Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Monday, September 19, 2022

In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes. Every great idea starts with a dream. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything. I had no idea a theater publicist had coined the term, "blogosphere." Nor did I know the man behind this term was himself a blogger who didn't even like the word "blog." Ideas can be as brief as Graham's own life (he died at age 41). In these new straightened economic times, we’re all having to work harder, knuckling down to the task at hand, and making sure we’re building a future that is sustaining and rewarding. It’s not easy. But it’s easier if you love what you’re doing, and you’re doing it all the time. Naysayers will say nay, but its actually easier than ever to devote yourself to what sustains you. All you need is a computer, and the desire to make a difference. It’s not about putting the reader at the heart of everything we do. It’s about putting ourselves at the heart of everything the reader does Armageddon Media Dragons Eeerie deja vu - The Man Is Gone, But Long Live The Blogosphere Most bloggers I know don’t much like the word "blog", and they have even less affection for blogosphere

Wikipedia says credit — or blame — for coining "blogosphere" goes to Brad Graham, a theater publicist and blogger in St. Louis who died this week at the age of 41. Look him up on Google and you’ll see: "Blogosphere" is his legacy. But thank goodness, Graham was joking when he first said it — at the very birth of the form — in September 1999. He, too, didn't much like the word "blog" — "Oy! That name!" he exclaimed on his site, Bradlands. And so he worried about where this would lead us: perhaps to jokes about "falling off a blog," or worse, blogorreah

Brad Graham [ Welcome to the Blogger's Choice Awards 2008 ; 2009 Blogger Appreciation Awards 2009] • · Much like corporate America, PR is undergoing a sea change in how it does business. As traditional media shrinks and online/social media grows, a new breed of PR professionals is coming into its own. And although the word “integrated” is used way too often when describing the perfect campaign, it’s still a word that resonates. So what drives the perfect communications mix? People. Tweets and YouTube aside, PR is still a vocation dependent upon people and their creativity, innovative thinking and leadership. Those strengths perfectly describe the winners of PR News’ PR People Awards and the Hall of Fame inductees in this issue. • · · Too many blogs, not enough ideas and thoughts! Nevermind, that didn't rhyme (blobs?). What I've been pondering on since I tagged Divya Uttam (and she tagged me back!) is the purpose of these so called blog memes. What is it? Could it be word of mouth marketing? Could it be search engine optimization? Or more simply, is it a form of 'innocent' link baiting? ; For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. Writer's Reviews Blogger Awards; This awa2rd is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd. • · · · Computer Weekly’s search for the best blogs in IT is back for its second year, and this year’s competition, brought to you in association with IBM, promises to be bigger and better than before.; My friend, Jean Fischer, honored me with the Kreative Blogger Award. Thanks, Jean! iving the award to seven other bloggers, but please don't feel you must do the same Kreative Blogger Award • · · · · Lonely Planet 2009 Travel Blogger Awards ; It turns out that older men chasing younger women contributes to human longevity and the survival of the species, according to new findings Old men chasing young women: A good thing

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still... Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness. W. Eugene Smith A collection of the best photography portfolio websites all in one place. An inspirational gallery for designers and photographers 25 of the Best Photographer Portfolio Websites Why A War Photographer Shot An Award-Winning Photo With An iPhone App So it goes Tash: Lens and Pixel In addition to offering the best iPhone publishing app in existence (for free), Tumblr lets you email or text posts from any mobile phone.

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

Facebook photo albums are littered with the digital debris of people spontaneously whipping out their iPhones and snapping the most mundane images. Kittens,  drunken frat parties, new babies, Republican Congressmen answering Craigslist postings--an influx of images, a lot of people snapping, but precious little art resulting.  Tumblr.com is changing all that … Facebook photo albums are littered with the digital debris of people spontaneously whipping out their iPhones and snapping the most mundane images. Kittens, drunken frat parties, new babies, Republican Congressmen answering Craigslist postings--an influx of images, a lot of people snapping, but precious little art resulting. Tumblr.com is changing all that …

