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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BLUE THING #3: Amazing New Facts and Statistics (Got One? SHARE it with Us!)

Amazing New Facts and Statistics

BLUE THING #3: Amazing New Facts and Statistics


IF YOU have an amazing fact, statistic or hysterical story to share with out readership, tell us right now. Don't be selfish. Share if you care. Just click:

You are invited to submit your favorite amazing fact or little-known statistic and get it published here, boldly showcased in the perfectly rectangular enclosure of BLUE THING #3. But be advised that you must be a Subscriber in order to participate. If you're not already a subscriber, click on the following link before you read on: If you are already a Subscriber, please proceed to the next paragraph for "the elevator pitch."

HEY YOU! Yes you. Since you are now a Subscriber to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER NEWSLETTER, you are invited to submit your own favorite amazing fact or statistic. If you’d like, we’ll even publish your name (or your organization’s name) if you'd like and give you credit for your contribution. Note: Unless you are particularly dense, you will recognize that we are actually offering you FREE PUBLICITY in exchange for a mere tidbit of information.

Simply click on the hyperlink below to submit your gem:

If the hyperlink above isn’t working, first you must first blame your browser (Internet Explorer 8 seems to be an exceptionally popular source of consumer dissatisfaction), then your ISP Provider, then Bill Gates (or Steve Jobs), and mutter a rapid string of profanities under your breath. Kick furniture if you feel it necessary. [feel better?] Then, just click on this one, and get direct access.

A compilation of utterly useless information brought to you by The Internationalist Page, and THE NATIONAL NEWSPICKER™.

Following is a veritable cesspool teeming with trivial items to use in pick-up lines in bars, to fill awkward silences in credit committee meetings, and to forward (via email) to the spam filters of Oprah, Bill O’Reilly, Bono, Paris Hilton, Harry Potter [either one], any member of the board of directors of Bank Of America, the president or prime minister of your home nation, or one or more of your many friends, family members and people who have far too much time on their hands.

Here goes:

To commemorate the founding of Australia, on January 26, 1788 and Australia Day we bring you:

Amazing Facts about Australia

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.
Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.
The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: "In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."
Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day. Historian Manning Clarke noted that in 1808 the men observed the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" with "drinking and merriment."
Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.

Comment: Human Beings never seem to learn from a "zero sum game." Instead of sharing, we all too often take. In the longer run, we generally win through sharing -- it brings out the best in our nature, and encourages cooperation and reciprocation in others. Sometimes it is best to combine instead of conquer.

On a much lighter note...

The song, which follows, was originally performed by Rolf Harris. If the YouTube Viewer fails to appear right beneath this bit of writing, or shows up as a big stupid gray square with the word "object" in the center of it (after you've cursed Bill Gates, your Browser, Internet Explorer 8, A vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, A high-tech Left-Wing Conspiracy, your cable provider, and your imbecilic cousin Frankie [who poured an entire Starbucks Frappucino over your keyboard while waving his thick, hairy forearms to describe the size of the fish he caught while surf casting in the Hudson]) , simply click on this link to enjoy the music, despite it all:

Actually, my personal favorite Aussie tune has always been "Waltzing Matilda." - Douglas Castle

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