Australian Aboriginal culture and Dreamtime



Aboriginal Australians have not just one culture, but about 400 different cultures across Australia, each with its own language, laws, traditions, and stories. Some of the languages are as different from each other as English is from Chinese, whilst others can be closely related, like Spanish and Portugese.


Some Aboriginal cultures are rich in stories and ceremonies tied to the night sky, while in others the sky doesn't seem to play such an important role at all.
In some Aboriginal cultures the Moon is male and the Sun is female, and there are many different versions of stories, in different languages, in which the Moon-man falls ill (the waning Moon), lies dead for three nights (New Moon), and then resurrects on the third day (the waxing Moon).


NATURE
Aboriginals see themselves as part of nature. We see all things natural as part of us. All the things on Earth we see as part human. This is told through the ideas of dreaming. By dreaming we mean the belief that long ago, these creatures started human society. These creatures, these great creatures are just as much alive today as they were in the beginning. They are everlasting and will never die. They are always part of the land and nature as we are. Our connection to all things natural is spiritual.' Silas Roberts, first Chairman of the Northern Lands Council.


MUSIC
Aborigines have developed unique instruments and folk styles. The didgeridoo is commonly considered the national instrument of Australian Aborigines, and it is claimed to be the world's oldest wind instrument.
Clapping sticks are probably the more ubiquitous musical instrument, especially because they help maintain the rhythm for the song. More recently, Aboriginal musicians have branched into rock and roll, hip hop and reggae.


Artist Minnie Pwerle
ART
Australia has a long tradition of Aboriginal art which is thousands of years old. Modern Aboriginal artists continue the tradition using modern materials in their artworks. Aboriginal art is the most internationally recognizable form of Australian art.


Tiwi  island Footy!!

SPORT
The Djabwurrung and Jardwadjali people of western Victoria once participated in the traditional game of Marn Grook, a type of football played with possum hide. The game inspired Tom Wills, inventor of the code of Australian rules football, which is now a popular Australian winter sport.

Similarities between Marn Grook and Australian football include the unique skill of jumping to catch the ball or high "marking", which results in a free kick. The word "mark" may have originated in "mumarki", which is "an Aboriginal word meaning catch" in a dialect of a Marn Grook playing tribe.
Aussie Rules has seen many indigenous players at elite football, and have produced some of the most exciting and skillful to play the modern game. Approximately one in ten AFL players are of indigenous origin.



In the National Rugby League 11% of the players were of Indigenous heritage.  Australia's national Rugby League team saw a record number of five Aboriginal players (38%) in their ranks of 13.
Aboriginal people themselves account for only about 2.3% of Australia's population, yet they account for more than five times that percentage of elite footballers.




The Dreamtime (or Dreaming) is a term used to describe the period before living memory when Spirits emerged from beneath the earth and from the sky to create the land forms and all living things. The dreamtime stories set down the laws for social and moral order and establish the cultural patterns and customs.

The Dreaming, as well as answering questions about origins, provides a harmonious framework for human experience in the universe and the place of all living things within it. It describes the harmony between humans and all other natural things.
For instance, an indigenous Australian might say that he or she has Kangaroo Dreaming, or Shark Dreaming, or Honey Ant Dreaming, or any combination of Dreamings pertinent to their "country".








Australian Dragons



Australian dragons look like, and are just as tough as their namesake, as they live their lives, trying to adapt to the planets human population explosion.




Australia has at least 70 known dragon lizard species, which cover most of  our continent. They laze beside ornamental ponds in the big cities, cling to the trunk of rainforest trees, rest among rocks on stony plains and sit on termite mounds in the hot dry centre of Australia, as well as surviving the snowy alps of Tasmania and the mainland.


Australian dragon the Thorny devil

They are easy to tell from other Australian lizards because they have rough scales, sometimes with spines, strong legs, five toes on each foot, large slightly rounded heads, with distinct necks, a fleshy tongue that is not forked, and they are active during the day.


They forage for food like small lizards, mice, insects, flowers, fruit and other plants in the daytime.


 The amazing Frilled Lizard

The closest relatives of dragon lizards are the chameleons (Chamaeleonidae). Together the chameleons and dragons form a group known as Acrodont lizards, which refers to their unique teeth. Most lizards have teeth set individually in sockets in the jawbone (pleurodont teeth). In the dragons and chameleons, however, the teeth are fused directly to the jawbone without any sockets (acrodont teeth). Other similarities between chameleons and dragon lizards include intricate ornamentation, horns and elaborate crests.

