Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday blog round-up

No Sunday essay today, just a post on blogs that reflects my various (and somewhat strange) interests.

A little while ago A., a work colleague, applied the phrase number nerds and budget braniacs to the area where I am presently doing some contract work. There is some truth in this.

Given this, you won't be surprised to know that Stubborn Mule remains one of my favourite blogs. I really laughed at Melbourne Cup by Numbers and wished I had read it before the Cup. I would certainly have bet on Shocking, the winner.

In two posts, Is Australia taking its fair share of asylum-seekers? and then A better view of the asylum-seeker league tables, Stubborn Mule looked at the asylum issue from a different perspective. Rather than asylum seekers beating down the doors to get to Australia, Australia actually ranks well down on the list of preferred locations. Just a number, but still interesting.

At one point, I wanted to be a farmer. It would probably have been quite a disaster had it happened. I am just not that practical in a physical sense. Yet the interest remains, and is (I think) useful at a time when so many of us have been cut off from anything really connected with the food we eat, the fibres we use, even the wood that goes into our furniture or buildings.

Given this, I continue to enjoy Phillip Diprose's Ochre Archives. He has been consciously building up ground cover, managing stock to maintain this. This is an example of the type of thing I wrote about in Sunday Essay - Farming, green house gases and the importance of practical experiments- Part One and the follow up post.

On a somewhat related issue, Legal Eagle's Eating greens, begins:

Okay, I’m probably going to get in trouble for putting my oar in here. But I’m cranky about this suggestion by Lord Stern that we should all go vegetarian to stop global warming. Ken Neilsen has already done a good post at the Cat on how climate change politics seems to cause some people’s brains to fall out of their ears.

The post attracted a remarkably long comment stream, 65 at the time of writing, from which I learned (among other things) that birds don't fart!

The last post records the end of posting on Victoria in the Country. I have really enjoyed my irregular visits to this blog with its stories of life in rural Victoria.

There is a burn-out factor in blogs. There is also, as Neil noted in a comment, increasing competition from Facebook and Twitter that is affecting blogging in terms of visitors as well as time to write. Like most of us, I am still trying to work out a balance between all these competing platforms. 

As an aside, Technorati released in October its State of the Blogosphere 2009. I have still to read it properly.

In Atlantic Canada's aging population and expected labour shortages on the demography matters blog, Randy McDonald looks at the problems faced by Atlantic Canada in attracting workers. These are very similar to the type of problems being experienced by inland Australia. I have been writing on these issues for a number of years now especially in a New England context and I sometimes feel quite depressed.

Down south, Lexcen has decided to leave Melbourne for Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, joining the continuing exodus of locally born from Melbourne and especially Sydney. I remain fascinated by the speed of demographic and social change in Australia. In many ways, the country is reinventing itself.

Noric Dilanchian's Lightbulb is very much a modern legal blog. Don't let this put you off. The blog has lots of good stuff of general interest with an internet/new media focus. Look, too, at his use of visual material.

I was introduced to Free Range International by Kanani Fong who in turn was introduced to me by Neil Whitfield. There, I got three blogs into the one sentence!

I read Free Range International with a sort of morbid fascination because otankerhit110409-600x419f the on-ground insights it provides into the war in Afghanistan. It is far less sanitised than the stuff you read in the press.

I read Thomas's NY23 results with fascination. I do not pretend to properly understand US politics, its a very different world, so Thomas's writing is always interesting. I still remember his masterly handling of the US Presidential contest.

Ramana got me into serious trouble with my wife! I did as instructed in Stop Press – Anniversary Announcement – Grannymar. The only problem is that while I was watching the video clip of the TV interview with Grannymar a very cranky wife came down the corridor. I had woken her up!

That's all for the present.   


Barbara Martin said...

I recently read in Cosmos Magazine that Earth is not the only planet with global warming, and not because of something mankind has done. All the planet and moons within our solar system are heating up due to the solar flares from the sun. Food for thought, Jim.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's an interesting one, Barbara. Do you have a link?

Sean Carmody said...

Jim, I'm glad you've been enjoying the Stubborn Mule. I certainly enjoy writing it!

Jim Belshaw said...

It's a fun blog, Sean.