Trying Out ChatGPT – the Artificial Intelligence (AI) App

I had read a little about the so called Artificial Intelligence (AI) app called ChatGPT but I had never looked into it. I had heard that school kids and college students were using it to write essays. A form of cheating no doubt. And that is what many of the news reports I had heard were saying. 

Last weekend I decided to investigate for myself, with the help of my son Daniel who seemed to know all about it: Typical eh? After setting up an account we had a bit of fun with it.

It’s a bit of a long post this due to the story attached, but please bear with it. You may even have a good old laugh…

Trying it out…

First of all we tried it out by asking it to write a 500 word essay about some historical event. Clearly it can handle such tasks as there are plenty of facts out there already on famous people and places. I still wouldn’t say it was a great essay but you could certainly use it as a starting point and then maybe ‘tart it up’ a little.

Next I asked it to write about a far less known series of events surrounding two murders in 1930s Sydney. I knew all about it as I had just read a (well researched) book on the subject. ChatGPT failed miserably I have to say. It came back with what can only be described as lists of people and a few bullet points about them. Very poor but hardly surprising. The internet is not exactly littered with information on the topic I chose. So in the more obscure subjects ChatGPT is really not the all powerful application some people think it is. 

Then, Daniel asked it to write a story. And what it came back with was actually very funny. In fact it had us in tears of laughter. If you know about super heroes and villains and Marvel comic characters, then you will fully appreciate this one. Here it is… 

The Super Villain Story – By ChatGPT

This was Dani’s remit for ChatGPT:
“create a story about a super-villain called Smells who stinks everyone out.”

And here is the short story that ChatGPT came up with:

Once upon a time in the bustling metropolis of Scentopia, there arose a supervillain of truly foul proportions. He was known far and wide as “Smells,” a malevolent figure whose sinister power was not in brute strength or advanced technology, but in his ability to stink everyone out.

Smells, whose real name was Stanley Stenchfield, had not always been a villain. In fact, he had once been a brilliant chemist who had dedicated his life to creating the most exquisite fragrances the world had ever known. He had a natural talent for mixing scents and an unmatched passion for the art of perfumery.

However, one fateful day, disaster struck. An experiment in his laboratory went horribly wrong, causing a catastrophic chemical explosion that left Stanley forever altered. He emerged from the wreckage with a new and horrifying power—he could emit odors of such nauseating potency that they could incapacitate anyone within a mile radius.

Stanley Stenchfield, now Smells, embraced his newfound abilities with malevolent glee. He donned a dark, hooded cloak and a mask to hide his disfigured face, becoming the terror of Scentopia. His first act of villainy was to unleash his stench upon the annual Flower Festival, an event that celebrated the city’s beautiful floral displays.

As the citizens gathered to admire the vibrant blossoms, Smells approached the heart of the festival. With a wicked grin, he released a noxious cloud of odors that turned the joyous occasion into a nightmarish ordeal. People gagged, choked, and fled in terror, their eyes watering as they tried to escape the relentless assault on their senses.

News of Smells’ heinous act spread like wildfire, and the city was plunged into a state of panic. The mayor called for an emergency meeting of Scentopia’s superheroes, the Aromantics, a team of heroes with olfactory-themed powers.

The Aromantics consisted of three members: Floral Fury, who could control plant growth; Perfume Prince, who could create pleasant scents to counteract foul odors; and Breathmint, who had the power to purify the air. Together, they vowed to put an end to Smells’ reign of olfactory terror.

The Aromantics tracked down Smells to his lair, a hidden underground laboratory where he continued to concoct his toxic stenches. A fierce battle ensued, as Floral Fury used her plants to ensnare Smells, Perfume Prince countered his stenches with delightful fragrances, and Breathmint purified the air to weaken Smells’ power.

Smells fought fiercely, but the combined might of the Aromantics proved too much for him to handle. As the battle raged on, a brilliant idea struck Perfume Prince. He used his powers to create an overwhelming scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, a scent so irresistible that even Smells couldn’t resist.

Distracted by the mouthwatering aroma, Smells was momentarily incapacitated, allowing the Aromantics to subdue him. With their combined efforts, they managed to contain him in a specially designed, airtight chamber that nullified his stench.

Scentopia was saved, and Smells was incarcerated in a maximum-security facility specially equipped to neutralize his powers. Over time, the former perfumer’s heart softened as he realized the pain he had caused. He began to use his knowledge of scents to create beautiful fragrances for the city, helping to heal the scars of his past.

And so, the supervillain known as Smells was redeemed, becoming a force for good in Scentopia once more, all while teaching the city that even the most potent of powers could be harnessed for positive change when guided by a compassionate heart.


