687 posts tagged with Australia.
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Sorry, No Punk Rock In This Link

Spending years clarifying my observations of the community and putting them down on paper slowly revealed a society beset by a fatal condition; an affliction that has been destroying us at an ever increasing rate for two centuries and must eventually return us to barbarism. A final result that should be no surprise, as it has overtaken every other civilization; a fate that appears as inevitable and as irreversible as old age with its increasing feebleness and dementia. I was no longer interested in why our bureaucracy was full of incompetents? but why our society was full of incompetents? My original aim to improve my community with technology was replaced with answering the question, why does a community age like any other creature?
Philip Atkinson knows: civilization is in decline. And he's determined to tell you about it. Find out the truth about Nelson Mandela, AIDS, obesity, parenting, standard weights and measures, and, of course, the Ten Commandments. We're screwed, guys. Sit down, read a book, and watch it burn.
posted by nasreddin on Aug 22, 2007 - 44 comments

There are two guards: one always speaks the truth, the other gouges the eyes out of people who ask tricky questions.

All men are liars. Start with the follow-up to this much-discussed article.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 3, 2007 - 103 comments

Free at last

As of yesterday, Dr. Mohammed Haneef was released from jail, amidst speculation that his incarceration had been unjust, and is on his way back home. It is believed that once he is ready, there will be a lucrative deal waiting for him if he wishes to tell his story (pdf of his transcript of detention), but for now, his wife, Firdaus Ashriya, is happy to have her husband back home.
posted by hadjiboy on Jul 28, 2007 - 45 comments

...all I have ever wanted to do is play with venomous animals...

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive. I get to travel the globe catching snakes with my lovely wife. [Warning: Frames Ahead. Also, snake venom LD-50 information.]
posted by dersins on Jul 27, 2007 - 6 comments

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

australianscreen launched today. You can view clips from Australian feature films, documentaries, TV programs, shorts, home movies, newsreels, advertisements, other historical footage, and sponsored films produced over the last 100 years, with curators’ notes and other information about each title. [via Margaret and David]
posted by tellurian on Jul 18, 2007 - 8 comments

John Howard in 'Cabinet: The Movie.'

Cabinet: The Movie. Starring Australian PM John Howard and a bunch of chickens. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jul 18, 2007 - 13 comments

Backpedal fast, Johnny!

PM John Howard denies Iraq-oil link
posted by andihazelwood on Jul 5, 2007 - 37 comments

Don’t mention the O word

Following the script from A Crude Awakening, Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson announced today that new reasons for staying the course in helping Iraqi forces stand up as we stand down is not regime change nor ridding the country of weapons of mass destruction, but… ensuring Australia's “energy security”.
posted by mattoxic on Jul 4, 2007 - 22 comments

Response to a national emergency? Cynical election year stunt? Land Grab?

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has declared that the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory is a national emergency. He has announced a sweeping takeover of powers from the Territory Government in response to the crisis outlined in the Little Children are Sacred” report [6mb PDF] Some say knee-jerk and ill thought through, some say return to the bad old days of white paternalism, yet say there are many other issues confronting Aboriginal people. Why act now after 10 years in power, and a host of similar reports? Could it be an approaching federal election?
posted by mattoxic on Jun 21, 2007 - 72 comments

jellyfish venom harpoon at 40,000 Gs...ouch!

An "order of magnitude older than the dinosaurs," even older than clams, bugs, vertebrates, are jellyfish. At almost 600 million years old, jellyfish are some of the oldest animals on the earth that have survived the test of time. Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, (yes, of that Gershwin family) is a scientist studying jellyfish in Queensland, Australia and was recently interviewed by the ABC. I was particularly disturbed by her gripping description of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish and how the venom affects humans. This summer, swim at your own risk.
posted by gen on Jun 13, 2007 - 27 comments

Biggest worm threat

Australia is home to the biggest worm in the world, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm - Megascolides australis. The next biggest is the Giant Palouse Earthworm - Driloleirus americanus from Oregon. Both [Gippsland, Palouse] are only classed as vulnerable in the threatened category of the IUCN Red List, simply because they are hard to count. This is despite the extreme measures taken to save some and to try and just find a live specimen of others.
posted by tellurian on Jun 13, 2007 - 25 comments

Along came a spider ...

