07 December 2008

Manly Ocean Care Day - A Green & Blue Network

Manly Ocean Care Day Festival 2008 - Some impressions from along the beachfront:

The Maori community
was demonstrating their fibre and wood craft. Te Papa Wawata Ki Te Moana performed traditional songs. Using Native New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum) women were demonstrating their weaving skills in a Pacific ambiance, that they had created in their hut. Beautiful handbags and backpacks with intricated patterns. Occasionally Pandanus and flax are also used.

There are some New Zealand flax plants in Manly delighting nectar-feeding birds, bats and possums. Of course there are many fibre plants, that the local Guringai population use/d. There are always weaving artefacts by Tjanpi, the Aboriginal women's basket weaving project from the Central Western Desert region of Australia available in Manly.

"Always was, always will be Aboriginal land"
Australians for Native Title and Reconcilitation (ANTaR ) was focussing on “ issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”. Their Sea of Hands installation is well known.

The Aboriginal Heritage Office is caring for over 1000 sites of Aboriginal culture and heritage in the areas of Sydney known as North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Manly, Warringah, Ku-ring-gai and Pittwater. They educate (pdfs) and one can volunteer to report back on the state of vandalism of the sites.

The Ocean & its wildlife
ORRCA is protecting and affording welfare of seals, sea lions, dolphins and dugongs.The rescue organisation trains people, gives advice on 1st aid for marine mammal rescue. They like to hear of any sightings 24/7 - Ph.: (02) 9415 3333

The Nature Conservation Council works to conserve nature and protect the water we drink, the air we breathe and the places we love.” It is “a non-profit, non-government organisation representing 120 community environment groups across NSW.” “Save Fluffy”, seemed so appropriate for Manly, with on average 2-3 dogs in harness. But they do mean the local Grey Nurse Shark which needs saving from exctinction.

is the marine sector of NPA (National Parks Association of NSW), they are working with local communities, industries, scientists and government... to help create healthy oceans for the future of NSW.

The North Head Sanctuary will get its own nursery and propagate endemic flora.
Great to hand out native Australian (endemic) plants.
Permaculture North is "Sharing Sustainable Solutions with Communities" They offer "an amazing array of skills in self reliance, energy & water conservation, qualified permaculture design and teaching". Rumour has it that there might be a community garden in the future and nature strips will be released from the terror of lawns and petrol 'gardening'.
WIRES is "helping injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife".
The stuffed variety of Australian wildlife was preferred as no one wanted to cuddle the poor creatures into discomfort. Leave them in THEIR habitat.
The cat cage was a good idea and should be compulsory.
A dog on the beach, as every day.
Draining Sub-urbia
Stormwater displays - where did all that coloured water go? Did they come in a cleaned car?
Public Spaces
People from Little Manly Beach want a public reserve zoned as Open Space not more real estate.

Edibles - Slow & Local Food
Slow Foods Sydney would like to “preserve and promote local culinary traditions and foods.” Go local-vore and organic, educate about junk food, agribusiness and factory foods. They do not like pesticides, but regional markets. Where were all the Manly chefs?

The Manly Food Coop, for that very local, low packaging organic food - of course.

Sustainable Seafoodies - Soon there will be an "an online guide to sustainable seafood in NSW" Again Manly chefs, do take note on your menues!

A lot on watertanks, solar equipment and light green commodities.
There were many more stalls and activities...

Ideas for future actions
It would be desirable to hand out less dead tree material and refer/put information/displays on the web. Additional networking could strengthen the causes and communities. There seemed to be a forest of resposibilities, eg if this creature is on the beach, in the ocean, on state territory or NPs etc. It is confusing. Too many boarder/ interests for the flux of life. An integrated ecological management plan would benefit the blue & green and all creatures in these biomes.
1. Maori weaving
2. "Save Fluffy", Save the Grey Nurse Shark, nccnsw
3. Rigtail Possum, dazzled by the daylight
4. The Event along the Manly Beachfront

Manly Beach Ocean Care Day Animation
Ocean Care - Of Albatrosses and Red Tides
Stuff at Manly Beach on November 2008 and December 2008

