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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

You need this. Picture: YouTube

Welcome back to work.

1. First, the markets, and Australia Day was horrible offshore, so lucky for traders here, they were at barbecues instead. Chinese stocks crashed to a 13-month low, but everyone’s over it now and solid US results have March SPI 200 futures up 0.9%, 41 points, to 4,941. Even oil’s up 3% and the Aussie dollar’s back above 70 cents.

2. Noma. The four-time best restaurant in the world opened as a pop-up in Sydney’s Barangaroo redevelopment yesterday, and will stay there for 10 weeks. But don’t bother trying to get a booking – they sold out in 90 seconds. Sydney Seafood School manager Robert Muir got one and had a fabulous Australia Day because of it. And she gave us her review, which includes this oh-so-Sydney summation:

“The $485 price tag for the food alone seemed like fair value and as it turned out the matched wines for an additional $195 were a steal too.”

Brilliant. Here’s the porridge of golden and desert oak wattle seeds (cooked for 12 hours) wrapped in saltbush with native lime:

Photo: Roberta Muir.

And here’s Roberta’s take on the rest of the meal.

3. You could get 1640 Chicken McNuggets for that. And they’ll stay at that price, perhaps forever. This is a great anecdote about hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio, who, in 1983, found a way to protect his client – McDonald’s – against any price fluctuations which would kill the appeal of their new bite-sized snacks.

4. It’s one of the reasons why Dalio’s now the top hedge fund manager of all-time. His Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund now controls $US82 billion, and its gains last year pulled Bridgewater Associates ahead of George Soros’s Quantum Endowment in LCH Investments’ annual top 20 “most successful money managers” list for 2015. Here are the other 18.

5. Australia’s Instagram “fitness queen” Kayla Itsines says this is her happy place:

My happy place💜😍☺️ #studio #workout #sweatwithkayla www.kaylaitsines.com/app

A photo posted by Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines) on


But it’s not for a growing number of her followers who downloaded her new app, “Sweat with Kayla”, for free. Except these days, being listed as “Free” can simply mean, “until you have to pay $19.99 a month if you don’t uninstall it after the first seven days”. That’s all in the fine print – it’s listed as an “in-app purchase” – so buyer beware and all that. But Itsines fans are getting vocal about a whole bunch of other problems they also have with “Sweat with Kayla”.

6. There’s about half a million bits of junk floating around the Earth right now, hitting speeds of 28,000km/h. You might have seen what they did to that poor chap’s head in “Gravity”, but even worse things can happen, says Russia. They could start World War III. Here’s how.

7. NSW is best, chuck out all the rest, except Victoria. NSW is stretching its lead over the rest of the country, heading six of the eight categories in the latest CommSec State of the States report says. But while the territories fight it out for third spot, CommSec says it’s a moot point – NSW and Victoria are light years head of the rest.

Here’s the breakdown of all the states’ strengths and weaknesses. Tassie is last.

8. Science is brilliant. Not so much when brilliant AI pioneer Marvin Minsky dies, but definitely when it says watching that video of a cat wearing a shark suit riding a Roomba makes you twice as productive as everyone else. Fact.

9. To the tennis, where two of the most extraordinary players ever are still well on top. Roger Federer has so far dropped just one set in the tournament and barely a drop of sweat yesterday in brushing off Thomas Berdych to set up a semi-final with Novak Djokovic. The pair are 22-all in their 44-match rivalry, with Federer having a 17-16 edge on hardcourt. And Serena Williams just can’t stop beating Maria Sharapova. Her win-loss record against Sharapova blew out to 19-2 yesterday en route to a possible 22 grand slam final win. The best bit? Williams still hasn’t dropped a set to Sharapova since Sharapova called her a home-wrecker – in June, 2013.

10. Here’s the latest theory about how Harry Potter’s crappy Christmas presents from the Dursleys were actually a sneaky tip-off that helped him save the world. Mind blown.

BONUS ITEM: Cat wearing a shark costume cleans the kitchen on a Roomba.

Have a productive day.

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