24 June 2007

Manly culture

Saw this long thing today on the Corso, written in 1906 by an Australian worker that wrote “on the side” and ended up begging in the streets. Yes, culture is an expensive thing to create and maintain for individuals or societies. Anti-intellectualism then and today makes this a long but very contemporary read:
The Bards who Lived at Manly,
Henry Lawson

The camp of high-class spielers,
Who sneered in summer dress,
And doo-dah dilettante,
And scornful “venuses”—
House agents, and storekeepers,
All eager they to “bleed”—
The bards who tackled Manly,
Were plucky bards indeed!

With shops that feared to trust them,
And pubs that looked askance;
And prigs who read their verses,
But gave them not a glance;—
When all were vain and selfish,
And editors were hard—
The bard that stuck to Manly
Was sure a mighty bard.

What mattered floors were barren,
And windows curtainless >>>>

23 June 2007

Tasmanian Salmon marinated in...

Next time you go out and have that nice salmon dish – think again.
Salmon from underwater factories contain huge amounts of antibiotics and they also may contain dioxin and PCBs. The Tasmanian salmon industry “...has used nearly double the amount of OTC (Oxytetracycline) than was anticipated under the permit application.” The use of antibiotics on salmon and trout "...has jumped from just 12 kg a year a decade ago to eight tonnes in the first three months this year.”
High population densities of fish lead to stress and dis-ease. Pathogens are fought cost-effectively with these high doses of anti-bio-tics.
Some of the drugs cause allergic reactions in some humans and there are concerns of huge amounts of these drugs entering the human food chain and having negative effects on our health.
Aqua- 'culture' has also negative impacts on the water quality and increases probabilities of emerging diseases spreading to aquatic ecosystems. One disease expert is concerned that Australia “...may not be well enough prepared to counter emerging disease threats from aquaculture.”
The industry is worth $250 million dollars and received its last tax boost of $1.285 million recently.
You can make a decision by choosing organic fish from your shop or restaurant and supporting the sustainable management of fishery stocks and marine ecosystems.
Plundering the aquatic pantry

Update, 250907
"Sea lice from salmon farms threatening wild Pacific salmon...In some cases, sea lice originating from salmon farms are estimated to have killed up to 95% of the wild juvenile salmon. We can expect long-term wild salmon stock decline if farmed salmon are not quarantined. When our government ignores the immutable natural law that disease is amplified when host populations are crowded, we pay the price of irreversible loss of a very valuable resource."
Scientists writing a public letter to the Canadian government, as "a sense of duty to future generations".Via Science Daily

21 June 2007

Attracting more motorised vehicles to Manly beach

Some cities aiming for sustainability introduce 'pay as you drive' schemes. Transportation in Sydney is 'going nowhere', killing many, endangering health and hotting up the Earth for all to come.

But Manly is going the other way, parking out the beach will become even cheaper. Beachfront parking already increases traffic and the associated noise and air pollution. Foul smells and deafening noises enter the eateries and cafes at the beach and the CBD. Hot bombs fly along unrestricted. Even on the beach promenade the negative impacts can be heard and smelled. Sometimes even there are motorised vehicles on the pedestrian path. The stated goal of 'maximise (car) parking' seems contrary to any proclaimed goals of sustainability.

Just one look at the many parked bikes and walkers and one can see that residents and visitors want bikeability and walkability in a unique place. Yes they do shop too and spend money in restaurants. But in the absence of 'a chambre of non-motorised residents and visitors', no one seems to consult these stakeholders. Lets not consume the uniqueness of Manly beach in one gulp.
Consider a car-free beach, even a walkable, cyclable town.
A world for cars

20 June 2007

Unsustainable noisy petrol - 'gardening' Manly style

There is a lot of circus and warm recommendations about 'sustainabiltiy' in Manly. The council itself is modelling via their actions that polluting petrol-gardening is ok. Putting in 'pansies' and other exotics that require petrol-powered watering is also ok. Apparently in charge of noise (annoys) management, it regularly bestowes a noisy hurricane of petrol-powered equipment 'when the council does the 'nature' strip'. It is hard to believe these machines have 'noise labels' and conform to the prescibed noise level of 80 dB(A). In other places the debris-blowers are already illegal.
Who controls and enforces this health endangering noise?
Who controls private providers when one wakes up on a Saturday in 'Timbertown'?
There is talk of 'tougher restrictions on neighbourhood noise' but are the 'managers of noise pollution' exempt?

