Saturday, December 31, 2016

JURASSIC PARK NUDIST BEACH SHOCK HORROR MYSTERY

After  the Australian National  Lampoon Christmas  Story in  this blog  , it is hard to believe  that  an even stranger  yarn  has  come to light  in  the  Queensland silly season .

It involves a tradesman  with a  wife, a  former journalist , suffering  from a stroke and  partial memory loss . Engaged to  do  some  work on a house in Brisbane , the husband  brought  his wife along  with him  and she sat with the  woman  owner  and  talked  ,  while  he got on with  the  job .

During   discussion , Magnetic Island  was mentioned , which caused  the visiting  woman to say  she  and  her husband  had been there  several  times , once  shedding  their  clothes  on   the   nudist  beach .

However , there  had been a  nasty experience at the nudist beach .  Something  big and  frightening  had  jumped  up !  What ???? The woman  could not remember  because of her  memory  loss .  Her husband was then asked what   this  awful  thing had been  which had  frightened his wife  on the sun drenched isle... a  large , hissing   Frilled-necked Lizard . Like nudists , such   lizards like  sunning themselves  au  natural  ,  can  stand  on  their  back legs  like a Dinosaur  and  run  at  high  speed .   
Frightening   giant  rabbit   nibbling  on   ridge  above  popular  Magnetic  Island  nudist  beach .
It seems  Magnetic Island  beaches hold  many surprises for those  who  bare  their flesh   as a  Cairns resident  recently recalled  he had  been stung by March   flies   while  helping  make  a  commercial   for  German  beer  on  one  . And right now  March flies  are on the march  leading to a slap happy  time while watering  the  garden .

According to the   authoritative  Magnetic  Times newspaper which , unfortunatelybuzzed off , the  male  March fly , it seems , is a silly fellow who never takes no  for  an  answer  until  he comes to a  sticky end  . Attracted to the   salt and sweat of a  human , he stings when he lands and  sucks  away . Like a mug , he  keeps on  coming back  when   brushed  away  until  he  eventually ends up   on his back ,  daid ,  due  to  a  mighty  swat .   

PEARLY KING'S NIECE IN AUSTRALIA

A  tenacious  genealogist who supplies  this blog with a steady stream of fascinating information and ideas  for  posts   discovered that a  relative of  London's original  Pearly  King , famous  street  sweeper   Henry Croft,  moved to  Queensland  in  the  1950s .  

Born  in a workhouse in 1861, Croft died in the same workhouse from cancer  . He  made "smother "  suits  decorated with  mother of   pearl shell   buttons  to draw attention to his  campaigns  to raise  money for  people in hospitals. In addition, he made  smother suits, covered in thousands of white buttons ,  and hats , belts and ties  for other people  to wear .   The  wearing  of   pearlshell   buttons on clothing   by  costermongers -street traders- was  common , buttons mass  produced  in   East  End  factories .
 
Modern Pearlies 
Croft's  efforts led to what became known as the Pearly Kings  and  Queens , called  the  Pearlies , described  as  a  working class  culture in the  British  capital.
 
His charitable work  resulted in him being   presented  to  Edward Vll and Queen Alexandra  at the Horse of the Year Show  at Olympia .  In 1911  the  Pearly Society was  officially  founded  , 28 London boroughs   having  their own Pearly  King  and  Pearly  Queen .

Croft's  funeral  in 1930 , filmed by Pathe ,  was  a spectacular   event  , the  cortege spread  over  half a mile , with  a horse drawn hearse, musicians , and  400 Pearly Kings and Queens  . During his lifetime he had raised   about 5000 pounds  for  hospitals .
A statue was  made of  him in 1931,   in a smother suit   with  a top hat and cane ,  and  after  some vandalism was eventually placed in the crypt  at St Martin-in-the Fields in  2002.   At the  summer  Olympic Games in  2012   a  parade  of   Pearly  Kings and  Queens  took  part  in  the opening  ceremony . 
 
Pearlshell from  the Australian pearling centres of  Darwin ,   Broome and  Thursday Island  contributed to  the button  industry  until  plastics  took  over . 

