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TOORAK TIMES - SOCIALLY AWARE

It’s a busy night sky this July, so make sure you look up

The Blood Moon from January 31, 2018. Our second chance to see an eclipsed Moon this year is coming up on July 28.  Martin George, Author provided The next fortnight will be a real treat for stargazers - there are five planets to see in the evening sky, Mars is looking the best we’ve seen in 15 years, and on the...

Sunday essay: from convicts to contemporary convictions – 200 years of Australian crime fiction

Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently. Lachlan Moore Most countries produce crime fiction, but the versions vary according to national self-concepts. America admires the assertive private eye, both Dashiell Hammett’s late 1920s Sam Spade and the nearly as tough modern feminists, such as Sara...

Films and short films

Looking After Port Melbourne Beaches BeachPatrol received notice from Documentary Australia Foundation of the upcoming showing of  Blue on Wed 25 July 18 at The Jam Factory, Chapel St.  Filmed in the seas surrounding Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the USA, BLUE looks at how the very nature of the ocean is being altered. There is some amazing footage, and very powerful messages about the health...

Rethinking Homo sapiens? The story of our origins gets dizzyingly complicated

Homo sapiens evolved in the East African rift valley… but then what happened? 26781577@N07/flickr You might say it’s the ultimate prize of science, to discover when, where and why humans evolved. For a long time, the evidence has been overwhelming that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and later spilled out of the continent to settle the rest of the planet. But is the story of our...

Carbon monoxide exposure in homes is a risk – here’s how to protect yourself

Faulty or unflued gas heaters can leak carbon monoxide, which is potentially fatal in high concentrations.from www.shutterstock.com Winter is a good time to remind ourselves of the potential risk of carbon monoxide exposure from faulty or unflued gas heaters or other gas devices. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas arising from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. In a...

Australia falls further in rankings on progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals

Australia’s exported greenhouse emissions are higher per person than Saudi Arabia’s. AAP Image/Richard Wainwright Australia is performing worse than most other advanced countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the global SDG Index, which compares different nations’ performance on the goals. According to the SDG Index, released yesterday in New York, Australia is ranked 37th in the world – down from...

Grattan on Friday: Little upside for Malcolm Turnbull in debate over religious freedom

We don’t know what former Howard government minister Philip Ruddock and his panel have found and recommended about legislation to protect religious freedom. Dan Himbrechts/AAP One would think the last thing Malcolm Turnbull needs is a new round of the culture wars - this one over whether extra protections are needed for religion - just as he’s coming up to...

Why Australia does not need a Religious Discrimination Act

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan has called for a Religious Discrimination Act, but there are many reasons to be wary of such a move. AAP/Lukas Coch Social Services Minister Dan Tehan called in a recent speech for a federal Religious Discrimination Act. While Liberal Senator James Paterson has backed the call, backbench Liberal MP Tim Wilson warns such a law may be a smokescreen to allow...

Better boil ya billy: when Australian water goes bad

Just what is coming out of your tap.Steve Dorman/Flickr Many Australians take it for granted we can drink untreated tap water, without worrying about the health effects. However, a recent audit criticised the regulation of pollution in the massive Warragamba Dam drinking water catchment, the biggest single metropolitan water reservoir in Australia. Read more: Why does some tap water taste weird? The Auditor-General’s report found that...

Rediscovered: the Aboriginal names for ten Melbourne suburbs

Melbourne in 1846: a view from Collingwood. T. E. Prout. State Library of Victoria Ten previously forgotten Aboriginal names for 19th century sites and suburbs of Melbourne have been recently unearthed at the Melbourne Museum. These include the names for Fitzroy (Ngár-go), Richmond (Quo-yung), Collingwood (Yálla-birr-ang) and Brunswick (Bulleke-bek). These names were in a cache of notes made by Alfred William Howitt,...

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