Monday, December 31, 2007

Old Friends, sat on their park bench like bookends...Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How terribly strange to be seventy. Old Friends.
-Dedicated to Steven Monaghan, my friend who invaded our place with Tng Ling this Christmas

I wish all my readers a very very happy and prosperous year ahead. I would like to thank all my linkers my linkers and especially Google engineers for their support and encouragement. Without which I do not think this blog would have been what it is today. ranking as #5 on Google and everywhere else …

This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor Boy Scouts visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD: We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD: Well, ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended. You gotta love the Marines!

PS: It has been the worst and the best of holliday seasons. Christmas Eve with Bawa and Dial Holly Day with Richard and June. Catching up with Gabbie and friends from Holland UK. Dinner with Michael Parkinson at Swell Bronte etc … even swimming in swelly seas with Mal at Bronte. But it also involved going to funerals and spending time at hospitals is something we had to do, but life must go on …

I have been sitting on this joke for quite some time. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks did it too. He became rich really rich like us ;-)
… I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it. I worked jobs I didn't like. I worked jobs I loved, but had no chance of being a career. I worked jobs that barely paid the rent. I had so many jobs my parents wondered if I would be stable. Success and Motivation

Media Dragon denies they knew spinach was a performance enhancing drug Bohemian Bloggers Are Richer and Happier ;-)
I'm rich, I'm sport and computer lover.I pick up on the web everything in which I recognize me. This is the world that sorrounds me ;-) Herewithin we detail the many schemes and scams by which our rich have become _incredibly_ rich, our poor poorer and the rest of us left struggling to get by

The internet retailer you choose just might, without disclosure, install software on your computer to snoop on your web browsing. Would you believe it could be one of the country’s oldest retailers Brian Krebs at the Security Fix blog has this story
“It’s a cold case 3500 years old”, are the opening words to this fascinating documentary. Ancient Egypt was the very center of world power, and managed through hieroglyphs to convey that rich history to us in the modern world. The Pharaohs and the dynasties are for the most part better documented than modern leaders. Our Presidents and their legacy lives on in the form of artifacts left in their usually very ornate tombs and pyramids.
• Cold River’s destiny. The book will read you … It’s a cold case 3500 years old ; It would be so nice if something made sense for a change 7 Surreal Urban Street Art Installation Projects: Brad Downey Brings Wonderland to Life
• · Warren Buffett has been all over the business press recently suggesting that the very rich, those on the Forbes 400 list, are taxed advantageously to the rest of the workforce. That it makes no sense that his tax bill as a percentage of income is lower than that of his secretary or housekeeper. Warren Buffett , Taxes and the Presidency ; In Internet nothing is created, everything is copied
• · · We're doing a series of astrological predictions for the 2008 Presidential candidates. War! Terror! Weirdness! Covering the War on Terror, War on Drugs and General Weirdness Death by 1000 Papercuts ; You spend too much time sat in your bedroom, on your PC Are you sure you couldn’t have found the time, Swallowed your pride and admitted your jealousy one of my city’s many front men
• · · · Now to some rubbish on the net … The Derrty Truth is updated daily with celebrity news and fodder for social commentary; Pages and pages filled with sleepless celebrity gossips, daily star tracks and latest photo shoots. Life should be too short for this … Thousand Gossips Blogs ; Our Bollywood covers all the latest happenings in Bollywood and does not indulge in tabloid journalism Our Bollywood

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today is the end of another start of different era for Stefan Albinski golfer, tax guru and Austrac expert Ski of Champions ;-) Aha, the Marriott Hotel puts on a great Ritzy Christmas spread ...

If you thought Christmas get-togethers couldn't get any worse, you never went to one with Norman Mailer. As the season kicks off, Frances Wilson discovers why literature is full of tales of disastrous parties Parties: a literary survival guide

The World's Longest Literary Honeymoon A little Tax Help

Throughout history, taxes and all things associated with them have been universally loathed. In the Bible, Jesus was thought to be quite peculiar because he hung about with tax collectors. During the Middle Ages, the Hundred Years War was fought because of, amongst other things, excessive taxation. Taxes too helped bring about the American War of Independence: Great Britain was levying duties upon its colonies, and not allowing them a say in how those monies were spent, “no taxation without representation.” More recently, Margaret Thatcher lost her popularity because of a brouhaha over taxes, and in Australia John Howard once very nearly lost his job over the introduction of GST. We don’t like it, this legalised theft. We work hard for what little income we get, and resent any amount of it being taken away by the faceless boffins at the tax department. This attitude means we enjoy immensely any story in which Inland Revenue gets its comeuppance, and take great relish when the little person triumphs over horrid bureaucracy. Stories where taxmen are brought to their knees are usually inspiration for amazing deeds (how many revolutionaries have aped the Boston Tea Party?), and one might think such a tale, such a true story, that happened in our own New Zealand, could make a particularly juicy film. One might think that; one would be wrong.

We’re Here To Help has, at first glance, all the makings of a rollicking yarn. It’s Joe Public fighting Faceless Government Behemoth! It’s Chivalrous Man defending the honour of Beautiful Damsel! It’s quite literally David and Goliath, and, just like always, David emerges triumphant and justified, but there’s something lacking: “interest.” The synopses of the film describe it as a “saga of Kafkaesque and yet comedic proportions.” It’s not. Dave Henderson is treated execrably and is constantly frustrated by the IRD, but to describe his experience as Kafkaesque is not merely hyperbole but does a disservice to Franz Kafka himself. Others have compared We’re Here To Help to that classic of Australian film The Castle (1997). It’s not even close. The Castle was cleverly scripted, brilliantly cast, and delightfully acted. We’re Here To Help: not so much. The acting is rather stilted and the dialogue a little verbose. Erik Thompson (The Black Balloon, Beautiful, Somersault) has been well-cast, but only because he bears a passing resemblance to the real Dave Henderson. Michael Hurst (I’ll Make You Happy, Desperate Remedies, The Tattooist) doesn’t do quite as good an impression of Rodney Hide as he’d like to think, and succeeds only in looking like Michael Hurst in a fat suit and a bald wig. Worse still, the plot isn’t actually that appealing. WE’RE HERE TO HELP (NZ 2007)
DIRECTOR Jonathan Cullinane
WRITER Jonathan Cullinane
CAST Erik Thomson, Miriama Smith, Geoff Clendon, Jason Hoyte, John Leigh, Stephen Papps, Michael Hurst, Peter Elliott, Greg Johnson
NZ RATING PG Contains coarse language
NOTES Based on the book Be Very Afraid, by Dave Henderson

Be Very Afraid; [People love to complain about literary cliques, but communities of like minds have nurtured much great writing The social side of literature; Umberto Eco's mind is as sharp and witty as ever, writes Ben Naparstek of the man who says he invented Dan Brown The Armani of literature ]
• · In Austria I am part of new literature; in the Czech Republic I'm not Bah, humbug, it's party season again; There's a question that sometimes comes up in conversations about interactive fiction: Is it literature, or a game? Art, film or game? 'Inanimate Alice' redefines 'publish'; Literature has a great unifying force and it can act as a catalyst amidst the diversity prevailing in our region. American dreamer

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ach, a morning of Svety Mikulas ...

Some symbols are just so powerful you can't get past them. Take Cold War inside the insider’s story Cold River. Life in my teenage years under communism was memorably described as nasty, brutish and short. I know that soccer is a very simple game made unnecessarily complicated by too much analysis and over thinking (a bit like communism really). The simple and deadly experiences of my sister Aga are captured inside it and so is the sale of anthrax et al. This month comes a story along these lines from the old Czech or Slovakia. The Imrich Prophecy

Our Future on a Hotter Planet
Imrich: & Enriched uranium that could have been made into a "dirty bomb" by terrorists has been seized by Slovakian police after it was allegedly offered for sale for $1m.

