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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Outrage over schoolgirl refusing to stand for anthem shows rise of aggressive nationalism

The brouhaha over a nine-year-old girl refusing to stand for the national anthem appears to confirm that tolerance is on the wane and nationalist sentiment on the rise in Australia. Shutterstock Last week, nine-year-old Queensland school girl, Harper Nielsen, was threatened with suspension by her school for refusing to sing the Australian national anthem. The heated and at time preposterous reaction to the...

Listen To Older Voices : Judy Donnelly – Part 1

Welcome to Listen To Older Voices, a program produced by Rob Greaves for Uniting Melba and podcast through the Toorak Times and Tagg. Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principle of...

Sunday essay: who owns a family’s story? Why it’s time to lift the Berndt field notes embargo

Vincent Copley senior and Vincent Copley junior at Redbanks Conservation Park, Burra, in June, 2018. They are holding Ngadjuri book, with their grandfather and great-grandfather, Barney Waria, on the cover.  Photo: C.J. Taylor, Flinders University. Imagine your grandfather was interviewed about his life, over many hours, some 80 years ago. Everything he says is written down, enough to fill more...

Vital for life, heat and power – what you never knew about salt water

Salt water is fun to swim in – but it also carries the electrical signals vital for life. Raphael Nogueira/Unsplash Your tongue is a salt detector – it dissolves the solid salt crystals sprinkled on your chips to create an intense flavour sensation. But salt is way more important than just being a food additive. Salt water is literally the most common substance on the surface...

Needless procedures: knee arthroscopy is one of the most common but least effective surgeries

Knee arthroscopy requires admission to hospital and an anaesthetic. It carries some risk of harm such as infection or further damage in the joint. from shutterstock.com More than 70,000 knee arthroscopies were performed in 2011 in Australia and, though rates of the surgical procedure are now falling, it still remains one of the most common surgical procedures. The word arthroscopy means to look...

Explainer: what is energy security, and how has it changed?

 The idea of energy security has been at the centre of much policy debate recently. The federal government defines energy security as the adequate supply of energy across the electricity, gas and liquid fuel sectors. But this notion has become outdated, following the spate of electricity blackouts that have occurred in the past few years. The concept of energy security is now...

Grattan on Friday: Wentworth preselectors’ rebuff to Morrison caps week of mayhem

Dave Sharma - not the PM’s pick. AAPONE/Brendan Esposito In the early hours of Friday morning, the Liberal preselectors of Wentworth delivered their new prime minister a humiliating public slapdown. In selecting Dave Sharma, 42, former Australian ambassador to Israel and now a partner in an accountancy firm, as the candidate for the October 20 byelection, the preselectors have on all...

Where Australian states are up to in decriminalising abortion

Campaigns continue to have abortion decriminalised across Australia. Peter Rae/AAP Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England. Despite campaigns to decriminalise abortion, progress has been slow, and patchy across states. Here’s where each state is up to. The Australian Capital Territory The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to...

Human evolution: secrets of early ancestors could be unlocked by African rainforests

Image courtesy Oleg Znamenskiy/Shutterstock.com Think of rainforests and the picture is inevitably one of a dark and forbidding realm where life is abundant, yet alarmingly cryptic. Rather than the sense of space offered by long, iconic grassland vistas, distance is compressed into tangled webs of foliage, veiling both predators and prey. Diffuse and difficult to access proteins, carbohydrates and fats...

Google searches reveal where people are most concerned about climate change

A handy source of information about questions big and small. TheDigitalWay/pixabay What do you do if you have a question? You probably Google it. According to Google Trends, in 2017 Australians were keen to know about tennis, Sophie Monk, fidget spinners and Bitcoin. But besides these arguably trivial queries, our Google searches also revealed our concerns about extreme weather events such as...

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