Entries by dev

Moi-yo: Magical queen of a golden age

BERLIN 1939: The storm clouds of war are hovering dark and forbidding over Europe. The German capital, long known for its libertine ways, for its raunchy cabarets, is now known as the nerve centre of a Nazi juggernaut making its way across Europe. For the world’s foremost illusion show, the renowned Dante the Magician’s company […]

Suicide Freddie: Olympic daredevil, rake, gun-runner, diamond smuggler

Dirty rotten scoundrels don’t come much bigger, better or more reckless than Aussie-born, international high-society gatecrasher Freddie McEvoy. McEvoy was a swashbuckler, a daredevil race driver, world bobsled champion, Olympic medallist, a gambler, diamond smuggler, gun-runner, suspected Nazi spy … and one of the most expensive, most highly-chased male escorts in Europe. Freddie supposedly killed […]

Africa: It’s a jungle out there, Nkosi

Exorcisms, terrorist killings, people smuggling, illegal disposal of bodies, bigamy – a priest’s work in war-ravaged Rhodesia was never easy. But Irish Anglican Fr Michael Gale is a practical preacher. It’s a handy talent when you’re sharing your congregation’s allegiances with tribal rivalries, superstition and witch-doctors. That’s not to mention a devil’s telephone of villager […]

Freeride world champ Huber retires

Torquay’s Freeride world champion skier Lorraine Huber has announced her retirement  from the Freeride World Tour after eight seasons. The Freeride World Tour is an annually toured series of events in which the best freeride skiers and snowboarders compete for individual event wins, as well as the overall title of World Champion in their respective genders and disciplines. “I’ve had eight intense and unforgettable years on the FWT and I am very happy to end my competition career on such a high note,” Huber said. During the past 2018 season, Huber dominated the fourth tour stop in Fieberbrunn in Austria with a win, followed by a second place at the Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland, the finals of the Freeride World Tour, putting her in third place overall. In 2017, Huber achieved her big dream of winning the World Champion title. She also became runner-up champion in 2014. She was awarded Vorarlberg Sportswoman of the Year 2017 and received the Golden Medal of Achievement in Sport from her home state of Vorarlberg, Austria. “Lorraine Huber is one of the best female skiers we’ve seen on the Tour, winning a World Title and demonstrating one of the strongest characters and commitment to her sport,” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, CEO of the Freeride World Tour. “Lorraine has been a major actor in the sport’s progression, she has shared her passion, and is now willing to pass on her experience to future generations, which is fantastic. Thank you Lorraine!” Although Huber is retiring from freeride competition, by no means does this suggest retirement from professional skiing. “I want to put all my energy into new projects now,” she said. “It’s especially important to me to pass on my knowledge and experience in the sport of freeriding to future generations – particularly to female skiers. “To this end, I plan on expanding my women’s freeride camps in Lech am Arlberg. I will also be busy with the production of ski film projects. My next big goal is to complete my master’s degree in mental strength coaching at the University of Salzburg. This will enable me to coach athletes professionally in reaching their full potential.” […]

Engineering a sand blast from the past

Last time I saw him was a little startling. Wes Anderson’s quirky The Grand Budapest Hotel had just finished, in the Village cinema, and his steady mellifluous voice came floating out of the blackness behind me. “So, what did you think of that, Murphy?” he asked. Of course, there’s only ever one answer for Anderson […]

Travelogue: Zombie monk island

Zombie monks, rocky waterfalls, distressed elephants, phallic landmarks and dodgy caiparinha cocktails … welcome to the Thai jungle paradise of Koh Samui. Coconut island. Or so it used to be. Now the coconuts are imported-on jets from Australia, the UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, mainly. They’re looking for sun, snorkelling and Singhas. One thing to know, […]

Streets ahead at Swindon … sorry, Lara

Major-league changes are unfolding at Lara just now as developers open the rural town’s west to new communities. Engineers and planners are tramping across paddocks to its west, scrutinising the landscape and its possibilities, picturing in their minds streets and drains, houses and parks. Magpies wheel about overhead, as they’ve done forever, scrutinising the newcomers […]

Bioplanters and new ways with waterways

DEALING with the water run-off from a 200-lot hillside residential estate at Wandana is an engineering challenge. Melbourne environmental engineering company Biofilta, whose Geelong projects have included Leopold’s Gateway Plaza and several indoor feature gardens at GMHBA Stadium, has taken the challenge by designing an integrated system involving water harvest, storage and treatment. Biofilta has […]

The Q Train takes out peak restaurant awards

It’s only been operating for 10 months but fine-dining restaurant The Q Train has just taken out two peak industry excellence awards. The Drysdale-Queenscliff gourmand rail operator on Monday won both Restaurant & Catering Australia’s prestigious Victorian Tourism Restaurant and Consumer Vote awards at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Q Train was also a […]

Cricket: Aborigines, elephants and barbecued chickens

Just spotted a great collection of stamps just released by Australia Post to mark 150 years since the first Oz cricket team toured England. All Aboriginals, neatly enough, and they fairly scared the socks off the Poms. Great stamps of the team; mainly mono images, one with the lads resplendent in red, white and blue. […]