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian suspected of peddling the radioactive material were arrested in eastern Slovakia and Hungary on Wednesday. Michal Kopcik, a senior Slovakian police official, said the men had 481.4 grams of uranium in powdered form. It is believed to have come from a former Soviet republic, but the identity of the intended buyer was not disclosed. Tests showed it contained 98.6 per cent uranium-235. Uranium is considered weapons-grade if it contains at least 85 per cent uranium-235.

Uranium for 'dirty bomb' seized by Slovak police ; [Non-Weapons Grade HEU Bust in Slovakia ]
• · A MAP of the earth's sunniest locations reveal that Australia is a sunburnt country, with plenty of solar energy to spare Australia, how sunburnt are we? ; Spotlights on the climate crusaders
• · A politician has as much legal right as any other citizen to resign from his job at the drop of a hat or at the beckon of a lovelier position Improving politicians' behaviour
• · · Until the early 1990s, most Azerbaijanis in Iran referred to themselves as Turks. In Search Of Multiple Identities; Lessons in Cultural Suicide

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogs ensures that good news travels fast and bad news travels faster, allowing mistakes to be recognized quickly and fixed promptly; people own their actions and own up to their errors so that they can learn from them; people know where they stand, know what’s expected of them, and know what it takes to get attention during the election time ….

The reason Gen Y favoured Rudd was because he addressed our very real concerns for the future of our country and our people. Consider Mark Twain: Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear

As Mark Twain said Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, identified denial as the first of her five stages of dealing with grief and tragedy. The others are anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

We have got to make sure we are recruiting good people, we have got to get our organisation together, we have got to work on policy. You can't leave an election to the last four months. An election is a four-year proposition and right around Australia the Liberal Party has got to come to grips with this and we have got to lift our game.

ALP - the natural party of government; [Why the Ruddslide? Why the Ruddslide?; Unlike their US counterparts, Australian psychologists have rejected any involvement in torture Torturous acts]
• · Murdoch's Australian papers covered the election with an eye to the likely post-poll climate Rupert Murdoch and the Claytons editorial endorsements ; APO ELECTION COVERAGE
• · · The first Australian social news site might help us decide, writes MARGARET SIMONS The Content Makers: Media Dragons Understanding the Media in Australia What's worth reading? ; As Web 2.0 technologies proliferate, an increasing number of Australians, especially young Australians, are relying primarily on information and communication technologies to engage and interact with each other and the world. Legal aspects of Web 2.0 activities: management of legal risk associated with use of YouTube, MySpace and Second Life ; Isys searches Bloggers

Walt Disney once famously said, “If you can dream it, you can do it”. (He also went on to say, “Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse,” but that’s not where I want to go today). Disney’s spirit is echoed in the inspiration that drew me to join Saatchi & Saatchi: “Nothing is Impossible”. I love stories about people who transform dreams into reality and a great one has been taking place in where I live, New York City Theatre of Dreams

Can we change the heart of memoirs Last Lecture with Randy?
The NY Post reports on the auction for WSJ columnist Jeff Zaslow's book based on Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch's "last lecture," delivered in September by the 46-year-old computer scientist who suffers from terminal pancreatic cancer.

"I'm dying and having fun," Pausch said in the lecture, "And I'm going to keep having fun every day because there is no other way to do it."

The Post says "the lecture became an instant hit on the Internet, with people calling and e-mailing Zaslow to say how Pausch's inspirational words had helped them deal with their own problems, made them appreciate their families more and encouraged them to let their kids be more creative." The auction, by agent David Black, is said to have reached $6.75 million in NY Post dollars.

Cold Lecture; [I am flattered and embarassed by all the recent attention to my "Last Lecture." I am told that well over a million people have viewed the lecture online Randy Pausch's Web Site ; Masters of the taxing film project: Elsa Ryan and her husband Warren are putting everything on the line to achieve their dream: Writing, directing and shooting their own feature film Shadows of the Past]
• · Ed Glaeser, who is always worth reading, writes a feisty fact-filled review of Krugman’s recent pro-Democrat book. He begins: Princeton Professor of Economics Paul Krugman talks about how the New Deal society has been dismantled in America, and the reasons for it. He brings it back to a revival of Southern issues about race being used by the 'Movement Conservatives' to undo various social policies during the present adminstration. Paul Krugman is also a writer and columnist for the New York Times.
Human knowledge is produced by intellectual combat that exposes weak premises and faulty conclusions to withering challenge. We are often improved more by our ideological enemies than by our friends, because our enemies push us hardest. In that spirit, I welcome the publication of Paul Krugman’s “The Conscience of a Liberal” (W.W. Norton, 352 pages, $25.95). The book espouses a world-view that is in many ways diametrically opposed to my own, but the process of intellectually disagreeing with Mr. Krugman fired my own passion for liberty more than the rhetoric of any current GOP presidential candidate does. Where is the Middle Class?]

Friday, November 23, 2007

POLLS predict a Ruddslide on Saturday. Yet, beneath the wave that Kevin Rudd appears to be riding, there are a series of undercurrents that may overturn years of accepted political wisdom Opinion from the Murdoch empire

WWLL wall-to-wall Labor and Liberal Will to win: tough and tight
Cross your fingers and hope you get what you vote for.

Labor seems likely to have a landslide election victory in Australia on the threshold of an economic collapse even more devastating than that 0f 1929.
There are intriguing similarities between the forthcoming Australian elections and those of 1929. In 1929, the Scullin Labor Government won a landslide victory and took office just 2 days before the New York Stock-Exchange Crash of Black Thursday, 24 October ushered in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now we have a similar situation in that centre-right Prime Minister John Howard, after eleven years in office, looks like being swept away in a landslide by centre-left Labor led by Kevin Rudd. Though perhaps unlikely, it may be that Howard could even lose his seat in the House of Representatives.

Is Rudd Another Scullin? ; [Dr James Cumes is author of The Human Mirror: The Narcissistic Imperative in Human Behaviour. His new book America's Suicidal Statecraft was published in November 2006. In 2000 AD James encouraged Media Dragon to pen down Cold River James Cumes; A healthy dose of scepticism is crucial to our ability to process information, especially during an election campaign. A sceptic's guide to politics ; Rudd and Howard are both guilty of dumbing-down political debate through their use of pithy YouTube statements and glittering websites to divert debate. Hey, pollies, you're in my space. Get out!]
• · This is an exclusive indepth report on what it’s like to being a lower house candidate My Experience as a Candidate at Federal and State Elections; Former White House press spokesman Scott McLellan will discuss in his forthcoming spring book WHAT HAPPENED: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington how top officials got him to mislead the press. A very brief posted excerpt reads: "The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself. Scott McLellan: They Got Me to Lie: There was one problem. It was not true
• · Australians are much more socially mobile than Americans - but there are worrying signs Flipping burgers in America, land of missed opportunity ; No-one knows less about Australian elections than Antony Green who has blurbs everywhere. Czech out Mackerras pendulum … wisdom v hot air Last Minute Reports; Professor Brian Costar believes Labor will win about 36 additional seats to give it 96 House of Representatives members. Betting market
• · · Ambit Gambit Gambler; The Crikey Guide to the 2007 Election at Larvatus Prodeo gambler
• · · · Media Dragons inside the Blogging Community gambling on election and beyond A Must Read APO: French Zo Zo Zo ; Tropical Political Club; Graham Young loves blogs! Best Blog Posts of 2007: Call for Nominations
• · · · · Ach Top 100 Australian Blogs Index; A new blog every month? Are you nuts?
• · · · · · 100 Important Living Australians John Hatton used to have a metaphor for democracy - sunlight being the best disinfectant. Top 100

