Thursday, May 17, 2007

Getting Over It

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work;
and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

There may be many stories just like this one, but for Julie Amero, the American schoolteacher facing 40 years in prison for supposedly exposing her pupils to online pornography, it is a nightmare that is not yet over. Her claim is that she is the victim of unwarranted pop-up porn ads via some malware, and was unable to fix the problem before students saw the images. Anyone who has spent anytime at all on a computer knows how easy that can happen. Where is the schools IT manager in all of this? Not a good look, as they say.

And speaking of nightmares, if your name is David Bain, and you lived in Dunedin, NZ in the early 90's, then the last 13 years in prison came to an end last week. Arrested and jailed for allegedly killing all 5 members of his family, he has steadfastly claimed his innocence. A long and arduous campaign has gone all the way to the Privy Council in London, where Law Lords (what is a Law Lord?) quashed his conviction and he was subsequently released. He may still face another trial, but do you think he might just have paid his dues already? To lose your entire family and then spend over a decade in prison as the murderer if in fact you were not, would be a nightmare hard to top. More to come surely, in what some call "trials by ambush".

Not a good week for New Zealand all around really. First they are told they blew it in the trial of Mr Bain so many years ago, and then visiting European tourism students give the "clean green" image a bit of workover.

They claim the lack of recycling ("plastic bags everywhere!"), as well as lack of cycle paths and other car-alternative transport options do no favours to the visitor on an eco-conscious trip.
Outside the cities lie vast unspoilt regions of exceptional beauty, for sure, but apparently our carbon footprint per capita is not to be proud of. Ouch again.

However, the wildlife have got it together..

The New Zealand godwits head north every year, and their journey is now being tracked
by scientists, according to this BBC report.
Not one to rest much, the godwit is a small bird that makes its way all the way to Alaska every year, by way of China. Fattening themselves for the epic jaunt, they travel over 10,000km with only a short stop for food and water along the way.

That's alot of flappin'. Carbon neutral as well!

A new biography is out on the great thinker of the early 20th century, Rudoph Steiner. Along with founding the Waldorf schools and Biodynamic agricultural methods, he was fond of pouring his remaining coffee from his cup each day on the earth, so it could have the benefit as well. A very prolific writer and lecturer with some interesting ideas and supporters, anthroposophy was the name given to his mystical and holistic approach.

Attention (pop) culture vultures: The Simpsons has reached 400 episodes! Haven't seen a bad one yet, actually.

Another guy to steer way clear of: First, he promotes the invasion of a sovereign country and makes a mess of that whole neo-con imperialist post 9/11 hysteria, then slips out of government to take up a post at the World Bank.

There, he gets his girlfriend a hefty pay rise and cushy post, while heading up an anti-corruption task force to tell other governments how to act so they can get money from the Bank. Charming. I'd say Paul Wolfowitz has some explaining to do.

Michael Moore's new film Sicko, premiering in Cannes this week, should be another shaker for those who have something to hide. Like the U.S. government apparently, who have tried seizing the film before he could "sneak" it out of the country to the festival. You can't buy publicity like that.

However, all is not lost.
If you were a housewife circa 1954, you might have enjoyed some portable music in the kitchen as you went about your duties (or not). This shows just how far we have come for the audiophiles, if not in gender equality:Happy Cooking!

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