Love Is Exhausting, I Choose Vodka; Quotes [ Are you there vodka my name is … ; Muses ] • · Daughter of the Velvet Revolution- Roxy Ray aka Sash ; Bohemian Antipodean images • · · Aalmost certainly the best search engine for photography on the web Flickr Hive Mind; With the basic lessons on Best Photo Lessons you can begin to take better photos of any subject and get more enjoyment from your photography Best Photography Lessons - online photography school • · · · 12 Best Photography Spots for Classical Sydney Skyline ; A classic collection of professional photos compiled neatly Best Photography Blog • · · · · If you have a Blackberry, Android phone, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you’ve probably been to the online application (or app) store to purchase games, utilities or little programs that educate, assist or relax iphone best App ; How to Take Great Pictures with Your iPhone • · · · · · Apps have proven so popular for the iPhone, Apple has brought them to the desktop Advances in apps ; Developers use clever software tricks to overcome the shortcomings of smart-phone cameras and vastly improve photos iPhone camera can be improved dramatically by apps ; More Lens and Pixel

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Back to Sleep ... And That, As They Say, Is That

Back to sleep afrer linking to this gem:
Toward Harnessing Language in Support of Intersectionality and Cross-sector Power Building Language is a key ingredient in a winning theory of change. Language can build bridges  and change minds. By acknowledging the ability of language to shape and reflect reality, progressive campaigns can become more powerful vehicles for social change, inclusion, and justice.

And That, As They Say, Is That After almost a decde, I've decided to put The Dual Loyalty on indefinite hiatus.
In 2002 there were very few blogs and very few literary sites, however, now there is a kaleidoscope of brilliant writers, librarians, publishers with so many authentic voices. I read their words and I wonder where they come from ... Time's Flow Stemmed "A title is always a promise." Derrida (1986)
CODA Sorces of Literary Wisdom and Lessons Learned Links to Literary Weblogs @ the complete review

Monday, December 24, 2012

And That, As They Say, Is That

And That, As They Say, Is That After almost a decde, I've decided to put The Dual Loyalty on indefinite hiatus.
In 2002 there were very few blogs and very few literary sites, however, now there is a kaleidoscope of brilliant writers, librarians, publishers with so many authentic voices. I read their words and I wonder where they come from ... Time's Flow Stemmed "A title is always a promise." Derrida (1986)
CODA Sorces of Literary Wisdom and Lessons Learned Links to Literary Weblogs @ the complete review

Toward Harnessing Language in Support of Intersectionality and Cross-sector Power Building Language is a key ingredient in a winning theory of change. Language can build bridges  and change minds. By acknowledging the ability of language to shape and reflect reality, progressive campaigns can become more powerful vehicles for social change, inclusion, and justice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Suburb of Surprise

On balance, policymakers enjoy possessing and using power. They tend to be decisive and confident. They are also fundamentally comfortable with themselves, and they are not particularly self-critical or willing to accept criticisms. Analysts tend to distrust power and those who enjoy exercising it. They are usually more comfortable with criticism, especially in giving it. Basically, they have questioning personalities.
- Period of the Velvet Revolution when wisdom ruled L. Keith Gardiner, "Dealing with Intelligence-Policy Disconnects,” Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 33, No 2, Summer 1989,

We have replaced the absolute truths of God’s word (the Ten Commandments) with our own relativism (the ten suggestions). Life is a constant battle against this natural law of decay. We fight to protect our marriages from the numbing effects of living in the grind of routine. We are constantly introducing new programs and agendas into our churches and institutions to stir new life. Aging is like a slow descent into a miry quicksand. We diet, we get surgeries, we frantically exercise to fight off this universal enemy. We fight on valiantly even though no one ever wins this battle. The life of America parallels the life of any person. It arrived as an infant. It struggled through its teen-age years. It gloried in the strength of its youth and prime. It then feels the atrophy of age and it will eventually find its rest under a tombstone in a graveyard of empires

Enough with America’s tread-so-carefully literary culture, says Dwight Garner. Criticism isn't for uplift. It’s for straight talk, a little humor, and above all, an argument A Critic’s Case for Critics Who Are Actually Critical

A “writers’ writer” is more marketable dead than alive... The Suburb of Surprise

“Modern classic” is a fuzzy term. Does it mean anything at all? At least this: A “writers’ writer” is... more marketable dead than alive (Steve Jobs)

