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Spy agency launches interactive online test to see if you’re cut out for the job

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Recruiting spies is seldom a public exercise, but Australia’s intelligence agency is doing something different.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), equivalent to the CIA and Britain’s MI6, has launched an online interactive test to discover people who are cut out for the job. 

Through a series of visual and aural exercises, the test seeks to identify suitable applicants that have the perception and empathy to work in the service. 

You’ll be required to pick out a missing number from a sequence, pick out faces in a crowd, and try and decipher information while three people are talking at the same time.  Read more…

More about Australia, Culture, Spy, Intelligence Agencies, and Culture

Architecture

Elon Musk’s hats are selling out faster than you can say ‘boring’

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Elon Musk is quite the hatter. 

Besides running a car company, a space company, a tunnel company and an AI company, he also managed to sell roughly $600,000 worth of hats, and the demand just keeps on rising. 

Musk’s Boring Company sold 30,000 hats adorned with the company logo since they launched in October, Musk tweeted Monday. Just a few weeks ago, Musk said the company has sold $300,000 worth of hats, meaning the sales have roughly doubled since that time. 

Over 30,000 hats sold!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017

If you order the $20 hat right now, you’ll likely get it in 3-4 weeks. But you might want to hurry, as Musk says the hats will be limited to 50,000 pieces only.  Read more…

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Architecture

Santa on ‘Saturday Night Live’ has some thoughts about Roy Moore

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Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. And sexual harassment and assault and NFL anthem protests and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Everything in the news was coming out of Santa’s bag on tonight’s Saturday Night Live cold open, and if their questions were any indication, the kids are not all right.

Precious cherub No. 1 asked Santa (Kenan Thompson) for some toys, a laser tag game, the usual. Then he asked, “What did Al Franken do?”

Oh boy.

Santa punted, but the kid needed to know about Roy Moore. Whether he was on the Naughty List or the Nice List. Read more…

More about Saturday Night Live, Matt Lauer, Roy Moore, Entertainment, and Movies Tv Shows

Architecture

The polar bear in this video is dying from starvation. Fortunately, most aren’t…yet

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After landing on Baffin Island, Canada, wildlife photographer and environmental activist Paul Nicklen captured video of a frail polar bear — dying and foaming from the mouth — as the weak animal collapsed to the ground. The bear will soon be dead — if it isn’t already. 

On Dec. 5, Nicklen posted the grim video to his Instagram account, and since then, it’s been stirring  emotions around the web. Polar bears are, for better or worse, a symbolic species when it comes to global warming, and many are seeing this video as a new warning sign. 

Fortunately, however, the condition of this bear is not representative of most polar bear populations — at least not yet.  Read more…

More about Science, Arctic, Global Warming, Arctic Sea Ice, and Climate Change

Architecture

Ambassador posts adorable proposal after marriage equality legalised in Australia

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Marriage equality is finally law in Australia, which means LGBTQ couples can start planning their weddings. Or in plenty of cases, start proposing.

As in the case of the Australian ambassador to France, Brendan Berne, who spared no time proposing to his longtime partner Thomas Marti on Thursday in Paris. 

The video was posted on Berne’s Twitter account mere hours after marriage equality was made legal in Australia.

“Now, as Australia has just approved marriage equality, it is my turn now. My turn to ratify my own relationship with my partner of 11 years Thomas. He is not aware of what I would like to do now,” Berne said in French. Read more…

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Architecture

Marriage equality has finally become law in Australia, at last

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It was left to the last minute, but marriage equality is finally legal in Australia.

The country’s federal parliament passed legislation allowing LGBTQ couples to marry on Thursday, the last day for politicians to decide on laws like this before the summer break.

Marriage equality supporters gathered in front of Parliament House in Australia’s capital, Canberra, to be there for the historic decision.

More about Australia, Lgbtq, Marriage Equality, Lgbtq Rights, and Culture

Architecture

These ‘Star Wars’ themed sex toys will make you feel a different kind of force

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So that new Star Wars flick is coming out soon, which means plenty of cross-promotion.

