Letter from Tokyo
Pascoe Vale Festival
Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival
Labour Day Weekend
Indian Film Festival
Last Week’s Quiz
Malaysian Students Open Day
Seven Melbourne Events that were Bigger Than The Beatles
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
The White Hat Puzzle
Tastes of Chapel Festival
Melbourne Fashion Festival
Where is it and what does it mean?
Top 10 Mistakes Made By Visitors To Melbourne
World Street Food Festival
7 Disappearing Icons of Melbourne
From the White Hat Inbox
The White Hat Quiz
While writing our Friday newsletter the tragic events in Japan were unfolding. We attempted to refer to the situation but in the end the words weren’t right so we sent out the newsletter with no reference to the earthquake and Tsunami.
Soon after sending out the newsletter we received a reply from a White Hat Subscriber who is currently in Tokyo. We knew this reply would be of interest to some of you, so we include it as a supplement to this newsletter.
“Good morning Whitehat
I've been a fan for a few years being a CBD dwelling Melbournian and 10 days ago we were very excited to move to Tokyo for my partner's work. Well it's been an interesting few days to say the least, we knew we'd be discovering lots of fabulous new food, culture etc but nobody expects an 8.9 earthquake.
We are fine, as are most people in Tokyo. We live on the 19th floor of a new, very shake proof building in the Akasaka/Roppongi area. The quake itself was pretty phenomenal, I was at home and my partner at work, and my job for the day was to unpack Ikea furniture and pack our emergency escape backpacks with water, food, first aid kit, clean underwear etc but I thought it was just precautionary and we'd look back on it in a year and laugh. When the big one started I had talked myself into 'this is normal for Tokyo, come on, be a good strong Aussie girl and just get used to it!'. When our new TV was starting to sway I remembered that falling furniture is actually one of the biggest dangers so I went to hold it but the floor was rocking so much that I knelt on the floor, one hand on the TV and one on the edge of the cabinet. I looked out the window and could see the buildings around all swaying and the glass reflection showing how much the buildings were moving. I think each was probably moving 6-8 feet each sway. The art on our walls was swinging left to right like on a boat. There are marks on the walls showing how high it swung, I think I'll keep them for posterity. The curtains were lifting a metre off the floor and clothes in the wardrobe swaying back and forth. All the time I'm telling myself this is normal....crazy but the smaller quake 2 days prior scared me so much but everyone was so calm so I had decided to be ultra calm! It was when I realised I was on my knees, clutching onto a TV that my knees were sliding from left to right as the building swayed - that it wasn't normal and it was time to let go of the TV and get out.
My partner walked the 40 minutes home expecting to find me catatonic in the bathroom but after climbing 19 flights of stairs down we headed to the nearby park with hundreds of others and looked up at all the tall buildings ready to run if needed. We loitered for a few hours, no mobile coverage but managed to get out one email to family in Melbourne to let them know we were together and ok. Last night we put up a couple of my partners colleagues who couldn't get home as the trains were down. Being traditionally Japanese they were very courteous but I insisted that we break convention and keep our shoes on in case we had to run. There were lots of little shakes during the night and we were woken at 4.30 by our building alarm saying 'Earthquake approaching' so we quickly dressed and sat on the bed waiting but nothing happened so we went back to sleep.
Haven't opened the curtains yet but I know it will look normal out there in Tokyo. The same can't be said for those poor people about 400km North. The coming days will be very weird as life here will go on with nothing ever being the same again. Brings back memories of Black Saturday very much. Hope you and your readers and their families and loved ones are not affected. Anyway, time to open the curtains. Lots of love to Melbourne xx
PS My job hunting was to start soon but if anyone knows of an aid relief agency which is looking for help please let me know.”
This weekend is the Pascoe Vale Community Festival. Details at The White Hat Guide to Community Festivals.
Paddlers are chained to their seats while the slave master at the back beating a huge dream admonishing them to go faster and faster and they call it fun. Actually I’m not sure about the chains, and the water is strewn with petals but if you had a past life in the Roman galleys you still might feel a little uncomfortable. It is on this Sunday at Docklands.
This week we are trialling the government’s new real-time interactive help program which helps us correct errors as we type. We think that this will be an exciting new development that will help us get information to you in a speedier and more accurate fashion.
This weekend celebrates the 8 Hours Day
[“We don’t call it 8 Hours Day any more”]
Yes, I know, but I thought it would give it a little historical context Anyway,. .
[“We don’t call it 8 Hours Day any more”]
Yes, I understand minister that if we all went back to working an 8 hour day the economy would grind to a halt. Anyway, this weekend we celebrate . .
[“We don’t call it 8 Hours Day any more - we call it Labour Day”]
Yes, thank you. That’s been most helpful. Anyway, this weekend has for some time been known in Melbourne for the Moomba Festival.
[“That’s Labour with a ‘u’ – have you got that? Not to be confused with Labor without a ‘u’ which is the name of the party.”]
