“Paul, it’s Bob Wilson. You’ve won the Nobel Prize.”
Paul Milgrom’s doorbell camera recorded his research partner Bob’s house call in the wee hours to deliver the good news after the organisers couldn’t raise him. Winning the Nobel Prize for economics for their work on auction theory means Milgrom can place a US$1 million bid on a good night’s sleep…
PRESSURE MOUNTS OVER MELBOURNE’S LOCKDOWN
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the state’s senior health officials are resisting pressure to significantly ease the coronavirus restrictions that Melbourne residents are living under. Currently, Melburnians can leave home for just 4 reasons – permitted work, medical care, essential shopping and exercise for up to 2 hours. From Sunday, it was hoped residents would be allowed to wander further than 5km from their homes for as long as they wanted. And for businesses, cafes and restaurants were set to resume limited sit-down service while all retail, hairdressing and beauty services were slated to reopen. But the 14-day daily average target of 5 new cases will not be met by Sunday after 12 new cases recorded yesterday took the daily average to 10 new cases. That led Andrews to reiterate that “case numbers are too high to open up now. That is a fact”.
IS IT A FACT?
That’s a fraught question… The state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton yesterday said keeping restrictions in place was important because “the remaining chains of transmission in Victoria are some of the trickiest, I imagine, in the world.” That’s because of the high number of “complex households” that have a large number of residents and language barriers are currently affected by the virus, he said. But some experts said the measure of success should be changed to focus on the number of mystery cases. In Melbourne, there have been 13 cases with an unknown source of infection in the last fortnight, which is significantly lower than it’s recently been, and in regional Victoria, it’s zero. For extra points, it’s worth noting the number of active cases statewide has fallen consistently since mid-August – except on Monday when it rose from 189 to 191 active cases.
SO WHERE’S THIS GOING?
It’s a lot of hard news for Melbourne residents to swallow. One pub owner’s venting his spleen by taking it to the High Court… And in parliament last night, Premier Andrews defeated a no-confidence vote with the Coalition opposition saying his government has mishandled to COVID response. But there are arguments of relativity being mounted – particularly with NSW yesterday announcing a further easing of social-distancing restrictions on outdoor dining and events despite recording 7 new locally-acquired cases. And Tassie’s eying the lifting of border restrictions on NSW residents despite the state consistently recording new cases. Fingers remained crossed that there might still be some easing of Melbourne’s restrictions on Sunday with Andrews previously saying that the 5km travel limit and outdoor activities/socialising rules are being re-evaluated. So that might be something…
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BEREJIKLIAN DIGS IN
If Monday was one of the toughest days of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s life, yesterday couldn’t have been much better as she faced her colleagues and batted away calls from Labor for her to resign. After the bombshell of her secret relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire was dropped before a corruption inquiry on Monday, she yesterday maintained that she had no reason to go. “I want to state unequivocally that at all times, I’ve acted in accordance with the highest levels of accountability,” Berejiklian told the parliament. Meanwhile, more allegations about Maguire were revealed yesterday, including that he’d potentially destroyed evidence. A former business associate said he’d told her that there had been “an unfortunate accident where my phones and iPad have been run over by a tractor.” Which totally happens all the time. Maguire will appear before the inquiry today so clear your diary…
AND IN THE SUNSHINE STATE…
Well, that’s where Liberal-National Party leader Deb Frecklington is fending off allegations she breached the political donation rules by allowing property developers to contribute at her fundraising events – a big no-no. The matter came to light after her party sought advice from the state’s electoral commission. Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is calling for answers, but Frecklington said move along, nothing to see here. It’s all heightened with the state in campaign mode ahead of its election on 31 October.
FACEBOOK TAKES A STAND
After saying for ages that its role is to facilitate free speech, founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday confirmed any material that “denies or distorts the Holocaust” will be banned on Facebook and Instagram. Starting later this year, users who search for terms associated with the Holocaust will be redirected to “credible information” from third-party sources. Zuckerberg says “my own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence”. And this morning, the company has announced a ban on anti-vaccination ads. Critics said the shift in thinking could have something to do with hundreds of companies suspending their advertising in a bid to push Facebook to ban hate speech and misinformation. In recent months, Facebook has launched campaigns to counter misinformation around the coronavirus pandemic and suspended political ads in the lead up to the upcoming US presidential election.
FINDING YOURSELF IN ANOTHER
It isn’t just cats that meet their visual match… According to a new study looking at an old theory, it’s true that humans tend to be attracted to people who resemble themselves – even if it’s not apparent until we’re older. But do couples in long-term relationships come to look alike over time? It’s a question that has plagued psychologists for decades, but researchers at Stanford University have finally cracked the code. No, is the short answer. The longer answer is because we are predisposed towards picking people with similar-ish features to us, those features can become more pronounced over time. Clear as mud? Good. Want to hear something weird? One study asked subjects to rate pictures of people for attractiveness, and they usually liked the one that was an amalgamation of a stranger and themselves. So weird…
SAD FACE FOR WINX
In the final stage of her marathon 11-month pregnancy, champion mare Winx has lost her first foal. “It is a traumatic time for a mother and those involved, and Winx is now the centre of our attention following the loss of a beautiful filly this morning,” trainer Chris Waller confirmed yesterday. Reports say the retired racehorse – considered by many to be the best Australia’s ever seen – was herself in good health. “For whatever reason, it wasn’t meant to be,” said saddened part-owner Peter Tighe.
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World Standards Day – so it’s not a day to drop them…
Birthdays for fashion designer Ralph Lauren (1939) and singer Usher (1978)
• Arthur Conan Doyle publishing The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) and AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh makes its debut (1926)
• Martin Luther King Jr winning the Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
• the deaths of Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson (1958), actor Errol Flynn (1959) and crooner Bing Crosby (1977)
• the premiere of reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007)
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