Monday, October 31, 2005

Sometimes schadenfreude just feels so good...
Unfortunately nobody ever finally knows these things until such time as the court rules: Costello adds to Howard's terror woes

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Read all about it - soon it will be a crime
Bilal Daye and ASIO director-general Paul O'Sullivan have got at least one thing in common - they both went to school at Randwick's Marcellin college

But for that footnote in their CVs, there is little to compare the two men. One is the head of Australia's domestic spy agency, the other was raided twice by federal authorities, suspected of being a terrorist. On Tuesday, Mr Daye will take Mr O'Sullivan and the Commonwealth Government to the District Court, seeking damages of up to $750,000 for a bungled swoop by ASIO agents and heavily armed police on his Mascot home

• It is a story that anyone interested in the subject should read now. Under the proposed anti-terrorism laws It turned out is was real and a nightmare [ Cracks in terror solidarity ; AUSTRALIAN wheat sales to Iraq were used to illegally funnel about $US200 million from the UN humanitarian oil-for-food program to prop up Saddam Hussein's murderous regime UN scandal hits wheat board sales ]
• · Over 50 Great Radical Centrist Political Blogs Great source for other links in the great center uprising ; Conference offers fresh and compelling new views on terrorism as nation's partisans sleep
• · · RTA chief Paul Forward quit today amid deepening controversy over Sydney's Cross City Tunnel as the Roads Minister accused him of neglect RTA chief falls on his sword over tunnel ; The Fight Over Wireless Will we get Internet access from big government or big business?
• · · · Bob Carr has aggressively defended his new role as a consultant with Macquarie Bank, describing journalists who asked if there was a conflict of interest as "silly" and "mistaken" - I would not have allowed a question like that at a press conference in my day Green Carr denies climate of conflict in new role ; The specter of a “Colored Revolution” in Kazakhstan Whither Kazakhstan? ; Whither Kazakhstan ... continues part 2
• · · · · It provokes extreme passions. From a country the size of Wales, conflicts and arguments touch lives and shake economies across the globe. In the pages that follow, distinguished writers analyse the phenomenon that is Israel, its people, its past and its future, while here Mario Vargas Llosa introduces a nation he both admires and fears Democracy and demons ; How the Right Has Won ; Ethical imperialism: A review of books that reveal the political atrophy of foreign policy today
• · · · · · You've heard of money laundering; now welcome to "policy laundering" Big Brother goes global; Why Most Meetings Stink ; An overview of the effectiveness of closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Gabriella Imrichova - 2005

It might be daylight saving in New South Wales, but in the olde world you feel the stillness of a moonlit night, you're by yourself, lost in the woods, and you're frightened. From Pagan Ritual to Party Night Halloween: All Soul's Day Still Scary After All These Years
Gabriella Imrichova - 2005

Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly.
-Lauren Bacall

My wife of 21 years was named after Bacall and it is hard to find a character with more imagination than my guardian angel, my youngest daughter, - Gabriella ;-)

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life (or death).
- Federico Fellini
It’s a battle between big media and the blogosphere, citizen journalists and professionals. Who will win? Or should journalists be looking at what they can learn? David Higgins surveys the frontline Power To The People?

The Blog, The Press, The Media: The Media Dragon Loves us
Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover

• Thanks Shel and Robert: Every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, Make Me Feel Important [Media criticism in Australia very rarely touches on the politics media nexus to show how it works Media criticism ; More blog panic ]
• · Jim Minatel's Wrox Book Editor Blog ; Finally, Australia embarks on the road to digital radio ; The Walkley magazine (home of the Walkley awards for journalism – the nominees are in this issue), has a feature about blogging, including a bit from me. The money quote from the main article is Walkley on blogs
• · · Forbes Cover Story Blows It, Calling Bloggers Lynch Mobs ; The Case for Blogging
• · · · Attack of the Blogs How to punish bloggers, a tutorial for businesses from Forbes ; Forbes Story Bashes Bloggers As Lynch Mobs
• · · · · Speaker of the House Starts Blogging ; PR Newswire for Journalists: RSS Feeds
• · · · · · Trevor Cook : Forbes: be afraid of blogging, be very afraid

To watch King Lear is to approach the recognition that there is indeed no meaning to life and that there are limits to human understanding. So we lay down a heavy burden and are made humble. This is what Shakespearian tragedy accomplishes for us.
-Peter Ackroyd, Shakespeare: The Biography

Recently, less than humble, Lauren began to measure success by money, fame and power. The regular working world has built-in measures for success, however minor: regular paychecks, annual job reviews, thanks and kudos from supervisors and co-workers, etc. Writers have little of this. We work alone, and nobody ever says, Hey, six pages, great job today. Somehow writer’s relationship with his work is like a secret love affair, to be cherished and hidden from materialistic eyes ;-) The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken ... Taking a hard look at my life

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Let There Be Light
Some know it as the diabolical secret organization of monk-assassins depicted in the The Da Vinci Code.

Others recall it in vague connection with Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who spied for Russia. Those inside the beltway may be familiar with the role it played in the conversion to Catholicism of Sen. Sam Brownback, Robert Bork, and syndicated columnist Robert Novak—though apparently none of them numbers himself among the roughly 3,000 members the group claims to have in the United States. (Nor, despite rumors, do Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former FBI director Louis Freeh, or Sen. Rick Santorum.)

• Opus Dei shows the way for ordinary people to become saints – not by renouncing the world, but by excelling in it Opus Dei [Legends aren’t supposed to be history; they are an understanding of what it means to be human. We forget them at our peril The myth of mythology ; Harold Bloom has only three criteria for whether a work should be read and taught: aesthetic splendor, cognitive power, and wisdom Breakfast with brontosaurus ]
• · Walking on Water ; The Man Behind the da Vinci Code
• · · The world of cinema makes it easy for the audience to be armchair travelers Top Ten Modern Foreign Movies You Should See ; If you're the type of guy who buys books just to look smart and appealing to the ladies, Jessa has some valuable advice for you Jessa Crispin Asks If The Boys Are Really So Smart
• · · · Trisha tells how she almost suicided after Troy; Yes, you need a credit card to order online, but last time I checked you needed a credit card to breathe in America Poor recognition ; As we live, we are transmitters of life
• · · · · Whatever makes you happy ; Rules of engagement, focussing on the performing arts Censorship battles once focused on books
• · · · · · Vanity book buying; Beware of the Blog, It Creeps; Developing a life-long love of reading and writing in young people I Need to Get Out More...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Big-name political bloggers are banding together to try to bring order to the sometimes-chaotic blogosphere. Will Pajamas Media wake up blogs?

