Heatwave sees Melbourne residents retreat to ice skating rink

Ice skating is a popular way to beat the heat in Melbourne.

Ice skating is a popular way to beat the heat in Melbourne.

The best way to beat the heat is to ice skate, Melbourne residents have found. As a record heatwave sweeps the city with four consecutive days about 35 degrees celsius, the ice skating rink has quickly become a popular haven to retreat from the heat.

Cooler than a shopping centre, not to mention carrying less risk of spending money frivolously, the ice skating rink is experiencing booming trade particularly during the hottest parts of the day.

As Melburnians await a cool change that is a long time coming, ice skating has become a way to beat the boredom and keep cool.

We counted a rate of an average five people per minute walking into a popular ice skating rink during peak times earlier today, braving the extreme weather conditions in the brief walk from the air conditioned sanctuaries of their cars to the icy cool air of the rink.

Docklands resident Nicholas Havos says that he has been ice skating every day since the heatwave began.

“I can’t handle the heat, to be honest, but at the rink it’s always 16 degrees so I can deal with that,” he says.

“I’ve been here, skating away, for four days, since the heatwave arrived. It’s great to go ice skating when it’s hot weather outside because it is not only much more comfortable, but it is a chance to exercise. If not for my local ice skating rink in Melbourne, I would be laying on the couch and moving very little. Ice skating is very good exercise, I find.”

Those wishing to go ice skating are advised to book tickets to their session ahead of time online. Due to the popularity of ice skating on hot days, sessions at peak times fill out quickly, with a limited number of people allowed on the ice in each session time.

First Docklands ice skating competition announced

The Docklands in Melbourne will be hosting an ice skating competition.

The Docklands in Melbourne will be hosting an ice skating competition.

Ice skating in Melbourne is set to become a competitive sport, with the very first competition announced for later this month.

While figure skating and ice hockey are popular sports on the ice, until now, ice skating itself has not been a competitive sport.

The competition will see entrants marked based on their ice skating technique, with points allocated for speed, posture, balance, and gracefulness on the ice. Points will be deducted for any tumbles taken by the skaters.

As the first competition of its kind, there is no precedent set for how the competition should be run and judged. The organisers have decided to appoint three judges, with one skater on the ice at a time. The format has been modelled off that of gymnastics competitions.

The competition will be divided in amateur, proficient and professional categories. While there are no professional ice skaters as of yet, the professional category will be populated by entrants who compete in other ice rink based sports such as figure skating.

Chief judge Rebecca Brown, one of Australia’s foremost ice hockey players, says that she welcomes the competition and thinks it is a good chance for those who lack the aptitude for team sports to show off their skills on the ice.

“Ice sporting events tend to be team based, but it is not for everyone, so this competition will give more people an opportunity to show off their skills,” she says.

“It fills the niche of showcasing ice skating techniques, without all of the complicated tricks required in figure skating. The competition is a lot more accessible than other ice rink sports.”

So far, there are dozens of registrations for the event, and almost one hundred people have purchased tickets to spectate.

It’s not too late to strap on your skates and learn ice skating– there are still limited spaces left in the amateur round.

Over half of family feuds due to inheritance disagreements

Avoid a family feud by leaving clear instructions to the executor of your estate.

Avoid a family feud by leaving clear instructions to the executor of your estate.

Play the peacekeeper of your family even in death by ensuring you leave behind a legal Will with clear instructions to the executor of your estate. Recently released findings on family feuds claim that 60% of long-standing splits in families are due to disputes over inheritance.

The study, conducted by relationships sociology Dr Jo Ann Bridle, found that the most common reason for families being split into two factions is fighting over a Will. Other common causes of family feuds include taking sides after a messy divorce, snubbing certain family members by not inviting them to large events such as weddings, and refusing to forgive family members after arguing.

The study found that most family feuds are never resolved. Once the people most central to the dispute die, remaining family members are often unable to form lasting bonds with those on the other side of the fight, though many try to organise reunions.

