The baby update. The LNP Member for Bowman Andrew Laming provided his daughter as the prop for today's contribution from Sydney's Daily Telegraph:

Predicting the future by examining old news. Using a mixture of archived news reports and real-time data, researchers from Microsoft Research and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have identified significant increases in the likelihood of disease outbreaks, deaths, and riots in advance of the occurrence of these events in the world. Their findings, Mining the Web to Predict Future Events, have just been published. In their introduction the technique is described as:
"Mark Twain famously said that "the past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." In the spirit of this reflection, we develop and test methods for leveraging large-scale digital histories captured from 22 years of news reports from the New York Times (NYT) archive to make real-time predictions about the likelihoods of future human and natural events of interest. We describe how we can learn to predict the future by generalizing sets of specific transitions in sequences of reported news events, extracted from a news archive spanning the years 1986-2008. In addition to the news corpora, we leverage data from freely available Web resources, including Wikipedia, FreeBase, OpenCyc, and GeoNames, via the LinkedData platform. The goal is to build predictive models that generalize from specific sets of sequences of events to provide likelihoods of future outcomes, based on patterns of evidence observed in near-term newsfeeds. We propose the methods as a means of generating actionable forecasts in advance of the occurrence of target events in the world."
Some of the practical examples where looking at old NY Times stories led to predictions of future events: