The Australian Acoustic Observatory has 360 microphones across the continent, and over 2 million hours of audio. However, none of it is labeled: We want to make this enormous repository useful to researchers. We have found that researchers are often looking for 'hard' signals - specific call-types, birds with very little available training data, and so on. So we built an acoustic-similarity search tool, allowing researchers to provide an example of what they're looking for, which we then match against embeddings from the A2O dataset. [more inside]
Detail is a long-running series of photo galleries, predating Facebook and Flickr, where I've been posting my favourite photographs from two decades' wanderings. (I'm an Australian living in Scotland who has been around Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific.) After a few quiet years I've been on a roll this year, and it now features over 120 galleries and several thousand images. Dig in at random at the main page, or search for galleries by region. And keep watching, as I'm scanning some old negatives to extend its coverage back another decade.
Bushranger ballads are home-grown 19th century Australian songs about that continent’s most notorious highwaymen. Bold and cheerful thieves like Jack Donohoe, Ben Hall and Ned Kelly are hailed as heroic underdogs down under, and their ballads still play a role in protest music there today. This essay discusses the songs’ Irish roots, the transportee convicts who spread them round Australia and the young performers keeping them alive today. It's a PlanetSlade Murder Ballads production (previously). [more inside]
Remember this question about being a Queer Lady Magician? It's real now. Coming to a Melbourne Fringe near you. [more inside]
In honour of Women's History Month, here's a map to help you explore locations in Melbourne related to women's history. Each location has some information about the site and links to more information (if available). Use the map to plan a walking tour of Melbourne or to explore the city from the comfort of your living room.
Australia's Surfers Paradise is under attack by a killer snake, addicted to methamphetamines and steroids. It's Schoolies Week and thousands of teenagers party hard on the beach not suspecting the biggest night of their lives is about to be gate crashed by a drug-fuelled reptile whipped into a frenzy. Dave Taylor's dire warnings are ignored by money-hungry bureaucrats. Suddenly, the beach is awash with blood and body parts. Now it's up to Dave to save the day [more inside]
I'm a standup/storyteller in NYC, and I worked for a while as a kangaroo shooter's assistant in the Australian Outback. I told a version of this story on The Moth's podcast years ago, but have subsequently refined and upgraded it. I told this version of the story at the Kennedy Center on Halloween, 2015 - it was a costumed show, I did not come onstage shortly after murdering anyone. Hope you enjoy it.
I was part of a creative writing mentorship as part of Melbourne's Next Wave Festival 2010, which presented multi-form experiential art. Our task was to respond to how well we thought the pieces reflected the year's theme No Risk Too Great. My piece, No Risk Too Great: Comfort Zones, discusses the absurdity of doing things outside your "comfort zone" while still being protected in the confines of a hipster-peer-filled arts festival. (Some images NSFW.)
Most Australians have heard of 1980s artist and fashion designer Ken Done. Most Australians haven't heard of 80s fashion collector Jackie Ruddock or the Melbourne based social enterprise The Social Studio. So, Good Fashion for Good is a project i've been working on with my partner, for 365 days she will be wearing Ken Done's 80's fashion and along the way encouraging people to do *good fashion for good*. If that doesn't sound like a big deal, first check out www.goodfashionforgood.com for some examples of Ken Done's finest fashion from the 1980s. Its going to be a colourful year for us.