It begins with an adjectival spotter’s guide (“Contemporary . . . Provocative . . . Outrageous . . . Prophetic . . . Ground-breaking”, etc) before moving on to some diffidently expressed first principles. There is talk of such items possibly leading to “great movies”, of the breaking down of “barriers”, whether social, sexual, or, in the case of Ulysses, the “boundaries of language itself”, even of something described as “pure classic escapism”. All this is both oddly dispiriting and, in its multi-angle framing, curiously indiscriminate: mysterious and elusive the quarry may be, but it can always be brought down, you infer, provided enough buckshot is stuffed into the cartridge case. It is also something of a red herring. At any rate Norman Collins’s London Belongs to Me, elevated to Penguin Modern Classic status in 2009, belonged to none of these categories. It was simply a sprawling, sub-Priestley best-seller from the 1940s, put there on a sponsor’s whim. • What makes a modern classic?; Word counts or Australian spell Czechers are actually pretty minor problems Fairfax's dark cloud [ Mirko Zorz, Help Net Security, 8 Aug 2012. This year's novelty is actually scammers using their own fake shortened URL services, has grown from the unrelated activities of a few into an industry in its own right. The Industrialization of Fraud Demands a Dynamic Intelligence-Driven Response ]

• · The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller writes about how magicians manipulate the human mind Magicians; A team of Swiss researchers thinks it has created an algorithm capable of tracking almost anything — from computer viruses to terrorist attacks to epidemics — back to the source using a minimal amount of data. The trick is focusing on time to figure out who “infected” whom An algorithm for tracking viruses (and Twitter rumors) to their source

• · · The ’Ndrangheta mafia is extending its reach into the north and beyond. Can Europe come up with a response? Mafia Book Reviews of note ; Culture thrives on conflict. Warfare, terror, and bloodshed nurtured the Renaissance in Italy. Peace and democracy in Switzerland gave rise to... what, exactly? A Point of View: Are tyrants good for art?;Three young women who staged an anti-Putin stunt in Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral, and whose jailing became a cause célèbre championed by artists around the world, were convicted of hooliganism on Friday and sentenced to two years in a penal colony. We are happy because we brought the revolution closer! Pussy Riot protest pits church against state

• · · · Witold Gombrowicz settled in Argentina, far from the Polish intelligentsia. He loved catastrophe and lived in penury. He wanted to maroon himself Daily Disaffirmation; What would you do with more leisure time? Explore the mysteries of space and time? Or brawl, steal, and drink? Working 9 to 12

• · · · · The tools of hard science – statistics, data sets – have migrated to the humanities. Want to study social networks in Beowulf? You’re not alone. But what’s the point?. Humanities aren’t a science. Stop treating them like one ; Robert Hughes had an aversion to pretense and a knack for the withering putdown. He tried to save art from the art world Robert Hughes: A Fierce Critic and Powerful Voice Now Silenced ; Steve Jobs is a paragon of entrepreneurial intensity, a role model. Or is his a cautionary tale, of an abusive boss with a broken family。 Jobs has been dead for nearly a year, but the biography about him is still a best seller. The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale?

• · · · · · Public Service Departments and Agencies should spend more time and money training their staff in the use of social media, according to former Gov 2 strategist Craig Thomler Call for PS to call up social media; State Conference ENGAGE. COLLABORATE. INNOVATE. Getting serious on customer service David Leslie, Australian Taxation Office Sandi Logan, Department of Immigration & Citizenship

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Leading with A Story

Will Australia find the courage to insist that the human rights of vulnerable people should override the potentially bullying power of large governments. Brave and principled Ecuador: protection of an Australian citizen

When newspaper editors lead with a story, they always use the strongest one they've got - and with good reason too. You're more likely to pick up a newspaper if it has an attention grabbing headline. The same goes for successful business leaders - those that can tell a great story and can connect with their audience will have more success in making a difference and getting heard. The best leaders share stories that people want to be a part of. Leading with a story

The best leaders have worked on the floor first Avoid the Mind-Bugs That Cause Smart People to Make Bad Decision

Rolf Jensen said that the heroes of the 21st century would be storytellers

According to Larry J. Bloom, author of The Cure for Corporate Stupidity. Just like software has bugs, we have bugs in how we think and make decisions. These mind-bugs can cause a lot of corporate stupidity . Avoid the Mind-Bugs That Cause Smart People to Make Bad Decision

People who have excelled in an organisation in a specialist role before rising to the top make better leaders than professional managers. Such 'expert leaders' are the most likely to get results because they have deep knowledge of the jobs their employees are doing. Intelligence, like journalism, involves the acquisition, evaluation, and dissemination of information. In 1949, Sherman Kent, described as the father of US intelligence analysis, said: “Intelligence organizations must also have many of the qualities of those of our greatest metropolitan newspapers. …They watch, report, summarize, and analyze. They have their foreign correspondents and home staff…. They have their responsibilities for completeness and accuracy—with commensurately greater penalties for omission and error. . . They even have the problem of editorial control…. Intelligence organizations (should) put more study upon newspaper organization and borrow those phases of it which they require.”

The best leaders ; “Simply,” “simple” and “simplicity” — along with like-minded thoughts that include “easy,” “honest” and “clear” — have become marketing buzzwords in response to three related trends: how busy life today seems, the growing complexity of technology and the increasingly complicated economic picture. That has encouraged advertisers to woo consumers with promises to provide solutions that are meant as simple but not simplistic. Paring Down Marketing Messages to a Few Simple Basics [ Story of B at the Randwick Hospital Dancing Dentist Injures Patient, Faces Personal Injury Suit ; 3 articles stiched together from metadata ]

• · DebtRank: Too Central to Fail? Financial Networks, the FED and Systemic Risk DebtRank; Ericsson, the leading maker of wireless network equipment, sees as many as 50 billion machines connected by 2020. Only 10 billion or so are likely to be cellphones and tablet computers. The rest will be machines, talking not to us, but to each other. Talk to Me, One Machine Said to the Other

• · · New Approaches Needed for Uncovering, Identifying, and Treating Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel Identifying and destroying buried chemical ; 7 Myths About the Economy, Jobs Taxes and Small Business

• · · · You never know who you’ll meet on the internet. Maybe it’s the Craigslist killer, or maybe it’s the author of a book you need to read for your summer school assignment. Author Fights For His Book On The Internet After Slacking Student Pleads For A Quick Summary ; Crowdsourcing has lately been a popular way to gather ideas and information from an array of sources. Now, the Obama administration is taking that avenue to ask citizens to chime in on how to help them overhaul and simplify rules and regulations OMB crowdsources regulatory reform

• · · · · Ages of the youngest and oldest Olympic competitors The generation games ; Turning on the crowdsourcing Spigit Wisdom of the crowd

• · · · · · A hacker demonstrates that code can be hidden inside a new computer to put it forever under remote control, even after upgrades to the hard drive or operating system A Computer Infection that Can Never Be Cured; Australian law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies are facing a potential security nightmare after hackers leaked records held by internet provider AAPT. AAPT hack by Anonymous poses crime data leak fears for AFP and ACC

Monday, July 30, 2012

The comparisons between nonfiction and Art

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come”
Hugo,V 1877, Histoire d'un crime, Part 1

The life of my friend Dmitri Nabokov – a 6 foot 5, stentorian-voiced child of exile – could resemble a James Bond film... Fast cars, fast boats, fast women ; Luckily, there's a male equivalent to chick lit, and conveniently enough, it rhymes! The Top 20: Readers vote for the best in Russian fiction = Cold Spring River

The comparisons between nonfiction and Art don't hold up for me. A nonfiction can be obtained for a few dollars; a Michelangelo cannot be obtained even with millions ...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

via Tash ( who points; shoots; sometimes she focusws first.) Photojournalist Greg Constantine takes us to the Burma-Bangladesh border, where tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees live in crowded, dirty camps. Between Burma and a Hard Place

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." — Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Which political parties do the Big 4 accountants support? It's a question that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has tackled in a great article here. The short form response

For what I did

And did not do

And do without

In my old age

Rue, not rage

Against that night

We go into,

Sets me straight

On what to do

Before I die—

Sit in the shade,

Look at the sky”

What makes something ‘cool’? A man of pleasure is a man of pains

Today’s world is focused on accountability and measurable results – business leaders, economists and politicians alike scramble for the latest data to inform where they invest time, effort and money.

But what happens when things at the core of human existence can’t easily be measured? This is the problem facing creatives around the world – the arts are routinely underfunded leaving writers, artists and musicians among us on the back foot. The arts are how we express ourselves to one another and future generations. Each piece of writing, artwork and song is a reflection of what life is like at this very moment. Music is the most unique of these as it completely engages our imaginations and lets our emotions run wild

Lets our emotions run wild; When I was working for Mary Quant in the 1970s, cool was hot pants, shag carpets and waterbeds; now its food trucks, craft beer and pop-up stores. With every generation what’s cool get redefined, but do the characteristics of cool stay fundamentally the same throughout the years? What makes something ‘cool’? [ Thankfully we are not all “idiots” and most of us do have a moral responsibility to pay our taxes on time and full - The politics of point scoring H-INTEL provides a venue for the scholarly discussion of intelligence ; George Megalogenis has reviewed the last 30 years of Australian history through an idiosyncratic lens. History with a soft focus]

