Oz Judge Rules Farting at Your Employees Isn’t Bullying

❝ An Australian appeals court on Friday dismissed a bullying case brought by an engineer who accused his former supervisor of repeatedly breaking wind toward him.

The Victoria state court of appeal upheld a supreme court judge’s ruling that even if engineer David Hingst’s allegations were true, flatulence did not necessarily constitute bullying…

❝ He had sought $1.8m in a suit against his former employer Construction Engineering, but a judge blasted the case out of the supreme court last year.

Hingst applied to appeal the case, saying “flatulence was a form of bullying” and his ex-colleague Greg Short was a serial farter…

❝ The court of appeal ruled against Hingst on Friday, refusing to grant him leave to appeal and ordering him to pay the defendant’s legal costs…

In response, Hingst promised to take the case further. “I’m taking it to the high court,” he told the judges.

I worked at a firm for a short while where there actually was a similar struggle. El Primo used to think it was funny to sneak up behind this one employee and drop a blue bomber fierce enough that even folks a desk or two away had to get up and move.

The final confrontation was classic, though. The target dude had made up his mind to quit. Had another job lined up. Now, one thing consistent about the boss was that he always had to dash into the men’s room and variously relieve himself as soon as he arrived at work. Don’t know what he had for breakfast; but, it was “active”.

Our victim arrived early his last day before leaving – smiling and looking a little cramped. He’d eaten a very early breakfast of anchovies and hard-boiled eggs and topped it off with a can of beans stewed with prunes. He managed to stay out of our little one-holer office crapper till he spotted the man himself pull into the parking lot. Ran into the bathroom, locking himself in – followed by thunderous thumps – and no flushing…

The boss rips in through the door and heads straight for the bathroom. Hammers on the door for a minute or two till our hero finally steps out with a smile and with a sweeping bow, sends him into the tiny room. Slams the door and locks it from the outside.

Said his goodbyes to all of us and left through the front door. Taking the crapper key with him. By the time we got a locksmith in to unlock and open the door – El Bosso was found lying on the floor in a puddle of his own vomit. Dazed, semi-conscious, completely unaware of our laughter.

Reporter spent 3 years undercover to expose the NRA, right wing in Oz

❝ As part of Al Jazeera’s elaborate infiltration of the United States’ gun lobby, I assumed the role of a gun advocate, pretending to campaign for a repeal of Australia’s rigid, gun control laws, and pretending that I wanted more firearms in the hands of Australian citizens.

In fact, I disagree with all of those things. I believe the gun lobby’s efforts to conceal the truth, which concerns public safety and constitutional rights, should be brought to light.

❝ That is why I chose to take part in this undercover investigation…

❝ …I’d never worn a hidden camera or claimed to love guns. In fact, I’d only fired a gun a few times on a friend’s farm. I didn’t know a Glock from Luger and I’d never seen an assault rifle.

That didn’t matter, Peter Charley said. He was looking for someone with the ability to “work a room” and knowledge of people, business and finance. I would be trained thoroughly in the journalistic requirements, as well as the handling of guns.

❝ So, I was in.

RTFA. I’ve known folks who performed similar tasks for the civil rights movement…including one brave young man who infiltrated the KKK. Dangerous is the minimal description of the job.

David Goodall arrived in Switzerland, today — to die

❝ A 104-year-old Australian scientist arrived Monday in Switzerland before his planned assisted suicide, unbowed about his intentions and hopeful that his premeditated death will send a message to legislators back home…

“I am glad to arrive,” Goodall said from a wheelchair. “The message I would like to send is: Once one passes the age of 50 or 60, one should be free to decide for oneself whether one wants to go on living or not.”

❝ Lucid and humorous, Goodall reiterated his frustration about not being as free or as mobile in his later life as he once was. While not suffering from a terminal illness, he said he hoped his trip to take his own life in Switzerland — which allows assisted suicide, unlike Australia — would change legislators’ minds one day…

Goodall is expected to meet Tuesday with a doctor who will assess his mindset and hold another news conference on Wednesday. On Thursday, he plans to swallow a lethal cocktail of chemicals, ending his life.

More power to you, Doctor Goodall. I agree with your right to make such a determination. I consider it likely I’ll be making a similar choice some day or other. Especially living in a nation where the medical-industrial complex assures its political and economic power courtesy of primitive belief systems – and Congress.

Firehawks


Black Kite

Australia is no stranger to fire: The hardy landscape is adapted to blazes, enduring many thanks to humans and lightning. But Australia’s Aboriginal peoples have long identified a third cause: birds.

❝ In interviews, observations, and ceremonies dating back more than a century, the indigenous peoples of Australia’s Northern Territory maintain that a collective group of birds they call “firehawks” can control fire by carrying burning sticks to new locations in their beaks or talons.

The idea is that these birds of prey use fires to help find food—making easy meals out of insects and other small animals trying to flee the blaze…

❝ The anecdotes, compiled in a recent study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, may lead some to rethink how fires spread through tropical savannas like those in northern Australia.

Terrific article. Especially including the natural history recorded by onlookers for generations.

Ready for the Jellyfish Apocalypse?

❝ The most common Irukandji, Carukia barnesi, are the size of a chickpea, and because they’re colorless, in the ocean they’re more or less invisible. The smaller ones might appear to you as the residue of a sneeze. The Irukandji’s translucent bell, shaped like a tiny boxing glove, trails four tentacles, delicate as cotton thread and about three feet long. The jellyfish’s sting doesn’t hurt overmuch. The pain is perhaps equivalent to a mild static zap from a metal doorknob—hardly even enough to make you want to suck your finger. The C. barnesi does not leave red welts, as other jellyfish do. You might miss the prick of its microscopic, stinging darts. You might think it’s just the start of sunburn.

Worst-case scenario: You’re dead by the following sunset.

RTFA. There are several little quirks like this that add a level of adventure and excitement to ordinary life in Australia I wouldn’t seek out.

Australians Stay Alive Another Day Without God-Given Right to Shoot Down Their Friends and Neighbors


Boring isn’t it?

❝ Due to the nation’s controversial and oppressive gun restrictions, no one has died as a result of a mass-shooting on Australian soil today, for the 7827th day in a row.

❝ North Betoota cinema attendant, Christina Upton can’t believe it has been a whole 21 years and 57 days since a heavily armed white Australian male decided to shoot at a crowd of unsuspecting Australian civilians for no reason.

She says the peaceful two decades that have followed are “probably” because the Australian government decided to strip her of a God-given right to own projectile weaponry capable of shooting down helicopters…

❝ Ms Upton, who claims to be able to walk freely outside of her home without fear of being killed by a mass shooter, believes that God-given rights probably play a bigger role in America’s mass shootings than Americans think.

“I don’t think America should be so hard on itself about the mental state of thousands of lonely white losers. We have those people too,”

“…Just in our country those people don’t have access to Russian-made automatic assault rifles that have been invented purely to help military personnel win wars.”…

❝ Local Betoota cop, Uncle Rick Ridgeway, says that this is because idiots have a harder time getting their hands on machine guns than criminals.

“I think America needs to realise that it’s not really the criminals you need to worry about as such. I’d be more concerned about the weirdos,”

“Criminals use guns to help their efforts in making money through crime – they have much less interest in killing you for the sake of it…”

I’ll second that emotion.

Thanks, Honeyman

Scientists in Oz crack the carbon-fibre code


Would be nice to have carbon-fibre for less than $450K

❝ Australia’s CSIRO has cracked the carbon-fibre code, and in doing so has opened the floodgates to mass-production of the composite material in Australia.

❝ Currently only a handful of companies around the world are able to manufacture carbon-fibre, each with their own closely-guarded secret recipe. But none have, as yet, cracked the method to producing ultra-lightweight, ultra-strong composite in significant quantities.

But now, CSIRO and Deakin University have, as they put it, “cracked the code” to mass-production through the use of a patented wet spinning line which can produce carbon-fibre that is both stronger and of a higher quality than previously produced…

❝ The CSIRO has patented the technology which has the potential to be a game-changer for the automotive industry. With current technology cost-prohibitive for wider use, carbon-fibre is usually found only on high-end luxury cars or supercars.

With the potential to now mass-produce the composite material, carbon-fibre is set to be cheaper than ever before, possibly leading to application in mass-produced vehicles. Lighter body panels would make cars even more fuel efficient, no bad thing in this day and age of climate change.

❝ The Director of CSIRO Future Industries, Dr Anita Hill, said the development was an important discovery that has the potential to disrupt the status quo in the carbon-fibre industry.

“This facility means Australia can carry out research across the whole carbon fibre value chain: from molecules, to polymers, to fibre, to finished composite parts,” said Dr Hill.

“Together with Deakin, we’ve created something that could disrupt the entire carbon-fibre manufacturing industry.”

More geek globalism providing a market common to existing and emerging industrial nations. It’s enough to make a parochial knee-bender sweat.

Thanks, Honeyman

No — that’s not tinsel wrapped around the Xmas tree

❝ It’s no partridge in a pear tree but a Melbourne woman got a seasonal surprise when she found a tiger snake entwined among the tinsel on her Christmas tree.

The Frankston woman discovered the snake in her tree on Sunday morning and called in professional snake catcher Barry Goldsmith.

“It’s one of the more different ones, but we find them in all sorts of places,” Goldsmith said. “Tiger snakes are very good climbers.”

❝ With the warmer weather, snakes are more active, but people should leave them alone and not try to kill them, Goldsmith said. “It’s dangerous, it’s illegal, and it’s cruel.”

Eeoouugh!

Thanks, Honeyman – I think

Sydney, Australia, high schoolers cooked up $2 malaria pills

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Click link below to the article – and this video

❝ The “pharma bro” who increased the price of a life-saving medicine, Daraprim, by 5,000% has been rattled by a group of Australian school students who managed to make the same drug for $2 per pill.

❝ Former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli last year bought Turing Pharmaceuticals and almost immediately increased the price of the drug – which has been off-patent since the 1970s – from US$13.50 to US$750 a tablet.

The drug is used to treat certain types of malaria as well as toxoplasmosis, a rare and life-threatening infection caused by the Toxoplasma parasite which particularly affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV.

❝ To show how exorbitant Shkreli’s pricing of the drug was, a group of year 11 students aged 16 and 17 from Sydney Grammar aimed to recreate the drug molecule in their school laboratory under the guidance of Dr Alice Williamson and Associate Professor Matthew Todd from the Open Source Malaria consortium.

They succeeded, making the drug for a mere $2 a pill

❝ On Twitter Shkreli dismissed what the students achieved, saying “how is that showing anyone up? Almost any drug can be made at small scale for a low price”.

❝ Williamson told Guardian Australia showing how cheap and easy the drug was to produce was part of the point of the project, as it highlighted how unfair Shkreli’s pricing of the drug was…“I like to let the work speak for itself.”

The kids are all right. Shkrell is still a creep!

Thanks, Honeyman and many others