Category Archives: 苏州夜网

The ten rules of living in a sharehouse

The price you pay: If you leave unwashed pots in the sink from your dinner preparation, your washing up interest compounds.Hi! Welcome to our home. Bins are Tuesday night and rent is due on Fridays. Here are some other easy peasy rules for living in our share house.
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1. Unfortunately, something is not either “clean” or “not clean”. Infinite levels exist between these two states, and the likelihood of your concept of “clean” lining up with your roommate’s concept of “clean” is a point of a per cent.

2. If your roommate is in their room with the door shut, they may as well be dead. The only channel of communication open to you in this instance is the text message. Knocking is the highest insult to a closed door. Appreciate this unspoken rule.

3. You learn the true meaning of the phrase ‘No one owes you anything in life’ when you find your clean washing in a cold wet heap on the laundry floor next to a humming washing machine full of your roommate’s load.

4. Never, ever, move in with a musician unless you somehow have the foresight to invest in soundproofing.

5. If you leave unwashed pots in the sink from your dinner preparation, your washing up interest compounds. Other people can’t wash up their plates because the sink is blocked, so they stack their plates on top of yours. You are now contractually bound to wash the lot.

You may be late on credit card repayments, but you’ll never miss paying your debt to the kitchen sink again.

6. All sex must be silent. There is an acute desperation and claustrophobia associated with waking up to the sounds of sex coming from the next room and being sentenced to lie awake for hours, listening to thumping.

7. The real estate agent provides the tenant one simple service – to test your capacity for total misery. Never fall for the rouse of them being your friend. They serve one God – the Landlord – and they will reinforce your lowly place by putting off repairs for as long as possible, returning your phone calls a full 72 hours later etc. Let this humble you.

8. Observing your roommate’s mouldy food in your fridge is great way to generate pent up rage for your next exercise class.

9. Never cross the unspoken line of hooking up with a roommate. That friend of a friend of yours who did it and is now married with 2.5 kids and a golden retriever? Urban myth. Didn’t happen. There is no good to come of it.

If it’s good, you’ll want to keep doing it. If it’s bad, you just hooked up with your roommate.

10. You will always feel as if you do the majority of the cleaning. This is because you probably had your filth cleaned your entire life by your wonderful mother, who you increasingly realise you owe two decades of unpaid labour wages to. Let this humble you.

And remember above all else, your roommates are not your friend if it means sacrificing their happiness for yours. They can and will turn on you like a pack of hungry wolves if your runners stink up the bathroom.

Face it. You have no friends in that house. Only precarious allies.

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ABC won’t review vetting despite controversial calls

???ABC Radio won’t be reviewing its vetting procedures despite a number of controversial comments being made on air by callers in recent weeks.
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On Monday a caller rang Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne program to praise Hitler’s treatment of gay people.

The veteran broadcaster was interviewing Victorian Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton to discuss the upcoming same-sex marriage postal survey.

Faine then accepted a call from a listener who said his name was Don. The man said he thought it was “disgusting” the commissioner was encouraging people to vote yes, before asking if he could “say one more thing”.

“Hitler had put all those kind of people in their own concentration camps, it’s one of the two good things he did,” he said.

Faine, who didn’t hear Don say the word Hitler, then asked the caller to repeat what he said.

“Hitler had concentration camps for these gay people, one of the two good things he did,” Don said. “The other one was build the autobahn.”

The incident comes after Triple J’s Hack program was hoodwinked by a man pretending to be Jewish so he could get on air and claim that multiculturism is the “end of white people”.

‘s alt-right has been targeting the public broadcaster in recent weeks, with online forums encouraging Nazi sympathisers to call into radio programs under the guise of marginalised groups or people simply looking to have a respectful debate.

Despite the recent controversies, an ABC Radio spokesman said the broadcaster’s policies and procedures for vetting talkback callers were sound and did not need updating.

He said Monday’s interview lasted three minutes and was civil until the listener made a “highly offensive remark referencing Hitler” in the last few seconds of the phone call.

“Once Jon [Faine] had clarified what the caller had said, the call was immediately terminated,” he said. “All ABC broadcast is on short delay. By the time Jon had clarified what the caller ‘Don’ had said, the ‘dump’ option was no longer viable hence Jon’s actions to terminate the call when he did.”

Former ABC broadcaster turned Newcastle councillor Carol Duncan said it’s a tricky balance between collecting different views and not allowing offensive remarks to go to air.

“Your producer is your first line of defence,” she said. “Hopefully, any problems are stopped there. But people get through by lying about their identities, lying about the reason for the call and they’re going to take advantage of those seven seconds before you can dump them.”

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Accused murderer denies being angry at husband’s sex tape message

The text message from Qian Liu’s husband said: “Send our video of us making love for him to look at so that he will give up.”
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Han Lim Chin was suggesting Ms Liu send their sex tape to her personal trainer, with whom he suspected she was having an affair.

