Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sydney Festivals

One of the reasons why I love living in Sydney is the amazing cultural calendar full of entertaining options, especially the festivals! Ah, the festivals...

Passed summer and its very cool music festivals, now it’s time for food, wine, books, films, comedy and balanced life.

Take a look at some of Sydney’s most anticipated festivals in 2010:


Sydney Comedy Festival – 19 April to 9 May


Twenty days to laugh as much as you can, up for the challenge? If you are, it’s time to check the program and choose some of many shows available. There will be Australian, American, English and Canadian comedians to choose from. And also many venues: Enmore, Metro, Factory, Parade, Sydney Opera House. Prices are between 25 and 50 dollars.


Sydney Writers’ Festival – May 15 to 23


More than 300 events are divided into five categories, according to Sydney’s icons: Harbour (poetry and fiction), Bridge (connections across borders through translation), fireworks (ideas, issues and debates), Stars (celebrities and bestsellers) and Rocks (Science and Technology, the Environment, the Economy, History, Philosophy). There will be free and ticketed events happening everywhere in the city. On their website you can search events by location, cost, topic, writer etc.


MindBodySpirit Festival – May 13 to 16 and November 4 to 7


What about a whole weekend enhancing your physical and mental wellbeing? Like the idea? So don’t miss this one. The festival will take place at Sydney Exhibition & Convention Centre from 10 am to 7 pm daily. You’ll find more than 200 exhibitors, enjoy free seminars and performances. According to the website, you can also “try yoga, find the latest herbal supplements, have a psychic reading, receive a massage or food detox.  Buy crystals, jewellery and unique gifts. Enlist the services of a life coach, spiritual teacher or healer.” Adults pay 16 dollars and children under 14 have entry free.


Sydney Film Festival – June 2 to 14


Prepare to watch the best new films from all around the world in only twelve days! You can watch brand new features from over forty countries, short films, Australian films, documentaries and archive titles. And to make the most out of the films, you can attend any of the wide range of free panel talks, debates and forums. The whole program is to be announced on Friday 7 May, but some of the films you can already wait for are: Fire Me Up (France-Germany-UK), Freak Me Out (Australia), Love Me (China), Make Me Laugh (USA), Push me to the Edge (France), Take me on a Journey (Canada-Ireland), Sounds on Screen (Canada) and Creative Drive (USA). The FlexiPass, which allows you to purchase a group of tickets in advance (10, 20 or 30), is already available; single tickets will start selling from 7 May. Events will be hosted by: State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays and Art Gallery of NSW.


Sydney International Food Festival – October 2 to 22


Not much confirmed yet but that’s not even necessary for us to know that one of the most anticipated festivals in the city will be delicious! The Sydney International Food Festival is always a hit with great attractions and guests. This year they’ll repeat the successful Barbecue Madness launch day, World Chef Showcase and Night Noodle Markets. It will also have dinners, tours and classes; the community and regional festivals will be back as well. You can sign up for Foodie News (email to to keep up to date until the big event.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Did you know that Australia’s the third most optimistic country about its economy in 2010?


According to the 2010 Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), 79% of privately held businesses in Australia are more optimistic about the domestic economy compared to the 11% of 2009 (the year of the global financial crisis).

According to the data released in January this year, Western Australia is the most optimistic state: 90% have declared they are positive about 2010. New South Wales and Queensland were the states that recorded the most dramatic increases in optimism.

The top five optimistic countries are: Chile (85%), India (84%), Australia (79%), Vietnam (72%) and Brazil (71%).

The data was collected in the end of 2009 from more than 7,400 business owners from 36 different economies.

What do you think? Are those expectations being met?

Full report here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kelly Slater wins Bells 2010


(photo by Steve Robertson/ASP)


Kelly Slater. The man. The monster on waves. The unique talent combined with the untiring effort. The 38-year-old surfer already nine-time World Champion and with great chances of turning into the only tenth world champion in surf history.

This man has just won his fourth title at Bells Beach, and at this time, against all the odds. He has broken a bone in his right foot while free-surfing earlier this week. “I don’t care if my foot falls off, I’m surfing,” the professional surfer said on interview.

Bad news for the aussie Mick Fanning that passed his good mate and current world rankings leader Taj Burrow in the semis but couldn’t beat the icon in the finals. Fanning’s best waves were 7.13 and 4.83; Kelly got two good waves, one right after another, respectively 8.93 and 8.10 points.

