[Melbourne City] Response that Melbourne is the World’s Most Friendliest City!

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Where I read the article: Melbourne named the world’s friendliest city, Sydney fifth

Commentary:

Hippy, hooray! In a survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, out of some many cities we are claimed as the most friendliest city, tied with Auckland (New Zealand).

“Called “capital of cool” Melbourne was praised for boasting an abundance of amazing nightlife, food and hotels, but was also praised for its parks and “fabulous” public art, and its people’s “wonderful sense of humour”.

As a matter of personal experience, this is rather true. I am certainly understand why people whether international tourists or locals would vote Melbourne as No.1, simply because:

  1. Every time I am lost and I need to go somewhere I would ask somebody (quite embarrassing for me since I live in Melbourne all my life but my geography knowledge is rather pathetic), there will always be somebody offering to help me and direct me to the right place. This is what I call friendliness.
  2. In Melbourne we are quite relaxed (doesn’t seem like any much longer since our population is escalating dramatically and it’s only a matter of time before we become overcrowded). Our carefree and open-minded characteristics is what characterises us as Melbournians.
  3. Dropped something on the floor? Fell down accidentally? Your bag is accidentally unzipped? People would actually take the initiative in Melbourne most of the time to see if you are alright or give a helping hand. You don’t expect this in every city so it does again give us a friendly image.
  4. Unlike my experience in Beijing, China, people do offer you with help in public transport. Every time when I catch the tram and there’s a mum with a baby pram in front of the doors, there will always be somebody hurrying to lift the pram to enter the tram. It’s these small but friendly gestures that we should be commended for.

As for the Sydneysiders who are whining about being behind Melbourne by 5 places, big deal. Being claimed as the 5th Most Friendliest City is already a top-notch honour. Accept it. We are both part of Australia. To be fair Sydney is much more urbanised than Melbourne and looks much more like an international city but Melbourne wins because we are more socially cohesive as a community and we are a multicultural, multi-faith society. There’s no need to be petty.

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[Architecture] Response that Melbourne’s Federation Square Voted as One of the World’s Best Public Squares

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Where I read the article:

Melbourne’s Federation Square voted one of the world’s best public squares

Commentary:

I’m surprised that it’s already August, but what’s more unbelievable is this…

This news came to me totally by surprise. I still remember how Melbournians were blasting how the Federation Square was a total disaster years ago.The random designs, the boring atmosphere and the visual eyesore.

“Often voted one of the ugliest places due to the deconstructivist style of the buildings, the square has come to be very successful. Why so? Well, with a constant stream of entertainment, dining and free Wi-Fi, it’s always busy with people.”

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Ah.

‘Free Wi-Fi’ – I don’t see how free Wi-Fi would help to make Federation Square one of the world’s top public squares, given that so many other places offer free internet. I think I have used the free Wi-Fi in Federation Square a couple of times before. Nothing special. It wasn’t lightning speed fast and yet it wasn’t like my home Dial-Up internet 10 years ago (Yes I am old).

Constant stream of entertainment – I have mixed feelings about this one. I do agree that Fed Square has a lot of community events happening often, whether it was the Multicultural Victoria Festival back from March, the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited back in 2011 and where everyone gathers for New Years Eve. However, I still think that Federation Square is quite empty. It feels like a large space just to walk by. Inside the Federation Square apart from ACMI (great place to go by the way), there’s basically a book store, same cafes and gift stores. To become one of the world best public spaces I would have certainly wanted more.

It’s always busy with people – Sometimes when it’s a sunny day yes I agree there are quite a lot of people sitting on those long benches.

Don’t worry. I don’t hate Federation Square, I just think it could have offered much more given that it’s in the centre of Australia’s cultural capital city. It’s not as bad as what everyone thinks and 6th place I guess is fair. I have completely nothing wrong with the architecture design (it has the Australian style feel) and I like how it’s a very relaxing and casual place. Easily accessible public transport (tram lines across the road, Flinders St Train Station on the other side, tourist shuttle bus right outside) and nice music everywhere are also bonuses. Some entertaining street performances. You name it.

A look at how other public squares were ranked against the Fed Square:

“BEST IN THE WORLD

1. Naghsh-e Jahaan Square, Isfahan, Iran

2. Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy

3. Red Square, Moscow, Russia

4. Trafalgar Square, London

5. St Peter’s Square, Vatican City

6. Federation Square, Melbourne

7. Rynek Główny, Kraków, Poland

8. Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

9. Times Square, New York

10. Tahrir Square, Cairo”

I’m surprised that Fed Square overpassed New York’s Time Square by a noticeable three spots, given that it’s so much more famous. Visually, Time Square beats Fed Square by a million bucks, but maybe it’s the loud and crowded atmosphere in Times Square that’s unbearable. Period.

[Weather] Response to Melbourne’s Temperature dropping 11 degrees over a few minutes

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Where I read the article:

Wild weather strikes south eastern Australia, but we promise you, the weather has not gone mad. Mostly

Commentary:

I’ve lived in Melbourne all my life and yes the weather here is changing all the time. 

“THE cold front has hit Melbourne. Tullamarine Airport plummeted from 18 degrees to 7.7 in a matter of minutes this evening, while the Yarra river is bursting its banks.”

I was at Melbourne CBD today and I looked outside the window at around 3:30pm. It looked humid and warm outside, and frankly you couldn’t see any signs of rain coming. But then before an hour even passed by, I could tell that the room was getting darker as the dark clouds were. Suddenly, it was starting to rain and the temperature outside went from 18 degrees to 7.7 degrees Celsius, making me all soaked by the time I was at home. Bizarre. 

People around the world have always noted this special feature from Melbourne and in all honesty I don’t quite like it. Not when I thought that I didn’t need to bring my umbrella. Not when I was planning to browse around the streets thinking it would be a good day to. 

Today really challenges the beliefs of anyone who denies Melbourne’s ‘4 seasons in 1 day weather. 

[MELBOURNE CITY] Response that Melbourne is named World’s 3rd Best City

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Where I read the article: Melbourne named world’s third best city

Commentary:

Melbournians rejoice! We have been recently claimed as the World’s 3rd Best City! Not bad at all.

“Falling from second last year, Melbourne won praise for recent public transport upgrades and its low crime rate – though Monocle’s data gave it the highest murder rate on its index of 25 cities.  “

Although we dropped from third place to second place, it’s still good enough considering there are so many cities in the world that are hungry to grab the title. I think this title for Melbourne is well-deserved, for many reasons that this article did not say:

1. We are an international sports city (2014 Sports-Business Ultimate Sports City). Every year we host the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments (Australian Open) in Melbourne, featuring top-notch tennis players like Roger Federer, not to also mention our amazing Nick Kyrgios from Australia who defeated World No.1 Nadal before. Also, out of the whole Australia we have the highest attendance rates of AFL fans. 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Melbourne Cup, you name it.

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2. We have rather unique architecture. Examples include the Art Preinct, Eureka Tower, Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, all which are known for their design (maybe Federation Square is renowned for its architecture infamously).

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3. Nice Public Transport. Ever since the Metcards were abolished, I can happily say that Melbourne’s public transport system has improved tremendously in terms of efficiency even though we have few technical problems here and there. In particular, our recently upgraded trams make us different compared to other cities, where I believe we are the first city in Australia to have trams operating. Down at Swanston Street there’s even an opportunity for you to be on a horse carriage.

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Besides these reasons, we have a great Health-care system, relatively low crime rates for a city and more importantly we are a multicultural and multi-faith society.

In order for me to not be overly Melbourne-patriotic, I acknowledge that there’s also quite a few things that we could improve on, and I know we will.

Do you agree with me? Feel free to comment below.

[Business][Interesting] Response to New Watermark Technology to ‘Stop’ Illegal Music Downloads

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Where I read the article: Watermark technology from Deakin University touted as key to stopping illegal downloads

Commentary:

What a breakthrough news. Since 2000s onwards, people have been downloading music illegally and now Melbourne researchers have found a way to stop all this? In all honesty I am not too confident that this Watermark technology will work because those illegal down-loaders will always find a way to get through loopholes.

“Artists deserve protection and it’s been an area of great frustration, so if anything that’s come out of Deakin becomes reality, I’d be not just proud of Deakin but proud of Australia.”

I personally think that we shouldn’t download illegal music because it’s not just businesses that are impacted from this, so are the singers from the first place. Musicians basically earn nothing when people download illegally, and they still don’t receive much commission from CD resellers either, amid the music industry is dying. But I guess at the end of the day it’s up to people to decide if they want to download songs illegally or not.

“Almost all Australian music downloads illegal”

“Professor Yong Xiang said 95 per cent of music downloads in Australia were illegal, with about 2.8 million Australian using illegal file sharing networks.”

This is a very true fact. People download illegally. It’s free. It’s convenient.

For starters, I only sometimes listen to music from my phone. When I do, I either listen music off from YouTube (partly because you can see the music video visually) or pop on ‘Freegal’ (where you download music legally but there are limits on a weekly basis as to how many songs you can download). By the way, I highly recommend people to check out Freegal. It’s a cool site and you don’t get into trouble with the law.

 

[Interesting] Response to NSW man who ‘found’ the Russian Space Junk and plans to sell it for $100,000

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Where I read the article: NSW man who believes he found space junk from Russian rocket posts it on Gumtree for $100,000

Commentary:

I guess finder’s keepers was what the guy who found the ‘Space Junk’ was thinking. It’s also what comes up to peoples’ minds when they find a treasure; sell it for as more as you can and earn a profit for something that’s not yours in the first place. I didn’t get a chance to see the space junk flying back Melbourne’s sky that night but I agree that it was indeed a phenomenon.

“What is a bit surprising is the track it took, which is long, long away from the line we got from the US and most of the eyewitnesses,”

This raises the question whether the space junk is genuine in the first place. I frankly am not too sure if this object is real but from what researchers have said we can establish that it’s more or less a space junk, the matter of fact is just whether if it was from the Russian rocket.

And before we get everything all cleared up, he’s asking for $100,000 on Gumtree. A smart move I would say would be to go and show this directly to N.A.S.A, confirm whether this space junk was from the Russian rocket, get international attention and then it is probably his to sell, and possibly for a even higher price.The only drawback from this is of course if N.A.S.A asks to have it back haha.

Professor Bland: “If you can remember roughly where it was in the sky, download the app and go through the steps to record it,”

It’s amusing to know how much technology has taken us. People whether from Melbourne or anywhere from around the world can now just download an app and help space researchers about tracing debris. We are now all amateur astronomers!