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628 posts tagged with australia.
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Sink, or swim?

Happy Harold Holt Day! On this day in 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared whilst swimming at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne. Conspiracy theories abound. Today, his memory is honoured by a memorial swimming pool.
posted by Pinback on Dec 17, 2004 - 7 comments

Chika Honda

In 1992 Chika Honda was a 36-year-old Japanese woman who accepted an offer from a regular customer, Mistuo at the pub she worked nights in, to join him and his brothers on a holiday to Australia - her first ever overseas trip. During a stopover in Kuala Lumpur their suitcases were stolen. Charlie, a business associate of Mistuo, offered to sort everything out and returned the next morning with their belongings in a new set of suitcases, claiming their luggage had been slashed with a knife. When the group arrived in Melbourne, customs found 13kg of heroin in the lining of their suitcases. Chika and the others were arrested, investigated, charged and later tried and sentenced.

Chika was eventually released and deported in 2002 after having served 10 years in Victorian prisons. She still maintains her innocence. Several documentaries about this case, known in Japan as the Melbourne Incident have been aired in Japan but very little coverage has been given in Australia. In one of the documentaries, Charlie completely exonerates Chika (PDF : See page 5). In 2002, her Japanese lawyers filed a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to clear her name. Two years later and nothing has yet been achieved. The Australian government still admits no miscarriage of justice.

But she'll be right mate, we Aussies know what we're doing.
posted by DirtyCreature on Dec 11, 2004 - 34 comments

Australia in pictures...

Australian Snapshots is one of those "give lots of people disposable cameras to take photos of their lives during a particular time" photo collections. In this case, the pictures were taken by Australians in regional areas during the 2004 Olympics. I know there are lots of these projects around, but they can often turn the ordinary into interesting or capture those things iconic to that community.
posted by AnnaRat on Dec 10, 2004 - 6 comments

A Long walk for justice.

Abc Australia reports on Michael Long World Football (Soccer) Star and Australian Aborigine Michael Long meets with the Aussie PM after drawing attention by walking from Melbourne to Canberra. As a child of the Aboriginal lost generation he is seeking a voice for his people in the government. Make what you will of the issue, this is a brave, brave man.
posted by lumpenprole on Dec 3, 2004 - 27 comments

Who is watching Big Brother?

Who is watching Big Brother? Last week, the Australian Privacy Foundation held its annual Big Brother Awards, with biometric passports winning the prestigious "Orwell" for the most invasive technology (other countries' Big Brother Awards here). Not long before, Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center released their 7th Annual Survey on the state of privacy in sixty countries, claiming that threats to personal privacy have reached a level that is dangerous to fundamental human rights. Are we edging closer to Room 101?
posted by UbuRoivas on Nov 29, 2004 - 6 comments

Failed Missionaries

The Wellington Valley Project. The history of a failed Christian mission in colonial Australia.
posted by plep on Nov 23, 2004 - 2 comments

File under: Crazy shit I'd like to do someday

Earthflyer - take one tricked out mountainboard, a kiteboarding rig, and the windy season in the Australian Outback. Mix together for Earthflyer Dirk Gion's whirlwind 17 day 3,000 km tour of Western Australia.
posted by Ufez Jones on Nov 12, 2004 - 3 comments

Campaigning in Oz

Sunday Night's Election Debate  —  National security issues loom large, voters are admonished not to decide to “cut and run”. Medicare and the economy were also points of contention. The greens are being attacked as “commies”. John Quiggin has some observations.
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Sep 13, 2004 - 20 comments

DO - YOU - SPEAK - ENG-LISH...

It's our language, not yours. So, you were born in an English-speaking country founded by the English, speak English, have a degree in English, write and publish in English, have lived in England for years, and would like to become an English citizen? Sorry, you failed our English test to determine whether you have workable English, so you can't be English.
posted by rory on Aug 19, 2004 - 38 comments

...access to affected authors has been disabled.

