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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Links - 11th May 2012

Kony 2012 Cover the Night fails to move from the internet to the streets - "The Kony 2012 Cover the Night campaign woke up to awkward questions on Saturday after activists failed to blanket cities with posters of the wanted Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony. The movement's phenomenal success in mobilising young people online, following last month's launch of a 29-minute documentary which went viral, flopped in trying to turn that into real world actions... "What happened to all the fuss about Kony?" said one typical tweet. "Kony is so last month," said another." AWARENESS!

Kony 2012: Invisible Children prepares Cover the Night stunt amid criticism - ""This Invisible Children campaign hurts. It's offensive," says Victor Ochen, founder and director of the African Youth Initiative Network (Ayinet) that works to rehabilitate victims of violence perpetrated by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). "The people who have suffered at the hands of Kony don't want to promote him or make him famous. They want to rebuild their lives"... "We get the feeling that Invisible Children care more about their videos than about victims"... "This is a day when communities are trying to heal broken hearts, but Invisible Children want to plaster Kony's face everywhere," he continued. "People in the affected areas find it very difficult when an organisation encourages people to wear T-shirts bearing Kony's face. How do you think Americans would have reacted if people in another country wore Osama Bin Laden T-shirts? All of this just confirms to us that they do not care about the victims and ignore their suffering"... "They also don't seem to recognise that the more Kony feels threatened, the more he's dangerous. This campaign will only worsen their violent acts"... The implication is that the abduction rate has increased since the video was released... "Victims have appealed for Invisible Children to cancel Cover the Night, but they refused... last week at Gulu [where one person died during unrest following a screening of Kony 2012 and its sequel]. We do not want to endanger anyone""

Monogamy 'safer' than polygamy - ""Our goal was to understand why monogamous marriage has become standard in most developed nations in recent centuries, when most recorded cultures have practiced polygaymy. The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling for some as the very people who most benefit from polygymy - wealthy, powerful men - were best positioned to reject it"... the study represents the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage. It found significantly higher levels of rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygymous cultures found in Asia and Africa. Prof Henrichs said that these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives... A more egalitarian distribution of women results in less male competition and social problems, he says, and by shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalised monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, savings and child investments. "

Legalize polygamy: study - "Sayd Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said last year that he opposes same-sex marriage, but said if it is legalized in Canada, polygamists would be within their rights to challenge for their choice of family life to be legalized... Chief author of the report Martha Bailey told The Canadian Press that criminalizing polygamy serves no good purpose. "Why criminalize the behaviour?" she said. "We don't criminalize adultery""

Facebook photo ends up on porn, dating sites - "another friend told her that the photo had also popped up on a dating site called sgGirls.com... Ms Rahim, 32, has filed two police reports - one about the porn site and the other about the dating site"

The future of hawker food in singapore on Twitpic

Chicken Soup: The Miracle Prescription for Winter Illness - "The first modern landmark study on chicken soup was published in the medical journal Chest in 1978 and stated simply that the steam in chicken soup was more effective in clearing up congestion than plain cold or hot water... Rennard discovered that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory by keeping a check on inflammatory white blood cells, called neutrophils. Neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes, causing inflammation. These guys hang out, wreaking havoc on one's system, forcing their victim to cough and hack their way into utter misery"

A look at the kind of thinking that determines how religious we are - "Analytical thinking can be harmful to religious faith... People who are highly intuitive tend to be more religious. Intuitive thinking helps people recognize the difference between the body and the mind, imagine life after death and discern purposes in the universe... Most people don't recognize there is a key difference between the "irrational" and the "non-rational," Kierkegaard taught. The "irrational" describes that which is illogical and unreason-able. The "non-rational," on the other hand, refers to intuition; the sphere of the imagination, emotions and the arts... [we have] low levels of religious belief in Scandinavian countries with generous social-welfare programs... people who are adept at "reading the minds of others" are more inclined to be religious. People who can psychologically intuit what another per-son might be feeling, Gervais theorizes, seem to be inclined to do the same in regard to what they consider a personal transcendent reality"

Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?

