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”

The dangers of spring

Bearing in mind the limitations of the four European seasons as applied to an Australian setting, it seems to be spring.  Sort of.  We had some warm days, then some cool days, and in a few weeks, warm will outnumber cool, and then we’ll be whinging about summer until March. (Steph would never whinge about summer.)

Spring is a wonderful time of year, but it also comes with some dangers in Australia.  Here are things that make spring difficult for your average No Awarder:

Continue reading “The dangers of spring”

#breaking: melbourne voted most livable city in the world

AGAIN. Fifth year running. Speaking as someone currently oppressed by our train system, how is this even possible? Is it the water?

Things that make Melbourne the most livable city:

  • trees that answer emails
  • trams
  • copious amounts of good coffee
  • brunch everywhere
  • donuts
  • Nutella donuts
  • SECRET TUNNELS under Fed Square and in fact the whole CBD
  • Liz really wants a Nutella donut
  • but only from the tiny Vietnamese bakery across the road from Footscray Station OMG
  • the Franco Cozzo mural in Footscray
  • Franco Cozzo

franco cozzo standing with his arms spread in front of a mural of franco cozzo

  • did we mention coffee
  • Little Red Trucks dudes all being hilarious hipster dudes who want to talk about what books you have in your heavy boxes
  • discussing the weather is not a topic for when you have nothing else to discuss, it is Very Important
  • the secret tunnels under the hospital
  • the blocked up below ground public toilets dotted around the city
  • that time Nicholas Cage’s Ghost Rider was filmed in the CBD and they edited out all the tram stops
  • cycling down Royal Parade in spring
  • the ACDC ‘Long Way to the Top’ video clip

  • the State Library Dome
  • the Cats of SLV tumblr
  • complete digital archives for The Argus
  • the Public Records Office of Victoria
  • Kino Cinemas beer + choc top dinner during movie festivals
  • the tram stop noise that Rockwiz uses as a buzzer sound
  • burgers and cider during Rooftop Cinema
  • little tiny bookshops that can’t possibly afford to still be in business BUT ARE
  • Captain Melville burgers
  • White Night
  • forcing Starbucks to downsize
  • lowest dropbear fatality rate of any capital city

An excellent and 1000% appropriate Mad Max: Fury Road fan mix

By two Australians. Because what is Mad Max if not a great Aussie road trip?

This fan mix is 110% irony-free.
This fan mix is 110% irony-free.

  1. Freak – silverchair
  2. Mace Spray – The Jezabels
    you can’t rely on the common man
  3. Beds Are Burning – Midnight Oil
  4. Fang It (To Tony’s House) – Geraldine Quinn
  5. Never Had So Much Fun – Frenzal Rhomb
  6. Calypso – Spiderbait
  7. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  8. Pace It – Magic Dirt
    Someone’s taken over from where you started
  9. Pacifier – Shihad
    Smashed up on your own motorway
  10. Cold Hard Bitch – Jet
    Don’t wanna hold hands and talk about our little plans
  11. Greg The Stop Sign – TISM
    We get to do the driving, don’t choose the direction we travel
  12. Down Again – The Superjesus
    Now I’m under the sun, won’t anyone see that I’m alive
  13. Uh Huh – Tkay Maidza
  14. Some Kind of Bliss – Kylie Minogue
  15. Where the Boys At – Chelsea Jane
    Pretty good for a girl, huh?
  16. Khe Sahn – Cold Chisel
    So I worked across the country end to end

You can check out this entire excellent mix (completely out of order!) at YouTube:

Or you can hear it in order, but missing a couple of tracks, via Spotify. And why isn’t AC/DC on Spotify, anyway? What is this un-Australian nonsense?

Best Australian Kids’ Show Themes

Best Australian Kids’ Show Themes DEFINITIVE RANKING IN ORDER, WORST TO BEST, NO ARGUMENTS

MULLIGRUBS

A terrible song, bookended by the nightmare face of all Australian childhoods. Mulligrubs me. Mulligrubs you. Come and be a Mulligrubs too

GENIE FROM DOWNUNDER

Please try not to ask too many questions about why the Genie from Down Under and his son are white and not Indigenous Australian, since if an Australian Genie is released from an opal they should surely be Indigenous? I mean, who am I to ask these totally relevant questions. This theme tune is ranked worse than the next one because it’s so terribly out of tune and flat and poorly sung. Rhys Muldoon, we expect better of a Play School presenter.

AGRO

What a dull, lifeless bathmat of a song. Perfect.

BLINKY BILL

So long, so boring. Plus every quokka knows that Blinky Bill is a bit of a wanker.

OCEAN GIRL

Time for some meditation.

THE BOOK PLACE

Such a creepy worm, but I’m happily bopping along right now.

