Life and stuff 2014

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Go safely this Christmas

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In December, 1989 the first Traffic Accident Commission road safety commercial went to air. In that year the Victorian road toll was 776; by last year, it had fallen to 229 but is already at 243 this year.

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17 December 2014     |       A five minute retrospective of the road safety campaigns produced by the TAC over the last 20 years illustrates the trauma of road accidents . The montage features iconic scenes and images from commercials that have helped change they way we drive, all edited to the moving song Everybody Hurts by REM.

It’s graphic stuff but reminds us all, for everyone’s sake, drive/ride/walk safely.

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A candle in memory of David

9 December 2014

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On 9 December 2006, 17 year old David Iredale and three mates went for a hike in the Blue Mountains as part of their Duke Of Edinburgh Award program. They planned it pretty carefully and they had detailed maps and stuff. But it all went terribly wrong: the maps indicated a fresh water source along the route, which wasn’t there. It was hot -mid-30s centrigrade- and they’d run out of water. Somehow, David became separated from his mates – my recollection is that as the strongest of the hiking party, he struck out ahead of the others to seek assistance. He became severely dehydrated and rang emergency services on his mobile phone. It was very poor reception but he tried to get across to the operators the dire circumstances of his plight. He made a number of calls, to no avail. Various operators kept asking for his street address. He kept telling them he was on a big rock near a walking trail in the Blue Mountains. But they kept demanding his street address. He asked for a helicopter to be sent. He was told off for being abusive. In the event, nobody did anything. David’s body was recovered some days later. Each year at this time, I reflect on this terrible episode and remind myself to be not indifferent to the plight of others. I tell my kids, if you get into any sort of real trouble, you ring me and/or your mother FIRST; we might argue later, but we’ll address the trouble first.And I light a candle in memory of David.

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God only knows

 4  December 2014

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Over 9 million people have viewed this YouTube clip of The Beach Boys’ masterpiece God Only Knows remade featuring just a host of well known musicians to celebrate the launch of BBC Music. We hadn’t seen it  so maybe you haven’t either.  See who’s who in the video.

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 11 November 2014

The pale blue dot

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quote marksOur planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

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It’s the anniversary of the birth of Carl Sagan  (1934- 1996), the American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science Carl Sagan 2communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences.  He is perhaps best known for presenting the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which has been described as “a watershed moment for science-themed television programming”.


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8 November 2014

Seinfeld comes to Canberra

“It’s not a lie if you believe it”.

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This bodgied video by Huw Parkinson is already a winner on YouTube  – but in case you missed it. Parkinson operates his own Vimeo channel, Rabbit and Coffee, which features classics  as The Untouchables – with Tony Abbott and Ghostbusters – with Jacqui Lambie.

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Of no fixed address

30 October 2014

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Ferouz Myuddin, born in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital in November 2013 after his mother Latifar, an asylum seeker, was flown in from detention on Nauru because she needed a Caesarean section, has been deemed by Federal Court judge Michael Jarrett to be an “unauthorised maritime arrival“, and therefore cannot apply for the visa under current laws.

 

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Feroz
Face of a criminal??

The family arrived at Christmas Island in September 2013, having fled Myanmar citing persecution for being part of the Muslim Rohingyar minority.

Much of Judge Jarrett’s ruling examined the concept of how baby Ferouz “entered Australia”, and whether the interpretation of the legislation applied to his birth. However, he found that the law determined any asylum seeker who arrived by means other than an aircraft was deemed an unauthorised maritime arrival.

Shaun Micallef considers the threat to national security threat posed by such unauthorised arrivals.

 

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Honey Bees

Catalyst | 23 October 2014

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At a time when the government is seeking to linking research funding to “practical” outcomes, here’s an example of truly engaged research involving CSIRO, the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Integrative Bee Research and the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Agriculture. CSIRO suffered substantial funding cuts in the 2014 Budget, as did science generally. This is a truly engaging bit of television with a simple message (apart from the everyday importance of science):

If we want to keep taking advantage of all the benefits that bees offer, then it’s only fair that we provide good food, shelter and health care in return because, in the end, if it’s good for bees, it’s good for us.

