Saturday, January 14, 2012
Same beach, different day.
Yeah, we like this beach.
The dunes can be fun to climb, but the tiger snakes can be a real downer...
Jen and Hen tackle the dunes. Calverts Beach, South Arm Peninsula. January 2012.
One day I would like to live right on the beach. Global warming or no global warming!
I like a good short poem that strikes, makes its point, and struts away. Gwendolyn Brooks manages that here.
We Real Cool, Gwendolyn Brooks
We real cool. We
Left School. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Friday, January 13, 2012
Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake - you know, to send the right message to kids.
Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. And my wife. Alexandra Battery, Sandy Bay. January 2012.
Friday Book Club sees me with just the two books finished this week, but what a two!
First up is The Painter of Signs a novel from 1976 by Indian author R. K. Narayan. This one is a lovely little book that follows the rather unusual courtship of a proud sign painter in an ordinary Indian town and Daisy, a career-oriented feminist fanatical in her mission to make family planning available to all of India.
Narayan has a keen sense of capturing the subtitles of human relationships and the rhythms and sounds of the city, the taste and smells of food, the colour and movement of the crowds. It’s clear that the city is growing and changing as the locals try to find some personal purpose within the juggernaut of “progress.”
Torn between the traditional and the modern, the ‘hero’ of the tale represents the Indian everyman in a nation on the cusp of something far greater than the individual. This is a beautiful work, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Second up is Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage, another novel whose theme transcends the individual story. Tracking the final voyage of an illegal American slave ship in 1830, the novel presents a personal and historical perspective of the illegal slave trade in the United States through the personage of Rutherford Calhoun, a freed slave who unknowingly boards a slave ship bound for Africa in order to escape a forced marriage.
I don’t want to say too much about the story (which is a fair dinkum ripping yarn), other than it is a fine blend of melodrama, mysticism and historical realism. Any book that can mix buggery on the high seas, a dangerous love triangle, an exploration of black identity in America and a treatise on the work of G.W.F. Hegel is offering something different.
Middle Passage is at the same time an easy and challenging read. The central story is gripping, but the narrative itself is intellectually demanding and purposefully complex. Johnson doesn’t present a black and white exposition on the slave trade, but one very much that inhabits the greys. There is not so much “good guys” and “bad guys” as “guys”. Conflict does not easily cleave between races, but transcends it.
This book might not be for everybody, but it could be for you! I heartily recommend it to all comers.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Intuitive assumptions about behaviour is only the starting point of systematic analysis, for alone they do not yield many interesting implications.
Behold... SCIENCE. The kitchen, Geilston Bay. January 2012.
Theme Thursday again and I am treating you to a unique VIEW of science in action!
In my VIEW Henry just hadn’t been pulling his weight in 2011 bread-wise. so Satan Claws and I had a little pow-wow and decided that the liberating force of science could be the secret to unlocking his money-earning potential. The big man in red did his part and on Christmas morn, Henry (as per yesterday evening’s post) found himself the lucky owner of this science kit!
Science, you see, is where it is at in 2012. You might think that it is little more than a systematic endeavour that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the corporeal universe.
Well, that would depend on your VIEW.
In 2012, science is big bucks. Science means shed weight™, get fitter©, run faster®, stay harder™ and look younger®. Science is a business. A very profitable business.
The experiment that Henry and I are conducting above involved a [patent pending] chemical concoction that – in one dose – brightens jewellery, teeth and complexion, as well as sustains one’s love-making endeavours TEN-FOLD [subject to individual circumstances that are not the responsibility of the patent holder].
Of course, we have talked about curing cancer, AIDS, the common cold etc etc; but we’re not so sure of making a quid.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
A kelp forest. Calvert's Beach, South Arm Peninsula. January 2012.
A merry Watery Wednesday to all on this cold and grey Summer morning in Tasmania! In order to avoid the dismal truth that what should be the sunniest season is looking like a damp squib today, today's photograph harkens back to a week or so ago and a beautiful morning of a balmy 22°C - at 8am - as we rounded the cliffs at Goat Bluff.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
Tuesday Q and A and I am back to stealing questions from Sunday Stealing. This week I am stealing The Never Ending Meme, Part One.
1. Song that always makes you sad?
R.E.M.’s Try Not To Breathe.
2. Last thing you bought?
A wheelbarrow. Unassembled.
3. Last person you argued with?
Ezra. He’s a particularly argumentative chap.
4. Do you put butter before putting the peanut butter on?
I’d shoot myself in the head before putting peanut butter on.
5. One of your stuffed animals’ names as a kid?
I honestly can’t remember. This saddens me.
6. Did you ever at one time own a Barenaked Ladies CD?
Barenaked Ladies? They had a song in Shrek, didn’t they? If they did, that’s about all the Barenaked Ladies facts I have. If they didn’t, I know even less about the Barenaked Ladies than I thought. If you’re talking about bare-naked ladies, I might get interested…
7. Favourite day of the week?
8. Favourite sundae topping?
9. Did you take piano lessons?
No I did not take piano lessons.
10. Most frequent song played?
According to Lastfm, the most frequently played track on my computer (and sound system) since August 2005 is… The Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin'.
11. T.V. show you secretly enjoy?
I don’t enjoy any in secret. If I like it, I like it. I am liking HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic at the moment.
12. Would you rather play basketball or hockey?
I’ve played basketball before and am not very good at either ice skating or field hockey.
13. Date someone older or younger?
Three months older.
14. One place you could travel right now?
15. Do you use umbrellas?
I am of the opinion that men who use umbrellas are not in fact men.
16. Do you know all the words to the Canadian national anthem?
It starts with “Oh Canada”. That’s about all I know.
17. Favourite cheese?
A nice sharp cheddar is good.
18. The Smith’s or The Cure?
The Smiths. 100%
19. Do you prefer blondes or brunettes?
Brunettes. They have significantly more fun.
20. Best job you ever had?
Cripes. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a ‘best’ one. There are elements of different jobs that I have enjoyed more than others. I always enjoyed the teaching component of university. The challenge of explaining/ exploring complex ideas related to political theory to the uninitiated can be quite agreeable, if you see the results.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Ezra tempts fate. Bellerive Wharf, Bellerive. January 2012.
The Internet is a wonderful place filled with the rich and varied treasures of the world holds (and daggering.) The following are some things that I've had a look at in the last week. I call this: a Compendium of Click-throughs for Monday Morning...
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Where she leads nobody knows. Mayfair Plaza Car Park, Sandy Bay. January 2012.
Sunday means Sunday Top Five, which means cobbling together some kind of list.
I've got it! The Top Five Bowlers I've Seen Play Cricket To Be In My Side I Was Picking A Squad To Play A Test Against A Team Of Robots Programmed To Play Cricket Really Very Well! [In Batting Order.]
Just missing the cut were Joel Garner, Glen McGrath, Wasim Akram, Michael Holding and Dennis Lillee. Backup spinners included Anil Kumble, Saqlain Mushtaq, Daniel Vettori and the bolter in Funky Miller. I can't bring myself to include Harbijhan Singh and Muttiah Muralitharan has been deemed ineligible.
This line up gives the batting some depth, and whenever you have Imran as your workhorse, you know you've got a good attack.