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Camping at Halls Gap, in the Grampians, I got up early one morning to check out the locals birds. Walking across the road to some paddocks near a few houses I watched several deer resting after a nights feeding. Apparently there are 6 species of deer in the forests and associated farmland in Victoria and they number in the tens of thousands. It seems incredible that I have only seen them a few times over the years. I spend so much time in the forests and yet I never see them. There is still so much to be aware of when walking around. As soon as the general campground started to wake up these two quietly wandered back up the slopes and into the forest.
Someone announces "It's Earth hour!"
We all practice being one
In the dark
No-one can see
You're a Goth
‘Uncle Wayno (having a sit down) #392’
Something from 2013
Fighting for LGBTI refugee rights: the case of Nima & Ashkan Amy Frew, Human Rights Legal Centre lawyer involved with Nima and Ashkan’s case will speak at 7pm, at the RAC meeting on Monday March 21, 540 Elizabeth St Melbourne - we will also play footage of Nima and Ashkan explaining their situation. *note meeting(...)
What will it take to Let Them Stay? RAC public forum: All welcome! When: 6:30pm Monday 4th April 2016 Where: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, Melbourne Speakers include: Adam Bandt MP - Australian Greens Katie Robertson – lawyer for asylum seeker babies born in Australia, Reza Yarahmadi – Refugee activist, 3CR presenter & Iranian Kurdish Refugee After the(...)
ICYMI – As we approach Easter, lots of Catholic Churches (and maybe others) cover up crucifixes, statues etc for the final week of Lent. St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney is quite a sight at the moment, with probably hundreds of purple cloths. Even if you’re not a Christian or are actually an atheist, it’s really interesting to take a look.
“Would you like to suggest a word that makes you feel good, or makes you feel happy?” I was asked by a woman on Walker Street, Redfern today. She was one of the artists participating in the Redfern Biennale today. I didn’t look too closely at work, but she told me she was adding the different words people suggested to the artwork itself. After a moment of deep thought, I said “family”, as I was planning a Google Hangout with my family who lives in Lismore later this afternoon.
Until I received an invitation to attend from a friend I hadn’t realised the Redfern Biennale had been staged twice before.
The concept is simple:
We invite you to view readymades, sculpture, multi media, new media, painting, found object, anything and everything placed along Walker Street, Redfern between Cooper and Redfern Streets.
The Redfern Biennale, attracting the work of 50 practicing artists and Housing Commission artgroups, is an outdoor, eclectic, democratic free-for-all happening, that will just happen on the day. There is no Council approval; we are just placing the work on the streets for seven hours, rain, hail or shine.
I love the slightly anarchic approach to say they had no council approval for this.
Here are some of the photographs I took as I walked around this afternoon of the works I really liked.
I though some of the works were very good; others not as good. But interesting, nonetheless. I also thought it was great to see well known Sydney arts figure, Damien Minton (formerly his own gallery, now at Watters) supporting this....
More than 7000 riders in 34 locations around the country will tomorrow (March 20, 2016) take part in the annual Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer to raise awareness and funds for mental health issues.
And it’s not too late for you to take part. Although some online registrations have closed, you can still register on the day. Check out the location closest to you on their website.
Among those attending will be motorcyclist and Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator for Victoria, Ricky Muir, who will participate in the ride that starts at the Clock Tower in Sale, Gippsland, at 10am.
As ex-detainees and detainees, firstly we should remember we are one of the most vulnerable people in Australia who have experienced physical and psychological trauma as well as ongoing discrimination and deaths in mandatory detention in Australia. We also need to be really careful of those who are exploiting us, trying to promote their causes by using our stories.
In recent times I have witnessed there are so many non- refugees collecting and publishing our stories to “humanise” our struggles. There are some underlying issues about many story telling platforms created by non-refugees and mostly white people. One should question and thoroughly examine these issues and question those who control and transmit our stories.
As an ex-detainee I highly recommend:
Firstly: we as ex-detainees should not participate in any platform that is established by non- refugees. Any platform should be determined by us and run by us.
Secondly: we should not share our personal stories with those who are behind the oppression.
Thirdly: we should have a strong strategy to protect those ex-detainees who are seeking asylum not to jeopardise their protection status in Australia because our families are still back in the country facing persecution and also those who haven’t been granted permanent visas are at greater risk of deportation.
DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN STORY TELLING PROJECTS UNLESS IT IS CONTROLLED OR RUN BY US. IT IS NOT ABOUT ‘OTHER’, IT IS ABOUT US
Finally – fellow ex-detainees and detainees, it is not only the governments; the refugee sector has polarised us and damaged us. It is about their interest rather than our lives–what have we achieved last 20 years in Australia? NOTHING- because the refugee sector is headed by non-refugees last two decades. Stop letting others to dominate our lives and tell us ‘how we should live and what we should do’. We ex-detainees and detainees should build strong solidarity within us and...
Click through to the site to view the cartoon.
Media Release 19 March 2016
Tarkine in Motion is an environmental arts project by the Bob
Brown Foundation. Over the Easter weekend, in March 2016, more than
one hundred Australian artists will visit Tasmania’s Tarkine to
explore and capture the place, contributing art, images and film to
the Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign. Over four days, artists will
immerse themselves in the landscape, supported by volunteers at
seven base camps from the remote coastlines, to forests threatened
by logging to rafting rivers with drones.
Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said, “This year Tarkine in Motion project is bigger in size and scale of the operation. From windswept coastlines on the coast to the largest temperate rainforests in Australia, we are excited that 120 artists will locate in several diverse locations through the Tarkine. Through the experience and expression of place by the artist, our Foundation can spread to the world the urgent plight of the Tarkine,” Jenny Weber said.
“The great body of work that will come from Tarkine in Motion will share with the people of our great cities what stands to be lost forever if we don't act to protect it. Artists are able to convey the Tarkine’s beauty, fragility and threats to a wider audience. Audiences will be exposed to the remarkable place through the remarkable effort of more than 100 artists in action,” Jenny Weber said.
“Fundraising for Tarkine in Motion is underway through the crowd-funding platform Pozible to fund the project. The Bob Brown Foundation is fundraising to support the artists and volunteers on location in the Tarkine. Costs include accommodation, transport, food and e...
IT’S BEEN ONE of the worst-kept secrets for years: the identity of the person the government was investigating in 2013 when it served the secure email firm Lavabit with a court order demanding help spying on a particular customer.
Ladar Levison, owner of the now defunct secure email service, has been forbidden since then, under threat of contempt and possibly jail time, from identifying who the government was investigating. In court documents from the case unsealed in late 2013, all information that could identify the customer was redacted.
But federal authorities recently screwed up and revealed the secret themselves when they published a cache of case documents but failed to redact one identifying piece of information about the target: his email address, Ed_Snowden@lavabit.com. With that, the very authorities holding the threat of jail time over Levison’s head if he said anything have confirmed what everyone had long ago presumed: that the target account was Snowden’s.
Document from the Lavabit case mistakenly made public by the
government showing Edward Snowden’s email address was the target of
the 2013 investigation.
The documents were posted on March 4 to the federal court system known as Pacer as part of Levison’s long battle for transparency in the case that ruined his business. They w...
It's a familiar polling story. The long-serving government
is looking rough around the edges and the Opposition has a moderate
but handy polling lead. The Premier is on the nose and has
been rating badly for years, the Opposition Leader is well regarded
and leads as preferred Premier. There are rumours and
rustlings, and finally a challenger indicates potential interest in
the job, should his/her colleagues so desire it, and says that the
current leader can't win the election. We all know how this
Only in Western Australia, it's the Opposition Leader, not the Premier, who has been informally challenged - and even more strangely, the putative challenger isn't even in parliament. In an extension of the Campbell Newman doctrine (in which a new leader can be drafted by the party from outside the parliament in order to take over), it is now possible for someone to raise an interest in the leadership when they:
* aren't in the parliament or serving in any current political role
* have no seat for which they are reasonably assured of preselection
* aren't being drafted by the party's current organisation or the parliamentary party, and whether anyone involved in the drafting is even a member of either isn't totally clear
The putative challenger, Stephen Smith, is, of course, a former Federal Minister. Smith was well enough regarded as Foreign Minister and then Defense Minister in the Rudd-Gillard governments, but the former is a role in which even duds often shine. At some points Smith was even talked about as a possible "nightwatchman" Prime Minister to resolve the Rudd/Gillard conflict. At the moment, it looks like Smith's challenge is being emphatically shut down, but should Opposition polling worsen, he has his foot in the door for another go down the track.
Quality public polling in Western Australia has been scarce since I covered it in an article called...
Fairfax media, one of the few large non Murdoch/Fox controlled media companies in Australia, has announce the sacking of 120 ‘journalists’. Fairfax owns mastheads such as ‘The Age’ and the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’. There has been a perception in the public that online newspapers (and commercial media in general) resemble nothing more than an Facebook group, with most content simply shared without checking sources or copied and pasted with little thought. So it turns out that copying without thought can be done easily and cheaply by computers.
