Do you ever see something that is simple and easy to use and wonder why everyone is not doing it?
The photo shows how many of the car parks in Japan are set up. All the lanes are one way and all cars are parked at an [approx] angle of 45 degrees.
How great would that be?
There would be no need to veer wide to try and make the 90 degree turn in one attempt. There would be no need to worry about the other cars coming towards you. You could park neatly every time. Reversing out of the car park would also be so much easier.
How likely is it to happen in Australia? I wish…..
I am among the many thousands that ponder about the future safety of the Amazon forest.
We all know why preservation of the Amazon forest is vital to our ecosystem, but the how is a little more difficult.
The river basin at the center of Latin America called the Amazon is roughly the size of Australia. For the last several million years, it has been blanketed by a teeming tropical biome of 400 billion trees and vegetation so dense and heavy with water, it exhales a fifth of Earth’s oxygen, stores centuries of carbon, and deflects and consumes an unknown but significant amount of solar heat.
Twenty percent of the world’s fresh water cycles through its rivers, plants, soils, and air. This moisture fuels and regulates multiple planet-scale systems, including the production of “rivers in the air” by evapotranspiration, a ceaseless churning flux in which the forest breathes its water into great hemispheric conveyer belts that carry it as far as the breadbaskets of Argentina and the American Midwest, where it is released as rain.
In the last half-century, about one-fifth of this forest, or some 300,000 square miles, has been cut and burned in Brazil, whose borders contain almost two-thirds of the Amazon basin.
Rainforest on fire – This is a long read.
Regardless of how many banners we wave, or posts we make on Facebook, it’s time we started to take this problem seriously. I have pondered this dilemma for some time and keep coming up with this same solution.
If we want to save it, we will have to pay for it.
How to pay and how much
The only way to stop deforestation is for a conglomeration of G20 countries to lease the forest from the Brazilian government. If we can remove temporary ownership from them we will have a chance to save it.
This could be done on a cash basis, or a combination of trade/development cash. Cash would be have to be paid in advance, in annual installments of the agreed amount.
It would be the Brazilian governments’ responsibility to police the area and prevent further degradation. This would be monitored by aerial technology [drones/satellites] and SEVERE penalties would be incurred for non compliance. These could be deducted from the next payment, or implementation of sanctions could be invoked as a last resort.
How much? That of course is the $64 question. The GDP of the G20 advanced economies is $45,472 billion. One half of one percent of that total is $22.736 billion. I have no idea if that amount is possible, if it is too high or too low, or if any of the nations being asked to contribute would accept such an idea – but I had to start somewhere. There would be substantial costs for the Brazilian Government to police this initiative and the area is also considered to have great potential for mineral assets – namely copper, tin, nickel, bauxite, manganese, iron ore and gold. The Brazilian Government would expect some compensation for the loss of that potential income.
We must also consider the ethical problem of the corruption in the Brazilian government. Is there anything we can do about it? Short answer – no. It’s their bat and ball and they make the rules, so we’ll just have to suck it up. It’s just part of the price we will have to pay.
What is the Amazon Fund?
The purpose of the Amazon Fund is to provide an incentive for Brazil and other tropical-forested developing countries to continue and increase voluntary reductions of greenhouse gas emission from forest deforestation and degradation. Since the start of Bolsonaro’s term last year, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has surged, with no plans of it slowing down in coming years. Due to this reversal in policy that funding is coming to an end because Brazil has been failing miserably at protecting the Amazon Rainforest, which is the whole point of this money. Barely a week after Germany announced it was cutting $US39 million in funding for the Amazon Fund, Norway announced the same. The Norwegian government has given more than $US1 billion to this fund. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has reacted angrily to a decision by Norway to stop funding projects to curb deforestation in Brazil after its right-wing government blocked operations of a fund receiving the aid.
The potential riches available from the Amazon Rainforest far outweigh the the “small” amounts now being received to keep it intact. It’s all about the money. If we want to save it we will have to dig a bit deeper.
So, there we are. I realise this thought/idea/suggestion has a lot of rough edges, but we have to make a start somewhere.
Powerball’s $107 million jackpot was won by a single player, breaking Australian lottery records. Most of us had tickets and were hoping for the jackpot, but alas, it was not to be.
That’s a lot of money for one person to win. I think it’s too much.
Two weeks ago the jackpot was $50 million. I imagine that we all would have been more than happy to walk away with that – even though it was less than half of the big one.
So here’s my thought/idea/suggestion.
Let’s cap the maximum prize at $50 million.
If it’s not won any amount over $50 million jackpots to the next draw.
History shows that by doing this we could have up to THREE $50 million jackpots draws in a row. It would certainly spread the wealth and keep the punters interested.
Too boring. No problem. I have a Plan 2.
Instead of jumping from $50 – $80 – $100 million in three giant leaps let’s stagger it a bit.
If there is no winner for the $50 million draw increase the prize to $66 million.
Then again, if required, increase it to $77 and then to $88 million. As the numbers 7 and/or 8 are considered “lucky” that should surely entice a few more punters to part with their hard earned.
AND THEN, we can make the dividend $101 million.
Or, if we maintain the increment plan, why not $99 million?
Let’s at least try to share the wealth.
Australia’s state governments are finally taking note of the housing affordability crisis in our cities.
Buying a house is the largest transaction that most people will make and the sums involved mean that the amount of stamp duty payable can be a problem.
There are always proposed solutions being put forward to provide relief to cash-strapped buyers that cannot afford the financial burden of purchasing a new home.
These are wide and varied and usually questionable.
My idea, as you will see below, keeps it very simple, manageable and achievable.
First of all, there are a number of taxes and levies incurred when you purchase a home.
Stamp Duty – see below for amounts levied against Value of Property
$300,000 >>> $11,330
$400,000 >>> $16,330
$500,000 >>> $21,330
Land Tax – Principal places of residence are generally exempt from land tax.
Emergency Services Levy – $250 on house valued at $400,000
There are also, of course, other government costs to be added to the purchase price, which will raise the buyers costs even more, to approximately…
$300,000 >>> $13,750
$400,000 >>> $19,500
$500,000 >>> $25,500
So, as well as trying to save for a deposit, buyers need an extra $15k – $25k [approx] to pay for government taxes.
They then have their next financial hurdle dealing with the banks.
Is it any wonder that First Home Owners are struggling to buy a home.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is paid by the State Government to eligible first home owners.
If the market value of their purchase does not exceed $575,000 then a $15,000 FHOG is potentially available, but only for those that build or buy a new residential property. It’s a nice gesture and does offset some of the money the government claws back in taxes, but it needs an overhaul.
And this is the [IMHO] best solution.
Levy the SELLER of any property sold for the Stamp Duty.
As most sellers are looking to upgrade, the Stamp Duty impost will be negated by the savings made in not having to pay any Stamp Duty on their new purchase.
The sellers who are exiting the home owner market will obviously add this cost to their asking price and should be able recoup it that way.
For example –
Seller wishes to sell their house for $500k
Seller adds cost of stamp duty to price = $521,330, which they will round up to $525k to give themselves some bargaining power – if required. This will be approximately 5% of asking price.
I also propose that the SA Government keep The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), but amend the amount to $10,000. This will help The First Home Owner with all the other ancillary costs of buying a home, and smooth their road to home ownership.
The government would see an increase in Stamp Duty revenue due to the rise in house prices.
This would then allow them to bury the ridiculous fantasy of re-introducing a Land Tax.
This new scheme would obviously have benefits beyond helping First Home buyers.
There would be an increase in the number of dwellings being built, furniture and white goods sales, and more jobs – especially in construction.
The hard tasks of the The First Home Owner are not only trying to save the $15,000+ for government taxes, and the additional $5000+ in closing costs, but also having to save for the required deposit.
By taking away the burden of Stamp Duty from the buyer and allowing them to use that money as a deposit, it will bring a breathe of fresh air to the state.
And a light at the end of the tunnel for home buyers!
Thank you linesmen, thank you ball boys!
Adelaide Cup received its public holiday status in 1973 and became officially known as the SKYCITY Adelaide Cup in 2005. Previously held on the third Monday of May, the Adelaide Cup date was changed in 2006 due to rainy weather that often coincided with the racing date in previous years. The Adelaide Cup date was fixed to be annually held on the second Monday of March from 2006 onwards. This date mirrors the Labour day Public Holiday in Victoria. I can see the thinking behind this move, but sadly, as events have shown, it did not produce the results wished for by the SAJC.
