Sunday, May 31, 2009

So much happiness was derived by Chchi Bella and Czch Czhh Boom Sasha from the Cooper Park sliding hill. This hill was our playground from 1991 to 2000 Crater

Is there a formula for a good life? For 72 years, researchers have followed 268 men through war, career, marriage and divorce, and old age What Makes Us Happy? Did Google Earth find Media Dragon Happy?

World peace for your eyes only Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Everyone likes to talk about how young families are revitalizing big cities. The truth of migration patterns tells another story. The sustainable city of the future will rest on the revival of traditional institutions that have faded in many of today’s cities

Ellen Moncure and Joe Wong first met in school and then fell in love while living in the same dorm at the College of William and Mary. After graduation, they got married and, in 1999, moved to Washington, D.C., where they worked amid a large community of single and childless people.

The Luxury City vs. the Middle Class; [Ron Rosenbaum loves airport best-sellers: “I see them as our Nostradamuses, literary canaries in the dark coal mines of our paranoia.” His latest find... Our nuclear fantasies have gotten more hard-core; Literary tourism. Even Shakespeare’s place of birth is a Victorian construct, a phony home for an aspiring bard, a taste of “merrie olde England” 'You've Read the Book, Now Take a Look! ]
• · The Cirkus of Totalitarianism looks back at communism from a variety of angles Acute history; Where have all the Muses gone? Platonic ideals, goddesses, mistresses, lovers, and wives whom poets and painters called on for inspiration? Not a good sign for the arts Where Have All the Muses Gone?
• · The Soloist is a sentimental film that makes cheap use of a remarkable book about an encounter with the problems of a homeless, mentally ill musician... 'The Soloist': an extraordinary duet; “Parents have no lasting influence on their children’s personalities or on the way they behave outside the home.” Judith Rich Harris’s thesis still shocks. It’s time to move beyond the nature/nurture divide
• · · Einstein, Salvador Dali, Tony Hancock, and Beach Boy Brian Wilson have little in common, except creative genius. And maybe psychosis. Creativity goes hand in hand with mental illness; Underdogs. When Vivek Ranadivé decided to coach his daughter’s basketball team, he chose to speak to the girls calmly, to convince them with reason and common sense. It was as if there were a kind of conspiracy in the basketball world about the way the game ought to be played
• · · · MICHAEL Stephen Lange is Teflon on wheels: in his 34 years, the former nominee member of The Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang has had 33 brushes with the law. But not once has he been convicted on a charge associated with the serious crimes of which he has been accused Teflon 1; For global companies who use tax havens to route investments, the era of a tax-free ride may soon be over. Tax havens mostly cater to two kinds of clients: Businesses, who set up subsidiaries in order to legally benefit from a tax-free status; and individuals, who illegally stash cash here in order to evade taxes in their home countries. On May 5th, Obama referred to one building in the Cayman Islands that housed more than 18,000 companies as either the largest building in the world or the world's largest tax scam. Obama's initiatives are hardly surprising Teflon 2
• · · · · Finally, NSW Government financial incentives have helped ensure a third instalment of the Nine Network's Underbelly series will be shot in Sydney. Underbelly is an AFI and Logie Award-winning 13-part Australian television mini-series, retelling the real events of the 1995–2004 gangland war in Melbourne. The series is based on the book Leadbelly: Inside Australia's Underworld, by The Age journalists John Silvester and Andrew Rule. Underbelly is produced by the Australian Film Finance Corporation, in association with Film Victoria.The executive producers are Des Monaghan and Jo Horsburgh. The lead-up to Underbelly involved a heavy marketing campaign which covered radio, print, billboards and an increased online presence, including the use of social networking tools. KINGS Cross nightclub entrepreneur John Ibrahim saw the television potential in the story years ago - Forget Melrose Place - John Ibrahim said in 1996, referring to the blockbuster drama of the decade. "The Royal Commission is a better soapie Dark underbelly ; Sydney's underbelly stirs with a vengeful attack on the Ibrahim family. Les Kennedy, Leesha mckenny and Peter Hawkins report from the scene Underbelly 3
• · · · · · The Matthew Johns-Sharks affair is a story about the power of broadcast media, rather than about the morality of footballer culture Peddling outrage and disgust; A pair of executives for a one-time hedge fund to the stars has been charged with setting up bogus tax shelters for their clients. Jeffrey Greenstein, the former CEO of Seattle-based Quellos Group, and Charles Wilk, a principal of the firm, were indicted last week on tax fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges. According to prosecutors, Greenstein and Wilk designed a tax shelter scheme that offered clients stock that had depreciated in value in order to offset large capital gains. But authorities say the shares never existed; a Senate investigation in 2006 found that Quellos created the bogus tax shelters with some $9.6 billion in phony securities transactions Ex-Hedgies Accused In Tax Shelter Scam

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He always chose to teach the strugglers. He saw that task as the glory of our profession …

The economy may be slowing down, but everything else is speeding up. Margins collapse like a deck of cards, profits plunge (Fortune 500 companies earned 85% less than they did last year), and shoppers turn their backs in a flash. John Bargh from Yale reckons that we evaluate everything as good or bad in 0.25 seconds. That’s fast! The human mirror

How bad is the economy? It is definitely getting very bad!

Cats are so dramatic !

WE live on one planet and all its wisdom and stupidity are connected Courage under fire: Flow of Deep Wisdom
A revolutionary new search engine that computes answers rather than pointing to websites will be launched officially today amid heated talk that it could challenge the might of Google.