At least you will have more time for Facebook now.
While doing mindless tasks on the Fanny Farm, like dragging Macrocarpa branches around to clear the deck for the house building and stacking it on the back of the ute for removal, I tend to do a lot of thinking to keep the brain engaged…… and it occurred to me that very few people ‘get it’ when it comes to the predicament we here at DTM know as the Energy Cliff.
Now I expect nearly all my readers would know what I’m talking about, but likely have the same problem whenever trying to get people to understand what we are on about. So I came up with a metaphor that hopefully simplifies the concept for the masses.
I’m going to break some rules here, but the idea of this metaphor is not to come up with an accurate mathematical and/or physical model, rather a simple way to explain why we are fast running out of energy, even as we extract ever more oil and coal out of the ground.
It’s generally accepted that way back in the 1930’s the ERoEI of oil was 100:1; which means that for every unit of energy invested in finding, extracting, and refining this oil, 100 units were available to do work. You know……. stuff like build the 20th Century!
This is where I start breaking rules. I know that ERoEI is not an efficiency number, but I’m going to use it that way because in many ways it is like efficiency. And for ease of using numbers, I’m going to say that that 1930’s oil had an energy efficiency of 100% – and yes, I know nothing has an efficiency of 100%. Just bear with me….. this isn’t an exercise in maths and science, it’s a thought provoking process.
If you are unfamiliar with the energy efficiency calculations for a whole system, rather than a single part of that system, then the way it’s done is that you multiply th...
February 2016 was the hottest month ever measured on Earth. The Earth broke a heat record for the 10th month in a row in February, and it was broken it by a record margin as well.
The heat was nothing short of amazing with Alaska averaging out at over 6 degrees C above normal. That is nothing less than stunning. The odds that this warmth is part of a natural cycle have been shown to be at least 1500:1. More likely several thousand to a million to one. This heat is the result of rising greenhouse gas levels and the strong El Nino in the Pacific. El Nino events are always warm years globally, but to beat the record by this much is certainly caused by greenhouse gas levels being the highest in millions of years.
More from NOAA:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2016 was the highest for February in the 137-year period of record, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F). This not only was the highest for February in the 1880–2016 record—surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33°C / 0.59°F—but it surpassed the all-time monthly record set just two months ago in December 2015 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). Overall, the six highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past six months. February 2016 also marks the 10th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken.
The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.31°C (4.16°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest February temperature on record, surpassing the previous records set in 1998 and 2015 by 0.63°C (1.13°F) and surpassing the all-time single-month record set in March 2008......
Over the past few months we have been running competitions to win motorcycle gear through our weekly trivia quiz, but this week it’s just for fun.
One reader discovered that you can do the test again and score a perfect 10 out of 10 to win the weekly prize.
You see, as you answer each question in the quiz, the right answer is highlighted with green and the wrong answer in red.
So if you keep a tally of the correct answers, you can do the test again and get a perfect score.
Hmmm, we didn’t see that one coming, so we’ve closed down the competition until we can work out how to prevent people doing the test twice.
Most readers of this blog know I love travelling every winter
(July); I spend the time exploring and photographing churches,
synagogues, concert halls, art galleries and other cultural
edifices. I might spend one day per year admiring mountains and
lakes, but one day of nature is enough!
My absolute passion is to examine café culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Examine The Blue Train in Paris; Ritz and Escoffier; Les Deux Garcons, Cezanne and Zola's favourite brasserie in Aix-en-Provence; Lyons Tea Rooms; The Four Cats Restaurant in Barcelona; and every other place I can inspect.
Now consider London. A small restaurant, The Ivy, was opened by Abel Giandellini in 1917 as an unlicensed Italian café in London. The restaurant expanded into the current West St premises in 1929 and was run by the same owner.
Giandellini selected both the location and the late closing time carefully. The Ivy was sited on a corner position in the heart of London's theatre land. And the closing time enabled clients of the nearby theatres to dine and drink after the shows finished. These were two very smart decisions. Over the decades, it has remained a favourite of acting stars and other celebrities. Customers enjoyed spotting stars at leisure eg Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Marlen...