04 December 2008

Mutilated Green Sea Turtle and Fishing Debris

Green sea turtle, O8R051 was found mutilated by fishing gear debris. It took zoo staff four months to rehabilitate the creature.:

"A fishing line had cut a flipper to the bone and X-rays showed she also had a fish hook lodged in her throat. Her face had been badly bruised when she thrashed out in panic with her flippers in vain attempts to escape the fishing line. The bruising triggered an eye discharge, leaving her almost blind....We see a lot of turtles here... estimating half have swallowed fishing lines or hooks, or have become entangled in lines. Many others have ingested garbage. Still others have been attacked by cats or dogs on beaches." SMH

Once a marine park is established, it would be desirable to prohibit this mutilation, by-kill and mindless sharing of marine debris. 'Recreational Taking & Chucking' is a threat to biodiversity. "We can't expect to have over 93 per cent of our waters open to fishing and be aware of the fact that our marine life is declining and our habitats are being degraded and not expect that trend to continue." (abc) The control of introduced canines assaulting Australian fauna would require a mind-set change.

02 December 2008

Manly Beach Drift "wood" - December

A monthly summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:

30+ dead Leatherjackets again, possibly Meuschenia flavolineata, (10-20 cm long). Kids playing 'ball' with them. Millions of mostly still alive Ladybirds at the water's edge, struggling. There appeared to be no 'white collar', probably a native. Many aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and mites will not be eaten this season by this 'gardener's friend'. As with the mass occurrence of dead crickets (021108) it is unknown how they ended up in this environment.
The usual 'fast food' wrappers and many 'gift-wrapping strings' with balloons, ready to entangle. Beach worm 'harvesting' and fishing 'classes' now at the waters' edge. High speed kite surfing poses a serious danger to swimmers/surfers and beach users.
Image: sandsculpture, kelp and pine needles 021208

A seagull had both feet tightly entangled by a fishing string. It could hardly walk or balance. Do we really need 'recreational taking' on busy urban beaches? Container ships hovering on the horizon. 031208

Thousands of Ladybirds struggling at the water's edge again. Seagulls gorging on the live ones. No one seems to notice, as strangers are usually recognised, by exhibiting curiousity and looking at objects at the beach. For the locals it is just a tabula rasa to do stuff on. Giant sand castles with deep trenches, possibly to trap joggers in the dark?. Various container ships cluttering up the horizon, possibly heavy in junk for the coming exchange festivities. At the North Steyne cliff end a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) was stalking insects and amphibians in the urban run off. Rock engravings of the Eora people depict this coastal bird doing its thing for thousands of years. An off leash dog did not allow the bird to continue feeding. 041208

A 2 m long log covered densly in living Crustaceans. The Goose barnacles were of white/blue colour. The life raft was returned to the sea. A pelican was gliding north, looking like a flying ancient lizard.

A double rainbow again, nicely offset against the plump white clouds. A few blue bottles , many dog paw prints in the sand and black dog feces plastic bags sloshing in the water. 051208

Post Care Day and after rain. A huge soggy pond at the pipe. Leaf litter plus sub-urban run off, hanging around the surf. A large amount of garbage, mainly plastics: wrappers, bottles and an unusual amout of 'party ballons' with long 'fancy' wrapping ribbon of all colours- ideal to entangle. Inflated baloons blowing around. Again, full nappies, a syringe and chemical loo cleaner.
A near-death shearwater, an unusual number of seagulls with only one leg. Many blue bottles, nice kelp of all different shapes. Painted driftwood and building materials. The daily dog on the beach, hopping about on the prize winning North Steyne beach. A person flying his surf kite over the heads of swimmers/walkers ('obstacles') at very high speeds. Above the water, control of the medium seems to be beyond the guy stearing it. One day a beach user will be injured by these speeding installations. Council probably is liable for such eventualities. 081208A few small Abalone shells (Haliotis coccoradiata), rarely larger than 3 cm. A nice audio-scape coming from the rows of pines: Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), Red Wattlebirds, (Anthochaera carunculata) and Ravens (Corvus coronoides). Black faced Cormorants flying north. 091208

Powerful fast clouds stroke the beach. Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) surfing the dunes at high speed, mopping up insects. Ravens eye the dead fish. Rich leaf litter, blown down the hills from endless noisy debris blowers which move the sub-urban debris into the public gutter and down to the beaches. Civilised places have given up the polluting of air and water a long time ago. 101208