Stop the Google Drive Terms of Service Bogeyman hunt - "If you didn't have the context from above, that sounds pretty scary, right?... The first bunch of verbs ("host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works") all cover the process of making your content useful. If Google can't host or store your content, it disappears, which is of no help to you. If Google can't reproduce your content, it would be impossible to have the syncing across devices that makes Google Drive, Music, or Photos useful. Modifying and derivative works covers anything from auto-correct in a document to translations or fixing the color of a photograph.  Then, the last few pieces ("communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute") covers being able to share your content, but only if the requirements are met from the Privacy Policy above. This means that Google can post your photos, videos or docs to Google+, but only if you say so (or for some odd reason a judge says so.) The same goes for e-mail, or even sharing a link.  Knowing all of that, what exactly is the problem? The problem is that people want to find fault without due cause"
Do people READ the actual TOS before spreading FUD?

Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds - "Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike."

Revealed: How Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram made Facebook pay $1B - "Zuckerberg, we’re told, lives in perpetual anxiety, preoccupied by the fear of Facebook losing its place, terrified that youngsters will get their social networking fix from other services. That fear served as the catalyst behind his decision to buy Instagram and keep it out of the hands of a cross-town competitor. This type of paranoia is relatively normal at Silicon Valley’s largest technology companies. “These huge West Coast companies, peopled mostly by kids who cannot believe their good luck, commonly turn paranoid and think everyone is out to get them,” veteran columnist and broadcaster John Dvorak told VentureBeat. “Microsoft was the worst but not the first. Apple acts this way with Android, and Google has been paranoid for a few years.”"

Woman kills man by squeezing his testicles over parking dispute

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Nude photoshoot on St John's Island may land model and photographer in trouble - "Mr Vijay added that it is possible that the photographer has committed an offence under the Penal Code. Section 292 of the Penal Code states that whoever "distributes, transmits by electronic means, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation... any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure, or any other obscene object" shall be punished with up to three months' jail and/or a fine. The lawyer said: "In Singapore, nudity is considered obscene because we are a conservative society." Another lawyer, Steven Lam, thinks nude photography is illegal under the Undesirable Publications Act."
Elizabeth Choy had a nude photoshoot. Too bad she's dead so we can't prosecute under the Undesirable Publications Act

Police investigates man for making false report - "Acting Commander of Bedok Police Division, Superintendent of Police Jarrod Pereira commended his officers' promptness and skilful interview in investigating the credibility of the report. He also warned that police would take stern actions against anyone giving false information, as these irresponsible actions utilise police resources which could be used better in crime fighting."
The definition of crime fighting in Singapore seems suspect

Diary of a Grumpy Spinster: Everybody loves Walker (not!) - "Before Frodo got drunker than drunk, he initiated a conversation about the underage sex scandal which had implicated 48 SG men so far. Frodo again boasted that these men are stupid to pay for sex when it is so easy to get one from SG girls. Frodo has never paid for sex because he could easily get it for free. He boasted that he slept with 100 women every year and was so easy to charm SG women with his looks and height"

Stress driving S’poreans to have sex with underage girls - "[Sin Chew] daily quoted psychologist Dr Yang Jia Le as saying it was not difficult for men younger than 30 to befriend and pick up underage girls at nightclubs but this is not the case with older men. “Therefore, they (the older men) need another solution to fulfil their needs.""

Waiter, There’s a Bug in my Frappuccino - "Vegans are feeling threatened(?) by the revelation that Starbucks Soy Frappuccinos contain insect juice. Specifically, cochineal insect extract used as a reddish food coloring... The alternative to using cochineal is mostly Red 40, which is made from coal tar... Cochineal has been used by humans for hundreds of years, and provides an important source of cash for a lot of rural Central and South American people. There is some evidence the culture and sale of cochineal leads to more independence and higher female literacy in Mexico. It's entirely consistent with Starbucks' policy to sustainably source their products to use a natural product like cochineal. There is a change.org petition condemming Starbucks for using insect dyes; I'm tempted to start one to praise them for it!... The reality is that anytime you eat processed food–including coffee and chocolate–you ARE eating insects. They may not be on the label, but parts of them are in there... I applaud Starbucks for choosing a sustainable, low-impact food-coloring source!"
"Sustainability" really means "hippie stuff I like"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Frappe

Une faute de frappe ? JE TE FRAPPE, SALOPE !!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

甲辰生日 (蓦山溪)

小窗開宴,草草杯盤具。歡喜走兒童,慶生朝、一年一度。
風光好處,恰是小春時,香泛泛,酒醺醺,一曲歌金縷。
吾今已醉,解作醒時語。千里念重親,望家山、雲天盡處。
深深發願,只願早休官,居顏巷,戲萊衣,歲歲長歡聚。