 

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The world is experiencing a global bee crisis, and with bees responsible for almost a third of the food on our plate, this is a crisis that could affect us all. In the winter of 2013, areas of Europe lost up to 53% of their bee population. A similar decline has been recorded in the US. Astonishingly, Australia is the only country in the world where the bee population continues to thrive. As commercial beekeepers are pushed out of business abroad, Australian bees are exported to pollinate foreign farmlands. However, the fate of Australian bees hangs in the balance. It seems that the bee crisis is intricately tied to the way we have changed our planet. The ABC’s Catalyst program investigates how modern agriculture methods, increasing diseases and the impending threat of the deadly varroa mite could destroy the last safe-haven for bees on the planet.

 

 

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1 October 2014

Charity

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Despite an evident mean spiritedness in the public sphere (the poor are unworthy, the unemployed are leaners, the “age of entitlement” is over), Australians are a remarkably generous people. In its third annual study of 160 countries, the Charity Aid Foundation measured giving behaviours across three criteria: volunteering, helping strangers, and donating money. Australians rated most highly.

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Charity
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A gardening tip: plant on Grand Final Day, not Cup Day

22 September 2014

 

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Ever since anyone can remember, Melbourne Cup Day – the first Tuesday in November – has been the day for gardeners to start planting tomatoes in Melbourne, when warmer overnight temperatures are more reliable.

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But University of Melbourne “urban horticulturalist” Dr Chris Williams says due to climate change, AFL Grand Final Day, the last Saturday in September, should replace the time-honoured planting signpost in gardening folklore.

Urban Horticulturalist Dr Chris Williams, from the Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne ( Burnley Campus) says that overnight temperatures through winter into early spring have warmed over the past ten years to make Grand Final Day the new seasonal signpost for tomato planting.

Once-upon-a-time the wise gardener would hold off planting tomatoes until Cup Day because those chilly spring nights could result in frost damage. But with this pattern of milder winter and spring nights you can plant summer crops like tomatoes a good month earlier.

And, what’s more, the warmer temperatures also mean Melbourne gardeners can now successfully grow heat loving crops such as sweet potatoes, once regarded as a from-Sydney-and-north home veggie.

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David & Margaret to leave the building

17 September 2014

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Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton have been, for the 28 years that they have been reviewing cinema together, the voice of Australian film criticism. They have now announced that they’re leaving their long-running SBS/ABC program At The Movies (The Movie Show) at the end of 2014. The show will not be returning with new hosts. Here, Cate Blanchette and Geoffrey Rush review Margaret and David for the 25th year of their program.

 

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Back to basics 

5 September 2014

 

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Internationally renowned singer-songwriter Gotye (aka Wally de Backer) and his bandmates have formed a rock’n’roll-based political group to contest the upcoming Victorian election, promoting changes in the areas of education, innovation and rock’n’roll.

 

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Kris Schroeder (centre) with Gotye (left) and Tim Heath, are putting up.

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So, you think you can dance…?

2 September 2014

 

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We first posted this clip a couple of years ago, but it’s disappeared from the site, as occasionally happens.  The dancer is Marquese Scott.  The YouTube clip has been viewed 108 million times and Scott now has a Coke commercial. That’s fame.

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Fairness and equity must remain guiding principles

  29 August 2014

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Quentin BryceWe need to carefully think through the ramifications before we deregulate university fees, to ensure that the right balance is struck.The risk we must be wary of with a de-regulatory agenda is that education does not become unaffordable for many Australians, especially those in regional and rural communities, and the rapidly expanding corridors of our metropolitan cities and for indigenous people.

–      Former governor general Quentin Bryce – 2014 Richard Larkins Oration 27 August 2014

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The power of art

  22 August 2014

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 Canadian astronaught Chris Hadfield, who famously performed Space Oddity in space, reflects on the humanity of art and its power to convey meaning (ABC 7.30 Report).

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CHRIS UHLMANN: Having seen the Earth from space and seen the universe beyond it, can it all be defined by science or only by poetry or perhaps even faith?