2PP Aggregate: 51.0 to Coalition (-0.3 in a week, -2 in three
Coalition would win election "held now" with much reduced majority
The downwards trend I've been tracking in the Coalition's aggregated federal polling has continued. It's not so much the case that the polls keep getting worse, but more that it was longer since they got a really good one. In the last two weeks Essential (which has leant to Labor on the whole since Turnbull became PM) has put out a couple of 50:50s, and Newspoll (which in its new incarnation has also leant to Labor, though not by much) has followed up its shock 50:50 from a fortnight ago with more of the same. Morgan had a very slight improvement for the government, up to 53:47 by last-election preferences, but this may be more evidence that its house effect is hanging around than anything in the government's favour. Anyway with all these included my aggregate now falls to 51.0% to Coalition - more or less exactly where it was in the immediate aftermath of last September's removal of Tony Abbott. Here's the smoothed tracking graph:
I'm lapping up the boho beauty of this lush tropical north
Queensland baby shower for my friend Jess. Gorgeous photography by
Tasvinda captures the sweetness of the afternoon in all its
steamy gloriousness. Jess gives us the goods on the lovely event
she created (omg - the cake!):
Editorial by Robert J Lee in Brisbane
An all night Parliamentary debate on Thursday resulted in changes to the much maligned Vegetation Management Act going to a committee which will report to Parliament after June 30.
Demands by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to wind up the committee’s findings in one month were defeated. Trad said she feared “panic clearing” by farmers while the committee sought public input, however a succession of LNP and KAP members argued strongly against denying affected landowners any say over such draconian laws.
The LNP and Katters Party, to defeat Trad’s motion, were supported by the much needed vote of Cairns independent Rob Pyne, who deserted the Labor Party a week ago. Another former ALP member now independent Billy Gordon whose vote was desperately needed by his indigenous constituents was nowhere to be heard.
Gordon voted on both occasions with the Government to stop tree clearing. His sole aim is to be readmitted to the Labor Party and he will sell his soul for it to happen.
Cape York Land Council Chairman Richie AhMat ten days ago pleaded with Gordon to vote against the new law...
SURVEY PUTS CANDIDATES ON THE RECORD
A survey of candidates running in the Sunshine Coast Council elections has revealed commitment on a range of key issues, including upholding the principles and intent of the planning scheme.
Conducted by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, survey responses were received from just over half of those contesting the 19 March local government elections. Of the incumbent Councillors vying for re-election, only Councillors Cox and Rogerson (divisions 3 and 10) failed to respond. Asked their position on planning, sustainability and environmental matters, candidates shared similar views with most detailing reasons to reinforce their stance.
When it came to supporting the current planning scheme gazetted in May 2014, Mark Jamieson was unequivocal in his ‘yes’ response as he seeks another term as Mayor. Additional comments in support of the scheme ranged from Division 5 candidate Yvonne Dalziel’s concern about the lack of surveying for sensitive areas and...
72-year-old man charged after firing shots at his Capalaba residence
In local news, a 72-year-old man has been charged after firing two shots at his residence in Capalaba on Thursday afternoon.
Police were called to a shed at the Cassia Court residence, following reports a man had locked himself inside, allegedly armed with a gun.
The man surrendered himself to police at around 8pm last night.
Nobody was injured during the incident.
Stop the War on Refugees Rally
Dawn service at 6.30 am at Blackheath War Memorial
Mt Victoria War Memorial at 8.45 am (including wreath/book laying)
Main service (including wreath/book laying) at 10.45 am at the rear of the Blackheath War Memorial in The Gardens.
You are invited to lay a wreath or book to be given to a local School at any of these Services.
No RSVP is required.
Breakfast will be served at the Ivanhoe Hotel from 7am to 8.30am for $12.50 per person.
I realised yesterday, with a strange, contrary mix of emotions, that I now have more people subscribed to my book club than Fairfax has journalists on its payroll. A lot more, actually. The latest round of layoffs, another 120 jobs to go out of an already shrunken newsroom would have landed as a heavy blow in Sydney and Melbourne. I have no idea what effect the cuts will have in Brisbane, but I can"t imagine we"ll dodge the bullet again. It"s not just the newsroom, of course, the freelance budget has also been slashed. You can expect a lot more opinion pieces on the op-ed page to be written by politicians, lobbyists and the various urgers and bagmen pimping for vested interests and what they used to call in the 1930s “the money power”.
My Saturday morning column in the Herald was cut two weeks ago, although there was no announcement made. Wendy Harmer spilled the beans when they gave her the arse as well. It was gratifying to be a trending topic for a couple of hours as readers vented their anger, and then moved on to the next outrage-of-the-moment. As the media world contracts, I can feel my own acceleration away from it gathering pace. This has been coming for years, and I"ve been preparing for it for a long while now, but of course doing everything it just the right moment is a matter of timing.
I sat down to do some schedule planning yesterday morning, before the Fairfax announcement, looking at which books would be finished when, and even more importantly at what point they might start turning a profit if they"re ever going to. It looks like Cairo should be ready for distribution to bookclub members by mid April. It"ll be free and exclusive at jbismymasternow.com before dropping into the online retailers. But it"s not really meant to make mone...
Featuring: Clare Cowley, Emily Devine, Bennett Gordon, Sara-Jane Griffiths, Ree Hegh, Briony Law, Olivia Lacey, Corinne Sylvie and Corpse Veronese
Artists will interpret and respond in their chosen medium to the statement: In life there are many beginnings, in the end…
Exhibition runs from the 18th – 29th of March.
Opening night Friday the 18th of March, 6-9pm.
Indecent Exposure in Mount Isa
Authorities in Mount Isa have urged women not to walk alone after reports of flashing and inappropriate touching.
CCTV footage suggests two men are responsible for the incidents, and police have asked the community to help identify the suspects.
Uniformed and plain-clothes police will increase patrols around Mount Isa pubs and clubs this weekend in response to the incidents.
Student Campaigners Underpaid
Evocca College to close a third of campuses
Training school Evocca College will close a third of its campuses, cutting more than two hundred jobs in response to the federal government’s crackdown on VET fee help loans last year.
Around nine hundred students will be affected by the closures with the option to transfer campus or study online.
Queensland campuses affected include Browns Plains, Morayfield, Southport, and Woodridge.
Half a million attend Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art
Queensland Government to Restrict FIFO Workers
The Queensland Government has announced a new policy of not allowing mines to hire a workforce made up entirely of fly-in-fly-out employees.
From later this year, new Queensland mines must look to local communities first, before relying on travelling workers.
The policy also includes mandatory workforce plans for resource companies to maximise skills development and job training.
Queensland Government Introduces New Vegetation Laws
Federal Group would lose its monopoly on poker machines in pubs and clubs and a special high rollers casino licence would be created for MONA’s proposed development, under a Tasmanian Government draft policy. • Mercury: Small step in the right direction
The Tasmanian Government’s Public Trustee is a member of the Financial Services Council, an industry lobby group which donated almost $35,000 to the Tasmanian Liberal Party in the last two years. Is that appropriate? • COMMENT: The right to know & donations to the Tas Liberal Party by the Public Trustee’s lobby group • Luigi in Comments: It seems that Vanessa Goodwin and the CEO of the Public Trustee have taken a leaf out of Will Hodgman’s book on The Crisis: “Nothing to do with me”. As a fan of Cold War spy novels and movies I seem to recall that the Central Intelligence Agency acts on the precept of Plausible Deniability in its covert actions. Here in Tasmania our government is working to perfect Implausible Deniability. I suspect its practise will reach its zenith when Matthew Groom’s Crisis Investigation Alliance submits its report next year. Anyway, this is small beer. Of greater concern to me would be to discover that the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (whose members include Bell Bay Aluminium, Norske Skog, Nyrstar and South32 who own Temco) are donors to the Tasmanian Liberal (or Labor) Party at a time when our government is sitting down to decide who is getting blacked out. Someone knows, I’m sure.
The Gold Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer will go ahead on Sunday (March 20, 2016) despite Queensland Police failing to assure charity riders they will not be affected by a major “road safety” operation in the area.
Organisers are emphatic that the ride will go ahead and have encouraged riders to take part.
After we published a story about Operation North Upright being held on the same day and in the same area as the ride, social media was alive with concerns by riders they would be harassed.
One rider says on a Facebook post:
I’ve ridden in the last 4 Blackdog rides and won’t be doing this one, we were pulled over at the bottom of Springbrook as part of there so called operation I took my helmet off and said to the Sergeant “How ya going mate” and he replied I’m not your mate now get off your bike and stand over here !! Nice policing….. It’s all bullshit they want bikes off the road full stop.
We contacted the Police Media unit for a response to our question: “Can police assure char...
7pm Thursday 31 March, Townsville Yacht Club, 1 Plume St, South Townsville Speakers: Jeremy Goldberg, CSIRO; Jon Brodie, JCU When it comes to love, our Great Barrier Reef has no equal. Three out of four Australians feel that the … Continue reading
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