Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Geoff Mulgan is the ultimate New Labourite. He used to be head of policy at No 10 and founded the Blairite thinktank Demos The power of influence

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Let's share Canada's vast wealth
Economic boom is boosting top salaries of wealthy CEOs at expense of working poor

There has been a monumental shift in mainstream economics over the past 40 years.
When we studied economics in the 1960s, economists and public officials who had an economics policy mandate identified a number of important national goals — full employment, rapid economic growth, a viable balance of payments and an equitable distribution of income. These goals were stated in the terms of reference of the Economic Council of Canada and repeated in the Council's First Annual Review of 1964, "Economic Goals for Canada to 1970."

Goals [ Corruption, most blatant at the local level, is still dragging the country down Brown envelopes ; ; ]
• · Now that earmarks have been tainted by scandal, what's a self-respecting pork barreler to do? Fight back, of course. What's Wrong With a Healthy Helping of Pork? ;
• · · Where's the radical realism when we need it? An old communist confesses: the class war is over and even Rupert Murdoch makes sense EVERYONE remembers where they were the first time they found themselves agreeing with Rupert Murdoch ; Two defining moments in their history, the dawn of the Cold War and the '60s antiwar movement, present stark alternatives -- and reflect a lasting rift within the party The choice ; Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation
• · · · Fashionable Guerrillas: For the Left, noble revolutionaries are always in style. Notwithstanding the political catastrophes of the twentieth century, the notion of the noble guerrilla persists on the left ; In his new book Europe as Empire, the Oxford academic Jan Zielonka has come up with a novel solution to the problem. Europe, he cheekily suggests, is best characterised not as a state at all but as a hulking great empire, a juggernaut movingly slowly but determinedly east and south. The European empire
• · · · · The new pool of cheap labor: everyday people using their spare cycles to create content, solve problems The Rise of Crowdsourcing ; Corporate R & D. Robert Shiller provides career counseling for the twenty-first century Career concerns
• · · · · · Comment on "A Garage and an Idea: What More Does an Entrepreneur Need?" High Tech's Log Cabin ; MySpace, MyPolitics

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Do we all stand behind each other or what? During the Writers’ Festival there were all kinds of opportunities for writers to share their experiences about marketing of books and how some people in the life of our books might become life coaches or death coaches. People who promise the world tend to be usually death coaches and no one can get more brazen than having your marketing guru a.k.a. coach of taxing death in Robert Lorraway ;-) However, bloggers like Daily Kos and Maurice Levy have been spreading the story of future income streams like water flowing downhill ... Wheee!
The boss of global advertising behemoth Publicis, Maurice Levy is the Napoleon of advertising. Maurice Levy is something of a monument like Iron Curtain himself ;-)

What do 18-year-old guys want to watch on their cellphones? MTV grapples with creating entertainment for the smallest screen The Shorter, Faster, Cruder, Tinier TV Show

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Can Bloggers Get Real?
Message to the Netroots: All politics is corporeal.

Las Vegas, as the ad campaign likes to remind us, is a place people go to untether themselves from reality — to become, if only for a weekend, anonymous and uncensored. It's odd, then, that Vegas is about to play host to a gathering of ordinary Americans whose objective is precisely the reverse. Next week, 1,000 devotees of the liberal blogging universe — people who know one another only as pseudonyms on a screen, connected by only their running commentaries — will descend on the Riviera Hotel in hopes of affixing names and faces to their online personas.

• Kos the Greek Island (aka Julie ;-) The event has been dubbed the YearlyKos convention [Advertising was called the "folklore of industrial society" as early as the 1950's, when Marshall McLuhan used that phrase Free Advertising ; The information is provided "for the purpose of intensifying control over the activities of discotheques The secret Soviet rock list ]
• · Design, photography, music, film, motion graphics — unbound by discipline, creative pros are drawing from any or all of them to redefine the work they do. Redefining Creativity: The New Pro Site ; Hey young workers: One way to reach the top is to start there. Future income stream
• · · An article on Googling America's brain, in which we discover the inner iguana Google is a toy with which to tap into the written word of the American people ; Gosslings, Bacon, and a Kobe beef cow: The media misreports the Porter Goss story The CIA that Gen. Michael Hayden will soon take over is badly in need of an overhaul
• · · · In 1939 I was a Hasidic youth of 16, deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition and confident in my beliefs. In 1945, after six years in the ghetto and in concentration camps, I was in a state of physical and emotional exhaustion and spiritual numbness. Along with the loss of my family and my people, I had also lost two important sources of stability and comfort: the belief in divine providence and the belief in the goodness of human beings. Job's Hope: On not knowing God; Browsing Faith A comment on "God on the Internet" ;“Angels and Engines: The Culture of Apocalypse” Revelation’s symbolic violence—its rivers of blood, mass slaughter, and bodies eaten and torn limb from limb—invites us to dissociate atrocity and its flesh-and-blood conse quences Fuel for Fantasy
• · · · · An article on the problem of knowing what a pundit is going to say a few sentences into his column. We Don't Read Political Columns Anymore ; A review of Eric Boehlert's Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush. Interns? Doggy Style
• · · · · · The Devil Wears Prada ON the first day of his internship last year, Andrew McDonald created a Web site for himself. It never occurred to him that his bosses might not like his naming it after the company and writing in it about what went on in their office. No bloggers need apply ; Disintermediation? Bah to a Buzzword: This Digital Life Is Full of Middlemen All Hail the Middleman: So I found a plumber -- on the Internet, of course

Monday, May 29, 2006

I may be 30, but I act 15. I am adrift in New York. I'm too clever by half for my own good. I live on puns and snide, sarcastic asides ... I don't look too deeply into myself or anyone else — everyone else is boring or a phony anyway.

Trust me and Mal and Marian to end the Writers Festival with Spotlight on Karen Finley ;-) You ask who is Karen Finley the woman smeared with chocolate The Ultimate Black Sheep: Shut Up and Love Me

Rockin' the Right: John Miller has the 50 greatest conservative rock songs - Shut up and sing Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Let’s Impeach the President

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Writes and wrongs
Michael Fishwick knows both sides of the story about the cut-throat book industry

Don’t expect Waterstone’s to rate it,” said my publisher. “They only gave Helen Simpson a B.” What a multitude of woes are embedded in these words; the omnipotence of a book chain, its willingness to give a lower category, and hence smaller distribution, to the author of the justly celebrated Hey Yeah Right Get a Life, and the even lower expectations that lesser writers - in this case, me - must enjoy. And what makes it worse is that I know all about this stuff because I’m a publishing director. Being published is a refined exercise in S&M. Being in the business just gives it that additional piquancy - untold opportunities for humiliation and misery.