CHRIS HADFIELD: What we’re doing in exploring the solar system is teaching us a lot and it’s technically really interesting and it’s important, both politically and economically and technologically. But to me, the fact that so many people watched that music version of Space Oddity that I did, to me, that really shows the importance, if you want to actually communicate, the importance of art. I mean, science, technology, engineering, math – they drive the economy, but we’re people, we’re not machines and washing machines and robots. We’re humans. And to share the wonder and experience of what’s going on, that is expressed through art, through music and through writing and through poetry and to try and get to the very essence of what’s important. And we’re at that stage of space exploration now where the space station allows us to start to do that.

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From the archive of The Scan – Life & stuff , 16 May 2013.

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Hadfield’s Space oddity

A would- be shock jock on national radio recently ran a “festival of the worst of David Bowie”.   Some of it was very bad, indeed – a song about a gnome was positively cringe-inducing.  It included Space Oddity, which wasn’t really all that bad: it just wasn’t really good.  Canadian astronaught Chris Hadfield, who came back to Earth after a five-month mission on the International Space Station, has given Space Oddity a whole new lease of life with a well produced cover version, videoed in space,  and now distributed to the entire planet,via the Internet.  Hadfield’s cover was hardly a spur-of-the-moment thing.  Planning and executing the video took six months, included help from Canadian musicians, including the pianist Emm Gryner (who contacted Bowie to obtain permission). The video was also not Hadfield’s first foray into space-related art.  During his mission, he posted hundreds of original photographs, some of other astronauts, others of the Earth as seen from space. Many are spectacular. He also recorded a holiday song, “Jewel in the Night,” which is being called the first original song created in space. Is Hadfield’s “Space Oddity” the first video made in space? News reports suggest that this is the case.

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19 August 2014

The happiness equation 

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It has long been known that happiness depends on many different life circumstances. Now scientists have developed a mathematical equation that can predict momentary delight.

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Happiness1

They found that participants were happiest when they performed better than expected during a risk-reward task.

Brain scans also revealed that happiness scores correlated with areas known to be important for well-being.

The team says the equation, published in PNAS Journal, could be used to look at mood disorders and happiness on a mass scale. It could also help the UK government analyse statistics on well-being, which they have collected since 2010.

Happiness equation

The equation looks at expectations, rewards and past outcomes

“We can look at past decisions and outcomes and predict exactly how happy you will say you are at any point in time,” said lead author Dr Robb Rutledge from University College London.

“The brain is trying to figure out what you should be doing in the world to get rewards, so all the decisions, expectations and the outcomes are information it’s using to make sure you make good decisions in the future. All of the recent expectations and rewards combine to determine your current state of happiness.

Meanwhile, The Conversation reports that survey data shows there’s a surprisingly weak relationship between money and happiness. As national incomes rise, happiness does not increase.

Consider this: happiness in the United States has been stable for the past 50 years, although at the same time living standards have doubled. The same holds true for the United Kingdom and Japan.

Money does make a difference to happiness in poorer countries though. If you don’t have enough for some degree of reasonable comfort, you can expect to be pretty stressed and unhappy.

But once people reach a certain threshold (once they don’t have to worry about a roof over their heads or having enough to eat), extra money makes very little difference. (Of course, even in wealthy countries, there are some people who don’t have these basics.)

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9 August 2014

Turning rubbish into cash

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In Australia, an estimated 8 billion bottles and cans are landfilled or littered every year  – that’s 900,000 an hour.

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  Cash for cans1 Mega drinks companies, such as Coca Cola Amatil,  vehemently oppose conatiner deposit legislation such exists in Southe Australia.  In 2023, they  won a legal challenge to Northern Territorylegislation, which the government said had encouraged people to recycle 35.5 million containers since it commenced in January 2012.  The scheme, called Cash For Containers, forced bottlers to pay a 10 cent refund to customers who returned containers to approved depots. Coca-Cola said  the refund acts as a new tax on its products and could hurt sales. So, what happens when empty bottles and cans are suddenly worth 10 cents? read-more-button2 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4 August 2014

World War I

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Snapshot of Australia at the outbreak

“Qualities of independence, originality, the faculty of rising to an occasion and loyalty to a ‘mate’ ” was how renowned historian Charles Bean described the Australian national character three years after the end of World War I.

