Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts

Sep 16, 2017

British Slaves in America

Between 1718 and 1776, British authorities exiled approximately 50,000 male and female convicts to American colonies in a policy euphemistically known as 'transportation'. Once in America, the convicts fell under a life of servitude or outright slavery, underfed and overworked.

They had to obey their masters or risk being imprisoned. In the early period of transportation, half of them died while in bondage. The Americans’ demands for independence caused Britain to stop sending its convicts to America and forced the Brits to send them to Australia instead. The Australian convict trade was about three times as large as the American version.

Jul 7, 2017

Australia is Moving

Australia's adjusted national GPS coordinates  were recalculated and adjusted to keep pace with changing navigation technology. The continent moves north by seven centimeters (2.76 inches) every year due to its position on the world's fastest moving continental tectonic plate, according to Geoscience Australia. The country's coordinates were off by 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) due to years of natural shifting.

Satellite navigation systems on smartphones align with digital map information and autonomous vehicles could show you are in the middle of the road or you are in another lane. The Geocentric Datum of Australia, the nation's local coordinate system, was last updated during 1994.

Incidentally, the Indian Subcontinent in the past was moving towards Asia at a speed of about 6 inches per year. When they collided, the Himalayas came into being. They are still growing, but since then, India is only pushing into Asia proper at about 2 inches per year. 

Dec 9, 2016

Camels in Australia

Australia has camels and they were imported onto the continent during the 19th century from Arabia, India, and Afghanistan, because they were well suited to Australia’s outback.

When the combustion engine came along, the camels were no longer needed, so they were released into the outback. Today it is a huge problem. In fact, there is one roaming flock that has 750,000 camels.

Australia exports camels to Saudi Arabia, a place you would think would be plentiful with camels. There are many camel farms in Saudi Arabia, but the camels are bred for domestic uses and racing. The camels from Australia are mostly used for meat, a delicacy for many countries in the Middle East.

Apr 25, 2014


ANZAC Day is the solemn day of remembrance of those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who fought and died at Gallipoli in 1915. It is also a day of remembrance for all soldiers who died while fighting for their country.

On 25 April 1915, eight months into the First World War, Allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait to the Allied fleets and force a Turkish surrender. The Allied forces encountered unexpectedly strong resistance from the Turks, and both sides suffered enormous loss of life. The forces from New Zealand and Australia, fighting as part of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), played an important part in the Gallipoli campaign.

The day is marked with parades, tributes, and playing Reveille and The Last Post (now used in British Ceremonies and funerals).

Apr 11, 2014

Seven Spring Facts

The vernal (spring) equinox (‘equal night’) is the day when the center of the Sun is visible for exactly 12 hours. That is not the same as the ‘equilux’ (equal light) when there are 12 hours of daylight from the Sun’s first appearance and its going down. Australia and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere begin the first day of autumn at the same time and there is a movement to call this event the March Equinox or Northward Equinox to avoid a North Hemisphere bias.

Astronomically, spring officially begins on the spring equinox.

The spring and autumn equinoxes are the only days when the Sun rises directly due east and sets due west in the northern hemisphere.

The reason there is more daylight during the spring is the earth’s axis tilts toward the sun at this time of year.

We have used the word ‘spring’ for the season since the 16th century. Before that spring was used for centuries to apply to the source of a river and the spring season was known as Lent or Lenten.

The Slatina spring in Slovenia is alleged to have been discovered by the mythological winged horse Pegasus.

The earliest known use of the term ‘spring-cleaning’ was in 1857

Mar 7, 2014

Daylight saving Time

Daylight saving time is often incorrectly referred to as “Daylight savings time.” It is difficult to imagine why some still follow this political tradition of messing with our clocks in the vain attempt to change Mother Nature. Nonetheless, this Sunday, March 9, 2014 is the day in the US most move our clocks forward one hour (and also to change the batteries on smoke detectors), while some are not required to change their clocks.

United States Congress established the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that stated DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. The US Congress extended DST to a period of ten months in 1974, and back to eight months in 1975. The DST schedule period lasted for about seven months from 1987 to 2006. The current schedule began in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month where DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Interesting that the vast majority, well over one hundred countries, do not change clocks for DST or any other reason. Those that do observe it have different days, ranging from Mar 9 to April 6, and September in New Zealand, Antarctica, and Namibia. Some of Australia changes on October 5, with other parts of Australia not changing their clocks.

Pro - According to a 2004 Japan Productivity Centre (sic) for Socio-Economic Development report titled, 'Summer Time as a Means to Lifestyle Structural Reform', "lighter evenings could, in the long-term, reduce bag theft by up to 10 percent."

Con - The California Energy Commission published a report, 'The Effect of Early Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Consumption: A Statistical Analysis'. According to the report, the extension of daylight saving time in March 2007 had little or no effect on energy consumption in California.

No studies have been conducted to prove the heated rhetoric caused by DST discussions that could possibly increase global warming by .1658%

Wise words indeed!

