BLOGWATCH: Sonya Hartnett hits paydirt

  • Sonya Hartnett a literary and financial success: Not long ago I mentioned that nice new Australian prize, worth $100,000, known as the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize. And while that would certainly help a good Aussie writer to survive a couple of years longer without having to take another job, I was pretty excited to hear that an Australian author has just picked up a prize worth $880,000. That’s serious money! – Becoming a fiction writer
  • Hartnett grabs richest children’s book award: … Hartnett won the Guardian children’s fiction prize in 2002 with Thursday’s Child, the tale of two children living on a remote farm with an alcoholic father. She said at the time that “I have spent a great deal of my time defending my work against those who see it as too complicated, too old in approach, too bleak to qualify as children’s literature. “This has been the bane of my life. I do not really write for children: I write only for me, and for the few people I hope to please, and I write for the story.” — Beattie’s Book Blog
  • Hartnett takes out the Astrid Lindgren award: Guardian

STATE OF THE PLANET

  • Forestry cop matches it with illegal loggers: One warm December evening, Mr. Scarpari, an inspector with Brazil’s environmental agency, was visiting his kids in São Paulo when he got a phone call. Illegal loggers were going to stage a robbery and assassinate him, a federal agent told him. Scarpari rushed to meet with police, who gave him an armed guard, a license to carry a gun, and a major fright. – Christian Science Monitor
  • Most vulnerable left to sink or swim: The world’s minorities and indigenous groups are the “silent victims” of the potentially disastrous effects of climate change, says a new study by Minority Rights Group (MRG) International. Although both groups are often disproportionately affected by climate-related disasters, the international community continues to ignore their plight, the London-based human rights organization charges. — Asian Tribune
  • World’s first wave powered boat: Environmental News Network
  • Half of humanity will live in cities by year’s end: National Geographic
  • How ironic: Biodiesel’s polluting byproduct: The New York Times

STUFF WE LIKE

  • Friday pick-me-up – Moko the whale-saving dolphin: It could have been a scene from a movie when Mahia’s Moko the dolphin came out of nowhere to save two pygmy sperm whales from what looked like certain death. The playful dolphin, who has set up home around Mahia on the East Coast, was the perfect helper on Monday as Department of Conservation worker Malcolm Smith toiled to refloat the mother whale and her one-year-old male calf. — Stuff.co.nz
  • The Magna Carta now online at the British Library
  • New Atheists are just as dangerous as Christian Fundamentalists: Salon
  • Upside-down pink champagne by Viktor & Rolf: The Stylephile

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Hillary, your advisers are killing you. Olbermann speaks out.

Peter Fray

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