Can An Unsent Text Message Count As A Will?

Apparently it can in Australia,

A Queensland court has accepted a dead man’s unsent, draft text message leaving his possessions to his brother and nephew instead of his wife and son, as an official will.

. . .

The unsent message detailed how to access the man’s bank account details and where he wanted his ashes to be buried.

“You and [nephew] keep all that I have house and superannuation, put my ashes in the back garden … [wife] will take her stuff only she’s ok gone back to her ex AGAIN I’m beaten. A bit of cash behind TV and a bit in the bank Cash card pin … My will”

PETA Displeased With Name of Australian 80s Band

I’d never heard of them before, but apparently there was a popular band in Australia in the 1980s called Hunters & Collectors. According to their Wikipedia page, they formed in 1981 and then broke up in 1998, with some sort of reformation in 2013.

So, of course, this band is a hot button item for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In a March 2, 2017 press release, PETA asked the group to change its name to something more animal friendly.

Dear Mark, John, Doug, Jack, Rob, Barry, Jeremy, and Michael,

I hope this letter finds you well. On the eve of the duck-hunting season, we at PETA Australia have a request that may help save lives: Would you consider changing the name of your band to discourage people from hunting animals?

We feel sure that it was never your intention to promote the killing of intelligent, sensitive, and defenceless animals, but your name may nevertheless make hunting seem appealing to your fans.

. . .

As your Adelaide reunion show is coming up, now is the perfect time to for a band namelift. Might you consider “Hunters & Collectors of Antiques”, “Hunters & Collectors of Vinyl Records”, or even “Hunters & Collectors of Beer Cans” as possible replacements? You could even enlist the help of your fans to crowdsource the holy grail of names on social media.

Do you see what we see? By agreeing to change your name, you would help raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in hunting waterbirds and give ducks a fighting chance.

Warm regards,

Ashley Fruno
Associate Director of Campaigns
PETA Australia


Australian Model Sarah Jane Does PETA Anti-KFC Ad

Australian model Sarah Jane is appearing in an ad on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urging consumers to boycott KFC.

The ad is targeted at Hong Kong, where PETA plans to distribute 20,000 flyers featuring the ad.

Jane told newspapers,

I hope that, no matter how you feel about eating meat, you will agree with me that animals raised for food should not be grossly mistreated. Chickens raised for meat are commonly crammed by the tens of thousands into filthy warehouses with no access to fresh air or sunlight. . . .I will feel satisfied if this campaign can shock, confront and awaken people globally and make known the suffering of chickens at the hands of KFC. I urge everyone not to set foot in another KFC restaurants until the company ends its chickens.

Interesting how PETA is so effective at attracting people whose main talent seems to be their ability to disrobe.


Animal welfare group enlists star for anti-KFC campaign. Agence-France Presse, August 3, 2005.

Sarah Jane out of her shell. Herald Sun, August 4, 2005.

Aussie chick to nearly reveal all in KFC protest. Dennis Chong, The Standard (China), August 4, 2005.

Most downloaded woman urges KFC to clean up its low-down, dirty ways. Press release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

Animal Rights Group Protests at Sausage Sale

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned the controversy over a pig and cow raised at Daylesfor Secondary College in Australia to give students there exposure to traditional farming methods — i.e., the animals were raised to be slaughtered for sausage.

Members of Ballarat Organization for Animal Rights showed up at the Glenlyon Food and Wine Fayre in late July to protest the sale of the sausages made from the animals.

BOAR spokesman Trevor Wilson told The Courier,

They [the students] have all suffered. . . . We would hope to get the message through so that it never happens again. . . .When you desensitize people [to violence], who knows what they can turn into.

Wilson added that his groups thinks Australia’s Education Minister should ban schools from raising animals for slaughter,

We feel that Lynne Kosky should make a requirement that animals are not used this way in education.

Liam Thoryncraft, who helped organize the school’s participation in the young gourmet contest at the food fair, said that the sausages sold well. He added that if the project is repeated there would be some changes,

We understand [the controversy raised by keeping the animals on school grounds] and we did make the mistake of putting the pig in the school grounds for people to get attached to it. We would do it all again, but would change some things.


Protest at sale of sausages. The Courier (Australia), July 31, 2005.

Researchers Develop Test Tube Plan to Save Grey Nurse Shark

Reuters recently reported on a long-term effort by Australian scientists to use artificial insemination and growing fetuses in test tubes to save the endangered grey nurse shark.

The grey nurse shark is apparently a docile marine creature that used to be plentiful off the eastern coast of Australia. Today, however, there are only an estimated 500 grey nurse sharks left there.

According to Reuters, the grey nurse shark was inaccurately blamed for a number of shark attacks and ruthlessly hunted until the 1960s. Unfortunately the species has never recovered.

Part of the problem is the species’ reproductive system which has evolved to include intrauterine cannibalism. According to Reuters,

. . . grey nurse embryo pups develop a jaw and razor-sharp teeth very early in their development and cannibalize siblings in the womb.

The sharks have two wombs in which a dominant pup will consume its siblings, leaving only two surviving pups every two years when the shark breeds.

In order to increase the odds of the grey nurse shark surviving off the coast of Australia, researchers there are working on methods to artificially inseminate the grey nurse sharks in captivity. In July the Melbourne Aquarium began an experiment artificially inseminating a seven-gill shark. if that experiment is successful, the same technique could be applied to the grey nurse shark.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of the intrauterine cannibalism. According to Reuters, another group of Australian researchers has come up with an even more radical plan — inseminate and grow grey nurse shark embryos in test tubes.

Reuters quoted New South Whales state fisheries biologist Nick Otway as saying,

Once the embryos have developed to a certain size (10 cm) they actually have a fully functional set of jaws and teeth, then they swim around and cannibalize their siblings. We have to bypass this cannibalistic phase. Once the animal gets through that stage it fends for itself. It just swims around the womb eating, we just have to feed it.

All these techniques pioneered with animal research being turned around and used to help save endangered species.


Scientists to breed test-tube sharks. Reuters, July 28, 2005.