• · Failure in the theater is more dramatic and uglier than in any other form of writing. For W.B. Yeats, the spirit world was anything but false and foolish. “The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write W.B. Yeats, Magus; Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks Don’t wear yum-yum yellow

• · · We would rather be ruined than changed
 We would rather die in our dread
 Than climb the cross of the moment
 And let our illusions die. How did the Aleppo Codex – the oldest text of the Hebrew Bible – end up in an iron case at Hebrew University? Why are 200 pages missing? A High Holy Whodunit; Walter Benjamin’s oeuvre: Ideas migrate among texts, letters morph into essays. Books are unstarted, unfinished, abandoned, aborted. For Future Friends of Walter

• · · · At Defcon, Hackers Show How to Hack Your Android Phone Encryption If you lose your Android phone, your data could find its way into the wrong hands, even if you have encryption turned on; We were buried in an e-book when the subway doors opened at the Bergen Street stop in Brooklyn. In a flash, a pair of hands dove into my date’s lap and ripped away her iPad. Chasing the guy was instinctive. But he had a crew backing him up that I never saw. Instead of winning back the iPad, I found myself lying on the platform bleeding, my jaw split in half. Fighting the iCrime Wave

• · · · · The Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Nick Warner, broke with decades of tradition last week to deliver a public address on the workings of the agency to mark its 60th anniversary. Mr Warner said it was the first time an ASIS DG had spoken on the role and nature of the organisation since it was established in 1952 LX - ASIS opens up; An alleged Canadian spy has compromised Australian intelligence information in an international espionage case that has sent shock waves through Western security agencies Canada spy case rocks ASIO

• · · · · · If you’re not sure what kind of chart would best showcase the data you’re presenting, Chart Chooser makes short work of narrowing it down. Chart chooser ; In this photostory, we cover the most popular and important OSINT tools for a security researcher. Nine OSINT tools every security researcher must have

; Make your own Angry Birds: Homebrew apps have arrived - By itself, the story of a cute, if flatulent, pig pushing a bunch of irate birds off the top spot is nothing unusual. What is odd is that the creator of “ePig Dash”, a conjuror and economics teacher, knew little or nothing about programming. Instead he used GameSalad, a do-it-yourself tool for app-makers. Last year Eddie the pig took Chile by storm

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Many Happy Returns

It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers. - Slavic Saying

Measuring out your life with friends is a blessing and in July is peppered with friends like Lydka, Steve and Kristof all celebrating their sweet birthdays 。。。

The truth about truth is complicated. After all, lying sometimes desirable. Indeed, small lies can reveal big truths. The Truth About Human Nature

"When I'm with you I feel like I could die and that would be alright, alright."

- Third Eye Blind Intersection of books and life

“Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you come into harbors seen for the first time”

Malchkeon closed her note with these words: “That's all for now. Thank you so much for keeping alive the flame of conversation.”

There is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry The Best Exotic Life: Solitude & Solidarity

I ndia is a Lovemark for many as it is teeming with the three secrets: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy. Yesterday I saw one of the great English movies - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A good old fashioned, upbeat story of optimism in a far distant exotic land...

"Books and friends should be few but good." "Life without a friend is like death without a witness." "May there always be work for your hands to do, may your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you, may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you." " A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."

"Let's make a resolution. I'll drink to that. Let's always stay friends. Friendship is thicker than blood...That depends...Depents on trust. Depends on true devotion. Depends on love. Depends on not denying emotion..." -Rent - Sent in by Cat.

Vain is the word of that philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man; Money is an abstraction. Whatever it looks like or whatever it’s backed by, what matters is that people believe in it A Brief History of Koruny [So only now does everything seem to be for sale? In medieval churches, aisle chapels were as likely to be named for bankers as for saints. When everything’s for sale ; Promoting democracy might seem like a good idea. It’s not. The world is riven by sectarian conflicts and allegiances. Will we ever learn from history? History Resumes: Sectarianism’s Unlearned Lessons]

• · The more angles and edges in your playbook, the more creativity will sing. As Steve Jobs said, creativity is just connecting things. Mantras; Facts turn out to be fetishes; fetishes turn out to be facts. The philosophical superstar Bruno Latour, post-midlife crisis, introduces the “factish”.. The cult of science

• · · Mickey Mouse and existentialism. Albert Camus was once a 20-something with a degree and no job in sight. Then he joined up with Walt Disney Robert Zaretsky on Albert Camus; Same as it ever was. Philosophy no longer speaks to the way we live. Or so its critics claim. But the discipline has always had its share of theoretical thickets Our Debt to the Greeks