When will council show the way and rip up the lawns of suburbia, plant self-sustaining native tufts of grass, that do not need, petrol, water, pesticides or high staff-intensity?
How does council ensure that pesticides on suburban lawns and constant beach turf transplants are not endangering life?
Where is the guarantee to toddlers/people that the lawns/turf are not saturated with poisons?
That their immune system will not be affected by 'mystery diseases'?

In many cities of the world people have taken sustainability seriously, they eliminate their carpets of conformity and put in sustainable plants that do not cost the Earth or inflict noise and toxic pollution onto the environment.
Visitors and tourists would also know that they are not in the Europe of the pansy or the Sth. Africa of exotica, but could see what unique flora Manly has to offer. Additionally it could become a quiet beach-resort and not another interchangable Anywhere-place.
More on lawns and pesticide
Images: Monoculture lawn of anywhere and local native grass tuft

18 June 2007

Manly tag and the MSM - the ABC skin change

OMG! The ABC has got a 'new look'. Wrapped in the colours of the national flag it undertook “a seismic shift in our relationship with our audience”.The form of interactivity with 'our audience' seems to be along the lines of contributing your products. Navigation is better. More rich media, tags, tag-clouds and podcasts are available.Tags open the eyes and reveal the 'agenda setting' taxonomy. Wanted to subscribe to the 'Manly' tag, but it is all sports for content. Is that all there is to Manly or should the content also have had a 'seismic shift'?

16 June 2007

Unique wildlife - can Sydney afford it?

In most sub-urban space people are unwilling to share with native wildlife, especially because of habitat destruction. Their individualised transport modes fragment animal habitat even more and make it deadly for all. Just like many human beings are killed and maimed on these motorised mobility arteries, so are the local Australian animals.
In only one of Sydney's suburbs on the North Shore (map) a study has found the following:
"One possum per day is dying on a single 40-kilometre stretch of road”.

The researcher collected
600 dead possums,
dozens of local birds and
10 dead bandicoots in a 2 year period.

Elsewhere, in Tasmania 1,700 Tasmanian Devils get killed on the roads every year.

People living in the remaining iconic Australian bush report the following on their walks:
“In six months I’ve counted
eight dead wallabies,
today’s possum,
plus several pigeons,
a kookaburra,

a noisy mynah...,
a couple of young magpies,
a galah,
plus countless lizards and snakes.

They’re just what I’ve seen walking one or two days a week, on a road without much traffic. “

In local National Parks I have seen irresponsible cars racing, deliberately knocking down wallabies. Many of these killing incidents are not accidents, bad and neglectful infrastructural planning is a cause, but willful racing, or even 'possum busting' seems to be a national sport.

Reported acts of individuals eradicating wildlife in their habitats:

Check out Australia's big contribution to species extinction on this map.
Images: Ringtail sculpture & Eora 'graffiti', rock-painting.

15 June 2007

On consuming dogs - costing the Earth

“Australia has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world. About 2.8 million households have at least one dog.” (The Age) NSW has 1 million registered dogs. (SMH) In Manly the 'fluffball designer dogs' are also 'filling up the suburb.' Some get carried in baby-arm-slings, pushed in prams, or packs are harnessed for the beach walk. Hardly a human arm or lap without a fluff-thing can be seen. Some less fortunate creatures are just dragged along by the spinal cord. Sub-urbia is turned into a gigantic kennel. Yappers awakening from their (too) low dose of valium join the raging hunting dogs in a barking cacophony.

