Heatwaves and the Winter Solstice

As the Winter Solstice came and went and our wood heater consumed the last of 2020’s firewood, the US mid-west was  sweltering through an early summer heatwave. Australia is, hopefully, at least five months away from its first hot spell. But in the US mid-west states, which have been in the grip of the worst drought in 20 years, the mercury is rising. Cue Martha and the Vandellas.. Canadian relatives had already been posting photos…

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Non-viral news stories you may have missed

Even when the world is assailed by an invisible foe – a global pandemic – the ordinary news cycle continues. Not that you’d know it, with electronic and print media obsessed 24/7 with the virus and its long-term effect on the global economy. (That is, the economy has been seriously affected – not ‘impacted’, please- the latter referring to something jammed together, e.g.  wisdom teeth. SWAG(SheWhoAddsGrammaticalNotes)) The Guardian Weekly has taken to presenting 15-20 news…

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Resolution: we all want to save the world

Blame it not on the Bossa Nova but on the ancient Babylonians, who, 4,000 years ago, invented the dubious practice of making New Year resolutions. The Babylonians were the first to hold New Year celebrations, although held in March (when crops were sown). The Babylonians pledged to pay their debts and return any borrowed objects (thinks: whoever borrowed Murakami’s ‘IQ84’ and Cohen’s ‘Beautiful Losers’, give them back!). An article in <history.com> cites these rituals as…

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Bushfire smoke, dust storms and asthma

Images of Brisbane shrouded in an asthma-inducing smoky haze on Monday reminded me of Queensland Ballet’s season launch in 2009. We had driven down for the matinee on a day when a massive dust storm was predicted. By the time we came out, the dust haze was so thick you could barely see the ABC headquarters across the road from the Lyric Theatre. No doubt those of you who remember that were reliving it on…

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