unifying theory of turbulent thermal convection [Grossmann and Lohse, J. Fluid. Mech. 407, 27 (2000); Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3316 (2001); Phys. Rev. E 66, 016305 (2002)] is revisited, considering the role of thermal plumes for the thermal dissipation rate and addressing the local distribution of the thermal dissipation rate, which had numerically been calculated by Verzicco and Camussi [J. Fluid Mech. 477, 19 (2003); Eur. Phys. J. B 35, 133 (2003)]. Predictions for the local heat flux and for the temperature and velocity fluctuations as functions of the Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers are offered. We conclude with a list of suggestions for measurements that seem suitable to verify or falsify our present understanding of heat transport and fluctuations in turbulent thermal convection.