31 July 2010
Melbourne 4.3 9.5 10.8 11.8 (74)
Brisbane Lions: Proud 3, Brown 2, Harwood, Rischitelli, Brennan, Banfield
Melbourne: Dunn 3, Sylvia 2, Green 2, Morton, Wonaeamirri, Bail, P.Johnson.
Brisbane Lions: Rischitelli, Brennan, Merrett, Rich, Proud, Black
Melbourne: Sylvia, Macdonald, Jamar, Frawley, Jones
Brisbane Lions: X.Clarke (hamstring), Fevola (groin)
Umpires: Scott McLaren, Sam Hay, Stefan Grun.
Official crowd: 26,144 at the Gabba
Despite a narrower margin and the near possibility of (almost) winning the game, it was actually quite horrid to watch, like pulling teeth. Proudy did some great things. It was Xavier Clarke's first game back in the AFL following a recovery from a knew reconstruction, so disappointing for him to go off again with a hamstring injury.
Pictures by Getty Images (Bradley Kanaris) via PicApp
Stakes taking a pack mark.
Riska under pressure
30 July 2010
St Kilda 1.2 3.4 5.6 11.9 (75)
Essendon: Monfries 4, Houli 2, Ryder 2, Hardingham 2, Hille 2, Neagle 2, McVeigh, Watson
St Kilda: Riewoldt 2, Schneider 2, Gram 2, Montagna, Goddard, Koschitzke, Ray, Peake
Essendon: Fletcher, Watson, Monfries, Hurley, Stanton, Hocking
St Kilda: Montagna, Schneider, Hayes, Gram, Goddard
Essendon: Davey (ankle)
St Kilda: Jones (ankle) replaced in selected side by Geary
Umpires: Donlon, Chamberlain, Mollison
Official crowd: 37,165 at Etihad Stadium
What a stunning game and win from the Bombers. I would have included Bachar Houli as also being best on ground.
Posting about two football teams might be overdoing it a bit, but this particular game is worth remembering.
Pictures by Getty Images (Mark Dadswell) via PicApp
Paddy (one of my favourites)
While Dublin tourist guides attempt to coach visitors in the pronunciation of the eponymous Dublin greeting, ‘howaya?’ the equally common accompaniment to this – the enquiry, ‘what’s the story?’ reveals the remnants of an oral tradition which is alive and well, while also demonstrating Dubliners’ appetite for the world of books.Well deserved by a city with a rich literary heritage. Of course, the four are English-language-centric. Perhaps the home of Goethe may be also be deserving.
Ever eager for stories of themselves and others, Dubliners’ sensitivity to literary matters is acute, reinforced by an awareness of the works of the past as much as it is attuned to contemporary offerings – news of which is spread through the media, and through frequent readings, discussions and debates hosted by publishers, universities, libraries, literary organisations, book shops, pubs and cafes. The appreciation of writing and the richness of all its forms and genres is something that Dubliners display as a matter of course. Literary awareness is a form of currency in the capital, a bonding agent where pride is evident. Scepticism too fosters the famous ‘license with the Queen’s English’, for which the Irish are noted.
Writers in Dublin are not remote figures, out of step with the thrust of 21st century life but are part of the everyday landscape, much valued by Dubliners. The city has officially recognised writers by such diverse means as the conferring of the Freedom of the City, (George Bernard Shaw, Douglas Hyde and most recently, Thomas Kinsella) and through the Lord Mayor’s Awards, which in 2009 honoured the writer, Sebastian Barry. Further underlining the city’s literary credentials, the Man Booker International Prize was presented in Dublin for the first time in June 2009.
No less than four Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to writers associated with the city: George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Other illustrious Dublin writers of international repute include Jonathan Swift, Cardinal Newman, Oscar Wilde, Sean O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Flann O’Brien, Brendan Behan and Jennifer Johnston,
In more recent times, Dublin-based writers continue to receive international acclaim in fiction, drama and poetry. The Man Booker Prize has been conferred on Iris Murdoch, Roddy Doyle, John Banville and Anne Enright, and in 2009 Sebastian Barry received the Costa Book of the Year Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. In 2009, Colum McCann won the U.S. National Book Award for his novel 'Let The Great World Spin'. The novelist Anne Enright, has claimed that ‘In other towns, clever people go out and make money. In Dublin, clever people go home and write their books.’
