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Old 18th December 2022, 11:05 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This fantastic statue is right outside the building where I work.

Popular magpie sculpture officially swoops back into the city
Confirming Canberran sense of humour. And why not a magpie? Swooping season just over, they are part of our lives - although I don’t like how our local magpies gang up and bully kookaburras. You would think they would be deterred by the kooka’s beak, but they swoop with intensity.

There are some great sculptures along Melbourne’s Eastlink, including an oversized bird.

https://www.eastlink.com.au/images/d...-July-2017.pdf
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Old 18th December 2022, 11:12 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Confirming Canberran sense of humour. And why not a magpie? Swooping season just over, they are part of our lives - although I donít like how our local magpies gang up and bully kookaburras. You would think they would be deterred by the kookaís beak, but they swoop with intensity.

There are some great sculptures along Melbourneís Eastlink, including an oversized bird.

https://www.eastlink.com.au/images/d...-July-2017.pdf
Some of the aggression of Australia's birds has to be seen to be believed.

I watched two 'little wattle' birds take turns harassing a black rat in one of my fruit trees.

They eventually succeeded in knocking it out of the tree, and the chickens killed it and ate it.

New Holland Honeyeaters (tiny little birds) mob and harass magpies!

Amazing stuff.
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Old 18th December 2022, 11:37 PM   #83
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I love magpies. As long as you respect their territory during swooping season, there's no reason not to live with them. The magpies in Garema Court, where this sculpture is, are very accustomed to people and never swoop. And they sing like angels.
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Old 19th December 2022, 12:39 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This fantastic statue is right outside the building where I work.

Popular magpie sculpture officially swoops back into the city
Is that a French Fry Chip it's eating?
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Old 19th December 2022, 02:37 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Is that a French Fry Chip it's eating?
Oh, you mean like this one? https://www.auburnwa.gov/city_hall/p...row_with_fries
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Old 19th December 2022, 06:07 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Is that a French Fry Chip it's eating?
It sure is.
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Old 21st December 2022, 04:25 PM   #87
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Belconnen road hazard births mystery Christmas tree, complete with lights and presents

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It started with a small tree. Then there was tinsel. Now there are LED lights, decorations and even wrapped presents.

A ruptured and protruding patch of tarmac on Tillyard Drive in Flynn has become the talk of the town after mysteriously turning into a fully fledged Christmas tree. And even nearby residents arenít sure who the mysterious elves might be.
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Old 21st December 2022, 04:57 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I suspect it is a reminder to the local council to FIX THE ******* HOLES IN THE ROADS WHY DON'T YOU!!

ETA. We have the same problem in our council area.
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Old 21st December 2022, 05:20 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
I suspect it is a reminder to the local council to FIX THE ******* HOLES IN THE ROADS WHY DON'T YOU!!

ETA. We have the same problem in our council area.
I have noted elsewhere that the ACT government is fixing the roads. But it's just such a huge and never-ending job that some locations go for weeks unfixed. Tillyard Drive is not a major road - it serves mainly as a collector for the suburbs of Charnwood, Flynn and Fraser, linking them with Ginninderra Drive, which is the nearest arterial, and which has had substantial work done.

For those readers who are far away, the roads are in such a bad condition because the truly ridiculous amount of rain we've had in the last two years has caused subsidence, leading to many, many road cracks and potholes.

Today is the Summer Solstice. It is raining and 15C (59F).
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Old 21st December 2022, 05:49 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I have noted elsewhere that the ACT government is fixing the roads. But it's just such a huge and never-ending job that some locations go for weeks unfixed. Tillyard Drive is not a major road - it serves mainly as a collector for the suburbs of Charnwood, Flynn and Fraser, linking them with Ginninderra Drive, which is the nearest arterial, and which has had substantial work done.

For those readers who are far away, the roads are in such a bad condition because the truly ridiculous amount of rain we've had in the last two years has caused subsidence, leading to many, many road cracks and potholes.

Today is the Summer Solstice. It is raining and 15C (59F).
We have had such large, dangerous holes in the roads that the buses have had to change routes to prevent further damage to their wheels. Considering these are industrial-strength vehicles that can roll over Volvos with barely a bump, we are talking Grand Canyon sized washouts.


And in local news, a loaded freight train going through our locality derailed some carriages without the driver being aware. They were then dragged for about 10 kms down the line, pulling the sleepers out as they went. That whole stretch of line is now completely unusable in both directions (it's two tracks).

