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April, 2019

9yo Pippa brings 128 NSW councils to heel

9yo Pippa brings 128 NSW councils to heel Pippa Kennard, 8, as won Science Technology Association’s Young Scientist Award for her project of mapping the most popular dog breeds for council areas across the state. Picture Chris Lane
Nanjing Night Net

Pippa Kennard, 8, as won Science Technology Association’s Young Scientist Award for her project of mapping the most popular dog breeds for council areas across the state. Here she is photographed with the map. Picture Chris Lane

Pippa Kennard, 8, as won Science Technology Association’s Young Scientist Award for her project of mapping the most popular dog breeds for council areas across the state. Here she is photographed with the map. Picture Chris Lane

TweetFacebookPippa phones 128 councils for science project.“We got a new puppy, a Border Collie cross Kelpie called Bounty and I just wanted to know what kind of dogs lived in our street,” Pippa said.

Then she started wondering what kind of dogs lived in other parts of NSW.

“Istarted ringing a few vets but decided there were too many,” Pippa said.

“Ithought we could go to the boss of the local government association and get a list but they told me I would have to ring each council in NSW.

“So Icontacted every council and asked them what was the most popular breed in the area. Some got back straight away with a list while others we had to contact again and again.

“I learned how to use Excel by watching YouTube and started entering the numbers under different dog breeds.

“Ithen consolidated these. If I had red cattle dogs and blue cattle dogs Iwould just call them cattle dogs.

“I got a map of NSW with each council and colour-coded each of the most popular breeds. Each council has its most popular dog on the map.

“If I had to say which was the most popular dog I would have to say Maltese,” she said.

The map shows a lot of green in the far west for Kelpies. The city areas are blue for Maltese.

Cattle dogs are the most popular breed in far northern NSW. Jack Russells are the most popular breed in southern NSW along the Victorian border.

Bull Terriers are the most popular on the South Coast and parts of the far north coast, while Labradors are the most popular in the Hay Shire, as well as further west along the Victorian border.

In Sydney the Maltese rules except out at Campbelltown and Blacktown where the Bull Terrier is the most popular breed.

The Poodle rules in the northern reaches of the Hills Shire and in the eastern suburbs while the Border Collie is the most popular along the Hawkesbury.

Pippa’s father, Richard, said she was tenacious in pursuing their information.

“She had to make her phone calls before or after school. Most days she would call two or three councils,” he said,

“She developed a confidence over time. She got good at how to ask to be transferred to different departments and could tell when she was being fobbed off.

“Some councils were very helpful and thought it was great to deal with an (then)eight-year-old girl and others weren’t interested in helping her.

“The main thing was that no-one had ever done this type of research before.

“Blue Mountains Council was very helpful. She asked them how they got their list of dog breeds together and then went to the other councils and told them how to do it.”

For her efforts, Pippa has won her Primary Scientific Investigation Category for Years 3 to 6 in the 2017 Young Scientists Award, a major project of the Science Teachers’ Association of NSW (STANSW).

The awards will be presented at the University of Wollongong on November 1.

Pippa said that when she grows up she would like to do something that involved talking.

“I liked the project because I could talk to people over the phone,” she said.

And the main lesson Pippa learnt from her research?

“Big projects take a long time and if you give up you don’t get anywhere,” she said.

The Leader

Hunter’s population growth ‘terrifying’: Hilton Grugeon

Outspoken: Hilton Grugeon (right) answers a question during Wednesday night’s meeting at the East Maitland Bowling Club. Picture: Lachlan LeemingHunter development heavyweight Hilton Grugeon has called Maitland and Australia’s rate of population growth “terrifying”.
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In a lengthy address at the Maitland business chamber’s Wednesday meeting, the larger-than-life developer weighed in on a number of local and state issues, including the city’s hospital saga and contamination at Williamtown.

Of Maitland’s continued growth, Mr Grugeon said roughly 50 people a week were moving to the region – with the pressure on for education, employment opportunitiesand services to keep up.

“Our current rate of growth, both in our area and our country, is bordering on terrifying,” he said.

“It’s not sustainable, but you’ve got to run with it and know where the exit door is when there’s a downturn.”