Wolfram Alpha, named after Stephen Wolfram, the British-born computer scientist and inventor behind the project, takes a query and uses computational power to crunch through huge databases … Wolfram|Alpha, the brainchild of a company with a distinctly scientific bent, is challenging Google by offering a formatted aggregation of data

• Knowledge delivered in any other form is perhaps sweeter Wolfram|Alpha - Start with the Answer ; [The Buzz of Wolfram; Google for music 'Like plugging into a vast electronic brain': Unique search engine ...]
• · We need to resurrect the concept of the “public intellectual ; When it comes to communicating and connecting with your fellow human beings, stories can leave a lasting impact far beyond any set of statistics or PowerPoint demonstration The power of storytelling ; Recognizing that governments throughout the World need assistance and guidance in achieving the promises of electronic government through technology and the Web, this document seeks to define and call forth, but not yet solve, the variety of issues and challenges faced by governments Improving access to government through better use of the web ; Christopher Craigie SC, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), speech, 2009. Transcript of the speech given by the Director at the CDPP 25th Anniversary Dinner at Old Parliament House in Canberra.
Internet: 25 years of commitment
• · One blogger's account of his use of Facebook - "I've found that posting on Facebook is a good way to ask a question of a diverse set of people. In a business context, Facebook often reminds me of people who can answer questions, point me to someone they know (but I don't), or whom I'd just like to stay in front of Five years of Facebook: a retrospective ; The new reality is simple. Money is either scarce or just not there at all. Next year may be worse, may be better, who can possibly tell. But as fashion designer John Galliano said, "There's a credit crunch, not a creative crunch", and this is exactly how smart marketers can win New marketing in the new reality
• · · Start with the Storytellers: The Future of Journalism Communications, Technology, and the Internet; PDF ahead - Pew Report - The Internet's Role in Campaign 2008
• · · · The Decoder: Twitter is a mass text-messaging service that allows you to send short 140-character updates -- or "tweets" -- to a bunch of people at once. They are your "followers." It was designed to be read on a cellphone, though many people read it online, too. How to Twitter ; House Committees Take the Lead on Using Social Media to Ensure Transparency
• · · · · In a story, the writer commands every aspect of the world the reader inhabits. It is 30 years since the Sony Walkman first appeared – and half of the populace became deaf to the existence of the other half. A.N. Wilson finds nothing to celebrate Gadgets; Google phone undercuts iPhone; Matthew Crawford finished his Ph.D in political philosophy, went to work for a think tank, and then decided to quit – and start repairing motorcycles Heidegger and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
• · · · · · After the Germans rolled over France’s defenses in 1940, how brave were French writers in resisting the Nazis? Ah, it was a complex, sadly mixed affair... Between Collaboration and Resistance; Leonid Khrushchev died a war hero in 1943, 13 years before his father, Nikita, denounced Stalin. Now Russians are being told he was a traitor The trial of Leonid K; The end of East Germany was ushered in by massive protests across the land. But opposition to communist rule had started with a whisper How the End of East Germany Began - Iron Curtain Up Close and Personal A Tear in the Iron Curtain

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Generation Y's assumed technological lead over earlier generations is being challenged. Both young and old alike only skim what they read online - but this is more a problem for the 'digital natives' who lack the information assessment skills of those trained to use conventional libraries. Books tell us that the first tax collectors in Australia were military men. One early collector was Captain John Piper, who as a naval officer in Sydney was responsible for overseeing the collection of customs and excise duties. His job allowed him to skim some off the top and he became one of the wealthiest men in the colony. To his credit, he did not harass tax debtors but was even known to invite them to dine at his mansion, which gave rise to the name of the suburb Point Piper. History section of the Daily Terror notes why STAFF of the Australian Taxation Office must cringe every time a treasurer delivers a budget The pay can be good but the work is taxing- Budgets beget expenses and inevitably the taxman cometh

I'll take Sydney to a brick: Golden years on hold with no silver lining Digital natives: Pathways to wisdom
As Nick Samios blogged recently, the ASX is expected to shortly launch a residential property “derivatives” market based on the RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Indices.

Have to say, I don't mind the punt, and the SMH last week reported on a new way for me to part with my "hard earned". Soon we all might be able to trade derivative contracts based on indices compiled by Rismark/RPData and to be quoted daily on the sharemarket This style of derivative has been dreamed about for a long time. Many a banker I am sure would be wishing "if only we had this a few years back" as they tearfully tear up more and more money at MIP (mortgagee in possession) auctions.
If you want to find out more about this, try contacting RP Data’s Research Director, Tim Lawless, at

• Sydney Soil Sickness ASX to launch house price risk market Filling in the blanks ; [ Rent and sales reports and tables - Housing NSW; The irony is that those who need mentoring the most rarely find mentors on their own Quarterly APM rental series March 2009]
• · Median house price series ; What was supposed to be a brief foray to our great town - Sydney- has lasted a decade. IT IS 10 years to the day this Friday since we moved to Sydney. It was my 30th birthday and I did not expect to be celebrating my 40th here, not just because of what the HR department calls negative lifestyle choices - David Penberthy - Why I love Sydney; Kerry-Anne Walsh, the Sydney Sun-Herald ’s political correspondent in Canberra for the past seven years, resigned yesterday and will leave Fairfax Sun-Herald loses its Canberra correspondent
• · The MP, known for her clash with staff at Iguanas restaurant on the NSW central coast, avoided assembled reporters waiting to interview arriving politicians Ambushed! Belinda Neal is Chaser's latest target ; Taxpayers are paying off the mortgages of politicians to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a year Taxpayers paying off politicians' mortgages; Politicians in the UK have really done themselves over with their well-reported rorting of Westminster’s extraordinarily generous expenses system. There’s now nowhere to hide from the wrath of British voters, and nor should there be. Anger over UK MP expenses can’t be exported; Googgle On Allowances
• · · Inquiry will focus on cash made from second homes MPs' expenses: Tax officials to investigate capital gains evasion ; MPs' abuse of their expenses system is reminiscent of another practice that needs cleaning up – the use of tax havens Another attempt to beat the system
• · · · Anyone but an elected MP would be in the dock for fraud, theft or tax evasion. Yet as they emerge from their second and third homes, bought and sold Sun Falling; Lord Carey says parliament's moral authority is at 'lowest ebb' New Speaker must be seen as well as heard
• · · · · Baroness Boothroyd, the former Commons Speaker, has blamed ministers and MPs who were fixated on the “perks of the job” for the collapse in public support for Parliament Ministers cared only for perks of power, says Baroness Boothroyd ; Last time Speaker was ejected from Commons was 1695 Google on Assembly Line
• · · · · · Queen's banker Coutts caught up in row over tax avoidance scheme Nearly 300 Coutts customers forced to repay £400m in tax after ruling by HM Revenue & Customs Coutts; A CLAMPDOWN on the use of tax havens by multinationals, one of President Barack Obama's campaign promises, will yield the US more than $US200 billion ($268 billion) in extra revenue over the next 10 years, Mr Obama said as he unveiled his plans for the new laws. Obama tax haven crackdown could affect Westfield

