So July 2017 goes too…

Stats here are down, but then you will have noticed I am not posting every day either. July stands at an average 35 visits a day, with the most viewed posts in July being:

Home page / Archives  502 views in July 2017
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 42
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay”  35
Death of a hero: Liu Xiaobo 1955-2017  26
Midnight Shift bar is now history  22
About  14
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames”  12
Random Friday memory 17 – Caringbah 1965  11
June gone already! And what a time for news! 11
Voyage to Surry Hills!  10
On Indigenous Australians…  10
Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong  10
More on the 2016 Oz Census  9

And an old post from Surry Hills:

Surry Hills 10: Little Lebanon

The area around the corner of Elizabeth and Cleveland Streets, right by where I live, is known as “Little Lebanon”. Here’s why:

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There’s Abdul’s — great for takeaway…

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Lebanese bread for Abdul’s…

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A mosque nearby…

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… always lots of traffic on Cleveland Street …

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… exotic things to see …

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… and these people do a mean chicken Lebanese roll or kebab. A number of famous footballers and boxers seem to frequent Fatima’s.

As you can see, Islamophobia is not really a good look where I live…

— original photos by Neil Whitfield 2008

June gone already! And what a time for news!

Just as well you aren’t depending on this blog to keep you up-to-date, as there has been a bit of a break here as I nursed my remaining data allowance. And in that time we’ve had so many things happen, most recently the charging of Cardinal George Pell for alleged historic sex offences against children. He will be fronting court in Melbourne next month. I can’t help wondering what an old internet friend, Father Ken Sinclair, who died in 2005, would have had to say. Back in 2001-2 he was foreshadowing some of this stuff in conversations we had on ICQ. See my post Back to very early days–and the strange immortality of the internet.

Then today we have had Donald Trump showing what a small-minded vindictive arsehole he really is. no great surprise surely. Presidential? Pull the other one… And we’re supposed to trust the judgement of this person on the most important issues in the world? God help us all!

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And here in Oz Tony Abbott is in full feral mode. Rather liked former leader of his party John Hewson on this today.

…say what he likes, Abbott is still quite bitter and twisted about Turnbull seizing his job, and getting worse with time. His IPA speech this week was a clear example of “disloyalty”. Sure, he dressed it up as a speech of “principle” and “conviction” and true conservative “ideology”, but it was blatantly a direct attack on Turnbull, and his more “centrist” strategy, designed to undermine, and constrain Turnbull.

And a major part of the data from the 2016 Australian Census was released this week. That part concerning religion interested quite a few of us. Here are a couple of graphics from the Daily Mail.

41CA08CB00000578-4641728-image-a-8_1498523353300
41CA08B500000578-4641728-image-a-1_1498523288531The Daily Mail and the Sydney Daily Telegraph made much of a “surge in the number of Muslims”. As you might expect these days.  Headline:

Muslim population in Australia soars to 600,000 as religion becomes the nation’s second-biggest – a 77% jump in the past DECADE, according to Census

Soared to 2.6% of the population, of whom “radicals” must constitute… Well, you guess…

The really interesting figure was the rise of “No Religion” — whatever that might actually mean.

But now for the really important stats: in June the most viewed posts on this blog have been:

Home page / Archives   614 views in June 2017
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay”  21
Testing for English competence?   18
A week of multicultural yums   17
On terror — just for the record   15
65 years on I recall Vermont Street  12
Otto Warmbier’s death underlines plight of thousands of North Koreans  12
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames”   11
Going, going… Myers in Wollongong  11
Neil’s Family Specials — a reminder   10
Wollongong High: more on the centenary More stats 10
Flowers and grief: for my mother  9
Tom Thumb Lagoon   9
Some great stories, and some of them new to me…  9

A recommendation from ten years ago

The post from June 2007 which follows needs updating: Strange Maps is still around and just as good, but has moved.

Maps

27 JUNE 2007
I love maps. Always have. You’ll notice that I now have a map as my masthead, and yes my place is in there somewhere, so there you see my little everyday world. Last April I referred to a marvellous blog called Strange Maps, which is often one of the top blogs here on WordPress.
Here are smaller versions of a couple of recent ones. You must visit Strange Maps to see them bigger, read about them, and start exploring the other maps.
First, 130 – A Ten-State Australia, which should interest Jim Belshaw and horrify John Howard, I suspect.

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Second, 131 – US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs.

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Fascinating site.

So normal blogging resumes…

When I first posted on Facebook that I would be doing the poetry and music sequence I said: “I have resolved that when I resume my blog around Easter I will ignore for the moment whatever Trump/Putin might be up to, even if it is World War 3. Expect poetry and music for a week.”

Well. World War 3 hasn’t quite started yet, but not for lack of trying over the past week. Aside from Trump and Putin — the latter not getting much airtime lately — we have had this extremely weird guy:

North-Korean-leader-Kim-Jong-Un-2-485x269
Have a look at 20 little known facts about Kim Jong Un.

  1. Kim’s real birth date is a mystery. While his official birth year in 1982, the U.S. Treasury Department — after imposing sanctions on North Korea last July — officially identified his date of birth as Jan. 8, 1984.
  2. Kim is the world’s youngest leader, if we go by the birth date listed by the U.S. Treasury Department.
  3. Reports suggest that Kim attended a boarding school in Switzerland between 1998 and 2000. He is reported to have been enrolled in the school under the name “Pak Un.”
  4. Kim was reportedly caught with a porn magazine in his school days.
  5. The young North Korean leader was reportedly a fan of Chinese actor Jackie Chan in his school days.
  6. According to reports, Kim is a heavy smoker and a fan of Swiss cheese….

Meanwhile isn’t this interesting!  ‘Tricked badly!’ Despite talk, US ‘armada’ was a long way from North Korea.

Beijing: As tensions mounted on the Korean Peninsula, Admiral Harry Harris made a dramatic announcement: An aircraft carrier had been ordered to sail north from Singapore on April 8 toward the Western Pacific.

In reality, it was on its way to join Australian forces in the Indian Ocean….

March 2017 exiting

Can’t resist the latest spam bot, this one calling itself Jim and emanating, Jim says, from Fox News (UK) with a German email address:

I hafe bedn browsing onlpine more tha threee hours today, yeet I nevwr found anny interesting article likee yours.

It iss pretgty worh enough ffor me. In my opinion, iff aall webite
ownerfs annd bloggeers mde gopod content as youu
did, the internet wwill be mch mopre useeful tha ever before.
I’ve been brosing onlime mopre tha 2 hokurs today,
yett I nevver found any interesting article ike yours.
It iis pretyy wordth enough ffor me. In my view, iff all webmasterds aand bloggers madce gooid conteent as yyou did,

Now “Bye-bye Jim” — presses the “Empty Spam” button…

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In March 2017 this blog has averaged 50 hits a day, down on last month but better than last March’s 43.

The most visited posts have been:

Home page / Archives  897 views in March 2017
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 29
Ian 24
Ian Thorpe, Bullied, USA insight  15
Tom Thumb Lagoon  14
Proud of my old school/workplace 14
Fascinated by Catherine McKinnon’s “Storyland” 13
Yesterdays — 1944 and March 2017  13
What was I up to in March 2002/2007  11
About  11
Two on Trump  11
Coniston  11
Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong 10
Mapping disadvantage 10
All my posts 10
Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories 10
Hard to ignore the weather…  10
London 10