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Australians Born In July

This month's Australian birthdays include a lady swimmer arrested for indecency for wearing a one-piece cozzie (no, it wasn't Dawn Fraser). On the list is the first Aussie musician to be knighted,  ARIA and Logie winners, singers, and politicians. For those no longer with us, it's a way to remember them too. They include:

  • 17 July 1975 – Terence Chi-Shen Tao
    Australian mathematician, child prodigy
  • 18 July 1890-1983 – Francis Forde
    15th Prime Minister of Australia, served only 8 days
  • 24 July 1935 – Pat Oliphant
    Australian cartoonist, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • 24 July 1998 – Bindi Sue Irwin
    Australian entertainer, actress, daughter of Steve Irwin
  • 26 July 1939 – John W. Howard
    25th Prime Minister of Australia (1996-2007)
  • 30 July 1969 – Simon Baker
    Australian actor (The Mentalist), Logie Award 1993
  • 31 July 1951 – Evonne Goolagong Cawley
    Australian tennis champion won Wimbledon in 1971
  • See 50 more July Birthdays


 Get Well Cards

I've been crook lately and so are a lot of my friends. Know someone feeling crook too? Our Get Well Pets cards and Feeling Sick? cards are a great way to show them you care.

We also have Get Well Bouquet and Get Well Soon cards with flowers for a more traditional message.

No matter which of our free Greeting Cards you choose, any time is a good time to share a smile!


Editor's Blog

We Get Mail

Wrong Side Driving

In an email from Ray M, he said "No matter how many yanks you give the drum, when they build cars, they keep putting the wheel on the wrong bloody side." I hear this kind of thing a lot.

First, let me say in defence of the yanks that right-hand driving did not start in America.

In the 1700's Russia traffic kept to the right. In the French Revolution in 1792 all traffic was ordered to stay to the right. Countries or allies occupied by Napoleon (Netherlands, Italy, Poland,  Switzerland, Germany, Spain) adopted right-hand traffic as a result. Over time other countries have adopted the right-hand driving.

Flashback Blog

Australian Opals,
the best holiday memento

An opal is an authentic Australian souvenir that can be worn with style. By selecting this rare gemstone, you’re choosing a part of Australia’s true natural beauty.

More than 95 percent of the world’s opals come from Australia. Each stone contains an incredible psychedelic pattern shaped and coloured within local sandstone.

Some of the most famous opals are only found in Australia. These include the classic black opal, Olympic Australis; the Flame Queen Opal and the Andamooka Opal, worn by Queen Elizabeth II.



United States Changes

During the American colonial days, the French colonies kept to the right and all the other colonies kept to the left. It wasn't until after 1813 that the USA formalized driving on the right. Today all US states and territories except the US Virgin Islands drive on the right.

Australia Drives on the Left

The decision on which side of the road to use was made in the early 19th century by Governor Lachlan Macquarie following the British practice. New Zealand drives on the left too, also owing to its British colonial heritage.

More to the Story

If you do any research on this subject you'll find that it is believed as early as ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, the right-left issue was related to the fact that most soldiers / travellers wielded their swords in their right hand. So they would stay to the left side of the road prepared, if necessary, to fight oncoming enemies on their right.

So Ray, it looks like the French, not the Americans may be responsible for the move to driving on the right. Wiki has an excellent article with everything you wanted to know about it.

New on our website

List of countries in Which Side of the Road Do You Drive On?

Read more from our blog . . .

Accessories for any fashion

As souvenirs for yourself or a friend, you might be surprised by the stunning ranges of opal jewellery available today designed to meet any fashion preference, from jeans to gowns.
Read more about Opel Myths and Gifts

Highest Mountain or Not?

Tony B. wrote me that "Australia's highest mountain is on Heard Island. The crest is on Mawson Peak on the active volcano Big Ben.

Well Tony, that's not quite right. The highest mountain in the Australian mainland is Mt. Kosciuszko at 2,228 metres (7,310 ft).

Heard Island is an external territory and not the mainland. Yes, I hear you saying mainland or not, Mawson Peak is still Australia's biggest at 2,745 metres (9,006 ft).

Sorry, but if you include external territories like Heard Island, then to be fair you should include Mt. McClintock in the Britannia Range in the Australian Antarctic Territory which is 3,490 metres (11,450 ft) as the highest Australian mountain.

Before we get too carried away, we should remember that Everest in Nepal/Tibet is 8,850 metres (29.035 ft). Now that's really big.

I have updated our page Highest and Biggest in Australia with this information.

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