Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Refugees, Syria, The Capital Chemist, and Booderee National Park

1. Read an article about some people in the Australian government wanting to give Christians, in Syria, priority in terms of allowing more refugees into the country.

I honestly don't know what to think and feel about it.  

It definitely seems like discrimination.

But maybe it's warranted in this case?

I'm thinking about the 1940's. To me, it would have made sense to give Jews priority, because they were being heavily persecuted. That doesn't mean non-Jewish people weren't victims as well. But the Jews were more specifically targeted.  

2. Felt compelled to admit that I'm unfortunately very ignorant about what's happening in Syria. I've assumed it's a problem caused by some of the radical Muslims. Am I right? Wrong? 

3. Saw that the BBC has a helpful article for ignorant people like me.


The problem has been going on since March 2011. It's between President Bashar al-Assad, and some rebel forces. 

So far, I don't see anything about it being a Muslim vs. Christian problem.  

The article says there were children peacefully protesting against the government.  They were arrested. Then people protested against that, and the government's army shot some of the protesters. 

They also shot people at funerals.  

4. Saw that now I'm going to get to the Muslim part.

Okay, so from 2011-2014, the fight was between the rebels/protesters and the malicious government. 

Then IS (Islamic State) invaded and started taking over. 

5. Realized this article is for children.

Well, when it comes to what's going on in Syria, I'm like a young child.  Or I was. Now I think I've graduated to the tween stage.

6. Tried to get my head around things. 

So I guess there are two fights—one is the government against the rebels. The other is IS against Syria. Is IS more against the Syrian government side or the rebel side? Or are they attacking everyone?  

7. Looked up Yazidis, because the article says these people, along with Christians, are being persecuted by IS. 

Lord Wiki says they're a Kurdish group who follow a religion linked to Zoroastrianism. 

8. Looked back at the Australian article, because I vaguely remembered it mentioning the Yazidis.

They did. 

The article says that Julia Bishop has suggested that the Yazidis be rescued. The Yazidis instead of Christians? Or both?

9. Thought it would probably be okay to prioritize Christians and Yazidis, but not okay to absolutely refuse to take in any Muslims.

10. Consulted Lord Wiki.

I'm not sure if I'm understanding things right. But if I am, it seems that IS (Or ISIL; OR ISIS) is on neither the government side or the rebel side. I think they're just a group who wants to bully everyone, and they took advantage of Syria when it was weak. 

11. Felt some feelings of warmth for humanity when reading, from Lord Wiki, about what various countries have done, and are doing, to help people in Syria.  

Some countries are sending a lot of money. Other countries are welcoming Syrian refugees. Some countries are doing both.  

12. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

13. Felt like lately there have been a lot of cast changes on Neighbours.

Maybe too many? 

It feels like every week they're bringing in a new character.

14. Felt bad about criticizing Nate (Meyne Wyatt) in yesterday's post.

I thought he was pushing Tyler (Travis Burns) to pursue Paige (Olympia Valance) despite her preference for Mark (Scott McGregor).  But now it seems to me, that Nate didn't know about the Paige and Mark thing. Now he does know, and he hasn't shown any further indications of pushing Tyler to fight for Paige.

15. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.  

I'm on episode 13, and there are 26 episodes in season one. So I'm at the half-way point now.

I'm starting to like the show more.

At first, I liked the episode mystery/crime storylines, but wasn't very interested in the ongoing stories of the main characters. Now that's changing. 

I think the story that interests me most is Rachel (Catherine McClements). The custody battle stuff is intense and interesting to me. I also have interest in the Frank (Colin Friels) storyline—about the murder of his brother. 

I'm less interested in the story about Terry (Aaron Jeffrey) and Fiona (Sophie Heathcote) having a romance, but I'm not totally bored by it.  

16.  Liked the story about The Capital Chemist on the Love Your Sister Breast Cancer blog.

Connie approached the pharmacist working at The Capital Chemist and asked if they could put a donation tin on the counter. She says she was nervous about asking, but it turns out she didn't need to be.  The Capital Chemist wanted to do much more than just put a tin up.  They wanted to do a whole fundraiser with Connie. The fundraiser ended up happening, and the chemist provided cake and balloons. 

