Tag Archives | Australia

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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Net Filter Patronises the Digital Generation

From the Syndey Morning Herald:

Would somebody please not think of the children. At least not while we are discussing internet censorship. This may sound like an odd request given that, historically, almost all censorship debates have pivoted around children and the need to protect them. But moral panics and fear-mongering campaigns concerning “the helpless children” often muddy what could otherwise be rational, evidenced-based debates.

And there is no easier way to get an otherwise progressive, reasonable parent to endorse an illogical, anti-democratic censorship regime than by appealing to (and exploiting) their deep-seated fears concerning their children.

But here’s the thing. Censorship debates over child safety have little to do with actual flesh and blood children. If they did then they would acknowledge and include the voices and views of young people and they would recognise the competencies and strengths that children bring to online interactions.

[Read more at the Syndey Morning Herald]

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Axis of Awesome: What Would Jesus Do?

Since those of you in these gents' vicinity might be wide-awake right now, here's a question for you. What is the chance of the Axis of Awesome going on American TV with this song? Thanks for the input, Disinfo readers around the globe. My take is I'd never see these guys on American network TV with this song, or basic cable (but they may have a shot on the pay-extra cable networks). Good luck to them...
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The Brutal Truth About Rio Tinto’s Bribery Case

Rio Tinto's Australian headquarters are located in the 120 Collins Street building in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Canley (GNU)

Rio Tinto's Australian headquarters are located in the 120 Collins Street building in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Canley (GNU)

[disinformation editor’s note: the author’s native language is not English and he makes numerous spelling and grammar errors. We chose to publish the article notwithstanding this and hope that readers will value the author’s opinions nonetheless.]

After nine months of media allegations, finger pointing based purely on hearsay, speculation surrounding the reasons behind the arrest of the four Rio Tinto executives in Shanghai on 5 July 2009, the truth about the actual background of the arrest has finally outweighed the disinformation relentlessly generated by the mainstream media in Australia.

We now know that:

1) The four Rio Tinto executives admitted taking bribes (The Australian, 23 March 2010).

2) One should note that, it was only after the four Rio Tinto executives admitted taking bribes on the 23 March 2010, we then learn on the following day that, ’Secret Rio Tinto probe cleared company but left Stern Hu in doubt’ (The Australian, 24 March 2010).… Read the rest

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Pasta Recipe Containing ‘Salt And Freshly Ground Black People’

Pasta BibleAs book publishers, the gang at disinformation® understand typos happen to everyone, but this one wins a prize for Penguin Australia: their Pasta Bible contains a recipe calling for “salt and freshly ground black people.”  What clinches the prize for Penguin is it’s executive’s statement that “why anyone would be offended, we don’t know” (via the Sydney Morning Herald):

Penguin Group Australia turns over $120 million a year from printing words but a one-word misprint has cost it dearly.

The publishing company was forced to pulp and reprint 7000 copies of Pasta Bible last week after a recipe called for ”salt and freshly ground black people” – instead of pepper – to be added to the spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto.

The exercise will cost Penguin $20,000, the head of publishing, Bob Sessions, said. At $3300 a letter, it’s a pricey typo.

Stock will not be recalled from bookshops because it would be ”extremely hard” to do so, Mr Sessions said.

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Australian Human Rights Commission Attempts To Block Encylopedia Dramatica

...I know...

Brutal-Koala-Jedi-Action seemed relevant to this post

Ken Eakins writes on Sitting Now:

Here we go again …

The Australian Human Rights Commission has threatened legal action against a widely read but controversial US-based website over an article that encourages racial hatred against Aborigines.

But online rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia said trying to stamp out the deplorable content would only create the “Streisand” effect, whereby an attempt to censor online content only brings more attention to it.

The same page was in the news in January when, in a rare move, Google Australia agreed to remove links to the article from its search engine following legal action from Aboriginal man Steve Hodder-Watt.

Once again ED is attacked, and once again people miss the point of the site.

The Internet really is srs bsns.

(more @ Sydney Herald)

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Australian Town Hit by Raining Fish

Raining FishNow this is biblical, but it does happen from time to time. Check out the video below from the BBC documentary series Supernatural which explains the phenomenon. Simon Crisp writes on Asylum:
For residents of a small Australian town, their usually mundane conversations about the weather have just become a whole lot more interesting. That's because in the outback town of Lajamanu it's started raining fish. Yes, fish. Hundreds of them, falling from the sky. Over the past two days the town's 660 residents have been bombarded with small white fish which have been falling like rain. Locals say the fish, mostly spangled perch, have even been alive as they hit the floor. Lucky it wasn't crocodiles then. Meteorologists believe the fish where sucked up by a tornado — which passed over a river some 300 miles away — before being carried through the sky at 40,000 to 50,000 feet.
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In Australia, Creationism Could Slip into Science Classes

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

The draft national curriculum does not prohibit the teaching of creationism in schools, raising questions about whether this will open the door to its promotion as a science in classrooms.

The NSW Board of Studies has explicitly ruled out the teaching of creation theory from the Bible as a science, however it allows the teaching of spiritual perspectives on creation in science classes, as long as they are not dressed up as scientific or used to substitute any curriculum content, such as the teaching of evolution.

Greens MP John Kaye said he did not oppose discussion of Aboriginal Dreamtime or Christian explanations of the world’s origins in science classrooms, as long as they were presented as non-scientific beliefs.

However, while the NSW curriculum explicitly required schools to present and ”discuss evidence that present-day organisms have evolved from organisms in the distant past” and to ”relate natural selection to the theory of evolution”, the draft national curriculum ”was remarkably silent on the connection between natural selection and the evolution of ancient species into modern forms”.

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Why Are The Australian Media And Politicians Totally Silent On The Latest Crime Figures?

[disinformation editor’s note: the author’s native language is not English and he makes numerous spelling and grammar errors. We chose to publish the article notwithstanding this and hope that readers will value the author’s opinions nonetheless.]

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issued a media release on the 18th February 2010 under the heading: “Over a million cases of household property damage”, found that: “there are  approximately 1.6 million incidents of malicious property damage” across Australia, and that: “912,500 households (11%) were victims of at least one incident of property damage in the 12 months” between 2008 and 2009.

In a more detailed report on the crime victimisation figure, ABS also released the following information:

In December 2008, 16.9 million people aged 15 years or over were living in private dwellings in Australia. It was estimated that in the 12 months prior to interview, of those aged 15 years or over:

  • 527,400 (3.1%) people were victims of at least one physical assault
  • 718,600 (4.2%) people were victims of at least one threatened assault, including face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assaults
  • 96,700 (0.6%) people were victims of at least one robbery.
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