Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Petitions, Speeches, Tony Abbott, and Deletion

1. Via Facebook, I found an Americans for Assange website. That's pretty cool. I'm trying to sign the petition.  I'm having some trouble with it.

Oh okay.  It worked.  It took a few moments.  Then it automatically posted on Facebook. That's a bit annoying.  I prefer when things ask my permission before posting.  

2. Saw that people in Queensland, who wanted to donate STUFF instead of money to victims of the bad weather, now have their chance.  The red cross is looking for baby stuff to be given to the tent city in Tully.   They want stuff like clothes, nappies, formula, wipes, etc.  This isn't really used stuff, though.  I think the donaters still need money, because for the most part you have to go out and purchase it.

I guess some people might have unused packages of nappies, formula, etc. in their homes.  

3. Signed another petition about Assange.  I like this one MUCH better.   It asks your permission before posting on Facebook.  Okay. I'm going to point out an observation here.   I notice that there ARE other Americans who have signed.  From the small bit of people I can see—the Americans list their city and state but don't specify what country they come from.   People from other countries list their countries.  I wonder why that is. Is it ethnocentrismthat people around the world should KNOW Kentucky is in America?  Or am I reading too much into it?  Maybe it's not ethnocentric.   Maybe Americans identify more with their state than their country?

4. Thought about the fact that if people want you to speak, they should listen well.  At least that's the way it works with me.

5. Started watching a beautiful speech by Kevin Rudd in Parliament.  Really. That guy should still be Prime Minister.   But at least he's doing a fabulous job as Foreign Minister.  He talks about a family who lost their house in the fires two years ago and how things are tough for disaster victims months and years after the bad things happen.  The family he talks about are finally moving into their new home, after two years.  And guess what they're going to do soon?  They're going to travel up to Queensland to help people hurt by the cyclones and floods.  Kevin Rudd asked them why, and they said they believed in paying it forward.

 Rudd's speech is full of gratitude.  He celebrates all the volunteers who helped out during the storms.  

6. Read that there's a bushfire on Kangaroo Island.  Fortunately, it seems to be in control.  Or I should say that it is UNDER control.  If the fire is the one in control, that's probably a troublesome situation.

7. Watched some of Gillard's speech about the flood victims.  From what I saw, it seemed emotional and compassionate.

8. Decided that maybe I do better on geography tests when I'm incredibly angry.  

9. Read article about study done in New South Wales that shows marijuana speeds up the onset of Schizophrenia.  It makes people get Schizophrenia earlier than they would have gotten it if they hadn't smoked pot. At first I was thinking, well....does that matter?  So you get it a few years earlier?   Does it make life that much better if you delay your Schizophrenia for a year or two?  

Apparently....it does.   The psychiatrist (Matthew Large) who did the study says, People who develop schizophrenia in their teens usually have a chronic, disabling condition requiring lifelong medication, while someone who gets it in their 20s is more likely to be able to continue working.

The general message of the article is that teens shouldn't smoke pot. If someone wants to be a pothead, they should wait until they're a bit older.   

10. Took another geography quiz while angry and distracted, and did well again. I'm still not doing good enough though.  My high score (achieved months ago, probably) was 142,142.  I've been doing the quiz a lot since last night, and I haven't even gotten close to that.  But I did just get 128, 422.  I think that's my highest score in the last several hours.

The same thing happens when I play Mario Kart. If I'm concentrating, I don't do well at all. Then I'll start totally daydreaming and next thing I know.....I'm in first place.  It's weird.

11. Watched this Australia Post video that gives the impression that before 1987, Australian post offices were dark and gloomy.  Uh....okay.  The one in the video reminds me of a school classroom.   I'd rather have dark and gloomy.   It might remind me of Hogwarts.  Well, Hogwarts isn't exactly gloomy.  I guess that would be dark and spooky.  I think dark and spooky post offices would be awesome.

I LOVE the music in the video.

12. Looked at pictures from Oscar nominee luncheon thing.  The King's Speech people look adorable.  

13. Read editorial about The King's Speech in The Huffington Post.  Katherine Reardon loves the movie.   She uses it as a stepping stone to complain about our lack of speech skills in this society.   She says, Is it now only kings and leaders who need to learn to inspire others with their words? Or are we inundated with so much information that we've simply become sloppy communicators?

I don't know.  Have we gotten worse at verbally communicating with each other?  I haven't really noticed. I find some people are good at being conversationalists, and others are not. At the same time, some people are good at expressing themselves through writing, while others are not.  

Reardon talks about my favorite part in the movie.  She says, One of the most memorable scenes in the movie occurs when the king challenges the lack of formal educational credentials of his speech therapist, played by Geoffrey Rush. At first thrown off balance, Rush's character, Lionel Logue, recovers a moment later by providing a confident, engaging, passionate, humorous and persuasive description of the insight and experience that qualify him more than any university degree.

It was a great scene. But not all of us succeed at being engaging, passionate, and persuasive when speaking.  However, we might have other valuable skills to offer, such as....making balloon animals.

I didn't feel the message of The King's Speech was that we all should be brilliant communicators like Lionel Logue.  I thought it was more about overcoming adversity with the help of others. We can't all be brilliant at everything, but if we're really bad at something, maybe someone can help us be not-so-bad.   

14. Disgusted to read that landlords in Tully are raising rents, since there's a shortage in housing.   Yeah.  If there's a cyclone....why not take advantage of people?  Lovely.   