Using DNA sequencing, Museum Victoria researchers have also found a number of new species of Australian dragons and these are now in the process of being described by the researchers.




Water Dragon

The Australian water dragon is so common in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha in Queensland that a monument has been built to them there.





Dubbo Zoo




Dubbo Zoo was opened in 1977, since then the Zoo has developed a reputation as a world-renowned centre for its care of wildlife, breeding programs (especially of endangered species), conservation programs, education facilities and exhibits. It is now widely recognised as Australia’s greatest open plain zoo. The Zoo is an open-range design, with walls and fences replaced by concealed moats which divide the animals from the visitors. This creates the impression of actually being with the animals in the wild.




Dubbo Zoo has also become recognised as a major tourist attraction both within New South Wales and in Australia. In 1994 Dubbo Zoo was awarded as the Best Major Tourist Attraction, the highest honour in Australian Tourism.



Dubbo's Western Plains Zoo provides much more than animal displays, it is a place to come and relax and enjoy the atmosphere. It is also an education centre, a research centre and a wildlife conservation and preservation centre for species from throughout the world. It is really much more than a zoo.


Wildlife Reproductive Centre



The Wildlife Reproductive Centre at Taronga Western Plains Zoo was the first of its kind in Australia when it was built in 1994. The WRC works with other staff within the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, other wildlife organisations or academic collaborators to gain information needed for the management of captive or free-ranging populations and to answer fundamental questions about reproductive biology and population dynamics and viability.

The WRC also incorporates the Animal Gene Storage Resource Centre of Australia (AGSRCA) which was established as a joint venture between the Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development in 1995, and includes “frozen zoos” of genetic material at both sites. This program aims to develop new techniques to collect, preserve and store genetic material from endangered and other important species including the Black Rhinoceros, Greater Bilby, Common Wombat, Tasmanian Devil and African Wild Dog.




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Antivenom Australian Reptile Park



One of the important functions of the Australian Reptile Park, along with education and tourism, is the collection of venom from deadly species of snakes and spiders. The venom is used by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories - better known as CSL Limited, to manufacture the only Australian antivenoms that save human snakebite spiderbite victims.




The Reptile Park is the sole supplier of the venoms required by CSL Limited in the production of antivenoms for terrestrial snakes (not sea snakes) and funnel-web spiders. To keep up the supply of venoms, highly trained staff of the Australian Reptile Park regularly 'milk' more than 300 snakes and 500 spiders that are included in the program.




A simplified explanation of how the snake antivenoms are produced, is that extremely small amounts of say, tiger snake venom are injected into huge Percheron horses on a regular basis over a long period of time. The amounts are so small that the horses are not affected except that produces antibodies to counteract the foreign substance in its system. After some 10-12 months of this immunological 'conditioning', a small proportion of each horse's blood is removed and the plasma is extracted. This plasma contains the antibodies which, when injected into a snake bite victim, will neutralize snake venom.




In the case of funnel-web spider antivenom, rabbits are used instead of horses. These animals suffer no ill-effects and are used repeatedly to help save human lives in this fashion. Some of the horses have been carrying out this essential service to Australians for many years. The funnel-web spider program at the Park depends largely upon the provision of male specimens from the area within 150 km of Sydney.




The Australian Reptile Park is the hands-on zoo and boasts loads of animal interaction and exciting wildlife shows. Have a close encounter with some of the park’s scaly and furry animals during Snappy Hour 11am-2pm daily, including a walk with Hugo the giant Galapagos tortoise. Elvis, NSW's biggest crocodile, is fed at 1:30pm on weekends and school holidays.  See their spectacular alligator feeding from the banks of  their  massive ’gator lagoon.  See native and exotic reptiles and spiders in their unique exhibits The Lost World of Reptiles and Spider World, featuring Tarantula-ville.





Bradley Cooper the Devil in Australia





Bradley Cooper has officially signed on to play Lucifer in director Alex Proyas‘s Paradise Lost. The Associated Press confirmed Bradley Cooper‘s casting, after officials in Australia began touting the project, which they believe will bring with it, more than 1300 jobs and $88 million dollars when production begins in early 2012.


Paradise Lost is based on the legendary verse poem by John Milton and tells the story of Adam and Eve and their temptation by the devil and the war for Heaven. Though Lucifer is supposedly the villain of Paradise Lost many scholars have taken Milton’s portrayal of Satan as that of an anti-hero through which Milton criticized Christian mythology without angering the church leaders of 1667.