But Ms Liu said that message, which she read late in the evening on January 3, 2016, did not make her angry.

“I just found this laughable,” Ms Liu told the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, through an interpreter.

“I found him very childish.”

Ms Liu is facing trial for the alleged murder of Mr Chin, 39, who died days after she inflicted a knife wound to his chest during an argument in the couple’s Riverwood granny flat that night.

The Crown alleges Ms Liu was mad when she stabbed her husband, amid tension over his gambling debts and suspicions she was sleeping with her trainer.

The 35-year-old restaurateur has pleaded not guilty, saying she accidentally wounded her husband after grabbing the knife from him and trying to escape his bedroom.

Under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor Brad Hughes, SC, Ms Liu previously agreed she asked Mr Chin about divorce in a series of eight text messages earlier that day.

One message began: “If you want to find excuses or explanations to break up, we can have a good start and a good ending.”

She also agreed that her mother put down a $90,000 cash deposit on a house in Ms Liu’s name, but she did not consult Mr Chin.

Ms Liu did not agree she felt angry or annoyed at her husband as he went in and out of her bedroom during the argument.

“I put it to you you deliberately hit him with the knife?” Mr Hughes asked.

“Not deliberate,” Ms Liu replied.

Ms Liu has told the jury she didn’t realise her husband was hurt until he said so, and she saw blood on the knife.

She said she believed a protective cover was on the blade the entire time.

Ms Liu said when her husband collapsed she ran to the main house, where her extended family lived, and asked a cousin to call an ambulance.

“Why didn’t you call an ambulance,” Mr Hughes asked.

“I was really shocked.”

“Why didn’t you call?”

“Because I couldn’t even speak English properly. I knew the ambulance would ask me a lot of questions and I wouldn’t be able to answer them all.”

Ms Liu agreed with Mr Hughes that she told police “I do this”, but said she did so to “save” her husband.

“I put it to you you full well knew how he was injured because you deliberately injured him. Correct?”

“That’s what you thought.”

The trial continues.

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UN sanctions tighten tourniquet on Kim regime

Washington: The UN Security Council has whacked crippling new sanctions on North Korea to force it to negotiate over its nuclear and weapons programs.
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But it came only after days of diplomatic horse-trading, in which Washington caved to demands by Beijing and Moscow that even harsher American terms be defanged.

The deal between the three powers ensured that neither the Chinese nor the Russians exercised their Security Council veto, which would have derailed what became a unanimous resolution in the aftermath of Pyongyang’s sixth and most powerful nuclear device test on September 3.

More importantly, Monday evening’s vote revealed the power that China and Russia hold as the globe confronts the North Korea crisis, which on the one hand, they see more as Washington’s problem; while on the other, they see US prescriptions to resolve the crisis as more of a problem for them.

These latest sanctions tighten the UN tourniquet on the regime and its economy, particularly a new ban on its imports of natural gas and condensate; and its exports of textiles, which last year earned more than $US700 million ($874 million).

Combined with the impact of pre-existing sanctions on North Korean exports of coal, iron ore and seafood, the US claims that more than 90 per cent of the North’s exports are now under sanction.

But to get that far, Washington agreed to temper its latest demands.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley wanted a total oil embargo – but Monday’s resolution caps the North’s oil imports at 8.5 million barrels a year, a cut of 10 per cent to 30 per cent depending on how the math is done.

The resolution freezes the assets of several regime entities and travel by their officials – but not the assets of, or travel by the country’s leader Kim Jong-un, as had been stipulated by the US.

And while the resolution calls for the inspection of ships to and from North Korea, Washington dropped its early call for the use of military force if needed to execute any ship searches.

Also the resolution flagged, but did not implement a ban on renewing the contracts of close to 100,000 North Korean guest workers, most of whom work in Russia’s far east, and who repatriate salaries worth an estimated $US500 million a year.

And perhaps some of the sanctions are moot – there are reports that as sanctions have kicked in there’s been a matching spike in oil smuggling between Russia and North Korea; and the British-based International Institute for Strategic Studies argues that Pyongyang can substitute liquidised coal for oil.

Going into Monday’s security council meeting, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre declared: “The stronger the sanctions we impose on North Korea, the stronger our hand in promoting a political solution – by definition, this is a compromise in order to get everyone on board”.

Attributing the deal to the relationship between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Haley hailed the decision as a demonstration of global unity against Pyongyang.

But just as Washington had toned down its sanctions demands, Haley also had toned down her rhetoric – last week, she insisted that the North was “begging for war” but on Monday she allowed Pyongyang time to take a new tack.