The original idea was to engage in selective breeding to obtain improved traits of utility to human beings and improve survival for the species. Some 'purebreds' now claim certified 'purity of bloodline' to distinguish them from the 'inferior races', the mongrels. Many 'undesirables ' have been managed into extinction. The artificial intervention in the commercial breeding process is no longer guided by work utility traits and fitness, but by the demands of the market. Commercial breeding for profit meets the demands for 'purebreds' which are believed to be genetically superior.

The 19th century colonial ideas of 'a strict hierarchy among races', 'pure ancestry' and 'biological inferiority' has led to genocide and ethnic cleansing in human society. The idea of 'supremacy' is vividly alive in todays rankism.

The beyond-utility mashups cater to the demands of fashion whims. The branded, certified 'supremacy' of the purpose-bred 'designer-dog' produces 'toy-things' which have the specification to fit into tea-cups or have the attributes of human babies for a four-digit sum.(The Age) One acquires a (lap) dog not 'for life' but for the duration of the fashion-season. The naming of these 'surrogote babies' coincides exactly with that of the infants.

The 'cultivation' of the by now endangered strong wolf (Canis lupus) has led to a reduced brain capacity that has shrunk by 30 %. The deterioration of Canis has other detrimental effects: Some 'fading puppies' are born with a weakened immune system and die. Lap dogs have problems with ' tear ducts, dentition and breathing'. Some dogs can only reproduce with human induced caesareans.(The Age)

This negative biological selection also has had its toll on dog psychology. Its domestication has made it into an object of engineered dependence. As a subservient 'Yes man' it has become the human's best communication partner and accessory.

The leisure classes and the wanna-bes engaging in conspicuous consumption are wishing to display "higher-status". The race of competitive spending has to manufacture exclusiveness: status symbols such as a trophy wife, the yacht, Mc Mansion, luxury cars and of course designer rags and.. yes and a mashup-pet. Each season a new fashionable 'top dog model' of course. Only few will end up in a $A970/month aged care home.The obsolete, unfashionalbe, inconvenient, difficult or just 'impure' bastard mongrels end up in dog pounds.”Most dogs in shelters are unidentified mongrels” But 'designer-dogs too contribute to the overflow of the pounds.(The Age) The consumer society's readiness to dispose of the unwanted leads to the eradication of millions of animals. Many more creatures in this pet overpopulation crisis are on death row.

In a country where a diversity of free and healthy native animals are rapidly being pushed out of their habitat it is ecological vandalism to bestow the word's resources on a monoculture of introduced mammals.
>Extinction and a world full of poodles
Images: Graffiti and one of the Man(l)y dog 'faeces trees'. If they were human draining to the beach, what would the Dept. of Health say?

08 June 2007

Videos of Manly environments

'The Animated Coast of (Manly) Sydney' - video uses a local sound-scape to capture various habitats and times. It leads us from Shelley beach, its Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve fish and seastars. A rare visitor such as the Pied Oystercatcher is also 'in the picture'. The contested sandstone heathlands of North Head, Manly and the Pacific sky are depicted. Queenscliff with artifical lights looks iconic. Worth a watch to get the ambience of the place.

Thanks to dotAtelier for the permission to screen the video here.

Another video 'Manly, Sydney, Ferry, Hurry' is of Manly and a ferry trip. It shows the wharf (with the good old Cove restaurant), the Corso, the Harbour (trip) and of course Circular Quay. The animation by Viktor Hertz was composed from 2000 still pictures and also has its own audio composition.