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Observations from Internet Librarian 2005
As I get ready to head home tomorrow, here are some final thoughts on the conference. I should also note that I’ll have my presentations online by the end of the week and I’ll post links to them from my site.

There are a lot more laptops here this year. A LOT more. Finally. Several speakers noted that this was the year we were able to skip over the intro material (what is a blog) and talk about the more advanced stuff (what to do with your blog).

There is nothing more pathetic than a librarian who gets the facts wrong [Who is your favorite political blogger? Favorite non-political blogger? ; An interview on how to think like Joshua Micah Marshall ]
• · Scott Adams (Dilbert) is blogging: From zero to "A" List in one-day ; No Longer Safe for Work: Blogs
• · · Today’s reports that in 2005 U.S. workers will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs. Well, one man’s waste is the publishing industry’s opportunity The Blog Tool - and how to use it; A look at what economist bloggers think of the nomination ; Towards an ethics of technology
• · · · Readers are rapidly migrating away from pay-for-use information services (in print or on the web) and turning to free sites hosted by print publications and to other information providers (like bloggers) for current cultural content It Doesn't Exist if It's not Free ; Everything you always wanted to know about nanotechnology... But were too afraid of quantum spookiness to ask
• · · · · Perhaps the last unenhanced human to make a significant contribution in the field of mathematics has already been born The Age of Radical Enhancement ; Village a special issue, and Nat Hentoff is in praise of personal journalism
• · · · · · The art of reporting that nothing happened ; Blogging opens new medium for academics; On what the time we spend in pursuit of virtual realities is doing to us Beyond Human

If you wish to be a prophet, first you must dress the part. No more silk ties or tasseled loafers. Instead, throw on a wrinkled T-shirt, frayed jeans, and dirty sneakers. You should appear somewhat unkempt, as if combs and showers were only for the unenlightened. When you encounter critics, as all prophets do, dismiss them as idiots. Make sure to pepper your conversation with grandiose predictions and remind others of your genius often, lest they forget. Oh, and if possible, grow a very long beard.
By these measures, a rogue researcher Aubrey de Grey is indeed a prophet as he challenges scientists to reverse human aging The Man Who Would Murder Death

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Live! – for you only have one life
It's all about the breakout memoir of the year—since four weeks ago—on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show today as author James Frey makes his appearance on behalf of A Million Little Pieces.

This latest book-club selection marks the media diva’s return to living authors, having featured long-ago novelists such as Faulkner, Tolstoy and Steinbeck. Sales of Pieces have skyrocketed since she announced her choice on Sept. 22. The paperback edition was released the same day

Oprah Introduces James Frey to the World Today as Sales Skyrocket [UK biologists spar over whether evolutionary psychology explains why wearing a colored uniform can give sportsmen a competitive edge Red, fights, and blue ; Studies are shedding light on the mystery of sleep Dreams are made of this ; From Freezerbox, for reasons that Schumacher himself predicted, Small looks set to become beautiful again ]
• · Thanks to a new online promotion, buzz for Cold River is at an all-time high. The beginning of acceptance is when you realize that the reason your book isn't in bookstores isn't because it's sold out. It's not there because the store never ordered it in the first place Bridging the gap between Central European audiences and the mainstream ; A survey finds one in three has bought a book just to look intelligent Books are the new snobbery ;-); A debate on GooglePrint: Riches we must share... but not at writers' expense. I am a writer
• · · On a writer's guide to the many stages of publishing, from the fog of love to the withering of weaning ... You dream you're at the party, thinking you're wearing Prada, but you look down and realize you're wearing nada Publish and Perish: Naked in Public ; I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini. Before too long I'll have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you're the perfect complement to a perfect evening. Man, 32. Rarely produces winning metaphors Would like to meet... the wierd and wonderful world of personal ads ; The end of craven customer service could return some dignity to the world of consumption MARGINAL UTILITY: The Customer Is Always Wrong
• · · · James Howard Kunstler on concealing the suburban nightmare When the Museum of Bad Ideas ; By eating kangaroos, are we saving them or destroying them? Harvesting the top paddock
• · · · · This book was stolen from Harvard College Library. It was later recovered. The thief was sentenced to two years at hard labor What does the obsessive passion of book thieves tell us about ourselves as readers? ; Does It Even Matter? And just how cool is your job? ; Why sleeping on a problem often helps
• · · · · · Here’s what it will take for you to stop working and never run out of money: A formula for the good life A voice inside wants to know: F***-you money—how much is enough? ; The theory of "morphic resonance" posits that people have a sense of when they are being stared at. What does the research show? Rupert's Resonance

Friday, October 28, 2005

Pain is deeper than all thought,
Laughter is higher than all pain.
-Elbert Hubbard

Babette's Feast: is Lauren’s favourite movie. At the very end, when the dinner party breaks up, and the sisters tell Babette that in heaven, she'll get to be the great artist she was meant to be on earth. And we see that all the characters have had to set aside their ambitions and become something other than what they wanted to be, and yet there they are, looking up at the stars, looking at each other. That gets me every single time ...

The only difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for free costs more ...

I mean, this may sound ridiculous, but I’ve never to this day really known what most women think about anything. Completely closed book to me. I mean, God bless them, what would we do without them. But I’ve never understood them. I mean, damn it all, one minute you’re having a perfectly good time and the next, you suddenly see them there like—some old sports jacket or something—literally beginning to come apart at the seams. Floods of tears, smashing your pots, banging the furniture about. God knows what. Both my wives, God bless them, they’ve given me a great deal of pleasure over the years but, by God, they’ve cost me a fortune in fixtures and fittings. All the same. Couldn’t do without them, could we. I suppose ;-)
-Alan Ayckbourn, Absurd Person Singular

Long work hours are making men grumpy, while women are struggling to balance uncertain hours with family commitments Long hours disconnecting families: Goward ; There are two great F-words that form the central equation of the population debate: fertility equals family. Why aren't we having children? The reasons have to do with lack of family formation, or family formation that is simply too late Finding fertile ground: Feminists killed the Australian family

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Your love, your excitement, is not something you can just turn on
I am not yet sure of Byng's weakness - though he is on two wives at 36 - but his strength is pretty obvious.

