A genuine American war ace who did his greatest fighting 70 years ago over the skies of Darwin has passed away in California at the age of 95.
Colonel James Morehead played a crucial role in the defence of Australia, and proved with his courage that formations of the feared AM6 Mitsubishi Zeros and long-range bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy were not invincible.
He ended the war having shot down eight enemy planes, most of them off Darwin, flying in P-40s. These planes, the ones famously painted with shark teeth, were hopelessly outclassed by the faster and in all ways superior Zeros.
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Life is far from dull in the Northern Territory. Or if it is, we’ll never know. And that’s all thanks to the awesome team at the NT News, the Darwin newspaper celebrating sixty years of printing the zaniest, craziest and downright weird stories most of us will ever read.
The Northern Territory has just one per cent of Australia’s population. That means celebrity, sports and major political stories are few and far between. So the NT News quite sensibly turns its attention to its huge backyard. And that backyard is filled to the brim with scary, bitey creatures.
These are the kind of stories that everyone wants to read, but most newspapers bury on about page 13. On the NT News, they’re fodder for the front page, and that’s the way their readers like it. The Punch loves it too. On the 60th birthday of Australia’s most fun paper, here’s our tribute to your fine journalistic skills. Keep up the top work.
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There’s been a lot of talk this week about how crazy those folks in the Northern Territory are.
Sure, they got a little carried away by President Obama visit. Offering the man croc insurance to the value of $50,000 might seem just a little ridiculous.
Then there’s the fetching paper hat made available to NT News readers’ in yesterday’s morning edition. Um, well that’s just dorky. But can you blame them? As one member of the Punch team put it to me: this Obama visit is the most exciting thing to happen to that town since those two crazy young things went for it on a balcony.
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The naturalist Charles Darwin observed that when confronted with a hostile and unliveable environment, organisms would mutate into strange new species never before seen on the planet.
While controversial when it was first published, this theory does at least explain the existence of Northern Territorians.
It is fitting that the city which bears Darwin’s name is also the home of a new master race that spends most of its waking hours trying to figure out how to keep beer cold.
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The Property Council of Australia - in one of those surveys aimed at getting their name on every news service - has named Adelaide Australia’s most liveable city.
‘Liveable’ is such a beige term. Talk about damned with faint praise.
They used a bunch of different characteristics such as traffic congestion and housing affordability to judge each capital city.
The fact that Canberra came in second goes to show that having a rockin’ good time wasn’t a criterion. (Oh come on, the Holy Grail doesn’t count).
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Tex Perkins and his band made something special happen at the Darwin Amphitheatre on Sunday night, though for a while there I was worried. When Perkins turned up in a Darwin nightclub in 2008 with his band the Ladyboyz, doing covers of 70s songs – his filthy version of Jon English’s “Hollywood Seven” was the standout – some older folks were horrified by what they heard, and saw.
They had not done their research. They had imagined the purpose of the Perkins’ band was to leave untroubled the songs of Elton John, Captain and Tennille, Mondo Rock and Lionel Ritchie.
Perkins was loving the songs, but he was massacring them. Some people in the crowd were bewildered and revolted. How could he start wildly air humping to the gentle Dr Hook ballad, “A Little Bit More”?
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