A limestone karst in Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park, Queensland.
Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum.
It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves.
It has also been documented for weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water with few to no rivers or lakes.
However, in regions where the dissolved bedrock is covered (perhaps by debris) or confined by one or more superimposed non-soluble rock strata, distinctive karst surface developments might be totally missing.
It was a time of great upheaval in Australia, when the ordinary people said “enough is enough”, and went out into the streets to protest.
The conflict in Vietnam was going poorly because the American and Australian Governments had so badly underestimated the strength and purpose of the North Vietnamese people.
The Vietnam Moratorium held in Melbourne on 5 May, 1970, was huge with veteran Labor Politician Jim Cairns taking centre stage in a stinging rebuff to the Coalition Government for its blind support of the American Government’s policies in South Vietnam.
Leading the Moratorium March Jim Cairns and Tom Uren (Front Row: fourth and third in from the right).
A former drug addict who turned his life around is now doing the same for the homeless population of Melbourne.
By Abby Dinham
Nasir Sobhani is a barber with an unusual clientele. When he’s not working at a trendy salon in Melbourne’s north, he’s giving haircuts and hope to the homeless.
He’s known as the “Streets Barber”.
“Sometimes, when you don’t care for yourself anymore, you give up hope and so when you give up hope you lose sight of what’s beautiful and that beautiful thing is yourself,” he said. “So if you can be physically beautiful then that can spark a change on the inner beauty.”
It’s a labour of love for this reformed drug addict. After hitting rock bottom, he found a new addiction.
“I get high, it’s simple as that.” he said. “I get happy, I get joy seeing someone else happy. So I think I benefit more than they benefit to be honest, so it’s almost selfish.”
“When you give up hope you lose sight of what’s beautiful and that beautiful thing is yourself.”
Currently more than 100,000 Australians are experiencing homelessness.
Image: Sydney Town Hall circa 1900 (Powerhouse Museum/Flickr)
While researching a column I wrote recently for BBC Future about fighting the skyscraper fires of tomorrow I came across a fascinating anti-skyscraper law from 1912 that would have a lasting impact on Australia’s largest city.
Fearing that fighting fires was nearly impossible in tall buildings, Sydney passed the Height of Buildings Act of 1912, limiting new buildings to just 150 feet tall. As a result Sydney spent almost half a century growing predominantly outward rather than skyward.
A July, 1901 fire in an 8-story department store building left five people dead—prompting concern among the residents of Sydney, where modern architecture was quickly sprouting toward the heavens.
Firefighters were helpless to reach a young man who clung desperately out of a window in the building 120 feet up.
Sadly, firefighters could do nothing to help save the poor man who was well out of reach from their tallest 80 foot ladders. He jumped to his death in front of a lunchtime crowd of horrified onlookers.
Sydney’s skyscraper debate would rage for a decade, coming to a head in 1911 when a record 6,503 new private buildings (many of them taller than ever before) were built in Sydney.
The city’s tallest building was completed the very next year in 1912. That building was called the Culwulla Chambers and rose to just 14 stories (165 feet). But it sparked a serious debate about the future of the city and the safety of its inhabitants.
How could the people of Sydney be kept safe when skyscrapers inevitably faces the threat of fire and no one had the technical capacity to put it out?
As Alex Roberts and Pat O’Malley note in their 2011 research paper, “Skyscrapers, Fire and the City: Building Regulation in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Sydney,” politicians in 1912 were concerned as much with safety and international reputation as they were with aesthetics when they passed the Height of Buildings Act in 1912.
Aside from limiting the construction of new buildings to just 150 feet tall, the Act also states that any building built above 100 feet must show that “adequate provision has been made in respect of such building for protection against fire.” The Act wasn’t amended until 1957.
Today, Sydney is a beautiful modern city with a stunning skyline. But one wonders what the city would look like had vertical growth continued unabated, or the 1912 law had remained in effect after 1957.
Photo: Sydney Skyline nowadays from Wikimedia Commons.