29 July 2010
Reported by TIME,
It's been a long time coming, but on Wednesday, Catalonia took a historic step. With 68 votes in favor and 55 against, the Catalan parliament approved a measure that will make bullfighting illegal throughout the region.
The vote, which will make Catalonia the first region in mainland Spain to ban a tradition still referred to as the "national fiesta," was the result of a popular initiative, launched by an association called Prou! (Catalan for Enough!) and first admitted to parliament in November 2008. In addition to banning the centuries-old sport (or art, depending on your perspective), it provides for the indemnification of those businesses — the bullring impresarios and seamstresses who specialize in capes — whose financial well-being will suffer from the ban.
Statement from PROU
Barcelona, Members of the Platform PROU, formed by animal protection activists who presented the ILP (Initiative Legislative Popular) to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia (Spain), gave a press conference just after the positive result in the voting in the plenary meeting of the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona that amended the current animal protection legislation to ban bullfighting.How can decent human beings torment and torture an animal for fun and maintain their right to continue doing so because of tradition?
During the press conference they showed their satisfaction for the result of the vote “fruit of a political class that represents the view of most Catalan people”; the activists also mentioned the other positive achievements obtained during the course of the campaign, such as “ the Catalan animal protection movement has efficiently worked together for a common cause; mobilizing more than one thousand activists for PROU’s campaign has been a positive experience, and gathering more than 180,000 signatures in favour of animals and against their suffering has been very important”, all facts that helped to achieve this abolition.
Regarding the legitimacy of this ban in Catalonia, Plataforma PROU has stated “The campaign to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia has taken the last step towards its necessary legitimacy: the legitimacy necessary to stop these bloody practices. The popular legitimacy, massively supported by a society which rejects these spectacles; the constitutional and statutory legitimacy, thanks to the positive report of the Council of Statutory Guarantees; and now, finally, the legislative and political legitimacy, thanks to today’s overwhelmingly favourable vote.”
To finish, they declared that “It is not a matter of whimsical prohibitions or of stomping on people’s individual freedoms. It is a matter of suffering. Clearly, waiting is not an option, since while we wait there are animals that suffer unnecessarily. Bullfighting in all its forms is strongly subsidized by public money, and while that continues its unstoppable end will be delayed for decades; this must be avoided.”
28 July 2010
(map from Wikipedia, may contain errors)
Sadly, it seems that only the state of Louisiana has maintained or tried to maintain its French heritage.
There was a great article in Monocle magazine (June 2010 edition) about the revival of French language and teaching in schools in Louisiana, with the assistance of the French government.
- France-Louisiana Agreement
- Council for the Development of French in Louisiana/
Conseil pour le Développement du Français en Louisiane
27 July 2010
Farewell to the awful swotters, dirty tinkers and jolly japes: Enid Blyton's language is being dragged out of the 1940s by her publisher in an attempt to give her books greater appeal for today's children.
Starting next month with 10 Famous Five novels, Hodder is "sensitively and carefully" revising Blyton's text after research with children and parents showed that the author's old-fashioned language and dated expressions were preventing young readers from enjoying the stories. The narrative of the novels will remain the same, but expressions such as "mercy me!" have been changed to "oh no!", "fellow" to "old man" and "it's all very peculiar" to "it's all very strange".
The intention, said Hodder, is to make the text "timeless" rather than 21st century, with no modern slang – or references to mobile phones – introduced.
"The actual stories remain the same – there's no change to the plot whatsoever," said Anne McNeil, publishing director of Hodder Children's Books. "Children who read [the Famous Five books] need to be able to easily understand the characterisations and easily to get into the plots. If the text is revised [they're] more likely to be able to engage with them."
Other changes include "housemistress" becoming "teacher", "awful swotter" becoming "bookworm", "mother and father" becoming "mum and dad", "school tunic" becoming "uniform" and Dick's comment that "she must be jolly lonely all by herself" being changed to "she must get lonely all by herself".
Oh how horrid. Jeepers. Golly gosh. Expunging so called dated words takes something out of the context of time and history.
Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and other old works are also no longer as popular due to the language and possibly the historical period in which those works are set. Of course, their copyright expired many years ago.
In high school, we studied the works of Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare for English (literature). Children today could start young with the old-fashioned Enid Blyton.
Expunging dated words removes an important component of literature.
