A MOTHER in Western Australia is demanding an apology from her kids’ school after her 12-year-old daughter was given a detention for hugging a classmate.
Heidi Rome’s daughter Amber was punished at the Adam Road Primary School in Bunbury, south of Perth, for giving her friend a quick hug after the school bell rang.
Apparently that violated the school’s no-hugging policy, a “blanket rule” which was brought in last year.
(H/T: Invisible Furry Hand)
Source: News.com.au. Read full article. (link)
The Lord Howe Island stick insect, which you see hatching above, looking like an alien struggling out of a human torso, will grow to the size of your hand. It’s also called a “tree lobster” — that’s how big it is.
The most incredible thing about these insects, though, is not how big they are or how Geigeresque they look, but how close they came to not existing. In the early 20th century, a British trade ship crashed on the South Pacific island that these stick insects inhabited, and black rats from its hold took over the island and ate all the bugs. One very small population survived, hanging out around one tiny little bush on another island (really more of a bare outcropping of rock), until a couple of Australian scientists found them there.
To sum up, a giant, awesome bug that looks like an alien almost didn’t survive because people are idiots (and rats are jerks). But it did, because sometimes people aren’t total idiots and are a little bit brave. And now you can watch how awesome this bug is on the internet.
Check it out!
The story really begins in the late 19th Century, when an edible by-product was first extracted from the yeast used by brewers to make beer. In 1902, Britain’s Marmite Extract Food Company came into being, taking its name from the French word “marmite”, for large pot.
Marmite was sent around the world, including to Australia. But during World War I, those exports were badly interrupted by German U-boats attacking merchant ships.
“Supplies of Marmite all but dried up, leaving Australians desperate for the spread that many had come to love,” says Callister. “They needed to find an alternative.”
Born in 1893 in rural Victoria, he was a clever child who went to college and became a chemist. He lived an exciting, unorthodox, life, travelling the world and ending up as a scientist at a munitions factory in Scotland.
After an explosion at the factory, Callister returned to Australia, where he met an entrepreneur called Fred Walker, who was trying to develop a Marmite substitute.
Walker had already seen one local brewer try to come up with its own version of Marmite, called Cubex. But this thick, bitter sludge was a culinary and financial disaster.
Walker put Callister on the case in 1923, and by the end of the year, the pair were confident they had a finished product. Walker decided to launch a competition so the public could name it and claim a £50 prize. Hundreds entered and it was Walker’s daughter Sheila who pulled the word Vegemite out of a hat.
Like the product itself, the name stuck. But sales were sluggish.
Walker had heard about an ingenious Canadian called James Kraft, who had perfected what came to be known as processed cheese. It was a sensation, as it allowed people who couldn’t afford fridges to store cheese for much longer periods.
In 1924, Walker met Kraft in Chicago. The two men got on well and Walker persuaded Kraft to grant him rights to sell his cheeses in Australia.
In a stroke of marketing genius, he offered Vegemite alongside the cheese. By the mid 1930s, Vegemite was, if not quite a runaway success, certainly a moderately well-established family staple. But it took a professor of human physiology to transform its fortunes.
Cedric Stanton Hicks worked at the University of Adelaide and he was commissioned by the Australian government to ensure troops marched on full stomachs.
After extensive research, Hicks concluded that Vegemite, a rich source of vitamin B, should become the basis of soldiers’ ration packs along with blackcurrant concentrate and margarine.
“Hicks sent Vegemite to war and that transformed its status,” says Jamie Callister.
As World War II unfolded, Vegemite became associated with the national interest. Posters put up in Australia had pictures of it with the slogan, “Vegemite: Keeping fighting men fighting fit.”
For Vegemite, the war was a turning point, marking its entry deep into the hearts and consciousness of the Australian public.
In 1949, Cyril Callister died. A sign of his and Vegemite’s importance came when Robert Menzies, a past and future prime minister, turned up to his funeral.
Of course, this song from the ’80s spread knowledge of Vegemite around the world:
Here’s a classic ’50s Vegemite ad with the jingle mentioned in the story:
And an ’80s ad:
It was one small step for woman – and it wasn’t very successful as Australian Prime Minister fell flat on her face when her heel became stuck in the grass in India.
Julia Gillard was on a goodwill visit to India when she took the tumble in what was her third faux pas involving her shoes this year.
