Forlorn.of.thee (fa'lo:n ŭv thē), p, my only strength and stay,forlorn of thee, whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
Paradise Lost by John Milton
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Christina's World


Seldom do I pay much attention to paintings. Not exactly cultured and probably can’t tell the difference between a Monet or a Renoir. But once in a while, by some coincidence, I’m drawn to some work of art and curiosity sets in…

The above is a painting is titled “Christina's World”. It is not another painting of a pretty girl rolling around in an open field.

It is a painting by Andrew Wyeth of Christina Olson. Christina was born in 1893 and died in 1968. She lived most of her life with her brother in that house on the hill. Christina suffered from an undiagnosed muscular deterioration that paralysed her lower body.

*She is depicted dragging herself across the field picking flowers. How do you feel….pity?

She needed no pity! This disability did not stop her and she excelled in many skills including sewing, sailing, and even horse riding. When she was 19, Christina met and fell in love with a young man who was studying at Harvard. They were together for five years, that was before he said “She can row a boat, climb a tree, harness a horse, and drive a carriage. She outshines me in everything!”

He then went off and married another young woman.

*PostScript

Wikipedia mentions that Christina was "dragging herself across the ground to pick flowers from her garden." This is incorrect. Christina was in fact dragging herself back up from the cemetery, where her parents were buried.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The end is nigh

Book of Revelations, the latest discovery of a letter written by Sir Isaac Newton who believes the world will end by 2060? The same Isaac who together with Da Vinci was a Grand Master in the Priory of Sion (so asserts Dan Brown). Unfortunately…no, nothing that exciting!

I’m referring to the “Depression”. Haven’t seen one of these for ages. An exclusive club of Bankers (with a capital “B”) attended a cocktail function in Switzerland and while nibbling on canap�s and sipping champagne concluded that:

  1. we’ve all blown our credit card limits ~ duh;
  2. we’re paying too much for that HOUSE; and
  3. the driver of the flashiest car on the Road to Oblivion (oops, I mean Road in the Orient) is on Learner plates ~wow
Thanks for the warning guys (and yes they are mostly blokes). What’s the solution?? Cut back on our expenditure, save a little more. A self-fulfilling prophesy, if there ever was one, so when we’re all not spending nor investing, the downward cycle begins. The end is near…

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A very good friend recently pointed out the dangers of chatting on Social networks and blogging, especially if one posts from work. Social networks include MySpace, Friendster, Tribe.net and many others, blogs include Blogspot, Livejournal, Wordpress etc. (Yes, I am on Tribe and of course I blog and have a profile in LinkedIn too).

The anonymous and informal nature of these sites tend to encourage us to make remarks we wouldn’t do in real life and this may create a real problem for employers especially when ones views does not coincide with the “Mission” of the boss. You shouldn’t really be espousing the benefits of being a vegan when working for the butcher eh?

As a result, employers are starting to monitoring internet usage. Matter of interest, noted the site with the highest hits in our office, an online dating site called RSVP.com.au, and most of us here are married ;-]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am woman...

I am woman watch me grow,

See me standing toe to toe,
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land,
But I'm still an embryo,
With a long, long way to go,
Until I make my brother understand...

I am woman - Helen Reddy
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THE video is shaky, but the brutality is clear.

A slender girl is dragged in a headlock through a mob of men. Within seconds she is on the ground, covering her head in a futile attempt to fend off a shower of stones.

Someone slams a concrete block onto the back of her head. A stream of blood oozes from beneath her long hair. The girl stops moving, but the kicks and the rocks keep coming, as do the victorious shouts of the men delivering them.

She was 17 and her crime was to love a boy from another religion.

Duaa Khalil Aswad, how can we ever forget the way you were treated...

(Report and Video from Chicago Tribune )

_________________________


She lost her son, Casey in Iraq, invested every cent she received from the death benefits paid for Casey's death, every cent she earned from speaking and book fees, into a cause she believed in.

Still, many bills remain unpaid and her questions unanswered.

She has been labelled repulsive, dreadful, upsetting, shocking, appalling, every adjective imaginable. Threats have been made to her life many, many times and her 29-year marriage to her high school sweetheart had ended.

Cindy Sheehan is is tired and worn down. Finally, she said "I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost."

All this suffering for standing up against something she believes in, against a war she is opposed to. Her effort was all for naught.

Cindy Sheehan, we salute you...

_________________________


Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon "Do you see this woman? I came into your house...

You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.

You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven -- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Women everywhere, remember Jesus loves you...

(Luke 7:44-47)

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If you know the song and words , sing it with Helen... (Watch Helen on Youtube)

I am woman, hear me roar,
In numbers too big to ignore,
And I know too much to go back an' pretend,
'Cause I've heard it all before,
And I've been down there on the floor,
No one's ever gonna keep me down again...

Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What your parents never told you...

In these days when money is everything and Versace and Gucci are necessities, it is odd to find that it's the carpenters, tilers and painters who get the wink, while bankers, lawyers, accountants and psychiatrists get the cold shoulder.

The survey of 950 people by a career networking site found you are more likely to get a date if you work with your hands and in a trade than if you are a professional.

Maybe because it’s so damn hard to get a good plumber when you need one.

Professions in order of desirability

  1. Carpenter
  2. Tiler
  3. Painter
  4. Builder
  5. Plumber
  6. Banker
  7. Doctor
  8. Lawyer
  9. Accountant
  10. Psychiatrist

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Too complicated, don't understand the stem cell debate, boring...blah...blah...

Controversy abounds down-under with the “Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Amendment Bill 2007” going through the State Parliament. If passed, therapeutic cloning will be legal. It's not about bringing back King Tut (well, not at the moment anyway.)

Archbishop Barry Hickey in Perth is under fire for saying Catholic politicians supporting stem cell research should be refused holy communion and be excommunicated...

Cardinal George Pell in Sydney, has warned of consequences from the church if Catholic politicians supported the Bill...

Minister Nathan Rees called Pell “a serial boofhead...” (yup an eloquent and articulate pollie)

What’s the fuss all about? It all about embryonic stem cell creation and therapeutic cloning. There are many types of stem cells but embryonic stem cell is causing the concern. Embryonic stem cells are the most flexible, the plasticine or play dough of stem cells, as they can easily be made to change into something else.

As an example, Genghis drinks too much and his liver is a little worse for wear......

We take an egg and fertilise it...

The DNA is then removed and Genghis' DNA inserted..

About 5 days later the egg becomes a Blastocyst (an early stage embryo).

From this Blastocyst, one of the little balls is extracted (called an inner cell mass)...

From inside this ball, stem cells are sucked out...

and placed in a plastic laboratory culture dish and encouraged to grow into new liver tissue...

...to be transplanted back into Genghis so he can enjoy a couple more years of booze.

The million dollar question NOW is...... whether a 5 day old egg is a young human being, and taking it apart for its stem cells is just not right.

In FUTURE, dare we even consider the unimaginable, returning the egg (with Genghis' DNA) back into the womb. Have your say...


Should we support embryonic stem cell creation and therapeutic cloning?
It's murder...Stop!
Lab-created embryos are only microscopic balls of cells. If lives can be saved, let's rock!
Return of the Mummy. No thanks!
  
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