Adelaide Cup would lose public holiday status if moved from March to May: Racing Minister
The Adelaide Cup will have to remain in March if organisers want the event to still be run on a public holiday, South Australia’s Racing Minister says. Racing authorities have long wanted to move the date back to May to avoid clashes with popular drawcards during Adelaide’s packed Mad March festival season. “We’re trying to endeavour to have the Adelaide Cup in 2018 in May with the June [Queen’s Birthday] public holiday being moved forward,” CEO Brenton Wilkinson said.
What was once a pimple on the Governments backside has turned into a boil.
The SAJC, by moving the date of this horse race is trying to sell mutton as lamb, but changing dates again is not the solution. They have to think outside the box to resolve their problem, not keep going to mum and dad.
The government scraps the Adelaide Cup public holiday.
[Pause for howls from the Labor side of the house]
BUT, it REPLACES the holiday with a LEGISLATED paid leave day for all workers that were entitled to the original public holiday.
Lets call this a PHIL day – you’re smiling now aren’t you Phil*.
PHIL – Paid Holiday In Lieu
PHIL day is paid at ordinary time for the number of hours the employee works on any day.
PHIL day can be taken at any time of the employees choosing – to add an extra day to their holidays, take a Monday to make a long weekend, or perhaps use it for an emergency – instead of taking a sickie.
“taken at any time at the employees choosing” may need some modification as it may not be practical in some areas.
By introducing a PHIL day I believe that everyone benefits.
Businesses can now operate an extra day.
Employees will still receive the same number of legislated leave days, but they can now choose their day off.
It’s all win/win as far as I’m concerned.
AND, if the government of the day likes that idea, they may also like this – we can also do it with the Queen’s Birthday public holiday!
Phil* is my partner and deserves a holiday named after him.
The best sport for schools is…European handball.
I’m guessing that only 10% [at best] of you even know anything about this sport, so let me grab your attention with these little gems.
- Players are not permitted to hit, pull or punch the ball – this is a non contact sport.
- Players cannot try to dislodge the ball from another player – see above.
- They also cannot use the ball to try to endanger their opponent – this is safe and fun.
- EVERY player has a chance to score a goal – and what child doesn’t like scoring a goal.
- Also, what parent doesn’t enjoy seeing their child score a goal.
Some sports, like basketball, have a very high learning curve. To move down the court a player has to master the art of dribbling the ball [bouncing it off the floor] and then try to score a goal by hurling the ball through the hoop – not an easy task. European handball on the other hand is the easiest of sports to learn. Your child can obviously walk and run and throw and catch a ball. That’s all there is to it.
Basic Rules of Team Handball
The rules of Team Handball are straightforward. The sport consists of two teams that each have seven players – one goalkeeper and six court players per team. The players have to throw the designated ball past the goalkeeper in hopes of it going into their opponent’s goal.
So, there it is. Kids having fun and not getting hurt.
My pleasure. Enjoy yourselves.
Tee-ball is a team sport based on, and simplifying, baseball and softball. It is intended as an introduction for children aged 4 to 7 to develop ball-game skills – which it does. The big problem is that, like baseball and softball, player activity is limited to a few players – pitcher, catcher and first base. In tee-ball, the pitcher is usually used for defensive purposes only, though gently pitched balls may be used with older or more advanced players in place of the fixed tee. Unless a player makes it to first base the game is centered around the batter.
The game picks up a bit speed if there are multiple players on bases, with parents anxiously waiting to see if there will be a run scored. When a team is dismissed the players all leave the field, then in the next innings we start all over again. This can become slow and boring – for both spectators and players. Players who have made it to second or third base are deprived of scoring a run, and may not get another chance during the game to score that run. Well, now they might, with just a little rule change.
Instead of every new innings starting from scratch we introduce a little rule change. Any players left on base in the previous innings return to that same base they were on when the previous innings finished. Now, instead of just waiting for the batter to hit the ball we have fielders who not only have to watch the batter but also the runners on the bases. All of a sudden we have a brand new game.
- EVERY player has a chance to score a run – and what child doesn’t like scoring a run.
- Also, what parent doesn’t enjoy seeing their child score a run.
Instead of a game score being 3 – 2 it can easily become 11 – 10.
I’m sure that everyone would enjoy this new game much more.
I know that I would.
And if this were ever to progress to baseball it would certainly make for an entertaining game. Take a look at some MLB scores below and decide which game you would have liked to watch.