"... straight out of Down-Under, explosive stuntman-editor-producer-writer-actor-director Nash Edgerton delivers his latest effort, "Spider", a 9-minute action-thriller that gives an all-new meaning to old Peugeots, stunning blondes and love-jokes."
posted by bwg on Jun 8, 2007 - 35 comments

Punch line inside

First Global Peace Index Ranks 121 Countries
posted by acro on May 30, 2007 - 66 comments

Towards equal citizenship for Aborigines.

Celebrations are being held in Australia's capital city Canberra today, to mark 40 years since the 1967 'YES' referendum which gave Aboriginal people the right to be counted in the census. This is the story of that referendum. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on May 26, 2007 - 43 comments

Eviction surprise!

So you're in the Big Brother house in Australia. Your dad died last Wednesday. His funeral was on Monday. But his dying wish was that you shouldn't be told that until you're evicted. So when will you be evicted? Since you're not up for eviction this week, it'll be at least a fortnight. A letter from Emma's brother.
posted by reklaw on May 25, 2007 - 79 comments

Suicide Attack kaiten 回天

The Kaiten Memorial Museum on Otsushima Island, on the site of the original kaiten base. WWII Japanese suicide tactics included planes, boats, and suicide submarines. The submarine discovered recently near Sydney harbor was not such a craft, yet the pilots took their own lives rather than lead their pursuers to the I-class mother submarines nearby.
posted by acro on May 22, 2007 - 10 comments

McLeod's Pollsters

As the countdown to the Australian federal election continues ever onward, the key issue looks set to be industrial relations. The incumbent Howard Government's WorkChoices laws (now re-branded due to their increasing unpopularity) have seen the poll figures for challenger Kevin Rudd go up and up and up. But even as the Government prepares to unleash a major advertisement spree in an attempt to sell the alleged benefits of Work Choices, the new laws have come under attack from the most unlikely of places; popular prime time TV soap McLeod's Daughters, which last night aired this thinly veiled assault (youtube) on the central element of WorkChoices, AWAs.
posted by Effigy2000 on May 17, 2007 - 36 comments


Unusual ways of getting high: deliberately being bitten on the tongue by a cobra; injecting spider venom.
posted by nickyskye on May 11, 2007 - 36 comments

Kava Abuse in Australian Aboriginal Communities

"Troy is only 8, but he knows the words to Yanguna, an Arnhem Land song celebrating kava. He sings in tune with Saltwater Band's anthem to the drug as the car bumps along the dirt track. Kava came to Arnhem Land 20 years ago as a ray of hope. Aboriginal community leaders believed the calming drink from the Pacific could be a peaceful alternative to alcohol, then raging through Aboriginal communities like a cyclone. But kava became just another abused substance.
posted by jason's_planet on May 1, 2007 - 43 comments

Web 2.0 clichés abound in Yahoo! Oz's new search product

Yahoo! Australia introduces a new search engine that uses OpenSearch and pretty little AJAX tricks to integrate results from Flickr, Wikpedia, YouTube (and so on). You can customize the layout, and even add your own search sources. It’s called Alpha, it’s currently in Beta, and aims to get through the rest of the Greek alphabet by June. (Via podlob.)
posted by Milkman Dan on Apr 10, 2007 - 13 comments

DANGER - High Voltage

Don't try this at home. Watch in awe, bedazzlement, and concern as a lone Australian (with no professional training) builds tesla coils, lasers, railguns and exploding wires -- in his own garage. [Previous mad science on MeFi]
posted by Spike on Mar 30, 2007 - 17 comments

Australian indigenous maps

Interactive Atlas of Indigenous Australia. (Java) "Choose from a range of maps covering historical, social, cultural, political and environmental themes."
posted by dhruva on Mar 27, 2007 - 4 comments

Who pulled the drain plug?

A massive whirlpool, has a appeared off the coast of Sydney, Australia. I wonder if it spins counterclockwise?
posted by xmattxfx on Mar 15, 2007 - 45 comments

President’s House

Welcome to the Rashtrapati Bhavan (inspired from):
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 10, 2007 - 7 comments

QANTAS: Past and Present.