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dear Diary entry 22 November 2007 AD:

Pink Rose John Hatton

In Parliament, John Hatton was very good value. We need a few more like him. In art, John is creating ripples in all kinds of rivers and landscapes … A noted British author once described good painting as arresting an image in time, such that film or cinema could never do. Painting offers something that no human eye, film or cinematic experience could deliver: the ability to capture an event or scene through the lens of an artist. One and all Australians should consider czeching out Different Strokes at 14 Foster Street in Queanbeyan The Artists Shed: John and David Hatton's art exhibition in Queanbeyan from today 22 November until Christmas

Ach, After spending September at Jervis Bay and October at Byron Bay, we could not agree more with John’s sentiment about the overkill of the development on the south coast. HUSKISSON is in danger of becoming another Byron Bay as developers circle the seaside village. In recent weeks two bids have been made to redevelop key commercial properties fronting Jervis Bay, and there are fears developers may move in to take advantage of Shoalhaven City Council planning laws left in limbo HUSKY ‘AT RISK’ ; Independent Mr. John Hatton, the anti-corruption and anti-crime campaigner - and the Wood royal commission, 10 years on Holding judgement

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hollywood is a town awash in hyphenates Despite his Nobel Prize in Literature, Turkey's Orhan Pamuk feels he's still not part of the literary inner circle. But some people just refuse to come in out of the cold. Sure people love Apple and Cartier, but what about stuff that isn't in the luxury goods market? So how about the spell of history floating on Cold River

I felt I was out of Mars Reader's Report Confessions
Esther Allen has a long piece in the Guardian about her work writing reader's reports on books written in or translated into French or Spanish. Her passion for her work is palpable: "Writing the reports is a time-consuming, often frustrating, and always financially unprofitable pastime, and there can't be many of us willing to do it; sometimes two or three different publishers in sequence will, unbeknownst to each other, send me the same book to evaluate. I often wonder - particularly when a deadline is looming - why I do reader's reports at all.

Going along with that story she tells recently of the "same book sent to me by three different publishers. I imagined and pitied the poor agent, doggedly sending it back out after each new rejection, not knowing that my report had already shot it down. Then I found myself sitting in that agent's office. I was the one who'd brought up the difficulty of getting foreign books published in English. 'Yes!' he exclaimed. 'I've been submitting this wonderful novel everywhere' - he named the title - 'and no one will do it!' My heart sank."

Financially unprofitable pastime; [As the writers strike enters its third week, I think the future belongs to a tantalizing new hyphenate: the writer-entrepreneur. Whoever enters the fray will still need writers to create this new content. So writers should keep their eyes on the prize. Getting a few more pennies of digital loot is just a beginning, not an end. The ultimate goal should be finding ways to own a piece of your own work. Come on, writers, script your futures; The life of the modern writer is complex. Starving alone in a garret wasn't always pleasant, but it was easy Let's Face It]
• · When we first launched Lovemarks into the world, a few people found it hard not to associate the idea with sex. The Attraction Economy: a side bar; What struck me about the guy, was his sheer love and passion for the cinema and food. His movie making is legendary; his wine making and food business are now a $150m enterprise Meeting Francis Ford Coppola
• · For a different counterpoint, there's Harper UK ceo Victoria Barnsley promoting their not-yet-launched as the new new thing to the Independent, though at this stage it sounds a lot like a new gloss on the old Time Warner Book Group's defunct iPublish. My view is more people want to write a book than read a book. Barnsley On New Site, Capturing Readers;
• · · The Chaser's "Eulogy" was less about the celebrities it referenced to than it was about public perceptions of those celebrities. The Chaser's 'just war' on celebrity worship; I am no stranger (nor are you, probably) to how the wider media sometimes depicts bloggers: as closeted wannabees who add to the rise of ‘faux journalism’. Books are currently being published on the subject. Media Dragons: How do You ‘Sell’ Your Blog?; Best Blog Posts of 2007: Call for Nominations

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mmmmm..... The pork is coming thick and fast, with pollies spending our money like there's no tomorrow ... D-day minus 9 (NEIN) ; ach and You Decide

Bookmark YouDecide2007 - your election coverage Stay up to date on the Australian e(l)ections
The first thing I noticed is how heavy the pork barrel is

If Mr Rudd wants to have a debate about surpluses between now and election day, make my day
Nine days out from election day and what a campaign so far: the worm controversy, the rise and rise of MeTooism, pork barrelling by the truckload, the PM's morning walk turns into a daily stalk, Tony "I laugh in the face of your political correctness" Abbott, Family First's first p-rn candidate, things you can learn in the Qantas Chairman's lounge ... and so much more.
Don't lose the detail of this memorable (if interminable) campaign in the tired and emotional haze of Election Night 2007. Make a note of your favorite hustings moments now ... and send them to us!
The categories are (envelopes please):
1. The Evolution-Of-Dance Award for most excruciating YouTube campaign moment.
2. The Pork-Me Plate for the most gratuitous spending pledge.
3. The Latham Handshake Clasp for biggest campaign cock-up.
4. The Dennis Shanahan Medal for the most courageous spinning of a bad news moment.
5. The Suspend-Your-Cynicism Cup for the most inspiring campaign moment

Election Coverage; [Fedral Election; The Crikey Election Awards: ]
• · Hain resurrects spectre of higher tax rate for the rich Richest Debate; How the Cold War gave birth to the Killer B. So the Internal Revenue Service has shut down the Killer B, the tax shelter that has helped fuel the stock buyback programs of many companies with foreign earnings, proving once again that the first rule of Tax Shelter Club is. Do Not Talk About Tax Shelter Club
• · · Last week Mr Keating lambasted key Rudd strategists David Epstein and Gary Gray … In the end, those kind of conservative, tea-leaf reading, focus group-driven polling types who I think led Kim into nothingness - you know, he's got his life to repent in leisure now, from what they did to him - they're back, they're back. These are, in my opinion, no-value people. Wouldn't fight, don't know how to fight, much less fighting the Liberal Party. They don't have the structure, or the creativity, or the passion, or the belief to go and grab the prize. They don't understand a victory. Keating the Musical; World-Renowned Social Entrepreneurs Issue a Call for Action

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In the last few weeks we have invaded Canberra and Byron Bay areas. We enjoyed the atmosphere of Manuka and Kingston in Canberra. We loved the Balina Manor and the company at Phil’s 50th birthday party. However, we advise keep away from the Coachman In Motel at Coffs Harbour especially when filled with unruly Schoolies. Another traveller - Kevin Roberts notes: I'm no authority on the world's greatest or coolest bars, but I do know what my favorite hotel bars are. What Makes a Truly Great Bar?

The planet will continue existing with or without us. DON'T START THE REVOLUTION WITHOUT ME
Being raised Catholic I was taught that the only impediment to receiving Holy Communion was a mortal sin which had not yet been confessed.

Because, after 10 years, 4,195 pages, and over 325 million copies, J.K. Rowling's towering achievement lacks the cornerstone of almost all great children's literature: the hero's moral journey. Without that foundation, her story -- for all its epic trappings of good vs. evil -- is stuck in a moral no man's land.

