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I wonder if some of the West's associations with Austraila (strange marsupials, upside-down and recentered maps) have influenced the idea of an anti-world that comes up in fiction -- a familiar but uncomfortably different world that makes plain our "bad side." We ship our convicts there as we would to Botticelli's hell.


I was told that the casuarina is called a she-oak because its timber is like that of the oak tree - but of inferior quality.

This link tells part of the story: http://www.daff.gov.au/brs/publications/series/forest-profiles/australian_forest_profiles_casuarina.

You speak of northerners confused by the antipodes. Early Europeans were also bemused by the fact that eucalypt trees shed their bark, not their leaves.

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