> Drift "wood", November 2008

28 November 2008

Buy Nothing Day - Give the Earth a Break

Buy Nothing Day
is a halt from converting the earth into a junkspace, whilst eyeing for spare planets to exploit. Unravelling our own biosphere on Earth and replacing it with artifacts sprawling over the globe: human biomes. The anthropocene, a geological age of our own making might engineer us out of a place hospitable to life - as we know it. The ecological destruction and the mass consumption of Homo consumes is threatening the survival of all humans and life. Meanwhile other species are being pushed off the planet, as 'we' already consume beyond the capacity of this planet. The externalities are generously socialised for all to come.

Homo consumens' habitat

The corner store is eaten by shopping streets, they are in turn swallowed by 'towns', shopping towns are gobbled up by malls. The storage space in Mc Mansions' Bland-burbia is never enough. The combustion vehicles bloat in size to transport the cargo. Mega-cities burst at the seams. "The world in which we were trapped is in fact a shopping mall..." The privatised artificial buyo-sphere controls 'appropriate behaviour' via CCTV, 'advertising' (unsolicited messaging), security personnel and urban 'design'. Space for citizens and human beings shrinks rapidly. Niches get occupied by commercialised 'recreational activities'. "In the end, there will be little else for us to do but shop".

"If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, junk-space is the residue (hu) mankind leaves on the planet’ The virus ascribed to junkspace is in fact the virus of shopping itself; which, like Disneyfication, gradually spreads like a toxic moss across the known universe. "

'Shop till you drop' - Having or living?
Having outsourced self-management and creativity to infotainment and traditional culture, it's an easy ride. Just follow the 'must have', 'must do', 'must go', 'must eat' etc track like a zombie. Benchmark 'identity' via consumption patterns. Become an array of designer labels and body hacks. Jump start the casino machinery. The pathological addiction to shopping, is usually accompanied by other forms of addictive consumption.
Wasting one's life, 'killing time' leaves a void amongst all the stuff. "There is a certain sickness in this drive for ever-increasing consumption and the danger is that, by being filled with a need for consumption, the person does not really solve the problem of inner passivity, of inner vacuity, of anxiety, of being depressed -- because life in some way doesn't make sense."

Give the earth and yourself a rest – Buy Nothing!
Immerse yourself in Life!

Fredric Jameson, Future City, New Left Review 21, May-June 2003
Rem Koolhaas, Junkspace, OMA

Erich Fromm , On Being Human- Homo Consumens, 1997
The photographic art of Chris Jordan depicts Grand Canyons of our rubbish on this planet.

Buy Nothing Day, UK
Video, Manufactured Landscapes
Video, Piggy consumes the earth
Affluenza and downshifting in Australia
, Wikipedia

The Story of STUFF, Free Range Studios, a teaser:

26 November 2008

Managing Busy Beach Environments

Benidorm in Spain went from a small fishing village "formed by two crescents of fine golden sand" to a 2.6 million tourists a year high-rise beach - "the Dubai of Europe". Intensifying alcohol- fuelled festivities in a mass tourism location distracted visitors that might have sought the uniqueness of a place.
Benidorm now wants to turn around and secure just this one-off status by seeking to protect and promote its world cultural and natural heritage. To become a Unesco World Heritage Site one has to clean up their act, so they drafted a 73-article code of conduct for beach users:

€1,000 ( 2,011.50 AUD) Bathing under "red flag" conditions
€750 Fishing (€1,100 with a harpoon)
€1,100 For Bonfires
€250 Bringing glass containers on the beach (€750 if that container breaks)
€250 Taking animals on the beach
€300 Drinking alcohol, selling merchandise (conducting outdoor businesses)
€150 Urinating or defecating in sea or sand
€120 (£102) Playing ball and paddle games outside authorised areas
€150 Early staking-out of a prime spot on the beach for later use
€750 Using the beach (for a party, sex, stroll) from midnight to 7am

Source: The Independent

24 November 2008

Manly Beach Ocean Care Day Animation, 2008

Ocean Care Day - every day!
Thanks for the animation to dotAtelier

20 November 2008

Power and Attention Hogs in Social Spaces in Manly

Most food & drink places and many shops in Manly have one LCD (liquid-crystal display) TV or clad most of their walls with these high-definition television (HDTV) displays. They are switched on for the length of the trading day/night. Not only are they ugly and put the customer in a passive position, of having to gobble up the unsolicited content (spam), but they also interfere with social communication.

