We’ll need a huge crowd to stop war against Iran

I’m not good with crowds – not since the early days of journalism in Toowoomba when I under-reported numbers at the annual Carnival of Flowers parade. “Next time check with the police,” I was told and mostly continued to do so, on occasions when crowds gathered for newsworthy events. It is not always a given that members of the constabulary will give you an accurate-enough figure of crowds. Police under-estimated by 50% or so the…

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If it doesn’t rain soon, mate

Conversations in the street of any Australian town often involve the weather, which over the past four months has been bereft of rain or “dry” (pronounced “droy.” Tim: “How’s things, Harold? Harold: “Droy, mate!” Tim: “Got 10 points last night – hardly worth measurin’.” Harold: “How’re dams holdin?” Tim: “Nothin’ but mud and mosquitos.” Mrs Harold: “If it doesn’t rain soon, mate, we’re gonna move back to the town.” The latter is the narrator’s refrain…

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Blogging and human rights

In case you were curious, the word blog in Farsi looks like this – وبلاگ. Iranians who didn’t like the way things were going in their country started وبلاگ’ing (blogging) like crazy after the 2000 crackdown on Iranian media. Iranians who interact with the internet are by definition risk-takers. As recently as late 2016, five Iranians were sentenced to prison terms for writing and posting images on fashion blogs. The content was decreed to ‘encourage…

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