Dog pulled alive from rubble 10 days after Italy earthquake

Updated

September 03, 2016 23:25:30

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Romeo the dog is rescued from underneath rubble in Amatrice
Italy's quake-hit towns fear they will be forgotten
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After searching for him for hours, they were eventually evacuated from the devastated village for their own safety.All hope of finding Romeo alive appeared to have disappeared until Friday evening, when the couple returned to their home in the company of a group of firemen assigned to help them recover key belongings from the rubble. Romeo’s owners were sleeping on the second floor of their house in the tiny village of San Lorenzo a Flaviano when the earthquake struck before dawn on August 24.They managed to get out, but Romeo, who was sleeping on the first floor, was trapped inside. “We immediately began moving masonry from where the barking was coming from and incredibly we got to him and he was in pretty good condition,” one of the firemen told the ANSA news agency.”Luckily some beams had fallen in a way that they were holding up the weight of everything above them, leaving Romeo with a little niche that he was able to survive in.”No human survivors of the quake have been found since the evening of the 24th, when eight-year-old Giorgia was pulled out alive after being located by another canine hero of the disaster, Leo.A labrador who works as a police sniffer dog, Leo was granted an audience with Pope Francis on Saturday, two days after he was guest of honour at a summit between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Earlier this week a cat called Joy was rescued from the wreckage of another house in Amatrice, six days after the disaster.At least 292 people were killed in the quake, and continuing aftershocks have made cleaning up the debris difficult.Reuters/AFP

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel also met Leo. A golden retriever called Romeo has been pulled alive from a pile of rubble in central Italy 10 days after towns in the area were levelled by a magnitude-6.2 earthquake.Video released by the fire department showed firefighters freeing the dog on Friday from the ruins of a building in Amatrice, where 231 perished in the August 24 quake.A man in the video could be heard yelling in Italian: “Romeo, come here! (AFP: Osservatore Romano)
Almost as soon as they came into the tiny medieval village, Romeo heard their voices and began barking. Shock, heartbreak among the rubble On every corner of the historic Italian town hit by an earthquake, townsfolk are utterly shocked at the brutality unleashed from the earth, Lisa Millar writes. (Reuters: Max Rossi) Appearing completely relaxed, the dog slurped his first drops of water in more than 230 hours from a bottle held by one of the firemen.As it became clear he was unscathed, the fireman holding him put him down. Romeo then tiptoed gracefully down the pile of rubble to be reunited with tearful owners who had given up hope of finding him alive.”He’s in great shape,” said one of the firemen as others whooped in delight while Romeo trotted around the remains of his yard. Best dog in the world!”Despite his ordeal, Romeo ran around wagging his tail, stopping only to be patted and to let a firefighter inspect his paw. Photo:
Pope Francis met Leo the rescue dog, who saved an eight-year-old girl from the wreckage.
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Italy mourns quake victims amid ruins at Amatrice funeral

Friends run 132km in 24 hours on treadmill for Cancer Council

(Instagram: The Wounded Pelicans) Updated

September 04, 2016 13:59:45

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Christopher Evans and Anthony Sedman just 8 hours into their challenge.
Two Gold Coast friends striving to finish more than 35 running events in a year have completed their toughest challenge to date — 24 hours on a treadmill. External Link:

Facebook: The Wounded Pelicans finish their treadmill challenge
Christopher Evans and Antony Sedman, known on social media as The Wounded Pelicans, wrapped up their 29th event for the year, at Burleigh’s Justin Park, about 7:00am on Sunday.The 24-year-olds were hoping to raise the remaining $6,000 of their $20,000 goal for the Cancer Council Queensland this weekend.”We just finished running for 24 hours on a treadmill,” they wrote on Facebook.”This event has been in the works for the last 10 weeks so for it to turn from idea to reality is just unbelievable.”This is endurance at its finest.”We both ran 132km which is short of what we want but treadmill running isn’t easy.”They also thanked their team for making it possible, as well as those who came down to support them during the run.So far this year, the pair have completed numerous events including the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Bridge to Brisbane, and a Tough Mudder event.They earlier estimated that they would run at least 2,500 kilometres by the end of the year.
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Wearable pet gadgets allowing owners to watch, ‘gamify’ animals

