Elf on the Shelf ideas and inspiration from the HunterPHOTOS

The best Elf on the Shelf ideas from the Hunter in photos Taneal Anderson
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Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

“We don’t serve their kind here” – Elf on the Shelf gets a little roughed up on his visit to The Empire Coffee Co.

INSTA: @maitlandmercury Check out the little guy that has showed up at the Mercury office! #elfieselfie #elfontheshelf

Picture: My naughty elf by Rebecca Smith

Elfie in his photo booth with his selfies coming out of the booth. Picture: Cassie Appleton

Picture: Nicole Watson

Picture: Deb Jee

Picture: Madeline

INSTA: @maitlandmercury He made a mess but at least he reminded us to get the sun cream out today. It’s going to be a hot one! #elfontheshelf #elfieselfie

Picture: Alexis Bridge

INSTA: @maitlandmercury No sleeping on the job when ‘Buddy’ the elf is around… #elfieselfie #elfontheshelf #officemayhem

INSTA: @maitlandmercury Not sure that is what the work photocopier is supposed to be used for… #elfontheshelf #elfieselfie

INSTA: @maitlandmercury Someone made a real mess of the glass window at work… #elfontheshelf #elfieselfie

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

The Ridley’s elf ‘Elfred’ PHOTO: Todd and Renee Ridley

Our elf has been up to no good ..my 5 year old son Preston is always excited each morning to see max the elf

Our elf has been up to no good ..my 5 year old son Preston is always excited each morning to see max the elf

Our little miss elf at Sekt hair and body Maitland. PHOTO: Maddison Watters

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Elf on the Shelf Clarence Town

Our Robbie got up to mischief … The kids were horrified cause he used a Sharpie.. And only mummy is allowed to use the sharpie. PHOTO: Ashleigh Cawdell-Smith Alvarez

WARNING: Adult themes PHOTO: Sammi Jones

PHOTO: Ashley J Murphy

PHOTO: Ashley J Murphy

PHOTO: Ashley J Murphy

PHOTO: Sammi Jones

PHOTO: John Zanardi

PHOTO: Brooke Jones

PHOTO: John Zanardi

Leila Matthews: Bob and Bib put everyone’s underwear in our tree last night!

Our cheeky elf Robert left a little surprise for my kids. Think he’s been eating too many of our chocolates. PHOTO: Rochelle Dyson

Penny deciding to relax after a big couple of days. PHOTO: Chloe Wilson

PHOTO: Emily Priestley

Sparkles ready for bed. PHOTO: Leanne Nichols‎

This was our naught elf Roxy the other day.She drew all over the fridge. PHOTO: Angie Ussher

Our elf has been up to no good ..my 5 year old son Preston is always excited each morning to see max the elf

Our elf has been up to no good ..my 5 year old son Preston is always excited each morning to see max the elf

Our elf has been up to no good ..my 5 year old son Preston is always excited each morning to see max the elf

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

PHOTO: Kylie Lang

No you get in the bowl!!! PHOTO: Kristy Purcell

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our elves Ellie and Evan. PHOTO: Jessica Alicia Walmsley

Our Elf Elvis has been up to some epic fun he even made a music video. PHOTO: Amy Crossan

Our Elf Elvis has been up to some epic fun he even made a music video. PHOTO: Amy Crossan

Our Elf Elvis has been up to some epic fun he even made a music video. PHOTO: Amy Crossan

Our Elf Elvis has been up to some epic fun he even made a music video. PHOTO: Amy Crossan

PHOTO: Rebecca Smith

We’ve done a bit if a twist on the original and ours is a kindness elf who, in addition to being cheeky, sets us missions each day for random acts of kindness. PHOTO: Renae Geddes

We’ve done a bit if a twist on the original and ours is a kindness elf who, in addition to being cheeky, sets us missions each day for random acts of kindness. PHOTO: Renae Geddes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

This is buddy- he is watching Millie and Macey and having loads of fun whilst he is here! PHOTO: Sarah Barnes

Here are some pictures of our elf, Zippy. He certainly has some adventures! PHOTO: Kristen Birkett

Here are some pictures of our elf, Zippy. He certainly has some adventures! PHOTO: Kristen Birkett

Here are some pictures of our elf, Zippy. He certainly has some adventures! PHOTO: Kristen Birkett

Here are some pictures of our elf, Zippy. He certainly has some adventures! PHOTO: Kristen Birkett

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Craine Family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: The Cameron family

PHOTO: Kim Hooson

PHOTO: Kim Hooson

PHOTO: Kim Hooson

PHOTO: Kim Hooson

PHOTO: Marissa McGregor

Our poor Elf Pippin has been caught by his nemesis, the evil Dr Potato Head.PHOTO: Susan Reid

From the Dougherty family in Dalwood.To our surprise… Alfie the elf had got up to some mischief whilst the family were out. Our girls squealed “he’s on a date with Barbie!” Mum was pleased they had their seat belts on.