To be clear: This isn't a critique of Rowling's values. It's a recognition of a disturbing trend in commercial storytelling and Western society.
• If literature truly reflects society, then the end of the Harry Potter series spells trouble for us all. 'Harry Potter' missing a real moral struggle; [Google Vanity Ring: Status Symbol for the Attraction Economy; While in earlier times richness and importance were equal to the amount of money or jewels someone possessed, in a post information society it's the attention you get from the worlds people, that counts. Media Dragon …]
• · The days of my parliamentary experiences are reflected in articles like this - A FORMER state Labor MP, accused of spying on a Liberal opponent, has quit her taxpayer-funded job and been criticised by the Ombudsman for "highly inappropriate" behaviour Ombudsman slams ex-Labor MP's spying ; The hottest, raunchiest show on television right now is set hundreds of years ago in England. It’s based on a true story incorporating sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, along with wars, jousting, religion, politics and globalization. I’m talking about "The Tudors" By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. Socrates Epic storytelling = By all means marry
• · In Born Digital, due to be published next year, John Palfrey of the Berkman Center at the Harvard Law School and his colleague Urs Gasser plan to explore these issues in more detail. Not all people born during a certain period of history (say, after the advent of BBSes) are digital natives. Not everyone born today lives a life that is digital in every, or indeed any, way. Feel like a digital immigrant? Ask a native for help ; I am late again but last month was the Blog Action Day The topic for this year's blog action day is the environment; Do you find self-help books no help at all? Are you slogging away in a job you don't enjoy, to buy things you don't need, to impress people you don't like? Nigel Marsh, bestselling author of Fat Forty and Fired, knows how you feel. In his new book Observations of a Very Short Man, Marsh tackles work-life balance, passion in marriage (or lack of it), parenting, death - even dog ownership. OBSERVATIONS OF A VERY SHORT MAN
• · · Blogonomics: When Blogs Become Books
Having a popular blog really does help sell books on Media Dragon … And there's no doubt at all that needlessly annoying your blog's readers is extremely unlikely to be a good business decision. Cold War Googling; The BBC has launched a new blog to open up discussion about the corporation's website BBC launches blog about internet operations ; The BBC Internet Blog - a sister blog to the existing editors' blogs for news and sport - will cover plans for as well as the development of on-demand platforms such as interactive television and mobile. On demand Journalism
• · · · It is an honor to be chosen for Blog of the Year. vegnews is the place to get your vegetarian news and celebrity buzz, which makes it one of our favorites, ... Wow! Ecorazzi Named Blog of the Year by vegnews ; Call that a moustache? I thought you'd just forgotten to wash Blog: Mee Mee Mi Mo
• · · · · Damon Kitney & Annabel Hepworth, AFRBoss, October 2007, pp. 26-30. If there’s one thing that separates the high performers from the rest it’s how they handle the pressure of time. Autocratic, manipulative, power hungry, perhaps even deranged - the media mogul as portrayed in the press is one of history's more enduring figures. What are the strategic approaches and leadership traits that make for success in this fast moving, often turbulent industry? Lucy Küng combines recent thinking on leadership in creative environments and makes some recommendations for leaders in the media. Time lords ; Programmers make big bucks. Software developers dress casual every day of the week. Anyone can teach themselves to be a programmer. These are just a few of the reasons why people say they want to become a developer. Unfortunately, the job market is littered with people who may have had the raw intelligence or maybe even the knowledge, but not the right attitude or personality to become a good programmer. 10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a developer ; announced today that it launched “The Board” (, a blog written by members of The New York Times editorial board, providing commentary and background on each day’s editorials. Launches ''The Board'' Editorial Blog
• · · · · · CONSUMERS who get their news from the internet are likely to trust a blog for reliability as much as a mainstream media site, the competition watchdog said today. Blogs as reliable as mainstream media - ACCC ; She's slightly evil, easily annoyed, and for her a day without sarcasm is a day wasted. Meet Blog Idol winner Moata Tamaira, whose blog on begins today. Blog Idol winner Moata begins posting ; No author biographies. Unless you’re creating a corporate blog, readers will want to know who they’re reading. You should include more than just your name 10 lessons to blog more professionally

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Booker Record Intact
The Booker judges continued their streak of overlooking the bettors' favorites, passing over Lloyd Jones and Ian McEwan to honor "the rank outsider" (Times) Anne Enright's "exhilaratingly bleak" THE GATHERING and thumbing their collective noses at the British literary establishment along the way.

Chair of the judging panel Howard Davies hailed Enright's book as "a powerful, uncomfortable and even, at times, angry book . . . an unflinching look at a grieving family in tough and striking language." Davies said it was "not everybody's first choice," but did call it "a choice with which all the judges were happy."

Before announcing the winner, Davies criticized the UK's newspaper reviewers for praising mediocre works from well-known writers and overlooking books like Enright's. "I think a little more distance, and critical scepticism, is required by our reviewers, together with greater readiness to notice new names," Davies said. He also indicated the judges were "surprised by the reverential tone adopted by reviewers in relation to books which, to us, did not come off at all." Why the judges were even looking at reviews instead of just the books themselves was not addressed--nor have we seen that question posed yet by the UK papers.

But they do hit back with their own opinions about the judges. The Telegraph says "Enright's victory is a major upset that is likely to fuel increasing criticism that the prize, routinely hailed as the world's most prestigious award for literary fiction, is out of touch with ordinary readers." Author Robert Harris says authors are being encouraged to write novels to please Booker judges that are "grim and unreadable and utterly off-putting for many readers.... They are elegant, elegiac but dull and dry. They do not connect with their readers. They are just deadening to read."

Enright's book ranked fifth in sales prior to the award among books on the shortlist, having sold approximately 3,000 copies, ahead of Indra Sinha's Animal's People. (Even though bettors favored Lloyd Jones's MISTER PIP, Bookscan figures cited in the press showed sales of just over 5,000 copies for that book.) Random UK says they are rushing a reprint of 50,000 copies of THE GATHERING.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Things are seldom what they seem: media dragon masquerades as blog ...
Blogs allow you to share your opinions and expertise with the world. Writing a blog is like writing a public, online diary. If you like to share your opinions, your hobbies or your skills with others, why not write a blog? Talk to the world : The Man Who Sold the Cold War River

Interactive beats static
A blog is also a powerful business networking tool, she says. Blogs fit into the social networking tools and many will develop global networks with like-minded people.

THE hype over blogs focuses on gossip and radical politics. What many people miss is the power of the blog as a marketing tool for small business and an alternative to e-newsletters.
Blogs offer superior features to static websites, sometimes cost nothing and are easy to use. They also increase a company's chances of being found in web searches, saving money on search engine optimisation.

Media Dragons and blogs save time and energy; [Idris and I have innate insurmountable difficulties: I'm feminist and he's a health food enthusiast, all I want to do is eat biscuit after biscuit, he won't eat sugar, wheat, eggs, milk, or processed food Best personal blog 2007; Slav Andy Warhol claimed everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Warhol was well aware of the media circus in the 1960s, but he may not have known that 40 years later people would become famous for being a reality show villain, blogging about celebrities or stepping out of an SUV sans undergarments. Everyone has a blog these days it seems--TMZ, Perez Hilton, Gawker, Huffington Post, Drudge Report, the Fug Girls. But the way to go from blog obscurity to infamy Fifteen Minutes Of Infamy]
• · The report observes that blogging is growing as a tool for promoting not only online engagement of citizens and public servants, but also offline engagement. It describes blogging activities by members of congress, governors, city mayors, and police and fire departments in which they engage directly with the public. It also describes how blogging is used within agencies to improve internal communications and speed the flow of information. Wyld develops a set of lessons learned and a checklist of best practices for public managers interested in following in their footsteps. He also examines the broader social phenomenon of online social networks and how they affect not only government but also corporate interactions with citizens and customers The blogging revolution: government in the age of web 2-0; SQL Scalability Experts Launches Katmai App Compat Blog
• · More quickly than most anyone imagined, blogging is growing up. From the blogosphere's anarchistic roots, a professional cadre is emerging that is creating an industry whose top-performing businesses now earn serious money. Blogs are turning profitable; INVESTIGATIVE ORIGINAL BLOG REPORTING ON JAMES DOBSON comes via TMV co-blogger Shaun Mullen on his own excellent blog Around The Sphere Blogging Roundup October 29, 2007
• · · POLITICIANS are better equipped than judges to determine the appropriate balance between freedom of the press and protection of sensitive information before the courts, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says. Press freedom up to politicians - Ruddock;When it comes to disasters, no one does it better than California. California wildlifes: Climate change or not?
• · · · What People Search For - Most Popular Keywords
Millions of searches are conducted each day on popular search engines by people all around the world. What are they looking for? A number of major search engines provide a way to glimpse into the web's query stream to discover the most popular search keywords or topics. Searches; Technoratis
• · · · · There are no true readers today, only would-be writers -- Blogs changed all that. Blogging tools are as easy to use as email, and importantly, cost nothing. Type your words, press a button and your blog is updated Everybody Writes; Appropriate scaffolding and careful seeding of content will prove more useful. A complete taxonomy, for example, may overwhelm a small set of potential early adopters. Is Emergence (aka Messy) a Problem in the Enterprise? Is There a Midddle Ground?
• · · · · · Bill Ives Central European Photography 1918 - 1945; Tom Lehrer on Sociology on YouTube