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Not satisfied with just screen time, pets are now getting a gadget lifestyle.
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She gets excited, wags her tail, “talks” and presses her nose against the screen. But surveillance must also be a “careful” practice, in terms of its effects upon both human and animal.As we increasingly involve our pets in the gamification and quantification of everyday life — assisted by new technologies — we should reflect on the relationship between concern and control.Larissa Hjorth is the Professor of Mobile Media and Games and William Balmford a research assistant and PhD candidate in Digital Ethnography at RMIT University; Ingrid Richardson is Associate Professor in Digital Media at Murdoch University.Originally published in The Conversation. Through tracking Tigger, he said, he had gained a deeper sense of his pet’s moods.Keeping tabs on tabbiesPet wearables and monitoring systems are also implicated in an ethics of care and surveillance. Pet wearables are now worth $2.62 billion a year globally, and the Australian market is tipped to grow.Pet wearable devices enable surveillance and tracking through devices such as Pod 2, Buddy, WUF and Nuzzle, monitoring of heart-rate and sleep patterns (Inupathy, PetPace) and may feature geofencing capability and virtual boundary alert systems that let owners know when their pet wanders too far (DogTelligent).Pet owners can “gamify” their pet’s exercise with a reward system and leader board that ranks their results compared to other pets. It is one of many Australian homes where animals are an integral part of family and domesticity.Over the past few months, parents Andrew and John tell us, the dogs have been misbehaving, damaging furniture and belongings while people are at work and school. As our work progressed, it became clear that humans and their pets are entangled in various forms of intimacy and kinship, often in digitally mediated ways.We have observed (or heard tales of) cats playing with iPads and keyboards, of dogs watching television or participating in video calls. Or they can record and vicariously experience their pet’s perspective and movement remotely via wearable cameras.As we explored Andrew’s problem-solving strategies further, it became clear that he had gleaned a complex sense of Tigger’s character and behaviour in the home when humans were at work.Andrew explained that particular rooms, couches and beds had different associations for Tigger (for example, he would retreat to the main bedroom when anxious). But animals kept getting in the way.Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with nearly five million households including one or more pets. They can download an augmented reality app that sees through obstacles such as furniture to locate their pet. Then he purchased a Halo Belt for Millie, which lit up at night. Andrew has approached the situation by installing webcams and purchasing a pet wearable device called Whistle for his dog Tigger, a German short-haired pointer who he rightly suspects is the main culprit.Whistle, according to its website, “marries GPS tracking and pet wellness in one band”. He has developed a solution to the dogs’ misbehaviour that involves locking certain rooms and providing particular play spaces to reflect Tigger’s daily rhythms.Pets and screen timeOur observations of the Williams family are part of a multi-city research project into domestic practices around digital media, mobile media and games. But Paul told us he worried about Millie wandering off, and so had avoided going for walks at night. When we first began our research, we presumed we would focus on human practices and perceptions. One of our Perth participants Anna describes how she frequently Skypes with her Blue Heeler Abby (with her partner’s help) when she is away on work trips.Abby will paw the laptop in anticipation of the evening call when Anna is absent. The Williams’ residence in suburban Melbourne is home to three dogs and five humans. It is quite well known that some dogs “see” screens while some do not, Anna says, as she shows us the many YouTube videos people have uploaded of their Skyping dogs.Massive growth in gadgetsAs the size of technology shrinks, wearable devices have become hugely popular, from iPods to fitbits. Indeed, our relationship with domestic animals is often fraught with ambiguity — pets are both nature and culture, instinctual and social, controlled yet nurtured, at the same time possessions and companions.Our kinship with domestic animals is deeply informed by what we might call “careful surveillance”, either within the domestic sphere as we observed in the Williams household, or away from home.For instance another study participant, Paul, and his beagle Millie often go for walks together. Whistle is part of a burgeoning pet wearable market that is “revolutionalising pet health and wellbeing”, according to one pundit.While at work, Andrew can now keep a “friendly” eye on Tigger. It meant he could always find her in the dark and lessen the chance of her scaring other people in the park, such as night joggers.The term “careful surveillance” refers to our emotional bond with domestic animals, our protective concern and love for our pets. They originate from a genealogy of care that engages paradoxical notions of constraint and guardianship. Attached to Tigger’s collar, it connects to a smartphone app that allows Andrew to track and evaluate Tigger’s exercise, play and rest in real time. Life is often chaotic as each member of the household negotiates for space and attention. Spurred by the Quantified Self (QS) movement (the use of self-tracking apps and wearables to monitor biometrics and improve daily functioning) and gamification, global shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million annually by the end of 2016.
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Bulldog frees himself from inside pole after two-hour ordeal
The Conversation

By Larissa Hjorth and William Balmford, RMIT, and Ingrid Richardson, Murdoch University

Posted

September 05, 2016 07:28:06
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Pet food analysis sparks cat fight over health benefits

