Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Al Bean Rocks

"I realise, if you go through any endeavour, any journey across town or to the moon and back, all that matters is that you share the experience with people that you love. That's what makes life special. As ultimately that's... all there is. That's really all there is." - Alan Bean, Apollo 12 Astronaut, 4th person to walk on the Moon

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ned Kelly (no relation)

On this day in 1880 the notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly, was hanged at Melbourne Gaol. His legacy is controversial -One person's hero another person's villan?

I think sometimes you can't be so black and white on these things - especially when reflecting on different times that none of us can directly relate to.

One thing is for sure --- he had some seriously rocking hair!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Arthur C Clarke

"A teacher who can be replaced by a machine, should be."

Which you can think about in at least two different ways if you follow the work of Sugata Mitra.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Serious Signage...

Saw this sign today (on tv, not in person!)...

That sign means business. It is not mucking around.
It is a serious sign!!

I am wondering what signs you might have already passed before you got to where that sign is!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Hating on the people obsessed with the prospect of Ben Affleck playing Batman in the upcoming Superman/Batman movie when people are killing their own people in Syria with chemical weapons?

Yeah, me too - until I thought about it a bit more...

Bottom line is I'd much rather see pictures of Ben Affleck and hear people's opinions on his ability to play Batman than see children suffering the effects of a chemical weapon attack or see film of dead toddlers lying on the ground in the arms of their dead parents.


While some may say that the whole current flurry of activity around Ben playing Batman is indicative of just how shallow and celebrity obsessed our society has is ironic, then, that if more people in Syria were as celebrity obsessed with his ability to play Batman as 'we' are there might be a less dire set of conflicts there right now :(


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Prince of Cambridge

Finally the Great Kate Wait is over!

Now the Great Name Wait Debate is on ...

Supposedly James or George. I don't think either - but most certainly not George seeing that the last Prince of Cambridge was called George and he was deeply in Queen Victoria's bad books!
George is a very cool name and one I am much in favour of... but I just can't see them going with it considering the Prince of Cambridge connection.

I don't think James because of the Scottish connection and the snub at Wales that may be considering William is a Prince of Wales - although now he is technically the Duke of Cambridge.

So, Richard is out... obviously! No one wants to have to see King Dick written anywhere.
Charles won't be considered even though it is grandfather's name - because grandfather is still alive and supposedly to be King soon and same goes for William.
Henry is another possibility except it would be inappropriate considering the baby already just knocked Prince Harry down to 4th in succession - let alone also steal his king name!
Other possibilities include Edmund (uncool) and Edward (could be that!)
There really aren't that many possibilities according to tradition which seems to always be drawn upon in these events.
It would be great if they picked Andrew!
Ernest seems unlikely (although cooler than Edmund but shortens to Ernie...).

I think, if not Andrew, I would like Albert (shortened to Bert is still cooler than Ernie!).

EDIT: Please note... I LOVE Ernie (and Bert) but Bert is always going to sound more grown up and responsible than Ernie and, after all, we are naming a future King not a loveable puppet!

I wonder if they would pick Arthur...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wombat babies

I propose that baby wombats are almost as cute as baby musk oxen! (evidence below)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Modern Day Pangea...

I found this image today and I am quite intrigued by it - have not done any research to see if it is geographically accurate but it is food for (my) thought anyway! (btw the picture should be a link)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Morning Road Patrol

 Frost this morning was. Super heavy!! Brrrrrr!!!
Cars well behaved though... Not like last week when I was half way across the first double landed side with traffic stopped , flouro 
vest on, waving flours flag with child in tow and car speed through on the far lane a metre in front of us...


Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day 2013

For the fallen, and those who came back, and those who stayed home, and those who conscientiously objected...

Many Nelsonians turned out for my local ANZAC Dawn Service this morning and our nearby township of Motueka's service where the Motueka Baptist Church Minister Lyall Scheib told those gathered "May we never take for granted the freedom we enjoy". Amen to that!
I do believe they are mistaken to say, in the article, that this year is the 99th commemoration of Gallipoli.
We do often hear about and associate ANZAC services with Gallipoli as the landing date (25th April 1915) is the date in April that we use for ANZAC Day and NZ/Australia remembrance. I was pleased to hear reports from a few different Dawn Services mentioning lesser known campaigns this year such as the Maori Battalion's efforts to regain Florence, Italy and the Anzacs trek into Ethiopia to oust the guerrilla Italian troups.

We had a lovely service this morning - my only complaint was that the speaker rushed the Ode of Remembrance - a pivotal part of the service and, in my opinion, not to be read without pause.

 I am including the painting below this year. It is by Bob Kerr and depicts NZ conscientious objector, Archibald Baxter, enduring "Field Punishment no.1". You can read more about it here.

This ANZAC Day I have learnt about a very special ANZAC service held at a small memorial at Flock House near Bulls to commemorate extraordinary members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force whose contributions are often overlooked. Horses, riders, and supporters of the Bess Society, gathered again this morning to pay particular tribute to Bess, one of about three or four New Zealand horses to serve through the entire WWI campaign and return home. Her war service is etched into the stone: Main body 1914, Egypt 1915, Sinai 1916, Palestine 1917-1918, France 1918, Germany 1919, England 1920.

You can find more info here and here. There is also a lot of interesting info here.
Horses in war - a particularly poignant subject for me...

