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Columnists & Opinion

How to stop Time in the Spring

Do you ever have days where you’re 100 per cent certain you can feel the Earth spinning on its axis? Actually rotating at its 1600 kilometres per hour or whizzing around the sun at 30 clicks per second!? Stop the bus! Information overload, the Digital Age, robots taking our jobs, doubts about dual citizenship, cranky North Korean leaders with ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ syndrome, the constant gnawing hope Australia will one day win Eurovision... none…

Love is a many splendid thing until you want marriage equality

Our oldest son and his girlfriend are engaged. The word “soulmates” popped up in conversation occasionally. They are two very special people, the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The word “marriage” would also occasionally be mentioned, as they have been living together for several years in a house they share with their mortgage and their pets. People on the outside looking in could be excused for thinking they were already married. As…

Feeding the machine on Earth Overshoot Day

If you caught the ABC’s 4-Corners report, ‘Trashed’ this week, you’ll have seen a tip of the iceberg; a hardly surprising, corrupt tip, of the waste industry. I wonder should we really actually bother teaching our children to recycle, reuse, repurpose, abstain from buying crap, when the people like those depicted in the program, people who are entrusted and claim they can be trusted, with the management of our refuse, are actually driven only by…

Wellington marks 200 years 

Between August 12 and 20, Wellington will mark its bicentenary of European arrival in Wiradjuri country virtually to the day that intrepid explorer John Oxley arrived in the area and which proved to be a discovery of great economic value to the British colony of New South Wales. It’s Oxley, too, who history books thank for naming the area ‘Wellington Valley’ which he christened in honour of the then Duke of Wellington, Field Marshal Arthur…

A life free from single-use plastic is possible: so what are you waiting for?

Plastic Free July is now done and dusted and so begins a plastic free life. Having navigated my way around the sea of plastic bags, bottles, windows in boxes, tubs, packets and packaging as standard for almost every single food retail experience, for 31 days, I’m convinced it can be done, and will be a continuous uphill battle. Thankfully, this month’s announcement by Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm to phase out single-use plastic bags over…

That liberating feeling of being single-use plastic free

Sitting with a friend getting a replacement phone at Optus this week, I opened the box and removed the plastic moulded tray, the little plastic bags the accessories were individually wrapped in and the little bits of plastic wrapped around the headphones. It occurred to me this “schmick” packaging is probably seen by some as having “status”, but basically the plastic is landfill. Handing them back, with a second box made with a plastic window…

National Pyjama Day

It’s been described as ‘skanky’. ‘Bogan’. ‘Feral.’ Just mentioning it can draw looks of horror, shock and dismay. “If I see it, I ‘look away’,” one colleague said. “It burns my eyes,” said another. In some parts of the world it’s actually illegal but right here in this city, there are those who move among us, acting as if their appearance is perfectly normal, or they’re not openly crossing social or cultural boundaries to offend,…

How Qatar got the cold shoulder is a hot topic

You know you have a problem when human rights abusers Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with you. The gulf state of Qatar was recently at the centre of a diplomatic row when these Middle Eastern countries cut off all transport routes and diplomatic contact, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorist groups – notably Islamic State – and having a diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia’s enemy Iran. Following the Arab…

So long and thanks for all the fish

Passwords. Friend or foe? Let’s go with foe. Exhibit A: 9%vgY2h/Q&7tWx$2jJ Exhibit B: The username or password you have entered is invalid. Well. Which one is it? The username or the password? After a little reading of training manuals written for the ‘brainiacs’ who actually create these responses, one suggested the ‘user’ “might get frustrated by not being able to remember the email address or username he signed up with”. Apparently women don’t use devices…

The outsider and insider and how a senator became a pain

At one stage there was no doubt Senator Rodney Culleton would remain in One Nation. He’d had some early ups and downs but Senator Culleton made it abundantly clear he was there for the long haul. For her part his political leader, Pauline Hanson said she would back him to the hilt. Now it could be said that Senator Culleton has stepped away from that position in so far as he has quit the party,…

French presidential elections bring their own surprises

Surprise! Surprise! 2016 was a year full of it. The unexpected Brexit shaking the core of the European Union, or Russia losing its place in the Human Rights Council while the Saudi Kingdom of beheading, lapidating and belittling women kept its place. Donald Trump a sexist xenophobe made it to the White House leaving Hillary Clinton, her supporter and the world in shock. In France people were observing world events in total confidence that such…

Farewell 2016

This is my last editorial for Dubbo Weekender as I’m hanging up my editor’s hat and pursuing that alluring dream of business ownership under the name of YAF Media. I’ll still be writing anything and everything from white papers, business blogs and Facebook campaigns, plus continuing to freelance for media. So this is goodbye to a great team of writers, whose work and opinions you’ve been privileged to read. I say priveleged because the pool…