Program brings sandwiches to schools

(ABC Central Victoria: Larissa Romensky)
Mr Galea does not work alone, working with other food organisations and teams of volunteers to ensure the sandwiches get delivered to children in need.Food is sourced from non-profit organisations such as Foodbank Victoria, Foodshare, and food companies producing muesli bars and margarine.He then enlists apprentice chefs at TAFE who volunteer their time and the kitchen space to prepare the sandwiches.”We have small groups of 10 [volunteers] that can do 300 sandwiches in half an hour,” Mr Galea said.As the volunteer numbers increased, Mr Galea estimated a team of 40 to 50 volunteers could make 1,000 sandwiches in 45 minutes.The sandwiches are then delivered to the schools along with a piece of fruit or recess item.In Melbourne they arrive via a refrigerated truck but in regional Victoria they are delivered by car.So, Mr Galea’s next plan is to fundraise for a refrigerated vehicle to assist with the increased demand for the service.The last term of school has seen their biggest growth yet, increasing from 22 schools to 47 in the last six to seven weeks.”We’ve just ticked over 30,000 lunches,” Mr Galea said. Eat Up Australia was started to feed Shepparton primary school students who attended school without lunch, and is rapidly growing to meet demand across Victoria.For Lyndon Galea, from Shepparton in north-east Victoria, the program began at his kitchen bench.After reading an article in the local paper about children at nearby primary schools regularly attending school without lunch, he decided to take matters into his own hands.He opened up his cupboards and fridge and started making sandwiches and delivered them to the schools.”Like many Australians I had no idea that there were kids in our country who were going to school without lunch,” Mr Galea said.”I was really moved by that and I guess happening in your own home town it resonates with you that much stronger, and I wanted to do something about it.”The first drop-off of 100 vegemite and cheese sandwiches in 2013 has grown to supply 47 schools: 30 in Melbourne, 12 in the Bendigo region and five in Shepparton.”Being a country kid I want to keep that split of schools we support relatively even between country and city schools,” Mr Galea told ABC Central Victoria.Food improving learning abilityAccording to the Hunger in the Classroom report by Foodbank, a national hunger relief organisation, two thirds of Australian teachers report having children come to school hungry or without having eaten breakfast.The report went on to say around three students in every class arrived at school hungry or without having eaten breakfast.Principal of Eaglehawk Primary School in Bendigo, Fiona Lindsay, said a lack of food not only left the children feeling hungry but could affect their learning.”They get fatigued and their concentration levels drop, they find it hard to listen and when you get hungry you tend to get grumpy as well,” she said.”Just knowing that there’s food here keeps their learning ability to the best.”Ms Lindsay said the program was valuable as it was a great resource for both families and the school.The school of 110 students is located in a lower-socio economic community and supplies on average about 20 lunches per week to students.”We have families that perhaps at times might not have the time to make lunches or might not have the resources to make lunches,” Ms Lindsay said.She said the reasons are many and varied as to why students may turn up to school without lunch, from not having bread in the house to children eating their lunch for breakfast, and she said it caused the students worry.The appropriately labelled lunches are all delivered on a fortnightly basis and stored in the school’s freezer, with a black sticker for vegemite and yellow for cheese.”It gives the teachers control and reliability of the service, they’re not worried about the daily drop-offs and getting too many lunches or too few,” Mr Galea said.Ms Lindsay said the program had far-reaching consequences, and also helped the school save time and money.”Without the program it would just put extra demands on staff and extra demands on schools’ budgets,” she said.”The program is a great support to all families, all teachers and all schools.”How it works

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Eat Up founder Lyndon Galea and his girlfriend Belinda Luke, made sandwiches from home before moving to TAFE kitchen premises.
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(ABC Central Victoria: Larissa Romensky) ABC Central Victoria

By Larissa Romensky and Fiona Parker

Updated

September 06, 2016 09:57:53

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Lyndon Galea started delivering sandwiches to two local primary schools.

Gravity-defying teen is nation’s top wall runner

612 ABC Brisbane

By Jessica Hinchliffe and Terri Begley

Posted

September 06, 2016 11:10:33

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Watch Jacob Hunt wall running
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A 16-year-old Brisbane schoolboy is defying gravity as Australia’s wall running champion and hopes to one day run away with the circus.Jacob Hunt started competition three years ago in the body-bending discipline which combines trampolining with gymnastics.”You have to imagine that you’ve pushed a trampoline against a wall and you try to do flips from that,” he said.”Wall running is basically that, except you bounce on your back and you run up the wall vertically.”

