Monday, May 30, 2011

Kirsten McKenzie, Radio, Live Transport, and Mary Cecil Allen

1. Saw from Statcounter that I'm getting people on my blog who are searching for information about the new doctors on Offspring.  Then one or two other people are wanting to know if Dr. Chris Havel is returning.  I don't know the answer to that question; and I don't want to know.  I want to be surprised.  

2. Received an email about an ABC program called Conversations.   It's radio, not video.  As far as I can tell, I can download and listen to it from America.  I wonder why this is allowed, but video is usually not.  

3. Started listening to a Conversation episode with Kirsten McKenzie.  She's a South African woman who's an expert on Colonial Australian history.  This is the interview that was recommended to me in the email. It's about William Charles Wentworth.

4. Realized this interview is almost an hour.  I don't think I'm going to listen to the whole thing.   I don't like listening to long programs. 

I'm listening to some of it.  I think I wrote about some of this stuff when I researched William Wentworth.  McKenzie talks about how women would take men to court if they broke an engagement.  A woman named Sarah Cox hired William Charles Wentworth as her lawyer when she was dumped by her man.  Then she and Wentworth had an affair.

5. Went to check my blog post on William Charles Wentworth. I want to see if I wrote about Sarah Cox.  I'm pretty sure I did because the story sounds vaguely familiar to me.  

6. Skimmed through my old blog post and found at the end I do talk about the Sarah Cox/William Charles Wentworth scandal.

7. Continued to listen to the interview with McKenzie.  She's giving me some more insight into the situation.  In court, William Charles Wentworth presented Sarah Cox as being virtuous and victimised.  Meanwhile, she was pregnant with his child.

Wentworth ended up marrying Cox and they got a house together.  People rarely visited though.   They saw Cox as not being a respectful woman.

8. Wondered if people continued to respect Wentworth....even though he lied in court and was 50% of the cause of Cox's pregnant.   

From what I know, they did continue to respect him. 

9. Listened to Kirsten McKenzie talk about how world news existed way back when.  Articles printed in local newspapers would be also sometimes be reprinted in newspapers from faraway countries.   The man doing the interview with McKenzie remarks that world news isn't new. It's just become faster.  It no longer takes time for news to travel. These days it's instantaneous. 

5. Learned about Breach of promise of marriage from McKenzie. She says that in some cases, the judge would order the rejecting party to get married anyway.

That would be a fun marriage.

Yeah. I'm glad  in these days it's legal to break an engagement.  

McKenzie says that in South Africa, the motivation behind going to court was about keeping one's respect.  At one point, the law changed and the award for winning in court was money.   When this happened, the women stopped taking their cases to court.  They didn't want money.  They wanted the marriage.  I imagine sometimes they wanted the marriage because they hoped the love would return and the marriage would be a happy one. But the main motivation was about the rejected woman avoiding a disrespectful reputation.

6. Wondered how it would be seen as respectful for your husband to have been forced to marry you.  Wouldn't that be a bit shameful?

7. Reminded by McKenzie that things were much different back then.  Marriage was very important.  These days there's much less stigma to being single; and less stigma around having a child outside of marriage.

Although, even in these days, it's fairly scandalous in some circles.

8. Listened to more of the interview.  They talk about Australia's reputation of being status-free; the idea that there's no hierarchy.  McKenzie and the interviewer talks about how it wasn't really true.   Status was, and is, important to Australia.  Often this was (and maybe still is?)  in the form of comparing property prices.

Then there were the British who came over by their own free will rather than being forced over as convicts.  Some of them believed they deserved rights that should not be also given to the convicts.   

I'm guessing that in every culture, every group, there are some who feel they are better than others and deserve superior treatment.  I guess it would be naive and idealistic to believe that Australia would be any different.  

9. Decided to stop listening to the broadcast.  It's been getting a bit too loud around here.

And I've had enough. I like history, but only in small doses.

10. Did some exploring of the ABC radio site.  Maybe I'll get into using this...if I'm allowed. 

Ah!  It works!  

I'm listening to Triple J. And the website says I'm listening live. That's really cool.

I prefer watching television over radio. But I guess beggars can't be choosers. Right? 

