"'Set fire to your hair, poke a stick at a grizzly bear ... Dumb ways to die ... dumb ways to die-ie-ie.' If the chorus isn't stuck in your head, it will be soon. Melbourne Metro Trains' darkly cute - and irksomely catchy - new ad for transport safety has gone viral, notching up a whopping 4.2 million YouTube views in less than a week. And nobody is more stunned by its success than the man behind the music, Sydneysider Ollie McGill. The Cat Empire keyboards player was commissioned to write the score to accompany lyrics to the McCann Group's new ad and has watched Facebook likes, Twitter shares and YouTube hits skyrocket as word of the animated video has spread like wildfire. ... In the ad, cartoon characters meet their ends in a number of colourful, sardonic ways, including a couple of nasty mishaps on train tracks, while the sweet chorus, 'dumb ways to die ... ' is instant earworm material."
(Daisy Dumas, 19 November 2012, Fairfax New Zealand Ltd.)
"Massive Open Online Courses are likely to drive part of the student market away from 'long haul' degree programs as students instead build a set of skills-focused credentials from different providers, according to Richard James, pro-vice chancellor of engagement and participation at Melbourne University.
'My guess is that the big change in the long run is going to be some sections of the community moving away from long haul, costly credentials,' Professor James told a student engagement conference in Melbourne this week."
(Andrew Trounson, 02 November 2012, The Australian)
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Fig.1 Nobel Laureate and former Australian of the Year Peter Doherty, supports The Conversation.
"To celebrate the Red Bull Academy World Tour, the Academy produced a music film that encompasses musical styles from around the world.
Berlin: The soundtrack for this clip is inspired by one of Hansa’s iconic album’s Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. Like the creation of the music in the studio, the cityscape is built from the many organic, analogue musical artifacts used in the recording studio. Tape creatures climb across the concrete city jungle towards the Berlin Wall – a nod to the studio’s physical location.
Paris: The visual inspiration for the Parisian leg of the tour is an collision between the flesh and blood textures of the African soul and funk that comprised the concert, and the architectural backdrop of Paris – the home of the Afrobeat Picks event. Musically, the rhythm builds and the acoustics echo and bounce off the city walls as we travel across the avenues.
Detroit: Inspired by the Detroit automotive industry, from the start the viewer is immersed inside the iconic TR 909 drummachine – a nod to the intersection of man and machine central to the city’s musical innovation. As we travel through a CG circuit board city, the cyclical nature of the assembly line process is increasingly apparent transitioning us from the hey days of Motown R&B to the minimal stylings of techno. The theme of repetition was also carried through to the construction of the musical score.
Toronto: The animation style here is directly referenced from the iconic soundclash album Scientists meets the Space Invaders. The four superhero characters battle it out across the streets of Toronto – each one representative of one of the four soundclash crews competing in this event, Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation, Mad Decent, LuckyMe and Toronto All Star. The beginning of the battle is marked by the sound of the airhorn, a nod to the dancehall musical score underpinning this piece.
Melbourne: The bright, visually rich palette of this section is inspired by the coastal location of Melbourne city. Like the experimental nature of the event itself, the narrative of this film explores the relationship between sound and space. The audio of the Melbourne tram chimes set off a wave of fluid illustrated animations that bounce around the screen, visually inspired by traditional aboriginal paintings.
New York: When hip-hop first emerged in the 70s it was the ghetto blaster that amplified the sound of New York streets to the world. To pay hommage, the setting of this film was built from the original tape deck devices. We see a Hudson River constructed of unwound mixtapes. The trains all disappear to one of the five boroughs, a nod to the albums and boroughs celebrated in this event.
Rome: Italy and the Cinecitta studios are credited for producing some of the most influential cinematic masterpieces ever. To celebrate this we created a film that paid tribute to the different genres, from comedy to spaghetti western, 70s cop films & blood-filled horror flicks to psychedelic animations, in one narrative mash-up. A Spaghetti Western inspired track provides the aural backdrop as we pan across the scene culminating in a classic Sergio Leone shot. Along the way we reveal a chaotic assortment of villains, ghouls and policeman all participating in one comedic battle conducted to the tunes of a dead Mexican mariachi band.
London: Inspired by the event theme, Revolutions in Sound, we wanted to create a dominating creature that visually embodies the innovative qualities of the event itself. As the camera cuts around the robot’s CG body we see it is inspired by components of modern London architecture. His head is a pulsating subwoofer, an iconic musical artifact central to London’s influential bass music scenes and inside his chest we see the magnificent London Eye, the heart of the event itself."
Fig.1 'Red Bull Academy World Tour' (2011). Passion Pictures
"THE FUTURE OF COLONIES.
(From the Melbourne Argus.)