Slater has dedicated his win to the Wathaurong people, and Indigenous Australian tribe living in the area near Geelong. "I'm really excited because I remembered that before the contest I promised myself that if I won I would give the trophy to the Wathaurong," he said. "I didn't remember that until I was out in the water and right when I did [remember], those waves came”, the winner said in an interview to The Daily Telegraph.


Final - Kelly Slater vs. Mick Fanning:

Friday, April 9, 2010

iPad is coming to Australia… Are you excited?


It has sold 300,000 units just on the first day of sales in US. iPad will be available in Australia in the end of this month but many people couldn’t wait any longer and have already bought their unit on eBay, as you can see in this report from SMH.

The prices in American dollars range from $US604 to $US739. Today on eBay you could find 45 auctions for iPad and other 465 for accessories and apps.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Did you know that 2009 was the second warmest year in Australia’s history?

Victoria, South Australia and NSW recorded their warmest July-December periods on record, since high-quality records began in 1910. The warmest year ever was 2005. According to data collected by the Bureau of Meteorology of Australia, each decade since 1940s has been warmer than the preceding one. Globally, 2009 was the 5th warmest year in history.



Source: Annual Australian Climate Statement 2009

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The latest on Australia’s wild life

Wild life is a permanent section on this blog exactly because this country is… what else can I say... wild??
Whatever you’re thinking, I’m talking about animals. Many of them are deadly. And many of them are found in unusual places. Yes, I know, not a good combination. Not at all.
Anyways, here it goes the latest news (when I say latest I actually mean news from 2010) about the amazing Australian wild life:

Snake in the air-conditioning
March 27th
What would you think if your air-conditioning started making some funny noises? Is it broken? Is it old? Or has it turned into a house of snake? For the residents of a home in Cairns, the last option was the right one. They called the wildlife specialist Corey Wild to remove the reptile and the tree snake was released in bushland nearby.
Corey Wild right after removing the snake from the air-conditioning (Photo by Cairns Post)
Full story:

Dog catches a deadly snake
January 18th
This cute Labrador is Bronson. He lives with his owners Deborah and Peter Allen at a farmhouse in Yarragon, close to Melbourne. That thing in his mouth is a deadly copperhead snake. Because Bronson is a good dog, he often brings back objects he finds, like Peter’s phone once. But at this time, the owners were terrified. The snake was still moving when they saw it. They ordered Bronson to remain still and then drop the reptile in a bag. The 11-year-dog was taken to the veterinarian to be treated and was fine after all.
Full story:
(Photo by Deborah Allen)
Australian heart-shaped strawberries
January 20th
Seduberries. That’s how the first heart-shaped strawberries commercially produced in Australia were called. It was invented for Valentine’s Day by Josh Engwerda, 22, a student at Melbourne University. He got the inspiration from Japan’s cube-shaped watermelons and dedicated it to his girlfriend. “As well as creating the novel shape as the berries grow and ripen, the plastic cases provide protection from pest damage,” he says.
Full story:
The ugliest fish in the world is facing extinction
January 26th
This ugly fish, or to be polite as the Daily Telegraph, this “miserable looking” fish is threatened of extinction due to over-fishing in its area. The Blobfish (or scientifically speaking, the Psychrolutes marcidus) live at depths of 800 metres off the south eastern coast of Australia. According to the Scientific American, “the species has a very limited habitat, and can’t survive elsewhere.”
The Blobfish can grow up to 12 inches. Cute, han?
(Photo by CATERS)
Full story: (Telegraph) (Scientific American)
Girl finds deadly octopus while playing with seashells
January 15th
(Photo published by The Daily Telegraph)
After a nice day at the beach collecting seashells, Holly Smith, 6, finally get home for a nice bath. She takes with her the shells she has collected from Point Lonsdale beach, in Victoria. As she cleans one of the shells, the big surprise: a blue-ringed octopus, one of the world’s most venomous creatures. The little girl didn’t get hurt and the octopus died due to being out of the salt water.
(Photo by The Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff, Victoria)
Full story:
Green frog eats a brown tree snake
January 2nd
(Photo by Ian Hamilton)
A frog eating a snake? Yes, that’s right! Hard to believe but there it goes the picture taken by Ian Hamilton in his retirement village garden in Mackay, North Queensland, to prove it. “There were three other frogs watching as well,” he’s said to The Cairns Post.
Full story: