Monday, 25 April 2011

Links of the week

This week I wanted to share a few videos.

First is an amazing collaboration between the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a dancer by the name of Lil Buck who does bone bending. I'll let the video speak for itself.


A friend linked this video of Glenn Crytzer's Blue Rhythm Band at DCLX - they are swinging hard. Don't forget to check out Glenn's blog and buy his bands' CDs.

The following video is the battle between Glenn Crytzer's Blue Rhythm Band and the Jonathan Stout Orchestra also at DCLX. It's a pity the camera doesn't show the audience because they have pretty much all stopped dancing to cheer on the musicians. One of the musicians recounts his experience of it on his blog.

This video has been doing the rounds but I have to share it again. Electro-swing band Caravan Palace perform live with the Ninjammerz in front of thousands of people at the Montreal Jazz Festival:

Tim Minchin's 9 minute beat poem "Storm" has finally been turned into an animated short. Enjoy:

And finally some politics: Adam Clancy on The Drum notes that though the price of electricity and petrol are going up there's plenty of things that are going down.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

NSW State Election Contests: The Wash

It's taken some time but all the results are finally in. Time to review the contests I previewed.

The Legislative Council

After what ended up coming down to what Green's candidate Jeremy Buckingham described as a 'neck and redneck battle' the final results are in. Thankfully Pauline Hanson, despite getting a surprising portion of the first preference vote didn't win a seat. The results were:

Liberal/Nationals - 11
Labor - 5
The Greens - 3
Shooters and Fishers - 1
Christian Democrats - 1

This was in line with what the polls predicted with the Greens performing well enough on preferences to pick up an additional seat and the CDP taking back the Family First seat that was the result of Gordon Moyes defection.

Pauline Hanson picked up 2.4% of the primary vote and came very close to winning. This performance surprised many, but if you examine her last tilt at the LC the combined Hanson/One Nation percentage of the vote was 3.4%. Although her personal support appears to have picked up since 2003 (where it was 1.9%) it's likely these were stolen from those who voted for One Nation at the time.

John Hatton unfortunately didn't pick up many votes, receiving a similar number to the Fishing Party, Family First and the No Parking Meters Party. Most of his votes exhausted so he didn't help elect anyone really.

The Side Contests

Marrickville - Labor retained by the skin of it's teeth - an 0.9% margin. It was always going to be close. If the Greens can continue to swing towards them, with an impressive 35.9% of the primary vote, they'll probably take it at the next election.

Balmain - In rare 3-way contest the Greens did manage to take Balmain (though with a lower primary vote than in Marrickville - 30.7%) and hold it with a 3.5% margin against the Liberal Party.

Wollongong - Despite a massive swing against it (24.3%) Labor managed to hang on against the Independent Gordon Bradbery with a margin of just 1%.

Sydney - Clover Moore managed to retain Sydney - except where she held it before with a 16.6% margin against Labor she now holds it with a 3.1% margin against the Liberal Party.

Lake Macquarie - Greg Piper easily retained the seat, although as in Sydney the 2PP vote is now against the Liberals.

Newcastle - In what was probably the best Labor performance in the State the sitting member Jodi McKay lost only 0.6% of the primary vote, however the Independent challenger was decimated delivering the seat to the Liberal Party

Dubbo, Tamworth and Port Macquarie - All fell to the Nationals which wasn't a surprise

Hornsby - Independent Nick Berman put in a good show but not good enough to beat the Liberal candidate.

As a side note it was interesting to see the number of safe Liberal seats where the Greens out-polled Labor on first preferences. This happened in at least Davidson, Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Manly, North Shore, Pittwater, Vaucluse, Wakehurst and Willoughby. The two candidate preferred vote for many of these seats is going to need to be reviewed - in some cases these seats may become Liberal vs Green (depending on exhaustion of preferences).

The Swing

It was almost certainly historic and we know what the results are on the primary vote (roughly - there's still votes to be counted). But it's going to be another couple of weeks before we know the final swing. Watch this space.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Links of the week

Although the result in Balmain has finally been sorted, the race for the last seat in the NSW Legislative Council is still ongoing. Antony Green tracks the progress. I'll post my wash up of the results when this contest is finally decided.

Despite the Greens poorer than expected performance in the State election Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann argues what the party needs to do to become a party of government in a generation.

Sean Nicholls in the National Times argues that that Barry O'Farrell's honeymoon may almost be over. Although much has been made of the restructure of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water there has been very little media interest in the broader departmental reshuffle. The only department that remains untouched is Transport with many other departments are undergoing changes as big as that of DECCW and some senior public service executives have already been given the sack. (If you feel like some reading the full administrative order detailing the restructure is here) In particular few commentators have worked out that the majority of the public service will be spending the next few months implementing the restructure as opposed to policies and programs. This has very real implications for a government trying to look like they're achieving results. It's telling that the big ticket items in Barry O'Farrell's 100 Day Plan are to be implemented by the departments that are undergoing fewer changes.

More on the climate change debate. Paul Griffiths and Mark Colyvan on The Drum examine how difficult it is for the public to work out who is speaking with the authority of science. Also on the Drum Darren Osborne shows how science actually works - your opinion should follow the evidence, not the other way around - in preliminary results of a new analysis of global temperature data. On the front of solutions New Scientist reviews research suggesting that large scale implementation of wind power could have unintended consequences and Jessica Irvine in the National Times discusses how the economics of a carbon tax is supposed to work.