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'There are things worth dying for!' Sirius
Funny facts about Australia
One example of Australia’s incredible wildlife is the perentie monitor lizard, which can grow to lengths of 2 meters and has been known to prey on kangaroos.
Barramundi, a type of fish found off the northeastern coast of Australia, changes its sex from male to female at the age of five or six.
The two animals pictured on the Australian coat of arms (the Emu and the Kangaroo) were chosen because neither of them can travel backwards.
Tasmania is one of the biggest producers of opium in the world – for medicinal (and legal!) purposes, of course.
Australia’s most famous racehorse, Phar Lap, died mysteriously after being (allegedly) poisoned by the Mafia. After his death he was stuffed and put on display in the National Museum in Melbourne.
Australia has more than its fair share of town names that are silly and/or plain rude: some favourites include Tittybong (VIC), Middle Intercourse Island (QLD), Iron Knob (SA), Mount Buggery (VIC), Innaloo (WA – say it out loud), Rooty Hill (NSW), Diehard (NSW), Humpybong (QLD) and Poowong (VIC)
Australia has 21 of the world’s gambling machines. (And only 0.003 of the world’s population!)
If you visit the town of Wooli in New South Wales, you may be lucky enough to see the locals engage in a match of ‘goanna pulling’ – a traditional game in which men wearing leather harnesses attempt to pull off each other’s heads. Unfortunately, goannas are not involved.
Kangaroo meat is considered a delicacy in various other parts of the world, but don’t expect to see it on the menu at most Australian restaurants. Although some Australians do eat kangaroo meat, it is not a significant part of our diet.
The Blue Mountains are so-called because of the oily mist that seeps out of the eucalyptus trees. When seen from a distance, a purple-blue haze hangs over the mountains.
Australians have a deep and abiding love for big stuff: big beaches, big monoliths, big beers, big lizards (see above) and big … pineapples? The list of Big Things to visit in Australia is fairly long, but to give you an idea, it’s possible to visit the Big Pineapple, the Big Mango, the Big Gumboot, the Big Potato, the Big Banana and the Big Prawn. To give you an idea of just how big this Big Stuff is, most of these items are big enough to accommodate a flight of stairs (so you can climb to the top) and a gift shop (so you’ll never forget your experiences inside a giant prawn).
Australia has the honour of playing host to the oldest flower in the world. A fossil of the Koonwarra plant, a flower with two leaves and one flower, was found near Melbourne and discovered to be roughly 120 million years old.
Nowhere is Australia’s love of the underdog more obvious than in our ‘unofficial’ national anthem, Waltzing Matilda. The song tells the story of a sheep thief on the run from the law, who eventually kills himself by jumping into a river rather than be captured:
Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"
Down come a jumbuck to drink at the water hole
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee
And he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker bag
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me'".
Up rode the Squatter a riding his thoroughbred
Up rode the Troopers - one, two, three
"Where's jolly that jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?",
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me".
But the swagman he up and jumped in the water hole
Drowning himself by the Coolabah tree,
And his ghost may be heard as it sings in the Billabong,
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"
Coolabah: type of native tree
Billy: small kettle used to boil tea over a campfire
Tucker bag: bag used to store food
Squatter: owner of the land
Troopers: soldiers acting as policemen
Australia has one of the lowest population densities in the world, with a mere 2 people per square kilometre. In comparison, Japan has close to 327 people per square kilometer. Australia has more beaches than any other country – nearly 7,000.
The famous Foster’s beer, marketed all over the world as the pinnacle of Australian brewing achievement, is regarded as a bit of an embarrassment here. To be completely honest, if you see someone ordering a Fosters in a pub, 9 times out of 10 it’s a tourist. This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with Fosters beer, it’s just that there are many varieties which are preferred by locals. Some types you might like to try include Tooheys, VB (Victoria Bitter), Hahn, Coopers, James Boags, XXXX (pronounced Four X), Carlton and Redback (a wheat beer).
The fastest growing tree in the world is the Eucalyptus, an Australian native that can grow up to 10 metres taller in one year.
A trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without sampling a local delicacy – Vegemite. Vegemite is a dark brown, nearly black, extremely salty spread that is commonly eaten on sandwiches. It was originally created from the dregs of brewers’ yeast (although now it’s made in factories, far removed from the pubs of its infancy!) and has been extremely popular ever since it was made commercially available. Be warned – although Vegemite bears a striking resemblance to chocolate spread, it’s nothing like it and any travellers trying it for the first time would be well-advised to have a very small helping!
Australia is one of only two nations to have competed at every modern Olympic Games. The other country is Greece.
Australia was the birthplace of the world’s first test-tube twins, triplets and quadruplets, the first baby created with a donor egg, and first baby created from a frozen embryo. Currently more babies conceived with the help of in-vitro fertilization are born in Australia than anywhere else in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, Australia is not overrun with bloodthirsty animals and insects. Although it’s true that there are many species of poisonous snakes and spiders in Australia, they are rarely seen in urban areas. You’re more likely to come across a huntsman spider (big and scary to look at, but almost completely harmless) than you are a funnel-web or a red-back spider. If that doesn’t make you feel any better, less than 15 of reported spider bites result in an actual poisoning.
If you ever find yourself in the Australian outback with limited food sources, why not try to make your own damper? Damper is a type of bread usually cooked in the ashes of a campfire. Although there are a lot of recipes out there, usually involving sugar, salt, oils and various gourmet ingredients, true damper is made out of nothing more than flour and water. The two ingredients are mixed into a ball of dough, which is buried in the ashes of a campfire. Once it has risen, the bread is pulled out of the fire and the ashes dusted off, and voila! Dinner!
The Sydney Harbour Bridge (also known as the ‘Coathanger’ because of its distinctive shape) takes ten years to paint. Each coat of paint uses up about 30,000 litres. The process of painting it is so time consuming that it never stops – when the team of painters reach the end of the bridge, they simply return back to the beginning and start again. Paul Hogan (better known as ‘Crocodile Dundee’) originally worked as a bridge painter before making it big as an actor.
Bob Hawke, Australia’s former Prime Minister, once held the world record for ‘sculling’ (drinking quickly and without pause) a yard-arm of beer. A yard-arm is a glass that is roughly a yard in length and contains nearly 1.7 litres of beer. The Dreamtime
For people wanting to come to Australia:
Not all Australians speak like 'Crocodile Dundee' or the late Steve Irwin. So if you want to talk to us please don't tell us to "Put another shrimp on the barbie!" Though we don't mind hearing the words "G'Day Mate"
If someone tells you to try a slice of bread/toast with a thick smear of Vegemite, DON'T! You will most likely hate it. Try Tim Tams instead, they're delicious.
Australia has been for, a long time, in a bit of a water crisis. So if you're coming over, would you mind bringing some water with you.
We swear, a lot. There's a video on youtube with Arj Barker talking about Australian swearing, where he points out how much we swear. My own theory is that we use the F word like an "um" and the C word like a "thinggy"
There seems to be this weird belief that Australia is very poor and we run around living in tents. We're just like American or Europe. Westernized society, cars, McDonalds (called Maccas here), obesity problem, etc.
Yes we do have lots of deadly animals, but most Australian towns are not close to the habitats of these animals. The only common problem with animals that I hear about is people being stung by Box Jellyfish while they're swimming, so watch where you swim. If you want to see our deadly animals, go to Taronga Zoo.
Wehavenicknames New Zealanders = Kiwis. English = Poms or Pommies. Americans = Yanks. If you hear these words, try not to be offended, they're not as bad as they may seem.
If you have ever had a mad laughing fit for absolutely no reason, copy and paste this into your profile.
If you've been on the computer for hours on end, reading numerous fanfictions, copy this into your profile
Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Hogwarts:
1) The Giant Squid is not an appropriate date to the Yule Ball.
2) I am not allowed to sing, "We're Off to See the Wizard" while skipping off to the Headmaster's office.
3) I am not allowed to take out a life insurance policy on Harry Potter.
4) I am not allowed to ask Dumbledore to show me the pointy hat trick.
5) I am not allowed to give Remus Lupin a flea collar.
6) I am not allowed to bring a Magic 8 Ball to Divination.
7) I am not allowed to say that Seamus Finnegan is "after me lucky charms."
8) I am not allowed to start a betting pool on this years Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. It's taste-less, tacky, and not a good money-making strategy.
9) I am not allowed to joke about Remus' "time of the month."
10) I am not allowed to make light saber sounds with my wand.
12) I am not to refer to the Accio charm as "The Force."
13) I am not allowed to claim that growing marijuana or hallucinogenic mushrooms is "Extra Herbology Work."
14) I will not use my socks to make hand-puppets of the Slytherin-House mascot.
15) If the thought of a spell makes me giggle for more than 15 seconds, assume that I am not allowed to use it.
16) I will not lock the Slytherins and Gryffindors in a room together and bet on which House will come out alive.
17) I will not charm the suits of armor to do a rendition of "The Knights of the Round Table" for the Christmas Feast.
18) I am not allowed to declare an official "Hug A Slytherin Day."
19) I am not allowed to sing my own personal spy music while wandering the hallways.
20) It is not necessary to yell, "BURN!" Whenever Snape takes points away from Gryffindor.
21) I will not say the phrase, "Get a Life" to Voldemort.
22) First years are not to be fed to Fluffy.
23) I will never ask Harry if his Voldie senses are tingling.
24) I will stop referring to showering as "Giving Moaning-Myrtle an eye-full."
25) I will not make, "OMGWTF" a spell.
26) It is not necessary to yell, "BAM" every time I Apparate.
27) I will not steal Gryffindor's sword from Dumbledore's office and use it to patrol the hallways.
28) I will not poke Hufflepuffs with spoons, nor shall I insist that their color's indicate that they're "covered in bees."
29) "I've heard every joke possible about Oliver Wood's name" is not a challenge.
30) I will not go to class skyclad.
31) I will not use Umbridge's quill to write, "Told you I was Hard Core."
32) If a class-mate falls asleep, I will not take advantage of that and draw a Dark Mark on their arm.
33) House Elves are not acceptable replacements for Bludgers.
34) I will not start every potion's class by asking Snape if the potion is acceptable as Body Lotion.
35) I will not call the Weasly twins, "bookends."
36) I will not call the Patil twins, "bookends."
37) I will not call the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Kenny, even if he is wearing an orange anorak.
38) There is no such thing as a were-thylacine.
39) I will not give Luna Lovegood Coast-To-Coast AM transcripts.
40) Tricking a school House Elf to strip of it's clothing does not make it mine. Yes, even when I yell out "PWND!"
41) I do not weigh the same as a Duck.
42) I do not have a Dalek Patronus.
43) I will not lick Trevor.
44) Gryffindor Courage does not come in bottles labeled, "Firewhiskey."
45) I will not dress up as Voldemort on Halloween.
46) It is a bad idea to tell Snape he takes himself to seriously.
47) I will not tell Sir Cadogan that The Knight's Who Say Ni have challenged him to a duel, then have all the students say, 'Ni' from various directions.
48) I am not the King of the Potato People and I do not have a flying carpet.
49) "To conquer the Earth with an army of flying monkeys" is not a career choice.
50) I will not tell the first years that Professor Snape is the Voice of God.