Archive for December, 2005

Yum Cha

About a year ago, a fellow blogger on this site suggested Yum Cha at the Red Emperor.

Today, I was able to follow that suggestion and treated my friends and I to the feast of yum cha. We had a choice of two deals; eat all you want at $40 per person or pay for each selected dish. We decided on the former and went ahead to stuff ourselves. The only disappointing bit was they did not serve porridge or congee. But overall the variety was great as well as the service.

All I need to do is to work out which is cheaper; buffet style or pay for each dish.

state library

if you have even a passing interest in books or local history the state library has two semi-permanent exhibitions in its dome galleries that are worth checking out.

while both quite engaging, the most impressive aspect of our visit for me was the library’s architecural interiors, some of which i’d not seen since the library’s upgrade, and one of which i’d never seen at all. the redmond barry reading room has a most impressive ceiling. and the dome above the central reading room is an underrated melbourne landmark. the spectacular architecture is worth a visit in its own right.

the exhibition we were there to see was a display of the library’s collection of rare books, mirror of the world. it includes illuminated manuscripts, a gutenberg bible, a second edition shakespeare folio and a cunieform tax receipt in stone from ancient egypt. particularly interesting was the changing form australia had in maps as the new world became more familiar to its western european explorers.

on the floor above is a collection of local historical artifacts, which comprise
the changing face of victoria. seeing photos of families in the outback wearing suits and comparatively formal dresses, or young boys sailing off to war, or taking a rest from it, made me appreciate the comparative ease with which we live.

the centrepiece of the collection is ned kelly’s armour – surely even more of an australian icon than the man himself. i understand the library also possesses his helmet, but in this case it seems curiously to have been replaced by an unconvincing replica.

the curators make a political point in their annotation of one of the batman treaties, which established british dominion over the land that became melbourne. the accompanying note explains that the native people had no conception of land ownership or of the terms of the agreement and it was therefore not legal.

i also learned for the first time the extraordinary story of william buckley, whose ghostly likeness stares out from a painting exhibited two floors below.

in 1802 william buckley was a volunteer private for the british army when he was charged and found guilty of involvement in the burglary of some irish linen from a shop. for this crime he was sentenced to hang. his sentence was soon commuted, however, to transport to australia for life, and he was part of port philip’s first colonisation in 1803. after arriving, he escaped custody and was the only white man to remain in the area the 32 years until the second, voluntary, colonisation by batman and fawkner.

he survived only by being found by local aboriginies and being mistaken for a reincarnated warrior. he lived with the natives as one of them for over three decades and when he finally encountered white europeans again he had unsurprisingly forgotten english. eventually he regained the ability to communicate with his compatriots, was granted a pardon, and achieved celebrity in the colonies as “the wild white man”.

Spencer Street Station renamed as Southern Cross?

I read in the MX today that Spencer Street Station had been renamed Southern Cross Station. Why? Why change a perfectly good working name?

Imagine all the subsequent changes that will have to be made to tourist information pamplets, guidebooks, maps, timetable schedules for both trains and trams.

If Metlink has sufficient money to waste, I rather they reduce the price of the tickets!

Is Australia a racist nation?

Sky news Australia is currently conducting a poll asking the question whether people think Australia is a racist nation.

Current results say that more than 50% who voted thinks so …

The attacks of the past few days have been telecasted around the world … just what we need … publicity for all the wrong reasons.

aussie pride! oi! oi! oi!

the tenure of the howard government has seen popular opinion marching steadily to the right, guided by an increasingly subservient mass media. tampa, detention centres, the war on terror. (and in recent weeks, praise for the death penalty, end of the unions and employee’s rights, and the decimation of the tertiary education system.)

those of you who voted liberal should be pleased at the advent of our very own australian kristalnacht in sydney in the last few days, your chooks have finally come home to roost. the sort of people whose virtue the tv always extols – beer-drinking, pie-eating, rugby-playing traditional aussie blokes have been draping themselves in the flag and chanting “oi! oi! oi!” as they beat up anybody with an olive complexion, while screaming (one assumes jokingly) “watch out, he might blow himself up!”

it’s not hard to see where the climate that allows this has come from, and it wasn’t surprising to see our PM on tv not trying very hard to denounce the kind of feelings that drove the mob, (suspecting that the same attitudes lie dormant in the breasts of the voting mums and dads of the australian heartland). “I would never denounce people taking pride in the Australian flag” he said.

i have never been so ashamed to be australian.

Big Breasts, Fast Cars, Tight Jeans, Jazzy Music, Sudden Death.Va Va Voom !

Russ Meyer’s Legendary Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! launched on DVD Dec 14 at Cherry!

The late Russ Meyer was The Fellini of the Sex Industry, the enormously influential director of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Vixen and Supervixens, whose iconic feature Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! made him a cult favourite with directors such as Quentin Tarantino and John Waters.

Now, the long awaited Australian DVD debut of Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill will be officially launched in Melbourne on December 14th at Cherry, 103 Flinders Lane.
(more…)

Nightmare traffic in the city

What a nightmare trying to drive around the city. My latest challenge had been the junction of Elizabeth and Flinders Streets. That traffic light for the Elizabeth traffic lasts only about three seconds!!

While waiting in traffic for my turn at the lights, I was able to consume lunch which my friend bought from a sushi shop next to Coles Express. All this time, I was sitting in the car waiting … for my 3 seconds worth of green light!

A good website to know more about bird flu in Australia

I found this website recently, www.avianinfluenza.com.au.
It provides the latest news, alerts and facts about the bird flu and its potential effects if it arrives in Australia and its current effects in Asia.

Its a good site to read, without the hysteria.

Open Day at the MCG

And at the other venues around the city: it’s the Commonwealth Games Open Day, next Sunday (11/12) from 11am until 4pm. The MCG will be open, including the Member’s Area and the stadium, together with the Athletes Village, the Netball and Hockey Centre and the new pool at the Aquatic Centre. Entry will be free, and a free shuttle will connect all the venues.

It’s a great chance for people who want to see the results of all those million dollars our government spent. Plus, you have a chance of winning tickets for the opening ceremony. More details at the State government’s Major Projects website.

Thunder, Thunder, and Rain!

Crazy Melbourne weather.

I think the original forecast for today was a hot and sunny day, with a top of 30 degrees celcius and with late showers.
Or that’s what I remembered seeing on Sunday’s tv forecast.

First it was the thunder earlier this morning when I was travelling to work along Beach Road in Brighton. Just a few flashes of light.

It was definately a sign of what was to come for the rest of the day. Rain. More rain, and more rain. But not so much of the thunder.

Until later in the day, after I got home. And was eating dinner.

The rain just started rolling in at that time. And kept going. And going.

Then the thunder from earlier in the day decided it’d make a comeback.The rain has stopped somewhat right now. Same goes for the thunder.

It may be just temporary, or it may stay away for the night. It is forecast to rain for the next 2 days though, so maybe it will be back.

Actually, I can hear the faint sound of thunder in the background somewhere far away.

The rain has meant that the Pura Cup Cricket match between Victoria and New South Wales has been rained out. And without much better weather forecast for the next 2 days, it may mean either an abandoned match, or a severely shortened game.

Ok, that was some really loud thunder just now. It was rather unexpected. And loud. Which means it’s closeby.
It was so loud that my finger just felt a bit tingly. You know the feeling when you touch something and your fingers have a bit of static electricity when it touches something? Well, that’s what it felt like. Weird.

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