He cares, and he makes others care. He understands how to motivate writers, how to inspire them. Simple, really: he takes only writers whose work he loves, and his confidence becomes their confidence. This year, his passion is for James Meek's The People's Act of Love. A few years ago, it was Yann Martel's Life of Pi, which became the Booker prize-winner after publication by Canongate. Martel's first two books had gone nowhere. But Byng read Life of Pi and wrote Martel an impassioned letter explaining why he loved his book, why Canongate should publish it. Martel said that if Byng matched his offer from Faber & Faber, the book was his. Byng did. "I think what we offered was something you can't put a value on, which was commitment to the book in terms of time and passion.

The mane man ; [Mark Billingham continues his occasional series of columns for the Bookseller talking about the writing life. This time, he tackles the age-old question: does it get easier with each book? Guess what the answer is: The Write Stuff ; Book authors are kind of the low end of celebrity ]
• · She was a Goth, into body piercings and the heavy metal bands Marilyn Manson and Korn. Just days after her 15th birthday she, and a young man she had taken up with only three weeks before, hanged themselves in what police believe was a planned ritual suicide pact Young and troubled - two lives destroyed in a gothic tragedy ; Eric Fellner has plenty of enthusiasm when it comes to filmmaking From Britain, brimming with ideas
• · · AAAAH, Halloween, or as it is known among those who are powerless over their addiction, Candy Corn Season A Guilty Pleasure Shows Its Colors ; How to Write Dozens of Bestsellers and Still Live the Good Life Stuart Woods, Author of 'Iron Orchid'
• · · · Don't look now, but Sydney could get a new nudist beach just in time for summer Nude Beach ; Under the skin of a French obsession
• · · · · Ms. Household Opera asks (and answers) a wonderful question: Which movie scenes always make you cry (and which ones always make you laugh)? The Life of Brian: "You don't have to follow me! You're all individuals!" Crowd, in unison: "Yes! We're all individuals!" One lone voice in the background: "I'm not.") Yes, it's true. I am a great big sap ; Australian Coffee and Australian Wine
• · · · · · Peter Paul Rubens’s feelings for women were edgy and confused. His tastes for plump nudes mask X-rated hungers for sex and violence The art of excess ; John Bayley’s writing shares all the central Iris Murdoch postulates, derived from Aristotle and Kant. But where she is the intellectual, he is the evasive critic Puffed Wheat

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Small Virtual Key Open Big Door

[Blogging] business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side ...
-Hunter S. Thompson Meeting the Whole Wide World

Once upon a time I had a pleasure of reviewing a masterpiece by Dan Gillmor entitled We The Media and this week I ploughed through another global treasure entitled The Naked Conversations. If you know who the honest, naked, guys are who wrote this amazing tome then the future has never looked brighter. However, if you have no clue as who has written the story then the future has never looked more bleak.

This is a story of a modern revolution
Imagine what it would be like to live simply and purely, dedicated to a force larger than yourself. This is exactly what Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have done over the last twelve months or so. You know that both of them spent hours and hours on the story because the first page that you open of the Advanced Uncorrected Proofs - Not For Sale - is dedicated to Maryam Scoble and Paula Israel. The boys could not have given birth to this wonder without them;-) If you happened to have the time over the last twelve months to follow their virtual fingerprints you would realise that Shel and Robert are like those creatures with two legs and eight hands.

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers taps into something under the surface, which I think is intriguing, and there is a mystery there which drags you through the new virtual world. The struggle to get ahead in the new brave world makes for a memorable read. As Tom Peters, the blogging guru, notes in his forward ‘Biz Blogging ... WORKS. It is of ... MONUMENTAL IMPORTANCE. (Or can Be) Listen. Please (If you don’t you’re a Damn Fool)’

The introduction: of Bloggers and Blacksmiths envokes an image of middle-aged white guys talking in the nude around a camp fire. Terry Catchpole gets to have the first say: ‘It began with conversations. Then we got into broadcast media. Now we are going back to conversations. It’s a full circle.’

The book consists of three parts and it is peppered with pertinent quotes and observations. In my eyes, the basic points for this book are also found inside Aristotle’s The Rhetoric. Technology changes but human nature and how we converse, think and act remains the same. We all want to practice ‘honest and, naked, conversations with customers that build loyalty and trust.’ “Three Legs of Persuasion” found inside The Rhetoric enable us to share great conversations with people. Miss any of the three legs and it is like trying to sit on a three-legged stool that is missing one leg! What are the three legs? They are: Logos, or Logic. Pathos, or Passion. Ethos, or Ethics. All 15 chapters of this book are based on these three legs. There are no tricks, no superficial concepts and certainly no short cuts. In order to obtain full benefit one needs to read one and all chapters.

When I think of Robert and Shel I think of what Oliver Wendell Holmes had to say about leaders:
‘There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason and generalize, using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, and predict. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight.’

Robert and Shel are three-story men and blogging champions who even make each chapter heading thought-provoking. Where other technical evangelists and business consultants pander, lecture, exaggerate or understate, Robert and Israel are content with an intimate recitation of fact and wisdom. They lay out the core beliefs, the core practices, and the core virtues of blogging. And they work hard to get those things working in your personal and professional life.

In a light-hearted, motivating tone this book explores many nuggets of genuine wisdom. The virtual terms are all explained using real-life examples and interesting tidbits from 200 or so interviews. You will find handy 'must know,' 'should know' as well as 'could know' spread throughout the book. For instance, find out how Google delivered golden needles. This is a book that most of us need on our bookshelves and one that we will likely refer to time and time again. The authors’ extensive business and marketing experiences are evident as every page is filled with useful tips, concrete examples, and thoughtful suggestions for improvement.

To paraphrase an old song, blogging is not for everybody - just the sexy people
Naked Conversations is the ultimate reference for people wishing to develop their blogging and marketing skills. This indispensable guide is packed with professional tips on how to add more zap and clarity to personal and business communications.

This book is a delight to read for many reasons. It encapsulates the skills and techniques for improving people's blogging and writing in one accessible book. And it practises what it preaches, in the sense that it is easy and enjoyable to read.

It is hard to compete for thoughtful reviews with writers like Jeff Clavier who posted the first review of the galley proof, to boot, autographed by both Scoble and Israel, Naked Conversations

Congratulations are in order for creating something out of nothing, and may the word spreads like a good old Australian bushfire ...