“If it agrees to stop its nuclear program it can reclaim its future; if it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it,” she told the council meeting:

China worries that a total oil embargo would lead to collapse in the North. And maybe it did the US a favour by holding its position – British diplomats warned ahead of the vote that cutting all oil deliveries to the North as winter approaches would have resulted in Pyongyang holding up pictures of freezing children and charging that the West was the architect of a new genocide.

When it comes to North Korea, China and Russia have much more in common with each other, than with the US. Neither wants a regime on its doorstep to collapse; neither wants a reunified Korean peninsula, which inevitable would be under US patronage; and neither wants American anti-missile defence systems, such as the recently deployed THAAD systems, in their backyard.

To that extent, some analysts argue that Trump’s erratic policy pronouncements on North Korea are making Beijing and Moscow even closer allies and presenting them with an opportunity to undercut the US on the global stage. Just as Moscow sees Ukraine as a buffer between it and Europe; Beijing sees the North as a buffer between it and Washington-allied South Korea.

Both Beijing and Moscow are urging a mutual freeze on the peninsula – Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program in return for the US and Seoul freezing their joint military exercises, which the North sees as a threat.

Washington balks at being so frozen out. But for all Trump’s belligerence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others in the Trump administration are committed to negotiations, a possible framework for which emerged in weekend comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As a participant in the Obama era deal by which Iran agreed to restrain its nuclear program in return for a lifting of global sanctions, Merkel said in a Sunday interview:

“If our participation in talks is wanted, I will say yes immediately???I could also imagine such a format to settle the North Korea conflict.”

Never mind that Trump is so critical of the Iran deal. Looking at all the layers of Washington’s North Korea strategy – sanctions, military threats, covert action and sanctions on Chinese and other companies that trade with Pyongyang – some analysts see the contours of an Iran-like process emerging.

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Centenary of the Great War

CRUCIAL POST: A Regimental Aid Post near the front line, where wounded would be brought for immediate treatment. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details forSeptember 10-16, 1917.
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MEREWETHER MAN WOUNDEDMrs F. Albert, of Wilson St, Merewether, has received the following letter from her husband, Private Fred Albert:“I suppose you got word from the authorities that I have been wounded. I am glad to say it is not serious, and I expect to be nearly ready for the line again by the time you receive this. We have been doing some hard ‘going’ lately, and I was on sentry post in the front line when I got hit. Fritz started putting over a heavy barrage this afternoon (June 11), and one burst just along the trench, a bit from where I was potted, and one of the pieces passed through my left leg, just above the knee, but luckily it never hit the bone. I am lucky I didn’t get worse, as I lost a few of my mates in the same bombardment, and I feel none the worse for it. I am in hospital in France, just now, and it is very nice, and we get every attention. The weather is beautiful, and everything is green and bright. I have not heard from Will or Jack for a while, but I suppose they are busy, too.”

Will and Jack are Mrs Albert’s two brothers, and are both in hospital. MrsAlbert had previously been notified that her husband had been reported wounded.

PRIVATE DAVID LLOYDIn a letter from France, Private David Lloyd of Merewether, writes: “We have been having rather a rough time lately, and hardly feel in the humour of letter writing just now. I’ve just came out of the greatest ‘stunt’our battalion has been through. Since writing last, I said good-bye to all friends and dear life. Our brigade had a “hop over”,that is, a charge; and you will understand how lucky I am when I tell you I am one of about 300 left of the battalion (about 1100 men). All our stretcher-bearers were either killed or wounded, and I was asked to assist, which I did. We had about 800 yards to carry, and we were carrying from about 6.30amuntil half-past two, by which time practically all the stretcher cases had gone down to the dressing station. I missed my last mail. One of the men was carrying it up, and lost the bag. Of course, I was very disappointed, but we were exceedingly lucky to get away with our lives.”

GUNS WERE ROARINGWriting from France, 18/6/17, Private J. Hughes, of Newcastle, says: “It has been nice and warm here these last few days, with a thunder storm every second or third day. Things have been quiet up our way this last week, but the guns were roaring the week before for seven days continuously. The Red Cross trains were on one another’s heels for two consecutive days, but it is said our casualties were very light in comparison. Our depot is larger than any marshalling yard in , and is only one of hundreds. The trains run in sight of one another, day and night, and it is marvellous the way they transport troops, guns, munitions, and materials. I don’t think the Germans could ever come up to our efficiency in the movement of troops from one sector to the other – trains anything up to half a mile in length. We expect our marching orders any day. Beer here is 1½d., a glass, but poor stuff; wine, 5d; rum, 3d a liqueur glass. We have had three mails from , and have been waiting for another for the last four weeks. Some of the men are getting a few stray papers up to May 1, but no mails. We witnessed a great sight here the week before last – some Taubes came across about 10 am, when we were on the shell dumps. They looked just like flies. One could see the shrapnel burst among the clouds. On a hazy day you can’t see old Fritz – he has his machines painted a deceiving white. Our machines are always overhead during the day time, scouting. I cannot see any chance of leaving France for a long time to come. The food here is good, but rather light, and our officers are very good. We had two days at a rest camp at the port of disembarkation, and we had a 32 hours’ train journey to get to where we are at present. You get less news here than in . It took us 14 weeks from the time we left till we got to France. There is a wonderful mixture of races there.

