Dubbo’s One Night Stand – A Local’s Perspective

Noni, our main music writer and sub-editor, was in Dubbo for triple j’s One Night Stand last week, covering the weekend’s events for her local music blog, Gigs Out West. This piece was first published there, and has been reproduced with Noni’s permission.

This is my town. She is tidy, quiet, and restrained. To this would-be free spirit, she has never truly felt like home. She can be hot and dry and barren, occasionally exploding into short bursts of colour that remind me of all the potential she has.

We have a complicated relationship, my town and I. When she is raised in conversation, I often blush and avoid the speaker’s gaze, stuck on the fence between the disdain dealt out by strangers and the almost excessive praise heaped upon her by her most devoted residents. I want to fall somewhere in the middle, recognising her strengths without whitewashing her shortcomings. I rarely feel at peace in her embrace; I have often found my adventures elsewhere.

But for better or for worse, she is my town. Seventeen years of residence mean that I can never shake that fact. She is mine, and I am hers.

Dubbo is my town.

And yet, for almost 48 hours, I barely recognised her.

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The Giving and Taking of The Gonski Reforms

give a gonskiThe “I give a Gonski” campaign has been successful. That is, politicians have listened and are acting on the recommendations made by the Review of Funding for Schooling chaired by David Gonski. Over the weekend, the Federal Government announced plans to increase school funding by $14.5 billion over six years – $2 billion of this funding will come from existing university funding. The funding plan has been met with widespread criticism and condemnation, with supporters of education funding arguing that you can’t take funding from one part of the education sector to give to another.

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Seeing Clearly with Google Glass

google glass wornGoogle Glass is fast becoming a reality more than just a crazy pipe dream, with Google releasing technical specifications for the wearable computing device this week. Google will start shipping early editions of the smartglasses to app developers this week.
And for once, news of a new techno toy doesn’t excite me. It kinda freaks me out actually. As someone who has to wear glasses to fix eyesight problems, the thought of people choosing to wear them so they can connect with the internet just seems weird.
Do we really need something interrupting our interaction with the world more so than smart devices already do?

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Gadgets at Gigs: Living Live or Phoning It In?

I was lucky enough to have a very exciting week last week. Three concerts in four days, starting with a “red-headed yeti with multiple arms” that goes by the name of Newton Faulkner, then my favourite band, Counting Crows and finishing up with amazing young talent, Birdy. All concerts were amazing; I didn’t want any if them to end. On Monday morning, a co-worker said he wanted to see Birdy live again before he even said hello. It was a very good week.

Yet, something lingers… something I can’t quite understand and I don’t know if it’s because I am “old” or not “cool”: why did everyone watch the concerts through their phones? Continue reading

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Winter is coming: the premiere of Game of Thrones

game of thronesCold rain has fallen in Sydney this week, signalling the end of summer. Yes, winter has come! And, excuse the terrible pun, so has Game of Thrones!

The most anticipated television show of the year has finally aired, smashing records in the US; not only on the ye ‘olde television set but online as well. With the season premiere shown three times in the one night on HBO, around 6.7 million people in the US watched one of the three airings. This doesn’t include more than one person sitting around the TV, so the figure could very well be more.

In Australia, the show is “fast-tracked” onto Foxtel each week. While this next statement could cause arguments in itself, Australia’s free-to-air television has pretty substantial quality on its own without the need to pay for a cable service.

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An NBN Alternative: The Coalition Prepares Their Rebuttal

PrintThe National Broadband Network – a key policy of both Rudd and Gillard’s Labor governments – has been widely criticised by the Coalition for being too expensive and for taking too long to be rolled out. Malcolm Turnbull, the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, has been particularly vocal on the topic, but so far the party has been quiet when it comes to an actual policy.

That is until now. Turnbull is expected to make an announcement on the details of the policy the Liberal Party would take to the election this week, with experts tipping it to happen tomorrow.

The imminent announcement looks set to focus on the financial differences between the two policies, with new analysis contained in the Coalition’s broadband policy suggesting the final cost of the NBN roll out could be more than double and exceed $90 billion by the time it is finished. Continue reading

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Think this is an awesome blog? Vote for us!

BB2013_NomineeSince starting this little project, Noni and I, and our contributors, have strived to produce thoughtful, entertaining and interesting posts that reflect our interests and our take on this complex world we live in. I’m very proud of all the posts our little team of ladies has produced and now we are asking you, our readers, for one HUGE favour.

Please vote for our blog in the Australian Writers Centre’s Best Australian Blogs Competition 2013 People’s Choice Award. We would greatly appreciate it! If you have ever been entertained, infuriated or intrigued by ANY of our posts, please click through and vote!

We’d also love to know which posts you’ve particularly enjoyed so put your votes in for your favourite post in the comment section below, on Facebook or via Twitter – and remember to use the hashtag #bestblogs13.

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Super: is it the answer to the surplus problem?

surplusAustralian politics since the GFC and the consequent crash in profits in our national coffers, has left the Australian political scene dominated by one obsession: can we get a surplus?

With the Federal election looming, the question now is which political party will deliver this desired surplus? However, the real question Australians should be asking is, “At what cost will a surplus be delivered and how can it impact me?”

A surplus will only be gained through budget cuts and taxes, but what Australians will politicians put in the firing line? Continue reading

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Derek; m’names Derek: the genius of Ricky Gervais

Everyone has heard of the health benefits of laughter. The average child laughs over 700 times a day, yet the average adult only laughs 7 times a day. With 5 minutes of hearty laughter being worth 20 minutes on a rowing machine, why would you pick the gym over time with friends? So never hold back sharing that funny video at work, it’s exercise!

Comedy isn’t without its controversy though, and Ricky Gervais is a prime example. He is regularly criticised for his work, especially his treatment of good friend Karl Pilkington. But I have always liked Ricky Gervais and I couldn’t understand why until a couple of months ago. I would watch, listen or read his work, feel anxious about his words and wave it off as “not my kind of comedy”. It would then be a day or two later that his point would hit me and I’d go back for more like a drug, insisting that I won’t give up until I understood his intention.

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Three men and a PM: who should lead the ALP?

gillardAfter a failed challenge last year, former prime minister Kevin Rudd promised to not challenge again and to sit, content and loyal, on the backbench.

We’re less then 7 months out to this year’s election, and the leadership of Julia Gillard seems plagued with Labor doubt. But who else can save Labor from an election wipe out?

The options for a new leader seem to be three men: Kevin Rudd, Bill Shorten or Simon Crean.

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