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Links - 8th May 2012

"The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness." - Andre Malraux

***

Klouchebag | The Standard for Asshattery - "I got annoyed with the fuss around Klout, the horrible social-game that assigns you a score based on how "influential" you are online. This is the result... Klouchebag uses the ARSE rating system. Anger: profanity and rage. Retweets: "please RT"s, no or constant retweeting, and old-style. Social Apps: every useless checkin on foursquare or its horrible brethren. And English Usage: if you use EXCLAMATION MARKS OMG!!! or no capitals at all, this'll be quite high."
For some reason I score very high on "English Misuse"

Feministe: In Defense of “Douchebag” - ""The douche bag is a total moron and doesn’t think before he speaks or acts,” makes the gendered meaning all too apparent — and repugnant"... Personally, I’m happy to see the douchebag demonized. Unlike a lot of other common insults — “bitch,” “cunt,” “retard,” “fag” — “douchebag” actually insults something that deserves to be insulted. Douching is terrible for women; it can lead to infection and irritation... Insulting douches doesn’t insult women — the existence of douches insults women"
Comment: "I would consider “douche” or “douchebag” a problematic insult if it was used in a way that actually linked it with the product or the idea of vaginas being unclean. If people said, “He was disgusting as a old douchebag” or “You smell like a douche,” then yeah, there’s some woman-hating implications there. But since it isn’t used that way, I don’t think it’s sexist."
In other words, for [many] feminists, sexism is fine - as long as it's against men


Norton Japanese Commercial - YouTube

Mindset change needed to help low-wage workers - "Wages at the lowest 10 per cent of the income scale have remained flat over the past decade. For some professions like cleaning, they have fallen. In 2000, the median gross wage for cleaners and labourers was $1,277. By 2010, it fell to $960. For cleaners of industrial buildings like Mr Johari, the median gross wage is even lower, at around $600 in 2010... Singaporean households in the bottom fifth of the income scale needed around $1,700 a month to cover basic costs of living like food and utilities. At the time, they earned an average of only $1,274 per month... At the other end of the scale, the number of individuals who earn at least $10,000 a month here has jumped from 48,400 to nearly 140,000 in a decade. Singapore has the highest proportion - one in six households - of millionaires in the world... Singapore needs to foster a culture which respects quality plumbers, builders and food service staff, as has already happened in so many developed countries... Higher-income Singaporeans benefit from cheap domestic service, cheap service staff and cheap meals, because wages in these sectors are so low... Will middle-class Singapore countenance wage increases that will raise their cost of a restaurant meal, a haircut or a car wash? Perhaps the question should be put the other way round. Perhaps Singaporeans should consider if they can countenance being a society where the well-off live well, on the low cost of service provided by workers who cannot make ends meet... Singapore's approach has been to focus on retraining to raise skills and productivity levels. But decades of this approach have not significantly boosted wages at the lower end... There is a clear need for a major rethink on how best to help low-wage workers"
I think many of the people who denounce income inequality also get upset when the price of char kway teow rises by 50 cents

NOS SANDWICHS | McDonald's France - "Succombez au nouveau mythe: Du poulet croustillant*, du Monterey Jack fondu, deux tranches de tomates, de la salade... Et maintenant du bacon, pour encore plus de croustillant et de gourmandise ! On est toujours plus fan !"

Africans shocked by uncivilized antics of European savages - "“I don’t want to sound racist, and some of my best friend are white, but let’s be honest: violence is hard-wired into their DNA,” said Mwanasa. “I mean, Europeans killed over 20 million other Europeans in the 1930s and 1940s. That’s barbarism on a scale unprecedented in history”... “The brochures promise sea and sun, but they’re still incredibly backward in Spain,” she recalled. “Basically they all live in mud huts called haciendas, and they sleep for two hours in the middle of the day. In Europe they call it a ‘siesta’. In Ghana we call it ‘being fucking lazy’... But, she added, this kind of “depressing inertia” was to be expected in a country with more debt than most of Africa combined”

Do more to help foreigners adjust: DPM Teo
What about telling foreigners to "Do more to adjust"?

