Western Australia

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We all know of ?the luck of the Irish? but this strange escape tale shows us just how lucky some Irish can get.

The Wild Geese

The Catalpa escape created a dazzling international sensation in its day. Its intelligent heroes were celebrated as using Irish wit and ingenuity to extricate themselves from their perceived injustice

This is the most successful prison break in Australian history. It was an international rescue effort that took years to organise, and which finally freed six Irish prisoners from Fremantle gaol. The rescue ship was an American whaler called?The Catalpa. The escape was so dramatic that it’s now a symbol of human resilience, even resurrection.

In 1876, after 8 years of incarceration in Western Australia, six Irish political prisoners escaped on board the American whaler Catalpa. Under the pretext of a whaling voyage, the Catalpa and its unassuming captain had sailed from New Bedford to liberate the prisoners.

On Easter Monday, 1876, six Irish political prisoners, known as military Fenians, were rescued from ‘a living tomb’. This was how the world?s toughest prison, Fremantle gaol, was described by its inmates. The rescuer was one Captain Anthony, a Quaker sea captain who had no connection with the Irish cause. He put his crew, his family, his financiers and his own life in danger to sail from New Bedford in America to Perth in Western Australia on a trip that was disguised as a whale hunt. Why? Because, as he told his grandson, it was the right thing to do.

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Driverless technology is here and being deployed

Remind me again why we are looking at rails to solve transport problems?

In Australia Rio Tinto has deployed 69 driverless trucks across several mine sites.

The first two mines in the world to start moving all of their iron ore using fully remote-controlled trucks have just gone online in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Mining giant Rio Tinto is running pits at its Yandicoogina and Nammuldi mine sites, with workers controlling the driverless trucks largely from an operations centre in Perth, 1,200 kilometres away.

Josh Bennett manages the mining operations at Yandicoogina mine north west of Newman and is closely involved with running 22 driverless trucks on the site.

Mr Bennett said the two pits are the largest of their kind in the world.

“To the naked eye it looks like conventional mining methods. I guess the key change for us is the work that employees and our team members are doing now,” he said.

“What we have done is map out our entire mine and put that into a system and the system then works out how to manoeuvre the trucks through the mine.” ?? Read more »

This will have the Green Taliban in a lather


Green Taliban list MP Steffan Browning will be fiercely talking to his cucumbers, beans and tomatoes in his Bowen House office when he sees this.

It?s a media release from Monsanto saying ?Farmers to Plant Largest GM Canola Crop Yet?.

Australian farmers continue to embrace GM technology in greater numbers and have now planted more than 1.5 million hectares of Roundup Ready? canola since its introduction in 2008.

Despite an expected 9% drop in the size of this season?s overall canola crop, local growers have purchased a record one million tonnes of Roundup Ready canola seed, up 15% on last season.

More than 436,000 hectares of GM canola will be planted this year, up from nearly 350,000 hectares last year. GM canola varieties now make up 22% of the canola planted in the states that allow GM canola to be grown ? Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Doesn?t that just rip the nighty off Steffan Browning. But wait there?s more? ? Read more »

Some people really don’t understand what halal means

A restaurant in Western Australia is copping a flogging for serving halal meat.

The dopey owner thinks that halal just means that the animal was blessed without realising that there is actually a prescribed manner in which the animal must be killed.

A WEST Australian cafe owner says she was horrified to cop abuse from strangers on social media for selling halal meat, but has also been swamped by messages of support.

Mahaini Taylor, owner of Bunbury?s Mots Cafe, which sells traditional Cocos Malay cuisine food, said one negative review on their Facebook page sparked a torrent of anti-Islamic comments. ?It?s been really overwhelming. It?s been crazy online,? she told ABC radio on Wednesday.

?There were a lot of irrelevant things … that we?re supporting terrorism and all of that. It was a real shock. It?s horrible.?

She said it appeared many of the people who had posted the comments didn?t properly understand what halal meat was, so the cafe embarked on an online education campaign.

Sounds promising…but wait.

?Halal meat is no different to any meat anywhere around the world,? the cafe posted. ?The only difference is how it?s been slaughtered. Halal meat is hand slaughtered. Halal is simply blessing the animal with words of appreciation, and the sacrifice of its life, to feed mankind.?

Yeah, nah.

Halal meat must be not only slaughtered in a prescribed manner it must also be prepared according to Shariah law.? Read more »

Photo Of The Day

They only caught it because it was eating their dogs!

They only caught it because it was eating their dogs!


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Friday nightCap

If sharks can tweet, when do we get our friggin’ laser beams?

Artist's conception of a shark tweeting. Wikimedia Commons / Lee Hutchinson / via ARS Technica

Artist’s conception of a shark tweeting.
Wikimedia Commons / Lee Hutchinson / via ARS Technica

Via the tipline

Western Australia’s beachgoers are a bit more informed as to the whereabouts of the region’s shark population this summer, thanks to?a scientific initiative?that has fitted transmitters to more than 300 sharks of various types. The transmitters are picked up by underwater receivers, and when a tagged shark comes within a kilometer of the shore, a tweet appears in the Surf Life Saving Western Australia twitter feed (@SLSWA). ? Read more »

Union ratbags from when Adam was a boy

Regular readers know my pathological loathing of unions, new reader probably not so much, but given that just 7% of the private sector workforce is unionised then there is a good change you don’t like them either.

There is a reason I study and watch unions…so I can know and understand their plays in order to defeat them. They are a cancer on society and the cancer has been growing for many years.

Have a look at what they have been up to in Australia recently and have a look at what they have done in the past. Know you enemy for they seek to do you harm.

AS the Abbott government begins to take on union power and corruption, a timely new book reveals the union movement?s role in one of the most shameful periods of Australian history.

What the wharfies did to Australian troops – and their nation?s war effort – between 1939 and 1945 is nothing short of an abomination.

Perth lawyer Hal Colebatch has done the nation a service with his groundbreaking book,?Australia?s Secret War,?telling the untold story of union bastardry during World War 2.

Using diary entries, letters and interviews with key witnesses, he has pieced together with forensic precision the tale of how Australia?s unions sabotaged the war effort, how wharfies vandalised, harassed, and robbed Australian troop ships, and probably cost lives. ? Read more »

One way of dealing with ratbag council officials

This is one way of dealing with ratbag council officials?and their jobsworth attitude.

AN IRATE ratepayer has taken out his anger on the City of Gosnells by picking up a council car with a forklift and moving it – with two staff inside.? Read more »

Public transport isn’t millipede proof

How about that public transport eh?

A train crash in Australia was caused by millipedes…yes millipedes.

Black Portuguese millipedes are suspected of being to blame for a rear-end collision between two trains in Western Australia.

Hundreds of the creatures were found squashed in a slippery mess on the track.

“Millipedes are one of the factors we are going to take into account,” said David Hynes, spokesman at the?Public Transport Authority of Western Australia.

Six passengers were treated for neck problems after a train pulling into a station at Clarkson, 25 miles north of Perth, ran into a stationary one, the train company said.

“What happened in previous instances is trains which were travelling at speed have gone over an infestation, crushed them and made the tracks slimy.

“The train loses traction and the train has slipped,” Mr Hynes said.? Read more »