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Jacob Hunt is currently Australia’s number one wall runner. it’s not the easiest.”So will we see him performing at the Olympics one day?”Getting into the Olympics is hard. I’ve got to neaten up if I’m going to make tramp at the Tokyo Olympics.”What I’m really hoping to do one day is run away with Cirque Du Soleil.”Mum’s fine about it, she loves it.” (612 ABC Brisbane: Terri Begley)
The talented trampolinist said the sport had taught him how to be more controlled.”It’s all about speed — if you don’t get enough speed, you won’t land on your back and you can hurt yourself.”I’ve had a lot of practice and I know when to kick out and land correctly.”Jacob said the hardest skill to master in wall running was the amount of flips needed to be performed in a row.”Doing three forward front flips onto my feet off the wall was tough.”In basic trampolining you have to do 10 tricks or skills on a trampoline in a row.”From there you do front and back flips, but with wall running it’s all about the landing.”
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Wall running high
In addition to wall running, Jacob recently made the Australian trampolining team which will compete at the Indo-Pacific Championships in New Zealand next month.He hoped crowdfunding would help him raise enough money to attend.”I’ll be using a double mini trampoline and I’ll be trying to do two tricks while flipping backwards.”Basically it’s a triple front flip with a half turn landing and trying to do a triple backflip …

What it takes to be an international cat show judge

Longer warm periods linked to spike in cat numbers
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Brett Williamson

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September 06, 2016 11:28:21

Video: Judging cats at the Royal Adelaide Show. (ABC News)
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The criteria for judging the perfect cat was always evolving, she said.”Every year we go to judging schools, we write exams and it is an ongoing process.”Would your moggie make the grade?For those who believe their resident moggie may be a show winner, Ms Smith outlined what judges look for.”It’s eye shape, eye size, head shape, body shape, coat texture, bone structure — it’s everything.”It’s very competitive — we have a standard, but it is a personal opinion [too].”We all look for different things and there are faults and penalties associated with each breed that we are looking for.”Ms Smith said although judges might have favourite breeds at home, each cat was treated equally when judging.”I’m an all breeds judge so I have to look at them all equally.”Ms Smith is judging the show’s pedigree and domestic cat categories until Saturday, with supreme cat judging and best in show to be announced on Sunday. Edith-Mary Smith has the unenviable task of judging the best cat of the Royal Adelaide Show from a field of 300.The International Cat Association (ICA) judge arrived in Adelaide the day before judging commenced, direct from her home in Manitoba, Canada.”I’m very lucky that I do travel the world,” Ms Smith said.”Last Sunday I was judging in Belgium.”The life of a professional cat judge involves the occasional scratch and bite but was one that Ms Smith said she would never trade.”I grew up with cats and I started going to shows when I was five years old with my mother.”

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Edith-Mary Smith casts her eye over this Abyssinian entrant.
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Fireflies captured on camera lighting up Gold Coast hinterland

(Supplied: Narelle Power)
Firefly expert Lesley Ballantyne, formerly of Charles Sturt University, loves the tiny bioluminescent insects.”The flashing patterns are spectacular [and] people can look for the different rhythm of the flash,” she said.Actual firefly numbers vary as they have a two-year life cycle from egg to adult and numbers are actually down on the Gold Coast compared to previous years.”What you’ve got to do is look back to what it was like two years ago when those eggs were laid,” Dr Ballantyne said.”The weather this year will predict what the fireflies are going to be like in two years time.”Other factors like the wind, the moon and light pollution can also affect fireflies.Some females have been seen responding to Christmas lights hanging from houses.”We don’t think necessarily of light being a pollutant but for fireflies they can’t compete with the light,” she said.”If there’s a lot of light, they won’t be there.”Australia has 25 species of firefly, two of which are native to the Gold Coast.Dr Ballantyne said she had seen interest in the creatures growing in recent years.She hoped it would continue and said perhaps the insects could prove a tourism drawcard for the Gold Coast in the future. Fireflies are lighting up the Gold Coast hinterland and a local photographer has captured a dazzling display.There is something magical and enchanting about stumbling across a cloud of fireflies.Narelle Power was fortunate enough to capture a group of them in Austinville, near Springbrook National Park.”We were very lucky,” she said.”It was like walking through an amazing twinkling wonderland.”Ms Power took 35 shots and combined them into the one image.”[We] actually went back to the site a couple of times to get some photos as the first night I didn’t have my camera,” she said.’The flashing patterns are spectacular’

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The female firefly sticks to the ground and picks a mate from the flashing males flying overhead.
(Supplied: Narelle Power) ABC Gold Coast

By Damien Larkins and Bern Young

Posted

September 06, 2016 13:37:08

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Photographer Narelle Power says it was like walking through a twinkling wonderland.
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‘Pay it forward’ movement lifts spirits in north Queensland