Additionally, the glaring walls gobble up enormous amounts of energy, adding to Australia's emissions. According to the EPA/US ," the more than 275 million TVs in this country consume over 50 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s equivalent to the output of more than 10 coal-fired power plants"
"The gas, widely used in the manufacture of flat screen TVs, is estimated to be 17,000 times as powerful as carbon dioxide."

Make choices:
Choose spam and emission - free spaces
Ask to have it turned off.
Turn it off yourself.

Image: Stencil art in public spaces of a person who did not outsource their creativity to TV.

19 November 2008

More Salmonella 'mysteries' on the Northern Beaches

'Mystery' has struck again. Sand contaminated with Samonella paratyphi B var java was found again on the Northern Beaches playgrounds. "Hitchcock Park at Avalon and Winnererremy Bay at Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches have been fenced off for the second time this year, while a third South Avalon playground has not re-opened since May". Replacing (some) of the sand did not work. The bug, linked to exotic fish/pets can cause serious illness.

In pet-fanatic Manly off leash dogs mingle in playgrounds and on the beaches with toddlers. Apart from community hygiene standards and enforcements, it does not instill confidence that possible bio hazards could also turn out to be 'mysteries' for half a year or more...
Salmonella paratyphi bio var java contaminated grounds May 2008

02 November 2008

Manly Beach Drift "wood" - November

A summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:

Dead crickets (Gryllidae), along the entire beach, a thick layer 1 to 2 m wide of dead insects. Seagulls were feasting on some of them. There was talk of aerial spraying locust in Sth NSW/North Victoria. Bees in Victoria were protected from the pesticides. Any connection? A dead Petrel. Thick clumps of kelp. Some blue bottles 021108

Rabbit poisoning (sodium monofluoroacetate?) is taking place in the Mona Vale Beach area. An unusual amount of dead birds, fish and insects were observed there. (Manly Daily, 041108, p2) Just a reminder, there were unusual numbers of dead fish (moray eel) at Manly Beach (081008), a dead albatross (021008). There seems to be no monitoring body of these mass ecological occurrences or possible eutrophication. It will be a different 'silent night' without the chirping of the many crickets.
Today, many translucent jellyfish, (10-15 cm round), a nice large shark egg case, maturing kelp and sea gulls and their young all along the beach. 0411108

Many glass-like translucent jelly-blobs, one had rusty/ red tentacles. 5 dead black seabirds, more kelp, fresh large blue bottles. Many plastic lighters. At the rocks off Queenscliff Rockpool, one rock had been cleared of all the oysters. Right in the run off from all the houses and toxic Manly lagoon. Yum! 051108

Post weekend frenzy: 8 dead shearwaters, possibly short-tailed shearwaters. No, it was not starvation and exhaustion' which kills them but 'fishing'. One had been trapped by a fishing hook of a human being, it had a long nylon string tangling out of it's beak. Is there any monitoring body for the eradication of wildlife in this biome? A marine wildlife annual database?
Fishing took place just there at Queenscliff Rockpools and at the weekend the ocean was full of boats in full take-mode. The multiple fishing rods on the busy beach are a hazard to people and wildlife. Busy urban coastal areas must be free of 'recreational taking' and sharing of their dangerous debris.
One dead Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus), a lot of kelp, many sepia hulls and very large bluebottles. Full "disposable" nappies were generously left behind. The usual plastic 'convenience' food, drink and toys. Giant sand castles, are being built by large optimistic families, simulating rapid and extreme climate change. 101108 Image: Bird hanging by long nylon string out of its beak.

