Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Snippets

I have now started serious work on the history seminar paper that I have to deliver in Armidale on 19 March, so my time is constrained. Just a few snippets today instead of the usual Sunday Essya.

Over on the New England history blog, History blogs 1 provides something of a round-up on a few of the history blogs that I follow. I wondered if readers had their own favourites that they might point me too.

Australia now has its first saint in Mary MacKillop. For those that are interested, the Australian has a small picture gallery on her. She was quite a remarkable women, although the gallery itself does not do her credit.

For those with a little time to spare and an interest in history, Janine Rizzeti's  Letters of a Nation Archive points you to a very interesting series of letters on Australia Post's Letters of a Nation web site. Do have a browse, but don't get too distracted!

As I mentioned in Australian election update, health rather than the environment is shaping as the big electoral issue in Australian Federal politics.  Here Michelle Grattan had an interesting opinion piece: Sick system offers PM healthy trigger for double dissolution.

I am trying to think through an alternative approach to health delivery as best I can since I can't see either Opposition Leader Abbott or PM Rudd's proposed approaches having much positive effect. The Save Bellingen Hospital Facebook page is now up to 2,408 fans.

 Bellingen Hospital, Facebook and the costs to the community presents the starting point in my thinking, the proper measurement of the costs of change to those involved. There is a present asymmetry between the cost savings of changes (measurable) and the costs imposed on particular people by the change (harder to measure and generally ignored). I think that localisation is important, but the form proposed by Tony Abbott is unlikely to give better results because it is still set within a centralis522578-torah-bright-gold-medaled model.

Like many Australians, I watched the interviews with  Torah Bright after her thrilling win in the women's snowboard halfpipe at Vancouver. The photo is from Sydney's Daily Telegraph story that describes some of the turmoil she went through. The Telegraph's sister paper, The Australian, has more of the details.

Listening to this fresh faced kid talking, I thought just how proud she made us all feel and especially those in her home town of Cooma. It's not the winning, although that's important. It's the way she handled the whole thing in such a quintessentially Australian way.

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