Archive for the ‘Science & Nature’ Category

The Heat too much to Bear

Karen Louey/Tracey Young</i>

um scuze me dont u nock…is taking a bath Credit: Karen Louey/Tracey Young

I generally delete most email forwards but yesterday, I received one of the most adorable pictures of a Koala (not a Koala bear) bathing in water.  Well, it looks like it made the front page of the news. Sure, who wants to know about Rudd’s $42 billion stimulus package when you have a baby Koala bathing in water.

According to the email, a Koala walked up the back porch (located in Maude) looking for a bit of relief from the heat. The women filled a bucket full of water which the koala happily started bathing in.

Ninemsn, reports that the koala in question was separated from its mother who got confused in the heat. Both mother and child are safe but haven’t yet been reunited.

Aquarium’s deadly residents

Visit the Melbourne Aquarium to see the latest residents in action. My favourite is the puffer fish, one of the most poisonous fish in the world. It will puff itself up to the shape of a balloon to scare off predators. Too bad they don’t cook them in the cafe, it will be interesting to find out what they taste like.

Other interesting animals include the stringrays, (have you ever sampled one?), sharks and tiny but poisonous frogs. These are some of the newest but deadly residents at the Melbourne Aquarium. They are part of the Extreme Fun exhibition coinciding with the school holidays.

Ticket info
———-
Adult: $26.50
Child (3-15yrs): $16.00
Concession: $18.00

Family (2 adults & up to 3 children): $75.00
Single Family
(1 adult & up to 3 children): $55.00
Additional Children: $11.50

The aquarium is open daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm. Last admission is at 5 pm or 1 hour before closing time.

Shit water tastes good

I made this entry over fifteen months ago and my stance still remains the same: Give me a large cold glass of shit water anyday, mate.

A year has passed, and seems like the Government’s attempt to convince Melburnians to consume shit water has fallen shit short of their expectations.

Nothing seems to have changed. The Bracks Government were ridiculed back then, the Brumby Government ain’t faring any better. I think they really need to rethink their strategy if they wish to pursue this important matter. Whether it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (pun intended) is another thing altogether, but perhaps it’s time for Brumby and Co. to give the Victorian media another water cooler topic. They’re having so much airtime with their public transport debacle and terrorist bullshit, no thought is given to something that’s very close to all Australians.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to arrive on time in a non-crowded train and not be subjected to retinal checks when I’m at the airport. I don’t start doubting the Muslim’s intentions just because he prays seven times a day or his wife wears a hijab. Hell I’m sure terrorists exist in other religious denominations as well. The bottom line is, who needs a world class transport system and a terrorist-free country if there’s no water for consumption in the long run. We need to think long term. I’d rather be stuck in a hot, humid train, pressed against other sardines and am thirty minutes late. At least I have my delish cold bottle of shit water in my bag and not be worrying what my children will be drinking 30 years from now.

Dinosaur Fundraising Auction Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 4pm, at the Royal Society of Victoria (9 Victoria Street, Melbourne), doors will open for viewing of items that will be auctioned off to raise funds for the “Dinosaur Dreaming” dig held every summer near Inverloch. The bidding itself will begin at 5:30.

Items on display will include a day down at the dig sit, a Museum Victoria dungeon tour, hand-made jewellery, fossils, dinosaur casts, books on palaeontology signed by the experts, and original works of art by Peter Trusler, Brian Choo and Andrew Plant (some of these will be very good, I can guarantee it).

The funds raised will go to support the dig site at Inverloch, which sits somewhere beneath the sand offshore from the coast near Inverloch, where there are tilted layers of grey-ish rock representing the sludge from the bottom of a 110 million year old riverbed. Every year palaeontologists and volunteers head down during low tide to sort through the rock for traces of dinosaurs, fish, turtles, and whatever else ended up in the river 110 million years ago.

Some of the most important fossil finds in recent history have come from this site, such as the jawbone of a tiny mammal that looks like it was a placental mammal – not a marsupial or monotreme, as many people expected. It’s completely reshaped the way we view the spread of mammals during the time of the dinosaurs, and opened up the possibility that Australia and Antarctica could be the original mammal homeland, rather than being obscure outposts for exotic and “primitive” marsupials and monotremes, as previously thought.

More information: www.sci.monash.edu.au/msc/dinodream

Trip to the Werribee Open Range Zoo

Werribee Open Range Zoo A couple of weeks ago, I realised I was missing out on not seeing animals. To fix that, I went to the Werribee Open Range Zoo, and took a bunch of photos. I found the safari tour, really amazing, though now thanks to the equine flu, there are some bits of it that you won’t get to see. Seeing the animals in their natural habitats, roaming around, some coming so close to your safari vehicle, is just amazing.Werribee Open Range Zoo

I was a bit disappointed with the lions sleeping, but can assure you the next time I go, I’ll be checking out the Rip Roaring Feed. I also found out that you can spend the night at the zoo, in what they call a Slumber Safari. I’ve never been on safari before, so maybe this might be an initiation? Has anyone spent the night at the Werribee Open Range Zoo? Please leave a comment and tell us how it went.

If you’ve not paid a visit to the Open Range Zoo, I highly recommend it. The self-walking trails are simply fabulous, and you can discover a lot on the way. Entrance is a mere $23.00, and its probably worth noting the various presentation times, so you get the most out of your zoo visit. Transportation, without a car, is a little sparse, so pay close attention to the timetable for public transportation.

UFO spotted in Melbourne

According to the Flickr description, Adam Lyttle’s friend took this picture of a strange light hovering over Melbourne’s skyline.

Aliens, Holden Airship, or perhaps a lenticular cloud?

You decide.

UFO Sighting in Melbourne, Victoria [via Digg]

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A Brief Blogstory of Melbourne – Part 1

Exploring the past is one of my passions, and I thought it might be nice to apply this to the place where I live. So, i present to you…

A Brief Blogstory of Melbourne

Like the majority of big cities in the world, Melbourne sits along a river. We’re next to a bay that opens into Bass Strait, and we get a temperate seasonal climate. We’re well north of Antarctica and well south of the tropics, but this geographical position is a relatively recent one for us – and it won’t last.
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The Discovery Centre

I’ve just finished a volunteer shift at the Melbourne Museum, located along Rathdowne Street in the Carlton Gardens (the closest train station is Parliament), and I am currently posting to the Melbourne Metroblog from the downstairs Discovery Centre.

The Discovery Centre has a series of computers connected to the internet, a small scientific library of books relating to biology, palaeontology, history, etc.. etc.., and a range of specimens for the public to examine close up – from a cast of a huge ceratopian skull to jars of preserved spiders and lizards.

There is a friendly staff present to answer questions you might have, and all in all it’s a relaxing place to spend a Sunday afternoon, exploring some of the fascinating aspects of the world around us. Oh, and you don’t have to pay to get in; just head left down the escalators when you come through the front entrance.

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