Tag Archives | Australia

Aussie Center For The Mind Invents Functioning Thinking Cap

Photo: AFP

Professor Allan Snyder with his thinking cap. Photo: AFP

I can think of some kids who would happily trade in their dunce caps for one of these, even if the thinking cap’s inventor says it’s not intended for homework help! AFP reports from Sydney:

Scientists in Australia say they are encouraged by initial results of a revolutionary “thinking cap” that aims to promote creativity by passing low levels of electricity through the brain.

The device, which consists of two conductors fastened to the head by a rubber strap, significantly boosted results in a simple arithmetic test, they said.
Three times as many people who wore the “thinking cap” were able to complete the test, compared to those who did not use the equipment. Sixty people took part in total.

Allan Snyder, director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for the Mind, said the device worked by suppressing the left side of the brain, associated with knowledge, and stimulating the right side, linked to creativity.

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Australian Search Engine ‘Groggle’ Gets Pushed Off The Wagon By Google

drinkleGroggle got its name from the word “grog,” Australian slang for booze. A search engine intended to help users compare alcohol prices in Australian stores easily lends itself to the “grog”-“Google” mash up, but Google didn’t seem to think it was clever. After a six-month legal battle, Google has had Groggle change it’s name. It is now Drinkle. Instead of spending the money and time on such a lawsuit, Google should have used the site to find itself a drink. BBC News reports:

An Australian hoping to quench his nation’s thirst via the web has agreed to change the name of his alcohol search site after protests from Google.

Cameron Collie set up Groggle to allow users to find the best-priced “grog” in nearby stores.

Search giant Google complained at his effort to trademark the name, prompting a six-month legal wrangle.

Now the name Groggle has been changed to a more conventional title, Drinkle, ahead of its launch in 2011.

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Culture of Bigotry Hindered Australia’s Ability to Integrate With Its Asian Neighbours

Singapore ExchangeASX_logoThe recent reaction by the Australian politicians toward the proposed merger between the Singapore Stock exchange (SGX) and the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) is a typical example of a bigotry culture in this country.

The very minute the news of SGX’s intention to merge with ASX was leaked to the public arena, our politicians begin to jump up and down against the idea without even trying to find out in detail the rationale of the proposed merger, and the possible benefits to Australia. Their responses are so pathetically predictable in a habitually hysterical manner.

Response from the Australian “Elites” in the absence of any detail information about the Merger

Despite the fact that the Treasury Department has yet to receive any submissions from either the SGX or the ASX of the proposed deal (The Australian, 26 Oct 2010, 1:34PM), the Green Senator Bob Brown begin to “links Singapore Human Rights to the Australia Stock Exchange merger proposal” (The Australian, 26 Oct 2010, 12:34PM), The Coalition Shadow Treasury Joe Hockey questioned “whether ASX merger is in Australia’s interest” (The Australian, 26 Oct 2010, 9:28AM).… Read the rest

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Australians Driving Over 110 MPH to Summon Ghost of Dead Motorcyclist (Video)

Ghost RiderNeil Keene writes in the Daily Telegraph:
It could be one of the most bizarre reasons ever offered by a speeding driver — "A ghost made me do it.'' But that is exactly the story being put forward by superstitious motorists hitting speeds of up to 180km/h on a road north of Newcastle, supposedly to conjure a ghost. Port Stephens police have issued a warning to drivers after it emerged that young people were driving at dangerously high speeds along a stretch of Lemon Tree Passage Rd to conjure the spirit of a 20-year-old motorcyclist killed in a crash with a speeding driver in the area three years ago. A handful of videos have been posted on YouTube, allegedly showing a ghostly bright light appearing in the rear windscreen of cars that start driving at dangerous speeds.Some locals are convinced the light is that of the motorcyclist's ghost, in pursuit of people who drive dangerously.
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International Young Water Professionals Discuss Water Fears

This week in Australia, the International Young Water Professionals meet to discuss the repercussions of climate change, war, and other factors on our water supply. In the driest continent, 25 countries are represented to voice concerns and contemplate solutions so that our growing populations and destructive habits don’t put an end to our tap water. Phil Mercer of The National covers:

Experts from Oman, Kenya and Austria joined others from across the world to discuss sustainability and how communities in drier regions must adapt to warmer temperatures to safeguard precious supplies into the future.

