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Showing posts from 2013

No More New Year's Resolutions

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The New Year is fast approaching. Resolutions are made every year for absolute idealistic goals. They are great in theory. But it is not realistically the right way to start the new year.

My NYR (New Year's Resolutions) have been quite normal in the past. Stop buying so many clothes. Learn to cook. Be in this place or with these people. Who are we kidding? Goals are fine. Achievement is fine. But let's be realistic. You never know what tomorrow will hold.

I actually recently did not fill in one of those resolution things. It is better to go with the flow. I am never the same person at the end of a year. And there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean abandoning everything current. It means having new approaches that I wouldn't have known earlier.

Did I fulfil the goals I had at this time last year? Not at all. Nothing is static. Everything is evolving. The goals of today are more relevant than the ones made a year ago. Why judge yourself by arbitrary benchmarks …

Philomena

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Philomena is a must-see for so many reasons. This film makes strong social statements about the subject of current public enquiries. So-called 'illegitimate' children were taken from mothers in the baby-boomer generation, often against their will. This is what happened to the real-life lead character. Philomena addresses a broader problem too. It questions the works-based dependence on rules. Judi Dench portrays a simple yet complicated woman who realises the contradictions of the world. The most startling twist is right at the end - she forgives. 
My favourite quote is when Philomena tries to figure out which choice would have been more ethical. She was convinced that becoming pregnant was a so-called sin. But she kept it a secret, which is basically lying, so she considered that to be a sin too. This lovely lady had hidden the story of a stolen human being for 50 years. She literally repaid the church through years of work. Her community shunned her for giving life. Nuns sol…

Lessons learned from Jemima Kirke

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Jemima Kirkeplays the free spirited Jessa on HBO's Girls. She co stars with the equally feministLena Dunham. Their lives are real inspirations for twenty-somethings everywhere. Jemima Kirke inspires me because she follows fate wherever it leads her.
Jemima considers herself more of an artist than an actor. Acting was not her major at college. It was not her life goal from an early age. But her close friend Lena thought she was perfect to co-star in a pilot. It unexpectedly grew into an international icon. Jemima could have focused just on her previously chosen artistic career. She toldSalon, "But I wouldn’t take it back, no. Who knows where I’d be otherwise?" Would an alternative choice be more beneficial? There is no way to be certain.  
Jemima is not putting all eggs in one basket. Some people are really passionate about something, but couldn't revolve around it. She toldVulture, "When you have something that you’re that passionate about and that means so much t…

Breaking News: Susan Boyle diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome

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Have you ever started talking to someone, or to a whole audience, and got a mental blank? Have you ever wondered, "What should I talk about?" Do you ever care so much about the people around you, but feel unsure about what to say? Welcome to the world of Asperger's. A beloved celebrity has just now identified with this grey spectrum.  

Susan Boyle recently revealed she has Asperger's Syndrome. Her voice surprised the world when she dreamed a dream. She was clearly a bit different. But she was putting herself out there anyway. Susan contributed to the music world against all odds.  

Love or hate her music, Susan stands for something. You don't have to be pretty or rich to contribute to the world. Now, Susan is teaching the world another vital lesson. You never know what is going on in someone's head. We sometimes don't know if someone is on the Autism Spectrum or not. 

Susan is living proof that AS is not a hinderance. Susan didn't give up on talking with…

What Christmas Means to Me

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We are just a few weeks away from Christmas. Trees are in the shops. Lights are outside houses. The shops are getting crowded. Hang on. There is more to it than trees and shopping. Christmas is not about the wrath and brimstone that some people think it is. It's all about love.  
There has been too much talk lately about what people should and shouldn't be. Of course we should be kind to each other. Most agree that stealing, greed, or dishonesty are not beneficial. Be moral by all means.  
But I feel deeply concerned by the rule books written by modern-day pharisees. They say it's not about works. And yet there is an ideal standard for us to live up to.  
Jesus died for regular human beings like you and me. He didn't tell us to conform to a perfect image before being saved. He sacrificed himself to show his love. 
I probably wouldn't fit into the category of 'conservative.' I just don't feel the need for a white picket fence in a domestic life. There i…

Disabilities are more Mainstream than Minority

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It turns out disabilities are a lot more common than people realise. The Australian Bureau of Statistics explained this trend during the International Day of People with a Disability. The UN sets aside this day on 3rd December every year.  
The ABS revealed that 18.5% of survey respondents in 2012 reported a disability. That's close enough to a fifth of respondents. Assuming this represents a nationwide trend, we have a significant number of disabled people. And why not? 
The word "Disability" is such a broad relative term. Some people would include conditions such as eating disorders, anxiety, ADD, and Asperger's. An easily distracted attention span is real. Physical panic attacks are just as real for anyone with anxiety. And the different wiring in an Aspie brain is just as real. Temple Grandin explains that one. These are only disabilities because they make people do things differently. But it doesn't mean these people function in a 'wrong' way.  
Doe…

International Day of People with Disability

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Tuesday 3rd December is the International Day of People with Disability. 

We all know people come in all different shapes and sizes. If you have been following my blog, you will know that some disabilities are on spectrums. They range from high-functioning to low-functioning. 

Disabilities have such an impact. But they are often just a different aspect of people. A disability is a characteristic, like having blue eyes or brown hair. So many people with disabilities live full enriched lives regardless. 
They still need support and understanding. Check out the UN'sTwitter, Facebook, or web site to learn more about this day. 

Luckily the carnival is not yet over

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Saturday the 16th November was a very special night. Sydney was blessed with the presence of Australia's original pop group. The Seekers are lucky to be together after 50 years. They deserve recognition for staying together for so long. And, as highlighted in the news, Judith Durham is lucky to be with us. Her brain haemorrhage was a serious shock. The State Theatre in Sydney was once again home last night to the iconic sound of The Seekers. They truly are a blessing to Australian culture.  

The show's format stayed very similar to the original format they used in May. The boys sung Louisianna Man. Judith's solo was The Olive Tree. New anniversary songs were included. The group closed the night, after the encore, with The Carnival is Over. This was a top quality show, after extraordinary circumstances.

We are so lucky to have The Seekers playing again. They continue to serve fans despite all odds. The entire band has coped with a lot over the years. Athol Guy lost his s…

Asperger's and Acceptance

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It's really great to see people these days accepting Asperger's Syndrome for what it is. AS is only an aspect of a person. It is not the entire picture. It's real, whether it's a category in the DSM or not. Asperger's is high functioning. It is barely a 'disability.' It's a unique perspective. 
Asperger's Syndrome should not be a taboo. Many famous people have Asperger's. Temple Grandin used her visual thinking and focused interest to her advantage. It meant she could specialise in a unique industry - cattle. Her books and speeches on Asperger's are still projects 'on the side' of her main career. Other famous possible Aspies include Bill Gates and Mozart. This simply means they all had focused interests and were slightly less social.  
AS is not a life sentence. Everyone in the world can learn over time. Aspies are the same. Aspergians adjust to changes in routine. They figure out what to say to people. They make friends. It is qui…

Completely Wired

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Are we becoming entirely 'plugged in' these days? To be honest, I am struggling to apologise for this techie overload. It might be a different lifestyle to that of previous generations. But, like many products and brands, gadgets become extensions of ourselves.  
A simple travel on a train now consists of three gadgets for me. First: Make a few calls on the iPhone. Second: Play a quick Sudoku or check social media on iPad apps. Third: Edit documents on the Macbook for college & fun. All these activities are the most essential ways to spend a 40 minute train ride. 
Then I get home to strangely 'plugged in' entertainment. It wasn't so long ago that watching TV involved just switching on a TV. But now the TV logs onto iView. Then the recorder plays an old episode. An disc appears, and we have to decide if it's more suited to the DVD or the blue ray. Then something else is bought on iTunes, so we have to connect the iPad to the TV. Before all that began, the c…

The Seekers are back - again

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The Seekers are returning to the stage. They will be performing in Sydney on 16th November. Judith Durham has made an extraordinary journey to prepare for this tour.

Judith showed signs of a brain haemorrhage on May 14th 2013. This was just days after I had seen her at the State Theatre in Sydney. At a time when everything was turning upside down, life became uncertain for a musician who has been adored by generations. It was a scary time. Everyone wondered if she would live. We all waited to see if her brain would recover.

Judith Durham has toured during serious hurdles in the past. Judith's husband Ron Edgeworth was diagnosed with MND during the 25 year reunion of her iconic band. She suddenly became a carer. Ron went from professionally playing piano, to losing muscle function. Judith Durham has managed to repeatedly reunite with The Seekers no matter what it took.

The top priority this year has been for Judith to get better. A nation-wide tour is extremely impressive at the…

9GAG

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Memes are insightful or hilarious phrases on photos. They comment on the world in an eye catching way. Social commentary can definitely be funny. 
The world is a very serious place. That's why it's always good to have a laugh at the end of the day. Laughter actually improves people's health. 
9GAG is a whole social network of memes. There are whole categories for everything. Trending items get just as much attention. This proactive post (by Reynolds) reminds us to act, not just ponder. 



I have a dream of no discrimination

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Australia appears to be reaching a discrimination epidemic. According to the ABC, recent research once again confirmed suspicions that employers prefer to hire men with no family or social commitments. And CLEO magazine has been interviewing high profile women about the discrimination they experienced throughout their careers. Such distressing behaviour is of course illegal. And it happens anyway. But the mass media is only focused on one of many existing types of discrimination.

As a young woman starting out in a career, I have seen discrimination for a reason you would not expect. Employers had more of an issue with my condition which is technically a 'disability.' I feel perfectly able, just different. I have Asperger's Syndrome. People panic when discovering it is on the Autism Spectrum. But it is actually the high functioning version.

My skills and sociability grew so much through getting involved in organisations wherever possible. And now it is barely noticeable. …

News Should Not Be Restricted

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The Sydney Morning Herald has implemented a monthly charge for users to access articles on their web site. Only the first 30 articles are free. Under the current system, readers would pay up to $300 a year. This dollar value assumes such a news source is not substitutable. Or is it? There was talk of this being planned for quite a while. But it is still a massive shock to the loyal readers.

The good old SMH has kept a flow of revenue from advertisements for some time. That should be enough. Sometimes a pop up would grab our attention before being closed. A banner in the footer of the home page (that is an attempt at descriptive techie lingo) is all about American Express. Links on the right hand side promoted anything and everything. That should have been enough. Our favourite brands would have paid big bucks for exposure on a very popular online site.

Let's hope there is a very good reason for the SMH to suddenly restrict the site to subscriptions. A monthly payment is too much…

Photoshop Confessions

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I have a confession to make. I photoshopped myself. Yes, it is wrong and shallow. We don't want the mass media to photoshop women into perfection. So how was I hypocritical enough to edit my own image? It is not completely right. But I am starting to see why it is so tempting. Why it is hard to say no to a bit of airbrush.

To an extent, we all edit ourselves these days. Only the more flattering photos would be tagged on our Facebook profiles. Instagram can change the light, crop the picture, or go black and white. Things get cut out or changed. You could be standing next to someone in a snap shot, and then chop that person out of the image. It becomes just a fragment of reality. Then you realise one photo just isn't as flattering, so it doesn't go online at all. Chopping away another angle of reality. We all do it. And I got used to colouring up the evidence of life. Why not?

Then I saw a picture of myself in which I'm just posing badly. The photographer is very…