Some of the families in the study had feuds going back decades. One notable case involved two siblings being unable to agree on who should get their deceased mother’s vehicle. While the mother had made a Will, she did not update it after purchasing her luxury car. The siblings lost twice the value of the car in the ensuing court proceedings.

Dr Bridle says that she was not surprised by the findings, as money often comes between familial bonds.

“In a lot of cases, it was thought that there would be no dramas in splitting assets of a deceased family members, but you often get one person deciding to go after a bigger slice of the pie despite a history of getting along fantastically with other family members,” she says.

“Often the whole issue could have been avoided, had the deceased person left behind a Will. There is just too much room for interpretation when it is not in writing. A verbal agreement can hold up legally, but it is not going to do the family relations any favours.”

Mayor Reveals Heating Scheme

press conferenceCanberra Mayor Willis Williams has made a stunning announcement near Parliament House, stating that Canberra’s heating system is about to change ‘forever’, and that the change will impact every single home in the city.

Many detractors have stated that they believe the scheme, which is as of yet unrevealed, is to do with the installation of a new system of heating grid, which has previously caused problems in Perth as well as inspired an inexplicably successful film series. However, the mayor has confirmed that he is merely a spokesperson and does not possess the full details.

“I am proud to make this pre-announcement,” said Mayor Williams, “But in fact, that sums up most of my role. I only know select details, but what I do know is that this is going to make our lives so very much smoother. And we can guarantee the safety of our residents, as the mistakes of the past will indeed be taken into account. Our city’s benefactor is generous indeed, and thus there’s no need to worry.”

This new development comes on the heels of the abandonment of many other such projects in Melbourne, Sydney and other places, though there have been repeated assurances that this project will be different and supposedly safer. Spotted in every instance of the heating announcements was a man in a black trench coat and dark sunglasses. Mayor Williams assured reporters that this was ‘completely ordinary’.

“This man has nothing to do with anything,” said the Mayor. “In fact, I do not even know him. What man?”

People in favour of Canberra’s split system heating services have also been assured that the current situation, as well as all jobs related to the industry, will remain the same. Further details to follow.

Air conditioning the key to a happy marriage

Some marriages will need a really good air conditioner.

Some marriages will need a really good air conditioner.

When you say “I do”, remember to say “I do think I need an air conditioner, Melbourne weather will ensure we divorce otherwise” as well. It may a mouthful that is not in the traditional wedding vows, but perhaps that is why divorce rates are so high.

Pledging holy matrimony with an air conditioner by your side causes your risk of divorce to plummet. Secular marriage celebrant Jon Hyland contacted over two hundred couples who he had wedded over the course of his seven year career. He asked a number of lifestyle questions, as well as the all important question of whether or not the couple remained united.

He found that, while 66% of his couples were still together, those who were divorced were far more likely to not have had an air conditioning unit at the time of their marriage.

He ponders that this is due to both members of the couple being more irritable when they were struggling to deal with heat. This was particularly a problem for couples who remained in Melbourne and other Australian cities prone to heat waves.

“When your husband likes that photo of his co-worker online, you will talk about it in a calm way if you are at a comfortable, cool temperature, but you will have a huge blowout if you are irritated and hot. That’s the difference between having an air conditioner and not having one. A fan helps, but when your marriage is at stake, I am not sure that is good enough,” he says.

Divorcee Sam Hall says that her marriage may have been saved if she and her then-husband had the luxury of air conditioning.

“We did have an air con unit, but that oaf never wanted to get it serviced. He would say, there’s no point getting an air conditioner service in Melbourne, it’s freezing. But I was boiling, and soon I was boiling with rage. Now we’re divorced.”

Disinherited daughter unsuccessfully disputes multi-billion dollar Will

Mr Hopper's daughter unsuccessfully disputed his Will in court.

Mr Hopper’s daughter unsuccessfully disputed his Will in court.