• The emergence of books into the world is like some great lava flow, unstoppable and with its own momentum Why on earth am I doing this? [The loyalty of football fans and their willingness to pay high prices to support their club is the subject of new research The price of loyalty ; The publishing industry is not known as a bastion of conservatism - The overwhelmingly liberal trade managed to make time for conservatives during BookExpo America Where's the Nuance? ]
• · Are libraries taking advantage of the increasing digitisation of antiquarian books to sell off their valuable stock? Flogging folios ; What do Page Six veterans think they can do for literature? The New Gossip Novels
• · · Who actually painted Mao's official portrait? And why is it still up in the square, when many Chinese seem more eager to buy Gucci bags than Mao suits? Chameleon Mao, the Face of Tiananmen Square ; When Chuck Norris joined the National Guard, he wasn't expecting to end up in one of the worst corners of the Sunni Triangle. Now he's home in Pennsylvania, with his fellow guardsmen and memories he just can't shake. Bringing It All Back Home ; Molecular Psychiatry Differences in Sexual Desire Can Be Attributed to Genetic Variances
• · · · How two philosophers and a farmer cracked an age-old conundrum: It was the egg that came first, not the chicken, according to a study of the poultry pecking order. Ultimate conundrum of the poultry world ; An article on a spate of books that have collectively been dubbed "lad lit", the male riposte to "chick lit". What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though Guy Lit — Whatever
• · · · · Y. Euny Hong’s blueblood forebears used to dine with kings.... now they are waiters Ancestor worship ; Heaven for Germans is filled with orderly rows of binders - Collecting and storing certificates documenting every aspect of life is a national pastime. The German Certificate Fetish
• · · · · · Germans have a staring problem. Either the grandma on the first floor is watching your every move or the guy across from you in the subway can't turn away. Watcha Lookin' at, Granny? ; The World Cup 2006: Reflections, predictions and hopes I grew up in East Berlin. After reunification, I no longer had a team. Now, once again, I do

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I cannot expect anyone else to understand why I feel so passionate about Sydney. Because, looking back and comparing my childhood time in High Tatra and amazing teenage years holidays with my two sisters Lidka and Eva in Prague it does not make sense to me either. I might even want to be buried with all my native and exiled friends here ;-) One reason could be that Sydney is getting friendlier as it gets older. It also has amazing sons like Andrew Tink who love the city to million pieces. No one is as keen on Sydney history as Andrew is and is so proud to show her off to Americans.Andrew was among the audience last night at the Town Hall and today I shared a wonderful conversation on the log over coffees as we listened to the one Australian writer who wrote about the Czech hero/villain in Schindler's Ark. Andrew's manuscript about Lord Sydney is also shaping up as a great read! Tomorrow is the last day so consider invading the Warf area as Harbour Foreshores has peppered the Sydney Circular Quay with painters from all over Australia this weekend and the Warf Theatre is just totally bohemian stocked with best reds in the world ... Love Live Sydney

The reader must sit down alone and struggle with the writer, and this the pseudo-scholar will not do. He would rather relate a book to the history of its time, to events in the life of its author, to the events it describes, above all to some tendency.
-E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

Sydney Theatre and Pier 4/5 have been a hive of activity over the past few days with authors and Media Dragons alike soaking up the Sydney Writers Festival atmosphere. Highlights include The New Yorkers Hendrik Hertzberg's talent for critical reason and brutal analysis rarely strays from political targets. Bush gives New York writer fodder he could do without

Even if you happen to miss certain events by some chance such as drinking too much of blackberries and chocolate tasting wines with characters like Mal and Lisa at the Marble bar - you do not need to worry! As all book lovers get virtual front row seats for the highlight events of the Sydney Writers' Festival 2006, with live web streaming on BigPond

It is early in the morning yet I feel like dancing ;-) Life is filled with so many different dancing steps and moves and then there are journeys on ferries across to Manly and a surprise breakie with Anita and John and other grapes by Drayton, then koffies with a few Central European characters at the Writers Festival, to boot a fast-drive with Mal to special culinary dinner at the Frenchiest of Forrests prepared by the hands who wrote Raindance ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Between silence and thunder: the climate change story
The story of climate change is stark and complex, dramatic and detailed, and universally important. Why do writers have a hard time telling it?

The end of the world is nigh. Or is that a bit alarmist?
To convey the threat of climate change without sounding so dramatic readers will choose to ignore you is a hard task for concerned writers. The problem is of such magnitude it's tough to give people a sense of what they can do to make a difference.

It's serious. But there's hope [A self-taught 21-year-old Australian filmmaker of Indian origin is all set to make an international splash with his privately funded debut feature Indian in Cannes' Aussie pack ; Murali Thalluri needed to face his demons before he got his life back on track When reality becomes reel ; But if the series is about anything, it's about contemporary America Enlightenment philosophers, polar bears and pirate ships all feature in "Lost." ]
• · Ever since Viagra, the pharmaceutical industry has been dreaming of the perfect aphrodisiac. Now, an American company may have developed a nasal spray that will do just that The New Viagra for Women ; Think the Boomers are self-absorbed? Wait until you meet their kids. Big Babies ; The Lure of the List: "Lists today, no matter how titillating, are like pornography" Who doesn't find lists irresistible? Letterman's Top Ten, no matter how dumb it is, jolts a tired show and audience to attention.
• · · Orson Welles's politics landed him in all sorts of trouble. But they are the key to understanding the film-maker. 'This greater drama' ; Steven Poole is a British author and journalist
• · · · In a market dominated by the big chain stores, if a novel doesn't sell well in its first two weeks, its chances of gaining longer-term momentum are slim. The pride and joy of publishing, literary fiction has always been wonderfully ill suited to the very industry that sustains it. Like an elegant but impoverished aristocrat married to a nouveau riche spouse, it has long been subsidized by mass-market fiction and by nonfiction ripped from the headlines. One supplies the cachet, the others the cash. Promotional Intelligence ; Anna Politkovskaya uncovers the nasty secrets of her country by working "like a spy", travelling incognito and setting up underground meetings with her sources. Author's anger unleashed in Putin's Russia ; BEING portrayed onscreen by Meryl Streep was a surreal experience for American author Susan Orlean. Streep played Orlean in Adaptation, the film based on Orlean's much-admired book, The Orchid Thief
• · · · · DRACULA may be everyone's favourite bloodsucker, but that did not prepare first-time novelist Elizabeth Kostova for the six-day bidding war that erupted over the rights to her 640-page vampire epic The Historian. A bloody bestseller, but don't mention the Code ; SO your novel has won the Booker Prize and your publishers are salivating for another money-spinner Novelist turns to crime after stealing the Booker
• · · · · · Some in Mexico see border wall as an opportunity. The proposal in the United States to build a wall at its southern border is gaining traction in Mexico. ; Lay and Skilling Aren't the Only Guilty Ones I think this is the final page of the chapter - Have CEOs learned nothing from the Enron scandal? ; Sin Cities on a Hill: How legalized gambling moved from the Strip to Main Street Sin Cities on a Hill ; According to the earlier Irigaray, western culture persistently defines the female as the inferior counterpart of the male, establishing patterns of symbolism which are more fundamental and all-pervasive than the contingent, varying, gender roles which result from social practices Nature of Sexual Difference

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Sydney Writers Festival is in a full swing ... it is time to exploit one and all local and international voices at the most soulful location in the world!

