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Analysis and Comment (14)

Good news! Christmas electricity consumption might surprise. Malingering/Flickr

What can we learn from looking at electricity use on Christmas day

On Christmas Day in Australia, fewer people are at their paid employment and more working premises are closed than on any other day in the year. How does this affect demand for electricity, widely seen…
It’s a long way for one man and his reindeer to travel. Jpatokal

Help solve Santa’s logistics troubles with a little maths

In just one night, Santa has to visit millions of homes to deliver presents. If he could travel at the speed of light, the task would be simple. However, Einstein’s formula, E=MC², tells us that anything…
Taking extra care and consideration for those with dementia can make Christmas a much more enjoyable experience for all. brutusfly/flickr

How best to celebrate Christmas with a person with dementia

Christmas can be a stressful time for hosts and guests alike, and it’s more so for carers of people living with dementia. It’s difficult to give general advice about how to get through the holiday season…
Toy catalogues relentlessly exploit the notion of educational product purchases as acts of motherly care. EPA/Erik Lesser

Toy catalogues put a Nerf gun to a mother’s head

The rise of intensive mothering has turned parenting into the ultimate ironwoman event. In an age in which the demands of the workplace have increased, so too the ideals of motherhood have become more…
Look for the patterns… Margot Trudell

The 12 days of Pascal’s triangular Christmas

One of the most magical aspects of mathematics is the ability for complex and intricate structures to emerge from the simplest of rules. Few mathematical objects are simpler to create – and few weave such…
Prawns sold in Australian supermarkets must be labelled with the country of origin. About half of the prawns we buy are from overseas. Flickr: avlxyz

Slip a more sustainable prawn on your barbie this Christmas

Australians are set to munch through half a billion prawns this Christmas. But where do all those prawns come from? And can we feel good as we throw another one on the barbie? About half of the prawns…
Blanket Burmese School.

Shopping for change this Christmas

Four-year-old Ar Zin stared at my bag. He knew there was something special inside. The classroom full of 30 Burmese refugee children was so hushed that I could each child’s breath, and Ar Zin’s eyes followed…
Across the West this year, civilization will fall, as one by one, Christmas dinners collapse into war by other means. Steve McFarland

This Christmas, remember – manners maketh the man

In a successful civilization every activity becomes a genuine education. All pursuits approach the dream of “motherhood”: citizens are gently and lovingly raised to be more noble, empathetic, playful…
We may not be a “Christian country” but we’re certainly not secular. AAP/Paul Miller

This Christmas, the real myth is that Australia isn’t religious

It’s a debate we have every year. A school changes the words of a Christmas carol, or a council puts up a banner saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, sparking debate on all sides. Are…