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While walking back to my office from  training session, I noticed some Stinkhorn fungi in a flower bed. In fact there were multiple specimens of two different species of Stinkhorn fungi located in close proximity to each other (see fourth photo) –

  • Asteroe rubra – a red star shaped Stinkhorn fungus
  •  Phallus rubicundus – a red phallic shaped Stinkhorn fungus

   
    
   

Red Stinkhorn fungi (Phallus rubicundus) spotted on a flower bed. I even spotted some flys attracted by the pungent foul smelling or dour omitted by the fungus specimens.    

    
    
 

  
    
    
   

Over the weekend of 12th and 13th March I volunteered and checked out the World Science Festival Brisbane held in the cultural precinct at Southbank, Brsbane, Australia. Wow! An awesome experience!

My girl and I headed in to Southbank (the festival’s main location and home to Brisbane’s cultural precinct comprising museums, art galleries, the state library and performing arts centre) on the Saturday. As I was on my shift, my girl checked out Street Science (science shows, displays and demonstrations in the cultural forecourt near the Brisbane River). 

My shift was at QAGoMA (the Queensland Art Gallery-Gallery of Modern Art) as part of the Art Conservation Apprentice Program – a behind the scenes and practical look at preservation and conservation of artworks. Participants put broken ceramics back together and learnt about mourning and preserving photographic works (testing the pH of mounting boards, microscopic examination to find out how the photograph was printed). 

Fresh from my shift I met up with my girl for lunch Greek street food. Then it was on to see Dear Albert, a play written by Alan Alda based on Albert Einstein’s personal letters. He had a tumultuous love life, and was a passionate scientist and comedian. Fascinating! 

Next it was more Street Science – we saw Australian tarantulas and golden orb spiders being gently placed on willing kids’ hands – such fascination and lack of fear! Kids sifting through piles of rock and bones experiencing palaeontology, 3D bioprinting, robotics, reef conservation and the science Olympiads. 

Then to round out the day we saw Loggerhead turtles hatching from their eggs and earlier hatchlings swimming in tanks. Amazing! The hatchlings were to be released off the coast of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast where it was hoped they would catch the current and evade predators. 

On Sunday my shift was in the Whale Mall at the Queensland Museum. It was a kids activity – the Lego Tower Challenge – build a tower strong enough to hold a pile of text books. The kids has so much fun. So lovely to see kids of all ages, genders and background getting stuck into building. Fun but exhausting! After my shift I wandered around Street Science then caught up with my parents for a late lunch. 

What a day! What an experience! Privileged to have been involved. Can’t wait for next year. And no I didn’t get to meet or see Alan Alda. Maybe next year?  

 
    
    

      
    
    
    
    
    
 

Some photos of advertising in South Bank, Brisbane in the lead up to World Science Festival Brisbane – 9th to 13yh March 2016.

  

   

It seems a long time since I heard that the World Science Festival (a beckon and bench mark for science communication public engagement activities) was coming to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia – see my           The World Science Festival & Alan Alda (!!) Coming to Brisbane post. But now it’s here! And it’s on. The World Science Festival Brisbane (WSFB) starts today (9th March Brisbane time) and continues until Sunday (13th March).

The WSFB website describes the Festival – ‘The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will bring some of the world’s greatest thought leaders to Queensland, showcase local scientists and performers from around the Asia Pacific region, and host the brightest and the best from previous events in New York.’

‘At the World Science Festival Brisbane, the biggest stars of science will present the beauty, complexity, and importance of science through diverse, multidisciplinary programming that is the World Science Festival signature…..’

And I am very lucky to have the opportunity to be a volunteer for the Festival. I will volunteering at two events over the weekend. And am hoping I gain some invaluable and practical science engagment experience. 

WSFB, hosted by the Queensland Museum, will be held in Brisbane annually for three years. A wonderful opportunity to showcase the scientific and research work being undertaken in Queensland and to present the fascinating world of science to the Queensland public – to all walks of life. 

Check out the WSFB website for more information and the program of events.

Wallum Banksia

Wallum Banksia (Banksia aemula) on the banks of Currimundi Lake near Caloundra. The gnarled twisting branches of the banksia trees against the aqua blue waters of the lake is certainly eye catching. 

  
    
 

For more information on the Wallum Banksia, check out this Wikipedia article.

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