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May 31, 2011

Sugar, Coca-Cola, WWF, clickers and scorecards

On May 9, I attended a Project Catalyst Workshop at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre along the Central Queensland coast. The workshop was organized by Will Higham and his colleagues at Reef Catchments, and it included three dozen sugarcane growers from three sugar producing regions within the Great Barrier Reef catchment; Mackay/Whitsunday/Isaac region, Burdekin […]

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May 29, 2011

Reasons to be optimistic about sugarcane impacts on the Great Barrier Reef

There are several reasons that I have cause for optimism regarding the future of sugarcane impacts on the Great Barrier Reef: 1) the tinnies in the farm sheds, 2) the young cane growers, 3) the widespread adoption of high tech equipment for precision agriculture, 4) the innovative, can-do attitude of a group of cane growers, […]

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May 27, 2011

Riparian Rhapsodies in Customs House

As part of Brisbane’s heritage week, a walking tour along the Brisbane River and a concert in historic Customs House was held on May 15. These events were sponsored by Brisbane’s Living Heritage Network. The walking tour started in the Botanic Gardens and visited the 1974 flood marker which has been modified to include the […]

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May 25, 2011

Walking tour of Brisbane (Part 3): Parliament, World War II and beyond

Walking along the front of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) buildings with the Botanic Gardens on the right, you pass some massive banyan trees, which is an Indian fig tree named for the Bania merchants who would meet between the buttress roots. Just at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens is Parliament House, seat […]

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May 23, 2011

Walking tour of Brisbane (Part 2): Financial district, riverside and botanic gardens

Back to ANZAC Square, the walk down the stairs (from the bottom, 19 stairs, a landing, and 18 stairs to commemorate the end of WWI in 1918) and through the walk lined with baobab (bottle) trees from South Africa to symbolize the Boer Wars. In addition, Middle East date palms are in the square to […]

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May 21, 2011

Walking tour of Brisbane (Part 1): Parklands, City Hall and ANZAC

Brisbane is hilly, and I like to start a tour at a high point and work my way down. The Old Windmill on Wickham Terrace is a great place to start for that reason. Another reason for starting here is the fact that the Old Windmill is aptly named, as it is the oldest surviving […]

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May 19, 2011

HMB Endeavour sets sail

Dr. Nigel Erskine, Curator of Exploration at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, talked about the HMB Endeavour voyage. He explained that the Endeavour was correctly called HM Barque (or Bark), which was what the British Royal Navy designated the Endeavour that Cook sailed in, even though it was ship-rigged (three or more masts, […]

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May 17, 2011

The HMS Endeavour ‘discovers’ the Great Barrier Reef

Another observation was the June 11, 1770 ‘discovery’ that the Endeavour had been unknowingly threading through the Great Barrier Reef. This ‘discovery’ of what is now known as Endeavour Reef almost led to the demise of the ship and crew. Cook wrote “. . .the Ship Struck and stuck fast. Immediately upon this we took […]

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May 15, 2011

Scientific discovery aboard the HMS Endeavour

An exact replica of the HMS Endeavour arrived in Brisbane, Australia for a visit of several weeks. The 100 foot three-masted ship was built in Freemantle, Western Australia between 1988 and 1992, and has sailed twice around the world. It is operated by the Australian National Maritime Museum and is based in Sydney Harbour. The […]

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May 13, 2011

Stoplight colors for environmental report cards

The use of red, yellow and green for denoting different levels of concern in environmental report cards has its origin in human perceptions of color. The color red is associated with blood and fire, which are instinctively perceived as ‘danger’. Red is classified as a ‘warm’ color and infrared light is essentially heat. The color […]

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