“Alexa, make tea. Now”. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own intelligent robot house assistants to deal with the boring chores of everyday life? “Okay, Google, dim the lights”. So-called “smart homes” offer varying degrees of automated assistance, and Google Home, launched this week in Australia, is multi-talented – it can speak …read more
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola were the first Australians to sign up to the “Giving Pledge,” a plan pioneered by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the very rich to donate more than half their accumulated wealth to worthy causes. Now the Forrests have fulfilled at least part of …read more
Internationally acclaimed Australian artist Brett Whiteley died alone from an overdose of drugs, including heroin, in a seaside motel 70km south of Sydney in 1992. Coming to fame in the hedonistic 1960s, Whiteley painted Bob Dylan and shared a New York building with Janis Joplin. He lived and worked with fierce energy in wildly different …read more
China is hard for the outsider. The best-laid plans can get lost in deep tangles of bureaucracy and incomprehension in this huge nation. So the sheer courage of a retired Australian primary school teacher who has spent years navigating Chinese bureaucracy to help disabled Chinese children is worth some attention.
Australia is in the throes of allowing the medicinal use of cannabis, following the trail blazed by a number of U.S. states, as well as Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.
Teeming with neon-colored fish and encompassing vast ranges of branching, bulging, sculptural coral, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s natural wonders. Running down Australia’s north-east coast for roughly 2300 kilometres, the reef covers an expanse of ocean bigger than Japan: home to vast numbers of fish, hard and soft corals, turtles, whales, …read more
Journalists at one of Australia’s best-known newspaper publishers, Fairfax Media, plan to strike for seven days in protest at the company’s plans to cut the equivalent of 125 full-time journalist positions, or one in four from the already depleted newsrooms. The cuts are aimed at saving 30 million Australian dollars ($22.2 million) annually.
Real estate in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s biggest cities, is appreciating at such a rate that some experts are warning of a bubble that could soon burst. House and apartment prices in these two cities increased by about 19% and 16% respectively in the year to March 31, according to analysis by data company CoreLogic, …read more
For more than two decades Lisa endured the pain and struggle of life with Crohn’s disease. It’s a chronic and incurable condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, and can lead to weight loss, fever and intense abdominal pain.
Toxic, prolific, and much hated: Invasive cane toads are on the march from Australia’s eastern seaboard, westward through the tropics of the Northern Territory and on towards the Indian Ocean. Experts now believe the toads will have traversed the entire continent of Australia within the next five years, traveling about 4,000 km — a remarkable …read more