MINTY

I remember the show but somehow not this totally perfect dance track theme song.

LIFTOFF

REAL FRIENDS ARE UNDER THE SKIN!? And of course minus points for EC the creepy doll. How did this song get so high on this list?!

Mr Squiggle

Excuse me whilst your judge goes off to have a bit of a cry.

SHIP TO SHORE

It’s so jaunty! DOOP DOOP DOOP DU-DOOP-DU-DOOP-DOOP. ALSO THERE’S A CLUB REMIX

ROUND THE TWIST

HAVE YOU EVER EVER FELT LIKE THIS Ominous and therefore everything you need from an Australian childhood. PS now available on Netflix, much to our joy. No Award will shortly be engaging in a rewatch and review, so stay tuned.

JOHNSON AND FRIENDS

How am I supposed to get anything done when my heart is full of such joy?

THE FERALS

A call to arms.

PLAY SCHOOL

Only the anthem of an entire lifetime, of three entire generations. Read this Junkee visit to the set of Play School, watch this video of Noni and Simon performing Humpty the Opera, remember the lyrics you used in primary school that were totally dirty and terrible and yet somehow still hilarious now at 32. Attempt not to cry at a large complement of past and present presenters and the audience of the Logies singing the song, after thanking the stars of Play School (the toys – including Diddle! And Morris!). Play School was always going to be the very last thing you found on this list, No Award. Because Play School was always going to be the best of these theme songs. NO ARGUMENTS.

*not documented, Humphrey B Bear because I couldn’t find something from the 90s only some sort of hideous modern animation, Cheez TV, Feral TV. The Silver Brumby (not in the list because I literally can’t remember this song).

motorcycle cop is a sweet nothing

When Steph is sad, she watches a Henson production. When Steph is happy, she watches a Henson production. When Steph sings, she sings a Henson song. There’s some Muppets in her life, is what we’re saying.

There’s a new trailer for Muppets! It’s not a movie (ps, Walter is the worst new Muppet of the last twenty years, pass it on).


And so Steph, lifelong devotee at the altar of Henson, brings you her most useful Muppet quotes.

When you need to give someone something:

“This is for you” in Clueless Morgan’s clueless voice is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. That and “But it’s not even his birthday.” Also this is the greatest Muppet movie ever, I will fight you.

When you need to ask questions or approve of things:

“How are you fixin’ to pay?” “Very popular choice” and “You are all. weirdos.” HELP I LOVE IT.

When giving directions:

When fessing up to something:

“I cannot tell a lie, I ate the whole thing!” GREAT MOMENTS IN ELVIS HISTORY.

When you need to deny something:

“Mother always taught me never eat singing food.”

When you’re announcing things:

“BUSINESS.” “It is the AMERICAN WAY.”

When you need to scold a person:

“Light the lamp not the rat.” And sadly I cannot find “Thank you for making me a part of this” but it is SO USEFUL.

When things stop working:

“Dead Tom’s dead! Long John shot ‘im!”

When you need something from someone:

No Award’s top invasive species of australia

Ranked according to a complex system based on cuteness, novelty value and overall destructiveness, plus chaos theory, ie, the order in which we thought of them.

    • Cats
      Now, No Award is very fond of cats — well, Liz loves her cat a lot, even though he has put three people in hospital so far.  But ecologically speaking, they’re bad news.  ABC Fact Check says it’s impossible to verify the number of native species killed by cats, but it’s a lot.
      (Note: that link includes a picture of the contents of a feral cat’s stomach, and said feral cat post-stomach-removal.  Guys, no.)
      Be a responsible cat owner: get your moggy neutered and keep it inside.
      (Liz wishes to point out that Harvey has never killed a single bird, on account of how he’s actually pretty scared of them.  He has, however, caught two mice.  We hope they were just common housemice.)
    • North Pacific seastar
      By far the prettiest invasive species around.  Yes, it has spread itself throughout the oceans of the world, consuming resources needed by native species, but come on.  Aesthetically, it’s totally worth it, right?

      The Regina George of invasive starfish.
      The Regina George of invasive starfish.

      Also, if you cut off one its limbs, it will regenerate.  Into a white British dude, probably.

Actual depiction of a sea star with regenerated limb.
Actual depiction of a sea star with regenerated limb.

ETA: You can participate in some getting-rid of sea star activities from St Kilda Pier once a month with Earthcare St Kilda.

  • Asparagus fern
    Fact!  If you “accidentally” plant one, it will smother everything you love! it is officially known as a “dense infestation”, and that’s a call for respect.Its main hobbies are smothering native plants, performing as a foliage world-wide in cut flower bunches, and being illegal in many areas of Australia.
  • Rabbits
    Like white people, they invaded Australia on the First Fleet in 1788. They were released into the wild by a white dude in Victoria, for hunting, because they could do “little harm.” AHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    nobody likes rabbits
    nobody likes rabbits

    Despite being introduced deliberately, they are illegal to own as pets in Queensland.  Liz once watched with interest as a rabbit at the zoo burrowed underneath its fence and hippety-hopped to freedom.

