Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 64 — the kids and the bunnies are ok!

Yes, let’s focus today on the good stuff. First, this story is one-up on all those reactionary wankers on places like Sky — Donners for example — who have been wringing their hands and beating their breasts about the parlous state of education today. Let’s look at these kids, 15, 14 and 15 respectively.

Here is the story:

And as reported on our ABC:

The brains behind a popular COVID-19 tracking website have unmasked themselves — and much to everyone’s surprise, it turns out they’re a trio of teenage boys.

The faces behind the data website, CovidBase AU, are Jack, Darcy and Wesley and they chose the day they got their Moderna vaccinations to reveal their identities.

The group said the idea for the website came about after wanting to create a place to simplify the data and present it in an easy-to-understand format.

The website has already become a big favourite of thousands of Australians. 

“Darcy’s really skilled with coding and I’m sort of really into the news …and have been really interested in the data. So we’ve decided to take what we’ve been doing and sort of create something with it,” Jack told ABC News.

And in The Guardian:

Nick Evershed, the data and interactives editor at Guardian Australia, said CovidBaseAU had done impressive work collating hard-to-find information.

“There has been a few occasions, particularly with the numbers around vaccine imports and supply, where I’ve cross-checked my numbers against theirs,” he said.

“They did a really good job at combing through all the disparate media releases and press conferences in the early stages of the rollout to piece together a good picture of how many doses Australia was producing or importing at various points, which was extremely helpful as I was compiling similar data.”

Jack, Wesley and Darcy were praised by fellow Twitter users after revealing their identities, amassing more than 16,000 likes in a 24-hour period, as well as a part-time job offer from the head of public health at the Burnet Institute.

“You three pull off some awesome work!” Ben Krauth wrote. Prof Mark Stoove added: “Nice work boys! Need a part-time job?”

How encouraging to hear and read a story like this! The kids are OK! Check it out!

The Bunnies are headed for the Grand Final!

Yes, that deserves a big heading. They have been almost there several times in recent years — 2019 for example.

Great images of Redfern and my old stomping ground there!

Last night’s game against Manly Sea Eagles:

Check my earlier posts on this topic!

Penrith Panthers beat Melbourne Storm 10-6 this afternoon, so there is the Grand Final: Bunnies vs Panthers.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 48 — footy tipping, history and that pianist

Quite a mixed bag today! First, again as has become the way, to quote myself from Facebook yesterday:

Footy tipping would have ended today. I miss you, Illawarra Leagues!

OK, checked the first game — 30 minutes in and going my way so far. HT: Titans 16 Warriors 0. The Titans score again minutes into 2nd half — Warriors are cactus. 22-0. With 20 minutes to go it’s 28-0, so I am claiming this one! And at FT: 44-0. In Game 2 The Bulldogs seem to be determined to win at last! Good on them, but bad for my tipping. Well — 26-0 with 20 minutes left. Good for you, Bulldogs! 38-0.

And this is what happens now:

Meanwhile and completely different — the 2021 NSW Premier’s History Awards have just been announced. These are the winners — and I am not surprised that the big one goes to the wonderful People of the River. See my post of 23 March!

Senior Judge Dr Matthew Allen praised the “imagination, courage and empathy of contemporary historians and the importance of their work”.

And the winners are…

— Australian History Prize‘People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia’ by Grace Karskens.

— General History Prize‘The Wardian Case: How a Simple Box Moved Plants and Changed the World’ by Luke Keogh

— NSW Community and Regional History Prize‘Landscapes of Our Hearts: Reconciling People and Environment’ by Matthew Colloff

–Young People’s History Prize‘Tell Me Why for Young Adults’ by @archieroach

— Digital History Prize (not pictured)‘FREEMAN’ by Laurence Billiet (General Strike and Matchbox Pictures)

Now that pianist. You know the one by now. Perhaps this image will be new:

Handsome young man — almost 20 now. From his favourite pics.