• · · · Pretty much every cultural assumption about women’s breasts is wrong. But then, what men think about them doesn’t really matter. The historical vignettes are droll and judiciously ; Stanford University is “the germplasm for innovation,” the farm system for Silicon Valley. Who can argue with such success?... Get Rich

• · · · · The artist installs apps in Macs at an Apple store for a work called “People Staring at Computers.” Then the Secret Service rings his doorbell and assumes the role of critic When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide; Boycott threats, menacing graffiti, cyberattacks: Behold the radioactive celebrity of the Polish historian Jan T. Gross A Polish Historian's Accounting of the Holocaust Divides His Countrymen

• · · · · · The Right Honourable Edmund Burke was corpulent, petulant, and fond of lewd jokes. He was also eloquent, brilliant, and brave... who was Edmund Burke the man?; For Edvard Munch, art was an act of memory, a revisiting of images and ideas, a blurring of the line between original and copy. “I don’t paint what I see – but what I saw”. Edvard Munch: the ghosts of vampires and victims

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Without risk there is no faith, and the greater the risk the greater the faith. -Kierkegaard, That Brother in arms of Orwell

Humanity demands that I stop for a minute … Today is exactly 32 years since I escaped from Czech and Slovak Socialist Republics to Austria. It is not every day one emerges alive when crossing the Iron Curtain. When is death not within ourselves?... Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and alseep, young and old. Sole survivors might often be thought of as anonymous, but we never want to be voiceless. You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you. It is wise to listen, not to me but to the Word, and to confess that all things are one. War and Peace of escapes.

Character is destiny. All is One Most Orwellian of Orwell’s successors

Any subject can reach a state of worship that threatens criticism and free thought. So noted Christopher Hitchens, that most Orwellian of Orwell’s successors.

He is often called Orwell’s heir because of his fervent love for the writer. In the end, Christopher Hitchens was the most important Orwellian thinker since Orwell. Christopher Hitchens, one sees that his persona is oddly like that of Oscar Wilde’s character Lord Henry Wotton from The Picture of Dorian Gray: loved by an assortment of people for assorted reasons, often when they cannot square with him on something else. Like Wotton, Hitchens was popular with individuals, not because they agreed with him, but because they disagreed with him. When faced with the cultivated erudition, wit, conviction, and eloquence such that “Hitch” displayed, peacocking before a podium or a writer’s desk, one couldn’t help but fall like those in Dorian Gray who despised the hedonist Wotton, and yet couldn’t stay away from his conversation. It’s hard to say where Hitchens’ greatest popularity lies, but much Hitch-love comes from his status as the successor to George Orwell. Orwell’s manner, if anything, was the opposite of Hitchens’ strut. But the two are compared because they both criticized the Left from within on matters of international policy, albeit in independent ways. Hitchens broke from the Left over the so-called war on terror, quitting his literary homestead, The Nation, and making particularly derisive comments about his comrades. These actions were viewed as the strongest individual leftist dissent by a writer since Orwell’s infamous break over the Spanish Communists and the Soviet Union. To boot, Hitchens offered strong, vocal admiration for the elder English author and polemicist, and invoked Orwell on matters of principle and ethics regarding his own conservative turn. Indeed, the two are similarly noteworthy for their incorporation of morals into their politics.

For a lot of people, their first love is what they’ll always remember. For me it’s always been the first hate, and I think that hatred, though it provides often rather junky energy, is a terrific way of getting you out of bed in the morning and keeping you going. If you don’t let it get out of hand, it can be canalized into writing. In this country where people love to be nonjudgmental … there are an awful lot of bubble reputations floating around that one wouldn’t be doing one’s job if one didn’t itch to prick…

• - The road up and the road down is one and the same. Yet Everything flows, nothing stands still. Orwell Knew How To Move Rivers and Mountains and most of all Men ; There Is an ‘I’ In Team [We all have our personality quirks that either endear us to others, or drive them to distraction, often simultaneously. But when does a quirk become a liability in the workplace? And how can you minimise the fallout? Managing extreme personalities ; If all men are monsters, how should we raise our boys? The world of book-learning is especially critical of men. When I asked about books on men in one Sydney bookshop the reply was - Oh God, I don't know Try under mental illness or self-help ]

