Thursday, November 27, 2008


Some people have such cute ideas.

Design for Mankind has teamed up with BOOOOM! for a project called "Free Encouragement".

At the moment they're collecting words of encouragement, then putting them on a website. There is apparentely a second installment to the project that's yet to be announced. Go on, go enter something!

Here's a sample of some that are coming in.


Another cool thing is the LIFE photo archives on google.

Here are some art school students building a snow lady, in Washington, 1961. Don't you want to join in?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lying Low

Things will be a bit quiet around here for a few weeks..

I leave this Saturday for a 9 day conference with the students, and then when I get back I'm packing and moving house!

This week, i'm out every night, except for friday, when I need to clean our house for an inspection on monday (when we're not home - argh!) and pack for the next day.

So yeah, basically I'm a bit time poor.

Things are a little stressful, and real estate agents are being a bit difficult. I really hope we get our bond back, and have enough money to move etc. Alas, we've put ourselves in this position (ie moving), and now we have to face the stress!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New template

ooh err I just decluttered my blog template. This cleaning thing is addictive..

I'm not sure though, if the photo is a little too severe? It's a palm tree, taken at night.


It looks like I'm moving house in early december to a place that is better value than our current apartment, and possibly more liveable - although you never know till you get there..

So I'm hoping to get rid of a lot of my 'stuff'. I've moved house now around 4 times in the last 2 years and I'm really over the packing/moving process.. So today I went through my books and CDs - I'd like to get rid of a whole bunch of them.

Does anyone know of a quick way of selling CDs and books? I was imagining some second hand book/record store might like what I have - lots of the cds are quite decent, I just never listen to them, same with the books -they're just dead weight. Normally I would give them to vinnies etc but if I sold them it would could help cover moving costs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

photo meme tag

I forgot to tag people!

I tag Soph R, Kim, Mark, Bonnie, Ashlee.

Photo Meme

I've been tagged by Nixter to do this meme.

So here are the instructions:

* Go to your sixth picture folder in your picture file on your computer, then pick your sixth picture.

* Try to remember the details.

* Post it on your blog.

* Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Funnily enough, the 6th folder in my pictures file was of photos I took for my photojournalism assignment at uni.

The photo was taken at Circular Quay, near the Opera House on the 21st October, 2006. I was there with Jo, to see the Pirates of Penzance. I'd given her tickets for her 21st.

I decided to take a photo of the magazine booth. I got a pretty good shot, but 2 seconds after I took this, the woman looked up, saw me and started absolutely yelling, like seriously abusing me! So I didn't submit the photo for ethical reasons. However, a few years down the track I figure I can probably post it here and not feel so bad! But how funny that the photo which was the 6th in the 6th folder happened to be this photo, that's never seen the light of day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The pursuit of heroism?

Tonight, Andrew Denton’s TV interview show, Enough Rope featured a famous social psychologist, Philip Zimbardo.

I’d never heard of him before, but he was famous in the 70s for doing an experiment to discover whether “good people” would turn bad, if they were put particularly bad circumstances.
Here’s a description of the experiment from a website called “Edge“:

In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo and his team of reseachers at Stanford University designed and conducted a landmark psychology experiment that would forever change our understanding of human behavior.

24 volunteer college students were randomly assigned to roles of prisoners or guards in a mock prison located in the basement of the psychology building at the

The results were shocking. Within days, the “guards” turned authoritarian and sadistic while the “prisoners” became passive and started to show signs of severe depression. What was supposed to be a 2 week experiment had to be shut down after only six days.

I’m both fascinated, and shocked by the study. Shocked that it got through the ethics department (it certainly wouldn’t these days), and shocked by the results.

But at the same time, I’m not completely shocked. Zimbardo was hoping to discover the essence of human nature, and I guess in some ways I should’ve known the result of the experiment before it was revealed. Humanity is flawed, and while we are capable of many great things, we are also capable of evil.

I don’t use that word lightly - evil. You may well ask, “what is evil?” And I’m not entirely sure I can define it, but I know that humans are capable of it. And this is one of the basic understandings of the christian worldview. Humanity has rejected God, rejected his ways and tried to live by our own standards. This hasn’t worked for us, and we consistently stuff up - and sometimes, it is evil.