FORMER QUARRY CONVERTED INTO BOTANIC PARK IN VICTORIA



Photos  by  Abra. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

AN AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL LAMPOON CHRISTMAS STORY

On  Christmas   Day , in Brisbane , a relative , who is a recently retired  hard worker in the medical field and  a  caring , considerate  grandmother  to  boot  , shared  lunch  with  some  family members who  visited , then  had a  nanny nap  to prepare  for  another  lively event  later  with  other  family  members   at   their  house , some distance  away.  This second part of the festivities required    loading  into  the  car   her  two  pet   dogs , Charlie and  Cookie ,  their  beds,  their  tucker , her toothbrush and nightie,  an  esky  ,  presents ,   floral  posies ,  so   that  they  could  stay  overnight .

The dogs were  each  placed in  a  car safety  harness ,  and  set off   on the trip . Along  the  way , Charlie began to bark   each time they  stopped at lights , so she stepped  on  the  gas  to try  and  beat  the  lights . People that  pulled up alongside at  stop lights   stared  at  the  car to  see  what  was causing the   dog  to  bark .  
 
Along the way , she slowed down at a  cemetery entrance , intending to put  a bunch of flowers consisting of  New South Wales Christmas  Bush  and Chrysanthemums on her mother's  grave . Charlie immediately began to howl mournfully.
 
After a  quick talk to her  mum, she apologised  for having to dash  away-but  Charlie  was  really upset . 
 
On to another cemetery , where here  father was  buried . Emerging  from the  car,  with   a  similar bunch of  flowers , Charlie continuing the dirge  with  gusto ,  she was  immediately  attacked  by a  shrieking  plover  running along the  ground. Its  mate  dive bombed  her  like  a kamikaze pilot .
 
From a  distance , a  strange woman could be seen  running  about the cemetery ,  waving a  bunch of  flowers  over  her  head ...  and   was that  the  hound of   the  Baskervilles  baying  nearby ?  
 
When Grandma tottered  out of  the  car  at    the final Christmas  Day  destination she was  given  a  large  Scotch   to settle  her  down . The dogs slept well  in  their  beds .       

Thursday, December 29, 2016

IRISH FIND LEADS TO STRANGE TALE OF CRADLE AND PAINTINGS SNATCHING

Research  into  this  autographed  record  of  Irish  Ballads   by  tenor  Patrick O'Hagan , with Hal Stead  pounding away on  the ivories ,  manufactured by Cyril Stevens  Recording  Studios in Thornbury,  Melbourne, unexpectedly took  this  blog down many byways . In the process we  were able to gather  an    interesting snapshot  of   the  pioneering  Melbourne   Camera  Club   and  an unusual court  case  involving a  prominent  Australian   shipping  authority and an artistic  lady   deceived  by  a  young  rascal .
 
 The Melbourne Camera Club  was inspired  by Ludovico Hart , instructor of  photography at the Working Men's  College , harking  back  to 1891 .

Cyril Stevens,who appears to have been  an early professional Victorian photographer , his name appearing  on  snaps of   World War  l  soldiers ,   was  a prominent member of the Melbourne Camera  Club , receiving a gold medal and  diploma  for his involvement, taking out  prizes   from time  to time in competitions. In the 1930s he worked for the Northcote Leader newspaper and about  1951 started the  audio studios mentioned   above , which produced Spotlight microgroove  recordings , an early Melbourne independent label , possibly the  first . 

 The Patrick  O'Hagan record  seen here  was  produced in l954 , other albums by him  were turned  out  later, including one singing   Scottish tunes. Spotlight also recorded  Barry  Crocker.

An  A. E. Stevens received a gold watch  for past  services  as  honorary secretary to  the camera   club...not  known  what  relation , if any , to   inventive  Cyril . 
 
In 1921 the club was treated to a lecture and   slide show  on the  Northern  Territory by  H. B. Goeby,  member of a  survey  team , who spent months in the area, struggling about with his  photographic equipment  ; interesting photographs   included  "natives  still  to  be  found there.  "
  
Another popular  lecture  that year , Steamships, Ships  and   Wrecks, by marine painter , writer  and author  C. Dickson Gregory , covered the progress of shipping from  the days  of sail  to  modern times , with an outline  that covered most  of the ships that visited Australia waters , shipwrecks in  local waters and overseas  , building and  launching  of  new  luxury  liners .

That same  year, a  musician   ,  Charles Ernest Macalister Smith, 22,  was charged  with stealing four paintings valued  at twenty pounds  from    Gregory . An aspiring  artist , Smith , a friend of Gregory's  , had " obliterated" the name of the  artist   on  the  water  colours replacing them with  C. Mac. Smith ; one he gave  to  artist  friend  Mrs  Elsie Frederica Barlow , with studios in Collins Street, another to a Mrs Lippe  and  two  to  Barlow's brother-in-law , Marcus Barlow .

