Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A blogging pot-pouri

Interesting but nor surprising that the mainland launch of the new National Broadband Network will take place in Armidale today. It's not just that this is Tony Windsor's seat. As a university and educational centre, Armidale has, I think, been the most welcoming centre for the NBN. If NBN doesn't work in Armidale, then its not going to work anywhere!

Now turning to blogging matters. I have deliberately selected blogs that show something of the wonderful variety of the blogging world. 

Congratulations to fellow blogger Sophie Masson (A la mode frangourou) on winning the Patricia Wrightson Prize, the children's literature section of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, for her book The Hunt for Ned Kelly (Scholastic).

On Ochre Archives, Phillip Diprose deals with the problems involved in cleaning polyethylene lined steel rainwater tanks. I really enjoy this blog. Phillip doesn't post often, but his posts provide a picture of life on a country property run by someone interested in environmental issues and prepared to try new things.

Staying with specialist interests, I note from A Woodsrunners Diary that the winter trekking dates for the New England Colonial Living History Group have been set for the 3rd, 4th, & 5th of June. The weather is already turned cold with heavy frosts & ice at night. I enjoy this blog because of its arcane aspects. I quote at random:

It is generally accepted that when moulding lead it is a good idea to add beeswax to help clear the lead. In this video I do not use beeswax because I am only using a small amount of lead at any one time. If you are dipping from a lead pot, then using beeswax is a good idea. DO NOT breath in the fumes from the lead. I am doing this in an open fireplace & I have windows & doors open. This is best done in the open air using a camp fire, but DO NOT do this in the rain. Water hitting the hot lead will make the moulten lead explode.

Marcellous continues his focus on music. His a Sudden realisation of tragiC situation of Mendelssohn took me into a world that I still do not fully understand. The capital C is not a mistake, by the way.

On World War II Day-By-Day, the German invasion of Crete has been delayed until May 20 by the late arrival in Southern Greece of tanker Rondine with 5,000 tons of aviation fuel. Meantime, fighting continues in Iraq. I want to write a little more on the last.

In The End of Schengenland?, Martin Lewis deals with the growing challenge to the free movement of people within the EU. This one is actually relevant to my last post, Populism, people and geography. As the EU has become larger and more disparate, maintenance and development of central coherence has become more difficult. A number of the political movements within Europe play directly to the populist card.

Meantime, on Demography Matters, Randy McDonald's A brief note on Lithuania's depopulation looks at the decline in Lithuania's population, down 10 per cent over the last decade.

In a different post on another blog,- [LINK] "Parti Quebecois toasts success of Scottish separatists, shares referendum ideas" - Randy reports on the desire of Quebec separatists to establish links with the Scots Nats. In a comment on the skepticslawyers post, Glasgae Says Nae, I made a passing comment on the links between one New England separatist and the Scottish National Movement.

Turning in a completely different direction, in Ann, Will Owen reports on the death of Sydney art patron Anne Lewis, a women with a strong interest in Australian Aboriginal art. It's a nice personal tribute.

In another post, Side by Side, Yolngu and Balanda, Will provides an insight into the complex Aboriginal world of the Northern Territory. One quote to illustrate:

Clarke brings to his discussion of this era an exposition of some fine points of distinction that are too often lost in the heated arguments over Aboriginal policy.  Chief among these is the difference between self-determination, which the Yolngu desired but did not achieve, and self-management, whereby “the Government gave them control over the very domain they had never sought to control,” that is, education, health care, and management of the township and the mission.  These were areas over which Wonggu had ceded control to the mission many years ago (Clarke, p. 92).  The shift that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s sacrificed Yolngu values that ought to have been enshrined in a policy of self-determination to a Balanda bureaucracy imposed through a regime of “self-management” that was never in fact managed, nor meant to be managed, by the Yolngu themselves.  The Yolngu wanted consultation, not intervention.

I suppose that one of my blogging themes is the need to recognise variety, that the imposition of universals, the application of standard approaches developed in one place to another place or in a different context, often has locally devastating affects.

To finish this post with a final point that I have made before.

For those like me interested in many things, blogs and blogging provides a liberal education, an introduction into many different worlds and ways of thinking. 

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