Friday, February 4, 2011

Geography, Doctors Anna Bligh, and Thylacines

1. Offended by a few Australians being offended by all Americans....because of what CNN did.  (see full story here).

2. Checked to see if The Daily Beast had answers from Tom Hooper yet.  Nope. I'll check again later.

3. Read article about Yasi in The Christian Science Monitor.  It's nice that Yasi didn't cause as much death and destruction as we feared. It's nice that we're so grateful about it.   But it's probably time to face that fact that Queensland is still a huge mess.  It looks like agricultural was one of the main victims.  That's going to be hard on the farmers.  In a more trivial sense,  the rest of the world might suffer a bit as we have to pay more for sugar and bananas.

The article talks about how the Oprah-tourism boost might not be as successful as suspected.  Are people going to want to go to a state ravaged by floods and cyclones? But perhaps they could be encouraged to come back when it's NOT cyclone season?

Frommers says the rainy season is from about November-April.  So how about encouraging the tourists to come April through October? November-April is not only a bad time for those who don't like being stuck in a flood or cyclone. It's also bad for people who don't want to be stung by the super dangerous Box Jellyfish.   

4. Read VERY positive editorial about Anna Bligh. David Penberthy says, Bligh has created a new template for political communication. It's based around honesty, decisiveness and plain speech. It's based around saying what government can do, and what it cannot do.

That is the kind of talk I prefer when I'm scared, or in a crisis. I like to be reassured, but not with lies and invalidation.  I don't like to be told Don't worry, when there IS a good reason to worry.

5. Thought about how I love how The King's Speech makes jibes against doctors.  I wish certain people I know would see the movie.  Maybe they'd lessen their reliance on doctor's opinions, and stop believing that a medical degree makes a person god-like.  I think it's great to listen to doctors. But we shouldn't assume doctors are always right. Nor should we immediately disregard the opinions of those who are lacking medical degrees.

6. Read an interview with Tom Hooper. I love what he says here. And it was a detail from the diaries - that Bertie and Logue were alone in a room when he delivered the speech - that made me think that maybe the epiphany isn't about therapy, it's about friendship. In the end, (Bertie) is saved by friendship.  One of my friends (you know who you are!) believes that therapists and patients shouldn't be friends.  I think I believe the opposite. I think it's better for the soul to be helped by a friend.   If someone is going to help me, I want them to CARE about me. If I'm just a patient to them....well, that's going to hurt my feelings.

My sister became friends with her speech therapist. I don't think they're best buddies or anything.   But there IS love and mutual admiration. I think it's really sweet.

7. Looked at Australia weather.  I'm very thankful to Craig for giving me the link to this site. Hobart (where Queensland is located) is going to have a bit of rain.  And many of the other capital cities look rainy as well. Sydney has no rain plans, but it's going to be hot. 

8. Watched a 1931 clip of the Melbourne Chinese Orchestra.  I like their music. It's too bad I didn't listen to this yesterday!

9.  Acted paranoid about our portable heaters. I wanted to make sure they weren't gas heaters, and that we're not going to get carbon monoxide poisoning.   

10. Read that the Queen liked The King's Speech!  That's so awesome.  If I was good with genealogy, I could totally become one of those people obsessed with the royalty family.  But I'm not. Last night, I struggled with Jack to understand The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.  

11.  Horrified that I totally failed the Oceania quiz on Traveler IQ. I used to get to the highest level!  What has happened to me? This is so sad. This time I didn't even get past the first level.   

12. Relieved that I took the Traveler IQ test again, and got up to level 8.  I guess I just needed to dust myself off.   Still, it's disappointing to me because I used to be able to get up to level 9.  And when I was taking the test, I had to do a lot of guessing.  Although maybe I can say that the guessing was based on my subconscious memories of what I knew before. Anyway, my score was 296,197.   

13. Decided to play on the Facebook version of Traveler IQ.  I did an Australia quiz.   My score was okay, but not great. I got a 71,323.   

I did better on this quiz.  I got 105,469.  I probably did well, because I remembered the answers from taking the other quiz two minutes ago.    But practice counts as learning.....

14. Took another Traveler IQ quiz.   I can get really addicted to these things. This time I got 93,062.  I did TERRIBLE on the Christmas Island question.   I put it on the east of Australia instead of the west.  I also put Swan Hill in Western Australia instead of New South Wales. I think I associate swans with Western Australia.

Wait.  I'm wrong.  I just googled Swan Hill.   It's in Victoria, not New South Wales.   Oops.

15. Watched a video clip of a Tasmanian Tiger. It's sad that they became extinct.   OR...did they?   Lord Wiki says there have been sightings of the animal.  That would be cool if they're still around.    Here's a whole website about sightings.  Oh, and here's another one as well.   

16. Wore Australia socks when we went out in the snow. I also wore three scarves, because I wanted to take advantage of the cold weather.  How often do you get to wear scarves in Texas?  Not often.

17. While sledding, regretted that we never went sand-boarding in Port Stephens.

18. Saw Gough Whitlam without a shirt.   Speaking of clothes....our washing machine is leaking.   I HATE leaks.  That's why I have so much compassion for the flood victims. I can't stand even a tiny amount of extra water on the floor.   To me, it feels almost as if the world is ending.

19. Enjoyed a 1973 movie clip about the Sydney Opera House.  I LOVE the music.

20. Felt guilty about not giving more attention to the floods in Victoria.  You know what this is like?   I think this can symbolize what happened in my childhood that MAYBE caused me to have a very intense vomit phobia.  The story goes....I was in 4th grade with no prior dislike of vomiting.   I had a crush on a guy.  I don't remember much about him, except his name was Gary. Maybe he had an over bite?  We were going to go to the zoo for a field trip.  I was all excited because I was supposed to be in the same group as Gary.  I thought we'd have some bonding time.

My five-year-old sister meanwhile had the stomach flu.  Melissa has always been my mom's favorite. They can deny it all they want. I'll just laugh at them.  Anyway, my mom was very nurturing towards Melissa during her vomiting illness.

The night before the zoo trip, I decided that Melissa was well enough for a goodnight kiss or hug.  I guess I was an affectionate sister?  

I woke up vomiting.  And I think part of me has always felt I hadn't been cautious enough.  I should not have kissed or hugged my sister goodnight.  Although now I know that's ridiculous.   I probably caught the sickness earlier....not from a kiss or hug, but from a lack of good stomach flu hygiene.  

The piece of the puzzle I didn't pick up until recently....based on a friend's pop psychology theory.   I remember seeking out compassion from my mom, the same she offered my sister.   And I remember that I didn't get it.  Instead my mom acted annoyed and exasperated. She had just taken care of one sick child.  She probably didn't want to deal with another.  Her sympathy had run out, and there wasn't enough left for me.

So as my friend guessed, my fear of vomit is probably related to sibling issues....and I'd add, parenting ones as well.

What I'm trying to say is that although Queensland's problems are on our minds, we also need to remember Victoria.  Hopefully, people will stay safe, and their won't be too much damage.

21. Listening to the score to the  The King's Speech.    I like it, but I have to admit that it's not my favorite thing about the movie.   Maybe it needs to grow on me?    For now though...I prefer The Social Network's score.  

22. Started to like the score to The King's Speech.  It's already growing on me.'s causing me to have a little tear.  I even sniffling a bit.  

23. Wished people understood that you can't be nasty and then say Oh, it's just our Aussie sense of humor.  We're just playing with you.   There IS a difference between being funny and being downright mean and hateful.    Ricky me, he's funny.   He pokes fun at people...sometimes in a biting way.  But I don't sense hatred in his comments.  

24. Had a deep thought while exercising.   Ignorance is not the main problem in society.  No human can know everything, so we all have to be ignorant about some stuff. What's much worse than ignorance is irrationality. Irrationality leads to ridiculous levels of hypocrisy. Ignorance is believing that Queensland is located in Tasmania. Irrationality is believing that a whole nation should be condemned for the ignorance of one.  Hypocrisy is complaining about the geographical knowledge of others when you yourself do not know where every single state in the world is located.    Although now I'm making the mistake of assumption.  Who am I to assume that, those I'm disgusted, with do NOT know where every city, state, and country are located?

25. See from Facebook that suburbs in Queensland are without water.  I hope that's fixed soon.

26. Read more of the comments about the map issue on Facebook.  I do agree with Scott Sharrad when he says, Whilst some of us might not be able to place all of the states of the USA in the right place, we'd at least have the courtesy to check that we were correct before broadcasting it.   That's a very good point.   There's always going to be minor mistakes made by television stations and publishing companies.  But the CNN map went a bit beyond....minor.    I do wonder how it happened.

27. Tried to find more information on CNN map, but can't find much of anything.   I wonder if CNN will issue an apology, or an Oops.  We made a mistake.

28. Watched THIS CNN report on Yasi.  In this one they got Queensland on the right island.  

29. Watched yet another trailer for The King's Speech.   I think in this one they're pushing for the feel-good Hollywood type thing.   It's kind of annoying, the way they manipulated the dialogue in the beginning.  It sounds like Logue is saying the doctors are idiots for believing Bertie won't be able to speak again. In the movie, they were talking about the doctors advocating smoking.