Qantas flies passengers around for 19 hours in the name of science.

At 19-hours and 16-minutes, the recent Qantas' non-stop flight from New York, 'Murica to Sydney, Australia is the longest haul to be had on a commercial flight. Currently, the this long-ass trek isn't an option for the traveling public to undertake. Rather, the flight seen in this video is one of three that Qantas is has planned, during which it'll be studying the physiological and physiological effects that being on an airplane for so long could have on a passenger.

Image via Wikipedia Commons Read the rest

The rich poop different: measuring inequality with sewage

In Social, demographic, and economic correlates of food and chemical consumption measured by wastewater-based epidemiology, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, a group of researchers in Australia and Norway present their analysis of a 2016 Australian sewage census, which sampled 22 waste-water treatment facilities and looked for 42 biomarkers. Read the rest

Flying T-Rex fossils found in Australia, because of course they were

Scientists in Queensland, Australia have pieced together the most complete pterosaur fossil collection yet—a big-headed reptile  with a 12-foot wingspan they've named Ferrodraco lentoni, or "Butch's Iron Dragon."

"It’s kind of scary when you think their heads are disproportionately large, it would have had a skull maybe 60cm," Adele Pentland from Swinburne University, the lead author on the study, told The Guardian. "To see it walking around on the ground it would have walked on four legs and looked really different to any kind of animal we have today." You can check out an artist's rendering of the derpy-looking lizard-bird here.

The field of dinosaur research is in a bit of a renaissance period, with some three dozen new species discovered this year alone. More importantly: of course a flying mini-T-Rex was found in Australia of all places. After all, this is the land of such natural wonders as mutant eel-sharks, birds that weaponize fire, projectile bull semen, human-sized jellyfish, and more strange spiders than anyone ever wants to hear about, except for that guy who was bit on the penis not once but twice (and still hasn't gained any spider-penis super powers).

In that context, it's frankly surprising that a flying T-Rex hadn't been discovered there until now.

(Image via Luis Rey/Wikimedia Commons) Read the rest

Far-right Australian billionaire demands $500k and a vow of silence from a satirical vlogger

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has earned a reputation for being...colourful. Read the rest

Beekeeper uses this DIY bee vacuum he rigged up himself when collecting honey

“My dad built a bee vacuum!” Read the rest

Australia wants to kill consent requirement in proposed data-sharing legislation, calls it "nuance"

Australia has a pending, comprehensive "data sharing" law that regulates the dispersal of data collected by the Australian state; in a new government white-paper, the Australian state has proposed that the rules could gain "nuance" if the government were allowed to share data without obtaining consent from the people whose privacy is implicated in that sharing. Read the rest

Australia's raids on journalists signal an authoritarian turning point

Yesterday's spectacular series of raids on Australian journalists by the Australian Federal Police are a turning point in how democracies view the role of the press and leaks: the raid targeted News Corp's Annika Smethurst over her reporting on a secret plan to grant the Australian Signals Directorate -- a spy agency -- the power to surveil Australians; 2GB radio's Ben Fordham over his reporting on human rights abuses of refugees; and ABC Sydney's offices over their 2017 Afghan files reports, which documented war-crimes and other misconduct by Australian military personnel. Read the rest

Just look at this vintage "banana candle" recipe

Just look at it.

(Thanks, Seth!) Read the rest

Fellow catches big fish that is then caught by something much bigger

"Run, Daniel, run!"

(via /u/TheNatureLover) Read the rest

Your kid's "smart watch" lets anyone in the world trace their location. Again.

