Society & Culture

Speared Elephant Seeks Human Help

Tim, one of the oldest and largest bull elephants in the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, Africa, made good on the scientifically validated statement that an elephant never forgets. The male elephant had been wounded by a spear, and sought out human help. Tim had already been speared once before, in the rump, back in the 2014. He needed human help then, and vets aided his recovery. Wounds on the 47-year-old elephant in 2016 included a piece of metal sticking through Tim’s ear and a bleeding injury on his forehead. With the aid of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) amongst others, Tim was tracked, and upon daylight was tranquilised for vets to tend to his wounds. The Big Life Foundation was also involved in helping to heal Tim, stating that: “To all our relief, the spear wasn’t poisoned, and had gone through the ...

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It’s Official: Budgie Smugglers Enters the Dictionary

Use a slang or colloquial term enough, maybe it’ll go mainstream. Then if that happens, it could become a proper word, so to speak, officially recognised by dictionaries. At which point, those who originally used it will probably stop using it, even as the rest of the population hitches a ride on the bandwagon. Thumbing through it like the secret thesaurus of a cunning linguist. This has now happened for the phrase-cum-word “budgie smugglers” which has been in use in Australia since roughly the 1990s, being officially recognised and included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as a sub-entry in the new words list June 2016. With budgie smugglers now officially in the dictionary, as opposed to the dictionary being in the budgie smugglers (usually sneakily so around aquatic spelling bees), it doesn’t take much to define that it could be somewhat disturbing. Whether it has something to do with ...

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2016 South Bank Sky Arts Awards Announce Winners as Banksy’s Identity Remains a Mystery

Celebrating 20 years of awarding and honouring the best of British art, the 2016 South Bank Sky Arts Awards were held Sunday, 5th June at the Savoy Hotel. Winners included Eddie Izzard with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and Stormzy who took out the Breakthrough Award. Amongst the nominees though, was another artist whom many were hoping to catch a glimpse of. Known with certainty only as Banksy, the artist’s 2015 Dismaland Bemusement Park artwork was nominated for the Visual Art Award. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye ultimately won the Visual Art Award for her Verses After Dusk, and congratulations are in order. But that hasn’t stopped the wondering about Banksy’s true identity. Banksy is known for having said: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” Beyond Banksy’s extensive art works, which include street art and graffiti, often laced with social and political commentary on contemporary issues, little is known about the ...

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Crocodile Believed Responsible for Attacking Cindy Waldron Caught and Killed

The crocodile believed to be responsible for taking the life of Cindy Waldron has been caught and killed, with its stomach containing human remains. The 46-year-old Cindy Waldron was taken in a crocodile attack, while she was said to be wading up to her waist in the water at Thornton Beach around 10:30pm on Sunday 29 May, 2016. Her friend, Leeanne Mitchell, 47, who witnessed the crocodile attack, suffered shock and grazes and was taken to Mossman Hospital. The 4.3 metre crocodile was the considered by police as a target animal owing to its size and location. It was trapped at Cooper Creek, in the Daintree, in far north Queensland. The animal was subsequently euthanased. A 2.5 metre crocodile was previously caught in a similar manner. Flushing the contents of its stomach revealed no human remains and the creature was said to be released unharmed back into the wild. Following ...

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Should the Word “Guys” be Removed from Language in the Workplace?

“Hey guys,” David Morrison, the 2016 Australian of the Year and retired Army Lieutenant General, wants to do away with that phrase, and others, in the workplace. Launching the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) campaign WordsAtWork, Morrison wants to build inclusion through the power of language. Morrison states: “DCA’s new campaign is not about being ‘politically correct’ – it is about encouraging people to use language at work which is respectful, accurate, and relevant to everyone.” The WordsAtWork campaign aims at building inclusion, acknowledging that language can be a powerful tool for this. The effect of language and words used ranges from validated and replicated psychological research to well-meaning (but often questionable) pop-psychology anecdotes. Where the latter may be taken as supposed proof of what is someone’s personal opinion, all too frequently when confirmation bias is also in play. Whether the phrase “hey guys” or even “guys” is exclusionary or non-inclusive ...