26 July 2010
After sailing more than 8,000 nautical miles and spending 128 days crossing the Pacific, the world’s largest ocean, in a boat made of 12,500 plastic PET bottles, the Plastiki expedition and her crew have safely and successfully reached their planned destination of Sydney to cheers of welcome and support.Read more. According to the Plastiki blog, Sydneysiders are also able to visit the craft
Arriving at Sydney Heads at 11.10am local time with a 12knot south south easterly breeze, the Plastiki triumphantly sailed into Sydney Harbour to cheers of welcome and support from a small spectator flotilla. The historic expedition was completed in four legs : San Francisco – Kiribati ‐ Western Samoa ‐ New Caledonia before reaching the Australian Coast (Mooloolaba) on Monday 19 July and continuing on to Sydney.
“It’s an incredible feeling to finally arrive in Sydney. We had great faith in the design and construction of Plastiki and while many people doubted we’d make it, we have proved that a boat made from plastic bottles can stand up to the harsh conditions of the Pacific.” expedition leader, David de Rothschild said.
De Rothschild, 31 from the United Kingdom, paid tribute to his fellow adventurers, Jo Royle (Skipper), David Thomson (Co‐Skipper), Graham Hill (Founder of Treehugger.com), Olav Heyerdahl, Matthew Grey, Luca Babini (Photographer), Vern Moen (Myoo Media Film maker), Max Jourdan and Singeli Agnew (National Geographic Film makers) for their skill and commitment during the voyage.
“Jo and the rest of the crew did a remarkable job sailing the Plastiki safely across the Pacific and it is due to their collective efforts that we’ve been able to raise global awareness of the issue of plastic waste in the world’s oceans.
If there’s waste, it’s badly designed in the first place, and we need to start taking a serious look at the way we produce and design every product we use in our lives,” De Rothschild said.
The Plastiki will be moored at Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour for a month and will be open to visitors on Sunday August 1st, so if you weren’t able to make it down today then you’ve still got a chance to explore this one of a kind plastic bottle boat. Keep an eye out for the more information by following us on Facebook and Twitter.Photos from Getty (Brendon Thorne) via PicApp
- Sydney Morning Herald (has video)
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
25 July 2010
Actually, that is not strictly true. The next games are also this year.
In three weeks time, there will be a Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore. From the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website
Australia will be fielding a large team. Given all the media attention (eg ABC) being devoted to the upcoming federal election in Australia, most people will not even be aware of these games.
The vision of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values. It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities.
The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education. These Games work as a catalyst in these fields throughout the Olympic Movement.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities.
The sports programme of the first edition of the summer YOG will encompass all 26 sports on the programme of the 2012 Olympic Games, with a smaller number of disciplines and events. Some disciplines will be non-olympic with mixed gender or/and mixed NOC events.
For the winter editions, the athletes will compete in all seven Olympic winter sports, with again a smaller number of disciplines and events.
The Youth Olympic Games aim to bring together talented young athletes – aged from 14 to 18 - from around the world (exactly 205 NOCs are expected for the Summer editions), but also non-athlete participants such as young ambassadors and young reporters.
The first ever Summer Youth Olympic Games will bring together approximately 3,600 athletes and 1450 officials in 2010 and the first Winter Youth Olympic Games will bring together around 1,000 athletes and 500 officials in 2012.
The YOG follow the traditional cycle of four years, with Summer Games in 2010, 2014, 2018, etc and Winter Games in 2012, 2016, 2020, etc
The first edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held in Singapore from 14 to 26 August 2010.
The first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Innsbruck from 13 to 22 January 2012.
That is, until the Commonwealth Games from 3 to 14 October 2010 in New Delhi.
24 July 2010
(this video has had over 53 million views on YouTube)
A parody version called Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind) with Welsh stars Alex Warren and Terema Wainwright and directed by Morgan-Lane 'MJ' Delaney is gaining in popularity.
(this video had had nearly a million views since 20 July 2010)
Geelong 5.2 10.4 16.8 19.13 (127)
Brisbane Lions 0.3 4.6 6.8 9.10 (64)
Geelong: Ablett 5, Varcoe 4, Johnson 4, Kelly, Corey, Ling, Stokes, Wojcinski, Podsiadly
Brisbane Lions: Brown 4, Proud, Leuenberger, Cornelius, Banfield, Fevola
Geelong: Ablett, Selwood, Chapman, Corey, Varcoe, Kelly, Ling, Milburn, Scarlett
Brisbane Lions: Power, Rockliff, Redden, Brennan, Leuenberger, Rischitelli, Proud
Brisbane Lions: Buchanan (knee)
Official crowd: 24,508 at Skilled Stadium
There was some hope in the second quarter. The season is well and truly over for the Lions. I don't know if they can win even one of the remaining five games.