11. Switched to the ABC country station.  Stella is singing "Up in the Holler".  I'm guessing she's American and not Australian.    

12. Googled and learned from Lord Wiki that Stella is Stella Parton. She's Dolly Parton's sister.

I did think she sounded a bit like Dolly Parton.  Sisters have similar voices sometimes. I think my sort-of Australian cousin sounds exactly like her San Francisco sister.  I sound like my sisters a bit. I also sound like Jack. People sometimes think he's me on the phone and vice versa. Oh! And at times I think Jack sounds like my younger sister.

13. Listened to Sydney local radio on ABC.   If people in Sydney are listening to it, that means they're up at 3:52 in the morning.

Now they're talking about weeds.

14. Took a photo of my beloved Australia Map Towel—the one I wrote about yesterday.  I probably should have done the photo then.  Oops. Oh well.  

15. Learned from the radio that it's going to be raining in Sydney.

16. Learned from ABC radio that if you want to grow nuts in Melbourne, a good choice is almonds.    But it takes about 4-5 years to get a good almond harvest.  You have to be pretty patient.  

17. Listened to a woman report some news on ABC radio. Her voice reminds me of Mary Steenburgen's voice; but with an Aussie accent.

18. Learned that the gardener on ABC radio is named Millie Ross. The ABC site has an article she has written about weeds.  It has some of the stuff she talked about on the radio.

Ross's main message is that weeds are any plant that grows where you don't want it to grow.  One man's weed is another man's treasure.  It's like dandelions.   A lot of people see them as weeds.  I love them.

Ross has ideas for using weeds, instead of just throwing them in the rubbish bin.  After you pick then, you can put them back into the garden as fertiliser.  Maybe I'll try that someday.

If you're knowledgeable about what plants are safe to eat, you can have a snack.

19. Listened a bit to of an ABC program about safe injection places for heroin users.  Now that I've read Candy I'm interested in the subject.  But I want to go find Jack's snorkeling stuff and my water bottle.  And I need to use the toilet. That's the problem with live radio.  I don't think you can pause it.

20. Thought about how I'd like to watch Offspring today. I haven't watched any of it in a few days.   I miss it!

21. Left the lake house, drove home, unpacked, hung out in our pool a bit. And now I'm going to listen to some more ABC radio while cuddling Mushu.

There's discussion of live transport.   I was pretty sure they mentioned Andrew Wilkie.   I just googled, and yeah, there's an article about him and live transport.  I'm going to read it, because it's easier for me to follow stories by reading then it is for me to listen.

Wilkie and Nick Xenophon want to end exporting of live animals to Indonesia. They saw an expose on Four Corners, and it inspired them to join the fight.

Wilkie says, Don’t forget by exporting to countries like Indonesia, Australia is complicit in this barbaric treatment of animals and it’s a blight on our international reputation.  Yeah.   I agree.  I also think though that most of us humans are complicit in the barbaric treatment of animals.  We don't usually know where our meat, milk, and eggs come from.  We put trust in these companies, hoping they get their food from farms where animals are treated decently.  But that's often not what happens.

Wilkie wants to immediately ban exportation to Indonesia, and he wants to phase out all live exportation within three years.  I think that's a good idea.

22. Liked a quote from Nick Xenophon in the article.  He says, The industry is going to claim that any ban will cost jobs, but if we are smart about this we can use those tax dollars to create more Aussie jobs, not to subsidise overseas cruelty.

I really hate when people use the job-loss card when speaking out in support of unethical and unhealthy companies.  If it's all about jobs, then shouldn't we support drug dealers?   That's their job.   How about we form a corporation of hired murderers?  That would provide employment opportunities for people.

Wouldn't it be better to create jobs that made the world a better place?  So let's say all the tobacco companies shut down. Yes, people will lose their jobs.  But maybe they'll find careers that are less awful and evil.

23. Found another article about the Four Corners animal transport video.  I don't think I want to watch the video.  Reading about it is bad enough.    They say it takes many cuts with the knife to kill the animal.   Being slaughtered is never fun. I'm sure.  But if the slaughterer can do it very quickly, I'm sure it saves the animal from a lot of suffering.   This is not happening in Indonesia.   The people are using blunt knives to kill the animals, and they're taking many cuts to do it.