Blind swimmer's boost for charity Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), 21/05/2006, on page 34 By: Sharri Markson: James Pittar, 36, is training for a 23km swim from Luna Park to Manly, a goal made more remarkable by the fact he is blind. The Tax Office worker also plans a swim from Catalina Island to Los Angeles in September to raise money for the Fred Hollows foundation Long-Distance Swimmer James Pittar

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Freud Lives!
A century ago, Freud included psychoanalysis as one of what he described as the three ‘narcissistic illnesses’

In recent years, it’s often been said that psychoanalysis is dead. New advances in the brain sciences have finally put it where it belongs, alongside religious confessors and dream-readers in the lumber-room of pre-scientific obscurantist searches for hidden meaning. As Todd Dufresne put it, no figure in the history of human thought was more wrong about all the fundamentals – with the exception of Marx, some would add. The Black Book of Communism was followed last year by the Black Book of Psychoanalysis, which listed all the theoretical mistakes and instances of clinical fraud perpetrated by Freud and his followers. In this way, at least, the profound solidarity of Marxism and psychoanalysis is now there for all to see.

Slavoj Zizek [Three takes on the lot of women today challenge the feminist in Jessica Warner Books on the lot of women ; The male obsession with size appears to be universal: Sexual ornaments – such as antlers or a peacock's feathery display – become disproportionately large as body size increases. Overall body size makes good evolutionary sense ; In sex positive Germany, millions of teens first learn the ins and outs of flirting, falling in love and having sex in a wildly popular column in Bravo magazine Dr. Sommer, the Birds and the Bees ]
• · People argue that the music someone listens to says a lot about who he is, but that discussion rarely concludes in descriptions like "cracker" and "racist". One Man's Musical Tastes as Fodder for a Flame War ; Frank Furedi on why the "politics of happiness" makes him mad - Emotions are classified into the positive (joy, happiness, contentment) and the negative (fear, anger, sadness, hate). If you’re unhappy with state-sponsored happiness programmes, clap your hands ; THERE has been a surge of interest recently in the idea of "teaching happiness" in schools and universities an article on teaching happiness, not dogma
• · · When it comes to choosing a partner, does height, shape, girth, length, or even the number on their bank balance really matter? Do short blokes suffer from Little Man Syndrome? And why all the fuss over slimming down when bigger is often better? I always only date tall men; America is on the threshold of a significant transformation in cultural life Cultural Renaissance or Cultural Divide?
• · · · The art of sport Legendary plays, but are they also beautiful? ; Tyler Cowen on a contrarian look at whether chief executives are overpaid - Mike Wilkins club: The average compensation of an American chief executive at a top 500 company rose by a factor of about six
• · · · · The teenage oral sex panic began in the late 1990s. It is in some ways a part of the Clinton legacy—more specifically, the Clinton-Lewinsky legacy The Great Fellatio Scare: Is oral sex really the latest teen craze? ; The relationship between expectation and therapeutic outcome is a wonderful model to understand mind-body interaction 13 things that do not make sense ; "American Idol" to Paris Hilton to an army of jiggly video stars, vapid females seem to be everywhere these days. Return of the brainless hussies ; Why is Beloved beloved? After all the plaudits, it's time to look at the novel's merits Yes, but are you any good?
• · · · · · Mahzarin Banaji can show how we connect "good" and "bad" with biased attitudes we hold, even if we say we don't. The Implicit Prejudice ; Professorial Pimps and Humanist Harlots: A new form of superstition blends historical implausibility with a modern passion for intrigue and a postmodern indifference to truth. I envy Dan Brown. Not for the money he’s made, though I would trade his cash flow for mine any day. I envy him because he has succeeded by accident

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
- Oscar Wilde

Digital technology has done beautiful things for us news consumers. Flip open your screen, and a raft of fresh headlines is always there waiting. The Net has taken that ancient saw of newspaper culture, "The Daily Miracle," and made it literal. The new world of news is miraculous, not just daily but all the time. Computers fly our airliners and run most of the world's banking, communications, retail and manufacturing systems. Now powerful analysis tools will at last help software engineers ensure the reliability of their designs. Dependable Software by Design

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Making Media Marks
Australia's largest and most important broadcasting organisation has recruited a new managing director who has never worked in broadcasting and has never managed an organisation. The ABC board's appointment is as bizarre as BHP appointing a managing director who had never managed an organisation or worked in resources, or Telstra appointing a managing director who had never managed an organisation or worked in telecommunications.

But not to worry ... Mark Scott is bright, articulate and experienced in public organisational theory and reducing the headcount. But by what criteria did a board responsible for the management of a large and complex broadcasting corporation appoint to its top job a non-broadcaster with no experience in running an organisation?

We wish Mark Scott well. He'll need it. And so will the ABC. [New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s graduation address at SUNY New Paltz The truth is I even skipped my own graduation ; An interview with Michael Kinsley on journalism in the digital age Intellectual bartender ; A free press is wasted on us -- it is needed most where corruption is rampant Need to know basis]
• · I invented the portable hole for the good of humanity The high price of early adopting; A useless but interesting fact White heat ; While print publications have always had a code suggesting which stories are most important, in the online domain it's up to reader to decide Sweet Hierarchy
• · · Google Maps adds Australian street directory ; One of world's largest online retailers,, might yet live to rue the day it took an order from New Zealand actor Peter Calveley Kiwi actor v ; Google Australia and Yahoo! have publicly admitted that "click fraud" has arrived in Australia - but they refuse to say how prevalent it is Click fraud hits home
• · · · For political junkies in need of a fix, is a spike to the vein. The site is a popular online rendezvous spot where folks interested in dishing about campaigns can mingle with insiders whose candor is enhanced by anonymity. Blog Bog: Should journalists lose their naming rights online? ; It is absurd to calculate human rights according to a cost-benefit analysis: Ronald Dworkin on why politicians are pandering to an irresponsible media when they invoke the balance between liberty and security People accused of crimes or terrorism may have rights
• · · · · Despite its world-saving image, open source software has not made much real revolution. But there is hope in new software "for human beings" Open source ubuntu ; Who is the most influential commentator in China? Or the most powerful voice in Iran? Or Britain? FT foreign correspondents give their picks Australia - Alan Jones
• · · · · · The Atlantic Monthly, most of management theory is inane. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an MBA--study philosophy instead Out of the box; The Simpsons is more than a funny cartoon, it reveals truths about human nature that rival the observations of great philosophers from Plato to Kant... while Homer sets his house on fire. The Simpsons as philosophy ; Six things made the west great but now civilisation is 'drifting' towards suicide --There are two books entitled Suicide of the West. In 42 years, I'll prove that's wrong

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Banks the world over are scrambling to become larger, whether by organic growth or by mergers and acquisitions Thinking big

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch
Freegans seek to prevent waste by reclaiming, recovering, and repairing available resources rather than generate new profit.

Adam Weissman crouches on a city street, his hands buried in a large plastic garbage bag while eyeing a neighboring black container bulging with food. This isn't another image of urban homelessness. This is freeganism, a lifestyle founded on recovering perfectly good "trash" via "Dumpster diving" or "urban foraging," instead of spending hard-earned paychecks on the same products in stores.

• There is such a thing as a Free Lunch: Freegans dig up an eco-conscious, anti-consumerist existence: It's not that gross! Really Really Free Markets [From Mother Jones, an article on The Israel Lobby: How powerful is it really? The London Review of Books in March by John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt's article The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really? ; Already, several Republicans have suggested that Hayden isn't the right man to lead a CIA in crisis Is US intelligence getting dumber? ]
• · By Karina Barrymore. 15/05/2006. Herald Sun. Page 27. Australians' superannuation planning has suddenly been thrown into confusion. The proposed changes announced in the 2006-07 Budget have left many people wondering what to do, especially given the finer details of the plan have not revealed that most of the changes will not take effect until July 2007. Financial planners advise that Australians should postpone retirement, so that they can make use of the new tax-free super benefits for people aged 60 and over. If this is not possible, or if a person has already retired, he or she should take out as little super as possible, or even return some, until he or she turns 60. Playing super roulette. ; MANY PEOPLE think socialism is impossible WHAT DO SOCIALISTS SAY ABOUT... ; You’re right to point out the contrast I make between capitalism and morality How Individualist Is Human Nature?
• · · Mark Phillips Negatively geared property investments may have become less attractive because of the new personal tax rates to kick in on July 1, according to tax experts. It has long been held that high personal income tax rates provide a strong incentive to negative gear to claw some of that tax back through deductions for losses from interest payments that exceed rental or dividend income. Australian Financial Review, 11/05/2006 Hit to negative gearing ; Age, 11/05/2006, Letters, page 16 Why does the Federal Government think income from labour should be taxed more heavily than income from investments? If anything, the reverse should be the case. Work takes significant time and effort. Only a mug would go in for real work
• · · · The best way to limit prostitution is to raise male wages, thereby increasing the return to becoming a wife. The economics of prostitution: Who's Counting: Sexonomics ; The glue that holds tribes together are dialects. Whereas Rome's empire fell apart and never reconstituted itself, the Chinese Empire regrouped again and again, thanks in part to the resilience of its tribes. Today all over the world people abandon tribes for the freedom and money of democracy, but democracy itself may not survive without tribes Why democracy may not survive without tribes ; Three years after hitting bottom with the war in Iraq, transatlantic relations have regained their calm A look at why Europe and the United States are condemned to pretending to agree
• · · · · Inspirational - yet worlds apart: there was no doubt about the victor in our readers' survey to find the heroes of our time. Heroes of our time - the top 50 ; This federal budget has some parallels with Dorothy's journey on the way to the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. Remember her confrontation with the lion? The Howard Government has lacked the courage to truly reform the taxation system. Where was your courage, Treasurer? ; An article on the new secrecy doctrine so secret you don't even know about it. Secret Guarding
• · · · · · Why didn't we have genuine reform so that less taxpayer money is taken in the first place? Pluck the goose, minimise the squealing, collect the golden eggs ; Taxpayers and public transport users are entitled to know how long it will take to get from A to B under Steve Bracks' grand plan Yes, minister, it takes ages, costs more ; He's barely known outside Washington, but David Addington is the most powerful man you've never heard of. Cheney's Guy

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding?
- Ilsa to Czech boy in Casablanca ;-)

Rob Walker on a brand that appeals to the toughest consumers: the ones who are sick of brands. One of our most enduring dilemmas is the compatibility of the rational and irrational. It’s hard to embrace the joyous mysteries of life when you are constantly contending with that over-bearing human desire to understand. To know or not to know - that is the question. Faux Logo

Forty years ago, on May 16, 1966, American rock music grew up - Blonde on Blonde The Day That Changed Rock ’n’ Roll

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Lila, Intellectualite: Peripatetic Nabokovian
While lots of bright-eyed young women come to New York to take acting classes or become publicists, Lila Azam Zanganeh—an Iranian-French journalist, amateur opera singer and self-described Nabokov scholar—has other plans.

Perhaps being a public intellectual is being able to write, but also to be connected to the world. I mean, it sounds almost childish, but I would say that’s really, really my dream. And I hope that I can do it. I don’t have unrealistic expectations

• Lila Azam Zanganeh represents a curious phenomenon in the New York literary world: the intellectualite, a person with highbrow aspirations who attends enough parties to make David Patrick Columbia’s head whirl A curious phenomenon [[S]lackers make big news when the world of work undergoes serious structural change - The lure of the seaside hammock calls, but frankly the rest of us have to get back to work Doing Nothing A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America; That feeling you have that you are special? It's all too common: Media Dragon of Gut Instincts]
• · Married mothers who also hold jobs, despite having to juggle career and home, enjoy better health than their underemployed or childless peers Working Moms Healthier than Full-Time Homemakers ; Catharine MacKinnon says the post-feminist world of no-strings sex and equality is a con. Raunch culture and the end of feminism
• · · Cesar told me that he has failed with only two dogs Dog Whisperer. ; Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The Value of Teaching From a Racist Classic ; Jaroslav Pelikan, Wide-Ranging Historian of Christian Traditions, Dies at 82 What Are Historians Really Good For?
• · · · Sam quotes my favourite writer: If somebody says 'I love you,' to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such condition but that which the pistol-holder requires? 'I love you too. When to say "I love you"? ; Divorce. Kids. A mortgage. Addictions. Toxic exes. Choosing a mate without any baggage? ... impossible. Dating with baggage: Walking Wounded ; Does love conquer all? Intercultural dating: a blogger's tale
• · · · · However you feel about the value of independent Czech film, there are sound reasons behind President Václav Klaus' skepticism of a proposed tax to subsidize it Czech filmmakers face a hard-sell market ; 'The Da Vinci Code': ultimately what are facts when stacked against the absoluteness of a divine mystery? The church and the code
• · · · · · Rex Hunt is a respected AFL commentator and fishing guru. His most recent exploits involved a somewhat amusing spat with residents of the New South Wales alternative lifestyle hub of Byron Bay following an alleged assault by local youths. Honest sleaze or bigoted shock jock? ; Scriptwriters

Monday, May 22, 2006

The common man marvels at the uncommon. The wise man marvels at the common - said Confucius

All of us have a clock in our heads that ticks in varying degrees of loudness. For every person who walks into a bookstore willing to browse, there's someone on a mission: I need something to read [for a vacation about the teardrops that moistened the pages of Cold River] ... my clock is ticking Think Local, Be Local, Buy Local I rather be swimming in alligator-infested rivers than selling Cold River ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Joy of Book Signings
Every writer dreams of the day when someone will approach him or her with a book and ask him or her to sign it. How much better would it be to have a long line of people seeking signatures?

