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Curiously, there has been no outcry over the Anzac centenary logo. emmettanderson

Brand Anzac™ – a historic past or mythic present?

The logo for the upcoming Anzac centenary was released last year with surprisingly little fanfare. The final design was selected from several options by the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board after consultation…
Remembrance Day is one of many historic Australian events to fall on that date. (AAP Image/Paul Miller

The other Australia Day: November 11 throughout history

Australia’s national story is littered with significant occasions that have fallen on November 11 and two years ago, for me, was no different. It was the morning of November 11, 2011 and I was working…
We should worry less about emissions and more about getting people out of harm’s way. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Climate change and bushfires - you’re missing the point!

Climate change has yet again been blamed for another natural disaster, this time the recent bushfires in NSW. But much more important is the role of poor land-use planning decisions that are increasing…
After centuries of war, Japan’s well-attuned environmental practices spurred rapid growth. mharrsch/Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Lessons from Edo Japan can help Fukushima recover

After two and a half years, the embattled Japanese government and Tepco, the company responsible for the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have sought the world’s assistance in tackling the three damaged…
A new academic work which covers all of Australia’s history is a timely addition to Australian historical scholarship. Australia image from www.shutterstock.com

Our past revisited: new Cambridge History of Australia gives us the big picture

This week’s launch of the two-volume Cambridge History of Australia comes just as the Coalition government fires the opening salvo of a new battle in the Australian history wars. Over the past 12 months…
Schama’s controlled emotion made for gripping viewing. Financial Times photos

Story of the Jews: Schama got it in the neck, but got it right

In nearly 40 years of teaching Jewish Studies at university the course I found hardest to deliver was my first-year “Introduction to Judaism”. It didn’t get any easier: the more I learned, the more I agonised…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled he’d like to see the history curriculum change. But is it a good idea for government to intervene? AAP Image/AFP Pool, Saeed Khan

Culture wars II: why Abbott should leave the history curriculum alone

In the last week of the campaign, some naggingly familiar comments came out from the Coalition. Then opposition leader Tony Abbott said he wanted to see the national curriculum in history changed because…
Reform of the ALP has been raised by several key figures such as former leader Mark Latham, and implemented in some form by current prime minister Kevin Rudd. AAP/Alan Porritt

Arguments against party reform: heeding lessons from 1832

In his recent Quarterly Essay, Mark Latham compared Labor parliamentary representation to the rotten boroughs of the 18th century. Though union membership has fallen away, suggested Latham, union officials…
Caricatures of today’s politicians can be found anywhere from rallies to mainstream newspapers. AAP/Miles Godfrey

A true reflection? How caricatures can help or hinder politicians

In the current vicious political climate, caricatures in our daily press have become more savage. Perhaps no politician has experienced this more in recent times than former prime minister Julia Gillard…
Their child shouldn’t be trapped in the role. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

It’s a boy – but baby Cambridge deserves choices in life

Not for the first time in our long lives, Prince Charles and I find ourselves on parallel tracks, our first grandchildren born within weeks of each other. I offer him my congratulations, and hope that…
Sendai, Japan after the 2011 tsunami: imagine nature’s destruction at the push of a button. US Navy

The strange military origins of environmentalism

The words “environmentalism” and “military” are not typically found in the same sentence. Yet ideas about our vulnerability to environmental change are directly linked to military plans for a third world…
Smash the system, not traffic lights. flikr/bobaliciouslondon

Why aren’t unemployed young people rioting in the streets?

A fifth of Britain’s young people are out of work; how long before they snap? The International Labour Organisation has recently issued warnings about possible youth unrest in the future, as young people…
Whacking your funny bone really hard will cause a mild nerve injury which may take minutes, hours or even days to come good. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is the funny bone?

Put a finger on the point of your elbow. Feel inwards from there about half and inch or slightly more until you find another bony outcrop. Got it? Good. Tap with your finger in the valley between those…
The Courier Mail never retracted a story alleging Manning Clark was a spy, even though the Press Council ruled against them. AAP/Dave Hunt

Media reform could save victims of misinformation … like my grandfather

It is a matter of public record in Australia that my grandfather was a communist spy. That he wasn’t really one doesn’t always matter. Manning Clark, famous Australian historian and my father’s father…
The bones of Richard III, whose remains were found more than 500 years after his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. AAP/University of Leicester

Bones of contention: why Richard III’s skeleton won’t change history

“It will be a whole new era for Richard III,” Lynda Pidgeon, spokeswoman for the Richard III Society, said of the discovery that the skeleton found under a car-park in Leicester is almost certainly that…
Are displays of emotion from sportspeople about convincing us that it’s not just about the money? fox2mike/flickr

It’ll end in tears: why athletes cry and what it means

Any major sporting triumph without euphoric emotion or a serious opening of the floodgates would seem strange. Commentators tell us that tears show “passion”. Fans seem to demand them. It wasn’t always…

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