In Conclusion:

I was quite impressed with ChatGPT – and I am not easily impressed! The speed at which it works right before your eyes is superb and entertaining to watch (well at least for a few times, then it gets boring as these things do). 

If you want an essay written on a subject that is widely documented on the internet such as famous people or well-known events then it actually works quite well. For me it is still not good enough to hand in an essay like this at school, and a half decent English/History/Geography teacher (are there any now?) would spot it right away. But it does provide the basis of a good essay needing only a few tweeks. In such cases, to do that correctly would require reading what ChatGPT has produced and working on it accordingly. So in that case it is not unlike doing all the research yourself. Not quite the end of the world, but still definitely a little like cheating.

Asking ChatGPT about something just that little bit more obscure however, is a complete waste of time. At least from the evidence of my little experiment. 

Where ChatGPT really comes into its own is in writing songs, poems or silly stories. It works well enough at this and is even fun (for a while). It’s easy to see how kids could spend a lot of time playing with it in this context. The short story above is – I thought – quite funny. But as always you need to try these things yourself to see if it works for you – even on a funny short story…

Stanley Stenchfield though… Hahaa.. That was enough for me. And so in line with Marvel super hero/villain names with the first and last names (often) starting with the same letter. If you don’t know, then check some of them out… Peter Parker, Curt Connors, Reed Richards, Green Goblin, Bruce Banner etc etc…

Please share and like this post. And leave a comment if you found it funny.

Watsons Bay to Rose Bay Walk

This weekend we did another leg of the famed Bondi to Manly coastal walk. Not that we are trying to do it all (particularly) but each year the colleagues of Dani’s mum organise the whole walk between them. Small groups doing one or two legs of the 80km route over the weekend. Last year we did Bondi Beach to Watson’s Bay, this year we did Watson’s Bay to Rose Bay. We took the bus to Watsons Bay and another bus back home from Rose Bay. Luckily the weather was perfect.

The official walk was 10km – or approximately 11,800 steps (according to Dani’s mum’s mobile phone app). Overall, with walking to and from bus stops, it came to (about) 12km or 15,000 steps (on the app). Dani had his mate from our building for moral support and they both did well.

Top: Watson’s Bay swimming pool. Bottom: View to CBD from Watsons Bay

Along the route there are quite a few small beaches. It’s hard to call them “hidden” beaches as they are all clearly visible and accessible from this path. But before development of this part of the world they would have been easier to access from the sea.

Some of the small ‘hidden’ beaches on the trail

Along the route we passed a curious old cemetery (see photo below) only a few metres from the sea, and here is its story:
In 1882, religious people from the Society of the Sacred Heart travelled from England and established a school of the Sacred Heart in Sydney. The site, which is still a school, is just inland of this cemetery. The Chapel construction began in 1897 and was completed in 1900. The cemetery was first used in 1891 with one of the students being the the first burial.

Main: View across Rose Bay with Shark Island. Bottom right: Sacred Heart Cemetery

Rose Bay is accessible land, sea and air. Near the ferry wharf is the sea plane terminal (see photos).

Arrive in Rose Bay by land, sea and air

Rose Bay has many shops, cafes and restaurants. Even some small alleys have been artistically renovated and provide extra shops and businesses.  Collins Lane (below) is a fine example.

Collins Lane, Rose Bay – from both ends
Near the Rose Bay Wharf. Sea plane terminal and distance markers

Festival of the Winds

Every year at Bondi Beach the Australian Kiteflyers Society hold the Festival of the Winds to celebrate kite making & flying and all things relating to wind energy.  Incredibly this event has been going for 45 years starting out back in 1978

Last year we saw them setting up on the Saturday but missed the event as it was Dani’s First Communion on the Sunday (see that post here). This year we went down to the beach on the Sunday (last Sunday to be exact – where did that week go?) to see what it was all about.

The main kite flyers had their very large kites in a fenced off area of the beach. It’s hard to call them “kites” really as they are more like giant inflatables. But kites they are. The larger ones needed a more basic parachute shaped kite to be flown first, in order to rise them high enough to maintain flight.

A recent addition to the mural wall at the beach plus some professional kites

There were quite a few stalls set up to sell much smaller kites to the many visitors. And there were plenty of them being flown along the grass bank facing the beach. Not to be outdone we bought one for $15. A small orange octopus (apparently) although it looked more like a jellyfish. There were quite a few of them in the sky already.

After several failed attempts we did manage to launch the octopus. Tricky enough but once up high enough to catch the wind it is possible to fly even these most basic kite designs quite a way up. Some people had their kites almost out of sight they were so high. 

