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impending shark food

"Why the fuss? Well, Colin's a baby whale..." Oh no. They named the doomed little thing ('little' meaning about the size of a large car). Mal Holland's report from the Daily Telegraph gives a very illuminating rundown of the nervous breakdown that "Sydney's booming whale watching industry" is experiencing right now... [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind on Aug 20, 2008 - 78 comments

Pink foam walls reveal national character.

Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu is a Japanese game show where contestants strike poses to fit through cutouts in pink foam walls. International reproductions of this game show reveal much about national character; reproductions exist in Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. [more inside]
posted by Alison on Aug 13, 2008 - 20 comments

"Zombie juice!"

Australian short film - I Love Sarah Jane 'Jimbo is 13. All he can think about is one girl, Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way - bullies, violence, chaos, zombies - nothing is going to stop him from finding a way into her world.' NSFW - swearing and gore. SLYT.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 30, 2008 - 16 comments

Ooh Yeah I'm A Wild One

50 years ago Johnny O'Keefe released "Wild One" and Australia had its first homegrown rock'n'roll star. To commemorate the 50th year of Australian rock'n'roll The Age newspaper has asked various Australian music industry figures to pick the top 50 Australian albums (scroll down for the Top 50 - or check the (more inside)). [more inside]
posted by awfurby on Jul 14, 2008 - 51 comments

Major climate change economics study released

The draft Garnaut Climate Change Review was released last Friday. This is the most comprehensive look so far at the economic implications of climate change and emissions trading for a developed country (Australia). Essential (but weighty) reading for those interested in the economics of the issue, a useful localisation of Stern (2006). [more inside]
posted by wilful on Jul 6, 2008 - 18 comments

Old Parliament House

Billy Hughes at War ― As Australia’s prime minister for most of the First World War, he steered the nation through the horrors of the war and the debates of the peace settlement. You can enter the conscription debate and examine political cartoons from the era. Billy Hughes provided Australia an independent voice on the world stage. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 1, 2008 - 8 comments

Bruno's Art and Sculpture Garden

Full of contemplative creatures and sleepers, Bruno Torf's Australian sculpture garden began with just fifteen life sized terracotta sculptures. Today there are over one hundred and fifteen pieces on display and Bruno is still making regular additions. Dive on in. Via
posted by cashman on Jun 14, 2008 - 6 comments

Insane cockroach vs. frog football game

Australians celebrate their national football championships with a bloody frogs vs. cockroaches football game online! (The cane toad is a symbol of Queensland football...)
posted by destinyland on May 20, 2008 - 9 comments

The Little Aussie Bleeder

Garry McDonald, aka Norman Gunston, aka the "little aussie bleeder," may be well known out Australia way. For most Americans, however, Norman G remains far, far down under the radar. But he's the forefather of the UK's Ali G; he's Canadian Nardwuar thee Human Serviette's nerdier dad; he's America's Lazlo Toth (US) with a combover and a microphone; he's Jiminy Glick's Jack Sprat. Perhaps you saw Norman long ago in a segment on USA Network's Night Flight variety show. [bonus: many many youtubes of Night Flight segments, courtesy of this awesome website.] But I bet you didn't know he released a KIckaSS single (among others), jammed with Frank Zappa, and was at the right place and time to upstage a piece of Australian History. Not bad for someone whom Keith Moon dumped his drink on and called a "great pooftah." [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on May 4, 2008 - 21 comments

new old music

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu doesn't speak much, but when he takes up his guitar, he sings, literally and figuratively. He sings of growing up in an Aboriginal community on a remote island off the north coast of Australia; he sings of coming to terms with being born blind; and he sings the creation stories of his Yolngu people.
posted by dhruva on Apr 22, 2008 - 19 comments

Well, I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load

A few years ago when I was visiting Alaska, one of the more interesting portions of the trip was the 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. This is one of the world's rare bodies of water that features bore tides, an amazing scene. The highway is one of only 15 roads in the United States that have been designated an "All-American Road." What about some of the world's greatest highways? [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 17, 2008 - 17 comments

Australia's first female head of state

Quentin Bryce has been chosen as Australia's new head of state from next month. As the first Australian female in the role she joins a growing list (currently 48) of international national leaders. Bryce previously served as the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and director of the Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission prior to her role as Queensland governor. Replacing a highly decorated ex-soldier, who cut a low profile, who had himself replaced a controversial clergyman, Bryce has the opportunity make a significant mark on the country. She will join the list of first holders of political offices, and bring us closer to to a situation where the appointment of women to positions of power is no longer remarkable.
posted by bystander on Apr 13, 2008 - 30 comments

Tenth Anniversary of the Patrick Stevedores Dispute

Australian dock workers will stop work for a minute today to remember the Patrick stevedores dispute, an industrial dispute that involved the stevedoring corporation Patricks, the Howard government and the Maritime Union of Australia. A landmark event in Australian political and legal history, the dispute saw dock workers stand "in the first line against the Howard government and the Patrick corporation that was seeking to remove their legal rights, their right to go to work [and] the right to collective bargaining." In its wake, the event generated debate about the role of unions in Australia, an alleged conspiracy between Patricks and the former Howard Government and even spawned a controversial TV mini-series, Bastard Boys. For more history and analysis of the dispute, you can read about it from the view of the MUA or this account but for the definitive analysis see here.
posted by Effigy2000 on Apr 6, 2008 - 12 comments

The Lords of Cardboard

Off Planet Films makes stuff with cardboard. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 3, 2008 - 2 comments

So, you thought Cricket was for sissies, aye?