Yes, this truly is the stuff dreams are made of (Dashiell Hammett was mistaken on this issue, claiming avian statuary was the stuff of dreams. He was also mistaken in his politics and on the long term benefits of alcohol).

• Ask yourself if you are happy," John Stuart Mill wrote, "and you cease to be so. Affluence breeds impatience, and impatience undermines well-being Is it necessary to actually write a book to have a book signing? No ... ; Booksellers Go to Capitol Hill for ABA Legislative Day [When Dan Goleman wrote Emotional Intelligence more than a decade ago, the concept was just a speculative theory. Not anymore, writes Lynnette Hoffman Something more than feelings; Opportunity awaits people willing to look for it, The lesson of Confucius is that people must have the wisdom to know what they are looking for and be wise enough to capitalise on it when they find it. Such discernment is not commonplace; it is quite uncommon, but it can be something that people can acquire if they are taught. It therefore falls to leaders to teach their followers not only where to look but also how to look Commonplace Leadership ; On the Clock But Off on Their Own: Pet-project Programs Set to ... ; Dance Revolution ; The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born]
• · An exquisitely preserved and elaborately tattooed mummy of a young woman has been discovered deep inside a mud-brick pyramid in northern Peru Mummy of Tattooed Woman Discovered in Peru Pyramid ; As the Hollywood actress suggested, even instant gratification isn't fast enough for some people nowadays
• · · What makes The Da Vinci Code so appealing to readers? I decided this is a question all writers of modern fiction should ask themselves. So, when the paperback edition came out, I bought a copy, armed myself with a handful of multicolored highlighters, and set out on a treasure hunt. Why The Da Vinci Code Works; Border Trilogy Early this year, the Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years." What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? ; Despite the opposition of publishers and their lawyers, the world's texts are being electronically copied, digitized, searched and linked. Correction Appended
• · · · My friend Mary J. Schirmer is compiling all kinds of suggestions and tips for me and shares it widely. The priceless feedback a professional reader can give the writer as it relates to their script cannot be found in any screenwriting book. You may know the basics, but how to apply your story within that framework is the difference between an attention-grabbing script and one that misses the mark entirely and is passed over. For a writer setting out to have a long-term writing career it isn’t just about the one big sale, although that is part of it. Do You Need an Agent? ; A dark day for Dutch democracy Voltaire and Erasmus Are Spinning in their Graves
• · · · · Team-building is rarely the answer to problems with teamwork. Team-Building and Teamwork ; Passionate employees are a key ingredient in successful organisations. Steven Dahl and Matthew Neale report on research into how employers are recruiting for passion, and discuss the role of assessments in identifying passionate candidates. The power of passion ; If laughter reduces stress and increases productivity, why do corporate cultures tend to be so grim? What’s So Funny?
• · · · · · Shoot me first! I can’t take another talk on stress management! Learn to Laugh Your Way to a Happier Healthier Life! ; If you're like most people you are probably working harder and longer than you used to - First and foremost, you must love what you do Balancing the Scales ; Ah, praise! The applause! Rewards that result from your good work! How do you respond to praise? Do you bask graciously in the limelight? Or do you mumble and fumble for words? When you have trouble accepting praise, it shows. Find out what you can do about it. How Do You Respond to Praise? ; Books about happiness are pouring off the presses, but we still haven't cracked the secret of well-being. Is our culture of instant gratification the problem? Is it the job of the state to make us feel better? In search of the good life ; IN SEARCH OF Casino Night

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I could go on and on how great the Bondi Bay swim was and how goosebumpy it is to have beer with Mick, Mat, Polly ;-), Michael, Robbie, etc ... I live and I love Bondi ...

We have a rather romantic conception of bloggers; we envision Eugene Volokh, but most bloggers are probably more akin to Jessica Cutler, the U.S. Senate staffer who blogged about sex gossip. The average blogger is a teenager writing an online diary, not a scholar or amateur journalist. We see blogging as something that enhances freedom, expression, and self-development. But when blogging places gossip online, gossip transforms from being localized and forgettable to being permanent and widespread. A Tale of Two Bloggers: Free Speech and Privacy in the Blogosphere

Mathias Döpfner, head of the Axel Springer publishing empire, answers a speech by media magnate Rupert Murdoch. The future of journalism

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Where the Truth Lies: trust and morality in PR and journalism
Julia Hobsbawm is, by instinct and professional self- interest, a peacemaker.

She sits comfortably in a world of forums and summits and international conferences. Recently, she set up an organisation called Editorial Intelligence, which promised to bring together the best minds in journalism and PR. It was a grown-up but false proposition, and naturally it ended in a great big punch-up. Some journalists claimed that the commercial nature of the venture - disguised lobbying - had not been made clear.

Is Editorial Intelligence a microcosm of the doomed relationship between PR and journalism? [Attention all Pearl Jam fans Google has 16 official blogs. ; Google Cartography Google Maps Like You've Never Seen 'Em ; The 48 Hour Film Project 2006 Tour ; A new report finds that people under 35 get the majority of international and national news from Web portals News ]
• · Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel would have made an excellent opinion journalist. Of course, the Romantic idealist philosopher didn’t spend much time waxing quarrelsome for the local paper – though he was briefly a newspaper editor. But Hegel articulated a theory of history that is, today, the basis for every good opinion piece The Craft of Having an Opinion ; Daryl Hannah makes a splash with her new eco-blog A Blond Walks Into a Blog ... ; Social Networks Attract Nearly Half Of All Web Users
• · · Google Co-op Yes, we are still all about search ; Google's Non-Search Properties Still Struggling
• · · · Politics Lost: The media is to blame, too Have Evil Political Consultants Corrupted American Politics? ; As if governed by a calendar set to the base-five system, the average American magazine puts everything aside every half decade to throw itself a very public party in its own pages Auto-Editorial Stimulation; Jason Kottke notes the difference between the New York Times most blogged and most emailed articles - the most blogged is far more political than the most emailed. What we blog, email and search for
• · · · · Building a Better Doghouse Mainstream liberals take on the media ; David Plotz blogs the first few chapters of the Bible Lot's daughters get pregnant as a result of this incest and bear sons named Moab and Ben-Ammi
• · · · · · Webpage where you can buy philosophy t-shirts ; I prefer reactions in which the fabric of the organization is changed so that it's easier for people to do the "right" thing. Like water flowing downhil Good usability is like "water flowing downhill"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The essence of a life well-lived is knowing you made a difference and that the ripples of your passage affect others in many positive ways. Never pass up an opportunity to comfort someone in pain. Keep compliments handy and don’t be shy about doling them out. Layer a slice of honesty with the icing of tact. Gift the lonely with your presence. Listen ... Risk opening your heart - the potential gain is worth the possibility of pain. Keep your mind open too - something good might build a nest in there and the crap will eventually find its way out. Pay attention to children and the elderly - the former know what you’ve forgotten and the latter know what you’ve yet to learn. Help someone feel better about themself today. Repeat every day. That’s all that really matters

Can of beans at Woolworth: $1.79
Same can of beans at my local cornershop: 99 cents
Far be it from us to try to figure out why most of us tend to avoid local shops, but we do ... Fish is also less than half the price on Bondi Road at the One that got away, albeit with bones and sometimes a face. But the lines are shorter and the crowds are more fun. What are you waiting for? Think Local, Be Local, Buy Local
... Don't support the sexist, oppressing capitalistic Hollywood corperations, instead smell an organicly grown flower for your entertainment! Ten more commandments?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Gypsies have a new role model -- African Americans / Push for ...
For the Roma of Eastern Europe, like Agnes Krappai, life never seems to improve. She lives in an impoverished section of this Hungarian town, in a house with no running water. Her neighbor washes a rug in the street, coaxing water out of a hand-pumped well. It's a constant crisis, if there is such a thing.

