Monday, February 05, 2018

Doyle resigns as Melbourne Lord Mayor

Robert Doyle has resigned as Lord Mayor of Melbourne and chair of Melbourne Health after multiple allegations of sexual harassment prompted an inquiry. Doyle took leave from the mayoralty in December after City of Melbourne councillor Tessa Sullivan resigned, claiming she and other women had experienced “repeated sexual harassment which had made their workplace intolerable”. Speaking to the Herald Sun ($), Doyle’s lawyer, Nick Ruskin, claimed Doyle “has been through a period which he feels has lacked any semblance of natural justice”, and was recently hospitalised to recover from “the toll that the last seven weeks has had”. Sullivan threatened to sue the Herald Sun for defamation in January after the paper published front-page photos of her in a bikini, with her lawyers saying the publication’s coverage “perpetuates victim blaming and a culture of discrediting women by the way they present themselves”.

A network of 50,000 home solar systems will be installed in Adelaide homes as part of an effort to build the world’s largest virtual power plant. The plan, brokered in a deal between South Australian premier Jay Weatherill and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, would create the equivalent of a 250-megawatt power plant, and be funded by the sale of electricity generated from the solar systems. The agreement comes after Tesla built a 100-megawatt lithium ion battery to help stabilise South Australia’s electricity supply. A recent ReachTel poll for the upcoming South Australian state election put Weatherill’s Labor government on 26 per cent, behind Steven Marshall’s Liberal opposition on 33 per cent and ahead of Nick Xenophon’s SA Best on 17.6 per cent.

Senate crossbencher Lucy Gichuhi has joined the Liberal Party, boosting the Coalition’s numbers in the upper house. In a video posted by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Senator Gichuhi said she couldn’t “believe how liberal I am at the core”. Senator Gichuhi was appointed to former Family First senator Bob Day’s South Australian seat after he filed for bankruptcy, but the new senator quit Family First when the party merged with the Australian Conservatives.

And veteran journalist Michael Gordon has died during an ocean swim on Phillip Island. Gordon, 62, worked for 37 years at The Age as well as several years for Melbourne’s Herald and The Australian, winning the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism only last year. Malcolm Turnbull, opposition leader Bill Shorten and Manus Island detainee and journalist Behrouz Boochani paid tribute to Gordon, with Turnbull calling him “one of the most wise and calm of journalists”.

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Unlearning Woody Allen

“It’s not just that Allen in his prime was a brilliant director, though he was, or that he wrote memorably funny lines, though he did, or that he’s brought out career-defining performances from countless great actors and actresses, though he has. Allen’s influence runs deeper than that. For a certain kind of person – highly educated, often living in New York, often Jewish – with certain values and tastes, Allen’s most clearly autobiographical films from the 1970s and 1980s define a lifestyle, a sensibility, and, most vexing, a script for adult relationships to follow.” jewish currents

Fiction is outperforming reality: how YouTubes algorithm distorts truth

“Like all big tech companies, YouTube does not allow us to see the algorithms that shape our lives. They are secret formulas, proprietary software, and only select engineers are entrusted to work on the algorithm. Guillaume Chaslot, a 36-year-old French computer programmer with a PhD in artificial intelligence, was one of those engineers. During the three years he worked at Google, he was placed for several months with a team of YouTube engineers working on the recommendation system. The experience led him to conclude that the priorities YouTube gives its algorithms are dangerously skewed.” the guardian

The first African team to compete in bobsled

“After we qualified, there was this uproar within Nigeria, the Nigerian diaspora, non-Nigerian people. People were really excited that there was a winter effort and something positive happening for Nigeria. We are this Cinderella story, and we didn’t really mean it to be this. It comes with a lot more pressure, but I’m not thinking about it that way. I put a plan down, and I am ready to execute that plan.” the new york times



What will Lyle Shelton bring to the Australian Conservatives?

“Lyle Shelton will join Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives party as its federal communications director. Shelton made the announcement on Sunday, the day after revealing he was leaving his position at the Australia Christian Lobby to pursue the ‘partisan side of politics’. Shelton, the leading voice of the unsuccessful campaign against marriage equality, made the announcement with Bernardi in Toowoomba.”   guardian australia


His own personalised campaign slogan.

“After a long fight for marriage equality that saw the LGBTI community endure ‘offensive and hurtful’ attack ads by the No campaign, Australia has come together to tell Lyle Shelton to eat shit. Beginning the second the victory was announced, thousands of people tweeted ‘eat shit Lyle’ at Shelton, head of the Australian Christian Lobby and spokesperson for the Coalition for Marriage.”  star observer (from december)


and finally:

Nigel the bird found dead next to the concrete partner he tried to woo for years

“Twenty years ago, conservationists in New Zealand placed 80 fake gannet birds on Mana Island in an attempt to attract some real-life gannets. But only one bird finally showed up in 2015. That bird, which locals named Nigel, spent years in a futile effort to woo a mate who was made of concrete. Sadly, Nigel has now been found dead next to his stone cold partner.” gizmodo