Soon, around Christmas, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel of Naked Conversations are going to strike a few sparks at the Les Blogs conference
Defining together these new values:
1. How they challenge the corporate world
2. How they change the media landscape
3. How they bring more democracy in politics
4. How education evolves
5. What are the tools used and how we can all best benefit from them
6. Where we are going in the near and longer term future

CODA - Worthy reads: The PC Doctor » Here to help! I have a galley proof!
Neville Hobson makes an observation about two events that have happened since the two authors delivered the completed manuscript to Wiley and which are not in the text - IBM's global employee blogging initiative and eBay's acquisition of Skype Naked Conversations Is A Cracking Read
Steve Rubel links to Naled Conversations
Alex Barnett Markets *really* are conversations
Jim Minatel writes: I read the first 3 chapters of Scoble and Israel's Naked Conversations in galleys today over lunch. Yes, I'm reading the actual hardcopy, not a Word file or PDF. Why? Because almost everyone buying the book will read a hardcopy version too, it only makes sense to experience the book the same way the customer will. Reading and editing on paper
Church of the Customer Podcast Women's word of mouth; Wanna be a business book author?
I've Been Selected to Review Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's New Book The Mason Technologist
I got another great treat today: My galley copy of Robert Scoble’s and Shel Israel’s Naked Conversations hit my desk A Book Publisher Blog
Business Blog Consulting The Newest Blogging Book to Hit the Market
Michael Martine pointed out: Business blogs are personal in the sense that they are not the product of a marketing department or public relations firm. How Do You Draw the Line Between the Personal and the Private in Your Blog?
Robert Scoble wrote about his recent visit to high end audio/video cable manufacturer Monster Cable: Why Should Businesses Have A Blog?

After the Matter: A note from Robert and Shel - The Media Dragon Loves us

The advanced uncorrected proof of Naked Conversations has arived by express post and it looks impressive. It certainly reads well as I could not put it down and am half way though it.

The internet, long seen as a neutral realm free of government interference, is now hot political property. Not surprisingly, therefore, both the European Union and the United Nations are now trying to grab control of the internet The Net is anarchy: keep it that way

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bezos Emphasizes "Digital Media"
The Guardian has an interview with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Ratifying our report from Frankfurt of the company's plans in progress for selling online versions of books, Bezos comments: "Digital media in general, including music downloading, is something that will be an important part of Amazon's future. It is still very early and the sales are still very small, but there will be multiple generations of digital media products

'Our belief is that there will be lots of winners' [German publishers to build own online book network ; Blog addicts overwhelmed by information may have found their savior Cliff Notes From the Blog World ; Food blogs are booming, as foodies across the globe share the good, the bad and the burnt Blog in, don't wait]
• · Spinners and bloggers: political communications in the digital age ; How to make money on your news content website
• · · Mark Cuban has spent so much time pushing boundaries and rattling status-quo thinking that he is nearly numb to the backlash that seems to accompany his every move: ‘The worst thing we can do is bury our heads in the sand and pretend it can't happen again” Blogger Cuban Calls His Terror Film a Reminder; That blogs would one day become an alternative media was never doubtful. Fury over a blog
• · · · Catholic School Principal To Students: Thou Shalt Not Blog ; How Much Is My Blog Worth?
• · · · · Big-name political bloggers are banding together to try to bring order to the sometimes-chaotic blogosphere Will Pajamas Media Wake Up Blogs? ; The opportunity that is given by the Blogs is ignored by many businesses. This will be the great challenge to use and integrate the Blogs into the business Blogs are the Greatest Marketing Assets
• · · · · · Google Base: A New Rival for eBay and Craigslist? ; Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

James Jupp reviews the Draft Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005. He notes that the draft legislation breaches a number of long-standing legal protections and raises concerns about how it may be implemented Draft Anti-Terror Legislation reviewed and Christian Kerr notes how Peter Beattie has made a committment to anti-terror measures, but he still thinks the proposed counter-terrorism laws may be unconstitutional Sowing the seeds of Terror Australis

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Points and Counterpoints: Are we becoming bad losers?
There is a crisis in mental health in Australia.

Its magnitude, and the level of community concern, is reflected in the 500-plus submissions made earlier this year to the federal government’s Senate Select Committee on Mental Health. Writing in New Matilda, Jennifer Smith and Anne-Marie Boxall draw on several of these submissions to highlight the critical issues facing mental health care in Australia

New Matilda [David Elliott: The NSW Liberal Party should take the leadership in campaigning for sweeping constitutional reforms, including the abolition of the upper house NSW upper house 'has had its day' ; The man who instigated the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police force has cast doubt over the ability of future corruption inquiries to attract key witnesses John Hatton ]
• · Multiculturalism is an ally not an enemy, argues Petro Georgiou Multiculturalism and the war on terror ; Race against time to create a 1000km bird flu buffer zone
• · · Washington Post (reg req): Indonesia Neglected Bird Flu Until Too Late, Experts Say Bird Flu: A Government's Criminal Failures ; Falconio told of tax debt on day he disappeared
• · · · Linda Botterill examines the role of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in the wake of the controversy over ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope’s publication of the draft Anti-Terrorism Bill. COAG and the limits of parliamentary scrutiny ; The agenda lurking in the shadows ; Despite the controversy over the Cross City Tunnel, partnerships can work, writes Gary Sturgess Private funding still a better way forward for public projects
• · · · · Bullies are all the same. They hunt in packs, pick on those weaker than them, then scurry like rats when someone, in a moment of bravado, takes them on. And so it is with the infamous NSW right-wing Labor machine The sissies of the Labor Right ; Raunch culture: Feminism set out to free women from roles imposed on them by males, but a new book accuses women of building a new, self-imposed prison by acting like sex objects and tolerating sexism
• · · · · · The Conservative Party is looking for a leader with the qualities to sweep them to power. But what's the secret to great leadership in the wider world? The best boss is... A leader is a dealer in hope; Anti-terror policies 'failing'

My friend G has kindly dipped into amazing Eckart Tolle’s "Silence Speaks":

When you walk through a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by man, you will see not only abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Micro-orgainisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn't to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this?
Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal

Persaud knew she wanted to tell the story of modern-day arranged marriages through the eyes of a few people -- perhaps even just one person. It took her a year to find Vibha Writing What You Know, And Then Some

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Is Jon Stewart the Next Oprah?
Whether she’s resurrecting classic Faulkner or gushing over a dating guide, Oprah Winfrey still sells books better than anyone else on television.