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life is not about fairness and you will only drive yourself mad trying to find it all the time - Today, I can’t decide, Czech beer or a glass of Australian red …
Ach ... after the entire week of colourful events in Canberra at Bentley Suits and episodes spilled by the Nissan NXR which leaked more oil than Sadam Hussein’s oil wells … it was nice to come back to Sydney in one piece …

Young, Eastern, working class, dirty, rude and sexy Also note the way HarperCollins announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Jeff Sharp's NY film production company Sharp Independent to collaborate on the development and production of motion pictures based on Great titles like Cold River Stories are central to human intelligence and memory. Cognitive scientist William Calvin describes how we gradually acquire the ability to formulate plans through the stories we hear in childhood. From stories, a child learns to ‘imagine a course of action, imagine its effects on others, and decide whether or not to do it’...Cognitive scientists have established that lists, in contrast, are remarkably hard to remember. Silver River: the beat goes on and on …

Arts and Science in Action & Theory Best Magazines Revealed

In this ever digitalizing age, it's great to see there is still a role for great writing, great photography, great art design and great production values. The magazine market continues to innovate and excite. I thought I'd share my current top ten with you - some brilliant examples from the US, Europe and New Zealand...

Top Ten; [The success of online participatory media—video-sharing sites and corporate wikis alike—depends on the quality contributions of a small core of enthusiasts How companies can make the most of user-generated content ; One sees strange fantasies in the water . . . The publicity-shy property magnate Denis O'Neil has had to step up to the ring as residents oppose his plans for a marina at Rose Bay The Reluctant Millionaire: Is Media Dragon emerging from a media Ice Age? ]
• · The Minister for Arts and Sport, Senator George Brandis, has released further details of some important enhancements to the Government's new Australian Screen Production Incentive package, which was announced in the 2007-08 Federal Budget (see 2007 WTB 19 [795]). The new package includes a Producer Offset and a Location Offset MORE DETAILS ON NEW FILM INDUSTRY TAX INCENTIVES ; The arts and Letters Members Profiles
• · Before you become a critic, have you dared to act? Trust life to take you where you need to go. The most successful are those who act for others -- and have stopped counting. Be too busy to complain. Make your wishes worth fulfilling. I feel that in art as in life, the more you know, the better your opinion; Your secret is safe with Us and Media Dragon Dumpster Diver Discovers Stolen Artwork
• · · The Rotterdam Natural History Museum has appealed for somebody -- anybody -- to give it a single crab louse for its collection, amid fears they may be dying out. It does#not mean that small and unpopular insects are less important scientifically; THE last stands of Sydney's blue gum high forest could soon be gone if scientists can't find a way to combat the spread of an insidious insect infestation spreading through three states Bird and bug a deadly threat to gums
• · · · Berjaya Group Bhd has launched a legal action against the administrator of its once-listed CarLovers Carwash for keeping it in administration for three times longer than necessary and this had cost the company millions of dollars, "The Australian" newspaper reported yesterday Berjaya Launches Legal Action Against Carlovers' Administrator; ONE of John Howard's best mates and business confidants is embroiled in a multi-million-dollar insolvency dispute involving his son-in-law PM's mate in insolvency dispute
• · · · · An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. Plutarch said that in Greece about 2,000 years ago. Isn’t it time we learned? Because that’s the threat we’re facing If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. Have an Escape Route ; Writing in Foreign Policy, Drezner and Farrell (2004) hit upon an amazing reality of modern life. Today, unlike at any time in the advance of history, people simply no longer need to leave their houses to participate in a revolution. With the advent of new technologies, new means can be used to foster online engagement, in both the individual and collective sense, and to create new dialogues between government and citizens (Reece, 2006) Overcoming public speaking surprises
• · · · · · Everything about freedom in the world has changed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, except the way we forget about it Berlin Wall ; Central Europe is a fascinating place and I should know, I come from there. Ravishing countryside, hospitable people and men who wear nothing under their skirts Living art

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things are seldom what they seem: poor masquerade as rich ... Jozef Imrich is nothing if not rich.

I can spot a revolutionary from 100 paces. First clue: Everyone else thinks they're crazy, dangerous or ridiculous.
-Anita Roddick

George Will is a very dangerous writer and a man who is not freaked out by age ;-) Being rich isn't all it's cracked up to be

Enough, already, with compassion for society's middle and lower orders. There currently is a sympathy deficit regarding the very rich. Or so the rich might argue because they bear the heavy burden of spending enough to keep today's plutonomy humming.

Furthermore, they are getting diminishing psychological returns on their spending now that luxury brands are becoming democratized. When there are 379 Louis Vuitton and 227 Gucci stores, who cares?

Citigroup's Ajay Kapur applies the term "plutonomy" to, primarily, the United States, although Britain, Canada and Australia also qualify. He notes that America's richest 1 percent of households own more than half the nation's stocks and control more wealth ($16 trillion) than the bottom 90 percent. When the richest 20 percent account for almost 60 percent of consumption, you see why rising oil prices have had so little effect on consumption.

Kapur's theory is that "wealth waves" develop in epochs characterized by, among other things, disruptive technology-driven productivity gains and creative financial innovations that "involve great complexity exploited best by the rich and educated of the time." For the canny, daring and inventive, these are the best of times — and vast rewards to such people might serve the rapid propulsion of society to greater wealth.

But it is increasingly expensive to be rich. The Forbes CLEW index (the Cost of Living Extremely Well) — yes, there is such a thing — has been rising much faster than the banal CPI (consumer price index). At the end of 2006, there were 9.5 million millionaires worldwide, which helps to explain the boom in the "bling indexes" — stocks such as Christian Dior and Richemont (Cartier and Chloe, among other brands), which are up 247 percent and 337 percent respectively since 2002, according to Fortune magazine. Citicorp's "plutonomy basket" of stocks (Sotheby's, Bulgari, Hermes, etc.) has generated an annualized return of 17.8 percent since 1985.

'Positional economy'

This is the outer symptom of a fascinating psychological phenomenon: Envy increases while — and perhaps even faster than — wealth does. When affluence in the material economy guarantees that a large majority can take for granted things that a few generations ago were luxuries for a small minority (a nice home, nice vacations, a second home, college education, comfortable retirement), the "positional economy" becomes more important.

Positional goods and services are inherently minority enjoyments. These are enjoyments — "elite" education, "exclusive" vacations or properties — available only to persons with sufficient wealth to pursue the satisfaction of "positional competition." Time was, certain clothes, luggage, wristwatches, handbags, automobiles, etc. sufficed. But with so much money sloshing around the world, too many people can purchase them. Too many, in the sense that the value of acquiring a "positional good" is linked to the fact that all but a few people cannot acquire it.

