TOPICS: Skinky sex or maybe a few mates hanging out

WEIRD: Topics wonders what reptiles get up to. Picture: Lily RayAre these lizards mating or fighting? Topics found a creepy surprise while having our morning coffee in the garden the other day.
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We noticed a bit of a flurry going on near the basil and, looking closer, saw these little skinks having some sort of party.

There were two little critters with mouths clenched firmly on the belly of a third, not moving; just hanging out.

By the time we grabbed our camera, one biter had scampered away, but the cheeky one in the picture clung on for a good hour or so before wandering away. Do we have any reptile-experts reading? What is this bizarre phenomenon?

Are the lizards worried we don’t find them scuzzy enough as it is? The internet didn’t help us much, but did direct us towards an interesting account of a pet bluetongue biting its master’s pinky finger in two places.

STEFFI Graf had a crazy fan. So did Jodie Foster. Ominously Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen has one too, called Mullo Lover, who comments on the Herald website.

Whose is craziest? Time will tell. Here’s Mullo Lover’s take on a range of matters.

Selectors put Mullen up against Origin rival in City-Country game

‘‘This is an embarrassment, making Mullo play a waste of time game, he should be captain of Australia not running around in some park at Wagga. His time would be better spent shooting more Singo’s Meats ads.’’

Second sinkhole opens up in Swansea

‘‘That’s not a sinkhole, knights captain & all time legend the immortal Sir Jarrod Mullen put up a bomb in Newcastle last week & with the slight breezes it came down in Swansea just this morning & created a deep crater.’’

Mullen says ‘‘business as usual’’ for Knights after Tinkler departure

‘‘I can see it now, Legendary knights captain Sir Jarrod Mullen will purchase the club for $1, anoint himself captain coach & be the first man in history to own/captain/coach a team from cellar dwellers to the NRL premiership. All while filming an extensive range of Singo’s Meats commercials with Allan Robinson.’’

STALWART: David Hamilton of Kurri Kurri, who may be lost, in Newcastle hockey gear in Florida.

WE asked for readers in Newcastle gear abroad and David Hamilton, of Kurri Kurri, delivered.

‘‘A couple of years ago we went to see Tampa Bay Lightning play the Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay in Florida,’’ says David.

‘‘I’m pretty sure I was the only person wearing a Newcastle Northstars jersey.’’

In fact, we’re prepared to bet David was the first person to wear a Northstars jersey to a game of anything in Florida, ever.

Sumtimes its to much

WHAT are the most commonly misspelled words? We all dissapoint from time to time, and it’s not always easy to accomodate.

Truth is, mistakes happen to the best of us on occaision. You’ll even find them in Newspaper ads (pictured). Definately. Loosers.

Do you see a word constantly misspelled? Are you a serial misspeller? Is that even a word? Dob or confess at [email protected]南京夜网.au or tweet @TimConnell.

READER Mick, of Newcastle, agrees with Topics that a citywide party should follow a Blues victory (touch wood) in Origin two.

‘‘Any boss who sacks a bloke for not going to work the Thursday after NSW win Origin two is a bum!’’ says Mick, channelling a former prime minister.

We concur, and reckon that goes for female workers too.

AFL: Shannon Mangovski shines for Cardiff

JUMP TO IT: Shannon Mangovski, right, contests a mark with Singleton’s Johny Cornelius at No.1 Sportsground. Picture: Max Mason-HubersBDAFL: Newcastle City too strong for Warners Bay, photos
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FORMER Northern NSW State League football premiership winner Shannon Mangovski continued his successful transition to AFL on Saturday by starring in Cardiff’s 84-point win over Singleton.

The Hawks won 18.20 (128) to 6.8 (44) at No.1 Sportsground to remain third in Black Diamond AFL.

In just his fourth AFL game, Mangovski kicked two goals and was among the Hawks’ best.

The former wing back is a good friend of long-time Hawk Quinton Davis and has quickly adapted to Aussie rules.

‘‘He’s been going quite well and he likes the physical side of the game,’’ Cardiff coach Adam Dugan said. ‘‘He’s very quick on his feet and his fitness levels are at the top end as well.’’

The Hawks were never troubled by Singleton after they opened up leads of 30 and 54 points at the end of the first and second quarters.

‘‘We should expect to get the win against Singleton given their position on the ladder, but probably the most pleasing thing is we’re starting to play some decent footy,’’ Dugan said.

At Feighan Oval, Newcastle City blew away Warners Bay with a six-goal opening term to win 21.16 (142) to 7.9 (51). Blues captain-coach Courtney Knight was again outstanding, kicking seven goals to take his tally to 41.

That is more than double the next best goal-kicker, Killarney Vale’s Scott Manuelle (20), and gave Knight the 700th of his Black Diamond career.

In the final match of round eight, the Bombers beat Nelson Bay 15.14 (104) to 10.12 (72) at Adelaide Street Oval.