• · Popular legend has it that actors are vain creatures. Some are, some aren't. Authors, though, poor lonely people, are nine tenths vanity; they live their whole lives believing without question all the good things that have ever been written about them - Alan Ayckbourn, The Crafty Art of Playmaking ; An 8-year-old's conflict management toolbox proves that managing conflict is not as sophisticated as you might think. Conflict management: lessons from the second grade

• · · Think local: Google explains how businesses can get a piece of Australia's $189 billion online market Figures published yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show online business in Australia is up 32% on last year with Australian businesses receiving online orders worth $189 billion 8166.0 - Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2010-11 ; One cannot review a bad book without showing off -Something even more insidious is beginning to occur, as this week's Essential Report suggests. Loss of trust is contagious. We're not just cynical about politicians; we are also losing faith in the institutions that underpin public life Loss of trust spreading beyond Parliament

• · · · Comedy is an essential part of any play. Without light how can we possibly create shadow? It's like a painter rejecting yellow. - Frustrations happen when expectations go unmet, but by changing your perspective, you can transform frustrations into solutions. Here are three ways to fill a glass half empty... Fill a Glass Half Empty; Somewhere in the world, a desperate user cries out for a UX hero. In the city, a lost tourist is looking for his hotel using a poorly designed app. In a nearby apartment, another man abandons his cart before making his first online purchase. Down the hall, his daughter struggles to complete a research paper using disorganized and unusable websites. An epidemic of unproductive web experiences is sweeping the city leaving a trail of disappointment and desperation in its wake. The world needs a hero. It’s time for each of us to rise up and say “I am that hero!”

• · · · · The Brothers Grimm, 18th-century terrorists, savored violence in their art. Toes are chopped off, severed fingers fly through the air. The fairy tales validate our own fears... Fairy of Fears ; The totalitarian virus did not enter the Soviet state with Stalin. It was there when Lenin and Trotsky were still in charge... A Bolshevik’s memoirs

• · · · · · We don’t feel the force of the uncertainties felt by our predecessors The Olympics and Beyond; After many years of debate and resistance the Canadian legal profession is finally accepting that compulsory professional development is a necessity And the Learners Shall Inherit the Earth

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fatefull day in 1776 - The Birth of Terra of Down Under

Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow is shaping as best times for days filled with speeches on all kinds of topics and stories How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven The 4th of July 2012 marks 236 years since that fatefull day in 1776 when independence from Great Britain was declared and the United States was born. It is the single most important holiday celebration in America, and rightfully so.

'I have come not to talk but to die.

These words were uttered on Friday, December 7, 1683, by Algernon Sidney, just before his head was chopped off in a public execution in London. Sidney had made the mistake of questioning the divine right of kings. Charles II took it personally ; It is usually ignored in Australia that the setting up of a British colony in NSW was not the result of some grand plan but more a historical afterthought. Britain had been sending convicts to America until the revolution closed off this option. As convicts numbers began to overflow in prison hulks, the government looked to colonies in West Africa as its choice for transportation. Australia was not considered because from London it was a void, empty of any settlement, and on the other side of the world.

In 1784, as home secretary, Lord Sydney had responsibility in cabinet for choosing the new destination for transportation. He chose Botany Bay. He was the first minister to do so. On his recommendation, the government nominated NSW as the site for convict transportation, and Lord Sydney instructed the Treasury to finance a fleet. On January 22, 1788, the first governor of the colony, Arthur Phillip, found a safer mooring for his fleet than Botany Bay. He named it Sydney Cove. He did so in honour of the home secretary who, after setting the destination, had sponsored the expedition. (The news of this small honour would not reach Lord Sydney for 14 months.)

Lord Sydney had earlier also made his mark on Canada's largest city. In 1781-82, he was responsible for the peace negotiations with the Americans after the American revolution. He was able to keep southern Ontario, including what is now Toronto, as part of Canada. His eventual biographer, Andrew Tink, was a long-time member of Parliament, 19 years. He had also been a long-time member of the opposition, 12 years, just as Tommy Townshend had spent the bulk of his parliamentary career in opposition or out of favour with the king for his republican leanings and sympathy for the Americans. ''I felt empathy for him,'' Tink told me. ''He kept turning up. He kept batting on.'' Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend It’s been said that a biographer is a novelist under oath Tink and Throsby

'Fifty Shades' by the numbers, patriotic books for July 4th ; The American Revolution was, in many regards, a British civil war. In 18th century Britain, Parliamentary government was supposed to protect freeborn men from the threat of absolutist monarchy and excessive taxation. However, the British refused to extend Parliamentary representation to the American colonies, creating the unethical paradox of a democratic empire. Edmund Burke, the great grand-daddy of British conservatism, had every sympathy for the American revolt against crippling taxes and restrictions on their right to steal Indian land. In his view “our English brethren in the colonies” were fighting to uphold ancient Anglo-Saxon rights in the face of brutish imperialism by a German-descended king, enforced by “the hireling sword of German boors and vassals”. When the Americans rebelled in 1775, there were plenty of Brits who supported them. The Fourth of July provides an uncomfortable reminder of our once radical heritage - The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Date with Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries has Date with Jozef and Peter ...

