Posts tagged "Australia"


Melbourne gave 70,000 trees email addresses so people could report on their condition. But instead people are writing love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns. Read the weird, funny and philosophical emails that people are sending to Melbourne’s trees.


MicroNations: The Hip New Thing Down Under

George Cruickshank is not your average emperor. At age 15, he carved out a piece of his mother’s backyard in New South Wales, Australia, and dubbed it the capital city of Atlantium. Thirty years later, His Imperial Majesty George II reigns over some 3,000 citizens scattered around the world. In this quirky short from director Craig Rasmus, take a journey to Australia’s smallest micro-nation—the empire of Atlantium.
Lounging on a sofa in his flowing robes, a gold crown resting on his snowy hair and a stuffed white toy tiger at his feet, Paul Delprat looks every bit a monarch.
Ruling from your home: Inside Australia's micronations boom


Notable women: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who should be on banknotes


‘In the spirit of ‘Because of Her, We Can’, we visualise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women honoured on national material.

When acclaimed artist Gordon Andrews designed Australia’s vibrant series of new decimal banknotes in 1959, he wanted to break traditions of stiff patriarchal Prime Ministers or Australiana cliches, and instead, focus on the arts, the environment and architecture. In doing so, he made sure to give prominence women and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

However, only one Indigenous woman exists on Australia’s banknotes.”


Resurrecting the ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ (Thyacline)

Andrew Pask, a biologist from the University of Melbourne, was part of a team who worked for 10 years to successfully sequence the entire genome of a Tasmanian tiger, also known as a thylacine, with the help of a four-week-old joey preserved in a different solution to other damaged specimens.” …

“It gave us so much information about what was unique about the thylacine. We learned more about its biology, we learned about its population structure over time, we also learned more about where it sits and how it related (biologically) to other marsupials” he said.

Images: Wikipedia, Museums Victoria: Benjamin Healley

#TheInternetOfLivingThings: Melbourne Fans Email Love Letters To Their Local Park Trees

Space probes have Twitter acccounts, as do architecturally famous bridges and museums.  Cats. squirrels, goats, hedgehogs are stars on Instagram. Now Melbourne’s trees have emails.  Citizen-based monitoring/engagment with culture, art, and especially *nature* is one relatively positive side of the Internet of (Living) Things; a modern day reflection of what past cultures had seen as a spiritual engagement.  (Maybe we can get whales in on the social media game?)  From The Atlantic:
When the city of Melbourne linked email accounts to trees so people could report problems, they wrote love letters to the trees instead.
Officials assigned the trees ID numbers and email addresses in 2013 as part of a program designed to make it easier for citizens to report problems like dangerous branches. The “unintended but positive consequence,” as the chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Arron Wood, put it to me in an email, was that people did more than just report issues. They also wrote directly to the trees, which have received thousands of messages—everything from banal greetings and questions about current events to love letters and existential dilemmas.

It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren’t just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too. The experience of chatting with a robot or emailing a tree may be delightful, but it’s not really unusual.  

The move toward the Internet of Things only encourages the sense that our objects are not actually just things but acquaintances.

Photo courtesy Casey Horner on Unsplash


Message In A Bottle

A family found the message, dropped in 1886 by a German ship, on a remote beach in West Australia.
Oh, and ‘First Dog On The Moon’ did a cartoon about it! (Needling Australia’s telecoms policy.) You can find it HERE. (May not make sense if you’re not Australian.)
The note has been found 132 years after it had been thrown from a ship. Here’s the urgent message it contains!