The recent Australia/US free trade deal,among many other things, extended copyright from fifty years after an authors death to seventy years. As a result stuff like this happening. via Making Light
posted by thatwhichfalls on Aug 5, 2004 - 12 comments

The Australian National Public Toilet Map

The Australian National Public Toilet Map.
posted by hama7 on Jul 6, 2004 - 7 comments

Riotous Littleport

Riotous Littleport. The deportation of an English village to Australia. BBC article with links to other interesting articles on immigration and emigration on the page.
posted by plep on Jun 20, 2004 - 5 comments

Bet your bottom dollar

The East Timor/Australia rift over the Greater Sunrise natural gas field in the Timor Sea is the latest struggle for the world's newest nation.
posted by kliuless on Jun 12, 2004 - 8 comments

Instant Environmental Satisfaction

Greenfleet is an Australian environmental organisation who aim to help citizens offset their own greenhouse gas emmissions. Their Tree Totaller (Australian-based, but I'm sure conversions are easy) works out how many trees you need to offset your annual emmissions, based on private car, home energy use and flights. It's a very neat little flash-app, and at the end it lets you chose to "subscribe" to Greenfleet so they'll plant the necessary number of trees for you. I owe 44 trees, for only AU$103 a year.
posted by Jimbob on Jun 4, 2004 - 7 comments

US accdg to CA

A Californian's Conception of the Continental US. (Scroll down a bit for the funny fun.) In the tradition of the United States of my Racist Aunt, the World According to America, and perhaps the Aussie Projection. (Link via Anil.)
posted by brownpau on Feb 26, 2004 - 15 comments

How not to re-enact your favourite movie

How not to re-enact your favourite movie Two girls take their love of Thelma and Louise too far. Laws aside, what scene from a movie would you live out if you had a choice?
posted by Jubey on Feb 17, 2004 - 34 comments

delete everything! burn your files!

Oh snap, things for Kazaa and the parent company just took a turn for the worst as an Australian court served the company with a "search and seize" order. I'm guessing that's like a search warrant in the US, where the authorities have free reign to go through your stuff looking for evidence linked to a crime. Surprising that this happened as a result of no apparent court case, but who knows if it will cause any long term damage.
posted by mathowie on Feb 6, 2004 - 22 comments

New angles on old places

Sleepy City. Incredibly cool photos of urban Australia.
posted by arha on Feb 4, 2004 - 15 comments

The Legitimacy Of Ex-Pats

Germaine Greer Doesn't Live In Australia Because She Loves It Too Much: What is it about ex-pats - and particularly Australian ex-pats, when they're as intelligent, witty and vocal as Greer, Robert Hughes, Clive James et al. - that makes their justifications for exile ring so hollow? [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 1, 2004 - 38 comments

Little people doing huge things

Austrailian pilot stuck in Antarctica That story is interesting enough, but the background on the pilot (just your typical nurse-midwife homebuilt avionics adventurer) available here is fascinating. I love reading these stories about common folk following their dreams and accomplishing huge things. Dare I say inspiring? Lifted from SlashDot
posted by dirtylittlemonkey on Dec 11, 2003 - 13 comments

solar challenge

World solar challenge 2003. Darwin to Adelaide 19 - 28 October. Check out the route. Meet the teams. Have a look at the Green Fleet class as well, where technology meets reality. I won't be able to watch the race but have high hopes for next year's Olympics.
posted by ginz on Oct 18, 2003 - 5 comments

He’s battered the sav again beautifully there, and it must be swelling now, it must be starting to hurt

If you're planning on watching the Rugby World Cup, you'll be sure to enjoy the full football experience by getting all your Rugby info via Australia's finest sporting commentators. (Last link is RealMedia - but you need to hear them to understand the appeal...) Rampaging Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson. They love sport so much, they even call role-playing games...
posted by backOfYourMind on Oct 15, 2003 - 8 comments

sydney opera house virtual tour

Inside the House : A virtual tour of the Sydney Opera House. [Note: Flash]
posted by crunchland on Oct 1, 2003 - 6 comments

Dear Mr. Shark, if we put you in an aquarium, please don't breach all up on me.

The Shark That Won't Be Caged: everyone knows the Carcharodon carcharias--usually by its popularized name The Great White Shark--but not many people have ever seen one, due to the fact that one has never survived for any significant length of time in captivity. Until recently, it was thought that the shark's sensitivity to electrical fields was the culprit, but an aquarium in Monterey Bay is out to prove that theory wrong (additional stories on attempt:1, 2). A previous, accidental capture of a Great White in a tuna net off the coast of South Australia suggests that it could be possible if the stress level can be kept low enough.
posted by The God Complex on Sep 30, 2003 - 14 comments

I know they'll tell about the night I died

Slim Dusty - Australian country music icon - passes on. You know him - "There's nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear, than to stand in the bar of the pub with no beer."
posted by GrahamVM on Sep 19, 2003 - 4 comments

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Hippie Atrocities and Beautiful Freaks -- Oz Magazine was, for a ten year run during the Sixties and Seventies, Australia's, and later England's, premier underground satire 'zine. Featuring contributions from (among others) Lenny Bruce and Germain Greere, and subject to two obscenity trials--one in Australia and another, more famous one following the editors' exile to England--it evolved, in its English incarnation, a wicked, witty and of course, thouroughly psychedelic design aesthetic. There are galleries of cover art here and here, and a Shockwave adaptation of the infamous School Kids issue here. [warning: some images NSFW.]
posted by arto on Aug 26, 2003 - 6 comments

The Night Air

The Night Air is a beautifully constructed radio show broadcast on Radio National here in Australia. It's essentially cut up bits of documentary, music and audio art .. woven together into a one and half hour themed show. It makes great headphone listening at work.
posted by mrben on Aug 11, 2003 - 7 comments

Lawyers on TV

The Indiana Supreme Court scolded personal injury law firm Keller & Keller for their television ads that "create an impression that the claims they handle are settled, not because of the specific facts or legal circumstances of the claims, but merely by the mention of the name of the respondents' firm to insurance companies." Interestingly a search for this turned up Network Affiliates Incorporated, a company that sells advertising to lawyers. Television ads are evidently not the best way to find competent legal council and are considered to be unethical in parts of Australia. (Just to provide four different points of view on this issue.)
posted by KirkJobSluder on Aug 9, 2003 - 14 comments

Chinese Diaspora

Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation. A page full of stories of the Chinese community in Australia around 1900. 'At this time there were almost 35,000 Chinese in the Australian colonies. Each of these individuals to varying degrees has played a role in the development of Australia. This page explores the lives of some of these people - both ordinary and famous. '
Related :- the Ng Shing Gung in San Jose; the Mai Wah Society and the Asian heritage of Butte, Montana (old building and the Tong Wars); the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Seattle; a Chinese joss house in Darwin; Chinatown Melbourne (history, today, virtual tour); Chinatown Sydney (community and culture); Yema-po, once a Chinese labourers' work camp in California.
posted by plep on Aug 7, 2003 - 11 comments

Australian Stories

Australian Stories from Australian museums about unusual aspects of Australian history : rabbits in Western Australia (where they came from, attempts - mostly failed - to control them); the National Quilt Register and quilt stories; fish; Chinese-Australians in rural Australia; indigenous stories from Napranum and Thursday Island; the trams of Ballarat; William Buckley, an escaped convict who lived in the bush for 33 years; Annie Russell of Brewarrina in northern NSW; the Benedictine Community of New Norcia in WA; an ambush at Broken Hill; Australian fashion; conserving a 17th century musical instrument.
Related :- Koori hidden histories and children's art in Victoria (as well as some oral histories from around the world); 100 years of Queensland Aboriginal life; Antarctica and pictorial collections from the State Library of NSW.
posted by plep on Jul 31, 2003 - 8 comments

Teenagers find the internet very difficult to use ....

Teenagers find the internet a frustrating experience A survey in the north east of England finds that teenagers are increasingly being alienated in their online experience because they aren't being given the skillsets to cope with finding or using the information. Seems to be the old story of schools buying computers but the kids not being engaged enough on how to use them (which has been the case since I was stuck in front of an Acorn Archimedes fifteen years go). Here is a similar article from Australia which describes how their eductation system is coping with the issue.
posted by feelinglistless on Jul 23, 2003 - 14 comments

Ecotonoha - interactive ecology project - add a leaf, plant a tree

Ecotonoha - the word tree. Add a signature leaf to this interactive tree...between now and Christmas, for every 100 leaves added, NEC will plant a tree on Kangaroo Island as part of their Australian afforestation program. The tree is rebuilt each day - so far, 6,000+ participants are responsible for 60 new trees. An intriguing collaborative flash project designed by Yugo Nakamura.
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 23, 2003 - 7 comments

Police abandon photo targets

Apologies come from the top Queensland, Australia: "QUEENSLAND'S elite anti-terrorism police will no longer use photos of real people in target practice after concerns were raised by indigenous and civil liberties groups." Dp the police have the right to use someone's mugshot for target practice, without permission or consent?
posted by skinsuit on Jul 7, 2003 - 16 comments