For Bean, the idolised spirit of the Anzacs born at Gallipoli and on the Western Front had become ingrained in the character of the whole nation.

But what was Australia really like when the first Anzacs sailed to war?

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Playing with the orchestra

2 August 2014

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Imagine standing on stage during a live performance by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….…

Cutting-edge audio-visual installation ACO VIRTUAL takes you there. Built using state-of-the-art technology, ACO VIRTUAL features projections of 13 musicians surrounding you on all sides, with the sound of each player coming from the direction of their projection. It’s like standing in the middle of the Orchestra during a concert. Immerse yourself in performances of music by Bach, Grieg, Smalley and Piazzolla or take charge of the band via a controller inside the installation. You can choose to spotlight one musician or many; listen to just the violins; or just the bass – the possibilities are endless. The installation is currently open to the public at the eMerge Gallery at James Cook University’s Townsville Campus. Admission is free. read-more-button2     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“The thing is, I stutter…”

17 July 2014

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Singer/songwriter Megan Washington closes out the TEDxSydney 2014. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….…

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Material world

In his book Making the Modern World, Vaclav Smil argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down. Concrete is the foundation (literally) for the massive expansion of urban areas of the past several decades, which has been a big factor in cutting the rate of extreme poverty in half since 1990. In 1950, the world made roughly as much steel as cement (a key ingredient in concrete); by 2010, steel production had grown by a factor of 8, but cement had gone up by a factor of 25.

This animated GIF shows the dramatic transformation of Shanghai since 1987. Most of what you’re seeing in that picture is concrete, steel, and glass:

Shanghai

A staggering statistic:

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See
The Bill Gates Book Review: Have you hugged a concrete pillar today?

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A mindful parliament

24 June 2014

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Australia’s nine parliaments might usefully follow the lead of the Mother of Parliaments in seeking mindfulness. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….……

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When you think of the places where you’re likely to encounter mindfulness meditation—like a yoga studio or a temple or a serene health retreat—British Parliament is probably the last place you would think of. With a highly charged atmosphere that sometimes even erupts in shouting matches on the debate floor, it’s hard to imagine any kind of mindful practice taking place in Westminster.

But in late May, the British Parliament launched an all-party group given the task of exploring the uses of mindfulness meditation in healthcare, education, and the criminal justice system. To mark the beginning of the group’s efforts, prominent politicians and public figures like former ministers Lord Haworth and Jim Fitzpatrick came together with advocates of mindfulness meditation, such as comedian Ruby Wax, to experience the benefits of meditation for themselves.

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The Beatles in Australia

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13 June 2014 | It’s been said that you can’t really trust someone who doesn’t like the Blues or The Beatles. It’s 50 years ago – a half century – since The Fab Four took Australia by storm: 300,000 people – a third of its then population -turned out in Adelaide to welcome them to the City of Churches. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….……

The Beatles The eruption of Beatlemania in Australia was more intense than anywhere in the world. For thirteen days in 1964 the nation was held in a kind of euphoria, captivated by the talent, the songs and the charm of the Fab Four on their concert tour. This exhibition, at the Melbourne Arts Centre until 1 July, presents the sights and sounds of Beatlemania — the arrivals, the press conferences, the concerts and the screaming fans – through newsreel footage, television reports, radio coverage, magazines and press clippings. It looks at how Australians responded to The Beatles and the tour’s lasting impact on Australian music and culture. If you’re not in Melbourne and can’t get to it , the exhibition website is well worth checking. And check this fanblog out – Beatles Beat. read-more-button2

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The use of the English language in Australia

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A study by the Annenberg Public Policy Centre at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that people can learn more about aspects of politics by viewing political satire rather than actual news programming. Heaven knows what Americans must think of the state of the Australian polity after this recent episode of Last Week Tonight : Tony Abbott, President of the USA of Australia. About the same as many Australians to judge from Clarke and Dawe of the pinko leftie ABC – sort of leaning not so much to the left or right as towards the dystopic.

