Friday, September 23, 2005

Dear diary ... This weekend I am again invading Blue Sky , the sanctuary of

Speaking of blue skys of our past, I came across a story about my old club and the way it is swimming in financial irony. Oddly and despite being topped and tailed by one of Sydney's highest-grossing restaurants and best ocean pools, the iconic Bondi Icebergs is in financial difficulties having recorded an operating profit for the year of just $1008. Iceberg member #703 no longer drinks as heavily as he used to. Shame on mmmmwwwaaaa Icebergs at risk of sinking

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Rumsfeld's Wisdom
Rumsfeld's logic may be tongue-twisting, but ...

At a February 12, 2002, news briefing, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained the limitations of intelligence reports: "There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."

Where the known meets the unknown is where science begins [What's wrong with young American men Attack of the listless lads ; Why do we tolerate intolerance? ]
• · Costs and benefits of community involvement ; Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs ; Mark Cuban is a witty guy: If only I was taller. If only I was thinner. If only I was richer: If Only….
• · · Everything I know I Learned from Folk Songs ; There are hundreds of ways of approaching the topic, writing and stress A Plethora of Hats or is it Grumble and Gripe?
• · · · It is difficult enough to get seven internationally known and opinionated business people and journalists in one room at the same time. Getting them to read 17 heavyweight books over a busy summer and then to agree on the best six in a single meeting seemed at best optimistic when the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs launched their business book award in April. How the judges brought the contenders to book (link likely only very short-lived); HR has traditionally struggled to adequately quantify a hard contribution to an organisation. Craig Donaldson speaks with the authors of the report Evaluating Human Capital and the Human Resources Function about the latest trends in the area and outlines the steps HR professionals need to take in order to measure their work. HR’s measurement baggage How effective is your HR function?
• · · · · How taking a Parkinson's disease wonder drug apparently makes some people want to gamble and have sex all the time Overstimulated ; A Final Nomination: Maps for Lost Lovers ; All you need is love
• · · · · · Art of cooking ; Book lovers are shunning the "stack-'em-high, sell-'em-cheap" tactics of supermarkets in favour of the personal touch provided by dedicated bookshops Fairytale result for bookshops

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Catholic bishops have decried the nation's culture of waste and busyness, warning that Australians are victims of the disease of affluence Affluenza is wasting us away

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Hollywood Follows the Reader
When Filmmakers Go by the Book, Should Filmgoers Go Buy It Too?

"What! Another of those damned, fat, square, thick books!" an exasperated Duke of Gloucester is supposed to have said to Edward Gibbon upon being presented Volume 2 of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." "Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Gibbon!" And all these years later, it's the same thing: Damned, square, thick books, scribbled by little Johnny Writer types, then turned into movies, and this fall appears to feature a shelfful of them. It's not even a trend, it's a simple reality. Just look: "Shopgirl," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Pride and Prejudice," "Everything Is Illuminated," "Harry Potter and the Flagon of Iced Gin," all due in the coming months. And there's at least a half-dozen more before Christmas. Good heavens, sirs, will you make a movie of anything ? Have you no pride?

• The deepest truth of the book into the movie There is no God if everyone dies alone [ Why Donnie Darko is a favorite film on college campuses ; World’s literature is diversifying, and a new, bolder generation of readers is taking shape Sink or Swim; Dreams & Words without Borders ]
• · We atheists have to accept that most believers are better human beings Faith does breed charity ; 8 Principles for Learning 50 Reasons Why We Can't Change
• · · They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it Thieves respect property ; Rabbi Aron Moss Is It Immoral to be Overweight? ; Sydney's underworld of the '80s is getting a fresh airing A life of crime brought to book
• · · · The media were among the first on the scene in New Orleans and often lent a hand, but Network Nine gilded the lily of their "media rescue" to match their rivals at Seven. Media Heros? ; The Angel of Forgetfulness Encouraging Morning ; Australians are finding it harder to get away from it all due to working longer and more erratic hours to pay off ballooning debts Have a good weekend - if you can afford to take the time
• · · · · Chapters Bookstore Celebrates Its 20th, but 21 May Be a Cliffhanger ; Save Kepler's: the Blog
• · · · · · Wisteria? Dividend? Freedom? Sleep? Here's your chance to tell the world about your favorite word ; One sign of a mature, argumentative democracy is that it expects its bright young talents to carp at their own culture. Bedevilled by a lack of detail Trashing own backyards

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Literary bloggers have become the new darlings of the publishing industry Book blogs' buzz grows louder

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Little Fish
Little Fish will, quite simply, knock your socks off.