Sorry Brad i thought it was only going to be a fart!

Bradley Cooper will begin work on Paradise Lost in Australia early next year after finishing production on The Place Beyond the Pines which is currently beginning production in upstate New York.

Min Min Lights and Ghost Lights



Min Min lights or debil debil, can be found in aboriginal myth pre-dating western settlement of the region and have since become part of wider Australian folklore. According to eye witnesses, the lights sometimes follow or approached people, and have disappeared when people have fired upon them,only to reappear later on.



Hundreds of people over the years have told of seeing the Min Min Light in the Boulia district. The light got its name from the old Min Min "pub" and mail-change, which used to stand on the boundary of two big stations -Warenda and Lucknow. Only a stack of bottles, a dust heap, and the remnants of a cemetery, reminds us of what was. The locality is approximately 100 kilometres east of Boulia, just off the Boulia-Winton road.



Two men were driving near the Queensland Northern Territory border, out of Tennants Creek, in November 1979. They stopped for a break and also to wait for another truck following them.

The two men saw strange lights, which they took to be "bloody Min Min Lights." The other truck pulled in behind the first. Two aborigines with them became scared of the lights, calling them "debil, debil." They retreated to behind the trucks. The lights appeared to be about 3 feet in diameter and looked like a swirling ball shaped manifestation. The lights would change, ostensibly with the angle of observation, from a very pale grey, misty grey, to a hazy blue. When they moved the lights changed from a blue to a hazy blue, to a light green colour.



As the men closed in on the lights a peculiar smell, likened to ozone, was noticed. Horses that they were carrying on a float, became very agitated, and there was extensive static on the radio, like a very high-speed engine and buzzing noise. These aspects suggest a possible static electricity explanation, albeit a rather amazing form of it. One of the men took photos of the lights at a distance of only 30 feet. This extraordinary phenomenon remained in view for 4 to 6 minutes. As the group closed in on them, the lights went off across a paddock and down towards a gully, disappearing into a washout or "donga".


Accounts of the light appearances vary, though they are most commonly described as being fuzzy, disc-shaped lights that appear to hover just above the horizon.
They are often described as being white, though some accounts describe them as changing colour from white to red to green and back again. Some accounts describe them as being dim, others describe them as being bright enough to illuminate the ground under them and to cause nearby objects to throw clearly defined shadows.


In early1920 a Min Min light entered a Hotel in Outback Queensland it flew around the room for a few seconds and then left through the front door

Some witnesses describe the light as appearing to approach them several times before retreating. Others report that the lights were able to keep pace with them when they were in a moving motor vehicle.

Scientest believe Min Min Lights, could be Fata Morgana mirages, these mirages tremendously distort the object or objects which they are based on, such that the object often appears to be very unusual, and may even be transformed in such a way that it is completely unrecognizable. A Fata Morgana can be seen on land or at sea, in polar regions or in deserts. This kind of mirage can involve almost any kind of distant object, including such things as boats, islands, and coastline, as shown in the photographs which accompany this article.
Some say it is a unknown natural phenomenon involving low-level air oscillations; or ionisation in geophysically-generated electrical fields (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) or "earth lights"



WARNING if you ever get caught by the Min Min lights, you will disappear completely".



NEVER follow the Min Min Lights of the Outback.

Happy Feet 2





Happy Feet 2 has a star-studded cast including Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Pink, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Sofia Vergara.


Happy Feet Two is again both written and directed by Australian filmmaker George Miller, who started his career with films like the Mad Max trilogy, The Witches of Eastwick and Lorenzo's Oil, before delving into family films with Babe: Pig in the City and Happy Feet from 2006, which is surprisingly his most recent film. This was produced at Aussie animation house Animal Logic, also behind Legend of the Guardians. Warner Bros is releasing Happy Feet Two in theaters in 3D on November 18th in the fall.

Shark attacks Great White





A giant shark that could be up to 20ft long  killed a great white that was nearly bitten in half.

A picture from the Queensland Fisheries department, shows a 10ft predator thrashing about with two massive chunks missing on either side of its body, off the Queensland coast.



Experts said its rival may be 20ft (about six metres) long, judging by the size of the huge bites.

The great white was savaged after it got snared on a drum line - a baited hook attached to a buoy - near North Stradbroke Island, east of Brisbane.