KILLINGWORTHThe last mail brought welcome news to many Killingworth families of the wellbeing of their relatives at the front. Mr James Cherry received news from his son, Private Oliver J. Cherry, that he is now well again, and on furlough in Sheffield (Eng.), and that his brother, Private Rob. Cherry, has been discharged from hospital (second occasion).

LAMBTONMrs R.S. King, of Kendall St,Lambton, has received a letter, dated June 17, from an officer of the _ Battalion, regarding her husband, Private King, who was recently killed in action. After offering sympathy, the writer of the letter says: “Your husband proved himself a true n, and he died doing his duty, and in the great field of honour, namely, the battle field. At all times he was found at his post, and no task was too heavy or dangerous for him to undertake, even though such might have meant the facing of fearful odds, and where certain death stared him in the face. By all who knew him your husband was held in the highest esteem, and many a faint-hearted man went forth under very heavy shell fire with a light heart because they knew that Dick the fearless was their leader. His death came as a sad blow to every man in the company reducing many of the lads to the verge of tears.”

MINMIThe following is a copy of a letter received by Mrs Shears, of School Hill, Minmi: “Seeing that your son Harry was in my section, I feel duty bound to let you know the circumstances under which he died. He was one of the finest soldiers produced, and I was justly proud to be acquainted with him. I was with him from the time we left until the day of his death, and always found him to be an honest and upright lad, and worthy to be called a friend. It is very hard indeed for you, but it is one of the penalties of war which must be paid by someone, but there is always this consolation, that your son Harry died a hero. He will be missed very much by his comrades, especially by the members of the platoon to which he belonged, as he was always cheerful, no matter what circumstances he was under. I never made his acquaintance in civil life, although I only came from West Wallsend. (Signed) Corporal A. W. Hartland, B Company, “Newcastle’s Own”.

NEW LAMBTONMr M. Gubbay, of New Lambton, has received a letter from the chaplain of “Newcastle’s Own”battalion, expressing sympathy in the death of his son, the late Private J. M. Gubbay, who was killed in action on June 17. The chaplain adds that he was buried on the battlefield, and that the colonel of the battalion wished him to convey to MrGubbay his sincere regrets.

A CARDIFF SOLDIERCorporal N. MacRae, writing to his father, Mr J. MacRae, of Cardiff, says: “Just a few lines to let you know that I got through the stunt all right, and I suppose you read in the papers it was a great success. The place where our company went across was one mass of craters. No wonder poor old Fritz is so broken up, as our artillery poured a fearful fire on to him. I got a lot of souvenirs from captured Germans, but have given most of them away. The only thing I am keeping is a watch, which a Fritz gave me in No Man’s Land. The poor beggar’s nerves were completely done. Our company only took five prisoners, so you can guess that it was pretty blood-thirsty. I can tell you I surprised myself very much going across in the assault. Before jumping our parapet I was shaking like a leaf, but as soon as I got over I forgot everything but to follow my O.C. You can do a bit of skiting around Cardiff now, dad, as when we were relieved and came back to our old line of trenches, the O.C. recommended Mat Grey and myself, company despatch runners, for the D.C.M. I don’t know whether we will get it, but anyway, the thought that our O.C. thought so much of us is sufficient for me. For my part, I reckon I did not do more than any other man in the battalion. Cardiff will be well represented for medals if I get the D.C.M., as Sam Egginton gained the Military Medal some time ago. I have been promoted to orderly room corporal. Remember me to all Cardiff people, and let them know that I am quite well.

LATE PRIVATE J. WADDELLThe following is an extract from a letter which Andrew Douglass, a school mate of the late Private John Waddell, wrote to his mother, Mrs A. G. Douglass, of Wickham:“It was in this big stunt that poor Jack Waddell was killed. He was with the stretcher-bearing band. A shell landed right where they were posted, and hit Jack and one of our sergeants in the legs. Jack died about an hour later, but the other poor fellow lived for about 48 hours. When I heard about it I tried to get down to see him, but he had died hours before. Nevertheless, I was there to see him buried. His grave is right on the borders of France and Belgium, near the ridge of Messines. I rode over to his grave the other day, which is about four miles from where we are now. It is well looked after, and a little wooden cross has been erected, but if we are here any time I think it probable our unit will erect a cross itself. Show this letter to Mrs. Waddell, and tell her we are all very sorry that Jack has died. Private Frank O. Dukes, of the Field Ambulance, has also written offering on behalf of himself and comrades deep sympathy”.