Polystyrene, the white crumbly plastic that does not biodegrade in various chunks and pebbles. Many plastic dummies and the usual plastic bottles and plastic tops galore. A lot of 'gift wrapping', long enough to entangle any marine creature. A lot of dead winged insects and lost mole crickets.
A lot of grey round pumice again and brownish foam that sits on the sand for a long time. The surf is lapping at the cement stairs.
There is light pollution emanating from new street lights, starting at North Steyne and continuing along half of the beach. One of the mega-lights even stays on all day. Turning the dark sky and the Pacific into an overpowering glare. So much spare energy, blasting emissions like there is no tomorrow. For beach/promenade users it is unpleasant, for birds and insects deadly. Residents living in this 'sport-light' ambiance must be blinded. 141108

A few Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) mingling amongst the Silver Gulls (Larus novaehollandiae), a sure sign for hotter days to come. A fluffy thing, called dog walked along the beach illegally in bright daylight.
The disappearance of the horizon
- hardly a day goes by where there is an absence of toxic diesel spewing container ships hovering until they can enter the jammed harbour to spill their o.s. commodities on to hungry consumers. More frequent ships increase the risk of oil or chemical spills, as well as exotic marine pests. They are not just clutter on the horizon of a beautiful beach, but a health hazard to all coastal and harbour residents and wildlife. 171108

Another dead moray eel, large blue bottles and many dead bees and other winged insects. 181108

Large amounts of leaf litter, mostly Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus). Either the rain washed them in to the ocean or some considerate person blew them against the wind with their debis blower. A Magpie checked the litter out. Stunning rainbows. 201108

A cold and rainy day. Sub-urbia washed its load onto the beach, the run-off looked like a mix of dark dust, gum leaves, speckled with jacaranda and bougainvillea flowers. Contractors and residents blow the debris of the 'nature strip' into the common gutter. The unwanted of blandburbia is transported via a million noisy petrol powered machines into Manly Beach, the Pacific. There were also many cigarette butts. A chucked unwanted lobster head, full nappies again. A racing beach buggy did not improve the air.Floating in the water a bright plastic buoy, with a couple of long strong ropes and a heavy lead/metal weight attached to one of the ropes. The inscriptions read:'MANLY JLSC 'Nippers''. Turning the beach into an event zone and leaving potentially deadly junk floating for marine mammals to get entangled in can't be kid's fun or delight any sponsors. Floating plastic debris and the possiblility of entanglement does not seem to be in the spirit of "Ocean Care" or good PR for Manly beach. 231108

A fresh smell today of salt, fresh fish and kelp. Huge waves and golden sand. 241108
Many plastic bags, full nappies and a not so fresh smell 251108

Grass stars (inflorescences of Spinifex sericeus) rolling along the beach looking for suitable real estate to bind the sand, stabilising against coming turbulences. Human stampedes limit this colonizing grass in its dune-binding function. A large variety of different kelps today.
Many non-biodegradable balloons sloshing along the beach. Balloons have become a popular way of advertising one's business, as well as staging events and parties. There they are - in all colours, maybe ending up in the intestines of a whale. Later to be found stranded and more than three square feet of plastic would have to be removed from it's bowl.
sharp and dangerous pieces of glass of all colours along the beach. Each bottle taking one million years to break down. The disposable diapers were still there - in 450 years they might be gone. The mono filament fishing line tangled around Queenscliff Rock Pool grids will take 600 years to disappear. Many plastic bags. There is a lot of polystyrene and garbage trapped in between the rocks at that location. So much for ocean dumping for one day 261108
> Drift "wood" December 2008

23 October 2008

Halloween - Spoooky for Australian Children

WOOHOO! - It's Halloween again. Let's see what spine-chilling, scary and weird spook lurks in the closet this season.

It has been found that educated and mature parents, capable of long-term thinking/planning produce healthier and smarter kids "Children with highly educated parents, and from families with two working parents, display higher cognitive ability and appear to have fewer behaviour problems." Depressed and immature parents are probably not ideal carers.

The 'One minute a day-dad' is probably steering his attention towards electronic interactivity, just as the mother/carers are not investing in interaction with the child.

Not learning to focus in a social setting could lead to 'Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder' (ADHD). “Drugging unruly children is a method of social control “ in Australia and the U.S. especially. Being under six years old for 'the pharmacological solution' seems no barrier. Later, cognition can be chemically enhanced and psychotropic medication usage becomes prevalent for young adults.