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The best antidote to global capitalism is global imagination. Imagination is not administratable …

Tonight my imaginative wife and I listened to Stefan Aust who in 1985 wrote The Baader Meinhof Complex

Spending so much time socialising via SMS, Facebook, email, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Twitter, 12Seconds, RSS Feeds, Digg or Friendster is not good for us. Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration but it is also taking away our ability to be alone. Though I shouldn't say taking away. We are doing this to ourselves; we are discarding these riches as fast as we can Social notworking?

Love Thy Neighbour ;-) Bronte sleuth finds Ponzi link to Biden
There is a article about me and about the Bronte Capital blog in the Sydney Morning Herald today. It mentions that I diagnosed the economic problems in Eastern Europe by analysing the price of hookers. That is true as far as it goes – though the original post was more nuanced than that.

JOHN HEMPTON, a former Platinum Asset Management banking analyst-turned-financial blogger living in Bronte; [Bronte Capital; Story of our lives ]
• · Robert Higgs clears away many misconceptions surrounding a turbulent era that continues to shape today's headlines Depression, War, and Cold War ; Sadly the we appear unable to learn from history Afghanistan: it happened once before ...
• · WE'VE heard of disaffected employees dissing their erstwhile company, but in this case can we "blame" former CEO Graham Kelly for sparking yesterday's share rally of up to 115 per cent? Responding to the ASX sheriffs, Novogen referred to a blog recently established by an ex-employee. The site in question is Kelly's Musings; THE Australian Taxation Office has moved against wealthy West Australian businessman Phillip Grimaldi, hitting him with a $35 million tax bill as part of Project Wickenby, the nation's largest tax probe Tax office hits Grimaldi with $35m Wickenby bill ; Country by country: a case study. Tax Research UK - Richard Murphy. A case study to explain How country by country reporting can work; Something pernicious is going on in the undergrowth. British tax havens are trying to establish clear blue water between their activities and those of their commercial rivals in Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland. This is based on lies. Journalists please note: trusts are even more secretive than bank accounts and trusts are used in virtually all sophisticated tax evasion structures. When a PR person representing a tax haven claims it is transparent, simply ask them to take you straight away to the office of the registrar of trusts - and see how far that gets you. Lies, damned lies and tax haven nonsense ; How tax havens helped to create a crisis
• · · Imported plain cotton pillow cases from France that cost more than $900 apiece and new bulldozers exported to Venezuela that cost $387 each. Such prices seem highly suspect -- and could be examples of someone using international trade to launder money Money launderers wash billions through international trade ; In recent years some tax havens, the Crown Dependencies, for example, claim that they have taken effective steps in the direction of making trusts and offshore companies more transparent. Time to tackle the offshore trusts ; The pseudo-investigations into the banking crisis are being run by firms with a History of unsavoury financial arrangements
• · · · Have we reached an obsession tipping point with our fears? Shark attacks, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, terrorists ... what next? Living in fear ; Once it was proved that the atomic bomb worked, men discovered reasons to use it The USA’s unique deadly sin
• · · · · When an Anthrax scare hit the Department of Human Services in Virginia's Arlington County in 2002, Christopher David, then the county's chief technology officer, sprang into action. "I knew there was a person who could help us [respond]," he says. "But I didn't remember his name or how to contact him." Rather than waste precious time searching through hundreds of documents housed on his desktop or in file cabinets, David opened his mind mapping application from PersonalBrain, entered a few keywords and, within moments, had the information he needed. In many mind mapping applications, you start with a central thought or idea, then add branches—or subcategories—to break down the topic. These subcategories could be thoughts or include links referencing more information, PDFs you can upload or reports to reference. There are plenty of applications to choose from out there, from to Freemind ; MindMeister
• · · · · · The tale of how Greenpeace and McDonalds came together in Brazil reflects the complexities of a globalised economy Can a fast food company save the Amazon?; Putting trust in an engaged section of the public might be reciprocated by increased public trust in our political system Trust an engaged public; The establishment of the Office of the Information Commissioner is a key element of the Government's Freedom of Information ('FOI') reforms. The Government will provide $20.5 million over four years to establish and run the Office of the Information Commissioner. The Office will be a new statutory agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, supporting two new independent statutory office holders - the Information Commissioner and the Freedom of Information Commissioner. The Privacy Commissioner will also be incorporated in the new Office, bringing the functions of information privacy protection and FOI together in the new agency Budget measures: promoting integrity and accountability

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The poor can be described statistically; they can be analyzed as a group. But they need a novelist as well as a sociologist if we are to see them. They need a Global Dickens: Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1929

A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves Energy comes from feeling good
If you don’t believe in the future you can’t participate fully in it. Make a list of all the things you always wanted to do and start working your way through it

It is important to live life to its full potential. Here is a list on the formula for a long life. It was proposed by 97-year-old expert physician Shigeaki Hinohara, a man who still chairs two large hospitals in Tokyo and has written around 150 books since is 75th birthday. Inspiration personified… Not surprising that such wisdom comes from Japan. This is a country that is experiencing the impacts of an aging population before the rest of us.

• He loved Big Brother. Orwell, 1984 Share what you know; [Like a dog! he said: it was as if he meant the shame of it to outlive him. Kafka, The Trial Top 25 Things Vanishing from KAFKA’S Amerika; After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain. A Farewell to Arms Generally, when people see the question "What should I do with my life?", it triggers some major misunderstandings. The author presents a few of the major fallacies he thinks people project onto this dilemma What should I do with my life now?]
• · While the title might lead you to believe this is a story about a 30 something's unsuccessful search for love, nothing could be further from truth. Over one messy year, Ross and Natalie navigate their children, nits, housework, birthdays, Christmas, faith, football, job insecurity, more nits – Great story for our times ;-) My Year Without Sex is kind of a love story about a family dealing with all the big questions and even more of the small ones; This is not merely about making formal government publications available online. It is about capturing, nurturing, and maintaining much of the information generated by public sector bodies as a common and easily accessible good for all of society. At a policy level, these developments will combine to bring about an entirely new landscape for the management and control of information and knowledge in the public sector Realising the value of public information
• · After 100 days in the Oval Office, President Obama merits a mixed report card - As Goes General Motors, So Goes the Country? Obama’s First 100 Days: A Mixed Record ; One bird said to Billy Pilgrim Poo-tee-weet? Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5: Forecasting used to be straightforward. Over the years, by the end of the first quarter, managers usually had a fairly reliable sense of how the business was shaping up and whether targets would be met, missed or exceeded. Confidence in quarterly and annual predictions was so high that coming in above or below by even the smallest amount was considered a surprise and set off moves in stock prices. This year, however, things have changed. Re-thinking risk management: why the mindset matters more than the model;
• · · Organisations like 'Reporting the World' are working to ensure the news gets presented to consumers in a fair, balanced manner - The winds of change are blowing through American media. So say the enterprising campaigners for peace and social justice at, an independent not-for-profit organisation with offices in six countries. Avaaz means voice - in many languages, and their team works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making How conflict is represented in the media; The news the public reads or receives in the safety of their sitting rooms may have cost a journalist his or her life A fatal job. How many journalists have to die?;
• · · · Hello, I am a Golden Guru and I am here to help you ... Golden Guru or boring old nuisance?; The planets may no longer be aligned to Peter Costello’s aspirations: he may have forgone his opportunity Costello’s destiny call?
• · · · · Pastor who is making lots of waves in Germany and France: July 2008, when God showed him how we were about to experience a financial tsunami Pastor Joh. W. Matutis; Antipodes Map – has taken illustrates the opposite point (antipodes) of anywhere on the planet. Sure it's a game, but it shows something profound about human beings and what drives them Antipodes Map
• · · · · · Politicians should defend the public interest, not Pratt's reputation ; Richard Pratt, billionaire, philanthropist and head of the Visy packing industry, died on April 28, 2009. The day before he died, the Federal Court ruled that a large part of the evidence against Mr Pratt in relation to evidence he had given about a price-fixing cartel was inadmissible GOD HAS THE LAST WORD...Mr Pratt's fall from grace

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yes, I was one of the 50 million people who downloaded Britain's Got Talent on YouTube to watch Susan Boyle sing her dear heart out. I laughed my ass off when Tina did Sarah and Amy did Hillary on Saturday Night Live, and I loved Jon Stewart's smart take-down of that Mad Money guy Jim Cramer. But when I first heard news of a deadly flu killing hundreds of people in Mexico, I didn't' go to YouTube, The Daily Show or Saturday Night Live to get the details. I read an AP story online For the Love of Blog, We Need Hard News

Cavalier Politics: The chameleon Crown: The Queen and her Australian governors Writing Party History
To see what's buzzing in my little corner of Sydney, I read Only the Blog Knows Parliament. It's newsy, often literary and a lot of fun … Nathan Rees's "no more spin" promise upon being elevated to the premiership is looking even weaker with the news that Walt Secord, the master spinner from former premier Bob Carr's office, is returning to Macquarie Street as chief of staff to the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal. Secord was famous for pushing his "trolley of truth" around the press gallery at state Parliament dispensing government press releases during question time. With former Carr chief of staff Graeme Wedderburn back in Nathan Rees's office, it seems the old firm is getting ready to spin the 2011 poll.

David Clune, as Parliamentary Historian, is editing a book on the Governors of NSW, to coincide with the bicentenary of Governor Macquarie taking office in January 1810. David has recently been appointed to the government's committee on the Macquarie 2010 celebrations, chaired by the Hon John Aquilina MP, and the book has been formally endorsed by the committee as a key component of the commemoration.

Parliamentary Stories; [Library collection; Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government. This volume is a collection of 22 vignettes spotlighting the contributions of lesser-known but important figures in New South Wales state politics over the previous century and a quarter. Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government 1856-2006 ; Each year, undiagnosed depression in the workplace causes huge losses in productivity and costs billions. Getting the right balance of work to create wellbeing can be challenging - but it is often the ones who want to work more that have a lower level of wellbeing Depression: the bottom line ]
• · In traditional journalism, you publish what you know for sure as quickly as you can while being assiduous about maintaining accuracy at all times. In financial markets, traders run with rumors and gut feelings and outright guesses on a regular basis, on the basis that they’ll change their mind (or, more to the point, their position) if they turn out to be wrong. And one of the reasons why traders like blogs — and why many journalists don’t like blogs — is that blogs tend to me more traderish than traditional journalism: they’ll run with stuff before it’s nailed down, without checking it, in the full knowledge that it might be wrong Wrong blogs are better than bad journalism; John Hatton on Corruption
• · Hard times, happy days. The former state MP John Hatton still talks fondly of his childhood growing up during the 1930s Depression in the new village of Hammondville. Joh Hatton on Depression; Ruth Richmond on John Hatton
• · · What to expect from Amazon and Apple ; Amazon to introduce larger kold river kindle this week Fourth Aussie Apple Store opens this weekend Jessa Crispin, founder of the literary review magazine, is packing up and heading to Berlin in search of inspiration. founder departs Chicago for Germany
• · · · We'll toast our city's rich literary heritage - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will deliver the opening address of the Sydney Writers' Festival Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ; A writer has more creative freedom compared to a filmmaker who is transposing a story into the fixed format of screen Writers have more freedom than filmmakers
• · · · · named best online newspaper website for the fourth time in five years; IF media historians are ever searching for a symbol of the rising power of political bloggers they could do worse than to study the implications of a single pint of Guinness that was spilled on to a bar in a London pub one lunch-time in late January Pint goes west and blogging comes of age

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabbie.92 ;-)

Can a man who's warm understand one who's freezing?
-Solzhenitsyn asks.

we are not ready

go skinny dipping

one another's souls.

For years now I haven’t read any newspapers: - I shall not go into the reasons. This often leads to bizarre conversations:
Other: What do you think of Barack Obama?
Dragon Comes to Town: I don’t know who you’re talking about.
Other: How are you coping with the recession?
Dragon Comes to Town: What recession?
If you spend all your time reading books you won’t have any experiences. Of course it may give you some idea about what experiences to have. There's more to life than books you know, but not much more … History must be written of, by and for the survivors. Learn to write with pain. It may come as a great shock to my readers to discover that I wasn't always the elegantly dressed, highly attuned citizen of the world they have come to know. Far from it. In fact, for some time I was a quite clearly deranged wild-haired youth dressed in motley and living in hippie squalor in the gatehouse to a castle on the Hudson, in company with three dogs and three glowing specimens of my own species. Cold River: A good title is a work of genius

The places I go are never there Read, read, read and then read some more
To begin, let us take the Japanese literally in the last line so it reads "water of sound." Let that roll around a few minutes in your imagination. The water of sound. Sound as water. Sound moving as water does. Sound rippling outward as water does when disturbed. If the narrative of this book is even half as good as the artwork, this one looks like a real keeper.

Being with you is
like swimming in the sun on
a warm Summer's day.

• Write, but live a little first The fact that the smallest literary form - haiku - has the most rules never ceases to amaze and astound; [Nothing prepares a writer better than reading the works of accomplished writers. It helps you find your own voice. Read: old pond / a frog jumps in / the sound of water; The old is new again: Crazy I think I'll dive into the band much further Blurred Vision: One Woman’s Memoir of Looking Beyond Abuse and Alcoholism The title The Truth About Lies has a 10.2% chance of being a bestselling title!]
• · Do you remember the first book you ever bought? One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a mere 144 pages long; Ooooooo K. Let’s get a couple of things straight here before we start. If kisses fail, how about licks? Seeker, Fool with a short Prologue and an Epilogue
• · Genrification? Very unique? Publishers today! Honestly! Splutter. Cough. Scents of tweed and pipe tobacco, sounds as of choking on whisky All commercial fiction needs to be like Dan Brown; The Espresso Book Machine is billed as the biggest thing to hit the book world since Gutenberg invented the printing press Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine; It was also an article I never wanted to read, but here I am, Media Dragon and I, making the best of a bad situation. While being a bookworm may not be a precondition for becoming a mass murderer, it’s certainly no impediment. Hitler’s Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life
• · · We are seeing the impact on readers and neighborhoods, with 5 million readers now behind on their reading. Some are just walking away from novels they should never have been reading in the first place. What began as a sub-prime reading problem has spread to other, less-risky readers, and contributed to excess inventories. These troubled novels are now parked, or frozen, on the shelves of libraries, bookstores, and other reading institutions, preventing them from financing readable novels. a proposed bailout of the US publishing industry ; The single funniest sentence-opening of 2009 so far (and easy odds-on favorite for the whole year), from Leslie Bennetts' profile of brainless trophy-bird Gisele Bundchen-Brady, from the latest issue of Vanity Fair: An avid reader, Gisele ... Hee. Too precious. Seven things are hidden from men. These are the day of death, the day of consolation, the depth of judgement; no man knows what is in the mind of his friend; no man knows which of his business ventures will be profitable, or when the kingdom of the house of David will be restored, or when the sinful kingdom will fail. Delaying the Messiah
• · · · Following in the footsteps of the New York Times, the Guardian asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best novel to come out of the British Commonwealth between 1980 and 2005. Here are the results in order: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee; Money by Martin Amis; Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess and Atonement by Ian McEwan both tying for third, Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald, Unconsoled by Kazuio Ishiguro, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Amongst Women by John McGahern tying for eighth, and That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern. The publication also lists several of the other nominees. Cold River; Fiction may be the last refuge of the outrageous, the last redoubt of Orwell’s thought crime. Moreover, even the freedom to be outrageous in fiction is under threat. No, incorrect and careless chatter, / words mispronounced, thoughts ill-expressed / evoke emotion's pitter-patter.... –Pushkin A strange collaborative criticism blog
• · · · · They pass it round secretly, under the eyes of the police, in the guise of books and poems. The anodyne pretext of literature allows them to offer you at a rock-bottom price this deadly ferment which it is high time to make generally available for consumption. It is the genie in the bottle, it is the gold of poetry in a solid bar. Buy, buy the damnation of your soul, at last you are going to lose your way, here is the machine guaranteed to capsize the mind. I announce to the world this momentous news item: a new vice has just been born man has acquired one more source of vertigo--Surrealism, offspring of frenzy and darkness. Blog by book lovers for book lovers; Demon of conjectures, fever of phantasmagoria, pass your sulphurous and nacreous fingers through your tow hair and answer me: who is Prato, and on the first floor with its paradoxical lift what is this agency which I am obstinately convinced must be a vast organization in white-slave traffic. This is Not a Novel
• · · · · · The bitterest love poetry you'll ever read - George Meredith's Modern Love – The critic is madder than the poet; Kundera deepens his thesis of the novelist's essential attitude to History-with-a-capital-H in his new suite of essays, The Curtain (La Rideau):
Because History, with its agitations, its wars, its revolutions and counter-revolutions, its national humiliations, does not interest the novelist for itself – as a subject to paint, to denounce, to interpret. The novelist is not a valet to historians; History may fascinate him, but because it is a kind of searchlight circling around human existence and throwing light onto it, onto its unexpected possibilities, which, in peaceable times, when History stands still, do not come to the fore but remain unseen and unknown. The last observatory

