Friday, June 24, 2011

Wizard Stalking, Teenage Sex, Parenting, and Malcolm Fraser

1. Read article about a Melbourne lawyer fighting for families who were victims of thalidomide.    This was that drug that reduced morning sickness but caused severe birth defects.

It all happened over 50 years ago, but apparently many injured families were never compensated.   

2. Learned from an article that there was almost a plane crash on December 22, 2009.   

Two planes almost hit each other. One was a Cathay Pacific Flight heading to Melbourne from Hong Kong.  The other was a Virgin Blue leaving Melbourne and heading out to Darwin.

If I'm understanding things right, the fault came from the air traffic controller; and this was due to insufficient training.

Well, I'm glad the pilots were both able to avoid disaster.

It would be weird to hear about this if you had been on the plane. I wonder if the passengers had known what was happening.

No, probably not.  Otherwise it would have been a big news story in 2009.  Right? Why are we just hearing about it now?

3. Decided that I'm more excited about Tallygarunga than I am about Pottermore.  My feeling is there's already so many brilliant interactive Harry Potter websites out there. Yes, they're created by fans and not JK Rowling herself. But does that really matter?

I think Rowling should concentrate on writing more book—either Harry Potter sequels (please!) or something new and fantastic.

4. Read article that says another asylum seeker boat has arrived.  There's a photo.  The passengers look Asian.  I wonder where they're coming from.  I'm not good at keeping up with world news.   What Asian country is having a lot of problems right now?

I guess I expect asylum seekers on boats to be Middle-Eastern; from places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

5. Downloaded a PDF file from the government's immigration site.  It's about refugees and humanitarian programs.  I'm not sure if I understand it.  

I'm trying.

They label boat arrivals as IMA (irregular maritime arrivals).  The PDF says 57% of these are Afghan citizens, and 20% are Sri Lanka citizens.  Do people from Sri Lanka look Asian?  Or do they look more Indian-Asian?   I'm feeling very ignorant right now.

The majority of non-IMA people are coming from China and Fiji. These are refugees who travel by air.

Okay.  I think I found the right chart here.   In 2009-2010, there were also boat arrivals from Myanmar and Vietnam.  Myanmar folks look Asian, right?

I'll ask Tim all these questions. He's Asian, so he should know everything about Asians.

6. Went to Tallygarunga.  I'm going to read the Satisfy Your Soul Thread.   This is the one with the two wizards sharing a hotel room in Melbourne.  They're only 15, so I'm hoping they don't take off too much of their clothes. Well, at least not in front of each other.  

Do I sound like a prude?

It looks like there's been a lot of updates since I last read this thread. I left off at #37. Now there's 46 posts.  Wow.

7. Saw that Reade helped Arti carry the massive tray of chocolates. That was nice of him.

8.  Read more of the story.  Now the two kids are drinking champagne together.   Reade has discovered the bruises on Arti.  They come from her home life, which is not a very happy one.  It seems her father is good for providing money, but not gentle loving care.

9. Confused.  Arti spills champagne on Reade, and encourages him to take off his shirt.   But I thought his shirt was already off.  Maybe he put it back on and I missed that.  Sometimes I read way too fast and miss stuff. Or maybe he never had his shirt off in the first place. I might have misread something.

10. Reread some of the thread.  I'm still confused.

Wait.  Now I got it.   When Reade was in the midst of changing his clothes, Arti had sneaked out of the bathroom to get her shampoo.  She caught a glimpse of Reade without a shirt.  He got the shirt back on; and then later the champagne was spilled on it.

11. Realised another post had been added while I was reading.  That's pretty funny  I kind of suspected that might happen, because the website tells you who is currently reading the posts.   Usually, I see only my name there. But right now there's three people reading: me, Artemesia Bellerose, and Reade Ainsworth.

Reade and Arti aren't REALLY reading right now.  They're busy being naughty in a hotel room.

Their role-playing gods are doing the reading and writing.  

12. Felt a bit like a creepy stalker. It's like I'm spying on Reade and Arti in their hotel room.I feel like such an intruder.

