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Slow Motion Sneezing

Sneezing in Slow Motion; somehow simultaneously more fascinating, terrifying, and disgusting than you'd imagine it'd be. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 26, 2013 - 27 comments

East India Company?

A recent genetic study suggests that around 2200 BC explorers from India arrived and settled on the continent of Australia. "Unlike their European successors, these earlier settlers were assimilated by the locals. And they brought with them both technological improvements and one of Australia’s most iconic animals." [SLEconomist]
posted by Guernsey Halleck on Jan 25, 2013 - 25 comments

"What does Liloing Involve? NO Skill No expensive gear and NO BRAINS."

Liloing: "the art [pdf] of enjoying oneself paddling down a river on an inflatable rubber mattress,* shooting the odd friendly rapid." Groups like Span Outdoors organize liloing trips, and much discussion of liloing can be found at bushwalk.com. (*i.e., a lilo)
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 17, 2013 - 19 comments

Don't mock a quokka

When 17th-century Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh encountered what he described as "a kind of rat as big as a common cat" on on island off the western coast of Australia, he quickly dubbed it "Rats' Nest". Despite the insult, these marsupials aren't known to hold a grudge: the Quokkas, native to what is still known as Rottnest Island and nearby isles, are some of the happiest-looking, most inquisitive furry critters around.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 11, 2013 - 25 comments

High Impact Bloody Violence

After years of deliberation, Australia finally have an R 18 rating for games, allowing a wider range of games to be legally released in Australia. The first game to be rated R18 will be Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, a Wii U game that will receive that rating due to its 'high impact bloody violence'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 10, 2013 - 59 comments

This one goes deep purple

It's so hot in Australia they've added a new color to the weather map, a Tasmania-sized deep purple blob 50 degrees or more (123 F). In the USA 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded, smashing through previous records by a healthy margin. 2012 was also the second-worst on a measure called the Climate Extremes Index, surpassed only by 1998. Globally, 2012 is expected to be ranked as the eighth-warmest year on record, with that announcement coming later in the month. "Climate change has had a role in this,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 8, 2013 - 128 comments

So I voted for an axe-murderer

A new MP, Gloria De Piero was taken aback by how many people despised her because of her new profession. So she took to the streets to find out why. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jan 2, 2013 - 20 comments

Computer Boy & Abe Forsythe

Computer Boy! (also available here): Abe Forsythe made the movie Computer Boy when he was just 18. It's a 50 min. spoof of The Matrix that was filmed in less than two weeks at actual Matrix shooting locations in Australia and cost just over $2000 to make.* It became a cult hit when it was released online in 2000 & was one of the first internet films to hit 500,000 views.* (wikipedia, imdb) [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 comments

Grauniad Down Under?

The Guardian, the 191-year-old British daily newspaper whose name is synonymous with broadly left-leaning values, is reported to be planning to open an Australian online-only news operation. The venture (which has not been confirmed) is said to be headed by current Saturday Guardian editor Katherine Viner, and to be a joint venture with Australian philanthropist Graeme Wood, who already runs a not-for-profit media site). The Guardian already runs a US online news operation (previously) with local reportage and commentary. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 17, 2012 - 57 comments

Love Lego? Love Rugby?

Ever wanted to see rugby highlights animated in lego? Of course you have! [more inside]
posted by Scottie_Bob on Dec 14, 2012 - 6 comments

Elisabeth Murdoch (nee Greene), 1908-2012

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, AC DBE, wife of Sir Keith and mother of Rupert, was an outspoken philanthropist. She died overnight in Australia, aged 103.
posted by wilful on Dec 5, 2012 - 16 comments

End of the world

Australian PM says the world is ending
posted by b33j on Dec 5, 2012 - 85 comments

“a board sign which announced in fading paint but one word: STORE. Just in case the traveler might be in some doubt.”

Harrods, in the bustling heart of London, is in a good location for a shop. So is the Macy’s in Herald Square, which boasts of serving 350,000 New Yorkers every day at Christmas time. Whereas down at the Mulka Store, in the furthermost reaches of South Australia, George and Mabel Aiston used to think themselves lucky if they pulled in a customer a week.
The Loneliest Shop In The World [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 5, 2012 - 23 comments

The Notwind

Frog Dreaming, aka The Quest (North America), aka Go Kids (UK), aka The Spirit Chaser (Sweden) features Henry Thomas as an American orphan in Australia investigating an aboriginal legend at a flooded quarry in Devils Knob national park. And yes, it's available in its entirety on youtube.
posted by mannequito on Dec 3, 2012 - 14 comments

“First with the head, then with the heart.” ― Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

Bryce Courtenay, prolific Australian author, dies. "Courtenay, who has been suffering from stomach cancer, died in Canberra late on Thursday with his wife Christine, son Adam, and his family pets, Tim the dog and Cardamon the Burmese cat, by his side. He was 79."
posted by Fizz on Nov 23, 2012 - 15 comments

I am the gravestone and the photograph

I am Hazara Close to 1,000 Hazaras have been killed in targeted attacks and shootings in [Quetta] the capital of Pakistan’s largest province [Baluchistan]. The indifference towards the atrocities has forced this shrinking community to take escape routes and gamble between life at the promised land and death at the ocean. Dawn, Pakistan's largest English-language daily, puts together an essay accompanied by short videos (subtitled in English).
posted by bardophile on Nov 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Echidna Party Beach

Scientists on Tasmania's Maria Island caught footage of an echidna playing in the water. Stay spikey, stay cute!
posted by barnacles on Nov 19, 2012 - 20 comments

Systematic child abuse and paedophilia in Australia

Following recent revelations about apparently systematic cover-ups and a deep failure to cooperate with police by the Roman Catholic Church, the Australian Prime Minister last night announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse to investigate the matter.
posted by wilful on Nov 12, 2012 - 64 comments

"Fundamentally flawed, unreasonable and irrational."

"Fundamentally flawed, unreasonable and irrational." In 2006, ABN Amro created a new type of financial instrument, the constant proportion debt obligation (CPDO), and sold a number of them to 15 local councils in Australia. Standard & Poor's rated these CPDOs as AAA. The Federal Court of Australia has now determined that both ABN Amro and S&P are liable for the losses the councils suffered when the value of the CPDOs collapsed during the financial crisis; the councils lost 90 per cent on the deal. S&P's rating of the CPDOs was found to have been "misleading and deceptive". Felix Salmon provides some analysis. [more inside]
posted by kithrater on Nov 6, 2012 - 28 comments

No parades for these veterans

Eighty years ago Australia went to war against a fierce and terrible enemy threatening the very foundations of life in Western Australia. An enemy so tough the Australian commanding officer described them as "like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop". Though the army did have the upper hand in the first engagements, dreams of a quick victory were dashed when the enemy's central command let its "unwieldy army split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month". Yes, it's eighty years since the Emu War.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 3, 2012 - 27 comments

Gillard - Getting Things Done

A great week for Australian Diplomacy
It has been an excellent week for Australian diplomacy. Prime Minister Julia Gillard established a strong new beginning for Australia's sometimes-troubled ties with a rising India. And the crowning moment was of course the country's victory in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council ...
[more inside]
posted by de on Oct 19, 2012 - 20 comments

Much more satisfying than watching yet another in-flight movie

"Thanks to extra fuel left on their plane and a pair of binoculars from a passenger, the crew of [an] Air Canada jetliner was credited Monday with assisting in the rescue of an Australian yacht adrift in the South Pacific." [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Oct 17, 2012 - 35 comments

Alcohol yesterday, drugs today

"Based in Brisbane, Australia, Stuart uses the medium of comics to explore serious issues with a unique perspective and a sense of fun." - War on Drugs and more, and even more. [Previously]
posted by vidur on Oct 10, 2012 - 6 comments

The Prime Minister of Australia stands up for the women of her country

"I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation." - The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, takes the Leader of the Opposition to task over his sexist views (link includes extracts and video of full fifteen minute speech) [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Oct 9, 2012 - 207 comments

Emptiness

Australian national identity. "Liam Pieper reflects on the shielding that has led to Australian peoples' perpetual ignorance of our true history." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 8, 2012 - 99 comments

Google Street View dives into the Great Barrier Reef

Google Maps Street View Collections now includes Heron Island, a coral cay in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
posted by capricorn on Sep 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Two Words: Extremist Sharks

"To aid the national security community in imagining contemporary threats, the Australian Security Research Centre (ASRC) is organising Australia’s Security Nightmares: The National Security Short Story Competition. The competition aims to produce a set of short stories that will contribute to a better conception of possible future threats and help defence, intelligence services, emergency managers, health agencies and other public, private and non-government organisations to be better prepared." (via)
posted by vidur on Sep 12, 2012 - 44 comments

The debate that dare not speak its name

Earlier this month Australian Christian Lobby head Jim Wallace suggested a homosexual lifestyle was more hazardous to health than smoking, but he was not was not comparing homosexuality with smoking. Smokers were offended. Last night, on the ABC's Q&A program (Transcript) the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, backed the comments, claiming ''It's very hard to get to the facts here because we don't want to talk about it, and in this country censorship is alive and well.". But Wallace's claims were based on a 25-year-old study by a discredited researcher. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Sep 11, 2012 - 49 comments

"We need to get this SNAFU under control rapidly".

My fellow Oceanians, you know we've always been at war with Eurasia
(Or is it Eastasia?) Either way it's war and we need division to wage it
But now the proles are connecting online bypassing these illusory divisions
Of race, religion and nationality (Sounds grand to me?!) It's a catastrophe!

Rap News (previously) analyzes the ongoing struggle of civil liberties in the Internet Age.
Will it remain the one open frequency where humanity can bypass filters and barriers, or become the greatest spying machine ever imagined?

posted by dunkadunc on Sep 10, 2012 - 30 comments

A Christian shooting party

They love firearms, hunting … and Jesus. In outback NSW (Australia), Jack Marx joins Steve “I Like Guns” Lee and crew for 24 hours in pursuit of feral pigs.
posted by malibustacey9999 on Sep 9, 2012 - 22 comments

In darkness my heart was won

After more than 15 years on hiatus, the punk-spawned, world-music-defining Dead Can Dance released their eighth album Anastasis one month ago. The reunited act are on a world tour. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Sep 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Her Rights at Work

The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister "Can it really be the case that a tax – a carbon tax – could spur so many people to such levels of hatred? I find that impossible to believe, so I have to conclude that the persecution of Julia Gillard has to be about something else." Warning - some text and imagery may be NSFW or offensive - a "Vanilla" version is available
posted by mattoxic on Sep 6, 2012 - 149 comments

"Furthermore, Africans want to work and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day.”

One week after telling Australian workers that they too can be millionaires if they spend more time working and less time smoking, drinking and socialising and for a lowering of the minimum wage, Australian iron ore billionaire Gina Rinehart (Previously) has released a video repeating her calls for a special economic zone for Northern Australia with fewer regulations and lower taxes. Some have noticed that she also seems okay with paying African workers $2 a day. She makes $2 million an hour. Her video has been derided by the Government, but the Liberal Party believe her idea for a Special Economic Zone is worth exploring.
posted by Mezentian on Sep 5, 2012 - 120 comments

Still maintaining the rage

Thirty-seven years after the dramatic events of the Dismissal, in which the Governer-General sacked the Prime Minister of Australia, replacing him with opposition leader Malcolm Fraser, new revelations have come to light showing that Sir John Kerr made inquiries into the potential dismissal of the Whitlam Government months before it happened on November 11, 1970. Kerr's papers also unmask High Court justice Anthony Mason's role in the saga. Mason extensively and secretly counselled Kerr during the crisis, canvassed the use of the reserve powers to dismiss Whitlam and drafted a letter of dismissal for Kerr to use. The revelations are made in a new book on the life of dumped PM Gough Whitlam.
posted by Mezentian on Sep 2, 2012 - 48 comments

Silenced All His Life

Crikey: "Like most egomaniacs who style themselves as prophets in the wilderness, Smith asserts that there’s been a media conspiracy to suppress his views." While the advertisement insert was rejected by News Ltd. it was carried by the Fairfax media is available online (PDF) - Dick Smith's Magazine of Forbidden Ideas That You Won't Read About in the Mainstream Media.
posted by vidur on Aug 19, 2012 - 17 comments

If I could turn back the boats I'd give them all to you

A Government-convened expert group has suggested that Australia return to the so-called Pacific Solution to deal with its asylum-seeker conundrum, and break a political impasse. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 13, 2012 - 39 comments

