Collector’s Con coming to SMPA | News


The Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater will host the Sand Mountain Collector’s Convention next weekend, with special guests from Star Wars, DragonBall Z, Stranger Things, and former WCE and WWE superstars, among others.

The event is Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17. In addition to the line up of guests and vendors, the park will host a battle of the bands competition on Saturday, and there will be a variety of food trucks on both days of the event.

The show is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The park is located at 1325 SMPA Boulevard, Albertville.

Tickets are on sale now. For children 12 and under, admission is free. All tickets can be purchased at: https://www.itickets.com/events/473725.html

Hotel Information is available at: https://explorelakeguntersville.com/stay/hotels/

RV Park Information is available at: https://sandmountainpark.com/rv-park/

Special guest currently set to attend include:

• Barry Lowin: He is best known for his roles on The Mandalorian, The Big Bang Theory and The Bold and the Beautiful.

• Dorian Kingi: He is best known for being the performance artist for the highly acclaimed character Cad Bane in the hit Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett. He was also the Demogorgon in Stranger Things as well as provided the motion capture for Venom in the Venom movie

• Mike McFarland: Mike has been acting professionally for over 20 years in various capacities, but is most known for his voice work in animation and video games. Notable roles include “Master Roshi” in DragonBall Z and DragonBall Super, “Jean Kirstein” in Attack on Titan, “Lt. Jean Havok” in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, “Ojiro” and “Ectoplasm” in My Hero Academia, “Buggy” in One Piece, “Amon” in Tokyo Ghoul, “Gordon” in Black Clover, “Carnage Kabuto” in One-Punch Man, and “Cain Nightroad” in Trinity Blood.

• Daniel Baugh: Daniel Baugh is a voice and stage actor, as well as an artist. Daniel brings over 40 years of stage acting experience and directing skills to his new love of dubbing anime. Daniel has been doing voice over for several years now; the most notable role to date is that of the Helmsman of the Straw Hat Pirates, Jimbei(Jinbe) on One Piece. Daniel has also voiced Gemnemo on Blood Blockade Battlefront, Roger on Attack on Titan, Badger on Vinland Saga, as well as providing voices for shows such as Zombie Land Saga, Overlord III, The Ancient Magus Bride and others

• R. Bruce Elliott: R BRUCE ELLIOTT has been a professional actor for decades, working in theatre, film, TV, radio and commercials, not to mention the occasional tailgate party and bar mitzvah. He started dubbing voices for anime at Funimation in 2003 and has continued ever since, having performed nearly 220 roles in over 200 anime shows and movies. From his first role as the bumbling detective Richard Moore in Case Closed, he has become known for his range and versatility in shows such as Attack on Titan, One Piece, Space Dandy, Fairy Tail, Samurai Seven, Full Metal Alchemist, Dragonball Z Kai (and Super) and Black Butler, and more recently in shows like Star Blazers (originally Space Battleship Yamato), Angels of Death, Chio’s School Road, Kikuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits and Fairy Gone. He can also be heard in movies like Empire of Corpses and Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest, plus numerous video games, including The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, Aeon Flux, Orcs Must Die (1 & 2), Borderlands 2, and twelve or thirteen different games in the Dragon Ball Z series as his favorite fearless idiot, Captain Ginyu of the Ginyu Force.

• Bryan SilverBaX: Bryan SilverBaX is an artist whose work can be seen on the covers of comic books as well as in films and NFTs. Bryan also has his own comic bookuniverse that he works on called Kerra Prime.

• Steven Butler: Steven Butler is a 34 year veteran freelancer in the comic book industry who has worked for wide variety of comic companies on many well-known titles like Web Of Spider-Man, Silver Sable And The Wildpack, and Punisher War Journal for Marvel Comics- Superman for DC Comics- Sonic The Hedgehog, Betty and Veronica: The New Look for Archie Comics, and Lady Death homage covers for Coffin Comics.

• Lily Butler: Lily Butler is a comic artist from south Mississippi who has worked on a variety of assignments in the comic book industry for the past few years. Some of her clients have been Marvel and DC Comics where she has provided color artwork on variant covers for such characters as Spider-Man and Superman.

• Buff Bagwell: Best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling from 1991-2002, where he was a five-time World Tag Team Champion!

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What’s Love Got to Do with Christianity?


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There are a number of important biblical passages about love. While there are many New Testament passages pertinent to any discussion about love (e.g., John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13, or 1 John 4:8-10), a handful of other passages offer pictures of what we might call a basic biblical notion of love.

Many of these passages are associated with another biblical topic: the law. These associations are crucial to an understanding of love in the Bible because, as we will see, love is not fully realized apart from a reordering of our desires.

From Chaos to Order and Back Again

Genesis 1:1-2:3 has often been discussed as part of the creation-evolution debate. While I do not wish to diminish the importance of a Christian self-understanding that is grounded in a biblical rather than Darwinian understanding of origins, the discussions related to the creation-evolution debate can tend to overshadow other important aspects of the creation narrative.

For instance, Genesis 1:1-2:3 highlights at least three of God’s attributes: sovereignty, wisdom, and benevolence: 

1. God is sovereign. He has full, unrivaled authority over his creation. God speaks. The various elements of creation obey. There is no resistance. He exercises his authority without constraint or opposition.

2. God is wise. His authority does not result in more chaos. The “formless and void” world moves from chaos to order, not from chaos to a new sort of chaos. God is not an all-powerful ruler with a half-baked plan for the world. He has an order in mind and institutes that order through wisdom (Proverbs 3:19-20).

3. God is benevolent or good. The finished creation demonstrates God’s abundant, kind provision to humankind and, ultimately, his desire to see all of creation flourish.

The pain and struggle we often experience were nowhere to be found before the Fall. God’s goodness worked with his wisdom and sovereignty to create a harmonious world.