One year on, the charity receives donations from local businesses who also want to boost local morale. External Link:

Ignite Bowen gave floral bouquets to men in order for them to pass the git on to their girlfriends or partners. “Mental health sort of has a stigma towards it — that you don’t speak about it towards your mates,” Mr Stocker said.”We thought that if one our mates was struggling and we didn’t know about it, how many other people are going through the same thing?”The friends have since used Ignite Bowen’s good deed of the day videos as a pick-me-up for the north Queensland town. One person featured in one of Ignite Bowen’s videos is Nathan Mattingley.Mr Mattingley is a local mechanic, who drove for two hours to fix his neighbour’s car.”I had a look at it [the car] and found out that the part that was broken had to be ordered.””As she [the neighbour] is at home by herself, I thought it would be good to drive there and pick up the part.”Despite his generosity, Mr Mattingley expected nothing in return.”I just got her out of the back-end of a bad week and she was pretty grateful for it,” he said.A week later Ignite Bowen found out about his effort, and Mr Mattingley was rewarded with two front row tickets to a North Queensland Cowboys game.Already a successDespite being in its infancy, Mr Stocker said he knows the charity has already been a great success.”A lot of people do things in the community that I don’t think they realise people acknowledge.””If someone just smiles, we’ve pretty much succeeded in what we want to do.” Motivated by helping others
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Nathan Mattingley selflessly drove two hours to help fix his neighbours car, and was later recognised by Ignite Bowen with a special thank you. Ignite Bowen began in 2015, when a group of mates decided something needed to be done to help their struggling town. (Facebook: Joshua Batalibasi)
Boosting community morale is something the Ignite Bowen team hold close, as they had recently lost a friend to suicide. 24-hour telephone counsellingLifeline on 13 11 14Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
“A lot of people have said watching our good deed of the day videos have picked them up when they’re down,” Mr Stocker said.”Paying it forward and lifting people’s spirits — that’s what we’re all about,” he said. “Bowen itself was in a pretty dire place really,” one of Ignite Bowen’s three founders, Tyson Stocker, said.”Everyone was losing their jobs and the town spirit was pretty low, so we decided that we needed to do something about it even if it was just to put a smile on people’s faces.”Initially, Mr Stocker and friends Joshua Batalibasi and Karmon Power were buying gifts with their own money, and presenting them to people on camera who they thought deserved recognition. Sharing the generosityIn a bid to share the good deed with the wider community, the Ignite Bowen team create social media videos for the public to see. Photo:
Ignite Bowen founders (from left) Joshua Batalibasi, Karmon Power and Tyson Stocker. While plenty go unrecognised, a north Queensland charity is working to thank those who make their town a better place.
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In many Australian towns there are local heroes who volunteer hours of their time to ensure the existence of what we all call a ‘community’.
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Charity-founder Tyson Stocker talking to the ABC's Harriet Tatham. (ABC News)
ABC Tropical North

By Harriet Tatham

Posted

September 07, 2016 08:18:10

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Ignite Bowen’s Joshua Batalibasi (right) and Karmon Power gave out free roses on Valentine’s Day. (Facebook: Ignite Bowen)

‘Pocket rocket’ beef farmer Maisie still going strong at 90

Australia's oldest working scientist fights to stay at university

Netball keeps me young: 69yo notches up decades on court
ABC Gippsland

By

Laura Poole

Updated

September 08, 2016 10:23:18

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Maisie Brooks, 90, explains why she loves living and working on the farm
Maisie Brooks checks her Angus cattle on the motorbike, supervises fencing repairs, and rides the fluctuating market prices for beef.She is your typical farmer, but at 90 years old, Mrs Brooks is not ready to retire.

Laura Poole chats with Gippsland farmer Maisie Brooks on Mrs Brooks's Korumburra South property

(ABC News)

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“Bob used an army tank which was converted, he did all the ploughing with it. She has lived through so much and has this get-on-with-it attitude.”She is really inspiring and always up for a fantastic chat. (ABC Gippsland: Laura Poole)
Mrs Brooks said she loved the lifestyle of living and working on the farm, and being her own boss.She still runs a few dozen Angus cattle on the property.”The prices for beef are the best we’ve ever had in our farming life, and I think it will continue,” she said.”I like the lifestyle. (ABC Gippsland: Laura Poole)
Mrs Brooks said with the support of family, neighbours and friends she wanted to continue to run the farm business.”Different people have told me you should be in Korumburra, you should go into a unit. She maintains a large vegetable garden and orchard, and also enters her cut flowers in agricultural shows.Mrs Brooks said she welcomed the changes she had seen during her life regarding the role of women.”Women have a lot to add to the community and they understand a lot of things that men don’t understand,” she said.”We should see more of them in council and in parliament.” It was hard work but we enjoyed it.”