Which affects me because that's how I commute to work each day. They now have "rail replacement buses" running down the local highway from my town to the next major station on the line, adding 30 minutes to my 90 minute commute each way. Fun!

They said in this report it will take 2 weeks to repair. Nope. Decision was made that the whole section is to be replaced with concrete sleepers throughout and new rails, plus new ballast. Which means the whole line is up to the bedrock just now. Expecting February earliest... MORE fun!

And to top it off, our town is usually a major summer time tourist destination, with the vast majority of tourists arriving...by rail. Local businesses are aghast: first COVID lockdowns for two years, now this.

https://transportnsw.info/news/2022/...ain-derailment
https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com...ver-christmas/
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Last edited by Norman Alexander; 21st December 2022 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 21st December 2022, 05:53 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
We have had such large, dangerous holes in the roads that the buses have had to change routes to prevent further damage to their wheels. Considering these are industrial-strength vehicles that can roll over Volvos with barely a bump, we are talking Grand Canyon sized washouts.
Our local government is paying out claims on wheel damage caused by potholes.

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
And in local news, a loaded freight train going through our locality derailed some carriages without the driver being aware. They were then dragged for about 10 kms down the line, pulling the sleepers out as they went. That whole stretch of line is now completely unusable in both directions (it's two tracks).

Which affects me because that's how I commute to work each day. They now have "rail replacement buses" running down the local highway from my town to the next major station on the line, adding 30 minutes to my 90 minute commute each way. Fun!

They said in this report it will take 2 weeks to repair. Nope. Decision was made that the whole section is to be replaced with concrete sleepers throughout and new rails, plus new ballast. Which means the whole line is up to the bedrock just now. Expecting February earliest... MORE fun!

https://transportnsw.info/news/2022/...ain-derailment
The engineer didn't notice for 10kms! Holy oblivious driver, Batman!
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Old 21st December 2022, 06:20 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The engineer didn't notice for 10kms! Holy oblivious driver, Batman!
Nope, he didn't. The total weight of over half a kilometer of loaded freight train means there would be no noticeable braking effect from derailed wheels unless a carriage actually fell over and snagged. We gather from rail staff they had to flag him down at one of the stations to stop him going further.

Should explain that some time ago NSW Rail decided to "save money" by removing the trailing brake car on the end of freight sets, which meant they did not have to pay a guard or brakeman at the rear. If there was one in this case, they would have stopped in a few hundred metres, and saved them millions of dollars in damage and repairs.
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Old 21st December 2022, 07:37 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Nope, he didn't. The total weight of over half a kilometer of loaded freight train means there would be no noticeable braking effect from derailed wheels unless a carriage actually fell over and snagged. We gather from rail staff they had to flag him down at one of the stations to stop him going further.

Should explain that some time ago NSW Rail decided to "save money" by removing the trailing brake car on the end of freight sets, which meant they did not have to pay a guard or brakeman at the rear. If there was one in this case, they would have stopped in a few hundred metres, and saved them millions of dollars in damage and repairs.
This really sounds like NSW Rail tried cost cutting a la North American railroads by dropping the caboose. But here they only did that after they had installed all sorts of Defect detectorWPs. The trains are continuously monitored as they roll.
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Old 21st December 2022, 07:39 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
This really sounds like NSW Rail tried cost cutting a la North American railroads by dropping the caboose. But here they only did that after they had installed all sorts of Defect detectorWPs.
I was about to ask why a simple sensor at each carriage coupling would be out of the question.
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Old 21st December 2022, 08:19 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I was about to ask why a simple sensor at each carriage coupling would be out of the question.
It would cost more than paying for a brakeman. Also, because he was going fairly slowly, the carriages did not separate even when derailed.
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Old 21st December 2022, 08:23 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It would cost more than paying for a brakeman. Also, because he was going fairly slowly, the carriages did not separate even when derailed.
Would it cost more than 15,000 sleepers and 120 rails?
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Old 21st December 2022, 09:00 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It would cost more than paying for a brakeman. Also, because he was going fairly slowly, the carriages did not separate even when derailed.
The defect detectors I mentioned above are located beside the tracks and automatically report by radio to the train crew as the train passes them. I could not find how far apart they are positioned but I suppose to be useful the coverage must be pretty dense. (Every 20 miles apparently per my second url.

An example here:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


More than you could ever want to know:

What Railroad Defect Detectors Do
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Last edited by Gord_in_Toronto; 21st December 2022 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Added distance between detectors
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Old 21st December 2022, 10:59 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Would it cost more than 15,000 sleepers and 120 rails?
It's all cheaper...until it isn't.
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Old 21st December 2022, 11:26 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
The defect detectors I mentioned above are located beside the tracks and automatically report by radio to the train crew as the train passes them. I could not find how far apart they are positioned but I suppose to be useful the coverage must be pretty dense. (Every 20 miles apparently per my second url.

An example here:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


More than you could ever want to know:

What Railroad Defect Detectors Do
All good stuff. But this was in twisting mountainous track, shared with commuter rail, stations every few kilometres.

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Old 22nd December 2022, 01:05 AM   #100
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Very very local news. In the last two months we have removed 10 cubic meters of rubbish. Mostly due to a very large landscaping project (much, but not all taken away by the contractors) but also the amount of rubbish collected under our house. We have a sloping block and there is standing room underneath. There was a lot of stuff the children wanted to store just because. Cots, mattresses, old electronic stuff (why), furniture etc etc. All now gone. I exercised muscles not much used lately.
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Old 22nd December 2022, 08:22 AM   #101
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Meanwhile, in other local news:

Bizarre incident inside Oakville home reportedly sees intruder go through fridge, lie down on couch

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A 32-year-old Toronto man has been arrested following a strange incident at an Oakville home on Thursday, Dec. 8.

At around 6:30 p.m., a man approached a residence on Heritage Way and entered through an unlocked front door, police said.

The individual was confronted by a resident, but rather than leave he reportedly went through the victimís fridge and then laid down on the couch.

Police were called to the scene and made an arrest.

A 32-year-old Toronto man has been charged with breaking and entering.
I'll keep check for further details.
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Old 22nd December 2022, 12:22 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Meanwhile, in other local news:

Bizarre incident inside Oakville home reportedly sees intruder go through fridge, lie down on couch



I'll keep check for further details.
Bobby Menard?
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Old 22nd December 2022, 03:19 PM   #103
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Most chill burglar ever.
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Old 22nd December 2022, 04:58 PM   #104
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Wait a minute...


This is NOT my house!
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Old 23rd December 2022, 04:14 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Wait a minute...


This is NOT my house!
This is NOT my beautiful WIFE!!!
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Old 14th March 2023, 08:29 PM   #106
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Seaplanes running trial flights on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin

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Canberrans will be able to view seaplanes taking off from and landing on Lake Burley Griffin from this week, as trial flights for the scenic journey from Sydney begin.

The Sydney-Canberra route was first proposed more than a year ago and the trial flights are intended to confirm the "best arrangements to minimise disruption to those who use the lake for sporting and recreational activities", a statement from the National Capital Authority (NCA) said.

...

The use of seaplanes on the lake has drawn ire from some in the community, with more than 65 per cent of public submissions rejecting the proposal.

In 2021, when the idea was being discussed, the Canberra Yacht Club said it presented a "significant risk" to the club's "continued existence", and threatened the safety of lake users.
As far as I can tell this will cost almost twice as much as a regular flight from Canberra to Sydney.
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Old 14th March 2023, 08:33 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Seaplanes running trial flights on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin



As far as I can tell this will cost almost twice as much as a regular flight from Canberra to Sydney.
Which only the most corrupt politicians can afford these days anyway.

Really, after all the dicking about with getting to the terminal and security and check-in and getting on board, etc., before the flight, and debarking and baggage pickup and getting an Uber/taxi/train into the city, it's actually faster and easier to just drive instead.
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Old 14th March 2023, 09:11 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post

Really, after all the dicking about with getting to the terminal and security and check-in and getting on board, etc., before the flight, and debarking and baggage pickup and getting an Uber/taxi/train into the city, it's actually faster and easier to just drive instead.
While this is true, you don’t get to land in Rose Bay.

Also, if the fine, salt of the earth people of Rose Bay can tolerate the occasional seaplane, so too can those in Canberra. Canberra Yacht Club? Pfft. Not a patch on the Sydney Yacht Squadron….
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Old 14th March 2023, 09:45 PM   #109
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Pretty sure the majority of members of the Yacht Club have never set foot on a boat...
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Old 14th March 2023, 10:13 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Pretty sure the majority of members of the Yacht Club have never set foot on a boat...
Perhaps Norwegian Cruise Lines in the Bahamas. But not on Burley Griffin.
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Old 15th March 2023, 12:52 PM   #111
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Stephen Silver convicted of capital murder.
https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law...a-colm-horkan/
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Old 18th March 2023, 03:27 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Seaplanes running trial flights on Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin



As far as I can tell this will cost almost twice as much as a regular flight from Canberra to Sydney.
But will cost the taxpaying public about 10,000 times less than the mythical fast train...



