Archive for February, 2019

Eels slay Dragons in stadium swansong

The Parramatta Eels’time at Pirtek Stadium has ended in a 30-18 win over the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
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Rookie fullback Bevan French scored a hat-trick for the Eels to take his season tally to 16 tries in just 12 games.

Along with five-eighth Clint Gutherson, Eels coach Brad Arthur was full of praise for his young charges.

“Him and Clint Gutherson, every time you tell them something, they make sure they go out of their way to try and improve it.”

“While they keep doing that, they’ll have a long time in the game and a long time at this club.”

The Eels were never really troubled by the Dragons, with two late tries to the visitors flattering the scoreline.

Arthur reiterated his pride in the playing group despite disappointment they wouldn’t be playing finals football.

“I know I keep saying it but there hasn’t been a lot to want to play for but they still manage to keep hanging in there and playing for each other,” Arthur said.

“We played some really good footy tonight. We built pressure on the back of our defence and it’s just unfortunate that it has to end like this.”

It was an emotional night for the Eels, honouring the lives of foundation player Mitch Wallace and Eels Hall of Fame member Ken Thornett, both passing away in the past fortnight.

The win was also the club’s swansong at Pirtek Stadium before demolition, mirroring the result of the first match at the ground when the Eels defeated the St George Dragons 36-6 on March 5 1986.

The Eels’ final game of the 2016 campaign is Sunday afternoon against the New Zealand Warriors in New Zealand.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

HEADING OFF: Leeton’s Andrew Burke will be participating in the Australian Transplant Games in Sydney later this month. Photo: John Gray
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LEETONresident Andrew Burke is gearing up to once again participate in the Australian Transplant Games.

Andrew, 16, received a live-saving kidney transplant in 2005 at the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital andnow he is ready to compete in Australia’s most inspirational sporting event.

Transplant Australia will stage the Australian Transplant Games fromSeptember 24 toOctober 1 in westernSydney to promote the benefits of donation and transplantation, and help transplant recipients strive towardsimproved health and fitness.

Andrew has taken a keen interest in sport since his transplant and regularly plays for various Leeton shire teams across a number of codes.

Transplant Australia chief executive officerChris Thomasdescribedthe games as being a unifying event for those that have received a transplant and their families.

“For recipients,participation is a way of saying ‘thanks’ to their donor families,” he said.

“For donor families, it’s a way to honour theirloved one’s gift of life.

“Transplant recipients come from all over the country to take part.

“Our athletes demonstrate living proof that transplantation saves lives.”

“What’s more, it allows them a qualityof life they might not have experienced for years.

“They can start a family, play sport, get back into theworkforce – all because of the generosity of someone else.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The Parramatta Eels’time at Pirtek Stadium has ended in a 30-18 win over the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
Nanjing Night Net

Rookie fullback Bevan French scored a hat-trick for the Eels to take his season tally to 16 tries in just 12 games.

Along with five-eighth Clint Gutherson, Eels coach Brad Arthur was full of praise for his young charges.

“Him and Clint Gutherson, every time you tell them something, they make sure they go out of their way to try and improve it.”

“While they keep doing that, they’ll have a long time in the game and a long time at this club.”

The Eels were never really troubled by the Dragons, with two late tries to the visitors flattering the scoreline.

Arthur reiterated his pride in the playing group despite disappointment they wouldn’t be playing finals football.

“I know I keep saying it but there hasn’t been a lot to want to play for but they still manage to keep hanging in there and playing for each other,” Arthur said.

“We played some really good footy tonight. We built pressure on the back of our defence and it’s just unfortunate that it has to end like this.”

It was an emotional night for the Eels, honouring the lives of foundation player Mitch Wallace and Eels Hall of Fame member Ken Thornett, both passing away in the past fortnight.

The win was also the club’s swansong at Pirtek Stadium before demolition, mirroring the result of the first match at the ground when the Eels defeated the St George Dragons 36-6 on March 5 1986.

The Eels’final game of the 2016 campaign is Sunday afternoon against the New Zealand Warriors in New Zealand.

‘The hedge funds wouldn’t miss it ‘ … Q&A panellist Sir Michael Marmot proposed taking a billion dollars from each of 25 New York hedge-fund billionaires and giving it to the Tanzanians. Photo: ABC ‘How do you get politicians to think beyond the three-year cycle’ … Sir Michael Marmot outlines the problems with addressing inequality as Q&A host Tony Jones listens. Photo: Q&A
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‘I think you’re very much in fantasy land’ … Warren Mundine, an adviser to the Australian Prime Minister, dismissed Sir Michael Marmot ‘s suggestions. Photo: Q&A

It might well be Q&A’s perfect match of guest and questioner – a working-class battler pondering economic injustice and a revered global expert intent on bridging the wealth divide. There was just one hitch: they appeared four months apart.

On Monday night, the program had one essential guest – Sir Michael Marmot, a globally esteemed authority on inequality – but felt like it was missing another: Duncan Storrar, the man who back in May tried to kickstart the very debate that dominated this week’s program – “the future of the fair go”, as Tony Jones introduced it. This was the discussion Storrar deserved, and there wasn’t a Toorak Toaster in sight.

You’ll no doubt remember Storrar – and that toaster – and what happened in May when he asked a question that earned him a humiliating dressing down from one panellist and a beaming misfire from another, the election-primed Kelly O’Dwyer with her tone-deaf celebration of tax breaks on a $60,000 toaster. It left many wondering why you’d bother asking a question – and why you’d risk the backlash that hit Storrar. (And what the hell was that toaster?)

There was no such drama on Monday night, and there was much to cheer the ears of people like Storrar in finding a fierce public champion in Marmot – a man who turns conventional wisdom on its head, shuns the divisive rhetoric of “lifters and leaners”, marshals facts and figures to win his fights, and makes economic hard-heads wince when he makes the case for hope, and muses on how different the world could be if only we’d try another way.

“The opposite to poverty is not wealth, it is justice,” was his opening line as he shared the panel with a collection of wise heads who didn’t always agree with him.

For instance, we heard this, more than once: “Fantasy land.”

That was Warren Mundine’s pithy assessment of Marmot’s more expansive economic prescriptions after the distinguished guest had laid out a “thought experiment” involving taking a billion dollars from each of 25 New York hedge-fund billionaires and giving it to the Tanzanians. “The hedge funds wouldn’t miss it because they’ll make a billion next year,” he explained.

Mundine, an adviser to the Australian Prime Minister, rolled his eyes.

“I think Sir Michael is in fantasy land when it comes to some of these issues because that is not going to happen. We know that is not going to happen,” Mundine said, and while he was undoubtedly spot on about that the Q&A audience showed every sign of wanting to dream a little.

Tony Jones to Marmot: “Your ideas have been condemned as being unrealistic.”

Marmot: “I was thinking about a former Director-General of the World Health Organisation who said that what sounds unrealistic today becomes realistic tomorrow. I don’t think it is in fantasy land wanting a fairer society…”

Here, he was interrupted by applause – and Warren Mundine: “I think you’re very much in fantasy land.”

Marmot: “It relates to the question you asked before, how do you get politicians to think beyond the three-year cycle. I can’t deal with this three-year cycle and the only aim of a politician is to get elected again in three years’ time. I think we’ve got to get the politicians to think long-term.

“In a spirit of social justice as well. We are not going to change it tomorrow but the [idea] that we can’t change it tomorrow means [it’s] fantasy land, I don’t accept for a moment. I think we have to have a dream of what a fairer world would look like and then we have to work towards it.”

Note those key words – “have a dream”. They were no accident, coming a day after the 53rd anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King civil rights speech framed around those very words. And in bringing his theories on economic justice back to an immediate and immensely relatable problem – gormless governments – even Warren Mundine had to agree.

Actually, the PM might think he agreed a little too much.

“One of Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest mistakes,” Mundine said, “[was that] he walked into the room before Christmas and said we need a tax reform agenda, and we’ll put everything on the table. Within five seconds he walked away from that table and it became a dog’s breakfast. We need to be focusing a lot more on this area.”

Tony Jones inquired: “Have you told him that, by the way?”

Mundine: “I’ve had quite interesting conversations, I can tell you.”

And therein lies the rub: the politicians say they can’t, the dreamers say they can, the pragmatists bang their heads.

And we the people, the Duncan Storrars of the world? Caught between Marmot’s fantasy land and Mundine’s real world and wondering if ever the twain shall meet.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

If you thought Australian television ratings were a mass of meaningless numbers and dodgy mathematics, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
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According to the press release, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards were a triumph of eyeballs, with streaming audiences soaring.

Just how high, no one can quite tell you, but more worrying is how much the annual telecast’s traditional TV audience has shrunk.

This year, “roadblocked” across 11 Viacom-owned channels, it drew just 6.5 million viewers.

That’s basically one third down when compared to last year, when it was roadblocked across 10 channels.

In television scheduling, “roadblocking” is when a network simulcasts the same program across multiple channels; it is intended to pump up the numbers by pulling in audiences from other channels who might not usually switch across.

What is worrying about those numbers is not that they reflect a migration either away from traditional television and towards streaming, or away from MTV’s over-baked awards nights in general, but they reflect a much stronger decline than the broader market.

There is no doubt that television audiences are migrating from linear services – that is, TV channels – and towards streaming services.

But despite the hype, most broadcast services are holding their own, thank you very much, or reporting more modest declines.

To shed a third of your TV audience in a 12-month period is disastrous.

The great news, according to the spin doctors at MTV, is that the telecast’s new streaming audience was soaring.

And the telecast created enormous noise on social media, accounting for 90 per cent of all TV-specific social media posts and holding first place as the “top global trending hashtag” on the Twitter platform for 13 hours.

Which sounds a little like a party with one really, really noisy guy in the corner who dominates everyone’s attention but is largely forgotten by the time everyone has ordered their Ubers and gone home.

There was also a 70 per cent increase in streams via the official app and website, with a total of 62.8 million video “starts” reported.

That sounds a bit more promising: digital eyeballs are, after all, the same as terrestrial eyeballs.

But a start means only exactly that: the commencement of the video stream when a viewer presses the “play” button; how engaged they are, and how long they continue to watch is not clear from the numbers.

A sexier number was streaming via Facebook, which was up 938 per cent.

Crunching the numbers over the longer term is even more worrying.

Back in 2014, MTV roadblocked the awards across just three channels,and still managed to pull in 10.1 million viewers in total.

And in 2013, back when roadblocking was just something that council workers did to disrupt your drive to work of a morning, they managed to pull 10.1 million viewers off just one channel.

Imagine that? One channel? It sounds positively medieval.

The upshot is this: if you expressed those ratings as a line graph, they would resemble the cross section of a black diamond trail in a downhill ski resort.

Anyone for schnapps?

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.