Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cyclones, Geoffrey Rush, Julian Assange, and Being Ignored

1. Read Alex's frightening post about Yasi.  He says it's due to be as bad as Darwin's Tracy of 1974, and America's Katrina of 2005.

2. Joined the Townsville Disaster Information Page on Facebook.   Alex provided the link.  

3. Thought about perspective.  Someone mentioned the Dallas snow on Facebook and said It is bad out.   Compared to a cyclone, a little snow is SO wonderful.  And beautiful.   It cheered me up a bit this morning to see it.   It helped me to remember that sometimes Mother Nature does nice things.    Now I know that sometimes snow CAN be damaging, and the cold can be dangerous.   But we don't have much of it. It will be gone in a day or two, and people can go back to their regular lives.  

4. Read article about Julian Assange wanting to return to Australia. He can't though, because he's scared that Australia will turn him over to America.  He wants protection from Gillard. And he SHOULD get it.  I'm so not in the mood for this crap.  

5. Noticed from Statcounter that I had a handful of people coming to my blog for my Vaccine War post.  I guess vaccines are on people's minds again.

6.  Told Jack about the cyclone, and explained that it's like a hurricane.  He reminded me that there are Cyclones in Greek mythology.  He asked if a cyclone is a hurricane with one eye.   I'm not sure if he knows that hurricanes have eyes.   Well, what I'm trying to say is I don't know if his statement was cute and a little clever, or very clever.

7. Read this USA Today website which says that hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are the same thing. They have different names for the events, depending on where they happen.   

8. Read this disaster website about the worst hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons in history.  

The one, that's seen as the worst, happened in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) back in November 1970.   Most of the things on the list are around the India/Pakistan area.   I'm not sure if they get the worst storms, or they're just not equipped to handle them. I'm guessing it's the latter.  

I think in this type of event, mother nature brings on the disaster. But it's the humans who decide how many will live or die. It's up to individuals to evacuate.  It's up to governments to help people evacuate. It's up to regular people to step in and assist in some way.   I mean what do you do with people who can't afford airfare? They can drive. Right?  What if they don't have a car?

Could they take city buses, pile people onto them, and then drive them off to a safer area?   Would there be enough time?  How many hours does it take to drive out of the storm's target?   Martin gave me a link to this map.    If people get their butts over towards Mt. Isa it seems they'll be okay. So how long would that drive take?  Google Maps says from Townsville to Mount Isa, it's ten hours.   But if I'm reading the map right, they probably don't even need to go that far.   I think there'll be storms around Mount Isa, but not as bad as the ones near the coast. 

I hope people leave. You know though....I think sometimes people use these storms as a suicide method.  That's their choice. I just hope that if people WANT to live, they're not staying and hoping for the best.  Because there's a good chance it won't turn out the way they wish.  

8. Read Waleed Aly article that my friend sent me.  I like that he doesn't just defend Islam.   He defends religious freedom in general.  The article says, He wrote in defence of the hijab only to argue a few weeks later that the attempt to cleanse Christianity from Christmas was not multi-culturalism but ''anti-culturalism''.   Yeah.   I agree with thatPeople of ALL religions should have the right to express and celebrate their traditions.  The problem is that some people want to forbid all of it. Let's pretend Jesus has no part in this.  Then you have other people who want Jesus to be the main event; because Christainity should be loud and proud. Yet, would they allow a Wiccan display to go up on public property?

I'm all for a Nativity scene on the school yard, as long as other kids are welcomed to put up a Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Pagan, Scientology, etc. display.  It's probably best though that it's not all put up at the same time.  Otherwise, the yard might get a bit crowded. Maybe every religion can have their own month?   

9. Got a nice email from The King's Speech people.  They needed my address.  I think we get a movie poster.  That's very kind of them.   

10. Got an email from my dad.   They're on a South American cruise.   He said they talked to some Australians. I wish I could send everyone in Northern Queensland on a cruise....uh, not one in nearby waters though. That wouldn't be good.  I'd send them to an ocean that wasn't expecting a huge storm.   

11. Read disturbing article about the increase of truck-related deaths in Victoria. The article says it's likely due to low pay rates for truck drivers.  I guess they have to drive more to make more money.   That gives us tired drivers who sometimes speed and sometimes take drugs. That's not good at all.