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Maisie Brookes has farmed in Korumburra South, in eastern Victoria, for 57 years. I don’t like the place; it’s too busy, you don’t know anybody.”Get-on-with-it attitude inspiresFormer neighbour Sinead de Gooyer recalled first meeting Mrs Brooks.”We moved on the farm opposite Maisie and Bob in July 2009,” she said.”I first met Maisie when she drove up the driveway and got out of the car.”She’s a tiny lady, and she came to say hello and welcome to the neighbourhood with a plate of hot scones.”She’s just a pocket-rocket. We cleared it together and now it’s nice and green. I’m quite happy to stay here,” she said.A life member of the Korumburra Horticultural Society, Mrs Brooks is well known in local show circuits. I really enjoy our friendship.”

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Maisie Brooks with her trusty pony and former next-door neighbour Ambrose. “Together we picked up all the roots, the rubbish and sowed it down. It was hard work. She has farmed at Korumburra South, in eastern Victoria, for 57 years.With her husband Bob Brooks, they cleared the property in the 1950s.She farmed with Mr Brooks until February, when he died the day after her 90th birthday.They were married 67 years, and worked together seamlessly.Mrs Brooks said she could not imagine leaving the farm, and saw no reason to do so.”It was virgin bush [when we first moved here], 342 acres. I couldn’t bear to go and live in the city. It’s a good looking farm now,” she said.”We couldn’t afford to buy anything except a patch of bush.
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A Big Country: Maisie's a 'pocket rocket' farmer

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NASA astronaut back on Earth after record-breaking mission

SpaceX propels cargo to space station, successfully lands rocket

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September 08, 2016 23:38:23

Video: Astronauts land safely back on Earth in parachute landing

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The Expedition 48 trio launched to the space station in March.Expedition 49 continues operating the station with Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos in command, along with Ms Rubins, and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency operating the station for more than two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members. Three space explorers, including NASA’s most experienced astronaut, have landed safely back on Earth after spending six months in space.NASA’s Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Russian space agency Roscosmos landed the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 9:13pm (local time).Russian recovery teams helped the crew exit as they adjusted to gravity back on land after spending the past six months in space. Vast gratitude towards my crewmates, ground teams, supprting friends and family External Link:

NASA tweets: Welcome home @Astro_Jeff
NASA broadcast the landing live from the moment the trio disconnected from the International Space Station (ISS) to their descent to Earth.The mission was Mr Williams’ fourth trip to the ISS, allowing him to accrue 534 days in space — the most by any US astronaut in history.Mr Williams was instrumental in preparing the station for the future arrival of US commercial crew spacecraft, NASA said.The space juggernaut also sung Mr Williams’ praises for his role in installing the first ISS docking adapter in August, during a six-hour spacewalk.Described as a “parking spot for spacecraft” the installation will allow more astronauts to travel to the ISS.The first users are expected to be Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Photo:
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka launched in March for their six-month stint aboard the ISS. Photo:
The ISS Expedition 48 crew landed near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. (Supplied: NASA TV)

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Astro_Jeff tweets: I will certainly miss this view! (Reuters: Bill Ingalls/NASA)
The Expedition 48 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the ISS, NASA said.The crew members also welcomed five cargo spacecraft during their stay.Mr Williams was involved in the grapple of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft in March and SpaceX’s eighth Dragon spacecraft cargo delivery in April, and welcomed a second Dragon delivery in July. Photo:
The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft touched down, bringing the crew back to Earth after six months in space.
NASA astronauts begin installing spacecraft adaptor on ISS

Outback kids’ book takes spotlight on Indigenous Literacy Day

702 ABC Sydney

By

Bill Code

Posted

September 07, 2016 17:02:34

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Children check out what’s on offer at the Opera House book swap. (ABC: Bill Code)
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(ABC: Bill Code)
“It’s a really quite brilliant idea, a wonderful idea,” author and ILF ambassador David Malouf said above the din.”One of the great things about this as a scheme was the idea about not simply teaching children to read, but putting books into the hands of mothers who can’t necessarily read themselves, teaching the mothers how to read with the children, together,” Malouf said.”It’s empowering two generations at the same time. It’s wonderful to be able to offer that to people, who don’t necessarily tell stories that way, that added way of doing it.”Dean said he enjoyed writing “his first book”, but for the rest of the group’s stay in the big smoke, less taxing pursuits beckoned.”Tomorrow we’re going to the zoo,” he said, smiling. (ABC: Bill Code) (ABC: Bill Code)
The not-for-profit Indigenous Literacy Foundation aims to build a culture of reading in communities where books may be a rarity.Helping children access books, it said, was the first step in building a culture of literacy.Giant book swapAfter the readings, hundreds of kids clutched their gold-coin donation around one very long table filled with pre-loved books.There was a dual purpose here: getting them excited about books, but also raising awareness, and importantly, funding — the ILF hopes the national day will raise $200,000 and provide 50,000 books for remote Indigenous communities. “And after this we’re going shopping.”