15. Read this article about how it's important for people to be allowed to take their pets when being asked to evacuated.   Some people refuse to evacuate, and risk their lives because they don't want to leave their animals behind.   For some of them, their animals are their children.  And some people are just compassionate enough not to want to abandon a helpless animal that they love. The article says that a law was passed in America, after Katrina. It says that if states wanted Federal Assistance during disasters, they must include pets in their evacuation plans.

Yeah.  People have enough heartache during these storms. They shouldn't be forced to leave their best friends behind.

16. Made a Traveler IQ quiz with Jack.  He wanted to do random places, but I insisted we have a theme.  We decided to do a letter one, and we chose the letter C.   Try it out....if you dare. I think Jack's score was higher than mine.  And he just informed me that he now has a higher score than me on this quiz.  

17. Read an article about the Aussie thinking cap. The hat gives you electrical impulses and increases your chances of solving a problem. They did a study where without the hat, 20% of people could solve a problem.   And with the hat, 60% of people could solve the problem. I could probably benefit from such a hat!

18. Saw a photo of the Adelaide Town Hall from the late 1800's.   Lord Wiki says it was completed in 1866.  Ninety-eight years after that, there was a massive Beatles concert there.  People can hire the hall for weddings and other such venues.  This history page for the hall says the site was originally used for a produce market. That's before they built the fancy building.

19. Read article about the Queen liking The King's Speech.  I thought I already read about that....maybe?   Anyway, that's pretty cool because the movie is about her father...and mother.   

20. Looked at Australia's weather for today.  The places that look nice to me are Melbourne, Hobart, and Canberra.  I think Canberra would be my favorite....25 and partly cloudy.

21. Tried to wrap my head around the Tony Abbott controversy.  For those who haven't heard....Abbott was in Afghanistan talking to American soldiers about the death of an Australian solider. Abbott said, Shit happens. Then his statement was broadcast by the media.  

I don't know.   I don't think Abbott's tone was particularly callous. You know, there are various ways to say shit happens.  It's kind of like saying Life is unfair.    Let's say someone says I lost my house in the flood.  Someone could cheerfully say Life is unfair....as in oh well; get over it.  It's not a big deal.  Or they can say it in a sympathetic tone. Yeah.  I know. It's terrible.   

All I know is that  if I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say something insensitive regarding another person's sorrow, I'd be rich. Compared to what I've heard in my own life, I don't think Abbott's comment was bad at all.

22. Received email about The King's Speech video thing.   It had a link to a 60 second version they have finished.  We're not in it!!  I can't figure out if I'm disappointed or relieved. I think MAYBE I'm a little more relieved.   I was so nervous watching it.  I put it on mute because I didn't want to hear myself.  Then when I saw that we weren't in it....I watched it with sound.   It's a good video.   I'll post the link when it's made public. I don't know if we're supposed to do that yet.  

They say they're planning to make longer videos. We could be in those, but I'm doubting it.

23.  Did more silly Adelaide vs. Hobart stuff.  This time I went on Flickr and looked at the 1st photo on the 7th page for recent photos of Adelaide, and did the same for Hobart.   Then I chose which photo I preferred.   Adelaide won that round.  So far, all together....Adelaide is winning by five points.  That could change though.

24. Saw this website via Facebook.   It's a guide for people who want to help in the Yasi recovery efforts.    I think most of it is for locals, but they also have places where the rest of us can donate money. The Queensland Premier's flood relief fund has been expanded to include the cyclone as well.

25. Erased Oprah.   I was so behind in watching it, and I'm getting pretty tired of it.  I felt if it was on the DVR, I'd feel obligated to keep watching it.   It would be another thing on my to-do list, and it felt better subtracting something from that.

26. Thought about how I had a girl-crush on a Kiwi, and now I have one on a British lady. I need an Aussie girl-crush.  I don't think I've had one yet.  I had a tiny one on Emilie de Ravin.  I guess that counts.  I also had one on one of my friends.  (But don't tell them that).  Anyway, I'm not going to go looking out for someone. I'll just let it happen naturally.The one I can imagine one day having a thing for is Portia de Rossi.  I think she's very attractive.  I'd probably like her more, though, if she used her Australian accent.   

27. Read a Crikey.com article about Tony Abbott's shit. He didn't do so well when interviewed by a news station regarding the remark.  He acted weird....angry and awkward.  He didn't do the proper politician thing.  Shameful?  Yes. But probably not that important in the scheme of things.  

28. Via Statcounter, saw that there's a lot of Josh Lawson action on my blog tonight. 

29. Wondered if Jack's magazine was correct when they said that goog was an alternative word for egg in Australia.  I've never heard of it before.  Not that I expect to know....everything.   Maybe it's an Aboriginal world?  They also mentioned Fairy Floss but didn't specify it being Australian. 

30. Just got a very nice email from someone in Adelaide. I'm taking that as a good Adelaide-omen.   So...Adelaide gets a point.

31.  Finished reading Alice Springs by Nikki Gemmell.  It was a pretty good book. I don't know if I got that into it, but I think that's because I've been distracted.   I've been more into computer nonfiction type reading than fiction book reading lately.  It took me a long time to read it....I mean for a book that size.

32. Heard music on an ad for PBS that reminded me a lot of the score from The King's Speech. Tim doesn't think it's the same, though.  

33. Started reading The Good Parents by Joan London.