JoshuasTravels — The Continuing Adventures Of Me

The Continuing Adventures Of Me

Written by . Posted at 8:16 pm on May 20th, 2005

Because of the time zones, I’m actually in the future. Whatever time you’re reading this, I’m about a day ahead of you. Which means that, for me, 12:01AM Thursday, May 19, 2005 was 24 hours before anybody else’s 12:01AM Thursday, May 19, 2005. Really, what I’m trying to (unsuccessfully) brag about is the fact that I saw Star Wars Episode III waaaay before anybody else did back in the Land of Opportunity.


This is cool for a couple of reasons: the geek (and I say “geek” with love, not hate) Aussies do all the zany stuff American geeks do. I saw plenty of Jedi and a few Sith at the opening. They put a lot of thought into it too – Vader’s belt lit up with these little LEDs, just like in the movies. And two people my age (if that doesn’t put my life in perspective…) put on a whole choreographed lightsaber duel. It was a little too good, if you know what I mean. One would put out his hand, as if he was force-pushing and the other would jump back, as if he’d been force-pushed. They did backflips and one-handed cartwheels (so they could swing the lightsaber with the non-flipping hand) for a display that would’ve made Lucas smile.

Having said that, anybody who needs telling knows by now that Lucas has more than made up for the last two films. So I won’t reiterate the fact that Yoda is the motherloving best thing that’s ever happened to cinema, CGI or not.

‘Nuff said. During ‘my travels across Australia,’ I’ve become privy to a few pretty neat-o Aussie tidbits, some of which I’d like to share. Behold:

Cool Ozfact 1:
A doctor in New Zealand was jailed for fraud after claiming to have done an experiment. When he showed the authorities his workbook, the experiment results were done on loose paper slipped between the pages. The courts said if it’s not written directly into the book, it doesn’t count. He was found guilty and given a pretty harsh sentence.

Cool Ozfact 2:
Harold Holt, the Australian PM in the mid-seventies, liked to go ocean swimming at the Australian equivalent of Camp David. Then one morning he went out for a dip and never came back. I love that the PM of a country only slightly smaller than Russia just up and disappeared. As one newspaper article puts it, “it doesn’t take long to become part of the food chain out there.”

Cool Ozfact 3:
A Yard is a long, long beer glass with about the diameter of a schooner and about as tall as a yard. Bob Hawke, another great Australian PM, was a Rhodes Scholar. But, not as a sitting PM, he also held the world record for fastest yard-chugging, which is exactly what it sounds like. Talk about your Renaissance man.

Cool Ozfact 4:
Australia is the only country in the world to ever use alcohol as the official currency. In the early days, the UK was short of coin and wasn’t about to give any to the convicts, so rum was established as the most common currency by the Governor of the new settlement.

Pretty neat, eh?

Joshua Bueller

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