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Joining Iran, China and Burma in Joyous Information Purity!

The Australian Federal Government has decided to implement legislation filtering web content at the ISP level, despite ongoing criticism that the filter will do nothing to protect children and is diversion of funds from more fruitful policies, and is fairly simple to circumvent, and ignores peer-to-peer traffic completely. In light of March's leaked ACMA blacklist, many are understandably concerned about the list becoming a political tool. [more inside]
posted by Jilder on Dec 16, 2009 - 23 comments

Name That Newly Found Species, for Charity

In 2005, the first comprehensive characterisation of decapod fauna of the continental margin of southwestern Australia was performed. 524 provisional species were identified, including 175 species (33%) that were new to science, each needing to be named. Earlier this year the naming rights for one particular unnamed spotted shrimp went up for auction to support the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Bob Rosenberry, journalist and publisher of Shrimp News International was an enthusiastic bidder, with plans to name the species Lebbeus shrimpnewsii, until he learned he couldn't name it after a commercial entity. The winner was a surprise to all involved: Lucien James "Luc" Longley, retired NBA player. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 7, 2009 - 13 comments

12 Beautifully Animated Stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime

Dust Echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated Aboriginal Australian dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land. The themes of these stories tell tales of love, loyalty, duty to country and aboriginal custom and law. Each story comes with descriptions on its history, what the story means and the text of the original story as told by local story tellers. Be sure to check out the downloads section for free desktop wallpapers and MP3 bonus tracks.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 26, 2009 - 13 comments

Climate change FAIL

Australia's emissions trading scheme, the "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme", is being debated in the Senate today. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Nov 26, 2009 - 124 comments

What Bogan is that?

Someone has started publishing a handy guide to the Australian bogan. One bogan is not amused. (Previously)
posted by awfurby on Nov 5, 2009 - 68 comments

Softies for Mirabel

In its' third year, Softies for Mirabel is an appeal for handmade stuffed toys to benefit children supported by The Mirabel Foundation. [more inside]
posted by hecho de la basura on Nov 5, 2009 - 2 comments

Horrie the Wog Dog

Army Pack: Horrie the Wog Dog, 2/1Australian Machine Gun Battalion. An Australian soldier in WW2 befriended a puppy, and he went to great lengths to save him after the War. I saw it this morning on Letters of Note and thought it was great. Be sure to read to the end.
posted by web-goddess on Nov 4, 2009 - 9 comments

iSnack 2.0

The billionth jar of Vegemite was sold in 2008. This nutritious yeast-based brown paste has been popular in Australia for decades, although its "distinctive" taste has limited its popularity in foreign markets. In July 2009, a competition was held by Kraft to come up with a name for the new cheesy variant. The result, chosen from 30,000 entries, sparked such a backlash that Kraft quickly backed down... but was iSnack 2.0 a marketing failure or a publicity coup? [more inside]
posted by moorooka on Nov 3, 2009 - 111 comments

How to make a Jellystinian

Jewish-Australian John Safran is (in)famous for his outrageous style of comedic television documentary, including the AFI award winning "Music Jamboree" and "John Safran vs God" (previously). His latest effort, "Race Relations" has already been described as the "lowest point in the history of Australian television". Including a "sniff test" comparison of Eurasian and Jewish panties and a scene involving a plastic cup and a copy of Obama's "Audacity of Hope" inside a Palestinian sperm-bank, episode one (of eight) aired last Wednesday to a buzz of controversy, and there's plenty worse to come.
posted by moorooka on Oct 24, 2009 - 102 comments

"In America, it would be like 'Hey, Hey, There's No More Show"

Australian television show "Hey Hey It's Saturday" is currently back on the air after a few decades, running a series of reunion shows, and the other night a group that had been on the show in the 80s came back with the same act, in blackface. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Oct 8, 2009 - 216 comments

Homelessness in Sydney

"I always had this picture in my head a homeless person is they're got torn dirty clothes, they're not shaven, they're, they're sort of sitting in the corner you know waiting for a handout and that was my and to think that - I'm not in that category - but I don't have a home for my family."
A report from Australia's Four Corners documentary TV show looking into homeless families in Western Sydney. Link has video and a transcript, plus background info.
posted by bystander on Sep 22, 2009 - 31 comments