This is one of my favourites from him:

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 25 — more Facebook catch-ups

I must let Sirdan know this one is coming up — he misses quite a bit by not being on Facebook, despite all that can be said against that ginormous social media site. For example, Sirdan, you would not have known that on Facebook Sailor Andy (now in Perth and still in the RAN) liked your birthday post, or that Bruce Part and Mitchie are also to be found there…

But let me start with food, relating to yesterday’s blog post. I went searching on my blog for “corned beef” and then “silverside” after noting a FB friend saying how much he hated silverside.

A Diggers lunch from March 2015! If ever it was on the menu — or later at Illawarra Leagues — I would be sure to order it. And I remember this one was melt-in-the-mouth good!

The search for corned beef threw up a compilation post on various Christmas Days. And in that was Christmas 2009 at St Peters, which I am sure Sirdan remembers.


And then there is our resident pianist — you know the one: the great-great-great-grandson of Franz Liszt. Lives in Barcelona, turns 20 next month, and has something on FB every day, including these two. The first one is personal and delightful — informative too. Of it he says:

After my dad past away I stopped composing for 1 year. I was 9 years old then. Everything seemed to be so difficult. Then, suddenly, I started to compose again. From this day I started to compose more then ever before. I composed the first composition for my father – I am missing you. At this concert I was very happy, many children came to watch me.

NOTE: If this pops up on a FB video — a new trick of theirs — click it anywhere and it will go away and you can play the video, no problem. Does not happen with YouTube.

Just in case you missed this: in that he is 10 years old, and that is his own composition in memory of his father!

In this one he speaks — in Spanish. He says in his note:

Just felt like improvising. I was invited for a dinner and just tried this 100 year old piano. For me it had a beautiful sound, I can tell, better than in some concert halls. I hope you will enjoy it.

And then just 30 minutes before this post is scheduled to be published I was checking Facebook and Michael Andreas offered this! How could I not add it? His note:

I am playing Franz Liszt Liebestraum –A dream of love. When I was a kid I asked my mum to play it when I went to bed. I love to perform this piece written by my great great great grandfather Franz Liszt.

Finally: this one is because it is just so good! It has had over 6 million views since being posted on YouTube in January 2021.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 15 — some follow-ups

And followings, you could say. But this series is looking like it could go on forever here in The Gong, and Greater Sydney of course. And I have had toothache and am contemplating what to do about it, given the circumstances. Meanwhile parts of Sydney are to see the ADF (our military) on the streets, as indeed happened during last year’s lockdown. A rare event in our country — well, since convict days anyway… Oh, and the Eureka Stockade…

The military will join NSW police in the areas worst hit by Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak to ensure two million residents are complying with tough NSW government lockdown restrictions.

But people shouldn’t be intimidated by the presence of 300 Australian Defence Force personnel in the streets of western and southwest Sydney, Defence Minister Peter Dutton says.

“I want it to be a message of reassurance that they are helping NSW Police,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday.

“We can get ourselves through COVID even more quickly if we’ve got the defence force personnel there helping.”

As NSW braces for new case numbers to top Thursday’s high-water mark of 239, police will begin knocking on doors looking for people in homes other than their own in eight local government areas in the west.

Meanwhile, let’s pause for some fun, thanks to two things I have shared lately here and on Facebook. First that amazing Marsh family in England and their COVID lockdown song parodies. This one I just saw for the first time. I love it!

Then there is that pianist, who happens to be younger than my blogging habit — being born in 2001! He is also on Facebook and Instagram of course. Michael Andreas Haeringer was born on September 26, 2001 in Barcelona. From an early age he developed a great in interest in music. So not yet 20. His parents are German originally, and he is indeed descended from the great Franz Liszt.

In June 2014 he won the first prize of the music competition in Braunschweig, Jugendmusiziert Bundeswettbewerb. He also won the special prize; Europa prize!! and the first prize of piano competition of the Conservatory of Barcelona with receiving the honorary prize on June 27. Michael managed to finish the six year Conservatory course in only four years. In 2016 he received the “Young Virtuoso Award” at the Manhattan Music Competition. In 2018 Michael was the finalist of Got Talent Spain, with his own compositions of soundtracks. Michael has won the Silver Medal at the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, being the youngest pianist of this edition “at the Manhattan Music Competition”. In 2018 Michael was the finalist of Got Talent Spain, with his own movie soundtracks. Michael has won the Silver Medal at the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, being the youngest pianist of this edition.