To the extent that Genesis 1:1-2:3 has been treated in relative isolation as part of the creation-evolution debate, we can also tend to miss the significance of what happens in Genesis 3:1-24.

The serpent convinces the woman that God is not benevolent, wise, or sovereign:

1. God is holding out on humanity. The serpent’s initial question is difficult to translate but should likely be understood as an exasperated assertion framed as a question.

The force is arguably something like: “God may as well starve you if he is prohibiting you from eating the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.”

As I note in Trajectories, “The serpent has accused God of being less-than fully benevolent in keeping the human couple from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

God’s paradise is a prison designed to keep humanity comfortable and under God’s thumb. He is not benevolent but is seeking to limit human flourishing.

2. The serpent diminishes God’s wisdom. As the “wisest” or “craftiest” of the beasts God made, the serpent is well-positioned to make this argument.

After raising questions about God’s benevolence, the serpent tells the woman that humans can be “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

The forbidden fruit is the key to wisdom as the woman recognizes when she makes her own judgment that “the tree was to be desired to make one wise” (3:6).

3. Throughout the narrative, the serpent assumes that God can be opposed. Unlike the various elements of creation that respond to the word of God, the serpent encourages rebellion.

God’s command is not the final word but an ambiguous order from a fragile Sovereign who does not want humanity to become his rival.

All that the serpent says, of course, is false. When the human couple disobeys God, they disrupt the order God had established at creation.

The world falls back into a chaotic state in which ambiguity reigns because the relationship between God, humankind, and creation is skewed.

Humanity no longer occupies an ordered paradise but is thrust into a threatening environment in which the present is difficult and the future unsure.

Disordered Love

In a world where toil and pain have become the norm, humankind must learn how to relate to God, others, and creation to survive and thrive. In the midst of disorder, humans looked out at the world with fallen eyes.

Both the threats and opportunities were abundant. Having split from God, humanity made its own judgments about what was “good” (Genesis 6:1-2; cf. 1:9, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). Those judgments reflected the disordering of love.

Augustine suggests, “Neither is luxury the fault of lovely and charming objects, but of the heart that inordinately loves sensual pleasures, to the neglect of temperance, which attaches us to objects more lovely in their spirituality, and more delectable by their incorruptibility.”

He goes on to conclude, “he who inordinately loves the good which any nature possesses, even though he obtain it, himself becomes evil in the good, and wretched because deprived of a greater good.”

In other words, disordered love is corrosive even when it is aimed at what is good and beautiful. Love needs to be rightly ordered if it is to allow us to flourish.

Rightly Ordered Love

In Matthew 22, an expert in the Mosaic law asks Jesus to identify the greatest commandment. Jesus responds, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend on all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus’ statement in Matthew 22 quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.

In Deuteronomy, love involves loyalty. It is not simply a subjective feeling about God but a commitment to Him that shapes the ways we see the world and determine to act within it. First and foremost, we are to give our full, uncompromised allegiance to the Lord.

It is not so much that we cannot exhibit love without first loving God but that without a primary commitment to the Lord, our love will never be rightly ordered.

Our love is expressed in obedience (1 John 5:3). We realign our lives with God’s order and, in doing so, imitate the love he showed us in sending his Son (1 John 4:10-11).

Loving our neighbor is an extension of our commitment to God. As we love our neighbor, we demonstrate not only our understanding of what God has done for us but our willingness to conform our lives to the way of God’s love.

God’s love is not selfish. It is self-giving. Just as Christ “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6) or to be used to His advantage, we recognize that we are freed from selfish ambition and self-centeredness.

We can relate to others in ways that recognize that our own safety, security, and prosperity are not things to be grasped. They are resources we can employ to demonstrate God’s love to those around us.

What Is Love?

Love connects us deeply to the world because love is a recognition of reality as it really is. Rightly ordered love orients us to the world so that we understand and act in ways aligned with God’s order, which is evident despite the world’s brokenness.

Love is the demonstration of our devotion to and knowledge of God (1 John 4:7). It is not simply knowledge about God. It is knowledge born from experience.

We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). We have experienced God’s love and actively respond to it by following the pattern God has set for us.

Meditate on unfailing love from Jeremiah 31:

rong>For further reading:

What Is Love?

Why Do Love and Forgiveness Have to Go Hand-in-Hand?

Why Does God Love Me?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Anna Frank

James SpencerJames Spencer earned his Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He believes discipleship will open up opportunities beyond anything God’s people could accomplish through their own wisdom. James has published multiple works, including Christian Resistance: Learning to Defy the World and Follow Christ, Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody, Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind, and Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology to help believers look with eyes that see and listen with ears that hear as they consider, question, and revise assumptions hindering Christians from conforming more closely to the image of Christ. In addition to serving as the president of the D. L. Moody Center, James is the host of “Useful to God,” a weekly radio broadcast and podcast, a member of the faculty at Right On Mission, and an adjunct instructor with the Wheaton College Graduate School.  

Related podcast:

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

So when sin is not being confronted, or even viewed as sin at all, it’s time to address it with the hope of gently helping to restore believers caught in its web.

Here are 10 sins that often go overlooked in Christian community.

Stock Footage & Music Courtesy of Soundstripe.com Thumbnail by Getty Images

This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit


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Talk Show/Radio Content Producer – WJCT Public Media


On the JME web page:
Start your Jacksonville Music Experience today by clicking the menu button below or LISTEN NOW on the menu at the top of the page and choose a station.

On the WJCT app:
Get the WJCT Public Media app (on iOS or Android) and listen live on your smartphone or tablet.

In Your Car:
Besides finding JME HD channels on the radio dial at 89.9 HD2, HD3 or HD4 in Jacksonville, you can also use the WJCT Public Media app via Bluetooth, through Apple CarPlay (CarPlay enabled stereos only) or directly through a USB cable or aux audio adapter.

