I had an epiphany this morning, and I think it had more to do with the jellyfish than the coffee.

I’d just flipped the cover of Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence and was gazing at a gelatinous creature glowing on black pages.

It took a few moments for me to realise what I was really seeing.

Before me was something from the deep and dark, something that had remained secret for centuries and which now found itself on the pages in my hands. It seemed amazing that I was sipping a coffee while watching a creature that emitted its own pink light and trailed ribbons of living purple. Suddenly my whole life was juxtaposed with ocean depths.

Image by Rosan Harmens on Unsplash

Journalist Julia Baird would tell…


It looks like there’s hope, but enjoy them while you can.

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

This is a Very Important Subject.

Have you, in your lifetime, fully appreciated a physical book shop? They’ve been around since ancient Athens, and they may or may not be dying out.

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us,” Virginia Woolf once wrote.

“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. …


Perspective of a supermarket employee in Australia’s latest lockdown

My friend Ashleigh is anxious. She’s showing me a special mask her work gave her for day one of a new lockdown.

“It’s so much better to wear for 10 hours straight. The thing is the straps still hurt. At the end of my shift it’s like someone’s stabbing the backs of my ears with a knife.”

But Ashleigh is not especially worried about the stabbing sensation. Oh no. Ashleigh dreads humanity and a return of the chaotic grocery shenanigans she witnessed at the start of the pandemic.

“It was the animalistic descent of community into individualism,” she said. …


Plastic is out: Sustainability is the hot new thing in packaging.

Last year an Australian man caught a fish in 20 minutes using Mentos wrappers as bait.

Greg Western was creeped out by the amount of empty Mentos wrappers he saw in nature every day, so he gave one of the colourful single-use wrappers a second life. He posted the video of the catch-and-release on Facebook to show how quickly a small bit of plastic can harm marine life.

“Why is it alright for them to pollute our world just because it’s cost effective?”

“He’ll have fresh breath when we pull him up, Johnny!”

Greg’s campaign #gomentalatmentos calls for the candy giant to package its famous mints more responsibly. “Why is…


Photo by Kenneth Schipper Vera on Unsplash

All my life I’ve farmed real mammals. I’m an expert in the snuffling, snouty, somewhat hairless kind. For 72 years tofu didn’t enter the district let alone the house. Then, in 2022, I woke up.

I woke up a tired man. I guess I was getting old, or something, but mostly I think it was a psychosomatic effect of being sick of chasing escaped pigs. When you’ve pursued rogue porkers all your life, you get sick of livestock bloody escaping. And fixing fences. When I retire, I’ll make sure I have a terrace outlook on a good, solid, pig-proof fence.


Image source: Just Fruits

Plant-based eating just got an upgrade…

Macadamia nuts are far from the wackiest vegan edibles native to Australia.

“It’s up there, astronauts are sucking it out of a tube (…) This is what’s happening to this fruit.”

This giant continent grows 10kg pinecones on prehistoric trees. There are fruits here that are filled with gem-like capsules. There’s even a plum species that’s made it to space. How’s that for export?

Within the Earth’s atmosphere, native Australian ‘bush tucker’ is now popular internationally for its high nutrient content and unique flavours. Think nutritional yeast is the bomb? There’s a whole other world for you to explore.

Yes…


Until you read this.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

Since COVID-19 did away with keep-cups and dining in, I’ve been accumulating takeaway coffee cups. I have about 60 by my front door. They are of varying environmental merit, and they join us today to show us how best to dispose of our morning beverage encasements.

You just blinked. As you did so, several thousand coffee cups were heedlessly flung into garbage bins. From thence they will be heedlessly flung into landfill. Oh my.

Some people feel fine about landfill. They present convincing arguments for its continuance, like how the Earth is so big that we’ll nearly never run out…


You’re not being silly. Send those blooms.

Flowers inspire me to write.

Research and prominent historical figures say that flowers would help most of us right now.

Photo by Huyen Nguyen on Unsplash

Studies show flowers boost wellbeing

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy to have such things about us.”

~ Iris Murdoch

While not quite mad with joy, participants of several recent studies did have strong positive responses to receiving and living with flowers:


Image by Nout Gons on Pexels

The miraculous tale of a bedraggled ex-barista saved by a taxi roof.

You may remember a time of iPhone alarms and rush hours, when puffy-eyed people would throw on office wear and run or clack-clack out front doors. When, outside, the roads honked and fumed, and hundreds of thousands of takeaway coffee cups did their city dance.

On the whole, an unlikely place to find hope and love, but there it was indeed found.


Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Down-to-earth advice in uncertain times

Hello, planetary beings. I am the Earth.

What do you want in life? What is life? I hear you asking these questions of yourselves now in this seeming chaos. I also see that you’re pleased about the sky being bluer, about the reduction in CO2 emissions since your vehicles have been inactive. I hear you telling each other that now is the time to slow down and be grateful for loved ones and the planet.

I have another question for you. Are you still throwing food scraps in your rubbish bin?

Come on. Either you do it or you know…

Ellie Baker

I’m a fan of new perspectives, and hilarity. And birds. I hope my writing makes your day a bit weirder.

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