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Australia - achievements in the last 200 years
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moonmonkey
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Aug 15, 2007, 08:24 AM
 
I was talking to an Australian guy today, who was being very enthusiastic about his home country (as he has every right to do), he told me that Australia was built on innovation and that the average Australian is more ingenious than people from the US or the UK (western Europe was mentioned too) I didn't disagree.

I don't want to start a flame war, but in the last 200 years have Australia actually developed / invented (or achieved) anything which changed the world?

Serious posts would be good!
     
OldManMac
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Aug 15, 2007, 08:47 AM
 
I thought I recently saw the boomerang on a list of the top inventions of all time, but I can't remember where I saw that.
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Mastrap
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Aug 15, 2007, 08:55 AM
 
Drinking beer, partying hard, hot chicks.

Works for me
     
nonhuman
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:06 AM
 
They've contributed a lot to desalinization technology. I feel like they've also innovated when it comes to hydro-electric generation, but I can't think of any specific examples so I may be pulling that one out of my ass. But they have certainly made strides in other areas of alternative energy. They're working on (or at least were planning to a year or two ago) a solar tower generator which basically uses giant windsock anchored to the ground in the desert and inflated/held aloft by the rising hot air to create a channel for fast-rising hot air to power a turbine at the top. I haven't read anything about it recently, but last I heard they were expecting it to be a very effective way to generate electricity from solar power. It's certainly an interesting concept, using solar energy to drive a wind turbine rather than relying on inefficient photovoltaics.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:07 AM
 
Oh yeah, what Mastrap said too. They've definitely done a good job on the hot chicks.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:17 AM
 
Well, they're no longer deported English criminals. I'd say that's a pretty big improvement.
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moonmonkey  (op)
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:24 AM
 
True, but that's just because the British stopped sending convicts, it's not really an Australian achievement.
     
turtle777
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
True, but that's just because the British stopped sending convicts.
Yes, the started sending them to the USA.

Oh, wait, nevermind

-t
     
Super Mario
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Oh yeah, what Mastrap said too. They've definitely done a good job on the hot chicks.
It's just a shame Australian chicks are born without a personality.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:06 PM. )
     
turtle777
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
It's just a shame Australian chicks are born without a personality.
What

Isn't that a PREREQUISITE for hot chicks ?

-t
     
Super Mario
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Aug 15, 2007, 10:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
What

Isn't that a PREREQUISITE for hot chicks ?

-t
No way!!!! Man, you has missed some good women if you haven't had them with pizzaz.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 03:06 PM. )
     
cszar2001
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Aug 15, 2007, 02:12 PM
 
World changing - I don't know about that.
But their research on spinal stabilzation was and still is groundbreaking.
Lorimer Moseley is doing some incredible research on chronic pain that have the potential to bring relief to millions - if only the medical establishment could manage to get of their asses and use his techniques.

So yes - the Australians can be proud on what they have achieved.
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Cold Warrior
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Aug 15, 2007, 02:27 PM
 
Their scramjet research seems promising.
     
design219
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Aug 15, 2007, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
I thought I recently saw the boomerang on a list of the top inventions of all time, but I can't remember where I saw that.
I'm sure it will come back to you.
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Oisín
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Drinking beer, partying hard, hot chicks.

Works for me
Thinking of any, ahem, particular Australian here?

No way!!!! Man, you has missed some good women if you haven't had them with pizzaz.
Dude, you’re just one letter away from cannibalism here...
     
Doofy
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:50 PM
 
Ummm... Let's see. Neighbours. That's about it. Oh, and Rolf Harris.

Kylie doesn't count - she's essentially Welsh.
And AC/DC are mostly Scottish and English.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Laminar
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by design219 View Post
I'm sure it will come back to you.
Well done.
     
Super Mario
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Aug 15, 2007, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by design219 View Post
I'm sure it will come back to you.
Super Mario drum roll
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 02:56 PM. )
     
Super Mario
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Aug 15, 2007, 04:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Ummm... Let's see. Neighbours. That's about it. Oh, and Rolf Harris.

Kylie doesn't count - she's essentially Welsh.
And AC/DC are mostly Scottish and English.
Then nothing except the dijeridoo came out of Australia because everybody else apart from the aboriginees are European and Asian.
( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 02:56 PM. )
     
BadKosh
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Aug 15, 2007, 04:54 PM
 
They were first to take the Americas Cup from the USA, with Australia II back in 1983.
     
Judge_Fire
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Aug 15, 2007, 05:18 PM
 
I think they've managed to evolve football further than any sane country would have dared. I'm a fan.
     
villalobos
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Aug 15, 2007, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Drinking beer, partying hard, hot chicks.

Works for me
As the ol' saying goes " Thread useless without pics".
     
Brass
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Aug 15, 2007, 05:43 PM
 
Invented the Hills Hoist (rotary washing line). I'm sure that changed the world.

Also the Victa Lawn Mower (lawn mower with an internal combustion engine).

Vaccination against the virus that causes 90% of cervical cancer. I think there's a lot of other medical stuff that could be listed, but I'm just guessing.

The orbital Engine, and the engine with continuous torque for any range of RPM. Both of which had the patents bought by large American car manufacturers and were never brought to market (why would they need to spend so much on manufacturing new engines when they own the patents, and the competition can't do anything with them?).

Lamingtons, Pavlova, Meat Pies. Real Football. Wearing thongs on your feet. Ug Boots. All life-changing, of course.

I don't think Australians are particularly more inventive that other countries, but we do have our fair share. What's very sad is that anyone here do does invent something big usually has to go elsewhere to refine and produce it, as there is no incentive from either government, or private enterprise, to support such upstarts.
     
Cipher13
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Aug 15, 2007, 06:37 PM
 
An awful lot of groundbreaking scientific research comes out of Australia, in many areas (though I'm most familiar with biology/oceanography/psychology related stuff), along with medical research.

Not bad for a country with 19 million people.
     
moonmonkey  (op)
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Aug 15, 2007, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
An awful lot of groundbreaking scientific research comes out of Australia, in many areas (though I'm most familiar with biology/oceanography/psychology related stuff), along with medical research.

Not bad for a country with 19 million people.
The more I look into it the more i'm inclined to disagree, no one has mentioned anything which changed the world, the research on the HPV Vaccination was a joint US project / James Cook University project, hardly an Australian innovation.

None of the other things mentioned have ever come to fruition or been developed yet.

Regarding the small population, Australia seems to be behind the rest of the developed world in achieving nobel prizes per capita:

NationMaster - Statistics > Nobel prize laureates (per capita) (Latest available) by country

I still like the meat pies though.
     
Kerrigan
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:01 PM
 
The only invention to have come out of Australia EVER is the rotary washing line. No joke.

At least it has the highest instance of homosexuality of any country, so it's not all bad.
     
Brass
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:11 PM
 
Australia is probably not particularly more inventive than any other country, although they do like to call themselves "The clever country" from time to time (not sure why - sounds a bit arrogant to me, but I think its just a self-reassurance thing... like some Mac users have to constantly remind themselves that being in the minority really ain't so bad). However, they certainly do have their share of world-changing inventions and firsts. Here's a few of them:


Black box flight recorders.

The first bionic ear was built in Australia (has probably changed the world for a small number of people).

Electronic Heart pacemakers.

Panel Vans (I miss my 1978 HZ custom order Panel Van with all the Monaro-style sports options).

Ultra-sound scanners.

Wine Casks.

The Combine Harvester, the Stump Jump Plough and Dynamic Lifter have all changed the world of agriculture.

The granny smith apple variety was first produced in Australia. Changed the world for anyone who likes to make (or eat!) apple pies.

The wave piercing catamaran is now a standard design for shipbuilders everywhere.

The Winged keel changed the world of yacht racing.

Anyone ever used a notepad? The notepad made by sticking papers together with glue was Invented in my home town. The inventor's stationery shop is still the biggest stationery shop in town.

Telephane - never heard of it? It's a wired version of television, and TV's precursor. TV has certainly changed the world, so Telephane played a big part in that.

Pre-paid postage.

Garage roller doors.

Mechanical Refridgeration.

I think penecillin changed the world of medicine.

Tablet form of Asprin.

Begg Orthodontics (small light-weight braces for teeth straightnening) - the tin grin is in all over the world.

Anti-flu drug.

Spray-on skin for burns treatment.

How about inventions on your Mac:
/usr/bin/nmbd
/usr/bin/smbd Yes... SAMBA was first developed in Australia.
/usr/bin/rsync RSYNC was developed by the same guy that first developed samba... in Australia.

'Australian Crawl' - the popular swimming stroke
'Australian Crawl' - the band.

The teleprinter changed the world in the times of the telegraph... but we wouldn't realise that today.

Gene shears - wow... splicing of genetic material. Big in the world of genetics and biology.

Kerosene refridgerator.


I know the boomerang has been mentioned already, and although it is generally referred to in jest, and it hasn't changed the world particularly, if you think about it, it is an exceptionally clever invention and exceedingly useful for a people group who had a real use for such a tool.
( Last edited by Brass; Aug 15, 2007 at 09:40 PM. )
     
Spook E
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:18 PM
 
Brass we didn't invent Pavolvas, like another s**t thing: russel crowe, we poached it from the Kiwis and claimed it as our own.

Phar Lap too.
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:27 PM
 

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Aug 15, 2007, 09:27 PM
 
Australians have Thunderdome.
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Kerrigan
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:37 PM
 


Let's not forget that, shall we
     
Brass
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Aug 15, 2007, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spook E View Post
Brass we didn't invent Pavolvas, like another s**t thing: russel crowe, we poached it from the Kiwis and claimed it as our own.

Phar Lap too.
yeah, ok... and Jimmy Barnes, Mel Gibson, Crowded House, etc.
     
Brass
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Aug 15, 2007, 11:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post


Let's not forget that, shall we
What is that???
     
Brass
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Aug 15, 2007, 11:54 PM
 
OK, this article pretty much sums up what I was trying to say about Australia liking to think they are the 'clever country'. Well put.

It also has the bonus of pointing out that the automatic crumpet manufacturing machine was invented in Australia, as was the pikelet machine!!!! Whoop-de-doo!!!!

The succinct summary is great, and the essence of it should be no surprise to anybody: "Australia is neither a uniquely clever country nor, fortunately, a uniquely stupid one."
( Last edited by Brass; Aug 16, 2007 at 12:13 AM. )
     
MM-o4
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Aug 15, 2007, 11:58 PM
 
I think we invent things to make things easier, not revolutionise. So basically lazy but smart about it

-MM-
     
Doofy
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Aug 16, 2007, 03:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Mel Gibson
American, born in New York.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
analogika
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Aug 16, 2007, 04:29 AM
 
I thought Australian concensus on Mel Gibson was that the Americans can have him back?

It was all downhill from Mad Max II anyway.




Oh, and I'm *pretty* sure the boomerang is a couple of thousand years older than the "200 years" set in the thread title.
     
Ado
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Aug 16, 2007, 04:51 AM
 
Alot of australian technology leaves our shores for america or EU or Japan..
Our Government would rather push athletes than technology or arts.
What I do like about Aussie inventions is the fact that they did it themselves and not by buying out companies or lobbies to get the product done in one country then claim its invention.

Some innovations-

Lawn mowers (victor actually owns the patent to a grass seed that grpows a certain height), Hills Hoist, ugg boots, some modern machine guns, alot of optical camera technology now used in hollywood (aussie movie industry was huge before hollywood stomped it), geothermal power generation, cockle hearing aid, Quantas (safest airline in world), I think we may have invented skin cancer too. The car Differential, Pace maker for heart, The Ute (car with tray in back), solar water heating, Black Box flight recorder, first micro surgery as well as ulcer detction of pqarasite, IVF, heaps of catermaran boat technology, bio degradable plastics, refrigeration...jsut to name some fun ones...

We also own the crown in fixing other peoples mistakes, Abrahm tanks buckling in heat and too slow in loading, Collins class submarines far too noisy and 114 jets electrical problems in aim and firing and radar detection...We bought em like little sucks then we have to pay more to make em work...Should have stuck with leopard tanks atleast they have rifled cannons and made for all terrains which australia has.
For a small young country we do alright, but i see it as contributing to mankind as Europe, Asia has domne soo for centuries.


Remember that ausralia isnt just made up of convicts, in the 50´s alot of europeans came in like america and thats when alot of innovation flourished with hard working ingeniously skilled european migrant workers.
     
analogika
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Aug 16, 2007, 04:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Vaccination against the virus that causes 90% of cervical cancer.
There's been some dispute recently on whether this really is effective or not, btw.
     
moonmonkey  (op)
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Aug 16, 2007, 05:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Ultra-sound scanners.
Nope, the US invented it
Medical ultrasonography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Telephane - never heard of it? It's a wired version of television, and TV's precursor. TV has certainly changed the world, so Telephane played a big part in that.
TV was a British invention based on the earlier concepts of a German/Polish man, the telephane was also based on the same concepts but never built.
History of television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Pre-paid postage.
Granted, but someone else invented the stamp two years later, which people actually used.
Postage stamp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Mechanical Refridgeration.
No, American / British
Refrigeration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
I think penecillin changed the world of medicine.
Yes it did, it was invented by a Brit
Penicillin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
Anti-flu drug.
No mention of Australia
Flu treatment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
'Australian Crawl' - the popular swimming stroke
No, this was invented by the South American Indians before the 1944 London Olympics, Australia didn't use it till six years later (when they made up their own name). Front crawl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by Brass View Post
The teleprinter changed the world in the times of the telegraph... but we wouldn't realise that today.
Yes the Americans invented it.
Teleprinter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This has got to be the most Anally retentive thing I have ever done.
but it goes to show that Brass is correct, and Australians do seem to think they are better than they are, but taking credit for other peoples inventions is a bit cheeky.
( Last edited by moonmonkey; Aug 16, 2007 at 05:19 AM. )
     
moonmonkey  (op)
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Aug 16, 2007, 05:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
IVF
I think your list is pretty good, but Australia can't take credit for IVF.
In vitro fertilisation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I thought Brass was going to slip the "wheel" into his list.
     
Super Mario
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Aug 16, 2007, 06:36 AM
 
Australians invented the WWF/WWC/Smackdown/RAW

( Last edited by Super Mario; Jan 10, 2018 at 02:57 PM. )
     
moonmonkey  (op)
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Aug 16, 2007, 09:51 AM
 
Ado, Quantas is not the safest airline in the world 62 people have died in accidents aboard Quantas aircraft. Its just a quote from Rainman, it doesn't mean it real!
     
Cipher13
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Aug 16, 2007, 11:07 AM
 
I don't think Australian's think they're better. In fact, I think you'll find Australian's generally don't care. I know I don't.

I wasn't saying before that those accomplishments were above and beyond those of any other nation - to say so would be ridiculous. A lot of nations are publishing groundbreaking research and whatnot. I simply mentioned a few areas where I know a lot of important information has been acquired through Australian research.
     
turtle777
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Aug 16, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
I thought Brass was going to slip the "wheel" into his list.


Nice.

-t
     
Laminar
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Aug 16, 2007, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
ugg boots
You can have them back.
     
Ado
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Aug 16, 2007, 12:56 PM
 
Romans invented everything before 1930, germans invented everything 1930+.


BTW Wiki has been wrong many times before...Quantas one of the most safest planes ever, if they killed 62 ppl in its 100years service thats amazing...
     
PER3
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Aug 16, 2007, 01:04 PM
 
Eradicating smallpox:

"Professor Frank Fenner's outstanding career as a scientist has been marked by two achievements of considerable magnitude, namely the eradication of smallpox, and the control of Australia's rabbit plague."

from Frank Fenner:

And from Wikipedia:

"Fenner was Director of the John Curtin School from 1967 to 1973. During this time he was also Chairman of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication. Professor Fenner announced the eradication of the disease to the World Health Assembly in 1980. This success story is regarded as the greatest achievement of the World Health Organisation. Before its eradication, smallpox was one of the world's most virulent viruses, responsible for millions of deaths, and leaving many of the victims who survived with disfiguring scars for life."

OK, he didn't eradicate smallpox on his own, but he was a main driving force.

And I think the Australians made pretty big advances in over the horizon radar.
     
analogika
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Aug 16, 2007, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
Romans invented everything before 1930, germans invented everything 1930+.


BTW Wiki has been wrong many times before...Quantas one of the most safest planes ever, if they killed 62 ppl in its 100years service thats amazing...
a) it's "Qantas".

b) "most safest", eh?

c) 87 years.

d) No accidents

( Last edited by analogika; Aug 16, 2007 at 01:37 PM. )
     
turtle777
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Aug 16, 2007, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
Romans invented everything before 1930, germans invented everything 1930+.


I'm German, but still...

-t
     
 
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