What $650,000 (and just over) buys you in Sydney now

Obviously $650,000 is more than half a million; but as the threshold for first home-owners stamp duty exemption, in Sydney housing market-speak, this is entry-level coin.
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Nevertheless with some savvy hunting you can still enjoy the world-envied Sydney lifestyle. As long as that car spot or second bedroom or backyard or sea breeze or 20-minute commute isn’t a deal breaker for you, you’re sitting pretty in one of Sydney’s dream locations for about $650,000. 1. Who’s who in Barangaroo???

187 Kent Street, Sydney NSW

What: StudioWhere:187 Kent Street, Sydney NSW Price guide: $630,000-$660,000

Live like a jetsetter next to the city’s flashiest precinct, Barangaroo, in this furnished 42-square-metre studio with a marble bathroom and large balcony overlooking the CBD. A stone’s throw from the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and Opera House in one direction and Darling Harbour in the other; you’re a short walk from Barangaroo’s world class restaurants and foreshore parks. This is your chance to keep your finger on the pulse in a big way, and the letting potential is off the charts. 2. Natural habitat in Hazelbrook

109 Mount View Avenue, Hazelbrook

???What: Three-bedroom houseWhere: 109 Mount View Avenue, Hazelbrook NSW Price guide: $599,950

Fancy a Blue Mountains off-grid lifestyle? This 677-square-metre Hazelbrook property is completely self-sufficient, with stunning terraced gardens that back onto bushland for your morning hike to the waterfall. Intend on setting up a chook run, vegie garden, solar panels, composting and rainwater tanks? It’s all done for you. The house itself boasts polished floorboards, gas, air con and three huge bedrooms plus a study or fourth bedroom. Hmmm, tempted to curl up on that back deck with a glass of red right now? 3. Robinson cruisey in Scotland Island

118 Thompson Street, Scotland Island

What: Land and a shedWhere: 118 Thompson Street, Scotland IslandPrice guide: $600,000

This 1300-square-metre block on the north side of Scotland Island is peaceful a slice of paradise – who’d believe you’re still in Sydney? Bathed in light and bordered by parks and native reserve, the plot has road access to the island community, and its own jetty onto shimmering Pittwater. Accessed via the northern beaches ferry, water taxi or private boat; the property features a couple of readymade sheds to use as you build your architecturally designed dream house (DA approval in the works). Power, water and septic are already in place. Time for a seachange? 4. On point in Potts Point

49/1 Mcdonald, Potts Point NSW

What: One-bedroom unitWhere:49/1 Mcdonald, Potts Point NSW Price guide: $650,000-$680,000

Its price range puts this apartment right at the limit (and potentially over) the first-home buyers threshold, but its location made it a must to include. A tranquil hideaway in the beating heart of Sydney’s inner east, Potts Point, adjacent to Kings Cross, has quickly been gentrified as the spotlight shifts from clubs to its sensational restaurants and classy wine bars.

A block back from Woolloomooloo in strata title building Habitat, the unit has pool access, a leafy outlook and new kitchen, in case you ever decide to cook. Stroll up Macleay Street and grab a bite, see a show, sit by El Alamein Fountain, catch a train or have coffee on Victoria Street, and if you want to dance the night away you still can. 5. Retro gem in Brighton-Le-Sands

12/20 Crawford Road, Brighton-Le-Sands NSW

What: Two-bedroom unit Where:12/20 Crawford Road, Brighton-Le-Sands Price guide: $650,000-$680,000

This charming top floor unit has the lot – space and light, two balconies, two generous bedrooms, two bathrooms (one en suite) and a carpark.

Everything that cosmopolitan south-eastern village of Brighton-le-Sands can offer is within walking distance. Cruise two blocks down bustling Bay Street, with its Greek Australian cafe precinct, to the Grand Parade stretching along two kilometres of sandy beach on glassy Botany Bay. Great schools are in walking distance, and the airport and CBD are just 20 minutes away. Again, the price range puts it at the limit of the first-home buyers threshold, but with two bedrooms, two balconies and located less than a 30-minute car trip to the CBD it provides excellent value.

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

Ahmed Fahour resigns from last Aussie Post role in time for Christmas

Ahmed Fahour severed his final ties with Australia Post just in time for Christmas with his resignation from the board of Dubai-based logistics provider, Aramex.
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Australia Post spent more than $200 million acquiring a 10 per cent stake in Aramex last year, which earned Fahour a board seat.

And he clearly stated his desire to keep the seat after leaving his well-paid post in July.It was decided he would keep the role until some time in 2018 while Holgate found her feet.That changed November 28 when Holgate replaced Fahour.

It came one week after Aramex announced that Bashar Obeid would replace Hussein Hachem, as its chief executive. This came one month after Obeid announced his plans to exercise his early retirement option and leave Aramex. There is no suggestion this had anything to do with Holgate deciding she would replace Fahour on the board sooner rather than later.

His resignation from Aramex also removes Fahour’s final source of income derived from Australia Post.

While he was a Post employee, the Aramex board fees were paid to the government-owned enterprise.

But Fahour pocketed the board fees himself after stepping down from Australia Post in July. Aramex’s annual report does not detail the fees received by each director.

Whatever the sum, it would act as a nice top up of the $10.8 million Fahour took home last year from Australia Post – which consisted of $8.7 million worth of bonus payments, and a $2 million salary. It ranked Fahour among the highest paid chief executives in the country.

With Holgate now on the Aramex board, the director’s fees are being paid to Australia Post once more.

And Holgate will have to make do with her salary of $1.375 million a year, with the potential to earn 100 per cent of that as a bonus, meaning her total remuneration will be no more than $2.75 million.

Holgate also sacrificed $2.63 million in forfeited share rights when she resigned this year from vitamin maker, Blackmores.

