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Is your stress from Venus, your pressure from Mars? Not likely.

Altered mind this morning? Hehe, just blame the planets

Today, and for the next month, four major planets are aligned above us: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Are we interested? Of course we are. From the very beginning of human history we’ve been obsessed…
Stronger higher education spending will help Australia become a ‘clever country’.

Did universities get their fair share?

The Gillard Government has reiterated its commitment to education in this year’s budget, and universities in particular. Universities with regional campuses were the biggest winners, receiving $110 million…
The Javanese language is in decline. EPA/Adi Weda

Loss of languages speaks volumes about changing times

The manifesto of the Foundation for Endangered Languages states, quite accurately, that “There is agreement among linguists that over half of the world’s languages are not being passed on to the next generation…
Bleak US labour data may be driving this week’s commodities sell-off. AAP

Going down: what’s pushing oil, gold and silver prices lower

There has been a dramatic fall in the price of oil and some commodities over the last few days, with oil plunging by as much as 10% per cent in US trade overnight. The price has recovered somewhat this…
Poor sperm quality is a characteristic common to all men, not just some. Aldo Risolvo/Flickr

Old faithful: is monogamy the root cause of male infertility?

Infertility plagues one in six Australian couples, and in approximately half of these cases the problem lies in poor semen quality. The discovery that a man has poor semen quality can be emotionally challenging…
Lamb mulesing as depicted by a video produced by animal rights group, PETA.

How the wool industry has undercut itself on mulesing

Debate about the controversial practice of mulesing is set to be reignited again with prominent animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announcing a new campaign targeting…
Battery-operated cars can plug a quickly emerging gap in the market. Thomas Bräunl

Why electric cars are in pole position

With global warming, carbon trading and record-high petrol prices in the news, not to mention the ever-looming spectre of peak oil, we need to find an environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable…
The economic indicators we rely are increasingly inadequate. AAP

Redefining GDP and what we mean by growth

For some time, there has been growing disquiet that using GDP to measure our national progress does not capture what is most worthwhile in our lives. In a speech in September last year, former Treasury…
There’s little evidence that shared summary records significantly benefit health outcomes. Lu/Flickr

Alarm bells ringing over botched introduction of electronic health records

The Federal Government is introducing a new system for electronically managing health information – and given its botched implementation so far failure is almost guaranteed. Called the PCEHR (personally…
Or can they? Some families may not be any worse off. AAP

Busting carbon price myths

When we read that a carbon tax will hit the average hip pocket, should we worry? Will the ETS push us all into penury? And will it make any difference to our emissions at all? Can we know the cost to households…
Age-related changes in body weight may have a positive impact on mental health. keithload/Flickr

Take it easy fellas, old-age spread could make you healthier

Being overweight in childhood, adolescence or during adulthood has traditionally been thought to increase the long-term risk of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular events and some cancers as well as…
When it comes to climate change policy, the numbers matter. Philippe Put/Flickr

Economics enlightens the climate change debate

Economic arguments have come to dominate the Australian political debate about climate change. When it comes to climate policy, both the government and the opposition talk far more about taxes, trading…

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