I am sooo glad I don’t have any friends like this on my Facebook… Brendan that is, Robert’s a dude. 😛
1. Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.
2. The biggest property in Australia is bigger than Belgium.
3. More than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast.
4. In 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world.
5. Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, earns $1 million every half hour, or $598 every second.
6. In 1892, a group of 200 Australians unhappy with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia’.
7. The first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Canberra.
8. Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first).
9. Each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.
10. In 1856, stonemasons took action to ensure a standard of 8-hour working days, which then became recognised worldwide.
11. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Hawke later suggested that this was the reason for his great political success.
12. The world’s oldest fossil, which is about 3.4 billion years old, was found in Australia.
13. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre.
14. Australia’s first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.
15. Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world.
16. There were over one million feral camels in outback Australia, until the government launched the $19m Feral Camel Management Program, which aims to keep the pest problem under control.
17. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia (mostly for meat production).
18. Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.
19. Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
20. In 1832, 300 female convicts mooned the governor of Tasmania. It was said that in a “rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor’s party could not control their laughter.”
21. Australia is home to the longest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep dingoes away from fertile land.
22. Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations.
23. Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.
24. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna: three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.
25. Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward, one of the reasons that they’re on the Australian coat of arms.
26. Speaking of, Australia is one of the only countries where we eat the animals on our coat of arms.
27. If you visited one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
28. Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population outside of Athens.
29. The Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest living structure.
30. And it has it’s own postbox!
31. The male platypus has strong enough venom to kill a small dog.
32. And when the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
33. Before 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day.
34. A retired cavalry officer, Francis De Grootstole the show when the Sydney Harbour Bridge officially opened. Just as the Premier was about to cut the ribbon, De Groot charged forward on his horse and cut it himself, with his sword. The ribbon had to be retied, and De Groot was carted off to a mental hospital. He was later charged for the cost of one ribbon.
35. Australia has 3.3x more sheep than people.
36. Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, and was never seen again.
37. Australia’s national anthem was ‘God Save The King/Queen’ until 1984.
38. Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps it mark its territory.
39. European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per capita than any other society in history.
40. The Australian Alps receive more snowfall than Switzerland.
41. A kangaroo is only one centimetre long when it is born.
42. Sir John Robertson, a five-time premier of NSW in the 1800s, began every morning with half a pint of rum. He said: “None of the men who in this country have left footprints behind them have been cold water men.”
43. The Box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
44. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
45. The average Aussie drinks 96 litres of beer per year.
46. 63% of Australians are overweight.
47. Australia is ranked second on the Human Development Index (based on life expectancy, income and education).
48. In 2005, security guards at Canberra’s Parliament House were banned from calling people ‘mate’. It lasted one day.
49. In Australia, it is illegal to walk on the right-hand side of a footpath.
50. Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.
51. Aussie Rules footy was originally designed to help cricketers to keep fit in the off-season.
52. The name ‘Kylie’ came from an Aboriginal hunting stick, similar to the boomerang.
53. 91% of the country is covered by native vegetation.
54. The largest-ever victory in an international football match was when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001.
55. There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia.
56. Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most liveable city for the past three years.
57. If all the sails of the Opera House roof were combined, they would create a perfect sphere. The architect was inspired while eating an orange.
58. Australia is home to 20% of the world’s poker machines.
59. Half of these are found in New South Wales.
60. Moomba, Australia’s largest free festival, held in Melbourne, means ‘up your bum’ in many Aboriginal languages.
61. No native Australian animals have hooves.
62. The performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony was actually a prerecording- of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
63. The wine cask (goon sack) is an Australian invention
64. So is the selfie.
65. Durack, Australia’s biggest electorate, is larger in size than Mongolia.
66. The world’s first compulsory seat belt law was put into place in Victoria in 1970.
67. Each year, Brisbane hosts the world championships of cockroach racing.
68. In 1932, the Australian military waged war on the emu population of Western Australia. Embarrassingly, they lost.
69. Canberra was created in 1908 as a compromise when Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to be the capital city.
70. A gay bar in Melbourne won the right to ban women from the premises, because they made the men uncomfortable.
71. In 1992, an Australian gambling syndicatebought almost all the number combinations in a Virginia lottery, and won. They turned a $5m purchase into a $27m win.
72. Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable, meaning gum trees may explode if ignited, or in bushfires.