Blackmores’ annual report said 12,127 share rights for the 2016 financial year and another 15,051 granted last year “were forfeited due to Christine Holgate’s resignation prior to completion of this service period”.

Fahour has a new full time role as executive chairman at Pro Pac, the packaging group which is half-owned by his billionaire buddy Raphael Geminder, the brother-in-law of another Australian packaging billionaire, Anthony Pratt.

Colin Kruger

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

Muscat hopes for Milligan return in Melbourne derby

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat is hoping to welcome back one of the most experienced of all his campaigners, Mark Milligan, this weekend as Victory look to chalk up two wins in a row for the first time this campaign when they take on cross-town rivals Melbourne City in the second Melbourne derby of the season.
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Muscat resisted the clamour to bring in a host of youthful faces into the starting line up last Sunday and got his reward when Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses scored to set up the club’s third away win of the campaign, a 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar.

That they did so without injured star Milligan was to their credit, and the sometime Socceroos skipper, on the injury list since limping off after the disappointing 2-1 home loss to Adelaide United on December 8, might be available to take some part in Saturday night’s AAMI blockbuster.

“‘Millsy’ is going really well. When he did it a couple of weeks ago it was only a very very mild incident,” the Victory boss told Melbourne radio station SEN on Wednesday morning.

“He has trained very well and ticked every box at this stage but with muscular injuries you have to make sure you tick all those boxes, and as soon as you don’t tick one off the risk becomes too great. But at this point he is very good condition.”

Milligan scored a tremendous goal to equalise against Adelaide before he had to leave the pitch and the fact that he is still trying to recover for the big pre-Christmas derby is emblematic of the seaosn he has endured.

The midfielder missed several games as he was away with the national team on World Cup qualifying duty against Syria and Honduras, and then missed the match against Wellington through suspension following his dismissal against Newcastle.

The Victory coach has argued that this season has presented difficulties that few others have because of the international commitments of his senior men, and he is hoping that with Milligan, James Troisi and Barbarouses now no longer involved in World Cup qualifiers, Victory can reset themselves for the final 16 games of the 27-match season.

“It’s been a unique season for us for a number of reasons. We have had to deal with a few things for the first time, but isn’t that part of the challenge. It certainly has been challenging, but its one I am taking on head on,” he said.

“We are only 11 games in and we still have a big story to tell in the remaining weeks of the season.”

Like most involved in the professional game, Muscat has deep reservations about the VAR trial currently taking place in the A-League.

The video referees are causing mounting controversy every week with their decisions, and the furore hit a high in the last round with Central Coast having two men sent off in their loss to Western Sydney Wanderers, while Victory themselves had a goal to Besart Berisha disallowed through a decision by the video-assisted judges.

Muscat believes that the referees in the stand are at a huge disadvantage, one that markedly effects the outcome of games, because they are simply not in tune with the mood, feel, flow and rhythm of what is going on on the pitch.

“I am all for improving and taking on technology … (but) the people that are using it are experiencing some difficulties.

“It takes a long time and removes a bit of the emotion. The referee upstairs is making a discretionary call from upstairs where he has no feeling for the game.

“The feeling for the game is lost. That’s the part we are going to have to get better at.”

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

Telstra payphone and landline calls will be free over Christmas

Telstra will be picking up the tab for some of its services over Christmas, with customers being given free calls from landlines and payphones from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day.
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Local, national and standard mobile phone calls from home phones and 16,000 payphones nationally will be free from 24 to 26 December.

The freebie does not include mobile phones calling out, and it excludes international calls, 13-numbers and premium and directory services.

It will include free WiFi at selected Telstra Air public hotspots. Data is already free for activated customers from these hotspots.

In 2016, when Telstra ran a free payphone calls campaign over Christmas for the first time, more than 271,000 calls were made over three days, Telstra’s head of fixed products Jana Kotatko said.

Last year, the free calls special ran from 24 to 28 December – but did not include landlines.

“This year, by giving people even more ways to contact their friends and family for free, we expect to see this figure to rise by at least ten times,” she said.

This is expected to be particularly important for those without the technology or the financial means to get in touch with their loved ones, Salvation Army major Brendan Nottle said.

“This initiative from Telstra is helping to provide an invaluable solution to the problem, by offering everyone in the country – regardless of their personal situation – the chance to connect this Christmas,” he said.

The network typically records an increase in calls on these services over the festive season.

The 2016 promotion came after scrutiny for the payphone network, with the Productivity Commission review of the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation recommending scrapping Telstra’s Universal Service Obligation funds.

Telstra receives about $300 million annually to supply the network – including $100 million from the government and an industry levy.

In 2015/16 the industry levy totalled $218 million, including $142 million from Telstra itself.Of this, about $44 million a year is spent maintaining payphones, with an additional $253 million spent on supplying standard telephone services.

The Productivity Commission recommended winding down the payphone obligations as it was “difficult to justify” continuing payphones when compared with the extensive coverage of mobile services across the country.

In November, Telstra unveiled the first overhaul of its payphones since the 1980s in partnership with outdoor advertising company JCDecaux. The redesign includes digital information screens, advertising panels, charging docks and WiFi hotspots.

The first new payphones were rolled out in Perth, with other cities to follow in 2018.

Telstra last upgraded part of its payphone network in 2014, converting some of Telstra’s payphones into WiFi hotspots.

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

Don’t use this product to get rid of mould, it won’t work

Mould story?? Supplied pics?? Mould in the home is a big problem. Not only is it gross and unsightly, but it’s also very bad for your health.
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With mould becoming a bigger problem by the day, there are ways to eradicate it and help prevent it from ever returning.

Why mould is bad news

While it may look contained to one area, mould actually grows as millions of tiny loose spores. When interrupted, they break free and float through the air. This makes it easy for them to be inhaled as you go about the home.