Feb 15, 2014

What Causes Tornadoes

The first four months of the year brings risk for tornadoes in the southern US. From April through June, the biggest tornado threat shifts to the Plains, Upper Midwest, and Great Lakes. The main tornado risk then stays along the northern tier of the country through much of summer, while tropical storms and hurricanes increase back in the South as they move inland. These are followed in November and December with more chances of tornadoes moving back to the South.

About ninety percent of US twisters occur in a 300-mile wide corridor extending from West Texas to Canada. Warm, moist surface winds blow up from the Gulf of Mexico, while cool high-altitude winds blow over the tops of the Rockies. The cool air wants to sink while warm air wants to rise. However, the mountain air causes a temperature inversion, which prevents the warm surface air from rising. It is like clamping the lid on a pressure cooker. The surface weather systems build up a big head of steam until they break through the inversion and shoot up to towering heights and the violent updrafts and downdrafts lead to form tornadoes. Tornadoes occur most frequently in the central plains of the US. Australia has the second most tornadoes each year.

May 10, 2013

Greenland and Australia

Australia is a continent and also the largest island. Greenland is the second largest island, but not a continent.

There are several accepted factors that classify continents. These factors include tectonic independence from other continents, unique flora and fauna, cultural uniqueness, and local belief in continental status.

Australia rests on its own tectonic plate called the Australian Plate. It has its own unique flora and fauna, with native animals unlike any others in the world. Its inhabitants consider themselves to live on both an island and a continent.

Greenland rests on the North American tectonic plate along with Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It has a number of unique species of plants, but its animals, like reindeer, polar bears, and arctic foxes, can also be found elsewhere. Greenland has its own culture, but considered part of the larger North American arctic culture. Its inhabitants consider themselves islanders.

Australia is part of Britain’s Commonwealth and Greenland is officially part of Denmark.

Australia is about 3 million square miles and the sixth largest country in the world. Greenland is about 834 thousand square miles and the twelfth largest country in the world.

Eighty percent of Greenland is covered by ice. Eighteen percent of Australia is covered by deserts.

84% of Greenlanders live in urban areas and 89% of Australians live in urban areas.
Greenland's one major city is its capital, Nuuk. Inhabitants of both live mostly along the coast.

Greenland’s population is 89% Inuit and 11% Danish and Australia’s population is 92% white, 7% Asian, and 1% Aboriginal.

There are almost 6 migrants leaving Greenland per 1000 people. In Australia, there are almost 6 migrants entering the country per 1000 people.

Apr 30, 2013

Diamonds are Formed from Coal Myth Debunked

According to evolutionists and geologists, diamonds were formed about 1 to 3 billion years ago, much earlier than any known record of Earth’s first land plants. Coal is formed from the dead remains of vegetation like trees and other plants. The formation of coal takes millions of years and can be traced back 300 to 400 million years, but not a billion years.

Coal is an amorphous form of carbon and at the most can change its chemical composition and transform into its nearly purest form which is Graphite, but not diamond. The conversion of coal into diamond is almost impossible due to its impurities and the fact that coal is rarely found at depths greater than two miles which is not conducive to the formation of diamonds.

Natural diamonds require depths of 87 to 120 miles in the Earth’s mantle, very high temperatures, and resulting pressure that exists at those depths to form. Unlike other gems which are formed by a combination of elements, diamonds are made up of one single element, Carbon. Carbon-containing minerals present in the Earth at those depths, crystallize to form diamonds, because of the immense pressure together with the heat from molten magma.

The diamond crystals, along with other minerals are transported to the earth's surface during deep-source volcanic eruptions in the magma. This is quite a rare occurrence as diamonds are formed at depths usually 3 to 4 times deeper than normal volcanoes originate.

Diamonds color is influenced by impurities and can be blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange, red, and grades of those colors. Red diamonds are the rarest and most exotic diamonds. They are also the most expensive. Here are examples of a red and orange diamond.

When this magma cools, it forms igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites, used as an indicator by geologists that diamonds may be found in the area. The Kimberlites form narrow pipe shaped fissures which are also referred to as diamond pipes. Many of the pipes are also rich sources of garnets. The most prominent kimberlites are located in South and Central Africa, which contribute almost half of the natural diamonds mined in the World. Over 500 kimberlite deposits have also been found in Northern Canada.

Africa, Russia, Australia, and Canada are the largest diamond producing countries. BTW - Diamonds are not in short supply and are a terrible investment because there is no aftermarket.

