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Website changes
St Kilda Festival
Midsumma Festival & Summersalt Festival
Melbourne's Hidden Gems - The Elizabeth Street Emu
Free family films in ALtona
Piknik Elektronik
The Elizabeth Street Emu - part 2
Gasometer Hotel
What is it?
Fairfiled Amphitheatre free concerts
Lygon Street
The Elizabeth Street Emu - part 3
The Fours Seasons - special offer
The White Hat Puzzle
Earnest at Como
The Elizabeth Street Emu - part 4
Free concerts at the Music Bowl
Last week's quiz
Royal Croquet Club
The Elizabeth Street Emu - part 5
The White Hat Quiz

Website changes

We are taking advantage of the long weekend of initiate major changes to our website, For the technically minded we are cutting it over from ASP to ASP.NET which will result in a number of usability improvements with we hope not too much disruption along the way. In the meantime, regular newsletter service will resume next Friday.
St Kilda Festival
The St Kilda Festival starts next weekend and you can find details at:
St Kilda Festival
Midsumma Festival & SummerSalt Festival
The Midsumma Festival has commenced and you can find details at:
Midsumma Festival
The SummerSalt arts festival in Southbank has plenty of free activities including numbers of family-friendly ones. Details at:
SummerSalt Festival

Melbourne’s Hidden Gems - The Elizabeth Street Emu

Free family movies in Altona
The last of the free outdoor summer movies in Altona is coming up next weekend. Details at:
Outdoor Cinema
Picnic Elektronik
Montreal’s Picnic Electronik has a new venue in Southbank. If you are under forty and living in the inner city you have to at least pretend you have seen them. If you pretend to live in the inner city and pretend to be under 40 then you definitely to be there long enough to get a selfie.
Piknic Electronik

The Elizabeth Street Emu - Part 2

The Gasometer
The Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood is a newly (and impressively) refurbished music venue that even has a roof that opens to the stars - or whatever Melbourne’s weather has on offer at the time. If this sounds of interest we suggest you check out the offerings for their opening season. Details at:
The Gasometer
What is it?
Last week we asked a very simple question:
Maureen sent in this photo of a wrought iron fence. Maybe some of our subscribers who have postgraduate qualifications in the fine arts can unravel the abstract symbolism of the design.

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We had a number of responses including this:
“Mr W hat
I don't know the origin of that symbolism but I believe it to be some ancient fertility or mating symbol. I have seen it as a cave painting on old brick and concrete caves in Broadmeadows in my youth.  …  I have heard suggestions that they were done by homo sapiens but possibly also cro magnon who were known to live there in the 1960s. Others may know more
Now for this week:
This short video shows a lane covered in graffiti art. Where is it?
See video
Send your answers to
Fairfield Amphitheatre free concerts
Starting next Sunday are the annual free concerts in the Fairfield Amphitheatre. You can find details at:
Fairfield Amphitheatre
Lygon Street
With post war migration, large numbers of Italians joined the established Jewish community in Lygon Street Carlton. If you are interested in hearing some of the stories of how that came about there is currently a documentary available free on the SBS On Demand site. You can find details at:
Lygon Street
You may also be interested in the documentary on Mr Eternity - the man who for 40 years wrote the word Eternity in beautiful copperplate script on Sydney streets. Details at:
Mr Eternity

The Elizabeth Street Emu - Part 3

The Smith family are looking for online mentors for disadvantaged school children. It involves hooking up online about once a week to assist with schoolwork and life matters. The usual police clearance and working with children clearances would be required. You can find details at:
The Four Seasons - special offer
The Australian Chamber Orchestra has been presenting important and imaginative concerts for over 20 years at a standard to make all Australians proud. This is not some publicity agent speaking - this is White Hat, and we regularly rate their concerts as 5 hats.
In the meantime, a young Egyptian-Australian from Sydney, Joseph Tawadros, has established himself as a world class performer on the oud. The oud is traditional plucked instrument from the Middle East which when absorbed into Western music developed into the lute (from “l’oud”) but remains virtually unchanged in the eastern tradition as an essential ingredient to virtually all music from high art to informal local festivities.
In the opening concert of the 2015 ACO season Richard Tognetti (violin) and Joseph Tawadros will combine to reinterpret Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. You can find details of the concert at:
The Four Seasons
Because of our consistent championing of the ACO over the years, the ACO have made a number of tickets to this concert available to our subscribers at 25% off. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, get in touch and we will send you further details.
The White Hat Puzzle
First Jane had a postscript to a previous puzzle:
“I can't agree with the vacuum cleaner solution.
Robert knows that the brooch stone must have fallen down behind the neck of Paula's frock. So inverting her torso would be an effective way of releasing it.  Having her remove her stockings would achieve just this result.  Clever, honourable, hands-off Robert!
Last week we asked:
You are applying for a vacation job as an assistant at a children’s farm. The animals are allowed to roam free around the farmyard and they include numbers of hens, ducks and three peacocks. One of the jobs of the assistant at the end of the day is to collect the eggs that have been laid in various nooks and crannies. To test your suitability for the job and your familiarity with animals the owner asks “how will you tell the difference between the eggs laid by the hens, the ducks and the peacocks?” What is your answer?
Linelle, Stan, Keith, Moira, Xi, Kirstie and Hal all spotted the key point.
Peacocks don’t lay eggs - peahens do.
Rusty even wrote us a little poem:
“Hens eggs are either white or brown
And are laid all over town
Ducks eggs are a blueish grey
By the river they will lay
Peacocks are a showy lot
Preening is their life
But when it comes to laying eggs
They leave that to the wife
South Africa”
Now for this week and let’s stay with animals.
Are Noah’s plans likely to strike any problems?
larger image >>  
Send your response to
The Importance of Being Earnest at Como House
Oscar Wilde’s much-loved play is being performed at Como House. It is hard to think of a setting in Melbourne that could better fit this play which always seems to delight whether it is performed by top professional theatre companies or local amateur ones and all those in between.
Among other things, the imperious Lady Bracknell has to be convinced that Jack is of suitable stock to marry into the family. On finding he is an orphan she declares 
“To lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune.  To lose both seems like carelessness.”
On further being informed that he had been discovered as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station she relies “A handbag?” When delivered by an actress like Dame Edith Evans, a single word can steal the show. See:
Lady Bracknell
If you have never seen ‘Earnest’, do yourself a favour and get along to Como. Details at:
Como House

