26 September 2023

Detectors depart

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Sad news this week from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as it farewelled four of its most highly accomplished, adept and talented staff members who worked at Australia’s airports and mail centres – its in-form biosecurity detector dogs.

The (now) doggone dogs have called it their day, one each in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns, leaving behind the very boastable record of having sniffed out a total of more than 43,300 illegal or unwanted items in their collective careers.

In saying goodbye the Department, quite rightly, put its collected craniums to the canine challenge and came up with a send-off well worth a send-off of its own.

Congratulations go to the Department’s word wizard wonders who headlined the official announcement thus: ‘Ruff farewell as detector dogs embark on retirement’.


However, PS-sssst! is sure the dogs would have been ‘grrrrrateful’ for the compliment!

Innovation of the times

To that rare and uncommon talent ‘innovation’ now where the Commonwealth’s Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has adopted a genuinely new and genuinely useful initiative which genuinely deserves recognition.

After 15 years of rounding up public sector news stories – and only surviving by being constantly innovative! – PS News knows a new idea when it sees one and the one it has seen at AEMO is a great help for anyone wanting to know what the Operator is up to.

Announcing ‘Energy Live’ as its “digital destination to understand the transforming energy landscape” AEMO goes on to list links to its latest reports, records, revelations, remarks, releases and recitations for its readers’ enlightenment and erudition and in so doing, unwraps a most useful snippet of information which busy reporters (like the downtrodden army we have at PS News) would like to see more of.

As well as indicating the date of the commentary, its headline and online link, AEMO goes a very welcome step further by estimating how much time an interested reader should set aside to peruse, pore over or perceive the file/video/book/record or report he or she is being lured to.

This timely addition to AEMO’s news can be experienced first hand on its website at this PS News link.

Battery robbery

Another unique but informative contribution from PS-sssst’s ertstwhile erster, Philomena S of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, who shared this little gem of wisdom with us some time ago but which has taken an international health crisis to see it scramble into PS News’s ‘must publish’ list.

Philomena tells of the shopper searching her local supermarket for much needed batteries in case there’s a shortage when she notices a basketful being offered for free as the supermarket’s contribution to the local community.

Like any shopper she was most impressed, helping herself to a handful and thinking only positive thoughts of the shop.

That is until she arrived home to find out that ‘free of charge’ meant more than just being a bargain when dealing with batteries!

Thanks Philomena.

Giving away!

To our weekly rendezvous with the redoubtable Rama Gaind and her game of giveaway now, offering for free this week the DVD collection of superstar Sophia Loren’s films, The Sophie Loren Collection Volume 1 to two readers who could name two of her three Academy Award winning films.

The lucky readers who won their way into Rama’s Army of winners by identifying the awards for Two Women, El Cid and/or Marriage Italian Style and who then emerged first from PS News’s infamous Barrel of Booty were Ian G from Queensland Treasury and Katy Z from Services Australia.

Congratulations to Ian and Katy and thanks to everyone else who took part too.

The DVD’s will be on their way shortly.

For another of Rama’s giveaway goodies, simply follow this PS News link for her book bonanza or this link for another DVD disc or better.

Good luck to all who do!

Lounging around

And finally, whoever said the Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t arrived with at least one or two positives isn’t aware of Canberra’s National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA).

A veritable Aladdin’s cave of the nation’s most cherished TV and cinema films and its 33⅓, 45 and 78rpm rock, roll and other recordings dating back decades, NFSA has found it necessary to transfer its culturally popular ‘Vinyl Lounge’ monthly journey to the hit parades of the past out of its socially undistant 114-seat theatrette to the million-seat internet and we’re all invited to attend.

“For the first time ever, we are taking the Vinyl Lounge out of our building in Canberra and presenting it virtually,” the NFSA explained to its army of old bodgies and widgies, rockers, jazzers, hipsters and sharpies.

“Since 2013 we have hosted the monthly Vinyl Lounge – a space for music lovers to come together and play songs from their favourite records.

“Vinyl Loungers choose a song to share with the group and present a short introduction about what that song means to them.”

The next lounge will hit the internet airwaves at 5.30pm on 5 June and more information – including how to share your favourite old song – can be found at this PS News link.

Go to it Moondoggies!

Till next week…..

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