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 -
! (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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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
) 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 -