Related content:

Council approves controversial seniors housing development24-unit given tick for city’s eastHilton Grugeon hits back at ICACMr Grugeonalso said the area was not a “high priority” for government funding because of its status as a safe Labor seat.

“This area is not a high priority. The message is don’t ever be a safe seat. Neither party in government needs to give us anything,” he said when answering a question about the development of Maitland’s new hospital.

“Whether (the hospital) has a private component or not I don’t really care, as long as we get it.”

When asked if he’d ever consider purchasingland around the Williamtown contamination zone, Mr Grugeon said he’d “never willingly go near it”.

“I wouldn’t. With contamination of that nature, there’s never an outcome.”

The outspoken businessman had no shortage of one liners regarding a number of local issues.

He called the Maitland overpass near the railway station“half a solution by a government halfway through its term”.

When asked what brought him to Maitland from his native Newcastle in 1985, Mr Grugeon simply replied‘Land’.

His best swipes were saved for local and state governments, and he needed little encouragement to voice his opinion on them.

“Dealing with local government departments has a lot in common with preschool kindergarten children,” he quipped, before stating that “a government with balls would move parliament out of Sydney”.

“Thegovernment should be driving everything out of Sydney, starting with themselves,” he said, advocating decentralisation from the country’s capital city.

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

[email protected]: Flat start in store for ASX

The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.
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Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

The local sharemarket is set to open flat as investors turned cautious on Wall Street.

FOMC minutes of the September FOMC meeting where the Fed was shown as still uncertain on the persistence of low-inflation factors. The probability of a Fed hike of the reference rate at the December meeting remained around 75% after the meeting though USD and UST bond yields remained lower while equities in the US remained positive. Beyond US equities, other major indices pushed to record levels with the AS51 closing at 2-month highs, and the Nikkei 225 closing at the highest level since 1996 in a further showing that global sentiment is synchronised and investors remain in a buying mood.

1. ASX: Futures are pointing to a two-point drop at the open as Wall Street inched higher. Yesterday, the AS51 rose to the highest close since August 17 thanks to a 10 of 11 subgroups moving higher, which was led by technology as a key contributor alongside banks. The chorus of equity buying has been a global event as implied volatility from major markets continue to sit at historic lows thanks in large part to faith that much of the global risk scene remains under control.

2. Australian dollar: The Australian Dollar remains near the lowest levels since July against the US Dollar and is working toward the lowest level against the EUR since summer of 2016. The weakness in the AUD is likely a delight to the RBA who has consciously decided to step out of the normalization conversation of other central banks. This move by the RBA has allowed the Aussie to weaken despite the globally synchronized acceleration of economic data. This weakness seems to have caught hedge funds off as the net-long positioning per the CFTC’s Commitment Of Traders report recently showed the largest bullish exposure anticipating AUD strength since 2013.

3. Japan: Japanese equities saw their highest close since 1996 as the Nikkei 225 Index, which has gained 9% so far on the year added another 0.3% on Wednesday to overcome the early 2015 high. The smooth run-up is expected to have a difficult time holding should a shocking outcome develop in the October 22 snap election cause Shinzo Abe to lose a majority holding of the lower-house. The move higher in equities has not been helped by the JPY much as USD/JPY, historically positively correlated to the Nikkei 225 remains more than 5% lower on the year.

4. Copper: The price of Copper traded to the highest level in 1-month and is close to the daily range of the extreme day of 2017 reached in early September when the price hit an intraday level of 6970 on the LME. The rally in copper has been a bright spot in base metals as other key base metals involved in steelmaking like Iron Ore have fallen below $60 in Dalian on demand concerns on the back of an environmental crackdown in China as Beijing has asked for an output curb through the seasonally weak winter heating season that runs through to March.

5. Wall Street: Wall Street was higher barely after FOMC Minutes showed Fed members do not see the weakness in inflation as only transitory. Looking ahead, this seems to communicate that hikes by the Fed beyond December are not set in stone. Recently, we’ve heard from two voting members of the Federal Reserve, Dallas’ Robert Kaplan and Chicago’s Evan’s who both said it is too early to decide on a December hike. Specifically, Kaplan noted that he is keeping an open mind on US rate hikes and continues to look for evidence that momentum is building in US cyclical forces to ensure as much as possible that the structural headwinds of tighter monetary policy are offset. Such comments from voting Fed members communicate that USD strength is not a given to continue despite the rally in September.