First, a bit of an introduction to the game of Cricket (youtube) for those of us who may not be familiar with the sport. Next, a few clips (1, 2, 3, 4) on how awesome the Gentleman's Game can be (and you thought we didn't do anything but roam around in our white pants and cotton shirts...). But, if that wasn't enough for you, then here's a taste of Twenty20 Cricket (the fast, fast paced version of the game), and the new DLF Indian (pdf) Premier League. (This is in addition to the One Day Matches, which were instituted to bring in a bit more excitement into the game during the 1970's, prior to which the match only consisted of Tests. However, some purists still maintain that the game would've been better served had it not been commercalized to the extent that it has, and still prefer the leisurely pace of the original format to its current incarnation.) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 20, 2008 - 56 comments

HMAS Sydney and Kormeran found

Sailing from Sumatra back to Fremantle in November 1941, the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney encountered a Dutch freighter off the West Australian coast. The freighter turned out to be the disguised German mercantile raider Kormoran. After an ensuing fight, the Sydney went down with all hands, the reasons for which have been debated ever since. First the Kormoran, then over night the Sydney have been found by research organisation, Finding Sydney Foundation.
posted by mattoxic on Mar 16, 2008 - 21 comments

Vintage photography from China and Australia

Two historic photography collections from Sydney's Powerhouse Museum: The Tyrell Collection - glass plate negatives from the Sydney studios of Charles Kerry and Henry King from 1884-1917 depicting a local record of the times; and the Hedda Morrison Collection - photographs from China, 1933-1946. The collection also includes personal papers and objects, such as Chinese papercuts, belt toggles, and photos from a 1930s-era folk festival in Germany.
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 16, 2008 - 4 comments

Indigenous Australian Dance Ceremonies

Aboriginal dance (also known as a corroboree) helps indigenous Australians to interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume. Many ceremonies act out events from the Dreamtime. Many of the ceremonies are sacred and people from outside a community are not permitted to participate or watch. However, there are many ceremonies we've been allowed to witness (here's one of my favourites). And there's plenty of related pictures available at the National Museum's website. Naturally, any indigenous Australians reading should note that these links may include images or names of people who may now be deceased.
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 13, 2008 - 11 comments

Symphony in Beer Minor

If you who hear a symphony each time you open a beer, here's a little Friday fun.

(Check out the 'Behind the Scenes' video too.)

NB: Flash and music.

posted by essexjan on Mar 7, 2008 - 11 comments

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don't vote

Alberta voted on March 3, 2008. Or did it? The record low turnout of 41.3% is causing questions to be asked. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes on Mar 5, 2008 - 68 comments

Alan Dargin RIP

Master of the 'didge' - after veins burst in his throat some years ago while he was playing the didgeridoo, doctors warned that continued playing would threaten his life. Admitted to hospital last week with bleeding on the brain, he died on Sunday from a brain haemorrhage. He was 40. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Feb 28, 2008 - 18 comments

Umm, sorry about the genocide

A Nation Apologizes. (Sydney Morning Herald.) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children. Here the history told from an Aboriginal perspective in Archie Roach's great song "Took The Children Away." (Youtube) (song lyrics).
posted by fourcheesemac on Feb 12, 2008 - 77 comments

Test your national pride

Kick A Migrant!
posted by goo on Feb 9, 2008 - 69 comments

More Keims less Yoos please

One good lawyer is often what it takes. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Jan 26, 2008 - 12 comments

Don't say it, spray it

Did the Victorian police overreact in spraying capsicum spray into spectators at the Australian open tennis on Tuesday night? The officers say they were protecting themselves, it seems not all agree and legal action might ensue. Is the Australian Open (or any international sporting contest in Australia) still a family friendly environment?
posted by mattoxic on Jan 17, 2008 - 44 comments

PSA and the media

“If you’re a prostate cancer survivor, one of the hardest things to question is whether your treatment was worth it.”
In 2003 Professor Alan Coates, then chief executive of the Cancer Council of Australia, caused a media storm, when he suggested that based on available evidence he personally would not undergo PSA screening for prostate cancer. This month's RSM journal analyses the Australian media response in detail.
posted by roofus on Nov 29, 2007 - 43 comments

What goes Up must come Down

End of Empire : A collaboration of all areas of geopolitics affecting countries of the world in relation to the 'Empire' of the United States of America, and the 'sub-Empires', such as the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and any other country which seeks to exploit poorer nations and their people in the quest for domination.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 27, 2007 - 11 comments

