ANU are searching for a planet on the outer edges of our solar system, and they have invited the public to join them in the search for Planet 9. Citizen astronomers can access a website where they will go through thousands of images, taken by the ANU SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring, and take note of any differences in the images. Nic spoke to Dr Brad Tucker from the School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU who is leading the search for the elusive ninth planet.
William (Billy) Blue came to Sydney in 1801 as a convict, after stealing raw sugar for his confectionary business in London. Nic chatted to Lisa from Dictionary of Sydney about the conflicting accounts of his past, including historical records concerning his age and origins. There are suggestions he was born in New York City, and he later claimed to have served in the British Army during the American War of Independence (1776). Blue left a legacy on Sydney - most notably the name Blue's Point!
Trying to buy in Sydney but struggling to save with rental prices? There is no denying that Sydney property prices are through the roof, but a Sydney couple is using an innovative approach to make their dream of living in Sydney come true. Interior designer Heidi Albertiri and her residential painter, husband Douk Konstantaras, offer to take care of a Sydney rental and "bring it back to life" in return for cheap rent. Nic chatted to Heidi today about her family's renovating rendezvous.
The proposed $21 billion Adani coal mine in Queensland has been met by significant fury from many environmental groups. A number of these have bonded together for the Stop Adani Roadshow, in Sydney now before travelling to Canberra and Melbourne. The group has also picked up a slightly unusual corporate sponsor: Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Nic spoke to the founder and CEO of 350.org, Blair Palese, about how these strange bedfellows came about.
The world's youngest independent nation South Sudan is suffering a "man-made famine", with almost five million people needing food urgently. The political climate and access to infrastructure is impacting on the capacity of aid workers and NGOs to provide assistance. Nic chats with Oxfam's Ben Murphy to find out more about the situation. To help, visit the Oxfam site.
Produced by Hyo-Jin Shim.
Chinese start-up "Bluegogo" recently approached the City of Sydney with a proposal to establish a bikeshare scheme in the CBD, offering to set up hundreds of bicycles for commuters and tourists to rent for about a dollar a ride. These programs have been hugely successful in cities like London, Paris, Beijing and even Melbourne - but is Sydney ready for bikeshare? David Borella, President of the not-for-profit cycling advocacy group BIKESydney thinks bikeshare is inevitable for Sydney, but we need more cycling infrastructure, changes to helmet laws and reductions to cycling infringement fines.
Produced by Jack Schmidt.
Work being done pro bono (free of charge for the public good) by Australian lawyers has risen significantly in recent years, with most of it undertaken to support asylum seekers and refugees. Nic chatted to John Corker, CEO of the Australian Pro Bono Centre to find out more about these cases and who is taking them on. Whilst pro bono legal work is a vital service, it's no substitute for publicly-funded community legal services, which must be preserved, argues Corker.
The third annual Irish Film Festival kicks off this Thursday at the Chauvel Cinema and is set to showcase the latest releases direct from Ireland - "the people, the culture, the songs, the stories and everything in between". Nic got the rundown from festival director - and award-winning filmmaker - Dr Enda Murray, who's crafted a run of films and documentaries that he feels tells the real story of contemporary Ireland.
Across Sydney, people are paying thousands of dollars for exceptionally realistic reborn baby dolls. Cathy Brady, Sydney-based Reborn Baby Doll Artist, joined us this morning to discuss the benefits of and misconceptions associated with these dolls and their collectors.