1. A ray of light
A highlight for me this week was listening to the many segments on ABC RN themed with NAIDOC Week, where the theme was Because of her, we can. Fellahs too, including Archie Roach: a life in song. I loved his cosmology in explaining The Dreaming. We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really. Continue reading Saturday salon 14/7
1. How realistic is space travel?
As reported in the New Scientist, Frédéric Marin, an astronomer at the University of Strasbourg, France and Camille Beluffi, a physicist who works for Casc4de, a data firm in Strasbourg, have done a thought experiment on the feasibility of reaching the nearest Earth-like planet, which happens to be Proxima b, around 4.25 million light years away, a mere 40 trillion km. Continue reading Saturday salon 7/7
1. Bill’s bumblathon
In the Courier Mail the bold words leapt from the page:
It was page 2, and a full-page advertisement from Optus, apologising for its soccer coverage, not a front page treatment of Bill Shorten’s backflip on taxing small to middle companies.
Tim Colebatch at Inside Story asks Is this Bill Shorten’s worst week?
One would hope so. Colebatch asks:
What on earth was Shorten thinking when he made this “captain’s call”? It offers no gain, and a lot of pain. It could cost him the election.
Continue reading Saturday salon 30/6
1. Taxing times
The Turnbull Government was mightily pleased when the Senate voted for tax cuts worth $144 billion over the next seven years. Here’s how they voted:
Continue reading Saturday salon 23/6
1. You don’t need enemies when you have friends
You’ve probably been living under a log if you haven’t seen this photo:
They say Trump does not like G-7 meetings because they are short on people who massage his ego.
According to this account the photo was released by Angela Merkel’s office. Trump looks like a naughty school boy, recalcitrant and unrepentant. The bloke behind him is John Bolton, the National Security Advisor. Not sure what he was doing there. Continue reading Saturday salon 16/6
1. Banks behaving badly
When criminal charges were brought against ANZ and investment banks Citi and Deutsche Bank that sounded fair enough to me. Barbora Jedlickova, Lecturer in the School of Law at The University of Queensland says that criminal charges are more effective than fines and:
Charging high-ranking bank executives will potentially make the deterrent more effective still, because high-ranking executives set the cultural tone for their organisations.
James Thomson in his Chanticleer column at the AFR says that victims are hard to find in this case, but it is a good idea because bankers should behave themselves. Continue reading Saturday salon 9/6
1. CSL and Cochlear say ‘show us the money’
Or at least show a bit of interest.
Here they have to chase government, whereas other countries, such as Singapore and Ireland:
“actively come out and court companies like ours” with a unified package of incentives and benefits, he said. These could include a lower headline tax rate, and other financial concessions or benefits in exchange for specified investment, jobs and revenue outcomes from biotech and technology.
Continue reading Saturday salon 2/6
1. The sad case of Carolyn Flanagan
Carolyn Flanagan was like any mum – all she wanted to do was to help her daughter with a loan to buy a business.
“I’d have signed anything for her, love,” she told counsel assisting the banking royal commission, Michael Hodge, QC. “If you can’t help your children, who can you help?”
That wasn’t exactly what Michael Hodge QC wanted to hear from the elderly lady who went guarantor for $165,000 for her daughter in 2010 to invest in a business that went bust. Westpac demanded her Sydney house with vacant possession, so they could get their money back. That was in 2014. Continue reading Saturday salon 26/5
1. Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome ‘at safe levels’, study claims
I’ve been aware of this one for a while and would like to investigate it further. Some say it is bigger than asbestos by far, with glyphosatye found in beers imbibed at the Munich beer festival. Meanwhile a new study has found that glyphosate disrupts the biome at ‘safe’ levels of application.
The study found disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria in rats.
“Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obsesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”
Continue reading Saturday salon 19/5
1. What do you see?
What colours do you see in this image?
I’m told that most of us see pink and white but some see grey and green. Actually I see grey with a faint pinkish tinge and aqua. My wife sees reality quite differently.
You might recall this dress, which I maintain is blue and brown: Continue reading Saturday salon 12/5
1. Macron – everyone’s friend
French President Emmanuel Macron came and went.
Andrew Tillett in the AFR reports that analysts do not think that Macron’s drive for an Australia-France-India “strategic axis” for the Indo-Pacific will amount to much in the long run. You can surge but it is harder to sustain. Realistically France is peripheral to what happens in the Pacific. Continue reading Saturday salon 5/5
1. Computer hard drive 1956
Here’s a photo of an IBM 5 megabyte computer hard drive from 1956:
The hard-drive in the picture, most likely the IBM Model 305 RAMAC, only had room to hold 6 copies of that actual image. Continue reading Saturday salon 28/4