The spores contain allergens that can wreak havoc with your health. Children, the elderly or those with underlying health problems are particularly vulnerable.

While many symptoms are quite mild, such as a runny nose, others are much more serious. Mould has been known to cause severe respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Related: Household mould becoming a bigger problemRelated: Meet the moulds hanging out in your homeRelated: How household mould affects your health

Getting rid of mould

Perhaps the only good news when it comes to mould is that it’s quite easy to clean. The best and most effective ways of cleaning mould are the natural ones: Vinegar solution: four parts vinegar to one part waterTea Tree oilRubbing alcohol

The process of cleaning is the same no matter which solution you choose. Use a damp cloth and liberally coat it with the cleaning agent. Scrub at the mould until it’s removed, rinsing regularly.

While the above will do a good job of cleaning mould, it’s just as important for you to know what not to use. The following products are completely ineffective against mould: BleachHydrogen Peroxide

They give the appearance of cleaning mould but in reality they do nothing more than bleach the colour out. The surface may be light and bright, but the mould still exists, albeit invisible, and will grow back before too long.

How to prevent mould

Now for a little bad news. Mould is a resilient little fungi and will grow back in time if you don’t take appropriate measures. To keep mould at bay be diligent with the following:

1. Act quickly

If you see any trace of mould developing then it’s important to act fast and clean it immediately. Keep some vinegar solution in a spray bottle for this very purpose. Doing this will prevent a mould infestation.

2. Keep moisture to a minimum

Moisture is the easiest to control and keeping things dry will have the best impact. Keep a good flow of air in your home by regularly opening doors and windows. Use a fan to blow more air around if necessary. Dry any damp areas ASAP and consider a dehumidifier if you live in an area with high humidity.

3. Let the sunshine in

Mould hates sunlight. Keep your home light and bright with as much sunlight as possible. While this won’t be possible for everyone, doing as much as you can will pay dividends in your fight against mould.

4. Replace fixtures

In serious cases you may need to consider an extraction. For example, if one wall of the home is covered in mould and it keeps growing back, consider having that part of the wall removed and replaced. Not doing so could result in the problem spreading and, in extreme cases, an entire premises being demolished.

Michael Brooke has been cleaning houses and carpets for over 15 years through his company CarpetCleaningSydney南京夜网419论坛. In that time he has helped hundreds of customers with their own mould problems

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

Australian cricketer’s emotional letter after wife’s cancer shock

Australian cricketer Michael Klinger has penned an emotional letter on the Perth Scorchers website revealing his wife of almost 10 years, Cindy, is battling cancer.
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The 37-year-old, who signed with the WACA in 2014 and became the oldest Australian debutant in a T20 earlier this year, wrote the words on Tuesday night so his teammates and WA cricket fans knew what was going on this summer:

Last week, my wife Cindy had a routine scan on her back, which had been causing her pain and no physiotherapy or anti-inflammatory tablets seemed to help.

The result of that scan completely shocked and devastated us.

Doctors identified three spots on her vertebrae that required further investigation – within hours, we were told she had cancer.

A biopsy was taken of the lesion and determined that my wife of almost 10 years had breast cancer that, based on the information we have so far, has spread to at least those three spots identified on her spine.

I know a lot of people think very highly of their own loved ones and I’m no different – to me, Cindy is the most beautiful person, inside and out.

She is the most considerate and selfless person I know, who is willing to help anyone with anything they need at the drop of a hat.

We have three children: Bailey, 7; Summer, 5; and Easton 1.

We had to tell Bailey and Summer of the fight their mother now faces, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

In fact, along with delivering a eulogy at my mother’s funeral, it was the hardest and most terrible thing I’ve had to do in my life.

I have never considered myself to be the most skilled or flashy batsman going around, but every time I step on the field, I do so with a winning and competitive attitude – I’m a fighter.

For the 14 years since I met Cindy, she has been my No.1 supporter, my confidante, my motivator, my carer. My everything.

But our roles reversed from the moment we found out Cindy had cancer.

Cindy must now take the mantle as the ‘fighter’ and bring a positive and winning attitude to every treatment and hurdle she runs into along the way.

I, on the other hand, need to become chief carer, supporter and motivator.

Playing cricket, right at this moment, is secondary.

It still may happen, because Cindy wants me to play and says it will be a good distraction for her and the kids to see me do so, either on TV or at #TheFurnace.

But, by my choice, if playing clashes with any appointments or treatments, or if Cindy or the kids need me, I will be by their side.

I started writing this piece in the middle of the night, when my thoughts and emotions refused to let me sleep, and I began wondering why I was doing so.

Firstly, it’s helping to get some things off my mind, which has been running at 100 miles an hour for the past two days, trying to arrange for Cindy to see the best people in the breast cancer field in Perth.

I also wanted to explain to my teammates, who I adore and admire so much, and to the Perth Scorchers fans, who I have grown to love, what is happening and that I hope they don’t think I’m letting them down.

Finally, I am privileged to work for the best organisation in Australia in the WACA and the Perth Scorchers, an organisation that has the most caring staff and unbelievable group of human beings.

I just want them – from the staff to the players – to know that I’m not letting them down and I’m just doing what I need to do for my wife and children during this totally unexpected and very difficult time.

Cindy will fight and we, as a family, will be right there with her throughout the battle, supporting her in every way we can.

But, particularly at this time of year, that battle has brought us a perspective on life that we never expected.

Leading into the festive season, give your loved ones a big hug and a kiss.

Love, Maxy

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

Gig guide December 28

PARTY: Bliss N’Eso will bring in 2018 at the Cambridge Hotel’s New Year’s Eve Block Party on Sunday.MUSIC5 SawyersFriday,Alessandro. Saturday, DJ Perry Carter. Sunday, AK Morris.
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Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Back 2 Rock.Sunday, The Way.

