Thursday, December 18, 2008

so black it's read - xkcd

I love xkcd and laser-scope your loved ones is right up there with my all time favorite cartoon from the 80s...

"So many men, so few bullets."

google credits the quote to Adrienne Gusoff. ABC reckons a female politician from 80s had the poster in her office. I remember it as a cartoon.

A classic exercise in identifying minority humour. Is it funny if you change the object from men to women? No.

Modern versions include "So many terrorists, so few bullets" Darkly twisted.

But not as lightly twisted as xkcd.

AVOs - how to fix the broken system!

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

This is so depressing. Another woman killed after taking out an AVO. Melissa Cook took out an AVO. Her soon to be ex-husband shot her and then killed himself.

Last month the Herald revealed that at least 74 women and dozens of children die in Australia each year at the hands of violent men. Experts warn the real rates are even higher because of weaknesses in the way homicide data is collected.

Melissa's death will not be counted in these figures. As her husband is dead, he will not be charged. That's what is being counted here. How many men are charged. Not how many women and children are killed.

I've had some friends go through this recently and I was kind of involved in the recent campaigns against gender violence. It's not my favorite issue to get bent about but it's driving me crazy grumpy.

I have an idea. We should give everyone man, woman and child who applies for an AVO a mobile phone (or similar emergency beacon). Paint it bright yellow. Make the buttons big. Set it to contact emergency services only and the battery will last for about 3 months. They make pretty good location broadcasters too.

So, you ask for an AVO. While you're waiting for stuff to happen, you have an emergency beacon. Any time you set it off, police respond in person. There may be false alarms. Of course there will be! But imagine the deterrent effect!

If everyone expects the emergency AVO to be answered, then there will be far fewer attempts to threaten and harm. If we as a society agree that it is valuable to take an AVO seriously enough to provide some sort of real protection, then we start to change. The need for protection will decrease.

This would be totally cheap to set up from a technology point of view. A mobile phone will do it. The manpower to respond is the tough one. The NSW police force is trying to cut down on overtime due to extreme budgetary constraints. I also hear that more than 70% of police time is spent in court or on paperwork.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vale Dorothy Porter 1954 - 2008

True original ... Dorothy Porter.
Photo: Steve Baccon
An extraordinary writer and warrior has died. I didn't know her but part of my surrounds has vanished and I don't know which I regret more, the empty shape or something else eventually filling it. Bloody breast cancer.

Her works live on but who and what she was were very important to anyone, any female, who savored words and wildness; australia, sex and cigarettes on the night wind.

I'm female
I"m not tough
droll or stoical.

I droop after
wine, sex
or intense conversation.

The streets coil around me
when they empty

I'm female
I get scared.

an excerpt from Dorothy Porter's mesmeric poem novel, The Monkey's Mask.

more from the world today (abc) "Poetry has always dealt with taboo material from way back. That's part of its sort of holy nature, its vocation is to tackle huge and morally ambivalent themes."
wikipedia "Porter was a self-described Pagan, committed to pagan principles of courage, stoicism and commitment to the earth and beauty." Perhaps the best definition of woman warrior I've found.
and sydney morning herald and herald sun "she was a grand theme person, a sensualist and romantic"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday sports and Monday thoughts

So much for my new world order! I was going to blog on Sport on Sunday, Thoughts on Monday and then do real work for a couple of days. And maybe catch up on my commenting. And maybe blog again on Thursday or Friday if inspired.

In fact, I dream of starting the new Woman Warrior Feature with some in depth interviews with any woman warrior who crosses my path. But that's a Thursday Thing... Or should that be the Wednesday Woman Warrior. Yep. Alliteration wins hands down over convenience.

But so much for my Sunday. The TIVO ate the last 6 weeks W League coverage and I'm so far behind the season that my dreams of being a W League blogger have disintegrated like a biodegradable shopping bag. Only a damn sight faster.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the new tipping point - global food shortage

That, plus global communication creating higher living expectations across the globe. Combine with greater access to transport and I think that war torn hungry and angry countries will increasingly plant their issues violently on the comfortable doorsteps of previously inaccessible and unimaginable places.

Like Australia. We are seen as one big empty food bowl. That we fail to utilise. Our food production, especially in light of the increase diversion of food stuffs to biofuels was very poor this year. Several years of drought affected poor wheat harvests and virtually NO rice production since 2003.

Queensland MP, Bill Heffernan is lobbying for the northern states to become the farms of the nation. Ploughing under the wilderness. In the USA, Obama and the Democrats have a very protect local farmers policy which has ramifications globally on food prices and shortages. But that is unlikely to change with the mini financial crisis.

So where to? Lack of technological advances in food technology internally (modified foods banned) or making too expensive to use externally (ie. golden rice too expensive for asian countries to plant) are to blame, alongside the diversion of food to fuel and the increased population.

The increased population of the world is also increasingly fond of protein, which demands more acres to produce per kilojoule (grain acres PLUS meat acres).

great illustration by Harry Afentoglou to accompany article by Paul Myers December 6, 2008

Going hungry in the 21st century

Saturday, December 6, 2008

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence - Greens Stuff It Up!

In the last sitting day of Parliament, NSW Labor Party rushed through a bill that allows men with AVOs that have expired to have the AVO revoked if they want to purchase a gun. Previous law meant that once you had an AVO, you couldn't get or renew a gun license for 10 years. Seems reasonable.

 This is the same state government who recently back pedalled on the 28 day cooling off period for gun purchases. Now, if it's the same type of gun you already have or have had in past, there is no need for you to wait to purchase another.

I can see the rationale. I can also see a lot of big loopholes waiting to be exploited. Why is this so?

Thank you GREENS!!!!
The Greens and Christian Democrat MP, Gordon Moyes, vote with the Opposition to block Government legislation. That means the NSW Labor Party needs the vote of the two Shooters Party MPs and the Reverend Fred Nile in the upper house to get legislation through.

That means a lot of pro gun legislation going through. Today marks the date that a lone disgruntled gunman massacred 14 female engineering students (injuring 14 others) in Montreal because "he was fighting feminism".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What good company I keep! ANDRA is...

in France, the Agence du Radioactive Waste... at doing my bit for MAN and the environment

in Australia, the Australian National Drag Racing Association at what can I say excepting World's Fastest Female in action on Boxing Day!

I do my bit for drag racing here in Newtown, I snark gaily.

just ... Dylan covers

I dithered over spending $25 to secure my name as my domain in 1998 for too long. Someone else got it. I'm sad that they never do anything cool with it. For a while there, in Germany was good but he's disappeared. Atleast there are some other interesting andras out there!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fight the Good Fight at Darley Developments

I'm putting the blogging into use. So much is getting knocked down around us and the battles to reduce the impact are so draining, unproductive and fragmented that I've decided on a course of community building action.

A blog space for all the local residents to complain about the crap developments and to find out who has fought what, where and how.

It's a small suburb. The same developer that did the really shoddy work down one end of the street is starting afresh up the other. The people behind us who shouldn't have let our place be surveyed by the development we're fighting, didn't realise it wasn't their surveyor cause they're having work done.

In Marrickville, it's customary to throw a party when your plans go to council, celebrating your family extension! There's a different flavour here. All the good big houses are getting bought, knocked down and turned into tiny ghettos by developers who DON'T LIVE HERE!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just found Cyberfamilias

OMG my mom joined facebook is very very funny. ROFL.

I'm an official Michelle Slatalla (of the NY Times) fan. Until I read the rest of her articles - which will put an end to my constructive evening catching up on the w-league!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beware the church of climate change!

Bloody good article actually. Imagine my shock when I discover the author is Miranda Devine, whom I love to hate. What that does prove however is that being female does not make you an authority on feminism. Perhaps it will encourage more men to become such. LOL.

Domestic Moddess - everything including the kitchen sink

I want a new kitchen sink. I know that other people use dishwashers but generally speaking I don't find them a significant time saver.

What I would like though is a kitchen sink set of three. Not two. I would like a sink for soaking, a sink for washing and a sink for rinsing. They don't have to be large.

I would really like a one way water flow through them, especially as our water temperature is quite low. If the hottest cleannest water started in the rinse sink and then flowed through to the wash sink with some detergent added on the way and then ended up, dirty and unloved, in the soak sink. That would be pretty cool.

One could easily [lol] make a small waterfall series with a detergent reservoir enroute.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Beachobatics meet smart mobs! WANT!

I am in love with these photos. SMH - Lost art of beachobatics - photos by George Caddy - exhibition opening at State Library on Monday.

Now I want all the acrobats I know to call all their friends and meet me on Bondi on Sunday - but when - and who - and how - that's the problem! Setting up the smart mob. It's supposed to be seamless, automatic and autonomic!

Mary Poppins strikes fear into the heart of merely mortals

I am in supercalifragilistic organisational mode. I think this is something that all mothers hit once or twice a year. It's too late the week before school starts! Everything must be applied for and co-ordinated before December or you miss out.

There have been parallels with my whole life what with partners being overseas, parents downsizing, jobs being chucked, etc. etc.

insert chart here...

I am now officially OCD. I am color coding everything. I was pleased to find out that I"m not the only person who likes to have same color pegs grouped on the clothes line! Or sometimes I like different color combinations, like only orange and green in the front with blue and yellow at the back. Or blue is for me, yellow is for undies, etc. Ditto with push pins. If I'm in a yellow is for personal and blue is for school mood then DON'T jam a green pin on the board! I now offically hate blue and yellow. I have moved on.

When this gets too much for me, my answer is to give up hanging the washing out and revert to the drier. I've tried chucking tantrums and/or calling a strike and/or having a family meeting resulting in the Treaty of Versailles.

Previous result? Two lots of cleaners reducing me to nervous breakdown by their aggressive use of bleach and sugarsoap and scourers, scratching the surface off all of our stainless steel appliances and the bathroom cabinets and the glass doors. Even after I pointed this out, then left out paper towel and proper cleaning products. They still used their own whenever I wasn't there. They even carried them in brand name cleaning product canisters, but I checked - sugar soap and bleach.

Latest result? Sensitive new age partner (SNAP) reduced me to nervous breakdown by scratching the surface off all the new (ish) lino demonstrating his willingness to help and his complete inability to be instructed. My fault for talking wrong.

Agreement reached at the latest Yalta Conference? Clear color coded delineation of all roles in the family corporation. Regular meetings to report to the bored. Sackings are definitely on the cards if we don't meet our targets. Acknowledgement that HOUSEWORK IS THE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE. There is no defeating entropy!

Second Law of Thermodynamics btw. as quoted below by Dr James Kranz

The heart of your question concerns the equilibrium state of the universe, and how the one of the laws of thermodynamics, that “entropy always increases”, seems to be defied by the buildup of a net charge difference between materials that shows up as static electricity. I need to spend a little time on thermodynamics. At its essence, the thermodynamics of a system really describes an energy balance; like balancing a checkbook, the energy going into a system or flowing out of a system is in balance with the rest of the world. (Money is a VERY good analogy to energy in a thermodynamic sense). Here is my favorite description of the laws of thermodynamics in a colloquial sense:

1) You can’t break even (i.e. entropy always increases).
2) You can break even, but only when hell freezes over (i.e. you can stop entropy from changing/increasing at absolute zero temperature).
3) Hell isn’t going to freeze over (i.e. though you can get close, you can’t get to absolute zero).

All changes of energy are in balance on the scale of the universe; locally
we can change the balance of energy in apparent defiance of the first law of thermodynamics. It takes substantial effort to roll a large rock up a hill; perched on the top of the hill, it retains potential energy that would be released if the boulder rolls back down the hill under the force of gravity. Static electricity is a lot like the energetic state achieved when the builder is perched at the top of a hill but has not begun rolling down.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

McStupid Seared Chicken Mumbai Ads

I am an idiot. As if my polite complaint will make a difference! But just in case, I have just put down my irate pen (after an evening of pleasure at the children's school) because honestly! It's been a rather busy day. I have a quick browse of the news when I get home.

80 killed in a terrorist attack in Mumbai

and I have to listen to the hiss and sizzle of seared McChicken breast before I can see news?

Tasteless and I don't mean the food!

I think we need some McCorpseorate responsibility.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Remember the Mirabal Sisters - Day 1 of 16 Days of Activism

Three Mirabal sisters, political activists from the Dominican Republic, "The Unforgettable Butterflies" were assassinated on November 25th, 1960 on the orders of Rafael Trujillo, then leader of the Republic.

16 Days of Activism is a period of global campaigning during which thousands of people and organisations all over the world take a stand against gender-based violence. The period commences on 25 November with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December, World Human Rights Day. On 25 November we remember the three Mirabal sisters, political activists from the Dominican Republic who were assassinated on that day in 1960.

The 16 Days event, now in its 18th year, was started by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership. The organisation choose the campaign’s beginning and end dates – 25 November and 10 December, Human Rights Day – to highlight that violence against women is a human rights violation.

Scores of diverse groups and individuals – including Amnesty International – now take part in 16 Days, together calling for an end to all types of violence against women. Each year they organise events in more than 130 countries across the globe, including demonstrations, conferences, exhibitions and performances.

This year, Amnesty is calling on people to take action by contacting your local MP and urging her/him to push for sustained and meaningful Government commitment to a National Plan of Action to eliminat

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stop the Violence - Women Speak Out

"If you're not outraged you're not paying attention!" is my favorite feminist t-shirt (outside of always thinking outside the box), so I don't know why I'm so shocked at the domestic violence figures recently released. But I am, because it is shocking.

Approx half of ALL homicides in Australia are women murdered at the hands of near and dear ones. It's apparently hard to get the figures because not all near and dear are married and sometimes death isn't immediate and if the perpetrator kills themselves then it doesn't count... statistically that is.

In Memory of Evelina Gavrilovic
Photo and Quote from Sydney Morning Herald article by Ruth Pollard
Symbol of protest ... after Evelina Gavrilovic died activists against domestic violence put red roses on the Parliament House fence.
"Our key concern is that the increased number that we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg and that there are a lot more women dying in domestic violence-related fatalities than what we know about," said Betty Green, the co-ordinator of the NSW Domestic Violence Coalition.
Despite education campaigns, there were still significant misunderstandings about domestic violence in the community and in key services such as police, leading many to miss clear danger signs women and children were at extreme risk, she warned.
"Women do not die by accident, they don't die because of a mistake, they die because of a culmination of a repeated pattern of violent behaviour," she said. "There is no passion, there is no love in a domestic violence fatality. It is really, really important that we name it for what it is - in most cases it is premeditated, it is anger, it is revenge and it is the ultimate act of control."
from Shameful Secret of Our Family Murder Epidemic, SMH by Ruth Pollard
A review of the response to domestic violence by various agencies has been successful in implementing changes which reduce the death toll significantly. Victoria is the first state in Australia to establish a review although the NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, recommended the establishment of a domestic violence review team in 2006.
The NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, first recommended the establishment of a domestic violence review team in 2006, after reviewing police practice in response to domestic violence. Since then dozens more women and children have died, and NSW is no closer to finding out why.
"We can see that looking at … the way families and individuals interact with a range of different government departments and services providers … can give you the benefit, certainly in hindsight, of seeing what you could have done differently," Mr Barbour said.
"By trying to identify factors that continually crop up where you see fatalities in a domestic situation will help identify risks and allow you to intervene in a relationship earlier, with the obvious benefit of preventing a fatality."
The review would also help agencies to improve their capacity to respond to potentially fatal situations, he said.
Again an excerpt from another article in SMH by Ruth Pollard

Go Ruth Pollard! 3 SWORD AWARD!

Only this is serious folks. What can we do to prevent women and children dying in NSW? Petition the Hon Verity Firth MP, Minister for Women and chair of The Premier's Council on Preventing Violence Against Women. Only recently set up and still finding its feet mind!

Donate to the NSW Women's Refuge Movement directly. And lobby your Federal Minister for catch up funding - more information and letter templates here!

Finally, celebrate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence! from November 25th to December 10th. I'm totally on board this one! Now, how to celebrate uniquely but ... ninjaly.

the malaise almost over - i'm almost back to andragy

I might have to go all time traveller over the stack of half posts accumulating like fluff around the corners of my mind.

Stay posted for yesterday's new(s). When you need me, I'll be then.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Life 1949 to 2009 - not so diffrent akshully

This exact same scenario dominated my weekend. Where was Educational Collaborator Florence King, M.S. Assistant Professor Home Economics, University of Illinois when I needed her 10 years ago! Our conclusions are eerily identical.

I love this video. And it is so 2009. Mere cosmetic differences. Women are in the paid workforce, self included occasionally, but I would argue that this is a class issue not a feminist victory. Women have always worked if the family has needed it.

My current meme is wondering if it was ever possible for gender to have the same method of revolution as class, race, religion, ethnicity or sexuality. All of which have revolutionised society far more successfully!

More on that one to come. Meanwhile address all correspondence to the Chief Executive Officer of The Family.

But wait, there's more..

"The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life"
Patrick M. Lencioni ISBN: 978-0-7879-9532-4

In this unique and groundbreaking book, business consultant and New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni turns his sights on the most important organization in our lives—the family. As a husband and the father of four young boys, Lencioni realized the discrepancy between the time and energy his clients put into running their organizations and the reactive way most people run their personal lives. Having experienced the stress of a frantic family firsthand, he and his wife began applying some of the tools he uses with Fortune 500 companies at home, and with surprising results.

Perhaps hubby can get it as a business expense? I think he has some others by the same author. I've already watched Florence King, M.S.

Here's a great new reality show. One family, 2 gurus. Who will survive?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Wiimote Whiteboard post on Proscrastineering

is Johnny Chung Lee's blog and it dignifies what i spend too much of my life doing. I love it.

On my own personal wiimote whiteboard project. Success! so far, albeit limited. A draft version is done although there were lots of fiddly bits and there is only 40% usefulness. I know what needs to be changed though and am going to document the process this time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vernacular Video

more from Howard Rheingold of Smart Mobs and other fame.

also Vernacular Video - by Tom Sherman, [Note: the following is an expanded version of "Vernacular Video," originally published in shorter form in Les Fleurs du Mal, issue #2, Montreal, Quebec, September 2006; and is now in print in the Video
Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer
(eds.), Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008.]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seven year old skeptic!

My seven year old has just handed me a tooth and asked for a dollar. I asked if she wanted to put it under her pillow, as per tradition, cause I know she loves tradition.

She said there was no need to. She knows the tooth fairy is me because a while back she put an old tooth under her pillow and waited and waited. No tooth fairy.

Then she wrapped it up and told me she'd lost a tooth. And found a dollar under her pillow the next morning. So, now she knows the tooth fairy is me.

I've just given her another dollar for solid scientific thinking - hypothesis and repeatable experiment. She is a born skeptic. Go geek girls everywhere!

ps. Parents, don't be lazy with those lost teeth! Stow the sentimentality. Clever children recycle.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama into the Whitehouse - Yay...

Yay.. it is historic. It is wonderful. Why do I feel let down? Ever since it became a Barack/Hillary battle for the Whitehouse it's felt like a lose-lose situation.

I tried to explain to my children why it was historically wonderful that Barack Obama was the new US president, only I would have liked it if it had been woman.

Nine year old daughter said, "haven't we had a woman president in Australia?" Sighhhhhh.

My question is WHY haven't we had a woman 'president' in Australia. America would rather vote for a black man than a white woman. And it goes without saying that a black woman would have NO chance, even if she was Oprah. WHY??????????????

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Persistence of Vision - It's Second Light!

Bloody hell! My film-making background is finally useful. Briefly. Microsoft's fab new technology is utilising persistence of vision. Beautifully.

Lucretius, epicurean poet, scientist, philosopher is the first to write of the phenomenon. (I must read "De Rerum Natura"! Santayana speaks of the 3 great philosopher poets, Lucretius, Dante and Goethe.)

The Chinese inventor, Ting Huan, is said to have created the first zoetrope in 180AD. Zoetropes, thaumatropes and other similar devices delighted the Victorians and prefaced the Lumiere brothers' first films.

Now Microsoft have developed a seemingly unanchored display, effectively interlacing images. Think of the thaumotrope which unites two disparate images. Secondlight projects two separate images at the same time. The first is captured on the bottom screen. The second is invisible until you place another screen above it.

It is a blindingly simple example of looking at things a new way.

Perhaps they'll ditch SecondLight for Lucretia (in honor of the Roman poet who first identified the phenomenon) or Zoe2 (in honor of my daughter).

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Feminist T-shirt Idea !

Is 'box' a specifically australian slang for cunt? Or is it just very 70s?

Does anyone remember "The Box" a classic Oz sex and soap opera like "Number 96". I can't believe I was allowed to stay up late and salaciously watch those shows at such a tender age!

Saw some other great feminist t-shirt ideas at ....

The Dawn Chorus
Ariel Gore and the infamous "got breastmilk?" shirt saga

of course you can just search Red Bubble, Zazzle, CafePress and others for 'feminism' or some such but you'd be surprised how many "I support Sarah Palin" shirts that turns up!

I think my other favourite all purpose t-shirt is.. "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

Thank you Zazzle for your t-shirt designing tools. If I get round to making an account I'll post this shirt for sale.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Women Hold Fewer Top Jobs Than Before - POST FEMINISM AT ITS WORST

I've been arguing this for quite a while and no one believes the figures. Australia is resting on its laurels. (Hi Laurel) Although, I still argue that this is a global problem. Things haven't significantly changed for hundreds of years, feminism not withstanding, aside from women having the vote and better financial protection in law (better than nothing).

We permit a few women to operate in the top levels of power in a token way. These are often positions gained through connections, sometimes through utter uber bloke bloodymindnedness and usually at the expense of other women.

Even if not explicitly keeping the sisters down to protect your own job, then if you are a successful woman then you are used to excuse the lack of affirmative action that is now espoused by the head of the Business Council of Australia.

Katie Lahey … called for a national debate on quotas.
Photo: Quentin Jones

Katie Lahey, the chief executive of the council, which represents the heads of Australia's top 100 corporations, said promotion of women on merit had not worked.

"I've pooh-poohed quotas for years, but other strategies have not worked, and it's time for a national debate on quotas for women," she said.


The rest of the SMH article follows...

THE proportion of women on corporate boards and in top management in leading companies has fallen, and the head of the Business Council of Australia has called for affirmative action quotas.
Katie Lahey, the chief executive of the council, which represents the heads of Australia's top 100 corporations, said promotion of women on merit had not worked. "I've pooh-poohed quotas for years, but other strategies have not worked, and it's time for a national debate on quotas for women," she said.

The 2008 census on women in leadership, to be published today, shows Australia has gone backwards in the promotion of women to executive management positions in top corporations and to boards.
The number of women coming through the pipeline in "feeder line" management positions is back to pre-2004 levels. Women who make it to senior roles are clustered in human resources and legal services rather than in operations, sales or finance, the usual routes to the top.

Where Australia once ranked second behind the United States in the number of top companies with a woman senior executive, it now ranks last in a list of comparable countries, including New Zealand, Britain, South Africa and Canada. The census is the fifth undertaken for the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency to measure the progress of senior women in the top 200 publicly listed corporations.

It shows the proportion of women senior executive managers - who directly report to the CEO - has declined to 10.7 per cent from 12 per cent in 2006 and is lower than in 2004. The number of women in these positions has fallen to just 182, down from 246 in 2004. While the size of executive management teams has fallen, women's representation has fallen faster.

Naseema Sparks, the incoming president of Chief Executive Women, which promotes the development and use of leadership talent, said "it's disgraceful". At the time of the census on February 1 there were four women CEOs. Women comprised 8.3 per cent of board members, a decline from 8.7 per cent in 2006, and barely higher than in 2004.

The number of top companies with no women executive managers had risen sharply since 2006, from 39.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent. And more than half the ASX200 boards had no women directors. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, said the most disturbing figure was the decrease in women in line executive management from 7.5 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

"This figure is particularly discouraging for younger women trying to climb the corporate ladder. Are we sending a message to women waiting in these feeder positions that their opportunities for advancement are drying up, and if so, why?"

A number of male-dominated mining, materials and energy companies have joined the ranks of the ASX 200 since the last census.

But Wendy McCarthy, a feminist business woman, said women had been graduating with first class honours degrees in geology and engineering for 25 years, "not in large number but with outstanding results, but they go back to academic life because the culture [in these companies] is unsustainable".
NOTE: my sister was THE top geology student in Australia when she graduated but eventually left both industry AND academia due to the harassment and lack of career path. She continually saw much less able male geologists getting offered better positions or promoted over her.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Robot Nation - coming to your screens soon

Personally, we already have a robot vacuum cleaner and I LOVE IT AND ALL THINGS ROBOT! I was a scifi geek girl from conception. We also have a robot mop and many robot toys. Note.. my mother bought a 'robot' appliance but was very disappointed in the product. Anything can call itself 'robot' and frequently does. However Korea has forecast robotics as the social and industrial growth area of the next decade and is pouring in as much money as it did into broadband, and everyone has broadband in Korea.

clipped from
We honestly haven't kept up with the television documentary Vanguard or its sponsoring Internet/Cable channel Current TV, but this trailer for their upcoming show Japan: Robot Nation has our interest piqued. We're digging all of the robots, the ties of said robots to evolving Japanese culture and the overly dramatic score supporting the whole thing. The show doesn't air until December 10, 10PM EST & 10PM PST on Current TV. But if you've got the channel, now might be a good time to set the DVR. Otherwise it'll probably be viewable on the web at that time, too.
blog it

"Japan, the world's No. 2 economy and important global player, is experiencing the steepest peacetime population decline in history. A combination of low birthrates, changing lifestyles and strict immigration policies may be cause for the fall of a nation once expected to challenge American supremacy on the world stage. Japan's government is looking at several ways to stem the tide; encouraging and providing incentives to couples to have more sex -- and more babies. However, because Japan's insular and xenophobic society will not tolerate the admission of greater numbers of immigrants, Japan's tackling the population problem in a way only it can -- by creating a robot nation.

Japan's issues aren't isolated ... Many European nations, especially & old; countries like Italy, are experiencing the same population contraction. And even though Japan is unique in its problems and solutions, there's a sense that it simply reflects a future much of the rest of the developed world will soon see.

Tune in to watch me interact with Japan's latest robots: Wednesday, December 10, 10PM EST & 10PM PST"

Quotes From Adam Yamaguchi on Current

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Every surface can be a computer - Wii Whiteboard

Warning: this post has a high drool content.

I was put to shame at the P&C meeting. The subject turned to helping the school keep up with the better funded cluster of primary schools across the road in the new digital learning environment.

What the teachers wanted were smartboards or interactive whiteboards. The skeptics wondered if they were worth the money. The heads turned to me.. yours truly geek girl.. and my opinion on how useful they were.

I've never used one. We don't have them in the community sector. I haven't paid much attention and I haven't seen it coming in the tech zone. I asked my tech gurus.. what's the buzz? they didn't know, cause they didn't use them. Was there a flaw?

The flaw is that this technology has done an end run, marketing wise, around the corporate technology sector and the bleeding edge adopters have tended to have their own tablets and iphones and other similar personal devices. Interactive whiteboards are seen as redundant or competitive with remote access and group collaboration software and systems.

Whoever markets whiteboards has done an Apple and infiltrated the education sector. Is it really the ipod, apple technology and advertising that is driving the increase in apple computer sales to 40% market share? Or is the figure similar to their school share.

Whiteboards are, in the learning environment, turning surfaces into computers. As Bill Gates forecasts, in the future, every surface, every object, will be a computer.

Well, it should be no surprise that Johnny Chung Lee, from Carnegie Mellon, has already turned a Wii remote into the way to do it.

I searched high and low and couldn't find non-educational information about whiteboards. Cnet and techcrunch had NOTHING that I could find! Thanks ZDnet for that great video.

Ella Morton, please add whiteboards (and wiis) to the cnet consumer electronics portfolio! Geeks and nerds.. stay posted. This is my new DIY project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

W-League Launch - i have man crush on matildas!

Well, it sounds pussy to say 'i have a crush on the matildas!' - why can't i have a big old 'man crush' to go with my man bag and my man hawk. enough of me, eh.

Girl power … Central Coast's Kyah Simon (front) leads yesterday's W-League launch.
Photo: Brendan Esposito

AUSTRALIA'S leading female footballers are heading home for the new W-League kick-off this weekend. Eight teams, representing the seven Australian A-League clubs plus Canberra, will compete in the first national women's league for four years.

All the leading Matildas from last year's historic World Cup quarter-final campaign are expected to participate in the 43-game competition spanning 10 rounds and a two-week finals series ending in January.

With the salary cap at just $150,000 per team, the women will be earning far less than their male counterparts. When the new pro women's comp in the United States starts next year, some of Australia's stars will be plying their trade in three different countries inside a year, as well as undertaking national team duties.

Star striker Lisa De Vanna will make a late start to the W-League with Perth Glory because of her commitments in the Swedish league, then head to the US next year.

"This is not only an exciting new era in women's football, but it's also another landmark for women's sport," said Football Federation chief executive Ben Buckley. "The women's game globally is growing in popularity and stature and is one of the few sports available for talented women athletes to represent their country from an early age.

"From a football perspective, the Westfield W-League will help in eliminating a competition gap for our top women players and better prepare them for international competition."

this SMH article is one of many this week featuring women football players. LOVE!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Matildas win ASEAN Championships 1-0

A tense final culminated in a 1-0 win to the Matildas against host nation Vietnam in the ASEAN Championships. We expected a great result from the side who made the quarterfinals of the World Cup and they delivered.

Lydia Williams, pictured above, had a very tough time in goal but kept a clean sheet! according to articles on The World Game site and other sources.

Seeing the players in action in the forthcoming W-League will be a treat! As far as I'm concerned, all Matildas, young or otherwise are worthy of 3 SWORDs. They deliver every day (for very little pay).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roomies vs Wordle .. tech fun time ..

Thanks Michael, for sending me this artwork for the exhibition blog! I haven't done a tech post for weeks and am feeling very excited by all things electrical. Bring back the good vibrations!

I've had a play at, where this blog cloud was generated, and it's lots of fun.

You can enter any text or the link to your blog. That was the Roomies blog entry newsflash style and here's a more eco feel.

If you use a screen-capture or other image representation of the Wordle on this page, you must attribute the image to Images of Wordles are licensed Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Miranda Devine - No Sword Award EVER

This is a old response to a Miranda Devine opinion piece. I got over it. I decided that publicising idiots like the above and Sam De Brito was a waste of my life and gave legs to things that ought to be humanely put down. However, I've changed my mind. One should always object to stupidity and inhumanity.

Ms inaptly named Devine, You have trivialized feminism and all of the issues affected by gender power imbalances to such a degree and in such a way that i mistook you for a rabidly reactionary redneck male of the most ill intentioned and misinformed sort.

You have done exactly what Sarah Palin does that is so 'inexplicably upsetting to women!'. Your article turned a huge list of really bad things into the suggestion that 'we' were simply JEALOUS.

I should have stopped reading but I wanted to find out who the idiot behind the article was, Ms Devine, so I could avoid you in future. I won't link to it. I don't think anyone needs more crap in their lives.

I think that you like starting fires but I wouldn't even piss on you in public to put this fire out, lest you get some kind of perverted pleasure from it.

You can always come see me in private.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roomies Art Exhibition for Anti Poverty Week

Poverty is about more than money. There is poverty of opportunity and of resources. Roomies artists are poor in life but rich in art. "Roomies" is an art group for boarding house residents in inner Sydney.

Roomies Artspace is unfunded and reliant on dedicated volunteers and donations, particularly from local restaurants, The Codfather, Oscillate Wildly and Perama through the Street Smart Project. Roomies couldn't continue without the ongoing support of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Marrickville Sketch Club, the Addison Rd Gallery and Marrickville Council who funded our 08 exhibition. The Roomies Art Exhibition for Anti Poverty Week, is from 10 to 4pm Friday October 17th to Sunday October 19th at Addison Rd Gallery, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. Opened by our special guests Sydney Street Choir.
"solar" by Janet Barker "it's a house i dreamt of living in"
as featured in The Glebe October 16th

In Australia, boarding houses are the main accommodation for people with a mental illness or disability.If you live in a boarding house you are well below the poverty line. You have no money for luxuries like pencils and paper, let alone good quality art materials. You share rooms and possessions. There are no locks on your doors, you have no privacy or peace and quiet.

Roomies provides an artspace, art classes, art materials and mentoring for boarding house residents, like the more established Arts Project Australia in Melbourne. Since the start of the project 10 years ago, several artists, like Mark Hood and Clarrice Collien, have developed sufficiently to be offered solo exhibitions.

Mark Hood says, "I now identify as an artist, not a person with a mental illness."

"angel in the garden" by Mark Hood

Leon Suchecki says, "I like art, it has a mystery. People often ask me about my art."

The term Outsider Art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for Art Brut (meaning "raw art" or "rough art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane asylum inmates. (from Wikipedia)

Outsider art generally refers to creative works by people with no formal training. Their art is based on their inner experience, with no reference to mainstream art practice. (see essay 'Outsider Art and the outsiderish' by Professor Colin Rhodes)

There are obvious connections between poverty and being positioned outside of society. If you have no access to training, education, materials, then you are unlikely to be recognised as an artist, no matter how strong your inner vision and how appealing or stimulating your expression of it is.

If art is communication, as concluded in Wikipedia, then Roomies is the voice of the poorest artists speaking as loudly as they can, with vigour and joy. Are you listening?

"circus animals" by Clarrice Collien

"walk in the park" by Clarrice Collien

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

who said going home wasn't easy?

550 plants planted (not all in picture yet)
3 medium sized trees removed
1 large fence removed
1,147 sqm land weeded, raked, hosed, sprayed, planted and scraped clean inch by inch
10 sq centimetres of flesh missing from my feet where pressure hose missed paths, stairs, walls, showers, gutters, eaves etc.

500kg of rubbish personally taken to tip
500kg of rubbish taken out for council pick ups
300kg rubbish bagged ready to go next trip
300kg gone to the Salvos
200kg book fair books ready to go
the whole inside of the house now ready to be sorted...

1 mother having nervous breakdown
1 patient real estate agent
1 father away for the weekend
1 sibling prima donna departure
1 sibling long distance just let go

1 husband who'd rather be at work paying for it all
3 kids had fun helping actually!
1 once was grumpy me, now ...

1 beautiful house in new lambton for auction on november 22nd

Monday, October 13, 2008

Roseanne Barr - 2 SWORDS - and a write up at deliberately barren

 IN response to Deliberately Barren's recent post on Roseanne Barr - generally speaking a very cool site that is scratching my itch regarding women, what and why?!?

That's pretty cool! Roseanne Barr gets 2 Swords of Awesome on my rather tough scale of services to women warriors everywhere.

I enjoyed reading her capsule version of the appropriation of religion and the female. A book I loved back in the Women's Press days was 'The Wild Girl' (or the Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalen) by Michele Roberts - published by Methuen.

You raise an interesting issue. What is barren? Can you have had and lost or relinquished children to be barren? What does society hate most - barren women or bad mothers? By bad, I mean as mildly offensive as outspoken, angry, non child-centred, professional or passionate women.

I'm too daunted to tackle the really bad mothers issue - women who kill! although abortion is considered part of that spectrum disorder.

A couple of years ago, I was planning to start a 'bad mother' blog but discovered that assorted pornographic sites had appropriated the idea.

Back on topic, I see barrenness, like feminism, as the willingness to witness. To not be a slave to biology and gender, to speak out and not apologize.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Am I a feminist?

I never set out to become one. Did any of us?

But it's really hard to pretend that women are living the same life as men and not speak out in protest.

Sometimes feminism 101 needs saying over and over and over again.

Sometimes I wonder if we're really separate species.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This is a post punk post

I met an old punk bandmate, 
in playground of kids' school.
Needed photographic proof,
which was forthcoming.
Look scarily like my eldest is
... exactly right now.
Found old punk graffiti 
That's a whole nother story 
still to come.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No great female artists? stay posted

can't finish this one today but as i listened to the offspring harmonize at government house today, the evocations of baroque musicians sent shivers down my spine.

Perhaps it was the larger than life sized portraits of men staring over my shoulders, but I found myself wondering if my girls (who were attracting attention but more for their looks than their music) would suffer the same fate as Anna Magdalene Bach, or Artemisia Gentilischi or any other great female artist.

Appropriated, denied or destroyed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Saying - Female Politician Supporter NOT Palin Supporter per se.

Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. To continue from my earlier posts about women in politics and women in the media, I do not support Sarah Palin, but I support her right to be seen as a politician not a gun-toting bikini modelling bad mother.

Although American presidential campaigns draw heavily on personality, there is a great difference between the portrayal of male and female politicians. I am a pretty unbiased observer and I know that Palin totes guns, wore a bikini or pageant modelled and has lots of kids and there's something wrong with that somehow. She's not a good mother. She's also not a good manager. Inexperienced and can't cut it.
Conversely, my Obama information is, he's black and very popular. Does he have a family? I figure he has a wife somewhere or else the absence would have been noted. Some say he is inexperienced and can't cut it.

It's driving me nuts, this morning, I have to google his family. Wow, multi-culturally, go Obama! In terms of family, you guessed it, one wife, 2 darling children. All kind of invisibly good.

I posted earlier about my disgust at the complete invisibility of family as a professional issue for men, whereas FAMILY IS ALWAYS A LIABILITY FOR WOMEN in Gartner's Elephant in the Room - I am woman, hear me trumpet!

Even worse. The bikini modelling gun-toting Palins are all hoax photos. Snopes. com . That this is news to me shows how much I don't care. ALSO see Huffington Post for YouTube video analysis of Obamagirl. Both hoax virals - helping or hindering?

GOOGLE CHALLENGE: the first 20 images for "obama" vs the first 20 images for "palin". This is feminist analysis 101:
  1. Obama: action shot - Palin: head shot
  2. Obama: head shot at whitehouse - Palin: family shot
  3. Obama: head shot w flag - Palin: action shot
  4. Obama: head shot at whitehouse - Palin: head shot
in summary, one wife shot for Obama's first 20 images, no family. for Palin, 1 family, 1 husband, 1 glossy magazine cover, 1 hate site, no Whitehouses, US flags or Supermen but a few Michael Palins for good measure. If you feel the need, try it yourself.

Julia Baird's book Media Tarts explores a myriad of the ways in which media differentiation works. An example, I like that I can use the surname only "Palin" and not qualify with "Sarah Palin". Unlike Hilary Clinton, although there are other reasons, for that one. In the papers recently Reba Meagher was more frequently referred to as "Reba" than "Reba Meagher" and hardly ever as "Meagher".

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hey Lolcats - get a job!

Tama the cat, stationmaster on the Kishigara line in Japan - world's first professional lolcat?

But it is not her labours on the platform which have seen the cash rolling in. It is rather Tama's irresistible charm which has brought tourists flocking in their thousands to the western city of Kinokawa to see the feline worker patrolling in the uniform of her office - a Wakayama Electric Railway cap.

With 55,000 more people having used the Kishigawa Line than would normally be expected, Tama's contribution to the local economy is calculated to have reached as much as Y1.1 billion ($A13.5 million) in 2007 alone, according to a study announced last week. from SMH

Tama's mother was a stray adopted by the station cleaner. So adopt a stray today. Cat Protection Society.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is primate behaviour primitive? cont.

Kissing is fashionable. Lip kissing as opposed to air or cheek kissing. If we were all Madonna that would be just fine.

But we aren't. Why not adopt the hongi, or Maori nose rub instead?

from SMH... Australian body language expert Allan Pease has been lip-kissed by a stranger twice in recent weeks.

"I don't know where it started but it's certainly catching on. It's big in Britain and it's filtering through here too," Pease said.

Pease, who wrote The Definitive Book Of Body Language with his wife Barbara, said: "We're definitely becoming more comfortable with our sexuality. While the origin of human mouth kissing was for force feeding your babies - whereby the mother would masticate her food and put it into her baby's mouth with her tongue - the primary purpose these days of kissing on the lips is to stimulate the genitals. Lip kissers might deny it, but it has to be sexual."

That gets into an interesting debate about life giving origins of kissing and the number of cultures globally who use other forms... like the hongi. Note that the sort of kissing discussed here is the 'french kiss'. Hopefully, more informed discussion will follow while I garden today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Republicans vs World and why homeland security reads my blog

I'm not paranoid. Not long ago, I only had 3 people reading this blog. Me, my partner and someone in Washington. I blame it on my post "Stop attacking Sarah Palin's character" and am contemplating changing it to "Stop assassinating Sarah Palin's character", just to see if it shakes loose more monkeys.

So, in your honour, here's the 'so funny it hurts' US Presidential map from Rachel Hills at Musings of an inappropriate woman, from the 5th Down Under Feminists Carnival hosted by Hell on Hairy Legs. Fabulous work!

Thanks to my statcounter, I was able to see that I am now being read by the Australian Department of Parliamentary Services in Canberra. Ever since I posted on the Hollowmen - Waste of Energy, in fact.

Is being clean modern or primitive?

I've finished a day's hard labour in my parent's garden. At least it is a garden now, whereas at the start of the week it was simply an obstacle. In the shower, as I scrub my fingernails I wish I'd had a bath instead. Nothing is shifting the dirt.

Why I wonder do I NEED to clean my fingernails. Is this being civilized? An artifact of modern life. Or is this a more primitive impulse?

I'm not the only person who wants clean fingernails. How do most people clean their fingernails? Baths work well but when did we evolve out of a bathing species?

Perhaps needing to be clean is something that we were once able to do more easily with thicker fur and stronger fingernails. And then again, clean might really mean, smelling more of me than of whatever else it was.

Is primate behaviour primitive for that matter?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google pwns Zeitgeist

As per previous posts. I'm not happy that google pwns zeitgeist. I am a huge fan of TED, the Edge, Kiva, the Reith Lectures, Mike Wesch on YouTube, Philosophy4Kids, Science Meetups and all things that actually do some information sharing and inspire one to learn and grow.

But Google Zeitgeist is invitation only.
Thanks boys.
And you will notice that it is boys of course. Pictured above are, Google's Schmidt, Page and Brin holding court from the LA TIMES article of the same name.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Hollowmen - Waste of Energy

I love The Hollowmen - ABC Wednesday 8.30 - season finale next week. I just caught some of Season 2 Episode 5 "A Waste of Energy".. describing the PMs new strategy on promoting reduced carbon footprints and solar panels in schools.. or something similar.

They've been to our school under cover, I reckon. I thought it was Peter Garrett launching the Schools Solar Initiative AND opening the school garden... but wait there's more. We can't fund an OOSHC extension to give our kids more than .5m space each indoors, and yet we've just received another $50,000 grant to put more solar panels in or on.

I've suggested that we fund the whole OOSHC extension as a support mechanism for solar panels cause by now we must have run out of roof anywhere else. I haven't yet been taken seriously.

People in Glass Houses - Tanya Levin - 2 SWORDS

The best local cult book is by far, "People in Glass Houses" by Tanya Levin. Published in 2007, Tanya describes her slow path away from a fundamental (Hillsong) upbringing along with her attempts to understand the church. As she has an economics degree, it's scary reading.

You will never drink Gloria Jean coffee again. And do avoid the handmade organic twelve tribes produce at your local music festival aka Common Ground Cafe, but that's another story. Worse.

Still, Tanya, I take my hat off to you. That is one bad ass book you wrote. It is painful and personal and every bit gives a damn. You have pointed out all the things that are really really wrong with fundamental religions that are also so hard to pin down and examine.

I know i signed up for friday night youth club as a teenager and kind of went along with all the 'stuff' as long as there were cute whomevers... but after a while, it went from being a joke to ruling your life. And by then it's too late to turn around and back out.

Fortunately, I never quite stuck long enough... but it was close. I read your book and can feel the breath of hot demons down the back of my neck.

A more detailed and interesting review of People in Glass Houses is by Chris Saliba, WebDiary.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dr Who's Companions POST SEASON FINALE


Donna Noble: you are now 1 SWORD of awful. You had me going there. For a while, I was thinking 4 SWORDS... maybe this is it, even 5 !!!! then...

Catherine Tate: you have 4 SWORDS of awesome for your rivetingly versatile performance as Donna Noble. You were BATHETIC at the end and became horribly stupidly trivial leaving me in tears. You reminded me of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Rose Tyler: I'd retract your SWORD AWARD for that horrible last scene, where you find true love with the part human doctor but then, it's HIS fault. You know who!

Russell T Davies! Wow, I bet the swords have been out for you! I daren't read the forums. I really love your writing but why can't you stretch yourself a little bit. Go on and try out more different gender roles.

I guess The Doctor is so lovingly constructed as tragic father figure (western hero) that any other strong figure can not survive in the same series. That's why I say, "Hey, Russell, try a woman next time! AS THE DOCTOR!