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Month: December, 2018

Tim from Hi-5 now calls Newie home

Take Five: Tim Harding (left) with his fellow performers from Hi-5.
Nanjing Night Net

Remember Tim from Hi-5?

He’s moved to Newcastle.

Not only that, there’s talk of a collaboration with his old Hi-5 mate, Nathan.

Tim’s living here with his wife and their four-year-old daughter.

“We spent the last year travelling,” Tim, 38, said.

“My wife and I decided for our own sanity and the benefit of our daughter that we’d take a year off and go travelling.”

Along the way, they spent four weeks in Adamstown.

“We met some lovely people and really liked the area,” he said.

“If there was one thing we decided while we were away, it was that we didn’t want to go back and live in Sydney.”

As for Newie, they“loved the beachielifestyle”.

“If I’m honest, there’s a pretty happening music scene here,” he said.

“I kind of like that idea.”

Former Hi-5 performer Tim Harding, singing with Soultraders.

Tim Harding spent nine years in Hi-5,until amotorcycle accident in 2007 left him with horrific injuries.

He fractured his back and broke and dislocated seven of his toes.A surgeon spent about six hours operating on his feet.

“He said it was like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together,” Tim said.

“My feet still aren’t right – I still can’t bend my toes particularly well.

“I can still run and surf – that’s the main thing.”

Tim lived on the Central Coast until he was nine, before the family moved to Sydney.

Nowadays he fronts a soul and funk band called Soultraders.

He’s planning to do gigs in the Hunter, as well asweighing up other opportunities.

“There’s a few options available and we’re pretty excited about some of them, but we’ll have to see where everything goes,” he said.

“Nathan is just down the road – he lives on the Central Coast.

“We’ve talked about the possibility of maybe getting together and doing something, but Iguess everyone will have to wait and see.”

The pair were “into the same kind of music”.

Tim looked back on his Hi-5 days with “a tremendous amount of affection”.

“That whole period of my life was amazing,” he said.

“We travelled the world and performed on stages in front of thousands of people.”

Sometimes he missed performing for kids.

“You will probably never find a more appreciative and enthusiastic audience,” he said.

Have a HeartAs you know, theNewcastle Heraldhas been quite heavily involved in the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

We thought it would be unjust to ignore thecampaign attheshovel南京夜网419论坛to “help usraise funds to buy George Pell a heart”.

“Most of us take our heart for granted. For those born without one, like Cardinal George Pell, life can be a daily struggle,” the appeal said, on the satirical news website.

“For George, everyday taskslike showing compassion or looking out for othersare harder. Showing empathy can be excruciating. And accepting responsibility is a constant challenge.

“Even simple things like getting on a first class flight to attend a royal commission hearing can seem out of reach.While George bravely refers to his condition as simply ‘heart problems’, the truth ishe doesn’t have one at all.

“With your help, we can buy George the heart he’s always needed.Please give what you can by sending money to The George Pell Heart Foundation, c/o Vatican City.”

Novocastrian CrankinessRoss Greig, of New Lambton, is annoyed by theNewcastle habit of backing one infrastructure project over another.

A recentletter to the editor said the community wouldreceive a greater benefit from $20 million being spent on the extension of Newcastle Art Gallery, rather than a cruise terminal at Dyke Point.

“We shouldn’t be putting one against the other,” Ross said.

Ross reckons local pollies should be hounding the government to get at least six big infrastructure projects for Newcastle,with the proceeds of the port privatisation.He conceded his opinion reflected“a bit ofNovocastrian crankinesscoming out”.

Piper the wonder dog is the coolest airport employee in the US

Piper, reporting for duty. Photo: airportk9.org Piper is a runway patrol dog in Michigan. Photo: airportk9.org
Nanjing Night Net

A border collie named Piper is one of the most important employees at an airport in the US.

Birds have been known to lurk on runways and then strike aircraft, potential causing damage to the plane – therefore all airports are required to have some kind of plan to rid runways of wildlife.

Most usually engage more traditional, technological methods such as traps, sirens or pyrotechnics.

But not in Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport, in Michigan.

That duty falls on Piper, who, as a border collie, is highly skilled in the very important business of chasing birds and other wildlife from areas they do not belong.   It’s #workingdogwednesday! Pipe’s hot on the heels of a chipmunk during a routine patrol at @uscg #airstatvc. That fence… Photo © Jason Lome #airportk9 #airport #airportops #aviation #k9 #k9team #workingdog #rexspecs #rexspecsk9 #uscg #uscoastguard #military #usmilitary #bordercollie #bordercollies #bordercolliesoftheworld #bordercolliesofinstagram #dog #dogstagram #dogoftheday #dogsoffreedom #dogsofinstagram #traversecity #tcmi #puremichiganA photo posted by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on Jul 15, 2015 at 10:39am PDT

Dressed in ski mask and boots, Piper has been trained to become accustomed to airport noise and wears specially designed doggy earmuffs to protect his hearing.