Australia Hotel CessnockSunday, Green Ginger.

Avon Valley InnSaturday, The Tantrums.

Bar PetiteFriday, Grayson. Saturday, Dean Kyrwood. Sunday, GW Freebird & Friends.

Battlesticks BarFriday,Audie Franks.

Bay HotelSaturday, Troy Kemp.

Beach Hotel Friday, The Col Tegg Experience.

Bellbird HotelFriday, DJ 88.

Belmont 16sFriday, Hayden Johns, Wayne & The Wanderers. Saturday, Emily Smith, The Years. Sunday, Bobby C, Anthology.

Belmont SportiesSunday, Spank N The Monkey.

Belmore HotelSaturday, Misbehave. Sunday, Project X.

Beresfield Bowling ClubFriday, Paperboy. Saturday, Big Night Out. Sunday, Tailgate Drive.

Blackbutt HotelFriday, Chris Daniel.Saturday, The Bad And The Ugly.

DROPPING BEATS: Kilter is part of an electronic heavy Block Party line-up.

The BradfordFriday, Witchery.Saturday, Viagro.

Burwood InnFriday, Jess Holland.

Cambridge HotelSunday, NYE Block Party ft.BlissN’Eso,ElkRoad,Kilter,TouchSensitive,Asta,Kwame,Jayteehazard.

Cardiff Bowling Club Sunday, La Bomba Rock.

Cardiff RSL ClubFriday, Rock Factor. Saturday, Train Wreck. Sunday, DV8.

DARK DELIGHT: William Crighton heads up a big night at the Grand Junction Hotel on Sunday.

Catho PubSaturday, Darren Rolling Keys.Sunday, Rj N K,Sunday,The Search Party.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubFriday, Mark Wells. Saturday, Hayden Johns.

Cessnock Leagues ClubFriday, Emily Smith. Saturday, The Andy Show. Sunday, Hayden Johns.

Charlestown Bowling ClubFriday, Phil McKnight. Saturday, Kim. Sunday, OZ.

Club LemonTreeFriday, Jackson Halliday.Saturday, Damien.Sunday, Jumpin Jukebox.

Club Maitland CityFriday, Big Pete.Sunday, 24 Hours.

Club Redhead Sunday, Club Esky.

Club Wyong RSLFriday, Whiskey Business Duo.Sunday, Jake Rattle and Roll.Sunday, Romney Watts.

Colliery InnFriday, Roxy.

Commercial HotelBoolarooFriday, Angie.

Commercial Hotel MorpethFriday, James Naldo.Saturday,Mardmax.

Criterion Hotel WestonSunday, Ash Mountain.

Crown & Anchor HotelSunday,NYE 80’s Party.

Cypress LakesFriday, Anyerin. Saturday, Jerome. Sunday, The Rumour.

D’Albora MarinaFriday,Max Jackson.Sunday, Karen O’Shea.Monday, Todd Schmoo.

Denman HotelSunday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Denman RSL ClubSunday,Sami.

Doyalson RSL ClubFriday, Purple Hearts.Saturday, Brazillian Brothers Duo.Sunday, Katie N Feff.

Duke Of WellingtonFriday, Matt Scullion.Saturday,Iguana Duo.Sunday, Jackson Broadway.

East Cessnock Bowling ClubSunday, Norm Bakker.

East Maitland Bowling ClubFriday, Jumpin Jukebox.Saturday, The Remedy. Sunday, Big Night Out.

East’s Leisure & Golf ClubSaturday,Bonny Rai.

Edgeworth Bowling ClubSunday, Dean Kyrwood, The V-Dubs.

Edgeworth TavernSunday, Barracuda –A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac.

Exchange HotelSaturday, Matt McLaren.

Family Hotel MaitlandFriday, Lennie Live.

Fingal Bay Sports ClubSunday, Karen O’Shea.

FinnegansSunday, Kingstone, Sonic, MC Kidd Kaos.

Flow Bar –Old BarSunday, Cover It Up.

Gallipoli Legion ClubSaturday, Marriah, DJ Bubby.

Gateshead TavernFriday,Paparazzi.Sunday,Kevin O’Hara.

George TavernFriday, Joel Oakhill.Saturday, Max Jackson.

Goldfish Bar & Kitchen PokolbinSunday,Paperboy.

Grain StoreSaturday,Matt McLaren.

Grand Junction HotelSunday, Muzzy Pep, William Crighton Band, Lennie Tranter & The Bagism Revelation, Skyscraper Stan, Gogo Sapien, Labia Of Love.

Great Northern Hotel TeralbaSaturday, Darren.

Greenroof HotelFriday, Todd Schmoo.

Gunyah HotelFriday, Hayden Shepherd.Saturday, Phonic.Sunday, Angel Gear, Zachary Israel.

​Hamilton Station HotelSunday,Pist Idiots,Archy Punker,Viral Eyes,Scumdrops.

Harrigan’s PokolbinFriday, Prestige Inc. Saturday, Kyle Cartner, Loose Bazooka. Sunday, Arley Black, Frick N Orson, Dos Eager.

Hawks Nest Golf ClubFriday, Mark Lee.

Hexham Bowling ClubSaturday, 2GoodReasons. Sunday, 3 Of A Kind.

Honeysuckle HotelFriday, Soundabout.Monday,Matt McLaren.

Hotel CessnockSunday, Pat Vs Cat.

Hotel DelanyFriday,Dos Eager.Saturday, The Urge.

Hotel JesmondFriday, Bandditts.

Imperial Hotel SingletonSaturday, The V-Dubs.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Reg Sinclair. Sunday, Misbehave.

The Junction HotelFriday, Pete McCredie.

Kent HotelFriday, Project X. Saturday, X&Y. Sunday, Rooftop Hip-hop Party, Overload.

Lake Macquarie Yacht ClubFriday, Cotton Sax & Strings. Sunday, Evergreen.

Lakeside Village TavernSunday, Panic Station.

The LandingSunday, Signora.

Lambton Park HotelFriday,Aqwa.

Lass O’Gowrie Thursday, Strangers With Candy,Yev Kassem.Friday,One Day Apart,Polar Chills,Zampa.Saturday,Nugwardo,Onshore,Daze. Sunday,Red City,Diplazer,dave,E4444e, DJ Jakesy.

Lemon Tree HotelSaturday, Murray Byfield.

Lizotte’s Friday,Oh Boy The Buddy Holly Show. Saturday,Rumours – A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Sunday, The Beatnix.

Lucky HotelFriday, Lucas Fowler. Saturday, Adrianna Mac Duo.

Maitland Leagues ClubSunday, Hard Drive.

Mark HotelFriday, Bobby C. Saturday, Anyerin. Sunday, Loko.

Marks Point Sports ClubSunday,Viagro.

Mary EllenFriday,Zane Penn.Saturday, Dos Eager.Sunday,The Cassettes.

Maryland TavernFriday, Just Jade. Saturday, Daniel Arvidson. Sunday, Sue & Mikey Show.

Mavericks On The BayFriday, Kim. Saturday, Joel Oakhill. Sunday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Mavericks On DarbyFriday, Bonny Rai.Saturday,Zane Penn.Sunday, Max Jackson Duo.

Mayfield Ex-ServicesFriday, The Way. Saturday, Loko. Sunday, Busta Thong.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend DiggersFriday,Loko, DJ Angelo.Saturday,Project X, Alessandro.Sunday,All Access 80’s, Boney Rivers.

Morriset Country ClubFriday, Spank N The Monkey.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, Cathy Cannon. Monday, Grayson.

Nag’s Head HotelFriday, Reg Sinclair.Saturday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Nelson Bay Bowling ClubFriday, Sami.

Nelson Bay DiggersFriday, Dr Zoom. Saturday, The Levymen. Sunday, Hummingbirds.

Nelson Bay Golf Club​Friday,Ryan Daley. Saturday, Gareth Hudson.

Newcastle Airport Friday, Roxy.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht ClubFriday, Michael Muchow. Sunday, The Years.

Northern Star HotelFriday,Josh Callaway.Saturday,Jack Derwin.

Paxton Bowling Club Sunday,Melody Feder.

Pedens CessnockFriday, Tim Broadway.Saturday, Amigos.

Pelican RSL Club Sunday, The Klassics.

Pippis At The PointFriday, Arley Black,Dean Kyrwood.Saturday,Deuce.Sunday, Matt McLaren,Pete McCredie.

Plough InnFriday, Brett O’Malley.

The Poyer’s Lemon Tree PassageSunday, Pete McCredie.

The PourhouseSaturday, James Naldo. Sunday, Driver 8.

Premier HotelSaturday, Evergreen.

Queens Wharf Sunday, Mental As Anything, Floyd Vincent & The Temple Dogs, Venom Lips, Throw Me To The Wolves.

Queens Wharf HotelFriday, Pete Gelzinnis, Big Night Out. Saturday, The Mokos, Uptown. Sunday, Mark Wells, Wharf Life.

Railway Hotel CessnockFriday, Hendo.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Katie N Feff.

Royal Motor Yacht Club TorontoFriday, Layth Gunn.Sunday,Bob Allan.

Rutherford Hotel​Saturday, Kellie Cain. Sunday, Mardy Leith.

Seabreeze HotelFriday, Viagro.Sunday, James Naldo. Monday, Kidd Kaos,Kingstone,Extraordinate.

Shenanigans at the ImperialSaturday, Katie N Feff.

Singleton DiggersSaturday, Witchery.Sunday, Rendezvous,Sunday, Soundabout.

Soldiers Point Bowling ClubFriday, Emile. Saturday, Blue Suede Boppers. Sunday, Outerphase.

South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Pistol Pete.Sunday,Todd Schmoo.

Spinning Wheel HotelFriday, Mick Jones.

Stag and Hunter HotelSunday, Chase The Sun, Diplaza, Wysper.

Stockton Bowling ClubFriday, Karen & Milton. Saturday, DJ Symon. Sunday, Alternate Grooves.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday, Wayne & The Wanderers. Sunday, Echo’s Of The Sixties.

Swansea Workers Club Sunday, Voodoo Punch.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSunday, Loose Bazooka.

Tea Gardens HotelSaturday, Brendan Murphy.Sunday, Phil McKnight.

Tilligerry RSL​Friday, Rendezvous.Saturday, Mark Lee.Sunday,Rock Factor.

Toronto DiggersFriday & Sunday, 40 Up Club.

Toronto HotelSunday, Pistol Pete, Jeremy Bilson.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, Phil McKnight. Sunday, Todd Schmoo.

Victoria Hotel HintonFriday,Damien.Saturday, Mick Jones.Sunday, Zane Penn.

The Vintage Golf ResortMonday, Pat Vs Cat.

Wangi Wangi RSLClubSunday, The Leadbellies.

Warners At The BayFriday, Matt McLaren.Saturday, Redline.

Warners Bay HotelSaturday, Triple Zero.

Westfield KotaraSaturday, Bobby C. Sunday, The Gleesons.

Wests CardiffSaturday, Rave On. Sunday, Cruzers.

Wests MayfieldSunday, Alias.

Wests New LambtonThursday, Angamus. Friday, Dr Zoom. Saturday, Misbehave. Sunday, The DuoTones, Rubber Bullet.Tuesday, Angamus.

Wests NEX CitySunday, The Smarts.

Wickham Park HotelFriday,Loose Bazooka.Saturday, Grant Walmsley Freebird Blues Band ft. Holly Wilson.Sunday,Ngariki,DJ Pucko.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Ryan Daley.

MOVIESBreathe (M)The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis. (Tower)

Coco(PG)Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz.

Daddy’s Home 2(PG)Father and stepfather, Dustyand Bradhave joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas.

Downsizing(M)Imagine what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall & propose a 200-year global transition from big to small.

Ferdinand(G)After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home.

Goodbye Christopher Robin(PG)A behind-the-scenes look at the life of authorA.A. Milneand the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his sonC.R. Milne. (Lake Cinema)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle(PG)Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it.

Paddington 2(G) Now happily settled with the Brown family, Paddington picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.

Pitch Perfect 3(M)Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

Stars Wars Episode VIII:The Last Jedi(M)Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

The Greatest Showman(PG)The story of P.T Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Wonder(PG)A boy born with a facial deformity is destined to fit in at a new school, and to make everyone understand he’s an ordinary kid.

THEATREHonk JrLively musical adaptation of fairy tale The Ugly Duckling, with a young cast playing the farmyard animals with very different views of a very unusual baby bird. Maitland Musical Society. Maitland Pro Cathedral (St John’s Hall): January 5 to 14; Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday at 2pm. James Theatre, Dungog: Saturday, January 20, at 7.30pm, Sunday, January 21, at 2pm.

Operation Ouch! Live on StageDr Chris and Dr Xand, the identical twin stars of the popular children’s television series, explore medical science from a kid’s-eye view, creating incredible medical stunts and crazy experiments. Andrew Kay and Associates, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Monday, January 8, at 2.30pm and 5.30pm.

Women rule the roost

POETIC: Jen Cloher’s self-titled fourth album was a brilliant expression of jealously, loneliness and anger. Picture: Simon SchluterGIRL power reigned supreme in 2017. In the pop world, Lorde returned with a mature and bold second record Melodrama, while Taylor Swift continued herglobal juggernaut with Reputation. Women were also delivering some of the most compelling indie records in Jen Cloher’s self-titled opus and St Vincent’s Masseduction. The country and roots scene kept the trend firingthrough terrific records from All Our Exes Live In Texas, Valerie June and Kasey Chambers.
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The Newcastle Herald brings you its music awards for 2017.

BEST ALBUMJen Cloher – Forgot MyselfJen Cloher (Jen Cloher): This might have been Cloher’s fourth album, but it was a creative rebirth for the Melbourne indie-rocker. After several years of being overshadowed by her younger partner, Courtney Barnett, Cloherannounced herself in this poetic masterpiece of jealously, loneliness and anger towards same-sex marriage opponents and music critics (who ironically, almost universally adorned the record). The sparse Velvet Underground-stylemusical accompaniment only accentuated Cloher’s lyrical power.

Notable mentions:Masseduction (St Vincent), Who Built The Moon? (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds), The Order Of Time (Valerie June), A Deeper Understanding (The War On Drugs).

BEST SINGLENot Worth Hiding (Alex The Astronaut): Often it’s all about timing. The best songs tap into the zeitgiest and Alex The Astronaut’s folk-pop ditty has become an unofficial anthem for the triumphant same-sex marriage campaign. The track is incredibly simple built around an acoustic chord progression, but by the time the strings kick in it’s soaring. Alex’s casual vocal delivery and personal lyrics, perfectly encapsulatethe experience of growing up for thousands.

Alex The Astronaut – Not Worth HidingNotable mentions:Green Light (Lorde), Wild & Weak (Waax), What Can I Do When The Fire Goes Out? (Gang Of Youths), Feet Don’t Fail Me (Queens Of The Stone Age).

BEST LOCAL ALBUMTeething (Brightness):Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, which quite frankly, drives the majority of the music business. Lake Macquarie’s Alex Knight, aka Brightness, tapped into that feeling beautifully on his debut record filled with driving acoustic guitar, hushed vocals and dreamy production. There is a cinematic quality in Teething’s lead single Oblivion that proves this is a masterful songwriter at work.

Brightness – OblivionNotable mentions:Rainy Day (The Owls),Untidy Lines (Rachel Maria Cox),Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine (Lachlan X. Morris). Yoch Bangers, Vol. 1(dave).

BEST LOCAL SINGLEJesus Let Me Fly (The Owls):Newcastle indie band The Owls have been producing wonderful garage and psychedelic tunes for the best part of adecade, but this was a real breakthrough. The song addresses Newcastle’s uneasy relationship with Christianity in this post-Royal Commissioninto Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse world.It begins with a chugging chord progression and psych riff before it explodes into a Britpop-style chorus.Sadly this song wasn’t released in the‘90s because it would have been a hit.

The Owls – Jesus Let Me FlyNotable mentions:Hope Recovery (William Crighton),kbye(Raave Tapes),Angry(Grace Turner),If I’m Smiling (It’s Because I’m Thinking About Zac Efron)(Rachel Maria Cox).

BEST NEW ACTBravo Victor: Part jazz, part pop, part R’n’B. Together the duoofJono Burgess (bass) andSophie Aked (vocals) have provided a sound not heard elsewhere in the Newcastle music scene. Their self-titled debut EP was powered by the singles The Duel and For All His Flaws andintroducedAked as one of Newcastle’s next great vocalists.

2018 PREDICTIONSThere’s plenty to get excited about in the Newcastle music scene in 2018. We can expect those lovable punks The Gooch Palms to drop a follow-up to their excellent 2016 album Introverted Extroverts and Mount Hutton-raised Nashville-based country star Morgan Evans will finally release his debut album for Warner Music Nashville.

Indie band Vacations will continue to build their foreign fan base when they make their maiden voyage to the US in March for the South By South West Festival. The band also plans on releasing their first album.

There will be continued speculation over the state of the Newcastle live music scene, especially with the iconic Cambridge and Lass O’Gowrie Hotels on the market and the loss of The Commons and Black Malabar. However, other venues like the Small Ballroom, Hamilton Station Hotel, Grand Junction Hotel and Lizotte’s will become more important stops of the touring itinerary.

Chic in their armoury

BACK IN BLACK: After the death of their ex-guitarist Rob McAllister, Iron Chic directed their pain into their third album You Can’t Stay Here.ALL bands go through bleak times, be it album failure, crappy tours, personal conflicts or financial woes. But it doesn’t get any worse than the death of a bandmate.
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That tragedy befell US punk band Iron Chic in January 2016 when guitaristRob McAllister unexpectedly died from undisclosed causes. McAllister had left Iron Chic six months prior, but as a founding member and close friend it left the Long Island boys grief stricken.

Yet in the ashes of their despairsprang Iron Chic’s third album, You Can’t Stay Here, released in October.

Frontman Jason Lubrano, battling with his own relationship breakdown along withMcAllister’s death, delivered his darkestlyrics yet like “It’s like driving a runaway hearse/I can’t stop, I just make things worse/Come on and take the wheel from me/Put me outta my misery” from My Best Friend (Is A Nihilist).

However, the darkness wasoffset by the band’s most anthemic-almost pop -collectionof punk rock.The result was Iron Chic’s most accessiblealbum.

“It wasn’t exactly intentional, but we hada little bit of an attempt to go pop here,” Lubrano said from New York.

“I did realise the lyrics were a little more depressing for me and usually I would temperate it with an up note and that wasn’t happening this time.

“Once it came apparent wejust ran with it and realised that’s what we’re doing and the juxtaposition wasinteresting to us.”

Iron Chic – My Best Friend (Is A Nihilist)Since forming in 2008 Iron Chichave been pumping out energetic and emotive punk, made for throwing your arm around a friendand belting out choruses on a boozy night out.

Iron Chic released Not Like This (2010) and The Constant One (2013), the success of the latter bringing the band to Australia in 2015 where they performed alongsideThe Smith Street Band.

Much like The SmithStreet Band there’s an intelligence to Lubrano’s lyrics. It’s not simply punk anger directed at authority. It regularly touches on mortality and morality.

“We’re always tried to do that,” Lubrano said.“These were the kind of things that were on my mind and the lens that I perceive the world through.

“I just try to put it down in a way that hopefully people can relate to.”

It’s often said creativity is fuelled by nature’s hardships and that was Lubrano’s experience while writing You Can’t Stay Here.

“It [pain] is conducive, I think, to creativity and if there’s something really important or particularly hard to go throughit can be acathartic thing and alsohelp bring out the things you want to say,” he said.

“That’s not to say you need it. You can draw those things out of every day life as well, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.”

Iron Chic perform at the Hamilton Station Hotel on February 3.

If you can solve one of these six maths problems, you’ll win a $1.3 million prize

In 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute announced the Millennium Prize problems. These were a collection of seven of the most important maths problems that remain unsolved.
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Reflecting the importance of the problems, the Institute offered a $US1 million ($1.3 million) prize to anyone who could provide a rigorous, peer-reviewed solution to any of the problems.

While one of the problems, the Poincare Conjecture, was famously solved in 2006 (with the mathematician who solved it, Grigori Perelman, equally famously turning down both the million dollar prize and the coveted Fields Medal), the other six problems remain unsolved.

Here are the six maths problems so important that solving any one of them is worth a cool million.P vs NP

Some problems are easy, and some problems are hard.

In the world of maths and computer science, there are a lot of problems that we know how to program a computer to solve “quickly” – basic arithmetic, sorting a list, searching through a data table. These problems can be solved in “polynomial time,” abbreviated as “P.” It means the number of steps it takes to add two numbers, or to sort a list, grows manageably with the size of the numbers or the length of the list.

But there’s another group of problems for which it’s easy to check whether or not a possible solution to the problem is correct, but we don’t know how to efficiently find a solution. Finding the prime factors of a large number is such a problem – if I have a list of possible factors, I can multiply them together and see if I get back my original number. But there is no known way to quickly find the factors of an arbitrary large number. Indeed, the security of the Internet relies on this fact.

For historical and technical reasons, problems where we can quickly check a possible solution are said to be solvable in “nondeterministic polynomial time,” or “NP.”

Any problem in P is automatically in NP – if I can solve a problem quickly, I can just as quickly check a possible solution simply by actually solving the problem and seeing if the answer matches my possible solution. The essence of the P vs NP question is whether or not the reverse is true: If I have an efficient way to check solutions to a problem, is there an efficient way to actually find those solutions?

Most mathematicians and computer scientists believe the answer is no. An algorithm that could solve NP problems in polynomial time would have mind-blowing implications throughout most of maths, science, and technology, and those implications are so out-of-this-world that they suggest reason to doubt that this is possible.

Of course, proving that no such algorithm exists is itself an incredibly daunting task. Being able to definitively make such a statement about these kinds of problems would likely require a much deeper understanding of the nature of information and computation than we currently have, and would almost certainly have profound and far-reaching consequences.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of P vs NP here.The Navier-Stokes equations

It’s surprisingly difficult to explain what happens when you stir cream into your morning coffee.

The Navier-Stokes equations are the fluid-dynamics version of Newton’s three laws of motion. They describe how the flow of a liquid or a gas will evolve under various conditions. Just as Newton’s second law gives a description of how an object’s velocity will change under the influence of an outside force, the Navier-Stokes equations describe how the speed of a fluid’s flow will change under internal forces like pressure and viscosity, as well as outside forces like gravity.

The Navier-Stokes equations are a system of differential equations. Differential equations describe how a particular quantity changes over time, given some initial starting conditions, and they are useful in describing all sorts of physical systems. In the case of the Navier-Stokes equations, we start with some initial fluid flow, and the differential equations describe how that flow evolves.

Solving a differential equation means finding some mathematical formula to determine what your quantity of interest actually will be at any particular time, based on the equations that describe how the quantity changes. Many physical systems described by differential equations, like a vibrating guitar string, or the flow of heat from a hot object to a cold object, have well-known solutions of this type.

The Navier-Stokes equations, however, are harder. Mathematically, the tools used to solve other differential equations have not proven as useful here. Physically, fluids can exhibit chaotic and turbulent behaviour: Smoke coming off a candle or cigarette tends to initially flow smoothly and predictably, but quickly devolves into unpredictable vortices and whorls.

It’s possible that this kind of turbulent and chaotic behaviour means that the Navier-Stokes equations can’t actually be solved exactly in all cases. It might be possible to construct some idealised mathematical fluid that, following the equations, eventually becomes infinitely turbulent.

Anyone who can construct a way to solve the Navier-Stokes equations in all cases, or show an example where the equations cannot be solved, would win the Millennium Prize for this problem.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of the Navier-Stokes equations here.Yang-Mills theory and the quantum mass gap

Maths and physics have always had a mutually beneficial relationship. Developments in mathematics have often opened new approaches to physical theory, and new discoveries in physics spur deeper investigations into their underlying mathematical explanations.

Quantum mechanics has been, arguably, the most successful physical theory in history. Matter and energy behave very differently at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles, and one of the great achievements of the 20th century was developing a theoretical and experimental understanding of that behaviour.

One of the major underpinnings of modern quantum mechanics is Yang-Mills theory, which describes the quantum behaviour of electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces in terms of mathematical structures that arise in studying geometric symmetries. The predictions of Yang-Mills theory have been verified by countless experiments, and the theory is an important part of our understanding of how atoms are put together.

Despite that physical success, the theoretical mathematical underpinnings of the theory remain unclear. One particular problem of interest is the “mass gap,” which requires that certain subatomic particles that are in some ways analogous to massless photons instead actually have a positive mass. The mass gap is an important part of why nuclear forces are extremely strong relative to electromagnetism and gravity, but have extremely short ranges.

The Millennium Prize problem, then, is to show a general mathematical theory behind the physical Yang-Mills theory, and to have a good mathematical explanation for the mass gap.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of the Yang-Mills theory and mass gap problem here.The Riemann Hypothesis

Going back to ancient times, the prime numbers – numbers divisible only by themselves and 1 – have been an object of fascination to mathematicians. On a fundamental level, the primes are the “building blocks” of the whole numbers, as any whole number can be uniquely broken down into a product of prime numbers.

Given the centrality of the prime numbers to mathematics, questions about how primes are distributed along the number line – that is, how far away prime numbers are from each other – are active areas of interest.

By the 19th century, mathematicians had discovered various formulas that give an approximate idea of the average distance between primes. What remains unknown, however, is how close to that average the true distribution of primes stays – that is, whether there are parts of the number line where there are “too many” or “too few” primes according to those average formulas.

The Riemann Hypothesis limits that possibility by establishing bounds on how far from average the distribution of prime numbers can stray. The hypothesis is equivalent to, and usually stated in terms of, whether or not the solutions to an equation based on a mathematical construct called the “Riemann zeta function” all lie along a particular line in the complex number plane. Indeed, the study of functions like the zeta function has become its own area of mathematical interest, making the Riemann Hypothesis and related problems all the more important.

Like several of the Millennium Prize problems, there is significant evidence suggesting that the Riemann Hypothesis is true, but a rigorous proof remains elusive. To date, computational methods have found that around 10 trillion solutions to the zeta function equation fall along the required line, with no counter-examples found.

Of course, from a mathematical perspective, 10 trillion examples of a hypothesis being true absolutely does not substitute for a full proof of that hypothesis, leaving the Riemann Hypothesis one of the open Millennium Prize problems.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of the Riemann Hypothesis here.The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture

One of the oldest and broadest objects of mathematical study are the diophantine equations, or polynomial equations for which we want to find whole-number solutions. A classic example many might remember from high school geometry are the Pythagorean triples, or sets of three integers that satisfy the Pythagorean theorem x2 + y2 = z2.

In recent years, algebraists have particularly studied elliptic curves, which are defined by a particular type of diophantine equation. These curves have important applications in number theory and cryptography, and finding whole-number or rational solutions to them is a major area of study.

One of the most stunning mathematical developments of the last few decades was Andrew Wiles’ proof of the classic Fermat’s Last Theorem, stating that higher-power versions of Pythagorean triples don’t exist. Wiles’ proof of that theorem was a consequence of a broader development of the theory of elliptic curves.

The Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture provides an extra set of analytical tools in understanding the solutions to equations defined by elliptic curves.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture here.The Hodge conjecture

The mathematical discipline of algebraic geometry is, broadly speaking, the study of the higher-dimensional shapes that can be defined algebraically as the solution sets to algebraic equations.

As an extremely simple example, you may recall from high school algebra that the equation y = x2 results in a parabolic curve when the solutions to that equation are drawn out on a piece of graph paper. Algebraic geometry deals with the higher-dimensional analogues of that kind of curve when one considers systems of multiple equations, equations with more variables, and equations over the complex number plane, rather than the real numbers.

The 20th century saw a flourishing of sophisticated techniques to understand the curves, surfaces, and hyper-surfaces that are the subjects of algebraic geometry. The difficult-to-imagine shapes can be made more tractable through complicated computational tools.

The Hodge conjecture suggests that certain types of geometric structures have a particularly useful algebraic counterpart that can be used to better study and classify these shapes.

Read the Clay Mathematics Institute’s official description of the Hodge conjecture here.

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