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  1. Stevie J pays a high price


    February 10, 2019 by admin

    Steve Johnson (foreground) makes his ill-fated contact.COMMENT
    Nanjing Night Net

    IT’S the system that nailed Steve Johnson. Once the match review panel watched the videotape of him laying a block on Dan Hannebery at Geelong last Saturday and decided it was a reportable offence, he was in trouble.

    That’s because Johnson’s record included a tripping incident against Richmond in round four this year (adding 78 points to his base penalty), and the loading from a three-match suspension for whacking Steven Baker, of St Kilda, in 2010. We all remember that incident, when Baker goaded him and their tete-a-tete ended as it was always going to end, with Johnson snapping.

    Once Johnson was assessed at a 240-point misdemeanour, Geelong had nowhere to go. Had the Cats chosen to challenge the panel’s finding at the tribunal, they risked losing him for not just one but two finals (assuming Geelong goes through this week). It was a risk it was not prepared to take and it accepted the one-match ban yesterday.

    Had it not been for the loading and the carry-over points, he would have been assessed at 120 demerit points, pleaded not guilty for a 25 per cent discount, and walked away with a reprimand.

    That’s the system and it is worth noting that the incomparable Stevie J has some recent history in the area of body-checking. He did it to Chris Newman in the Richmond game and escaped; he knocked out Scott Thompson at the opening bounce against Adelaide (although in fairness, that was assessed, rightly, as an accidental collision).

    Johnson, in his new role as a permanent midfielder, has been pushing the boundaries with his body-checking, as the Hannebery incident shows. He went a fraction too far, and he picked on an unsuspecting player. But that’s where logic gets thrown out, in my view.

    But the system never needed to be used. Surely the Johnson bump on Hannebery, silly and unnecessary as it was, does not constitute a reportable offence in a rugged game like Australian football. Surely a free kick to Hannebery, who was winded but suffered no lasting injury, solves the problem and metes out the necessary sanction on Johnson.

    It is such a contradiction to think that a little shoulder into the sternum of an approaching player, intended as a block for that player’s opponent, can draw a suspension from a final when there is so much more overtly dangerous conduct going on around it.

    I love watching Stevie J play. He is unique with his all-seeing awareness on the field, and loveable in the fact that he messes things up sometimes, too. Now he won’t be there against Fremantle on Saturday, and I’m wondering if we have a Nanny state.

    Here’s my question. Is it actually good for footy that he’s watching a final from the stands? The answer is pretty obvious.

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

  2. Jets extend van Egmond’s contract 


    February 10, 2019 by admin

    THE Newcastle Jets have extended the contract of coach Gary van Egmond by a year and he will now stay at the helm of the A-League club until the end of the 2013-14 season.
    Nanjing Night Net

    In his second term at the Jets, van Egmond took over from Branko Culina on the eve of last season.

    The Jets finished seventh, missing the finals for a second straight year.

    Van Egmond has since rebuilt the squad, bringing in a host of exciting youngsters, and now has at least another season to try and repeat his championship success of 2007-08.

    The coach was not available to the Herald but said in a statement on the club’s website that he was privileged to lead the Jets.

    “I see a bright future, for this season and for many years to come, in both the development of the players and in the total culture of the club,’’ the statement said.

    “It is exciting times for the Newcastle Jets Football Club; we have a great representation of local talent in our senior group and near 100 per cent in our youth team.’’

    After guiding the club to a championship and wooden spoon in consecutive years, van Egmond left the Jets, who were then owned by Con Constantine, to take up a position at the Australian Institute of Sport.

    He spent two seasons in Canberra before returning to Newcastle last year.

    In the statement Jets owner Nathan Tinkler described van Egmond as one of Australia’s premier coaches.

    “When we signed Gary, part of his charter was to develop an exciting team and to nurture local talent,’’ Tinkler said.

    ‘‘What has been impressive during his first season with us, is not only his ability to coach but his desire to improve the game locally.’’

    Gary van Egmond.

  3. K Rudd’s lessons for life


    February 10, 2019 by admin

    Kevin Rudd, during his time as PM, being welcomed by students from Gordon Primary School in the ACT. Kevin Rudd
    Nanjing Night Net

    While Julia Gillard is selling her education crusade, Kevin Rudd is doing his own round of schools, reminding people of his record — and musing on what to do when you run into a brick wall.

    All the time, he’s been keeping the Twitter world abreast of where he’s going.

    ”Spoke to 1400 lads at Iona College in Brisbane this morning on faith, values and politics,” he tweeted yesterday.

    Then, directing his followers to a YouTube video, ”Have a listen to what the kids at one of the schools in the Tweed have to say about their new school facilities.”

    And today: ”Spent some time early this morning  with the teachers and little ones at the Stones Corner Children’s Develop.”

    ”As the [Rudd]  government said way back in 2008, early childhood education to ensure our kids are wired for learning.”

    ”Fantastic morning at St Ita’s at Dutton Park. St Ita’s has used Oz Govt school funding [initiated by the Rudd government] to build a fantastic new library.”

    ”Also spoke to years 6 & 7 at St Ita’s about China, the importance of family and most other things under the sun. Great kids.”

    One thing has been missing from the stream of tweets so far – any reference to the Gonski report on school funding, which the Prime Minister and her government have now formally embraced.

    When he spoke at  Iona College yesterday about various things under the sun, Mr Rudd delivered a homily to the many young people who say they would like to go into politics one day and ask him ”what should I do?”

    ”My answer to them is as follows.

    ”Tell me, young man, young woman, what do you believe in and why?

    ”And the second thing I ask them: well, if you know what you believe in  and why, then ask yourself this question — what can I do about it?

    ”And the third question I put to them is: okay, what are you now going to do about it? Yourself, in your life, where you are?”

    Too often, Mr Rudd lamented, ”I run into folk in political life, of all political parties including my own, who can’t answer that question properly. And it’s a very basic question.

    ”If you’ve looked at my own political career, it’s been full of a few ups, and a few downs — mainly downs in recent times,” he observed, drawing some laughs.

    ”Have you ever been – not too much laughter up the back there – a member of your own college football when you’ve come in first, and it’s premiers in one season, and you’ve dropped to the bottom of the table the next season?

    ”Life’s like that. I can here a few murmurs of agreement. Life’s like that.

    ”It’s not just one even smooth trajectory to the top of whatever you’re doing. So when you run into brick walls in life, things that get in your road, things that go wrong, things that happen which you’re not planning on, the really important thing is to go back to those basics of  ‘what do I believe in and why? and therefore, what should I do about it?”’

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

  4. Sustainable way to avoid bill shock


    February 10, 2019 by admin

    Many people are happy to complain about rising water and power bills but aren’t prepared to do anything about it, says the organiser of Sustainable House Day – a national event taking place this weekend where householders open up their homes to the public to show off green initiatives.
    Nanjing Night Net

    “Most people … just let their home manage them and just pay the bills at the end of the month, and talk about the increased prices of water and electricity,” says Pia Vogrin, who has organised the event.

    “Realistically if they were more active in managing their homes then they wouldn’t get such a surprise at the end of the month.”

    On Sunday, the owners of 235 properties around Australia will open their doors to strangers interested in learning how to make houses more sustainable. They’ll have the chance to see and touch the materials, building and green products.

    “It’s a tactile event, visitors can walk into these houses and look and feel the difference in terms of a sustainable build,” says Vogrin. “They can see passive solar – hopefully in action if there’s some sun around on the weekend. They can see how a home in their neighbourhood actually works with the environment.”

    The homeowners “want to share their stories, because they’ve come out the other end [of making their home sustainable] and are hoping that they can inspire others to take action in terms of managing their own home”, says Vogrin.

    About 40,000 people are expected to take  the opportunity to inspect the properties and another 60,000 are expected to research the homes online. At many of the homes, the builder and architect involved will also be on hand.

    Among those showing off their properties, Vogrin says there will be plenty who are attracted to the idea of a “smart home” rather than being an environmental crusader.

    “If you take away the green consciousness … these people are proud of the homes that they’ve built or designed,” she says.

    “They feel really engaged in their home. They’re able to manage their home, they know their energy usage, they know their water usage, they’re able to work within their environment to have a more comfortable home that in some way actually rewards them.”

    One of the green homes opening its doors to the public in Sydney is 5 Strickland Street, Rose Bay.

    Cameron Rosen, who lives in the house with his partner and three children, says his home is so energy efficient that its electricity bills are in the negative.

    Visitors to Rosen’s  house can take part in free workshops on organic gardening, grey water and green walls.

    “Our home has a beating heart and soul that is flowing with healthy green blood,” he says.

    “Some of the open homes show that you don’t have to have chickens in the backyard or a large worm composting bin for a home to be green. A green home is also about energy efficiency and one that has healthier building materials.”

    Sustainable House Day takes place this Sunday, September 9, from 10am – 4pm.

    Do you feel like your house manages you? Or are you in control of it – in particular things such as power, water and gas bills?

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

  5. Optus switches on 4G network


    February 10, 2019 by admin

    Optus has switched on 4G mobile services in central Sydney, Perth and Newcastle with plans to activate a Melbourne network in two weeks and Brisbane and Adelaide networks in early 2013.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Optus’ network will cover a 10 to 16 kilometre radius around the cities and customers’ devices will automatically revert to 3G services when they leave the 4G footprint.

    Optus has revealed prices that are cheaper, with larger download limits, than Telstra’s plans. It has two 4G mobile broadband dongles and started taking orders for the new Samsung Galaxy S III today.

    The telecommunications company expects to have more 4G compatible handsets and tablets available by Christmas time.

    Optus’ Galaxy III plans range from $67 per month to $80 with between 1.5 gigabytes and 2 gigabytes of data allowance per month. Its mobile broadband plans range from about $46 per month for 10 gigabytes to $86 per month for 20 gigabytes. This is cheaper than Telstra’s prices for mobile broadband on its 4G network, which range from about $40 per month for 1 gigabyte of data to about $110 per month for 15 gigabytes of data.

    Optus is the second mobile carrier in Australia to launch a 4G network after Telstra launched its own in November last year.

    Telstra already has about half a million 4G devices connected to its network and recently announced plans to extend coverage to two thirds of the population to cement its first-mover advantage. Vodafone says it expects to launch 4G services some time in 2013, but has been concentrating on fixing and improving its existing 3G network.

    Telstra’s network extends into regional towns because it owns a lot of 850 megahertz (MHz) spectrum in these areas, which is a low frequency spectrum that travels well over long distances. It uses 1800 MHz in cities.

    Optus cannot extend its 4G network into regional areas for several years because it does not yet have suitable low-frequency spectrum available. It plans to buy 700 MHz spectrum from the government once analog television signals are transferred to digital signals and the 700 MHz is vacated. The government will auction the spectrum off early next year, but mobile carriers like Optus will not get access to it until early 2015 even though the switch to digital television will be completed by the end of 2013. Optus has been calling for earlier access to this spectrum.

    The new generation of mobile networks carry data at much faster speeds than 3G networks. It is also more efficient, so it is cheaper for network owners to operate 4G networks.

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