Little Fish may turn out to be the most important film in a year that's looking like a dramatic turnaround for Australian movies. Local film production is still mortally crippled by under-investment, the legacy of years of deliberate political neglect. But films are being made and many are capitalising on the international success of Australian and New Zealand actors.

Shakespearean story of Tracy Heart [The struggle to get ahead in the suburbs makes for a memorable Australian movie Sink or swim ; September smatterings ; Nancy Drew and the mystery of the mean girls ]
• · A series of article on the seven deadly sins, and why they're not always so bad! ; Cities of the Future Today’s “Mega-cities” are Overcrowded and Environmentally Stressed ; Kurt Vonnegut doesn't want any part of contemporary culture
• · · Men are more likely than women to be authors of journal articles and influential textbooks in political science. Why? Gender Gap in Publishing ; About 90% of all writers are desperate. Especially with the first few books. And no wonder. There are over 10,000 novels published a year and each imprint only anoints three to four books every season The attention game: A crisis of confidence and sets up a neurotic condition
• · · · A dismayingly bad book What irony: reviewer ousts author ; Oxford University Press is one of the first major publishers (that I've seen, at any rate) to blog Blue Background Makes Nifty Visual Pun
• · · · · Manorama Online reports that Literary figures making false forays into performing arts. ; The True Classic of Terrorism
• · · · · · Self-help gurus might be fakes - but why do so many people fall for them? ; In an age of blogging, reflexive ironizing and ceaseless celebrity worship, two small literary-intellectual magazines try to make a different kind of big noise Among the Believers ; Novels can accommodate those subtleties of the human condition that leave us shaking our heads in perplexity Victory parades should be times of mourning

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art
-Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.
-Mark Twain

Thoreau deplored the supremacy of work in this way: "It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work." And this is all that my wife is slaving 7 days a week and she will even miss on Alex’s birthday party due to some IT migration issues. Strange world we are living in ...
We often forget that going to work every day is often more a chore than a pleasure Working Hard at Nothing All Day
Nettle suggests that we would all probably be happier by trading income or material goods for time with people or hobbies. But most people do not do so. My enemies should never enjoy such a book! The Science behind Your Smile

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: What Women Want
Why do the poor have children out of wedlock? It's not just a matter of money

When it comes to single-parent families, Everybody's Doing It. That, it seems, is the received wisdom--but it's not true. As Charles Murray noticed decades ago and demographers have known for some time, the structure of families has diverged drastically by social class. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among women with no more than a high-school education has skyrocketed since the 1960s but remains very low among college graduates. Divorce has declined among the well-off but is climbing among the unskilled. Although almost all college graduates still marry eventually, marriage rates are dropping steadily among those without a high-school degree.

Times of Me Me Me [It's time to recognize that America's poor need more help than we're giving them Castaways And Cuts; Pro-lifers branch out to poverty, health care—and war]
• · If you want to finish your dissertation, it’s time to stop worrying about greatness and to start focusing on good enough Words on Paper ; What these firing-squad lists declare is not only what we should be reading but, of course, what we should not be reading Classics, literary canons of "great" works, prize short-lists and long-lists, certainly are exclusive ; Literary letters, lost in cyberspace Wilson: the search for love that fed a career in letters
• · · The struggle to get ahead in the suburbs makes for a memorable Australian movie Sink or swim ; NYT science writer Dean's evolution coverage wins praise: Cornelia Dean "presents a leading example of how not only to report on but also how to contextualize the intelligent-design strategy," write Chris Mooney and Matthew C. Nisbet. They note that the Topeka Capital-Journal appears reluctant to go beyond publishing letters on the evolution debate, running only two guest op-eds (both in support of evolution) and no in-house editorials or columns. "Silence is no way for an editorial page to respond to an evolution controversy in its backyard." Undoing Darwin
• · · · Podcasting for Readers ; Those weighty collections of reference books are making way for fast online version Give us the facts
• · · · · A book a day keeps the doctor away" is the theme of this week's Nonfiction Chart, with You: The Owner's Manual, by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D., at No. 1; When Mehmet Oz was on Oprah on May 3 of this year, he made quite an impression with frank talk of a...personal nature: the ideal bowel movement. "It should hit the water like a diver from Acapulco hits the water," he said on the show. "It should be an S shape." An Insiders Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger ; In defence of advertising
• · · · · · Regents ask, 'What's in a name?' ; An elementary look at what may have happened if pioneer pop stars had ditched sex, drugs & rock ’n’ roll Rock vs. School: Because a waste is a terrible thing to mind ; The Sound of Music is a seriously religious film, its plot a fairytale version of modern Christian history Hegel with songs