His specially designed vest allows him to be easily lifted and to keep him in check in the face of an interloper (he’s still a dog, after all).

It also carries his identification and a beacon so he can be seen, plus an emergency trauma kit – just in case.

Boots protect Piper’s paws from hot pavement and rocks and keeps snow and ice at bay during winter.   Certified #badass. # #airportk9 #airport #aviation #k9 #k9team #k9storm #spikesk9fund #tactical #thetacticspage #rexspecs #rexspecsk9 #muttmuffs #ruffwear #bordercollie #bordercolliesofinstagram #bordercolliesoftheworld #dog #dogsoffreedom #dogsofinstagram #traversecity #tcmi #puremichigan @rexspecsk9 @k9storminc @dogsoffreedom @dogsofinstagram @thetacticspage @spikes_k9_fund @becausebadass @ruffwearA photo posted by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:19pm PDT

The seven-year-old border collie works four 10-hour shifts a week, (with plenty of breaks, we’re assured). To date he’s chased 2450 birds away, and patrolled over 960 kilometres of airport turf.

Piper has a list of duties (we’re not sure if they come with a set of KPIs) which include checks for wildlife holes under the perimeter fence; to keep employees, tenants and visitors smiling; to respond to reports of wildlife; and to detect rodents and small mammals before birds of prey do.

Airport operations staff claim that using a dog to chase wildlife away is more effective as creatures such as the snowy owl who remember Piper don’t return.

However, every job does have its drawbacks, as Piper discovered last year when he suffered a fracture after chasing away a snowy owl.

His foot was placed in a cast and he was reassigned to a temporary position as Chief Morale Officer.   PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT There is a Lady Killer on the loose. He’s dashing, charming and charismatic. He is considered casted and dangerous. He’s so brash, he advertises his Lady Killer ways on his cast! Here is a photograph of the Airport’s administration ladies he slayed today. Ladies of the world, you’ve been warned ❤️ # #airportk9 #airport #k9 #k9team #k9storm #aviation #ladies #ladiesman #ladykiller #love #bordercollie #bordercolliesofinstagram #proudbordercollies #dog #dogsoffreedom #dogsofinstagram #workingdog #puremichigan @dogsofinstagram @proudbordercollies @collieloversA photo posted by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on Feb 5, 2016 at 4:26pm PST

You can follow Piper’s progress on social media – Facebook , Instagram @airportk9 and online at 梧桐夜网airportk9.org/

See also: Cat cafe versus dog cafe – they’re very different experiences

See also: Mystery dog sitting in plane’s exit row baffles internet

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Fiji after Cyclone Winston: Why Australians should still head to Fiji

Castaway Island, Fiji. Photo: SuppliedI know Fiji is probably the last place you want to holiday right now, but now is the perfect time to go. As the country struggles to get back on its feet after the most powerful cyclone in the Pacific nation’s history, Fiji needs Australian travellers (its No. 1 market) more than ever.
Nanjing Night Net

Today as the dust slowly settles after Cyclone Winston, a category five super storm that hit on February 21, it’s business as usual for most of Fiji. While many resorts face a big job ahead cleaning up and rebuilding, most have reopened for business. “The best way for Australians and New Zealanders, in particular, to support Fiji through this crisis is to keep visiting us,” said Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

To encourage Aussies to head over as soon as possible, Fiji’s national carrier Fiji Airways on Wednesday released special sale fares for immediate travel to the island nation. The airline has donated $FJD1m to the Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund to assist those affected by Cyclone Winston, while also providing free carriage of relief supplies domestically and inbound through the National Disaster Management Office. All Fiji Airways flights to and from Australia resumed normal service last Tuesday, while its domestic carrier Fiji Link, is operating on schedule.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort reopened quickly after the cyclone, while its sister property Castaway Island will reopen on June 1. General manager Peter Hopgood said tourists can assist Fiji’s recovery by continuing to support it as a holiday destination and helping the local economy.

Vomo Island Resort in the Mamanuca Island group is closed until May after sustaining damage in the cyclone. “It’s great to watch the global community get behind Fiji and assist both financially and physically when they need it most,” said Vomo’s director of sales and marketing Karen Marvell.