Sunday, May 10, 2009

As the reviewers noted, The explosive debut album from Sydney funk maestros Dojo Cuts pulls no punches on its way to delivering a string of killer blows ...

Out of all of R&B's subgenres over the years, Funk is one of the most underrated. Funk may have fallen out of vogue in the 1980s, but it's contributions to the music scene still reverberate today. Hip-Hop's g-funk sound, which was popular with West Coast artists in the early-to-mid 1990s is based on Funk, and acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers have carried the Funk sound forward in this decade. And on that note, your Guide to R&B presents his picks for the best Funk artists of all time.
George Clinton is known as the Godfather of Funk and is one of the longest-lasting artists ever in any music genre. In the 1970s he was the mastermind behind the innovative, groundbreaking bands Parliament and Funkadelic and played a significant part in the creation of numerous hit Funk songs, including "Flashlight" and "One Nation Under a Groove." He has also had success as a solo artist and is still an active performer today.

Critics give, the latest funky wunderchildren, Dojo Cuts a score of 9.999 out of 10 stars ;-) Dojo Cuts live @ The Basement Sydney

Now ought to be always like now, always, but the more time passes the more now seems to be a shadow of then…

In the same dream
I am lying in the hollow of a boat,
My forehead and eyes against the curved planks
Where I can hear the undercurrents
Striking the bottom of the boat.
All at once, the prow rises up,
And I think that we’ve come to the estuary,
But I keep my eyes against the wood
That smells of tar and glue.
Too vast, too luminous the images
That I have gathered in my sleep.
Why rediscover, outside,
The things that words tell me of,
But without convincing me,
I desire a higher or less somber shore.
Yves Bonnefoy: The House Where I Was Born

Write all the same, in spite of despair. No: with despair. I don't know what to call that despair. Writing to one side of what precedes writing is always to ruin it. And yet we must accept this: ruining the failure means coming back toward another book, toward another possibility of the same book. Space for writers and readers
Book lovers across Australia will again get virtual front row seats for the highlight events of the Sydney Writers' Festival 2009 It must be time for the Sydney Writers Festival

The Still Water: Keeper of Light and Dust Tottering State
How on earth did anyone get the idea that people can communicate with one another by letter! Of a distant person one can think, and of a person who is near one can catch hold - all else goes beyond human strength. Writing letters, however, means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait. Written kisses don't reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.
- Kafka, in a letter to Milena (Havel also wrote similar sentiment - In Letters to Olga)

light (drugs as only altering positions of piles of chemicals).
light as feeling? i.e. pulse waves(what happens to things
moving away faster than the speed of light? does light die
out?). Jesus, Shakespeare, Hitler, etc. (political waves?) going
out from planet like heart beats.
light. dream being the mixed waves of feeling from other
'mind' sources during darkness our consciousness(un is not
sub) due to nearness of clear light source (reflected light or
what? mirrors?). day night: artificial light destroys balance
(midnight sun?).
god is the space between thoughts, no, that's simplistic. some-
times you can't understand the words but you know the
medicine is right

Every question you ask presupposes an alternative universe Things of your time are influenced by the past; [Anxious apes and giant insects: Kafka's uneasy visions at Prague Airport . Franz Kafka was a man of peculiar habits. An insomniac who lived with his parents for most of his life, the Czech fiction writer would sit at his desk from 10pm to dawn writing stories in one long outpouring. A "supreme power", he believed, kept his hand moving across the page. He was also a depressive hypochondriac, averse to any kind of sound - a cough, whisper or a door closing jangled his nerves - and was appalled by the taste and texture of food, restricting himself to a bland vegetarian diet (the idea of consuming meat horrified him) and masticating each bite more than 100 times, a habit that disgusted his fellow diners Difference between music and noise; EVEN before he left the church in 2000, former archbishop of Edinburgh and Episcopalian primus Richard Holloway was no stranger to controversy. Doubting cleric's church in exile ]
• · Being human is not a simple matter of stimulus and response: it is shaped by history, thought, time, and space – not to mention tears, snot, and earwax. There’s more to humans than biological burps; First, in a fit of irony, Czech rebel I remember not so much the rest dear America what pieces of me will you keep? Dear America, do you remember that the dope was dry shake all stems and seeds all cut with
• · What does a woman want? Does she know? Does science know? Is this a deeply unanswerable question? Optimists and pessimists are people who consistently get the probabilities wrong. A realist, supposedly, gets it just right. Meredith Chivers is a creator of bonobo pornography. ; Road novels, stories, and gangster films of the 1930s depicted American social mobility as a bitter cheat. We may now relive 1930s art. Will This Crisis Produce a 'Gatsby'?
• · · STEFAN AUST was the editor of Der Spiegel from 1994 to 2008. He worked with Ulrike Meinhof on the left-wing publication Konkret in the late Sixties. The film, The Baader Meinhof Complex, is based on his book. Released in the UK last November, the film is produced by Bernd Eichinger (Downfall) and stars cast members from the Academy Award-winning The Lives of Others. 21 May event 128: The Baader Meinhof Complex: Screening and Q&A with Stefan Aust ; EVEN during the 1970-77 heyday of the Red Army Faction -- West German terrorists also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang -- the group operated in a claustrophobic, paranoid atmosphere. We were afraid of discussion; itseemed like treachery, Astrid Proll, who was a junior member of the gang, tells Baader-Meinhof author Stefan Aust. And we triedfending off danger by involving ourselves in it more and more. Illegality became an endin itself, the means of holding the grouptogether. Clear-eyed look at violent fanatics; As Wendy Were planned her third Sydney Writers' Festival, Barack Obama was elected US President, Kevin Rudd completed his first year as Prime Minister, and the world economy collapsed. Undercover reveals the Strange Sydney Scenes
• · · · Not All Newspapers Are Hurting for Money. Who needs anti-depressants, happy endings or chocolate pudding when you can wallow in a blog like this? ...especially when it's worthless; Professional pollster and PR guy Mark Penn writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers, firefighters or even bartenders, and that there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. This is wrong )Mark Penn’s Completely Invented WSJ Article(
• · · · · A lot of magazines are thinking about raising their rates, Stephanie Clifford writes in the New York Times, in an effort to offset the decline in advertising. Link Roundup: Rethinking Publishing’s Business Model ; Explanations from Amazon have been few, vague, and conflicting. Sorry for "sexist" prize Censorship in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
• · · · · · Oh dear. Am I still allowed to write in a strait-jacket? Silence is a shape that has passed. Practically everyone I had met in Prague [....] had told me to be cool and live in the present moment. Living in the ‘now’ seemed to be the state religion, even if most people – strangely enough – seemed busy working on the technology of the future. - Download free Audiobooks and Ebooks ; Today I was going to do an elaborate post on the fine line between insanity and perseverance in pursuing a writing career. Life had obviously got wind of my promise to defeat pessimism and had decided to take me seriously. It was all part of the strange and disturbing power of the book. It was making stuff happen in my life, it was forcing me to be optimistic. The View from Here Insanity Test! Learn the rules; and then forget them - Basho

