Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oz Zoo 2

Oz Zoo

The last day in Brisbane was spent at Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin's impressive wildlife park. In addition to the crocs which made Irwin famous, there are tigers, elephants, emus, 'roos, snakes, camels, dingos, koalas... It's a very well thought-out enterprise, and nowhere do you wonder "what would this have been like if they'd had the money?".


One place I visited in Brissy was Greg Tunstall Mechanical, a Triumph repairer and restorer. I wanted some advice about importing my old Herald, and Greg was very helpful. One day, I'm sure, the little red rocket will be breaching the peace all over Queensland. This unusual two-tone TR6 was parked outside, and inside were an immaculate TR5 and 3A. More Triumphs than I'd seen in all of Oz!

Night shots

The Storey Bridge as seen from the Customs House - 30 sec exposure, ISO100.
Buildings - 4 sec exposure, ISO100.


Just returned from a week in Brisbane, just an hour's flight from here (well, plus a bus ride). After a couple of weeks in smallish towns and working in the great outdoors, it was a bit of a shock to the system to plunge into a city of 2 million. Thank goodness I arrived on a Sunday!

There were a few things I'd wanted to buy for a while - the first was a new Canon 350D camera, which I spent the rest of the week learning to use. Above are a couple of night shots I took in the CBD. I also bought some new clothes, saw Pirates of the Carribean 2 (boo) and Superman Returns (much better), visited the Queensland Museum (great rocks), and just marvelled at the varieties of humanity on display in town.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Last of the species?

Isolated areas - islands, hills surrounded by glaciers, oases in deserts, often act as protected environments for species once widespread, but now otherwise extinct. Australia itself is one of these refugia - marsupials were once found on other continents, but were displaced by placental mammals everywhere except on the island continent, where they reigned supreme.

Central Queensland turns out to be the refuge of a rare species, once found in most western countries - the Mullet. For some reason, this haircut, with its short, aerodynamic sides and long back waving in the breeze, remains popular in Central Queensland towns. Its full geographic range is unknown.

It is possible that the Mullet confers some sort of evolutionary advantage on its wearers, protecting the back of the neck from sunburn, or allowing the wearer to accurately judge wind speed and direction - useful in an area prone to cyclones. It may also increase the attractiveness of the wearer to the Central Queensland female, itself a poorly understood subspecies.

Fine examples of the Mullet may be observed on AFL players, miners, and devotees of Dominos Pizza. In many cases Mullets occur in conjunction with Stubbies shorts, themselves long believed (hoped) extinct in civilised countries.