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Indigenous Literacy Foundation patron Dame Quentin Bryce addresses the children. they make me feel good,” he said, one of hundreds of children mingling over second-hand books in the shadow of the Sydney Opera House.”Flash, Black Panther and Deadpool,” he continued on, listing his favourite characters.So far so normal.But unlike most Year 7 students, Dean, from Pintinjarra country, northeast of Kalgoorlie, is now a published author. Photo:
Hundreds of kids attended the second-hand book swap. (ABC: Bill Code)
Thanks to a collaborative effort involving the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, he and 12 other kids from the “spinifex country” communities of Tjuntjuntjara, Mount Margaret and Menzies produced a book, The Goanna Was Hungry, which they read in front of hundreds of other children as well as many a noted author.Was he nervous ahead of his big Opera House performance?”Not that much. Like many 12-year-olds, Dean Bonney loves his comic books.”I like DC, Marvel … Photo:
Dean Bonney (left) speaks to teacher Charlie Klein at the Opera House event. I practised five or six times,” he said.Dean’s nonchalance belied the amount of effort the children put in, said Tjuntjuntjara school principal Daniel Havelberg, who travelled with the children to Sydney to mark Indigenous Literacy Day.”We spent the first few days workshopping in the school with [artists] Sally Morgan and Anne James,” he said of the writing camp the children attended.”We got the creative juices flowing and it was a really great experience for the kids to bond.”

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Two young authors relax after reading The Goanna Was Hungry to the audience.
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Early childhood program helping kids in Arnhem Land

Gary the goat recruited in fight against development

(Facebook: Leave Gary the Goat Alone) 891 ABC Adelaide

Updated

September 08, 2016 10:57:12

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Gary and the kangaroos share the open space remaining at Seaford Meadows.
A goat who lives among kangaroos in southern Adelaide has become the focus of a development fight by some locals who are keen to preserve remaining open space.Government agency Renewal SA wants to sell just over 42 hectares of land next to Commercial Road at Seaford Meadows, saying it is one of the largest remaining residential sites available in the southern Adelaide region.Locals said Gary the goat was a local identity and lived there among a mob of kangaroos.When sale signs went up on the land recently, southern resident Christine Keen took to Facebook to comment.”Love to see the roos and goat as we drive past on a regular basis, noticed the land for sale signs … It’s different from seeing them in a park. They’re huge.”

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The kangaroos and Gary like to play, a local woman said. my daughter’s first question: ‘Mum, what will happen to the kangaroos and the goat? Where will they go?'”she wrote.A Facebook page created as a tribute to Gary has more than 4,700 likes and thousands of people have signed a petition opposing development of the pocket of land. Photo:
Locals are using Gary the Goat to highlight their anti-housing development push. (891 ABC Adelaide: Spence Denny)
Local woman Jan, who checked out Gary with her binoculars this morning, told 891 ABC Adelaide he was a local tourist attraction worth preserving because of his interactions with the dozens of Seaford roos.”He’s just part of the family, he follows them around all day, and they do play together,” she said.”Our relatives from England came over and they hadn’t seen wild kangaroos so we took them over here. (Facebook: Leave Gary the Goat Alone)
There is a theory that Gary escaped from a hiring firm which used to provide goats in the area if people wanted their yards cleared of excess vegetation.One resident, Leonie, claimed she saw the goat living in a kangaroo pouch back when she was a child, but another southern resident Babs said: “This is not a laughing matter, extend the [local] reserve”.Expressions of interest for the development site are due to close in the middle of next month.
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Seaford 5169

Video shows kayaker swimming with killer whale

A New Zealand photographer has captured the amazing but dangerous moment a kayaker encountered a killer whale in the sea near Auckland.The drone footage showed the orca interacting with the kayaker at Army Bay.The kayaker then jumped into the water and swam with the large marine animal, which seemed interested in playing.Once the kayaker returned to the boat and paddled away, the whale appeared to follow.Photographer Sam Kynman-Cole said when he heard there were orca sightings in the area, he took his chances and went out there with his drone.He wrote on his Topview Photography website he was “in the right place at the right time”.”Overall I was in the air filming for about nine minutes, it was a truly memorable experience and I feel very lucky to have been able to capture it,” he wrote.
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New Zealand
Posted

