geekgirl (r)osiex aka the metal cupcake publishing about interesting things for a really long time!
  • “Meet Febrina, 3 Years Old…” [#geekgirl]

     

  • Climate Council Seasonal Update: Abnormal Autumn [#geekgirl]

    [Via climatecouncil.org.au]

    [Via climatecouncil.org.au]

  • “Tony Abbott’s daughter did not have to pay for $60,000 design degree…” [#geekgirl]

    [Source: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images AsiaPac Via Zimbio]

    [As reported by The Guardian] “Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances received a “chairman’s scholarship” for a degree costing more than $60,000 from the Whitehouse Institute of Design where an Abbott donor sits as chairman on the board of governors, Guardian Australia can reveal.

    The revelation raises questions for the prime minister over whether the scholarship should have been declared on his interests register.

    The Coalition government is also under pressure over changes to higher education funding announced in the budget.

    Frances Abbott undertook a bachelor of design at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney from 2011 to 2013. Guardian Australia has confirmed that she received a scholarship during her time at the institute.

    “Frances definitely was a student with us and received a chairman’s scholarship,” Leanne Whitehouse, director of the Institute told Guardian Australia. She declined to detail how many times the “chairman’s scholarship” has been awarded previously, but the institute’s website makes no references to the scholarship and states the institute “does not currently offer scholarships to gain a place into the Bachelor of Design”.”

  • “Factory Farming Video: Just the Basics of Modern Farms…” [#geekgirl]

  • “Farewell To A Fair Go…” [#geekgirl]

     

  • The National Commission of Audit Recommendations Sounds Like They’re Straight Out of The Onion

    [Image from ABC News 24]

    [Image from ABC News 24]

    [Via Sbs News] “WHAT THE NATIONAL COMMISSION OF AUDIT RECOMMENDED:
    *Raise age pension age to 70 by 2053.
    * Include the family home in a new means test from 2027.
    * Raise superannuation preservation age to 62 by 2027.
    * Slow the roll-out of the national disability insurance scheme.
    * $15 co-payment to visit the doctor and access Medicare
    services.
    * Require wealthy Australians to have private health insurance.
    * Increase co-payments for taxpayer-funded medicines.
    * Open pharmacy sector to competition, such as supermarkets.
    * Allow the states to impose a personal income tax surcharge,
    offset by reduction in federal rates.
    * Scrap Family Tax Befit Part B and new means test for Part A
    with maximum rate cut out at $48,837.
    * Lower the paid parental leave scheme salary cap to $57,460 -
    average week earnings – and use the savings for new child care
    payment.
    * States to be responsible for allocating all schools policy and
    funding.
    * Uni students to pay more for their degrees and lower local
    repayment threshold to the minimum wage.
    * New benchmark to lower growth in the minimum wage to 44 per
    cent of average weekly earnings.
    * Force young job-seekers to relocate or lose welfare benefit.
    * Reduce the number of government bodies.
    * Privatise Australia Post, NBN Co, Defence Housing, Snowy Hydro
    amongst other government-owned enterprises.
    * Abolish the Australia Network.”
  • “Half of European bumblebees in decline, quarter face extinction…” [#geekgirl]

    [From an article at RT] “Almost one-quarter of European crops’ vital pollinators – bumblebees – could die out in the coming years, as half of the species are declining, a new study says. Citing human factor and climate change, it warns of “serious implications” for agriculture.

    A preview of the recent European Commission-funded study, published on the website of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Wednesday, says it has some “bad news” for Europe’s bumblebees.

    As much as 46 percent of the 68 bumblebee species living in Europe have a declining population and just 13 percent are increasing in numbers, the study shows. According to IUCN, 24 percent of those species are “threatened with extinction.”

    The study, which contributes to the European Red List of pollinators and is part of the Status and Trends of European Pollinators (STEP) project, stresses that three of the five “most important insect pollinators of European crops” are bumblebee species.

