Top Ten Australian Inventions

Australia has always been a creative country. Present us with a problem and we will find a solution. I suspect that it goes all the way back to the days of squatters and homesteads and drovers. In those days, supply runs were few and far between. If something broke, you had to fix it with whatever you had to hand. If you ran out, you had to do without, or find a substitute.

Australians have always been quite good at thinking outside the box, and this has led to quite a number of inventions, though we don’t always get the credit we deserve. In honour of Rafferty’s Rules’ first annual ‘Australia Month’, I have decided to do a top ten list of Australian inventions. Continue reading

Top Ten Big Things in Australia

All around the world artists, businesses and governments erect giant versions of animals or items that are relevant to them, and Australia is no exception. Inevitably, these giant sculptures attract tourists and, indeed, there are many people who make a hobby of travelling to various ‘big things’ around the world.

Australia certainly hosts her fair share of ‘big things’. In fact, I was quite surprised at the sheer number and variety of these sculptures scattered throughout the country. Before doing my research for this blog post, I could have counted on one hand the number of Australian ‘big things’ that I knew about. Continue reading

Top Ten Beautiful Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are a fairly standard sight in the home of anybody who celebrates that particular holiday, and many stores and public areas around the world also wow the public with these beautiful decorations.

Every once in a while, however, we come across a tree that is decorated so beautifully that we just want to oooh and aaah in awe.

This is my top ten list of some of the most beautiful Christmas trees from around the world, in order from ten to one: Continue reading

Top Ten Unusual Xmas Trees

xmas trees

Christmas trees are a fairly standard decoration in the home of anybody who celebrates that particular holiday, and how a tree is decorated says a lot about the interests of that particular household.

Some homes and businesses, however, take their unique sense of style a little further. Instead of worrying over little things like decorations, they prefer to allow the tree itself to speak for them. Continue reading

Top Ten Harry Potter Ships in Fanfiction

Harry Potter Ships

This blog post may contain spoilers for various fandoms. You have been warned.

Fanfiction stories are a staple of any fandom. They allow fans to re-imagine all the parts of the original work they didn’t like or place their favourite characters in different situations. They allow fans to take their favourite scene and say things like “What if Snape collected Harry instead of Hagrid?” or “What if Pain left everyone dead?” and imagine how these tiny changes might affect the entire story.

Fanfiction stories also allow fans to combine their favourite fandoms. I have read stories where Cedric Diggory (Harry Potter) turned out to be Edward Cullen (Twilight). I have read stories where Vernon abused Harry while on a business trip to the States and Harry wound up in the care of Casey Novak (SVU), who turned out to be a witch. I have read stories where Harry somehow came in contact with the NCIS team, the Winchesters or the Avengers. All of these authors were able to create situations for these fandoms to interact without stretching the point of incredulity to breaking and all wrote excellent stories that were well worth reading. Continue reading

Top Ten Australian Films (1950 – 2000)

The Story of the Kelly Gang, the earliest feature film ever made, was released in 1906 and the Australian film industry has been producing outstanding cinema ever since. Though many gems have remained undiscovered by audiences outside of Australia, the country has enjoyed it’s share of international acclaim. Continue reading

Top Ten Indelicates Songs

The Indelicates are a piano and guitar-led pop/rock group from Sussex in England. Formed by Julia and Simon Indelicate in 2005, the band now also includes Alastair Clayton, Nick Kos and Emma Lewis.

At the time of publishing, the band has released five albums as well as several singles, EPs and books. In 2008 they toured Germany and Austria and were the subject of a ten-part documentary series entitled Chopz on Tour. Continue reading

Top Ten Monty Python Sketches

One of the most iconic symbols of my childhood is Monty Python, which is ironic given that most of their stuff was released either before I was born or when I was far too young to either understand or remember.However, Dad was a Python fan, so I grew up watching films like Life of Brian and The Search for the Holy Grail and, in fact, some of my favourite sketches are taken from these movies. Having married a man who can quote large passages from various sketches, I have also developed a taste for those aspects of Monty Python that my father either didn’t enjoy or chose not to show me.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Monty Python were a British comedy group who produced some pretty surreal and out-there movies and sketches. The group, consisting of members Graham Chapman, John Cleese (voted number 2 the top 50 greatest comedians ever), Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle (voted number 21 the top 50 greatest comedians ever), Terry Jones, and Michael Palin (voted number 30 the top 50 greatest comedians ever), produced the sketch comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, followed by live tours, books and several movies. Monty Python’s humour proved to be so unique and popular that it has engendered a cult following that endures to this day. It even spawned a new word — pythonesque, meaning farcically surreal or absurd.

I have already posted my Top Ten Monty Python Songs so today I would like to concentrate on my ten favourite Monty Python sketches. Continue reading

Top Ten Horrible Histories Songs

Horrible Histories is a popular British television series based on the best-selling book series by Terry Dreary. The show was produced for CBBC by Lion Television with Citrus Television and ran from 2009 to 2013 with an additional ‘reincarnation’ in 2015. Here in Australia, reruns are constantly being shown and the show is very popular in my home (and not just with the kids!).

The show is ‘hosted’ by a black rat puppet by the name of Rattus Rattus and stars  Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, alongside a large supporting cast headed by Sarah Hadland, Lawry Lewin and Dominique Moore.

Each episode lasts for half an hour and covers different time periods with interesting titles such as ‘Gorgeous Georgians’ or ‘Vile Victorians’. The show consists of  Live-action sketches—which often parody other UK media or celebrities—and music videos, intercut with animations and quizzes, with Rattus Rattus explaining the facts behind each segment.

Horrible Histories was a critical and ratings success, winning numerous domestic and international awards (including being the first children’s show to win best sketch at the Comedy Awards) and has been named among the greatest British children’s television series of all time — with good reason, in my opinion. The show is entertaining for all ages, including adults, with the added benefit of being educational. Some of the most popular sketches and songs from the show have attracted more than half a million hits each on YouTube.

Frankly, I have learned more from this show than I ever did in History class. Continue reading

Top Ten Monty Python Songs

One of the most iconic symbols of my childhood is Monty Python, which is ironic given that most of their stuff was released either before I was born or when I was far too young to either understand or remember. Continue reading

Top Ten Breakup Songs

There’s nothing like good music to help you get over a bitter break-up, but sometimes these songs are so sad they only succeed in depressing you further. Still, every once in a while a song really stands out as the perfect antidote to self-pity. Here is my top ten list of awesome break-up songs. Continue reading

Top Ten Voltaire Songs

VoltaireI have quite eclectic taste when it comes to music. There is no one genre that would stand out above the others in my taste. However, I do tend to prefer artists who have their own unique sound – the kind you can immediately identify as soon as you hear them sing. Sandi Thom, Frente and The Indelicates are all in my top ten. One of my favourite artists, though, is Aurelio Voltaire. I love almost all of his music. In fact, I found it incredibly difficult to narrow my list down to just ten songs! If you haven’t head Voltaire sing before, you are in for a treat. Continue reading

My Top Ten Favourite Actors

Geoffrey Rush

At any given time, there are dozens of actors in the limelight. Some of these stay for a very brief moment before disappearing back into obscurity. Others hang around a bit longer, landing roles in whatever blockbuster is the hit … Continue reading