Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Local Noise: Sleepless in Botany Bay

After more than a year of residents around Port Botany being told the night time noises they were complaining about did not exceed "sleep disturbance criteria", the Environment Protection Authority has admitted they were right. The NSW Liberal Government fast-tracked the removal of the cap in August 2012 to sweeten the 99-year lease deal that was awarded to the NSW Ports consortium, comprised mostly of super funds and international investors, for $507 billion, in April last year.EPA Mistake

Social Media Curation Tool Storyful Helps Separate News From Noise: “Storyful is a social media news tool created by journalists that finds the most relevant, real and interesting video, tweets and posts coming from people in the middle of events around the world. A team of journalists work with Storyful’s “behind-the-scenes” software to find, verify and curate all of this into playlists on YouTube, on their website and for Storyful Pro, a paid service for news organizations.”


Inside the Dark Lucrative Deals

 It’s always possible to make things worse…. Look at inaction  on Malabar headlands or Ebola.
It has been revealed that the “project delivery and strategic consulting firm” Nation Partners is working with the Commonwealth Government on the Malabar Headland site in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney.
Development adverse residents report that up until recently the company’s web site stated that it “has led a strategic assessment of the site’s potential”. Greens Councillor Lindsay Shurey has called on the Commonwealth to clarify whether Nation Partners is being used to explore options for selling sections of the headland for residential development.
 New Study Finds Humans Shouldn’t Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together Onion (David L) (not even at a branch meetings)

 Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev rejects housing market warning Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “Right … it’s not Australia’s but rather China’s housing market which is a systemic risk to the Australian economy."

 The Great Chinese Exodus WSJ

How High Up Did the Madoff Fraud Go at JPMorgan? Wall Street on Parade. Note the players.

The tax haven in the heart of Britain New Statesman (Eric). If you have not read Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands, you must read this...
Here are the job descriptions for Gannett’s ‘Newsroom of the Future JimRomensko. I regard this heavy use of corporate-speak and rigidity as a form of class warfare.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Metaphor is more than language; it’s a way of thought. Why say that something is something else? Because sometimes ordinary words won’t do... Like ...

At first glance, the only visible connection between these two lively books is a bridge between Rio de Janeiro and Rocinha, the South American city’s biggest favela, shaped in the guise of a woman’s G-stringed bottom Erotic great buildings

A reminder. A distinct jacket mapped to a distinct text helps index that text, identify and remind you of it. If you are looking for it, it is easier to find. If you need a mnemonic device for it, simply picture the jacket in your mind’s eye. Book Covers and Jackets

Vintage Metafor

Graffiti clad mitchell road gallery

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Was Shakespeare a conservative?

“There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult – to begin a war and to end it.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville

Exposed teeth, bunched cheeks, crinkled eyes: A smile is a peculiar thing, not least because of the spooky similarity between laughter and crying...Two faced

Shakespeare’s history plays are largely concerned with “legitimacy.” He had to walk a creative line politically since Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, Henry Tudor, had come to power in a rebellion against King Richard III, so Richard had to be demonized. But unsuccessful rebels had to be bad or at least misguided (e.g., the rebel Hotspur in Henry IV Pt. 1 is charismatic and brave, but in the wrong).

After E.M. Forster began A Passage to India, he was blocked for nine years. Who can say why? He was so timid and repressed... Cold river a decade of inaction

In the writing world, editors rule and writers are second-class citizens. The problem: Editors go about editing whether it is necessary or not... Preditors

Monday, August 11, 2014

Science of Harakiki

Sd Laika, That’s Harakiri, a new sound world, best on vinyl.

Of course, there’s an obvious answer why women develop relationship with fashion brands :  society expects women to look a certain way. Put into economics terms, there’s a higher return on investment for beauty for women. Beauty products are becoming more popular among men, it’s true, but expensive skin cream is still optional. For women, all those trappings are more necessary Realising Potentials

The Economist ran a long feature story, full of data on the world’s oldest profession. 