73. In 1975, Australia had a government shutdown, which ended with the Queen firing everyone and the government starting again.
74. A bearded Australian was removed from a darts match in the UK, after the audience started chanting ‘Jesus!’ at him, distracting the players.
75. There have been instances of wallabiesgetting high after breaking into opium crops, then running around and making what look like crop circles.
76. An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
77. In 1940, two aircraft collided in midair, in NSW. Instead of crashing, the two planes became stuck together and made a safe landing.
78. The male lyrebird, which is native to Australia, can mimic the calls of over 20 other birds. If that’s not impressive enough, he can also perfectly imitate the sound of a camera, chainsaw and car alarm.
79. Some shopping centres and restaurants play classical music in their car park to deter teenagers from loitering at night.
80. Despite sharing the same verbal language, Australian, British and American sign languageare all completely different languages.
81. In 1979, debris from NASA’s space station ‘Skylab’ crashed in Esperance, WA. The town then fined NASA $400 for littering.
82. There have been no deaths in Australia from a spider bite since 1979.
83. There currently a chlamydia outbreak among koala species, which has led to a 15% drop in koala populations.
84. In NSW, there is a coal fire beneath the ground which has been burning for 5,500 years.
85. An Australian election TV debate was rescheduled so it didn’t conflict with the finale of reality cooking show Masterchef.
86. Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived. As early as the 1400s, sailors and fisherman came to Australia for sea-cucumbers and to trade with Indigenous peoples.
87. The first European to visit Australia was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606. More Dutch explorers visited the country over the next hundred years, plotting maps and naming it ‘New Holland’.
88. Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770. In 1788, the British returned with eleven ships to establish a penal colony. Within days of The First Fleet’s arrival and the raising of the British flag, two French ships arrived, just too late to claim Australia for France.
“I never really use Facebook to make long, heartfelt posts because I try not to bother people. I will this time, though, so here goes nothing. I’m sorry if thereare typos and I’m sorry if I offend anyone… it’s like.. super late right now as I’m typing this.
After the release about the budget, I’m really freaking out about the state of the country. LOL. Isn’t everyone?
My parents and I are refugees. When I was a child, they told me that Australia is a wonderful country. It’s a country where the government is kind and will look after its people; that’s why it’s called the lucky country. My parents got divorced, something very normal in this day and age. Being a child at the time, it was a big thing for me, because suddenly dad was no longer there and my mum was in a deep depression. We were surviving on her disability pension. Hmm… There were days where I my little brother and I would go hungry. Those were bad times, but the school came to the rescue and were wonderful enough to provide us with food (funding for that got cut in my senior year, I think.)
There was another time, when I was younger… in year 7, I guess. So, 11-12 or so? My little brother got very sick and we had to walk to the doctor’s. I clutched my mother’s green health care card in my hand like a lifeline because that flimsy plastic card was what allowed my little brother to see a doctor without the money we didn’t have. I remember I scrounged up 10 dollars that day so I could buy him cough medicine and have a bit left over for cough drops. I wonder what will happen to people in my shoes now that you need to pay money to see a doctor. Seven dollars means a lot to a family in need.
At 16, I applied for Youth Allowance and got it! I was over the moon! I could buy groceries! I could help my mother pay for bills and going hungry would be a distant memory. If I was very, very lucky then I would have enough money left over to spoil my little brother.
I cried in my senior year. I was worried I couldn’t go to university because I couldn’t afford the books. It was like a weight was lifted off my chest when I was told about HECS, about the extra bonus that would be used to pay for books. I couldn’t wait to go to university, to grow up and pay taxes (yes, yes… taxes) just so I could return the money to the country that has held my hand for so long. A country that protected me and allowed me the privilege of an education. I wanted to grow up and pay taxes so the money could be used to help other people in my shoes.
My friends from overseas tell me about how bad their country is, how heartless, and I would think to myself, “Australia isn’t perfect. But at least it cares for the people. That’s what matters.”
WELL. That went out the flippin’ window.
Australia’s coat of arms is a kangaroo and an emu. I thought this is because they are the two animals that are unable to take steps backwards. It was meant to show that Australia is a progressive country, and that it will always continue to move forward.
