The year that was – 2015

Ian MaAuley hopes “we will make progress to becoming a real “developed” country, and not just a third world country temporarily enjoying a first world living standard.”

    Donald Horne wrote 50 years ago, “Australia is a lucky country, run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.”

Well, we’ve run out of luck, and make that third rate people. Continue reading The year that was – 2015

Taking out the garbage

Brough_1451403835209_200While we are all at the beach and otherwise distracted, Malcolm Turnbull has been doing some house cleaning.

Liberal MP Mal Brough will stand aside, pending a police investigation of the Peter Slipper matter, while Jamie Briggs has tendered his resignation as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment following a late-night incident involving a female public servant in a Hong Kong bar during an official overseas visit last month. Continue reading Taking out the garbage

Saturday salon 26/12

1. Spanish elections

Wall Street Journal has the story, or you could try The Guardian, or The Independent.

The ruling conservative Popular Party was reduced to 28.7% of the vote, followed by the main socialist party PSOE with 22%. These two parties normally win 70-80% of the vote, now reduced to around 50%. Third was Podemos, a far-left anti-austerity party less than two years old. Next was Ciudadanos, a centre-right party, with 13.9%. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/12

Climate clippings 161

1. Lakes warming faster than atmosphere

Courtesy of John D, from Gizmag, an item that has implications for algal blooms, health of species, food and methane emissions.

    Specifically, the results show that the average temperature in the lakes has been rising by 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years. While that might not seem too significant, it’s a higher rate of warming than witnessed in either the atmosphere or the ocean, and the long-term effects could be pronounced… Continue reading Climate clippings 161

There’s no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain

It is said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but in fact it seems both are very much from Earth. New research finds that while there are sex/gender differences in the brain, human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories: male brain or female brain. Continue reading There’s no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain

Saturday salon 19/12

1. Almost 600 major corporations did not pay tax last financial year

Companies not paying tax include include Qantas, Virgin Australia, General Motors (owner of Holden), Vodafone, petrol company ExxonMobil, online betting shop William Hill, Warner Bros Entertainment, property developer Lend Lease and media company Ten Network Holdings. Continue reading Saturday salon 19/12

SA green energy crisis

South Australia has rightly been acclaimed as a leader in renewable energy. Already 38% of their electricity comes from wind and solar. Yet

    Futures contracts on the ASX Energy market for electricity delivered in 2016-2018 are between $86 and $90 a MWh in South Australia, compared with between just $37 and $41 MWh in Victoria and between $43 and $48 MWh in NSW.

What’s going on? Continue reading SA green energy crisis

Climate clippings 160

1. Game changing steel to make lighter cars etc.

From Gizmag, courtesy of John D:

    Back in 2011, we wrote about a fascinating new way to heat-treat regular, cheap steel to endow it with an almost miraculous blend of characteristics. Radically cheaper, quicker and less energy-intensive to produce, Flash Bainite is stronger than titanium by weight, and ductile enough to be pressed into shape while cold without thinning or cracking. It’s now being tested by three of the world’s five largest car manufacturers, Continue reading Climate clippings 160