6. Economic Storm clouds continue to gather above the UK: The U.K.’s Office for Budget Responsibility published a report on Tuesday titled the “Forecast Evaluation Report,” explains the group’s downward revisions of predictions to upcoming UK economic data. The timing of this report is worth pointing out as it comes within a handful of weeks ahead of the November 2 meeting where the Bank of England has been expected to engage in raising rates which traders and investors have priced in with a 76% probability indicating they are convinced such a hike will happen. The larger catch is that such a hike would be done in the light of growing signs of economic weakness as opposed to strength.

7. Europe: Confidence in the European economy was not swayed by thanks to the acute concerns of Catalonian independence fading after the Catalan leader put independence on hold for now. Now the focus has shifted to the Oct. 26 ECB meeting where the Governing Council is set to agree upon the future of the bond-buying program for 2018. Derivatives markets have shown a prevalent demand for European assets and options with tenors greater than one month saw that highest premium paid for upside protection (EUR strength) since 2009. Equity market optimism has centered around the EuroStoxx 50 (SX5E) that appears set to test the 2015 highs near 3,800.

8. Market Watch:

SPI futures down 2 points to 5743

AUD/USD moved -0.0001 to 0.7777.

On Wallstreet: Dow Jones 0.07%, S&P 500 0.04%, Nasdaq 0.09%.

In New York: BHP -2.08%, Rio -1.39%.

In Europe: Stoxx 50 0.24%, FTSE 100 -0.06%, CAC 40 -0.02%, DAX 30 0.17%.

Spot Gold moved -0.1% to US$1286.75 an ounce.

Brent Crude moved 0.32% to US$56.79 a barrel.

US Crude Oil moved 0.61% to US$51.23 a barrel.

Iron Ore moved -1.25% to CNY434.5 a tonne.

Dalian Iron Ore moved -2.23% to US$59.65 a tonne.

LME Aluminium moved 0.95% to US$2163 a tonne.

LME Copper moved -0.01% to US$6760 a tonne.

10-Year Bond Yield: US 2.34%, Germany 0.46%, Australia 2.82%.

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

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

Teachers, bad grades, ‘boring school’ driving youth out of mainstream schools: study

Bad grades, teachers and being “bored” at school are some of the factors driving young Queenslanders out of the mainstream education system, an Australian Research Council funded report has found.
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More than 200 surveys taken from youth support workers, teachers, volunteers and young people across the state were collected to build on a 2010 Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) study that found many students who rejected mainstream schooling were prepared to make efforts to attend “alternative schools” or “flexi schools”.

Alternative schools are facilities that support students from marginalised backgrounds and/or who have been failed or left the mainstream school system to continue their education.

These schools can be an annexe to mainstream high schools or run independently, through community or charity groups.

Photo: Louise Kennerley

Researchers from Griffith University and the University of Queensland surveyed 154 students learning across 15 alternative schools and found the top three reasons they left mainstream schooling was due to teachers (50 per cent), school being “boring” (43 per cent) and/or poor school results (41 per cent).

A survey of 36 young people not in any form of education found they had similar reasons for leaving mainstream schooling and included suspension and/or expulsion as another driving factor.

Of those in alternative education, 66 per cent were aged 16 or under and 8.78 per cent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Half of the young people surveyed not in any form of education were aged 15 or under and 41.67 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Researchers found the large number of Indigenous people who completed the survey was indicative of the lack of cultural diversity in structural organisations.

“There are well documented issues in relation to the mainstream’s ability or willingness to meet the needs of Indigenous students, and we would suggest that unless the system develops appropriate responses to these needs that there will be more young Indigenous people turning to alternative schools for their education,” the report read.

At the launch of the Engaging Students in Engaging Schools: lessons from Queensland’s alternative education sector report at Parliament on Wednesday, Queen, a 19-year-old mother enrolled at an alternative school at Sunnybank, said she left her mainstream school to have her baby.

“I took some time off but I really wanted to go back to school so I looked into what options I had,” she said.