On your smart speaker: (Amazon Alexa or Google Home)
On Alexa, you can listen with the WJCT Alexa Skills, the TuneIn skill, or the iHeart Radio skill.

The skills need to be activated on your Alexa before they can be used. To enable an Alexa skill for the first time, say “Alexa, enable Skill Name” (i.e. WJCT Classical 24, WJCT Anthology, WJCT Electro Lounge Radio)

After you’ve enabled the skill, then you can say:
Classical 24: “Alexa, play WJCT Classical 24”
Anthology: “Alexa, play WJCT Anthology”
Electro Lounge Radio: “Alexa, play WJCT Electro Lounge Radio”

To play on Alexa with TuneIn say:
“Alexa, play WJCT The Independent on TuneIn”, “Alexa, play WJCT Classical 24 on TuneIn” or “Alexa, play WJCT Anthology on TuneIn”

To play on Alexa with iHeart Radio say:
“Alexa, play WJCT The Independent on iHeart Radio”, “Alexa, play WJCT Classical 24 on iHeart Radio” or “Alexa, play WJCT Anthology on iHeart Radio”

On Google Home you can listen with the TuneIn skill or the iHeart Radio skill.

To play on Google Home with TuneIn say:
“Hey Google, play WJCT The Independent on TuneIn”, “Hey Google, play WJCT Classical 24 on TuneIn” or “Hey Google, play WJCT Anthology on TuneIn”

To play on Google Home with iHeart Radio say:
“Hey Google, play WJCT The Independent on iHeart Radio”, “Hey Google, play WJCT Classical 24 on iHeart Radio” or “Hey Google, play WJCT Anthology on iHeart Radio”

For other methods of playing JME digital audio streams, see the WJCT Public Media FAQ page.

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When disaster strikes, go online: N.L. unveils new


A laptop, the screen that says Hurricane Warning.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government’s new emergency preparedness website won’t be available unless it’s needed. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

September’s arrival means hurricane season could be around the corne, and in anticipation of extreme weather events, the provincial government has launched a new website.

But you can’t see it — at least not yet.

The new emergency preparedness tool will be housed directly on the government’s website, and will be activated only in the case of an emergency.

The idea is the site will host the most up-to-date and accurate information during a weather-related emergency event, in order to prevent disinformation from spreading elsewhere online.  

“We all know that there’s rumours or information that gets out before it’s confirmed,” said Public Safety Minister John Hogan on Thursday. “And in a disaster, that can lead to serious consequences.”

Justice Minister John Hogan stands in front of a podium with microphones.
Public Safety Minister John Hogan says September is peak hurricane season in the province. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

The website will be activated when the Emergency Services division of the Department of Justice and Public Safety deems an extreme weather emergency to be a threat to the public. 

“We want people to know that once this website is activated, the threat of extreme weather is real and adequate. Safety precautions need to be taken immediately,” said Hogan.

The website will be deactivated when the threat has passed.

“If you look for the web page now, you won’t find it because currently everything is all clear,” said Hogan.

A series of steps

The website will use a series of steps to indicate the level of threat to the province.

In the case of a hurricane, Step 1 will be a hurricane watch, monitoring which communities may be affected.

As a potentially dangerous weather event draws nearer, Step 2 would be a hurricane warning, which will recommend people prepare themselves.

“Once we move into that, then, ultimately, we’re hoping by now if you haven’t dug out your emergency preparedness kit you should definitely be thinking about that.” said Jamie Kennedy, director of emergency services.

Step 3 will be activated when the dangerous weather event is happening and the public needs to keep up with real-time information, such as road closures, impacts on infrastructure and evacuation orders.

The website will remain at Step 3 until the weather event comes to a close.

Jamie Kennedy points to table that has the contents of an emergency preparedness kit on it. John Hogan stands behind a podium.
Emergency Services director Jamie Kennedy says every house should have enough food, water and medicine to last at least 72 hours. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Kennedy says Step 4 will likely look like a deactivation of the website as the government assesses relief efforts. 

“And then we may need to have a hurricane recovery web page established.” 

Emergency preparedness kits

With hurricanes Fiona and Igor striking the province in Septembers of past years, Hogan said, now is the time to remind the public of emergency preparedness.  

Kennedy walked through the items that every home should have in anticipation of a disaster,

“The rule of thumb is that we want people to have … enough food and water for 72 hours,” said Kennedy. 

Seventy-two hours is the estimated time frame of how long first responders would need to help the most urgent needs of a community, he said. 

A table with batteries, goof, a first aid kit, keys, a phone charger, a lamp, and two first aid kits.
Kennedy says every household should have an emergency preparedness kit at the ready. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

A full list of items in the government suggested emergency preparedness kit include:

  • Two litres of drinking water per person, per day.
  • Non-perishable canned and dried foods.
  • Prescription glasses and medication.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Extra water for washing.
  • First aid kit.
  • Battery-operated radio.
  • Battery-operated flashlight.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Phone charger and battery bank.
  • Cash.
  • Spare house and car keys. 
  • Changes of clothing and footwear.
  • Copies of all personal documents — like identification, insurance and bank account information — in a waterproof bag.
  • A printed emergency plan with contact numbers.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags for each member of the household.

Anyone with small children should include formula, diapers, wipes, bottles and games or books in their kit, and people with pets should include pet food, extra water, bowls, a leash and a kennel.

Get the news you need without restrictions. Download our free CBC News app.

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Week 1: Washington Huddle web exclusive


The NFL season kicks off this week and so does the Washington Huddle. In this web exclusive, Craig Loper and Commanders postgame show radio host Scott Jackson look ahead to Washington’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

For more on the Commanders, check your local listings for the Washington Huddle.

Washington Huddle broadcast schedule:

NORFOLK (WVBT) Friday night at 10:30 p.m.

RICHMOND (WRIC) Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m.

ROANOKE (WFXR) Sunday morning at 10:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) Saturday night at 10:30 p.m.

