Don't know about you, but the bicycling ducks sure got our attention.
We first saw them in this dazzling, spectacular photo - taken by Newcastle Herald photographer Jonathan Carroll - and published in last Friday's newspaper.
There's a story behind these duck faces. In case you're wondering, the story has nothing to do with the bizarre, narcissistic world of duck-face selfies.
A Topics spy said the show ducks were originally to wear duck masks bought on Amazon from a source in Hong Kong, but they were caught in quarantine because of the coronavirus and did not arrive.
"As a fallback measure, the show committee ordered duck masks from Sydney," our spy said.
When they arrived, they were apparently too scary to use as intended.
Now desperate for duck masks, show staff and volunteers were up until the wee hours making paper masks in time for the show launch last Thursday. They used a duck-face design sourced from a website called Etsy.
And they did a great job. The duck masks looked super. Topics hears none of them fell off while the ducks were on their bikes or walking around the crowd.
"The bikes are now all over town chained to various things - one is on Steel Street, halfway across the pedestrian crossing between Maccas and the King Street nightclub," our spy said.
"They all carry the show branding and the dates of the show - March 6, 7 and 8."
The bicycling ducks were a hit at the launch. They fit into the show's culture like ... errr ... a duck to water.
Some Things Change ...
Literary star Christos Tsiolkas was in Newcastle last week to talk about his latest book, Damascus.
It's a novel about the events surrounding no less than the birth and establishment of the Christian church.
Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, it focuses on a time a generation or two after the death of Jesus Christ.
Tsiolkas gained fame for his books on Australian culture - The Slap and Barracuda - both of which were made into TV series.
Damascus, though, is a long way from the middle-class struggles of contemporary Australia. By all accounts, the book goes deep into the dark aspects of Christianity's origins.
We asked Christos how he thought the roots of Christianity took hold.
"Imagine you're a slave 2000 years ago and suddenly this faith or understanding comes that says you are more important to God than the emperor [of Rome]," he said.
To further explain his point, he touched on the gospel music tradition in the US.
"I love music. One of my great loves growing up was soul and rhythm and blues. Through that love, I discovered the gospel tradition. That came from the black slaves in the United States."
He said gospel music was essentially comprised of psalms [a sacred song or hymn].
"Sometimes they are literally the psalms from the Old Testament," he said.
"They spoke to that promise. You might be a slave, a refugee, hated and abused and seen as having no worth, but God thinks you are special."
When you think about it, this is the same idea as feeling part of a group, family or tribe. And feeling that you matter and have a purpose. A sense of belonging, so to speak, which we hear about a lot in today's wellness and psychology movements.
Some things change, but some things stay the same, eh.