My son had a school assignment on gender imbalance in sports reporting. He had to watch a sports report segment on TV and count up how much time was spent on reporting men’s sports as compared to women’s sport. He watched 30 minutes of Fox Sports News, and while I was expecting a significant imbalance, the results were somewhat gobsmacking. The final tally: 26 stories on men’s sport, 0 on women’s sport.
In the light of that, can I suggest an updated and more honest version of Fox’s advertisements that currently proclaim “We’re a FoxSporting Nation” …
My latest article for the Lambton Local is out, this month on the depression era shanty town “Hollywood”. This is the reason behind my “Rust and ruins” teaser post a couple of weeks ago.
U.S. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump was not too pleased this week when Pope Francis suggested that Trump’s plan to build a wall to keep immigrant’s out of the country was not Christian. The Pope is quite right though – Galatians 3:14 has something to say about dividing walls and what Christ does with them …
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”
But Trump’s response to Pope Francis beggars belief, with him reportedly saying of the Pope:
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”
Really?? What about Jesus, quite a significant religious leader, who wasn’t averse to questioning the faith of people, particularly the faith of the political and establishment leaders of the time. In response to a disingenuous question from the Pharisees Jesus replies in Mark 7:6 …
“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
And in Matthew 23:27-28 Jesus says …
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
For Trump to say that religious leaders shouldn’t question a person’s faith, demonstrates a profound and disturbing ignorance of the very religious leader that Trump hypocritically claims to follow.
Four years ago my daughter and I got two pygmy bearded dragons as pets, when they were just 3 weeks old. They were slightly different sizes and we named the larger one “Mr Big” and the smaller one “Little Squirt”.
As they matured, “Little Squirt” ended up being larger than “Mr Big”, but we stuck with the names anyway. As for gender, at 3 weeks old it is nigh impossible to identify the sex of a bearded dragon, so the appellation “Mr” was just a guess. Over the last four years we’ve had a number of different people tell us differently what sex they were, but the consensus seemed to be that they were both males.
That’s what we’ve been thinking until today, when discovered 8 eggs in the enclosure of one of the lizards! “Mr Big” was really “Mrs Small” all this time.
I was out and about in Lambton today doing some field research for an upcoming article and snapped a couple of photos I quite like. The meaning of these relics will be revealed in a few weeks.
In archaeology a parch mark is where variations in vegetation growth reveal underlying archaeological features. They most often show up where stone or brick ruins underneath the surface means that there is less soil, and in dry seasons the vegetation in these areas will wither before other areas with deeper levels of topsoil, thus revealing the underlying structure in aerial photographs. Parch marks have sometimes appeared in Britain’s Channel 4 program “Time Team“, revealing ancient Roman structures.
The spectacular cropmarks of a Roman villa in North Pickenham, UK. Norfolk Heritage Explorer
I was excited to discover today photographic evidence of some historical parch marks in my own suburb. The present day Lewis Oval in New Lambton is built over the location of the former Lambton colliery, pretty much in the spot shown in the photograph below.
Lambton Colliery. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.
Overlaying an old map onto Google Earth confirms that the rail line and inclined mine tunnel entrance used to be where Lewis Oval is now.
I reasoned that these former excavated regions for the railway and mine tunnel would cause slight subsidences in the surface of Lewis Oval, causing water to pool in these areas more, and that in dry times the vegetation in these areas would remain greener for longer. I opened up the historical images feature of Google Earth and browsed through the available images, and bingo – there was an image from 2006 that clearly showed the location of the mine rail and tunnel. I have enhanced the contrast in the image below to make it stand out a bit more.
I’m not a fan of television advertising. Almost always it is sophisticated persuasive lying. But sometimes the truth pokes through, like in the latest promotion from that modern scourge of sport, gambling advertising, where the TAB reminds us that it is “More than just winning”. True. But they left off the logical next sentence – “There’s also losing.”
I’ve fixed it up for them below.
More than just winning. There’s also losing, Which on average will happen more often than winning.
Although I didn’t intend it when I set out, a bike ride with my son around town today ended up visiting various sites in Newcastle matching the old photos in my previous drain blog post. Here’s the “Then and Now” comparisons.
Drain construction workers at Broadmeadow, NSW, 6 April 1900
Broadmeadow drain, 6th February 2016.
The stormwater drain at Hamilton North, March 2017.
Update, March 2017: With subsequent research I have found that the location of the 1900 Snowball photo was Hamilton North, not Broadmeadow.
The Premier Hotel
Premier Hotel, Broadmeadow, 1892. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.
Premier Hotel, 6th February 2016.
View of the lowlands from Glebe Road
The Newcastle lowlands. 1897. Photo taken from intersection of Beaumont St and Glebe Rd looking north towards Hamilton. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.
Looking north from Glebe Rd towards Hamilton. 6th February 2016.
This modern view bears almost no resemblance to the 1897 photo, with the previously deserted lowlands now covered with trees, suburbia and industry. The only visible match (apart from Beaumont St sloping down the hill) is a spire of St Peter’s Anglican church in Denison St Hamilton.
St Peters Anglican Church Hamilton
St Peter’s Anglican Church Hamilton.
It seems that at some time the church has lost one of its spires.