Monday, September 8, 2014

In my city, many like to argue over the aesthetics of the many public spaces around town. This usually happens on the pages of Melbourne's newspapers. Once again, someone decried Federation Square, which, since it opened 12 years ago, has been a very popular public space. Federation Square may be unusual looking, especially compared to the neighbouring Flinders Street Station, Young and Jackson's, and St Paul's Cathedral, but Federation Square is much more attractive than the Gas and Fuel Building that it replaced. Who finds the Jolimont Rail Yards 'beautiful'? I thought that many in Melbourne consider them to be an eyesore. Isn't a plan to cover the railyards over, on a wish list for urban planners? There are trees strewn around the yards, but also weeds, litter, and miscellaneous maintenance equipment. Should any plan to improve the Jolimont Rail Yards precinct ever be implemented, one hopes that whatever is built there, will become something that Melburnians can feel proud of.

Rewriting history...

During the weekend, I read of a group of shipwreck hunters. Exploring a wreck site off the coast of Cape York in Australia's north east, these hunters found some Spanish dollars. A small bronze cannon dated from the 16th Century, was found in Australia's Northern Territory. Renowned underwater film maker, Ben Cropp, now claims that he has found other items. He is now looking to find the wreck of a Spanish galleon, last seen in 1595. For many years, it has been believed that Portuguese explorers reached Australia many years before the Dutch, and then Captain Cook, did. If proof is found that the Portuguese explored the Great Barrier Reef, then history will need to be rewritten.