much enjoyed season 10 round 2 of League of Pigs.
  • And there’s a new video from J Draper: How Accurate Is The Muppet Christmas Carol?.

The Week Ahead

Monday is Christmas Day in Sydney. You won’t be hearing much from me, because I’ll be having a quiet one indoors with the cats I’m cat-sitting.

On Tuesday I’m recording an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast with Snarky Platypus, looking back at the year and stuff. If you’re a supporter with TRIGGER WORDS or a CONVERSATION TOPIC specifically for this episode, please get them to me by 11am AEDT on Tuesday 26 December 2023. The finished podcast will be posted on Friday.

Wednesday is about travelling back to the Blue Mountains after a few days of cat-sitting, which probably means some shopping so I can re-stock the pantry at Wentworth Falls.

On Thursday night it’s The 8pm Quiz of the Year 2023 Part 2, a video livestream starting at 8pm AEDT. Gather some friends at your place, have pencil and paper (or equivalent) at hand, and be ready to answer some questions.

On Friday Saturday I’ll be editing and posting the podcast with Snarky Platypus. And then it’s the long weekend for the new year. I might actually relax for a change.

Further Ahead

I’ve started booking in some of the comedy shows I want to see next year. I am amused to see that so far it’s an all-Asian lineup, but I’m finding that’s where some of the best social commentary is coming from these days. The new wave of Asian-Australian comedians is really, really cool.

[Photo: A Midjourney AI rendering of me from a supplied photograph and the prompt “With a beard as Father Christmas in a winter scene from the Victorian era”.]