The great hope of the christian worldview, however, is that we have an example of someone who is utterly selfless. Selfishness is the embodiment of evil, so selflessness the reversal of evil. Jesus, in his death on our behalf, defeated evil, in the ultimate act of selflessness - taking the wrath of God towards us, upon himself.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to me about Zimbardo, is the twist that his work has taken. He is now a promoter of ‘heroism’, in other words, fostering selflessness among humankind. He believes that while we are capable of evil, we are also capable of heroism.

And Denton, in his interview with Zimbardo asked him about his latest campaign. I googled it, and found some more material on the Edge website.

The thing Zimbardo said which struck me most was his plan to inspire people towards socio-centrism rather than ego-centrism’. Basically, looking to put others first. This is not a new thought - it is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it’s fascinating hearing it in another paradigm - that is the social scieneces.

When I think about what he’s saying, and trying to promote, I can’t help but think of Jesus, and his example to us. I also think of christians who fearlessly helped jews during the holocaust. At the same time, I think of my own failure to protect the vulnerable, and of the many christians like me who drop the ball. For a people who have claimed the grace of God, I think it’s sad and disappointing that we don’t do as well as we could at defending the helpless.

I’m trying to think of ways of doing this in my sphere of existence. I've started helping out at a local drop-in centre, but it feels like a drop in the ocean. Sometimes the challenge just seems so vast. When I think globally, it challenges frighten me - injustice and poverty is everywhere.
I'm challenged to think am I just a passive bystander? As a Christian I have a responsibility to stand up for these people, to demand justice, but what do I do?

I'm going to keep thinking about this stuff, and looking and praying for opportunities. If anyone has any practical ways of putting these thoughts into practice, please comment.

Dream Sneakers

I never remember my dreams, but I think because I was so tired from the weekend away, I had a pretty vivid one this morning.

In the dream, my friend Kat, who is a fashion student (hey kat if you're reading this!) asked me to enter a competition being run by her fashion label. The comp was being held at Annandale North Public (where I teach scripture!).

I had to write down in order, the colours that Chuck Taylor Converse hi-tops are available in... then I had to write a paper on the civil rights movement.

I did both, and thought pretty poorly, but then I won!

The prize was some white board thing signed by famous people.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have a funeral to go to tomorrow.
What words, what gesture
can express loyalty
to my feelings?

Her mother, the same age as mine, gone.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cute Valentines Cards

I'm not big on Valentines, but these cards over at the Able and Game blog are so cool, and the artist is and Aussie!

Paper garland

Some of the stuff they do on craft blogs is really difficult, but even I could do this!

Would look lovely as a Christmas decoration.

Recession Red, anyone?!

This is hilarious, a wine company has changed the labels on its value drop to be Recession Red and White!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bruised skies

Did anyone else catch the amazing sunset on Saturday night?

It was my first walk outside, after being couchbound, and it was really nice to see the sky so lit up. It made the energy required to go for a walk all the more worthwhile. Thankfully I'm back to normal now (apart from a cough/runny nose) and can walk as much as I like again.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Commons

Photo: Coogee Beach, Sydney

I've been looking further into the copyright situation surrounding the photos I posted below, and it really does seem they are free from copyright, so I think I'm going to print a few out and frame them individually, postcard size and make a bit of a feature wall of them... of course I say this now and it probably won't happen for another 12 months, but anyway..

I'm learning more about the overall project, which is on Flickr called The Commons. It's basically a whole bunch of public institutions releasing their archival photographs onto the web, to create a highly accessible and interactive database.

While the Library of Congress pioneered the project, interestingly, NSW is very involved, and the Powerhouse Museum, the State Library and the National Maritime Museum are all offering their photos.
It's funny how even though I'd hope I was beyond the cultural cringe, I still have a sense that NSW/Australia is such a lightweight in these kind of cultural projects. It's sad that I would be ashamed, so I've purposely posted a photo of Coogee, to instill in myself a sense of national pride!
My brain is salivating at this amazing database now at my fingertips! I can see many lazy saturday afternoons trawling through these photos...

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Universal Gift

I've been inspired to think about doing handmade gifts this christmas. Perhaps it was reading the latest edition of Mankind Magazine, which this month is all about Handmade...