The Elizabeth Street Emu - Part. 4

Free classical concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl
The annual free concerts at the Music Bowl are coming up in February so you might want to put the dates in your diary. The concerts have been cut from four to three so we hope that they don’t get cut further in the future. Details at:
Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Last Week’s Quiz

Before we get to last week’s quiz we should clarify a previous one
“I think that the answer that you’ve accepted to question 3 in the quiz in Newsletter 655 is wrong.  You asked whether there are any palindromic dates in 2015.  The correct answer is that there are none, whichever date format is chosen.  A truly palindromic date would need to include day number 51 in the month concerned.  The longest months only have 31 days, however, so “day 51” is impossible.  Dates like 15/1/15 are not palindromes.
You are right of course if the slash is considered as part of the pattern. Otherwise if just the digits are being considered there can be
are both palindromic dates from 2015.
Now to last week’s public transport quiz
First in with his/her answers was Pat so here they are:
1. Google is promoting driverless cars. However some cities have had driverless trains for some time. Name one. - “KL for one, and lots of internal trains at airports across the world.”
2. Brisbane used value to capture to find the expansion of its CityCat ferry service. Who provided the funding? - pass [The University and several property developers who would benefit from the service stumped up some serious dollars]
3. At least one town in Australia still has a regular horse tram service. Which town? - "Victor Harbor maintains a horse tram across a causeway to Granite Island". [Correct - as a sub questions someone may like to tell us why Victor Harbor is spelled without a ‘u’ in harbour] 
4. Google Maps provides detailed public transport trip information for many cities throughout the world but not for Melbourne. Why? - pass [PTV has not been prepared to release timetable details in the internationally accepted open source formats. However, that is about to change and you can expect to see a number of trip planning apps include Google Maps making use of the new open source data starting about March]
5. The Eastern Freeway has a reservation which has been left vacant for a potential rail line to Doncaster. In 2014 PTV conducted a feasibility study of forecast patronage if a rail line to Doncaster was built. It concluded that it would likely result in the following percentage of passengers switching from cars to public transport? a) 2% b) 20%  c) 80% (whereas the rest would have switched from some other form of public transport). - Dawn had the right answer here - 2%. The reasons why a Doncaster rail link would take so few cars off the road are not simple and is something we might look at in a future newsletter.
6. One major city was able to implement significant social change in its crime-ridden slum areas by an unusual form of public transport. What mode of transport is that? - "The overhead cable cars in Rio de Janeiro have enabled residents of the favelas to get downtown quickly and easily without running the gauntlet of the gangsters."
7. We are all familiar with double decker buses. Name a city with double decker trams. - “That would be Honkers”
8. Name a city with flying trams. - “Wuppertal in Germany” [You can see a short video at:
Flying trams
9. In the Melbourne underground loop, which trains go clockwise and which go anti-clockwise? Dawn answered “Almost all go the one way, anti in the morning and clockwise in the afternoon – the changeover is about 1pm but yes, it certainly varies with the line.  The exception to this is the line which goes from the Geelong direction – I used to use it for a while, and it went direct from Flagstaff in the evenings to North Melbourne.  In the mornings though, I changed at North Melbourne to avoid the delay at Flinders street and the trip round the city loop.”
10. Name a city that uses escalators as a form of public transport. - “Honkers again. Escalators will take you half way up the mountain in some areas.”
Royal Croquet Club
The Royal Croquet Club runs until 1st February.
Royal Croquet Club
It is like a pop-up Wobbies World on the banks of the Yarra but with more expensive drinks. It is the place to be and to be seen.

The Elizabeth Street Emu - Part 5

The White Hat Quiz
Today is the day that many people choose to publicly become an Australian citizen.
Name a significant person, past or present who is or was:
1. A Greek-Australian
2. An Italian-Australian
3. A Vietnamese-Australian
4. A Russian-Australian
5. A French-Australian
6. A German-Australian
7. A Chinese-Australian
8. A Japanese-Australian
9. A Lebanese-Australian
10. A Greek-Englishman with an Australian knighthood.             
Send your answers to
No prizes – just glory and a warm inner glow
And because you have been very good, you all get an elephant stamp - or at least an elephant video



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