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While there are no official records of the undying (yet), more people live beyond 100 years of age in Japans Okinawa Prefecture than anywhere else in the world. And while they may have tapped and plumbed the fountain of youth somewhere in the hundreds of islands, the key to longevity may be more simple.
Life medicine, or what the locals call nuchigusui, is an Okinawan precept for healthy living. By focusing everyday practices on easing the mind, satisfying the spirit and looking after the body, the locals have inhabited a philosophy that seems to be working pretty well.
It all comes down to fresh food, stress-free living and a connection with nature that is endemic to Japanese culture and way of life. For thousands of years, the rich beauty of the islands has been conserved, and if you look at the stars at night amidst almost no light pollution you can catch a glimpse into ancient utopian times.
Whether its long stretches of white sand beaches, rare blue coral reef or dense jungles, 20 per cent of the Okinawa Prefecture is national park. The islands are also incredibly fertile, and provide a habitat for dugongs, turtles, rare cats and thousands of other animals that feed off its rich resources.
Food itself is the essence of nuchigusui. Eating is revered as medicine; vitality is passed from the cook to the customer. The island chain has countless wholesome dishes that are native to the region, from delicious teas to rich sobas, all of which aim to nourish and rejuvenate.
Okinawa might be the only place youll ever visit where the more time you spend, the more time you earn on Earth, and even if you dont find the secret to immortality, youll walk away feeling pretty bloody relaxed.
Check this vid out to see what we mean.
This post has been presented in conjunction with Be.Okinawa, but all opinions are the authors own.
Cover by Ryo Yoshitake
Worried the electricity system won't keep up over summer? Worry about coal. Seriously.
One of the four giant units at Victoria's ageing Loy Yang A power station broke down on Tuesday night at 11.05, taking out 230 megawatts, and then at 1.10 on Wednesday morning after being partially restarted, taking out what by then was 161 megawatts.
When demand soared during Sunday's heatwave, the Eraring plant on Lake Macquarie in NSW lost 275 megawatts. A few minutes later, Loy Yang A lost 264 megawatts.
On New Year's Day, unit 1 of Millmerran in Queensland stalled, taking out 156 megawatts. On December 28, unit 2 of Tarong in Queensland stalled, taking out 314 megawatts. On Boxing Day, unit 4 at Loy Yang stalled, taking out 528 megawatts. On Christmas Day, unit 1 at Gladstone stalled, taking out 230 megawatts, then unit 1 at the Tallawarra gas plant in NSW, taking out 187 megawatts. And so on, back to the start of summer.
When unit 3 at Loy Yang shut down without warning on December 14 taking out 560 megawatts and imperilling the entire system, the new Tesla battery 1000 kilometres away in South Australia sprang into action ahead of the coal-fired power station that was contracted to restore stability. It proved to be "dispatchable" in a way coal-fired power stations are not.
Age, heat and the steady encroachment of renewables are destroying the only advantages coal-fired power stations ever had.
When Treasurer Scott Morrison stood up in Federal Parliament and waved around a lump of coal in a stunt unworthy of his office, he said coal was an important part of ensuring a "more certain" energy future.
But he was speaking about the past.
Coal-fired power stations didn't used to get critically hot as often as they do now. The February 2017 heatwave that took out 2438 megawatts in one day in NSW might have once been a once-in-500-year event. Now it's a once-in-50-year event and perhaps soon a once-in-five-year event. The calculations are by the Australia Institute's Mark Ogge and Hannah Aulby in a study of the risks to energy security entitled Can't Stand the Heat. Ogge is the person who has been keeping a record of power station outages.
It's the easiest to find a job since the mining boom.
The latest count from the Bureau of Statistics shows there were a record 216,000 job vacancies in November and 661,400 Australians out of work, the lowest total since 2012.
The ratio of 3.1 means there were roughly three job seekers for each vacant job, a step up from November 2016 when there were 3.7.
In NSW, the state with the best odds, there were only 2.2 job seekers for each vacant job, one of the lowest ratios ever recorded. A year earlier there were 2.7.
While Victoria has recorded the biggest improvement, the odds remain nowhere near as good as in NSW. There were 3.1 unemployed Victorians trying to get each vacant job in November, down from 4.2 a year earlier.
In Queensland the odds improved from 4.5 per vacant job to 3.9, in South Australia from 6.1 to 5.7, in Western Australia from 4.7 to 4.3 and in Tasmania from 7.9 to 5.7.
In the Northern Territory the odds remained little changed at about two unemployed per vacancy, and in the Australian Capital Territory they slid from 1.6 to just 1.3. But the ACT figures are unrealistic because they are biased downwards by the number of ACT workers living outside of the territory and the number who come from interstate for jobs.
The better odds in every state reflect both a surge in the number of vacancies, from 69,000 to 81,500 in NSW, and from 45,400 to 57,500 in Victoria, and also a drop in the number of Australians identifying as unemployed.
A near-record 383,300 more Australians have found work in the past 12 months, almost all of them full-time.
Construction vacancies have ju...
It was an interesting day off Southport yesterday in a 25+kt northerly. Lots of birds although the north wind caused reduced diversity. Great numbers of Tahitis, a Kermadec and a showy White-necked Petrel in 60fths were the highlights.
Miminipossum notioplanetes represents a new Early/Middle Miocene family (Miminipossumidae) of phalangeridan possums recovered from the Two Trees Local Fauna from the Riversleigh World Heritage area in northwestern Queensland and the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna of the Tirari Desert in northern South Australia. Because of widespread convergence in key features of P3 and M1 among phalangeridan families, the interfamilial relationships of Miminipossumidae are uncertain. The age of the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna has been in doubt with estimates ranging from Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene. The new taxon raises to 15 the number of taxa in the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna that are shared with both...
1788 - Convicts disembarked from their world trip cruise at Botany Bay, but they didn't get much sight-seeing done, for some reason...
1803 - Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins drew the short straw to found a new settlement at Port Phillip... give up now David, it'll all end in tears....and Bill Buckley doing a runner!
1816 - Micky Micky, an Indigenous man, was admitted to Newcastle Gaol from Brisbane charged with various attempts to murder. Sent for trial.
1815 - The road over the Blue Mountains was completed to the Macquarie River.
1830 - In a classic lesson to update your maps when trekking around a new colony, Charles Sturt named a puddle of H2o the Murray River, not realising the oh-so-modest Hamilton Hume had had the honour of naming it after himself 6 years earlier.
1834 - Charles Waldron of the Illawarra district was belted to death although he took a good long 4 days to expire when convicts Mary Maloney and Sarah McGregor battered their tyrant boss (though not with a nice beer fish batter).
Over-whelming public sympathy saw their death sentences changed to 3 years imprisonment.
1837 - Gov Hindmarsh got hisself in print when the first printing press in South Oz became operational with the printing of the Guv's Proclamation "Establishment of Government".
1839 - Breakout attempt at Carter's Barracks by 19 soldiers confined there because of severe punishment such as being worked on the ring. The punishment of the ring was similar to the practice of breaking in horses. The men were made to form four deep and march round the ring twenty times, and afterwards ten times at double quick pace.
1840 - The SA Land Commissioners were dissolved by Lord John Russell, Secretary of State For The Colonies, and replaced by three Land & Emigration Commissioners, whose powers were extended over the sale of the waste lands of the Crown throughout the British Colonies and for applying the proceeds to emigration. Col Robert Richard Torrens continues as Chairman.
1842 Mary MacKillop, the only Australian to be canonised, was hatched in Fitzroy, Victoria.
1852 - William A'Beckett was appointed first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
1852 - Beruke, or Gellibrand, member of Native Police Corps, buried at South Yarra Depot, near Clara Street.
1852 - Melbourne failed in its bid to become Australia's capital.
1856 - Weenpulta, Weellanna , Yardulunulkarna and Eelanna were Hanged at Franklin Harbour for the murder of Peter Brown.
1856 - John Scott was Hanged at Perth Gaol for the murder of William Longmate at Vasse.
1866 - Bushranger John Dunn escaped briefly from Dubbo Gaol, NSW.
Single bird on the old pony club site
Killer views this morning (~7:30am) of four Black-chinned Honeyeaters feeding down low, right over the cross-junction. At least one was not in full colours and had a pale bill hence an immature and likely sign of local breeding. Readily lD'd by blue eye-skin and black chin; they were extensively vocal and were constantly calling throughout the time we were there (~30 mins). Closest l have ever seen this species to Brisbane.
A pair of T. Crows successfully raised and fledged 4 cuckoo chicks in our garden. Channel-billed Cuckoos are common but so many chicks in one nest are rather unusual. This explained why our crows seemed so busy lately, raiding every property in the neighbourhood and storing pieces of food in the gaps of air conditioners, garden furniture slats and palm crowns.All four fledglings left the nest this morning and flew to the top of a tall Norfolk pine. They made very loud noises, constantly begging their foster-parents for food. After 30 min they all flew away - 4 cuckoos frantically chasing two crows in the sky.
Prolonged views of one Wood Sandpiper on the rock-strewn exposed land, close to the foot of the dam tower. At least four Aust Shovelers were seen from this vantage point, but no doubt there were more further out.
Single bird, female or juvenile, no throat lobe visable, large size, reptilian head and bill, sitting low in water, spiky tail held vertically. Single Musk Duck sighted amongst thousands of other waterfowl - primarily Hardheads and Grey Teal. Very hot conditions 40 degrees C at 10.30am
Only one bird seen, however complete lake and surrounds were not surveyed
The environment and the people will ultimately win the battle to stop the Galilee Basin being opened to coal mining, predicts Ben Pennings.
Adani is on the ropes, desperately trying to rescue the $1.5bn they gambled on the economically marginal and environmentally disastrous Carmichael coal mine. Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer or Aurizon might follow Adani into the Galilee basin but the environment movement has the numbers this time. Mass social movements like #StopAdani will triumph over profit, either through the ballot box or in front of bulldozers.
People ask me why I quit my job at The Queensland Greens, why I put myself at physical and legal risk to initiate citizen resistance against Adanis plans. The answer is always the same. To buy time. There is enough coal in the Galilee Basin to not only cook the Reef, but to supercharge extreme weather and destroy farmland worldwide. The resulting death and destruction is seemingly unspeakable.
Any time gained through stopping fossil fuel projects must be used to enact meaningful cultural and systemic change. The 50 years of the modern environment movement have been the most ecologically destructive in human history, when hyper-consumerism has become our dominant religion and carbon emissions have soared.
Our dominant culture of over-consumption, expensive thrills and massive waste must be challenged and changed. Civilised humans have turned their only home into a garbage dump, created an ecological debt that cannot just be written off. Solar-powered ecocide is still ecocide.
Living beyond our means hasnt made us any happier. If needless consumer products gave us the happiness promised in their ads we wouldnt need to buy any more of them. Few people are immune to the constant lies of advertisers and politicians advocating for faceless corporations.US Ambassador Timothy Roemer is greeted by Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group at Adani House in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. (IMAGE: U.S. Embassy New Delhi, Flickr)
Every kid that gets cancer, every cyclone, and every useless nick knack contributes to economic growth. Progress must be measured differently through wellbeing, social equality and harmony. Despite advertising being embedded in our culture, people value health, relationships, and recreation more than extra possessions.
The environment movement can only challenge consumerist culture by taking up the fight for economic justice. People by nature compare themselves to others. The outlandish and celebrated...
Col McKenzie calls on government to stop funding work of Terry Hughes, saying tourists won't do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead'A Queensland tourism representative has called one of the Great Barrier Reef's leading researchers a dick, blaming the professor for a downturn in tourism growth at the state's greatest natural asset.Col McKenzie, the head of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, a group that represents more than 100 businesses in the Great [...]
A great morning at the lake - also Black Falcon, Freckled Ducks, 500 Whiskered Terns + 300 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.
Another year down in the just-over five-year history of this
site. 2017 did not have either a federal election or a
Tasmanian state election but there was still a fair amount of
interest, especially in the Queensland election. Indeed
traffic by unique pageviews was only down 40% on last year despite
the lack of a federal election, and up 25% on the last year without
a federal or Tasmanian election (2015). Moreover, there were
more total pageviews than in the last state election year, 2014!
Here's the activity graph for the year (the units are sessions per
So big is Melbourne's infrastructure boom that Treasurer Tim Pallas fears Victoria will run low on the specialist skills and resources such as gravel needed to make it happen.
"We've known for a while that the technical and the specialist skills required for transport projects, particularly rail projects, have been hard to get," he told The Age. "The more projects you start the harder it gets. We've only a handful of rail signallers in the entire state to manage not only the existing network but also the upgrades planned and under way.
"That's just one illustration. We are also hearing of shortages in project management, finishing trades, commercial advisory skills, industry analysis, systems engineering and tunnelling. For high-end skills, it's obvious, but its also a problem for entry-level skills."
"Only on Friday I was meeting with the extractive industries representative body, and everybody around that table was saying there is so much demand for raw materials, quarry materials, cement and sand and so on that suppliers are choosing which jobs they bid on.
"You've got to expect pressure on price."
Mr Pallas said that at $9.6 billion per year, Victoria's infrastructure spending program was unprecedented. As a proportion of the state budget it was the biggest since that of the Bolte Liberal government in the 1960s and 1970s that began construction of the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop.
Victoria's $9.6 billion per year program was in competition for resources with the NSW $12.1 billion per year program, also the biggest on record. Other big projects in Queensland and New Zealand meant that the market for skills along the east coast was tightening, as it had in Western Australia during the mining construction boom.
"We are having to get people from further away and pay them more than we thought," Mr Pallas said. "Ultimately we have to pay what the market is prepared to offer."
"Look at what happened with Sydney's Westconnex. The entire industry in NSW put in one single consolidated bid that put the state government at a disadvantage. Here, we are facing the same sort of thing with the North East Link. You can only bring so many people in from interstate. You get to a point where you hit bedrock in terms of imported skills."