But now, some leaders of the Roma, or Gypsies, are looking to a new model to try to achieve equality: the civil rights struggle of African Americans. More and more, Roma are going to court to secure their rights, and doing so where they think it will have the best chance for success -- among the new East European members of the European Union and those trying to join, which are seeking to impress Western Europe with strict interpretations of their new anti-discrimination laws.

• If ever there was a big one you should not miss In Beyond the Color Line [Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special gift, but I am passionately curious.” Curiosity betrays emotional passion The dilemma of curiosity and its use ; The same things said about hip-hop were said about jazz – that there was no effort to develop harmony and melody, that it was just the rhythm," he said. "Also, because it was associated with African-American culture, (people thought) it wasn't worth taking seriously. But now, for a lot of good reasons, there's efforts to legitimate hip-hop as a cultural form. Mastering hip-hop culture; No gaming experience is complete without an appropriate score to intensify its drama. Composer Tom Salta understands that better than anyone. Battle Score ]
• · Young People, Risk and Leisure: Constructing Identities in Everyday Life.; ; Can you rise to the highest levels in politics, art and music when you're still wet behind the ears? No experience necessary?
• · · Idle hands are the devil's workshop The 7 Deadly Sins of Professors ; On the road with Junkyard Prophet, apostles to the public schools. What Would Jesus Rap?
• · · · Books on Irish history The Legacies of Leadership ; Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption as a lens for asking what are independent bookstores really good for? Our attachment to independent bookshops is, in part, affectation--a self-conscious desire to belong a particular community (or to seem to). Patronizing indies helps us think we are more literary or more offbeat than is often the case. What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For?
• · · · · West Australian, 12/05/2006, Anne Bliggins If you're single and looking for a man, the odds are stacked against you. Demographer Bernard Salt has the data to back what most women have long known: there are fewer decent blokes out there than ever. 'Fella Filter is long shot to find love WHERE THE BOYS ARE ; The NYT reports on the expansion of the author reading to include appearances at corporate conference rooms and campuses. "A growing roster of corporations, including Microsoft, Boeing, Google and Altria, the owner of brands like Philip Morris and Kraft Foods, have played host to writers in their offices. Even the United States Treasury Department has invited nearly 40 authors to speak over the last two years. Executives see the author readings as akin to other perks like in-house gyms, subsidized cafeterias and financial advice." Authors Meet Fans Far From Bookstores, at Company Events
• · · · · · BEA Photos ; Walk into the Sonic Laboratory of Queen’s University’s Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast and you enter a temple of audio delights. Driven by Macs, this 21st-century aural haven gives researchers, engineers, composers, and performers a unique space for cutting-edge experiments in music and audio Valhalla for the Human Ear

Friday, May 19, 2006

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
- David Harkins

Change, it has a power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life.
It is worth the risk …
-Leo Buscaglia

NONFICTION: Jozef Imrich has Scored Again, This Time in Bondi Bookstores ;-)

I talk with the authority of failure - L with the authority of success. We could never sit across the table again ;-(

There's a 1989 movIe that's achieved cult status called Weekend at Bernie's. The plot is simple: a couple of fellows down on their luck have to pretend their murdered boss is actually alive. At the village on top of the hill, Hurstville, we seemed to face the opposite problems when it came to bosses ;-) Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Words can never express how much I value some of the soulful moments created at Miss Saigon and other boxing spots in an illuminated company of newish friends like Linda (my life coach ;-), Tania, Jenny, Julie, YEATS, Rachel, and surfing characters like Colin, Allan, Geoff, Allen, Ron, Christian, Murray, Alfred al. The sweet card from Nathalie and Maria put a few smiles on my lips too ;-)

My oldest friends on this salty earth Gina, Richard, John, Davina took me to another village of Double Dragon Bay where painting and meals by Bottoceli ruled. What a great way to create memories and especially on the day when my godson Alexander suddenly becomes Anthony. The day, Cardinal George Pell is reminded of my cousin bishop Andrej Imrich and the chief traffic warden at Rose Bay Catholic Church, Maureen Brian, gets a shock as she cannot get over my missing moustache ;-) I must go and see My Fair Lady as Rob is performing at Bondi Junction.

How lucky to experience a life peppered with colourful junctions, challenges and opportunities - how even more amazing it is to discover the gentle souls like Mal who tend to put the icing on the glorious cake called the unpredictable lightness of life ... Indeed, Each day is a PRIZE. Dive in ...

I have received a number of complimentary emails over the last week. I am so used to being hit and punched, derided or insulted that now positive responses make me wonder. Is it cool if I hold your hand? Is it wrong if I think it's cool to dance at Bondi Hotel? Do you like my stupid hair? Would you guess that I didn't know what to wear? Bukowski gives us hope as he was an ornery ugly man who didn’t care what anyone thought of him (until he softened up just a little bit later in life). This it would seem was the key to his success, this ugliness and f***-you to the worldedness. Where did I go right? What did I do to deserve so much kindness and love?

The fearless are merely fearless.
People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave.
-James A. LaFond-Lewis

CODA: Hopefully it won't last 40 years, but winning will require tough measures, a cadre of professionals and constant vigilance. Technology and government leaders must come to terms with IT security threats not going away. Nothing an agency can buy, implement or develop today will completely protect any system from tomorrow's emerging threat. The stark, unpleasant reality is that the coming years will require a constant, vigorous war between security professionals and nefarious actors. While it's unlikely that one side utterly wins, government agencies cannot afford to lose IT Security: Our New Cold War?

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Perfect readable text for the blogging newbie
Since I've been blogging for quite awhile, this is almost like reading a book to see if you're doing anything wrong. Still, Susannah Gardner does a good job with Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies (Wiley).

Best of all is that this book showed me how I can market using blogs and still be myself, something I've been trying to do for years. In fact, the more I am myself on a blog, the better the blog will be---imagine that! A blog is a great tool for self-expression, which can be done concurrently with marketing, I found out, and in an authentic way.

