Posts Tagged ‘Australia’
Last November, a fleet of four small autonomous Wave Glider aquatic robots set out from San Francisco to sail across the Pacific ocean. They reached Hawaii this March, at which point they parted ways – as according to plan, one pair struck out for Japan, while the other two headed for Australia. The first of the two Australia-bound Wave Gliders has reached its destination, setting a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle.
Made by California- and Hawaii-based tech firm Liquid Robotics, each Wave Glider consists of a floating surf board-like “boat” tethered to an underwater winged platform. The motion of the waves causes these wings to paddle the boat forward, while solar cells on the deck of the boat provide power to its sensors and transmitters.
These sensors measure oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature, wave characteristics, weather conditions, water fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen. GPS and a heading sensor also help the craft to orient themselves.
Papa Mau, which is the name of the Wave Glider that has reached Australia, was pulled from the ocean in Hervey Bay near Bundaberg, Queensland. It was the end of a one-year journey that spanned approximately 16,668 kilometers, and that saw the robot withstanding challenges such as gale force winds and inquisitive sharks. Along the way, it also gathered and transmitted an assortment of oceanographic data, including measurements of a chlorophyll bloom along the Equatorial Pacific.
Bravo! And this was only a startup demonstration.
It’s also nice to see the trial work. I blogged about the beginning.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a national inquiry into the Catholic church’s responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests.
Gillard made the announcement on Monday in the wake of claims by a senior policeman that a Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales destroyed evidence and silenced investigations.
“There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil,” Gillard said. “I believe in these circumstances that it is appropriate for there to be a national response through a royal commission…”
Gillard had been under growing pressure to establish a national inquiry after the recent allegations but she said the probe would be broader than just the Catholic Church.
“This is not a royal commission targeting any one church,” Gillard said…
In early November, a senior police investigator…alleged that the church had covered up sexual abuse of children in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney, to protect paedophiles and its own reputation.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox said it was his experience that the church not just covered up, but silenced victims, hindered police, alerted offenders, destroyed evidence and moved priests to protect the church…
Gillard said the more recent allegations were heartbreaking.
“These are insidious, evil acts to which no child should be subject,” she told reporters in Canberra.
Gillard said she did not yet know how far back the commission would investigate. She commended victims for speaking out.
Overdue. Long justified. Something you cannot count on churches to do on their own.
But, then, self-policing usually concerns itself more with “self” than “policing”.
A Brazilian student is set to sell her virginity for a staggering $780,000 after she put it up for auction online.
A man called Natsu, from Japan, fended off strong competition from American bidders Jack Miller and Jack Right, and Indian big-spender Rudra Chatterjee, to secure a date with 20-year-old Catarina Migliorini.
The auction closed 28 October and the physical education student – who said she will use the cash to build homes for poverty-stricken families – was the subject of 15 bids. Catarina’s move sparked outrage across the globe, with many claiming she was little more than a prostitute. She also caused controversy when she revealed she would be followed every step of the way by an Australian crew for a documentary film called Virgins Wanted.
But she said: ‘I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it. ‘If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer. ‘The auction is just business, I’m a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area,’ she told Folha newspaper.
Catarina will be ‘delivered’ to her buyer on board a plane between Australia and the U.S. – being interviewed before and after the sexual act. The intercourse itself will not be filmed and Natsu will retain a right to be anonymous, without his picture appearing in the media. Sex toys will be banned from use and a condom will be compulsory, with Catarina saying she was prepared to prove to any sceptics that she has not had sex before. Natsu will be tested for sexually transmitted diseases prior to the encounter.
Ah, me. Life in the fast lane, eh?
Under a lone street lamp
By Tim Wimborne
Since mid-March I have developed a new habit. Not a bad habit but a pretty regular one, about three nights a week, driving down to a local park near the harbor’s edge and parking by the side of the road, looking for a woman under a street light. Not any woman in particular but it’s always the same street light.
It’s a bit like being a John searching out a good time with a lady of the night. Not that anyone would suspect that – I’m in a ritzy part of town.
After testing a new kit weeks ago, one evening, at the middle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a potential picture far below caught my eye. A simple frame with a composition that symbolizes the phrase “less is more”; a woman and her personal trainer boxing under a lone street light. Just the two of them, their gloves and their shadows, surrounded by nothing else but by the time I got into position they’d moved on.
