Australia, a work in progress

flag_index_250“Playing and protesting”, that was the headline on the TV news as to how Australia spent its national day.

My brother and his wife hosted a street party where people hailed recently from seven different overseas countries. Yesterday one of my wife’s clients said she knew Aborigines who would just close their doors and cry. Continue reading Australia, a work in progress

Saturday salon 23/1

1. Planet Nine

Scientists have discovered through gravitational effects on other bodies that a ninth planet almost certainly exists in our solar system. It is thought to be 10 times the mass of earth and takes 10,000 – 20,000 years to orbit the Sun.

Computer simulations suggest the ninth planet is located 20 times farther away from the Sun than Neptune. Continue reading Saturday salon 23/1

Will Clive Palmer and QNI go the way of the fibreglass dinosaurs?

Palmer_4429712-3x2-340x227_300As far as I know Clive Palmer’s two main cash producing assets were Queensland Nickel and the Coolum Resort, known now mainly for the fibreglass dinosaurs he installed all over the place. Coolum is presently shut, and Queensland Nickel has gone into receivership. Terry Barnes thinks “Palmer and his political influence are going the way of the fibreglass dinosaurs inhabiting his defunct resort at Coolum.” Continue reading Will Clive Palmer and QNI go the way of the fibreglass dinosaurs?

Cologne: what happened and where to from here?

A Deutsche Welle report I heard on NewsRadio began along these lines:

    She was pulled to the ground by her long blond hair, then a man laid down on top of her.

An extensive investigation by Der Spiegel tells us that groups of men humiliated, sexually assaulted and robbed women around the main railway station in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. What happened was not new and was not limited to Cologne. What was different was the scale, the presumed predominance of men from North Africa amongst the perpetrators, and the timing in relation to the dilemmas faced by the influx of refugees from Syria. Continue reading Cologne: what happened and where to from here?

Saturday salon 16/1: late edition

1. Essendon players pinged

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld WADA’s appeal of the AFL anti-doping tribunal’s Essendon verdict, with 34 past and present Bombers players banned for 12 months, which means they will miss the entire 2016 season.

The key thing in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) system is that the individual athlete is finally responsible for what goes into his or her body. That runs counter to the ethos of how teams operate. Continue reading Saturday salon 16/1: late edition

Goodbye Holocene, hello Anthropocene?

It hasn’t happened yet, not officially. The final decision rests with an august scientific body called the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which has a 36-person Working Group on the Anthropocene. Now 24 scientists, including some from the Working Group, have produced a paper advocating for the Anthropocene to be recognised as having begun in the mid-20th century. Continue reading Goodbye Holocene, hello Anthropocene?