Bartholomew Simpson, general manager of Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort, agreed. While the five-star eco resort at Savusavu on Vanua Levu is closed for repairs, the local village Nukubalavu, where most of the staff live, was almost completely flattened. Twenty-four homes were destroyed; another 21 badly damaged along with a brand new kindergarten. “The people of Fiji astound me with their strength during this time of great adversity. They are strong, but they also need to protect their livelihood through employment. If ever Fiji was in need it is now,” Simpson said.

The best thing Australians can do to help Fiji get through this time, he said, is to book a holiday. “Despite Cyclone Winston, Fiji is ready to receive all guests with the same happy hearts and bula smiles as before.”

Many Australian travellers, including me, have had a long and enduring love affair with Fiji, returning again and again for its beautiful beaches, clear, fish-filled waters and its balmy Pacific charm. But it’s the Fijian people themselves that most travellers love most about the destination. Many of our Fijian friends have become like family so it’s particularly devastating to see those that already have so little, endure such dramatic loss.

So I’m taking my own advice. My husband and a group of four Australian guys are heading over this week to help start the job of rebuilding Nukubalavu Village.

Aside from crowd funding to raise money for the village rebuild (gofundme南京夜网/bnrr34us ), I’m planning my next holiday to Fiji. Because when the going gets tough, that’s what friends do: they drop everything and are there for you.

Sale fares with Fiji Airways to Nadi from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are on sale from Wednesday, March 2, from $199 for adults and $91 for children (one way) until March 16, for travel from March 4-June 16, 2016. Terms and conditions apply. See 梧桐夜网fijiairways南京夜网

For updates on Fiji following Cyclone Winston see twitter南京夜网/TourismFiji

International donations to the National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund can be made through ANZ. Donors will not be charged any fees, including overseas transactions.

Bank: Australia New Zealand Banking Corporation

Account Number: 12628523

Account Name: Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation: Cyclone Winston
 Swift Code: ANZ BFJFX
BSB: 010 890.

Those wishing to donate to Sheriden Rhodes’ crowd-funding campaign for the rebuilding of Nukubalavu Village can do so at gofundme南京夜网/bnrr34us .

See also: Twenty reason to visit Fiji

See also: Paradise, for adults only

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Matildas face gruelling schedule as Guus Hiddink warns of player burnout

Imagine Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and the Socceroos being tasked with beating Germany on a Monday night, and then two evenings later being asked to meet Northern Ireland, before facing Brazil and then Croatia in quick succession before taking on a resurgent Wales in their final game of a crucial qualifying tournament.
Nanjing Night Net

And all within the space of 10 days.

It simply wouldn’t happen.

But that’s the case for the Matildas, in Japan at the moment looking to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

The women’s game is still developing internationally, and female players’ terms and conditions still lag behind those of their male counterparts by some way, if for some understandable commercial reasons.

But the physical task being asked of the six teams qualifying for the two Asian spots for the Rio Olympics women’s soccer tournament would put even the best prepared male athlete to shame.

Five games in 10 days is a huge ask, one which will test not just the quality of each country’s starting line-up, but the strength in depth of the entire playing group.

OK, in the women’s game Australia are not exactly minnows. They are ranked No.9 in the world at the moment, the spot occupied on the men’s ladder by England – and all the equivalent men’s team parallels drawn above are where those respective countries currently stand on the latest FIFA ranking, published on February 4.

Still, playing so many tough competitive games in such a short period does pose risks – as former Socceroos boss Guus Hiddink, now the Chelsea manager, has pointed out.

Hiddink has urged doctors at the Football Association (FA) and Premier League clubs to protest against the tough English and European fixture list and ask for more breaks for players being pushed to the edge of their athletic limits.

Chelsea have to play four games in 12 days across three competitions after the club’s sixth round FA Cup tie with Everton was scheduled for March 12.

The Premier League champions visit Norwich City on Tuesday and host Stoke City on Saturday, before their Champions League last 16 second-leg tie at home to Paris Saint-Germain the following Wednesday and the FA Cup tie three days later.

“Hopefully the PSG game doesn’t go into extra time because players need time when the intensity of the league is like it is. The medical people at the FA and the Premier League should make this known. Every club has medical departments. The doctors should stand up and say: ‘FA, television, whoever … hey’,” Hiddink said.

His comments will surely be noted by the Matildas with wry interest.

On seedings the Australians came into this qualifying tournament, being staged in Osaka, ranked in third place with Japan (ranked No.4) and North Korea (ranked No.6) ahead of them.

But with China, South Korea and Vietnam ranked 17, 18 and 29 respectively, Alen Stajcic and his squad can leave nothing to chance.

So a 3-1 win against the hosts in front of their own crowd was a perfect start on this sprint towards Rio. Australia had not beaten Japan in six previous attempts, and this victory was a measure of compensation for a defeat in the quarter finals of the womens world Cup in Canada last year

DREAM START

Lisa De Vanna, a W-League winner this season with Melbourne City, gave the Matildas a lead with a powerful header midway through the first half.