    Stephanie’s favourite rabbit is Mixie, from The Ferals.

  • Foxes
    Why were foxes even introduced?  *google*  Oh.  Hunting.  Of course.  Thanks a bunch, England.
    Anyway, foxes are very pretty, but also jerks.  Between the wild foxes and the feral cats and the feral dogs, the poor old dingoes really have to work to get ahold of babies!
    (Too soon?)
  • Camels
    Camels were introduced as desert transport, but then the car was invented, and they were turned loose.  These days, they roam around, being jerks to native wildlife and providing transportation to extremely tedious memoirists whose iconic books are studied by bored first year Auslit students.  Sorry, camels, you deserve better.

    mate do you need a cold tinnie?
    mate do you need a cold tinnie?
  • Gold fish
    So it turns out that when you get bored and release your fishies into the wild, they establish feral populations. F.E.R.A.L. Because they are fucking hardcore and can survive all sorts of environments.
  • Bucky Barnes and friend.
    Bucky Barnes and friend.

    “But goldfish are so pretty!”

    Yeeeeeeeaaaah.  You’re gonna love it when they fin-nip native fish and kill them. It’s gonna be awesome.  They also love digging and uprooting plants, which alters the nutrients and kills locals, and they get more food. Yes. Best.

    You know that picture book about the kid who feeds his goldfish too much, and it ends up becoming ENORMOUS and (I think) destroying a house?

  • Asian mussel
    It’s attractive, delicious, and invasive as hell.
  • Brumbies
    Australian rite of passage, possibly limited to girls:
    1.  Read The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell, about a beautiful wild horse named Thowra
    2.  Discover that brumbies — small wild horses — are real.
    3.  Discover that, due to massive overpopulation and the damage they do to the environment, they are culled by shooting them from helicopters.
    4.  FOREVER TRAUMA
    But seriously, No Award is in favour of a catch-and-neuter program for wild horses, thank you.

    mate, wait up
    mate, wait up
  • Dogs
    See foxes.  Only, you know, they were introduced as Person’s Best Friend, not prey for wealthy hunters.
  • Myna birds
    Looks a lot like the Noisy Miner bird, and was named by white fellas who couldn’t tell the difference between an Indian bird and an Australian bird.  Like white people, it enjoys dispossessing locals and pooping on pets.
  • Rock pigeons
    All birds are terrible.  But rock pigeons compound their basic birdness by having acidic faeces.  No.  Just no.
  • Some sparrows
    We can’t remember exactly why some species of sparrow are terrible, aside from the obvious fact that they are birds.  (Stephanie notes that this opinion does not reflect No Award’s official pro-bird stance.)
    But here’s an interesting post about the English sparrow in the US — turns out Australia’s not the only country to have gone to war against a bird.  Although we may still be the only country to have comprehensively lost that war.
    (That link seems to take the position that people who are opposed to invasive species taking over the country are … racist?  Prejudiced against invasive species?  Anyway, we’ll see how you feel when you wake up and your drinking water is full of giant goldfish and North Pacific seastars.)
  • Some white people
    For the record, it has been at least weeks since Liz wiped out a native species.

Bonus! Australia’s least attractive invasive species:

  • cane toads
  • european wasps
  • tony abbott

things i can do because they’re not specified in my lease

in uni, a friend’s lease specified ‘no ironing on the carpet.’

things that aren’t specified ‘not to do’ in my lease:

install a door from the garage into the house

via a tunnel

data retentionpen pen

install a pool in the courtyard

just a little one

keep penguins

keep a squid in the swimming pool

call for the resignation of the president of the Human Rights Commissioner because I don’t like how she mentioned I’m breaking some human rights

Gillian Triggs: It was the first time in my career that anyone has ever asked for my resignation.

Penny Wong:

Q: Were you shocked by this proposition?

Gillian Triggs: I was deeply shocked.

Triggs is telling the committee the secretary of AGD suggested to her a new position would be found if she’d vacate her spot at the Human Rights Commission.

Triggs: It was definitely said to me that an offer would be made for me to provide work for the government in areas of my expertise in international law.

(This is amazing. Truly.)

sorry where was i

break human rights

make demands of a sovereign nation because i gave them some cash when they were in a lot of trouble

actually my parents’ friends’ aunt gave them the money

but i thought about it

iron on the carpet

bronze on the carpet

install an ai to do all my stuff

fill my house with bees

replace all the windows with linux

(it’s a type of glass)

be nice to strangers