In an obvious bid for some inter-thread Missing Link stoushing, Amanda has decided to do her arts review as a series of links (or, alternatively – and more likely – I have seriously screwed something up). We are also down on some personnel, with Ken Parish still snowed under at work and Jason Soon missing in action. James Farrell also nearly got rolled over by the flu, but bravely stayed in the saddle and put in his contributions.
Today’s (shorthanded) Missing Link compiled by Amanda Rose, James Farrell and Legal Eagle, with Helen ‘skepticlawyer’ Dale editing (and consuming too much red wine during said editing).
Many thanks to those people who extended Legal Eagle such a warm welcome in the last issue.
Alas, I’ve been unable to cobble together a unifying theme for this edition, although it hasn’t been for want of news. There’s still quite a bit of fall-out over recent events in the UK, with Tim Blair and Austrolabe lining up (yes, really!) on the fact that Glaswegians (a.k.a ‘Weegies’) weren’t copping any from any terrorists.
Two doctors were taken in for questioning: one was held under anti-terrorism powers and has still not been charged; and the other was released without charge. Overseas doctors, particularly doctors from Muslim countries are understandably worried about how all this publicity about the two doctors will affect them and their families. So rather than show some sort of restraint, Greens Senator Bob Brown is in the media arguing that the arrest proves highly-skilled immigrants, such as overseas doctors, are not being vetted appropriately and therefore pose a security risk.
A personal fave is David Tiley’s post about the evolutionary ancestors of today’s penguin, including a variety that weighed in at over 100kg. I’ve pinched David’s graphic to decorate today’s Missing Link. I also liked Cam’s lovely bit of scienceblogging at South Sea Republic – on internet ‘background radiation’, no less.
1. News and Politics Stuff
There were several posts on Apple’s new iPhone. Nick Gruen’s here at Troppo was the pick, and set off a lively comments thread.
Andrew Bartlett agrees with Gordon Brown’s reform proposals, especially the prohibition against going to war without approval by the parliament. Pommygranate keeps tabs on the telly in his former homeland, this time with an excellent piece on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’.
Jason Soon carefully assesses a recent study allegedly showing that politically unfree but economically free countries grow faster than countries that are both economically and politically free. Andrew Norton, meanwhile, digs up some data showing that Australia’s university students are starting their courses older, as they use the buoyant employment market to work for a long enough period in order to qualify for the independent rate of Youth Allowance.
Andrew Leigh has done the economist’s thing and calculated the probabilities for every seat in Australia. Well worth a look. Thoughtful Greeny Steve Munn shows he is one on the left who gets the concept of comparative advantage. Well worth a read.
Heath G has a thought provoking post on the idea of congestion charging on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while Harry Clarke has a fascinating piece on Pituri, the traditional Aboriginal ‘chewing tobacco’ – nowhere as dangerous as the whitefella smoking variety – and asks some thoughtful questions.
‘Not a good look, John’, is Ken Lovell’s reaction to the minimum wage decision announced yesterday.
Mark Bahnisch speculates on the politics underlying the choice of Barbara Bennett as head of the new Workplace Authority.
Helen solved her school holiday problem with a ’48-52′ arrangement, but knows that such deals are still perceived as indulgent in many quarters:
We need to tell the parallel universe of contractors and bosses and employer organisations that hello, these things called school holidays have been around for a long time now and theyre not likely to go away anytime soon. The real world where employees have to be available 24/7, all year round, is a recent fashion…
The government still won’t release its findings on the effectiveness of its 2005 WorkChoices propaganda, and Sarah is not feeling relaxed about this.
Jeremy Sear admires Greg Sheridan’s loyalty, so strong that he is prepared to ‘throw his dignity in the gutter’ and defend Bush’s pardon for Scooter Libby. Meanwhile, Fairlane at Jones Town has a pithy take on Scooter Libby’s pardon.
Ken Lovell also thinks that there’s a bit of a beat up about the terrorist threat. Nothin’ like the politics of fear to get a few votes.
Legal Eagle has a wonderfully rational take on Germaine Greer’s latest foray into Australian political debate.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
A Guest Hoyden was shocked to learn from Janet Albrechtsen that feminists hate Nancy Drew.
A Western Heart has the ultimate misused mobile story (and no, it’s nothing to do with terrorism).
Lauredhel’s manifesto on invisible disabilities, like her previous writings on this theme, is indispensable.
Returning to the theme of female circumcision, Kim offers to put her money where your mouth is. Go and make a rational comment.
Robert Merkel draws attention to the secret catastrophe of air pollution in China. Scroll down the comments for some handy links on the topic from Brian Bahnisch.
Solidarity analyses the support expressed by the Federal Government for collective bargaining, and finds that the reality is a little different when you look at the legislation.
Jabberwocky has a beautifully observed post about the suburb of Carlton.
Ashleigh is seriously over dweebs who bring their laptops to meetings and then can’t make them work.
Peter Black speculates that social networking sites like Facebook may spell the end of email.
3. The Yartz
(troppo sports stadium)
Brian Bahnish’s preview of the third State of Origin; his review in the comments thread.
Sidelined has Shaun’s round 17 footy tips. Well worth a look – I’ve been making a bit of money following (for the most part) Shaun’s lead in the footy tipping comp at work.
Colin at Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe tells how his team were once dismissed for 13 – by Gordon Brown’s old school!
Ozblogistan’s favourite cycling correspondent, Phil Gomes, now has a dedicated Tour de France page hosted by SBS.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
At Your New Reality, Darryl Mason picks up on a story about humans hogging sunlight harvested by plants. Yes, really.
Ms Fits at Reasons You Will Hate Me discovers a knitting pattern book at a second hand shop which features herself, at the tender age of two.
At Polemica, Guy discovers there’s nothing like stating the obvious where nut allergies are involved 11. LE: I have a nut allergy myself, and I’m a bit of a klutz, but I’ve never been so stupid as to not realise that a packet of nuts contained, well, nuts. [↩].
Iain Hall has a post about proposed new sizing for women’s clothes (of interest to all who have put on a size 12 shirt only to be unable to breathe because it’s so tight or, alternatively, find that they are swimming in spare material).