It makes me think of getting blood drawn.  It stings a tiny bit for one second, but if you have a talented medical technician it's really not bad at all.  On the other hand, if you have someone who's using a blunt needle and is not competent at his/her job, it's going to be painful. 

24. Decided to read about my Australian of the day on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.   I have another Allen today. This one's a woman.   Her name was Mary Cecil Allen.   I don't know if she was related to the Allen's I've talked about previously.  

Mary Cecil was born in Melbourne.   Her dad was a professor at the University of Melbourne.   She and her two sisters were brought up on the campus.   I'm not sure if the girls literally lived on campus; or they just mean they went their quite frequently.

Mary Cecil Allen became an artist.  She painted and she lectured about art.

When Mary Cecil was about 33, she moved to America.   About nine years later, she returned to Melbourne for a visit.  She displayed her paintings which were rejected for being too controversial.   Interesting.  But I'm not sure why they were seen as controversial.

25. Found one painting by Mary Cecil Allen.   It's a naked women.  Maybe that was controversial?

I thought nude (adults) were fairly accepted in art.  Maybe not in that time period?  The 1930's?  

26. Found two more paintings by Mary Cecil Allen.  One is a house type thing, and the other is a drummer. 

27. Lost some of my excitement about listening to ABC radio.  Earlier today I was thinking it would be my new thing.   But I can get the same stuff when I read the news; and I prefer getting information through reading.

Maybe I'll do it when exercising.

Actually, I might try that now.

I'm going to listen to Sydney radio again.  

28. Heard some of Julia's Gillard's speech about the Australian soldiers who were recently killed in Afghanistan.   Here's an article about the deaths.  One of the men was murdered by an Afghan soldier.  If I'm reading this right, they were supposed to be on the same team.

29. Wondered if Australia gives more attention to the deaths of individual soldiers than America does.   I get that impression, but I might be wrong.   It could be that I read more Australian news than American news.  Maybe American news does report the death of soldiers, and I'm just missing it.  I imagine they would definitely report deaths that happened in unusual circumstances, like someone being murdered by a fellow soldier.

If my impression is right, and Australians do give more attention to individual deaths; I wonder if it's because Australia has a smaller population.  I think smaller groups are often more cohesive.

I wouldn't be surprised if the death of American soldiers are reported in the news.  But I'm not imagining that the President would hold a press conference about each death.  Although maybe that's not the case in Australia.   Maybe these recent deaths are getting a lot of attention because they happened in a cluster.  There was the murder.  Then around the same time period, a soldier was killed in a helicopter crash.  On top of all that, the body of another fallen soldier recently arrived back in Australia.  

30. Read article that says Toni Collette is going to be reunited with PJ Hogan.  He's the guy who directed Muriel's Wedding.   They're going to be doing a movie called Mental. Collette's going to play a nanny to kids with a politician father and mentally ill mother.

It might be good.   We shall see.....

31. Felt like a hypocrite for complaining the other day about people who don't read carefully.   I've done that twice in the past few days!   I don't know.  Maybe I jinxed myself.   One incident happened on my Magic is Might/Harry Potter blog.   One of the wizard people asked about surfing.  She pretended not to know the name and called it something like snarfing.  I could have sworn she mentioned standing on something while paddling.  We briefly tried that in Florida last October; but I don't think I encountered it before that.  I did some research to see if it would have been popular in the 1990's.  From what I gathered, it seemed like the activity didn't become a big thing until the 21st century.  So I had my character say she hadn't heard of it...since the Magic is Might stuff is supposed to be happening in the 1990's.  Then another wizard person spoke up and said it was surfing.  I reread the original comment and there was NOTHING about paddling.   She had just mentioned gliding on a plank.

The other incident was about the recent study about children's sleep and obesity. I told people about it at the lake house, and said the study came from Ireland.  I just reread the news.  The study was done in New Zealand; not Ireland.

What is wrong with me?  

Well, I think the Ireland thing came from reading too fast. The article mentioned Dunedin, and I think I saw it as Dublin.