Thirty-nine years ago, in the 1972 edition of the Herald Sun Tour, a man put himself through existential purgatory to win his one and only stage of what was then Australia’s most prestigious bike race. But as he tells Anthony Tan, it was what happened next that continues to beggar belief.
‘Twas a fetching Melbourne afternoon in mid-October. 1 p.m. Sunday October 16, to be precise.
Having gorged myself on a hearty but rather eggy breakfast with ‘The Tominator’ (a.k.a. Mike Tomalaris), the final stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour was about to begin in Lygon Street, Melbourne, where a few hours later, Nathan Haas would emerge as its fifty-ninth champion.
My driver for the week, John Osborne, who spends much of his time organising the Tour of Toowoomba, one of 12 National Road Series events, was already on his way back home to Southern Queensland. As you do on a bike race, we spent most of the week taking the piss out of each other.
Tomorrow it will be two years since the Australian release of "Michael Jackson's: This Is It" - a compilation of footage showing the King of Pop preparing for a future concert series of the same name.
Up until the age of about 16, I idolised Michael Jackson. But somewhere along the way I found myself mimicking Chris Rock's routine from "Never Scared".
"Michael Jackson's lost his mind... I'm done with Michael. I was a fan my whole life. I am f**ing done. I'm handing in my glove."
Then one morning I get a call from my brother with those three words you never want to hear.
With expectations the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates next week, the big question is now whether Australia's banks will pass on the rate cut to consumers in full.
Australian interest rates, while historically low, are the highest in the industrial world.
So I used the opportunity, at NAB's media conference, where it unvieled a record $5.2billion full year profit, to ask its CEO, Cameron Clyne if he could guarantee the bank would pass on, in full, any cut in the official cash rate by the RBA on Tuesday.
Of all the varieties of beer that exist, lager is probably the most maligned by craft beer aficionados. Mass market lagers are criticised for their uniformity and bland fizziness; microbrewed ones are almost nonexistent because lager is expensive to brew. The bulk of the lagers on the market in Australia conform to a very narrow range of the style: pale lagers rather than the traditionally German dunkels, märzens or schwarzbiers. It is the international style that now dominates the local brews and faux imports alike. They’re crisp, unvarying and unchallenging.The strains of yeast used to brew a lager thrive at low temperatures, generally between 7 and 15 degrees celcius. Brewing away at lower temperature causes yeasts to grow more slowly. Traditional lagers like marzen (which means “March” in German) were stashed in cool caves in March and disgorged from the casks for Oktoberfest. It is a costly process to replicate because of the need to keep the beer stored at a low temperature while the yeast eats its way through the sugars in the beer.
Lagers have been brewed in Germany since the 1400s but one of the mysteries behind the beer is how did the particular strain of lager yeast get to Germany. This year, we came one step closer to finding out. The LA Times reports:
Geneticists have known since the 1980s that the yeast brewers use to make lager,S. pastorianus, was a hybrid of two yeast species:S. cerevisiae— used to make ales, wine and bread — and some other, unidentified organism.
The Reserve Bank board is increasingly like to cut interest rates for the first time in 2-and-a-half years next week, following today's Consumer Price Index.
Increases in the prices of water, electricity and property rates pushed up the quarterly rate of inflation to 0.6%. Annually it's at 3.5%
But the underlying rate, which the RBA looks at because it strips out one off price moves that may skew the headline rate, remained within its 2 to 3 per cent target band.
Shane Oliver from AMP Capital says given the uncertain economic times, that means interest rates will fall next week.
He's also predicting a further two cuts next year, but that the Australian dollar will remain strong.
On the downside, he says a full solution to the European debt crisis may still be some time away.
As stacked as fledgling team GreenEDGE is with talent for their maiden season in 2012, Anthony Tan can’t help but feel it could have been even better.
The NRS is evolving. But there is still a way to go before it gets up to a level where we can say that riders winning races deserve a spot on the World Tour
I would agree in no small part with this statement from Bannan to Sydney Morning Herald journalist Rupert Guinness, in his article ‘Bannan urges caution pushing home talent', published on Monday.
Video: Shayne Bannan interview.
The standard of the National Road Series (NRS) in Australia is definitely on the up, but there is still some way to climb before we can call it a veritable hotbed of WorldTour talent.
Summer has arrived and one of the many benefits of the warmer weather (along with sunny morning walks, midday swims and languid evenings listening to the cicadas) is that dough rises in about half the time. Which made a recent weekend the perfect time for fugazzeta (Issue 3, page 54) – the Argentinian take on Italian focaccia. Plus, there was a big rugby game on TV and this is a meal that requires nothing more than a pair of hands and a napkin – easy.
The dough was quick and simple to make – I was a little worried that my yeast was stale (last used for cinnamon buns on Christmas morning) but with a bit of patience (well, exactly as long as the recipe said), it frothed up nicely. Making dough is a hands-on experience and this one was no exception – there was a smooth transition from sticky to smooth and then it was into a bowl and left to its own devices. Given the heat of the day, within an hour the dough was double its original size – excellent news as it meant we could eat it sooner! There was a small hiccup when I realised that I had lent my pizza pan to my sister, so had to make do with a rectangular tin, but with enough melted cheese I didn’t care what shape it was.
Mr Ed thinks caramelised onions are delicious enough to eat on their own, so when I put them on top of pile of cheese (I could only find dolce provolone, not picante) and a bread crust, he was in heaven. We enjoyed our fugazzeta with a salad (oh, who am I kidding – he didn’t touch the salad!) for dinner but this would also be lovely cut into slivers and served with drinks.
What have you cooked from this issue of Feast? We’d love to hear about it – whether it’s the fugazzeta or the pot-au-feu.
And so former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has revealed the testiest moments in George W. Bush’s administration came when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-President Dick Cheney could not get their own way on matters of aggressive American foreign policy.
Rice is poised to publish her memoirs from her time in office next month. A preview of “No Higher Honor: A Memoir Of My Time In Washington” paints Rumsfeld and Cheney as the bad guys and the former President as perhaps well-meaning but poorly served by other advisers.
A clash with Bush’s legal counsel, Alberto Gonzales, provoked Rice to claim she would resign. She didn’t. Gonzales eventually did. But the revelations demonstrate that the participants in the Bush White House really did not get along.
According to a summary of the book published by the New York Times, the “most intense confrontation between her and Mr. Cheney came when she argued that terrorism suspects could not be ‘disappeared’ as in some authoritarian states.” Cheney is painted as a frighteningly brutal ultra-realist. No change there then.
The Reserve Bank board meets on Melbourne Cup Day with some economists predicting the bank will cut the official cash rate for the first time in two- and- a- half years.
But the board's decision may rest with the outcome of Wednesday's Consumer Price Index.
An underlying rate of below 0.6% may be enough to trigger an interest rate cut.
For more, I spoke with CommSec's Savanth Sebastian and NAB's Rob Henderson.
A film based on a gritty John Katzenbach novel is next on the agenda for the producers of Fred Schepisi’s drama.
The producers of The Eye of the Storm are planning a movie based on John Katzenbach's 2004 novel The Madman's Tale, the saga of a troubled man who spent years in a mental institution and is later haunted by memories of the rape and murder of a nurse.
Katzenbach has written the screenplay, the first time the American author has adapted one of his novels for the screen; among his books that have been turned into films are The Mean Season, Just Cause and Hart's War.
The producers aim to start shooting in mid-2012 on locations in the US and Australia with Gregory Read as the director, his second feature following Like Minds, the 2006 murder mystery that starred Toni Collette, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Sturridge.
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