Richard Dawkins "The Ancestor's Tale" audio book traces our ancestry back through the ages, recapping the tales of various animals as they join our "pilgrimage" all the way back to the dawn of evolution.
At one particular rendezvous we meet the Artiodactyls - the even-toed mammals i.e. mammals with hoofs like pigs and hippos. Here Dawkins tells the tale of whales.
What? Whales don't have hoofs!!! No, but their closest ancestor does. Hippos are in fact closer to whales then they are pigs!
Apparently Read more [...]
Stepping off an airplane we throw ourselves into completely different worlds. Like when we are born, except that when travelling we have a choice. It can be a shock to the system, forcing us to constantly adapt — to different temperatures, people, and ways of life.
Throwing myself from the small-town world of Hickory, North Carolina, via the buzz of New York, into the fast-paced mountain-view winter world of Vancouver for three weeks; directly into the hot humid horse-cart raw world of Nicaragua Read more [...]
My sister, Nicole Bennett, was the first person to introduce me to "Fair trade". She travelled to Burma, India and other countries getting the bad end of the globalisation stick, long before I did, and became passionate about making a difference. She inspired me to want to make a difference too. I'm (hopefully) doing it through my research and writing. Nicole's doing it through her (soon to be certified) fair trade eco-friendly fashion label "Enough".
"Enough" is all about knowing when to say Read more [...]
There was a girl who hated being bored. She hated boredom so much that she liked to do the unexpected. She almost killed herself diving into the deep end, time and time again. It was an intense way of life. It had its benefits. It also took its tolls.
Surprise surprise, that girl is me: I’m home. As in, my home in Sydney, “Surprise!”
I feel like the boy-who-cried-wolf, but with surprises. It is the second time I’ve turned up in Sydney unannounced. I’ve booked tickets that transport Read more [...]
Have you ever weaved a basket? I hadn't... "Life's too busy for arts and crafts..." or so I used to think. I was wrong. Weaving was more than relaxing and therapeutic, it embodied a metaphorical connection I was in dire need of.
I learned so so much during my weekend at Camp Coorong. I travelled there to discuss a book chapter that I co-authored with some of the Ngarrandjeri youth, transcribing their documentary Nukkan Kungun Yunnan - Narrindjeri's Being Heard.
When my alarm went at 4:40am Read more [...]
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life? Does your mind and body ever get to that stage where it feels so limp it hurts? Are you juggling so many balls that they all come tumbling down?
Yesterday was one of those days. Actually until I left for a run about an hour ago, that was me. I’ve been stressed. My habit of saying “yes” to almost everything, without thinking through the logistics, came back to bite me.
I leave for Europe in less than four weeks. The last month has been a manic effort Read more [...]
Love is blind. It makes you do crazy things. Spontaneous things. Fun things. And sometimes really stupid things. I think when it hits you you know the pain that lies ahead, yet you jump in anyway. The first time I laid eyes on her I knew. Maybe it was her bright orange skin, maybe it was the way she popped her top on cue, or maybe it was her cute button nose. It was love at first sight. Like the trajectory of most love stories I figured this relationship would come to an end. But what I didn’t Read more [...]
How often do you think or say “I love that I’m sick” or “I love it that I got a parking fine.” Never. Well I don’t. But that was the message I took away my conversation with three inspiring minds I had dinner with on Wednesday tonight: Love What Is.
Now I know I’ve spoken about this before. I distinctly remember writing about the need to accept everything just as it is, when I thought I was going to die in the back of a crazy driver’s loud-honking car winding up the mountains in Read more [...]
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This is known as "Parkinson's Law". I've been testing it out and so far it does seem true.
I'm working more jobs than I ever have before: 4.5 days a week between two jobs, plus a part-time research degree, and working with an editor on my novel. And now I a new deadline for my research: 35,000 words by June.
I'm six months into a MPhil that my supervisor is encouraging I upgrade to a PhD and get a scholarship so that I can Read more [...]
Yhprum's Law is the opposite of Murphy's Law. As opposed to the idea that "everything that can go wrong, will go wrong," Yhprum's Law states that "everything, that can work, will work." (Yhprum is Murphy backwards).
Tonight is a new moon, the best time to light a candle and make a wish. My wish tonight is to take all the Murphy in my life and replace it with Yhprum.
Not that things have been that bad. Not everything that could go wrong, has. Or at least the way in which everything that could Read more [...]
Have you ever had “one of those days”, where everything that can go wrong, does? There’s a name for it. Murphy’s Law. Today was one of those days… but thanks to a couple of lifesavers, a Jacuzzi and a taxi driver, it ended on a high note. Let me tell you the story of five lows, six highs and how everything turned out ok.
It started out a typical Saturday morning: sleep in till 830am, espresso and Brazil nuts, walk, breaky, yoga. I was ready to scoot to Bondi for a quick dip Read more [...]
Content in living out your life: work, money, weekends, holidays, home, kids... and then something happens: a cataclysmic event changes everything.
Be it a sudden illness or a natural disaster like the flooding Brisbane is now facing, everything you know - everything you care about, everything you have dedicated your life to, everything you imagined for your future - can disappear in an instant.
As I write, Brisbane faces 12 people dead, 43 missing, 20,000 homes, and 3000 businesses under water. Read more [...]
The first time I sat on my scoot I trembled with fear. I drove it around the block, parked it, and waited half an hour for the adrenilin to calm and my heart rate to slow.
The second time I did some drills with a friend. My thumb hurt too much the next day to even look at it.
Third time lucky, well sort of. I tried to ride to Bondi, but too scared to change lanes ended up in Double Bay.
The fourth time, still feeling the fear, I rode first to the petrol station (even filling up some strange Read more [...]
"Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour," said the William Cowper, an English poet of the 18th century.
Food tastes okay without spices, but can anyone deny the enhancement of flavours when little salt and spice is added to the palate?
When it comes to life, I see nothing wrong with a life that plots along - working, watching television, catching up with friends, etc. etc... but like spice to food, variety gives life a whole new flavour.
This year I have experimented Read more [...]
I like experimenting, trying things I've never tried, testing one thing against the other - whether it be conducting little social experiments, buying the strange looking packet of dry fish from the Asian section of the supermarket, or giving the superstitious options on society's menu a really good shot. But in my mind, three strikes and you are out, and I've now done three pretty long experiments with fortune tellers and "make a wish" superstitions. In each of these experiments I gave the superstition Read more [...]
After facing rejection and depression that followed some emails and the lecture on Palestine and Israel, I went to the library and found myself inside my own little metaphoric story:
I was looking for a book but I couldn’t find it. The number system can be confusing in Fisher library (which is MASSIVE) but I thought I had it mastered. I checked the shelves where books that had just been returned go, then I checked the front desk, then I rechecked the computer, then I decided to go up the six Read more [...]
2am Saturday morning
Isn’t it funny how when things change, it’s usually overnight. One day I have a social life – like every day and every night filled with some kind of pre-organised plan. And the next – NOTHING. Not one little thing. Oh yeah, a sailing outing for my Dad’s birthday, but that doesn’t count. Family may be the most important thing in the world but they do not constitute a “social life.”
So here I am, getting what I wish for, again. This time it’s time. Time Read more [...]
"It's easier said than done." I think we all have discovered this at some point or another. A couple of weeks ago I was struggling with a few big decisions and I punched the following rant into my phone on my way to work. In short, I consider the relationship between money, stories, optimal-trajectories, and the dynamics involved in putting these into practice. It's not always easy to practice what you preach...
When you are happy, it's easy to say that if you're not happy you should change something. Read more [...]
I stole my sister’s schipperke Bella for two days of doggie companionship – it’s pretty clear why they say that a dog is a man’s best friend. Not only are dogs adorable and fluffy, they (especially Bella) give you cuddles and snuggles when you ask, they run and have fun with you, they don't hide what they are thinking and feeling, and best of all they love you unconditionally.
This morning we walked around Rushcutter’s Bay amongst many other doggies and dog owners, and I started wondering… Read more [...]
Yesterday morning's crazy events almost repeated themselves that night.
The girl who sang dirty cat, was back. In a hat. No not really in a hat. I just added that. Okay.... moving on. So she was back, and drunk again. No screaming or glass shattering this time - just a slurred whining voice.
At around 11pm when I put my garbage outside I noticed two cops walk into our building. Oooo ho hoooo...
I don't know who called them. It wasn't me. Actually I am guessing it was the boy himself, not Read more [...]
I didn't sleep last night. My sisters were visiting and I doubt they did either. I love city living, but sometimes it takes it's toll.
"Dirty cat, dirty cat," some chick sang at the top of her voice. CRASH! BANG!!! And a few minutes later it happened again. And again. And again. What was going on?
Half asleep I ignored it, but as it got louder and louder, and the voice sounded more frantic and the bangs got more violent, I ventured down the stairs to check it out through a set of squinty eyes. Read more [...]
Yesterday EVERYTHING seemed tangled up in knots. Even my washing. Ahhhhh! I screamed.
I had been trying to write journal articles and my mind seemed to mix up the concepts and ideas. I had been trying to edit my book but it seemed muddled up as well. I don't even know what genre it fits. And let's not mention my love life. All in all I felt as if my brain was tied in knots. And there it was, in my washing too. After five minutes of trying to untangle it I didn't have the patience to continue.
But Read more [...]
Ok, so you've seen True Blood right? If not you should...
From wikipedia (I'm too lazy to write today):
True Blood is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries (informally known as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels / Chronicles and retronymed the True Blood Series) is a series of books written by The New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris.
Within the fictional universe vampires have "come out of the coffin" (a term coined as a play on "coming out of the closet"), when scientists in Read more [...]