She famously lost a blue suede shoe during an Aboriginal demonstration in Canberra in January and just two months ago she slipped out of one of her high heels while walking on stage at a function at Sydney’s Custom House.
This is why nations shouldn’t elect women as prime ministers.
POLICE used capsicum spray during a running battle with angry rioters in the Sydney CBD yesterday as an anti-America rally erupted into a series of violent clashes.
Triggered by a YouTube video mocking Islam and the prophet Mohammed, the city was rocked by a wild melee involving more than a 1000 protesters, with police being struck by water bottles, rocks and pieces of timber.
Six policemen were among a dozen people injured, with two officers requiring hospital treatment as the inner-city streets and Hyde Park turned into bloody battlegrounds.
Frontline police, including a dozen dog handlers, resorted to using capsicum spray as a wall of protesters tried to storm past them.
The Sydney riot follows a deadly wave of Islamic protests around the world which have left at least six people dead – including the horrific killings of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three US nationals in Libya on Tuesday.
The Sydney riot caused traffic chaos, forcing diversions as the placard-waving protesters – many of them women and children – gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall around noon before moving to the US consulate in Martin Place.
Most disturbing was a shocking image of a young boy in Hyde Park holding a sign declaring: “Behead all those who insult the prophet”. It went viral on social media.
The Australian Christian Lobby has said that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to withdraw from speaking at an ACL conference because she took offense to a comment on homosexuality made by the group’s leader will be seen as an “abandonment of the Christian constituency.”
ACL’s leader Jim Wallace compared the negative effects of smoking to same-sex marriage during a debate on marriage equality at the University of Tasmania on Wednesday, AFP shared.
“I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health – which it presents when it wants more money for health – are that it has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years,” Wallace told the audience.
“The life of smokers is reduced by something like seven to 10 years and yet we tell all our kids at school they shouldn’t smoke,” he added.
In response to these remarks, Gillard, who is an atheist, said on Thursday that she is canceling her plans to speak at the ACL conference in Canberra on Oct. 5 and 6, deeming that Wallace’s comparison had been too “offensive.”
“To compare the health effects of smoking cigarettes with the many struggles gay and lesbian Australians endure in contemporary society is heartless and wrong,” Gillard said in a statement on Thursday. “In light of this, I believe my attendance at the conference would be inappropriate.”
Actually, as an atheist, her attendance was inappropriate in the first place; don’t know why she was invited…
Police in Victoria, Australia, stopped several automobiles and ordered them to fill all the lanes on the road. At first, the motorists thought it was a routine traffic check, but they quickly realized they police were using their vehicles, which they were still in, as a roadblock to stop s driver who was fleeing from them. It worked. The fleeing driver stopped but only after slamming into the cars.
From the linked story:
Civilians – including one driver who had two children in his ute – were ordered to form a roadblock to help police stop a speeding hoon on a major freeway after a failed police pursuit.
David Rendina said police ordered civilians to form a roadblock on the Hume Freeway, about a kilometre before the Western Ring Road, at Epping, on Saturday morning.
The police force is now investigating.
Mr Rendina, who was travelling with his partner and children, aged eight and nine, said the officers told drivers to fill the two lanes of the freeway as well as the emergency lane, in an attempt to stop the speeding car.
A police pursuit had initially started at Benalla, about 200 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, but was terminated after three minutes because of the driver’s erratic behaviour and high speeds.
The car was then spotted on the Hume Freeway just after 11am and was tracked by the police air wing through Wallan, Kalkallo and Craigieburn.
Mr Rendina said he was the last of three vehicles in the emergency lane.
“I pretty much knew I was a sitting duck,” he told ABC radio 774 this morning.
“I just remember seeing him speeding towards me and going, ‘Well there’s nothing I can do here, I just have to sit here’.”
He said the speeding driver crashed into his car and several others as he tried to navigate the roadblock.
However, he was arrested by police, who then took statements from drivers who suffered damage.
Mr Rendina said he did not believe it was worth putting the lives of his children at risk to stop a stolen car.
‘‘I was in a position where I couldn’t go forwards, I couldn’t go backwards, I was stuck there,’’ he said. ‘‘Anything could have happened.’’
The electrician said his Nissan Navara ute has been left undrivable and he is unable to work. He said his children had nightmares about the incident.
A police spokeswoman said on Saturday that officers did not start a pursuit on the Hume Freeway due to safety reasons.