Drinking as a means of self-medication” is usually adopted in the parental milieu and might be advanced into "binge drinking" or a “Culture of Extreme Drinking” and self-abuse.

The 'home' environment is a dangerous place: No, not spooky bats, but family dogs maul helpless children to death (here, here, here & etc) or transfer their diseases (image). Nothing is done. Alone in deep water (pools) is also a high risk environment(2 yo, 15 mo, 2 yo). Just mower injuries are considerable.The media is awash daily of violent crimes committed by the 'hand of the carer' against helpless infants, toddlers and children. In 2003 "almost 3,500 children under the age of 15 die from maltreatment (physical abuse and neglect) every year in the industrialized world." (UNICEF 2003, pdf) Nothing much seems to change.

Scaffolding society does not seem to lend much support either, in fact the human balance sheet is sliding into that of a 'developing' country: Australia "continues to accept mediocrity for our young people" at a time when we top the rankings of some global prosperity indices....I'm disappointed in the way Australia has become smug about being top of the pops in wealth and sport, but for the most important element for the future of the country, our children, we're way behind the eight ball," says Professor Stanley.

Adults being addicted to CO2 pumping private mobility reduce the quality of urban air. "There are almost three times more asthma-related deaths in Australia than in Europe" Having the highest asthma rates in the world (pdf), kids are choking. Foetuses are shrinking and harmed, children have reduced cognitive abilities from their externalities. Scientists are urging the government to reduce emissions, to not take that 'sky dome' covering the Earth from very harmful rays away. UV rays increase skin cancers and will sizzle the DNA.

A crowded, hot, water-less and polluted world, without all the other species will be very unhealthy.
The environmental heritage left behind is far from inter generational equity according to this report:
All will have to deal with bio-accumulation:

In Manly businesses are eager that all immerse themselves in plastic gadgets and costumes, which will soon end up in the tip, or worse the ocean. Trick or treat for advanced children ends up nasty and violent and only keeps the authorities busy.

The best green 'party' (celebration) people could offer the little ones would be to face up to their actions, access their values and act responsibly towards themselves, their offspring, the other species and the remaining biomes and give the Earth a chance. Quality interaction and doing things from scraps can be a lot of fun .
See also: "Manly- It's kinda spooky 2007"
Images: All public art works by young people o.s. Known here as 'graffiti', as it often just is the initials of the scribbler in Manly.

20 October 2008

Marine Conservation and The Use of Beaches

Marine Parks - the only way to go
The battle over 'No Take' and 'Grab it all Now' is grinding along Australia's coastline. Moreton Bay Marine Park , rich in biodiversity is having 16 % of the Bay declared free from fishing and boats have to "go slow" to not continue injuring the dugongs and turtles. It is " home to 750 species of fish, 120 species of coral, an abundance of dolphins, migratory whales and the world's largest population of dugong next to a capital city.""Each year some 200 turtles are found dead, sick or injured in Moreton Bay Marine Park and an average of 15 dugongs die from human impacts." The Australian Marine Conservation Society says that at least 30 % of the bay should be protected. "It exposes actually a whopping 84 per cent of the marine park to intense fishing pressure".
Manly Cove, Sydney Harbour and the Pacific hugging the Northers Beaches should also go 'slow' and have an effective 'no take' Marine Park to conserve some of the biodiversity for the future.

An observant person on Bribie Island wanted to report a loggerhead turtle stranding. He rang the Environmental Protection Agency's hotline just to be diverted to a call centre in Indonesia. The stranding was never followed up. Sounds soo familiar... abc 201008

A whale sanctuary has been created off Chile's coast, ensuring save passage for the cetaceans migration over 3,400 miles (5,500 km). Here, news of entanglement, starvation etc is almost daily. Noisy obstacles, such as human infrastructure off shore probably do not aid the journey of the giants.

Taking the beach away to attract beach holiday seekers
It is interesting to see how far 'developers' in the tourism industry go: They carted their biggest asset away, 500 truck loads of beach sand to build a a $1 billion resort with it. In the absence of the key feature, the project is now on hold. It will take 100 years for the forces of nature to replace the stolen sand. BBC

Choking on the air and pulverised stuff
"Australia's asthma mortality rates are one of the highest in the world according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare." HealthInsit.au does not mention car pollution as a 'cause'. It all seems a matter of 'managing' it by medical professionals, not preventing it by involving urban planning. Elsewhere, they have found that tree-lined streets can make a difference.