But if Oprah’s the queen of TV book publicity, the king is Jon Stewart. For authors of politically oriented (though not necessarily politically correct) nonfiction that Oprah would never touch, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart may now be the most prized stop on a television publicity trail that often starts with the network morning shows and includes daytime talkfests and dozens of nightly news programs on CNN and Fox. “The Daily Show is the new show to book,” says Carisa Hays, vice-president and director of publicity at the Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. “Authors now request to be on—you always take that as a sign of being hot.”

Oprah’s throne [ Australian Online Personals and Meeting and Dating Sites ; After Hours: 2005 Holiday Gift Guide: Maximum Wow ]
• · From The Believer, there's a growing dissonance between how much we know about our food and how much we continue to eat it Glorious Food ; Justice is to render each his due. Justice is always in motion from an inner source, but never complete or automatic. Classically, justice is a moral, practical virtue. I must acquire it and practice it toward others. No one can make me just. I can always choose to be unjust. Since justice already means “related to others,” why add the “social”? Social justice” can be a dangerous phrase
• · · The politics of comedy and sex: Kurt Vonnegut tells a reporter one of his favorite sour jokes It hurts only when I laugh ; Why women should feel free to cry in the workplace -- and anywhere else they damn well please Cheers for tears ; Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
• · · · The Non-Fiction 100 ; Diary of a mad, bad, sad and ultimately glad, black woman
• · · · · How to Pour a Perfect B ; I can't tell you how much nicer the world becomes when you organize your life around your own pain. We now have plans for a community center, a bookstore, a coffee house, and a Monstrosity Awareness program in the schools Things That Rise Up in the Night: A Howl-oween Treat
• · · · · · What’s going to happen when the most prosperous, best-educated generation in history finally grows up? (And just how special are the baby boomers?) Boomer Century ; As a late baby boomer turning 50, Sue Clarke feels she has lost out What'll I be like when I'm 64? ; Can witnessing acts of goodness compel people to act better themselves? Tonight, Tonight... Greater Good ; I promised that from now on I would write only for the Lord. It's the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan's 'Slow Train Coming' announced that he'd been born again. Anne Rice CHRIST THE LORD: Out of Egypt

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Make-believe democracy: drowning with the authoritarians

My dad came into my dream last night very vividly and, as a child, I recall him saying to me as we watched a wolf trying to attack us how the most dangerous animal in the forest is the one that is hurt. I think his words were: "Injured animal is the most dangerous animal in the forest".
In some strange way this could be said in the context of Thomas Paine: "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Do we ever ask which minorities are being hurt by our economy and politics or religion? Who is hurting most? I know there is a very fine line between a freedom fighter and a terrorist - it is in the eye of the beholder. Now is the time to be very open about what we see

It couldn’t have happened at a worse moment ... Bird flu: looming disaster or alarmist exaggeration? Terrorism laws: threat to liberty or responsible reaction to terrorist threat? Industrial relations overhaul: draconian ideology or economic necessity? Life is more than a little complicated these days, and here at the ideologically-neutral Crikey we prefer to be a clearing house of ideas and analysis rather than an arbiter of views. Today the clearing house is pretty full – and if the doomsayers are all right we're facing a pretty grim few years ahead. It is the regular old human flu we should be worrying about, says Erdal Safak in Turkey's Sabah Turkish press gets bird flu jitters

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Left right out of the world wide wisecrack
There is a nasty little scrap happening on the internet between the forces of the political Left and Right – and the right seems to be winning.

That's what any standard capacity, culturally attuned laugh meter would show. This cyber battle is important because it demonstrates the emerging significance here of web logs (blogs) in national and international political debate.

I had a go at a few blowhards the other day [A fridge called Farr ; Thank (insert deity) for blogging ]
• · Cliff Notes From the Blog World; Who Will Control the Internet?
• · · Blog Usability Showdown: Me vs. Jakob Nielsen; Stakeholders don't see eye to eye World Summit on the Information Society
• · · · Dartmouth professor warns of misuse of mapping technology in political redistricting ; Mapping Where You Think You Live
• · · · · Scott McLemee hoped academic librarians would blog more about their work Noise in the Stacks ; In the battles over evolution, it’s usually the critics of evolution who are accused of crossing church/state lines Another Attack on Evolution ; Blogging 101--Web logs go to school
• · · · · · So you are a real info-junkie - you need to scan through much more information than others. You probably are subscribing to hundreds of information feeds - blogs, data feeds, news feeds, etc. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Welcome to BlogBridge - the Blog and feed aggregation solution ; 'God Bloggers' Head to National Conference

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tanya Giles of the Herald Sun used Australia’s Freedom of Information law to find that the Victoria provincial government “has signed closet deals worth more than $55 million with scores of private companies without putting the lucrative jobs up for tender.” Secret deals worth $55m

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The Human Race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television
Many Republicans came to Congress pledging to fight corruption. How quickly they forget

Unlike many observers who have gleefully exulted in Tom DeLay’s recent indictments, I think his guilt or innocence is almost beside the point, particularly since he’s still in the House wielding his considerable power.

Beginning Of The End For The GOP [Dahrendorf: The politics of frustration Does extreme poverty breed violence and ultimately revolution? ; Andrew Fraser, apologised to State Parliament last night after an altercation with the Minister for Roads, Joe Tripodi, during which he manhandled the minister Minister and MP scuffle in chamber ; Fists and claws no more, even in bearpit ]
• · George Packer, The New Yorker Can Democrats Seize the Momen; After weeks of public anger the NSW Government has agreed to release Cross City Tunnel papers it said it could never make public because they were commercial-in-confidence Tunnel deal: the whole bloody thing will be made public ; Mayors peddle green message but revhead wants V8 ; The Government would rather tax renters and leave home owners and holiday owners untaxed than act according to principle. Property tax: how to balance the addiction
• · · Stephen Schwartz, TCS How Long Will the Media Get the Iraq Story Wrong? ; Justice Kirby has seen much change in his decade in the High Court From hostile politicians to homosexuality, we've come a long way
• · · · Henry Miller, Wall Street Journal We Are Ill-Prepared for a Flu Pandemic ; Cathy Young, Boston Globe The Problem of Poverty ; We keep getting richer without getting better off. Indeed, in some respects we're getting worse off Humans don't just need leisure time, they need time off work at the same time as their spouse and while their children aren't at school. That's why weekends were invented, particularly Sundays An efficient ride up the garden path ; Bring us in out of the cold, help us become real participants in Australian society and take our part. Don't leave us like lepers of the 21st century - untouchable and untouched NSW in the sin bin on mental health ; Irony of IR PR: Same job but one gets $4987 less than the other
• · · · · The Price of Low Expectations ; Nobody's asking about the ROI for each little initiative. What's at stake in analytical competition is not an application, but a corporate strategy. Assembling the right data, finding and using the right tools, and developing the right relationships between analysts and decision-makers all take time. Therefore, it makes sense to start pulling them together now Success Through Analytics: History seems to be on the side of the numbers
• · · · · · Hollywood history is made daily in Sydney, if you know where to look Sydney's reel estate ; An investigation by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has failed to determine why a maintenance worker at Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor has recorded an unusually high dose of radiation Radiation leak feared at reactor

