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Thursday, 21 June

09:00

My friend the goat Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

FrostieMore-4

A popular legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder spied his goats nibbling on some bright berries; not long thereafter, the goats became much more energetic. Sensing there must be more to the simple berries than met his eye, the goat herder thought hed let his taste buds decide. Soon he too received the same euphoric high his goats did. Bundling up the berries, he headed off to a nearby monastery to share his new discovery. Here the monk was not pleased at all, so much so that he threw the berries into the fire. The alluring aroma that followed was enough to ensure the roasted beans were carefully picked from the embers.  Now, heres where story gets really interesting: the roasted beans were then dissolved in hot water, yielding the worlds first cup of coffee.

There can be no doubt that goats have long enriched our lives, since their domestication around 11,000 years ago. They have featured for time immemorial in our art, folklore and fantasies. And although we may have received coffee and many other benefits from our symbiotic relationship with these gregarious even-toed ungulatesthats just a fancy word for saying each of their cloven hooves are divided into two toesthe benefits have not been evenly shared.

Goats have an innate ability to survive harsh conditions with minimal food demands that would see other animals perish. They are naturally curious and will often seek out human company. They have an ability to bred at an early age, along with a natural docility if handled from young. All of these things have been both a curse and comfort for goats as we humans have exploited them for food, fun, fashion, fibre and even freightage. Yet their most deserving title, tragically, still eludes so many of them, and that is the title of friend.

But fortunate am I to have had the privilege of sharing my heart (although many have taken a piece of it), my hands (as I have gently massaged their favorite spots to their giddy delight) and my home (its actually called a sanctuaryEdgars Mission) with many a goat.

...

08:00

June 21 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


1797 - Merino sheep imported by John Macarthur (2 rams, 4 ewes) and Samuel Marsden (1 ram, 1 ewe) arrive from the Cape aboard Reliance with stores for the colony.

1810 - Today wasn't too flash for Lieut William Paterson when he carked it at sea on the voyage home to England.

1830 - Thomas McCormick was hanged at Sydney for burglary and putting the occupants in fear.

1836 - Terence Saville was hanged at Sydney for burglary from the house of Honora Davey at Williams River.

1836 - James Sproule (alias Fraser) was hanged at Sydney for burglary from the house of Honora Davey at Williams River.

1842 - An escape attempt at Norfolk Island in the brig Governor Phillip was quelled. Six convicts were killed, four are later executed.

1845 News of the discovery of a rich body of copper ore at Burra, South Australia was published in Adelaide newspapers.

1856 - Having explored the Victoria River and having time on his hands, Augustus Charles Gregory set out to traverse northern Australia from east to west.

1859 - Wentworth (the NSW town, not the TV series) was named after the New South Wales explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth.

1869 - A privately built telegraph line between Perth and Fremantle, WA, opened.

1871 - Sandhurst joined the ranks of Cities although it later changed it's title to that of a boxer, Bendigo.

1875 - The Victoria Bridge, Maitland, NSW, opened.

1876 - George Pitt was hanged at Mudgee for the murder of Ann Martin at Guntawang.

1878 - The Bank of South Australia opened for business in its new building.

1883 - The Piangil Railway Line (Vic) aka the Swanhill Railway Line (strangely also in Vic) was extended from Raywood to Mitiamo.

1886 - Wong Tong was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol for the murder of Kok Tow near Bundaberg.

1887 - The South Coast Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Clifton - Wollongong.

1887 - The Crow Eater Governor, Sir William Robinson, escorted by nearly 1200 mounted troopers, soldiers, marines and a number of brass bands, and led by the mounted police on their greys, moved down North Terrace to the Jubilee Exhibition Building next to the University. There he officially opened the 1887 Jubilee Exhibition which was to run for a year.

1887 - In Ballarat the Queen Victoria's Jubilee Foundation Stones were laid for the Mining Exchange, the Art Gallery & Old Colonists Hall.

1887 - Peats Ferry - An excursion train from Sydney ran out of control down the steep Cowan Bank. There were two other trains full of holidaymakers standing at the platforms at Hawksesbury River station and disaster was only averted by t...