From the court report, it seems   one painting  was presented  by  Smith to Marcus  Barlow when  he (Smith )  was staying  at  his  residence , posing as a  returned  shell  shocked  soldier.

Court was  told    Mrs Elsie  Barlow   had  become engaged to Smith on December 9,1920, the relationship lasting  little more than two months .  When asked for her  age , she replied   41," I think . "  Further questioned  ,  she stated Smith  had told her he was  32 or 37 . Did she know he was a  youth of 21, defence asked . Mrs Barlow  replied  that  she did  not  know what  to  think .

A detective said Smith , who pleaded not guilty, told him he had taken  the  paintings in a weak moment , done in the spirit  of  a joke .The jury found him not guilty .

Gregory was a  founding member of the Ship Lovers' Society of Victoria , which spread  to  other  parts. A  report in a  Sydney newspaper in 1939   said   Gregory  of the Sheep Lovers' Society  had  just returned  from a trip  to North Queensland, Darwin and  Singapore  in search of  hulks  and ships  that were in service  in Australian  waters .  The spelling error  prompted  a statement by the  Maritime Worker  Australia  that  Gregory would  encounter a  plethora of  "sweethearts"   if he contacted  branches of the federation  who could show him  prime examples  of   ships  that  should NOT  be  like the condition they were  in . 

The  Sydney Public Library  has a  Gregory  maritime collection consisting of some  31  volumes   of  pictures , a series from original paintings, cuttings  and brochures .  

Camera Club Activities

In 1925 the camera   club contributed  42 pictures to an overseas amateur photographic  exhibition .  In a new  club room ,   a  l926   illustrated  lecture on Queensland  sugar industry   won a prize   for Mr  McMillan . There were  various field  trips , one to see the  Katoomba coming in to berth.
 
Other  subjects for lectures in the l920s  and  l930s  were Sculptures of the World , A World Wide Tour , Sydney Historic Buildings , Japan by R. Service   , the use of  the camera in training  airforce pilots   at  Point Cook Flying School , Across Central   Australia  by Captain J. E. Jenkins , China ,  wide ranging talks  by  Reverend H. M. Knuckey on  New Zealand ,  Egypt, Italy and  Norway.  
 
Tribal customs  of natives  and the potential of  the Northern Territory , were the subject of  a  talk  on  Central  Australia by  Mr   R. H. Croll in 1931.Croll, a writer,  poet , author ,   avid  bushwalker, made  six  trips to Central Australia . 

Artists who  contributed  to the club were Stephanie Taylor , painter and lecturer , a guide to the National Gallery of Victoria  , who  spoke on composition of photographs and  bohemian John Shirlow , etcher and teacher, who established the etching school at   Royal  Melbourne Technical College , art master at Scotch College ,  renowned  for  his etchings of  Melbourne streets.
Advert  found  inside  Queensland  op  shop  fitting  room .
With greater use of photographs in newspapers in 1932  , the head of the illustration department of the Argus and Australasian newspapers , Mr T. W. Brown , gave a lecture on  the   photo offset   and reproduction process  and   issued  an invitation  for members to  visit   him at work .

The club had contact with other such clubs  and  individual photographers in various parts of  Australia, including  Queensland. In  1947 ,  Cairns  photographer Lionel  Law  sent  25   prints  for a one man exhibition in the club rooms .

Guided by  a  friendly leprechaun , this record was  found  in Townsville , North Queensland .

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

EAGLE STOPS BOXING DAY RUSH

An  AirNorth flight  from Darwin to  Townsville was   forced to  turn back soon after  takeoff  when it hit  an eagle on  Boxing  Day . 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

CURLEWS MADE REDUNDANT ; DOWN IN THE MOUTH DOG MADE EXTREMELY HAPPY

The     answer to  the   stress and strain  of  looking after the Little Darwin resident  Curlews and their  vulnerable   chicks  has been found - metal  ones  kindly presented  to  us  as  a  very much appreciated, surprise  Christmas present  from  neighbours. The Curlew chicks, either side of a parent , always hungry, are  shown  parading  about  the  strange   interlopers . Imagine the shock a  Barking Owl will receive when it  pounces on  the  metal  chick  at  night .
On seeing the camper van being packed, Bela , a  much travelled Darwin Boxer, became worried that she  was  going to  be left   at  home alone , instead of  sitting  up  there  with  the   family  and  going  for another long trip , this time to Brisbane .  Nervously, she  eyed  all  the  activity . However, once she  knew  she  was   going  to   hit  the  road , she  broke out  in  the cheesiest of  grins, with the help of  a  chewy, squeaky toy .