There’s no longer enough time in the day for people to sit down with the newspaper the way our average sixty-year-old reader does. People today are browsers and breezers Today's newspaper readers are "browsers and breezers

The Blog, The Press, The Media: David vs. Google
How a Mathematician from New Jersey wants to Overcome the World's biggest Search engine: A Trip into the World of Algorithms

When Apostolos was a kid, he drifted off into the world of numbers. His tiny village in Greece was boring. Now he’s taking on Google. A well-written Program is like a good Book: C++ is constantly being enhanced, "the language becomes more efficient every year", says Wei Wang, who has written the main part of the Ask Jeeves program

He was a bad student until he started to read Dostoyevsky [ Printer paranoia ; Google shares soar on profit news ; Kids ditch traditional toys for high-tech, electronic gadgets]
• · Why I don't want my kids going into journalism ; My Beautiful Career: How did the newsroom suddenly become so gorgeous? Never has the journalism profession been so handsome
• · · Crisis Of Faith: It turns out that Judith Miller had a lot more power at the New York Times than young Jayson Blair, and she used it NYT mess looks more and more like Catholic Church scandal ; In the name of journalism, the paper must cast out the unclean spirits NYT needs one last public exorcism to drive out the demons
• · · · Two Houston eateries have been chosen to be part of Esquire magazine's "Best New Restaurants" list due out soon, and you can partly thank your tax dollars for that Paid Publicity; This means not just recognizing that on most matters there are multiple points of view out there as opposed to a single, discoverable 'truth,' but also -- and this is just as important -- acknowledging that the world is a complicated place, and the stories and issues we cover are not always reducible to simple, television-friendly explanations PressThink: That’s some of what we did our best to find out today
• · · · · At Washington Post Company, Paper Down, Web Site Up ; Running With a Fast Crowd at AMC
• · · · · · The phrase should be "balanced and fair," not "fair and balanced." Most journalists are fine people; All the Dirt That's Fit to Print Wonkette's novel previewed

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Although my need is great,
My gratitude is more.
But you are like the sunshine,
Drowning all in light of prime factors
There's Richness in a Saturday Brunch

As my debt grows, so my love does, too.
What you give I cannot half repay.
Your love for me enflames my love for you.

I can't help being moody, often blue,
Irritable, anxious, sad, and yet you stay.
As my debt grows, so my love does, too.

I know I'm lucky to have someone who
Will love me through this, day by troubled day.
Your love for me enflames my love for you.

Gifts like yours to me do not accrue.
Still, it's hard when giving goes one way.
As my debt grows, so my love does, too.

Yet unlike money, love is never due.
Its return is free, in just the way
Your love for me enflames my love for you,

A natural grace, making one of two.
And so this darkness has its own bright ray:
As my debt grows, so my love does, too;
Your love for me enflames my love for you.

Pointing to the briefcase I said: 'How do you know you are going to reject them?’
'If they were any good, they wouldn't be dropped at my hotel by the writers in person. Some New York agent would have them.'
'Then why take them at all?'
'Partly not to hurt feelings. Partly the thousand-to-one chance all publishers live for. But mostly you're at a cocktail party and get introduced to all sorts of people, and some of them have novels written and you are just liquored up enough to be benevolent and full of love for the human race, so you say you'd love to see the script. It is then dropped at your hotel with such sickening speed that you are forced to go through the motions of reading it.'"
-Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

According to a SMH report this morning Penguin paid $1.3 million for the rights to Steve Waugh’s Out of My Comfort Zone. This seems like a rather large sum to pay for the thoughts of a retired sportsman (or his ghost writer), especially one who always seemed to me to be a bland suburban Dad with a talent for cricket. But: Vanity publishing?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Are Jews Smarter?
Albert Einstein, Ashkenazi Jew and genius, wasn’t alone. So are Ashkenazis smarter than other people? Well, you know, two Jews, three opinion

Did Jewish intelligence evolve in tandem with Jewish diseases as a result of discrimination in the ghettos of medieval Europe? That’s the premise of a controversial new study that has some preening and others plotzing. What genetic science can tell us—and what it can’t.

To be paranoid, you need a very good imagination [Blacks abandoned in New Orleans “turned to rape and murder.” That is what we were to expect The Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape ; “What if...” Careful now. If you’re a politician and you float a thought in the antecedent of a conditional, then someone will insist you actually believe it or wish it The Trouble With Hypotheticals ]
• ·
Of all the achievements of Australian filmmakers over the last three decades, the work of Robin Anderson and Bob Connolly stands out. A year on the edge ; Maybe a strong belief in gods and spirits gave our ancestors comforts and advantages, says Robert Winston. But what about us? Why do we believe in God?
• · · For many Australians sperm donation has been the gift of life Secrets of the Fathers ; What does it mean to say “God is just” or “God is merciful” or “God is loving”? Talking About God
• · · · Mating. Reproduction. Nothing is more crucial to humanity’s survival ... Tight corsets cause nymphomania, orgasms can kill and wasps are a turn-on Kamasutra Put what where? 2,000 years of bizarre sex advice; The Viennese Expressionist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) had only two urgent interests: himself and his sexual fantasies The Patron Saint of Teen Angst ; The sex in Egon Schiele’s work may be intense, but it is never beautiful enough to seem erotic The Wider, Not Wilder, Egon Schiele
• · · · · Existentialist angst promises a life that’s short, sickly, lonely, and self-obsessed. Start on the road to happiness with a good laugh Are we wired up to be cheerful, or are some of us destined to languish in abject misery? So what do you have to do to find happiness? ; The Culture of Celebrity
• · · · · · Imagine a world without copyright ; The tourist is always the other guy

Saturday, October 22, 2005

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!
-- Lyrics from The Impossible Dream (The Quest) by Joe Darion

My life -- a sole survivor's existence -- has been filled with depths, both the high and the low. I've seen life in a state of glory and in a state of gloom, but, if nothing else, I have felt it. I have learned to live with the risk.