Monday, May 04, 2009

At the noisy end of the cafe, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.

And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he's aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so brief.

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed - what madness -
that cheat who said: Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the cafe table ;-)

-Poems by Orhan Veli

The river rises, flows over its banks / and carries us all away, as mayflies floating downstream.” Gilgamesh, like many later thinkers, learned something about nothing NOTHING TO THINK ABOUT

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life
Plato called it “the greatest incentive to evil,” and maybe he was right. Yet we all succumb to pleasure: booze, chocolate, sex – or just a warm bath

We Brits have a way of feeling guilty about our pleasures, as if there were something morally dubious, or beyond the merely vulgar, in the pursuit of happiness enshrined in the constitution of our more overtly fun﷓loving American cousins. This is not an issue addressed by Paul Martin in his extensive survey of the pros and cons of pleasure, and its bittersweet role in all our lives. Mercifully, however, he does seem to conclude that pleasure-seeking is, on balance, a good thing, for all the efforts of religious and (often) socio-political forces to persuade us otherwise.

A wild slippery beast; [Sashenka experienced the despair of the damned. The unthinkable had happened.” Interrogated in Stalin’s terror, she broke Man of Steel; Could be. But Joel Stein wants a positive spin. Maybe, “Hollywood: now more Jews than ever!” or “Hollywood, from the people who brought you the Bible”. Do Jews control Hollywood? ]
• · Stop paying taxes? Escape to the woods? Sit in? Why not go vegetarian instead?; At our desk, on the road, or on a remote beach, the world is a keyboard tap away. It’s so cool never to be alone. The End of Alone
• · The snub of the century. It was T.S. Eliot himself who rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm for publication by Faber and Faber.. An allegory on Stalin’s dictatorship; Marx was wrong. The opiate of the masses isn’t religion, but spectator sports, says David Barash. It’s in our genes. The Roar of the Crowd
• · · Why, my friend asked, was I so quiet? I said my kid was in the hospital. Leukemia? I wanted to tell her I would hack off my right arm for it to be as simple as cancer The monster inside my son ; Nuria (Manuela Velles) storytelling is gripping and that, in the end, the film is desperately moving. - This film is an adventure of the emotions inspired by the real-life story of a captivating eleven-year-old who is faced with two completely new situations in her life: falling in love and dying. A child's suffering for sainthood. Some are in tears, all are moved by the tragedy of her going. At the same time, her mother and priest seem less intent on easing her through the final hours of life than monitoring her progress into heaven. When she grows fearful, they panic as if the resilience of her faith is more important to them than Camino herself. It's a scene which leaves you feeling queasy and things don't get any better Camino from the Spanish word camino meaning"way, path or road: Opus Dei
• · · · Alas, poor Kafka. In the eighty-odd years since his death, the deification of Franz Kafka has reduced his work to the level of aphorism An Alienation Artist: Kafka and His Critics Kafkaesque: the nonchalant intrusion of the bizarre and horrible into everyday life, the subjection of ordinary people to an inscrutable fate Australia, Australia (Amerika, Amerika); Kamila Stosslova, though not caring much for Leos Janácek’s music, turns out to have been his ideal muse: an empty canvas for his fantasies. Affair; • · · · · Culture – literature and the other arts – are functionally significant features of human evolution. Literature depends on literacy; Long live philosophers! As any good analyst would point out, that’s not just a spirited apostrophe. It’s a fact. For Philosophers, Dead Is the New 90
• · · · · · Hitler loved high society: he wanted to be seen with bluebloods and celebrities of film, music, art, theatre, and sports. Vases, Tea Sets, Cigars, His Own Watercolours; Why is it that novels about men in boats (Moby-Dick, Huckleberry Finn) are treated as important, while ones about women in houses (House of Mirth) are not?.. Why can't a woman write the Great American Novel? ; Literary prize-fighting. The sniping, the joke awards, the populist panels: Tom Chatfield looks at the tired landscape of literary prizes. First Drafts

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Water water and cold rivers everywhere ...

