McDonald’s to become ‘Macca’s’ in Australia

McDonald’s to become ‘Macca’s’ in Australia

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McDonald’s is embracing its Aussie nickname with selected stores around the country changing their signage to “Macca’s” from today.

The world-first change – a temporary measure – comes after a branding survey commissioned by the fast food chain found that 55 percent of Australians called the company by its shortened name.

“We’ve been a part of Australia for over 40 years now and we’re incredibly proud to embrace our ‘Australian-only’ nickname,” said Mark Lollback, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s Australia.

“What better way to show Aussies how proud we are to be a part of the Australian community than by changing our store signs to the name the community has given us?”

Lollback said 13 restaurants around the country would change their signage this week as part of the company’s celebrations of Australia Day.

The first stores involved Tuesday were in the southern Sydney suburb of Engadine and an outlet in Queensland’s Kangaroo Point.

McDonald’s signage will return to each site from early February.


Carbon cop handed tough new powers

Carbon cop handed tough new powers

A NEW carbon cop will be given sweeping powers to enter company premises, compel individuals to give self-incriminating evidence and copy sensitive records under a carbon tax package that will force about 60,000 businesses to pay 6c a litre extra for fuel.

The tough new powers of the Clean Energy Regulator were included in the fine detail of the carbon tax package released yesterday, which enshrines national emissions cuts of 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year after 2016, if the government of the day rejects targets proposed by its Climate Change Authority.


Glowing Algae

Glowing algae turn Australian lakes electric blue

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This time-lapse photo was taken in eastern Victoria, Australia, and features Noctiluca Scintillans, a type of algae that naturally produces a light-emitting chemical reaction. You can’t see it during the day, but, at night, the algae glow electric blue, illuminating portions of the shoreline where wind pushed the blooms during the day.

Call it Mother Nature’s little light-switch rave.

The backstory of this algae outbreak is every bit as interesting as the photos themselves. As told by photographer Phil Hart, this infestation of shiny is the direct result of (in this exact order) raging forest fires, massive floods and a potentially deadly outbreak of Cyanobacteria. Epic!

Check out Phil Hart’s full gallery of Noctiluca Scintillans photos.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Australia’s Rudd quits, Gillard to be PM

Australia’s Rudd quits, Gillard to be PM -Sky TV | Reuters

June 24 (Reuters) – Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister on Thursday after Kevin Rudd stepped down before a leadership ballot, a Labor government official said.

Disgruntled Labor government members backed Gillard to replace Rudd, fearing they would be turfed from office at expected October elections after only one term.

Labor government support has plummeted in opinion polls since April over a series of Rudd policy failures, such as his postponment of a carbon trading scheme, and inability to sell a controversial mining tax, which has angered miners and rattled voters.

(Via reuters.)

Federal Government Buys Telstra Copper

Australia to pay Telstra A$11 billion for entire copper network

The Australian government just found the infrastructure for its A$43 billion national broadband project and eliminated its largest competitor in one fell swoop — pending shareholder and regulator approval, Telstra will receive A$11 billion of that money in exchange for its entire landline network. Telstra will decommission its monopoly of copper cables to make room for the government’s fiber and migrate its customers to the resulting 100Mbps National Broadband Network (NBN) as those light-bearing threads roll out. While Telstra might become a smaller player in the internet and cable business without a land network of its own, it may get even larger in the wireless space — the company says it’s received “written confirmation from the Prime Minister” that it can bid on a chunk of precious LTE spectrum should the deal go through.

(Via Engadget.)

Travel Log – Part 1

After a mega mission from Cairns to Quirindi on the road it was time for me to hit the international airways for the first time in almost 5 years… This time with parents in tow. First stop Buenos Aires…so we thought. Since Aerolineas Argentina decided to move our flight forward one day they put us up for our first night…but don’t be deceived instead of putting us somewhere close to the airport or somewhere practical near the city we were shipped to a random little town over an hour away from everything useful. It didn’t turn out to be so bad(apart from the party goers that filled the street until the weee hours of the morning ) a simple little place that would ease us into the hustle and bustle of a foreign city that has half the population of Australia living within its limits. The drive into Buenos Aires the following day actually gave a us a chance to see some of the country side as well as how the other half live in this still developing country. Finally we got to Buenos Aires…The massive obelisk whizzing by on one side and statues of conquest on the other the only distraction was the insane and lawless scurry of traffic around our vulnerable little mini bus. For our first formal adventure it was off to ‘El Caminito’. While no one appears to live there anymore except a series of cartoon statues that greet you at every turn it still has its charm. With a kaleidoscope of colors surrounding you on every street …streets which are, filled with an array of markets and restaurants overflowing with friendly Argentineans who were just what we needed especially on my parents first foray into foreign cuisine. After a bite to eat and some budget buys we headed back to the hotel. With time to spare before that tango show that night we strolled over to ‘The Pink house’…Argentina’s answer to ‘The Whitehouse’…and pink it was That evening after waiting 40 minutes for an open air bus to take us on a night tour of Buenos Aires and then to a tango show I called the company and they informed me that my travel agent had booked it for November and not December…woops! But we managed to hot foot it back to the hotel in time to get to another tango show just down the road…and it was totally worth it. We had a night of wining and dining accompanied by a non-stop spectacular of tango rhythms, the perfect way to end our Argentina experience. Next stop Bogota Colombia From the Argentine capital to the Colombian capital of Bogota. What a world away, both Amazing in their own right but two totally different cities. Gamal greeted us with bells on amongst the bustle of yet another city beyond anything imaginable in meek little Australia…and bustle we did the entire week, never short for entertainment from the moment we arrived till the moment we left. I was amazed by the Christmas lights that covered every inch of every public space…the Parks the Shopping centres the Bridges…i mean everywhere…Spectacular. The food…what can i say ?? It was plentiful and delicious… including the the ubre(mamry gland of a cow)…mum even enjoyed a bit of intestine and chicken hearts when she didn’t know she was eating it. The weird and wonderful selection of fruits also made it a bit of a lottery when choosing a flavour of juice to accompany my meals. One of the most amazing experiences yet was our Friday night in Cucuta…after dinner with Gamal’s extended family we all piled into cars to go to aunt Rose’s place to enjoy the rest of the night. My car got put in charge of the music…i thought that would mean going to grab some cd’s of some local music so we could enjoy the traditional sounds and dancing…but no…we drove down a street that was full of people sitting around drinking while listening to music…then we spotted a 5 piece vallanato band sitting on the street…so we pulled over and asked them to play a little tune…the cousins being satisfied with the band’s skill piled into Aunt roses car…(that had already dropped a load of family at her house)and took them to her place. So we danced to traditional Colombian rhythms with Gamals family until 2 am…what a night. What a week a whirlwind tour of 2 Colombian cities…must go back and see the rest of the country some day..who wants to come?…Next stop Peru!

Jyade Old

Australia orders 21 million doses of vaccine

Australia orders 21 million doses of H1N1 vaccine – Reuters

Straits Times

Australia orders 21 million doses of H1N1 vaccine
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia has ordered 21 million doses of swine flu vaccine, one for each person, with mass vaccinations to start nationally within weeks, the government said on Thursday. Two million doses of the vaccine being developed by CSL Ltd

(Via Google News – Top Stories.)