Today, Mr Fontana said the driver had allegedly reached speeds of up to 200km/h on the freeway.
‘‘The air wing were extremely concerned about his driving. They said ‘If we don’t stop this bloke, he’s going to kill someone and himself,’’ he said.
Mr Fontana said this put the officers ‘‘in a bit of dilemma’’ and a decision was made to slow traffic before it reached the city.
‘‘It was quite clear that the driver of this car needed to be stopped,’’ he said.
‘‘If we had have let him go we could have ended up with a fatality down the road.’’
So, in order to avoid risking a fatality down the road, they risked a fatality of people in parked cars.
And no doubt, had citizens not cooperated, they would have been arrested…
Fuck the Police.
First-class First World Problems…
Two Melbourne-bound Qantas passengers from hell refused to fly last night after they were told there were no XL-sized first-class pyjamas on their LA flight.
The crew’s offer of business-class jim-jams failed to placate the duo.
Their luggage was offloaded after they elected to spoil their own pyjama party and they were left behind.
But despite the storm breaking out in a teacup the captain still landed in Melbourne on time at 8.20am today.
QF094 business-class passenger Angela Ceberano told mX the cabin erupted in laughter when the captain announced the reason for the delay.
“He said: ‘Just to inform you all, the reason we’ve had the delay is because two of our first-class passengers refused to fly on this plane as there was no extra large pyjamas on board for them’,” Ceberano said.
Eat the fucking rich.
A pair of identical twins, who became famous through their desperate battle with anorexia, have died in a house fire.
Clare and Rachel Wallmeyer, 42, were killed after a fire broke out in their home in Geelong, near Melbourne, one perishing in the flames, the other succumbing to her severe burns on the way to hospital.
It was a tragic end to two turbulent lives, for the sisters had appeared on Australian TV several times to talk about the anorexia which had turned both into virtual living skeletons and a problem pair for their parents, social workers and the police.
They had predicted they’d die together, though from their anorexia, not a house fire:
In an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes programme the twins gave a startling insight into their eating habits.
Said Clare: ‘Essentially, we don’t eat anything. We might have a piece of watermelon.’
Rachel added: ‘And Diet Coke we have, and coffee.’
They also revealed they took at least 20 laxatives.
Rachel said that Clare was the only person who remained by her side. ‘And at least we’ll die together.’
Clare said: ‘Being with Rachel…makes it somewhat easier to die.’
HAM-FISTED police are prosecuting parents who let their children walk to the shops alone or wait in the car for a few minutes, Australia’s civil rights lobby complained yesterday.
Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman challenged prosecutors to drop charges against well-meaning parents who might technically breach child-neglect laws by letting their kids walk to school, or stay in the car while they duck into a corner store.
“The nanny state should have some limits,” he said. “The law needs to be there, but it’s a ham-fisted and mindless way in which it is being enforced by various police around the country. Surely parents should be left to exercise their own discretion as to whether an eight-year-old can walk 50m along a footpath to the shop.”
POLICE and customs officials are turning their attention to the online marketplace of illegal drugs, Silk Road, which is achieving an estimated $22 million a year in sales.
Silk Road – started by ”Dread Pirate Roberts” in February last year – functions like a black market version of eBay, complete with vendor feedback, dispute resolution and sales promotions. Cocaine and ecstasy sell for a quarter of street prices in Australia while drugs such as cannabis and prescription medication are shipped worldwide.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way…
Australian MPs have started to call for legislative powers to compel social networks to swiftly remove offensive content, after Facebook failed to act decisively to remove a page containing numerous racist stereotypes of Australian aboriginals.
Facebook initially did nothing about the page, which disappeared briefly and then resurfaced marked as “controversial humour”.
I thought Australians were freedom-lovers; I guess that doesn’t apply to their MPs…
Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court’s ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from.
The ruling has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.
The prostitute, identified only as GK, went to Australia‘s courts alleging discimination after being banned from the Drovers Rest Motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah in Queensland.
The prostitute stayed at the motel 17 times in two years before the owners discovered in 2010 that she was bringing clients to her room. She was then banned from staying there.
“Not everyone would choose to do the job I do, but it’s not right that they can treat me like as second-class citizen,” she told The Australian.
“They wanted me to go away, but I am a tenacious little terrier, and I would not give up,” she said.