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Tiananmen Square

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25 years on

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The Tank Man, or the Unknown Protester, is the nickname of an anonymous man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force. Some have identified the man as Wang Weilin (王維林), but the name has not been confirmed and little is known about him or of his fate after the confrontation that day. read-more-button2

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27 May 2014

National Reconciliation Week

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quote marksWe carry in our hearts the true country And that cannot be stolen We follow in the steps of our ancestry And that cannot be broken

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National Reconciliation Week is an annual celebration and a time for all Australians to reflect on our shared histories, and on the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The week is framed by two key events in Australia’s history that provide strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation.

  • 27 May marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 Referendum saw over 90% of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and recognise them in the national census.
  • 3 June is Mabo Day – On this day in 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which overturned the notion of ‘terra nullius’ and legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ connection to their country, a connection that existed prior to colonisation and continues today. This recognition paved the way for the Native Title system.
Click image to find out about events and activities throughout Australia
Click image to find out about events and activities throughout Australia

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26 May 2014

City Library

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City Library, in the New York sector of Flinders Lane near The Scan GHQ , has become a firmly established institution for Melbourne city workers, students and residents. It turns 10 this month.

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City Library 253 Flinders Lane Melbourne

With a cafe (Journal) at the entrance, in the main areas it’s all buzz and go. Up on the mezzanine, there’s a piano and oft times someone playing (there is a sign that you do need to be competent!). If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a recital from a little old lady, whose playing sounds not dissimilar to Keith Jarrett (she is quite truly remarkable). There’s usually some kind of art exhibition hanging in the mezzanine and regular late afternoon performances (music & poetry). You can speak at normal levels without a librarian shushing you. But if you’re there to work, there are a variety of spaces where the normal library quiet prevails. And of course there are books, newspapers magazines, CDs and videos available to browse, listen to, view and borrow and banks of public access computers.

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Motherhood matters

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6 May 2014 | This Mother’s Day, Victorians are being invited to take a journey along the road to safe motherhood in sub-Saharan Africa by attending Motherhood Matters, a stunning exhibition of photographs that showcases the experience of mothers in rural African communities. Click image to start gallery.

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28 April 2014

Partial solar eclipse

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There will be a partial solar eclipse visible around sunset in Australia Tuesday 29 April. As much as two-thirds of the Sun will be blocked by the Moon dependent on location as northern parts of Australia will see less of the eclipse than the south.

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27 April 2014

So you think you can dance?

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As 79-year-old Paddy began slowly ballroom dancing with her partner Nico on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent,” judge Simon Cowell was less than impressed.In fact, he actually yawned before pressing the buzzer.But then the music picks up, and so do their moves.

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24 April 2014

ANZAC Day

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And now I have seen war. Every way I turn I am looking on men with broken bodies and women with broken hearts. War is not merely the hell that may pass at Verdun or the Somme in the agony of a day or a night that ends in death. War is worse. – Evelyn Kathleen Luard, a nurse in World War I.

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Eric Bogle is best known for And the band played Waltzing Matilda, often described as one of the most profound anti-war songs. The Green Fields of France (originally No Man’s Land) is about Willie McBride, a Scottish soldier, who fell in France in 1916 at the age of 19 years. It conveys a feeling of the terrible losses of war – which includes, of course, millions of non-combatants – women and children, as well as men. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

17 April 2014

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An Easter sculpture at a busy St. Kilda intersection protests against Australia asylum seeker policy.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Crucifix Barbed wire figures of a father, mother and child hang from the imposing crucifixes, with plaques bearing the names of offshore detention centres Nauru, Christmas and Manus islands. The Rev John Tansey installed the three life-size wooden crucifixes outside the Uniting Church at the corner of Chapel and Carlisle Sts, aiming to draw a parallel between the deterrence aims of crucifiction in Roman times and offshore processing. Tansey says the sculptures are not blasphemous but “based on a proper theology of the cross”. Whatever one thinks of the message, it’s a powerful comment and stunning art. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