AUSTRALIANS AT RESTFrom C. E. W. Bean, Official n Correspondent

London, Thursday:Last night the temperature for the first time indicated a change towards the approaching autumn. The fine weather of the last few days has turned to cold, with clear nights. The greater part of the n troops are in the most magnificent fettle they have ever known, and are enjoying a splendid, long-desired rest.Sports and healthy training have been the program of many units for months.

LAMBTON HONOUR ROLLThe relatives and friends of soldiers who have enlisted from Lambton or Jesmond are requested to send the names, together with date of enlistment, and any other particulars to the Town Clerk, Lambton, for inscription on the Honour Roll. E. Charlton, Mayor.

ENLISTMENTSMik Atoff, Kurri Kurri; Gertrude Alice Burns, Muswellbrook; Walter Keith Campbell, Scone; Frederick George Cridland, West Maitland; Charles Stanley Faulkner, Grass Tree; Hubert Holland Kempe, Cessnock; John William Liversidge, Singleton; Reginald John Marsh, West Maitland; Alfred Ernest Matthews, Mayfield; Eric Alfred Moore, Branxton; John William Neville, East Maitland; Ellen Scott, New Lambton; Leslie Leonard Slyney, Broadmeadow.

DEATHSGunner Miarus Alford, Glen Oak; Sapper Norman Rolf Shiels, Minmi.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

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Newcastle business Yogic Wisdom is the first in the Hunter to offer a post graduate diploma in yoga therapy

Found her calling: “Along came yoga teacher training and I’ve never looked back,” says Yogic Wisdom founder Kym McDonald.
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What was your first job out of school?

I was an apprentice fitter and turner with the Electricity Commission NSW. That led me into mechanical engineering. I’d attend trade shows and demonstrate welding and other mechanical tasks. A woman doing what was considered a traditional male role created quite a stir. I have always gone against popular choices and trends to follow the direction that feels right for me.

Kym McDonaldHow do you differentiate yoga and yoga therapy?

Yoga classes are often taught in groups and are usually more general. Often, students are seeking exercise to stay in shape. Identical form and instruction is taught, with some adaptations, without the individual in mind. Yoga instructors may offer classes for specific conditions such as pregnancy, runners or seniors. A yoga therapist is an experienced yoga teacher with substantial additional training in therapeutic applications and supporting skills. They incorporate a multidimensional approach to caring for individuals. A yoga therapist’s goals include managing and reducing symptoms of suffering, rooting out causes of suffering, improving life function, and shifting attitude and perspective in relation to a client’s condition.

Who do you expect to do the yoga therapy diploma?

Qualified yoga teachers in the Hunter and Central Coast who want to deepen their knowledge and provide a holistic solution to their students, either one on one or in small groups.

How many hours are involved?

650 hours over two years of study. Once qualified, they can practice as a yoga therapist and register with Yoga .

Why does yoga remain relevant?

People use yoga to manage their work life balance, to de-stress and improve their quality of life. Others are searching for a place and community to understand themselves more.

Do you practice daily?

Just before dawn I practice movement and breath techniques for 40 minutes finishing with 30 minutes of meditation. In the evening, 20 minutes of relaxation breathing, mindfulness reflection and gratitude for my day.

Do you believe in yoga’s benefits moreso for body or mind?

To separate the body from the mind is difficult as they are part of the whole being. Many students initially come to class for the body and quickly realise that their whole being is benefiting. Students often share that they feel much calmer, sleep better, their relationships improve and they have greater personal awareness.

What’s the answer for those who want to do yoga but have no time?

Yoga doesn’t have to take long and you can do it at home. At Yogic Wisdom we can review diet, body structure and personal requirements to recommend a customised home practice. For many, it is a simply a 20 minute morning practice and sometimes a 10 minute evening breathing and gentle movement to provide restorative sleep. Greater results are always gained from daily practice, as yoga was originally designed.

Any other innovation in your business?

We want to offer a scholarship program for students. We’re also creating opportunities for more people to benefit from yoga through our new all bodies and ages beginner’s classes, plus free yoga classes. In a first, our yoga therapy students will observe client sessions provided by me through free clinics. Yoga is about giving back. Nine years ago we created the Karma Yoga community charity which supports a school and orphanage in Bangalore. We plan to run more events to fund a school bus.

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ArtLayers of meaning between pages

ENGROSSED: Installation view, Brigita Ozolins The Secretary (detail) 2014. Photo: Simon OzolinsBOOKS these days have serious competition. Yet the book is a crucial building block of our civilisation, since for at least the past 500 years a growing torrent of books has documented discoveries, created history and fed the imaginative lives of more and more of the world’s population.
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At Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery until October 15 Meryl Ryan has created a superb exhibition, Book Club, which takes this fundamental saga as basis for the work of 11 contemporary artists who celebrate or subvert the book as a physical object. It brings together many extraordinary works; vivid metaphors and surreal objects.