    Bumblebees have for thousands of years played a “critical role” in agriculture as they help crops reproduce by transferring pollen from plant to plant. However, as agriculture and urban development have intensified in recent years and cultivated land has been changed, bumblebees have been hit by the loss of habitat and the loss of their preferred forage, as well as pollution and insecticides. “

  • Judge #Gender Diversity Threatened By #OneTermTony [#geekgirl]


    [From  this Sydney Morning Herald article]: ‘A senior NSW judge has warned there are ”worrying signs” the Abbott government is winding back measures to promote greater gender diversity on the bench and called for vigilance to ensure hard-won advancements for female lawyers are not lost.

    Ruth McColl, who has served on the Court of Appeal for more than a decade, said changes introduced by the former Labor government to improve the transparency of the appointment process for federal judges appeared to have been scrapped by the Coalition.

    ”The aim of the process was to ensure the evolution of the federal judiciary into one that better reflected the diversity of the Australian community,” Justice McColl said in a speech in Sydney on Thursday night.

    ”That position has now changed. According to the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website as at 22 February, 2014: ‘There are no current judicial appointment processes’ for any of the federal courts. Read what you like into that rather Delphic statement.”’

  • #OneTermTony’s “Wimp” Comments about #NoMoralsMorrison [#geekgirl] [#threewordslogans]

    No Morals Morrison

    No Morals Morrison [Image Credit: smh.com.au]

    [Via smh.com.au] “Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s bungled information about the death and violence on Manus Island, adding that there was “very little damage” to the detention centre and that the riot had been “dealt with”.

    You don’t want a wimp running border protection, you want someone who is strong, who is decent and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent.” – One Term Tony

    Mr Morrison also did not explain why it took until Saturday night to confirm conclusively that Mr Berati had died inside the centre.

    “As time goes on the picture becomes clearer,” he said.

    He declined to comment on whether he believed that Mr Berati was necessarily behaving in a “riotous” manner, or the behaviour of G4S staff at the time of the incident.

    “I’m not going to speculate,” he said.

    Mr Morrison said these questions would be determined by an independent review and police investigation.

    Mr Morrison said Mr Berati’s body was in the process of being sent to Port Moresby and would undergo an autopsy.

    Mr Morrison said he had faith in the PNG justice system and would not comment on whether it was appropriate to have allowed G4S guards to watch over Mr Berati’s body despite also potentially being subjects of an investigation.

    “These centres by definition will always be tense places because people don’t want to be there,” he said.Mr Morrison said the government was in control of the Manus Island centre.

    “The centre is under control as we speak right now,” he said. “Within hours of this incident taking place, the centre resumed operations.”

    Mr Morrison also quashed reports the government was considering closing the PNG detention centre.

    “The Manus Island processing centre will remain under this government,” he said.”

  • #Abbott Moves Against The ABC & SBS [#geekgirl] [#GrrRRrr]

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has launched a calculated attack against the freedom of the press with today’s announcement of a governmental “efficiency study” into both of Australia’s public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS:

    “In a statement, the Department of Communications says it will examine operational costs as well as products and services in order to “increase efficiency and reduce expense”. The decision comes a day after Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed the broadcaster was unpatriotic in its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims.”

    Doesn’t Tony Abbott remember the following comments he so stridently voiced back when he was Opposition Leader (that are freely available on his own Political Party’s website) regarding how the then Prime Minister of Australia should accept that:

    “… politicians don’t always like the coverage that they get but if you’re in public life you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and a vigorous, critical media is an important part of a healthy democracy…what I will never support is any attempt to try to bluff the media out of doing its job which is to hold bad governments to account….regardless of who owns the newspapers I think it’s important that the media in Australia robustly hold governments to account and any attempt by government to slide out from under critical scrutiny is just wrong.”

    Read the rest of Abbott’s mindbogglingly hypocritical comments here, quickly, before the rush to censor it like they did to the Gonski Report website and other inflammatory “hoist-by-his-own-petard” speeches by Abbott. Oh, and in my not-so-humble-opinion, be prepared for the results of the “efficiency” [HA!] study to most likely show that the ABC *needs* (just imagine I’m a closed-minded typical right winger here for a sec, m’kay?) to:

    1. Have its funding significantly reduced and/or
    2. Be sold off to the highest bidder (considering privatisation is the acceptable right-wing-bog-standard-solution to fix a country’s woes, yes?).