Two friends reunited at the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter.
CFA volunteer David Tree - bless you.
Amid the burgeoning bushfire death toll, which is currently nearing 200, we find a little ray of hope in the midst of such terrible suffering.
We find it in the form of a big strong man, a firefighter, down on his knees in the blackened remains of the forest to offer a desperately-needed drink of water to a distressed koala.
"Hero" is a much-abused term, but our volunteer firefighters are the genuine article.
I hope Sam will be back in the forest munching contentedly on eucalyptus leaves as soon as possible.
Never a truer word spoken!
It's disconcerting when you hear someone else expressing your personal ideology so clearly.
Here is your opportunity to send Dubya a message now that he has left the White House.
I respect world leaders who speak coherently, aren't arrogant enough to believe they have a direct line to God and don't plan to destroy other nations and millions of innocent civilians for bogus reasons. Therefore I am incredibly relieved that Bush is gone. As a non-American, I am also excited to see what Obama can achieve. The US presidency goes well beyond the leadership of one nation.
And it's all happening in my home state!
This final speech from Dubya is the verbal equivalent of throwing faeces. It is self-aggrandising, arrogant and utterly inarticulate. George W. Bush to a T.
The Simian in Chief will not be missed.
The humour is a little on the dark side, but some of these cartoons are incredibly creative. The source is acknowledged at the top of the page. Enjoy, but please do not emulate. :)
Okay, so maybe I'm biased because I'm a fellow Australian, but I think this is a FABULOUS decision ... :)
This story is great for a little light relief. Maybe it's just my imagination, but there seems to be a fiercely intelligent light in Frankie's eye. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "cat burglar", that's for sure. :)
In light of the news stories floathing in the ether at the moment, it would seem that animals have a lot more to offer than many of our fellow homo sapiens.
I injured my leg last week. For the past nine days I've been off work and sitting at home alone in front of my computer, bored, frustrated and in pain, watching DVDs and browsing the Internet for several hours a day in a bid to keep myself amused.
Maybe this enforced idleness and my depressed state of mind partially explains the revulsion and fury that filled me when I read this story.
Nup. Upon further reflection, this story is so disgusting that it would have affected me the same way regardless of circumstances.
I keep telling myself that these kinds of stories belong firmly in the "Only in America" file, but the truth is that it's no laughing matter and it's enough to make one despair of human nature in general. It's bad enough that people can be shot in a toy store while buying Christmas presents for their little ones. It's bad enough that people, in a breathtaking act of materialistic frenzy, can tear a store's front door from its hinges and trample a fellow human being under it, motivated by sheer panic that someone else might beat them to a shopping bargain. But this story is different.
Two pretty young girls, looking like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, engaged in acts of wanton cruelty and sexual abuse against elderly Alzheimers patients in a nursing home. These girls didn't just do something stupid one day that they would later regret. That would have been bad enough. Instead, the offences took place over a period of several months and escalated in intensity as the girls revelled in their behaviour and laughed about it over coffee breaks. Four of the girls' young co-workers knew all about the crimes that were being committed and chose to remain silent, despite being legally mandated to report them.
This kind of evil, cold and calculated, ruthlessly enjoyed, committed by people from a comparatively privileged upbringing who should know better, committed for no apparent reason other than entertainment value, committed against some of the most vulnerable people in our society, is incomprehensible.
Another offensive aspect of the story is the prediction that these girls will escape jail time and will wind up with a suspended sentence and a fine instead. All three of these options seem pretty pointless to me. Surely the goal should be to bring about a permanent change in attitude and behaviour. These girls need to be treated in a way that prompts them to develop genuine remorse for their senseless acts and experience some compassion for other people.
How this rehabilitation can be achieved is a difficult question. Maybe the girls need to complete hundreds of hours of the most disgusting and embarrassing community service tasks that local law enforcement can possibly think of. Maybe they need to be exposed to public ridicule and humiliation until they come to understand just how strongly ordinary people feel about the sexual abuse of defenceless grandmothers and grandfathers. Some people might even argue that the girls need to have similar acts committed upon them, or that family members of each victim should be given five minutes alone in a room with each girl to deliver a verbal or physical victim impact statement. These solutions might represent justice of the "eye for an eye" mentality, but administering this kind of punishment would drag others down to the same level, to a place where no thinking or caring human being would ever wish to go.
If you were the judge presiding over this case, what would you do?
Another reason why tourists shouldn't breed ...
Most of us love a good conspiracy theory. We treat our pet theories as secret guilty pleasures, even if we would otherwise regard ourselves as rational beings.
Some of the theories listed here are clearly rubbish, but others make me wonder about shadowy figures lurking behind the scenes and the power and influence they may exert over the general public. For example, the "magic bullet" theory created for the Warren Commission by Arlen Specter is patently absurd even to the most casual viewer of the Zapruder film. There had to be at least one shooter on the grassy knoll.
What do you think? Do you think the world's most notable and tragic events demonstrate that there are "wheels within wheels"? What's your favourite theory?
There are some fascinating texts listed here. Even though I would never categorise myself as a sci-fi fan, my view of the world was transformed by many of these texts when I first read them. You can see why this kind of material is such fertile ground for filmmakers, particularly since film is principally a visual medium.
The only problem inherent with a list like this is that you can find yourself either wanting to add further suggestions or query whether certain texts on the list technically qualify as sci-fi.