SIMRYN GILL: Four Atlases of the World and One of Stars, 2009. Image: Utopia Art Sydney

In Deidre Brollo’s elaborately constructed library, books are repositories of almost forgotten knowledge. In the other large installation by Brigita Ozolins, familiar from her work at MONA, walls and floor are densely covered with thousands of discarded printed pages, while a sightless secretary adds to the pile.

Ahn Wells, in a surprising new trajectory, makes an autobiographical paper quilt, a patchwork of scraps from diaries and notebooks on one side with fragments of untranslated Korean text from a childhood book on the reverse.

Julie Gough from Tasmania and Archie Moore from Queensland place the book in a colonial context, correcting the white assumptions of old school history books and miniaturising the role of the missions.

The book is a central and symbol-laden object in the work of William Kentridge. This celebrated South African artist often works with printed text, subverting with superimposed moving images, contrasting the inert with living things. Burgeoning painted trees dominate the newsprint in a layered metaphor. Several sculptural pieces interpret how our brains function like an ill-catalogued library.

An even more radical comment on our use of books as imaginative fuel comes from Simryn Gill. Books are transformed into quixotic objects, with a group of atlases pulped and moulded into terrestrial globes and a favourite novel, the corrosive Bell Jar of Sylvia Plath, torn into strips and rolled into 21 strings of spherical beads.

How would one feel wearing that painful semi-autobiography? Do we really assimilate the books we treasure?

As this mind-blowing exhibition demonstrates, books and the printed word make facts, but also feed some other fundamental hunger.

TILLEY’S TEXTAN exhibition within the main exhibition focuses on Lezlie Tilley’s most recent work, using text to create visual patterns. In recent years she has expanded a long-term interest in text into augmented books and into projects where blocking out a single recurring letter creates arbitrary patterns, which now she extrapolates into musical notation. The individual cancelled letters become notes on a stave which, translated into a performable score, can be heard in the gallery. A mundane page becomes sequences of sound reminiscent of Philip Glass and John Cage, the Glass Cage of the exhibition’s title.

As we expect from this artist, the reworked texts are meticulously represented, the sequences building momentum. The combination of elaborately planned detail and complete chance is mesmerising for the viewer and for the artist, taking her ongoing passion for manipulating paper into a whole new realm. Few artists have the imaginative concentration to keep their work constantly evolving, let alone making this leap from sight to sound. Why not dance?

FORMIDABLE CULLENTHE Cooks Hill Galleries’ recent showing of graphics by the late Adam Cullen somehow slipped beneath the radar. He has established a formidable reputation, but it is hard to imagine his casually brutal images in a domestic environment. Works on paper show more respect for both medium and expressive line.

Meanwhile, Gavin Fry paints iconic Newcastle, where obsessively detailed facades are set amid swirling abstract chaos. It’s genuinely surreal.

STRONG BLENDAT Back to Back Galleries until September 24 is a celebration of ceramics.

Nicola Purcell’s classically thrown teapots reveal intensive training and a strong sense of surface design. Jo Davies uses terracotta for simple pasta bowls.

Tracie Bertram’s mosaic-covered objects continue to harvest her fertile visual imagination and craft knowledge in a series of fantastic flamboyant forms.

Elizabeth Treadwell Newman supplies unfettered madness in totem poles and pincushions, while Sandra Shaw’s silken velvet fabrics are a further example of perfected craftsmanship.

This is a strong show.

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Xtraction Espresso has upped the ante with a cool menu

Coffee talker: Kenn Blackman, owner of Xtraction Espresso, on Bolton Street in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De PeakXtraction Espresso, 2/36 Bolton St, Newcastle, Mon-Fri. 6am-3pm, Sat 7-12noon. Closed Sunday.
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There are plenty of Newcastle cafes that can make a quality cup of coffee. A smaller number house baristas that are excellent every single day. Other cafes serve an average coffee but compensate for it by serving excellent food that is unique or imaginative. Some places charm with their atmosphere simply because of the warmth and attentiveness of their service. One or two still have a great atmosphere with almost no service at all. A couple of businesses I can think of manage to be busy every day with little or none of the above. If you are lucky and your coffee machine stands somewhere that is convenient or in a room with a view, then hundreds of customers, regardless of your weaknesses, will sit at your tables just to be seen there.

Rarely in Newcastle does a café appear to have no weaknesses: outstanding coffee, acreative menu featuring delicious food, attentive service that is warm as well as informative, and awelcoming atmosphere.