We will decide who comes to fish here, and the circumstances under which they fish

A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 12, 2012 - 55 comments

There Will Be No Racial Vilification Laws Under A Government I Lead

The man likely to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has used a lunchtime speech to the conservative think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to call for Australia's racial vilification laws to be wound back. Section 18C makes race hate speech unlawful, but not illegal. Abbott's calls come in the same week that Facebook has been in the firing-line over hosting the controversial "Aboriginal Memes" page. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 10, 2012 - 121 comments

an enigmatic people dedicated to the life of the mind

'Bookish' Australians indifferent to Olympics success.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 8, 2012 - 68 comments

Robert Hughes died in New York yesterday.

Influential Australian art critic Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New and The Fatal Shore, has died aged 74.
posted by wilful on Aug 6, 2012 - 62 comments

carbon pricing for Australia

Yesterday Australia joined many developed nations in putting a price on carbon pollution (fixed at $23/tonne CO2e for three years) (prev). Despite extensive compensation, this moderate economic reform has proved enormously unpopular ("based on a lie") and is expected to be repealed if/when the Federal Opposition are returned to government.
posted by wilful on Jul 1, 2012 - 106 comments

Taste the rainbow.

Iggy Azalea is a 22 year old Australian rapper. Her promotional videos Pu$$y, My World, and Two Times brought her Youtube viral fame and helped launch her career. Her first studio album, The New Classic, is set to be released sometime later this year. Other videos include Look At Me Now and two freestyle videos Get Big, and Hell of a Life.
posted by MaryDellamorte on Jul 1, 2012 - 31 comments

Some pretty pics for your Friday arvo.

Beautiful star-trail timelapse photos, taken at Lake Eppalock in Victoria, Australia. [more inside]
posted by malibustacey9999 on Jun 28, 2012 - 17 comments

yes, pretty much everybody can be wrong

the dingo took the baby [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Jun 12, 2012 - 109 comments

Mabo: 20 Years Later

At least the South Africans acknowledged the ownership of 400,000 square miles of South Africa by the original native inhabitants. We would regard [Ian Smith, the then Prime Minister of Rhodesia] as going entirely berserk in Rhodesia if he acknowledged no native land rights at all. But the position in Australia is that we acknowledge no native land rights whatever. We took the lot with our proclamations of sovereignty.
That complaint, made by Mr Beazley MP in 1967, was corrected twenty years ago on 3 June 1992, when the High Court of Australia found that "the common law of this country recognizes a form of native title", overturning the doctrine of terra nullius that had held since the 1830s. [more inside]
posted by kithrater on Jun 2, 2012 - 37 comments

Dumb, Drunk and Racist

Dumb, Drunk and Racist - Joe Hildebrand, writer for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, has a new TV show coming up on Australian TV, called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist", which was the phrase famously used during a training session in an Indian call centre about Australians. The show features four Indians from varying backgrounds visiting Australia - looks like very uncomfortable viewing (if you're Australian). (Slightly NSFW because of drunken boob-showing).
posted by awfurby on May 28, 2012 - 138 comments

SKA, music to an astronomers ears

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
posted by wilful on May 27, 2012 - 32 comments

Burke & Wills

Burke & Wills is a 1985 movie depicting the ill-fated 1860 expedition by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills across the interior of Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of 2000 miles. To date, it has never been released on DVD and is currently out of print. In 14 parts [140m]: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 2, 2012 - 18 comments

What Could Go Wrong?

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II, a modernized replica of the unsinkable Titanic.
posted by swift on Apr 30, 2012 - 98 comments

Bowerbirds: intentional architects, and accidental farmers

Bowerbirds, a family of 20 species in eight genera, are a fascinating bunch of birds who range from New Guinea and Australia. Some are flashy, others drab, but all are named for the "bowers" (avenues, huts, or towers of sticks; source) that the males craft and decorate to attract a mate. There are regional styles (PDF) in the design of the bowers, and the male Greater Bowerbirds even employ optical illusions. Some, like the Vogelkop Bowerbird, add mimicry vocal to their repertoire of courting methods. Add accidental cultivation to the list of fascinating features of the bowerbirds. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 26, 2012 - 44 comments

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