It’s a popular place for personal trainers taking their nine-to-five office worker clients through their paces so I figured these guys were regulars. And so started my evening sorties. These evening forays would see me sitting in my car, on park benches, walking around the park, up on the bridge above, bringing my kids, stopping by after laps at the local swimming pool – every time with a camera over my shoulder, exposure set to make that image. I’d see folks exercising in groups, walking their dogs, taking evening strolls, joggers, the list goes on…
The Wider Image is an entirely new interactive experience from the world’s largest news agency. Created exclusively for the iPad, this immersive multimedia app offers a multitude of ways to visually explore the world. Get the wider story. Transform the way you see.
And that’s how I happened upon this personal work from one of Reuters’ professional photographers. The app offers both personal and assignment work from the pros who work for Reuters. And as often as I criticize – or sometimes praise – the editorial and social content of work from one of the oldest and largest news gathering companies in the world, their photography is often something special. On any level.
You could do a lot worse than to learn from these folks.
Glenn Ey happy to be alive
An Air Canada passenger flight bound for Sydney has helped locate a yacht in distress in waters between Australia and New Zealand…Flight AC033 was diverted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) after it spotted an emergency beacon activated in the Tasman Sea.
Pilots descended to 1,800m altitude and used a passenger’s binoculars to find the vessel.
The boat and its lone sailor was found about 500km east of Sydney.
The yachtsman reportedly left the Sydney area about two weeks earlier and had been drifting for about one week after losing his mast and running low on fuel…
The Air Canada flight from Vancouver, with 270 passengers and 18 crew aboard, was diverted about 12 hours into the flight. It flew an additional 400km as a result of the diversion…
“We’re really pleased we could help,” spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said, adding that weather conditions – and not the diversion – had been the main cause of delay.
Later, an Air New Zealand Airbus 320 en route to Sydney from Auckland was also diverted before an Australian rescue plane arrived and dropped a life raft and satellite phone down to the stranded seaman.
A merchant vessel was also asked to shield the boat from strong winds until a police vessel could reach the sailor.
An AMSA spokesman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the help of the passenger jets had been needed because of the remote location of the yacht.
“The location of the beacon was within a flight path, so we needed to assess the situation and the Boeing 777 was the closest asset available to us,” Jo Meehan said.
Bravo! Lots of good stories about people aiding people in need, lately.
Think we’ll find one that includes Congress?
I know, I know.
Julia Gillard, Australia’s prime minister, has verbally attacked the country’s opposition leader, labelling him as a hypocrite and a misogynist during a tirade in parliament that has garnered international media attention.
During a heated day in parliament on Tuesday, Gillard unleashed on Tony Abbott’s character after he called for the dismissal of Peter Slipper, the speaker of parliament, for lurid text messages he sent to a former member of staff…
In a fiery response, Gillard accused Abbott of possessing double standards when it came to sexism.
“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not,” she said.
“And the government will not be lectured on sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.
“If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror, that’s what he needs.”
She then recounted previous…quotes by Abbott, which she said had repeatedly offended her personally.
I wish Democrats understood they might actually increase the tiny edge of respect they have over Republicans by calling them out for their bigotry and backwardness.
Australia’s Roman Catholic Church has confirmed that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the 1930s in the state of Victoria.
The archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described the figures as “horrific and shameful”.
The admission came in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse cases, however campaigners say the true figure could be up to 10,000 victims…
“We look to this inquiry to assist the healing of those who have been abused, blah, blah, blah!…
Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were raped by their parish priest from the mid-1980s, said the church had had decades to address the issue but had only revealed the figure to the Victorian inquiry on Friday.
“It’s only been victims coming out and going to the police that has stopped all of this”.
“The church has never lifted a finger to stop their paedophile priests,” added Foster, who said one of her daughters had ultimately taken her own life.
The Victorian state government announced the inquiry into the handling of child abuse cases by religious and non-government bodies after the suicides of dozens of people abused by clergy.
Before the Victorian state government pats themselves on the back too much – consider how long they didn’t notice there may have been a problem. The Catholic Church is guilty of aiding those who were committing crimes. The government is as guilty in their own way for ignoring the abuse.