and i’m here to linkspam you

Okay so first of all, linkspam is moving to Fridays. Had you noticed we were weekly on Mondays? I don’t know. It’s all good. LINKSPAM FRIDAYS.

Anyway, if you’re not reading all of Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin’s text in Steph’s voice, you are missing out. Sometimes, when she reads comics with Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin, she just assumes that someone in her life is feeding First Dog her thoughts, because it is pretty much Steph.

Brenda in: The TPP is a huge problem and our government is the blurst: The Trans-Pacific partnership will shut down all your kitten hospitals

By the ever great Rebecca Shaw: Comment: Alanis was the perfect ‘Pill’ for young women – and still is

Kirstyn McDermott and Tessa Kum are the authors in the current edition of the Review of Australian Fiction! $2.99 for two excellent long short-stories by two excellent Australian women. Download it. Download it now.

There’s water on Mars, so Australia should definitely check for illegal boats.

Terry Pratchett bequeaths $1m to the University of South Australia

Two of 20 immunised Tasmanian devils released into wild killed on road days after release


Residents of a Queensland town face living with potential health time bombs after ​chemicals used for decades at an army aviation base were found to have leached into the ground and contaminated part of the ground water supply.

Remember when Steph lived in Beijing?



Anyway if you have two hours to learn about pollution, earlier this year there was a Chinese documentary on the long term effects of pollution in China. It’s so good. Steph only this week realised there’s an English translation of it, and also a comprehensive summary if you don’t have two hours, so now she can RECOMMEND IT TO YOU. IT IS A VERY GOOD DOCUMENTARY. Under the Dome. Watch it. Cry.

Important Harold Holt social media appearance:

South Australia introduces new laws and fines for drivers overtaking cyclists, and permits cyclists to ride on the footpath.

Liz says: Quokkas, let me tell you, ever since I moved to the Inner West, I’ve become a big proponent of footpath cycling, provided it’s done in a safe way that doesn’t involve running over pedestrians.  My commute these days involves a whole lot of right-hand-turns across heavy, cyclist-unfriendly traffic, and there are points where it’s just safer to do a few metres on the footpath than risk the trucks.

Ellie Marney talks #LoveOzYA, Sherlock Holmes and censorship.

To the surprise of exactly no one, Australian authors are (a) mostly women and (b) shockingly underpaid.  (Liz says: I joke a lot about wanting to sell a book and give up my day job, but my actual dream is to sell a book and earn enough to work part-time.)

No Award notes with interest that 90% of children’s authors (including, we assume, YA) are women.

If you’ve ever put down the Narnia books and thought, “Yes, but what I really need is a lamppost of my very own, but preferably smaller and also solar powered,” Bunnings is here for you.

If any tall friends of No Award want to dress up as Jadis c. The Magician’s Nephew and brandish a lamppost with bare arms while hijacking a hansom cab, totes call us.




to hear the boom boom boom of your linkspam


Steph adores The Katering Show, and this is great:

I was so ready to be mad about this article, and I am still, but I’m also sort of delighted by PS 307: Brooklyn hipsters fight school de-segregation: They ‘aren’t racists’ — ‘they just don’t want to be in a ghetto’. Also No Award will probably never understand the numbering system for Primary Schools, and we’re okay with that.

Wrong turn: Man watches car being hit after GPS sends him onto suburban train line IN COBURG. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

Steph’s high school in the news for censoring queer art.

No Award has many feelings about the cancelling of Visas, but this one’s pretty hilarious: American Anti-Abortion Campaigner Troy Newman Is Currently Being Detained At Melbourne Airport. What’s not hilarious is how fucked he is.

Operation Rescue regularly targets people who work in abortion clinics with campaigns of sustained and aggressive harassment, posting signs outside their houses, following them in the street and publishing their home addresses on the internet.

No Award is pro-choice.

[Liz notes that, having been raised in the trenches of pro-life activism, her official stance on abortion is putting her hands over her ears, closing her eyes and running away going NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE and hiding until everyone stops talking.]

19 Times Australians Confused The Hell Out of Everyone On Tumblr

Australian exceptionalism takes the from of the firm belief that our country is weirder than everyone else’s.  But the comments here are great.  Democracy sausage is a real thing.

The 89th Down Under Feminists Carnival is up at Blue Bec. Many excellent antipodean feminist business there. In grand tradition, No Award will be hosting the November edition, coincidentally number 90. If you have something to submit, please leave a link here or email Steph before October 31.

On how Australia treats its international workers: Worker’s paradise or black labour haven? And also read this one: ‘Black jobs’: Rampant exploitation of foreign workers in Australia revealed.

Little research or official data exists on how many temporary foreign workers and students are employed in Australia, let alone how many are being illegally underpaid, but the Fairfax investigation surveyed Mandarin-language websites, where it was common for jobs to be openly advertised at $10 to $13 an hour, significantly below Australia’s legal minimum wage of $17.29 an hour.

The study of 1071 job advertisements aimed at temporary foreign workers, largely from China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, show the vast majority offer work either below the minimum wage or the award.

APY Lands artists push for Alice Springs studio for protection from ‘carpetbaggers’

Shark business: Far north NSW communities call for shark nets, immediate action to prevent shark attacks

An important update from 1992: Brashs’ Facebook presence.  Given that they went out of business in 1998, it’s probably not official.

