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Environmental complexities of the modern dishwasher

30 October 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Environmental complexities of the modern dishwasherBecause of the intricate nature of all the interactions involved, the best course of action in environmental matters is rarely clear or obvious. We just need to be grateful for decisive political leaders.

Renewed esteem for a former marine enemy

16 October 2006 | Tim Thwaites

Simple systems belie beguiling comlexities of natureGrey nurse sharks were cast as villains who preyed on unsuspecting swimmers. It's now regarded as an endangered species, whose potential disappearance from the marine ecosystem could lead to nasty imbalances further down the food chain.

If governments won't fix climate change, people power will

18 September 2006 | Inna Tsyrlin
A visiting Dutch environmental economist says it may be too late to expect governments to wake up to the dire need to make and implement adequate policies. He says it is time for us to "work on our government", rather than wait for the government to work on us, to change the way we live.

Honk if Pluto is still a planet

04 September 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Honk if Pluto is still a planetThe outcry with which people greeted ex-planet Pluto’s change in status surprised many. Even the language used was astonishing. Pluto had been “demoted”, “banished” and “stripped of its status”. The Times of India reported people buying bumper stickers asking fellow drivers to “Honk if Pluto is still a planet”.

Changed climate will cook the elderly

04 September 2006 | Kate Mannix

Changed climate will cook the elderlyWhen the human body gets to 42°C, it starts to cook. Death is inevitable, and it is the most vulnerable who will go first. While the CSIRO has projections on the likely effects of climate change in Australia, there has been little work on what that will actually mean for human health outcomes in specific regions.

When human life is not really human life

07 August 2006 | Tim Thwaites

The term 'therapeutic cloning' is unfortunate, as it has nothing to do with replicating humans. Researchers undertaking therapeutic cloning would say that the circumstances under which they stimulate human eggs to develop ensure there is no way the result could ever become a human baby.

More 'special features' in store for DVD technology

24 July 2006 | Tim Kroenert
More 'special features' in store for DVD technologySpecial features are the DVD equivalent of a free set of steak knives. The appeal isn’t solely economic, either-film buffs are attracted to the idea of expanding their bank of esoteric movie knowledge. But special features are not the extent of the big studios' bag of tricks.

Virtual voyeurism

10 July 2006 | Margaret Cassidy
Webcams allow us to see ordinary life as it is being lived around the world. A myriad of sites takes us to tourist sites, places of worship, and even to the Antarctic.

Filters, fixes and flimsy in new Net policy

10 July 2006 | Paul Osborne
Communications Minister Helen Coonan's latest plan is to give every family in the country a free Internet filter program for their computer. The government is also putting more money into its NetAlert advisory service for parents and will roll out a community education program - all at a cost of $117 million.

Keeping an eye on our behaviour

10 July 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Warnings are more effective if accompanied by a photo of someone watching you.  Maybe this reflects our human evolution.  But if we are to talk sensibly about human evolution, we need a more sophisticated understanding of it than commonly prevails.

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