But we have a hunch the marketing types behind the franchise would’ve approved Star Toys, a series of sex toys that will leave you feeling a different kind of force, we guess.

It’s a new collection from Geeky Sex Toys from Brisbane, Australia, who were also behind the innocence-destroying Pokémoan series from last year.

Of course, Star Toys takes a bit of a darker turn, with a six-piece Dark Side Bondage Kit, which includes a familiar-looking Laser Sword Flogger and a Space Station Ball Gag.  Read more…

More about Australia, Sex Toys, Star Wars, Sex And Relationships, and Culture

Architecture

Google debuts Google Go, its lightweight search for slow connections

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Google’s light search app for Android is here, called Google Go.

Like the Google app that you can already get on iOS and Google Play, Google Go will give you quick access to search, weather, and voice-activated functions.

But in order to stay light (at under 5MB per download), Google Go has opted to avoid the heavier Google app’s cards-based interface, and instead go with buttons that open into separate pages.

Google Go's interface

Google Go’s interface

Image: google

Google’s app may be targeted at slower connections in emerging markets, but that doesn’t mean users there need to go light on the multimedia.  Read more…

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Architecture

Mariah Carey appears to be sitting on an invisible chair and clearly has special powers

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At Christmas time Mariah Carey, who is very festive, gains special powers, because she is the Christmas Queen.

Fans shared a video of Mariah signing autographs in the middle of her show earlier this week, which is honestly a very weird thing to do, and likely messes with the entire flow of the whole thing. Anyway, Mariah appears to be sitting on a small stool or chair during the impromptu signing, but right before the clip ends, she stands, and there is NOTHING behind her for support.

.@MariahCarey stopped her concert last night to sign autographs to a few lambs 💕 pic.twitter.com/9c7GAyLtA0

— Mariah Carey Italia (@MariahCareyITA) December 1, 2017 Read more…

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Architecture

The secret workforce that does the tedious work of the online economy

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It’s the end of the month, and you’re furiously uploading receipts to submit to your employer for reimbursement. It’s been a busy few weeks — too many Lyft trips to count — so you have a lot to expense. Thankfully, the online reporting platform you use employs some kind of fancy schmancy AI to automatically detect how much you spent and where you spent it, changing emailed and crumpled paper receipts into digital reports with ease. 

Or, so you think, anyway. But like the famed 18th century Mechanical Turk that wowed people around the world with its seeming ability to play chess, things aren’t exactly what they seem. Your boss, it turns out, might not be the only one seeing your expense reports.  Read more…

More about Amazon, Online Shopping, Mechanical Turk, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Architecture

Pikachu gets his highest honor yet, becomes Japan city ambassador

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Turns out those speaking skills came in handy for Pikachu after all.

The famous Pokémon has been appointed ambassador for the Japanese city of Osaka, Taro Kono, Japan’s minister for foreign affairs announced in a tweet.

At the ceremony, Kono also appointed Hello Kitty to the role.

I have appointed Pikachu and Hello Kitty as Ambassador to promote the City of Osaka for the 2025 Expo host citypic.twitter.com/mCkiCl5T5j

— KONO Taro (@konotaromp) November 29, 2017

Pikachu is the leading character of the Pokémon series, and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty has been a beloved icon for decades. Read more…

More about Japan, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pikachu, and Hello Kitty

Architecture

Transgender teens won a big court decision in Australia today

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It’s a big win for transgender teens today in Australia.

Australia was the last place in the world transgender children needed court authorisation to receive Stage 2 hormone treatment, even if they or their parents consented to the procedure.

That’s now no longer the case thanks to a landmark decision in the country’s Family Court on Thursday, ending the need for the unnecessary and stressful legal process.

Since 2013, it’s been a requirement that courts need to approve Stage 2 treatment. 

Stage 2 hormone treatment involves the administration of oestrogen or testosterone, allowing an adolescent to develop the pubertal characteristics of the gender they associate with. It follows Stage 1 hormone treatment, which delays puberty. Read more…

More about Australia, Transgender, Lgbtq, Transgender Rights, and Lgbtq Rights

Architecture

Going to Russia’s World Cup? Don’t hold hands if you’re gay

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Sport might be for all, but LGBTQ fans following their team at the World Cup next year have been warned about showing public displays of affection.