Tony Abbott has ruined that. He’s ruined so many core aspects of being human, he can’t even be considered Australian. I refuse to consider him as such because no human being would destroy the lives of so many in the name of a surplus to fight against a crisis that isn’t even real.
For as long as I can remember, I was proud of my country. I had faith in my country. I’ve lost that now and I blame him, I really do. It might be unreasonable of me to blame a single person or their political party, but… at night I worry about not being able to find a job straight after uni, of six months in limbo and having no money while I look for a job. I’m not a religious person, but I’m definitely praying to someone or anyone to put a stop to this.
Guys, it’s not Facebook Likes that the government hears. That button does nothing but make people feel as if they’re doing something. It’s action, standing up and protecting your rights that gets you heard. It’s screaming (peacefully) at the top of your lungs that this isn’t right that gets you heard.
I know I’m not alone in this. I’m one Australian of millions who will be affected by the cuts and changes proposed for the 2014 Budget, whose lives were made better by a government that helped provide for our education, that took care of us when we were ill and had nowhere else to turn to. They gave us a brighter future when all else seemed bleak, and now we don’t have even that.
If you feel the same way – share your stories too, speak up. So we can reach out to others like us, to move others to action, to make a difference.
So let’s do it. Let’s get heard.”
*For some reason, Facebook wouldn’t let me share this status, but I really wanted to keep it to remind myself of the ideology Australia is founded on and the precepts we hold dear, and the government that has currently decided that these things, and these people, no longer matter.
After years of trying not to use MSN emoticons on Facebook, I finally find a useful list of Facebook emoticons to relearn. Some of them are case sensitive and some have more than one shortcut to get the emoticon to appear… So here is a complete list of Facebook chat emoticons and their keyboard shortcuts.
I love the Internets. You know it wasn’t so long ago… about 1999 when Mr K said ‘We should buy a home computer.’ that I replied, ‘What do we want a home computer for? We aren’t studying, we’re not working from home, we don’t need a computer at home.’ Which of course, in hindsight makes me feel about as shortsighted as this guy:
Especially given there are three desktop PCs, one file server, three laptops, two iPads and three iPhones and one Blackberry in this house of only three occupants these days! The internets going down is a major inconvenience… a hard drive crashing is a major disaster (well, it could be if we didn’t have back up systems for our back up systems, but you get the idea). Over all we love the computers. We just about live on the computers. We research day to day life ‘stuff’ on the computers. We pay bills and do our shopping (whether it’s groceries or a new car), on the computers. We book holidays, shows and movie tickets on the computers. Quite literally, we wouldn’t know what to do without the computers anymore. And in no small part, we spend a goodly portion of our time keeping in contact with friends and family on the computers these days.
I was watching a documentary tonight about Facebook (Mark Zuckerburg: Inside Facebook) and how pervasive the website/application has become in the lives of over one billion users. With so much social interaction now being executed via the online networking platform that it has become an intrinsic part of our day to day lives – why is it that we continue to use it when it obviously pisses us off so horrendously!?! Yep, that’s what seems to be happening… we have all come to rely on Facebook (and Twitter and Linked In and Google+… yeah, I can’t back that last one up) and yet they drive us fucking bonkers! I frequently hear a regularly trolled out litany of complaints about Facebook, and yet we keep on coming back.
There are many offences and social faux pas that can be seen carried out on the social networking platform on a regular basis, some innocuous, some highly offensive, but the most frequently heard transgressions at a Facebook bitch fest include the following faults:
People droning on and on and on about their paleo diet or their crossfit regime or their latest exercise app results. Yes, we know you’re either buff as, and have a healthy lifestyle and are going to outlive the hard living boozehounds amongst us by a decade. And yes, occasionally we wish we could be fit bastards like you. But if all your status updates ramble on about how great your gym session was, or what a slave driver your trainer is, or how much weight you lost in the past week – well, lots of us are just zoning out. Some of us are even hiding you or blocking you altogether it’s so annoying. Why? Well, because ultimately this is shit we just don’t care about… Your friends want to know what’s going on with you, maybe consider posting something else that is happening in your life? Just a suggestion.