QANTAS, Australia's national airline carrier that was once refrenced by Dustin Hoffman's character Ray in Rain Man, is to be taken over by a private consortium called Airline Partners Australia (APA) after the Federal Government gave approval for the takeover yesterday. So what better time than to endulge in a little bit of QANTAS history? Founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 as 'Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited' with just one Avro 540k, QANTAS has played a prominent part in Australia's history, with its fleet being nationalised, privatised and even conscripted for national service during WW2. And although Ray was wrong when he said that QANTAS had never had a crash (indeed, it had 8 and has had several more since Rain Man), the 'flying kangaroo' was still considered an "iconic Australian company" (although there is some debate on that). Nonetheless, if you're really interested in checking out some more QANTAS history, head on over to the National Library of Australia's website, where they have plenty of QANTAS ephemera material online for you to gander at.
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 6, 2007 - 38 comments

Gooday mate....

Australia: the new 51st state John Howard's servility to the US is even greater than Tony Blair's. "John Pilger," wrote Harold Pinter, "unearths, with steely attention facts, the filthy truth. I salute him." via New Statesman.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 5, 2007 - 40 comments

World's Oldest Blogger

Good Morning everyone. My name is Olive Riley. I live in Australia near Sydney. I was born in Broken Hill on Oct. 20th 1899.
posted by pyramid termite on Mar 4, 2007 - 25 comments

Australia rocked by 'lesbian' koala revelation

Female koalas indulge in lesbian "sex sessions", rejecting male suitors and attempting to mate with each other, sometimes up to five at a time, according to researchers.
posted by ibmcginty on Feb 26, 2007 - 63 comments

Steampunk Silhouette Animation

The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello is a series of four gorgeous steampunk victorian silhouette animated shorts from Australia. The first link goes to a trailer for the films, all four full animations are available on a DVD via the official site (which is loads of fun to explore play around on), and the (Academy Award Nominated) first of the four shorts has been released on YouTube.
posted by jonson on Feb 1, 2007 - 7 comments

Child migrants

A moving, four-part audio documentary tells the story of as many as 150,000 children of the British poor, sent to populate Australia, Canada, and other colonies with "good, white stock".
posted by serazin on Feb 1, 2007 - 5 comments

A Frog Too Far

MacRobertson's Confectionery were, in the 1930s, trialling new ideas for their children's range. An employee suggested that as "women and children were afraid of mice," rather than a chocolate mouse, a chocolate frog would be more popular with children. Three days later, what would become Australia's most popular children's confectionery, the Freddo Frog, was born. Its supposed creator, Harry Melbourne, died last week, having never received a cent in royalties. However, to this day there remains confusion as to whether he, or rather the inventor of the Cherry Ripe, Lesley Atkison, was in fact responsible. Those that only know him in chocolate form may be surprised to find out that Freddo was also the star of Australia's first cartoon.
posted by Mil on Jan 29, 2007 - 22 comments

Shut Up!

Sheep and Ostriches Closed brothels. Banned books. Closed minds. Internet censorship. Australia, the land of the free.
posted by altman on Jan 20, 2007 - 30 comments

Bird Droppings

They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia, record numbers in England and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons, "some kid with a BB gun" or drunk on hackberries or maybe it is global warming?

Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
posted by DragonBoy on Jan 15, 2007 - 43 comments

The original Neil Armstrong tape

If you thought the video of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon was rather blurry, it might interest you to know that this was never broadcast as well as it could have been. The original video quality was much better. You can't view the original video today, because NASA has lost the bleepin tape. Nobody seems to care, but the guys who once made the transmission possible are looking for it. An Australian minister is on their side. If the tape hasn't been accidentally degaussed, there's only one machine left that is able to read it.
posted by Termite on Jan 11, 2007 - 19 comments

We Have a T-Rex!

Behind-the-scenes at the dinosaur factory. Creations for "Walking with Dinosaurs: The Live Experience," saurian puppetry (and animatronics) on a 1:1 scale. Who needs CGI? Check out Torosaur vs. Utahraptor.
posted by steef on Jan 10, 2007 - 16 comments

world tales

World Tales : See folk tales, myths and legends from around the world, brought to life by twenty Australian animators.
posted by dhruva on Jan 2, 2007 - 7 comments

Hairless monkeys on display

Hey, Mum, look at the hairless monkeys! A group of hairless monkeys are the latest exhibit at Adelaide Zoo. Some background information on the project is available here (you may wonder, as I did, why it took a news site to provide the background to the project) and a live stream from the enclosure here. [more inside]
posted by dg on Jan 2, 2007 - 22 comments

Stories of The Dreaming As Told Through Sight, Sound and Art.

The Dreaming (arguably better known as 'The Dreamtime') is more than just the story of how the world was created as told by Aboriginal Australians. It is also the basis for their way of life and death, their source of power in life and it tells of the life and influence of their ancestors on their culture. It was so important to Aboriginal Australians in the time before the white invasion of Australia that it was the one commonly held belief amongst a culture that consisted of over 500 different tribes (discussion of Dreamtime beliefs here). Thought to be the oldest continuously maintained cultural history on Earth, it is often presented as a series of inter-related stories explaining Aboriginal Australian origins and culture, such as how the Australian landscape was created or how the Mimi spirits taught them how to paint these stories on the walls of caves more than 40,000 years ago.

And what better way to learn of several of the many different Dreamtime stories than to listen and watch them being told by Aboriginal Australians elders themselves? And if that isn't enough Dreamtime mythology for you, here's some links to various sites which allow you to view Aboriginal rock art to see how these stories were translated into a form of artistic expression which is now five times older than the Egyptian Pyramids themselves.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 23, 2006 - 14 comments

Australia regain Ashes : 3 ummm .... zero.

Less than 16 months after England claimed the Ashes, Australia reclaim them in three straight test matches. With England's main opening batsman pulling out of the contest due to "stress", and their captain refusing to delay a knee operation so that he would be available, it never really appeared to many that they wanted to face a rematch. Questions must now be raised about what happened to their astounding reverse swing. Chin up lads - at least you and your world-touring Barmy Army can all play with your trumpets again.
posted by DirtyCreature on Dec 17, 2006 - 61 comments

Palm Island

Palm Island off Queensland’s stunning north coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth, well maybe not if you’re an Australian Aborigine. Mulrunji Doomadgee, a fit, healthy, 36-year-old man, died in police custody on Palm Island on 19 November 2004 following his arrest by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley on a charge of "public nuisance". Yet Queensland DPP Leanne Clare has described the death as "a terrible accident’ caused by a ‘complicated fall’. [via crikey.com.au- subs req’d]
posted by mattoxic on Dec 14, 2006 - 10 comments

Gun control ten years on.

Australian gun laws claimed to reduce mass shootings. In October, a study prepared by Australian pro-gun lobbyists and published in the British Journal of Criminology argued that tougher gun laws in Australia did little to lower murder or suicide rates. A newly released report agrees that historically declining murder rates were mainly responsible for the decline in average gun homicides from 93 to 56 per annum. In the USA there were approximately 10000 gun homicides in 2004. The report emphasises there have been no mass shootings since the laws were enacted.
posted by bystander on Dec 13, 2006 - 36 comments

My Humps, My Humps, My Feral Population Jumps

From far away they came to toil under the scorching Outback sun, and their hardy dispositions and tireless labor helped to create the central Australian railway and telegraph systems. They are the Camels [NPR story w/ audio], and today they are free (well, okay, feral), and they are many (700,000 strong, at least.) While they're no cane toads, they're becoming a bit of a pest. What to do with all those dromedaries? Well, you can race 'em, or you can eat 'em, or maybe you can even try milking 'em. Just get 'em before they get you, mate.
posted by maryh on Dec 9, 2006 - 18 comments

A marriage made in the Antipodes

The Seventh State. An Australian federal parliamentary committee, tasked with looking into the harmonisation of the Australian and New Zealand legal systems, has concluded that the two countries should work towards a full union, or at least have a single currency and common markets.
NZ's Minister for Foreign Affairs has rubbished the idea as "parliamentary adventurism", but the Australian constitution provides for just such an eventuality.
One of the key hurdles for any union would be the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document. Misinterpreted, misunderstood, and hotly debated Te Tiriti has long been one of the reasons put for the difficult road facing New Zealand in becoming a republic. Having abolished appeals to the Privy Council, adopted a new electoral system, declared itself nuclear free (.pdf), taken France to court and opposed the war in Iraq, New Zealand has certainly embraced it's 'independence'. But a contracting sharemarket, muddled coalition building in government, and an increased focus on trans-Tasman alignment has lead some to support the idea of a less formal separation between the two countries. However a common currency has already been rejected by New Zealand's Finance Minister.
What hope then, for ANZAC union? And does it matter, when the rest of the world can't tell us apart?
posted by szechuan on Dec 6, 2006 - 64 comments

The Political Power and the Passion (or Back Benches Are Burning)

AustralianPoliticsFilter: Congressman John "Orleans" Hall has nothing on Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett, who quit singing political rock to start rocking politics, was elected to the Aussie Parliament in '04 and has now been named the Labor Party's "Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation and the Arts" (whew, what a title). But it's not all "Blue Sky (His)": he's been attacked by a former environmental activist ally in the Green Party and mimicked by Treasurer Peter (no relation to Elvis) Costello. At least he's healthy, unlike some Australian singers (or singers in Australia).
posted by wendell on Nov 30, 2006 - 24 comments

WorkChoices: Fair or not, they're here to stay.

Australiafilter: The Australian High Court handed down its ruling today on the constitutionality of the Howard Government's new Industrial Relations laws, called 'Workchoices', deeming them constitutional by a vote of 5 to 2 (full text of the decision here). Two dissenters, Justices Michael Kirby and Ian Callinan, argued that upholding the laws changes the very nature of the Australian federal system and is "in contradiction of, what was intended and expressed in the constitution by the founders." Whilst bloggers and academics debate the nature of the laws and how fair or unfair they are, the simple fact now is that the laws are here to stay unless there is a change of Government at the 2007 federal election. Find out what it means for you as an employee from both the Howard Government's view and the Union's point of view so you can know your rights at work and decide for yourself.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 13, 2006 - 24 comments

Enough Rope with Andrew Denton

Oodles of past and current interviews with both living and dead celebrities and interesting nobodies over at the support website for Andrew Denton's Australian television show Enough Rope. You will find video excerpts, some full interviews as audio downloads (the more recent ones), and lots of transcripts.
posted by sjvilla79 on Nov 7, 2006 - 11 comments

Ice Ice Baby

A giant flotilla of 100 icebergs is passing just 260km off the coast of the South Island (of New Zealand) - the closest the glacial masses have been to this country for 70 years. Maybe all that water could be used for something else?
posted by strawberryviagra on Nov 5, 2006 - 24 comments

Sheikh Hilali treats women like meat

Sheikh Hilali, the mufti of Australia, has raised more than a few eyebrows when he declared that rape-victims are to blame for tempting men: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park and the cats come and eat it -- whose fault is it? The cats or the uncovered meat?" Needless to say, the mufti doesn't think the cats are to blame. Australians (including their PM) are not amused and call for the mufti to step down. Even many Islamic women think it's the mufti, and not the meat, that stinks. Others argue that at least the mufti (quickly christened the "rape cleric" by some news outlets) will force Muslims to fess up and take a stand on whether they really think that women are Satan's agents who incite rape with immodest dress. The Sheikh himself found it wisest to go on a "self-imposed holiday" to join the Hajj in Mecca, possibly to pray for attire with larger surface area, and left with the disingenuous remark that he might step down if someone could "prove" what his *real* intentions were when he made his controversial comments.
posted by sour cream on Oct 28, 2006 - 112 comments

Puerile ozzies.

Last call for Mr Al Kyder and Mr Terry Wrist...
posted by marvin on Aug 19, 2006 - 18 comments

Worth his weight in VB

Advance Australia Fair, written by a Scotsman and performed at the inauguration of the Commonwealth, has never been a hugely popular anthem. The ARU have been boosting Waltzing Matilda (a paean to a thief who got caught, which was considered as an anthem in the 70s but rejected) as a national song for Rugby internationals, while Men At Work's backpacker anthem Land Down Under can be heard almost constantly in bars from Ko Pha Ngan to Earl's Court, and the Chisels' song Khe Sahn gets a better pagerank than the battle it is named for.

But I think Adam Hills may have returned the anthem to relevance with this rendition.
posted by pompomtom on Aug 17, 2006 - 34 comments

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