The warning comes from the anti-discrimination group, FARE network, who have advised FIFA in the past about on how to combat racism, sexism and homophobia in its stadiums.

FARE will produce a guide advising fans how to stay safe during 2018’s World Cup, which takes place in Russia.

Although homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1993, anti-LGBTQ sentiment is abound in the country. So-called “gay propaganda” laws which ban the promotion of homosexuality to people under 18 were enacted in 2013, but advocates say it “reinforces stigma and homophobia.” Read more…

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Architecture

Woman posts video of crocodile attack, and it is heartstopping

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Welp, this is a close call.

A tourist was bitten on the leg by a crocodile on at Cape Tribulation in Queensland, Australia on Monday night, while standing on a creek bank close to the waters edge.

A Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) spokesperson said in a statement the crocodile was estimated to be 2 to 2.5 metres (78 to 98 inches) long. 

A video posted on the Facebook page of Ally Bullifent shows the crocodile attack, which comes out of nowhere. It’ll be sure to give you a shock. 

The EHP said it would carry out a site assessment of the area on Tuesday, and will possibly target the crocodile “for removal” as it has displayed dangerous behaviour in a designated area. This means it’ll be moved to a crocodile farm or a zoo, according to the Cairns Post. Read more…

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Architecture

Rey would hate Daisy Ridley’s dream lightsaber

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Daisy Ridley, perhaps better known right now for her lead role as Rey in the Star Wars franchise, has a surprisingly un-Rey choice of lightsabers.

Chatting with Elle UK while building a Lego Millennium Falcon, The Last Jedi actor said if she could customise her own lightsaber, it would be pink and glittery. Really?

Ridley also talks a little about her struggles with becoming a “chea-gan” — that is, a “cheating vegan,” in her words. And that despite her starring turn in the huge Hollywood franchise, her dad remains a staunch Trekkie.

Oh, but she finishes her Lego model in admirable time. Rey would be proud. Read more…

More about Lego, Star Wars, Daisy Ridley, Light Saber, and Entertainment

Architecture

With little else to rely on, refugees turn to Twitter to detail harsh treatment

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Australia’s offshore detention centres have long been a secretive, carefully guarded operation.

For those who remain inside them, smartphones and social media have been the main way to tell stories of their plight, as governments remain reticent on who is responsible for them and journalists struggle to gain access to the sites.

The situation has come to a head lately with the closure of the Australian-run Manus Island Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea at the end of October. 

Home to more than 400 asylum seekers, the facility saw many refusing to leave for a new centre which is prone to attacks from the local community and is still under construction, as documented by the UNHCR. Read more…

More about Australia, Refugees, Asylum Seeker, Asylum Seekers, and Social Good

Architecture

Trump says he turned down Time’s ‘Person of the Year,’ and no one’s buying it

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Unless you repressed all memories of 2016 (and who could blame you), you’ll remember that Time named Donald Trump “Person of the Year.” Now, the president is claiming that the magazine asked him again this year but, like, urgh who can even be bothered?

In a tweet Friday, the president took time from his busy schedule of getting absolutely nothing from his agenda done to make a bold claim about rejecting the magazine’s honor for 2017. 

Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017 Read more…

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Architecture

This cheese truck crashed and everyone raced to make the same joke

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When a truck carrying about 30 tonnes of cheese flips on a highway, people break out some really grating puns.

On Friday, a B-Double semi-trailer carrying approximately 30 tonnes of as-yet-undetermined cheese rolled and blocked the Hume Highway near Goulburn, Australia, according NSW Police.

Luckily, no one was hurt, and emergency services arrived at the scene south of Breadalbane at 8.10 a.m. AEDT. NSW Police said that work was underway to “remove the cheese and salvage the truck.” Yes, in that order. Priorities.

Because people can’t help themselves, everyone raced to make the worst cheese joke. Read more…

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