That used to be guaranteed because supplies of many positional goods were inelastic — they were made by a small class of European craftsmen. But when they are mass-produced in developing nations, they cannot long remain such goods. When 40 percent of all Japanese — and, Fortune reports, 94.3 percent of Japanese women in their 20s — own a Louis Vuitton item, its positional value vanishes.

James Twitchell, University of Florida professor of English and advertising, writing in the Wilson Quarterly, says this "lux populi" is "the Twinkiefication of deluxe." Now that Ralph Lauren is selling house paint, can Polo radial tires be far behind? When a yacht manufacturer advertises a $20 million craft — in a newspaper, for Pete's sake; the Financial Times, but still — cachet is a casualty.

'Marks of opulence'

As Adam Smith wrote in "The Wealth of Nations," for most rich people "the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches, which in their eye is never so complete as when they appear to possess those decisive marks of opulence which nobody can possess but themselves." Hennessy understands the logic of trophy assets: It is selling a limited batch of 100 bottles of cognac for $200,000 a bottle.

Enough, already, with compassion for society's middle and lower orders. There currently is a sympathy deficit regarding the very rich The Man Who Sold the Cold Rich River; A Lexus In Every Garage

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It seems everyone wants to get on the innovation bandwagon, and Media Dragon is no different. Why innovation matters

There's a writer's trick for getting a grasp of large stories. You follow one person around and tell the story through his or her eyes. ... Turn off the television, turn on your brain
Being a citizen of a democracy means paying attention to what is relevant

LAST WEEK I flipped on CNN after I got home from classes, expecting to hear the latest update on Iraq, or what was going on in Turkey after the first Islamist president was elected after decades of secular rule. Instead, I watched "the most trusted name in news" excitedly read off the ever-so-taboo details of now former Senator Craig's star-crossed bathroom romance. Then, CNN updated me on the astronaut love triangle. For a moment I felt as if I were back at my high school cafeteria busily gossiping over the tawdry details of last weekend. Surely these stories rank last in relevance and importance to domestic and world affairs.

Media of Schadenfreude; [I am astonished that some people (and they are not all economists) still believe that consumer decisions are rational and not emotional. Yet here are two more compelling reasons why this is just not so; one from an English philosopher and the other from a German psychologist Go with your gut; Jozef Imrich is a Czechoslovak Australian struggling with his own humanity and his contradictory persona of an iceman, a fascinating amalgam of hot and cold ;-) International Bookshops and Cold River ]
• · If you're looking for a job, here's a new way to stand out from the pack of prospects. The hottest way to land your dream job is to write a blog. Blogs Recommended For Job Seekers As Best Way To Stand Out; It wasn't the subject of Scott's story that stood out; it was the way he was telling it on his LaughingSquid blog. He reported the story by updating the ... Journalism is Burning Or How Breaking News is Broken
• · · Ha ... The weirdness that is Burning Man; AT 107 she is probably the world's oldest blogger and cyber granny Olive Riley may also lay claim to being the oldest YouTube user. World's oldest blogger
• · · · Enterprise Blog and Wiki Success Story from Traction Software - UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Orkney Bill Ives; Digital exchanges Coming to your inbox near you
• · · · · Charter 77 - Same as 69 only you get more explosive memoirs Why we have sex; There is a great moment in Hari Kunzru’s novel Transmission when a young Indian woman working in a Bombay call centre, finds she has developed an Australian accent as the result of mimicking the customers she speaks with everyday. Consumer advocate Paul English has started the Gethuman movement. His website lists the keys that you need to press to talk to a real person on many business and government phone numbers... Human Touch

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It is official, Central Europeans are huge readers of blogs, many downloads of Media Dragon in the past few weeks, and we read that even books like Cold River are popular ... Czechs read an average of 16 books per year, putting the country in the top three in Europe in terms of readers.

Tango wed 2

More than 80 percent of Czechs go through at least one book per year, according to the poll done by the National Library and the Institute of Czech Language and Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Sweden and Finland have similar numbers. Czechs on average keep about 274 books at home and spend about 1,300 Kč ($67) per year to buy new books. Big home libraries the rule, not the exception - in the thick of a literary movement, Czechs are some of Europe's biggest readers

Australia’s experience with multiculturalism may be an interesting reference point for Europe and the Czech Republic. Mingling of peoples of different heritages and cultures in Europe has not always been positive. Throughout history, the conquest of various peoples and places has often resulted in oppression and exploitation of minorities.

Yet multiculturalism is of growing significance, with the development of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement, which gives EU residents more freedom to travel quickly across country borders. There’s a new wave of economic migration across Europe, and it affects all of the countries. Australia's history with immigrants may help the Czech Republic and the rest of the EU

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A moon eclipse can only occur at full moon when the sun, Earth and moon are perfectly aligned. When in the Earth's shadow, the moon sometimes appears red.

Somewhere along the way you make a decision ... you turn a corner and you are someone else.

In any huge Slavic Sikh (aka Punjabi, meaning hot five rivers,) wedding on Australian soil, it will be the Jeff's images that define the experience for our dearest family and friends.

I wish a falling star could fall forever
And sparkle through the clouds and stormy weather
And in the darkness of the night
The star would shine a glimmering light
And hover above our love

Please hold me close and whisper that you love me
And promise that your dreams are only of me
When you are near, everything’s clear
Earth is a beautiful heaven
Always I hope that we follow the star
And be forever floating above

I know a falling star can’t fall forever
But let’s never stop falling in love

When you are near, everything’s clear
Earth is a beautiful heaven
Always I hope that we shine like the star
And be forever floating above

I know a falling star can’t fall forever
And let’s never stop falling in love
No let’s never stop falling in love

Dancing Bunch

Mehndi is supposed to symbolise the strength of love in a marriage
Anand Karaj: Blissful Union
Highest form of love, the love for the Divine

Una Notte a Napoli

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Only Phillip Adams would write anything as succinct and bohemian as this snippet about the cage of Sydney over the APEC week when my exotic Indian honeymoon starts:
The cage in Sydney's CBD was not designed to keep APEC protesters out. No. It was there to keep the terrorists in ...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You may — or may not — have noticed that Media Dragon blogs less and less but cares about reading other blogs more and more …
The decline of the coverage of books isn’t new, benign, or necessary The health of a society is always best measured by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable citizens. The same test may be usefully applied to Media Dragon’s Cold River ;-) Goodbye to All That: I felt I had no time to waste; life was short and literature long

Virtual Media Dragon Ghetto Value is a function of scarcity
For every book that tickles public taste, captures the zeitgeist and hits the jackpot, there are thousands that do not appeal to contemporary readers, fail to find a sufficient audience and almost disappear. I've gotten some flak recently for not promoting Cold River more widely and more passionately! Despite the growing tide of positive publicity surrounding Cold River I cannot name names only point out the faces: of course ;-) Necessity is the mother of invention, the old saying goes. But boredom and the desire to experiment are powerful forces too Book launch by way of Facebook

Book readings are all part of a writer's promotional duties - so why are the majority so bad at it? A lot of writers, live, simply don't do their work justice, which is hardly surprising. In one sense at least, writing and performing are polar opposites: one is about as anti-social as a career can get, while the other is definitely, to some degree, about attention seeking. And just because you can write a voice well doesn't mean you can speak in it….
Here's to the CRAZY ones,
The misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers,
The round pegs in the square holes,
The ones who see things differently,
They're not fond of rules,

Authors should be seen and not heard; [So the NYT finally did an article on Author blog tours, which if memory serves, some of us have been doing for a quite a long time... Media Dragon has been around since 2000 AD MM The Author Will Take Q.’s Now; What can we learn from how Apple does marketing? Other than it does it right? A Different Apple A Day ; Reminding the world to get a little CRAZY ]
• · Far from the fame and glamour of the Booker and bestsellers is a forgotten world of literary treasures How did we miss these?; The great essayist would be appalled by the writing, but applaud the democracy of the web Would Orwell have been a blogger?
• · The Rise of the Pyjamahadeen The Rise of the Media Dragons; Bat Boy Collapses in Checkout Lane! It’s probably safe to say that no other newspaper in the annals of journalism scored as many shocking scoops as The Weekly World News. The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper
• · · The invasion and abuse of the private lives of public figures, especially of politicians, is very far advanced. Czech out Bob Carr’s stories or even better Up close and personal; In dark times such as our own, a flurry of publications attests to the abiding importance of Hannah Arendt as a great theorist of totalitarianism Death, begins [its] reign of terror when life becomes the highest good.
• · · · Every week, Jozef Imrich presents the most timely, topical posts from the Web's most creative snippets ;-) The famed German beer-slinging brat-eating festival is nearly upon us. This year marks the 174th Oktoberfest and it will take place between September 22 and some Czech news: Bohemianova: Fascinating Facts; Racism comes in all ways, shapes, and forms, and you don't have to be part of the minority to experience it. The ones who see things differently.; Here's to the crazy ones.
• · · · · It's an Amazon blog, which means it's a publicity site for his new book, not a real blog. Greenspan's calculated, anodyne utterances on the economy have ... Greenspan tells all on his blog Alan Greenspan’s blog - No, seriously! ; FEC Determines That Blogs Count As Media Daily Kos Exonerated by FEC: So Far, “Political Blogs” Exempt from ... The Moderate Voice
• · · · · · As blogging becomes a common practice in our society and our interest for blogs increase, new business models are emerging. Blog Aggregators: a New Dimension for your Blogs ; It's always nice when things you believe are backed up by actual evidence, so I was particularly happy to read this morning that there is considerable reason to believe that children who drink with their parents are much less likely to drink irresponsibly THINK OF THE CHILDREN, GIVE THEM BOOZE

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Things will be like heaven in 2007.
Harry Holleywood


How did it get to be September so quickly? It is first day of spring and Sydney looks like a bride ... So I am again sticking my neck out ... Ach, this exotic Wedding day is not to be forgotten The past and future of a radical price: A turtle travels only when it sticks its neck out – Slavic proverb

Live Love of Monsoon Wedding Underrated I LOVE YOU: The Huge Indian Wedding in September
Emo Philips said: When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked for forgiveness …

Engagement in Bronte Park, sangeet in Iceberg, hens party at Mykanos, ancient bohemian Bucks party at Iceberg, henna at Matriville and wedding all over the places down under … The big fat Indian wedding is headed towards the largest island in the world.

Elephants, swans, and a very fancy and exotic wedding that will surprise guests is all on offer ;-)

At an exotic, Sikh Indian wedding, the wedding ambiance is set a week before the wedding. Just ask Steve, Patrick, Christopher or Kevin ;-) Jenny or Wendy ... Julie, Begonia, Masiji or Pabiji ... There are various rituals, which are followed before and after the wedding. Shagun or engagement is the first ceremony to mark the beginning of the wedding celebration. On this occasion the two families exchange gifts to conform the engagement. Among the pre wedding rituals engagement is the occasion where both the families meet and the bride's father takes care of all the ceremonial activities on this day. Various auspicious items are required on this day that includes coconut, dry dates, sugar and money and these are sent to the groom's family. It is also called the Tilak ceremony, which is performed by a bhaiji or preacher from the Gurudwara who first reads the hymn, offers a date to the groom and applies tilak on his forehead, marking the engagement. After the tilak ceremony, the groom's father sends gifts of clothes, sugar, coconut, rice, jewelry and henna to the bride. Similarly the bride's father also offers gifts to the groom and his family members. Another important pre wedding ritual involves the bangle ceremony or the choora ceremony, which is held at the bride's place where the maternal uncle and aunt of the bride put white and red bangles on the bride's wrists. Light ornaments of beaten silver and gold called kalira are tied to the bangles.

Maiya is a pre wedding Sikh custom followed by the bride and the groom where both are not allowed to leave their house for few days before the wedding. Gana is another such ritual where an auspicious red thread is tied to the right wrist of the groom and the left wrist of the bride. It is regarded as a good omen for the bride and the groom and it protects them from ill omen. Vatna is a ritual celebrated a few days before the wedding ceremony where vatna a scented powder consisting of barley flour, turmeric and mustard oil is applied to their bodies to be followed by a ritual bath. On the eve of the wedding, mehndi ceremony is celebrated when henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride. Gharoli is another such pre wedding ritual, which is celebrated in the morning of the wedding day at groom's place in which the groom's sister-in law accompanied by other female relatives go to a nearby well or Gurudwara to fill an earthen pitcher or gharoli with water which is later used to bath the bridegroom.

The main day wedding ritual or ceremony includes Milni ceremony, which is celebrated at the groom's place where his sisters tie a sehera or floral veil to the boy's forehead and a garland of currency notes adorn his neck. On reaching the bride's house the milni ceremony is held with the elders of both families embracing and wishing each other. Shabads are sung and the ardaas recited as the procession enters the Gurudwara breakfast is served to the guests.

On the main wedding function the bride and the groom sit together to attend the Guru Granth Sahib Kirtan. The groom drapes a chunni draped by the bride's father one end held by groom, which is usually red, pink and orange in color around his neck, the other end of which is held by the bride throughout the ceremony. The bhaiji of the Gurudwara recites the hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, which are then sung and the bride and groom circle the Guru Granth Sahib. The bridegroom walks ahead of the bride with a sword in his hand. Relatives and friends garland the newly wedded couple and the marriage ceremony concludes with a grand feast.

Among the post wedding rituals the vidaai or doli ceremony marks the end of the wedding celebration. It is a very emotional affair for the bride's family as she departs from her parent's house she throws back handful of rice over her shoulder, thereby wishing prosperity for her parents and family she leaves behind to start a new life with new dreams and aspirations.

• George Sand... On fire with desire There is only one true happiness in life: to love and be loved; Wedding day is not to be forgotten Exotic Locations under Mount Everest Five Rivers [Billu at Parravilla While many families decamp to exotic locations for the ceremony, others prefer urban venues for the enormous parties; Think what a strange thing a wedding dress is. In a style utterly unsuited to any other use, it is fashioned at vast cost and, once the tears are shed and the vows uttered, consigned to dark imprisonment for life among the attic mothballs. Six weddings and a dress; As far as I'm concerned, there was never any question that the wedding favor would be a mix CD RSVP - So many choices ]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau

You need to get up in the morning and say, "Boy, I'm going to - in my own stupid way - save the world today.
Sally Berger

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr. No Political Statements; BONDI'S famous Icebergs will endure a meltdown so guests of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit can do lunch. Tadross - Lunch leaves Bondi cold

Vista V Iceberg The term stirs the imagination to conceive of beautiful possibilities just around the corner. Raw Vista – Do Not Mention Quinten Demspter (sic)

Can we change the heart of Facebook or Myspace? Why Citizens Are Eating Media's Lunch On Broadband
Looked through the paper. Makes you want to cry. Nobody cares if the people live or die.
Leonard Cohen, In My Secret Life
Politico's Ben Smith brought up the issue of journalists "friending" their sources on Facebook.

