Green thunderstorms: there have been many theories behind the mysterious glow

PHOTO: Aftermath of a big storm cell that hit Gosford and the Central Coast. Taken from Merewether Baths, Newcastle. (Facebook: Rob Lord)  By Kate Doyle In a festive twist to Sydney’s catastrophically expensive hailstorm Thursday night, the skies turned green. Pictures posted online of clouds with a spooky green glow have been generating debate. There are lots of theories floating around the internet, but Dr Joshua Soderholm, a research scientist at Monash University, can clear up a little of the mystery. “There’s been a number of theories that have actually been slowly disproven by science over the years,” he said. PHOTO: Thursday’s storm looked … Continue reading Green thunderstorms: there have been many theories behind the mysterious glow

Does one ethnic group own its cultural artefacts?

Members of the cultural group Ngati Ranana look at a statue as they attend a conference where they performed rituals prior to the opening of the exhibition ‘Gottfried Lindauer – The Maori Portraits.’ Photo: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images  by TIFFANY JENKINS Objects that once adorned display cases in museums around the world are disappearing from view. In recent decades, dramatic wooden Iroquois face masks, crafted by the nations and tribes of indigenous people of North America, have been taken off the shelves. Rattles and masks made by the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest, in British Columbia, have been moved to … Continue reading Does one ethnic group own its cultural artefacts?

How one fence ruined an eco-system

Dingo of Fraser Island c/o Newretreads (Creative Commons)  by DEREK BERES California is not waiting for climate change. State agencies recognize it’s already here and are preparing to combat a drier and, oddly, dependent upon the year, wetter future. That means more droughts and, when the dry spell breaks, much more flooding. Given the state’s role in national agriculture, this seesawing is a recipe for disaster that needs to be addressed now. River Partners is one organization partnering with the state in preparation for this future. They’ve been buying land across California, especially in the flood-prone Central Valley, in order to … Continue reading How one fence ruined an eco-system

Toward a More Peaceful (and High-Tech) Coexistence with Sharks

Buoys and drones outfitted with pattern recognition software are being developed to mitigate unwanted human-shark encounters. Do they work? BY Jeremy Hsu AUSTRALIA MAY BE one of the few countries where scientific reports about great white sharks can regularly trigger fierce political debates. The country has the world’s highest fatality rate from unprovoked shark attacks with an average of 1.5 deaths per year. That’s a very low risk, but still a concern for water-loving Australians who primarily live near the coasts — and that concern has traditionally been addressed with a suite of what many critics have called overly aggressive solutions like shark nets … Continue reading Toward a More Peaceful (and High-Tech) Coexistence with Sharks

The Brutal Story of How Europe Conquered the Pacific

image edited by Fernando Kaskais By Simon Worrall Warning: It includes mutiny, murder, and mass rape. The HMS Bounty has become the most notorious ship in the British navy, its captain, William Bligh, a byword for brutality. On April 28, 1789, after setting sail from Tahiti, a group of sailors led by the charismatic Fletcher Christian mutinied, forcing their hated captain off the ship—and into legend. A year earlier, in another corner of the Pacific, the first prisoners were brought ashore at Botany Bay, in the British penal colony that would become Australia. [Find out how a National Geographic photographer discovered the bones of the Bounty.] In her new book, Paradise … Continue reading The Brutal Story of How Europe Conquered the Pacific

The reason so many people are still drowning in Australia

A grief-stricken man mourns the loss of his friend Ravneet Singh Gill at Duranbah Beach. Picture Mike BatterhamSource:Gold Coast Bulletin SUMMER in Australia might be one of the best times of the year but sadly, it’s also the time we lose the most people to drownings. And it has a lot to do with these myths. by Natalie Wolfe news.com.au Ads by Kiosked AUSTRALIANS love bragging about the 12,000 beaches that stretch along our mammoth coastline but forever coupled with that statistic is something much sadder. Each and every year, especially in the months of December and January, thousands of people … Continue reading The reason so many people are still drowning in Australia