12. Read article about Australian government helping to evacuate Australians in Egypt.  I hope everyone who wants to escape Egypt is able to get out safely.  

13. Visited a Geoffrey Rush fan club on Livejournal.  Another American who loves Australia (and Geoffrey Rush) emailed me the link.  It's funny because I've gotten emails like that before....regarding other people I've written about.  There often seems to be a misconception that I'm a fan of the actor as well. I guess people assume that if you write a really long post on someone then you must be a fan.    I wasn't though. The people I wrote about were usually forgotten by the next day....when I started writing about someone else.  But I COULD have some fan feelings for Rush.   I'm not sure if I'm going to pursue them though, because I'm so behind;  and I'm too lazy to catch up.  I haven't even seen Shine yet.  Maybe I'll just stick to being a fan of The King's Speech.

14. Looked at Brooklyn theatre website.  The Geoffrey Rush fan told me she and her friends are going to see Rush in a play there.  The Diary of a Madman.  

15. Looked at too many photos of Geoffrey Rush.   It's a bit overwhelming.  I guess I'm not good at the fan thing.  I don't like looking at so many photos of one person....except for Jack.   I'm definitely a Jack fan.   I could totally be president of his fan club.   I could also spend hours (probably) staring at photos of Australia maps....but minus all the scary cyclone information.  

16.  Continued to read The Death of Bunny Monroe.    I guess the protagonist is what they'd call an anti-hero.  He's a hard guy to like, and I don't know if I'm in the mood for that type of book.  But I can say that at the very least...I'm not bored by the book.  

17. Watched some of this video about the launching of a ship in 1984.  Now THAT was a bit boring for me.  But I did like the song at the end.  I wonder what the song is. If you know, please email me.  I hope it's not something horribly obvious, and I end up feeling stupid.

And no, I'm not referring to the national anthem.  I'm talking about the song that's played after that.

18. Read bit in Bunny Munro book that reminds me of Jack. The kid in the story is very smart....very good with geography.    Jack's that way too.

19. Saw more terrifying news about Yasi. If you are a spiritual person,  PLEASE pray...using whatever religious/spiritual path you follow. 

20. Cried a lot while watching The Irwin family on Oprah.

21. Read article about how Julia Gillard refuses to help Julian Assange.   She says,  
Whistleblowing put Watergate into the public eye.  That is conduct I can understand. WikiLeaks is something else. It's not about making a moral case, it's really about all of this information and just putting it up there and whatever happens happens.  

Really?  Sounds like bullshit to me.  Is there really such a huge difference between Watergate whistleblowing and the Wikileaks stuff?  Maybe I'm missing something here.

From what I've heard/seen, it seems WikiLeaks IS trying to make a moral case....even if it's just that governments shouldn't be keeping deep dark secrets from all of us. 

22. Looked at the Australia Zoo website.  Bindi has really grown up.  She looks a bit like one of my sister's friends.  I like how the family has chosen to continue Steve Irwin's work.  It's inspiring to me.  It shows how you can be sad, and grieve over a loss. But at the same time, you can push yourself in a very positive direction.  

23. Read about the Lizard Island Research Station, and their plans to stay safe during the cyclone.  

24. Looked at the Lizard Island website.  They're going to be closed until this Friday.  Hopefully, they won't have a lot of damage.    

I guess it's a place for people who have a lot of money.  I looked at the rates, and it's over a thousand dollars a night!   That's probably close to what we spend for lodging in a week.  

25.  Read what Lord Wiki has to say about Lizard Island.   He says one side is the resort, and the other side has the research station.  It kind of reminds me of Lost.  


26. Learned about Cyclone Larry from Lord Wiki.   Larry hit Northern Queensland in March 2006.   There was a ton of damage, but fortunately only one fatality. 

27. Read this article about the worst cyclones in Australia's history.  There's Mahina, Ada, Tracy, Winifred, Bobby, Larry, and Ingrid.    It's strange to say, but reading this makes me feel a little less terrified.   It seems that with most of these, there's not a huge loss of life.  There's a shitload of damage, but on the bright side....places eventually DO rebuild.  They get back on their feet.  

Now they talk about Katrina as well.  It's really shocking. The article says that 1599 people died.   I don't think I realized that.  It seems with Katrina, the large death toll was caused by two things.   A) the size of the storm and B) the way people dealt with it.

 Hopefully, Queensland will have a much better outcome.  

28. Started Watching Rotten Tomato video review of The King's Speech.  There are two reviewers.   One young female, and one young male.   Both thought it was good, but the guy said it was not the type of movie he'd want to see again.  It's something he'd like out of respect for his mom.   The girl said it's a good movie for Anglophiles.  I wouldn't call myself an Anglophile, but I do like British actors.    I used to really like Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Irons.    There was a movie I remember watching. A Chorus of Disapproval.   I don't even remember what it's about now.   Maybe a chorus that disapproves of something?   Here it is on IMDb.    I probably don't remember the plot, because I probably didn't pay much attention to it. I probably just sat there enjoying the accents.

I've matured since then though.   I DO know what The King's Speech is about.

29. Looked at the Australian government weather site.  Craig gave me the link on Facebook.    I'm going to bookmark that.  And I even have room on my toolbar thing for that.  Honestly...if something doesn't go on either my toolbar or my special Australia Learning folder, it rarely gets seen again.  

It looks like Hobart is having nice weather.  

30. Saw on Facebook that the Queensland Police Service is now telling people that it's pretty much too late to evacuate.  Now you have to stay put, get yourself as safe as possible, and hope for the best.  

31.  Read these news reports about Yasi.  They're telling those stuck at home to hide out in their bathrooms.   It sounds like what we have to do during tornadoes.  

32. Looked at the Cyclone Yasi Update Facebook Page.  They have various pieces of advice for people in the storm.  This includes putting important papers in a sealed plastic bag.  And another VERY valuable piece of advice: Charge your phones before the power goes out.  

33. Read this discouraging article from Reuters. Yasi is expected to be much worse than Tracy.   And Tracy was bad.    Hopefully, it won't be as bad as Katrina.   The winds are supposed to be up to 300 Km/hour (186 miles/hour).  What was Katrina?  Lord Wiki says the highest winds were 280 km/hour.   Yasi is supposed to be worse.

This is really bad. 

34. Decided to see what is being reported on American news sites.  Here's the CNN article.    FOX News doesn't seem to have anything on their front page....unless I'm missing it.    I don't even see anything on their World Page.   WTF?!!!   Maybe I'm blind.   Yeah.  Hopefully, that's it.   Kudos to CNN.  They had it on their main page.    MSNBC has it on their front page as well.   By the way, if you're coming to this blog post days or weeks....or months after I posted this, don't expect to be seeing what I'm seeing.  The news pages are going to change.

How about my local news???   Do they have a website?   I bet they do.    Here's our local newspaper site.   They don't have much on the main page, except for local stuff.   They do have a picture of The King's Speech.   And on the world news page they do NOT have one single thing about the flood.   Shit. 

Wait.  I'm wrong.  At the bottom of the third damn page, they mention it.    The Channel 8 website doesn't mention it, as far as I can see.  I don't see anything on the local NBC site

35. Just told Tim about the cyclone, because....well, obviously he wouldn't have heard about it if I didn't tell him.    This morning a Facebook friend was thanking God for something.   I said she seemed to have good connections, so could she please pray for Australia.  She asked why.   It seemed to her Australia was fine.  She had no idea about the cyclone.   Now I understand why.  

36. TRIED to follow my rule of being respectful towards people who have a different opinion than me, but the Fort Worth Telegram movie reviewer has REALLY tried my patience.   I am NOT in a tolerant mood right now.    But you know,  I'm being disrespectful in a civil way.  I'm not calling him names, or sending him death threats.   I'm just saying lots of bad words inside my head.  And most of those bad words are built up from item #34.   I feel like I have a cyclone within myself. Maybe I can be like Father Damien in The Exorcist.   I can get possessed by the cyclone, and it will leave Australia alone.   

37.  Made a Facebook Page about the Cyclone....trying to get Americans more involved.    I just sent recommendations to people, and it's not working.    I'll try again in a few minutes.