He’s on OK pianist too!

Franz Liszt’s transcription of Saint Saens Dance Macabre.

And here something completely different!

He also posts his own compositions under the name DJ MAH. This one is from January 2021: “I made Not Really Livin ‘ in lockdown. I dedicate my new song to everyone affected by the Coronavirus.”

It would, finally, be remiss of me not to share this one which he posted on Facebook.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 14 — a funny side?

You’ve got to laugh, or at least smile. Well, perhaps so — whatever, that is the emphasis today. Again pretty much things I have floated/shared on Facebook.

I had on FB just now a video “suggested” on how I should join a “freedom rally” ASAP — as in Sydney last Saturday. This of course is the last thing any sane person would want, and I noted the video was made by/came from the Bonkers Twit Lizard itself, David Sicko. (I am sure you will guess.) I promptly reported the video to Facebook for its false health information and blocked further “suggestions” from Sicko. He has the right to free speech, as long as he confines it to his own shower or toilet.

This is the best retort.

On vaccine hesitancy, or anti-vaxxers, Andy Borowitz nails it:

Millions of Americans Hesitant About Having Brakes Installed In Car

On Monday I introduced you not only to the beautiful young pianist I shared more of yesterday, but to the most amazing English family you will ever see, who have been chronicling COVID lockdown — and lately its easing — from their home. They are so clever, the relationships in the family are so genuine and warm, and they all, from the youngest up through the constantly growing teenage son to the parents, know exactly what they are are doing.

I see they have even made the New York Times! But I will share this from the Watford Football Club, 10 May 2020.

Professional football might be suspended due to the ongoing national lockdown, but the exploits of one family of Hornets supporters meant more than 10 million people still turned on their screens to see the yellow flash of a Watford shirt last month….

The Marsh family live in Kent, with Ben and Danielle both working at Kent University, meaning it’s quite the round trip for the four season-ticket holders in the household. But their deep-rooted connection to the club stems from Ben’s father, who used to go to even greater lengths to watch the team under Graham Taylor….

Ben’s parents are also the reason for the family’s music connection, and this wasn’t the first production they’ve recorded together in the household.

“My Mum and Dad are both music teachers so on my side of the family there has always been loads of music around,” Ben explained. “We’ve never done anything professional, we’ve never had training, but there’s always been plenty of music in our lives because of my family background, so the kids have probably got more confidence than they would have had, but they’ve never been to stage school or anything like that.

“We’ve recorded videos for two or three years, since Tess was able to sing or play an instrument, and we’ve tended to do things for Christmas or the grandparents’ birthdays. We definitely try to use the music to try to keep them occupied, keep them going and keep everyone smiling as a family. We always try to pick songs the kids know and like, because there’s no point trying to make them do something they’re not interested in. It didn’t feel like there was any pressure at all, and we could just have a laugh with it and make fools of ourselves, not realising that 10 million people were about to see it!”….

I see Ben Marsh is a historian, specialising in American History.

The family’s YouTube Channel has this note:

In response to the overwhelming messages we received after our “One Day More” parody going viral (03/2020), we stuck up some of the family antics and music videos we made on this channel, charting our musical journey through the pandemic, here in Kent, in the UK.

From our original song, any revenue or appearance fees we donated to the W.H.O. COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. In February 2021, we supported Save the Children, with huge thanks to those who were able to chip in. In March 2021, we supported the wonderful efforts of Comic Relief and Red Nose Day, with thanks to those who contributed to our JustGiving page total which (with gift aid) generated more than £15,000, contributing to the national campaign’s incredible £55m.

Thanks for your lovely comments in recent weeks and months, and we’re really glad that we seem to be bringing a smile to quite a few people who need it.”Wishing you all a safe path through the pandemic, and speedy recoveries on the other side.

The Marsh Family

As an Australian I was particularly struck by their version of Gotye’s wonderful “Someone That I Used To Know.” Remember it?

Here is what the Marsh family did with it on 6 June 2021t:

Their latest is about the current easing of lockdown in Britain.

Check their channel!

And finally on vaccines: