I don’t normally post about politics, mostly because I don’t usually follow politics. It’s too depressing, too repetitive, and it makes me want to relinquish my last bit of hope for the human species. Recently, Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has been in the running for the Most Awful Human Being award and I’ve been too ashamed to look at the Australian political headlines more than once a month.
Then this happened: a Senator for the Greens party in Western Australia (my home state) gave a speech in Parliament calling out Abbott for every low-life thing he’s done since coming to power. It’s one of the most epic speeches ever and I just can’t believe it really happened.
Here are some of the choicest bits:
“If your image of Western Australia is of some caricatured redneck backwater that is enjoying the murderous horror unfolding on Manus Island, you’re reading us wrong. Every time you refer to us as ‘the mining state’, as though the Western third of our ancient continent is just Gina Rinehart’s inheritance to be chopped, benched and blasted, you’re reading us wrong. Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you arrive and start talking proudly about your attempts to bankrupt the renewable energy sector, or cripple the independence of the ABC and privatise SBS; if you show up waving your homophobia in people’s faces and start boasting about your ever-more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different welcome.”
“Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people’s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer-funded travel entitlements can take you. We want our country back. Through chance, misadventure and, somewhere, a couple of boxes of misplaced ballot papers, we’ve been given the opportunity to take it back: just one seat, next April 5, and a whole lot more in 2016.
“Game on, Prime Minister. See you out West.”
You can watch a video of the speech here. Game on, indeed.
paul bourke, associate professor at the university of western australia, scours google earth looking for fractal patterns, or self similarity, in the rivers systems, mountains ranges and deserts of the planet. in nature, self similarity doesn’t exist ad infinitum, as with a mandlebrot set, but branching structures are found across two, three, even four scales. paul invites people to submit their own finds to his site, which links to the pictures shown here on google earth (click pics for the country)
This project is several layers of recursively cool.
This scientist is from my undergrad alma mater, and I too love looking at earthly patterns on Google Earth. Double coolness on this snowy Midwestern Sunday morning.
I’ve just come off a Roswell marathon and this song has been stuck in my head for a week, so it’s time to listen to the whole No Angel album again. I played it almost continuously for six months in 2001 when I was living in Vancouver. Listening to it again now and the memories it brings is somewhat bittersweet.
Creating Empathy: New Project Out of MIT Allows Readers to Feel What They See
Many of us have dove into a book and had the experience of feeling what the character you’re reading is going through. The trademark of a good writer is being able to engulf the reader with so much detail and such an interesting storyline that they don’t want to put the book down. Sensory fiction has taken that experience to a brand new, digital, and technologically advanced level. MIT researchers Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, and Julie Legaul have successfully created and designed the first ‘sensory fiction’ book and body apparatus.
With their invention, the reader of a book can not only empathize mentally, but also physically feel and experience what the characters in the book are feeling. Sensory fiction accomplishes this with a series of LED lights that change colour according to the mood described, a compression system that allows the reader to feel tension, and a heating device that changes the temperature of the skin. With the ability to physically impose emotions and feelings on the readers, this MIT project opens an even wider creative door for authors, who were in the past limited to printed words. As the user and reader, cuddling up with a new book will now make the imaginary feel more like reality.
- Lee Jones
His music seems to perfectly fit my Tuesday morning. There’s a nostalgia combined with a controlled energy that perfectly complement this sunny, windy and icy, candle-burning, window-gazing, novel writing day.