"When a campaign or a government agency is trying to pin down a reporter's inside source, Facebook might be a good place to start," Ben wrote. "And when a campaign type is considering leaking to a reporter, couldn't the fact that you're "friends" on Facebook make the source queasy?" We were really shocked to read this coming from Ben, and not because the issue isn't important — it's a valid point, if not a new one. Pat Walters mentioned the same point in a post from July, and the CBC even instituted an official "Facebook policy" earlier this month, instructing its journalists not to add their sources as friends on Facebook (Canada is one of Facebook's fastest-growing markets, and Toronto was the home of the site's largest local network until it was eclipsed by London last month).

• Mother Teresa died ten years ago this week … Maybe journalists have to be extra-careful and engineer their privacy settings more judiciously than the typical Facebook user; [ Media Treated Mother Teresa As Inferior to Princess Diana, the 'Secular Saint'; ]
• · Why does a small-budget movie like Jozef Imrich’s Cold River matter? Because of the ripple effects. Mark Cuban Backed De Palma's 'Redacted' to Promote New Movie Distribution Business; Upon self-examination, I, too, also, uncategorically suck. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Whirl
• · How pathetic are the posters on a large blog when its own founder berates them for being gullible fools for being easily scammed by an obviously phony story? Daily Kos Posters Berated by Founder for being Gullible Fools; Vlado Putin, the man who put a price on my head in 1980, is in Sydney and under torture, Kos has admitted that his pet of choice is the ferret. He once owned two of them. Vlado is irrationally and understandably jealous of life going on without him, incensed that his season in hell hasn’t stopped the world from turning.
Kos The Ferret Fan -- A Fitting Choice
• · · Monday brought the shocking revelation that Sen. Larry Craig was arrested after an incident in a Minneapolis airport bathroom back in June Taking your calls and e-mails, tonight! Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living! Mother Jones ; If Jozef Imrich were alive, he might writes scenes like this, though I kind of doubt it.
• · · · That's the accusation leveled by Republican strategist Mike Murphy yesterday on "Meet The Press" in reaction to the resignation of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, because of a scandal involving alleged solicitation of another man in a public restroom. 'McCarthyism' By Liberal Gay Bloggers?; Edmund Tadros, not related to John Tadros - Almost half of Australians cannot afford basic preventative dentistry despite 90 per cent believing that regular visits are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Australians lacking dental care
• · · · · Who's mucking up or who's getting it off with who always seems to be a conversation starter. Whether it's right or not, office gossip is a fact of life. Iceberg has many stories to tell as APEC Women pick up a swimmer or two ;-) Heard it on the grapevine ; In the meantime, don't be shy. Backstabbed in the background check?
• · · · · · Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr. No Political Statements; BONDI'S famous Icebergs will endure a meltdown so guests of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit can do lunch. Tadross - Lunch leaves Bondi cold

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My isolation is the darkroom where I develop my negatives.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
-Anais Nin

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy ...

Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.
-Kurt Vonnegut, p. 44, "Like Shaking Hands With God"

Monday, August 20, 2007

God respects me when I work, but God loves me when I read Blogs.
-Media Dragon

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kushweer is the boy who likes Harry Potter and even dancing like Jackson boys ..

A remarkable story based on award-winning writer/director Tony Ayres' own compelling life, The Home Song Stories is a deeply emotive, dramatic, and exotic tale of love, hope, adversity and survival. Love My Exile Way

Balmain Boys Do Not Cry: Bruce Beresford Unforgetable Memoirs
Bruce Beresford had been approached to do a film about the 19th-century reformer William Wilberforce, who for years conducted a dogged parliamentary campaign against the slave trade. It came from production company Walden Media, known for its interest in family-friendly fare. The project had been around for some time: Australian director Bruce Beresford makes several references to his interest in the film in his new memoir, regretting that other commitments meant he could not take it on. Scriptwriter Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things)

In a recent panic that my memory is failing as I grow older, I have been writing my memories down before they all fade away. Surprisingly, this has been an enjoyable exercise, as more and more of my childhood shenanigans have come back to me while writing others down. I certainly don’t have any plans to write a full memoir, but after dredging up my own memories, attempting to put them in some kind of order and render them with as much honest detail as I can muster, I’ve come to wonder how people DO write memoirs that include quoted conversations, like scenes from a movie. None of my memories (including those from last week) are so crisp as that, and there are startling gaps in the continuity. Sometimes I can piece together a timeline, when memories can be crosschecked with documentary evidence. Mostly however, I don’t have anything to moor my memories to, and they are floating around inside my head like slowly deflating balloons…
Famous people not only hang-out together after they are famous but also even before they were famous… (This first struck me when reading books by or about Hemingway’s “lost generation” crowd of US expatriates in Paris in the 1920s).

A graceful force for freedom ; [Baker; Murdoch's Australian broadsheet is still struggling to understand the blogosphere – Creative Cold Rivers of Economy A Streetcar Named Blogging Desire Seriously cool: marketing and communicating with diverse generations ]
• · If there is any justice, this year’s Academy Award for best foreign-language film will go to “The Lives of Others,” a movie about a world in which there is no justice. It marks the début of the German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, of whom we have every right to be jealous. First, he is a stripling of thirty-three. Second, his name makes him sound like a lover with a duelling scar on his cheekbone in a nineteenth-century novel. And third, being German, he has an overwhelming subject: the postwar sundering of his country. For us, the idea of freedom, however heartfelt, is doomed to abstraction, waved by politicians as if they were shaking a flag. To Germans, even those of Donnersmarck’s generation, freedom is all too concrete, defined by its brute opposite: the gray slabs raised in Berlin to keep free souls at bay.
It is a tribute to the richness of the film that one cannot say for sure who the hero is. The most prominent figure is Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), yet if you passed him on the street you wouldn’t give him a second glance, or even a first. He would spot you, however, and file you away in a drawer at the back of his mind. Wiesler, based in East Berlin, is a captain in the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, better known as the Stasi—the state security service, which, by the mid-nineteen-eighties, employed more than ninety thousand personnel. In addition, a modest hundred and seventy thousand East Germans became unofficial employees, called upon to snoop and snitch for the honor—or, in practical terms, the survival—of the state. “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Jesus said. The German Democratic Republic offered its own version: watch thy neighbor, then pick up thy phone. The movie begins, fittingly, for four years after my escape across the Iron Curtain through Morava River, in Orwell's 1984. The Stasi machine still fulfills its Orwellian function, training its sights on anyone who might be construed as seditious Murder in mind ; All that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and to shut up in each cell a madman, a patient, a condemned man, a worker or a schoolboy Giving good face
• · Librarians are irrationally and understandably jealous of life going on without him, incensed that his season in hell hasn’t stopped the world from turning. What Librarians read ;-); Making Films and Parliaments Our parliaments and political leaders have failed to update Australia's system of law and government in line with the modern world
• · · This white paper provides a big-picture analysis of our changing times and generational shifts, and points to some of the drivers of the generational debate. In the process it delivers insights into both marketing strategy and the marketing and communication tactics that will result in deeper engagement with the diverse generations. Marketing; Big Brothers and Barons Challenges of Wiki
• · · · Cast Your Vote On The Wikipedia Editing Wall Of Shame Wiki exposures; Wikipedia Scanner has traced Wikipedia changes to people at several large companies who appear to have altered potentially damaging content. ... Damage to big
• · · · · PC world on Shame; Forbes on trespasses
• · · · · · Australian politicians 'doctor Wikipedia entries ; This research brief considers the American experience of ownership deregulation from 1996 to the beginning of 2007 and makes comparisons with the Australian media landscape. It discusses whether differences in media traditions between the countries could deliver different outcomes from deregulation. It considers too if the existence of an entrenched public broadcaster culture in Australia is sufficient to counter the possible emergence of a private media landscape that may be more homogenised and more restricted and restrictive in content. Research Paper - Parliamentary Library; 'Media ownership deregulation in the United States and Australia: in the public interest?'