Saturday, December 24, 2016

EXCLUSIVE : CHRISTMAS DAY IN PARCHED LIZARD LAND

In these hot , greedy days in  Australia , spare a  thought  for the  poor lizards who scamper about  in  the  tinder dry   undergrowth , above, in which there  is  the ghost of a   scorched   Aussie  Christmas Tree ,  desperately seeking  a  morsel   of   Christmas  tucker .
 Soon to go down the  hatch  is the tasty  ant  above the hungry lizard  whose  stocking  was   found  to  be  empty  this  morning , leaving  him  ravenous . 
Lucky  lizard discovers  cache of  mixed nuts  in  a  cave-is  that a  weed  or a rare  four leaf  clover  nearby ? From the reptile's  shortened tail, it appears a bird may  have  tried  to  turn  it  into  entrĂ©e  at  some stage . 
Lizard  ,  which  watches a lot of TV cooking shows  and whistles at Nigella  Lawson  ,  gathering leaves , above,  intent  on  making  Greek Dolmades  as  a  special  Christmas  treat .

FOOT / KNEE / MKR NOTE: This odd  post  composed by a  blogger with a sore, wonky knee , who stumbled about the  garden  at  great risk and  pain to  his person , snapping  lizards  out  dining , shopping . 

Friday, December 23, 2016

ANOTHER DAY OF INFAMY : AMERICAN REFLECTS ON EAST TIMOR INVASION JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS 41 YEARS AGO

By Pamela Sexton*

DILI,TIMOR-LESTE:  Recently, thousands of U.S. military veterans travelled to North Dakota to support the peaceful struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to defend their sovereignty and protect  their land  and water. I watched the veterans bend  down to ask forgiveness from the many indigenous tribes gathered there. They apologized as veterans from the same military that has carried out genocide against Native Americans since before the U.S. achieved independence. In this way, they acknowledged the past and affirmed their commitment to ensuring  the  bitter  past  does  not  repeat  itself.

[]
Invasion  Day December 7 ,  l975  , East Timor . (Australian veteran  journalist Roger East, who had worked in Darwin ,  was  murdered by the invading Indonesians  and   thrown   into  the sea  at  Dili   on  December  8 , the atrocity re-enacted , below ,  in   Darwin , agronomist   Rob Wesley-Smith  playing the part of   East. )

 
This December 7, I bent down in Timor-Leste to apologize for the crimes of my government against the East Timorese people. On that day in 1975, U.S. armed and trained Indonesian troops launched their illegal invasion. I feel a deep sadness and shame that my government has not yet formally and responsibly acknowledged its support for crimes committed here on that day and the 24-year Indonesian occupation which followed. An important first step would be for the U.S. to declassify and release all its records related to Indonesia and its invasion and  occupation  of Timor-Leste.

As a citizen of the United States, I have a responsibility to learn and respond to injustices done by my own government. While my government would prefer not to emphasize or even acknowledge this past, I can still access this information, and I can speak freely. I am obligated to act when I see injustice – to use non-violent means to prevent, reduce or acknowledge my complicity in my government's   actions.

In the U.S., most people know December 7 as Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the 1941 Japanese bombing of a U.S. Navy base in Hawaii.  Japan's target was strictly military, and the pre-emptive strike was carried out because Japan believed  that  the U.S. was  close  to  joining  the  war.


In contrast, Indonesia's invasion of Timor-Leste was an attack on a civilian population who did not want war with Indonesia. Most people in the U.S. don't know about Timor-Leste, but the Indonesian invasion could not have happened without the military, economic and  diplomatic  backing of  the U.S.

From December 6, 1975, until 1999, the U.S. supported Indonesia's invasion and occupation. For this, they are responsible for numerous  serious crimes committed here. Some basic facts:

December 6, 1975: President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with Suharto in Jakarta and gave a green light to  the invasion.
 
December 7, 1975: Indonesia launched the invasion; 90%  of  the weapons used came from  the U.S.


