Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crocodiles, Companies, Bullies, and Rainbows

1. Managed to be on time with two Australian birthdays (on Facebook) this week.  I'm hoping I have as much success with next week's birthday. It can be hard, because Facebook gives us Americans the birthday notifications a day late.  If you're Australian, and your birthday is March 1. I won't see it on Facebook until March 2.

2. Read article about schools in Sydney banning parents from being on the school grounds, because some parents have been too confrontational and aggressive.   This is one of those articles that make me think, I am SO glad we homeschool.  It's a complicated issue.  Because I've been a teacher, and I am a parent, I can see both sides. I can't remember ever having a visit from a scary confrontational parent. I remember some annoying parents though.

I think for safety issues you have to have some restriction on parental visits. I don't think moms and dads should be able to just pop into a classroom, or suddenly join the kids at the playground.  But I don't think it's wise to ban them completely.

A father, quoted in the article, says, We really like the school and if some parents are acting out of line then I support the school taking action but I don't think the school should send threatening letters or try to ban contact with parents.  A parent needs to be involved in their child's life. Teachers need to communicate more with the parents.

I agree.

I think the right thing to do is allow parental visits, but require parents to check in at the office first.    I would make them check in, get a visitors tag, and have them also check out. If a school has some really nutty parents, perhaps it could be required that someone from the office accompany the parents.

3. Saw that somebody came to my blog from Kenya. That's pretty exciting.I don't think I get many visitors from Africa.

4. Looked at the weather of Aussie capital cities today. It looks like Adelaide and Canberra will be having nice days....at least weather wise.

5. Tried to understand a cyclone warning map.   It looks like Dianne is still throwing her temper tantrum.   It looks like the worst is at sea.  I'm guessing people on land will be fairly okay. It's probably not a good time to take a boat out.

6. Saw a PostSecret thing about The King's Speech.   Someone wrote in that they have always been suicidal because of their stammer.  They said that seeing The King's Speech made them realize that a stammer is not a fatal flaw.

I glanced around at other postsecret things.   I like this one.  I used to work in a library, and I saved everything I ever found in the books from plane tickets to wedding vow drafts. I just moved to a foreign country and brought those things with me to help me feel less alone.

I think that's really cool.

7. Read article about a crocodile snatching a teen.  I hope a miracle happens, and the child is found alive.

8. Read that the Australia Zoo is having some major problems.  That's very sad. They had to let go of 30 staff members.  I hope they're able to get themselves back on track.

9.  After reading two rather depressing stories, read happy story of men surviving after their boat sank.   

The men went fishing off the coast of Geelong. Their boat sank, and they floated with life jackets for 20 hours. They're in the hospital right now with hypothermia.   Hopefully, it won't cause any lasting damage, and all they'll be left with is a story for their grandchildren.   

10. Read that the BBC is buying out The Lonely Planet.  I didn't know this, but they already owned a lot of the company.  

If I remember correctly, the Lonely Planet was started in Melbourne.

Well, I'm wrong.  It wasn't really started in Melbourne, but the headquarters are now there.   Lord Wiki says it was started by a British-Australian couple; Tony and Maureen Wheeler. They went on an adventures, and wrote about it. Their endeavors went well, and they ended up with a famous publishing company.  They sold the business to BBC so they could travel more. That makes sense.    I think sometimes smaller companies get gobbled out by big companies because they're pretty much trapped.  But other times, I think the smaller companies WANT to sell to the bigger companies.     And that's fine....as long as they have respect and trust in the bigger company.

11. Read article that says the banana industry will NOT suffer too much because of Yasi. It has something to do with smart moves by the farmers.  Most of it goes over my head though.  One thing they did is harvest a bunch of bananas. The article says The advance notice of Yasi to growers in the Tully and Innisfail areas allowed a frenzied few days of picking mature fruit and storing it in packing sheds, ensuring at least two weeks' supply.

They also took leaves off the trees.  Somehow that helps.  I'm not sure why. 


12. Read article that says Costco is doing very well in Australia, even better than some Costco stores in America.  Hopefully they'll continue to do well. I don't want to hear stories of them forcing people to spend double of what's on their gift card.

We actually use Costco a lot.  It's good for when you need a lot of something—like toilet paper.   Sometimes we can end up making mistakes.  There was the time that Tim bought a whole tray of Baklava. It might have been okay if we were having a party. It's not a good thing to buy for three people. It made me not want to eat Baklava for a very long time.