Michelle Heyman then took full advantage of a fortunate rebound off the referee to round Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane and finish off well after De Vanna’s pass had put her through.

Japan pulled one goal back just before the interval when Yuki Ogimi struck, but Australia’s two goal cushion was restored in the second period with a header by Katrina Gorry, who took full advantage of the space that was afforded her to score off the post.

“We know they’re a world class opponent and we’ve prepared over the past four weeks to play this match and play it at a tempo and a rhythm that we wanted to rather than how we played the World Cup match against them six months ago,” said Stajcic.

“I thought we did that very well and compared to six months ago I thought we controlled better patches of the game and even though Japan created quite a few chances I think we were a threat and a lot more positive than we were in that game six months ago.”

“We executed a lot better than that day and I think we thoroughly deserved the win.”

“It’s the first time we’ve beaten Japan in Japan and from my living memory I think it’s the first time we’ve beaten a world champion team in a major tournament rather than in a friendly so there’s lots of history attached to the result but we’re not close to qualifying at all yet,” said Stajcic.

“It’s just one game, there are four more tough matches. This is a tournament where any team can beat any team…so we’ll enjoy this win for an hour and then we’re focusing on our next match because if we think this is enough we won’t qualify.””

The Matildas next face Vietnam, who lost 2-0 to China, on Wednesday.

The result in the other game favoured them as the two Koreas drew 1-1.

With agencies

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

ASX shrugs off the latest Shanghai slump

The movements in Shanghai and Sydney have started to diverge this year.Investors are increasingly shrugging off the gyrations of China’s volatile sharemarket, a departure from last year when a sudden plunge sent global markets reeling, but its policy moves remain at the forefront of investor fears on China, economists say.
Nanjing Night Net

China’s famously retail investor-dominated market, and its daily swings in the order of 5 or 6 per cent are beginning to have less effect on sentiment, Capital Economics’ Julian Jessop said.

The observation follows a particularly savage Monday last week, when the Shanghai Composite Index slumped 6.4 per cent. In previous months, this would have had disastrous effects in developed markets, yet major indices, including the S&P/ASX 200, actually rose.

Mr Jessop said this was because investors are becoming more immune to the relative volatility of China’s market.

“Viewed in its latest context, the latest slump in Shanghai is nothing exceptional,” he said.

But fears about China’s economy also appear to be fading, he said.

“The words and action of the PBoC [People’s Bank of China] in keeping the renminbi broadly stable against a basket of currencies have eased worries about a substantial devaluation.

“There has also been a lack of further bad news about the economy,” he said, although this may be due to a seasonal lull following the Lunar New Year.

Yet a bad day on China’s sharemarket can still weigh on regional sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite Index on Monday plunged 5 per cent, partly due to the lack of stimulus resulting from the G20 summit over the weekend, helping to erase virtually all of the gains on the S&P/ASX 200 by the end of trade. Policy fears

Losses were however markedly less than in previous sessions when the Shanghai market moved by a similar amount.

Investors may be beginning to reduce their expectations for China’s growth, but main driver of fear is not its capital markets or economy, it is its policy making, Vanguard’s Hong Kong-based senior economist Qian Wang said.

“China is an emerging market, you are supposed to see this huge volatility, we see that in Brazil, we see that in Russia,” she said at a Vanguard adviser briefing in Melbourne.

That it is the world’s second biggest economy means its gyrations are headline grabbing, but beyond the sentiment, the fundamentals indicated slower growth, in the order of 5 to 6 per cent and not a hard landing, she said.

Surprises from China’s policy makers remain frequent, including as recently as Monday, when the People’s Bank of China cut the amount of capital banks must put aside by 0.5 per cent, effectively allowing banks to lend as much as 689 billion yuan ($147 billion).

China’s policy moves and their rationale came to the forefront of investor fears in the middle of 2015 when a series of measures to stop its crashing markets, and a large one-off cut in the value of its currency, sent global markets into a tailspin.

Global investors are still cautious about a mass devaluation as China moves to a more liberalised currency, but its central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said last week there was “no basis for persistent RMB [yuan] devaluation”.

Investors need not fear the implications of China’s policy moves: it has deep pockets, including $3.2 trillion in foreign reserves, and is willing to dip into them to stabilise the economy as it moves away from its manufacturing and construction economy, Dr Wang said.

But she said the markets would remain volatile as they adjusted to a lower growth, low inflation and a low return environment, describing the prevailing sentiment as “frustratingly fragile”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.