PHOTO: anacottrell

PHOTO: anacottrell

PHOTO: anacottrell

PHOTO: anacottrell

PHOTO: anacottrell

PHOTO: anacottrell

Trapped in Lego by Lord Voldemort ! Harry and Hagrid to the rescue along side Santa riding a dragon. PHOTO: Krista Lee Rayson

Krista Lee Rayson – Scrabble with furby and Barbie wearing Party hats.

Krista Lee Rayson – This is from tonight. Silly elf !

Renee Walton – The Ninja Turtles caught Jake Snowflake sneaking around the house. They were just making sure he was a good guy.

Talyn McNeill – We are doing Naughty Avengers instead. Its so much fun

Tamika Maree – Somebody went a little glitter crazy

Leila Matthews – Flour angels

Leila Matthews – Showing the assassins and the Millennium Falcon who is boss

PHOTO: Krista Lee Rayson

PHOTO: Krista Lee Rayson

PHOTO: Krista Lee Rayson

PHOTO: Tamika Maree

PHOTO: Tamika Maree

PHOTO: Tamika Maree

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Trace Vanderspuy

PHOTO: Talyn McNeill

PHOTO: Tania McNamara

PHOTO: Renee Walton

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Olivia Attard

PHOTO: Katherine Stella Hooper

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

PHOTO: Shahn Burgman

Yum yum!

The Ridley’s elf ‘Elfred’ PHOTO: Todd and Renee Ridley

The Ridley’s elf ‘Elfred’ PHOTO: Todd and Renee Ridley

The Ridley’s elf ‘Elfred’ PHOTO: Todd and Renee Ridley

Miss-Chief up to no good. PHOTO: Natalie Hollis

Miss-Chief up to no good. PHOTO: Natalie Hollis

Miss-Chief up to no good. PHOTO: Natalie Hollis

Picture: Madeline

Racheal Ruth – A friends house has her entire home full of elfs and deco

Elfie in his photo booth 2/12/2017 with his selfies coming out of the booth. Picture: Cassie Appleton

Elfie in his photo booth 2/12/2017 with his selfies coming out of the booth. Picture: Cassie Appleton

Picture: ‎Amanda Playford‎

“We don’t serve their kind here”Elf on the Shelf gets a little roughed up on his visit to The Empire.

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Naughty elf Jack. Picture: Nicole Watson

Picture: Brooke Smith

Picture: Brooke Smith

Picture: Brooke Smith

Super ‘Dash’ flying through the family room. Picture: Sally Crane

Leila Matthews – Bib and Bob enjoying roasting marshmallows and a hot chocolate

Leila Matthews

Picture: Lisa Kramarzewski

Rochelle Dyson -Robert and Gracie are very cheek

Bel Adams – She drove the car around the front of the house and then got stuck

Justine Mitchell – Rock climbing

Sharon Crossingham – Elf vs Jinx

Kiera-Leigh Dillon

Kiera-Leigh Dillon

Jillian Kenyon – He stapled their undies together

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Teracey Loug-her

Ria Mc

Amanda Fenn

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Taneal Anderson

Kassy Solman

Catt Wilko-Frazer

Emily Priestley

Kelly Marks

Madeline Leokadia Thew

Madeline Leokadia Thew

Madeline Leokadia Thew

Amanda Playford

Amanda Playford

Amanda Playford

Rebecca-lee March

Rebecca-lee March

Kylye Martin-Baker

Kirraah Leayr

This was what can happen if the elf puts anyone on the naughty list without a good reason.I think Vader was telling the elf he had placed me on the naughty list for the last time. – Paul Anlezark

wendy klus

Mitchell Hudson

Debbie King

Debbie King

Debbie King

Debbie King

Debbie King

TweetFacebook Elf on the Shelf HunterCheeky elves get up to all kinds of mischief.Are you looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas and inspiration?

At the start of December mischievous elves come out to play in homes across the Hunter. In the lead-up to Christmas the Elf on the Shelf is a toy sent to children’s homes to report back to Santaon who has been naughty or nice.

While the cheeky little elves have a job to do, it seems they also like ­getting up to mischief along the way.

Just take a look at what they got up to last year!

Is there an elf at your house? Send in your photos andideas to [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

LINING UP FOR A KISS: The Anderson children back in 2015, Xanthia, Jack and Josh, at the elf kissing booth, and no shortage of Barbie dolls waiting in line.Picture by CATH BOWEN

‘It’s going insane’: Bitcoin breaks through $US10,000 for first time

Bitcoin’s hyper-frenzy saw exchanges pummelled with trading volumes on Wednesday as Bitcoin surged above $US10,000 for the first time in the technology’s history.
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The cryptocurrency is up 950 per cent or the year, enjoying a manic 54 per cent lift in the last two weeks alone, which brought its market capitalisation to $US167 billion ($210 billion).