Much more than a Dummies book [The greatest econ blog on the web! Insightful & interesting every day Marginal Revolution ; The family which takes its mauve and cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered, and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, blighted buildings, billboards, and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground. Affluent Society ]
• · Web etiquette goes wacky when ranking friends becomes an exercise in lifeboat ethics. Take a number, pal ; And a look at how internet addiction is affecting lives The Internet – millions of people rely on it for everyday tasks.
• · · Al Gore is the media man of the hour. The story has a familiar ring, but it's hard to say exactly why. Gore: The Game ; The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs ; via my glorious friend Gina - (I hope Julie you are soaking this identity crisis in ;-) Revealed: The identity of the BBC's latest star

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Of course I am above sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. So serious a servant of the public interest am I, I can fogey with the best: On my better days, I make David Broder look like Page Six. Molly Ivins: The Best Little Whorehouse in Washington

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Sun, surf and birth of new economic model
Peter Costello's 11th Budget is, to borrow a phrase from his predecessor, one that brings home the bacon. He has delivered sweeping reforms to personal income tax, superannuation and family benefits by capitalising on Australia's strong economy. The American billionaire Paul Getty once remarked that 'money isn't everything, but it sure keeps you in touch with your children'. Or, in the case of yesterday's budget, it is a sure way to keep a government in touch with its constituents. The 2006 Australian budget

Financial Times, unheralded and almost unnoticed, the world has seen the emergence of a new economic model in Australia

Manna or myopia? [The rise of the Indian economy is one of the most important economic developments of our day The rise of the Indian economy; Alarmist rhetoric from President Vladimir Putin; skinhead violence on Russian streets. Is there a connection in playing the dangerous game? As the US enters a potential Cold War II with Russia, it has one hand tied behind its back. And where does North America end and Russia begin? The political boundaries haven't changed, but the geological ones will have to - North America just got smaller ]
• · America's ability to absorb immigrants has changed: it's higher today than at any time in history. Absorption Nation ; A system of political secrecy conceals an economy where injustice, exploitation and corruption rules Turkmenistan’s hidden travails ; Happy (5th) Birthday to us! openDemocracy greetings
• · · From Grist, an interview with accidental movie star Al Gore Al Revere ; There is a predictable annual ritual which begins when the Census Bureau releases its estimates that roughly one eighth of Americans live in poverty, and that this proportion has been relatively invariant in recent years despite the steady rise of per capita real incomes How prosperity generates poverty; Internal Separation of Powers: Checking Today’s Most Dangerous Branch from Within. Legislative abdication is the reigning modus operandi
• · · · Has the corporate-responsibility movement lost sight of the big picture? Just as people sailing full-tilt into an iceberg zone can get distracted rearranging deck chairs, those of us advocating corporate responsibility may be guilty of spending too much time fiddling with the nuances of the language that describes our work. It's the Economics, Stupid ; At Bloomberg's Big Bash, Fame's the Name of the Game Life of the Afterparty ; An end to the neo-soviet nightmare: The accounting standards rulebook is being rewritten, but is it increasing the perception that auditors are insurers of the last resort? An end to the neo-soviet nightmare
• · · · · Why no one has much chance of toppling Congress's incumbents A Fake Democracy? ; A recent floodlet of books offers a surprisingly coherent portrait of the White House's management style All the President's Books (Minding History's Whys and Wherefores)
• · · · · · Hugh Morgan ignores the cost of the intolerant policies he proposes CITIZENSHIP Let’s learn from Europe’s mistakes; Playing Barranquero roulette - Promina confident of meeting targets: We currently expect this event to lead to claims of between $40 (million) and $50 million pre-tax, Promina chief executive Mike Wilkins told the annual general meeting in Sydney. The insurer behind brands including AAMI and Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency is the last of the major Australian general insurers to reveal its claims losses from the cyclone that hit far north Queensland last month. Cyclone Larry won't flatten profits, says Promina Famous last words ...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I experienced one of the sweetest birthdays in my life at McSweeney's ... Mal and I caught the tide that lifts bohemian yachts on their passage to India ;-)

Reporting from the blogosphere has already changed the face of politics, journalism and even publishing. Bloggers Strike Back

The lesson is clear: bully bloggers at your own risk. It seems like a lot of people are trying to shut up bloggers all of a sudden. It also doesn't seem to be working very well. Trouble Not the Blogger in his Lair

The Blog, The Press, The Media: In Praise of Investigative Reporting
An article in praise of investigative reporting: It’s not only important, it’s also good business.

You didn't have to attend last week's ASNE convention in Seattle to know that the newspaper business is riddled with angst.
Its all-too-familiar problems, coupled with the explosion of the Internet, has led to all manner of speculation about the future of newspapers, if any.
Much of the current thinking focuses on ways for newspaper companies to make better and more creative use of the Web. And that makes sense.
But it's also critically important for newspapers to find ways to make their old-school print products as well as their Web sites essential to their communities.

No better friend [The system works John Quiggin Factoid check ; I believe the puffed-up, wanky, hubristic and self-serving way La Albrechtsen regrets ]
• · Alan Ramsey eulogises his friend and colleague, Richard Carleton. Oh, how he loved to reel them in ; Steve Rubel is having fun with Google Trends ; Microsoft is planning to map the world and is slowly refashioning itself as a media powerhouse: Let's Make More Deals ; In a few short years, Google has turned from a simple and popular company into a complicated and controversial one.
• · · Guy Rundle on blogs; Hardly a day goes by without some intellectual or journalist or other member of the only-our-opinion-counts brigade writing something about how awful, stupid, passe, dumb, rude, uninteresting or otherwise unacceptable blogs are Blog whining fatigue; How to avoid a Blog War: Some words of advice for the MSM. Right-wing pundits under attack by left-leaning bloggers, meanwhile, experience blogswarms, not blog wars
• · · · Chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames IRC and users with female names.; A look at how more pressure is on reporters to name sources The Constitution doesn't give the press any more of a right to withhold evidence than any one of us has
• · · · · It wasn’t exactly a recycled party—the artist formerly known as J. Lo didn’t return—but it bore certain resemblances. Off the Record ; Let the quibbling begin; and with a televised Question Time, Americans would have a regular, dramatic way to follow what their President and Congress were doing To Enliven Politics, Ask a Few Questions
• · · · · · Think you know where your campaign dollars go? Think again, sucker. Political image-makers skim off percentages that would make Exxon execs envious -- and the public never knows about it. The greedy truth about media consultants; Seven for Seven as Jozef Imrich makes history on Google - In a few short years, Google has turned from a simple and popular company into a complicated and controversial one. With its presumptuous humour, its mathematical obsessions, its easy, arrogant belief that it is the natural home for geniuses, the billboard spoke of a company that thinks it has taken its rightful place as the leader of the technology industry, a position occupied for the past 15 years by Microsoft. Fuzzy maths: googley media dragons ; The enzyme that won If it's cool, it's probably Web 2.0

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Like millions of people around the world, I have thrilled to the phenomenon of escape ... Why should anyone care a fig about my happy Contemporary Birthday ;-)

It has been a week filled with exchanging stories with the future Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull. Characters who live and love bondi such as Terry Burke are helping me to place the Cold River on the silver screen ... While the next chapter in my antipodean book is peppered with Mal who steals my entire heart ... Indeed, all we need is LOVE ...

