Friday, May 31, 2013

Espionage comes to idiot box and screen

Chapman, 28, who held a British passport after a brief marriage to a man she met in London, went from undercover to overexpose by posing in lingerie for a Russian men’s magazine. She later became a TV presenter in Moscow and flirted with a political career by joining Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party.

Cold War drama The Americans is a study in middle-class unease. Who are our neighbors really? It's what we don't know about someone that terrifies us. And the truly frightening theme behind The Americans is your very neighbours could be your enemies. Judging by outside appearances, it's impossible to tell who the enemy is and what he or she wants. They were the spies who came in from the suburbs, undercover Russian agents who had lived for years as ordinary Americans while secretly working for the Kremlin. When the FBI sensationally arrested ten so-called “illegal” operatives in the United States in 2010, it exposed a plot more astounding than any spy novel and triggered the biggest espionage drama between Washington and Moscow since the Cold War Espionage comes out of Cold River
Ryan Fogle, the third secretary at the US embassy in Moscow, was paraded in footage aired on state-run television after being detained late on Monday night by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor to the Soviet-era KGB

"War is like love, it always finds a way."
Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sitting is the new Smoking

"Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?"
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts

The legacy of Russian dissent literature, on tap at Amerikan City of Liberty

US prosecutors were not sitting much as they have announced the biggest international money laundering prosecution in history – a $US6 billion ($A6.2 billion) trail that allegedly includes $US36.9 million ($A38.4 million) deposited in Westpac Bank accounts. "If (Abe Saffron or) Al Capone were alive today, this is how he would be hiding his money." These were the guy who gave the underworld the business model for organised crime ...Liberty Reserves

Don't fall off your perch, but sitting is the new smoking and your chair is out to kill you. No, really. This is the sorry state of affairs thanks to our increasingly seated existence of Media Dragons everywhere ... Sitting is the new smoking

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
- Langston Hughes

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

'Father figure's mourned'

Police are looking for clues to whether Tony McGrath's role as a rugby league referee boss or his past as a tax official led to his execution-style death at his Brisbane home. Murder Mystery

A jet-skier faced court over a collision near Lagoon Pier in Port Melbourne in February with a 51-year-old man who died shortly after. It was the third serious accident involving a swimmer and a jet-ski in Port Phillip Bay within six months. Sad accident - Robert Brewster

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fables of Abundance

"'But Larry,' she smiled. 'People have been asking those questions for thousands of years. If they could be answered, surely they'd have been answered by now.'
"Larry chuckled.
"'Don't laugh as if I'd said something idiotic,' she said sharply. "'On the contrary I think you've said something shrewd. But on the other hand you might say that if men have been asking them for thousands of years it proves that they can't help asking them and have to go on asking them.'"
~ Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

What is loneliness? It’s not solitude or what Kierkegaard called “shut-upness.” It’s an interior experience. And it can kill Media Dragons Bohemian Elphicks in a waiting room for God

“All history is the history of unintended consequences,” says Jackson Lears. Good-intentioned efforts lead to self-defeating outcomes. “That’s the tragedy” Fables of Abundance

What is charm? Some mysterious cocktail of wit, wisdom, worldliness, civility. But this much we know: Charm is a virtue in decline America of Charm

Nikolai Gogol was a connoisseur of the bizarre, the madcap. His masterpiece, Dead Souls, is a book that is better for being unfinished... Surging Russians

Whither thug lit? Wahida Clark served nine years in prison and wrote three best-sellers. She lives the life she writes about. Her genre peers, not so much.Strange Life; Pankaj Mishra encountered Edmund Wilson’s works in a termite-infested Indian library. Epiphany! A story sure to entice New York publishers Empire States

Are criminals made or born? Consoder history of robbery, rape, and murder. Can neuroscience explain why we have such creepy characters among us McKay

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Adventures Ahead for Antipodean Bohemian Peter W C

Anais Nin put it beautifully when she said, "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born"

It is rare to develop a true friendship at work and some characters like Peter have knack for being true blue team players and also friends. I feel very blessed that I had crossed path at my work with kind soul such as Peter as his resignation will leave a huge gap ... Not just for me, but also many others.

It is amazing how work became fun when you, Linda, Lachlan, MON were around. Indeed, the hardest part of any friendship is when it's time to say goodbye. As much as we might like things to stay the same, change is an inevitable part of life. The universe may seem huge and the rift between friends on opposite side of the world may seem a great distance. There are many tools available with which we can communicate, but even without these tools there is a secret that only real friends know, and it is this. All the mountains and valleys in the world cannot separate friends whose hearts are as one.

Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts... Wish you could stick around for a little more time, but life has set some other amazing plans for you and Lorraine. Wish you a heartfelt good luck for your future. Keep in touch ;-)

The real outback of Australia is calling!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.”

“As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being.”
Courtesy of bohemian Gina Czech Sayings ; ❝One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.❞ Czech Blog

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't expect me to be sane anymore: I say this is a wild dream ...

TT: Almanac "Authors give away their books like drug barons give free snorts, hoping to start an expensive addiction."
Reginald Hill, Death's Jest-Book (courtesy of Mrs. T)

All I have written now appears to me as so much straw." - Thomas Aquinas

Don't expect me to be sane anymore. Don't let's be sensible. It was a marriage at Louveciennes—you can't dispute it. I came away with pieces of you sticking to me; I am walking about, swimming, in an ocean of blood, your Andalusian blood, distilled and poisonous. Everything I do and say and think relates back to the marriage. I saw you as the mistress of your home, a Moor with a heavy face, a negress with a white body, eyes all over your skin, woman, woman, woman. I can't see how I can go on living away from you—these intermissions are death. How did it seem to you when Hugo came back? Was I still there? I can't picture you moving about with him as you did with me. Legs closed. Frailty. Sweet, treacherous acquiescence. Bird docility. You became a woman with me. I was almost terrified by it. You are not just thirty years old—you are a thousand years old. I say this is a wild dream

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Best things can happen in the worst places

"The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable."
Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

Six Good Books: Maggie Fergusson recommends heart-rending tales of parental love and family history, and lessons in happiness from Guantánamo best things can happen in the worst places

Identifying feelings allows us to remain curious  about what’s coming at us from the outside world, and what emerges from within us Self Awareness

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Internet is also full of untrustworthy sources ...

Data Driven Comparison Platform "When it comes to researching big purchases—from smartphones to enterprise software—there are plenty of valuable sources online to help. However, the Internet is also full of untrustworthy, biased information cluttered with advertising influence. Instead of making it easier to choose, online information often confuses more than it helps. We created FindTheData to give consumers and businesses peace of mind, knowing they can access the most current, unbiased and easy-to-understand data. We cover hundreds of categories, from colleges to ski resorts to business insurance and even dog breeds...We obtain our information from three sources: Public databases, primary sources (manufacturer websites) and expert sources." FindTheData ; Brainpicking for writers

Guess what's making a comeback? Physical objects. You spent the last decade digitizing your life and suddenly paper and plastic are back on the radar. Why the move back to the material world? People miss the romance and sensory appeal of objects. There's an emotional void that digital has created and it's an opportunity for brands to create amazing connections with their consumers...Let's Get Real & Physical

Politicians are the "after-dinner mints" of society. After-dinner mints are a pleasant addition to a meal but not an essential component of it. Similarly, politicians have become more and more marginal to the running of a modern western society. Are politicians our country's last set of amateurs?

The articles in The Australian (18-4-13) summarising papers to be presented to the global food forum should be read with great concern by all farmers and Australians. They display a very concerning level of “ ignorance” ( the ultimate rural putdown ) about the current agricultural situation in Australia.
On Monday (15-4-13) 1000 wheat farmers met at Merredin in WA to show their concern about their future and to ask Governments to address the unsustainable financial position of the WA wheat industry. The Premier ( Colin Barnett ) replied by saying some must go. How many more farmers does Australia wish to go ? Let's get our own house in order before we try to feed the world Food bowl or food quarry ?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tomorrow's going to be a better day - Cold War is in the ancient past

Billy Bragg's a brilliant songwriter. And a great guy. Here's a cut from his new Tooth and Nail album

It is much easier after the event to sort the relevant signals from the irrelevant signals. After the event, of course, a signal is always crystal clear; we can now see what disaster it was signaling since the disaster has now occurred. But before the event it is obscure and pregnant with conflicting meanings. It comes to the observer embedded in an atmosphere of 'noise', i.e. in all sorts of information that is useless and irrelevant for predicting the disaster." - Creating the world of tomorrow with the power of future thinking. Imagination may be more important than knowledge ...