Ours is the orange octopus
Giant sea-life kites: Stingray, Humpback Whale and Whale Shark

As always please share this posts (and any others) that you like. Also please remember to hit the Like button and subscribe for tweets (“Xs” – whatever they are called these days) and/or sing up for emails of all new posts. 

Sound of Freedom – Movie Review

Sound of Freedom is an American film released in 2023 starring Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp. Caviezel plays Tim Ballard, a real-life former U.S. government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia. It is not an easy subject to take on-board and yet the movie has somehow managed to create a certain level of controversy. It is hard – impossible even – to imagine how highlighting the subject of trafficking children for sex can be controversial; but let’s take a look…

The plot is based on Ballard’s real-life ‘Operation Underground Railroad’, an anti-sex trafficking organization. The film was completed in 2018 but not released until almost five years later! (July 4, 2023). Some people in Hollywood – aka ‘Hollyweird’ – clearly weren’t happy with this movie. But we’ll come to that… Maybe you can work it out for yourselves…

Plot (and clearly multiple Spoiler Alerts)

The movie starts in Honduras when Roberto, a poor father of two, is approached by a former beauty queen, called Giselle, who offers to screentest his young children, Miguel and Rocío, to be child models. He takes them to the photoshoot but when he returns his children are gone. It soon becomes apparent that the children were sold to be used as sex slaves.

Tim Ballard is a Special Agent for the Homeland Security Investigations, where he arrests people who possess and distribute child pornography. He speaks to a predator he arrested, (Ernst Oshinsky) and pretends to be a pedophile himself. Once he gains Oshinsky’s trust, he sets up a meeting with a trafficked child, and is able to arrest the man who purchased Miguel.

Tim rescues Miguel and is able to gain helpful information and learns that Miguel’s sister Rocío is still missing. The boy asks Tim to save her. Tim starts looking for Rocío, and his search leads him to Cartagena, Colombia. He meets with a guy known as Vampiro, a former cartel accountant who now – as some sort of redemption – works to save children from sex trafficking.

After speaking with Vampiro Tim sets up a sting operation. They set up a fake island sex resort where trafficked children can be brought for rich ‘clients’. Undercover, they convince Giselle to sell them 54 children. They manage to arrest all of the traffickers, and free the children. However, Rocío is not one of them.

They learn that Rocío was sold to a revolutionary group that are camped deep in the Amazon. Going there to rescue Rocío is difficult because the region is largely unmapped jungle, and any rebel territory is usually a no-go zone. However, doctors are allowed into the region for medical purposes, which gives Tim the idea to pose as doctors. Ultimately the rebels refuse to let more than one of them enter, so Tim enters the area alone and manages to find and rescue Rocío.


It may be easy to see why the movie has been called ‘controversial’. It is a very uncomfortable subject and one that certain powers-that-be perhaps, may be more uncomfortable with than the rest of us. We all know about ‘Epstein’s Island’ and yet no high profile figures have even been named, let alone prosecuted. There are powerful people out there who would rather this subject was not given such a high profile. Where are these children being sent and who is abusing them? These are the only questions that need to be answered when discussing any “controversy” involving this movie.


It is not a high budget movie but it is well made enough to keep you glued to the story. Caviezel is excellent as Ballard, but don’t expect him to win any shiny little statues this coming “awards season”.

The opening scene alone shows you just how easy it is to entice youngsters who may normally be quite wary. Even more scary than that however it shows just how easy it is to trick the parents. And once tricked it is terrifying. A parents worst nightmare.

The film’s theme is already shocking enough and so it does not go in for any sordid or shocking details and does not show any actual abuse. It doesn’t need to. In fact it only ever hints at it and that in itself is frightening enough to make any point. So, while the main theme of the movie is very scary, the film itself is highly watchable.

Everyone should go and see this film. It is good a enough production to warrant the trip to the cinema. But given its gruesome subject matter, the more success this movie has at the box-office then (hopefully) the more it will be discussed. And the more it is discussed one would hope that more will be done to stop this horrific trade in young children.

I give this film 4 stars out of 5 for quality; 5 out of 5 for dealing so well with such a traumatic issue. Go and see it!

As always please share this posts (and any others) that you like. Also please remember to hit the Like button and subscribe for tweets (“Xs” – whatever they are called these days) and/or sing up for emails of all new posts.

From Surf to Recital

It was a busy day yesterday for Dani. Very busy. After an early start with pre-school tennis practice and a full day in the classroom(s) he then went down to the beach for one of his after-school activities – surfing. As if that was not enough, he then got home, showered, put on his formal school uniform and returned to school for his part in one of the school’s recitals. Wetsuit to tie and blazer, in the same hour.

