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Wednesday, 18 July

16:08

Why the alt-right want to call Australia home "IndyWatch Feed National"

On Friday, Canadian alt-right YouTuber and activist Lauren Southern will host the Melbourne leg of her national speaking tour, alongside fellow alt-right YouTuber and compatriot Stefan Molyneux. Southerns video announcing her tour really tries to bring the drama: You guys are at a crossroads. Do you want to retain your culture your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming, the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism?

14:30

Victoria Police "could" launch investigation into Andrews Govt taxpayer funding rorts "IndyWatch Feed National"

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I think I might push a peanut with my nose from Bourke Street to the Sydney Opera House if this gets up. Here's The Australian with Sam Hutchinson's optimistic take on the Ashton sophistry. Victoria Labor could face criminal investigation over Red Shirt rorts Victorian Chief Police...

14:08

"What Causes Chest Pain When Feelings Are Hurt?" "IndyWatch Feed National"

"What Causes Chest Pain When Feelings Are Hurt?"
by Robert Emery and Jim Coan

"When people have their feelings hurt, what is actually happening inside the body to cause the physical pain in the chest?" - Josh Ceddia, Melbourne, Australia

"Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia, reply: "Terms such as heartache and gut wrenching are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest- muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected.

But how do emotions trigger physical sensations? Scientists do not know, but recently pain researchers uncovered a possible pathway from mind to body. According to a study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve- the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea.

Heartache is not the only way emotional and physical pain intersect in our brain. Recent studies show that even experiencing emotional pain on behalf of another person- that is, empathy- can influence our pain perception. And this empathy effect is not restricted to humans. In 2006 a paper published in "Science" revealed that when a mouse observes its cage mate in agony, its sensitivity to phy...

12:22

Australias nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 https://theconversation.com/australias-nuclear-testing-before-the-1956-olympics-in-melbourne-should-be-a-red-flag-for-fukushima-in-2020-85787 Sue Rabbitt Roff Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee October 19, 2017 

The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne  despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians British and Australian to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.

Australias prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australias strict horse quarantine regimes.

The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the...

09:50

Senator (sic) Kimberley Kitching loses more than half Twitter followers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Brad Norington in The Australian today: Senator Kitching loses more than half of followers after Twitter purge Labor senator Kimberley Kitching has lost more than half of her Twitter followers. Picture: AAP The Australian 12:00AM July 18, 2018 ASSOCIATE EDITOR @BradNorington Victorian Labor senator and close Bill Shorten ally Kimberley...

05:28

Christopher Pyne off script on "the gangs, the violence" in Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed National"

REPORTER: Are you afraid to go out to restaurants in Melbourne? PYNE: No, why? Should I be? REPORTER: Well the PM says colleagues have told him PYNE: Oh, because of the gangs, the violence pic.twitter.com/W41YggbM7N Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) July 17, 2018

Tuesday, 17 July

14:59

When is a record not a record? "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Its been  cold here in Brisbane for the last few days, at least by our subtropical standards, with overnight minimums of 6 degrees in the city, and negative temperatures in  towns like Stanthorpe in the nearby Granite Belt. That occasioned lots of news coverage, with the observation that this was the coldest temperature weve had since 2014 and one of the coldest since 2000. The same was true for much of Eastern Australia. Melbourne had its coldest morning in several years, and  a couple of towns in NSW had the lowest minimum for several decades.

All of these are records in the trivial sense that we record the temperature every day, but none of them are records in the commonly used sense of lowest (or highest) value in the relevant record. That didnt stop the usual denialist suspects claiming a RECORD (all caps in original) and evidence of global cooling. The Daily Mail  claimed Australias east coast shivers through its coldest EVER morning even though the sub-headlines made it clear this wasnt true.

Whats striking here is that the same people who are willing to claim that the Bureau of Meteorology is part of a world-wide warmist conspiracy to doctor climate records are eagerly credulous about any piece of data that suits their case. Next time we get record heat, the conspiracy theories will be wheeled out again, but for now the Bureau is an unquestionable source of scientific evidence.

To take this news a little more seriously, its important to remember that there are vast numbers of records that can potentially be broken on any given day highest and lowest maxima and minima, for a given month, in any location where weather is recorded. That means we need either to confine attention to a limited number of records most obviously mean global temperatures or look at statistical measures, such as the relative frequency of new records for cold and heat. Both of these measures give the answer that is by now obvious* from experience: the climate globally and Australia is getting warmer.

 

 

12:47

The Spiritual Evolution of Animals Christopher James Wild

Article by Stuart Wilde. Have you wondered if an animal has a soul and an even afterlife? My old teacher said that animals have group souls, one for each species or subspecies.....

11:59

Sydney vacancy rate jumps "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Sydney vacancies rising

The latest building activity figures confirmed that the record number of apartments under construction in Sydney is now morphing into a surge in completions.

June is always a seasonally soft month for rental markets, but the latest release from SQM Research recorded a vacancy rate jumping all the way to 2.8 per cent for Sydney.

That's well up from 2 per cent a year earlier.

Vacancies were very high in the Hills District at 4.9 per cent.

But the inner suburbs have by no means been immune as apartments complete across the city. 


There's a certain seasonal aspect to this.

Indeed, Australia's capitals are becoming more seasonal than ever with net overseas migration peaking in the warmer months, and hundreds of thousands of international students coming and going in recent years - but there's also high level of new supply for the city to deal with.

Around the traps

Melbourne's vacancy rate was just 1.6 per cent in the month of June 2018.

However, Melbourne now has more dwellings under construction than at any time in its history, as well as a range of transport, infrastructure, and commercial projects. 

Nationally, the vacancy rate declined from a year earlier from 2.5...

07:10

Australia's worst drought in 116 years is decimating animals and livestock "IndyWatch Feed National"

A severe drought gripping much of rural Australia has become so intense that even native animals - fully adapted to the harsh environment - are starving to death. It has been the worst drought in 116 years for parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, leaving paddocks bare and drying up dams. And it isn't just the sheep and cows struggling to survive in the record dry - the Australian fauna which is supposed to thrive in Australia's dry climate is being hit hard. 'This is the worst drought I have seen in 40 years. Droughts come and go but this one is severe,' the farmer said. Tamworth has had 93.4mm of rain so far this year, which is a quarter of the average.

00:00

Seeking a humanitarian FOSS outreach position "IndyWatch Feed National"

In 2017 I spent some time working with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA). While I developed a number of software tools in that role, what made me truly effective was the fact that I could develop everything open source. The amount of advice, pull requests, and feedback that I enthusiastically received from public experts was tremendous, and Im sure that this was helped in no small part by the fact that I was working for a high-profile humanitarian organisation.

Ever since then, Ive been thinking. What if I could do humanitarian open source outreach as a job?

Theres tremendous appeal to me for a paid outreach position; not only am I able to deliver more value than I could on my own, but theres also opportunities for me to learn, to teach, to further the careers of others, and to build communities. While Ive been privately offered positions as a developer evangelist at a number of companies, working in the humanitarian space is much more in line with my values.

Ive a lot that would qualify me for this role. Ive been writing and speaking about open source for decades. Ive launched and managed numerous successful open source projects in the past, the largest of whichthe Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Networkhas hundreds of contributors and hundreds of thousands of users. I thoroughly enjoy knowledge exchange of all sorts. And finally Im also a prominent public speaker, especially able to draw a large audience when it comes to technical and social matters. Alongside many technical talks, Ive also given presentations on open source and humanitarian efforts, mental health, and whether technology is making the world a better place.

Of course such a role would not be without its challenges. Structuring a project to maximise contributions and community growth often involves using different tools and methodologies than would be used for an internal project. My schedule tends to be choppy, as I travel a lot for conferences, but this also means Im able to do more outreach as I go. Im based in Australia, which can present its own time coordination challenges.

My ideal role would be be half to three-quarter time, based in Melbourne or remotely, and would have me developingand most importantly helping others developopen source tools in the humanitarian sector. Id be particularly happy with a system that involves scalable programmable voice, as Ive been working with that a lot recently, but Im well su...

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