Back to Back Issues Page
Tassie On My Mind, August 2012 -- smart Tasmania
August 10, 2012

Tassie On My Mind, August 2012
- smart Tasmania

Welcome to the August 2012 issue of Tassie On My Mind, a free monthly newsletter keeping you informed of the latest news on what makes Tasmania such an attractive travel destination.

Tasmanians are smart, did you know that? Good smart, not bad smart. Smart in knowing how to do what is needed, when it's needed, and in unique, innovative ways.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Smart appliance control
  • Smart shark tracking
  • Smart beer making
  • Smart Olympic rowing
  • Smart writing for kids

Plus... your chance to be a part of!

Smart appliance control

Have you ever left home in a hurry only to realise later that you forgot to turn off a heater or the stove? Well imagine having your smartphone alerting you to the situation, then imagine being able to use your phone to turn off the active appliance.

We can start dreaming of such a future, thanks to smart Tasmanian scientists devising new smartphone technology.

This technology actually links the electricity grid to the Internet. It has already been tested successfully in Hobart homes of CSIRO staff, according to senior research engineer James Forbes of Hobart's CSIRO Information and Communication Technology Centre.

His team are now investigating ways to fund commercial trials.

I only just got my first ever smartphone a few months ago, and I must say it's turned my life around in so many great ways! I control how I use it, (it does not control me) and I would certainly love to use it in even more helpful ways such as this!

Smart shark tracking

According to Tim Moltmann, director of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS):

"Tassie has the world's best concentration of Antarctic, marine and climate scientists, that's why people from the other side of the world want to work with us."

He is referring to how Canadian and Tasmanian researchers have come together on a project which tracks shark movements.

How is this done? Special acoustic sensing hardware, making up what is called a listening curtain, is placed on the ocean floor, effectively listening in on shark activity.

In view of the five shark related fatalities in Australia this year, shark movement data has become more relevant.

Apart from that, the listening devices also help scientists keep track of vulnerable species such as the grey nurse shark and southern bluefin tuna.

Thanks to technology like this, you can learn about marine life without getting wet!

Smart beer making

Beer lovers! Did you know that beer can be enhanced by a journey on the high seas?

Just ask Willie Simpson of Seven Sheds Brewery, Meadery and Hop Garden in Railton.

Seven Sheds arranged for 2 wooden casks of ale to travel 24 trips across Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania. The idea was to recreate history.

Apparently, back in the 1800s, shipping beer from England to India caused the beer to spoil. A new beer recipe fixed that problem, allowing the beer to withstand the long sea journey.

Simpson's one-off ale creation has a certain "maritime" enhancement to it, and now you know how this was done. His innovative flavouring process resulted in 400 unique limited-edition bottles of Bass Strait India Pale Ale.

According to Simpson, the original flavours of the beer were enhanced by the movement of the beer inside the barrel during the sea journeys.

You can tell that Simpson has a unique approach to beer making. Since writing the Beer Bible in 2006, he has been brewing hand-crafted beers. The secrets of his success? Fresh local produce and growing hops on-site using organic methods.

And sometimes, a sea journey or two!

Wonders never cease. Certainly not in Tasmania!

Find out more at the Seven Sheds Brewery Meadery and Hop Garden website.

Smart Olympic rowing

How could I not mention the Olympics especially when we have a Tasmanian silver medallist.

I'm referring to Kate Hornsey who, with team-mate Sarah Tait, came in second behind the Brits in the women's pair.

The Brits looked the winners early in the race, taking the lead from the start. Australia got to 4th place three quarters of the way through. With five strokes remaining, Hornsey and Tait knew the bronze could be theirs.

As Hornsey described it:

"We were fourth, chasing down the Americans for bronze and then the Kiwis were there as well and I was thinking 'Oh my god the silver is still there too', and I did not even know when we crossed the line... I thought we had it but it was right down to the last stroke."

Hornsey already has five world championships, including three gold, and set a world best time in the women's four six years ago.

Go the Aussies!

Smart writing for kids

I have read a number of Tim Winton's books and enjoyed them all.

A story about people who wake up and find their bums are missing? I don't know about that.

But apparently, it really wins with the kids!

Recommended for kids between 4 and 10, and based on Winton's book, The Bugalugs Bum Thief will be staged at Hobart's Theatre Royal on 23rd and 24th August.

As one teacher put it:

"The children loved it. They have not stopped talking about it!"

Well, there you go. Maybe I've forgotten what sort of stories I would have liked when I was between 4 and 10. Tim Winton knows though...

Well that's it for this issue.

Be smart this winter - keep healthy and warm.

See you in September!

To contact me, click here.

Here's your chance to be a part of!

One Day In Tasmania

What if you had just one day in Tasmania? Where would you go? What would you do?

Share your dream with us. If selected, your dream will appear as a page at

It doesn't matter if you have never been to Tasmania. I would love to hear your thoughts too. It's easy to find out about Tasmania, at or elsewhere.

This is your chance. Join in the fun. Share your thoughts with us.

We all gain so much from each other's ideas.

Hit us with your best shot

Your best wildlife shot, that is...

Have you ever been in just the right place at just the right time and snagged a great wildlife photo?

Share that photo with us. We would love to see it. Not only that, we would love to get your tips on how you got the photo.

How did you manage not to scare the animal away? What did you do to prepare for the shot?

If selected, your photo and story will appear as a page at

This is your opportunity to shine. Let's share our stories around.

Back to Back Issues Page