A tenacious bitch, indeed…
Richard Munro, chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia, a tourism industry lobby group, said the Queensland and Australian governments should consider changing laws to ensure that hotel and motel owners can decide what sort of businesses are being operated under their roofs.
“It’s absolutely illogical,” Mr Munro said. “If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, ‘Hang on, that’s a different business operating out of my business’. If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here.”
Exactly; there ought to be protection for them. WTF?
Once again, business owners don’t have the right to conduct their businesses in whatever manner they please, if a protected special interest group (which apparently includes whores) objects…
The male officers attended Darwin’s Humpty Doo Tavern after reports of a disturbance and were greeted by an enthusiastic group of women who shouted that the strippers had arrived and tried to pull their shirts off.
“The girls were in fine form,” Northern Watch Commander Louise Jorgensen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “They were most excited about the police presence.
“There were various shouts about how the strippers had arrived.”
Jorgensen said the men “nearly had their shirts torn off, but they managed to escape with their dignity intact”.
So, what about that original ‘disturbance’? Poor reporting, AFP journo!
BTW, imagine what would have happened if a bunch of female police officers who came to a ‘stag’ (bachelor party) at a strip-bar were assaulted, and almost had their shirts torn off. Would everyone just be laughing about it? Would female police commanders just joke, “The boys were in fine form”? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Double standards, as usual…
His popularity on the other side of the Atlantic is appropriate, for he is perhaps the supreme Anglosphere politician – apostle, champion, exemplar and historian of English-speaking unity.
What makes the Anglosphere special? I’m taken with Mark Steyn’s observation that the list of countries on the right side in both the world wars and the cold war is short, but it contains the main English-speaking democracies. What made them all pile in? Was it linguistic solidarity, an identification with kith-and-kin? Yes, partly. But that’s not all it was. Those mighty struggles were not simply ethnic conflicts, bloodier versions of the Hutu-Tutsi wars. The Anglosphere peoples believed, because their institutions had taught them to believe, that individual liberty, limited government and the rule of law were worth preserving – with force of arms if necessary.
Anglo consciousness; an idea long overdue…
Two recent examples, where opponents of same-sex marriage find themselves silenced or questioned:
One from the U.K.:
Sir Paul Coleridge, the Family Division judge who recently launched a new charity to combat marital break-up, had been lined up as the main speaker at the annual event at the Law Society’s London headquarters later this month.
But organisers were forced to cancel it at short notice after the Law Society ruled that the programme reflected “an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage”.
And one from Australia.
Professor Kuruvilla George, who is Victoria’s deputy chief psychiatrist, has signed a submission to a senate inquiry calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.
He is among a group of doctors, who in a letter to the marriage equality inquiry, say limiting marriage between a man and woman “is important for the future health of our nation”.
“We submit that the evidence is clear that children who grow up in a family with a mother and father do better in all parameters than children without,” the Doctors for the Family group says.
Victorian opposition attorney-general Martin Pakula said Prof George needs to explain to the government and the community why he should remain a board member on the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), given his views.
“The equal opportunity commission are regularly asked to deal with matters where people are alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and I don’t know how Prof George can properly deal with those matters given the sentiments he’s expressed,” Mr Pakula told reporters.
Political correctness is another form of gleichschaltung.
WOMEN should marry earlier and not be too picky if they want to avoid an Aussie man drought, the Catholic Church has warned.
Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling the Herald Sun women should also forget living with their partners before tying the knot.
Statistics show there are just 86,000 eligible blokes for 1.3 million females aged between 25 and 34…
But the reverend Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, said women wanted the best of both worlds.
“Are women getting too choosy? I’d say yes,” said Father Kerin, speaking on behalf of the archdiocese.
“I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they’ve missed their chance.
“In trying to have it all, they end up missing out.”
Father Kerin said the rate of marriage had halved despite nearly four in five people still wanting to settle down.
“For many, it remains an unattainable dream,” he said…
Demographer Bernard Salt calculated there are 1.3 million women aged 25-34.
But of the 1.343 million men in the same age bracket, only 86,000 single, heterosexual, well-off, young men were available after excluding those who were already married (485,000), in a de facto relationship (185,000), gay (7000), a single parent (12,000) or earning less than $60,000 a year.
If Australians are smart, and listen to Father Kerin’s sage advice, they can avoid going as far down some of the roads we’ve already been way down, here in North America.