Back in 2017, the Norwegian Consumer Council published a damning report on the privacy leaks from kids' "smart watches," a parade of horrors that included allowing unauthorized third parties to trace your kid's location, and also to covertly eavesdrop through the watches' microphones and bark creepy orders at them through their speakers. Read the rest

The Chinafication of the internet continues as the UK proposes blocking any service that hosts "illegal" or "harmful" material

Last year the US Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, an "anti-sex-trafficking bill" that has resulted in the shuttering of all the services formerly used by sex workers to vet their johns, massively increasing the personal physical risk borne by sex-workers and reinvigorating the dying pimping industry, as sex workers seek out protectors. Read the rest

After Christchurch shooting, Australia doubles down on being stampeded into catastrophically stupid tech laws

Australia leads "developed democracies" in the adoption of poorly thought-through, dangerous tech laws, thanks to its ban on working cryptography, rushed through in late 2018; now, with no debate or consultation, the Australian Parliament has passed a law that gives tech companies one hour to remove "violent materials" from their platforms with penalties for noncompliance of up to 10% of annual global turnover. Read the rest

Sting operation: the NRA explains to white nationalist Australian political party how to deflect gun control calls after a massacre

Australian Al Jazeera reporter Rodger Muller infiltrated a meeting between the US National Rifle Association and Australia's far-right/white nationalist party One Nation, where the NRA gave party bosses advice on how to reverse Australia's tough anti-automatic/semi-automatic gun laws (passed after a 1996 mass shooting that killed 35 people) and what to do to deflect public calls for gun control when the next mass shooting happens. Read the rest

Uber used spyware to surveil and poach drivers from Australian rival service Gocatch

A senior source at Uber has confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners programme that Uber Australia illegally deployed an in-house piece of spyware called Surfcam in order to spy on drivers for a rival rideshare company called Gocatch; Uber was able to compile lists of drivers' emails, car registration numbers and other details and it used these to poach Gocatch drivers and turn them into Uber drivers. Read the rest

Bored pilot graffitis two dicks and a message in flight path

On Tuesday morning, an Australian pilot took some artistic liberties with his flight path.

ABC News:

The Diamond Star plane, operated by Flight Training Adelaide, spent a little over three hours in the air on Tuesday to draw the letters over South Australia.

The message was not seen by people on the ground, but was visible to aviation followers watching live flight tracking programs and websites.

It is believed the pilot, who was working out of Parafield Airport, north of Adelaide, was "running in" a new engine.

The FlightAware website captured the pilot's work between 8:53am to 11:57am.

The pilot flew several loops, creating some somewhat explicit graffiti along the coast, before tracing "I'm bored" over the Princes Highway.

Retired Qantas A380 pilot Chris Wilson said he thought the message was "harmless".

screenshot by Flightaware via ABC News

(Gizmodo) Read the rest

The Right to Repair movement is making strides around the world

Last year saw a massive surge in the right to repair movement, which seeks to limit manufacturers' power to undermine repairs, by mandating certain design decisions to facilitate independent servicing of goods, as well as access to parts and manuals. Read the rest

Aussie cops filmed beating kid with autism, disabled senior, and more

"Horrific" CCTV footage shows a group of Aussie cops savagely beating a teen with autism, and the resulting outrage is drawing attention to the country's worsening reputation for police brutality.

In another case, Victoria police beat up a teenager who had ridden his scooter in front a police car, claiming that the baby-faced kid was the middle-aged, bearded car thief they were unable to find.

Tommy Lovett was riding by a police car on his scooter when he was wrongly arrested. ... Documents obtained by The Age reportedly support Mr Lovett’s claim that he was hurled into a fence, assaulted while handcuffed and capsicum sprayed — leaving his body bruised, grazed and bleeding. Victoria Police vehemently denied the claims and an internal investigation found nothing wrong with Mr Lovett’s arrest. However, a human rights lawyer who spoke to 7.30 said the cases — including one where a Melbourne doctor claims police threw her to the ground and punched her in the head — outlined in the investigation are alarming.

“These cases keep going on,” he said. “There’s clearly cultural systemic issues at work."

More footage shows another Aussie cop attacking a disabled senior.

A Victorian policeman retained his job and rank despite being caught on CCTV assaulting a drunk disability pensioner at Geelong Police Station.

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