Leaf at first sight: how leaf-curling spiders pair up and build a family home

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock Have you recently spotted a spider peeking out from a brown, curled-up leaf in your garden? Chances are you’re sharing your yard with the leaf-curling spider, Phonognatha graeffei (pronounced fon-og-natha greef-e-i), a fascinating member of the orb-weaving spider family Araneidae (pronounced aran-ee-i-dee). This spider – found in each state and […]

Don’t look Up! has a surprising amount to tell us about economics, much of it useful

Originally published on theconversation.com Netflix In the new Netflix sensation Don’t Look Up, two astronomers, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo Di Caprio, discover a massive comet heading towards Earth, and desperately try to warn the US president, played by Meryl Streep. Their hope is the government will take action to avert catastrophe while there […]

Sydney Festival boycott: when arts organisations accept donations, there is always a price to pay

Originally published on theconversation.com The Sydney Festival opens today under a cloud. Several artists and arts organisations have withdrawn from the festival over the Israeli Embassy’s sponsorship of the dance work Decadance, by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. The crazy thing is the value of the sponsorship in question. A$20,000 is very small in the context […]

Sydney’s dams may be almost full – but don’t relax, because drought will come again

Originally published on theconversation.com Dams serving capital cities such as Canberra, Hobart and Sydney are near full after two years of widespread rainfall. But these wet conditions won’t last. Under climate change, droughts in Australia will become more frequent and severe. Our drinking water supplies, and water crucial for irrigation and the environment, will dwindle […]

A simple calculation can stop artificial intelligence sending you broke

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock Mike is a 40-something crop farmer from southern Queensland. With a chestnut tan, crushing handshake and a strong outback accent, he’s the third generation of his family to grow sorghum, a cereal mostly used for animal fodder. But, like most farmers, Mike faces more challenges than his forbears. Climate change […]

Secrecy surrounding Djokovic’s medical exemption means star can expect a hostile reception on centre court

Originally published on theconversation.com original AAP/AP/Michael Probst Novak Djokovic, nine times Australian Open tennis champion, has confirmed via social media – after much speculation – that he will indeed be competing in the 2022 tournament. The sticking point for him was the Victorian government’s requirement that all players be vaccinated, in the interests of reducing […]

4 plant-based foods to eat every week (and why science suggests they’re good for you)

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock As a laureate professor in nutrition and dietetics people often ask – what do you eat? Plant-based foods are good sources of healthy nutrients. These include different types of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and a range of “phytonutrients”, which plants produce to help them grow or protect them from pathogens […]