Fair-Weather Friends

Coalition of the willing (if they know what's good for them). A decent little collection of articles about one of the most shameful events in Australian political history: the Whitlam dismissal. From an article that begins with a quote from former CIA agent Victor Marchetti: "Australia is going to be increasingly important to the United States, and so long as Australians keep electing the right people then there'll be a stable relationship between the two countries." to an interview with Christopher Boyce, whose experiences and actions were recounted in the book The Falcon and the Snowman and in the later John Schlesinger film of the same name. Attach some platitude about the virtues of friendship.
posted by chrisgregory on Jun 18, 2003 - 2 comments

US bills Australia for bombs.

US bills Australia for bombs. This is the first time I have seen a 'user-pays' principle of modern warfare spelled out in this way. But then again Australia doesn't make a habit of going to war. 'The ADF will also be required to pay an undisclosed amount – believed to be up to $3 million – for satellite time and band width to connect the Canberra war room with command in the Gulf, and enable it to talk directly with SAS troops on the ground. "It was described as the first struggle in the war, to secure band width," said Derek Woolner, defence analysis director at the Australian Defence Studies Centre.'
posted by blue on May 27, 2003 - 22 comments

The Flight of Ducks

The Flight of Ducks. An 'online documentary' about a 1933 expedition to Central Australia (containing culturally sensitive material).
What are songlines? 'Songlines, or Yiri in the Walpiri language, are tracks across the landscape created by Mythical Aboriginal ancestors when they rose out of the dark Earth and travelled, creating mountains, valleys, waterholes - all the physical features of the land ... '
Songlines art.
New York Songlines. Walking tours of Manhattan streets.
posted by plep on Apr 20, 2003 - 12 comments

The Division By Zero Conspiracy

For Great Justice. Man appeals to High Court of Australia to apply their jurisdiction to the laws of mathematics. Justice Kirby not amused.
posted by Bletch on Apr 7, 2003 - 17 comments

someone down under goes over budget

What does AUS$4 Million get you? A website. Not a very good one at that, but what do you expect when it's only 3.6mil over budget?
posted by Mick on Apr 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Babies against war

In anti-war protests in Australia yesterday, children as young as 12 were shown on TV coverage participating not only in protests, but in the violence that followed when the protesters attacked police. There has, in the past, been condemnation of those who bring their children along to protests, but this is the first time I have seen large numbers of children protesting on their own behalf - most of whom would have been truant from school and, judging by the way many hid from cameras, without the permission of their parents. Should we take them seriously, or are they too young to really understand what it is they are protesting against? [more inside]
posted by dg on Mar 26, 2003 - 28 comments

The Ngadjonji

The Ngadjonji. The history and culture of a Queensland rainforest tribe.
"Theirs was a culture with no chiefs or kings. If the senior men and women of each clan had implied status, it was because of their wisdom and the highest attributes a (Ngadjonji) could possess was a keen memory and great skill in hunting, gathering and bushcraft ... "
Of related interest :- the Aboriginal Memorial, in Canberra, created by 43 artists of the Ramingining community in Arnhem Land.
posted by plep on Mar 22, 2003 - 4 comments

Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria, Australia's largest public museums organisation. [more]
posted by hama7 on Mar 21, 2003 - 3 comments

Season of mists

The Moon mating of the coral has begun. So it's time for a little Autumn magic. The fagus is turning, our devils are beginning their mating marathons and our fat little fairies have all the jumpers they need. The Scribbly Gum website celebrates some of nature's seasonal events in Australia.
posted by Tarrama on Mar 20, 2003 - 9 comments

Not all Aussies agree with war against Iraq

There's a revolt in the ranks. Office of National Assessment senior analyst Andrew Wilkie resigned in protest against the stance on Iraq. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has questioned Mr Wilkie's seniority and suggested he did not have access to all available information on Iraq but Opposition leader Mr Crean disputes that. "Not senior? This is a person who has had involvement on terrorism briefings - we know that from the reports," Mr Crean said. "He's also a person that according to the same reports was going to be put on the Iraq taskforce if Australia went to war. Now don't tell me that's not senior, don't tell me that's not connected."
posted by skinsuit on Mar 11, 2003 - 5 comments

Space elevator one step closer.

Highlift Systems may have found a better location for their space elevator in Perth, Australia. Calm waters, few thunderstorms, not too far from the equator, international airport. (Slashdot discussion) I live in Perth, so I'm excited about the prospect, but our current premier may need a little prod.
posted by krisjohn on Feb 16, 2003 - 8 comments

follow the oolong-proof fence

Rabbit Proof Fence is a movie about Australia's "stolen generation," the 100,000 Aboriginal and "half-caste" children kidnapped between 1910 and 1970 and raised in institutions, as part of a policy to "breed out" their Aboriginal blood and integrate them into white society. The movie is the true story of three girls who ran away and walked 1500 miles back home. Molly, the oldest one, walked it again years later when they captured her and her children. Here's a teacher's guide (pdf) based on the gov't report about the stolen generation. (book by Molly's daughter Doris Pilkington, movie soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. It's getting a lot of press despite its low profile -- go support your local indie theater)
posted by fotzepolitic on Feb 11, 2003 - 13 comments

I'll rip yer bloody arms off...

The greatest TV show you will probably never see: Aunty Jack, a ten-foot tall, boxing-glove wearing, motor-cycling, moustached cross-dresser, was the star of The Aunty Jack Show, which ran for thirteen episodes in 1972-73 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission TV network (and was the first show broadcast on Australian TV in colour). Many of the original episodes have been lost (but records of them exist). Re-release on video or DVD of the remaining episodes is tangled up in copyright issues. The 1974 album Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong was re-released on CD, and still seems to be available. It includes such classics as 'Fish Milkshakes' and 'Teenage Butcher' and the song 'Farewell Aunty Jack', which was a number 1 hit in Australia. Some samples can be found here. There were spinoffs from Aunty Jack, most notably the Norman Gunston Show, with Norman playing the prototypical terrrible interviewer and inspiring the much later Ali G, Dennis Pennis and many others. I was two years old when the series aired: Aunty Jack's threat at the end of each episode, that: 'If you don't watch next week, I'll rip your bloody arm off!' meant that I never, ever, missed it.
posted by chrisgregory on Jan 30, 2003 - 33 comments

model rocket video

Hobbyist records video from the POV of a model rocket via microwave downlink. The videos may be getting slammed with traffic right now, but the essential geeky construction photos are here. via macintouch
posted by machaus on Jan 29, 2003 - 11 comments

I'd like to report some suspicious behaviour

I'd like to report some suspicious behaviour...a series of recent television commercials running on Australian TV promoting a toll free phone number to call if the viewer happens to see anything suspicious. Suspicious, you say? Don't be alarmed, it's all part of the Let's Look Out For Australia Campaign, whose motto is: 'Be alert, but not alarmed'. Then it says: 'Australians are friendly, decent, democratic people, and we're going to stay that way.' I feel alarmed, but not for the same reason. I'm alarmed that everything I once valued about my country, a humane welfare system that provided free healthcare and free education (including free university study) and an admirable and enlightened approach to multiculturalism, have been substantially compromised over the past decade. I feel so betrayed that I can no longer say with confidence that I love my country. Things have reached the point where I want to move somewhere else: anyone have any suggestions?
posted by chrisgregory on Jan 13, 2003 - 39 comments

Solar Tower

A kilometre-high solar tower, to be built in the Australian outback by EnviroMission Ltd, will become the world's tallest structure when completed in 2006. Designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, the solar tower (or solar chimney) operates like a hydroelectric power plant, but uses hot air instead of water, and it could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes. Time calls it one of the best inventions of 2002, and I think it's one of the most ingenious ideas I've ever heard. Another solar chimney project was planned in Rajasthan, India, but I haven't found any information on its current status.
posted by homunculus on Jan 6, 2003 - 52 comments

All about toad licking

Toad licking - Ever been tempted? DON'T: read this magisterial blog piece on the dangers of Toadlicking first!. But for a really fun time, look for this hilarious documentary at your local independant video store: "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History": "When the Australian sugarcane crop was attacked by beetles, someone decided to import cane toads to combat the pests. But somebody didn't do their homework: beetles can fly, but cane toads can't. What can cane toads do? Reproduce, big time..." [I'll graciously leave the post on Australian plagues - of rabbits, toads, and so on - for somebody else. Then, of course, there's Kudzu and Killer Bees...]
posted by troutfishing on Dec 5, 2002 - 38 comments

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