They say that if you remember the 1960s you weren’t really there. I remember quite a bit about the 1960s. Who could forget Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies, British secretary for war, John Profumo, and the Soviet attaché Yevgeny Ivanov in what was known as the Profumo affair. Christine Keeler died on 4 December 2017, a young 75.
She grew up for a time in a railway carriage, mixed with the rich and famous, and struggled thereafter, lacking the resilience of Mandy Rice-Davies. Here’s the iconic photo, from a life in pictures:
Continue reading Saturday salon 16/12
1. Checking Katter facts
Bob Katter is a colourful character, which allows him to get away with what other people might be accused of bigotry. However, I find he usually gets his facts right, it’s his solutions which are really weird. When he said that a person was being torn to bits by a crocodile in North Queensland on average every three months the ABC decided to check his facts.
Turns out he was stretching it a bit.
Stats show that there was one fatal crocodile attack every three years from 1985 to now. However: Continue reading Saturday salon 9/12
1. How not to run a party or a government
Malcolm Turnbull in announcing a royal commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, to be led by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, told us that the inquiry was entirely unnecessary, but the government was a couple of seats short and had effectively lost control of the agenda.
Chris Bowen, shadow treasurer, formally wrote to his counterpart Scott Morrison (AFR, pay-walled), saying that the inquiry was neither far-reaching enough nor adequately resourced, that there had been inadequate consultation over the terms of reference, plus the deliberate targeting of union-dominated industry superannuation funds – a political strategy which diminished its credibility. Continue reading Saturday salon 1/12
That was Ben Eltham on 6 November. Then you can go anywhere, for example:
Continue reading Saturday salon 25/11 – very late edition
1. The future of humanity
Set aside an hour to listen to the IQ Squared debate on “Humanity is designing its own demise”
Toby Walsh, Professor of Artificial Intelligence UNSW, Signe Dean, science and health journalist, Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics CSU, and Kristin Alford, Futurist go at it with zest, intelligence and learning.
Unbelievable progress has been made, especially in health and wealth. Among the things I learnt was that we don’t need to fear AI, just the people behind it, and that Elon Musk is actually mad, but will have a colony of 1,000 people on Mars by 2050. Continue reading Saturday salon 18/11
1. Bier her
Bier her, Bier her, oder ich fall um, juchhe! You can hear the German drinking song here.
Today we could remember Armistice day, ending the First World War 99 years ago, or Ned Kelly hanged on 11 November 1880. Then there was the dismissal of Gough Whitlam 25 years ago, and the important Harvester Case on November 8, 1907. Before we get too far past it I want to remember 31 October 500 years ago when a cranky friar in Saxony let it be known he was not happy with the Catholic Church. However Martin Luther’s biggest contribution to modern life may have been to liberate German beer. Continue reading Saturday salon 11/11
1. JFK assassination theories revive
Seems Trump is keen to release all the JFK assassination files, but on CIA and FBI advice they have been redacted and some withheld.
The fact that the CIA and the FBI are doing this gives conspiracy theories more energy. The BBC gives some details of the new material, which basically confirm that something strange was going on.
Here we have an outline of the key theories. Continue reading Saturday salon 4/11
1. China has arrived
The biggest story of the week was probably the Chinese Communist party congress. Leader Xi Jinping is looking to stay for at least another 10 years and putting his “socialist thought” into the party constitution, places him alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the pantheon of revolutionary leaders. But Richard McGregor says the real star is the party itself, and the West should wake up: Continue reading Saturday salon 28/10
1. Child art from those who became great
A few months back Artsy posted a piece What Do the Childhood Works of Famous Artists Look Like? It had works by Dürer, Klee, Dalí and Picasso, but my favourite was the painting by Edward Hopper, Little Boy Looking at the Sea:
The image was drawn on the back of Edward Hopper’s third grade report card dated October 23, 1891, when Hopper was nine years old. Continue reading Saturday salon 21/10
1. Jacaranda time!
There are festivals in Grafton and in Goodna, which for the uninitiated is between Ipswich and Brisbane, but not for another two weeks! Seems a bit late to me.
Any way the jacarandas are out in Brisbane now, so the place is turning purple. This photo is near the lake in the grounds of the University of Queensland:
Continue reading Saturday salon 14/10
You see him here, you see him there…
Xenophon is to quit the Senate and run in the SA state elections in the Liberal held seat of Hartley. He says that SA state politics is ‘broken’ and ‘politically bankrupt’: Continue reading Saturday salon 7/10
South Australia’s Craigburn Primary School organised a Do It In A Dress fundraising drive with the aim of raising $900 to help girls in Africa who did not have access to education.
Continue reading Saturday salon 30/9