10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Simply irresistible. Picture: Universal Pictures

Good morning.

1. Markets! Things tightened up a little after the Fed’s rate hike, but tensions in the South China Sea over a drone that neither China nor the US ultimately wanted may have contributed to that. The SPI 200 March contract market prices are down only 4 points at the close. The Australian dollar is at a 6-month low ahead of today’s MYEFO – here’s your guide to that big release.

2. Gah. Only six sleeps to go and we still have to keep an eye on data. But that’s also because it’s been a crazy volatile year and anything could yet happen. Today, as mentioned above, we get the MYEFO – treasurer Scott Morrison’s wishlist for how he thinks his budget’s doing and where it’s going. There’s also the RBA Minutes out tomorrow, while in the US, Thursday is massive, with Chicago Fed National Activity Index, Q3 GDP revision, Durable Goods Orders, Initial Jobless Claims, Personal Income/Spending, PCE deflators… Oh my. And if you thought that was packed, wait till you get a load of UnZed this week. It’s all in Greg McKenna’s final NAB-powered diary for BI Australia.

3. Sydney is safer than Melbourne. The Economist’s Intelligence Unit said so, in its most recent Safe Cities Index. It pegged Sydney as the sixth safest city in the world, and Melbourne at 9. But there’s a catch – Sydneysiders die at 81, while Melburnians get an extra five years to enjoy proper footy, great souvlakis and the sparkling expanse of the Yarra. Tokyo was named world’s safest – there’s more on how it was decided here.

4. Yahoo had some money left to throw a Christmas party. It wasn’t the lavish $9.5 million “Roaring 20s” bash of 2015, with Marissa Mayer seated on a white throne, but it looked like fun. Even though the champagne tower was replaced by a champagne bathtub with a guy in it:

A photo posted by Ameya Pendse (@ameyapendse) on

We have more pics here, but they’re slowly being taken offline by their careful subjects, so be quick.

5. What number can you see in this picture?

If you thought “What number?” you’re colourblind. If you saw a number, you should read this post by colourblind Rafi Letzer so you know what it’s like to be colourblind. And just to make sure you do read this post, you should know that different people see different numbers, so even if you saw a number, what that number is depends on your level of colourblindness.

6. A happy Christmas story. On July 22, 2009, John Gabbert and his startup had $22,000 and he owed $100,000 to friends and family. And because he cared about those people, he worked hard to get their money back (“If you lose their money, it changes Christmas”). In desperation, Gabbert made a cold call to a billionaire he’d heard was expanding. And in April, Gabbert finally sold his company in full to the billionaire, for $US225 million. It’s going to be a good Christmas for his original investors.

7. Gabbert’s going to buy himself a car. But he could easily buy one of these 12 islands for sale right now:

So could you. Most of them are half the price of a Sydney apartment.

8. Here’s Donald Trump on sleep:

“I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on.”

He’s not alone. If you worry about not getting enough sleep, you might just be one of the “sleepless elite”, like PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and US President Barack Obama. Here’s the scientific explanation for why you can get by.

9. “Love Actually” is a great Christmas movie. But it’s also 13 years old, which means all its great actors have gone on to do loads of things. Sadly, Alan Rickman died. But the intense kid with the strange eyes had a good run on “Game of Thrones”, and the bloke who was in that series about teachers became The Waking Dead’s Rick Grimes. Here’s where all the others ended up.

10. Scientists sent a meat pie into space to see what space would do to it. They reckon nothing, but nobody was willing to eat it to prove it.

BONUS ITEM: If you watch one Christmas YouTube this week, make it this epic war between penguins and Santa Clauses:

Have a great week.

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