Linkspam: legal edition

What? Liz enjoys legal shenanigans

That awkward moment when a Federal Circuit Court judge is found to be biased against immigrants.  (Spoilers: He was a Brandis appointee.)

Speaking of immigration matters, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (sigh) gets a belting from the Full Bench of the Federal Court.  It would be glorious to behold if it didn’t involve the actual lives of actual vulnerable people.

Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd v Westley [2015] NSWSC 1292 — Sure, it sounds dry, but then…

For the most part, Mr Westley used the misappropriated funds to pay costs and expenses associated with a theatrical production known as “Avenue Q”. Mr Westley was the executive producer of that production, which was staged at the Enmore Theatre from 2 July 2015 to 18 July 2015.

racism and sportsball: on the excellent adam goodes

HELLO FRIENDS. Tomorrow Victoria gets a public holiday for AFL Grand Final Eve, in a move that I cannot even. As if it’s not bad enough that we get a public holiday for a horse race, we now have to have one for sportsball.

[Liz feels compelled to note here that Stephanie never works on Fridays anyway, and a bonus public holiday in the long, break-free wasteland between the Queen’s Birthday and Cup Day is a gift to us five-day-a-week peons.]

Anyway, Stephanie is a lifelong Sydney Swans supporter, and never has she been more passionate than this year, when deadset legend Adam Goodes has been subject to the gross racism that infests our sport. So in celebration of the end of the season, have some links and commentary and feels.

Continue reading “racism and sportsball: on the excellent adam goodes”

i’m jealous of your linkspam

A hometown story of prejudice and ablism from Liz’s hometown: Down syndrome man refused entry to Brisbane JB Hi-Fi.

The way we treat immigration in Australia has directly resulted in this completely preventable death: Illegal worker dumped in toilet block near Mildura died from treatable condition, police say.

On a related note: the incompetence of Border Force is breathtaking to behold.

Stonewall is very USA, and as Australians we can be forgiven for not knowing specifics, but the new movie is very clearly wrong about the specifics on queer things and racial things, as this great review at Vanity Fair specifies. This Gawker review is also excellent.

Stonewall teaches you about as much about being gay as the Aristocats taught you about being an aristocrat.

Teddy gets left behind at a Canberra hotel; goes on a tourist trip of Canberra before returning to Sydney. Steph loves photos of stuffed toys having adventures, always feel free to tweet them to her.


Gay people in National electorates have a pretty rough time of it. (Trigger warnings for suicide and homophobia.)

Rebecca “@brocklesnitch” Shaw writes on a subject very dear to Liz’s heart: girl gangs, female friendship, and the portrayal of such in middle-grade and primary-aged fiction.

Hugo Award nominations broken down by country.  Liz will say something about this as soon as she gets her spoons together.

Vonda N. McIntyre recalls her career as an author of Star Trek tie-ins.

Anti-gentrification protesters target cereal cafe and estate agent in Shoreditch. Look, Stephanie acknowledges that, living in Melbourne’s inner north, she is a part of Melbourne’s gentrification problem. (She also volunteers at a kitchen that has a low income meals program, and has strong feelings about community vegie gardens, but still). HOWEVER this article is still excellent and strangely comforting. Not that riots are a great option, OBVIOUSLY, but also: “Cereal cafe. £5 for cereal when people are starving. F*** gentrification.” DAMN RIGHT.

The Future of Language. Language predictions based on MATHS and also I have some unfinalised questions about the bias of requiring apps to be produced in English thus leading to the need to learn stuff in English and the continuing bias of studies on that. Go away and read the article then come discuss in the comments.

Have you read about Kesha? You should read about Kesha. People are demanding #FreedomForKesha: Here’s what accusing a powerful producer of rape has cost her.


No Award reviews Melbourne Bike Share

One of my goals in life is to not die of heart disease at 51 like my maternal grandmother.  On the one hand, she had a lot of other health problems. But so do I, and since my rheumatologist put me on Endep for pain management, I can’t even say, “Well, at least I’m not taking any dodgy first-generation anti-depressants!”

So I am trying to get … fit.  Fitter.  And it’s going well, thank you for asking!  Thanks to my Parkiteer cage, I can cycle to the station 3km from my house and leave my bike locked and covered for the day.  And thanks to my Fitbit, I have an incentive to walk 10,000 steps a day, even though that is an arbitrary goal invented by the pedometer industry.  I’m basically a pawn of Big Pedometers, but I’m okay with that.

Getting fit(ter) is especially great in spring, with all these bright, sunny, freezing cold mornings.  I hopped off the train at North Melbourne today, thinking, “It’s a nice day, I’ll walk from here to the office.”

Then my eye fell on the share bikes.

“They’re just like riding an armchair,” Official Potato Moya told me a couple of years ago.  I didn’t know if that was good or bad, but every single bike in that pod had a helmet.

It was a sign.

Continue reading “No Award reviews Melbourne Bike Share”

Clearing up some common misconceptions about Australian dragons

Totes real dragon not at all drawn in Paint, curled around a skyscraper.
Here, we see a European Red, also known as the St George, claiming Bourke Place, Melbourne, as its perch.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about Australian dragons, both those native to the continent, and those that were introduced — deliberately or otherwise — by human activity.  So we thought we’d throw together a quick listicle, outlining things more people should know about draconis Australis and other dragons one might find in Australia

Continue reading “Clearing up some common misconceptions about Australian dragons”