Dec 1975-1976: President Ford's Ambassador to the UN, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, wrote proudly that the U.S. wanted the UN to be "utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook [on Timor-Leste], …and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success." From 1976 to 1983, the U.S. voted against every General Assembly resolution supporting Timor-Leste.

January 1976: A U.S. State Department official stated: "In terms of the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Indonesia, we are more or less condoning the  incursion into East Timor.... The United States wants to keep its relations with Indonesia close and friendly. [It's] a nation we do a lot of business with." 

1977: President Jimmy Carter (known by many as ‘the human rights president’) increased military aid to Indonesia, including authorizing an additional $112 million worth of weapons. U.S. support for the occupation continued under the Reagan and   Bush administrations  of  the 1980s.

December 10, 1991: A month after the notorious Santa Cruz massacre in Dili, capitol of Timor-Leste--– witnessed by U.S. journalists Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn -- U.S. officials met with Indonesian military leaders to reinforce their support, telling them: "“We do not believe that friends should abandon friends in times of adversity."
 
1992-1999: East Timor Action Network (ETAN) activists worked with members of Congress to restrict U.S. government support for the occupation, resulting in a decrease in military assistance, training and arms sales to Indonesia. Despite this, President Clinton authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons sales and provided over US$500 million in economic aid.
 
Early September 1999: Despite the killings and massive destruction by the Indonesian military and their militia which preceded and followed Timor'’s vote for independence - the Clinton administration delayed ending military and economic support for Indonesia. U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Stapleton Roy, told a journalist: "The dilemma is that Indonesia matters and East Timor doesn'’t." Finally, on September 10, in the face of strong public and Congressional pressure, President Clinton suspended all U.S. economic aid and military ties to Indonesia.
 
The U.S. government has not yet responded to the basic recommendations presented in Chega !, the report of Timor’'s truth commission. The commission called on the U.S. and others to support an international tribunal to bring perpetrators of crimes committed during Indonesian illegal occupation to justice. The commission recommended reparations to the Timorese people from countries like the  U.S.  that   backed  Indonesia.

Fidel Castro is now dead, and Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president. People in Cuba have access to quality healthcare. In the U.S., 17% of the population are food insecure and at least a million people have no permanent home. While the health system does not  yet cover everyone, many people's insurance  is  now  threatened  with  elimination  by  Trump.

While Cuba has little money, they  have sent doctors and provide medical education to develop the health sector in many countries, including Timor-Leste. The U.S., a far richer nation, gives relatively small amounts in aid, largely focused on  promoting  private  business and  supporting  militaries.
 
As a U.S. citizen, I acknowledge this and redouble my commitment and solidarity as an individual, as an activist, and as a member of ETAN, to struggle to ensure genuine accountability and justice for crimes committed in Timor-Leste. I will continue to push my government to make people and their basic needs the priority, as opposed to corporate profits and the rich. I will continue to demand that my government:
 
Release all U.S. government documents relating to Timor-Leste from 1974-1999, including intelligence files and intercepted communications between different parts of  the  military and  government.



Create an independent commission with the power to investigate, analyze and report on U.S. involvement in Indonesia'’s invasion and occupation of Timor-Leste.


Actively support the establishment of an international tribunal or other mechanism that can end impunity for those who committed crimes against humanity.

Follow through on all the recommendations laid out in the Chega! report, including continuing to  block visas to  military officers who are mentioned in the report as possible perpetrators or command officers, and stopping weapon sales to Indonesia if  human rights violations continue (as they do in West Papua).

Apologize to the Timorese people for U.S. support for Indonesia and the crimes against humanity and war crimes carried out as part of the invasion and occupation. Begin discussions with Timorese people from various sectors about reparations from the U.S. government to the people of Timor-Leste.


A luta kontinua.

*Pam Sexton currently lives and works in Timor-Leste. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), www.etan.org.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NOISY AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS TREE SILLY SEASON YARN

 
With  a  Kiwi  hangi  to  follow 
 
  
Screeching  Cockatoos  intent on raiding  passionfruit   vine  and  mandarin tree  decorate  Illawarra Flame Tree   at  top , while  Bush-stone Curlews line up for share of  Christmas pudding   outside  Little  Darwin den .

