68 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. @GrueBleen

    Yes I am licensed.

    So you now have two outstanding matters:

    How can anyone be obsessed with Burke when they have no knowledge of it, and it was others who promoted him?

    What textual evidence is there that Burke was in favour of a ‘representative’ majority able to act quickly.

    And one procedural matter;

    Why was the question “failed”?

    Go to it kiddo ….

  2. @Ivor

    Oh that’s good, Ivor, where did you get your license ? I might think of getting one too.

    But I’m quite moved by your sudden rush of sense: it’s good that you’ve recognised that you shouldn’t be obsessed with Burke when you have no knowledge of “it”. As to your question on textual evidence, I await your pronouncement on that.

    But, “why was the question failed ? Because all of your “questions” are failed, Ivor. Please try to keep up with things.

  3. @GrueBleen

    To get licences such as mine you you have to have pre-requisites and pass invigilated exams and then demonstrate core competencies over a long period in a professional workplace.

    However you may be able to purchase something more at your level by searching on the internet.

    As you have not been able to focus on what you have in front of you I doubt whether there is anything else under the AQF that would apply in your case.

    If you get a question such as “why a question failed”, then the dumbest, most incompetant answer that you usually get from 3year olds is:

    “because …..”

    This is a failed answer.

    So you have made the most fundamental error of all – imputing into others your own incompetencies, and not even understanding the mess you have created.

    Maybe it would be better if you tried to resolve the outstanding matters?

  4. @Ivor

    Now I really do have to sympathise, Ivor, since obviously the trauma of trying to keep up with an adult conversation has caused you to regress into your early childhood. But hey, there’s always Pokeman Go to play, isn’t there.

    But I do like your rush of imagination about your “invigilated exams” – nice one, mate. Keep that up and in no time at all you’ll be writing a column in a Murdoch rag. Maybe even the Herald-Sun ?

    But do try to keep up with things. Really, I have already told you that my failed answers are in sympathy with your failed questions. I have told you that, but then do you ever actually read anything I write ?

  5. @GrueBleen

    The questions have not failed, except they have failed to get an answer.

    School yard kiddy-talk does not help you.

    Please hand in your homework as soon as possible.

  6. @Ivor

    That’s why your questions are always failures, Ivor, they never get an answer.

    Now you haven’t prattled on about your Burke obsession in your last couple of posts: can’t you keep your attention on anything ?

    Come on now, pick up your game.

  7. Ikono, I live in the Lockyer Valley and over the years I have intermittently seen the white-bellied sea eagle close to Lockyer and Laidley Creeks. We have regular visits from wedgies patrolling up and down our street (all the other birds kick up an obvious fuss for 10seconds or so and then the whole area goes silent) but the sea eagles seem to be always just passing through.

  8. @Lesley de Voil

    Thank you for your reply. I think it is the first time in my life that I have seen a White-bellied Sea-Eagle; or at least the first time I have seen it and recognised it as such. I have lived in or near Brisbane most of my life but have traveled widely, holidayed on farms in Wide Bay Burnett and worked on farms in W.A. I most definitely saw Wedge Tail eagles on the sheep and wheat farms south of Geraldton. I may have seen a Wedge Tail where I live now but in retrospect it might have been a high-flying White-bellied Sea-Eagle. Looking high into a bright sky it was hard to distinguish colour and silhouette details.

    What I find interesting are my memories from childhood and comparing them to today. The bird situation has changed markedly in Brisbane and environs. When post-WW2 suburbs were made in the north of Brisbane, they were obviously clear-felled. No native vegetation was left at all. Gardens were almost all exotic species. I remember from my childhood that our suburban garden had roses, gerberas, geraniums, nasturtiums, poinsettias, a poinciana tree, an edible fig not a native fig, orange tree, lemon tree, so-called “bush lemon”, a Frangipani, a bush of the melastoma, which might have been a Melastoma affine and other plants I don’t know the names of. I doubt any were natives of S.E. Qld except the affine if it was that species. Our “lawn” was couch plagued with carpet grass and paspalum. I doubt any of these were native. Gum trees were just about non-existent in the area until the local primary school planted a row or two.

    As for birds, I recall masses of sparrows when I was a kid. This was the introduced house sparrow. I never see them now around Brisbane. There were at least some crows, magpies, peewees and willy wag tails left. There were no parakeets, lorikeets or cockatoos that I recall. Very occaisionally one heard a kookaburra.

    Brisbane’s bird life changed again as people replanted eucalypts, bottle-brush, banksias, teatrees, paperbarks and so on. A lot of the missing native birds came back but willy wagtails seemed to almost disappear. Some new ones appeared which seemed to be new interlopers behaving in new ways. Native ibis appeared in and around Brisbane feeding at rubbish tips and competing in the central city with introduced pigeons.

    The SMH backs this up – “This bird (Ibis) is one of Australia’s most interesting native species. Highly adaptive and mobile, their natural habitat in interior wetlands was significantly diminished in the 1970s due to changed water flow and urbanisation. However, unlike other affected species, the ibis made the surprise move to near the coast, where their numbers thrived.”

    I also noticed in S.E Qld’s drought years when our dams fell to like 5%, many more green parrots etc. appeared back in Brisbane from further west. I guess they could still find water around Brisbane.

    Moral of this tale? We have had serial effects on bird life, many negative and then later some small positive effects improving matters for the birds again. However, these subsequent improvements, for some species, are not a return in any way to the pre-European status quo. We have altered the environment permanently and a number of bird species have changed behaviours and habitats. I guess those that are still surviving and thriving are making adaptational changes too. We pushing evolution for survivors but also extincting (is that a verb?) some species.

    We are highly disrupting environments around the world. Search the net for the changes in Greenland shark behaviours and the seemingly new phenomenon of their seal predation, first studied at Sable Island off Canada. Greenland sharks have proved to more capable predators than first thought. They were originally pigeon-holed as very slow, deep-seabed scavengers. But they can and do come to shallow waters and have proved to be extraordinary ambush predators in murky waters, functioning by scent. Their dentition is highly unusual and they bite and damage in a way very different from most sharks. (If you are ever in Iceland or wherever up there never eat one fresh. Their flesh is highly poisonous.) It appears Greenland Sharks were drawn to the surface more to take by-catch from the fishing industry and their population may have exploded. Then the fishing industry collapsed (of course). Then lots of shallow-hunting acclimated Greenland Sharks started ambushing sleeping seals in the northern winter. Seals can sleep underwater. The results of the attacks are very nasty for the seals and especially for seal pups. Outer blubber and flesh is torn off in a corkscrew fashion right to the bone. We are pushing novel behaviours in wildlife and thus new evolution (for those species that survive.) The effects continually ramify.

  9. @GrueBleen

    What Burke obsession – I have never read Burke.

    My attention is purely on getting answers to two simple questions.

    So here is a third;

    Was your statement that Burke was in favour of a ‘representative’ majority able to act quickly, TRUE or FALSE.

    Of course, judging by your behaviour so far you will be unable to answer and will set off yet another stream of diversions and irrelevant froth and bubble.

    You have had plenty of opportunity now to provide evidence – so the answer now is;

    The statement was FALSE.

    And as far as the other question was – It is not possible to be obsessed with anything if you have no knowledge of it.

    So your statements in this regard are FALSE.

    Finally your statement that the question failed was also FALSE.

    All your random introductions of obsession, licenses, missed opportunities, failed question etc etc were spurious, disruptive, diversionary and self serving.

    So the answers are now clear.

    Thank you very much. You can now feed your homework to the dogs.

  10. @Ivor

    Oh, now I know who you are “Ivor”, you’re actually Gerard Henderson !

    But really, old chap, your Burke obsession doesn’t mean anything to me, you can enjoy it as much as you like, and from your willing waffles so far, that’s a lot.

    However, I do have to admire, reluctantly it’s true, your total dedication to not actually reading, nor even minimally comprehending, anything anybody else says (or writes). It is certainly your crowning glory and it clearly allows you much uncritical self-enjoyment.

    Though I take it from the harried tone of your most recent (to which this is a reply) that apart from employing juvenile capitals, you just can’t come up with anything more. Well then, off you go, lad, happy slumber awaits you.

  11. @Ikonoclast

    Psst, Ikono: English, a language in which there is no noun that you can’t verb and no verb that you can’t noun. You’d surely know that ?

    “Extinctify” ? Pshaw, child’s play.

    But your bit about the vanishing sparrows is interesting. For a while, back a few years ago, they’d almost disappeared from Melbourne too – or at least the bits of it that I frequent. Where once were hosts (and I had to look that group name up, but a “host of sparrows” is apparently what it is), suddenly there weren’t any.

    They are now seeping back, fairly slowly but consistently, and I do see enough in one space now and then to qualify as a host.

    But the birds I find interesting (apart from the small family of frog-mouths that took up residence in my street) is magpies. I occasionally see news items that magpies are “disappearing”. Well you certainly wouldn’t know it from my suburban patch – the magpies are almost as numerous as the crows, and these days more numerous than pigeons and sparrows put together.

  12. GrueBleen, re changing bird incidences, a couple of years ago, I was never more surprised than when I saw a pair of curlews fossicking around the rubbish bins outside a restaurant at Brisbane Southbank early one evening. I had always associated “rare”, “secretive”, and “shy” with this bird, but no longer! There were people walking by about a couple of metres away and the birds walked around casually for about ten minutes. They did not fly off, but just moved on out of sight.
    Iko, the house I grew up in was built on the old Newmarket (Brisbane) sale yards so there was nothing native left. Plenty of sparrows and pigeons, but native birds and animals? Nope. I had never seen a gecko until I went to Mundubbera in my thirties!

  13. @Lesley de Voil

    Your curfews aren’t the only ones: the magpies, and even the pigeons, that visit my suburban street will hardly pay any attention whatsoever to passing humans (eg me, out for a stroll). They’ll barely even get out of the way of the car when they’re on the road.

    Maybe it’s just that nobody much threatens them these days – even young kids don’t play in the street now like my generation did and apart from me, very few people actually walk around. So whatever inherent ‘conditioning’ the birds have, it isn’t alarming them much nowadays.

  14. @Lesley de Voil

    I could go on about changing bird incidences but you bring up the topic of geckos. I assume the Mundubbera geckos you refer to are native geckos. I don’t think I have ever seen a native gecko but maybe I am wrong. Brisbane seemed to have no geckos until the invading Asian house gecko turned up about 15 or more years ago. Now, these a very common. Cockroaches (a few species and at least some of them invading exotics themselves) seem to have declined as the Asian house gecko takes over. Prevalence of various native ant species seems to have changed too in addition to exotic invaders. But here I am comparing childhood memories with current observations… hardly a basis for a scientific study.

    Here is a problem for long-term longitudinal studies in ecology. How do you know what to data collect? You will have no idea of what will change over the long term. The arena of data is impossibly large. To some great extant, we really don’t know what has changed. So much information is already lost (as in never collected and now lost forever).

  15. Professor Quiggin wrote:

    Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

    Professor Quiggin,

    Comments in the sandbox of 26 June 2016 were closed some time after 4 July. Will you be opening another sandbox soon, so that I can respond to what was posted there on 1 July?

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