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bush and Blair - and Howard! - are spreading "freedom" everywhere, they're making the savage and the heathen in the darker continents familiar with our brand "democracy" and they're fighting a war against "terror" at home and abroad that will enable a great many of their people to live on the edge of misery - and on the edge of "terror" about what the future might hold James Cumes

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Pollies and their journo friends
Everybody's getting their quid's worth in the wake of John Brogden's travails this week

The media loves nothing more than self-analysis and it will no doubt begin in earnest following John Brogden's downfall and subsequent sad suicide attempt this week, Mark Latham's former press secretary Glenn Byers writes in The Australian today. Byers has a particular beef with how the meeja reported the story about his old boss and that video

Never trust a journalist [Gross domestic product calculations put too much spin on society's progress A measure, not of wellbeing ; Wasn't it Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky who said you shouldn't skate to where the puck is but to where the puck will be? A true idiot will miss the metaphor ]
• · Catholic World Youth Day Politics and religion in Australia; Wouldn’t recommend this Telco to my mum! You're a disgrace, PM tells Telstra
• · · Have civil liberties in Queensland slunk back to the dark old days? Are Queensland's police out of control? ; The Liberal Party is a broad church, it's got a lot of views … David Clarke Hockey kicks along Libs' rolling brawl ; Dancing on the graves of the moderates; Lateline of political life line
• · · · Mum v Mum: the new custody battle ; 'Born bad' NZ millionaire jailed indefinitely
• · · · · A debate about the role of the state in light of these tragic events Thoughts On New Orleans And What It Means ; Beyond New Orleans, Katrina Destroys Music History Too
• · · · · · What to do when the boss is a jerk? According to Forbes, managing a stupid boss is about idiot engineering When the boss is an idiot ; My boss follows me around the building if I am out of my chair for more than ten minutes. The funny thing is, he thinks I don't notice! Coping with a toxic boss or a lousy job can take a severe toll on your productivity - and your life

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I did not sleep very well last night. I was haunted by the faces of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into the US Gulf Coast on Sunday. I kept seeing an African American woman holding two babies, screaming into the camera Help us, we are dying

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The hurricane from Hell
It's a sight that even had hardened news reporters saying they couldn't believe their eyes. One said:

It just didn't look like America any more, little babies taking a bath under a water spigot that had just been turned on. What they were referring to was how a hurricane had turned parts of America into a Third World country in the space of four days. The famous world-class city of New Orleans has descended into anarchy, with dead bodies floating by in water that covered 80 percent of the city, looting, gun battles in the street, houses set on fire. An Australian couple, stranded in the city on tour, were forced to go to the Superdome in New Orleans and said they feared for their lives. A Canadian tourist told the Associated Press he didn't know if he'd get out alive: I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire

The fear and frustration grew inside Flooded Orleans [Hurricane Katrina Interview: Alexander Downer ; Thousands of Blogs Cover Hurricane Katrina's Impact ; Both sides of the anti-terrorism dialogue must give ground Listening, not lecturing, is the answer ; List of bloggers who've been posting from/near/about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Live from Katrina ]
• · It was a golden run. For hard-hat man John Roberts, the job of building Sydney’s Olympic stadium was a shining reward for a lifetime of toil. For Multiplex, the company Roberts had founded 40 years earlier, it was a launch-pad to even dizzier heights – the $1 billion contract to redevelop the spiritual home of soccer, England’s Wembley stadium Road to Wembley ; Lobbying is out of control
• · · Siek Toon Khoo and John Ainley examine how attitudes influence decisions to continue with school and education beyond school Attitudes, intentions and participation ; Restructuring and governance in the Australian health system 2004–05 (Re)form with Substance? ; How Al-Qaeda defeated New York Ground zilch
• · · · Colourful personality, Moira Coombs, describes the excision process and its legal implications Excising Australia: Are we really shrinking? ; Timetable for the next Australian elections
• · · · · How effective has the United Nations human rights system been in promoting human rights observance by Australian governments?; After the New Economy Actually existing capitalism
• · · · · · Young revisionists in South Korea are rethinking who the villains and heroes were in the Korean War. The Unwanted General; A look at the unintended consequences of the Kremlin's power grab over Russia's regions Beyond Siberia ; Mikhail Khodorkovsky Jailed Tycoon Plans to Run for Office