“I feel like at other schools you have to go there and adjust to what they do and how they see things and they are not really understanding or try to get to know you and your circumstances.”

The report found 69 per cent of youth not enrolled in any form of school indicated they would like to go to an alternative school.

Of those who attended an alternative school, 53 per cent did so to attend courses for work qualifications, 41 per cent to attend courses in normal school subjects and 32 per cent did so for social reasons.

The report also found a number of challenges existed in regional, rural and remote areas for young people including a lack of schooling choices and race, ethnicity, culture and gender issues.

The manager of a Neighborhood Youth Centre in one of Queensland’s small mining towns said in the survey that transport also posed an issue.

“You can go to primary school out at the gemfields but then every one of those kids who live out there, once they go into Grade 8, they have to get on the bus and come in,” he said.

“But if you have got behavioural problems, the bus driver can cancel you off the bus, so therefore you can’t go to school.”

A youth program coordinator from a regional Queensland city who was surveyed and estimated at least 10,000 young people “under the radar” and not engaged with any form of schooling.

In its observations, the report identified the difficulty in determining how many young Queensland eople were disengaged from school.

A range of recommendations were put forward in the report for schools, youth workers and researchers to improve the attendance rates of young people in some form of education.

It called for better access to education, an improved “tracking of students” to stop them getting lost” in the system, a way to assess the quality of alternative educational provisions, a greater awareness of triggers for educational disengagement and better communication and relationships between schools, youth workers, families and communities.

“At this stage we are of the view that these (alternative) schools currently meet the needs of the most marginalised in the community and that they have become a real necessity because of the current system of schooling,” the report concluded.

“However, it is also our view that these schools could, in some cases, represent a first choice for students and not just those who are struggling with the mainstream.

“There are elements of these schools, as we indicate in the case study sections of the report, which if implemented in the mainstream, could improve schooling all students.”

Youth Affairs Network Queensland director Siyavash Doostkhah said the report was “evidence” we can have a schooling system that leaves no young person behind.

“Young people not only deserve this, they have a right to this, education is a human right and as such it is non-negotiable,” he said.

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

Kathy Griffin replaced as co-host of CNN’s NYE Live

American talk show host and television executive Andy Cohen will replace ousted comedian Kathy Griffin as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast.
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Griffin and Cooper have co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live since 2007, however she lost the gig earlier this year in the wake of a photo scandal in which she was pictured holding a replica of the bloodied head of US president Donald Trump.

Cohen and Cooper are friends; they perform a series of speaking gigs together and Cooper is a regular guest on Cohen’s US talk show.

Talk show host and television executive Andy Cohen will replace Kathy Griffin as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast. Photo: Charles Sykes

It was during an interview with Cohen that Cooper first addressed the rift between he and Griffin in the wake of the scandal, during which Cooper had denounced the photo stunt.

“We’re still friends,” Cooper said. “I didn’t think [the photo] was appropriate but I wish her the best and I hope she bounces back.

“She’s incredibly funny and a lot of people love her, and I think she’ll bounce back from this.”

Griffin, however, told Fairfax Media later that her friendship with Cooper was essentially over.

Kathy Griffin was fired from CNN following her controversial Trump severed head stunt. Photo: Twitter

“I don’t think I paid a price. I think he did,” she said. “I’m sorry to say that because I loved him. He wasn’t just my friend I liked. He was my friend I loved. That part just hurts.”

Griffin said she felt Cooper had been pulling away from the friendship for some time.

“He’s been kind of pulling away for a couple of years and obviously I wouldn’t talk about that publicly because we still [had] a show to do, you know what I mean?” she said.

“I still had the most fun ever during that evening and even if we weren’t necessarily close and the last couple years… and even if we weren’t tight, I always loved making him giggle.”

CNN has aired its New Year’s Eve Live program since 2001; Cooper took over as host in 2002.

It is traditionally hosted from Times Square in New York, but included crosses to CNN correspondents at other locations and musical performances.

It is broadcast on the US CNN service and the CNN International channel, which is broadcast in 190 countries including Australia.

In the US it is watched by around three million viewers; its global audience is not measured but would be significantly larger.

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

Ten new cockroach species uncovered in Tasmania

Ten new cockroach species uncovered in Tasmania DISCOVERY: QVMAG natural sciences collections officer Simon Fearn displays some of the 10 new cockroaches discovered in Tasmania since 2014. Picture: Phillip Biggs
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DISCOVERY: QVMAG natural sciences collections officer Simon Fearn displays some of the 10 new cockroaches discovered in Tasmania since 2014. Picture: Phillip Biggs

TweetFacebook Discover the new cockroaches found in TasmaniaPictures: Phillip BiggsMost people squirm even atthe word cockroach, but did you know 10completely new species have been discovered in Tasmania since 2014.

Three of the new specieswere found inQVMAG natural sciences collections officer Simon Fearn’s backyard.

While some might be turning away in disgust at the thought of more cockroaches, Mr Fearn said the bad rap was not justified.

About five out of 5000 species of cockroaches were pests, contaminating food and spreading disease.


Tasmania has an ‘enormous’ snake population but low bite riskTasmanian-produced documentary Sixteen Legs showcases survivors“Most of these never come into your house, they just live in the bush and they play a vital role in breaking down nutrients and leaf litter, and pollinating plants,” Mr Fearn said.

“Just a handful of urban, introduced cockroaches are giving the whole group a bad name, whereas the majority are actually doing us a service.”

The new species have never been recognised by science before because no one ever noticed them, Mr Fearn said.

“They have yet to be formally described by a taxonomist.”

That was whennew species were given a scientific name after a taxonomist compared the species with all other specimens of species, which was a lengthy, scientific process.

It was a crucial point as it meant it would be established and recognised as a new species by the scientific community

“As you can imagine, there are not a lot of taxonomists in the world whospecialise in cockroaches.”

He estimated only two or three people in the world, and only one in Australia, who were able to scientifically describe cockroaches as someone needed to have a comprehensive knowledge of the entire species.

“We are constantly finding cockroaches in our field work that have yet to be named.”

It might take years for any of them to be named, Mr Fearn said.

He has also discovered several mainland cockroaches in Tasmania after they hitching a ride across Bass Strait.

As for the other crittershe has found in his quarter acre block, Mr Fearn said he has already documented 700 different species.

“At the rate tropical forests are being cleared around the world, there would be no question that there would be lots and lots of insects becoming extinct.”

The Examiner

$2.5m centre for medical cannabis

Funding success: University of Newcastle clinical pharmacologist Professor Jennifer Martin will lead a national approach to medicinal cannabis research.Newcastle will leadthe national approach to research into medicinal cannabistreatments.
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The University of Newcastle hasbeen granted $6 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council for various projects.

Of this money, $2.5 million was allocated to setting up a the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence.

Professor Jennifer Martin said thenational infrastructure, governed fromNewcastle, could”rapidly translate the [cannabinoid] research into practice and into policy”.

Professor Martin, a clinical pharmacologist at UoN, will head-up the centre with Professor Nadia Solowij from the University of Wollongong.

The initiativeis a partnership between theUniversity of Newcastle,Hunter Medical Research Institute, Hunter-New England Health and teams fromseveral universities across Australia.

“It’s essentially saying we need a nationally integrated, collaborative framework, where as soon as we receive data from avariety of clinical trials with any of the cannabinoid productsfrom around Australia,or indeed new datafrom overseas, we can rapidly translate that intopolicy andpractice,” she said.

Professor Martin said a coordinated, national strategy was “really important” in turning research intopractice.It was particularlyimportant, she said, tohave a national, coordinatedresearch andpolicy strategy acrossthe states and commonwealth.

She expected, where evidence was shown, to see cannabinoid treatments “much moreavailable in Australia within the next five years”.

“We have had some community input from patients in the community that have access to cannabis and who have found that those products are helpful.

“We’ve had a lot of patients and family advocates that have really pushed that from the Hunter area.Now we need to get the supporting evidence to guide practice,” Professor Martin said.

“We’ve got a community advisory group… but we’ve also got a very strong clinical network of lead clinicians around Australiawith which to guide this centre.”

As part of the $6 million funding allocation, the university also received money for several other projects, mostly fellowships for researchers across a range of medical fields.

The Herald, Newcastle