Arts & Culture

An Interview with Arnold Zable about His New Book, The Fighter

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Arnold Zable applied his extraordinary storytelling skills in writing his new biography, The Fighter, about a truly working-class hero. Henry Nissen grew up in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and became a champion boxer, before he turned his courage and compassion to helping those less fortunate than himself. Chris Saliba, co-owner of North Melbourne Books, asked Arnold a few questions about the new book… Source: An Interview with Arnold Zable about His New Book, The Fighter — Text Publishing  Read More »

Sydney from a blimp: a bird’s eye view of Australia’s harbour city

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Shot from a blimp as it drifted above Sydney, these photos capture everything from the patterns in the sand created by everyday beach life to colourful piles of recycling; and from a lone golfer lining up a critical putt to the sprawl of suburbia… Jonny Weeks Source: Sydney from a blimp: a bird’s eye view of Australia’s harbour city | Art and design | The Guardian Read More »

India’s new ‘enclave’ citizens in historic first vote

Thousand of Indians are voting for the first time in West Bengal assembly polls after remaining virtually stateless for six decades. They became citizens of India last year after Bangladesh and India exchanged more than 160 enclaves located in each other’s territory. The enclaves, created in the 18th Century, endured through British colonial rule, the independence of India and the creation of Bangladesh… Source: India’s new ‘enclave’ citizens in historic first vote – BBC News Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull defends saying wealthy parents should ‘shell out’ to buy their kid a house

Malcolm Turnbull has defended his suggestion that wealthy parents should buy their children homes to help them into the expensive housing market, with Labor accusing the multi-millionaire Prime Minister of being “out of touch.” Wealthy parents should “shell out” and buy their children houses, Mr Turnbull said in off-the-cuff remarks on Wednesday, comments which have been seized on by the opposition… Source: Malcolm Turnbull defends saying wealthy parents should ‘shell out’ to buy their kid a house Read More »

The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community

An improbable tale of how a British maverick harnessed crowdsourced meteorological discoveries to reveal the poetic wonders of the sky.. Gavin Pretor-Pinney decided to take a sabbatical. It was the summer of 2003, and for the last 10 years, as a sideline to his graphic-design business in London, he and a friend had been running a magazine called The Idler. The Idler was devoted to the “literature for loafers.” It argued against busyness and careerism and for the ineffable value ... Read More »

The looming threat to our book industry is bad for authors, publishers … and for you

Understanding why it’s bad to abolish restrictions on the importation of books can be hard, which means it can be hard to care. But trust me, you need know why this is terrible for us all.. People tend to tune out when they hear the words “productivity commission”, “parallel importation restrictions”, and “book publishing… Source: The looming threat to our book industry is bad for authors, publishers … and for you | Susan Hawthorne | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

White flight in schools: it’s not about racism

The idea that smart kids should sacrifice their own education to drag up their peers from non-English speaking families is simply obnoxious.. What are they playing at, these smug, middle-class families deserting their local state school just because it’s next to commission housing? (White flight: race segregation in Melbourne state schools) How… Source: White flight in schools: it’s not about racism Read More »

America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny

As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty… Source: America Has Never Been ... Read More »

Interview with a Bookstore: Melbourne’s Readings, the best bookshop in the world

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The people behind the independent Melbourne store that just won International Bookstore of the Year talk fostering local literature, great regulars and Australian book recommendations.. Readings first opened in 1969, and it was a partnership of three – Ross Reading, his wife Dorothy Reading, and Peter Reid. At the time, Australia had a very small… Source: Interview with a Bookstore: Melbourne’s Readings, the best bookshop in the world | Books | The Guardian Read More »

Male speakers boycott all-male panels to protest lack of female representation

Five male conference speakers want to see conference organisers involve more women. Five of Australia’s most booked male conference speakers will boycott panels that don’t include women, criticising organisers for taking the lazy way out by opting for “dude fests”… Source: Male speakers boycott all-male panels to protest lack of female representation Read More »

Women of Palestine in their Israeli jails

Filmmaker Mai Masri ups the ante in telling the story of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons. In his now legendary painting, Women of Algiers in their Apartment/Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement (1834, oil on canvas), Eugene Delacroix captured something so provocative, so elemental, about Arab and Muslim women at the height of the… Source: Women of Palestine in their Israeli jails – Al Jazeera English Read More »

Malawi’s albinos at risk of ‘total extinction,’ U.N. warns

Malawi’s albinos are at risk of “total extinction” amid escalating attacks against them for their body parts, the United Nations warned. Albinism is a genetic condition that leads to little or no pigment in the eyes, skin and hair. The southern African nation has about 10,000 albinos, according to the U.N… Source: Malawi’s albinos at risk of ‘total extinction,’ U.N. warns – CNN.com Read More »

John RWD Jones obituary

Human rights lawyer who helped ensure justice for some of the most demonised defendants.. The human rights barrister John RWD Jones devoted himself to helping those in peril in the courts. He was a leading architect of the nascent system of… Source: John RWD Jones obituary | Law | The Guardian Read More »

Eva Orner on Chasing Asylum: ‘Every whistleblower that I interviewed wept’

New film features shocking footage from within offshore detention centres. ‘I wanted to make a film that would shame Australia’, the film-maker says. Australia’s current refugee policy has been informed by a succession of prime ministers, and four of them have a part to play in the development of Chasing Asylum: a stunning new documentary directed by Eva Orner… Source: Eva Orner on Chasing Asylum: ‘Every whistleblower that I interviewed wept’ | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Breda O’Brien: It’s complicated – our relationship with Catholicism

We may not choose to actively support something – but heaven help anyone who tries to say that we are not entitled to it. ‘It’s complicated’ is a Facebook relationship status, denoting anything from a relationship on the rocks to one that doesn’t fit standard parameters, but is working relatively well… Source: Breda O’Brien: It’s complicated – our relationship with Catholicism Read More »

Hope burns bright for Indian tigers

Tiger, tiger burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? So wrote William Blake, who lived from 1757 to 1827. But Blake could not have… Source: Hope burns bright for Indian tigers – Asia Times Read More »