Second most annoying social networking habit has got to be the VagueBooking shit! Urgh. The posting of thinly veiled or cryptic status updates is a social faux pas that really shouldn’t be tolerated, and certainly not encouraged by people chiming in soliciting details. It’s the most obvious form of attention whoring, plain and simple. Worst than the VagueBook status alone is the “I don’t want to talk about it”/VagueBook status update. People are generally your friends on Facebook for a reason – hopefully because they like you not just because it makes it easier to stalk you. So when you post a quasi-mysterious status about how life/family/work is throwing you a curve ball at the moment – your Friends will naturally ask you about it (even though I personally don’t think they should buy in). But for God love us and preserve us, if you have something going on in your life that you need to vent but don’t want to talk about – don’t post stuff about it all. Find a therapist and leave the rest of us out of it.
Another annoying as all fuck Facebook habit is the constant sharing of photos of EVERY little thing you ever eat. Sure, that unusually huge, hanging off your plate schnitzel place you discovered might warrant chucking up a photo. Or that ‘I’ve never cooked a lasagne from scratch before’ dinner might likewise be of interest to others and gain you some kudos from the peanut gallery, or the absolutely stunning piece of culinary artistry you encountered when out at a special restaurant should be shared. However, if you get to the point where you’re photographing and/or Instagramming the shit out of every single morsel of food (or cocktail or fancy beer) you’ve ever ordered/consumed/planned to consume… than, it’s too much. A little circumspection here, people. Post the extraordinary, not the ordinary, otherwise we just don’t care.
Another major social faux pas can be found in bombarding your friends with game requests, so much so, that this has apparently become a favoured way to troll people you don’t really like nowadays. Some of you out there obviously love playing games through your social networking accounts. And some of us don’t. And those of us who don’t, really really hate being barraged with game requests. Sometimes your game will spam your friends – get into the settings, turn them off and stop the damn thing from spamming people every time you do something. If someone hasn’t responded to the first dozen or so requests that you sent, they’re probably not fricken’ interested, so stop sending them. (PS: If the Candy Crush requests continue, drastic measures will need to be taken!)
Okay, here’s one might strike close to home and could possibly offend some with delicate sensibilities… but one thing that sets the teeth on edge is the overly-proud parent bit. I have a kid. I love him. He’s awesome, but I’m pretty sure that not everyone has the same high opinion of him that I do. And I understand that other parents are just as proud of their own kids too. But we’d probably be more proud of your kid, if you didn’t post about every stupidly mundane little thing that your Jilly or Johnny does, each and every time they do it… Had a bad night sleep? Didn’t eat his Weeties? Has a rash? An earache? Nope. Unless your three year old kid has done something excessively cute (like colour coding your DVD collection), amusing (outed you by letting Aunty Betty how much y’all hate her ceramic pumpkins), or horrific (spewed all over the family priest), then we really don’t need to know about it.
Then there’s over sharing. Telling people every little detail about your personal life. Just… Why? People don’t need to know that you’re in the bathroom, that you tried on a new outfit, that you’re dying without your morning coffee (yet again), that you cuddled your cat last night. Unless someone asks, or it’s something that is actually significant, you don’t need to post the boring day to day stuff every single day. Because guess what? We all have boring day to day stuff. We all eat breakfast. We all hate traffic. We all love our pets. We all have mundane crap going on every day. Your social media account doesn’t need to amplify your every boring life detail for you. Then there’s the other type of over sharing – “My arsehole room mate/brother is masturbating in his room/cheating on his wife.” type of, way too much personal information over share. Also included in this category is the ‘huge boil on my butt / smelly abscess in my gums / look at my gory injury photo’ update. There is a time and place for that type of sharing and normally these issues are best discussed personally, in private, with people you consider your closest friends. Maintain some mystery, just a little bit.
Oh, I almost forgot the constant check-ins. People love to hear when you are somewhere exciting, exotic, unusual or remote. Checking in when you’re travelling or out on the town with friends or doing something you love, is awesome. But, much like the previous mini-rant, regular checking-ins at every single place you go to is simply not necessary. Go get yourself a Four Square account if you simply must check-in. You don’t need to tell the world where you are every minute of the day. “Hey, I’m at this restaurant now. It’s great. ” “Hey, you go there every day and check-in. We know by now that during lunch, you’re there.” Yep. It’s a bit like that. For the record all those ‘Brisbane / Canberra / Melbourne / Adelaide… I am in you posts!’ are also annoying and now so thoroughly passe… so, please, don’t do it. Language is an amazing thing, put a little effort into your travel check-ins. Aim for originality people.
