10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sydney, mid-winter. London, mid-summer. Picture: Channel Nine

Good morning and cheer up. You could be in London, which on Sunday struggled to match Sydney temperatures despite being on the other side of the seasons.

1. Thunderbirds are go, from London to New York in under an hour. That’s the plan if Boeing ever makes good on this patent they lodged for a Mach 4.5 airplane:
Rocket engines would see it climb vertically to about 30,000 metres before ramjets take it and kick it up to 4800km/h, which would also shuttle you from Sydney to London in under three hours. Now here’s the reality of it ever actually happening.

2. It’s Rates Day and if you’re one of those poor souls with a freshly minted Sydney mortgage, you might have everything crossed for a rate cut when the RBA Board meets this afternoon. Historically, since it’s August, you might have a case. But only 1 of 22 economists surveyed by Reuters are with you, and here’s David Scutt telling everyone why it won’t happen.

3. To Asia, where even Chinese traders can’t ignore the weak economy and yesterday’s PMI print. That helped the Shanghai composite finish more than 1% lower yesterday, taking it dangerously close to the low we saw after the recent crash. Traders will be wondering what’s going on, but there’s little to deny in these four terrifying charts.

4. On the local market, those Chinese issues and a weak lead from the US didn’t give local traders any reasons to be excited about buying yesterday and the market ended down a little. Futures today are pointing to the market taking its cues from the very important retail sales data at 11.30am and the RBA at 2.30pm. The ASX has been uncommonly strong recently and retail sales might just reinforce that recent strength. If you want to get ahead of the game before it all drops, here’s your 10-second guide to today’s huge data dump.

5. Unlike Sydney, Tasmania is freezing, even by Tasmanian standards. Snow in the last two days has fallen to sea level around Hobart, and local man Pat Fasnacht has proof:


And you certainly don’t have to tell the two bros who took their WRX for a spin up to Mt Field then spent 26 hours in it trying to keep each other warm overnight. “They were pleased to see us – they didn’t want to spend another night out there,” Police Marine and Rescue Sergeant Paul Steane told The Mercury.

6. They should have checked in with Ready, the US national public service advertising campaign helping Americans prepare for emergencies, and they would have seen this amazing infographic of everything you need to carry in your car, at all times. (Including kitty litter.)

7. And if you’re a woman, it’s always freezing – in the office. Science has finally nailed down the reason why, and like just about all the other messes we’ve had to mop up in this modern age, you can blame the ’60s. And men.

8. Speaking of the ’60s, here’s something about penalty rates, which apparently some people still get. But there’s a report out today that claims the Productivity Commission wants to make a slight change to that. It’s asking for “skilled and essential workers” (police, nurses, ambos) to be paid penalties on one tier, and “less skilled” (retail, hospitality) to be paid on another tier, i.e. “less”. So yeah, battlelines drawn.

9. Somebody please stop everybody messing with all the food. A McDonald’s manager in Springfield, Queensland, is no doubt having a good, long laugh at customers lining up to buy “lettuce burgers”. According to their Instagram, lettuce burgers are already “famous” for replacing buns with lettuce leaves. If you don’t believe us, you’re with the equally unimpressed employee:

10. You might hate your job, but just don’t know it. We’re here to help with these 20 warning signs you’re burnt out at work, but don’t quit just yet – you might have one of these personality types that also means you’re unemployable.

BONUS ITEM: There are giant space crabs on Mars.

Here’s the original NASA pic if you don’t believe us.

Have a great day.

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