Plus a bonus extra below the fold, “Bulldust, Oz Blogger Hero” (he should be beet red by now).
The Australian Lectures by David Archibald
David Archibald, July 8, 2010
Anthony Watts runs the world’s most popular science blog with three million hits per month. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it possibly the most cheerful science blog, which in turn is a reflection on the owner: positive, productive and thoroughly decent in a Midwestern American way. So when the call came for support speakers for his Australian lecture series, I had no hesitation in signing up for the whole gig, which included, in order, Sydney, Townsville, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Noosa, Emerald, Melbourne, Hobart, Mt Gambier, Hamilton, Ballarat, Narrogin, Perth, Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Coffs Harbour. For me it amounted to 26,000 km of travel.
Read the entire essay here at Quadrant Online.
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Noel and Stefan’s excellent adventure
While I was on the road, I got an email from WUWT reader Noel and his friend Stefan (pictured above) who were concerned that I hadn’t had any time for R&R on the tour. Noel offered to take me on a boat ride around Perth harbor, and to see Rottnest island about 20km from Perth harbor. About 7,000 years ago the sea levels were low enough that aborigines could walk to the limestone outcrops.
According to Wiki recent (in geologic time) sea level rise made the peninsula into an island:
Rottnest Island was inhabited by Aboriginal people from approximately 30,000 years ago, until rising sea levels separated the island from the mainland of Western Australia approximately 7,000 years ago. The island features in Noongar Aboriginal mythology as Wadjemup. Aboriginal artefacts on the island have been dated from 6,500 to more than 30,000 years ago.
There were no people on the island when European exploration began in the 17th century, and the Aboriginal people did not have boats that could make the crossing, so the island had probably been uninhabited for several thousand years.
Even doing R&R I learned something about sea level rise I didn’t know. You can see the land bridge clearly in this Google Earth image with bathymetric features:
After being the target of some protesters at previous cities, and since I didn’t know these fellows, I was a bit concerned that maybe the purpose of the boat ride was a one way trip. 😉
My concerns were soon allayed in communications and evaporated completely when I met them at the dock. They were wearing yellow smiley badges (seen above).
It was a great afternoon. I loved every minute, lunch was superb, and it all was refreshing. I gave my best talk ever that night in Perth at WAU thanks to being invigorated.
And BTW, lest one think they are just some “big oil groupies” (like our protesters imagined), these two fellows are in the environmental business. They handle waste management problems of all kinds. Green but not mean, my kinda guys. Thanks fellows!