Canberra Confidential / Man’s second best friend

dogs and pigs“THE very first time society tells us that one life is inherently more valuable than another is when we are taught to love our dog, but eat our bacon,” writes Canberra artist Shan Crosbie, whose exhibition “Pigs and Dogs” is at the Belconnen Arts Centre until July 17.

“Pigs and dogs share a multitude of physical and emotional attributes. They are both omnivorous, highly sociable, and intelligent creatures who have the capacity to feel pain and fear, comfort and joy.

“In this exhibition, I have carefully drawn and painted these animals as the individuals that they are. Displayed side by side, I hope to present the pigs and dogs in these portraits as equally deserving of respect and empathy, and to highlight the injustice of seeing one as friend and the other as food.”

The black, winter truffle, left, and the "fool's truffle", horse-dung fungus.

The black, winter truffle, left, and the “fool’s truffle”, horse-dung fungus.

Truffle snufflers beware

WITH the region’s annual truffle festival in full swing, a Goulburn chef has stepped up to warn amateur truffle snufflers about what he calls “fool’s truffle”.

Steve Walker, head chef of 98 Chairs, says: “I have it all over my place. It looks like truffle, but it doesn’t smell good and it’s worthless.”

The “fake” fungus Pisolithus arrhizus is known in Europe as the Bohemian truffle and in Australia as horse-dung fungus.

Despite being inedible, horse-dung fungus can be mistaken for real truffle due to its similar size, shape and colour.

Apart from the difference in smell and taste, it grows above the ground while the sought-after, black, winter truffle grows underground.

Walking the tram talk

CHEEKY Liberal Alistair Coe is letterboxing the good burghers of light-rail-blessed Gungahlin with a postcard that helpfully sets out, in kilometres, how far the walk is to the planned town centre tram terminus ranging from four kilometres in Casey to two clicks for Palmerston.

The Deputy Opposition Leader and aspiring member for the new seat of Yerrabi asks residents if they realised that 85 per cent of Gungahlin’s population doesn’t live within easy walking distance and that most users will still have to depend on cars, buses or bikes (ie why bother?).

The leaking hydrant in La Perouse Street.

The leaking hydrant in La Perouse Street.

The leaking hydrant in La Perouse Street.

Water with the blues

OUR inner-south snout Daffodil is bemused by the long lengths of blue hose pipes tethered to fire hydrants snaking through parts of Deakin and Forrest. Her attention was piqued initially by a leaking hydrant wasting water in LaPerouse Street near Durville Crescent.

Icon Water says the hoses are there to maintain residential water supply while it replaces ageing underground pipes (they have 3200 kilometres of them), promising the new pipes will last “another 100 years to come” and the work will finish in September.

“No wonder our quarterly bill was $1500,” sniffs Deakin’s Daff. “I guess the old pipes do need upgrading.”

Remembering Java, Paul

AUSTRALIAN ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson dutifully tweeted that he was engaged in: “Remembering the 375 ?? sailors who died when HMAS Perth sank in the Sunda Strait protecting ?? territory in 1942.”

But his excellency seems to have got carried away with his flag emojis because we reckon it was Java, in the Dutch East Indies, that we were protecting from a Japanese invasion during World War II. It wasn’t until late December, 1949, that the Indonesians gained independence from the Dutch. And that flag.

verity laneGreetings from la la land

ONLY in Canberra: here’s something of a world first – the constructive defacing of a street sign. The bureaucrats who decide these things have the irritating habit of saving money on paint by abbreviating the word “Lane” to “La”. Our Man About Civic Lanes John Griffiths spotted that someone had sensibly used the empty space on the sign for the lane formerly known as Verity La to helpfully (and neatly) add the missing “ne”.

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