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

IN AND OUT OF STALAG 13 OVER CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR

In a desperate attempt to  save the latest  Little Darwin resident  Curlew  chicks , seen here  with their mother , from  attack by Barking Owls and  other marauders , a kind of  floating , walk through   prison camp  has  been  constructed  in   the  backyard . If  the chicks   survive  for another  week  or so they will  be  big enough  to   look  after themselves , go  their own way in  2017 . After having lost many  chicks  during  the  year it will  be a major achievement, especially as a fat cat has been  chased  recently  on two occasions . 
Jungle section  of  Stalag  13.
The  containment  area  is   made  from  panels  from  a  former  swimming pool  fence  , the  configuration  changed  from  time  to  time to  baffle ( in theory ) would be  predators , especially at   night,  when the air is  filled  with  screeching and  rustling   due  to  flying  foxes,  possums , owls , causing  disturbed    sleep, bigger   bags  under  the eyes of   this   blogger ,who totters out of the bunk  with a torch , grabs  a   broom   to  engage  the   brutal  enemy .  And would you  believe , that out the front   a    pair  of  Curlews  have  set  up  shop  on  the  boundary and  produced an egg , near the road , out  in  the baking sun . Not  sure  if  this  is  another   blessed  Christmas  event .
My main  New Year's resolution  is  to have no further  stressful relationships  with  Curlews  and   their cute  chicks   by  shooing them  away   and  replacing them  with   an  artificial  defensive Curlew and tiny  chick, above,   from Artscape, which  showcases  the  diverse  artistic   output of  Magnetic  Island . 

CELEBRITY CRACKS , ADMITS HE IS SUFFERING DARWIN SYNDROME

In an astonishing confession ,  a  famous   American , who wishes to remain anonymous, has  exclusively  told   Little Darwin  that  he has been going crackers.  The weird  revelation  was made  in an email  after  he  read  this blog's  post  about  the Murdoch  media  belittling   latte  drinkers,( See  MURDOCH  BARISTA  BASHING  BRIGADE LASHES LATTE LOVERS  ) .   

 He wrote : "... I'll  have you (Little Darwin )  and Rupert (Murdoch ) know I'm one of   those ' hairy chested  blokes who sticks crackers up  my clacker'  and drinks  latte  too."  Commenting on the belief that glue sniffing is responsible for much  of  the  syndicated  drivel  in  newspapers , he admitted  to  a lot of " legal glue sniffing " when  he was a  patriotic  kid  back in  America  ,  building plastic models of  Jap Zeros and  German  Fokkers.  His  mother  blamed  this  glue  sniffing  for   his wild days in San Francisco,   Berkeley , California ,  and elsewhere ,  resulting  in him receiving   a  high  degree of  fame / notoriety  in  the  US of  A  and elsewhere on  the  globe .

Nowadays  he  resides overseas  and  has  started carrying  worry beads  since   Donald Trump won the  Demented Mr Universe  title from  a strong  field  of   gold  plated  robber  barons  with   hair  and  simian  brain  transplants .

WHAT IS GREEN AND BANNED FROM NEW YORK YACHT CLUB ?

 
ANSWER : A Magnetic Island  frog  , spotlighted ,  above,  who regularly takes  up a position  at  night atop an expensively framed  photograph   of the British   188 ton schooner Cambria , the first to challenge  the New York Yacht Club for  the America's Cup .On the way to the  race, in 1870  , Cambria  beat   Dauntless, owned  by   New York Herald  boss Gordon Bennett , racing across the  Atlantic from Ireland  to New York . In the   America's Cup challenge ,  Cambria  was up against  14 yachts  from  the  New York  Yacht Club and  came  eighth .   

Monday, December 19, 2016

CIA REPORT REVEALS RUSSIA MEDDLING IN AUSTRALIA

WASHINGTON : In shock breaking news , the  CIA  firmly states that Russia  has been  actively  involved  in  an evil,  extensive plan to  destabilise  Australian governments. Part of the dastardly plot involves putting  large  doses of  colourless   clumsy drug  in  government  office  watercoolers throughout  the  land ,  which  causes  people in  high places  to make stupid decisions .
 
This has  already resulted  in  the Country Liberal Party  in the Northern Territory  leasing the Port of Darwin to the Chinese  for  99 years ; plans for the new  ASIO headquarters in  Canberra falling into the hands of the Chinese ; former PM Tony Abbott  knighting   the  Duke of  Edinburgh ; plans for Australia's  French  submarines  being  served up  in  an  Indian  takeaway ;  the nightfoundered  Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull  losing  his   thread  on  just about everything , waving his  arms about like  a  pea  and   thimble trickster , all the time talking  about innovation,  jobs  , increasingly  looking and  sounding   like  a  dowfart .
Reds  under  Hanson's Czar-sized  bed ?
Bags of  Russian roubles  were  secretly donated to  the election campaign of  Pauline Hanson's  One  Potion Party  and   the  True Grit  Party    to help  reduce  Australia  to a  babbling , shooting iron-toting  nation  of   Balkan  states , according  to  the  spooks .    