It would be fun to go to Costco Australia , and see the similarities and differences between that and the Costco we have in America.   I'm pretty sure we wouldn't buy anything though. Who would need bulk items while on holiday? Maybe we'll eat at the cafe though. Is there a cafe?   

13. Learned that the editor for The Social Network is Australian.  His name is Kirk Baxter.  He also did the editing for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  And he's the title designer for the TV show Big Love.  I'm not sure what title designer means.  Maybe he makes/edits the opening credits?   

14. Learned via Facebook that Kevin Rudd attended a fundraiser to help homeless people in Fremantle.   The charity organization is called Access Housing.    They work to provide homes for people with low and moderate incomes. It sounds like they're working to provide a valuable and needed service in the community.  Not all charities do that.  

15. Looked at this week's ARIA chart for most popular Australian singles.  The top five songs have stayed the same.  The John Butler Trio's I'd Do Anything jumped from 15 to 10. That's pretty good.

I'm going to listen to the song.  

16. Read article about Tropfest, the film festival.  The winner was a movie called Animal Beatbox.   The article says it cost $80 to make. Is that accurate though? I mean do they include the cost of the camera and computer?   

17. Watched Animal Beatbox.  I think it's one of those things that I watch and think what the hell is that crap?  And why in the world did it win a contest?  Then it begins to grow on me....if I give it a chance.  I think this is how I felt about Chocolate Rain.  

I'm not sure if I want to watch it again though.   

18. Saw an old photo of John Downer.  He's the grandfather of Alexander Downer. John Downer was the Premier of South Australia in the 1800's.   

19. Read article about bullying, and the bullying comments that accompanied it. Some celebrity named Ruby Rose is going to be leading a chat about the subject.

A bully named Wannabee Celebrity comments, Being a TV host, DJ and fashion designer qualifies you as an authority on *what* exactly? So why not go and tattoo your arms, shave your head, be scary for children to look at?   

What kind of qualification does someone need to talk about bullying with other people?   Ruby Rose says she was bullied as a child. Does that not qualify her? 

Anyway, I might not fit the required qualifications needed to talk about bullying, but I'll share my opinion anyway.  I agree with THIS website, which says the key is changing the behavior of the bystanders.  Bullies love an audience. It's much less fun to ridicule and/or assault others when there's no one around to watch and cheer you on.

22. Read article about Ruby Rose's bullying experiences.  She was beat up bad enough to be hospitalized.  It's horrible, but I do think she was lucky in one way.  She had friends there to help. I guess they weren't able to give too much help.   I mean they didn't stop her from getting injured.    But maybe they were able to provide some level of emotional support.  I imagine that bullying is somewhat less damaging when you're not feeling utterly alone.

Ruby Rose is also fortunate in that she became a celebrity. It gave her the chance to go to an award ceremony and say what many of us would like to say. To all those girls who bullied me in high school, where are you now?  I actually wasn't bullied in high school though. I had more issues in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.   And I've had bad experiences on the Internet.   For me personally....I think the worst is the people who laugh with, and cheer on, the person deliberately hurting your feelings.  

23. Listened to Paul Kelly's song Before Too Long.  I don't think I've ever heard it before.

24. Saw Rupert Murdoch mentioned on The Colbert Report.  It was about his new iPad App. 

25. Saw that my aunt posted something about The King's Speech on Facebook. It's a 60 Minutes segment about the story—the American 60 Minutes, not the Aussie one.   

Mark Logue is on the video.  You know what....he kind of reminds me of Jude Law.  Like his grandfather, Logue is VERY handsome.  

The narrator of the video (the female) sounds sort of computerized. Is 60 Minutes using AI reporters?

At 4:03, you can see Dumbeldore.

26. Found this poster on the National Library of Australia website. It's for the purpose of encouraging people in Western Australia to vote themselves into the Federation of Australia.

27. Listened to Olivia Newton-John and her daughter sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."  I like it, but I prefer this version.   We just heard it tonight because we watched 50 First Dates.  I LOVE that movie....maybe even more so than The King's Speech.   

28. Loved this message from Banksy on the news.com.au Facebook page. She (or he?) says, To all those suffering around the world right now, my best wishes go out to you. Take care of one another. Be well, Banksy.

I second that message. I was thinking earlier today about how so many people in my life are having such a difficult time.   I wish I was magic so I could make things better for them. I guess all I can really do is wish, hope, pray, and be there for them if they need someone to listen. 

I would like to curse everyone I know with good health, great relationships, financial security, gentle weather, and happiness.