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Showing posts from February, 2010

Public speeches

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The Hon David Clarke
Originally uploaded by bobmendo Pictured is David Clarke, the Liberal Party powerbroker, known as the leader of the ''religious right." He survived a challenge for his upper house seat last night led by his former lieutenant Alex Hawke, which will ensure he can serve in the Legislative Council for another eight years.

Mr Clarke fought off David Elliott, the chief executive of the Civil Contractors Federation, for pre-selection for the seat known in the party as north-west province. He won the pre-selection by 50 votes to 36, with four votes going to a third candidate, Brett Murray.

Also on Friday, Tiger Woods made a public appearance, although the press corps didn't cover it. Ernie Els called Tiger Woods 'selfish' for making his first public appearance in the middle of the Accenture Match Play Championship. The word doesn't begin to describe how furious Els is with Woods.

The South African said: ''It's selfish. You can write tha…

Second chances

"Road Trip 2010"
Originally uploaded by bobmendo My son's commercial, airing now on Channel 10 in Australia, is advertising a segment of "So you think you can dance." For those who don't know about the show, here's how it works. Dancers try out in many cities around the country, in October and November. The selectors and judges choose 100 people from all the cities to come to Sydney for the "Top 100" shows. That's the show which is aired each January on the television.

Then after the first three shows are aired, the "Top 20" are selected (by de-selecting the other 80). Then each week, 2 more dancers lose and the show culls the Top 10, and finally Australia's Best Dancer. That's how the season works.

So what Nate is talking about on this video clip is that "Top 20" dancers who lose one week will join him on this road trip, and teach others on the road. So although they lose, they get a second chance (and maybe more)…

Creativity: Imago Dei

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WhiteCrucifixion on the streets
Originally uploaded by bobmendo Why do we draw? Why do we listen to good music? What other animal draws for no (other) purpose? A spider spins her web, although beautiful and fantastic in design, to acquire food; a salamander weaves its way along a beach, leaving a pattern of beauty, but not for an arts degree. The beaver builds an impressive dam, but mostly for survival.

Mankind alone uses creativity for beauty's sake.

CS Lewis wrote much about creativity. For instance, "Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." Wonderful understanding of application and style.

More to the point of being unoriginal, Lewis wrote "Creation as applied to human authorship seems to me to be an entirely misleading term. We rearrange …

Time on the clock

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Time management is crucial in sports and at universities these days. Crowds clamber for coaches to call time out or to stall and use up all the clock if their side is ahead by a goal or two. As I blog today I'm watching the US gridiron contest, the grand final, The Superbowl between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. It's taking place at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida next to Ft Lauderdale.

As the first half ended the crowd was not happy with the decision of the coach for New Orleans, but he was vindicated as their kicker helped trim the Colts' lead to 10-6 at the interval.

Many students will be back in the classroom tomorrow, and I have some advise on time management.

1) Blocks of study time and breaks
Try to use blocks of study time every week. Blocks ideally are around an hour, but maybe you become restless after only 15 minutes? Some difficult material may require more frequent breaks. Shorten your study blocks if necessary—but don’t fo…

Big Brother

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George Orwell was such a prophet. Wikipedia reminds us, "Big Brother is a fictional character in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the enigmatic dictator of Oceania, a totalitarian state taken to its utmost logical consequence - where the ruling elite ('the Party') wield total power for its own sake over the inhabitants.

In the society that Orwell describes, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you", which is the core "truth" of the propaganda system in this state."

So today I found this regime in my television. It was so weird. I had a technical question for the Foxtel people. So I rang the 1.300 number. All good. Told the mechanical voice on the other end that my problem was not related to ordering Vancouver Olympics. Sorry Buble. Sorry JZ. I had other issues. Then the "your call is important to us"…