Topic: Australia

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πŸ”— Number 16 (Spider)

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Australia/Western Australia πŸ”— Australia/Australian biota πŸ”— Spiders

Number 16 (c. 1974 – 2016), also known as #16, was a wild female trapdoor spider (Gaius villosus, family Idiopidae) that lived in North Bungulla Reserve near Tammin, Western Australia. She lived an estimated 43 years and became the longest-lived spider on record, beating a 28-year-old tarantula who previously held the title. When Number 16 finally died in 2016, it was not of old age but from a parasitic wasp sting.

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πŸ”— Dick Smith (Entrepreneur)

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Aviation πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Business πŸ”— Aviation/aerospace biography project πŸ”— Scouting

Richard Harold Smith (born 18 March 1944) is an Australian entrepreneur, aviator and philanthropist. He holds a number of aviation world records and is the founder of Dick Smith Electronics, Australian Geographic and Dick Smith Foods. He was selected as 1986 Australian of the Year. In 2010, he founded the media production company Smith&Nasht with the intention of producing films about global issues. In 2015, he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia. He is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

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πŸ”— Avoidance Speech

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Languages πŸ”— Australia/Indigenous peoples of Australia

Avoidance speech is a group of sociolinguistic phenomena in which a special restricted speech style must be used in the presence of or in reference to certain relatives. Avoidance speech is found in many Australian Aboriginal languages and Austronesian languages as well as some North American languages, Highland East Cushitic languages and Southern Bantu languages. Chinese naming taboo prohibits speaking and writing syllables or characters that appear in the names of esteemed people, such as emperors, parents, and ancestors.

Avoidance speech styles tend to have the same phonology and grammar as the standard language they are a part of. The lexicon, however, tends to be smaller than in normal speech since the styles are only used for limited communication.

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πŸ”— Men's Shed

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Organizations πŸ”— Men's Issues

Men's sheds or community sheds are non-profit local organisations that provide a space for craftwork and social interaction. The movement originated in Australia around the 1980s as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of older men. However some have expanded their remit to anyone regardless of age or gender, and have similar aims and functions to hackerspaces. There are over 900 located across Australia, with thousands of active members. Men's sheds can also be found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Canada, Finland, Estonia, New Zealand and Greece.

The slogan for men's sheds is "Shoulder To Shoulder", shortened from "Men don't talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder", adopted after the 2008 Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA) conference. The users of men's sheds are known as "shedders". In 2014, Professor Barry Golding coined the term "shedagogy" to describe "a distinctive, new way of acknowledging, describing and addressing the way some men prefer to learn informally in shed-like spaces mainly with other men." Sheds as a venue for mentoring other men and Inter-generational mentoring is a growing outcome. Academics are using men's sheds as a research venue and research partner in exploring men's health and social needs.

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πŸ”— O-bahn Busway

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Buses πŸ”— Australia/Adelaide

The O-Bahn Busway is a guided busway that is part of the bus rapid transit system servicing the northeastern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. The O-Bahn system was conceived by Daimler-Benz to enable buses to avoid traffic congestion by sharing tram tunnels in the German city of Essen.

Adelaide's O-Bahn was introduced in 1986 to service the city's rapidly expanding north-eastern suburbs, replacing an earlier plan for a tramway extension. The O-Bahn provides specially built track, combining elements of both bus and rail systems. Adelaide's track is 12 kilometres (7.5Β mi) long and includes three interchanges at Klemzig, Paradise and Tea Tree Plaza. Interchanges allow buses to enter and exit the busway and to continue on suburban routes, avoiding the need for passengers to transfer to another bus to continue their journey. Buses can travel at a maximum speed of 100Β km/h (60Β mph), but are now restricted to 85Β km/h (53Β mph). As of 2015, the busway carries approximately 31,000 people per weekday. An additional section including a 670-metre (2,200Β ft) tunnel opened in 2017 at the city end to reduce the number of congested intersections buses must traverse to enter the Adelaide city centre.

The development of the O-Bahn busway led to the development of the Torrens Linear Park from a run-down urban drain into an attractive public open space. It has also triggered urban development around the north-eastern terminus at Modbury.

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πŸ”— Ben Carlin

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Transport πŸ”— Transport/Maritime πŸ”— Australia/Australian maritime history πŸ”— Australia/Western Australia πŸ”— Australia/Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific military history

Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Carlin (27 July 1912 – 7 March 1981) was an Australian adventurer who was the first person to circumnavigate the world in an amphibious vehicle. Born in Northam, Western Australia, Carlin attended Guildford Grammar School in Perth, and later studied mining engineering at the Kalgoorlie School of Mines. After qualifying as an engineer, he worked on the Goldfields before in 1939 emigrating to China to work in a British coal mine. In the Second World War, Carlin was posted to the Indian Army Corps of Engineers, serving in India, Italy, and throughout the Middle East. After his discharge from service in 1946, he emigrated to the United States with his American wife, Elinore (nΓ©e Arone).

