Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 27, 2008

Australia Day timeline 

This is an interesting timeline of Australia Day from the official government website. 

Before 1770 – Aboriginal peoples had been living for more than 40 000 years on the continent we now know as Australia. At least 1600 generations of these peoples had lived and died here. 

1770 – Captain James Cook raised the Union Jack on what is now called Possession Island on 22 August to claim the eastern half of the continent as New South Wales for Great Britain. 

1788 – Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain, and the first Governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January and raised the Union Jack to signal the beginning of the colony. 

1804 – Early almanacs and calendars and the Sydney Gazette began referring to 26 January as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In Sydney, celebratory drinking, and later anniversary dinners became customary, especially among emancipists. 

1818 – Governor Macquarie acknowledged the day officially as a public holiday on the thirtieth anniversary. The previous year he accepted the recommendation of Captain Matthew Flinders, circumnavigator of the continent, that it be called Australia. 

1838 – Proclamation of an annual public holiday for 26 January marked the Jubilee of the British occupation of New South Wales. This was the second year of the anniversary’s celebratory Sydney Regatta. 

1930 – The Australian Natives’ Association in Victoria began a campaign to have 26 January celebrated throughout Australia as Australia Day on a Monday, making a long weekend. The Victorian government agreed with the proposal in 1931, the other states and territories following by 1935. 

1984 – Australians ceased to be British subjects. Advance Australia Fair replaced God Save the Queen as the national anthem. 

1994 – Celebrating Australia Day on 26 January became established. The Australian of the Year Award presentations began alternating between Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

*Country music legend and a champion of rural Australia, Lee Kernaghan OAM, has been named Australian of the Year 2008 at a ceremony in front of Parliament House in Canberra. Micro-finance entrepreneur David Bussau AM (NSW) was announced as Senior Australian of the Year 2008; 22 year old World MotoGP champion Casey Stoner (NSW) was announced as Young Australian of the Year 2008 and Jonathon Welch (VIC) of ‘Choir Of Hard Knocks’ fame was announced as Australia’s Local Hero 2008. [Visit the website at Australia Day Timeline]

Bottled water 

Santo asked me to look into spring water and bore water and as I was searching the web, I stumbled upon this revealing article from Choice magazine on the Bottled Water Industry. 

In summary, the report suggests you can still buy bottled water if you like the taste, but says don’t kid yourself it’s healthier than water from the tap. They basically summarise the success of the bottled water industry as “A triumph of marketing”. 

The report is a few years old but most of the information should still be sound. However, I am sure we now drink more than the 150 million litres a year that we did a few years ago and we are likely to be paying a lot more than the $123 million in the report. 

Choice found their taste panel could not distinguish between leading bottled water brands and tap water, they also found that bottled water at room temperature breeds bacteria, however it is a handy, calorie-free alternative to soft drinks and juices. 


Most brands of bottled water call themselves ‘spring water’, but there are also other types. 

  • Spring water must come from underground. But it’s not necessarily untreated and it doesn’t necessarily come from the picturesque location implied by the graphics on the label. Unless the label specifies that the water has been ‘bottled at source’, it’s probably been transported to a bottling plant in a bulk tanker. Many spring waters are filtered and some may be chemically disinfected (usually with ozone). 

  • Artesian water is similar, except that the water probably comes from deeper underground. (Artesian water is confined underground between layers of impervious rock and is under pressure, so it comes to the surface without pumping.) One of the brands (MOREE Artesian Mineral Water) has a high mineral content, but the others have much the same as spring water. 

  • Purified water could be tap water that’s been distilled (a process that removes almost everything that’s not H2O) or otherwise treated to remove bacteria, dissolved organic material and minerals. Some brands, though, are purified spring water. 

You have to take some care with bottled water. 

  • Tests carried out by Health Which? in the UK found that once it’s opened, bacteria levels can increase if it’s kept at room temperature. Air can carry bacteria and the spores of moulds, so once you’ve opened a bottle of water it’s safest to keep it in the fridge. 

  • Bottled water definitely shouldn’t be used for babies unless you boil it first (just as you would tap water). And giving children exclusively bottled water deprives them of the fluoride that’s added to tap water in most places to increase the resistance of their teeth to decay. 

  • On the positive side, there’s no substance to fears that bottled water is contaminated with toxic chemicals from the plastic bottle. Nearly all the brands of bottled water in our test came in PET bottles which have no plasticisers — nothing to leach out into the water. 