Maybe I'll feel better if I imagine it's like a live television program.

13. Decided to go ahead and read post #47.

Reade and Arti are having a chocolate fight.

It's all VERY fun and sexy.  But I still think they're a bit too young.

14. Looked at a website about teenage sex statistics in Victoria. 

It says 25% of kids in year ten have had vaginal intercourse.  What age are kids in year ten? I'm guessing it's 15-16, right?

Lord Wiki says it's ages 14-16.

So sex at that age is fairly common.

I think I'm used to reading young adult literature; and usually in these books, sex is not involved.   I think it's because writers are trying to create role models, or at least not encourage sexual behavior.   If sex is part of the story; it will probably be a part of a cautionary tale. For example, teenage pregnancy.

That's why I get the sense, when I read about Reade and Arti, that this going to be the beginning of a teenage pregnancy storyline. But in reality, it's likely many young teens have sex without getting pregnant or contracting a horrible disease.

15. Decided it makes me feel better to say 75% of year ten students are NOT having sexual intercourse.

16. Saw interesting statistics about sexual attraction.   The study says 93% of teens are attracted to members of the opposite sex; 4.6% are attracted to both sexes; and less than one percent are attracted to members of the same sex.  I wonder how much of that is skewed by reluctance to admit homosexuality.

17. Read the unwanted sex statistics on the website. I thought it was about rape at first; but it's not.   It's people agreeing to sex, when they didn't exactly want it.

Females are more likely than males to agree to unwanted sex because of alcohol.  Males are more likely to agree to unwanted sex because of other recreational drugs.

Females are more likely than males to have unwanted sex because her partner pressured her into it.  Males are more likely to have unwanted sex because of peer pressure.  

18. Chose another frequent-poster biography to read on Tallygarunga.  This one's name is Delia Stapleton. I don't think I've seen her in a story thread yet.  

Delia is 13, and in Bourke.  

She's racially mixed. Her mother's black and her father's white. Is that black as in Aboriginal Australian?

19. Learned that Delia likes to embrace her femininity.  She likes to wear colorful dresses and skirts.  

She likes reading and being outside.

She loves looking at the night sky.

20. Liked Delia.   I mean she sounds like a nice person.   Here it says, There's a curious streak in her too so you can bet a lot of her talking will be in the form of questions about you, your life and whatever else seems important to know.    Many people I know aren't like that at all.   They want to talk on and on about themselves; and really don't seem to care what's going on in other people's lives.  I end up feeling like I'm their personal therapist when I talk to them.

21. Thought some bits of Delia remind me of myself.  It bothers her terribly if someone doesn't and she'll put all her energy into finding out why and how to fix it. Confrontation she usually tries to avoid 'cause she doesn't like fighting. Yet at the same time, Delia is a very impatient, stubborn, mildly spoiled and easily frustrated girl... with a vicious temper to boot. It can make her hard to deal with. It doesn't take much to upset the girl as her skin isn't that thick.

Yeah.  That sounds a lot like me.  Although I don't think I put a lot energy into fixing relationships in which people dislike me.  Mostly I just quietly wonder...maybe somewhat obsess over it. I might reach out a few times, but I won't try too hard.

22. Impressed with Delia's history.  It defies the usual stereotypes.  Her parents were business people, and she was partly raised by a nanny.  But unlike most characters in this situation, Delia wasn't a poor little rich girl.  She got love from the nanny, and love from her parents.

Delia's parents showed her with gifts; but they also showered her with love.   

She had a happy and lovely childhood.

23. Liked that Delia seems to be an only child; yet she's not horribly lonely. I'm so tired of hearing about lonely deprived only children.

Yes, only children don't have a daily built-in playmate as children with siblings often do. But I do think they often get more parental attention.

Also, when we talk about siblings providing a built-in playmate/friendships, we should also remember that siblings sometimes provide an automatic built-in bully for some kids.

I grew up with two sisters fairly close to my age. That didn't prevent me from having many lonely days in my childhood, teen, and even adult years.