Here lies a local culture

It was one of the biggest riots in the nation's history. An estimated four thousand sailors and locals -- an unlikely alliance of the young and unemployed, the gay community, the rockers -- fought with police, threw rocks and burned cars. [more inside]
posted by AmbroseChapel on Sep 18, 2009 - 13 comments

A sleek geek.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has done a lot in his life so far. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 7, 2009 - 13 comments

George Julius' Mechanical Totalisator

Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 26, 2009 - 4 comments

Putting a 14-year-old in a "lie detector" - what did you expect would happen?

Sydney radio station 2dayFM earned the ire and backlash of the Australian public - rape counsellors, Australian media, and Community Services ministers - after an on-air stunt by morning crew Kyle and Jackie O went horribly wrong. During their regular "lie detector" segment, a 14-year-old girl was interrogated by the hosts and her mother over her sexual history, against her will, and revealed that she had been raped at 12 on air (warning: possibly triggering audio clip embedded in news article). [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 29, 2009 - 131 comments

Teach, Bundanoon, teach!

Australian town bans bottled water.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 18, 2009 - 59 comments

Thomas Ley, Hanging Minister

In 1947, Thomas Ley, a virulently sectarian, pro-hanging Australian politician, died in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, where he had been sent after being sentenced to death for murder. It was probably not his first.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Jul 15, 2009 - 13 comments

Minty, fresh [CENSORED], or your money back!

Internet nasties affecting network freshness? Try Censordyne! [more inside]
posted by cheaily on Jul 8, 2009 - 17 comments

A tool for 20th-century Australian History

Even after some deliberation it is difficult to find reasons to support the appointment of women Trade Commissioners. The Virtual Reading Room of the National Archives of Australia is a mine of information about Australia, its relationships and past attitudes.
posted by mattoxic on Jul 8, 2009 - 7 comments

Upside down! Upside down!

Mr Squiggle, the Man from 93 Crater Crescent, the Moon, turns 50 today. Created by cartoonist and puppeteer Norman Hetherington, who would take children's scribbles and then craft it into a drawing, Mr Squiggle, along with friends Gus the Snail, Bill the Steam Shovel and the ever grumpy Blackboard (whom Mr Squiggle would use as an easel, being told to "Hu-rry u-p, hu-rry u-p" as he did) has been something of an institution for generations of Australian kids. Relive some of the magic...
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 30, 2009 - 18 comments

Healthy Country, Healthy People

An opinion piece in the Age states that the Northern Territory Government "plans to, in effect, close down indigenous outstations". [more inside]
posted by ginky on May 20, 2009 - 12 comments

Discrimination to Fight Discrimination?

"How do black women fight crime? They have abortions." "How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head." These and other 'jokes' featured in an advertisement on The Gruen Transfer, an Australian television program focusing on advertising. The ad, part of a segment called 'The Pitch' which usually produces humorous ads, was banned by the ABC, but the national broadcaster has still allowed it to be viewed online, and hundreds have now seen it. The ad was designed to sell "fat pride", with creator Adam Hunt explaining his motivation behind the ad being to say "if you discriminate against somebody on the basis of their shape then you are no different to someone who is racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic." Debate has raged online if the ad is offensive and discriminatory, as the ABC has declared, and whether or not it was effective. Watch the ad and judge for yourself.
posted by Effigy2000 on May 15, 2009 - 157 comments

20 Years Of Supercilious Gits

Twenty years old this year, fifteen-minute long Australian television programme Media Watch criticises television and print journalism. (Previously).
posted by Fiasco da Gama on May 7, 2009 - 17 comments

Arachnid overlords

Be glad you don't live in Bowen, Queensland. The town is being overrun by giant bird-eating spiders, which are venomous and as big as a man's hand. They're the biggest spiders in Australia, a land known for monstrous creepy crawlies.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on May 6, 2009 - 135 comments

A Most Disgusting Song

Sixto Rodriguez aka Rod Riguez was a platinum-selling urban-poet folk-funk singer in South Africa, a hit across Australia and New Zealand -- and had no idea. He was working on a construction site in his home town of Detroit until his daughter Eva Alicia found a fansite called "The Great Rodriguez Hunt". [more inside]
posted by msalt on May 5, 2009 - 22 comments

You are about to enter the Gallipoli Peninsula at Z Beach

Gallipoli: The First Day [flash] An ABC documentary site about the WW1 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915.
posted by tellurian on May 3, 2009 - 12 comments

We Are the Image Makers

WATIM [We Are the Image Makers] is an online publication that promotes Australian artists, illustrators, designers and photographers. Issue 19 is out this month. There have been more than 150 artist contributors in their four years online. [some art nsfw]
posted by netbros on Apr 24, 2009 - 3 comments

Pot Luck

1980s Australian tv talent show Pot Luck, featuring -- Todd Rixon, Piffy the bell ringer, and Wenkyshafee.
posted by vronsky on Apr 23, 2009 - 10 comments

Pictures of Australian War Memorials Online

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, when Australia and New Zealand remembers its fallen diggers who gave their lives (video link) in defence of our freedoms in the major conflicts of the 20th century. If you can, you really should try and attend one of the many dawn services that will be held at numerous war memorials located all around both countries tomorrow. Many of these memorials to the fallen have been documented and are now viewable online. Check out the war memorial pages for Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria (The Shrine of Rememberance in Victoria has its own web page), South Australia and the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the big one in the ACT, the Australian War Memorial. New Zealand has documented many of theirs online as well. Lest we forget, there's also a memorial at ANZAC Cove itself.
posted by Effigy2000 on Apr 23, 2009 - 32 comments

Sharpies: expressing difference through a well-dressed thuggery

"Normally subcultures in Australia are taken from other countries and just reproduced here. Sharps or sharpies are an Australian specific subculture, developed in Australian specific conditions." Sharpies were members of suburban youth gangs in Australia mainly from the 1960s to 1980s, particularly in Melbourne, but also in Sydney and Perth to a lesser extent. "Everybody was in a gang. Everybody. Every second street there was a gang. Um -- there was like you were either in a gang or you were the victim." The time of the sharpies is part of Melbourne folklore. Forget JFK. Where were you when Frankston erupted after the AC/DC concert in 1977? While the violence was legendary, so were the fashion and the music. Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, Buster Brown, Skyhooks, Fat Daddy, Hush. And nobody danced like the sharpies (which resembles skanking of some sort). Anyone over forty who grew up in Melbourne has at least one story to tell about the sharpies (PDF). Some stories are about gang leaders with missing teeth and shit-eating grins, while others look back with some sort of fondness.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 14, 2009 - 23 comments

The Australian Government's Blacklisted Website List

Wikileaks has posted the complete list of websites that the Australian Government intends to block under its proposed opt-out internet censorship scheme. The Government has flagged plans to expand the blacklist to 10,000 sites or more. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 18, 2009 - 79 comments

World War II History Reference

"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill, 1935. The World War II Database connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
posted by netbros on Mar 13, 2009 - 13 comments

Alienated from the clique society, A lonely boy finds peace in fishing.

Surf Fishing for Great Whites [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 25, 2009 - 37 comments

A glorious morning

The Morning Glory might be the coolest cloud on the planet. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Feb 18, 2009 - 25 comments

Victoria's Bushfires

Many places in Victoria are on fire. Victoria's Bushfires can help you keep track of the current situation around Melbourne. [more inside]
posted by mosessis on Feb 7, 2009 - 209 comments

Former PM keating talks GFC

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating provides some observations on the GFC, including suggestions that the USA could become a defaulter, and identifying a need for a new international settlement to replace Bretton Woods. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Feb 3, 2009 - 30 comments

What a crate idea

For the last few years across Melbourne a mysterious, box like man has been appearing. He is known as crate man. He has appeared sitting atop factories, climbing into the city, on cranes, in the city and again, taking a smoke, being crucified, on factories, climbing around and occasionally just having a hard time. Currently he is just hanging out in Yarraville having a brew Via Melbourne in photos and The Wooster collective
posted by sien on Feb 1, 2009 - 22 comments

Wobble board, wobble board, I'm so flipping bored

Australia song - Adam Buxton of the Adam and Joe show gives musical tribute to the epically long Baz Luhrmann movie. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2009 - 20 comments

Australian Soldier in Afghanistan Awarded VC

An Australian soldier has been awarded the Victoria Cross for his involvement in an action in Afghanistan.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Jan 15, 2009 - 59 comments

The Best Job in the World

The Best Job in the World. Would you like to be paid AUD$150,0000 to live for free in a three-bedroom villa on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months, simply in exchange for blogging about your experience? Yeah, so would I. Submit your application before February 22nd, and see if you make it through the other millions of people who are sure to apply. And no--it's not a joke.
posted by schroedinger on Jan 12, 2009 - 70 comments

May you dream of the devil and...

Outback: Have a drink, mate? Have a fight mate? Have a taste of dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here Wake in Fright Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 NFSW, including scenes of an actual kangaroo cull. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Dec 13, 2008 - 11 comments

The Howard Years

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was booted out in the 2007 elections. He had been Prime Minister for 11 years and in that time he had taken the country to war and divided the country on issues like Aboriginal reconciliation and workplace reforms. The Howard Years, a four part documentary originally screened on the ABC, is now online and available to view for free and takes a detailed look at the legacy of his Prime Ministership. The four part series explores in greater detail than ever before Howard's fractured relationship with his deputy and heir apparent, Peter Costello, and also contains some startling revelations from Howard Government ministers that many candidly admit they would never have told you while they were still in Government.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 8, 2008 - 32 comments

Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved, that till that very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this 'satiable Elephant's Child had never seen a Crocodile

Thrill-seekers swim with crocodiles in Australia Tourists who want to get cozy with a crocodile climb into a clear acrylic cage, dubbed "the cage of death," which is about 145 mm (5.7 inches) thick and 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) high, wearing just a pair of swimming goggles and a swimsuit. [Pictures] [YouTubery] "I can understand how this might be attractive to tourists but has anyone considered the welfare of the crocodile?" [More about saltwater crocodiles] [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Nov 10, 2008 - 25 comments

Awesome

Seminal Synth & New Wave Sounds
posted by vronsky on Nov 7, 2008 - 19 comments

Oy, oy, oy...

Boy goes on "rampage" at Aussie zoo, killing rare reptiles and feeding them to a crocodile. [more inside]
posted by educatedslacker on Oct 3, 2008 - 306 comments

Was there a Battle for Australia?

Australia now commemorates Battle for Australia Day on the first Wednesday in September. But what is 'the Battle for Australia'? Did such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 16, 2008 - 51 comments

Not with a bang but with a televised political satire

"We don't vote for them, we don't even know their names and we're not quite sure what they do. But they wield enormous influence. They are the power behind the power. They are The Hollowmen." You can watch the Australian Broadcasting Company's new political satire The Hollowmen [warning: sound] on the web. Or you can find it via Bittorrent. (Or if you live down under I suppose you could watch it on ABC 1 Wednesdays at 9pm or ABC 2 Thursdays at 8:30pm.) It's worth a look because it may be the funniest new satire on any English-language network. [more inside]
posted by sdodd on Sep 12, 2008 - 18 comments

Twelve Canoes

Twelve Canoes - a beautiful & media-rich site presenting the stories, art and environment of the Yolngu people who live around the Arafura swamp in north-eastern Arnhem Land, Australia. [more inside]
posted by UbuRoivas on Sep 8, 2008 - 5 comments

The Eureka Tower Carpark

The Eureka Tower Carpark in Melbourne makes makes great use of forced perspective for its way-finding system, designed by Axel Peemoeller.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 7, 2008 - 31 comments

Beren Patterson Travel Photography

Tribalcog is the travel photography site of Beren Patterson. Includes simple and easy to use tutorials and his collection of travel pictures that are integrated as a digital postcard system.
posted by netbros on Aug 22, 2008 - 4 comments

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