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Mozilla Explains How Car Companies Use & Abuse Customer


“What did I learn in researching the privacy and security of 25 of the top car brands in the world? Modern cars are a privacy nightmare and it seems that the Fords, Audis, and Toyotas of the world have shifted their focus from selling cars to selling data.” Think about that statement from Misha Rykov, a researcher for the Mozilla Privacy Not Included initiative. How bad is it? Read on.

Jeff Bezos was one of the first to realize that enormous profits could be made from selling customer data. Some people think Amazon started as an online bookseller. Wrong. When the company was just a gleam in Bezos’ eye, the main focus was to vacuum up all the data available from what people searched for and ordered on Amazon’s website and sell it to marketing firms.

Google, Facebook, and a host of other companies do much the same thing. Cellphone data is routinely collected and sold. There’s money to be made from mining all that data. That’s why when your spouse searches for a new pair of tennis shoes, that fact is noted by data centers all over the world. Since the digital world knows you and your spouse are affiliated, suddenly ads for Adidas, Nike, New Balance, and others start popping up in the margins of whatever you are reading online.

A Computer On Wheels

Tesla started the trend when it stuck a large touchscreen into the interior of the Model S in 2011. Suddenly, the phrase “computer on wheels” became popular as drivers became bedazzled with the idea of a car that was also a computer. Or was it the other way around?

Mozilla recently did a deep dive into the data collection and privacy protections offered by 25 car companies to their customers. All of them failed, some more spectacularly than others. Here’s what the Mozilla researchers found.

  • All of them collect too much personal data — Mozilla reviewed 25 car brands during the course of its research and handed out 25 “dings” for how those companies collect and use data and personal information. Every car brand it looked at collected more personal data than necessary and used that information for a reason other than to operate a vehicle and manage its relationship with the driver.
  • Car companies have so many more data collecting opportunities than other products and apps we use — more than even smart devices in our homes or the cellphones we take wherever we go. They can collect personal information from how you interact with your car, the connected services you use in your car, the car’s app (which provides a gateway to information on your phone) and gather even more information about you from third party sources like Sirius XM or Google Maps.
  • They can collect intimate information about you — from your medical information, your genetic information, to your “sex life” (seriously), to how fast you drive, where you drive, and what songs you play in your car — in huge quantities. They then use it to invent more data about you through “inferences” about things like your intelligence, abilities, and interests.
  • Most (84%) share or sell your data — It’s bad enough for the behemoth corporations that own the car brands to have all that personal information in their possession, to use for their own research, marketing, or the ultra-vague “business purposes.” But then, most (84%) of the car brands Mozilla researched said they can share your personal data — with service providers, data brokers, and other businesses you know little or nothing about. Worse, nineteen (76%) say they can sell your personal data.
  • A surprising number (56%) also said they can share your information with the government or law enforcement in response to a “request.” Not a court order but something as easy as an “informal request.” Car companies’ willingness to share your data has the potential to cause real harm and inspire cars and privacy nightmares.
  • Keep in mind that we only know what companies do with personal data because of the privacy laws that make it illegal not to disclose that information like the California Consumer Privacy Act. So-called anonymized and aggregated data can be shared with vehicle data hubs and others. So while you are driving from A to B, you’re also funding a car maker’s thriving side hustle in the data collection business.
  • Most (92%) give drivers little to no control over their personal data — All but two of the 25 car brands Mozilla reviewed earned a “ding” for data control. Only two car brands, Renault and Dacia, said that all drivers have the right to have their personal data deleted. But those brands operate primarily in Europe which has a robust General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. In other words, car brands often do whatever they can legally get away with to your personal data.
  • Mozilla couldn’t confirm whether any of car companies met its Minimum Security Standards — Dating apps and sex toy manufacturers publish more detailed security information than automakers do. Even though the car brands Mozilla researched had several long winded privacy policies (Toyota wins with 12), it could not confirm that any of the brands meet its Minimum Security Standards.

Mozilla Privacy Findings

Mozilla says its main concern is that it can’t tell whether any of the car companies it contacted encrypt all of the personal information stored in the onboard computers installed in the cars they manufacture. The company reached out by email to ask for clarity, but most of the car companies completely ignored its requests. Those who did respond — Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Ford — still didn’t completely answer the most basic security questions.

Mozilla says when it first started looking into cars and privacy, only one thing was clear — it’s complicated even to the car markers themselves. In response to a standard set of privacy and security questions, Mercedes Benz told Mozilla it wasn’t possible to give “universal answers.” With all the data being collected by vehicles, apps, connected services, and more, not even the companies themselves fully understand the monster they have created.

Mozilla On Informed Consent

Most manufacturers have lengthy data collection consent procedures and assume drivers consent to them simply by electing to drive the car. The Nissan policy is nearly 10,000 words long and makes drivers “promise to educate and inform all users and occupants of your Vehicle about the Services and System features and limitations, the terms of the Agreement, including terms concerning data collection and use and privacy, and the Nissan Privacy Policy.”

The Tesla opt-out policy is simply bizarre. “If you no longer wish for us to collect vehicle data or any other data from your Tesla vehicle, please contact us to deactivate connectivity. Please note, certain advanced features such as over the air updates, remote services, and interactivity with mobile applications and in-car features such as location search, Internet radio, voice commands, and web browser functionality rely on such connectivity. If you choose to opt out of vehicle data collection (with the exception of in-car Data Sharing preferences), we will not be able to know or notify you of issues applicable to your vehicle in real time. This may result in your vehicle suffering from reduced functionality, serious damage, or inoperability.”

The Takeaway

I am watching a series on TV at the moment in which a thief only steals cars with cassette players so he can listen to his favorite music while he drives. Frankly, if you want to drive an automobile that won’t collect your personal data, you may need to limit your search to cars that are at least 30 years old.

We voluntarily submit to so many intrusions into our privacy because it is convenient to do so. I have friends with Google Assistant or Alexa installed in their homes who look at me like I just hoovered down from Mars when I suggest those devices are listening to, recording, and dissecting every word that gets said in their house all day every day. They think I’m kidding.

Some states now are making it a felony to drive out of state to seek certain medical services. All they have to do is contact the manufacturer of your vehicle and make a “request” to find out exactly where you went and when. If you are a woman of child-bearing age, you might want to drive a 1986 Town Car instead of anything manufactured this century.

We complain endlessly about government intrusion, and yet we voluntarily make it exceptionally easy for governments to intrude for any good reason or even no reason at all into our private lives. And we are supremely comfortable with that. Why that would be is a great mystery.

Car companies see data collection as a multi-million dollar post-sale business opportunity. Is there anything you can do to protect your privacy? Sure, disable apps, don’t use Google Maps, and only buy new cars from companies which can explain their data collection policies in clear, easy to understand language. Good luck with that!


I don’t like paywalls. You don’t like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don’t like paywalls, and so we’ve decided to ditch ours.

Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It’s a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So …

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Notes by Giuliani’s ‘jack-of-all-trades’ adviser who


Editor’s note: Headline updated for clarity.

Notes written by one of the closest aides to America’s criminally indicted whilom Mayor Rudy Giuliani were handed over to United States Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith as part of his ongoing investigation into the January 6th, 2021 conspiracy allegedly perpetrated by former President Donald Trump and members of his inner orbit, Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan and Kyle Cheney report.

Katherine Freiss “circulated a draft email addressed to the White House seeking ‘provisional’ security clearances for the former mayor and members of his team as part of their work to keep Donald Trump in power,” according to documents reviewed by Swan and Cheney.

Freiss “helped Giuliani woo potential donors to finance Trump’s effort to reverse the results of the election,” Cheney and Swan note. “She helped draft a ‘strategic communications plan’ for a final push to keep Trump in office, a document that became a focus for Jan. 6 investigators and that called for placing paid ads on radio and TV alleging widespread voter fraud. At the same time, Friess warned other Trump aides that their claims about dead people voting in Georgia were weak — but Trump continued to trumpet those claims anyway.”

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Politico continues, “Friess, a national security consultant with deep roots in Washington, kept a low profile, but in November and December 2020, she was Giuliani’s jack-of-all-trades. A host of emails and documents exchanged by Friess and other Giuliani aides have been turned over to special counsel Jack Smith, according to a person familiar with the investigation granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive material.”

Politico writes, “The earliest known sign of her involvement with Giuliani’s team is a declaration she signed on Nov. 9, 2020, in which she complained of restricted access to mail-in ballot counting processes in Allegheny County, Pa. It’s unclear if the declaration was ever filed in court, but a version of it, with Friess’ signature, was among the documents reviewed by POLITICO. In the document, Friess said she was an approved Republican Party observer and spent two hours watching the process at a Pittsburgh canvassing center on the morning of Nov. 3, 2020. She didn’t have a good view of how election workers were reviewing and counting mail-in ballots, she added. ‘I do not believe any of these ballots should be allowed to be part of the final vote tally,’ she wrote.”

Although Freiss “has not been accused of any wrongdoing — by prosecutors or by Congress,” Politico explains, her personal accounts “add new detail to the public understanding of how Trump’s allies operated after Election Day — and how they grappled with obstacles both immense and quotidian.”

Moreover, the communications, “including more than 20 sent or received by Friess herself,” Politico adds, were submitted from “encrypted Hushmail or ProtonMail accounts” and “depict her as an active figure in Giuliani’s effort who feared what would happen if they failed. And they show that like so many others who have worked for Trump over the decades, Friess struggled to get paid.”

READ MORE: Giuliani’s ‘life essentially is falling apart’ amid mounting ‘legal woes’: reporter

Swan’s and Cheney’s full analysis is available at this link.

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This Startup Is Building the Internet of Underwater Things


This is a sponsored article brought to you by LEMO.

Science thrives on data. As such, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) brought about a fantastic revolution. Billions of “intelligent objects” packed with sensors are connected to each other and to servers, capturing and exchanging, in real time, huge amounts of data. Analyzed, accessible, and shareable worldwide, these data enable researchers to observe and understand our planet like never before.

Well, not all of our planet: IoT does not connect us to seas and oceans.

This blind spot is rather striking. Water covers 72 percent of the Earth’s surface, its volumes host 80 percent of biodiversity and play a pivotal role in global phenomena, such as climate change. It is impossible to claim a global vision without integrating the oceans.

Pioneering underwater network technology

There are a few marine research stations scattered around the globe (like needles in algal stacks). An increasing number of intelligent marine objects have also been created (sensors, buoys, autonomous vehicles, probes). The foundations of an underwater wireless network are also being set up, which should be as accessible and reliable as the IoT, the Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT). A pioneer in the field, Italian company WSense has had favorable currents this year.

The adventure of the startup began at the University of Sapienza in Rome, where Professor Chiara Petrioli is in charge of a research laboratory. “We started looking into underwater networks 10 years ago,” she says. “We wanted to find a way to transmit information reliably with elements like routers in large areas.” This research resulted in solutions “achieving levels of reliability and performance previously not possible” and several international patents were filed. Potential applications supported the creation of a spin-off: WSense launched in 2017 with a handful of PhDs and engineers with backgrounds in acoustics, network architecture, signal processing, among other areas.

Today, the startup employs a staff of 50 people with offices located in Italy, U.K., and Norway. It has about 20 customers — “Blue economy” companies and scientific institutions. Its innovations have been honored in 2022 by a Digital Challenge of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and by a Blueinvest prize from the European Commission.