The iPhone-carrying JoeyBra - "Dubbed the JoeyBra--as in baby kangaroo, because they have pouches, get it?--it was created by two entrepreneurial business students at the University of Washington who saw great potential for growth in the pocketed bra market. At least, that's the pitch. In reality, a pair of students in search of a way to party without having to detach from their phones or accessorize their best bar-hopping gear came up with one... The college juniors claim the pocketed bra can hold an iPhone along with ID, credit cards and even keys, regardless of bust size"

Airline accident ratings - "Aviation accidents are extremely rare, with the probability of a passenger being killed on a single flight at approximately eight million-to-one. If a passenger boarded a flight at random, once a day, everyday, it would statistically be over 21,000 years before he or she would be killed."
Contrary to popular perception, SIA/Silkair are actually more dangerous on average

When Will this Low-Innovation Internet Era End? - "Only communication has been truly transformed, but is the transformation really as profound as the advent of telegraphs, radio, and TV?... We have no colonies on Mars, we still can't get by without prehistoric fuel, the dishwasher still doesn't get all the dishes clean, and very few of us have personal jetpacks. You call this progress?"

UKBA accused of covering up airport delays - "Heathrow Airport has been ordered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to stop handing out to passengers leaflets acknowledging the "very long delays" at immigration, which have become a serious government concern in the runup to the Olympics... The airport operator was also told to prevent passengers taking pictures in the arrivals hall"
Security is of utmost importance! If photography had been more tightly regulated, we wouldn't have had the Abu Ghraib, Tiananmen or Nguyễn Văn Lém scandals!

Boss of controversial dating websites a PSC bond-breaker - "He then stayed on in the US to complete an MBA, which he paid for himself by working full-time for US-based logistics software firm, which sponsored his green card... Wey made his first million after he founded SeekingArrangement.com in 2006. The website matches "sugar daddies" to young women."
Moral of the story: break your bond, go on to do better things in life

Not tonight, or any other night, honey - "International Psychology Centre principal consultant psychologist Dr Edward Chan says he has counselled many clients who have experienced a decline in sexual desire after just two to three years of marriage... Although married couples argue about many issues, Chan asserts the underlying discontentment is usually linked to sex. "Only 35 per cent of couples seek therapy with the primary concern of sex. Almost 90 per cent come with different issues, but eventually realise that their problems are linked to sex as well." How often should married couples have sex? "The frequency should be at least once a week; however, there's no such thing as too much sex between partners"... researcher Rosemary Basson suggests that although a woman may be very interested in her partner, she may not initiate sex because for many women, sexual desire doesn't precede sexual arousal. Many women enter into sex feeling neutral and it's the sexual experience that stirs sexual desire. Although relational factors are important to women, researchers Karen Sims and Marta Meana, who study sexual decline in married women, say that stable and caring relationships are necessary, but not sufficient for sexual desire because women want to feel the romance... Research suggests that what too many women don't realise is that men don't need perfection. When a man is in the throes of ecstasy, he is not evaluating her legs, so why is she?"
One takeway: women don't know what they want until they want it

Australian woman sues over 'sex at work' - "A government employee, she was staying overnight at a rural hotel ahead of a meeting and has lodged a case in the Federal Court claiming she should get damages because the incident happened while she was on official business. Her lawyer, Leo Grey, told judge John Nicholas the woman was hurt in "an ordinary incident of life commonly undertaken in a motel room at night"... Comcare lawyer Andrew Berger said people on government business needed to eat, sleep and attend to their personal hygiene but "you don't need to have sex"

Korean Pop Idol Enrages Japanese Internet by Eating Instant Noodles From the Pot - "This, ladies and gentlemen, was enough to raise a furor among Japanese net users, who wasted no words in bashing Ji-yeon for her “disgusting table manners,” while others expressed a renewed appreciation of Japanese manners. One of the current top comments is supported by 15 ‘likes’ for saying that “eating straight from the pot like this is worse than beggars going to receive their food rations”... One insightful YouTube user pointed out that using the lid of the pot as a plate is a common way of eating misonikomi udon noodles in Nagoya, but then again, the lids of the earthen pots in which the dish is prepared are made to be eaten from, and Nagoyans are reputed for having bad manners in the first place"

School bans campus romance to keep students focused - "In a recent notice, Yueqing Yucai School banned youngsters of the opposite sex from talking alone in secluded areas, such as in dark corners or under trees, and from giving each other expensive gifts. Holding hands, hugging and kissing are strictly forbidden, while boys and girls are not even allowed to walk side by side on the playground... It warned that falling in love at an early age disrupts academic study, can cause physiological and psychological harm, and produces no result... Most parents with children at the school are in support of the new rules, according to Li, who added that many had been calling for measures to prevent adolescent romances. "We also asked students for suggestions before devising the rules," she said. "Some said they began their relationship after strolling with a classmate on the playground, so that's why we added it into the rules"... "Many educators believe academic study is the sole aim of education, so such rules are not uncommon. What they (educators) fail to understand is that integrity of character and a healthy psychology are far more important for the education of a child"... Students of the opposite sex were ordered to keep at least 60 centimeters from each other while talking on campus, except during classes and school gatherings, and were allowed to meet only in bright, public places"