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Star Wars Fan Builds Real Burning Lightsaber

In the time around the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seems anyone capable of stringing together a few words has been devoting much of their time to punning on how the Force has truly awakened. Fact of the matter, the Force never sleeps. Rather it’s around times like these that Star Wars fans instead step out of the dark and into the light. Often choosing sides in the process, but not awakening by any means. Alhough it is rumoured a few fans have been seen inside of replica Tauntauns. But only to keep warm. Nothing else. While many other fans have been concerning themselves with vital matters such as how to make their own slave Leia bikini out of recycled metal cans – purely for cosplay purposes – one fan in particular has turned his attention to more potentially practical matters. Imbued with secret Jedi training to ...

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Driver Crashes Car into Building, Thinking he could “Travel Through Time”

“Great Scott!” A man drove into office buildings thinking he could apparently “travel through time”. Ignoring the fact that he was driving a Dodge Challenger, and not a DeLorean, there’s no word on whether the car was fitted with a working flux capacitor. While Ford did briefly offer a flux capacitor, sort of, probabilities here on the Dodge favour the answer is firmly no. Especially since he crashed into the wall. Unless he was playing chicken with it, possibly because the wall called him “chicken”. The crash occurred Monday 21 December 2015, but time and news of purported time travel can move in strangely nonlinear ways. Particularly around the internet, and distorted by the holiday season. The driver crashed into the office of Advanced Tax Services, in Pensacola, Florida, USA. General manager Emanuel Mores spoke about the incident to the local news: “I was mad, then eventually I was happy ...

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Bicycle Riders Over 18 Require Photo ID by Law in NSW in 2016

As of 1 March 2016 adult bicycle riders in the state of New South Wales, Australia, will be required by law to carry photo identification with them. It will not be a requirement that minors, those under the age of 18 years, will also have to carry photo ID with them if riding a bike. For bicyclists’ not carrying photo identification, it’s anticipated that warnings will be in place initially for one year, with $106 fines expected to be imposed from 1 March 2017. Within the NSW legislation of the Road Rules 2014 (which are subject to be changed), the following definition within the Dictionary is given: “bicycle means a vehicle with 2 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor)”. Which rules out arguing the legality of an adult not carrying ...

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Ban Saggy Pants, Mini-Skirts and Short Shorts in Public suggests Dadeville City Council

In the interests of equality and respect, the Dadeville City Council in Alabama, USA, is proposing to ban wearing mini-skirts and short shorts in public because it has already proposed a ban on wearing saggy trousers in public. Let it be known the equality movement continues in America. Dubbed the “Saggy Pants Ordinance” Dadeville City Council first had the concept of banning men wearing their trousers below their waistlines brought up back in August. Councillor Frank Goodman proposed the idea at a council meeting to prevent what he views as “slacking” and to promote “respect” in the community. As the Alex City Outlook reports, Goodman said: “We have people walking down the street with their hand in front of them holding up their pants. Then they have the nerve to walk into a place of business and ask for a job. If you come to my house you are going ...

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Selfie Record Attempt Inspires Indian Man to Quit Job

Bhanu Prakash Racha, of Hyderabad, India, wants to hold the world record for taking selfies. As record attempts are often nothing without the journey and personal sacrifice in pursuit of the dream, Bhanu quit his job to pursue his photography goal. From hospital research assistant to practising taking selfies fulltime, such is his dedication. At 24 years old, Bhanu Prakash Racha had worked at the hospital for five months, and applied to Guinness World Records about the proposed attempt. Yes, there’s an official Guinness World Record for almost everything. In this case, it’s for the “Most self-portrait photographs (selfies) taken in 1 hour” which is currently held by American Patrick Petersen and NBC Sports. Total selfies taken in the hour officially numbered 1,449. Speaking to the Times of India, Bhanu has been preparing for his attempt. “I am comfortable clicking selfies only with my right hand, so I do exercises ...

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