Pictures by Getty Images (Scott Barbour) via PicApp
Brent Staker versus Jimmy Bartel
Ryan Harwood in his debut game, tackled by Joel Selwood
23 July 2010
South African wildlife experts are calling for urgent action against poachers after the last female rhinoceros in a popular game reserve near Johannesburg bled to death after having its horn hacked off.
Wildlife officials say poaching for the prized horns has now reached an all-time high. "Last year, 129 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa. This year, we have already had 136 deaths," said Japie Mostert, chief game ranger at the 1,500-hectare Krugersdorp game reserve.
The gang used tranquilliser guns and a helicopter to bring down the nine-year-old rhino cow. Her distraught calf was moved to a nearby estate where it was introduced to two other orphaned white rhinos.
Wanda Mkutshulwa, a spokeswoman for South African National Parks, said investigations into the growing number of incidents had been shifted to the country's organised crime unit. "We are dealing with very focused criminals. Police need to help game reserves because they are not at all equipped to handle crime on such an organised level,'' she said.
Rhino horn consists of compressed keratin fibre – similar to hair – and in many Asian cultures it is a fundamental ingredient in traditional medicines.
Hunting - killing innocent animals for sport or fun is despicable. Killing endangered species is just as wicked. Even worse is the manner in which they are killed.
The Observer caption "The last rhinoceros cow in Krugersdorp park, South Africa, bled to death on Wednesday after poachers hacked off her horn. Photograph: Reuters"
22 July 2010
It has the expertise of over one thousand journalists through out Australia and the world.
21 July 2010
The list in spreadsheet form can be found here.
If you really want to wind people up, don't write about budget cuts or school buildings or the world economy. Ask readers to help you compile a list of every Doctor Who villain. Ever. I know because that's what the Guardian's Datablog and Datastore website did last week – with dramatic results.
Doctor Who is made for data. It's the longest-running sci-fi show in Britain, possibly the world. The good doctor has battled monsters and aliens in 769 episodes since William Hartnell's first appearance in 1963. Our project was inspired by a user on the "data visualisation website" Many Eyes. xxnapoleansolo had compiled a list of every Doctor Who villain since the programme was relaunched in 2005. But that wasn't completist enough for us. So we tried asking the BBC for a list. "Good God," a spokeswoman replied. Another press officer came back with the suggestion that, if you really want to get this done, you need to ask the fans. So we did.
I'm not sure the Guardian Datablog has ever had an article re-tweeted on Twitter more than 200 times in 10 minutes before.It spread around the Doctor Who web faster than a Cyber battle fleet; the comments on the article now read like the ultimate distillation of Doctor Who knowledge.
Needless to say, the Daleks featured in the most stories at 32, followed by the Cybermen and The Master at 22 each. Each story had multiple episodes.
from Genesis of the Daleks (1975) featuring Davros, their creator (BBC)
The Daleks were created by the Kaled scientist, Davros as travel machines. He had deduced that the years of radiation and chemical poisoning from an ongoing war would lead his race to mutate into immobile organisms.
The Dalek travel machines would house these creatures and allow the Kaleds to survive. However, in the course of his experiments, Davros deliberately removed what he considered to be debilitating emotions from the mutants and a force of evil was spawned!
The Daleks were born without any ability to feel compassion or pity and were motivated only by hate, fear and an implacable belief that they were the superior creatures in the Universe.
They have battled the Doctor many times throughout the centuries, with confrontations on Earth, Skaro and planets right across the universe from Exxilon to Spiridon. Powerful, pitiless and with a genius for warfare they have proven fearsome opponents for the Doctor but he has always managed to protect humanity from their attacks. They return in the new series... let's hope the Doctor can maintain his record against his most enduring enemies.
20 July 2010
Read more. Australia was built on immigration and many Australians born in Australia, while retaining language and culture, upon visiting the homelands of their forefathers, find that some of this have been preserved in time.
