As soon as I started dating an Australian, I began fantasizing about all the adorable animals Down Under who would someday become my friends. Koalas! Roos! Wombats! Sadly, this American was quickly informed that all of those wild animals are indeed wild animals and seldom seen, let alone snuggled. (Kangaroos, I am told, are very common, but are huge and dangerous to humans.) So it gives me hope whenever I watch a video such as this: baby wombats enjoying belly rubs! Also, scurrying around like toddlers on Red Bull! (These little guys live in some kind of a zoo or shelter, which I am obviously Googling immediately.) Thank you, Internet, for further proof that every species loves a good belly scratch. [YouTube via Laughing Squid]
I’m going to make some sweeping generalizations about Australians. They have very cute, but oft-difficult-to-discern accents. They all come from places with silly names like Dingawoomba. Some of them drink a lot. They are sick of fielding questions about kangaroos. And most importantly, they love their snacks. Brits have their Marmite. The Quebecois have their poutine. Australians have a proud tradition of tastsy snackery that I had no idea about until I married one. And it’s not just snacks! Our friends Down Under have some pretty great skincare, beauty products, clothes, and pop culture. Oh yes, Australians are more than just cute koalas and Crocodile Dundee jokes. Keep reading »
The only thing more facepalm-y than holding an “African-themed” birthday party — whatever that even means, it’s an entire continent, people! — is how she took to Tumblr to defend the photographs of her friends in blackface, “tribal paint,” and a KKK costume.
Now the whole world knows an Australian woman identified by Huffington Post as Olivia Mahon is an racist idiot. Keep reading »
The Sydney Living Museum recently made public a series of mugshots taken from the 1920s. Yes, I know, I know, Australia’s always had a rep for being an island of criminals, but these mugshots are actually super cool. The collection comprises both male and female convicts, posing artfully in both close up and full-body shots.
The pictures make me wonder what these men and women did to get arrested int he first place. Taken out of context, they could be inspiration for the latest J. Crew or Madewell collections. The photos are part of a collection of more than 2,500 images the museum has archived. Explains the collection’s curator, Peter Doyle:
“Some subjects were repeat offenders, and we find their names in police records and newspaper reports again and again, sometimes over many decades. A small number achieved notoriety in their time. But, generally, the subjects of the Special Photographs make only one or two fleeting appearances in the records. Some have left little more than a single amazing photograph. At the time these portraits were taken personal identity was a fluid, indeterminate thing. People drifted in and out of the lives and affairs of others, often never to be heard of, or from, again. Names were freely invented and changed. An individual’s origins and history could not be easily checked and, indeed, perhaps were not often sought. The sense of trustworthiness that a man or woman communicated in the flesh counted for much, and if you could fake that, as they say, you had it made.”
Check out a few more after the jump! [The Phoblographer]
Keep reading »
We’ve all done something stupid in the name of sex, usually involving one too many tequila sunrises and men with neck tattoos. But one Australian man puts us all to shame: he shoved a fork up his peehole. Yes, he shoved a piece of cutlery into his urethra. The 70-year-old Canberra man’s escapade was cataloged in a report called “An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body” from the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. In a ballsy attempt to”achieve sexual gratification,” this elderly fella inserted the four-inch-long fork inside his penis … only to rush himself (or waddle slowly) to the emergency room when he couldn’t get it out. The fork was not visible from the outside, but could be felt by doctors. They were able to replenish his cutlery drawer using forceps and “copious lubrication.” Who knew the urethra could stretch so large! Just keep Grandpa away from the sporks, OK? [Huffington Post; News AU]
“They’re young, they’re feisty, I think I can probably say have a bit of sex appeal, and they are just very very connected to the local area.”
– This is MP Tony Abbott, leader of Australia’s Liberal Party, when asked about two female politicians, Fiona Scott and Jackie Kelly. The best he could come up with to describe these professional women were their more … comely … attributes. Just what we all want in our politicians, right? Feisty with a bit of sex appeal! What a ringing endorsement. A reporter for the UK’s Telegraph noticed that even Abbott’s own daughter “appeared to wince.” [Telegraph UK, Guardian UK]
“The Sapphires” is reportedly one of the very best films of the the year. It’s won all kinds of awards! But the DVD cover is … problematic. The flick stars Chris O’Dowd as the manager of a ’60s girl group in Australia comprised of four Aboriginal women, including “Australian Idol” runner-up Jessica Mauboy. Based on real events, “The Sapphires” is a love story that also tackles the racism these women faced in their native Australia. Alas, the U.S./Canada DVD cover for the film (above) plops O’Dowd front and center while the four women — their darker skin tones appearing blue along with the graphic design — smaller, behind him in the background. Keep reading »
Some will send binkies. Some will send booties. Some will send rattles. But the government of Australia gave the newborn prince/their monarchal overlord Prince George Alexander Louis another sort of gift entirely: a baby crocodile. The little snapper was hatched on December 3, the same day Kate Middleton announced her pregnancy to the world, and he’ll be joining the pair of crocodiles already “gifted” to Prince William and Kate the last time they visited Australia. But lil’ Georgie won’t actually get to play with his new pet croc, as he will live in a city called Darwin, presumably at a zoo. What a shite baby gift! George can’t even take it for walks around Kensington Palace or scratch its chin without getting his hand snapped off. Oh well. Queen Elizabeth is probably going to give him, like, the Cayman Islands or something, so it’ll work out. [Telegraph UK]
Even the prime minister of Australia is not immune of objectification and body-snarking: at a political fundraising dinner Julia Gillard was reduced to the significance of the quail served up for dinner with an absurdly offensive menu item listed “Julia Gillard Quail – small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box” as the main entrée. Keep reading »
Frisky readers, you know I would never steer you wrong where adorable animals are concerned. And that’s why I’m telling you to hop the first plane the Australia and find a koala to hug. Snuggle the shit out of that koala. It might be the last chance you ever get. We knew the koala population had been chopped nearly in half by the STD chlamydia, but the marsupials are also suffering from koala retrovirus, KoRV, an “AIDs-like virus” that decimates their immune system. In some areas of Australia, koalas are more badly infected than other areas, but a University of Queensland study last year suspected that “ultimately” all koala bears will have chlamydia. Together the chlamydia and KoRV mean koalas on the path to extinction. Scientists are working hard — overtime, one hopes — to map the koala genome and ascertain how best to protect the little guys. In the mean time, you should go snuggle a koala while you still can … and both of the Hemworth brothers, if you can shake it. [Guardian UK] [Photo of a koala from Shutterstock]