Bikini booze offer

December 21, 2006

Interesting offer, but I think the unlimited booze was a bit over the top. The homepage of Amber Lounge is blocked by my Firewall as ‘Adult content’.

Map with hotspots

December 13, 2006

Still about the bushfires in Australia: a great map with the hotspots.

Hotspot map

Smoke

December 12, 2006

Before and during the bushfire

The above picture was taken by SplaTT. Both photos are taken on the exact spot in the Upper Yarra Valley in Victoria. On the picture above you clearly can see what the impact of the smoke of the bushfires. According to SlaTT the fires are located 50-60 kilometers away.

Friday I saw some television footage of the smoke in the city center of Melbourne. That was scaring too.

On Tuesday morning (Australia), media reported that two fires in the north east of Victoria merged in one big blaze. Nearly three and a half thousand people are fighting the fires in Victoria. On Tasmania a firestorm damaged fourteen houses. Luckily, the fires haven’t killed anybody.

Stunning

November 24, 2006

Albert Lane Lake

Melbourne across Albert Park Lane. Zoom in to see the details. Picture taken by Aumbody Images.

Snow

November 16, 2006

Snow hasn’t fallen yet where I live (far away from Australia), but the cold weather surprised Victoria. Arround Melbourne, snow fell. For instance, in Ballarat, where this picture was taken.

Snow in Ballarat

In two weeks times, it will be summer in Australia. But the snowstorms and the rain are welcome, writes the Herald Sun. Every two or three novembers, Victoria gets so bad weather. “The current rainfall is certainly very welcome in helping to reduce consumption and providing a good soaking for parks and gardens,” Melbourne Water spokesman Ben Pratt said. “However, spring rainfall totals to date are only about half of the 30-year average expected in the catchments.”

Fast train

November 13, 2006

Will the Victorian government place speed cameras along the rail network? The Age found out that the trains on the high speed line can drive faster than allowed. The V/Locity railcars were specifically tested at speeds of up to 176 km/h, while the railway network was certified for a maximum speed of 160 km/h. The tolerance of 10% is said to be normal, but the government and V/Line could face legal action if an accident happen.

“Transport Minister Peter Batchelor and V/Line both deny the V/Locity railcars ever exceed 160 km/h”, writes The Age. And V/Line adds: “The fast rail timetable was designed on 160 km/h running and if trains were travelling over that speed they would be operating ahead of schedule”.

Melbourne Cup

November 6, 2006

Tomorrow, 7th November, the Melbourne Cup is run. The race on Flemington Racecourse is Australia’s major horserace. It’s a three day event and it attracts a lot of people. A crowd of 128.000 was present on Derby Day, past Saturday. A record. The Victoria Racing Club expects a 100.000+ attendance for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup and Thursday’s Oaks Day.

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is more than racing alone. It’s a carnival. There’s ‘Fashion on the Fields’. The most elegant male and female racegoers are awarded a prize. Melbourne Cup is a public holiday in the Melbourne area.

This year Tawqeet could win the race. If it does, it will create history for his trainer, David Hayes. No trainer has ever won the ‘big four’ :the Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

Update: Delta wins Cup

Water

November 4, 2006

One of the biggest threats for big parts of Australia is drought. Water is scarce in Victoria too. But a precious resource of pure drinking water will be leased to a private company. The water manufacturer will bottle the water and sell it. The Australian newspaper The Age writes that the company has to pay 2.40 dollar per million litres of water. That amount is well below the price Melburnians or farmers pay.

“No politician can seriously tell us we’re in a water crisis, when a million litres of water costs only $2.40,” said an shocked expert. But the Victorian government says that the private company is paying a fair price. The water company, Sunkoshi Limited, has links with Coca Cola Amatil.