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People love parklets, and businesses can help make them happen

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People Love Parklets, And Businesses Can Help Make Them Happen
The Wray Avenue Solar Parklet by Seedesign Studio is in Fremantle. Jean-Paul Horré, Author provided As councils across Australia strive to enhance their liveability, parklets are proving popular among city communities. A poll of 300-plus citizens gathered for the inaugural Perth City Summit in August found parklets are the street activation people would most like to see. But why are they so...

China’s growing footprint on the globe threatens to trample the natural world

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China’s Growing Footprint On The Globe Threatens To Trample The Natural World
A Chinese road-building corporation felling rainforest in the Congo Basin. Bill Laurance, Author provided Many observers of China’s escalating global program of foreign investment and infrastructure development are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. In an ideal world, China’s unbridled ambitions will improve economic growth, food security and social development in many poor nations, as well as enriching...

You should never drive into floodwater – some roads are more deadly than others

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You Should Never Drive Into Floodwater – Some Roads Are More Deadly Than Others
A flooded street in Euroa, Victoria.  AAP Image/Brendan McCarthy The floods that deluged parts of Victoria over the weekend are the latest in the state’s long history of flooding, following on from major floods in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. In all such events, emergency services are on standby to rescue motorists who drive into floodwaters and get stuck or washed away...

Social media, the ‘bikini bridge’ and the viral contagion of body ideals

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Social Media, The ‘bikini Bridge’ And The Viral Contagion Of Body Ideals
The ‘bikini bridge’ phenomenon caught on quickly because it reflected the cultural expectations placed on women’s bodies. What happens when you combine a cultural obsession with thinness, a bit of organised propaganda and a catchy hashtag? Enter the “bikini bridge”: the space between the bikini and the lower abdomen that occurs when bather bottoms are suspended between the two hip...

Sustainable Shopping: the eco-friendly guide to online Christmas shopping

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Sustainable Shopping: The Eco-friendly Guide To Online Christmas Shopping
Online shopping is quick and fun. There are ways to make it eco-friendly. Online shopping has recently smashed retail records worldwide, while its growth has continued significantly in Australia. With Christmas just around the corner, Australia Post expects this to be the busiest year it has ever seen. December is the largest buying month in Australia, with online shopping hitting its peak during the...

Australia isn’t dominated by big businesses that gouge customers: Grattan report

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Australia Isn’t Dominated By Big Businesses That Gouge Customers: Grattan Report
Some sectors, like supermarkets, are not natural monopolies, but have significant economies of scale. Sam Mooy/AAP When we see excessive spikes in fuel prices, rapid annual increases in health insurance premiums, and a confusing array of electricity options to choose from, it is easy to conclude that big companies are using their market power to gouge their customers. But the latest report...

How the same-sex marriage vote will impact on human rights and democracy

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How The Same-sex Marriage Vote Will Impact On Human Rights And Democracy
Supporters of the ‘yes’ vote celebrate the result at a street party outside the Victorian Trades Hall in Melbourne. AAP Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise of same-sex marriage by Christmas will almost certainly be honoured. We will continue to argue for some time whether the long, expensive and emotionally charged process that’s delivered this change was worth it. The postal survey...

Sunday essay: the art of the pinch – popular music and appropriation

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Sunday Essay: The Art Of The Pinch – Popular Music And Appropriation
The Rolling Stones performing in Hamburg during the ‘No Filter’ European tour: the band’s legacy is entwined with the pioneers of black American music. Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters Everything old is new again. Today the Rolling Stones release On Air, a collection of much-bootlegged BBC live studio broadcasts taped for a variety of programs between 1963 and 1965. The remastered set provides...

Trophy hunting could cause extinction in stressed populations – new research

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Trophy Hunting Could Cause Extinction In Stressed Populations – New Research
The mane attraction. People are now the most important predators for many animal populations on the planet, but people are rather different from “ordinary” predators. While a lion or an eagle is just trying to get dinner, human predators can be motivated by other aspects of an animal than simply how much meat it can provide. Trophy hunters obsessively target animals with...

Permission to laugh? Humour without risk of danger and offence would be an emaciated thing

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Permission To Laugh? Humour Without Risk Of Danger And Offence Would Be An Emaciated Thing
When does parody spill into insensitive cultural appropriation? While Chris LIlley is probably OK to appropriate the upper North Shore culture of Ja’mie (pictured), he’s on dodgier ground with   Jonah from Tonga. Princess Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) We live in an age of rising gelotophobia; not, in case you are wondering, a fear of ice-cream, but a fear...