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Cold War-era kits on surviving nuclear fallout unearthed by historian

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In the early 1960s Washington was a city on edge and the threat of a nuclear attack was not far from the minds of the powerful. It was a threat considered so real that boxes of medical supplies were distributed … Continue reading

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Are table manners a thing of the past … and should we care?

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In the opening credits of period drama Downton Abbey, a servant leans over a dining table with a tape measure, gauging the space between a gold-rimmed china plate, a silver spoon and several table knives of varying sizes. At the … Continue reading

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Exploring Auckland’s west coast beaches

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[Ed: Makes me feel Homesick] The image of black-sand beaches didn’t initially appeal to me, as a golden-sand, Pacific Ocean, East Coaster. But I didn’t know they would sparkle in the sun and shine like pewter, or that the sand … Continue reading

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Most Travel-Restricted Places in the World

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Thanks to technology, the world is virtually accessible to everyone. If you have the money, you can take a plane and get to most destinations in the world under 24 hours. That’s why it’s fascinating to think about how even … Continue reading

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Please don’t blow us to smithereens !

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Some mornings I wake up, read the news, and experience an intense urge to bolt the doors, board up the windows, go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head. At this stage, who knows what comes … Continue reading

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The 10 most Australian values that make Australia so valuable

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One of the recurring themes of Australian public discourse is the vexed issue of “Australian values”, and how best to promote and disseminate them. It’s clear that Australian values are enormously popular and we’d all love to see more of … Continue reading

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New Zealand PM calls Australian immigration changes ‘disappointing’

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[Ed: Oh I’m sure everyone will still want to flock to such a “Lucky Country”. . .won’t they ?] New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has called Australia’s immigration changes “disappointing”, saying they will force New Zealanders to wait longer … Continue reading

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World’s oldest person dies aged 117

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Emma Morano, at 117 the world’s oldest person and also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s, has died at her home in northern Italy.. . . . More . . .

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Why losing a dog can be harder than losing a relative or friend

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Recently, my wife and I went through one of the more excruciating experiences of our lives — the euthanasia of our beloved dog Murphy. I remember making eye contact with Murphy moments before she took her last breath — she … Continue reading

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Earth’s deepest ocean trenches contain high levels of pollution

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Deep ocean trenches — considered the most remote places in the world — have levels of toxic, industrial chemicals 50 times higher than a highly polluted river system in China, an analysis of tiny deep-sea animals has found. More . … Continue reading

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Hutt River Principality: Malcolm Turnbull declines ‘royal’ invite as Prince Leonard set to cede throne

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has snubbed a ‘royal’ invitation — but it is not likely to cause a diplomatic incident. On Saturday, many oceans away from Buckingham Palace, Prince Leonard — the self-declared sovereign of the Principality of Hutt River … Continue reading

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The man without a home.

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[Ed: It’s so easy to make ignorant assumptions and wrongly classify people into certain social categories!] Matte Dunn is not drug addicted, not an alcoholic, not a gambler and has no diagnosed mental illness, but he is homeless. This is … Continue reading

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Why New Zealand is the best place to escape Trumpocalypse

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The elevation of an unpredictable billionaire to the helm of nuclear-armed America has given fresh impetus to the idea of remote New Zealand as a bulwark for civilisation in the event of a global catastrophe, writes the Daily Mail. The … Continue reading

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Sailor to face storm as she leaves Albany in world-record attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica

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Queensland sailor Lisa Blair has set off from Western Australia’s south coast town of Albany to attempt a world record circumnavigating Antarctica. Ms Blair, 32, hopes to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, non-stop, and unassisted in less … Continue reading

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Seasickness and science: Are your ‘sea legs’ in your brain or your muscles?

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There’s nothing like the joy of being in a boat on the open sea — fresh air, wind in your hair and… oh wait, the overwhelming urge to throw up. Sea travel predates the written word and for millennia our … Continue reading

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The True Blue Aussie citizenship test.

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Are you a true blue Aussie? Take the new, improved Australian citizenship test. So, Peter Dutton wants a tougher citizenship test. “At the moment,” Dutton added, “the test is dictated essentially by questions around Australian trivia if you like and … Continue reading

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French solo sailor Thomas Coville sets incredible new 49-day solo round the world record – with a blistering average speed of 23 knots

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French solo sailor Thomas Coville has succeeded in his fifth attempt to break the solo round the world record with an incredible time of under 50 days. Solo sailor Thomas Coville has pulverised one of the hardest records in sport: … Continue reading

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Melbourne, what’s with the Goddamn Flies ?!

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Melbourne in summer officially sucks, thanks to the plague of flies that has descended upon us. On Monday night, it was a cracking evening here in Melbourne – the mercury was still hovering around 28 at like, 8pm. So I … Continue reading

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New Zealand dairy farmers, ‘second class citizens,’ in Australian dairy assistance program.

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New Zealand dairy farmers who have been farming in Australia for more than a decade say they are struggling to survive with no access to the Federal Government’s industry assistance. This year, dairy farmers across Australia have had the price … Continue reading

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Santa Claus busy preparing for Christmas at Lapland home in Finland

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Santa Claus’s helpers have been sorting out piles of letters from around the world, each detailing children’s requests for this Christmas, at his home in Lapland, Finland. In English, Italian or other languages, youngsters’ handwriting adorns the envelopes addressed to … Continue reading

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This $550m yacht is so big it even has a room in its mast

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Sailing Yacht A has been built for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. Melnichencko made his fortune in fertiliser, coal and electricity, and likes to spend it on big things. He owns a Boeing 737 BBJ, a villa in Antibes, an estate … Continue reading

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Solo sailor Andy Lamont sets off on westward trip around world in non-stop and unassisted adventure.

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An Australian sailor is attempting to sail “the wrong way” around the world in what he hopes will be a record-breaking journey aboard his 34-foot boat. Andy Lamont left the Gold Coast today and is planning to sail solo, non-stop, … Continue reading

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On board the ‘super science ship’ uncovering secrets of the deep.

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Take a tour of Australia’s newest research vessel—the 94-metre-long, 10-storey, $120 million RV Investigator. It’s as if this ship has invisible cat’s whiskers extending off her hull. Pricked and at the ready, they sense the weather, the temperature, the density … Continue reading

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Meet me at Horny Point:

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[Ed:  I looked for “Boganville” on the map but it is perhaps far too common to show up in one particular location.] It’s time to clean up the map of Australia. Who knew there were such filthy-sounding destinations in Australia … Continue reading

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Life getting you down? There are always dogs !

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Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have. They have a particular kindness, gentleness and intuition when it comes to understanding their human friends. More . . .