Anyway, this six minute video shows comedian Judson Laipply recreating my childhood, teenagehood and adulthood - enjoy the history of contemporary dance, starting with Elvis's pelvis move and working up through time, with stops for Saturday Night Live, Walk Like an Egyptian, AC/DC, and Ice Ice Baby. Evolution of Dance: Comedy history of dance in six minutes

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Newshound turns over a new leaf
Former 60 Minutes reporter Jennifer Byrne will host a book review program for ABC television.

Byrne, best known for her hard-hitting current affairs reports, will present the series First Tuesday Book Club with a panel of authors, experts and book-lovers from next month.
"I love news and current affairs, it's my background . . . but for some time it's been dawning on me that I'm not made for just one category," Ms Byrne said.

I'm very evangelical about books [ Happy (5th) Birthday to us! openDemocracy greetings ; Here are the top and bottom ranked places to have a child according to 2006 Mother's Index. ; ]
• · Diana York Blaine, a women’s studies professor at USC, decides to post topless photos of herself on the Internet. Feminist Professor Exposed ... Literally ; Is there now a backlash against sex for pleasure? For instance, consensual sex outside a relationship? I believe there is. But I believe the societal and ethical arguments against sex for pleasure are very weak. Pro-choice, pro-sex? Who’s afraid of sex for pleasure? ; How AIDS Changed America: The plague years: It brought out the worst in us at first, but ultimately it brought out the best, and transformed the nation. The story of a disease that left an indelible mark on our history, our culture and our souls AIDS at 25
• · · Who among the myriad celebrities, politicians, culture heroes who’ve graced the pages of Rolling Stone during its 39-year history would get on the cover of the magazine’s 1000th issue? Whoever made the final cut, it was Michael Elins’s unique skills that would put them all compellingly together. Mac of Being Different; Neal Preston is to rock and roll what Norman Parkinson was to fashion or Richard Avedon to portraits Iconography
• · · · Are we allergic because of pollution? Because we wash our hands too much? There's a surprising lack of consensus as to why allergies are on the rise. Our allergies, ourselves ; It is becoming increasingly clear that the age of revolutions is not over. It's becoming equally clear that the global revolutionary movement in the twenty first century, will be one that traces its origins less to the tradition of Marxism, or even of socialism narrowly defined, but of anarchism. An essay on Power and Revolution: The Anarchist Century. ; Jesus: A conspiracy vaster than anything in The Da Vinci Code You're Already Part of the Phenomenon
• · · · · Teenage boys have feelings, too, and when it comes to matters of the heart, they may not be so fleeting after all. Not far beneath the bravado often on display is an unsure adolescent who finds it hard to express emotions that, while new, are nonetheless often sincerely felt. Affairs of the heart matter to boys, too, sociologists find ; Sex is essential, kids aren't: Why are 30% of German women choosing to go childless? Sex is essential, kids aren't ; Sean Thomas’s Millions of Women are Waiting to Meet You, does women a service by revealing what it is to be a 21st-century man. Once, during my schlep across the Sinai of celibacy, I caught myself looking at a ‘naked’ mannequin in a shop window. With lust Sex, lust, fantasy and the truth about men ; College men offered sex on a plate are reportedly having trouble getting hard. Do men really need to chase women down to get it up? Do loose chicks sink dicks?; Oral and anal sex increasing among teens
• · · · · · Terence Kealey reviews The Egg and Sperm Race by Matthew Cobb. The soil in which the seeds rooted ; And only now, 370 million years later, do we see that one of those fish sat at the base of a huge branch of the Tree of life ; Maurice Blanchot's theory of the "infinite distance" inherent in friendship Neighbours from afar

Sunday, May 14, 2006

There is no stopping Cold River from running with the internet - Ditch the Great Australian Novel - now everyone wants to be a screenwriter Quest to write the Great Australian Script

Czech out the ingenious marketing of The Da Vinci Code. Cracking the Hollywood code

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Believing Makes It So
I always assumed that you had two choices in the face of rampant corruption: dig in your heels and fight it or shrug your shoulders and deal. Then I realized that there is a middle ground: whistle past the graveyard.

To me, a novel is made up; it is a fiction. But it's the paradox of being unreal and real at the same time that interests me. F Scott Fitzgerald talked about the importance of being able to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time. It's a very child-like way to be as well. Even as grown-ups we go to a magic show and we can be impressed by the illusion and we don't want to know how the trick is done. That's what novels are like.

To one and all soulful friends: Always there for me Steve and Christopher; Mark, Phil, Rob, Richard, John; Pirozky by Lidka; Scripts by Julie; Enthusiasm by Gina; Walks with Izzy; Swims with Icebergers; Music by Sasha; Smiles and Hugs by Gabbie; Wisdom by June; The Eyes Without Borders by Mal ...
The world is an illusion, but if you try hard enough you can beat it [Born September 29, 1943, in Popowo, Poland, Lech Walesa was the son of a carpenter CNN Cold War - Profile: Lech Walesa ; A euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant Man's ruin: Euphemisms ]
• · Good Days Ahead is the critically acclaimed computer program that is being hailed as a breakthrough in helping people overcome their problems and get their lives back on track. An extraordinary advance. Engaging, entertaining, and clearly useful; Peter Carey's latest book was the last straw for Alison Summers Ex-wife comes out swinging
• · · The findings suggest an intriguing parallel between prostate cancer and breast cancer, as recent studies indicate that lactating reduces a woman's risk of breast cancer, perhaps because this also flushes out carcinogens. Masturbation is part of people's sexual repertoire Masturbating may protect against prostate cancer ; Good and Plenty, the Creative Successes of American Arts Funding. John Miller goes Down the yellow brick road of overinterpretation How to Feed a Starving Artist
• · · · Literature Study Guides - SparkNotes ; There is no such thing as a human nature independent of culture. Men without culture would not even be the clever savages of Lord of the Flies Love. If not love, passion. If not passion, at least lust. Cosmic disarray
• · · · · Bristol got rich on the back of the slave trade as its fleet transported 500,000, chained in appalling conditions. Last night, 200 years after abolition, the city debated whether to admit its part in the 'African holocaust Slavery: Is it time for an apology? ; What do LSD, Sigmund Freud, college freshmen and tuna fishing have in common? There was a time when the worst … slut … for want of a better term … maintained a virginal façade. Today the most virginal and chaste undergraduate wants to create a façade of sexual experience.” A Speech In Full: Linking such subjects might put most thinkers in bizarre and dangerous waters
• · · · · · What is the best work of American fiction of the last 25 years? The Book Review asked writers, critics and editors. Their answers may surprise you. ; Oochy woochy coochy coo: Women can read men like books. Women are attracted to men who are fond of children