Mr Pallas said it wasn't yet clear t...
Sydney has become Australia's economic powerhouse, accounting for almost half of Australia's economic growth.
The extraordinary figure of 41.2 per cent is the highest since Victoria led the nation into recession in the early 1990s.
New calculations show that Sydney and Melbourne combined accounted for more than two-thirds of Australia's economic growth during 2016-17, a concentration rare on a global scale.
The capital city GDP estimates prepared by Terry Rawnsley of SGS Economics and Planning show Sydney's economy grew 3.3 per cent during 2016-17, easily surpassing Melbourne's 2.8 per cent.
The economy of regional NSW grew 1.5 per cent; the economy of regional Victoria grew 5.8 per cent.
A rough measure of living standards, GDP per capita grew 1 per cent in Sydney while slipping 0.1 per cent in Melbourne.
GDP per capita shrank 0.6 per cent in Brisbane and 4.7 per cent in Perth.
Mr Rawnsley said economic activity was gravitating to Sydney and Melbourne, even though Melbourne's living standards were slipping.
"It's getting economic refugees from Perth and Brisbane, whose living standards are slipping faster," he said. "Melbourne is more affordable than Sydney. If you want a big city with a vibrant economy but you don't want to pay Sydney prices, you go to Melbourne."
Sydney is Australia's hottest capital city economy. SGS suggests that to rein in Sydney's economy the Reserve Bank would have to push up its cash rate from 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent. To rein in Melbourne's it would have to push it 2.25 per cent. In Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, the cash rate would have to be pushed down to 0.25 per cent.
1801 - The ship Speedy, a whaler, arrived at Sydney, "from the
Queensland: ALP 48 LNP 39 KAP 3 PHON 1 GREEN 1 IND 1
2PP Estimate 51.2 to Labor (+0.1 from 2015)
It's taken a while but I've finally found some time to put up something about the final results of the 2017 Queensland state election. I try to always put something out on Christmas Day, though last year nasty weather interfered with that plan.
In a nutshell, the 2017 Queensland election was one where a great many dramatic things could have happened, but virtually none of them did, as the following sections explain:
Hardly any seats changed hands
You don't turn 89 seats into 93 without breaking a few eggs, but the level of seat transfer between the parties at this election was remarkably low. On a notional basis and ignoring retirements and mid-term defections, just nine seats changed hands at this election, most of them marginal anyway. The Liberal National Party lost Redlands (1.2%), Gaven (2.8%) and Aspley (3.2%) to Labor, and would have lost Maiwar (3.0%) to Labor as well but the Greens snatched it instead. Labor lost Bundaberg (0.5% and which was a freak win last time anyway) and Burdekin (notionally theirs by 1.4% but LNP-occupied) to the LNP, and might have lost Mirani (3.8) to the LNP had not One Nation helped itself to its only win. The LNP also dropped Noosa (6.6) to independent Sandy Bolton, and Hinchinbrook (3.4) to KAP's Nick Dametto. In Hinchinbrook, Dametto (who according to his party had only been campaigning for four weeks) pulled off a duplicate of Andrew Wilkie's Denison 2010 winning method of coming third and getting everyone's preferences.
There was very little 2PP swing
On the night, 2PP estimates were running at about 52-48, but after a close look at the final numbers my estimate is just 51.2% to Labor, a swing of 0.1% from 2015. Perhaps an exact figure will be derived from the ballot papers, but in the meantime mine is based on the actual numbers of preferences that flowed to Labor and the LNP in cases where both were still in the count, and estimates for the remaining preference flows based on actual flows observed at the election. For the Greens I've used their Maiwar flow, for Strelow I've assumed her preferences would flow between the ALP and LNP much as they did between the ALP and One Nation, and for Bolton I've assumed 50-50. Overall a shade over 90% of votes can be exactly accounted for, and those for which estimates are required are mostly One Nation. I'm most uneasy about the estimate for KAP (51-49 to Labor), because KAP inconveniently failed to come third...
On Saturday 30 December, the visiting
American registered Bombardier BD-100-1A10 Challenger 300 bizjet
N1013 was noted departing Mackay Airport. It made the short
hop back to Hamilton Island Airport before departing a short time
later for Darwin.
|N1013 parked at Mackay Airport (File photo)|
Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL) is closed for the wet season. The park is anticipated to re-open 1 August 2018, subject to road and weather conditions. Affected parks: Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL).
Errk Oykangand National Park (CYPAL) is closed for the wet season. The park is anticipated to re-open 1 May 2018. Affected parks: Errk Oykangand National Park (CYPAL).
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