I never met either of my grandfathers. My maternal papou had died when I was a toddler. It still remains a wounding regret of my mother's that she never had a chance to go back home to see him on his deathbed. But with a small child and my newly born baby brother, there was neither means nor opportunity for her to return. We have become so jaded with the ubiquity of air travel that we are apt to forget just how difficult, how expensive, how magical it once seemed. Dad did return to Greece to bury his father. He has returned once more, to bury his mother. After that visit, he said to me: "That's it, no more. It has finished. Greece doesn't exist for me any more."
I am grateful that I did have an opportunity to meet my grandmothers; once when I visited as a boy in 1975, and then again as a young adult in 1990. But even those encounters were made difficult by the limitations of my Greek and the overwhelming chasm of experience that separated myself, a privileged child of the developed world, and those two women, each born on the eve of the 20th century, in a peasant eastern Mediterranean world that was to be torn apart by two Balkan wars, two world wars, an occupation, two dictatorships, and a civil war. I remember sitting in a kitchen in Athens with my maternal grandmother, who was crying, wanting to know why her daughter had only visited her once in all the time she had been a migrant in Australia. I tried to explain the distances involved, the expense. Uncle Mitso, who was sitting with us, took me aside and explained that once in the early 70s he was driving his mother from the village to Athens when they came to a fork in the road. My giagia asked, "Mitso, if we turn left instead of right, can we go and visit Georgia in Australia?"
"You have to remember, Christo," my uncle said to me, "this is a woman born in a time when women were doomed to illiteracy and the shadows. Your giagia can't even read a map. And look at you, you are now a university student, you want to be a writer. You don't know how proud that makes us. But if you ever forget where you come from, fa se sfaxo [I will slaughter you]."
Though Dad was from a family of a dozen children and my mother from a family of eight, only one other of my father's siblings migrated to Australia. But my parents' friends all became part of my extended family – every adult was addressed as theo and thea, uncle and aunt. Even now as an adult travelling in Greece I will still use this form of address when speaking to an elder, and my Greek friends and cousins will laugh at me. "That is something only rural people do," they say. "Only the real hicks. Do you still use those terms in Australia? You guys are still stuck in the 50s."Italian Australians whose grandparents (nonna and nonno) had migrated, when visiting their grandparents' original village, have been told they speak old-fashioned Italian of the earlier generation.
Christos is a great writer of fiction but the personal stories are always the most interesting.
19 July 2010
WHAT is the etiquette for tweeting at the theatre, a concert or any other live performance? Should you do it at all? Or never? Should it be encouraged - even rewarded - or frowned upon? It may not have been the biggest arts story going around in the general community last week but, as you might expect, the concept of tweeting from the "tweetseats" has certainly been big on Twitter.
Twitter, the 140-character messaging system, is being embraced by many of Australia's major arts companies, from Opera Australia to the Sydney Opera House to most major arts festivals.
Some have begun to encourage "tweeting" before, at interval and in some rare cases even during some of their shows. Some theatres are experimenting with reserved zones or sections where punters are encouraged to tweet live during the performances.
Depending on who you ask, it's radical democratisation unleashing raw enthusiasm, genuine criticism and passion or the barbarians at the gate.
For many traditionalists, the concept is outrageous. The idea that such behaviour could pollute the hallowed halls of our cultural institutions is poisonously problematic. The notion of having less than 100 per cent of your audience's attention is rude, offensive and disrespectful. The experience of a show is under threat from the glare of iPhone screens and tapping fingers.
Most venues ask patrons to switch off their mobile (cell) phones. Surely, this would prevent any use of applications from telephone devices.
While some patrons would find it annoying, it is probably in the interests of performance companies to allow tweeting as a means of obtaining immediate feedback. Positive reviews would be like word of mouth recommendations.
In any case, it would be fun to tweet during Wagner, "the fat lady sings".
18 July 2010
Two years ago, I wrote about Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday. His 92nd birthday today is also Nelson Mandela International Day as declared by the United Nations General Assembly.