The CWIS Collection is a print archive containing over 1,000 congressional hearings, reports and committee prints, published between 1934-1976, dealing with congressional investigations of organizations deemed "subversive" or "un-American". For more about the CWIS Collection, please visit our LibGuide. We have also created a CWIS Blog, in order to highlight interesting and important documents from the collection, as well as key topics and the broader historical context for these materials. The first post features baseball star Jackie Robinson's July 1949 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The CWIS Collection is part of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries' Collaborative Federal Depository Program." Annoucing the Cold War & Internal Security Collection

The Designs of the Year awards is bestowed by the London Design Museum and described as the ‘Oscars of the design world’. Entries for this year’s award included Thomas Heatherwick’s fantastic Olympic Cauldron, the Raspberry Pi Computer, The Shard, and a collection by Louis Vuitton. The list is eclectic, but what is even more incredible is who walked away with the big prize on the night. GOV.UK, a new single platform government website bagged the top award The Designs of the Year awards

FB Checker is a nifty desktop utility that is compatible with computers running Windows. This freeware application helps you determine whether or not the Facebook profiles you are visiting are fake. FB Checker: A Desktop App To Find Out If a Facebook Profile Is Fake

Now Bushnell has co-authored a book about finding the right creative minds for your company. Though Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent, is titled after Jobs (publishing needs marketing after all), it is less about him and more about finding the right creative minds for your company.

We need more elastic environments. Not just in urban cities, but in business. An elastic environment is a place that can be used for multiple purposes by different kinds of people. The concept of elastic environments embodies our culture of constant change. It symbolizes our potential to be free and open to new ideas. Here are some ideas of how to bring the spirit of elastic environments to your work Tear Down the Walls

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Good Causes Down Under

As we get older and (wiser?) we tend to realize that as we look back on our life, that the moments that stand out are the moments when we have done things for others.
- Henry Drummond

According to a Slavic saying, money seems to be like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells. Only a few moons ago Leonardo da Vinci noted that Iron curtains rust from disuse …even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars from behind the bars

A Gawler cafe has embraced a worldwide "pay it forward" movement helping people in need enjoy the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee. Conversations Cafe owner Mignon McLeod said the "suspended coffee" idea gave patrons a chance to pay for a coffee to be passed on to someone who could not afford to buy one. Suspended coffees started in Naples, Italy and has been reported as far afield as Russia and Quebec, with cafes in Australian capital cities and towns, like Ballarat and Mackay, taking up the tradition in recent weeks. Gawler cafe embraces 'suspended coffees' to help people in need

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
~ Thomas Jefferson

On a wing and a prayer

As the old saying goes, the devil laughs when you make plans, ... but the angels smiles when you can dance like this ...

literary trends are hard to predict

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Communication and public affairs: blogging servants

The former head of the Prime Minister department Terry Moran has called for greater scope for public servants to speak publicly about issues and permission to blog their experiences:
“there should be a greater acceptance of the idea that public administrators can legitimately talk about long-term strategy in a similar manner to what is now broadly accepted for leaders of the Reserve Bank and Treasury.” Annabel Crabb, of the ABC, has stated that despite the federal public service employing 1,600 media, communication and public affairs staff, getting information required from the people who make and implement policy is still a difficult process and has called for public servants to be able to freely add to public debate. Blooging experiences

Gabriella at the Center of Creativity: Hub Melbourne: an ecosystem of innovation Gizmodo, 15 April 2013. Realizing that the oft-promised 'paperless office' may never actually come to fruition, researchers at Fujitsu are working on a backup plan that gives printed documents similar tablet-like touchscreen functionality. Turn a Printed Page Into a Touchscreen With This Brilliant Concept

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Artistic capital, revived [Praha aka Prague]

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In 1968 New York’s Museum of Modern Art staged a blockbuster exhibition, Dada, Surrealism and Their Heritage, put together by William Rubin, an authoritative curator. The show included 331 works, not one of them by a Czech artist. Yet Prague had been a flourishing centre of avant-garde art, especially surrealism, between the two world wars – second, arguably, only to Paris. As Derek Sayer observes, the absence of Czech art from such an important retrospective testifies to the black hole of western consciousness into which Czech culture vanished after the 1948 communist coup. What makes the omissions poignant is that 1968 was the year of the Prague spring, the peaceful challenge to communism that was cut short by a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion. Surrealist art, driven underground during the previous 20 years, briefly resurfaced, as did other expressions of artistic freedom. Soon, however, the Moscow-installed masters of Czechoslovakia snuffed it all out, forcing dissident intellectuals into manual jobs and giving the country, as Sayer comments, “the best-educated stokers, garbage collectors, and window-cleaners in the world” The Bohemians Are Coming