Either way, I'm trying to think of what would be suitable for all members of my family. It's hard to think of a universal gift.

I can knit, do photography, hand sew (badly!), draw things (badly!), and cut stuff out. I just need ideas. Anyone?

Another time, another world

Aren't these photos beautiful? I was reading an American design blog and it linked to the Library of Congress flickr collection. I thought I'd check it out. It's amazing! You can search through them with any terms you like. I started by searching "family" and then was lost in a stream of beautiful photos.

I studied American history in high school, and I really enjoyed it, but these photos just bring it to life.

It's seems fitting I discovered these a few days after the election first black president of the US...

They're so timeless I'd quite like to print them out, and I think there are no copyright restrictions.

1939 - Day laborers picking cotton, near Clarksdale, Miss.

1940 July - A store with live fish for sale, vicinity of Natchitoches, La.

1940 June - Boys fishing in a bayou, Schriever, La. Cajun children in a bayou near the school. Terrebonne, a Farm Security Administration project

1940 - Bayou Bourbeau plantation, a FSA cooperative, Natchitoches, La. A Negro family (?) seated on the porch of a house

1940 - Negro tenant's home beside the Mississippi River levee, near Lake Providence, La.

Tres Miserable

It's been tres miserable these past three days, being stuck at home feeling awful. Today marks day four of being sick, and I think I can finally say I've turned the corner. I didn't wake up with a fever! Hoorah!

The last three days I've woken up with a fever and taken panadol every four hours for the rest of the day, and yet the fever would still spike. I've also not tasted food for four days, because my sinuses are blocked, which makes eating really tiresome..

Today though, I'm a bit better - no fever, and I think my body is saying "get out! Nasty virus get out!" because my sinuses are really sore and my cough has worsened. Anyway, don't want too many details, do we!

The downside of all of this is that I missed the last week of uni. The girls and guys from Christians in the Media are heading off to Cockle Bay Wharf, Lindt Cafe as we speak.

Anyway, here's hoping I'll be even better tomorrow. I'd like to just get outside for more than 30mins without feeling light headed.

The strange thing is I pretty much had exactly the same thing a couple of months ago, and it knocked me for six like this flu, but I think I got over it quicker. I thought I would've had immunity to it by now!? Oh wells...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shivers and Obama

I'm sick again - it seems like everyone's sick at the moment.

I've had a fever for the last two days, and have a sore throat and a gross cough. I'm really over having a temperature and being unable to taste anything.

I was sad to miss going in for the last God in the Loft today, which is our public meeting at UTS... hopefully I'll be ok to farewell everyone on Friday.

The only upside of being sick was watching the election coverage ALL DAY. I'm really electioned-out! But it was pretty exciting seeing Obama win so convincingly, especially when he took Ohio. His victory speech was marvelous, don't you think? McCain was very gracious in his concession speech too.

Who knows how many of the promises Obama has made he will keep, who knows how much he can change things. But the sheer reality of a black man being the President of the US deserves a celebration. What a milestone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The US election

is upon us!

I'm pumped.

Although, I thought Lairdy's comments on Sunday night were quite pertinent. His words were to the effect that people's support for Obama is not so much to do with his track record, but to do with the hope that he represents. And then Lairdy told the story of how his wife then said "A lot of people are going to be disappointed then..."

I'm an Obama supporter, and I was a Rudd supporter, but I think both men will suffer the same fate - ultimately people will be disappointed when the unrealistic hopes and ideals that they've associated with either man are dashed. Afterall, they're human. But I don't think that's a reason not to be optimistic.

Monday, November 3, 2008


My brother is taking part in Movember this year... ahh good times. Last year he took some pretty horrific photos of himself... Infact, I might just dredge one up.

Ah yes, here we go:

Anyway, my dad has prostate cancer, and I think my family in particular notice how well publicised breast cancer is, and yet last year in Australia more than 2,900 died of prostate cancer - equivalent to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually. It needs to get a bit more publicity! (hence this post)

I figure there's no harm offering the option of financially supporting my bro's mo growing enterprise, but please don't feel any pressure.

Or donate by cash or by cheque made payable to the "Movember Foundation" clearly marking the donation as being for Andrew's Registration Number: 1406196. Cheques should be sent to: PO Box 292, Prahran VIC 3181.