Event etiquette is a big issue on Facebook too. There are several ways to fuck up using the event thing on FB. Constantly spamming people with repeated invites to your event, more spam with additional information about your event, and more spam with updates about your event… and… and… and, is a bit of a no-no. Eventually people get so sick of hearing about your event, that they want nothing to do with your event – it’s a turn off. Another seriously dismaying but common misstep in Facebook event creation is making your private event visible to people who aren’t actually invited to your event. Way to inadvertently make your friends feel unloved or unwanted if they can see you’re excited to be having a party, and plenty of mutual acquaintances are invited, but… ouch, the knife goes in, they didn’t make the cut. Nice work. Even if it’s a ‘nothing/non-occasion’ occasion, people feel hurt being excluded. So, events are great, especially if they’re for a good cause, a relaxing pause, or a downing of drunken drawers, however over promotion of your event can drive people away and not watching your privacy settings can be seriously bad form.
There’s also a fine line in Facebook between being an active social media commenter and ‘Liker’ and well, coming across like a fucking stalker. Sure, ‘Like’ and comment away, that’s what Facebook is all about. Having posts ‘Liked’ by your friends makes people feel all warm and fuzzy (for reasons that people psych degrees could probably explain better than I could), and either a deep and meaningful, or completely trivial conversation ensuing from your status update can be a lot of fun. But one surefire way to cross the Stalker Line is to ‘Like’, comment, favourite, retweet or repin each and every thing your friends post on their social media accounts. Just settle, petal. If you are a really active ‘Liker’ and commenter… sometimes it’s more telling to see whose accounts you’re not commenting on! Aaaah. Bet you thought no one was noticing you deliberately avoiding commenting publicly on certain people’s accounts… can’t have people knowing about your secret crushes now, can we?
Here’s one annoys me beyond what may be considered reasonable. I don’t know about the rest of you, but we use Facebook Groups quite a bit. I belong to a world wide medieval re-enactment society which has branches across the world, and subgroups throughout Australia and in various cities. As I am interested in events and happenings in these different branches, external to my own local sub-branch, I subscribe to quite a few Facebook groups set up for that purpose (in fact, a quick look reveals I am subscribed to thirteen different SCA Facebook Groups). Every now and then – well, a couple of times a week lately – someone will post some information to their local group page… and then post it to the national group page, and then an event group page, and then a group half way across the country and then a specific interest group and Lord knows where else. So many of us see the same post pop up three, four, five times! And while Facebook has gotten smart enough to roll shit together, and tell me that 5+ friends shared the same link recently… it isn’t smart enough to roll together that an individual posted the same shit to half a dozen different groups, and so sends a notification for each of the posts to each of the groups I belong to. Grrr. I could turn the notifications off – but then I’d end up missing stuff I actually want! Shits me to tears.
Then there’s over rampant elf promotion. I mean, I guess this is largely what Facebook is all about. Crafting an image that you wish to project to the world. You moderate and monitor what you put out there about yourself. Control what pictures you allow yourself to remain tagged in. Decided whether you’re a totally PG rated account with language suitable for mixed company, or whether you’re going to let it all hang out and come with ‘Adults Only’, R rated status updates. But promoting yourself too much – “Look at me! Look at me!” – Seriously, even if we would like to support you in your plans and endeavours, don’t ram it down people’s throats or badger them over your current projects/obsessions. That shit gets old, really quick.
I know so many people who live and die by their smart phones – check them last thing before going to bed at night and are then right back on Facebook or Twitter before they’ve even gotten out of bed in the morning! Feel totally naked when they’ve accidentally left them at home for the day. I’ve even met plenty of people who admit to using their phones on the toilet (ewww!) … something we would have found unbelievable a decade ago! So it looks like the whole social networking thing via our computers, tablets and phones isn’t going no where. In fact, I’m sure it is only going to get more ubiquitous in our lives as time marches inexorably onwards.
Now I know I have been guilty of some, if not several of these infringements over the years (well, probably not the Vaguebooking thing, though – being less than succinct is so not my style) but perhaps it’s time we all stopped, and thought more about what we are putting out there… else instead of seeing our number of social connections climb and be increasingly useful and meaningful as we go through our lives, we’re likely to see these connections to new levels of banality.