Apr 19, 2013

Eight Geography Quick Facts

  1. Scranton, Pa., was formerly called Skunk’s Misery.
  2. No point in Great Britain is more than 75 miles from the sea.
  3. On a map North East, Pennsylvania, is in northwest Pennsylvania and Northwest, Virginia, is in southeast Virginia.
  4. There is one spot on earth from which, within an hour’s driving time, you can visit Athens, Belfast, Belgrade, Bremen, China, Denmark, Dresden, Frankfort, Limerick, Lisbon, Madrid, Mexico, Naples, Norway, Oxford, Palermo, Paris, Peru, Poland or Vienna. The spot is in the county of Sagadahoc, Maine, US. It is surrounded by towns bearing these names.
  5. No building in Washington, D.C., is taller than the Washington Monument. The city enacted a height restriction in 1899 to protect Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an “American Paris” with “low and convenient” buildings on “light and airy” streets.
  6. Canada’s coastline is six times as long as Australia’s.
  7. Weirton, W.Va., is the only town in the United States that borders two different states on opposite sides. It borders Ohio directly on the west and Pennsylvania on the east.
  8. Vatican City occupies about 4,736,120 square feet. The Pentagon, by comparison, has a total floor area of 6,636,360 square feet.

Feb 8, 2013

Down Under Trivia

The official Royal New Zealand Air Force logo is the kiwi, a flightless bird.

Australia’s tallest mountain and most populous city were named for people who never visited the country. Mount Kosciuszko was named after Polish military hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, because of its resemblance to a prehistoric mound in Krak√≥w, and Sydney was named for British politician Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.

Jan 6, 2012

Leap Year This Year

Hurray! We get an extra day to play this year. For those born on February 29, you finally get another birthday after having a few years with no presents.

Of course, if we ever adopt the new calendar proposed you will have a birthday every year. The Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar has at least 30 days in every month and an extra week at the end of every five or six years. An interesting concept that has the same date on the same day every year. Seems too practical to ever be adopted, but it is a nice concept. You will probably be reading more about it soon. LINK

Samoa skipped Friday December 30 in 2011 and went from Thursday to Saturday so it could be moved to the other side of the international date line. It decided it was losing two business days a week with its favorite trading partners in Australia and New Zealand. American Samoa, an hour away by plane, will remain on the other side of the international dateline. That will be some time travel. You can go there and celebrate two birthdays every year. 

Sep 13, 2011

What's in a Name, Three Dog Night

The group's name originated from an Australian practice. In Australia, the aborigine tribes of several regions slept outside all year. As the temperatures becomes colder, the tribesmen sleep with a dog to keep warm. In colder weather, they huddle with two dogs, etc.

Feb 18, 2011

Did You Know

Australia has no official national animal, but the red kangaroo is the unofficial acknowledged, along with the Emu. Both are on the national coat of arms. They represent moving forward, because neither can walk backward easily. 95% of the world's opals are mined in Australia.

Jan 14, 2011

Shoe Sizes

Did you ever wonder why some shoes of the same size fit different? A size 10, can be 8, 9, 27, or 42, depending on where you live in the world.

Shoe sizes were devised in England by King Edward II in 1364, who declared that the diameter of one barleycorn, approximately one third of an inch, would represent one shoe size. The measurement is still used today in the UK and US, but some other ways of measuring shoes are used in different parts of the world.

The Paris point equals to ⅔ centimeters (6.6 mm or about 0.26 in). Usually, only full sizes are made, resulting in an increment of ⅔ centimeter. This unit is commonly used in Continental Europe.

Metric measurements in centimeters (cm) or millimeters (mm) are used. The increment is usually between the step size of the Parisian and the English system. It is used with the international Mondopoint system and with the Asian system.

The A-E width indicators used by some US and UK shoe manufacturers and range from narrow to wide - 4A to 6E. Interestingly, the male shoe size in Australia is based on the female shoe size in the US.

Nov 6, 2010

Gummi Bear Trick

An Australian high school has installed "secure" fingerprint scanners for roll call for senior students, which savvy kids may be able to circumvent with sweets from their lunch box. The system replaces the school's traditional sign-in system with biometric readers that require senior students to have their fingerprints read to verify attendance. The school principal says the system is better than swipe cards because it stops truant kids getting their mates to sign-in for them.

Students can make replicas of their own fingerprints from gelatine, the ingredient in Gummi Bears, to forge a replica finger. The attack worked against a bunch of scanners that detect electrical charges within the human body, since gelatine has virtually the same capacitance as a finger's skin."

Jun 18, 2010

Diet Coke With Bacon

The Coca-Cola company supposedly tested it’s latest extension to the brand, Diet Coke with Bacon in test markets across the world including the UK, China, Australia and Africa in 2007. 

Alas, it seems to be untrue. However here are some real Diet Coke flavors:

    * Diet Coke Cherry
    * Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla
    * Diet Coke Raspberry
    * Diet Coke Lemon
    * Diet Coke Lime

Apr 9, 2010

Electronic Undies

True - The rollout of the world's first electronic underpants has been announced in Australia. They are designed for the elderly and infirm and will be used in aged care homes across New South Wales to monitor incontinence.

"We developed the system to provide greater comfort and dignity to the elderly while aiming to significantly lower costs for aged care facilities." The company said its underpants have a disposable element, similar to a regular incontinence pad, and include a detachable transmitter that relays readings from the pad's sensor strip over a wireless network to a central computer via text message or over the institution's paging system.

More than 90 per cent of Australians living in elderly care facilities are believed to suffer from incontinence - a problem that currently requires staff to carry out frequent manual checks throughout the day.