These New Boots: Day 326: Questions & (No) Answers (The Aid Bitchslap) - "Some things I have become clear on as a result of Haiti:
1. Good intentions aren't enough.
2. Rose-colored glasses are bullshit.
3. The white savior industrial complex is real, demonstrated daily by feel good aid programs that probably don't work, or feel good causes like Kony 2012 that generate plenty of buzz but don't add up to much when people are actually supposed to do something.
4. You can't help people who don't want to help themselves.
5. True altruism is an incredibly rare thing. (See #3)
6. Little victories must be celebrated if you want to protect yourself from the crippling effects of the larger failure."

Australia 2011 - Day 10, Part 1 - Katherine River Breakfast Cruise

"In politics, absurdity is not a handicap." - Napoleon Bonaparte

***

Australia 2011
Day 10 - 7th August - Katherine River Breakfast Cruise
(Part 1)

In the morning, we witnessed a strange sight on the TV. There were scenes of famous cities set to Placido Domingo: St Malo. Brussels. Salzburg. Bandar Seri Begawan (?!) with the header "what a world". The the weather report came on:


Australian Weather report - with Opera


Australian Weather report - with Opera 2

There was also the news in Mandarin, with a man on the street interviewed in English (and his response translated) and another person interviewed in Mandarin. There was no dubbing - it was subtitled both ways.

We then set out for our breakfast cruise. There'd been a 3 Gorges cruise, but the main difference was you got to swim for 2 hours in addition to what you'd get on the breakfast cruise - and the girl at the counter admitted it was "a bit chilly" (yeah right, "a bit").

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Loading up

There was a large Italian group of 15 on the cruise, and again we were the only non-Whites.

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Bats

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Sailing into the sunrise

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Inlet


Cruising the Katherine River

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An Australian Breakfast looked an awful lot like an English breakfast (the usual yogurt etc was at the back of the boat)

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Trap for saltwater crocodiles

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Sunrise

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Gorge walls

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Cruising up the Katherine River

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Freshwater crocodile nesting area. At 28 degrees the eggs turn out female, at 30 both sexes and above 30, male.

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You're not supposed to enter. Each mound has about 15 eggs.

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Cruising further up the gorge

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We had to sit at this point so as not to block the view of the captain of the rocks ahead

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We then docked at the first cataract, to get onto another boat and continue cruising.

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Rock steps

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Rocks in stream

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Canoe area

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Don't you just love tourist infrastructure? Not only were there carefully-hewn steps, there was a railing!

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First cataract

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"These paintings are like a book to us"

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Faded rock art

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Moored boat

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Jawoyn tips

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Aboriginal sand art and Italian lady

There were insulated containers placed along the short trail between the boats. Hah.

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Next cataract

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Spectating

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Cliffs

Up until this part we'd been in the First Gorge. Now we moved to the Second.

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The rock is 1.65 billion years old

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Butterfly Gorge

If you use red meat as your lure, you'll get snapping turtles and freshwater crocodiles coming.

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Hanging Gardens

During the 1998 Katherine flood, the water reached 15m below the 63m canyon wall. The streets were flooded and there were saltwater crocodiles in them.

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Cliff overhang

In the past, if you broke the aboriginal skin name taboo, you got speared to death. Who said colonialism was all bad?

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Vegetation

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These trees are bent not due to the wind but because they are underwater 2 months a year.

There's a tree, the Katebod (sp?) whose flowering cycle follows the freshwater crocodile. So it's called the calendar tree.

There's a chalky apple which you can only eat after it's fallen into the river and soaked in it.

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There's a 66km walk here - and it was booked till September.

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Happy canoeists

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Freshwater croc sunbathing. Usually they're very shy.

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The rocks in the canyon are a natural barrier against saltwater crocodiles, because they have soft bellies so they can't crawl over - except during the wet season.

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'Flying foxes' (I've always thought it a pretentious term)


Bats


Bats 2

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Bats
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