Ach, It took me 5 years (even more as I spent some time away from Bondi - in Prague and Sunshine Coast) to become the real long service iceberger. As our cheeky Lofty says The Bondi Icebergs are the part of winter swimming club with the strictest attendance requirements for their members ... So winter is here and the ice is calling this very Sunday morning

You were four years old (not 18 or so)

I picked you up from Belle Hill child care.

You were excited about learning to dance flaminco that day.

Walking home you told me all about it.

You were so excited

Then you got quiet and said,

I love you - Daddy

The moment of you and Vella froze in my memory.


Dojo Cuts feat. Roxie Ray aka Sasha. She dreamed the dream. She had to, didn't she. She just had to dance the dream. Sing it, be it, live it, dream the dream and have the dream dream her. And landing a deal as Sydney’s Got Talent Our Music is a secret order

Portrait of Dojo Cuts Songstress, Sasha

Music is something very essential in life. In Prague and in Sydney good music is spreading everywhere - if you go to a wedding, a funeral, you have music. It's not just entertainment; it is food for your soul. Place to be and to hear. Dojo wants to see if we dare to be vulnerable and let our guards down and just feel the music. And if we do, maybe something magical will happen. Some of it sounds like something out of a Fellini movie Dojo + Cuts grooves on the soul in the blues

Dojo Cuts it at Sydney Underground A Night at the Jazz Rooms with Russ Dewbury @ The Basement 29 Reiby Place, Sydney - 9 May 2009 AD at 9 PM Late and Live

Friday, May 01, 2009

I had a bitter sweet dream (nightmarish dream) of all those May Marches under communist Czechoslovakia as a child and teenager ... And these days I face the strange Chinese culture in the Antipodean share market and almost at every newsagency on the corners of harder and harder to recognise Sydney

Google has been digitizing millions of books from major research libraries. What does this mean for the future of the book? Robert Darnton wonders... How can we navigate through the information landscape that is only beginning to come into view? Google & the Future of Books

You love Poe or you don’t, but, either way, Poe doesn’t love you. A writer who was more condescending to his adoring readers would be hard to find …
This is the scene right before the credits where the guy pushes the button and it blows up How do you measure success? Word of mouth? Online buzz? Or actual sales of books?
Where in the world is Matt Drudge? What Should I Cover in the Social Media Insider?
I am a big fan of tapping into social media, doing this user-generated thing, and maybe even crowdsourcing here and there.

Yeah, that's living on the edge. So please, comment here, Tweet me at @dberkowitz, find me on Facebook, reach out on LinkedIn, or send an old fashioned email to dberkowitz @ 360i . com. Thanks in advance. Email this • Save to • Digg This! • Share on Facebook • geotag this story • Discuss on Newsvine • Stumble It!

Vehix is using social media (Twitter & YouTube) to help people become better parallel parkers. ; [His website looks like it always did, but in his personal life, Matt Drudge is behaving more and more like the reclusive Howard Hughes Underground Man; When Shakespeare died he left neither books nor letters nor notes. This strikes Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens as more than a little odd Justice Stevens Renders an Opinion on Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays ]
• · Are bloggers attention-seekers?; Until recently, no one had ever heard of Jill Price. Her friends and family knew her memory was remarkable, but nobody in the blogging community did … Jill Price’s memory is extraordinary, to be sure, but it is not about just anything. It is about anything having to do with her: The book is wrong. Price is right after all! Total Recall: The Woman Who Can't Forget; Rich, artistic, brilliant, oversexed (or undersexed), neurotic, and ultimately tragic.” Yeah, it’s that brooding Wittgenstein family again. An Author's Favorite Wittgenstein
• · Liberty is a form of order, not a license for anarchy and self-indulgence. We should cease to mock the things that mattered to our parents Forgiveness and Irony; Refrigeration changed our attitude toward food by removing the site of production from the sight of consumers. Thus did our idea of “freshness” emerge Is it fresh? Vodka is an important tool
• · · Virtually all warnings can be viewed as premature, since the date of a warned-against event may be uncertain. Consider warnings against the housing bubble. Why the Economic Crisis Was Not Anticipated Soil Sickness of Sydney; Most overrated woman writer? Gertrude Stein, says Elaine Showalter: a sanctified “sister,” perhaps, but still unreadable. Most underrated Media Dragon?. The Literary Tradition of Women ; In 1797, Thomas Cadell made perhaps the greatest mistake in publishing history. One Rev. George Austen had sent him a novel by his daughter AUSTENMANIA
• · · · ANDREW SULLIVAN: THINKING. OUT. LOUD. DAILY MEDIA DRAGON Just as Montaigne pioneered the modern essay form, Andrew Sullivan’s pithy, personal style is creating the modern blog.; We’ve burned our bridges - Goebbels said in 1943. We will either go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or the greatest criminals Life and Death in the Third Reich
• · · · · The Elements of Style: for fifty years we’ve been fed this toxic mix of purism, atavism, and personal eccentricity that is not even grounded by a proper grasp of grammar 1958-2009 - Over 50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice; It was the young Benjamin Disraeli who coined the word millionaire in 1827 for the burgeoning class that had created the Industrial Revolution … How to handle class: whoever you meet, your dress and your bearing must convey the message, “I am freer and less terrified than you are A new status anxiety is infecting affluent hipdom
• · · · · · Our genes are not just selfish. We also care about loyalty, respect, tradition, and religion. Our evolved moral emotions are about our families, our friends, and our groups End of Cold River; The little white lie that grew. Judge Marcus Einfeld got a speeding ticket, told a fib, and, as Clive James explains, dug himself in deeper The little white lie that grew ; A review cannot convey how deeply unpleasant the experience of reading The Kindly Ones is. This is one of the most repugnant books I have ever read Night and Cog