24 March 2014

The science of character

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Can you learn to be braver? Can practice make you more persistent? Is it possible to cultivate your curiosity? ………………………………………………………………………………………………… Can you learn to be braver? Can practice make you more persistent? Is it possible to cultivate your curiosity? Aiming to ignite a global conversation on how character strengths can be learned, practiced, and cultivated, award-winning filmmaker Tiffany Shlain (CONNECTED, THE FUTURE STARTS HERE) premiered her new film, THE SCIENCE OF CHARACTER, online and over 1,500 schools and organizations around the world on Thursday, 20 March.. Challenging the conventional belief that people are stuck with the character attributes they are born with, THE SCIENCE OF CHARACTER reveals how it is possible for anyone to build up their core character strengths and use them to achieve greater personal, academic, and professional success and happiness. The film is the fourth instalment in the Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change series, in which The Moxie Institute Film Studio + Lab use the collaborative power of the Internet’s “cloud” to engage a global audience in creating short films that inspire action around political, cultural, and social issues.

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15 March 2014

A sad legacy

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The Daniel Morcombe Foundation was established by parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe in 2005 after their son Daniel was abducted and murdered in December 2003 while waiting to catch a bus on the Sunshine Coast. The Foundation was established as a lasting legacy to Daniel and now has two main aims; to educate children on how to stay safe in a physical and online environment and to support young victims of crime. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The philosopher’s song

The Future for the Humanities and Social Sciences in a Global Era

Melbourne, 18 and 19 March 2014

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This two-day comparative symposium will bring together leading academics to examine questions around the future for the humanities and social sciences in Asia, North America, and Australia. It will ask how these disciplines might situate themselves in an increasingly globalised higher education system. The most followed philosopher on Twitter is Alain de Botton with 422, 381 followers (he follows 4,818 Tweeters). de Botton tweets about once a day.

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28 February 2014

The science of character

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We’re relatively tolerant here at The Scan and certainly optimistic so we like this project.

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The Science of Character explores the fascinating research behind character development — science that proves that if you focus on certain character strengths (self-control, courage, curiosity, optimism, enthusiasm, to name a few), and encourage others to do the same, it leads to happiness and well-being. So, what are your character strengths and what would you like to develop? It turns out if you’d like to develop your wisdom, find your strengths in creativity, curiosity, love of learning, and perspective; for courage: your bravery, perseverance, honesty, and enthusiasm; for humanity: love, kindness, and social intelligence. And, if you know others who would like to do the same, find out how you can help them develop the strengths they currently have. read-more-button2

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4 March 2014

Join Together for Better Care

1 person in 20 is affected by a rare disease.
Over 6000 different rare diseases affect children and adults.
Most are genetic, chronic and debilitating.
But above all they isolate patients and their families.
International Rare Disease Day is 28 February 2014.
This year Rare Disease Day encourages us to continue finding ways to work together to provide the different kinds of care that people living with a rare disease need.

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Turning back the news when it’s safe to do so

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The inimitable Clarke and Dawe on the growing assault on the ABC

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Day after day, The Australian leads the assault, with its editorial pen dipped in vitriol and its reporting none too balanced. It doesn’t think much of vice-chancellors and universities either, as shown in this recent editorial (National broadcaster has lost the plot and prestige). Of course The Australian isn’t disinterested: references to “spread to thin” and “multiple platforms, across the vast terrestrial plain and in the digital ether” is code for the ABC should get out of its 24 TV news service, which competes head-on with Sky News, of which The Australian’s parent (News Australia) is a major shareholder.

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Is it time for a break from booze?

Quitting alcohol for short periods seems to bring health benefits – but it also changes your mindset about drinking, and that could be a bigger gain.

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Australia Day marks the end of the Antipodean festive and holiday season – two months of celebrations, relaxation, a little overindulgence. So, maybe it’s a good thing that FebFast arrives when it does. If you’re feeling a little sluggish after a big Christmas, New Year, summer holiday and/or Australia Day, FebFast Alcohol could be just the tonic . This article from The New Scientist highlights the health and social benefits of the UK equivalent – JanDry. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx