Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Humanity… 

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2016 by L.J

I’ve been thinking a lot about humanity these days… It seems the more ways we have to connect with one another, the less connecting we are actually doing. 

Having watched the first season of Westworld, I was reminded again of the many stories I’ve read over the years where artificial intelligence (A.I) in its attempt to adapt and make sense of the world around it always seemed to exhibit more humanity than the humans in the story… In fact the stark contrast between evolution of human creation and the devolution of humanity in humans is often a common theme. Is this simply that we don’t trust ourselves enough to believe we can evolve as fast as our technological advances, or are we aware of our underlying animalistic behaviours? 

Or… Are we simply responding to what we know of ourselves from what we witness our fellow humans doing? After all its very easy to believe that we are capable of losing our humanity when we see what’s happening in Aleppo right now. 

How can we accept the genocide of a people and still claim to hold onto our humanity? How do we reconcile with ourselves when we know that there are other humans fighting to survive? When our advancements in technology allow us to be witnesses to their goodbyes through social media and yet we do nothing. Are we held hostage by our technology which allows us to watch the fall of a society, have we reached a stage where we don’t know what to do so in our helplessness we simply share the images and hope someone with answers will see? Have we simply desensitised ourselves of the horrors that humans are capable of committing? 

I know there is good in the world. I see it in those who I connect with.  There is so much darkness in this year that I can only hope that its the darkness before dawn… and not the darkness before the storm. I’m not ready to invest my hope for humanity in machines, but if they can ultimately help us humans find our humanity again I’ll gladly accept it. Until someone gives me a better answer my answer will be to simply be kind, be kind, be kind. 

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Arthur Ashe Award and Internet hysteria…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2015 by L.J

So last week at the ESPYS Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Whilst the audience sat and nodded and clapped as Jenner gave her acceptance speech the Internet blazed alight with freak outs from keyboard critics everywhere. There were people excited and thrilled that transgender issues were being highlighted in an industry that is still very much struggling with anything relevant to gender and sexuality. The sporting world continues to be shocked when a rare athlete reveals that they are anything but heterosexual. In most cases the “outing” occurs long after the athlete has retired especially if they are male. If they do risk revealing their sexuality they are guaranteed that who they like to sleep with is the only thing the press will be interested in regardless of their sporting prowess.

Michael Sam

Michael Sam made headlines for being a gay NFL draftee…

It wasn’t long before the outrage of Jenner’s award became a trending topic online, with comments flying everywhere but mostly from the right. Remarks were made about how gender reassignment surgery doesn’t equal courage, and how surely those who get shot at in war zones are more deserving. In fact these comments were so frequent it led to one soldier sending a big can of STFU to all the reactionaries. The negative reactions from people online gave readers an interesting look into how much people struggle to identify with what is considered as courage, and how quickly history is forgotten.

Recent Arthur Ashe Award Recipients – VIDEO

The Arthur Ashe has often been awarded to those who push the boundaries of society, especially the boundaries of those who find comfort staying in their tight little conforming world. It is also worth noting that often there has been an underlying political angle or a response to societal norms and challenges through the awarding of the Arthur Ashe, which is no more different than the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars. So why was this award for Jenner so particularly polarising? Let’s remember that Jenner isn’t the first recipient to be noted for their role in sexuality equality, after all Billie Jean King was awarded the Ashe in 1999 for her continued representation and fight for sexual equality. Michael Sam the first openly gay NFL draftee/player was also awarded the Ashe in 2014. So how is it that the ESPYS are so confidently nominating and awarding athletes who represent team rainbow yet the sporting industry as a whole is still eons behind in providing an environment where athletes can feel safe to be themselves?

Part of Jenner’s acceptance speech at the 2015 ESPYS

It’s possible that people felt the timing of this award coincided just a little too close with the up and coming new TV show for Caitlyn Jenner and the tinge of cross promotion was just a little much. It’s also possible that for many watching the ESPYS that they weren’t ready to be challenged over the fact that transgender issues are serious enough to warrant us as a society to sit up and take note. The harsh reality of high suicide rates and crimes against transgender people is not only confronting but shameful. With so many outspoken groups and individuals out there in the mainstream media touting the evils of being transgender, it’s arguably more important than ever for people like Caitlyn Jenner, Chaz Bono and Laverne Cox to step out and show those who are battling with gender identity that they matter. That they too deserve the humanity that is afforded to everyone else.

Cinema pests are you one?

Posted in Films, Life, Pop Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 1, 2014 by L.J

Okay I love going to the movies. There’s something wonderful about finding the right seat (not too close, not too far away, preferably in the middle somewhere). It’s even better when the seats are just right too, not too close to the one in front, not too high above the one in front (I don’t need to see the next person’s lap), preferably alternating so that you’re peering between the two seats in front… oh and nice and high backed so you can really hunker down in your spot and feel like it’s just you and the film in the space.

Once you’ve found a cinema that meets your viewing comfort needs it should be fail proof in your hopes of the film experience being awesome… however there are variables that are often there to ensure that smooth sailing is just a dream. Those variables come in the form of other people that decide to go to the movie as well. I’ll admit it right now that I’m a movie going snob. When I go to the movies I don’t want to sit with strangers, I don’t want to listen to their children and I really don’t need to wait for my chair to be grabbed from behind yet again as lady with tiny bladder makes her 5th dash to the dunny. In fact often I’m so snobbish that I don’t even want to converse with the people I agreed to go to the movie with in the first place. I don’t know where this comes from but as soon as the lights dim I don’t want to interact with anyone but the screen, however sometimes I can’t help but come across the cinema pests…

Here’s a guide to working out if you’re one of those cinema pests…

You glow

Yeah you know you do… So what if your phone is on silent and you’re not making any calls… you’re still glowing like a beacon 3 aisles away and I can still see you! This isn’t a rock concert, this isn’t the slow number where you get your lighter/phone out and wave it back forth. Stop fidgeting, I’d rather you go outside to finish your facebook status telling everyone that you’re at the movies instead of lighting up my peripheral vision.

glow

You can’t keep your body to yourself

Don’t touch the back of my chair. I don’t care if you’re too tall that your knees, feet, elbows, neanderthal knuckles etc reach all the way to my chair back… just don’t touch the back of my chair. When I’m too tall I find an aisle seat to stretch out, do that instead of sitting in the middle behind me and then start jiggling into the back of my seat because you really need to visit the bathroom but don’t want to miss the next scene. Also keep your hands to yourself, I like action movies but  don’t want to be catapulted into the action when you pull my seat back in order to get out of yours. If you’re this person, don’t ever sit behind me on a plane.

You crinkle, crackle and crunch

Okay I like to eat in the cinema too, movies are for popcorn, a drink, some sweets, and ice-cream. You can eat any of those things go for it. BUT you have between 3 and 6 commercials to open all those packages and to distribute any thing that needs distributing before the trailers kick on. I don’t want you behind me rustling for 10 minutes as you battle it out with the packet of lollies not realising that it’s a tear open bag not a pull apart bag.

pizza

You smell

Popcorn should be the only food I smell in the cinema. Don’t smuggle in your lunch I don’t need to smell your pizza. Don’t bring in energy drinks and then sit next to me with the can between us wafting those chemicals at me. Also this isn’t your lounge room don’t kick off your shoes behind me and stick your stinky toes between my chair and the seat beside me. If you want to be barefooted then wear thongs to the cinema to begin with.

You don’t know what a babysitter looks like

You’ve been waiting for them to make a movie about your childhood favourite superhero/comic/TV show/book and you loved it when you were a kid so surely your kid’s going to love it too. No. It doesn’t work that way. If your child is constantly talking and wanting to run around then surely neither of us are going to enjoy the movie. Don’t sit there stubbornly wanting to relive your childhood memories whilst your brat is bouncing up and down in the seat and then staring back at me in the creepy way that only children seem to be able to do in the dark.

You don’t get it

You’re sitting beside someone yet you’re loudly whispering “Who’s that guy?, didn’t he die?, what’s happening now? Do you think she’ll die next? Isn’t he the bad guy? what are they doing?” Just stop it. If you keep watching you’ll get the answers. If you’re too dense to follow the story then at least wait until the end to discuss the film with your friend/lover/child. If you can’t wait then sit to the side of the cinema away from me.

talk

…and last but not least…

You’re shameful

There’s not many of these people but if you’re one of these people then you shouldn’t be allowed in a cinema full stop, no ifs or buts about it. You’re shameful if you leave rubbish everywhere as you get up to leave. If you drank those soda cans, ate the popcorn that didn’t end up all over your seat and the empty one beside you and chewed on all the lollies that were in those wrappers… then pick it up. How did you sit in that filth for 2 hours to begin with? Take your trash with you and put it in the giant bins that are there on your way out. If it was your kid who made the mess then be the responsible adult and tell them to pick it up or they’ll never get to see another Disney movie as long as they live.

So if you’re not a pest, what other pesky things have you noticed people do in the movies? Share below in the comments!

A cool six!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2014 by L.J

It’s inevitable that I would end up doing a posting on websites or profiles to follow right? Well here it is! These are just 6 fun ones I’ve enjoyed following over the years.

Humans of New Yorkhony

My number 1 favourite thing on Facebook is following HONY (Humans of New York).

HONY is the collection of photos and conversations recorded by photographer Brandon. What you get by following his photos is an insight to the whole spectrum of life that inhabits New York. Through careful questions HONY gets a unique insight to the subject’s life or circumstance bringing them to life.

Burrard-Lucas Photographymeerkats

Beautiful wildlife photography is a nice thing to have pop up on your social media feed. Especially photos of meerkats sitting on the photographer’s camera. Check em out on any social media option: http://www.burrard-lucas.com/ 

My Milk Toof

milk

These guys are super cute! They pop up whenever their human has time to photograph their antics but they’re worth waiting for due to their cuteness. Their adventures are awesome. http://mymilktoof.blogspot.com.au/

Historical Pics

historicalA constant steady twit feed of very cool old photos from a by-gone era. https://twitter.com/HistoricalPics Enough said.

The QI Elves

qi

You know that fabulous quiz show hosted by the affable Stephen Fry? Ever wanted more weird and wonderful facts after watching an episode? Well then be sure to check out the cheeky elves and their constant research revelations. https://twitter.com/qikipedia

George Takei

takeiGeorge Takei has hit cult status online over the last several years and he doesn’t disappoint on Facebook. The page is run by his team and provide followers with a steady flow of funny photos, stories and a variety of geek related jokes and stories. A worthy addition to any social feed.

So what are your favourite people/websites to follow?

10 books that have impacted my life…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2014 by L.J

So yet another “fill it in and tag your friends” thing is doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment called “10 books that have impacted your life so far…” and I thought “oh that would make a good blog posting! Now let’s be honest here. Most people will list 10 important books that will most likely be important literary books that somehow don’t include the likes of their favourites (Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc).

I however am not ashamed to admit my list of books that have had an influence in my life so here they are in no particular order and why!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S.Lewis).

LionWitchWardrobe

What a fantastic tale this book was for a young girl getting into reading! This was probably my first “big book” or novel and it was love at first read. The fantastical story of another world, where children face adventure wit courage and wonder. I love this book so much that I was given a BBC Audio tape version which I listened to more times than my mother thought was good for me. As I got older I still loved this story and upon reading it with more wisdom I discovered the similarities between Aslan and Christ and how C.S.Lewis weaved the two together.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee).

to-kill-a-mockingbird2

Admittedly I saw the film long before I read the book, but that certainly didn’t change anything for me. The book read like a life being breathed. As the pages turned I lived in the South and saw the injustice that Atticus Finch would fight against for Tom Robinson. I wanted to know Boo Radley and I wanted to help Scout punch the boys on the nose at school.

The five people you meet in heaven (Mitch Albom).

albom

This book was one of the first books that really made me cry. A small book with the lovely message of you just don’t know how your actions could impact on another. There’s often a quote that gets put up places saying “be kind, be kind, be kind” because we never really know the battles that others we cross paths with are taking on.

The Survivor: An Inspiring True Story (Jack Eisner).

Survivor

Almost everyone goes through a stage where they devour a few good holocaust/WW2 true stories. They’re often heroic or heartbreaking, but regardless of the ending you’re always left feeling amazed at the human spirit no matter the odds. I’ve read many over the years including Anne Frank’s Diary, Schindler’s List, Elie Wiesel’s Night and the Book Thief but no holocaust book has ever impressed upon me more than Jack Eisner’s account on how he survived and escaped the holocaust. It was this book that truly helped me grasp the power of desperation and the desire to live.

The Death gate Cycle (Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman).

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I’m not entirely sure which was first this series of books or The dragonlance series, but one of them was my first experience at a “fantasy series” of books. I distinctly remember being in year 12 and being very unwell with a chronic ear infection. Mum handed me Dragon Wing and suggested I check it out. This began my love affair with the world of fantasy novels. I discovered that I had much in common with Haplo as I followed him through seven books as he learnt more and more about himself and in turn about the many worlds that he would visit. I marvelled in the complexities of the books and the characters and I soon forgot about my throbbing head.

The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R.Tolkien).

The-Lord-Of-The-Rings-9780007149247

It seemed only right to visit the master of the fantasy genre after reading so many others. When I was a preteen I tried to tackle this book after revelling in the adventures of Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit, but soon found I wasn’t able to get beyond the first half of the first book. When I was older and had tackled the likes of Raymond E. Fiest, Weis & Hickman and Eddings I felt ready to revisit this behemoth of a novel. It didn’t disappoint. Reading LOTR is like opening up a hole, falling in and popping out at a whole other world. A fully realised world with complex politics, race, beliefs and characters. Finishing this book is akin to achieving a life goal, a goal that you want to revisit again and again.

The Color Purple (Alice Walker).

colorpurplesc

A story written so well that it becomes like a living breathing thing that allows you to empathise with someone living in a circumstance that doesn’t match your own is what this book does. This book had me forever hoping that Celie would eventually get a break from the hand that life had dealt her. I cried with her, felt shame with her and found a sense of self pride buried deep inside against the odds.

Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf).

Mrs._Dalloway_cover

Ah Mrs Dalloway. A complex story that gives a glimpse into mental illness, suicide and strangely enough, happiness. I’ve always felt a connection to the themes in this story and have never been able to explain why, but there it is.

The Whole Woman (Germaine Greer).

ph199_thewholewoman

When I was at uni one of my favour subjects was “ethics” I loved this subject and it opened the door to exploring themes such as the feminist movement and I decided to check out who this “Germaine Greer woman was”. This book was highly humorous and eye opening to many aspects of society across the world. This book challenged my views on the world and that there is still much left to do for women.

The Belgariad (David Eddings).

Pawn_of_Prophecy_cover

I know I said this list was in no order but I’ve been cheeky and left my favourite until last. If Eddings is master of anything in the written fantasy world, then he is the master of character development. The characters in these books feel like great old friends, and like any good old friends I feel the need to revisit them often. Both this series, the series that follows it (The Mallorean) and his other series of books following the adventures of Sparhawk, Eddings manages to wrap you up in a comfortable bubble where you can be with your favourite characters book after book. I consider this series one of my mum’s best gifts to me.

Linear, Lateral and Chaotic…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2013 by L.J

Linear, Lateral and Chaotic. These are the three styles of driving a car I have noticed and whether you like it or not you are one of them. Don’t worry I am too. I chose these labels because they really do best describe how some people function behind the wheel of a car. It’s the only vehicle on our roads where I’ve witnessed these driving styles. Motorcyclists and truck drivers all seem to fit one style of driving within their vehicles, and yet it is car drivers that have developed these three distinct styles. Let me explain them in more detail shall I?

images (1)

 

Linear Drivers.

Like all things linear these drivers, drive in straight lines… and I’m not talking about the curvature of the road either by the way. Linear drivers by default are rigid in the way in which they interact with the driving experience and are fairly easy to spot on the road. They pick a lane and stay in it, so much so that they’re content to sit in a lane that has stopped rather than venturing into a lane where the traffic has moved on. They are mappers, they work out their directions to their destination and select their turning lanes before they even need to consider moving across. Linear drivers follow the road rules to a fault and can often frustrate Lateral and Chaotic drivers as they hum along under the speed limit. It is rare to spot a Linear driver using a mobile phone or o

ther distracting devices whilst driving, in fact most Linear drivers would rather their passengers didn’t distract them either. They pick safe nondescript cars such as Toyota Camrys and Corollas. The seated position behind the wheel often gives away a Linear driver as they sit erect with two hands gripping at 2 and 11 o’clock on the wheel. They stare ahead and watch the traffic in front of their car. Linear drivers are most likely to be rear-ended or struck in the side by a merging vehicle as their rigidness enhances all of their blind spots. Good Linear drivers can perform technical moves such as parallel parking and 3 point turns rather well when there is no traffic around to confuse their senses. Linear drivers are the least likely of the three style of drivers to notice you when you’re waving at them from another vehicle, the side of the road or from the seat beside them.

 

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Lateral Drivers.

Spacial awareness and interconnectedness is the Lateral driver’s strengths. Like all lateral thinkers these drivers think outside the traffic that they’re sitting in. Lateral drivers can change lanes with ease and are aware of their skill and ability. Most often they understand how their car works and don’t feel the need to “push it to see what she’s got” or the need to “be careful I don’t want to break something”. Road rules are still followed but there is a more consistent flow of movement and not the stop and go motion associated with their Linear driving counterparts. Lateral drivers watch all the traffic as they move through it. They watch the traffic all the way up the line to determine which lane is best and are also aware of what is happening behind them and beside them at all times. Of all the driving styles it is lateral drivers that feel comfortable talking to their passengers, looking out at passing scenery and their position at the wheel is one of relaxed yet alert. You wont see a lateral driver white knuckling the steering wheel. Due to their spacial awareness they find parking and changing road conditions easy to tackle. Lateral drivers are the least likely to have an accident on the road thanks to their “oneness” with the traffic world around them.

images

 

Chaotic Drivers.

Of all the driving styles Chaotic drivers are the easiest to spot. These are the drivers weaving in and out of traffic yet never really making headway from Lateral drivers and only making Linear drivers more determined to stay safely in their chosen lane. Chaotic drivers take risks regularly including overtaking in small spaces and tail-gaiting the slower lanes of traffic. Accidents and mishaps are most likely to occur for the Chaotic driver as they try to bend their way through traffic. Seated behind the wheel in a position of recline with often only one hand on the wheel to emphasis their belief that they of all the drivers are the most casual and skilled. The reclined position demonstrates a sense of relaxation yet often these drivers are anything but with many prone to agitation or frustration at the traffic conditions around them. Of all the driving styles it is Chaotic drivers who regularly text, facebook and take photos whilst driving. Chaotic drivers like Lateral drivers will drive anything but due to the nature of their driving style will often opt to replace their back tires with “cheapies” for those moments when rubber needs to be laid, and because of this look it is Chaotic drivers who are most often signaled by police for a random road worthy check. Chaotic drivers operate under the delusion that they are skilled drivers and that they can handle any road condition, but due to their nature they cannot account for the reactions of Linear and Lateral drivers when conditions change.

 

So which driver are you? Do you recognize these driving styles?

A day with pets…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by L.J

Ah, my little ferals, how they love to be naughty!

This is a little snapshot of what happened this afternoon:

I don't want to be wet! I like being stinky!

 

pffft this is what I think of this washing business...

 

Arrgghh I will get my revenge!

 

Hmmm something moving to attack... (oblivious dog is oblivious....)

 

And if washing Tika wasn’t enough… Prickles used every opportunity to go in and out the front door all day….

C'monnn I gotta go out agaaaiinn...

 

Ah Holidays, perfect time for bonding with my little hairy friends 😀