How WSense is helping protect Italy’s underwater archeological treasures

Deploying acoustics, optical systems, and AI

As you can imagine, “wireless network” and “underwater” are not made for each other. In fact, anything that makes aerial Wi-Fi function does not work underwater. Radio waves are significantly attenuated, light or sound communication vary a lot depending on the temperature, salinity level, background noise — everything had to be reconsidered and that’s exactly what WSense has done.

Their solution is based on an innovative combination of acoustic communication for medium-range distances and optical LED technologies for short distances, with a hint of artificial intelligence.

More specifically, underwater “nodes” are deployed. Data transfer between the nodes is permanently optimized by AI: Whenever sea conditions change, algorithms modify the path followed by byte packets.

The system, explains Petrioli, can send data to 1000 meters at the speed of 1 kbit/s and up to several Mbit/s over shorter distances. This bandwidth can’t be compared to those of aerial networks “but we are working on enlarging it.” However, it is sufficient for transmitting environmental data collected by the sensors.

“We are in the process of developing autonomous robotic systems. We can allow teams of robots to communicate and collaborate, to send data, get instructions, and change their mission in real time.” —Chiara Petrioli, WSense Founder & CEO

The resulting network is stable, reliable, and open: A plurality of devices (sensors, probes, vehicles) of various types and brands can be connected. WSense has designed its platform first for shallow water (up to 300 m depth), but now it asserts that it is operational up to -3000 m, opening the door wider to the oceans.

On the surface, floating gateways (or posted on nearby land) connect this local network to the cloud, and so to the rest of the world — the IoUT joins IoT.

WSense designs all the software in-house (from network software to data processing) as well as all the necessary hardware: nodes, probes, modems, and gateways.

WSense’s devices are packed with sensors. “They measure parameters such as temperature, salinity, pH, chlorophyll, methane, ammonium, phosphate, CO2, waves and tide, background noise,” explains Petrioli. In a nutshell: everything required for real-time follow-up and extensive surveillance of submarine environments.

Aquaculture was one of the first sectors to show an interest in WSense (and remains a sector with key customers). The deployment of a wireless network covering the rearing cages, without multiple bulky cabling, connects everything that provides for monitoring the biotope and controlling the fish farm. Cameras and sensors, as well as robots.

“We are in the process of developing autonomous robotic systems,” says Petrioli. “We can allow teams of robots to communicate and collaborate, to send data, get instructions, and change their mission in real time.”

Studying how animals adapt to climate change

Following a request from a Norwegian customer, WSense R&D has recently developed an ultra-miniature fish wearable element. It makes it possible to closely observe the life and health of animals, while monitoring water quality. “All this goes in the same direction: supplying tools to go further in the direction of a more sustainable fish farming,” Petrioli says.

Similarly, WSense’s platform can make it considerably easier to survey and work around offshore stations, as well as underwater infrastructure, such as gas and oil pipelines.

It is just as efficient in more natural environments. The startup has deployed its network in sensitive sites and environmental hotspots. Scientists use it for instance for studying how algae, corals, and animals adapt to climate change. In the field and continuously, “which is much more precise than what we could do from the surface or satellites,” according to Petrioli. The solution also monitors sites that represent major risks for human populations, such as volcanic areas.

The WSense platform is also deployed in archeological or cultural sites, such as the submerged luxurious Roman city of Baiae, near Naples (Italy), which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. By measuring pollution and the effects of climate change or potential damage caused by visitors, it contributes to their protection the same way as it has for a long time in the case of on-land archaeological sites.

Just like webcams placed around the world, “those connected by WSense can also promote these sites.” They open windows for education and tourism, providing access to a larger audience than that of just scientists, companies, or authorities.

Defining the standard for IoUT

The startup is also about to launch a “micronode” that, connected to a watertight tablet, would enhance the diving experience. This new appealing product does not really embody WSense’s true ambitions. The Italian company does not only offer, unlike others, “smart devices.” It doesn’t want to be just one more component in our already too fragmented knowledge of oceans.

On the contrary, it wants to unite all the components.

With this in mind, WSense has ensured the interoperability of its submarine network. For the same reason, it has also been working hard on making deployment simple and reducing costs, both prerequisites for its true purpose: to define the standard for IoUT.

Underwater wireless networks give continuous access to an unprecedented wealth of data about our oceans

For this purpose, WSense must enhance its notoriety as well as its platform. In January, it got a great boost from a place that hasn’t seen any oceans for the last 200 million years: Davos, in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

During its last edition, the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) rewarded 10 companies, including WSense, winner of its Ocean Data Challenge, an event for identifying the most promising technologies in data collection and management for ocean protection. The award gives access to the WEF network, an ideal platform for finding people who could give support for global scale up.

There was an immediate effect: WSense spent the following weeks answering a flood of inquiries.

“It was huge,” says Petrioli. “We were able to talk to political and scientific leaders, top managers, who were often unaware of the possibilities. We could explain to them that the Internet of Underwater Things was not deep tech, but a solution ready to be implemented.”

Quick positioning on the submarine communications market is quite interesting (Forbes estimated it at $3.5 billion dollars, with a 22 percent increase per year). However, urgency lies elsewhere, insists Petrioli.

“We cannot delay applying these solutions. We must not go on ignoring so many things about the exploitation of the oceans or climate change. We must understand today, because it may be too late tomorrow.”

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Goulburn Valley library lines | Shepparton News


This exciting workshop will help you find inspiration all around you and hone your skills. The workshop will be delivered by Andrew Cox. Andrew is a proud Filipino/Australian who creates and lives in Ngunnawal and Ngambri country (Canberra), Australia. Currently, Andrew produces and leads Canberra Poetry Slam, the capital’s new and exciting home for stories and spoken word. Andrew’s work has been shortlisted for national writing prizes, notably for innovation in spoken word, and his writing has been published in multiple anthologies. He is recognised as an emerging voice in Australian poetry.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 7, 6.30pm.

