A cold snap, firewood and a short history of chimney sweeps

Almost on schedule, a cold snap arrived, coinciding nicely with our completely running out of firewood. Oh you too, eh? I thought as much, queuing up on Saturday at the fill-your-own-boot firewood supplier. It took a while. Chatting to a friend on the same mission, I mentioned that the fire was not drawing very well. He then told me about an organic solvent you could buy from the hardware store. “You just get a good…

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A Few Observations About Ice and Glaciers

One Thursday night while watching rugby league, I went to the freezer, extracted some ice cubes and wrapped them in a tea towel. The aim was to encase my throbbing thumb in an icy blanket of numbness. It’s just arthritis, the doctor said, examining the swelling of the thumb joint. Gardening, playing guitar and driving tends to bring on the pain and swelling. Importantly, the doctor did not recommend ice, instead suggesting anti-inflammatories (tablets or…

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The budget that forgot climate change

‘The budget that forgot climate change’ may be a slightly misleading headline, even though Greens Leader Richard Di Natale essentially said as much when interviewed on 2GB. He was elaborating on a press release issued on Budget night which castigated the Federal Coalition for virtually ignoring climate change. “(Treasurer) Josh Frydenberg said in his speech that we owe our children budget discipline,” Di Natale said. We owe our children a plan for their future, and…

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Moving North Queensland water to Murray-Darling

Australia’s mismanagement of water is coming home to roost now, with the highly visible deluge in North Queensland in sharp contrast to the water-starved Murray-Darling Basin. Far North Queensland residents and emergency workers are still struggling to cope with the worst floods in living memory. Tully, arguably the wettest place in Australia, had 955mm over 27 days since New Year’s Day, about a quarter of its annual rain. Townsville broke all records with 1,200mm falling…

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