THEATRE REVIEW: The Laramie Project

DOCUDRAMA: Nathan Villaverde, Sam Robinson and Eden Scott keep alive the story of Matthew Shepard’s violent death in Laramie. THE LARAMIE PROJECT
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Presented by: Hunter TAFE’s Regional Institute of Performing Arts

Venue: Civic Playhouse, Newcastle

Season: Ended Saturday

THE brutal beating and subsequent death of a 21-year-old gay university student in the Wyoming town of Laramie in 1998 led to playwright Moises Kaufman and actors from a New York theatre group conducting 200 interviews with Laramie residents over 18months.

Kaufman drew on their comments, as well as media reports and court documents when the two men who killed Matthew Shepard were put on trial, in writing this play.

Though The Laramie Project is very much a docudrama, with the 13 student actors in this production playing 60 characters, the text and performances made it a down-to-earth and moving story about the reactions of ordinary people to unfortunate events.

The actors sat on chairs, rising and addressing the audience when their characters made an appearance.

The tale began with members of Kaufman’s team explaining why they had come to Laramie.

This was followed by members of the community saying what a relaxed lifestyle they had in the town of 26,687 people, with one saying that the family’s children were allowed to play outside until 10 at night. At story’s end, however, it was clear that people had become more vigilant and cautious.

Shepard is never seen, but the comments of friends and acquaintances allowed the audience to share their regrets about what happened to him. There also was a sense of outrage among the audience on the night that I saw the show when anti-gay protesters, led by religious zealot Fred Phelps, picket Shepard’s funeral, waving ‘‘God hates fags’’ signs.

Director David Brown used projections of photos taken at the funeral to underline the picketers’ appalling behaviour, with subsequent pictures of Laramie people dressed in white and wearing wings in a subsequent ‘‘angels’ protest’’ against Phelps’s inappropriate conduct, showing that hundreds of Laramie residents at least did not share his views.

Though some of the comments made about Shepard indicated ambivalence about his sexuality, people’s words for the most part showed concern at his violent death.

The hospital doctor, who spoke to the media about Shepard’s condition, and Reggie Fluty, the policewoman who found Shepard, couldn’t believe anyone would be treated the way he was.

And, in a moving address to a court, Shepard’s father appeals for one of his son’s killers not to be given a death penalty.

The actors in this Laramie Project were Thomas Gorton, Sam DeLyall, Astra-Lia England, Cara Pooles, Eden Scott, Brody Davidson, Ryan Burrett, Nathan Villaverde, Peter Drozdov, Sam Robinson, John Lopez, Precila Selui and Caitlin Allen. They made this a story to remember.

China lashes ‘provocative challenge’ from US, Japan at Shangri-La Dialogue

A senior Chinese general has hit back at a “provocative challenge” from the US and Japan, denouncing criticism of Beijing’s handling of a spate of escalating territorial disputes in the region.
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The countries squared off in a war of words that at times overshadowed an Asian security forum at the weekend and also highlighted the potential for the Australian government’s close defence ties with Washington and Tokyo to anger its largest trading partner, China.

On Sunday, Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, the People’s Liberation Army’s deputy chief of general staff, said his delegation at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore was surprised by what appeared to be a co-ordinated and staged “provocative challenge against China” by the Japanese Prime Minister and the US Defence Secretary.

“The Chinese delegation … have this feeling that the speeches of Mr [Shinzo] Abe and Mr [Chuck] Hagel are a provocative action against China,” General Wang said.

Earlier, he had told reporters Mr Hagel’s speech was full of “hegonism, threat and intimidation”.

Australia’s Defence Minister David Johnston reiterated shared concerns over “recent developments which have served to raise tensions in the region” at the forum.

Echoing similar comments made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday, Senator Johnston said the Australian government welcomed the US taking on a greater role in Asia, a statement unlikely to sit well with a Chinese leadership that views the US strategic “pivot” back into the region as an antagonistic move designed to contain its rise.

“It bears repeating … that the continue presence of the US has underpinned the region’s stability for the past 70 years,” Senator Johnston told the summit on Saturday.

“That’s why Australia welcomes the US rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. We see it as an opportunity to foster further close co-operation in the region.”

Mr Abe and Mr Hagel used unusually strong language to describe what they saw as China’s “destabilising” and “unilateral” push to assert territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea – a source of significant tension between China and its neighbours including Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Beijing has also accused Mr Abe’s nationalist administration of fear-mongering to “stealthily advance his dream for Japan to again be a militarist power” – while warning this would only result in a regional “arms race” that would set back economic development and co-operation

In their speeches, Mr Abe and Mr Hagel made direct references to close military co-operation with Australia – an unprecedented elevation of Japan-Australia security ties during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Japan in April, and the rotation of US marines through Darwin respectively.

Diverting from prepared remarks, General Wang said that the speeches were “unacceptable”, accusing Mr Abe, who delivered the keynote address on Friday, and Mr Hagel, who spoke on Saturday, of co-ordinating and encouraging each other to attack China in their remarks.

Long-standing tensions in the South China Sea have been stoked to fresh highs in recent weeks as Chinese and Vietnamese vessels faced off over a Chinese state-owned oil rig drilling in disputed waters. Beijing and Hanoi have traded accusations over responsibility over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel near the rig.