06:00

A sunny day at Joyces Creek Natural Newstead

A reprise of Patricks nice post about Joyces Creek last week. The area immediately south of the bridge is terrific for close up views of a range of waterbirds at present.

Australian Pelican, Joyces Creek, 18th June 2018

Wednesday, 20 June

17:20

Vic redistribution finalised the end of Batman "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Australian Electoral Commission released the final decisions for the Victorian federal redistribution earlier today. Most of the changes were very minor, with no seats experiencing a large change in margin. The switch of Dunkley from Liberal to notional Labor has been maintained.

We have seen two changes in seat names. The seat of Cox has been restored to its previous name of Corangamite. While they noted the concern about the double-entendre in the name, the decision has supposedly been made due to the longstanding use of the name Corangamite.

The AEC is also renaming the seat of Batman in Melbournes inner north to Cooper. This name honours early 20th century Aboriginal leader William Cooper. The report specifically mentions his role in founding the Australian Aborigines League in the 1930s, and his protests against Nazi Germany in 1938. This is the culmination of a long campaign to abolish this seat name.

Overall we will see eight new seat names at the next federal election. Batman is not the only seat named after an early white settler to be renamed in part due to that mans genocidal history the seat of McMillan in eastern Victoria has been renamed Monash.

The announcement today just included descriptions of how the boundaries have been changed since the first draft. There are no maps and no data. So its possible there might be small errors in my margin calculations. I will put together the updated map over the weekend, although Ill double-check the boundaries when the official map is released on July 13.

I also expect well be getting the final boundaries for ACT and South Australia over the next week.

The table below the fold lists the margin in every Victorian seat, before the redistribution, on the draft boundaries and on the final boundaries. I discovered a small bug in my margin calculation code so there may be some small changes (around 0.1% in most cases) even where boundaries havent changed, but Ive included the previously-published margins for transparency.

Seat Pre-redistribution Draft boundaries Final boundaries
Aston LIB 8.6% ...

09:00

And then there were fourmeet Tweanie. Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

_01I8703

With a Facebook post alerting one of our supporters to the plight of the day-old little Dorper lamb we were to name Tweanie, our lamb clan of 2018 quickly rose to four! Feeding times now consist of four little dancing tails matched by the dexterity of our carers as they juggle four bottles and monitor intakes. When feeding orphan lambs, it is critical not to overfeed the hungry babies, tempting as their little bleats are for more. The resulting scours from overfeeding such immune-compromised babies can often prove fatal; hence our diligent recording of each feeding, all logged with love regardless of the hour of day (or night).

_01I8737 _01I8766

08:53

A Giant Dark Emu Roams Natural Newstead

We may not see wild emus in our bush around Newstead, but there is one vast dark one that now strides across our sky. The dark lanes and dust of the centre of the Milky Way galaxy become visible as galactic centre rises on winter evenings. Aboriginal astronomers did not limit their descriptions to bright stars as the Arabic and subsequent European astronomers did, but include the dark shapes of the night skies into their science.

The great dark emu rises above our place

The head, neck and body of the emu rise above our place at Strangways

sky emu pano labelled

And with some labels

The most impressive is the great emu that stretches across the winter sky, with its head at the base of the Southern Cross (unromantically called the Coalsack by Europeans) and feet well north in the constellation Aquila (the Eagle). The mighty body of this bird, thousands of trillions of kilometres long, is found in the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius.

Picnic point on Lake Cairn Curran provided a great setting for photographing the centre of the Milky Way. Saturn adds an extra bright object to the spectacle. The Sagittarius Star Cloud is also easily picked out with the naked eye, but is a real treat with binoculars. The Lagoon nebula is also discernible with the naked eye and is one of the many star-creating bright nebulae in this part of the galaxy. Messier objects 6 & 7 are open star clusters and are recently born clusters of stars that have blown their gaseous nebula into space.

And rumour has it that Newstead is the centre of the universe.

Picnic Point nightscape mosiac

Milky Way central rises above Cairn Curran. Somewhere in there is a black hole millions of times the mass of our sun.

Picnic Point nightscape mosiac labelled

and some labels to go with that.

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