Rather than having no goal, it is, as it has been wisely said by Theodore Roosevelt: ‘Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure than to live like people who ... neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows no victory nor defeat.’

No matter now hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavor,and make success impossible Low aim, not failure, is crime

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: That which does not kill us makes us stronger
Analysts suggest that we're burdened with an inflated sense of entitlement. Bloody hell. Some things are too awful to contemplate, and living in a world where exiles know how to excel at feeling like failures is one of them ...

A new rage has hit the streets. Pump rage. Sibling to the road variety, cousin to hose rage. No prizes for guessing its origins. Steep petrol price increases lead to flow-on rises in the cost of living. When you're operating close to the bone or on credit, your threshold for instability is shot. Enter rage.

• The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Anxiety about rage makes the blood boil [The way to predict the future is to invent it. On a hot Melbourne afternoon in the summer of 1900, an unwed mother sat down on the banks of the Yarra River and drowned her newborn son ; What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us Thinker in action : Be brave when others are afraid, and afraid when others are brave ]
• · Failure is never final and success is never ending. Success is a journey, not a destination: Women have little to fear when a pick-up artist reveals the secrets of his success The Game ; Leadership is having a clear idea of what you're trying to accomplish (and) articulating it to whomever you work with... and being able to overcome all the little issues that get in the way of achieving your goals. But only a leader can overcome the obstacles Hey, Kids - We're Putting on a Show!
• · · Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed Take notice, there's meaning everywhere ; Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored A Journey to a Thousand Maps Begins With an Open Code
• · · · The road to your championship will not be a smooth, wide and easily traveled freeway. No, great accomplishments are never realized without first having to endure steep climbs, hard falls and sharp turns. The key to your success is perseverance and focus. Keep your focus on that which you desire to accomplish, your championship, and continually discover ways to, and ways not to, achieve your goals. Fall down and/or get knocked down 10 times and get back up 11..., and in so doing learn, grow and move closer to your championship A Pride of Princesses at the Door ; Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm Constructive feedback
• · · · · Man unfit for friendship are like waterfowl, which abandons a pond after it's empty or frozen,
Man fit for friendship are like the waterlilies, they remain to share both prosperity and adversity Style Gets New Elements ; It hurts. Sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we would know some kind of peace. But we would be hallow--empty rooms, shuddered and dank. But without passion, we'd be truly dead Absurd Person Singular
• · · · · · Never feel sorry for yourself -- it has a deadly effect on spiritual well-being. Recognize all problems, no matter how difficult, as opportunities for spiritual growth, and make the most of these opportunities Mildred Norman The BFF Boys triumph again ; The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it My new favorite publisher: Europa Editions ; Double Dragon Preditions

Friday, October 21, 2005

Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
-Richard Nixon

New Territory: Explorers of Freedom - Yes, I now find that freedom frightens me
I write this on September 11, 2005, with voices from a television program behind me telling the horrendous stories of the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center in the United States on a September 11, 2001 -- a long time ago. Yes, it seems long ago for many. I can tell by the way a great portion of the world is reacting.

But I’m here to tell you about another horrendous time. The story, Cold River, by Jozef Imrich, is a surreal slice of the Communist Iron Curtain and a man who took the path less traveled to explore the cold and bitter reality of freedom. I’ve learned a lot from this book, I’m ashamed to say. Yes, ashamed; and worse -- frightened. Hmmm, you may be thinking if you are privy to the writings and ramblings of Roseberry Books. Isn’t this a writer who leads readers to believe in giant rats and bugs, haunted elevators and the mysteries of the tarot. What could possibly be so frightening?
As I’ve edited Cold River for Double Dragon Publishing, I’ve lived the life of Jozef Imrich – right along side him, eavesdropping from that reader’s place just outside the turmoil, the love, the fear, the bravery. That safe place – you know the place. The one that calls for the dinner dishes to be washed, the day job to be worked, the bills to be paid. The place that provides a nice soft bed allowing you to wake to four walls that are familiar and safe. A place that allows you to put a story aside. But inside this book, inside Jozef’s world, things were different. There was no safe place.
Jozef was free at one time – and then that freedom was ripped from him. Sliced away as surely as a sword tears through one of the horror creatures I’m prone to write about. Not only was his personal freedom severed, but also there was a severing of family, of country, of life as he knew it. I traveled with him through those times. This true story is of his escape to freedom and the price he was forced to pay to have that liberty. It talks of a precious thing, a thing of beauty -- this freedom.

. P. Roseberry [Cold River ; Cold War River ; Publishers Sue Google Over Plans to Digitize Copyrighted Books]

In God's Time: the Bible and the Future: a story of biblical prophecy. If you have a sign out for the sermon, 'Our obligation to the poor,' you won't get anybody. If you have a sign out for, 'The Internet and the Antichrist,' you'll bring them in ... That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable ;-) Ach, The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly

The world’s first literary prize for books based on blogs, or “blooks,” is being launched today by its sponsor, Lulu. Lulu Blooker Prize

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Burning Questions
There are not many really useful lessons, I think, in the kind of cannibalistic frenzy that’s erupted in much of the fourth estate over Judith Miller

It ignores fundamental problems of the industry like shrinking budgets, small staffs, fractured markets, shorter public attention spans, a preternatural fear of lawsuits and persistent intimidation by right-wing ideologues. Miller isn't telling anything approaching the whole truth

If they could jail her for her reporting, they would [From the rise of transparency to the decline of newsprint, every PR pro needs to remain on top of the ever-changing media landscape 10 Media Trends To Watch ; The ins and outs of covering brushes, brooms and mops My Swerving, Sanitary Journey in Journalism ]
• · It's a short trip from riding the waves of change to being torn apart by the jaws of defeat: How did it all go so wrong for me? How come some 21-year-old Pommy can make nearly US$360K in six weeks with a home-based internet business and I'm scratching to pay my milk bill? The ten-year-old tycoon; Former Stripes ombudsman dies RIP Philip Robbins
• · · Attitudes are contagious. Mine might kill you: I imagine a good number of you see such discussions as irrelevant. Most Americans, after all, don't even trust us as a profession anymore. But there's good reason for you to care about who is, and who isn't, reporting the news in your community -- and why Reporting the news for the love of the job; Did blogging doom prof's shot at tenure?
• · · · The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures Bloggers have a lot to say about Cohen's "Let This Leak Go" column ; They say it's OK to charm, to cajole, to manipulate if need be. But the most important thing is caring enough to get the story right and tell it well! Capote's cold lessons in getting the story
• · · · · Never be afraid to share your dreams with the world, because there's nothing the world loves more than the taste of really sweet dreams. Future 10: Jurkowitz's list of promising young journalists ; Judy Miller: What a Horribly Ordinary Affair
• · · · · · When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can turn into deadly projectiles Are blogs empowering new voices? If so, who? Will they actually change power relationships in society? ; BLOG! How the Newest Media Revolution Is Changing Politics, Business, And Culture