Will Victoria be the foremost of Australian colonies in the future? Hitherto we have not permitted ourselves to doubt it ; but then it is only quite lately that events in New Zealand have been calling attention to the extraordinary resources and prospects of that country. Long secluded, petty, and almost unnoticed, the settlements in those islands have suddenly sprung into a prominence and importance which recall the progress of our own early days. Communities are quickly built up in these regions of the far south, which were a hemisphere of mystery to the old world a few short years ago. The turn of New Zealand is fast coming ; within four or five years she has doubled her inhabitants. Population is multiplying, not only on the auriferous hillsides and terraces of Otago and Westland, but in the province of Auckland, furthest removed from the goldfields. Her bound into importance has been so sudden that those great islands have not been oven named yet. Countries as largo as England and Scotland are only distinguished as the North and South Islands - the native appellations, unlike native ones in general, being in this instance too clumsy and long-winded for every day use ; while as for the common term New Zealand, it cannot, of course, serve for the future, and, as inappropriate and absurd, its withdrawal was long since determined on. If their present extraordinary advance be sustained, those islands will be soon well on the path to that magnificent destiny which, from their geographical position and great natural opportunities, was predicted for them by the thoughtful in England long before the first of our settlements was formed on their shores. Perhaps it is in climate that New Zealand has the most striking advantage over the Australian continent. Being very mountainous, surrounded by the ocean, and far from any other land, there are no desert winds, and the moisture is perennial, and at all seasons reliable. The country is about the size of Great Britain, but the shape being much more elongated, there are greater varieties of temperature ; for while the sugar cane, it is suspected, would grow in the peninsula of the extreme north, antarctic breezes give to the south the winter of Britain. As a whole, however, the climate has been compared, not unjustly, to that of Great Britain in its vicissitudes at all seasons, and its influence on the soil and the human constitution. There is no country, therefore, better adapted for the transplantation of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic races, with a successful perpetuation of the original type. It is entirely because of the difference of climate between New Zealand and the archipelagos of the Pacific that the Maoris are so much more energetic, industrious, and masculine, than their soft kinsmen of the Sandwich and Society Islands. And the earth, like the air, seems fashioned for the development of a great nation. Noble harbors indent the coasts ; great and deep rivers, hundreds of yards wide, hundreds of miles long, traverse the plains ; the mountains are as high as those of Switzerland, the forests as majestic as in the tropics. And over so many degrees of latitude almost all useful plants, except those exclusively of the torrid zone, can find congenial growth-all cereals, from the hardy oat and rye which need the cold, to rice and maize which love the sun-all fruits and vegetables and their products, except, perhaps wine, for which the restlessness of the atmosphere may not be well suited-all minerals, from gold, the most artificially valuable, to iron and coal, the most useful, are found. Then the constant verdure affords unlimited scope for grazing, and the adjacent seas yield abundance of fish. Just now the South Island has the largest population because of the gold-fields, has in more permanent advantages the North is vastly superior. It has not its neighbor's severe winters, the mountain masses do not engross so much of its surface, the extent of fertile land is far greater, and the navigable rivers have longer courses. The North Island must be the principal seat of agriculture and of internal and external trade.
The two islands are rising into importance so fast, and their chief seats of population are so very distant from each other, that their formation into two colonies cannot be long postponed. The late removal of the capital to the town of Wellington on the dividing strait, as a central situation, was almost superfluous in the present aspect of affairs. It is not a central seat of Government that the islands are now asking for, but distinct Governments, as they have distinct interests. The South has only a couple of native tribes, and no Maori wars, and grumbles at being taxed for the expense ; while the North has no gold-fields or digging populations. Already, therefore, the chief communities in both quarters are agitating for separation. Our New Zealand correspondent mentions in his last letter that Auckland is to make common cause in the General Assembly, which has just met, with Otago and Canterbury on this subject, and these three provinces have twice and a-half as many in habitants as the other six.
As for the grand old native war race, it is fast passing away without fulfilling the dream of Sydney Smith, of amalgamating with its supplanters. Diffenbach estimated the Maoris at 115,000 in the beginning of the present century. In 1861, an estimate based on a recent census returned them as 55,336. Now, says our correspondent, nobody believes that they exceed 40,000 souls. That which was probably their last war with us is virtually at an end. Most of our regular forces leaving, no longer necessary in New Zealand. Subdued and hopeless, a fatal despair has seized upon the proud Maori that dull depression, that tedium vite which smites with the hand of death. Among the tribes which have submitted the mortality is described as astonishing. Without the presence of epidemic or other active cause, two hundred individuals of some small hapus near Raglan died off within two months. The Maori is departing over the rock of the Reinga - the gateway of the land of spirits. Centuries hence, when millions of civilised, and therefore superior, men occupy the plains and mountains, the valor and the fate of the ancient owners of the land will be the theme of many a tradition, of many a poetic fancy. Time will lend its embellishment, and history will not forget the gallant aborigines of New Zealand."
(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 14 August 1866)
[A rather enlightening article from 1866. The article was retrieved through using the Australian Newspapers beta which was developed by the National Library of Australia as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.
The photo shows a National Provincial Council mining licence from 1884 (source).]