The cryptocurrency was fetching $US10,029 ($13,277) in afternoon trade in Sydney, on CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

More than $12 million dollars poured into n exchange Independent Reserve on Wednesday morning, with the company now signing up as many as 800 new customers a day, up from 200 last month, as mainstream mania takes hold.

“It’s going insane,” said Adrian Przelozny, chief executive of Independent Reserve. “We are seeing much more sophisticated investors who have been sitting on the sidelines now entering. We’re talking to hedge funds, self-managed super funds, the next wave of investors.”

The blockchain was groaning under billions of trades, though largely only “buy” orders as speculative punters bet on Bitcoin’s continued rise.

Mainstream interest was well and truly piqued, and headlines around the world broadcast people swapping houses for cryptocurrency and chatrooms exploded as more Aussie dollars, euros, greenbacks and yen were swapped for Bitcoin than ever before.

Even as analysts disagree on whether the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation is truly an asset, its $US167 billion value already exceeds that of about 95 per cent of the S&P 500 Index members.

“This is a bubble and there is a lot of froth. This is going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes,” hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said at a cryptocurrency conference Tuesday in New York. The whale song

But long-term watches are warning there are some Bitcoin holdings that are so large – worth hundreds millions of dollars – that they have been known to emerge at times of peak-exuberance sending dramatic shocks through the markets to wipe out smaller holders who have taken on too much risk.

“There’s been extreme mainstream penetration recently and these new guys have the jitteriest hands,” said Duncan Campbell, director of Digital Currency Experts, an education consultancy .

“We’ve seen it time and time again, where these big whales think it’s time to give the market a haircut and they move a couple of thousand of Bitcoin. That’s enough to melt the exchanges and these new guys will be left extremely, extremely panicked.”

Whale traders can spook an overheated market by selling a moderately large block of the assets below the market rate. This generally causes a panic sell-off by small-time traders, who flood the exchanges with sell orders.

The whale then waits and scoops up the assets when they’ve reached a satisfactory low. The practice is often known as “shaking out weak hands”.

Earlier last month, several extremely large Bitcoin holders swapped their large holdings of Bitcoins for Bitcoin Cash – an alternative crypto-asset developed for faster transactions.

These moves saw a dramatic $US2,000 plunge in the Bitcoin price and showed just how many Bitcoin are centralised in a few wallets.

“There definitely are some guys who have a lot of power in the market,” says Mr Przelozny. “And we are cautioning people because there is a good chance there will be a dip in the next month or two. This does look like irrational exuberance.” How the tech is holding up

While there is hysterical chatter above, Bitcoin miners seem to be comfortably managing the extreme Bitcoin demand with the average transaction time around 8.5 tp 9 minutes, and around 7.3 blocks an hour. Not too dissimilar to the rates at the beginning of the year, given how many new mining participants have come online.

But given most people are buying and holding cryptocurrency at present, this is not as demanding on a blockchain. Whereas if billions of commercial transactions were to begin taking place and the blockchain became infinitely more dynamic, the verification pipeline is likely to become clogged.

Indeed, Bitcoin developers are still debating scaling solutions for mainstream adoption particularly with respect to how much energy is needed to power the verification network.

For example, the mining of bitcoins this year has consumed more energy than the average electricity consumed annually by 159 nations, according to Digiconomist.

The same research showed energy consumption had increased 20 per cent in the last month alone and should it continue at this rate Bitcoin mining will consume all of the world’s available electricity by February 2020.

There are 16.7 million Bitcoin in circulation, according to data from Chainalysis, bringing bitcoin’s market capitalisation to some $US167 billion.

Of those in circulation, about 37 per cent have been spent or traded in the past year, while some 22 per cent are being held by “strategic investors”, and most of the rest have been lost.

The Disaster Artist review: Hollywood hotshots craft a comedy of humiliation

The Disaster Artist film poster.
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The Disaster Artist – Dave Franco (left) as Greg Sestero and James Franco as Tommy Wiseau.

FILM THE DISASTER ARTIST ?????????(M) General release (104 minutes)

Judd Apatow???, the reigning king of comedy in Hollywood, does a cameo here where he tells the character Tommy Wiseau???, the butt of this movie’s joke, that just because you want to be a big star doesn’t mean it’s going to happen – and in his case, it will never happen.

Wiseau, played by James Franco, is one curious dude: long black hair like Ozzy Osbourne and somewhat similar clarity about the world; a thick Eastern European accent that he pretends is from New Orleans; a set of clothes that might have been stolen from Michael Jackson’s stage wardrobe – brocades and chains and belts everywhere.

Tommy’s hold on reality is precarious, his face pasty and pock-marked, but his determination to succeed in Hollywood is kind of lovable. He will do anything to get noticed, which is why he ends up shouting Hamlet’s soliloquy at an increasingly steamed Apatow in a fancy restaurant – forever closing the door on that particular producer’s favour.

It’s a funny scene but it leaves a slightly bitter taste. Here are two of Hollywood’s new generation: the successful hyphenate James Franco (actor-director-star-writer and Oscar nominee, if never again an Oscar host) and Apatow, the producer of seemingly every major comedy of the last 10 years – and they’re making fun of a guy who just wants to be a contender, to make it into their league.

That’s the fly in this tube of Hollywood ointment. It feels like an insider’s movie where the guys who’ve succeeded in making it inside have a good laugh at those who haven’t. I don’t think that’s quite what Franco intended but that’s what he achieves, so intentions are moot.

Franco tries to head off my kind of reaction at the end where we meet the real Wiseau, whose 2003 film The Room has become a cult hit – and a by-word for terrible. Wiseau comes across as having a sense of humour about himself. He’s a good sport, albeit supremely odd.

The Room pops up regularly at special screenings around town, where it’s usually billed as the worst movie ever made – though there’s a new one of those every decade and Hollywood sometimes makes a movie about the dodos who did it, as with Johnny Depp playing Ed Wood for Tim Burton in 1994.

The Disaster Artist is that movie for the new century, with Dave Franco (brother of James) playing a gullible young wannabe actor, Greg Sestero???, who becomes Tommy’s friend during an acting class in San Francisco. Tommy’s only friend, in fact, and the object of his somewhat unsettling desire – although Sestero never responds to the underlying sexual tension.

These two innocents go to Hollywood to break into show business, sharing Tommy’s Los Angeles apartment. Tommy has unlimited funds, the origin of which – like his home country – are unexplained. He doesn’t like such questions.

When their careers do not rocket, they decide to make a movie themselves – which becomes The Room. Seth Rogen??? plays the first assistant director amidst a series of star cameos: Bryan Cranston???, Sharon Stone, Zac Efron.

The movie Franco thinks he’s making is about the mercurial nature of Hollywood success – the idea that he’s not so different to mad Tommy. There but for the grace of God??? etc. Except that he is different because Franco has loads of talent and Wiseau wouldn’t know talent if it was a Rottweiler attached to his bottom.

That’s the superiority that Franco can’t avoid embracing. I don’t say Franco wouldn’t know humility if it was the same Rottweiler, but it’s hard to refrain.

That makes this a comedy of humiliation, which is a popular commodity right now. Reality TV is devoted to it and Apatow helped turn it into a river of money with films like The 40-year-old Virgin. Comedy has always been brutal – just never quite as brutal as it is now.

On its own terms, The Disaster Artist is a funny movie. Franco gives a weirdly wonderful performance as the stranger-than-fiction, almost vampiric Tommy – a man whose accent, wooden acting and strange appearance would never allow him to succeed in Hollywood.

Oh wait – what about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson? Not to mention that The Room has now made a profit, and made Wiseau famous. No doubt he will soon run for president.

The Disaster Artist is released at Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney; Luna Cinemas, Perth; and Cinema Nova, Melbourne, on November 30 and nationwide on December 7.

Victory’s Deng latest in line of promising youngsters of African descent making A-League mark

Many young players of African descent are starting to make their mark in the A-League.
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Melbourne City’s Bruce Kamau and Ruon Tongyk have featured regularly in their club’s first team – the latter more often last season than this – while defender Jason Geria has long been a mainstay of Melbourne Victory’s backline.

Victory has also given an A-League chance to Kenny Athiu, who had such a good season in the NPL at Heidelberg, although he has yet to start a game in navy blue since joining after the current season started.

One youngster who is making a big impression is Thomas Deng, a 20-year-old who came to as a six-year-old from South Sudan.

Deng is a quick and mobile centre-back who has seized his chance with Victory this year following the early season injury to James Donachie, who began the campaign as Rhys Williams’ first-choice partner in the middle of Victory’s defence.

Donachie has been missing for most of the season with a groin injury, and Deng, who played at left back in the opening match of the season – the 1-0 home defeat to Sydney when it was his unfortunate own goal that gave the visitors the win – has moved across to become a feature at centre-half.

The improvement in Deng’s game in the recent seasons has been noticeable. The then teenager played for Victory in the 2015-16 season before moving overseas to PSV Eindhoven in The Netherlands, where he transferred to the youth set-up.

Things didn’t go as well as Deng hoped in his time in Holland, so when he got the chance to return to Victory this season he took it. But even though he didn’t play too much in The Netherlands the youngster’s tactical sense and game understanding developed through training programmes and playing with and against talented Dutch youngsters.

“I was very fortunate with the opportunity I got to go there. It was a very tough experience, the boys in my team had been there for a few years, they had been in the same system,” said Deng, whose family moved to Adelaide when he was six before shifting to Melbourne a decade later.

“It took a while for me to adjust, but eventually I got to grips with things, but it was too late [to break through for regular game time]. Sometimes you have to take a backward step to go forward.”

He is not the first young n who had to come back to the A-League to reboot his career before trying to succeed in Europe a second time: current Socceroo star Aaron Mooy is merely the latest, and best, example, and doubtless Deng would like to try again at some point in the future.

But for now his focus is on establishing himself at Victory.

“My game got better, 100 per cent. I think tactically as well I got to understand more. I matured as a player and I think it helped going there. You have to grow up quickly as a young kid, but it’s a good experience. Football changes every day, so whatever opportunity you get, you take it.”

Deng is happy enough with his performances so far, but says he, and the whole team, can be better. Victory have won only one of their eight games, and currently sit outside the top six.

“I think I have done all right, stepping in, doing the job I have been asked to do. Every week I am trying to improve.

“The boys are working hard on the training field. We have got a few things that we need to get right collectively as a team. We need to get better, the better we get, the more results we will get.”

Deng scored his first goal earlier this season, and it is something he says he would like to get used to.

“That’s an area I have been trying to improve on. Getting some goals helps the team, that’s what I am willing to do.

“It was a good feeling, especially after the own goal against Sydney. To get one at the other end was good.”

Victory’s first-choice goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas injured his finger and left training at Gosch’s Paddock early on Wednesday, as did centre-half Rhys Williams.

Williams was substituted early in the defeat in Newcastle last week with a back problem, and coach Kevin Muscat will have to weigh up the benefits or otherwise of taking the former Socceroo stopper on a long plane flight to Wellington, where Victory play on Sunday.

Marquee player Mark Milligan will definitely not appear against the Kiwis as he is serving a suspension after being red carded for retaliation in the 4-1 loss to the Jets.

Landmark or eyesore? Queen’s Wharf Tower demolition exposes mixed views in Newcastle

Tower demolition call exposes mixed views LANDMARK OR EYESORE: An aerial photograph from 1991 showing Queen’s Wharf, which won an architectural award three years earlier. The wharf’s observation tower will be dismantled in the middle of next year.
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FADING: Mist shrouds the tower as a kayaker paddles by on Newcastle harbour.

FIRST DRAFT: An early model of the Queen’s Wharf design by Newcastle architect Kevin Snell.

MOVING FORWARD: A race car drives past the Queen’s Wharf Tower on Saturday during the Newcastle 500. Picture: Simone De Peak

CLEARING THE AIR: An artist’s rendering of how the wharf would look without the tower. Picture: Newcastle City Council

Before and after images of Queen’s Wharf with and without the tower. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council

An artist’s rendering of how the tower-less wharf could look. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that the 40-metre observation tower would come down in the middle of next year after the council received a forecast maintenance bill of $1.6 million for the next four years, including $1.2 million to repaint it.

The news prompted a flood of memes, ribald jokes, poetry and even a rap song on social media as the city celebrated and mourned the loss of the phallus-shaped structure.

One Facebook follower suggested the city could celebrate the same-sex marriage “yes” vote by retaining the tower and erecting another one next to it.

A Herald online poll suggested the community was divided over the issue as 54per cent called for the tower to be retained and 46 per cent wanted it gone.

But lawmakers on different sides of politics said the time was right for the tower to be levelled.

Cr John MackenzieHerald readerscommented online that the tower was an “eyesore”, smelled like a toilet and was rarely used.

Others argued it was part of Newcastle’s culture and offered excellent views of the city and water.

Another suggested removing the building’s bulbous top to make it less evocative.

One dead, two trapped after Blue Mountains rockslide

A man has died and two others are trapped after an accident at Wentworth Falls. Photo: Seven NewsOne man is dead, and two others remain trapped after a rockslide in the Blue Mountainson Wednesday.
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At least one of the trapped men has serious injuries.

Critical care paramedics had been winched in to assess the patients, andrescue teams from police and fire and rescue were also on scene.

Emergency services responded to reports of people injured in the rock fall at Wentworth Fallsabout 11.45am.

The two trapped men appear to have multiple fractures, an ambulance spokesman said.

The spokesman said it appeared thewalking track had collapsed, and police were setting up a command post at the scene.

Efforts to rescue the two men were expected to be “protracted”, an ambulance spokesman said, andcould be hampered by the weather which he said looked to beturning bad.

Fifteenambulance crews including three rescue helicopters were responding to the incident.

One Fire and Rescue crew was also on the scene and two more were on their way, a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said.

A command post has been established at the end of Falls Road, where officers fromBlue Mountains Local Area Command, police rescue, Polair andNational Parks and Wildlife Service are also on the scene.

Scenery at the National Pass, near where the accident occurred. Photo: Johan Palsson

Police asked members of the public to avoid the area.

An announcement on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website says Wentworth Pass is closed “due to a rockfall on National Pass”.

The pass closure affects the Den Fenella walking track, National Pass and the Wentworth Pass loop walking track.

You’ll need your boogie shoes to shake that booty at A Day On The Green

There will come a time when ’s own disco queen Marcia Hines removesher well-deserved crown and hangs it withpride in the pool room.
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GOLDEN GIRL: Marcia Hines is joining living legends of disco and funk at A Day On The Green on December 16. Picture: Louie Douvis

She will direct her magnificent voice and years of performing experience to other songs. Other musicals. Other stage shows. But now is not that time. As she tells Weekender, she’s “not disco-ed out just yet”.

Hines is part of a star-studded A Day On The Green line-up that is all about shaking that groove thing. She will be joined on stage by KC and the Sunshine Band, Sister Sledge and theVillage People.

“Oh, it’s going to be a hoot. All these people have had such great songs,” she says.

“They weren’t just big, they were humongous. You know what Imean?A lot of people came in and out of the disco era but these are three of the biggest, ever.”

Known for engaging with her audience and, at times, walking through the crowd to shake hands and sign memorabilia, Hines is a very giving performer.

“It’s a lovely feeling to give because you get so much back from your audience. It makes people happy,” she explains.“Disco and performing is my primal scream, you know? I love it. It doesn’t feel like work.”

She says meeting her audiences mid-set is partly prompted by her “nosy nature”.

“I want to see who’s out there,” she says, laughing.“But Iam shy by nature, which is interesting. When it comes to performing a different me comes out – the extroverted me. Does she have a name? No, but she is most definitely present.”

Hinescame to in 1970 from Boston to star in the stage musical Hair. She was crowned Queen of Pop in 1976, 1977 and 1978, and had hits spanning three decades –thinkYou, From The Inside, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself and Music Is My Life. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007, received the Order of (AM) in 2009 and starred in the smash hit musical Velvet.

The Grammy-Award winningKCandthe Sunshine Bandhave sold more than 100 million records, have a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fameandhave ruled dance floors around the world for decades with their irresistible blend of funk,discoandR’n’B.

Original lead singerand “cop” Victor Willis will front the Village People for the first time in 35 years. The revamped group will also be backed by a full live band for the first time in decades. As for soul sisters DebbieandKim Sledge, they are oneof the original “girl groups”.

Together, these acts will get you up and dancing to songs likeThat’s The Way (I Like It), Give It Up, Boogie Shoes, Get Down Tonight, Please Don’t Go,Shake Your Booty, Can’t Stop The Music, Y.M.C.A, In The Navy, Macho Man, We Are Family andHe’s The Greatest Dancer.

Marcia Hines is encouraging fans to get down with the disco fever and dress for the occasion at Bimbadgen on December 16. Tickets are on sale now through ticketmaster苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Bali volcano: Major eruption possible

Indonesian authorities are preparing to evacuate residents by force as Bali’s Mount Agung volcano threatens to erupt and ash-laden skies left hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in limbo.
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The number of affected visitors on Wednesday totalled 120,000 as experts warned earlier that a major eruption was “imminent” and authorities closed Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport until Thursday morning.

Increased activity detected inside Mount Agung overnight suggests an eruption is likely, with volcanic rocks the size of fists reported at villages four kilometres from the summit on Tuesday afternoon.

Volcanic ash has also been detected up to seven kilometres in the skies above the summit of Mount Agung which is 72 kilometres from the popular holiday destination of Kuta.

The code red warning for air travel was downgraded, however, to orange – the second highest level – after initially being issued on Monday.

Indonesian authorities said they were preparing to evacuate some 60,000 residents by force after more than 100,000 residents within a 10-kilometre exclusion zone were ordered to evacuate on Monday.

Only 40,000 Balinese in the exclusion zone have heeded warnings.

Increased seismic activity was detected at the volcano overnight following reports on Tuesday evening of a 30-minute tremor inside the crater after a series of small eruptions that began last week.

Thousands of travellers, including many on schoolies trips, remain stranded in Bali with all flights in and out of Ngurah Rai International Airport grounded until further notice.

Victorian schoolies Jesse Williams and Connor Harvey said they were worried about not being able to come home but wouldn’t let the volcano spoil their holiday plans.

“We’re a bit worry about the volcano erupting, about our flight back, not about our safety here,” Harvey said.

“We’re fine here. We’re just gonna hang around Kuta, Seminyak.”

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin advised passengers on Wednesday that all flights were cancelled for the day.

Ash from the volcano has blanketed the airport as well as local roads and buildings. Fifteen assembly points have been prepared around Bali in the event of a major eruption.

Mount Agung towers over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3000 metres and last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1000 people and razing several villages.

Bali, famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracted nearly five million visitors last year but business has slumped in areas around the volcano since September when Agung’s volcanic tremors began to increase.

Many stranded n travellers say they are running out of funds and are missing important events back home.

One Perth family said they were missing their daughter’s primary school graduation and had spent hours at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday waiting for answers.

“Our Air Asia flight to Perth been cancelled today so we’ve been on the line close to three hours now. Ella just graduated from Year 6, so we’re trying to get to that.” Due to the significant volcanic ash and current weather conditions, Denpasar Airport is currently closed. As a result we have cancelled all flights between Bali and today and Thursday 30 November. More info is available on our Travel Alerts page. https://t苏州夜场招聘/LD8rC5LZdZ??? Virgin (@Virgin) November 28, 2017

Bitcoin hits $10,000: ‘It’s going insane’

Bitcoin’s hyper-frenzy saw exchanges pummelled with trading volumes on Wednesday as Bitcoin surged above $US10,000 for the first time in the technology’s history.
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The cryptocurrency is up 950 per cent or the year, enjoying a manic 54 per cent lift in the last two weeks alone, bringing the market capitalisation to $US167 billion.

The cryptocurrency was fetching $US10,029 ($13,277) in afternoon trade in Sydney, on CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

More than $12 million dollars poured into n exchange Independent Reserve on Wednesday morning, with the company now signing up as many as 800 new customers a day, up from 200 last month, as mainstream mania takes hold.

“It’s going insane,” said Adrian Przelozny, chief executive of Independent Reserve. “We are seeing much more sophisticated investors who have been sitting on the sidelines now entering. We’re talking to hedge funds, self-managed super funds, the next wave of investors.”

The blockchain was groaning under billions of trades, though largely only “buy” orders as speculative punters bet on Bitcoin’s continued rise.

Mainstream interest was well and truly piqued, and headlines around the world broadcast people swapping houses for cryptocurrency and chatrooms exploded as more Aussie dollars, euros, greenbacks and yen were swapped for Bitcoin than ever before. The whale song

But long-term watches are warning there are some Bitcoin holdings that so large – worth hundreds millions of dollars – that have been known to emerge at times of peak-exuberance that send dramatic shocks through the markets to wipe out smaller holders who have taken on too much risk.

“There’s been extreme mainstream penetration recently and these new guys have the jitteriest hands,” said Duncan Campbell, director of Digital Currency Experts, an education consultancy .

“We’ve seen it time and time again, where these big whales think it’s time to give the market a haircut and they move a couple of thousand of Bitcoin. That’s enough to melt the exchanges and these new guys will be left extremely, extremely panicked.”

Whale traders can spook an overheated market by selling a moderately large block of the assets below the market rate. This generally causes a panic sell off by small-time traders, who flood the exchanges with sell orders.

The whale then waits and scoops up the assets when they’ve reached a satisfactory low. The practice is often known as “shaking out weak hands”.

Earlier last month, several extremely large Bitcoin holders swapped their large holdings of Bitcoins for Bitcoin Cash – an alternative crypto-asset developed for faster transactions.

These moves saw a dramatic $US2,000 plunge in the Bitcoin price and showed just how many Bitcoin are centralised in a few wallets.

“There definitely are some guys who have a lot of power in the market,” says Mr Przelozny. “And we are cautioning people because there is a good chance there will be a dip in the next month or two. This does look like irrational exuberance.” How the tech is holding up

While there is hysterical chatter above, Bitcoin miners seem to be comfortably managing the extreme Bitcoin demand with the average transaction time around 8.5 – 9 minutes, and around 7.3 blocks an hour. Not too dissimilar to the rates at the beginning of the year, given how many new mining participants have come online.

But given most people are buying and holding cryptocurrency at present, this is not as demanding on a blockchain. Whereas if billions of commercial transactions were to begin taking place and the blockchain became infinitely more dynamic, the verification pipeline is likely to become clogged.

Indeed, Bitcoin developers are still debating scaling solutions for mainstream adoption particularly with respect to how much energy is needed to power the verification network.

For example, the mining of bitcoins this year has consumed more energy than the average electricity consumed annually by 159 nations, according to Digiconomist.

The same research showed energy consumption had increased 20 per cent in the last month alone and should it continue at this rate Bitcoin mining will consume all of the world’s available electricity by February 2020.

There are 16.7 million Bitcoin in circulation, according to data from Chainalysis, bringing bitcoin’s market capitalisation to some $US167 billion.

Of those in circulation, about 37 per cent have been spent or traded in the past year, while some 22 per cent are being held by “strategic investors”, and most of the rest have been lost.

Uber used vanishing message system to hide tracks

A criminal probe of Uber Technologies has turned up revelations that the ride-hailing company used encrypted messaging to hide its tracks while spying on rivals, evading authorities and fighting off lawsuits.
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Richard Jacobs, who was a manager on a corporate surveillance team at Uber, privately told federal prosecutors about the secret messaging system and publicly testified about it on Tuesday.

He provided details on how Uber employees were trained to “destroy communications that might be considered sensitive.”

His allegations reveal yet another dimension of Uber’s renegade corporate ethos, which has landed the San Francisco-based company in multiple scandals. As of October, Uber was facing at least five criminal probes by the US Justice Department, Bloomberg News reported.

The revelations stem from and further complicate an already labyrinthine plot in Waymo’s lawsuit accusing Uber of trade-secret theft. Jacobs was put on the witness stand on Tuesday after US District Judge William Alsup learned from prosecutors last week that Jacobs had communicated with them.

Jacobs became the star attraction at a hearing that was meant to cover final preparations for a much-anticipated trial over allegations that Uber stole self-driving technology from Waymo.

The trial, which was set to begin on Wednesday with jury selection, was indefinitely postponed over the judge’s concern that relevant information that Jacobs shared with prosecutors may have been withheld from Waymo.

“I would look like a fool if Uber were to fool me,” Alsup said, rejecting an Uber lawyer’s attempt to push forward with trial. The judge said he’d been burned enough times by Uber’s promises that it had scoured its servers for key evidence it was required to turn over. Shadow system

Alsup said that he takes Jacobs’s allegations seriously because prosecutors found the ex-employee to be credible in his account of Uber relying on non-traceable devices and automatically-deleting messaging systems.

“It turns out the server is only for the dummies. The stuff that does matter goes on this shadow system,” Alsup said. “You should’ve come clean on this a long time ago.”

On the other hand, the judge forced Jacobs to reveal that he reached a $US4.5 million settlement with Uber that Alsup said could mean he’s been “bought off.”

Jacobs said he’d raised his concerns with executives at Uber before working out an agreement over his departure. He testified that he’s still earning much of the settlement money as a paid consultant to Uber, and is required as part of the agreement to not publicly disparage the company.

Under intense questioning from both Waymo and the judge, Jacobs softened and recanted some of the most sensational criticism of Uber contained in a 37-page letter his lawyer wrote to prosecutors. The letter is sealed but the judge said he intends to make it public after hearing any objections.

Over the course of the hearing it became unclear whether the seemingly bombshell revelations about Uber’s corporate surveillance tactics will be of much help to Waymo’s case. Overseas rivals

Jacobs testified that Uber’s Strategic Services Group, which since has been renamed, was focused mostly on gaining an edge on overseas rivals. While he said stealing trade secrets was part of that mission, he told the judge he wasn’t aware of efforts to extract proprietary information from US firms — including Waymo. He said the team sought to gather information on drivers, metrics and incentives at competing foreign platforms.

“I did not believe it was patently illegal,” Jacobs said. “I had questions about the ethics of it. I suppose because of my personal ethics it felt overly aggressive and invasive.”

Jacobs testified that some Uber employees, including those working in its autonomous driving project, were instructed to use ephemeral self-deleting messaging on Wickr networks. The surveillance team used “anonymous servers” separate from the “main part of Uber” and “non-attributable devices” purchased for the company by outside vendors, he said.

A lawyer for Waymo asked Jacobs about an Uber staff attorney who allegedly guided efforts to “impede, obstruct, or influence” lawsuits against the company.

“There was legal training around the use of attorney-client privilege markings on written materials and the implementation of encrypted and ephemeral communications intended to destroy communications that might be considered sensitive,” Jacobs said.

Uber said none of Tuesday’s testimony “changes the merits” of Waymo’s lawsuit. The ride-hailing company has denied wrongdoing.

“Jacobs himself said on the stand today that he was not aware of any Waymo trade secrets being stolen,” Uber said in an emailed statement. ‘Seeking money’

Arturo Gonzalez, a lawyer for Uber, sought to put Jacobs’s assertions about the company’s practices in context, saying his attorney conveyed them while “seeking money” from Uber.

“There’s no there there,” Gonzalez said. He convinced Alsup that Waymo needs to reveal whether it, too, relies on self-deleting technology.

Waymo said the postponement of the trial will give it a chance to investigate the issues raised by Jacobs.

“The evidence brought to light over the weekend by the US Attorney’s office and revealed, in part, today in court is significant and troubling,” the company said in an emailed statement.

The Waymo trial already has been delayed once, from October 10, when the judge agreed to give Waymo more time to evaluate a 2016 report commissioned by Uber to vet its hire of the engineer at the centre of the dispute, Anthony Levandowski.

Alsup referred the lawsuit to the US Attorney’s office in May. Prosecutors opened an investigation of Uber for trade-secret theft, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Strategic Services Group was led by Joe Sullivan, who had been Uber’s chief security officer. He was ousted as the company announced last week that it had concealed a data breach that compromised information on 57 million riders and drivers. Sullivan and his team had been at the center of an internal inquiry led by the company’s board of directors.

The team acted as a corporate intelligence agency, conducting its own background checks and monitoring employees and competitors. Much of its work has been cloaked in secrecy even within the company.

Alsup said there’s a 50-50 chance the information revealed by Jacobs will prove damaging to Uber or a “dry hole.”

“We need to get to the bottom of this.”

Bloomberg