Sparked by an idea he had had whilst in the military, Carlin proposed that the couple honeymoon by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a modified Ford GPA (an amphibious version of the Ford GPW Jeep), which they named the Half-Safe. Beginning their trip in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the Carlins finally completed the transatlantic crossing in 1951, after unsuccessful attempts. From there, they travelled to Europe, temporarily settling in Birmingham to raise more money. They resumed their journey in 1954, travelling overland through the Middle East before arriving in Calcutta. After a short fundraising trip to Australia, Carlin's wife left to return to the United States. He resumed the journey with new partners, travelling through South-East Asia and the Far East to the northern tip of Japan, and then to Alaska. After an extended tour through the United States and Canada, he and Half-Safe finally returned to Montreal, having travelled over 17,000 kilometres (11,000Β mi) by sea and 62,000 kilometres (39,000Β mi) by land during a ten-year journey. Following Carlin's death in 1981, Half-Safe was acquired by Guildford Grammar, his old school, where it remains on display.

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πŸ”— Marree Man

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Australia/South Australia

The Marree Man, or Stuart's Giant, is a modern geoglyph the circumstances of whose creation have not been ascertained. It appears to depict an indigenous Australian man hunting with a boomerang or stick. It lies on a plateau at Finnis Springs 60Β km (37Β mi) west of the township of Marree in central South Australia. It is just outside the 127,000-square-kilometre (49,000Β sqΒ mi) Woomera Prohibited Area. The figure is 2.7Β km (1.7Β mi) tall with a perimeter of 28Β km (17Β mi), extending over an area of about 2.5Β km2 (620 acres). Although it is one of the largest geoglyphs in the world (arguably second to the Sajama Lines), its origin remains a mystery, with no one claiming responsibility for its creation nor any eye-witness having been found, notwithstanding the scale of the operation required to form the outline on the plateau floor. The description "Stuart's Giant" was used in anonymous faxes sent to media as "Press Releases" in July 1998, in a reference to the explorer John McDouall Stuart. It was discovered fortuitously by a charter pilot in an overflight on 26 June 1998.

Shortly after its discovery, the site was closed by the South Australian government following legal action taken in late July by native title claimants, but flights over the site were not forbidden as native title fell under federal government jurisdiction.

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πŸ”— Pine Gap, Australia

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/North American military history πŸ”— Military history/United States military history πŸ”— Military history/Intelligence πŸ”— Australia/Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific military history πŸ”— Military history/Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific military history πŸ”— Australia/Northern Territory

Pine Gap is the commonly used name for a US satellite surveillance base and Australian Earth station approximately 18 kilometres (11Β mi) south-west of the town of Alice Springs, Northern Territory in the centre of Australia which is jointly operated by Australia and the United States. Since 1988, it has been officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG); previously, it was misleadingly known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility.

The station is partly run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), US National Security Agency (NSA), and US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and is a key contributor to the NSA's global interception effort, which included the ECHELON program. The classified NRO name of the Pine Gap base is Australian Mission Ground Station (AMGS), while the unclassified cover term for the NSA function of the facility is RAINFALL.

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πŸ”— The Emu War

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Australia/Western Australia πŸ”— Military history/Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific military history πŸ”— Australia/Australian history

The Emu War, also known as the Great Emu War, was a nuisance wildlife management military operation undertaken in Australia over the latter part of 1932 to address public concern over the number of emus said to be running amok in the Campion district of Western Australia. The unsuccessful attempts to curb the population of emus, a large flightless bird indigenous to Australia, employed soldiers armed with Lewis gunsβ€”leading the media to adopt the name "Emu War" when referring to the incident. While a number of the birds were killed, the emu population persisted and continued to cause crop destruction.

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πŸ”— Rabbit-proof fence

πŸ”— Australia πŸ”— Australia/Western Australia

The State Barrier Fence of Western Australia, formerly known as the Rabbit Proof Fence, the State Vermin Fence, and the Emu Fence, is a pest-exclusion fence constructed between 1901 and 1907 to keep rabbits and other agricultural pests, from the east, out of Western Australian pastoral areas.

There are three fences in Western Australia: the original No. 1 Fence crosses the state from north to south, No. 2 Fence is smaller and further west, and No. 3 Fence is smaller still and runs east–west. The fences took six years to build. When completed in 1907, the rabbit-proof fence (including all three fences) stretched 2,023 miles (3,256Β km). The cost to build the fences at the time was about Β£168 per mile ($250/km).

When it was completed in 1907, the 1,139-mile (1,833Β km) No. 1 Fence was the longest unbroken fence in the world.

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