04 June 2007

Investing in public art and young people in Manly

The trend in Manly's CBD 'to paint buildings in an asphalt colour to merge in with the car parks and roads' was mentioned before. Some local councils invest between $50,000 to $126,000 a year in “removing graffiti from public infrastructure.” In the sprawl-and-mall age, young people seek spaces away from bland sub-urbs.The apparent public space under constant surveillance becomes contested by youth wanting to make a mark. Many hundreds of years ago, it was a common practice here. Now, so it seems only the one that pays can speak and leave their mark in the minds of many. They call it advertisement. This is today's mechanism for inclusion and exclusion of public voice.
Yes, often the graffiti lacks social capital, but one could decide to invest the $126,000 in the education and training of the young 'vandals' and turn out muralists, artists and end up with a unique city. In times the young artists might even bless their place with a contemporary urban interface design.
On Banksy
Mexican Muralist
Northern Irish murals
Convert a digital photo to a multiple layered stencil
Image: 1. Manly CBD, 2. mural in Europe

03 June 2007

Manly Sustainability Fair Video

via dotAtelier

Manly Sustainability Fair

The Manly Sustainability Fair seemed to hand over half of the stalls to the promotion of cars and other motorised vehicles. The Mayor held a passionate speech and a consultant foreshadowed the outcomes of the presently human caused actions. Bush-regeneration workers explained their wonderful work they do all over in local reserves.
There was a (Manly Council?) questionnaire which ran along the lines of 'Do you recycle etc.', leaving out all the burning issues. ("On average, each person in Australia and the US now emits more than five tonnes of carbon a year..." SMH )
Some ideas for the next dead-tree questionnaire could be:

  • Have you quadrupled yourself?
  • How many cars/hummers/motorised bikes are in your household?
  • What is the ecological footprint of your McMansion/ dwelling? (AC)
  • Do you rely on unsustainable fossil fuel for "HVAC" (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ) and transport?
  • How many dogs/cats/exotics do you keep?
  • How much wildlife/ flora is wiped out of a habitat because of your actions?
  • Do you really want to leave a depleted hot planet to the next generation?
  • How will you exlain to your multiple kids that your nation did not participate in preventing collapse of the ecological and economic system?
  • How will you explain the word 'climate vandals' to them?
  • Do you really think you will get away with it all?

02 June 2007

The Manly Food and Wine festival - a video

via dotAtelier

Manly Food and Wine Festival

Another Food and Wine festival in Manly. Part of the beachfront is blocked off to stinking noisy cars. The bike racks are full. A feeling of the commons is about with ALL stakeholders being given more quality space and resources. The public regained tables and chairs to sit at the beach and in the Corso – all in non-commercial space and with a great diversity of music as well. Couldn't it be like that all the time?
Food was served on biodegradable plates an cutlery.Vegetarians that happen to be non-alcoholics were defenitely in the wrong place. No stall could be found selling non-alcoholic liquids. Meat was sizzling everywhere in dense blue plumes of smoke. Generators humming above the ocean surf.The Corso, still with wobbly broken pavers displayed the evaporating powers of an abundance of water in Sydney. 'Girth' by flags, just in case one forgot one's location. Kids were kept busy – for a buck - on the fresh turf transplants.
Tomorrow is the Manly Sustainability Fair at South Steyne, continuing the 'Taste of Manly'.

01 June 2007

Sydney smog

Winter is here, time to light up the romantic fire-place burning off all the rubbish. The Sydney sky turns into an orange-brown smog dome. “For the six months to March this year the number of days with pollution above acceptable levels was 25 per cent higher than 2005/06." (Daily Telegraph) The economy is doing well, the number of motorised vehicles has “increased by 60 per cent in 20 years.” (SMH)

  • 1 in every 6 Australian children have asthma.
  • 1600 people are dying every year “from air pollution related illness.” (DailyTelegraph)
  • The government has stopped the monitoring of “cancer causing 'air toxics' – particles from cars and industry which can lodge in the lungs.” (DailyTelegraph)
Good advice abounds in the form of advertising, recommendations, guides, diy management, self-help and SMS for those who 'can not cope.' Pollution-related illnesses are “... costing the NSW health system between $6.7 million and $13.5 million a year." (SMH) This 'burden' hurts.

Is it a matter of institutional responsibility for the decision makers of sustainable transportation?
Is it a matter of sheer probability in a risk society requiring 'sacrifice'?
Is it systemic and our personal responsibility due to all our actions?

Update: 240607 We are inhaling "...four times the recommended concentration of air pollution."