Communication is all about sharing a (hopefully) passionate story with another. In doing so we often use shorthand — jargon, references to other cultural material to give additional flavour or ‘back story’, even clothing. Nonverbal communication: What’s your story?
A growing number of social scientists fear that marriage may be on the rocks and few doubt that matrimony, as we have known it, has undergone a wrenching period of change in the past several decades Can Marriage Be Saved? From the bedroom to the courtroom, The Purchase of Intimacy opens a fascinating new window on the inner workings of the economic processes that pervade our private lives The Purchase of Intimacy

The following techniques to telling if someone is lying are often used by police, and security experts. This knowledge is also useful for managers, employers, and for anyone to use in everyday situations where telling the truth from a lie can help prevent you from being a victim of fraud/scams and other deceptions. Warning: Sometimes in Marriage Situation Ignorance is bliss

Art of Living & Saddest Father's Day Across Frontiers: Follow Your Heart!
For some unknown cultural reason we have not been taught and reinforced to address our emotional health in the same manner as our physical health. This is a mistake. I identify with people’s loneliness; I have been there many times; after all I am a Man Without A Country as the old Czechoslovakia no longer exists ... Migrants are often its greatest victims of that stange cold feeling in the bones Loneliness must be one of the most painful experiences of life. It can gnaw away at the very soul of a person's being. What is tragic is that, when a lonely person becomes desperate for human contact, others often sense it and are scared off or repulsed by it. The lonely soul hence becomes the avoided soul and so a downward spiral begins which can push people to despair ...

In western culture we are raised and constantly reinforced to believe that proactively attending to our physical health is appropriate and responsible. Such old sayings as: 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" persist in our culture. Regular physical malady we diagnose the ailment and develop a course of treatment. In short, we develop a plan and take action! Occasionally, we determine that the physical ailment cannot be addressed independently. Thus, we seek professional help from a health practitioner.

It's Ok to Need Help Peter Bakowski and his poetry on loneliness succeed in raising public interest The loneliness of the long-distance poet
[Winning when you knew you were going to win all along is Boring with a capital B. No one wants to play a game that they can win every time. Scoring with a sure thing is fun.. but only for about 15 minutes If you can no longer trust your instinct that tells you that you are right, get out; Raising awareness, increasing the dialog about cancer, building internal and external excitement Blog For Hope ]
• · David Kipen writes his farewell review ... For book critics, keeping a diary couldn't be more unnecessary. Any critic worth his oats adds to his serial public autobiography with every book he chooses and every review he writes. A perfect book for making you miss California ; Storytelling is Dana Adam Shapiro's weakness Never lost for a story ; From the bedroom to the courtroom, The Purchase of Intimacy opens a fascinating new window on the inner workings of the economic processes that pervade our private lives The Purchase of Intimacy
• · · MJ Rose: Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination What's New in the World of 16.3 Million Blogs? ; Susan Schwartzman: Book Publicity News; A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette 'A polite librarian is a good librarian'
• · · · The trend to put very young children in long-day care is leaving us with a behavioural time bomb I just want my Mummy ; Modern dads revel in hands-on parenting; Elisabeth Lloyd tells us a story why some feminists hate “The Case of the Female Orgasm,” and why they shouldn’t. I float here an analysis of why many women and feminist bloggers and journalists are so enraged with me. And trust me, there are lots of unhappy campers: More orgasm
• · · · · Meanwhile: Let's put a collar on the thief of time ; Polka Dot Mittens: nursing students don't just drink all the time
• · · · · · And that is exactly what Kamal Aboukhater, the producer of the movie Blowing Smoke, has just done Doing it my way, all the way... ; Tough times for lords of the manor

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Three things distinguish living from the soul versus living from the ego only. They are: the ability to sense and learn new ways, the tenacity to ride a rough road and the patience to learn deep love over time.
-Clarissa Pinkola-Estes "Women Who Run with the Wolves"

The effect of Hurricane Katrina in terms of human lives is appalling, and its destruction of property and infrastructure devastating. Time isn't just money in this catastrophe. It's lives... American bewilderment turns to fury as the richest nation on earth fails to rescue its own people from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina
The foretelling of a deadly disaster in New Orleans: Civic arrangements work or they fail. Leaders are found worthy or wanting. What's happening in New Orleans and Mississippi today is a human tragedy. But take a close look at the people you see wandering, devastated, around New Orleans: they are predominantly black and poor. The political disturbances are still to come. Bodies, gunfire, chaos and anarchy in New Orleans' streets

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Neil Mann
The States are losing not just a Mann, but also a strategic Thinker:

Well it’s time for me to say goodbye to you all. I start a new phase of my public service career from Monday, 12 September when I transfer to the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs to head up their new Compliance Policy and Case Coordination Division. I can certainly say that it isn’t without some regret that I leave GST. Looking back over the past twenty two months and seeing everything we have achieved as a line, I am very positive about the future for GST.