Basically the recital – mercifully (for Dani) only a once a year event – was piano playing and singing. A little concert for parents and a chance for the kids to perform in front of a live audience. That in itself can be a daunting prospect for many kids and certainly character building. Mostly kids a similar age to Dani but also some singing high-schoolers. Some of them were pretty good in fact.

There was even a couple of songs from that old musical Oklahoma. Blimey! That brings back memories. When I was Dani’s age in fact, I can still recall that we performed most (if not all) of the songs from that musical in our school choir. It is for that reason that I knew one of the, perhaps, lesser known songs that was sung last night – The Surry with the Fringe on Top. Hardly a song that anyone would know unless they are a fan of old musicals or, like me, had sung it in school themselves. Not on my hit list either by any stretch of the imagination, but I still remember many of the lyrics. Bizarre. Funny too.

By the way: The kid who sang it must have been about 15 years old and did an excellent job. Just like a stage show star.

Little Monkee (sic)

Dani’s part in the recital was playing a well known song on the piano. I’m a Believer; which as far as most people know was hit song for The Monkees back in the 60s. However what some (me included) may not know is that the song was written by Neil Diamond.

He made a mistake about half way through and clearly lost himself for a second or two. It must have felt like minutes to him. But he pulled himself through it and finished the tune. He was not at all pleased with himself – which is a good thing in a way. But I was proud of him. Why wouldn’t I be?

In an effort to console him I said that he just needed to practice more. Not exactly what he wanted to hear though, given so much of his precious time is already taken up… 

I was clear however that some of the kids really do practice. A lot! Some of them were incredible. 

Reluctant Participant

While I think it’s great that he gets to do all of these things, Dani himself is less than keen. He often moans about having to do some of his activities. What he really wants is to get home sooner after school and sit in front of a screen. Fortunately – for him in the long run (I hope) – he is not getting off that lightly. 

I don’t see it as forcing him to do things. And we are far from being pushy parents. I just want him to have as many opportunities as possible, in as many different activities as possible. I certainly never had the same opportunities. The chance to try/learn these (mostly new) things. Geography played a big part in that of course. That, and the fact that a bike and a football (and jumpers for goalposts!) was all that was needed in my day. Oh, that sounds really old eh? (groan).

I am sure he will thank me for it when he is older but that is not the vibe I am currently feeling. It is becoming a bit of a ‘battle of wills’.  But guess what? He ‘aint winning this one…

A Walk Around Randwick

Well, it’s officially spring in Australia. Although you wouldn’t really know it. Anyway, today we went for a stroll around Randwick town centre (if it is even a “town”). Randwick is one of Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Although we have driven through this area many times we have never really had a close look. Today that all changed…

Despite having a modern shopping centre at it’s heart there are plenty of examples of old architecture in this area. One of my favourites is the art deco Ritz cinema. A fabulous old cinema that is sure to bring back memories to older readers (if there are any).

The beautifully preserved Art Deco Ritz Cinema, Randwick
Dani next to an old projector. Plus some inside detail…
Details, details… These old places are great eh?

Captain Cook.

I wanted a close up of the statue of Captain James Cook I had seen many times from the car while driving past. It’s also worth reading the inscription on one side of the base as it mentions where he died – see photo below.

Pretty soon this statue may be torn down. Really. I actually get the feeling that will happen – either officially or unofficially. They have already removed one in Cairns, Queensland this year and there have been calls to have the statue of Cook in Sydney city centre relocated to a museum. I think I need to get photos of anything to do with ye olde Cap’n before he gets resigned to the rubbish bin of ‘politically correct’ motivated history. There are streets, parks, schools and other buildings named after the famous sailor. I will make it a quest. By my reckoning I think I have just over a month to capture them all… Better get my skates on. More on that one to come I think…

One of only two statues of Captain James Cook in Sydney

This is probably the first statue of James Cook to be erected in Australia and only one of two (that I know of) in Sydney. It was made by sculptor Walter McGill in 1874

Out of the other buildings in the area these (see below) caught my eye. One is an old Presbyterian church building, now boys’ preparatory school. Also, thankfully there are still a few of the old pubs left in Randwick. Always great to see these classically designed refreshment establishments.

Clockwise: Old Presbyterian church, Royal Hotel pub, Captain Cook statue inscription.

Back in the early 1980s, during the Falklands War, I remember hearing reports about the South Sandwich Islands which are in that same part of the South Atlantic.I remember checking the map to see exactly where they were.

I always wondered where the northern sandwich Islands were. Well, it’s where Captain James Cook was killed – and eaten I believe! Although they were just known as the Sandwich Islands back then. Now of course we call them the Hawaiian Islands.