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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

It’s a Nation, Not Just an Economy

It’s traditional to write about economics and economists at this time of year, the end of the financial year in most jurisdictions. Publishers like to ask economists to offer their predictions for the year. The cruel editors then go back a year later and mark their score cards. Forecasts are all very well in ‘normal’ times, but few had forecast a deadly global pandemic that (so far) would infect 10.5 million people and kill 511,000….

Continue reading

Cyber attacks and the Faraday cage

Just as I was thinking about the unexpected email from the Australian Taxation Office, She Who Mocks ScoMo called me in to watch a live press conference about cyber attacks. Beware of State-based actors with sophisticated means to hack Australian infrastructure, began the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (ScoMo). “He’s dog-whistling,” interjected SWMS. This of course sent me off to google what ‘dog-whistling’ meant. After discounting a video of a wizened old Kiwi farmer in gumboots…

Continue reading