The highly detailed  CIA  report  says President  Putin  personally  ordered the Moscow  Dirty Tricks  Department   to give   Australia the works  after he returned in a filthy mood  after attended the  useless  G20 conference   in Brisbane, during   which  he was  pissed on  by a  smelly  Koala  and  the Rasputin  of  Warringah  threatened  to  tear  off  his   freshly  starched  dicky.  
 
President  elect Donald  Trump reacted to  the release of the startling   CIA report  by tweeting that he is not concerned  as  Austria  is a  tiny European  country  where  men  get  about  in  leather  pants, slap each other on the back   and  do  girly  dances .       

Sunday, December 18, 2016

BLEACHED CORAL PROTECTOR

Highly protective Golden  Orb spider  ponders  fate  of  Australia's  Great  Barrier Reef , alarmed by  the  tangled  web  of  human  stupidity  which  wants  to  clear  fell  more  areas of Queensland , dredge like demons  ,  open  more  global warming   coal  mines   and  aid  and  abet  the   sure   rapid   ruination  of  the  planet . 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

ALBINO PHANTOM OF THE OPERA RETURNS TO HEARTY APPLAUSE

Looking  like  a replica  of the  famous  Sydney  Opera  House , this was the scene during construction of Townsville's quayside terminal . However, what  could have been  a  standout , attractive   building   from  afar  turned into  the drab   looking structure, below ,  like  a  seaside shack for the  Addams  Family , the warship HMAS Adelaide  in  the  background .
Now, in a spooky development , something  strange  has happened to the   building ...patches of white  are starting to show  through   the  roofing  as  if  the sweaty  Queen City  of  the North   has  received a  dusting  of  welcome  Christmas  snow  to brighten  up  the  waterfront , where   reporters  fear  to  venture . 
Photographs  by  masked  backpacker  Andrew  Lloyd  Webber , often  seen  busking  in  the Flinders Street Mall  and  feeding  stray  cats  in  the  nightclub  precinct .

Friday, December 16, 2016

ANOTHER INTERESTING GHOST SHIP PASSES THROUGH TOWNSVILLE

You  would  think  that when  a vessel from a company which has been in the  business of   shipping  livestock for  more  than 100 years - the  Finola   of the  Danish  based  Corral Line -  steams into  port  that  the  local media  might be interested . Not  in  Townsville , Sinbad .  The    vessel  stood  out  when our shipping   reporter , lurking about the  waterfront with his mumbling drinking mate , Marlon ,  spotted  the  vessel . The  company  has an  office  in  Sydney  and  North  America. Last year ,    Corral  owner  Bjorn Clausen  received  a Lifetime Achiever's Award  for  his contribution  to the  livestock  export industry  out  of   Australia   going  back  to  1960 .

OTHER   WATERFRONT  SCOOPS


Solar powered lights  have been installed on  the  port breakwater  alterations   to improve navigation safety and the Port Authority, without  public notice,  has been issuing  parking tickets  for   vehicles  near  the  Coast  Guard  area  which , for   years ,  has  been  used by Magnetic Island residents  who   have a   town  car , so  what  is  going on ?  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DEATH OF BRAVE INDONESIAN JOURNALIST ; TIMOR REMEMBERS

The  Timor-Leste Government  received  with    deep regret  news of  the  death of  Dr  George  Junus  Aditjondro  on  December  10 , an  Indonesian academic , activist , researcher  and  journalist , who courageously exposed  conditions  on East  Timor  during  the  long  struggle. He  visited  East Timor  in May 1974 as a correspondent  for the  Indonesian  Tempo magazine   and  over the years  interviewed  political leaders of all persuasions  both  inside and outside the  country .  A Timor -Leste  Government   media  release paid this tribute to Dr Aditjondro :
 
 Following the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991 , he  became a leading figure opposing the Indonesian occupation and was critical in exposing media reporting on Timor and the positions of Indonesian  manipulation. Such  criticism  put Dr. Aditjondro  at considerable risk.