A degree appears to raise earnings in the sex industry just as it does in the wider labour market. A study by Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Todd Kendall of Compass Lexecon, a consultancy, shows that among prostitutes who worked during a given week, graduates earned on average 31% more than non-graduates. More lucrative working patterns rather than higher hourly rates explained the difference. Although sex workers with degrees are less likely to work than others in any given week (suggesting that they are more likely to regard prostitution as a sideline), when they do work they see more clients and for longer. Their clients tend to be older men who seek longer sessions and intimacy, rather than a brief encounter.
Are there general lessons here for the rate of return to education?  Here is another bit, when it comes to disintermediation one sex worker complains:
Moving online means prostitutes need no longer rely on the usual intermediaries—brothels and agencies; pimps and madams—to drum up business or provide a venue. Some will decide to go it alone. That means more independence, says Ana, a Spanish-American erotic masseuse who works in America and Britain. It also means more time, effort and expertise put into marketing. “You need a good website, lots of great pictures, you need to learn search-engine optimisation…it’s exhausting at times,” she says.
The axe is hanging over the jobs of another 8000 public servants at the Australian Taxation Office as the agency subjects their workplaces to a round of "corporate reviews".
Unions are predicting that more than 2000 tax officials will be facing the dole queue before the restructure is over, but taxation bosses are pledging they will try to find work for those displaced in the reviews. Less pain no gain

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Drivers & Quotes

By the time we’re done with Heidegger, (or media dragon) you’ll all be dead. 
~  Metaphysics professor

“Beer and Trembling” and other bars philosophy professors opened after being denied tenure
Interesting philosophical sayings someone collected for joy ~ what we might have said in the classroom or in office hours or wherever, when, perhaps, we weren’t being as careful with your words. Czech out Philosophy Professor Quotes and have a laugh, perhaps at media dragon's expense.

 The only meaningful way to motivate people to do anything is to deprive them of something. 

Political Philosophy Professor


Fairfax Media has also obtained new departmental data that suggests weaknesses in the skilled worker visa programs are increasingly being exploited, with thousands of foreign cooks and accountants being given visas despite an excess of local candidates.
 ''The investigation network is now in a far worse condition than at any time in its history.''Major organisers of fraud on Australia's immigration and citizenship programs realistically need have little fear of detection, arrest and prosecution.'' When the dam bursts

With improved tactics and technology, the US IRS stopped six million suspicious returns last year and prevented $18 billion in fraudulent refunds. In addition, he said the IRS has improved its handling of refund claims by victims of fraud, reducing the time it takes to resolve a problem from one year to four months.
But Koskinen lamented that the IRS has lost $850 million in funds and nearly 10,000 employees over the past four years as a result of budget cuts by Congress. And those reductions have hobbled the agency’s ability to attack ID theft and tax fraud more aggressively.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Why we need writers

Chris Graham said yesterday real journalism was about weighing up privacy against public interests New Matilda

Why write? When people ask me this, as happens surprisingly often, I am forced to say, don't. Really. Why we need Writers  / 

If there was an ambush it was the next morning and it was not Watson’s. The exhausted barrister was looking to hand off to his junior the final day of hearings before an Easter break but, at about 9.15am, he received an email. Di Girolamo’s lawyers had found a very polite thank-you note in O’Farrell’s handwriting that confirmed O’Farrell had taken delivery of the wine. Watson says his reaction was one of “total shock”. O’Farrell had failed to declare the gift in his register of pecuniary interests and, wittingly or unwittingly, misled ICAC about it. It was clear that as “an honourable man” he would have to consider resigning. “I screamed at the top of my lungs “f---ing hell” . . . I then got in the lift, went up and saw the Commissioner [Megan Latham].” Watson then told O’Farrell’s lawyer, who asked Watson to delay the start of the hearing so that the premier could resign in his own time Dr Watson

There’s nothing better than the feeling of finally being proved right, and so it was that the two happiest ex-premiers of New South Wales, Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees, yesterday launched a ground-breaking book about corrupt former NSW politician Eddie Obeid. Obeid Book launch

Stoliar, 64, is a long-time friend and business associate of former Labor powerbroker Eddie ObeidNati Stoliar pleads guilty to money laundering

Think Progress

Common Pool Resources

Local people preserve the environment better than governments New Scientist. That is, common pool resources

Five years ago, they started a company called Addepar, with the aim of providing clear and reliable information about the increasingly complex assets inside pensions, investment funds and family fortunes. In much the way spies diagram a communications network, Addepar filters and weighs the relationships among billions of dollars of holdings to figure out whether a portfolio is about to crash Wealth managersenlist spy tools to map portfolio

Friday, August 01, 2014

Most Wanted Link ;-)