Privatising public spaces
At dark, Manly's coach-led body-fitness customers are cluttering up the paths, dipping into the doggy lawn and punching into the night. All apparently unregulated. Most businesses have to pay the rent, events have to register and pay a fee, but feral businesses occupying public space with business activities seem to be exempt. "City of Yarra and several other municipalities are following the lead of five bayside councils, which recently moved to clamp down on boot camps that operate on beaches and foreshore parks.But Yarra has gone a step further and proposed a ban on commercial exercise groups of more than six people from 18 public parks in Fitzroy, Clifton Hill and Richmond. Fitness classes will also be prohibited from exercising within 10 metres of playgrounds or 15 metres of picnic sheds and park benches." It might be... "reasonable to pay a fee to conduct a business in a local park", but is it desirable to privatise public spaces?

16 October 2008

Including Pram Inhabitants in Communication

A bumper crop of babies, toddlers and advanced children are being pushed around Manly in prams. Mostly, turned away from the face2face position, leaving the young one deprived of interaction.

Parents/carers can be seen engaged in electronic interaction (mobile) for prolonged periods, as their most common posture. Awareness becomes entirely focused on the one physically absent.

Lack of (verbal) interaction can interfere with the language development of the young child. Shari Harpaz, a speech pathologist, specializing in children with PDD-NOS, social and play deficits, developmental verbal dyspraxia, and oral motor deficits "is seeing an increase in speech-delayed babies and toddlers" which is related to mobile phone usage. The social preconditions for language acquisition are withheld. Preverbal vocalizations are not responded to. "The social use of language, that's the piece that's getting lost,'' said Harpaz.
Speechless presence needs some inclusive quality face-time to become a member of the language-using human community.

'PDD-NOS': Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified
'Hey, cellphone mom: Your children are calling', Seattle Times, 070908
'Caregivers should turn off the phone and watch the kids' , mlive, 090908
How best to walk your baby, The Independent, 211108
Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Dundee's School of Psychology

12 October 2008

Channel-billed Cuckoos and Fig Trees of Manly

A couple of Channel-billed cuckoos ( Scythrops novaehollandiae) are back in town again, seeking to outsource their child-rearing to the local Crows, Pied Currawongs, Butcherbirds and Australian Magpies. The up to 65 cm long bird with a large (horn-like) bill and a red eye can be heard (audio) at different times of the day. Its call is much louder than that of the Common Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) (audio). They love eating native figs and fruit. Around Feb./March they fly back to a rapidly cleared PNG.

Here too in lawny bland-burbia intolerance to trees fills the air with the sound of daily chainsaws and other petrol powered machines. The Fig trees Manly has to offer the visiting bats and birds, such as in Darley Rd and Wenthworth St have no protective devices (cages) to prevent vehicles constantly crunching into them. They are very scarred, most of the bottom branches had to make way to the 'wheels of industry'.

Many large, old trees/figs are mysteriously dying at the moment, revealing a 'view'.

At the library plaza of Market Place a pet fanatic even brings in an unleashed cat and locals get amused how it chases the local native birds.

Trees and birds are one of the big assets of Manly -let's look after them..
Trees on Council Land, Manly Council
Images: Figs in Darley Rd.
Manly, dead old Fig, Marine Pde
More and image here 0109

10 October 2008

Banksy's "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill"

New Yorkers don’t care about art, they care about pets." One could paraphrase it as: Manly-siders also don't care about art or wildlife, they care about pets. Mass hysteria about submissive, privately owned 'pets' and captive creatures in shops, cages and tanks is good business in times of Black Friday, Halloween and Mega Extinction Rates. Something one CAN control.

Banksy's animatronics installation in NYC "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" grasps attention on " our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing." News about " the implications of animal cloning on food safety, animal health and welfare and the environment" seem to be sparse. Human cloning. au. pops up occasionally.

Good write-up at the Wooster Collective
Check out the videos on sausages and the sedated wild captive cats, the 'shop',
Good Flickr images
Image: Banksy? Berlin
Video via banscopetstore