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Bill the barbarian

An open letter to my Australian Comrades

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Just out of curiosity, I went looking...  Not SEARCHING for the story, just hitting top-pages of sites...

  • NBC news - had to scroll down a half-screen from the initial splash, but the Australia-Fires story is prominent
  • CBS news - About 2-3 screens in (if I don't count their ads... I seem to have been shopping for my wife this Xmas season...)  is a less-prominent story, leading with "Pink" (the singer) who is donating to the Australian fire relief.  Weaksauce, CBS!  The news is the fires, not the celebrity donation!!!
  • ABC news - had to scroll down much further -- 4-5 screens -- but they have a big obvious hard-to-miss photo... IF you scroll down.  Gonna count this as "dubious" at best
  • Fox news - Nada.  They show a lot of small items, and I only skimmed quickly, so maybe I missed something?  I haven't noticed the story at all in 6+ screenfulls.  Gave up when I dicovered I was chest-deep in cheescake puff-pieces.  Utter and complete fail, FoxNews.  Apparently Fox doesn't think their audience is interested?  Fox really leans-in on feeding their customers what they want to consume; it was one of their defining innovations.
  • AP news - Their frontpage splash has the fires in Australia as the last story visible on the splash (down in the lower-right corner), which maybe(?) puts them above all the others... I guess?  But it's a lot easier to miss than on NBC (or BBC, below).
  • BBC.com - not on the "splash" screen, but fire-photos from Austrialia are visible at the bottom of the screen as 2 of the top 3 stories under "News."  This appears to be the best treatment.

FWIW and all that...

Edited by g33k
typo

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

I fear that's likely an artifact of a few holdovers who still believe in the whole "satanic panic" schtick, who try to get Harry Potter books banned as witchcraft, etc etc etc.  Because aggregating THEIR interests in SW & RPGs &c gets a bit of bleedover effect... akin to the "customers who bought this also bought/looked-at" in e-vendor sites.

 

Nah, the satanic panic was ancient history long before the Internet was even invented.  (I'm an old fart.  I was there for both events.)  And it is ardent young liberal secularists that write the algorithms at Google and YouTube.  The folks who worried about D&D back in the 1970s and early '80s have either passed away or are much more concerned about video games these days.  Something as archaic and passé as in-person tabletop pen-and-paper roleplaying just isn't on their radar anymore.  😉

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41 minutes ago, seneschal said:

Nah, the satanic panic was ancient history long before the Internet was even invented.

Turns out that there are still hold-outs from that era!  Some if my RL gaming friends report the "D&D = Satan" belief in the past year or two.  Most days, I can drive you to where a couple of aging hippies are selling their own tie-dyed-at-home stuff out of their '60something  VW microbus.  We have another local hippie still preaching the Communist Revolution as our coming salvation from The Pigs who serve The Man.  <shrugs>

49 minutes ago, seneschal said:

... before the Internet was even invented.  (I'm an old fart.  I was there for both events.) 

 

Oh, me too!  Our brand of grognards&nerd is kinda over-represented among RQ fandom...  😉

1 hour ago, seneschal said:

...  And it is ardent young liberal secularists that write the algorithms at Google and YouTube...

Those people aren't actually curating content; at least, not explicitly.  They are writing code to look for patterns in link-clicks.  If you are seeing "possession" topics in your SW-RPG feed, and haven't looked up possession yourself, then I can confidently guarantee that "possession" IS a search topic and/or a link-follow for others looking up SW-RPG...

 

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

 

  • Fox news - Nada.  They show a lot of small items, and I only skimmed quickly, so maybe I missed something?  I haven't noticed the story at all in 6+ screenfulls.  Gave up when I dicovered I was chest-deep in cheescake puff-pieces.  Utter and complete fail, FoxNews.  Apparently Fox doesn't think their audience is interested?  Fox really leans-in on feeding their customers what they want to consume; it was one of their defining innovations.

The Fox News website's Australia page certainly does mention the fires. It mentions little else. But the main World page is indeed showing nada.

Rupert Murdoch has a suitably swish  property at Cavan, about 15km NW of Canberra, on the edge of forest. I think his daughter lives there.  Its not in any immediate danger from local blazes, but  that can easily change. If that estate goes up, the story might get better coverage on Fox.

 

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You may have seen that already, but I thought I mention it anyway:

This message contains several links for donations regarding the Australian fire fight ...

