News and events, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Can we do more to keep cars out of pedestrian spaces?

Part of what makes Friday's tragic events in Bourke Street so horrible is that it could have been any of us who got hit. One can only have the deepest sympathy for all those affected. I work on Bourke Street, and often go walking along it at lunchtime. On Friday I was on Spencer Street on a tram coming back from Docklands when it happened. Two police cars and an ambulance passed our tram, th

News and events, Toxic Custard newsletter

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year. Congratulations for surviving 2016! This blog post attempts to wrap up a few loose ends for the new year. Here's a short video of the Footscray New Years Eve 9:30pm (official!) fireworks. Footscray fireworks (official)Happy New Year everyone! 🎉🎆 pic.twitter.com/L0WkAqArhT— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) December 31, 2016 2016 was a bit of a strange year. We all know

News and events

What can council elections teach us about aspect ratio?

One of the things you start noticing a lot more when you have two tertiary-level film and television students in the house is aspect ratio. Local council elections are in October, and posters have started going up for candidates. In some wards you see full-sized billboards, but in ours -- so far -- the most prominent posters are small, displayed in shop windows. Not that it's importan

News and events, Toxic Custard newsletter

Census – vital, but confidence has been eroded

It's Census night. Normally it's relatively uncontroversial, but this time it's different -- a number of concerns have been raised by people, especially those interested in privacy and data security. Some of the issues raised include: Names and addresses to be kept for four years. This obviously creates a risk of privacy breaches if the data is compromised. It can happen, many organisatio

Culture, News and events, Toxic Custard newsletter

A bit of pedantry

I can be a bit of a pedant, so this photo caption in Saturday's Age caught my eye: "Former NGV director Patrick McCaughey" pictured in 1986 -- so was he the former NGV director back then? No -- the article text makes it clear he was the director in 1986. There's a simple way of conveying this in the text, and it's not just me -- it turns out National Geographic has a style guide which

News and events, transport

See something newsworthy? Get the footage!

OK, so you've seen a big problem, and since you carry a very capable camera in your phone everywhere you go, you've decided you want to get footage of it so the world can find out about it. Great! This really helps activists, and can get problems fixed. When you're filming or snapping photos, here are some tips to consider, some based on a chat with a Channel 7 journo following a previo

News and events

Names from the past

The neurosurgeon attacked at Footscray Hospital was Dr Michael Wong, aged 43. I went to school with a Michael Wong; presumably he'd be 43. Digging around, I haven't found any other detail to confirm or deny it's the same bloke (there are tons of Michael Wongs, even just in Melbourne, and my usual method of trawling social media networks didn't help), though I note he studied with a Professor An

Consumerism, Friends and loved ones, News and events, transport

Christmas wrap-up

Christmas Day was largely spent with family, eating too much, playing with a giant cushion-like water balloon (which burst when, tragically, nobody was watching/filming) and swapping presents. Our haul this time around included a Wii U, which should be fun, and for my own personal stash I got some great movies on Blu-ray (Help, and The World's End), a rather nice framed original artwork, an exc