There have also been reports of near misses between Chinese and Japanese aircraft in the airspace near disputed islands, as well.

Ms Bishop, who clashed with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi late last year after criticising China’s declaration of a air defence zone over the East China Sea, said China could choose one of two possible courses.

The first would have it integrate peacefully into the global community in line with President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream”, while the alternate scenario would see a more nationalistic China wracked with domestic and external conflicts fuelled by historic territorial disputes and regional suspicion over its intentions.

“I certainly doubt that we will see a complete realisation of either scenario,” Ms Bishop said on Friday. “As its power grows, China will become integrated into the international system. It doesn’t mean addressing the challenges and risks will be easy.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Warriors dash Knights’ finals hopes

Winners are grinners: Manu Vatuvei manages a smile through a pile of Knights bodies after crashing through for a try. Photo: Hannah PetersThe New Zealand Warriors all but snuffed out Newcastle’s already faint finals hopes with a 38-18 thumping of the Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
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In their first game since former owner Nathan Tinkler and his Hunter Sports Group management company severed ties, the Knights tried hard and hung in for long periods, but paid the price for unforced errors to slump to their fifth consecutive loss and ninth from 11 games this season.

Sitting equal last alongside Cronulla on six points, the Knights face the highly improbable task of having to win 10 of their last 13 games to return to the finals.

The immediate future looks much rosier for the Warriors, who have won four of their past five games to move into the logjam on the edge of the top eight.

It was the Warriors’ eighth win from their past nine games against the Knights at Mt Smart Stadium, and captain Simon Mannering celebrated the twin milestones of his 200th game for the club and 100th as skipper with two first-half tries including one from his own grubber kick.

Giant winger Manu Vatuvei also bagged a brace for the Warriors in their first appearance at their spiritual home ground this season, after three matches at Eden Park and another in Wellington, in front of an appreciative crowd of 19,068.

The Knights made an encouraging start, posting first points in the sixth minute when Tyrone Roberts caught Jarrod Mullen’s kick to the middle to touch down under the posts. Towering winger Josh Mantellato, in his second NRL start as a late replacement for the injured Aku Uate (knee), converted from in front for a 6-0 lead.

Newcastle suffered a blow in the 10th minute when prop Kade Snowden took an accidental knee to the head trying to tackle Ben Matulino and he was helped from the field on wobbly legs.

Finding room to move up the middle and on the fringes, the Warriors struck back with three tries in 13 minutes — all from kicks — to take a 16-6 lead by the 24th minute.

Captain Mannering was an unlikely first try-scorer for the home team, regathering his own grubber kick to score in the 11th minute, and the Warriors backed that up with two more from Shaun Johnson cross-field bombs.

Manu Vatuvei, making up for an earlier handling error that led to Newcastle’s first try, flew above Mantellato to bat Johnson’s kick back for fullback Sam Tomkins to score in the 18th minute, then Vatuvei combined with Johnson again six minutes later to out-leap Mantellato and score one for himself.

Warriors wrecking-ball Konrad Hurrell suffered an apparent arm injury after in the 23rd minute but returned 11 minutes later, seemingly none the worse for wear.

Just when it looked like the Warriors would run away with the game, the Knights hit back in the 30th minute when centre Joey Leilua recovered a Roberts grubber behind the Warriors’ defensive line to touch down.

Mantellato converted to cut the deficit to four points and the Knights would have been satisfied trailing by that margin at the break but playmaker Jarrod Mullen’s attempted trick shot 90 seconds from half-time back-fired.

Inside their own defensive red zone, Mullen tried to chip kick for winger James McManus but the ball went out on the full to hand the ball back to the Warriors in prime field position.

The Warriors needed just a couple of plays before Feleti Mateo flicked a pass to Mannering, who crashed over for his second try.

Newcastle refused to yield, clawing back within four points again when Roberts spun in a tackle and passed for Robbie Rochow to score in the 53rd minute, and Mantellato’s conversion made it 22-18.

But when Chris Houston spilled a pass under minimal pressure 25 metres from his own line, Ngani Laumape picked up the crumbs to send Chad Townsend over for his first try in Warriors colours and a 28-18 lead in the 63rd minute.

A restarted tackle count gave the Warriors another attacking set deep in Newcastle territory and Johnson and Tomkins combined to send Hurrell over in the corner in the 74th minute.

Vatuvei emerged from a pile of bodies on the Newcastle line to score his second try a minute before full-time, and Johnson converted from the sideline after the siren.

The Warriors made a clean sweep of the three grades, accounting for the Knights 34-12 in NSW Cup and 34-22 in the National Youth Cup (under-20s).

WARRIORS 38 (S Mannering 2, M Vatuvei 2, S Tomkins, C Townsend, K Hurrell tries; S Johnson 5 goals) d KNIGHTS 18 (T Roberts, J Leilua, R Rochow tries; J Mantellato 3 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium.

Half-time: Warriors 22-12

Crowd: 19,068

Referees: Gavin Badger, Gavin Reynolds

Report: 52min David Fusitua (Warriors) for striking

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.