Xtraction Espresso on Bolton Streetin Newcastle isn’t just ticking all the boxes, it’s setting up a whole new cafe criteria. Apparently you no longer have to give up on good service so that you can enjoy your favourite coffee. You can even be looked after, drink a great cup and be nourished by savoury goodness without once having to leave your table. Xtraction is doing all the important things extremely well.

For those of you who assumed Xtraction focused solely on their coffee then you should order one of their breakfast offerings as soon as possible. Although it is the coffee that I most crave when I arrive there on a Saturday morning it is something else entirely that I encounter when I first step inside. Behind the counter the chef must have been slow cooking his tomato braise, or smoking some brisket to serve with aspero pickles or stirring up a sweet and hearty bolognaise that I make no attempt whatsoever to resist when placing my breakfast order. By the time it has arrived at my table under two perfectly poached eggs, a number of customers have commented on the mouth-watering aromas that have met them at theentrance.

The most interesting parts of the breakfast and lunch choices take their inspiration from Mexican street food and all the smoky spiciness that it has brought to the everyday café menu. With black-eyed beans, chillies and queso quesadillas being wrapped up and served all day there is often a small crowd assembled outside of this kitchen. The Amigo and Jak’d Up burritos are a fearsome pair of meaty, slow-cooked marvels that can also be compacted into toasties. As a Mediterranean alternative, the Sicilian option features a bolognaise much like the one from my breakfast – resting on fresh bread and sweetened with handfuls of fresh herbs and vine-ripened tomatoes.

I am still only halfway through the breakfast when the barista and owner Kenn Blackman joins me at my table. By now he has poured me three coffees and what could have been 50 or so others for the rest of his customers. Working at the machine and the grinders by himself, it takes only a moment to realise that Kenn is as efficient as he is knowledgeable. You could even say that he has mastered the art of combining these strengths. While he pours, steams, doses, gives change and takes orders, Kenn is in an ongoing conversation about all things coffee with any number of his dedicated regulars. It is not unusual to hear a barista flaunt their latest coffee lingo but in here the customers are up to it as well.

The enthusiasm and passion of all this caffeinated banter says as much about the coffee as it does about Kenn. For their milk-based coffees Xtraction currently uses the Maverick and Cargo blends roasted by Delano in Wollongong. Customers can choose one blend or the other and on this Saturday morning could savour a teeth-tingling single origin from Colombia. For espresso enthusiasts, the single origin is hard to pass up for the sheer zinginess and brightness of acidity. At the other end of the coffee strength spectrum, if you prefer a gentler, milk-based coffee, then the Cargo is noticeably milder than the Maverick.

Regardless of the origin or the roast I chose, each coffee Kenn serves me is difficult to fault. It comes as no surprise that Xtraction is becoming synonymous with superior coffee in a Newcastle scene that is brimming with quality beans and talented, passionate baristas. With a new outlet in Maitland and bigger plans around the corner, Kenn Blackman is proof that when it comes to keeping the customers satisfied, consistency will always win the day.

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‘Designed to get us hooked’: Pokies case kicks off

n Baptist minister Tim Costello holds a Door stop in support for Shonica Guy and Jennifer Kanis, Maurice Blackburn’s head of social justice, outside the Federal courts in Melbourne, Tuesday September 12, 2017. Ms Guy and Maurice Blackburn are launching legal action against Crown casino and the makers of the Dolphin Treasure machine, alleging the game is rigged. (AAP Image/Joe Castro) NO ARCHIVINGAn unprecedented lawsuit likened to a “David and Goliath” battle has begun, with a former gambler taking on ‘s powerful pokies industry over claims its products are designed to addict users.
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James Packer’s Crown Resorts, owner of Melbourne’s Southbank casino, and the ASX-listed slots manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure will, for the next three weeks, be locked in a landmark Federal Court trial defending claims that the prominent Dolphin Treasure poker machine is misleading, deceptive and in breach of consumer law.

The case was launched by Shonica Guy, a former pokies addict, represented pro-bono by law firm Maurice Blackburn. Ms Guy on Tuesday morning said she lost 14 years of her life on the pokies, and wanted to stop this happening to other problem-gamblers.

“For too long now, we have been told we are the only ones to blame for pokies addiction,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“I want this case to show the machines are misleading … and designed to get us hooked.”

The lawsuit alleges the Dolphin Treasure machine, of which Crown Melbourne has 38 on its gaming floor, is designed to mislead gamblers about their chances of winning, partly through an uneven spread of symbols across its five spinning reels.

Reverend Tim Costello, a prominent anti-pokies campaigner with the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said Crown, Aristocrat and the wider pokies industry was the “most powerful industry in “, whose influence was equivalent to that of the American gun lobby.

“They are the equivalent of the National Rifle Association. That’s why we have the greatest number of problem gamblers bar no country in the world … because of the power of this industry.”

Ms Guy’s decision to take on Crown and Aristocrat, he said, was “truly a David and Goliath story”.