Like Collingwood coach Neil Mann, who sought to inspire players before a 1955 semi-final by releasing a crate of magpies in the centre of the MCG, younger Neil is leaving the office on a positive note. The Goods and Services troops appreciate his common sense views on zero alcohol policy. Good on ya Neil as even John Tadros supports the sentiment ...
• I know that many executives, like Kathleen Gibbings, will miss the easy-going leadership style of Neil Mann Speech by Neil Mann; No ifs or Buts [Months before John Brogden's racist, sexist slur, which led to the end of his career as NSW Opposition leader this week, his opponents were plotting his demise and seeking to install their own candidate How Brogden fell into a Machiavellian plot ; Nothing gained in pointing the finger ; Ah, the tears of crocodiles ; Such lack of discipline takes the cake]
• · This journal has become the Survival of New Orleans blog The Interdictor; Bookseller Relief Fund Book Industry Responds to Katrina's Catastrophic Effects
• · · If you read one thing about New Orleans, read this email to Boing Boing by a rescue worker. And the waters shall cover the sea ; via Barista
• · · · Harry Heidelberg's Sydney Opposition is in a political sense only ; My objective is more to make observations which could even be helpful to the Webdiary operators Webdiary Watch #1 ; Webdiary watch #2
• · · · · Dream of city life gives way to need for space ; Steep housing costs spark skills exodus ; Mystery millions: Crocodile Dundee swept up in tax net
• · · · · · It's more than a question of rebuilding our political leadership. We have to rebuild our shattered faith and sense of purpose as Liberals O'Farrell a target of whisper campaign ; When it comes to smear campaigns politicians should look no further than over their shoulders Private lives, public scandal ; A secretive police taskforce has for the past seven months been investigating serious allegations against officers of the Wood royal commission Taskforce explores case that cost three top careers

Friday, September 02, 2005

Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family—but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
-Willa Cather, Shadows on the Rock [Steve, Minna & Helina your soulful friendship is impossible to describe. However, in the context of the bestseller, Friends are like bras, a good one never lets you down ;-)

Last week, I was told to watch out for Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini. But it seems that readers did more than just watch—they also bought the book. Why Do Men Have Nipples? shot to No. 2 on the Adult Fiction chart. Ironically and tragically, I actually have four nipples. Will that make Cold River a bestseller too when it finally comes out in forest version? There is a degree of anxiety that comes with releasing your memoir in paperback version. All those years of shaping the story are distilled into a surreal monogragh, waiting for the world to pass judgment Alert and over-alarmed

As a nation that is – or rather, as 20-odd million people (or is that 20 million odd people?) on our wide brown island continent How are we going?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Bias of Survivorship

I remember in eighth grade watching a movie in class about a man who had had a heart attack and went out jogging to try and kill himself. Much to his surprise, he survived and kept on running and became so fit and happy that he no longer wanted to die. Another guy had lost his foot and somehow found a way to run. The moral is if these guys could do it, against all the odds, so could you.

Space to dream: Literary Life [Bill Leak's powerful first novel deals with the ruinous effects of alcoholism and drug addiction Picking up the pieces ; Josef K: Roberto Calasso turns his elliptical style of enquiry to Franz Kafka in K. But examining Kafka's work can be tricky, however devoted you are Special K ]
• · The Tragedy of the Political Exiles ; The feeling of inferiority makes people/men either timid or audacious. [...] Like a pendulum, they swing between a fear of inferiority and a claim to superiority Melancholy and the ‘other’
• · · Emotions as Reasons in Public Arguments ; Caught between loyalty and sedition: Patriotic politicians who have dissented during wartime
• · · · Women 'eye property in divorce' ; What should a new faculty member value most about his or her institution? Salary? Library holdings? Student SAT scores? Health plan? Believing in Parking? ; The politics of parking; The number 1888081808881 is interesting on several counts ; Body politics: why are we obsessed with our flesh?
• · · · · Uma Thurman is just crazy about her Louis Vuitton bag Are you a branded slav(e)? ; Another Slav, James Surowiecki dives head first into the politics of tipping Czech Please
• · · · · · Everyone knows looks shouldn’t matter. Beauty, after all, is only skin deep Looks Do Matter; Baby study suggests beauty is not in the eye of the beholder

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