Contact: To register for the workshop, contact Shepparton library on 1300 374 765 or email shepparton@gvlibraries.com.au

Words have power: Andrew Cox will be running a ‘wordshop’ in the lead-up to Friday’s Poetry Slam Heat at Shepparton Library.
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Poetry SLAM heats

Shepparton library is thrilled to host a Victorian heat of Poetry Slam. We paused. Took a moment. A worldwide “Ummm”. Now, the slam storm returns. In 2023, flex vocal chords with a new voice. Run with new leaders. Turn your moments of “um” into MomentUm. Write new poetic revolutions. You’ve got two minutes on the mic. Build your MomentUm to a crescendo and be heard.

Whether you are a budding poet or more experienced, Poetry Slam is a great way to get your poetry heard. Twenty people will have the opportunity to compete in the Shepparton heat, with the winner competing in the Victorian finals and maybe in the national final. Registrations open at 6pm, with the heat starting at 6.30pm.

Andrew Cox will host the heat and Luke Patterson will be the feature poet performance. Luke is a Gamilaroi poet, folklorist and musician living on Gadigal lands. His poetry has appeared in Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Rabbit, Running Dog and The Suburban Review. Luke has also been featured in the anthologies Active Aesthetics, Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today and Best of Australian Poems 2021.

Details: To compete, you must register at the library from 6pm, heats start at 6.30pm. Full APS 2023 rules can be found at www.australianpoetryslam.com/rules

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Friday, September 8.

Legal information session

Divorcing or separating from your partner? Information about the legal process of separation and divorce:

• What you should do when you are thinking of separating.

• What will happen once you do.

• Explanations about the different ways you can divide your assets and make arrangements for your children.

This session is being presented by Georgia Morrissey from Family Centred Law.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Tuesday, September 12, 10.30am. Bookings essential.

Meet the author

The acclaimed author of Cooper Not Out is on his way to the Goulburn Valley to share his newest novel, Good as Gold, set in the Victorian gold rush era, and which reimagines the running of the inaugural Melbourne Cup.

Justin is a Melbourne writer, journalist and broadcaster. He is a columnist with the Melbourne Herald Sun and a weekly guest on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program and Sky News. Justin has had a long career in radio as a presenter and executive producer. He has hosted national programs; he was embedded with Australian troops in Afghanistan and was the drive host on Sydney’s 2UE. He’s won multiple awards for journalism and broadcasting.

Full of heart and humour, Good as Gold follows an escaped orphan, a copper and his prisoner, and a gang of bushrangers as they descend on Melbourne town for the cup. Each hopes for something different — a new beginning, a chance to make history, or a prize bigger than they could imagine. In the end, only one can get the gold.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Friday, September 22, 1pm.

School holiday fun

Loads of fun coming to a library near you. Check our website, www.gvlibraries.com.au, or pick up a brochure for more information.

Fabulous French knitting

Learn how to make fabulous French knitting and craft your own ‘knitting Nancy’.

Where: Mooroopna library.

When: Tuesday, September 19, 10.30am.

Paper skeleton hands

Just in time for Halloween. Enjoy some spooky fun. Use a template or trace around your own hand.

Where: Mooroopna library.

When: Thursday, September 28, 11am.

Minecraft selfies

Ever wondered what you would look like as a Minecraft character? Let’s find out! Make your own Minecraft selfie or make a Minecraft portrait of someone else.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Monday, September 18, 2pm.

Popcorn and pizza — movie afternoon

Join us for this free screening of Hunt for the Wilderpeople (PG). Two rebels. One million hectares of untamed wilderness. The hunt is on. Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a defiant city kid who finds himself on the run with his grumpy foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive in this hilarious and heart-felt adventure.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Tuesday, September 19, 2.30pm.

Chomping T-Rex

T-Rexes love to chomp! We’ve got two for you to make.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 21, 10.30am.

Wonderful world of trains

Learn all about the wonderful world of trains and the fun and excitement of model railways with the GV Rail Club. Join us for a fun evening of model trains — you will even have the chance to drive one of the trains yourself! Keep an eye out for some special engines!

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 21, 6pm.

Craft and movie afternoon

Let’s make foam glider planes and watch a movie: Zog and the Flying Doctors (PG). Zog, Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures, including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However, when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the king. Includes free popcorn.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Tuesday, September 26, 2pm.

Fabulous French knitting

Learn how to make fabulous French knitting and craft your own ‘knitting Nancy’.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 28, 10.30am.

Libraries After Dark

Lego: Batman (PG) In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble, LEGO Batman, stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from the Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante act, try to work with others, and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 28. Activities from 6pm, movie screens at 7pm.

‘Rock’ engraving

Be inspired by Indigenous rock engravings and make your own artwork using simple, everyday supplies.

Where: Tatura library.

When: Thursday, September 21, 10.30am.

Coffee ground fossils

Imagine you are on an archaeological dig, except we will be making the fossils ourselves. It is a fantastic activity for kids and their grown-ups to do together.

Where: Tatura library.

When: Thursday, September 28, 11am.

Socialising: Come along to the library for a chat and coffee!
Photo by
Rodney Braithwaite

Craft and coffee

Join us for about an hour as we gather to learn a new skill, have a chat, and go home with a handcrafted accessory. Tea and coffee are provided, but we appreciate your ‘Keeper Cup’. Bookings are required, as spaces and materials are limited.

Coaster from repurposed materials

Old clothing can make useful coasters. Great gift.

Where: Mooroopna library.

When: Thursday, September 14, 10.30am.

Felt brooch

Layers of felt combined with decorative stitching make a beautiful brooch for your hat, scarf, or lapel.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Wednesday, September 20, 10.30am.

Macramé planter

In just a few knots you will have a beautiful hanger for a small potted plant.

Where: Tatura library.

When: Thursday, September 7, 10.30am.

Human Book Club

Lending a hand: Organisations that help our community. Strong communities are critical because they’re often an important source of social connection and a sense of belonging. When things go wrong, strong communities support each other and recover faster. People who live in strong communities are healthier and happier.

Many organisations offer support and help to improve our community. Hear our books tell the story of how their organisation helps our community. You might find a helping hand or discover a way to be involved in helping.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 28, 6pm.

Libraries After Dark

Join us on Thursday nights until 10pm at Shepparton library. There’s always something to do, people to talk to or just a place to sit with a coffee and a newspaper. All our regular library services are available and sometimes we have a movie or craft activity. Get out after dark at the library. Library membership is free — just ask Kim and Nicole how easy it is to join. Check out www.gvlibraries.com.au to see the list of our current programs.

CrAfter Dark

Felt brooch

Layers of felt combined with decorative stitching make a beautiful brooch for your hat, scarf, or lapel. Limited places, bookings essential.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 21, 6.30pm.

Movie time

Poms (PG) An uplifting comedy about Martha, a woman who moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents Sheryl, Olive and Alice. She proves that it’s never too late to follow their dreams.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 14, 7pm.

Tai chi

Learn the basic concepts of tai chi with Chris Yosh. Learn about posture, relaxed deep breathing, flowing movements and the mind-body connection. This is a gentle exercise class suitable for beginners. Participants should wear comfortable clothing. Limited places, bookings essential.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Thursday, September 7, 6.30pm.

Get crafty: Join the Happy Hookers and bring along your knitting or crochet projects to the library.
Photo by
Daneka Hill

Craft circle

The Happy Hookers meet every Friday from 10am to noon in the sunny corner of the library. Bring along your crochet and knitting projects and join in the fun and laughter.

Where: Mooroopna library.

The Knitters meet every Friday from 10am to noon. Bring along your knitting or crochet projects and join the circle for a friendly chat and yarn fun.

Wher: Shepparton library.

Rhyme and story time, and baby rhyme time

Rhyme and story time

Where: Mooroopna library.

When: Wednesday, September 20, 10.30am.

Baby rhyme time

Where: Mooroopna library.

When: Thursday, September 21, 10.30am.

Baby rhyme time

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Every Wednesday, 10.30am.

Rhyme and story time

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Every Monday and every Friday, 10.30am.

Rhyme and story time

Where: Tatura library.

When: Thursday, September 14, 10.30am; Thursday, September 28, 10.30am.

Ready Tech Go

Keep up-to-date with an ever-changing digital world, with tips and tricks to help you learn the basics and master your smartphone, tablet, the internet, social media, cyber safety, online banking apps and more! This weekly program will take you through a new topic each week.

Where: Shepparton library.

When: Tuesdays, 10.30am. September program, Tuesday, September 12, all about Instagram. Tuesday, September 19, NBN Local: Getting started — Device knowledge, Tuesday, September 26, Cyber safety. Bookings required and please bring your mobile phone or tablet.

Tech 000 (One-On-One)

Need help with your mobile device? Getting started with Cloudlibrary? Working out how to attach a document to your email? Book an appointment for Tech 000. Appointment times will be available at Shepparton library for a library staff member to answer your questions about using your mobile technology. Ask staff how to book a time for your Tech 000 help.

Friends of the library

Friends of Shepparton library

By becoming a member of Friends of the Shepparton library, you will be working to support your local library. Meetings are held in the library (unless otherwise advised) on the third Friday of the month at 11.30am. New members are most welcome.

Friends of the Mooroopna library

Our aim is to promote, enhance and support Mooroopna library and its facilities for the betterment of our local community. Meetings are held in the library on the second Tuesday of each month. New members are most welcome.

Hublets for loan

Shepparton library offers tablet devices for loan in the library: you can connect via library wi-fi for up to two hours. Your current library membership card is required to check out a personal device for reading, watching videos and playing games. You will need to supply your own ear/headphones. Ask staff for more information about Hublets or call in to the library to see the Hublets in action.

Online offerings

Comics Plus

Comics Plus is a new online resource for fans of comics, graphic novels and manga. Try the children’s library, aimed at those between five and 14, or adults can access the full collection. Using your membership card, you can access 23,000 titles via a web interface or dedicated app. Ask our friendly staff to get you started.

Online story time videos available from

• our website www.gvlibraries.com.au/kidspace

• our YouTube channel @GVLibraries

• our Facebook page @GVLibraries

Each video is accompanied by extra book suggestions and a craft template or activity. New stories are being added all the time so enjoy story time anytime.

So many options: Borrow a book, eBook or an audio book at the library.

Story Box library

Australian stories read by Australia’s finest storytellers. Connect 24/7 @ www.gvlibraries.com.au


BorrowBox enables members of GV Libraries to borrow eBooks and AudioBooks (eAudios). Download the app or visit our website www.gvlibraries.com.au/ebooks


Cloudlibrary gives library users the ability to search, browse and discover eBooks and eAudiobooks available for borrowing through GV Libraries with ease. Download anytime with your free library membership. Download the app or visit our website www.gvlibraries.com.au/ebooks


The Libby app is now our dedicated eMagazine portal. Over 1000 popular magazine titles to read online or download, including Better Homes and Gardens Australia, PC & Tech Authority, Taste.com.au, Australian Handyman and Digital Photography. All you need is your library card and your library PIN. www.gvlibraries.com.au/emagazines


If you’re interested in independent, foreign language, classic, or documentary films, you’re in luck! Sign up for Kanopy, our on-demand video-streaming service. You can stream over 26,000 carefully selected films from hundreds of popular producers such as The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses and PBS, as well as thousands of independent filmmakers. Now including Kanopy Kids: thoughtful entertainment for children aged preschool and up. Parents can trust in a curated selection of educational and enriching videos with developmentally appropriate, age-based ratings from Common Sense Media, as well as additional parental controls to keep kids safe. All you need is your library card and your library PIN. www.gvlibraries.com.au/streaming-video

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