1. Hansen gets stuck on Uluru
Pauline Hanson has been campaigning against closing Uluru to tourists. She says that it provides jobs for indigenous people, and closing it is like closing Bondi Beach because people have drowned there.
- She added: “I can’t see the cultural sensitivity when people have been climbing the rock all these years and all of a sudden they want to shut it down? I don’t get it, I really don’t get it.”
Of course, Pauline Hanson doesn’t get it. She’s never really tried to get it.
Now she got stuck 40 metres into a climb she was doing for viewers consumption on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair. “I cannot get down” a terrified Hanson cried.
‘Seriously, I cannot get down here. My boots are that b****y old,’ she said as she shuffled along the rock in a preview for an A Current Affair segment on Monday night.
Then, according to Junkee, she got wrecked on social media, and by a teenage girl when she asked, “Where’s my land if it’s not Australia?”
I don’t think the ‘mother country’ would want to own this ridiculous person.
Here’s a great shot of Uluru from an angle I haven’t seen before:
2. The future of food
Wired tells us that Alt-Meat Trounces Animal Meat’s Massive Inefficiencies.
They are saying that it takes years of investment, market prediction, plus ecologically expensive and wasteful inputs to produce plant food and meat:
- Compare this years-long lead time with that for plant-based or clean meat, where a manufacturing facility can have finished product rolling off the line in hours or days. For plant-based meat, the raw materials (protein isolates, flours, flavorings, etc.) are typically dry powders with high stability and can be stored inexpensively for extended periods of time, ready at a moment’s notice for on-demand use. The entire process from pre-treatment (soaking) of the dry ingredients to finished product takes only a few hours. Even products with more complex post-processing like smoking or marination will be ready to ship to retailers within just a few days of starting the production line.
The same will be true for clean meat (created by growing meat outside of an animal from a small cell sample, also called cultured meat or cell-based meat) once it is available through large-scale production, which many analysts expect will happen within the next decade or so. The main raw materials are also dry powdered nutrients that can be stored for relatively long periods of time. Vials of frozen cells used to produce the meat can be thawed and begin dividing within hours. Most industry insiders estimate that producing a batch of thousands of kilograms of meat will require three to five weeks start to finish. If production facilities are operating the seed train continuously, they could harvest the finished product within a week.
3. Special Witness K and the public interest
Tonight’s Four Corners Secrets, Spies and Trials is mostly about Special Witness K and his lawyer, the former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery:
- “I don’t know what I’m going to be allowed to say in court. I’ve only just been allowed to speak to my lawyers after 18 months…but I’m circumscribed even in what I can tell my own lawyers. It’s an amazing experience.”
Xanana Gusmao has offered to come to Australia to give evidence if the trial is public, which it won’t be. We need to remember that this started with Australia planting a bug in the Timor Leste cabinet room which we were refurbishing as a aid project so that we could get the advantage on them in oil negotiations.
It was an act of a government with no ethics. We should be thankful that Witness K exposed our perfidy, we should thank him and make amends. Some say, and I’m inclined to believe them, that we’ve never repaid the Timorese for the help they gave us during WW2.
Seems what is happening is payback, and a salutary lesson to anyone who might be tempted to blow the whistle in future.
Ambigulous has already made reference to this topic.
- continues to be one of the world’s poorest countries, with GDP per capita standing at $3,949 (2011). It is ranked 147 out of 187 (2011) countries in the UN’s Human Development Index.
Can’t we just be good neighbours?
4. Europe’s deep past
I can thoroughly recommend spending 50 minutes or so on Pygmy dinosaurs and blue-eyed Neanderthals: Europe’s startling deep past, Sarah Kanowski talking to Tim Flannery about his new book Europe: A Natural History.
It’s about the last 100 million years. Sea levels were higher. Europe was a tropical archipelago placed between Asia America and Africa, so was like a crossroads. What is now Romania was Europe central.
Flannery reckons that our ancestors first walked upright in Europe, not in Africa. The first footprints are to be found in Greece.
At some length he talks about the neanderthals and our relationship with them. They had bigger brains than we have, and had excellent toolmaking skills. He reckons we have a spear preserved up to the standard of a modern Olympic javelin. He reckons all those cave paintings were done by a hybrid species that was 10-11 per cent neanderthal. So he thinks we absorbed the Neanderthals rather than killing them off.
He says they were in trouble any way. They lived in smaller groups than homo sapiens, which means they were losing their culture as time went by. Skills were not always passed on, and they were weakened by interbreeding.
The hybrid species was itself absorbed with new waves of people coming from Africa, and finally the dispersal from the Asian steppes that brought the Indo-European languages.
Flannery had someone helping him research for a few years, and says all the information was there in bits. It just needed putting together to reveal the real story.
My impression is that he did a good job. The conversation is certainly interesting and entertaining far beyond the few morsels I’ve given above.
5. Walking is good for us, but how much?
Speaking of walking, the New Scientist has a review of Shane O’Mara’s In Praise of Walking: The new science of how we walk and why it’s good for us.
Walking is good for our health and well-being and has given us an evolutionary advantage which has seen us take over the planet.
Back in June NS had another article How many steps a day do you really need? Spoiler: It isn’t 10,000.
It cites a number of studies, but the sweet spot seems to be two hours of vigorous walking each day, which probably equates with what hunter gatherers did. For people in their prime, that’s about 15,000 steps each day. Older folks will do fewer in that time, and there is threshold walking pace you need to achieve for it to make much difference. However, the message is that anything is better than nothing. Here are a couple of quotes:
- A study of postal workers in Glasgow, UK, found that those who clocked more than 15,000 steps a day carrying the mail, which equates to about 2 hours of brisk walking, had cardio-metabolic health on a par with hunter-gatherers – and this in a city with the lowest life expectancy in the country. A much larger study in the US followed 4840 adults to see whether physical activity reduced the risk of dying over the subsequent five to eight years. No surprise, it found that more active people had lower mortality rates. Just 25 minutes of moderate-and-vigorous activity a day reduced the risk of dying within this timeframe by 25 per cent compared with the least active people. And more was better. Adults who were active for 100 minutes or more each day had the lowest mortality rates: 80 per cent lower than the couch potatoes.
And in another study:
- For the most sedentary among us, an extra 30 minutes a day of activity that elevates our heart rate would halve our mortality rate, adding high quality healthy years to our lives.
This article does not look at vigorous interval training, just walking. I think the message is that you may be able to do better than the two-hour rule, but after two hours further gains are harder to come by.
But remember, even standing is better than sitting.