The wounded creature was still alive when a crew hauled it onto a boat, close to Deadman's Beach.

"It certainly opened up my eyes. I mean the shark that was caught is a substantial shark in itself," Queensland Fisheries' Jeff Krause told Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Swimmers have been warned to stay out of the water near the island.




The attack also worried many at a nearby tourist Mecca - Surfers Paradise, south of Brisbane.

Drum lines and shark nets are used to defend swimmers from sea predators, but they have been criticised for occasionally trapping migrating whales.

Fisheries minister Tim Mulherin told the Mail that the capture of the bitten shark - and the indication of a larger one feeding in the area - bolstered the decision to keep defences in place.

He added there were no special plans to hunt the attacking shark but contractors had reset the drum lines.



John Wayne Visits Brisbane


 John Wayne Hollywood actor visited Australia during World War II to entertain the troops in forward areas. This photograph was taken at the Albion Park Raceway, Breakfast Creek, Brisbane, on 27 December 1943. He poses here, dressed in full military uniform, with Lt. Col. Blackween.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time.

John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and height. He was also known for his conservative political views and his support, beginning in the 1950s, for anti-communist positions.

A Harris Poll, released January 2011, placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars,the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year since it first began in 1994.

The Searches 1956

Wayne was a popular visitor to the war zones in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. By the 1950s, perhaps in large part due to the military aspect of films such as the Sands of Iwo Jima, Flying Tigers, They Were Expendable, and the Ford cavalry trilogy, Wayne had become an icon to all the branches of the U.S. and Australian Military, even in light of his actual lack of military service. Many veterans have said their reason for serving was in some part related to watching Wayne's movies


Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival 2013


DERBY DAY    2nd November 2013

"MELBOURNE CUP"    5th November 2013

OAKS DAY    7th November 2013

EMIRATES STAKES DAY   9th November


The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Billed as The race that stops a nation, it is a race for three-year-olds and over, over a distance of 3,200 metres. It is the richest and most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races in the world. The total prize money for the 2013 race is A$6.2 million, plus a hand made 2340 gram gold trophy valued at $175,000



Australia each year may stop to watch the Melbourne Cup, but for the rest of the Spring Racing Carnival Melbournians party hard.
The fun starts in September and doesn’t end until mid-November. Flemington Racecourse is the stage for Derby Day, the Melbourne Cup, and Oaks Day.

Derby Day opens the carnival with racing for the real purists and off-field fashions in traditional black and white.


The Melbourne Cup is on the first Tuesday in November, it is by far the biggest event of the carnival.
This is a public holiday for Melbournians, who flock for the fun atmosphere, as much as the nation-stopping race at 3.00pm.  Car-boot breakfast parties are a must, or pre purchase a ticket for live music, champagne and canap├ęs, at one of the many elegant functions on course.


There’s only a two days of rest and sobering up, before partying at Oaks Day, or ladies' day, where the main attraction is on racetrack fashion. The following Saturday, the kids can show off their style at Stakes Day,which closes the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

 

Australian Capital Cities



NASA photo from space of Australia's Capital Cities at night


A lot of visitors to Australia are surprised by how big the country really is. It's actually the sixth largest country in the world and has a land mass very similar to that of the mainland of the USA. Australia covers over 7,600,000 square kilometres while the USA covers just over 7,800,000 square kilometres.




Due to it's size the country has many varied climate regions similar to the USA, from deserts to snow capped mountains and tropical rainforests.

There are eight capital cities in Australia, all of which function at a sub-national level. Canberra also serves as the national capital. Melbourne was the national capital from the Federation of Australia in 1901 until 1927, when the seat of national government was moved to the newly created city of Canberra.


In each capital city, local judicial, administrative and legislative duties are performed for the jurisdiction. In the case of state and territory capital cities, they also happen to be the most populous city in their respective jurisdiction.





CANBERRA ( Australian Capital Territory )

Canberra  is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall.


SYDNEY ( New South Wales )

Sydney is the largest and most populous city in Australia with a population of approx 4,575,000 and is the state capital of New South Wales.


MELBOURNE ( Victoria )

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia after Sydney, with approx  4,077,000.


BRISBANE ( Queensland )

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million.


ADELAIDE ( South Australia )

Adelaide  is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.28 million


PERTH ( Western Australia )

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,700,000.


DARWIN ( Northern Territory )

Darwin  is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 124,800, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities.


HOBART ( Tasmania )

Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney.  In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,000.