In 1993,  Dr. Aditjondro participated in the Fifth Symposium on East Timor held in Portugal at the University of  Porto, working closely with Timorese activists, several of  whom   are  currently  Ministers of the Sixth  Constitutional Government. He also spent many years in Australia, in self-imposed exile, where he was a  supportive colleague in the activist movement pressing for the self-determination of Timor-Leste. 

On May 20, 2010, the National Parliament of Timor-Leste recognized the contribution of Dr. Aditjondro with the conferral of the Princess Grace of Monaco Medal. Besides his passion for Timor-Leste, Dr. Aditjondro was an unrelenting critic of corruption in Indonesia , a dedicated advocate for  empowering local  communities, a key figure  in nurturing environmental  awareness.  

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira said: “The voice of Dr George Aditjondro was crucial in challenging the thinking of many in Indonesia  and Australia about  the events occurring in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999. Through his commitment to exposing injustice, he undoubtedly played a part in moving us towards the restoration of our independence.  His voice  of  advocacy, warm friendship  towards the Timorese people  and unremitting support in the struggle  will  not be  forgotten."

MURDOCH BARISTA BASHING BRIGADE LASH LATTE LOVERS

Murdoch newspapers appear to  have an absolute  obsession  about  latte drinkers , making out  that  imbibers of  such  stimulants are  lacking in some way- effete, wimps , ABC/SBS reporters , tree hugging greenies et cetera , et cetera . In the  case of  the Northern Territory News , it  frequently   railed  against southern   latte sipping  journalists  , particularly  those in  Sydney , especially those  who  they scoffed had been no further  north  than  the seaside suburb of  ManlyNot   only  ordinary  moo  juice   latte  imbibers ,  but  soy  milk , lo-cal ,   latte  guzzlers...a  clear  indication  of   their   inferiority . The  paper's frequent  mocking of  latte drinkers  is  responsible  for  the cup of  latte  in   this  blog's masthead   illustration .
 
Just recently , another  windy nag in the Murdoch  stable, The Townsville Bulletin , ran yet another  Sydney Telegraph- like story ( the editor  recently came from there )  about  a  campaign to get latte drinking  southerners  to  move  to   the   city  and   settle . 
 
Smart    Sydney  latte sippers  might feel disinclined  to move to North Queensland  if  they   feel  the  local rag  thinks  people  who  sip latte through  a straw  are lesser beings  , especially after learning that leading footballers, obviously not  latte drinkers,  run about at night throwing eggs  at people and cars .   
Southern  latte drinkers  warned  about   low  flying  Townsville yolks and yokels .
 
In Darwin , obviously,   hairy chested  blokes    who stick  crackers up their clackers,  are  not  card   holding latte  drinkers.  Some  scruffy Territorians , the News  reported ,  have  wild   fantasies    that  film  star  Angelina  Jolie , who  split  with  Brad  Pitt,  would  be  interested  in  their  rotund  bodies and pet, warped  thongs  which  they  wear  to  bed . 
 
Another Murdoch paper, the tattered  flagship, The Australian , is badly in need of a   double shot  of  real reporting  , less  flat , predictable  opinion  pieces  and   frequent attacks  on  the ABC , unions, the   ALP and  the never ending   garrotting of  Gillian Triggs   leave a  taste  like bitter old  coffee  grains and a  feeling why  buy   and read   the   obsessive  blat.


The   business  section recently   ran  a  report   about   latte breaks  being   no  good  for  business .  Let  that  be  a  warning  to  staff,with  further cuts  under  way .  Latte drinkers in  Brisbane who live in  ghettoes  get  the  blame  for problems  in  regional  parts of  the state , according   to  an  article in   the  latest  Weekend Australian Magazine .  
 
Here is a subject for an alert investigative reporter :  How  many Murdoch reporters  drink  latte on  the sly ?  It is obvious that the  greatly reduced number of  churnalists  in  news/celebrity/social media  watching  rooms  get  little chance  to  slip out  for  a ninny-broth  hit ;   certainly not a  quick glass or  two of   lant  in  a Townsville  pub  , reporters there  warned  against  the  ancient   tradition , thus missing out on  much of  the  city's  scuttlebutt  and   good yarns. . Going on  some of  the  crap   being  written  in Australia  , it  would appear  that  glue sniffing   is  on  the  rise .

The NT Spews   recently went  big  with a typical (for it ) hard news  story about a bionic penis- the ultimate   trendy  gadget  to  put  a  nice  froth  on  your  latte , one  would   think . Enjoy !