The meeting dealt with basic issues of survival, said Katerina Ruzicka, a research assistant at the Institute of Water Quality at Vienna’s University of Technology.

“A huge problem we are facing besides climate change is water for food,” Ms Ruzicka said. “We have to feed a growing population and you need water to produce food.

“Somehow we will be able to cope with it because humans do always somehow cope with huge challenges in one way or another.”

Ensuring that supplies continue to flow to the nation’s homes and businesses has been a pressing concern for authorities in Australia.

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Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant Caught On Tape

Mel Gibson's mugshot from his 28 July 2006 arrest for DUI.

Mel Gibson's mugshot from his 28 July 2006 arrest for DUI.

It’s no secret that Mel Gibson is a racist and anti-semite, if admittedly a decent actor and filmmaker. The question is, why does he keep flaunting it in public? Is it an Aussie macho thing? From RadarOnline.com:

In one of the most explosive, racist and vile outbursts by a celebrity ever caught on tape, Mel Gibson told the mother of his love child that the way she was dressed would get her “raped by a pack of n***ers,” RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

It’s a shocking and blockbuster development in the couple’s bitter legal battle, and Mel’s disgusting words are on audio tape. His racist, misogynist statement is one of the secrets lurking in his war with his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

RadarOnline.com has heard the tape, which also includes Mel telling Oksana he will burn down her home.

Drunken Mel previously shocked the world with his anti-Semetic comments when busted for DUI.

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Democracy Needs Reform — The Cruelty Of Poll-Driven Politics In Australia

Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd

After a series of sudden and drastic moves initiated by a handful of people within some factions of the Australia Labor Party on Wednesday evening,  Australians woke up the next morning (24 June 2010) watching their elected Prime Minister (Kevin Rudd) cry in front of the TV screen after he was told by the dozens of his colleagues he was finished as prime minister. (Herald Sun, 25 June 2010)

The cause of his down fall was mainly due to the fact that his popularity has plunged dramatically over the last 6 months. This in part was the direct result of the mining companies’ $100 million advertising campaign against his government intention to imposed a Super Mining Tax in 2012 to give the average Australian a fairer share of the profit from the resources digging out from Australian soil and seabed. The opposition has sided with the miners over the Super Mining Tax and benefited from a huge amount of political donation.… Read the rest

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Fish With “Hands” Found to Be New Species

Photo: Karen Gowlett-Holmes

Photo: Karen Gowlett-Holmes

Carolyn Barry writes in National Geographic:

Using its fins to walk, rather than swim, along the ocean floor in an undated picture, the pink handfish is one of nine newly named species described in a recent scientific review of the handfish family.

Only four specimens of the elusive four-inch (ten-centimeter) pink handfish have ever been found, and all of those were collected from areas around the city of Hobart, on the Australian island of Tasmania.

Though no one has spotted a living pink handfish since 1999, it’s taken till now for scientists to formally identify it as a unique species.

The new-species determinations were made based on a number of factors, including number of vertebrae and fin rays, coloration, the presence of scales and spines, and proportional body measurements, according to review author Daniel Gledhill of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO.

Read More: National Geographic

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‘Gay Dog’ Refused Entry To Australian Restaurant

Sparkey The Gay DogSeriously, WTF?! Did the dog sound like George Clooney, what was the tip-off? Sarah Mennie writes in the Herald Sun:

A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was “gay” was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1500.

A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant’s waiters said that Mr Jolly’s partner Ms Chris Lawrence stated “she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.”

Mr Jolly and Ms Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant – which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign — even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card.

At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Mr Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1500.

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