Mooney in Sydney

Chris Mooney, who is too damned young and handsome, was in Sydney yesterday (well for a few days before that) so I decided the decent thing was to fly down from Brisbane to meet him, given that he travelled across some small bit of water to get here. The astonishing thing was how much he found out about the best drinking spots in Sydney after only three days on his own! He probably knows the night spots of Melbourne better than I do, even though I grew up there. Anyway, Tim Lambert also dropped by, as did a friend of mine, Chris Ho-Stuart, who only had to come 2.5 hours by train from Newcastle, and we attended Chris' talk. And then over a drink or two, discussed the fall of civilisation, the Bush Administration, and tattoos, with the help of a female American we encountered in a bar...

Pics below the fold


It was gray and horrible, and wet in Sydney, which didn't faze me or Chris as he stood and posed in front of a large coathanger the Sydneysiders seem to think matters a lot. Then we had him pose in front of a couple of copulating tortoises:


It took several goes to get Australian tourists to strike exactly the right daggy pose in the background.


Here's Tim, Chris and the other Chris at a pub near the Gap, best known suicide spot in Sydney. Having visited Sydney before, I can well understand why they'd have an official spot to commit suicide. We visited it, but there was no action for us to gawk at:


... so we got Time and Chris to pose heroically instead.


And here's Chris giving a talk to a small but interested group on Republican science, framing and global climate change. I bought a copy of his book, The Republican War on Science which I hadn't previously seen in stores here (republican has a different connotation in Australia), or at least not when the author was available to write a nice dedication.

It was great to meet him and Tim at last (it's a big country - what can I say?), and I now know where to drink when I'm on my own in Sydney....

Update: Chris had an op-ed piece in the Sydney Morning Herald on framing science.

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We couldn't find any. This is because we were in Australia, in pubs, where they only served beer and spirits...

With apologies to everyone involved in the making of Field of Dreams (except for Kevin Costner cuz he's a hack). . .

Shoeless Joe Jackson: Is this heaven?

John Wilkins: No, it's Australia. Is there a heaven?

Shoeless Joe Jackson: Oh yes. It's the place where they don't serve pissy American beers like Miller.

John Wilkins: Well, then maybe this is Heaven.

republican has a different connotation in Australia)

It means you voted the wrong way in the 1977 plebiscite, doesn't it?

How could 78% of Australians have been so wrong?


Err, that should be 22%, of course.


"Oh yes. It's the place where they don't serve pissy American beers like Miller."

No; they sell pissy Australian beers like Fosters!

No we don't. We send that overseas. Here we drink Coopers, or Hahn or Cascade if there are no really good beers on tap.