Of course, not many people will even know. In Australia, the media is focused on the federal election announced yesterday.Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/64/L.13 and Add.1)]
64/13. Nelson Mandela International Day
The General Assembly,
Recognizing the long history of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s leading role in and support for Africa’s struggle for liberation and Africa’s unity, and his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa,
Recognizing also Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, as a humanitarian, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities,
Acknowledging Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world,
Welcoming the international campaign initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related organizations to each year observe 18 July, his birthday, as Mandela Day,
Welcoming also the statements of support by the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly at its sixty-third session, on the occasion of the celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009,
Recalling the worldwide participation and celebration of the inaugural Mandela Day on 18 July 2009,
Recalling also the endorsement by the Heads of State and Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries of the observance of 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day and the request that a resolution to this effect be adopted by the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session,
1. Decides to designate 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day, to be observed each year beginning in 2010;
2. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe Nelson Mandela International Day in an appropriate manner;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures, within existing resources, for the observance by the United Nations of Nelson Mandela International Day;
4. Also requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly informed at its sixty-fifth session of the implementation of the present resolution within the United Nations system, and thereafter to keep the Assembly informed on an annual basis concerning the observance of Nelson Mandela International Day;
5. Further requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and United Nations organizations.
42nd plenary meeting
10 November 2009
However, this blog will honour the day by mentioning it.
17 July 2010
Brisbane Lions 1.0 4.0 6.0 7.1 (43)
Hawthorn: Roughead 4, Lewis 4, Osborne, Ellis, Young 3, Brown, Rioli, Skipper, Peterson
Brisbane Lions: Brown 3, Power, Buchanan, Staker, Fevola
Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Hodge, Lewis, Mitchell, Young, Sewell
Brisbane Lions: Leuenberger, Power, Brennan, Brown, Staker
Umpires: Hayden Kennedy, Heath Ryan, Luke Farmer
Official attendance: 16,690 at Aurora Stadium
Pictures by Getty Images (Mark Dadswell) via PicApp
Josh Gibson spoils Jonathan Brown
16 July 2010
The Union Cabinet today approved the symbol for the Indian Rupee. This symbol will be used by all individuals/entities within and outside India after its incorporation in `Unicode Standard’, ‘ISO/IEC 10646’ and ‘IS 13194’.The new symbol,a blend of the Devanagri 'Ra' and Roman 'R', was designed by Bombay IIT post-graduate D Udaya Kumar.
A public competition was held amongst resident Indian citizens inviting entries for the symbol, which reflects and captures the Indian ethos and culture. Over 3000 entries were received, which were evaluated by a Jury headed by the Deputy Governor, RBI, which also included experts from three reputed art and design Institutes. The entries were presented to the Jury in such a manner that identity of the competitors was not revealed to the Jury members. The Jury selected five final entries and also gave its evaluation of these five entries to the Government to take a final decision.
The symbol will standardize the expression for Indian Rupee in different languages, both within and outside the country. It would better distinguish the Indian currency from those countries whose currencies are also designated as Rupee or Rupiah, such as Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
The symbol will be included in the “Unicode Standard” for representation and processing of text, written in major scripts of the world to ensure that the Rupee symbol is easily displayed/printed in the electronic and print media as all the software companies provide support for this Standard. Encoding in the Unicode Standard will also ensure encoding in the International standard ISO/IEC 10646 as both the organizations work closely with each other.
The symbol will also be included in the Indian Standards, viz. 13194:1991 – Indian Script Code for Information Interchange (ISCII) through an amendment to the existing list by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The ISCII specifies various codes for Indian languages for processing on computers along with the key-board lay outs.
After encoding of the symbol in the Unicode Standard and National Standard, NASSCOM will approach software development companies for incorporating the Rupee symbol in their operative software, as a new programme or as an update, to enable the computer users worldwide to use the symbol even if it is not embedded on the keyboards (in a similar manner, we use the Euro symbol, which is not embedded in the keyboards in use in India).
For incorporating the symbol in the keyboards to be manufactured in India, the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) will enjoin its membership to make requisite changes in the production processes once the symbol is notified as a keyboard standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
The State Governments would be impressed upon to encourage the use of the new Rupee symbol and proactively promote its use.
The encoding of the rupee symbol in the Indian Standards is estimated to take about six months while encoding in the Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 will take about 18 months to two years. It will be incorporated in software packages and keyboards in use in India.
The symbol for the Rupee would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and robustness of the Indian economy as also a favored destination for global investments.
In view of the fact that the Indian economy has been expanding at a sustained high rate of growth, is steadily integrating with the global economy and India has emerged as a prime investment destination worldwide, it was decided to undertake an exercise for selecting a distinct and identifiable symbol for India Rupee (INR) like other major currencies such as US Dollar (USD), British Pound Sterling (GBP), the Japanese Yen (JPY) and the European Union (EU) Euro.
$ £ ¥ € are the most well known currency symbols. Contrary to reports in the Indian media that the new rupee symbol joins an elite club of the widely used $ £ ¥ and €, there are actually other currency symbols in use in the world.
These include the Korean won ₩, Lao kip ₭, Thai baht ฿, Paraguayan guaraní ₲, Israeli shekel ₪ and so forth.
So will the new rupee symbol be grouped with the big four or with the lesser known symbols?
15 July 2010
13 July 2010
Soon, adding to the range of red meat will be horse. According to Daile Pepper, writing in WAToday (Sydney Morning Herald and The Age)
[Vince Garreffa of Mondo Di Carne gourmet butchers] would be the first Australian butcher to offer the product for humans, and claimed that people from ethnic groups who enjoyed the meat often resorted to buying it from pet stores.
Mr Garreffa said it was a little known fact that between 50,000 and 70,000 horses were slaughtered in Australia every year for human consumption in other parts of the world. It was time to end the hypocrisy, he said.
"It has never been sold before for domestic consumption in Australia," he said.
"We feel it's not going to be big business, it's not a money making venture, it's all about supplying the ethnic community with something they grew up with."
Not known to most people is that Australia has had a horse meat industry for some time, with most horse meat produced exported to Japan and Europe (DAFF).
Like other English-speaking countries, horse meat is generally considered to be a taboo food. Similarly, there were debates about kangaroo meat when it was first approved for human consumption. However, unlike kangaroo, there will be arguments about horses being service animals in Australia, like other companion animals such as dogs and cats, which are even more taboo as food.
Would I eat horse meat? I did. In Zurich, having 'forgotten' the German word for horse (Pferde) at the time. It was in the form of a medium rare cooked steak and very tasty.
12 July 2010
He may have eluded authorities over the past few years including FBI, US Customs and Border Patrol, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, US Coast Guard, and sheriff’s deputies from at least six counties. However, a silly move in stealing a plane and flying to the Bahamas was always going to attract attention. The 'Barefoot Bandit' told to 'fly' has had his wings finally clipped. By authorities in the Bahamas.
Associated Press video
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- Everett Herald
Soon to come, the ballad of Colton Harris-Moore.
11 July 2010
Apparently a real product, though not yet available from Mark One Foods Corp. There is a genuine patent registered. Description
Food items, and principally sandwiches, are disclosed as being packaged for dispensing from vending machines conventionally structured for vending containerized, that is, canned or bottled, beverages, such as soft drinks and the like. The present invention further discloses means for combining different food items in one packaging arrangement for dispensing from a vending machine conventionally structured for vending containerized beverages.However, it probably won't appear in a store or vending machine near you soon. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint against the financier associated with the company for fraud. According to CBS News and NPR (citing New York Times) money raised from investors for real estate was diverted to other ventures including Candwich.
Seriously, how long does it take to make a sandwich? As for being convenient to pack for camping, there are already lots of other pre-packaged foods already available.
10 July 2010
St Kilda: 3.1 3.3 7.7 11.13 (79)
Brisbane Lions: Fevola 4, Black, Brennan, Buchanan, Cornelius, Polkinghorne, Power
St Kilda: Milne 2, Schneider 2, Dal Santo, Gwilt, McEvoy, McQualter, Montagna, Peake, Riewoldt
Brisbane Lions: Rich, Redden, Rockliff, Black, Merrett, Fevola
St Kilda: Montagna, Hayes, Ray, Gwilt, Dal Santo, Gardiner
Umpires: Sully, Wenn, Findlay
Official crowd: 29,329 at the Gabba
I expected a thrashing, so despite the loss, it wasn't a bad game as the Lions were quite competitive at times including leading after half time.
Pictures by Getty Images (Bradley Kanaris) via PicApp
Devices are typically attached to dashboards or the inside of windscreens of automobiles and display an electronic map along with audio from a voice narrator. The most well-known voice is that of Australian Karen Jacobsen. She tells people where to go!
Tomtom, a Dutch manufacturer of automative navigation devices, recently acquired different voices for use in its devices. From Yoda and Darth Vader.
It seemed both Yoda and Darth Vader had trouble keeping to the script during voice recordings.
Just as fun would be Mio's Knight Rider GPS.
09 July 2010
The Phantom commenced as a newspaper comic strip in 1936. A comic book version has been published in Australia since 1948.
The Phantom was the first comic I read as a young child as my grandfather was quite a fan. He died when I was very young, aged seven or eight, and I continued my interest in The Phantom comics as a way of remembering him.
There was a film adaptation in 1996 with Billy Zane, set in the 1930s. It was entertaining but dated. Rumours of a reboot of the film have not yet been realised.
Syfy commissioned a 'backdoor' pilot for a mini-series, which was broadcast in Canada on 20 December 2009 and United States on 20 June 2010. Though not yet broadcast in Australia (likely on Scifi channel), the DVD has been released. I enjoyed it.
The reimagined pilot advances the Phantom to the 22nd generation (in the comic book, he has been stuck as the 21st Phantom), in the 21st century with modern technology to boot.
I hope the series continues. The Phantom is the most noble of all the superheroes, though technically, he isn't super as he has no special powers, but then neither has Batman.
08 July 2010
07 July 2010
Well, it is nearly here. The channel is tuned, undergoing testing and will soon go live.
Of course News Corporation's 24 hour subscription news channel in Australia - Sky News will lose market share, given the ABC's reputation for high quality journalism.
I can't wait.
06 July 2010
Few cities in the world are more identified with their subway systems than Paris. One of the busiest metro systems in the world, it carries more than 4 million riders a day on some 16 lines to 300 stations. To ride it is a visual carnival, a living history, an urban love story about the chemin de fer, or "path of iron."Click on the NPR link above, then click on "Listen to the Story", it is worth the 14 minutes.
Jacki Lyden speaks to some interesting characters including an 11-year-old with a great passion, whose favourite Line is 14 (the dark purple one).
Personally, I like Line 1 (yellow). The neighbourhood between Bastille and St-Paul is wonderful.
05 July 2010
From Dries van Noten's 2011 Spring/Summer collection at this year's Paris Fashion Week.
(via The Fashionisto)
It would look good worn with a black suit as well.
04 July 2010
It is not an organization, commission or office, unlike other UN bodies but an 'entity'. One would have thought that the term 'agency' would have been more useful.
United Nations, New York, 2 July 2010 — In an historic move, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously today to create a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.
The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — to be known as UN Women — is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement. It is part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
“I am grateful to Member States for having taken this major step forward for the world’s women and girls,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement welcoming the decision. “UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the globe.”
UN Women merges and will build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:
- Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW, established in 1946)
- International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW, established in 1976)
- Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI, established in 1997)
- United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, established in 1976)
“I commend the leadership and staff of DAW, INSTRAW, OSAGI and UNIFEM for their commitment to the cause of gender equality; I will count on their support as we enter a new era in the UN’s work for women,” said Secretary-General Ban. “I have made gender equality and the empowerment of women one of my top priorities — from working to end the scourge of violence against women, to appointing more women to senior positions, to efforts to reduce maternal mortality rates,” he noted.
Over many decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.
Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination, and are under-represented in decision-making processes. High rates of maternal mortality continue to be a cause for global shame. For many years, the UN has faced serious challenges in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues.
UN Women — which will be operational by January 2011 — has been created by the General Assembly to address such challenges. It will be a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels. It will enhance, not replace, efforts by other parts of the UN system (such as UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA) that continue to have responsibility to work for gender equality and women’s empowerment in their areas of expertise.
UN Women will have two key roles: It will support inter-governmental bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms, and it will help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, as well as forging effective partnerships with civil society. It will also help the UN system to be accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
Secretary-General Ban will appoint an Under-Secretary-General to head the new body and is inviting suggestions from Member States and civil society partners. The Under-Secretary-General will be a member of all senior UN decision-making bodies and will report to the Secretary-General.
The operations of UN Women will be funded from voluntary contributions, while the regular UN budget will support its normative work. At least US$500 million — double the current combined budget of DAW, INSTRAW, OSAGI, and UNIFEM – has been recognised by Member States as the minimum investment needed for UN Women.
“UN Women will give women and girls the strong, unified voice they deserve on the world stage. I look forward to seeing this new entity up and running so that we — women and men — can move forward together in our endeavour to achieve the goals of equality, development and peace for all women and girls, everywhere,” said Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.
The General Assembly resolution creating UN Women also covers broader issues related to UN system-wide coherence, laying out a new approach to the funding of UN development operations, streamlining the work of UN bodies, and improving methods of evaluating reform efforts.
The New York Times reported that "the problem with finding a good name, diplomats said, is that they ran out of time".
One comment... eew.