Sunday, March 26, 2023

Minns begins

(saving Minns to an End for later) 


 Well, while I try to sort out whether I'm going to put bony fish with cartilaginous fish, we've had an even more major change in state politics. Chris Minns is our new Premier. Dominic Perrottet having had seventeen months in the job, the last in a conservative government in power for twelve years. Tasmania is now the only remaining Liberal government in the country. As former Deputy Leader of the Opposition, I assume Prue Car is the new NSW Deputy Premier.

Friday, February 24, 2023


 Angela Merkel was Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. I always admired her, though I reserve that regard for few conservative politicians indeed.

Current chancellor is Olaf Scholz

In New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern was Prime Minister between 2017 and (January) 2023. She was everything you could want in a good leader so it's nice to know that's not a vanishing trait.

Current PM is another male, Chris Hipkins.

Sunday, February 19, 2023


Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is Rishi Sunak. National affront or postcolonial buoy

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Exotic aquatic

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

There's plenty of fish in there, see?

There are, of course, a number of ways to classify Australian animals. I would guess that the largest number - of individuals, not groups - would be ants. They are so small, die so quickly, and would suffer greater fatalities than larger creatures because of their vulnerability and the shorter distance they can move to escape danger.

Longest lived? We tend to have turtles, not tortoises, so it might be a whale.

Shortest lived would again be another insect, perhaps a fly.

Fastest. Emus would be my guess. Slowest. No tortoises as mentioned and no sloths so snails?

I think the most expensive or valuable is going to be introduced like thoroughbred horses or pedigree pets, followed by champion bull, ram or somesuch.

The largest number of species seems as solid an approach as any so fish it is


I didn't follow my father and grandfathers' love for recreational fishing. It's understandable that there would be an attraction when you live several miles from the coast and there are no freshwater equivalents. But I am just as happy to take in the view and soak up the sun or go swimming; although some of the fish that were caught made good eating.

Based on what we found trawling national parks, I fear there will be more catching and eating fish; a contrast to the number of birdwatchers. It's not that we don't shoot and trap birds and mammals but fishing is a big thing in Australia. 

That said, we visit aquariums, offices have fish tanks and (in a mirror of its surrounds) a goldfish bowl makes an acceptable pet accessory in the strictest bedsit.

The site to visit if you want a comprehensive list of freshwater fish is Native Fish. We'll replicate it below but without the taxonomy.


Friday, November 04, 2022

Animalia in Australia

That a search for animals in Australia should bring up first:

 Australia probably has between 200,000 and 300,000 species, about 100,000 of which have been described. There are some 250 species of native mammals, 550 species of land and aquatic birds, 680 species of reptiles, 190 species of frogs, and more than 2,000 species of marine and freshwater fish.

is heartening for two reasons; it shows that there is a place for encyclopedias in the search engines that were said to have replaced them, and provides hope for our biology students with still so much undiscovered. Wikipedia, that other next step in the evolution of encyclopediae, says 'some 46% of birds, 69% of mammals, 94% of amphibians, and 93% of reptiles that inhabit the continent are endemic to it.' 

and goes on to tell us why this is so and other noteworthy information about the uniqueness of our fauna

The above figures are rubbery, judging by information on other sites. But it's heartening for a third reason; despite our campaign of destruction, our wildlife has survived and - for the most part - flourished. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Leaders astray

Now that we've hit one out of park, and before considering what to tackle next, it's hard to keep up with the change in leaders. We have Peter Malinauskas, South Australian premier since March 2022, Jeremy Rockliff, Tasmanian premier since April 2022, Natasha Fyles, chief minister of the Northern Territory since May 2022. (Andrew Barr has been chief minister of the ACT since 2014 but I don't think I've mentioned him before either.)

And the UK is a basket case with Liz Truss lasting something like 45 days. But the ignominy of being the shortest serving Prime Minister will always be countered by her Boris spoil and being the last leader, certainly, that the Queen had audience with before she died.