The daughter of an esteemed bayside billionaire has failed to secure a piece of her deceased father’s estate. Real estate mogul Harry Hopper passed away in 2014 after a lengthy battle with skin cancer, leaving him plenty of time for making a Will excluding his daughter, Melody Hopper.

Mr Hopper, who amassed a global property portfolio to the tune of four billion dollars, kept a notoriously low profile throughout his life. He successfully kept the details of the relationship breakdown between him and his daughter out of the press, but rumours swirled for the thirty years in which the Hoppers were estranged.

The most popular theory is that Ms Hopper refused to heed her father’s insistence that she obtain gainful employment, with Mr Hopper eventually resorting to cutting her off financially. Ms Hopper made a single comment to the press in 1997, stating that her relationship with her father would never recover, and that she would take no further questions on the matter.

Upon Mr Hopper’s death in January 2014, it emerged that Ms Hopper was excluded from the most recent iteration of his Will. Leaving no other children or close relatives, he willed his entire estate to several charities of which he was an esteemed patron.

Ms Hopper then spearheaded a lengthy court battle in order to dispute the Will and secure half of his estate, which she believed to be her rightful share.

However, Mr Hopper’s Will was so watertight that she was unable to achieve the desired amendments.

Ms Hopper spoke briefly to a journalist following court, saying that the judge’s decision was “unfair” and that she had exhausted all avenues of appeal.

“There is nowhere to go from here,” she said.

“While the outcome is unfair, in my opinion, I will not be pursuing this matter further.”

It is expected that no other parties will attempt to contest Mr Hopper’s Will.

World Paper Boat Race Begins in Melbourne

paper boatThe inaugural World Paper Boat Race is set to be held in Melbourne, with paper boat mechanics flocking from all parts of the globe to take part in the race.

“This is a triumph, not just for aquatic engineering but also the city of Melbourne,” said WPBR head chairperson Molly Sinkable. “Our city has always prided itself on producing fine engineers that make changes on a world scale. And our Melbourne boat mechanics are known everywhere for their attention to detail and work ethic. It’s only too appropriate that the paper boats will be launching en masse from our fine docks.”

The event is set to involve hundreds of participants, with the goal being to make a paper boat the size of a row boat to sail across the bay and around a set course, before it returns to the shore. The competition was organised by a group of boating enthusiasts who wanted to make sailing accessible to people of all incomes.

“Sorry, did you say paper?” said one anonymous outboard motor repair engineer. “Like…the boats are going to be made of paper, and people have to sail in them? That sounds a bit dangerous. Like, for a few minutes maybe…are they sure they’ve thought this out?”

The organisers have assured participants that in the unlikely event of a boat failing, there will be qualified rescuers nearby. Participating boats must be formed entirely from A4 sheets of paper, and must pass a qualifying test to ensure that they are the correct size and shape.

“No, we haven’t conducted any field tests,” said Sinkable, “But paper floats. That’s just basic science. Trust me, some of the people on the organizing team have tenuous connections to some of Melbourne’s best anchor winch specialists. I’m sure if there was something wrong, they’d be the first to speak up, probably, if they know about this. This will be a wonderful event that will make sailing an equal-opportunity sport, to be enjoyed by all with access to large amounts of paper.”

Sydney Air Conditioning Moves Underground

alleywaySydney’s air conditioning has been beset with black market issues, as many disgruntled citizens are turning to cheap knock-offs to cool their public places after the government regulations on heating and cooling.

The new rules, which tightly control the temperature in many public places, have angered Sydney residents and caused protests in several areas. Many nightclub attendees have expressed outrage at the clubs being heated, which lessens the time they can spend tearing up the dance floor. Police have made several raids on clubs that have been revealed to be using illegal cooling, often with air con units that are not up to a national standard.

“It’s horrifying to hear about,” said one Sydney air con specialist. “Sometimes the way these machines cool is plain awful for the environment and everyone in range. They’re made of cheap materials, can often break down and cool by breathing harmful cooling agents into the air, which can irritate asthma sufferers and cause general breathing problems. It’s much safer to buy local and have them installed by professionals.”

