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Octogenarian Grandee

19 Mar

One of Australia’s most iconic landmarks has turned 80. Sydney Harbour Bridge – aka “The Coathanger” – was opened on 19 March 1932. An internationally recognised symbol of Sydney’s dynamism and dramatic setting, the 1,149-metre long bridge took 14,000 workers six years to build. The world’s largest steel arch bridge, it has an arch span of 503 metres and under-deck clearance for shipping of 49 metres. More than 160,000 vehicles cross it every weekday.

 

Chequered Careers

16 Mar

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber test their cricket skills on St Kilda Beach in Melbourne.

An unprecedented six world champions will be on the grid when the new Formula 1 season begins in Australia on 18 March. Red Bull’s reigning champion Sebastian Vettel is pre-season favourite to win a third consecutive world title, with his main rivals Australian team-mate Mark Webber (career-best third in the 2010 and 2011 world championships), McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button (world champions in 2008 and 2009, respectively), and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (2005 and 2006). […]

From Marbella… to Melbourne

28 Jan

It all essentially began for Victoria Azarenka in Spain last April. The then 21-year-old Belarusian confirmed her top seeding by winning the third edition of the Andalucía Tennis Experience to rise to a career best fifth in the WTA world ranking. She had dropped only 14 games on her way to the final at Marbella’s Puente Romano Tennis Club, eventually beating Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2.

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That’s Wonderful, Possums

22 Jan

A friend “very high up in the media world who has been tapping the phones in Australia House for many years” gave Barry Humphries an inkling. “I can’t tell you his name; he is married to a Chinese girl. He said it was between me and Julian Assange and it turned out to be me.”

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Post Prime Rate

6 Jan

One-time world record-holding boozer Bob Hawke (aka as Australia’s Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991) couldn’t resist the challenge. And, to be fair, what true blue Australian could! Hawke, who recalled in his memoirs that he had once set a world speed record for drinking two and a half pints of beer in 11 seconds while studying in Oxford, was walking through the stands during the second cricket Test against India in Sydney when offered a plastic cup of beer. “One for the country, Robert!” he was encouraged by a voice in the crowd, and the Rhodes Scholar patriotically obliged – the moment being caught for viral posterity on a mobile phone.

And the FLASHER is…

12 Sep

The 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Brazil became more interesting than usual (i.e. mildly interesting) when, in the endless round of mostly meaningless lead-up events, Miss Colombia Catalina Robayo was snapped in a short dress inadvertently (or not) minus knickers.

Oh yes… and the winner was Leila Lopes from Angola. Miss Australia Scherri-Lee Biggs, who was also reprimanded by the organisers for an “offensively see-through” evening gown and a “way too sexy” bikini, finished in the top 10.

 

The TRUTH about 9/11?

9 Sep

Two plus two equals

There’s FURROWED…

14 Aug

…and then there’s furrowed

IT MIGHT be a mystery for the Punch columnist but here in Spain we are all-too familiar with the dear soul with the “furrowed” lines. It’s the indomitable Doña María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, a grandee of Spain and current head of the House of Alba. According to the Guinness Book of Records, she is the aristocrat with the highest number of titles recognised by an existing government.

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Pizza for the DALAI LAMA

15 Jun

Tibetan leader sees the joke… sort of

AN ATTEMPT by Australian TV presenter Karl Stefanovic from Channel 9’s Today show to tell a Dalai Lama joke to the man himself backfired with hilarious results, at least for viewers. As elements of the joke were translated to the religious leader, he mostly maintained a blank stare though he did laugh when Stefanovic tried to explain the joke.

The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says:
“Can you make me one with everything?”

 

ROYAL OUT-OF-TOUCHINESS

27 Apr

Dame Edna uninvited to The Wedding

By NED BELLY

LEVEL-HEADED TV viewers will be denied the opportunity of watching The Wedding from a less obsequious perspective as the result of a ban by the royals’ humour-less media department. The ABC has been forced to cancel its satirical royal wedding special featuring The Chaser satirical comedy team, after Buckingham Palace announced new restrictions banning drama, satirical and entertainment programs from using footage of the ceremony. […]