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Black dog was a sickness, they told him. The previous year he had been worried enough by symptoms of physical illness to visit his doctor and had come away with a series of warnings and prohibitions concerning diet, alcohol, tobacco—the usual nonsense. But paradoxically his efforts to comply had led him inexorably to ask himself why he was bothering; what was so bloody marvellous about this life he was trying to preserve. Such metaphysical speculations were entirely foreign to his make-up and their formulation now was light years from being precise and intellectual. It was just a feeling of hollowness at the centre, a reluctance to awaken from the safe blackness of sleep, a sense of life like a hair floating on dirty bath water, sinking imperceptibly, moment by moment, till a final, spinning gurgling rush carried it away.
-Reginald Hill, An April Shroud

It's over, man. Let her go Irony of Persistence

Art of Living & Grieving: Thanks for the Memories People need to be needed: Who willed the latest Irony of My Life?
As the Opera House celebrates it birthday, a certain 21st anniversary has moved into the realm of the absurd

As the song says, Summertime, and the living is 'easy... ," but for many, it is not. Some people are unhappy in their marriages - their mates are "not fulfilling their needs. Others are upset with their children, their parents, their bosses or their co-workers. Many are unhappy with themselves because of failure, or problems they can't seem to overcome. Yet we are not a culture of automatons, driven only by logic and reason. We have an emotional side that's every bit as important, and this is why so many institutions are failing. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. That, and our unrelenting curiosity, is what gives us hope for the future ...
Happy are those who know what sorrow means... Happy are those who claim nothing... Happy are those who are hungry and thirsty for true goodness...Happy are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of goodness

The world is still getting stranger... [No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remember, you've probably only seen the tip of them Keeping It Simple On Health, Wealth and Happiness ; It hurts to admit when you make mistakes - but when they're big enough, the pain only lasts a second Doctor, cancer survivor pens book on 'living with happiness' ]
• · It is difficult to overestimate the influence of the paperback upon the twentieth century - A Revolution in Reading: 1935–1960 I dutifully read The Catcher in the Rye as a teenager, with no sense whatsoever of the irony involved in dutifully reading a novel about the dangers of being thoughtlessly dutiful The Paperback Revolution ; For every winner, there are dozens of losers. Odds are you're one of them Reader says: I'm halfway through your book. It's gut-wrenching ...; In the battle between you and the world, bet on the world. Are we happy yet?
• · · If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem: Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood, and famine...the way the brain works is looking for what's wrong Are we born to be blue? ; Hunting for happiness? Go with the flow
• · · · When birds fly in the right formation, they need only exert half the effort. Even in nature, teamwork results in collective laziness Self-denial is a key to finding happiness ; No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood. Thanks for the memories
• · · · · When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other Reflective Happiness ; The only consistent feature in all of your dissatisfying relationships is you: The key to happiness is to be found not in wealth, sex or sunshine but in concentration. The human brain is stimulated in the most fulfilling way when it is focused on something specific, although often the feeling of happiness is experienced after, rather than during, an intense period of concentration Therapy, equality, eye candy
• · · · · · There is no greater joy than soaring high on the wings of your dreams, except maybe the joy of watching a dreamer who has nowhere to land but in the ocean of reality Don't deny children the right to happiness ; Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea. Understanding the art of happiness

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No matter who you are, you have the potential to be so very much less. Fascination with the end of days is seemingly everywhere ...

Julie Powell was a depressed temp whose life changed forever after she embarked on a year-long Julia Child cook-a-thon Recipe for success

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Literary Seductions
Word spread quickly in some conservative Christian circles when Israeli troops captured the Old City of Jerusalem from Arab forces in June 1967. This was it: Jesus was coming.

But Jesus did not return that day, and the world did not end with the culmination of that Arab-Israeli war. Neither did it end in 1260, when Joachim of Fiore, an influential 12th-century Italian monk calculated it would, nor in February 1420, as predicted by the Taborites of Bohemia, nor in 1988, 40 years after the formation of Israel, nor after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But after last week's devastating earthquake in Pakistan, coming as it did after a succession of recent disasters, the apocalyptic speculation, bubbled up again with impressive fervor on many Christian blogs, in some pews and among some evangelical Christian leaders.

Doomsday: The Latest Word if Not the Last [Even in calamities, cultural attitudes and burial customs come into play when handling the dead Disasters and Their Dead ; PDF version of History and the Noble Art of Lying ]
• · Peter Waterhouse and Crina Virgona investigated the ways in which ten individuals have achieved success despite difficulties with literacy and learning Contradicting the stereotype: case studies of success despite literacy difficulties ; Four Corners follows the "food chain" to see who should take responsibility for what is consumed by those at the very bottom – the children – and asks what can be done to make them healthier. Generation OO ]
• · · As publishers know, a book is judged by its cover, and particularly by the inside back flap of the dust-jacket. As book reviewers know, the author photo positioned there powerfully prejudices their reading and they must shield themselves from its dangers like Perseus avoiding the deadly gaze of the Medusa. As for book buyers, we know that the encounter on the back flap is a significant first meeting, and will tell us instantly whether this is someone whose company we want to share for the next however many bedtimes. Frances Wilson calls for the abolition of author photographs ; Will the Internet replace the boob tube? The Death of Television
• · · · This is new territory. I am an explorer We all struggle ; There is no precedent in US -- or any other -- history for the level of personal debt now carried by the American people. Consider the raw numbers Personal Debts and US Capitalism
• · · · · Few cities can match Sydney's appetite for parties Who makes Sydney's A-list? ; " will include the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google’s own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities – the philanthropic arm of Google
• · · · · · Has the American way of life-- especially our love affair with big cars--reached a tipping point? Nightmares and Dreams: The Auto in American Life; And must lawyers write badly? A Bad Writer? Or Just a Lawyer?

Happy Birthday Gina ;-)