On top of that nice gesture, the staff of The Capital Chemist received a lottery ticket. Instead of splitting it among themselves, they donated it to to breast cancer charity. Then also a man handed Connie a check, and it was for $100,000. That's pretty impressive.  First, I'm impressed he has that much to spare. Second, I'm impressed he donated it to charity.  

17. Had a hard time understanding the lottery thing. Connie says a customer gave the employees a ticket. Why? Was the customer just being nice?  Although, from what I understand, the customer didn't know it would be a winner. So it's kind of nice, but not overly generous.  Lottery tickets are not that expensive, and it's very rare to win.  

I still wonder why the customer gave them the ticket.

I suppose it's just a friendly gesture?  

Do people do it often?

Is it a common custom I've not heard of before?

18. Wanted to say that I liked the blog post, because it can be hard to ask someone for a favor. There's the fear of being rejected. Maybe there's also a fear of looking desperate and needy?  So, it's nice to hear of someone asking for a favor and getting more than what they asked for.

19.  Felt bad for Rachel on Water Rats, because a traffic jam caused her to miss the important custody hearing, and now she's not legally allowed to see her son for at least six months.

I think, though, that she kind of brought the problem on herself.

I feel that if something is very important to someone, they should leave way ahead of time, especially when they live in a big city which seem to always have some risk of a traffic jam.  

From my understanding, Rachel had the day free...or sort of free. I don't think she was required to work, because her partner asked if she'd like to join him on a crime pursuit thing. She said yes.  She was nervous about the hearing and wanted to keep busy.

I'd have more sympathy for someone who was required to be somewhere else before the important event.  

Well, I shouldn't say I'd have more sympathy. I still have a lot of sympathy for Rachel. I think it's more about thinking she deserves some blame for her hardship.

20. Started to watch another episode of Water Rats.

21. Watched an Australian video about Ramadan, with Jack, for our homeschooling curriculum. Today we learned about Islam, not because of the current events I talked about this morning.  It's because that's where we're at with Crash Course.

22. Recognized a guest star on Water Rats. I looked up the actress. It's Celia Ireland. Then I saw from her filmography that I know her from Wentworth!  She plays Liz Birdsworth, the prisoner that has a problem with alcohol.

23. Saw that Celia Ireland was also one of the stars of All Saints. She started in the second season, and continued on into the eighth season.

24. Ate a Tim Tam

25. Saw from Google News that Bindi Irwin is going to be on the US version of Dancing with the Stars.

I hope she had fun with that.

I'm not sure if it's still filming, or not. If it is, I hope she continues to have fun.

26. Learned that a new species of Funnel Web spider has been discovered. A specimen was found in Booderee National Park in New South Wales.

27. Found Booderee National Park on Google Maps. Google lists it as being part of the ACT rather than New South Wales. It's in Jervis Bay.

Who's right—the article I read or Google Maps?

OR maybe both are right. Maybe the park stretches into both areas.

28. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says that the park is in the ACT. But he also mentions it as having the highest cliffs in New South Wales.

Maybe he says that, because the ACT is an enclave of New South Wales?

29. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 46th song which is "Grandma's Hands" by Meg Mac.

30. Saw from my browser, that I've looked at Lord Wiki's entry about Meg Mac before.

Was one of her other songs higher up on the list?

31. Saw that yes, I've listened to another one of her songs before. It was "Roll Up Your Sleeves".

Did I like it? I can't remember.

32. Started watching the video for "Grandma's Hands".

33. Thought the beginning of the song reminded me of Lorde's "Royals".

34. Realized I'm not watching a video.  It's just a photograph with the song.

35. Did not like the song, at first. But now it's kind of growing on me.

36. Saw from the comments that the song is a cover of another song.

37. Googled Bill Withers, because he's the one who did the original song.  He's American.

38. Learned from Lord Wiki that the song has been covered many times.

39. Listened to a little bit of Bill Wither singing "Grandma's Hands"

40.  Started to watch a Neighbour's backstage video.  This one stars Tim Phillips, who plays Daniel and Arlie Dodds who played his ex-girlfriend Rain.

41. Saw that Dodds and Phillips were in the dark about what was going to happen with the Rain stuff.

So when I was watching the episodes, and wondering if Rain was going to be good; a little bit not good; or  wicked; Arlie Dodds and Phillips probably didn't know as well.

Actually, they would know because by the time I watched the episodes, Dodds and Phillips were way past filming it. But WHILE they were filming it, they might have been as ignorant as I was.