Yes, we’ve got that thank you very much. Anyway, at Moomba everyone in Melbourne gets together regardless of their background and nationality to celebrate . .
[“Don’t forget to mention the Americans who are our bestest friends ever in the whole wide world.”]
Everyone including Americans get together and have fun. People come from the outer suburbs including . .
[“A recommended list of marginal electorates can be found on our web site.”]
Thank you for that. People come from all over to enjoy the festivities and on the final evening the little ones get particularly excited by the incendiary devices . .
[“We do not condone the promotion of incendiary devices!”]
I meant fireworks. [In that case say fireworks.} I was being poetic.
[“We do not encourage poetry. It can be twisted to mean various things. Just use plain language.”]
Parents can take their children to see the fireworks but are enjoined not to describe them in a poetic way lest the thought police should be lurking in the background.
[“This is a tolerant democracy and we have no thought police.”]
Parents are also encouraged not to use irony when talking to their children.
[“This is a tolerant democracy and we have no thought police.”]
I suspect the safest thing is for us to direct readers to the official listing on our website at The White Hat Guide to Moomba.
The Indian Film Festival continues at Hoyts in Melbourne Central. If Indian girls exposing not much more than bare arms and a navel can . .
[“We feel that you should be focusing on the cultural and empowering values of Bollywood rather than its mere surface attractions.”]
Thank you. You can find details at The White Hat Guide to Film Festivals.
Now, if you don’t mind we think we may turn off the government real-time assistance tool.
Our first response came from Minerva:
Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.
Malaysian students have an opportunity to meet other students at a free BBQ in the Flagstaff Gardens.
Country Victoria is jumping this weekend with the Geelong Highland Gathering, the Echuca Steam Festival and & Echuca Cup, the Ballarat Begonia Festival, the Ballarat Antique Fair, the Harcourt Applefest, the Inverloch Jazz Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival and no doubt lots more. With the recent floods it would be wise to check with the organisers before making a special trip.
The following weekend is the Sunbury Community Festival and the Hot Sauce & Fiery Foods Festival at Jindivick.
Details at The White Hat Guide to Victoria.
No.5 – The Return of Sir John Monash to Melbourne
Please note: This section of the newsletter can now be found at The White Hat Guide to 7 Melbourne Events That were Bigger than The Beatles.
Dad and the kids can head out to see vintage steam machines in action while mum stays at home for a steamy day doing the ironing while watching a chickflick on TV. Details at The White Hat Guide to Steam Trains in Victoria.
Thank you for your weekly newsletter, much appreciated. I was just wondering if you may be able to shed some light on the digging activities over the last few weeks of really old dwelling foundations of stone on both the east and west corners of Little Lonsdale St. and Sutherland St Melbourne.
Thanks in advance,
“Hi White Hat
Like many others I stumbled across your website via someone else and I have been completely hooked ever for years.
Could I please ask that when people answer the White Hat Quiz questions with sarcasm (no issue with that) and other comments - that someone still answers the actual questions with the right answers - some of those questions are questions I have had at one time or another over the years and it irks me to see that the actual "real" response is not there - cause it is of interest.
We are gathering together a number of a most popular quizzes with a view to publishing them complete with answers. In the meantime we’ll see what we can do about tidying up incomplete answers.
“Thanks, your doing a great job, we love your newsletter.
The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival concludes this weekend. Details at The White Hat Guide to Food & Wine Festivals in Melbourne.
First to last week's puzzle:
You are a farmer and sell your produce at farmers markets. People fill a sack with their vegetables and you charge to the nearest kilo. You have a pair of hefty balance pans you suspend from the branch of a sturdy tree. They can take a total weight of 80 kilos so you can measure up to 40 kilos in a sack. However you want to minimize the number of measuring weights you have to lug around. What is the minimum number of weights you need to measure from one to forty kilos to the nearest kilo?
We had a number of responses such as:
“The minimum number of weights would be 7: 20kg, 10kg, 5kg, 2kg and 3 1kg.
“1x1, 2x2, 1x5, 1x10, 1x20
Alex gave the same answer.
A number of you came up with the answer “1,2,4,8,16,32” knowing that this doubling sequence allows you to create any whole number. However it was Jane’s hubby who came up with the answer we were after.
My husband has had a go at this week’s puzzle, and has come up with this answer.
Four weights are needed, a 1kg, a 3kg, a 9kg, and a 27 kg.
Thanks for the puzzle…it kept him quiet, and happily entertained for a little while.
With this tripling sequence and a pair of balance pans you can weigh any kilogram weight. Think about it.
Now to this week’s simple puzzle:
You are staying on the 15th floor of a New York apartment block which has no lift (sorry, elevator) and one flight of stairs connecting storey. How many flights of stairs do you need to walk down before you are at the front door?
The Tastes of Chapel Festival continues in Prahran. Details at The White Hat Guide to Chapel Street.
The Melbourne Fashion Festival gets into full swing this weekend. Details at The White Hat Guide to Major Events in Melbourne.
The world is full of people who walk past things every day and never notice what is there or ask what it does or what it means. Then there are other strange people who do notice and do ask. This little segment is for the latter.
Last week Heather asked about a large statue of a fish.
Pam and a number of others replied:
“Dear Mr Hat…… or may I call you White?
I don’t know where that one is (the one in Heather’s photograph) but I think it is one of the great big fish that formed part of the decorations along the Yarra for the Commonwealth Games.
There are two that I DO know the whereabouts…….one is outside the aquatic centre called the Casey ARC in Patrick Northeast Drive Narre Warren and another is beside the South Gippy Highway at Tooradin.
They were put up for grabs after the Games and Councils and other corporate bodies put up their hands for a bit of fishy sculpture to grace their environs.
Thank you so much for your weekly information interspersed with fun and games.
The fish in the photo together with several others is in an alleyway beside the World Trace Centre leading to the river and the newly refurbished WTC Wharf area.
Here is another photograph submitted by Heather. Where is it and what does it mean?
Please note: This section of the newsletter can now be found at The White Hat Guide to Mistakes Made by Visitors to Melbourne.
WORLD STREET FOOD FESTIVAL The World Street Food Festival is on this weekend at the Victoria Market. Details at: http://qvm.com.au/qvm/events.aspx?event_id=270
No.4 - Bendigo Street Richmond
Please note: This section of the newsletter can now be found at The White Hat Guide to 7 Lost Icons of Melbourne.
We mentioned above in our little piece on Sir John Monash numbers of places around Melbourne that might remind you of his contribution. There is one we forgot. We want you to open your wallet and take out a $100 note and examine the stern looking gentleman with the prodigious moustache and ponder the contribution he made to Melbourne and Australia. After you have finished pondering, we want you to place it in an envelope and mail it to White Hat. We are wanting to start a collection of them.
We had the following personal message
“hi from portc
dad came down last night & he hasnt been 2 portc b4 cos he was angry that i used the money he gave me 2 go 2 uni & spent it on a kombi from the local greek caryard owned by con & ruby & crystal & i went on a gap yr around the world but only got as far as bright & then i dropped out of my uni course & had 2 sell the kombi back to con & ruby but he came down & said that something had happened between him & mum but he didnt want 2 talk about it but he slept the night on the couch & hes not the sort of person that sleeps on a couch & then early in the morning we went out in his car and he stopped on the bridge across the river & as the mists drifted across the water i could just make out the words on the caryard that said ruby & con & dad handed me an envelope with the keys 2 the kombi which he had paid 2 have restored plus some money & said dont go home 4 any luggage just go on your 2nd gap yr cos none of us need 2 take baggage in2 the future so i did & im on the road & im scared & im excited & im on my way
THE WHITE HAT QUIZ
Logos and branding
- Currently Melbourne has two logos it presents to the world. The first is a chunky upper case ‘M’ (you can find how that came about at Lenny The Pen) The second looks like the open leaves of a book with the letters MELBOURNE spread one at a time across each page. Why are there two logos?
- We all know that fast food companies use red and yellow branding and that hardware and cheap and cheerful products use black and yellow branding and the reasons behind that choice of colours. However some organisations choose a particularly distinctive colour and use it as the major part of their branding. Name one.
- When many councils were required to merge in the 90s they had to choose a new name and logo so that it didn’t seem like one council was taking over another (even though in reality that is what happened). A common symbol used by several councils as a major part of their new logo was a snake. Why would a council chooses a snake in the grass as an important symbol and name at least two who have incorporated it into their logo?
- Some councils use distinctive colours on the signs which label their streets (except for parts of Toorak near St Georges Road which removes its signs because anyone who needs to know already knows what street it is). Name one such council and the colours they use.
- Initially various localities came up with their own distinctive light poles and colour schemes for public street furniture. These were often based on kitsch designs popular at the time and the cheapest varieties of surplus paint of the period. It took nearly a century for the last examples of these to die off much to the relief of the local inhabitants. Then came council amalgamations and historians cheerfully suggested that these designs and colours should be revived and splattered all over the suburb. Give an example of this form of revived historical branding.
- Some organisations use a subtle use of lettering in their branding. One letter may be reversed or two letters run together. Give an example.
- Sydney branded its Olympic Games as “Sydney 2000”. What was the ‘double meaning’ of this brand?
- For over a century local football teams had a standard jumper that changed little over time. In recent years ‘home’ and ‘away’ strips were created and changed on a yearly basis with the purpose of pressuring parents to buy new merchandising each year for their kids rather than letting than wearing grandma’s hand-knitted club jumper. Before these changes, how could you tell which was the home and the away team?
- When driving in the country you will often see brown signs pointing to wineries or similar tourist attractions. Can anyone have one of these signs allocated?
- The city of Ararat has adopted a simple device to help ‘brand’ its main street. What device is that?
No prizes – just glory and a warm inner glow.
White Hat is dressed by the Melbourne Fashion Festival under the strict proviso that I undertake not to turn up to any of their events.