Purple haze – the jacaranda story

On Remembrance Day (November 11), we met a Year 12 student who had been singing in our community choir but had taken time out to concentrate on her studies. She told us (with some excitement), that school was set to finish the following week. That reminded me of the old Queensland maxim about flowering jacarandas and exam times. The story goes that if the jacarandas are flowering and you are behind on your studies, it…

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Alternative media (and a plea for alms)

Over the years I have found that readers value my occasional reviews of alternative media, as opposed to fake news or the mainstream media. Since the latter started finding it hard to make money (circa 2010), there have been many start-up newsletters and blogs that seek to go counter to the mainstream media. Some survive (and grow), others fade from view. It is a constant chore to keep up with who’s who in the alt-media…

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Going bananas over budgets

After seeing a photo on a tourism brochure of a fruit cocktail with a banana posed like a dolphin with its mouth open, eating one will never be the same. I decided to write about bananas after spending two weeks in north Queensland, where 94% of the fruit is grown. I had also recently learned of the re-emergence of Panama disease, coined ‘Bananageddon’ by some droll headline writer. The threat of disease not withstanding, Australian banana…

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A New Twist On The Term Dog Act

“Starting on Monday,” our Staffie said, “you need to take me for a 30-minute walk, twice a day.” He confessed to sneaking a peek at an article in The Guardian about a new law in Germany, known for our purposes, as the Dog Act. The Guardian reported that Germany’s agriculture minister, Julia Klöckner, is introducing the new law, based on evidence that many of the nation’s 9.4 million dogs are not getting the exercise or stimuli they need. Under…

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