So there's that at least.

(As an exercise as part of my Master's, we calculated the cost of VFT tickets for that project... From memory, it needed something like two million people to make the trip per day with tickets costing something like six times the airfare)

Don't trust those figures, memory is very fallible, but the takeaway was that the project simply could not be economically feasible.
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Old 18th March 2023, 03:32 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Which only the most corrupt politicians can afford these days anyway.

Really, after all the dicking about with getting to the terminal and security and check-in and getting on board, etc., before the flight, and debarking and baggage pickup and getting an Uber/taxi/train into the city, it's actually faster and easier to just drive instead.
Fun fact.

I once hired a car and driver for myself and three others to travel to Sydney from Canberra for a mandatory departmental meeting in Sydney.

It cost roughly half what the airfares cost, and we spent less time travelling than via plane.

That was because the car took us from point to point directly, while via air, we would have had the extra steps of getting to/from the airports at each end and all the 'dicking about'.

NB. The department tried to punish us all over that journey, but failed because we SAVED money. (Amazing that they even tried, but there you go).

(The driver was particularly pleased with us, because he visited his mum while we were in the meeting).
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Old 19th March 2023, 07:39 PM   #114
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Yes, flying from Canberra to Sydney does not make sense. Flying from Canberra to Melbourne makes a little more sense.
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Old 21st March 2023, 06:18 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Stephen Silver convicted of capital murder.
https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law...a-colm-horkan/
Good.
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Old 21st March 2023, 10:06 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Fun fact.

I once hired a car and driver for myself and three others to travel to Sydney from Canberra for a mandatory departmental meeting in Sydney.

It cost roughly half what the airfares cost, and we spent less time travelling than via plane.

That was because the car took us from point to point directly, while via air, we would have had the extra steps of getting to/from the airports at each end and all the 'dicking about'.

NB. The department tried to punish us all over that journey, but failed because we SAVED money. (Amazing that they even tried, but there you go).

(The driver was particularly pleased with us, because he visited his mum while we were in the meeting).
I had a similar situation at Boeing, when I drove from my home in Everett, WA, to Portland, OR. The travel people couldn't quite comprehend why I wouldn't want to have them pay more so I could sit at a couple of airports and get a rental car. I actually saved them three tickets because a coworker who had flown down earlier drove back with me.

Back a little more on topic, there is seaplane service from Seattle to Victoria, BC. I'm sure it costs significantly more than driving and taking a ferry or than taking a commuter airline from airport to airport. But they fly at about 2000 feet so you can see the view.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 10:29 PM   #117
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There was an anti-trans rights demonstration at Parliament House this morning. There were about 30 people. And they attracted over 100 counter-protestors, including professional rabble-rouser Senator Lidia Thorpe, who was set upon by police.

Lidia Thorpe pulled to ground by police officer after attempting to interrupt anti-trans-rights rally

I like her more and more every day.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 04:19 AM   #118
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A pod of 8 dolphins got beached. The humans went over and kept them alive for a while, then killed them. Like we do with our own.
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Old 24th March 2023, 12:05 PM   #119
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Graham Dwyer's appeal against his conviction for murder has failed. Decisively.
https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2023...-graham-dwyer/
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Old 25th March 2023, 02:15 PM   #120
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Lead story in today's paper (condensed version)

Back in 1914, a former VT governor donated a bunch of money to Middlebury College to build a chapel, which was named Mead Chapel after him. Recently, in recognition of Gov. Mead's advocation of eugenics and its actual fallout, of forced sterilizations, the college removed his name from the Chapel. Another former Gov, who is the residual trustee of the Mead estate, is suing the college and its board for its "cancel culture." His argument is that Mead dedicated the chapel to his ancestors, and it was not dedicated by the college to him.

It appears that Mead's construction of the chapel was at the time conditional on its being a memorial to his ancestors, in particular an evangelist who brought the Holy Bible to the then wilderness....and thus, according to ex-Gov. Douglas, this is a perpetual obligation in the form of a contract. And he says Mead wasn't a eugenicist anyway.

As is usual in such cases, it's being touted as rampant "cancel culture," and the "complete erasure" of Gov. Mead's good deeds from history.

In the last few years, several colleges in Vermont have gone bankrupt, and the State system is planning a cost cutting measure of eliminating books from its libraries. But there's no erasing going on there, nosirreee!
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