Proximity (whether geographically speaking or Internet speaking) does not necessarily equal support, understanding, or friendship.     

24.  Learned about various Australian, American, and world weather patterns and records with Jack.  He called out facts as I worked on the cat litter job.

We learned from Lord Wiki that the highest temperature record occurred in Oodnadatta, South Australia.  On January 2, 1960 it was 123 degrees (50.7 Celsius).

25. Started to read Chapter Nine of Fruitcake's book/blog.  It's about separation, and talks about how people didn't worry about children separating from parents until the mid 20th century.  That makes sense.  It seems you hear lots of stories about children being sent to live with other relatives.  

26. Liked Fruitcake's line here. If my own behaviour as a teenager is any guide, the terrible twos can go on for a very long time! 

I found Jack to be the most challenging at around ages 3.5-5.5.  He was pretty sweet and easy at age 2.

I want to ask my mom what was my most difficult age.  But I'm sure she'll say something like, all of them!

27. Learned the term "Sent to Coventry" from Fruitcake.  I never heard of that before.  She says it's pretending that somebody can't be seen or doesn't exist. For example, a number of schoolchildren might all agree not to talk to one child at all.

They do this to a child in The Diary of the Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.   

Sometimes I feel that I can't be seen.  I feel invisible. But I don't think anyone is doing it on purpose.   It's likely just the curse of being the middle child.

28. Managed to get a straight answer from my mom about difficult ages. She said for all of us, parenting was most difficult when we were teens. That makes sense.

29. Found my Australian of the day on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  It's Raymond Cottam Allsop.   I worked with a preschool teacher that had the last name Allsop.   I think she was from Russia, maybe?

30. Accidentally published my post.  I'm not sure what happened.   I guess I pressed the wrong button?  Anyway, I unpublished it because it's not quite ready yet.

31.  Learned that Raymond was born in Sydney.  Ray had five older siblings. He may have also had younger siblings.  I'm unclear about that.

As a child, Ray was into the whole wireless thing. That's radios, right? 

When Ray was about 15, he left school and became an apprentice in the wireless industry.

He wasn't a radio star.  He was an engineer type person; an inventor. 

Ray helped provide some exciting radio firsts. He helped people hear things from a distance, such as letting Australians hear Big Ben.

32. Learned that Ray did work in early motion picture sound.  He came up with a apparatus that was cheaper than the competing American one.

33. Learned from Lord Wiki that there was another Australian Ray Allsop.   He was an Australian Rules football player.  

34. Started to read article about Malcolm Fraser's view on asylum seekers.  

I think he's my kind of guy. He's against the Asia-plan; and he thinks there should be no mandatory detention.

He said all this in a recent speech entitled "From White Australia to Today."

I wonder if that's available to read.

35. Went to the website for the Australian Refugee Association.  This is the organization for which Fraser did the speech.

It looks like their website hasn't been updated in awhile. 

36. Found part of Malcolm Fraser's speech.  

He says, The politicians who participate in it have contempt for the Australian people. They believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if they appeal to the fearful and mean sides of our nature, they will win support.

His words are powerful, but I don't agree with them.  From what I've encountered through internet comments and personal real-life conversations, it IS fairly easy to appeal to people's fearful and mean sides.   

I wish I could have as much faith as Malcolm Fraser.

Or does he really have that faith?  It could be that type of discipline where you mold people's behavior through flattery. 

37. Read Malcolm Fraser's ideas on handling the immigration issue.

One of his ideas is to help the people IN their countries, and not contribute to the strife.

That makes sense. 

He wants to get rid of the policy that allows asylum seekers to be imprisoned for their whole lives if rejected from Australia and their country of origin. 

He wants to replace a punitive approach towards asylum seekers with a compassionate approach.  

I like that.  

38. Had a brilliant idea.  

Quentin Bryce can dismiss Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Than she can stick in Malcolm Fraser to take Gillard's place.

39. Wondered if Malcolm Fraser supports gay marriage. I googled, but couldn't easily find anything.