“But I know the Bible, and I know how that story ended,” she told reporters outside court. “The little guy, David, wins.”

Former federal court judge Ron Merkel QC, for Ms Guy, told the court that Dolphin Treasure disguised overall losses as wins, and said gamblers were not made aware of a number of allegedly deceptive features of the machine’s design

Among these is the fact the first four reels have 30 symbols while the fifth and final reel to stop spinning has 44 symbols, making it harder to win on the last reel and encouraging the perception that gamblers have had “near misses” when they lose.

Another allegation is that Dolphin Treasure’s advertised return rate of 87.8 per cent gives the impression that a player will retain 87.8 per cent of the money they bet while risk losing 12.2 per cent, when, in reality, that figure is calculated over the lifetime of a machine and includes jackpots that occasional players rarely win.

Crown Resorts and Aristocrat deny the allegations and will vigorously defend the lawsuit. Industry sources said both defendants were treating the case with the “seriousness it deserves’, but believe they have walked within the boundaries of the law.

The Gaming Technologies Association – the group representing poker machine manufacturers – said the industry firmly stood by the integrity of its products, “which are heavily regulated and comply with strict standards”.

“Those national standards include consumer protection measures, such as no false information, no misleading information, adequate information for players to make informed decisions,” association chief executive Ross Ferrar said. “Those go above and beyond consumer protection legislation.”

When asked whether he believed the design of poker machines contributed to addiction, Mr Ferrar said help was available to gamblers who had a problem, and urged them to “get help”.

Neil Young QC, for Crown Resorts, said the casino operator was “entirely reliant” on the statutory approvals of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

He said the language used in Dolphin Treasure, including the advice on the theoretical return to players, was based wholly on state regulation.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jennifer Kanis said the unprecedented lawsuit was not seeking damages from Crown and Aristocrat, but rather, major design changes to make their poker machines “fairer”.

The case will call other former gambling addicts to testify, as well as addiction psychologists and mathematicians.

“Through this action we hope to make people aware of what is really going on in the design of poker machines and importantly to see a better standard applied to the future design of machines,” she said.

“It is our view that this case will have ramifications across the industry.”

Mr Costello said anti-pokies campaigners had given up on the hope that state governments will act on serious pokies reform.

“They take too much in donations from the industry,and they get far too much in revenue,” he said. “They are really Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”

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Traffic snarls as Newcastle’s light rail work starts in Hunter Street

It was one extreme or the other as construction of Newcastle’slight rail network began on Tuesday.
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Headaches and hope as work starts In Progress: A map showing planned light rail work up to 2019. Construction crews moved into Hunter Street, between Auckland and Darby streets, on Monday.

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookHerald spoke with some business owners on Tuesday, they described the lack of cars on the closed stretch of Hunter Street as beinglike a ghost town.

George Fellas, who has owned Civic Lunch Delights for 14 years, said he had noticed a customer drop of about 20 per cent on the first morning of work.

Mr Fellas said he was supportive of the light rail project, but was concerned about the impact on his business and five employees–who all had mortgages.

“We just have to ride it out and eat the cost,” he said.

Traffic at the Auckland St detour as #Newcastle light rail work kicks off on Hunter St @newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/3xubDDRdah

— Nick Bielby (@nickbielby) September 11, 2017

“There’s not that much we can do. I’m glad they are starting now–the sooner they start, the sooner they will get the job done. I’m confident it will be a benefit to the whole town.”

Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel said construction in the zone, near Civic Theatre, was expected to finish by the end of the year.

He said pedestrian access would be maintained for businesses during the work.

“For people who live, work and play in the city centre, light rail construction means some traffic changes, and we are asking road users to take this into account when planning their trip,” Mr Cassel said. “We expect traffic impacts to settle down a little once road users get used to the changes and find the best route for them, and we thank road users for their patience.”

Blue Door Cafe owner Peter James said he was willingto put up with the inconvenience for the betterment of the city. But he said it was important that work finished on schedule, before Christmas, so he could take advantage of his business’s busiest time of year.

“We’re happy to work with the crew and try to make itas smooth as possible and try tostay as positive as possible,” he said.

“Is it going to cause us headaches in the meantime over the short-term period? Yes it is. Hopefully it goes as planned. If they don’t stick to the time-frames then they are going to have a very disappointed business owner here.”

Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said it was imperative that the work on the project remain on time“tominimise any negative impacts that arise as a consequence of the traffic restrictions in the zone”.

“We note the special car parking arrangements and that pedestrian access is being maintained and implore shoppers and business patrons to be patient and to maintain their custom of businesses through this period,” Mr Hawes said.

Joseph Baker, who manages Hunter Street cafe The Press Book House, said he had a positive outlook.

“I don’t mind at all–it’s all for the better,” he said.

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