662 posts tagged with Australia.
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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

Visit Australia!

Australia is well known for having more than it's share of dangerous wildlife. However only a few examples are well known outside of the continent. The funnelweb spider might be Australia's most infamous horror. But the redback (a relative of the American black widow) and mouse spider both deserve your respect as well. Long hyped as causing severe ulceration, the reputation of the white-tailed spider might not be as deserved but is still a spider of concern. (more inside...)
posted by weretable and the undead chairs on Aug 2, 2006 - 86 comments

Australian Bananas Costing Hundreds

$200 Bananas Thanks to Cyclone Larry, Australian bananas are getting almost expensive as Japanese melons.
posted by matkline on Jun 18, 2006 - 23 comments

What happened to Baz?

"the silly old buggers gone bloody missing" A yobbo cane toad learns the dangers of being one of the less adored icons of the Aussie landscape.
posted by dg on Jun 15, 2006 - 11 comments

Aboriginal Australia

Aboriginal AustraliaAIATSIS's map of aboriginal tribes. For some context, AusAnthrop's " Tribal and language database" can be quite useful. (via Savage Minds).
posted by jefgodesky on May 31, 2006 - 18 comments

I liked them so much better when they were The Cockroaches

They're on NPR? They're in the New York Times? (archived here as a .pdf). I guess it's no wonder - I can't go into half of the rooms at work without hearing them. And they took in $45 million last year singing "Yummy, Yummy"? Yes, i'm talking about The Wiggles, a pop-culture bitch-slap gift from Australia that has apparently kicked Barney's ass. That doesn't mean that they aren't open to some well-deserved satire.
posted by scblackman on May 18, 2006 - 44 comments

Warnings

The Australian cigarette health warnings have pretty much filtered down to every retail packet that's bought now. They're pretty gruesome and some smoking acquaintances cover them up with stickers. I thought I'd have a look around and see what other countries warnings were like. None of them were pulling any punches except for Uruguay.
posted by tellurian on May 17, 2006 - 118 comments

We're sending our love down the well

15 days ago, there was a relatively small earthquake near Beaconsfield, Tasmania, which left 3 miners trapped in a gold mine. The situation looked grim after the body of one of the miners was recovered. But after 5 days, there was elation as the other two were found, still alive, buried one kilometer underground in a small cage. Australia's major commercial networks immediately sent their top news celebrities to the small mining town, assuming there would be a quick and easy rescue. In hindsight, they were perhaps a bit over enthusiastic. Accusations of a media circus, and chequebook journalism soon followed. After a couple of days of nothing happening, the media even started turning on their own. The story took an unexpectedly sad twist this weekend when one of Australia's most well known journalists died at the site from an apparent heart attack. But tonight, after 15 days underground, it seems the rescuers are finally breaking through the rock to reach the unfortunate trapped miners.
posted by Diag on May 8, 2006 - 19 comments

You can take this job and...

Two Australian gold miners spent a 12th night trapped underground as rescuers struggling to cut the final stretch of an escape tunnel by hand on Sunday considered using explosives. Officials had hoped to free Brant Webb, 37, and Todd Russell, 34, before dawn but said progress chipping through the solid rock by jackhammer was slower than expected. Previously, when a narrow shaft had been bored to provide them with air and food: Trapped Australian Miners Get IPods. This promps Dave Grohl of the Foofighters to offer to buy them a beer. One of the miners also requested "a newspaper so he could check the classified ads for a new job". Hope they make it out OK.
posted by 445supermag on May 6, 2006 - 25 comments

10th anniversary of the massacre at Port Arthur

The victims of Australia's worst mass murder will be remembered today, on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy in Port Arthur in Tasmania. [MI]
posted by sjvilla79 on Apr 27, 2006 - 21 comments

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'

A Dramatic New Portrait of Leo Sayer "Leo Sayer is ebullient, passionate, and immensely talented. He is the ultimate people person, enthusiastically embracing life. A neighbour of his who is familiar with both my work and Leo's told me that Leo would be the perfect subject for a portrait. So I wrote and asked, it was as simple as that." Sadly, Tony Johansen's portrait of Leo Sayer didn't win this year's Archibald Prize. Then again, neither did this.
posted by Biblio on Apr 15, 2006 - 19 comments

Guantanamo Bay for kids?

Les Enfants Perdu de Tranquility Bay. (Google Video). Recently shown on Australian public TV, this French documentary explores a multi-billion dollar corporation that treats American teens like "faulty goods" sent back for repair. An octopus fishing incident is one of several heartbreaking episodes.
posted by johngoren on Apr 12, 2006 - 36 comments

Three taps of the tongue. Lo. Li. Ta.

Under Age Text? "Former senior public servant Nick Gill was sentenced to 14 days' jail, suspended on the rising of the court, and fined $3000 after being found guilty of having 66 stories, featuring mostly young boys, on his desktop computer." All text. There were no images to found. Australian fans of Harry Potter should probably rethink that slash masterpiece, and toss out their copies of Lolita and the latest VC Andrews novels.
posted by FunkyHelix on Apr 8, 2006 - 76 comments

Anywhere is walking distance, if you've got the time.

Alan Waddell intends to walk every street in every suburb in Sydney. He has completed 192 suburbs so far. He is 91.
posted by tellurian on Apr 6, 2006 - 13 comments

"People have an absolute right to just sit there."

Extreme laziness may have a medical basis, say a group of Australian scientists, describing a new condition called motivational deficiency disorder (MoDeD). The condition may cost the Australian economy $1.7bn a year. Could the new drug Indolebant help sufferers leave their couches? Or is this just disease mongering?
posted by Bletch on Mar 31, 2006 - 31 comments

I'm not drunk, that monolith is invisible !

Hard to See Uluru (formerly Ayers' Rock) the "red center of Australia" isn't just as tall as an 85 story building, it's surrounded by hundreds of square miles of nothing. Uluru - It's not just big, it's [insert your tagline here].
posted by AuntLisa on Mar 30, 2006 - 39 comments

Not as nice as Larry Emdur.

[Newsfilter] Australia's far north has been hit by a tropical cyclone, named Larry, likened by some to have been powerful as Hurricane Katrina, and considered worse than Cyclone Tracy, which virtually wiped Darwin off the face of the map just over 30 years ago.

The ABC has captured some stunning footage which shows the worst affected town of Innisfail both during the storm, and in its aftermath. [Win Broadband, Real Broadband]. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 20, 2006 - 38 comments

18th Commonwealth Games

The 18th Commonwealth Games are about to be opened by the HM the Queen of Australia, in Melbourne. Formerly the British Empire Games, from the days when much of the world was coloured pink, the Games may mean little , with few world class performers, and the usual list of questions and run of controversies, but there's nothing like circuses to keep the plebs entertained. At least Australia will thrash Sierra Leone in the althletics.
posted by wilful on Mar 15, 2006 - 34 comments

The Shavian adjective

So where here the b****y hell are you? has been banned from UK TV screens by the BACC (Thanks a b****y lot) for being offensive even though a study (Language and Sexual Imagery in Broadcasting: A Contextual Investigation) [PDF] released by Ofcom in September 2005 found that b****y was "Not really offensive to any group, seen as everyday sort of language". This from the nation that brought us Little Britain [NSFW]. Some banned advertising still lives on though.
posted by tellurian on Mar 9, 2006 - 41 comments

Imperator Howard's Tenth Year.

Today marks Australian Prime Minister John Howard's tenth year in the top job. The event has sparked the usual calls of when, if ever, he will step down to make way for his annointed successor, Peter Costello, and has also opened the flood gates on a range of editorial criticisms and praise from the usual suspects. But even with a new poll released today claiming that he is the most popular PM in Australia's modern political history, will the continuing AWB scandal (previously discussed in one of my own FPP posts here) and an unhappy Coalition partner finally end his seemingly endless run of political good fortune?
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Breaking into the computers of a sewage plant

"[Vitek] Boden had waged a three-month war against the Scada (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system of Maroochy Water Services in Australia beginning in January 2000, which saw millions of gallons of sewage spill into waterways, hotel grounds and canals around the Sunshine Coast suburb." A 2002 Washington Post story on possible al-Qaeda attacks also mentions the Boden case: "Specialists in cyber-terrorism have studied Boden's case because it is the only one known in which someone used a digital control system deliberately to cause harm."
posted by russilwvong on Feb 16, 2006 - 3 comments

The School of the Air

The School of the Air is a unique accident of time and space; serving as the link to the wider world for thousands of isolated children in Australia's Outback, providing classes by correspondence and evolving into a social network. Radio provided these sheep stations with access to medical care, community life and education. There was no choice.
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2006 - 7 comments

It's not chaos, it's just life.

Kyla Brettle makes radio documentaries. 000 Ambulance and Trauma are both particularly moving. You can listen to them here.
posted by d-no on Feb 3, 2006 - 0 comments

Kicking Back.

It seems increasingly more likely that Saddam Hussein's regime was getting kickbacks from the Australian Wheat Board and, worse still, the Australian Government may have known about it. This major scandal is causing big headaches for the Australian Government and is emerging as a diplomatic sore point between the US and one of its strongest Iraq War allies. The Australian Opposition is calling for the official inquiry into the matter, the Cole Inquiry, to be widened, whilst in the US, several US senators including Norm Coleman and Patty Murray are demanding answers whilst simultaneously calling for a ban on Australian wheat. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 1, 2006 - 31 comments

Bush Turns Up the Heat on NASA

Bush administration tries to silence NASA's chief climate expert James Hansen from granting interviews about global warming. Meanwhile, a new study by Australian researchers confirms that global sea levels are rising, and may make island nations like Tuvalu and the Maldives uninhabitable by the end of the century. [via RawStory]
posted by digaman on Jan 28, 2006 - 40 comments

fire season

Every summer, Southern Australia burns. 2005 was the hottest year on record. Over the last weekend, two days of extreme heat, low humidity and high winds sparked the first of the year’s bushfires. Pictures here. With forecasts of temperatures in the low 40s (over 105F) in a few days, firefighters are racing to bring the fires under control.

As the temperature rises, people respond by buying and using air-conditioners resulting in near record energy consumption. Where does the energy come from?

And yet Australia - a country with a lot to lose from global warming - remains a Kyoto dissenter. [aspects of this previously discussed here]
posted by tim_in_oz on Jan 23, 2006 - 35 comments

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