Finally, claims about organic water are ridiculous. Choice notes that if you’ve studied chemistry you’ll know that ‘organic’ refers to compounds of carbon (other than carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide). Water, H2O, doesn’t qualify. [Visit this site at Choice Magazine water report]


Q. What is Engrish? A. Engrish can be simply defined as the humorous English mistakes that appear in Japanese advertising and product design. 

Q. Is Engrish found only in Japan? A. No, Engrish can be found all over the world, but the vast majority of the really funny and creative Engrish is from Japan. 

Q. Why do the Japanese try to use so much English if they can’t do it right? A. Most of the Engrish found on is not an attempt to communicate – English is used as a design element in Japanese products and advertising to give them a modern look and feel (or just to “look cool”). There is often no attempt to try to get it right, nor do the vast majority of the Japanese population (= consumers) ever attempt to read the English design element in question (the girl wearing the “Spread Beaver” shirt for example, had no idea what it said until a foreigner pointed it out to her). There is therefore less emphasis on spell checking and grammatical accuracy (note: the same can be said for the addition of Japanese or Chinese characters to hats, shirts and tattoos found in the US or Europe). Quite often it is easier to come up with English names than Japanese for a particular product. New products are brought to the marketplace in Japan more than anywhere else in the world and Japanese words and slogans quickly get used up. Japanese graphic designers will often tell you that English is widespread because the Japanese writing script (or scripts) limits their creativity – there are only so many ways to display their language, and only so many different types of fonts to use. That said, in most instances Japanese companies do get it right and quite often consult a native English speaker for corrections. 

Some examples from the site include: 

  • Blandness Girl – looks like a Barbie-style doll 

  • Checkout time is 10am. Please reture the key and airconnitioning remode control at front dask 

  • Care for life. Do not fun. 

  • (Sticker on an apple) Enjoy your fruity life 

  • Building asks a smoked visitor in the outside smoking section that you cannot smoke in 

  • (This one a little different, from an English language newspaper in Korea) To stay cool, city suggests people go to shady places 

  • (Girl’s panties featuring spider web design with the slogan “Entrance to Hell”) 

  • (Election banner) Sunny Town Erection Party 

  • Lestaurant 

  • Insulted Screwdriver Set 

  • (Notice on hotel door room) Please don’t worry if fire is occurring. Our hotel has reliable scattering facilities to ensure you evacuate safely. The red point represents your Excellency seat 

  • Reminder for Travellers. 1 Swimmer must carry rubble swim ring. 8 Forbid any business man to enter bathing section. 

  • Thank you for coming to a store. We will wait for the next coming to a store. 

  • (Sign on the grass) Please do not disturb me 

[Visit the site at]

Sandwich project 

There’s nothing like a really good sandwich and the sandwich project brings you a huge collection of the world’s favourite fillings between two pieces of bread. You can submit your favourite, or browse the archive of 2927 sandwiches. There are some very interesting creations here too like: 

  • Pamie: Tuna on raisin bread with lettuce. Apparently it is the perfect pairing 

  • the Sunday Special: Leftover sliced chicken, 3 or 4 slices of crispy bacon, grilled sliced zuchinni, grilled portabello (sliced), roasted red pepper, slice of provolone cheese. Drizzle with a vinagrette of your choice, add a few dashes of hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush bread with olive oil and grill on either indoor or outdoor grill, turn over brush other side with oil and grill till toasty…….enjoy!!! 

  • Hot cookiemonster: breast chicken grilled,tomato, chipotle sauce(sour cream and chipotles blended), tabasco sauce, lettuce, butter. You toast the bread with the butter, then on one side you spread the chipotle sauce and a drops of tabasco, on top you put the grilled chicken, then the lettuce and tomatoes. If you want it even more spicy, you can spread on the other half more chipotle sauce. This is for my husband my cookiemonster. Baguette 

  • PB&O: Peanut butter and Orange marmalade. Ooh! 

  • Mistry special: Curry – any type, Mango chutney, chopped onions, crushed papadoms with grated cheese. Spread naan bread with mango chutney, layer curry over chutney, sprinkle onions and crushed papadoms over top with plenty of cheese Grill until cheese melted. 

  • Chocolate and pickled onion toastie: Pieces of Dairy Milk chocolate. Pickled onions Tomato ketchup. Don’t be scared if lots of steam comes out of your sandwich toaster when making this. The weird thing is I was sober when I first cooked this up. It tastes nicer than it sounds. 

[Try one or create your own by visitng the site at Sandwich Project