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The ABC news (U.S.) has 3 stories on the front page (but scroll), and 3 stories in the Top News for International news.

TheGuardian.com has the story about Pink a ways down, but the first 4 stories in headlines in World News...

 

Anyway... I think this is not going to be recoverable. Too much damage done at all levels in the worst hit places. Half a billion or more animals gone, with probably a few species now extinct (Or will be soon).

Seeds from the trees gone. The animals that spread the seeds gone... 

I'm currently in China, but my friends' place is in dry bush in outer south-west Brisbane, not far enough away from the fires in that general area to feel safe...

 

Edited by Shiningbrow

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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

The exact reason I started this Topic, I hesitate to  add but in one word “Anthropocene”!

I don't think it worth starting yet another argument.... But let it just say, for the last 20 years, every year was warmer than the last one overall in Australia, every year was a heat record 😕 

Reasons enough to be concerned...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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4 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

The exact reason I started this Topic, I hesitate to  add but in one word “Anthropocene”!

Don't be afraid.  Welcome to the 18th century!  It's the sort of thing that gets only realised in retrospect.  Now, a day late and a dollar shy, what are we going to do about it?

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia

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18 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

Yep.

Although, @Oracle beat you to it by a few hours (scroll up).

But it's worth repeating...  😁

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11 minutes ago, g33k said:

Although, @Oracle beat you to it by a few hours (scroll up).

But it's worth repeating...  😁

A fella has to sleep sometime.  And this just goes to the point of diversifying one's news feed.  If I was the only one mentioning it, @seneschal would never have seen it. 🐱

!I!

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20 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

A fella has to sleep sometime.  And this just goes to the point of diversifying one's news feed.  If I was the only one mentioning it, @seneschal would never have seen it. 🐱

 

It is such an important issue to talk about, I am sure the more the better.... Thanks!

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81t8-s1nCmL._SS400_.jpg.00491e2cf2db66d3ac66fac916ec2c46.jpg

"Brisk & Full-bodied" – now also got a smokey flavour to it, though that's not coming from the tea...

Melbourne is smothered in bushfire smoke, which is predicted to only get worse as the week goes on. A minor aggravation in comparison to what others are going through elsewhere, but a stark sign that although the fires are a long way from here, we are in the midst of a national crisis.

81315706_1784635741667011_5928375751312146432_o.jpg.ddcaff252036bcc9f4026b6e1802712a.jpg

Air quality from bushfire smoke. Anything above 50 is bad. Above 300 is "hazardous" - the EPA advice is "Everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion". Melbourne is 403 (though that didn't stop my 78 y.o. dad playing four sets of tennis in it yesterday)

 

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2 hours ago, MOB said:

Air quality from bushfire smoke. Anything above 50 is bad. Above 300 is "hazardous" - the EPA advice is "Everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion". Melbourne is 403 (though that didn't stop my 78 y.o. dad playing four sets of tennis in it yesterday)

 

Be well and be safe all. 

And thank you for the humorous perspective MOB, I love humour but this in not my place to insert it, so good on ya for bringing a little barbaric humour in (just  to make me feel a little more comfortable, bless you heart MOB).

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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The only good thing in this is that such a huge emission of smoke will act as a partial counter to the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and methane, though it is yet to be seen by how much and for how long. But please do not tell this to politicians, lest they find a new good excuse to continue polluting.

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Well.. it is a well known phenomenon...

But it is also well known that while the life of soot in the upper atmosphere last a few year.... excess CO2 last a few.. hundreds (I think) years (or another different yet much bigger too) number...

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On 1/3/2020 at 7:25 AM, seneschal said:

Haven't heard a peep about these in the U.S. news.  Sorry you're having to go through it.  Our reporters are too busy trying to un-elect a president to let Americans know what is going on overseas.  Worked as a reporter in rural Oklahoma where small volunteer fire departments and dry conditions are the norm.  I sympathize.

 

There are bunch of US and Canadian firefighters down here to help us out. The fires across regional NSW and northern Victoria (the two most populous states in Australia) have been prolonged, destructive and lethal. It is true that the major cities where most Australians live are not on fire, but Sydney has come very close and Canberra has been surrounded by fires, even if they didn't come into the city. Both have been wreathed in smoke and haze for weeks, with air quality worse than Beijing at times. These fires are unusual because they started months before our traditional fire season (normally January and February) and have been burning out of control in nearly every state at once.

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