The Lesser Of Two Weevils

Australia Votes. Polls have been predicting a Labor win for the past few weeks, and it's beginning to look like it just might happen. But that's not the real sport. [more inside]
posted by Neale on Nov 24, 2007 - 78 comments

You won't find Elcho Island in the Mediterranean

I'm sure you'll agree that these Yolngu dancers offer a different interpretation of Zorba the Greek. The dancers have become a youtube 'hit' and are set to tour the Greece in '08.
posted by mattoxic on Nov 21, 2007 - 18 comments

Senator On-Line

Senator On-Line (‘SOL’) is a truly democratic party which will allow everyone on the Australian Electoral roll who has access to the internet to vote on every Bill put to Parliament and have its Senators vote in accordance with a clear majority view. They will be running candidates for the upcoming federal Upper House (Senate) elections.
posted by finite on Nov 15, 2007 - 28 comments

No one ever cares about the opinion of farmers

Ho Ho Ho? Hellz No Fat Man!
posted by Stynxno on Nov 15, 2007 - 40 comments

100,000 Memories of Oz.

The 100,000th photograph has been scanned into the National Library of Australia's digital database. It is a picture of an oprhaned joey wearing a winter overcoat. But there's still 999,999 other photos for you to peruse. Check out a large selection of them here!
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 13, 2007 - 17 comments

Australian Federal Election

The Australian Federal election is winding its desultory way towards resolution on 24 November. So far, it has failed to catch much of the electorate’s imagination, and the centrist Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, retains his comfortable lead in the polls, indicating a change in executive government after 11 years of John Howard’s big-government conservatism. Rudd’s “me too” strategy suggests that ideology is dead in Australia. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by wilful on Nov 11, 2007 - 375 comments

The Soapbox.

The Soapbox is a collection of photographs, texts of speeches, transcripts of debates and political ads from Australian election campaigns (both State and Federal) from 1901 to the present day. More materials will be added when they become available.
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 25, 2007 - 3 comments

Australian Federal Election 2007 on November 24

And we're off! Prime Minister John Howard has set the date for the Australian Federal election as November 24th, meaning we're up for a long six-week campaign. With Kevin Rudd leading the PM by between 16 to 18 points (depending on who you read) in recent opinion polls, this election seems the most likely to provide a change of Government since Howard was first elected 11 years ago. Antony Green's usual excellent election guide is up and running here, along with an excellent calculator which shows which seats are up for grabs dependent on a 2 party preferred swing. You might also want to check out the Vote-O-Matic, a fun but entirely disposable quiz which aims to help you decide who you'll vote for. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 13, 2007 - 603 comments

Cheap booze!

When happy hour's over, and it's time to cruise back to trash someone's loungeroom, continue the tight-arse tradition with Boozle!
posted by pompomtom on Sep 18, 2007 - 8 comments

Googling the Australian Federal Election

Google launches a site dedicated to the upcoming Australian Federal Election with Youtube channels from each party, electoral boundaries integrated into Google Maps, a search engine to allow you to view what each candidate has said on a range of issues, from immigration to interest rates, news from your electorate, and graphs of media activity on candidates and issues. Australians have been lacking a comprehensive political resource like the UK's The Work For You, and Google has brought it one step closer. Unfortunately, many of the resources are in the form of gadgets you add to your iGoogle homepage, rather than standalone applications.
posted by Jimbob on Sep 16, 2007 - 29 comments

neigh-CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The Royal Randwick Racecourse has been locked down. At least 8 horses have tested positive for equine flu. It is predicted that 700 horses will contract the virus. [more inside]
posted by gomichild on Aug 29, 2007 - 32 comments

A Real Australian Citizenship Test

Like the US, the UK, and Canada before it, Australia has recently announced that, as part of its new citizenship guidelines, prospective citizens must pass a test with questions relating to Australian history, society, and culture. Not everyone is a fan of the test, though, or the information on it, and today The Age has released its own suggestions for a citizenship test. Could you pass it?
posted by mosessis on Aug 29, 2007 - 70 comments

"I don't see anything to believe in"

"I don't know anyone who calls himself that" Bob Dylan insulted in Australia 20 years ago. It's a wonder he still does interviews at all, and he tours down under regularly. He's resiient (Part 2 of a double YouTube link).
posted by St Urbain's Horseman on Aug 27, 2007 - 27 comments

Poo Bum Dicky Wee Wee!

People vandalising Wikipedia is hardly a new thing but now even the office of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is getting into the act. Website Wiki-Scanner (previously) has traced several edits to Wikipedia articles by the Prime Ministers staff, according to Australian newspaper The Courier Mail. And they aren't confined solely to the Wikipedia entry on the PM himself; there was even an act of vandalism on a martial-arts related entry, in which one of Howard's ministerial staffers wrote, “Poo bum dicky wee wee” on the page. Not good news on the eve of a federal election that the PM is largely expected to lose. Meanwhile, 'new media' is being put to good use at Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's website, Kevin07, where a recent blog entry compiles Youtube's 'best' political videos. Hours of fun for the whole family!
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 23, 2007 - 17 comments

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

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