Investigations are still underway to uncover the source of the illicit technology, though police suspect it may be imported and assembled in underground clubs that are illegally cooled.

“We simply can’t break into the groove,” said Officer Burns, a local police chief. “They could be making anything on those red-hot D-floors, and we wouldn’t know. All those shifty corners and dark booths of iniquity…and the dancing is so furious and intense in the cool air, there’s no way we can get close. A couple of times we’ve conducted a raid and people have just kept dancing because the music is so loud. We cannot compete with the groove, making this a sad day for Sydney’s air conditioning services.”

Councils are warning citizens to have their air con units checked by professionals, and to not by units sold in dark alleyways by suspicious people in very bulky trench coats.

Heating Regulations Stifle Groove

dance floorMultiple complaints have been made to local Sydney councils after new nightclubs have been forced to adhere to strict guidelines, including regulations on club temperatures.

Disgruntled citizens have noted how the new rules force clubs to keep their temperatures relatively high during winter months, with many citing how difficult it is to get funky with the ducted heating set high.

“My John Travolta act is ruined,” says one clubgoer in the eastern suburbs. “I swear, Sydney ducted heating used to be one of our main draws. People would come from around the world to see how quickly we can change the temperature in a room. But now my favourite club is forced to keep the place at a constant temperature that’s only good for chilling and nothing else. Only yesterday night, Night Fever started playing over the speakers, and that is one song I just cannot sit still for. I had to get up a strut all of my funky stuff. Problem was, I was left dripping with sweat after just a few minutes. Many of my fellow dancing enthusiasts are having the same problem. We just want the freedom to be our natural, funky selves without all this unnecessary heat.”

Meanwhile, heating professionals have described how they have been set upon with bribes and coercion to alter the heating guages in many institutions so that it displays a legal heat while actually providing another.

“I feel terrible, being asked to break the law,” said one such heating professional. “Gas heating is my life, and to be asked to do something as diabolical as turn down the heat…it’s almost forced me into early retirement.”

Official explanations from the government are to curb Sydney’s heating and cooling problem by keeping heating services at a constant temperature and preventing damage from lack of use, though many still believe that it is all a ploy to stop residents from getting their groove on and thus being less productive members of society.


Rich People Feel ‘Disconnected’

richThe rich and wealthy in Melbourne have described their plight in a special edition of A Pressing State of Affairs, in which many of the city’s elite complained of not being connected to the real world enough the make significant decisions.

The hour-long programme revealed the inner fears of Melbourne’s wealthiest citizens, who despite being filthy rich and not having a care in the world, actually did have a care in the sense that they had no idea how to interact with the world.

“You’d think I’d know houses,” says Perdita Jeffreys, a socialite from the Northern suburbs. “I’ve lived in one all my life. But I had to get Melbourne’s premier buyers advocates on the job when starting my property portfolio, since all those housing ads just confused me. So many numbers and lovely pictures. I couldn’t help but be distracted.”

The programme dedicated a segment to buyers agents, many of whom confirmed the plight of the rich, in that they found themselves out of touch and unable to make important decisions.

“We’ve had all kinds of requests,” says Kathleen Maybury, a buyers agent secretary. “People don’t just want us to search for potential homes. They want to know where to buy shopping, where the internet comes from and why cars don’t just run forever. Obviously we aren’t qualified to answer many of these queries, but we do our best. It’s just heartbreaking at times. They have so much, but it’s created a rift between them and the world. We do our best, but it can’t mend that divide.”

Top psychologists have said that the internet is the main cause of the consternation, as many wealthy and privileged citizens are finally discovering the layman’s world and realising how little they know.

“It’s tough, finding out that you’ve been living in a bubble,” says Seager Frond, psychologist. “Needing a Melbourne property advocate is relatively normal when making an important property decision. Not knowing how so many internet cats have gained the ability to speak is something else entirely.”