And of course, no ANZAC Day will ever seem complete to me without my 2011 blogpost honouring my ancestors involved with military operations in the 1900s.

Thinking about going to Gallipoli for ANZAC 2015...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's not raining.

I just bought 2 unicycles.
I also just ruined a perfectly good snack by savagely munching the inside of my cheek.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Resilience vs Entitlement

I have titled this post Resilience vs Entitlement because my society seems to have created for itself a set of processes and infrastructure where these two concepts are in opposition.

We've had a particular spell of near drought followed by about 7 days of rain - culminating in a severe "weather bomb" in our urban area (second highest hourly rainfall on record for any region in NZ).
Losses could well be as much as 16.8 million dollars.

It didn't take long for people to turn their fingers of blame to our local council. I understand the despair of property damage and the fear that comes of owning things.

Our communities have become more sophisticated in many ways. 
We have created modern western environments that have come a long way in terms of organised process and infrastructure. However, I see more and more how this "spoils" us and gives us a sense of entitlement for things that get damaged, broken, lost.
 In the olden days when this kind of thing happened all your things were gone/damaged, the end. The community rallied around and helped each other  but hand outs weren't invented and councils (if they existed) intervention wasn't expected. You had a sense of fortitude and moved forward. 
Now we have an increasing number of people feeling they are entitled to compensation - expecting the council to provide them with a safety net for life - like it is a giant ultra-realistic video game with unlimited money and lives.
In my experience having insurance keeps people stuck in the trauma of the event often for years with the fighting for your payout, waiting for decisions etc. People can't make a clean break in many instances and start their life anew. They get stuck in resentment, loss, anxiety and blame.

If any blame was to councils from me it would be for not finding ways to foster resilience and community strength. 
Which do you find more attractive - a sense of resilience or a sense of entitlement?
The council didn't make it rain, nor did they tell you to live where you live. They don't make earthquakes or tsunamis. They are doing the best they can with the skills you voted in for them to make the most people they can have safe dry housing, clean water, sanitation etc etc.
Further more (and arguably more importantly) YOU are your council.
 Please don't wait apathetically by (while you scurry around earning money and gathering more things) until an event like this to interact with our council!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Banning Banning

I am blessed with a holistic brain.
What I mean is,  my brain is awesome at connecting the wide and varied input I deliver to it - my synapses fire into the Tardis that is my mind and snippets of info rub up against thoughts and other facts and form little gangs of newly hatched ideas. 
These gangs of ideas act like magnets to attract other snippets and form new opinions which I should really bother to share more often.

I have been thinking about gun control and regulation.
And I have been attending a number of digital education seminars and workshops again lately (I say again because I did this about 8 years ago in my other life too).
The following is what happened when these two main things rubbed together in my Tardis.

In the digital education world we "tsk tsk" and shake our heads when we hear of schools banning cellphones and BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) from schools (I would like to say Learning Environments but in this instance the institutionalised term, schools, is more appropriate).
The ideas behind that banning are numerous but include things like "If we ban them we will stop cyber bullying" or "If we exclude unauthorised devices from our network students won't be able to sext*"

We "Tsk tsk" because it is not the cellphones or the BYO devices that are the problem. We shake our heads and wonder why those Learning Leaders are ignoring the challenge of some student led critical thinking. We are sad because of the missed opportunities to use our key compentency tools to develop Digital Citizenship and foster positive online morals and values.
We think, when has sticking our heads in the sand and shutting down discussion ever made a significant contribution to our issues? 
Let's talk about cyber bullying and the impact; let's unpack the issues surrounding sexting and create a dialogue about what is really going on.
We need to move past the dictatorship of Cyber Safety and empower students to be responsible self governed Digital Citizens.

My best friend lives in America and each day we yak and yarn about what is happening in our worlds. Guns and Boston Bombings have been a big part of that lately. We talk about gun control and stricter laws and the constitution. 

But is gun banning any different than cellphone banning?

 I mean, I am all for rights, but the constitution was written back in the day when you were lucky to get one shot off per minute and semi automatic weapons weren't even something you imagined in your wildest dreams...

We all need to encourage a dialogue into the weapons equivalent of Digital Citizenship... especially now that we have 3d printers.
Maybe the discussions are one in the same - empowering all citizens to get on the same page in terms of mindful self governing and away from forcing a big brother dictatorship through wilfully ignorant misdirected and ill-informed exertions of "rights".
Encouraging focus on the deeper issues rather than floundering in the squeaky wheel surface features.

Meanwhile...what does it mean about me that I would like to ban banning.....

*sext/sexting -electronically sending a nude or partially nude picture of yourself (apparently about 1 in 5 young "white" students has sexted...)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dream Cake

So... early this morning I woke up from a dream where I invented a cake.
It was a kind of sponge (which I have never attempted to cook or even seek out to eat) it had pink wafer biscuits stacked in it in two long columns (another thing that doesn't feature on my radar of things I ever eat).
So because the wafer biscuits are too short one side (of my weird dream invented cake) has the column of them starting at one  end of the length and on the other side of the cake they start at the other end and are stacked up from the bottom of the cake to the top on both sides
Instead of being squared off at the end like like the sponge image below it is still a long loaf type shape but the end is cut so it is pointed so you get a good view of the wafer biscuits top to bottom in side .

*shrugs* NO IDEA What, why etc. LOL.