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Analysis and Comment (13)

Whether it’s in a church or at a festival, music can change the way we see the world and shift our behaviour. Whether it’s in a church or at a festival, music can change the way we see the world and shift our behaviour. Exit Festival

Pentecostal, Pearl Jam – music brings ecstasy to us all

You have probably felt the power of music to lift you out of yourself. Perhaps you were in a magnificent cathedral, listening to a choral mass. Maybe you were at a music festival where the music made you…
Or, eat, sleep, think, tweet. Or, eat, sleep, think, tweet. Guillaume Capron

The wrong online persona can make you a social media casualty

Anthony Fisher, a lecturer at Nottingham University, has become the latest casualty of unwise social media use after causing outrage with Facebook posts about his students and their intellectual ability…
How does Australia measure up morally? Are we in a moral decline? How does Australia measure up morally? Are we in a moral decline? Compass image from www.shutterstock.com

Moral compass: is Australia a kind nation?

We’re in a state of moral decline in the West – or so we’re told. From sky-rocketing divorce rates and the shrinking of life-long commitments to an excessive concern with self and consumerism. Morality…
People need to take responsibility for what is visible on their screens in public. People need to take responsibility for what is visible on their screens in public. flickr/agarth

You’re watching that? Here? The politics of porn in public

My first ever time on an aeroplane, the mid 1980s, and the in-flight film was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Equally suitable fare for my younger brother seated to my left and my grandma to my right. Flash…
We need to take a harder look at Australian education and how we compare internationally. We need to take a harder look at Australian education and how we compare internationally. Flickr/marragem

The great equity debate: a fair go for Australian schools

Following the refusal of the federal government to commit to the Gonski Review and the recent announcement in Victoria of further cuts to already disadvantaged schools and students, the issue of equity…
On the ninth anniversary of the US-led Iraqi invasion, suicide attacks were used against civilians in Iraq. On the ninth anniversary of the US-led Iraqi invasion, suicide attacks were used against civilians in Iraq. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Good and bad deaths: why we react to suicide bombers the way we do

Suicide attacks and car bombings across Iraq this week have killed at least 43 people and left 255 wounded. We are sadly now very familiar with the phenomenon of the suicide bomber, but the particular…
Many groups have called for sharia, or Islamic law in Australia, but is it workable? Many groups have called for sharia, or Islamic law in Australia, but is it workable? EPA/Andy Rain

Sharia: why a dual legal system will not work in Australia

A major Australian Islamic group recently argued for a formal recognition of sharia or Muslim law in the Australian legal system. According to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Australia should…
A toilet wall has more than meets the eye. A toilet wall has more than meets the eye. Flickr/ukslim

Women’s toilets in Australia: the writing is on the wall

La Trobe University’s Dr Jan Schapper recently completed a study into signage and writing on women’s toilets in Australia. The research, just published in the international journal, “Gender, Place and…
Celebrities Jay-Z and Beyonce called their newborn child Blue Ivy. But can the rest of us get away with less orthodox names? Celebrities Jay-Z and Beyonce called their newborn child Blue Ivy. But can the rest of us get away with less orthodox names? AAP

Jay-Z, Beyoncé, baby Blue Ivy and the art of naming

American rock band Modest Mouse’s song Black Cadillacs (2004) has a particularly wonderful opening: And it’s true we named our children / After towns that we’ve never been to Inside a song filled with…
Australians willingly helped their neighbours when it was needed during the Queensland floods of 2011. Australians willingly helped their neighbours when it was needed during the Queensland floods of 2011. Flickr/RaeAllen

Do you know your neighbour? Lending a hand and the Queensland floods

Neighbours are a source of growing aggravation in Australia and we are lodging more official complaints about each other than ever before. Excessive noise or odour, inadequate levels of property maintenance…
The upcoming SBS documentary Scarlet Road follows sex worker Rachel Wotton and her relationships with her disabled clients. The upcoming SBS documentary Scarlet Road follows sex worker Rachel Wotton and her relationships with her disabled clients.

Is sex a human right? Ummm, yes … no … maybe … it depends on what you mean by sex really

Health care, fair trials and education are things we readily accept as human rights. Unlike fresh air and food, we can actually live without school or a due process trial for a whole lot longer than without…
An English shop in the wake of the riots. An English shop in the wake of the riots. AAP

England’s riots and the lessons for policy and behaviour

As the streets of England have calmed, the political debate over what to do with the rioters has been brought to a boil. A steady stream of individuals continues to flow into the court system, some being…

Research and News (3)

Popular school students get bullied too

The stereotype that popular kids don’t get bullied has been busted by a new study that found becoming more popular at school…

Research Briefs (7)