September 08, 2016 11:40:16

Video: Kayaker swims with killer whale

(ABC News)

Brisbane brothers plant seeds of change, one garden at a time

612 ABC Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

September 08, 2016 11:42:14

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Harry (left) and George (right) Arkinstall hope to make a difference through gardening. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
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Together the brothers hope each garden they look after creates change in how people view people with autism and depression. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
George too has had his own struggles. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“We want to link more experienced gardeners with people with autism to help them find jobs, like I’ve done with Harry,” he said.”We want it to work for other people as well.”And despite being brothers, George said their fights were few and far between.”Every now and then I tell Harry to pick things up, but we’re normally pretty good as we get on really well,” he said.”There’s no fights in the garden … (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
The brothers — who come from a family of nine — weed, mulch, mow, water and tend to gardens throughout Brisbane suburbs for a fee.Twenty per cent of their profits go to beyondblue and Autism Queensland. He suffered from depression during high school.He said the gardening business helped him share his story with others and teach the wider community that mental health problems that can affect anyone.”I’ve grown from that [experience and] I’m happy to talk to people about it now,” he said.George said explaining Harry’s autism to other people could sometimes be difficult.”I’ve grown up with Harry my whole life, so his scenario can sometimes be hard to communicate … thankfully.” “It was always going to be a way to give back and we’re not doing anything special … because to me he’s just normal,” George said.”It’s rewarding every time we tell people what we’ve both been through and what we’re doing now.”George said people were often surprised when he told them why he started the business. we’re just gardening and donating money,” he said. Photo:
George started the business to ensure his brother Harry had a job. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
He hoped their work would encourage others to make a difference in their community.”Anyone can make a difference; you don’t have to be a politician or a scientist or anything,” he said.”Just find something you’re passionate about, raise awareness and hopefully change it to make the world a better place.”George, who works three jobs and studies business at university, said he also hoped to create opportunities for others with autism in the future. Photo:
The brothers work together tending to gardens throughout Brisbane. A Brisbane brotherly duo are advocating for greater awareness of autism and depression by building and maintaining gardens throughout the river city.George Arkinstall began Gardening A Difference to ensure his brother Harry, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age, would always have a job.”It started as a side project to help my brother,” George said.”Harry was struggling to keep work and find new jobs with what he’s got [autism].”He had always helped out around the garden and it was something he had done really well and enjoyed.”

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Harry checks the tomatoes growing in the vegetable garden.
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Brisbane 4000

Cops hike to tip of Australia to help disabled child tick item off his bucket list

Far North Queensland police investigate messages in a bottle
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Cairns 4870
Qld cops locate authors of bottled messages found on remote beach
Police from the remote Cape York town of Bamaga have helped a disabled child tick standing on mainland Australia’s northernmost point, off his bucket list.Sidney Cook, nine, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just three months old and spends much of his time confined to a wheelchair.While planning a trip to Cape York, he and his family wanted to visit the iconic tip of Cape York sign at the northernmost point of the Australian continent.With neither of his parents able to carry him over the rocky terrain leading to the sign, Sidney’s family put out a call for help on social media. (Supplied: QPS)
Acting Senior Constable Talina O’Brien from Bamaga police station was quick to respond.”I knew once I got the word around the station and into the community that we’d get an overwhelming response,” she said.”We had guys come in on their days off wanting to be a part of it.”We had a local gentleman construct a perfect little lift-chair for Sidney so he was set up nice and comfortably and we could carry him down to the sign.”

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Officers from Bamaga police station carried nine-year-old Sidney Cook in a chair they built especially for his visit. Photo:
The pathway to the tip of Cape York, where the signpost for the northernmost point of the Australian mainland is, winds over rocky, uneven terrain. (Supplied: QPS)
Narelle Cook, Sidney’s mother, said she was overwhelmed at the lengths police went to.”We didn’t know what to expect,” she said.”To turn up on the day and have the entire team from the Bamaga police station there, with a specially made chair for Sidney, left us lost for words,” she said.”I don’t think we will ever be able to thank them enough for everything they have done.”
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Sidney's Cape York adventure
ABC Far North

By

Mark Rigby

Updated

September 12, 2016 11:29:15

Photo:
Sidney Cook (centre), mum, Narelle, and dad, Gary, with officers from Bamaga police station. (Supplied: QPS)
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