The last film to feature Philip Seymour Hoffman in a leading role is A MOST WANTED MAN, an adaptation of John Le Carre's 2008 novel. John le Carre has seen many changes in the political climate since his books were first published, adapted for television and filmed, yet the nature of secrecy and betrayal remains constant.
A Most Wanted Man, adapted from his 2008 novel and directed by Anton Corbijn, clearly establishes place, time, context in its opening titles. It is set entirely in the port city of Hamburg, where Mohammed Atta planned the September 11, 2001, attacks under the intelligence radar. This fact, we are told, still has ramifications a decade on... A most wanted man Le Carre tale affirms Philip Seymour Hoffmann talent
The hidden hands behind East-West tug of war in Ukraine Al Jazeera

It’s About the Lying Dan Froomkin, The Intercept. It’s not the crime, but the cover-up? Nevertheless, good to see Froomkin, a forgotten hero of Bush-era blogging
CIA improperly accessed Senate computers, agency findsMcClatchy. But don’t worry, John Brennan called up his best man to get to the bottom of it: lobbyist and conservaDem Evan Bayh.
Gloomy Pageant LRB. Don’t say “privatization.” Say “marketization.”
Something light: Alternet: The idea that men are naturally more interested in sex than women is [so] ubiquitous that it’s difficult to imagine that people ever believed differently. And yet for most of Western history, from ancient Greece to beginning of the nineteenth century, women were assumed to be the sex-crazed porn fiends of their day. In one ancient Greek myth, Zeus and Hera argue about whether men or women enjoy sex more. They ask the prophet Tiresias, whom Hera had once transformed into a woman, to settle the debate. He answers, “if sexual pleasure were divided into ten parts, only one part would go to the man, and and nine parts to the woman.” Later, women were considered to be temptresses who inherited their treachery from Eve. Their sexual passion was seen as a sign of their inferior morality, reason and intellect, and justified tight control by husbands and fathers. Men, who were not so consumed with lust and who had superior abilities of self-control, were the gender more naturally suited to holding positions of power and influence.
Early twentieth-century physician and psychologist Havelock Ellis may have been the first to document the ideological change that had recently taken place. In his 1903 work Studies in the Psychology of Sex, he cites a laundry list of ancient and modern historical sources ranging from Europe to Greece, the Middle East to China, all of nearly the same mind about women’s greater sexual desire.
The ancient belief is consistent with the well known fact that in ancient times when a man went to a bordello the women would line up and bid for the right to sleep with him.
In other words, the ancients believed a lot of strange things at variance with the facts (which isn’t to say that the switch in belief and its timing isn’t of interest or that these kinds of beliefs no longer sway with the times). More at the link.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not Your Average Death or Humour

Insecurity, like blood, will out. It makes us feel so vulnerable and exposed that we eventually expose ourselves and become vulnerable. Like a scarlet sock in cold river or in the load of white wash, insecurity has the irksome power to stain our speech and writing, interfering with the immaculate (playfulness) poise we’d like to project.

Elizabethans joked about venereal disease. Romans laughed at bald men. The history of humor is wildly inconsistent about what’s funny... Human Humour

The swatting of a fly – so common, so insignificant – demonstrates that we don’t know what to think about death, whether a fly's or our own... Thinking Differently

What do we want when confronting great art? Solitude, contemplation, silence – all of which are inhibited, even prohibited, in most museums... Art of Making Appearances

An artist’s memory is a dangerous, necessary thing. To turn experience into art, to make something out of remembering, is like “watching ghosts in sunlight”...Ghosts

These are hard times for the study of literature. Technology is ascendant, the humanities in retreat. But the activity of writing continues to redeem itself... Briefings For The Comisar

Coda: How to write cover letters like media dragons

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bay of Fires and Jervis

Various national trust towns around Jervis Bay have blossomed over the past few years. Bookshops, caf├ęs and galleries have taken over most of the main street, making Milton, Braidwood etc pocket-sized delights. Set in lush farmlands and out of this world water views life is beautiful here ...,
We love the landscape dominated by the rock spires such as Pigeon House Mountain. The ascent to the top of any mountains is to come across amazing sublime views ... Bays of fire & views of south coast

Hey True Blue Sophie Rose

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7 New World No v e l

Seven Things Writers Can Learn From Stand-Up Comedians

writer comedian
Author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda recommends such mainstays of the comedian’s art as the power of surprise and (yes) panic.