Barry feels comfortable on stage as the first words he utters to a full audience are ''alone at last''. He was alone with us on Tuesday at lunchtime at Barbara Nichol's Sydney store, Pen-Ultimate situated at the Queen Victoria Building – opposite the best place for unique and affodable pressies NY Metropolitan Museum. Like my father in law, Humphries, 77, holds the titles Officer of the Order of Australia and this year he even became an Australian of the year. Barry’s reputation for being cantankerous and, at times, acerbic was sealed when I told Peter that we chose a special pen Caran D’ache as a present for my father in law as that pen lasts for many generations - Barbara who is the best teacher of calligraphy insists that the pen tends to outlive even the grandchildren . Barry in his typical fashion hissed ‘ bugger the grandchildren ;-)’ London was kind to Barry as when he first came to the royal city … he had to work the night shift in an ice-cream factory making raspberry ripple inside a cold river.

Dame Edna is set to hang up her gladioli, but first, a few more laughs. After 56 years on stage and screen, satirist, comedian, Dadaist and National Living Treasure Barry Humphries is waving farewell. Does anyone really believe Barry Humphries that this is his "farewell tour"? Nellie Melba's farewells stretched over four years. Surely Edna would want to trump that. Dame Edna's vivid long goodbye ach and Eat pray and laugh …

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit Compressing the uncompressible - De mortuis nil nisi bonum

So the next time you hear a good story about why the financial recession, or any other economically significant event, was caused by a single collection of bad actors — or how a simple linear narrative “explains” an important event — remember this: Just as we are wired to like a diet rich in fats and sugars, we have an appetite for simple, coherent narratives. Neither habit is good for our long-term health.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum. The idea is so old its classic expression is in Latin: Speak no ill of the dead. After Andrew Breitbart's sudden death at the shockingly young age of 43 has provoked a chorus of nasty tweets and blog posts from the left, a lot of folks are rethinking this ancient aphorism. I've never been quite sure what to think of the practice. H. L. Mencken, one of my heroes, wrote an obit of William Jennings Bryan that was so brilliantly vicious that, according to legend, a colleague thought HLM didn't realize that Bryan was dead (I guess he missed the memorable first sentence of the piece). I could be accused of having committed a similar sort of offense when Ted Kennedy died (though in my defense I was really objecting to the way the whole country was going way too far in the other direction - adulation for a "lion" who was obviously a seriously flawed person). (See also this.)

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit ; Lester [The Australian online retailer Kogan.com has introduced the world's first "tax" on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser. Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm's site. Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in "rendering the website into a antique browser" World's first 'tax' on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7; Mr Kundra, the executive vice president of emerging markets at CRM vendor Salesforce.com told an audience, governments all over the world were in a post cloud future. What he meant by that was “looking back at what happened in the 90s” when everyone was having raging debates be it the public or private sectors on the topic of email Govt data sovereignty is myth, says ex-US CIO ]

• · There is something spiritual about walking with our ancestors. If we have anything in common with these people who lived before us, we want to locate it because this is the essence of our own identities Searching for Australian identity; Our Gift for Good Stories Blinds Us to the Truth – Bloomberg I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren’t people. People are people ; Three out of ten Australians experienced loneliness between 2001 and 2009, and Facebook and social media weren't a cure. All the lonely people

• · · Recyled tires added to pavement around the world for noise abatement The Economist: Around one heart attack in 50 in rich European countries is caused by chronic exposure to loud traffic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The ill-effects of noise pollution in such countries are second only to those from dirty air. ; Reference: These results indicate that at least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic related noise in the western part of Europe. Burden of disease from environmental noise - Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe; Whatever made you homeless in the first place, once you are there it is like being stuck in quicksand. Cold concrete is cold comfort

• · · · Darrell Morris took leave from DFAT to work for a Liberal Party frontbencher. Since returning life has taken a turn for the worse. Bullies ; Judges shouldn’t play politics. For one thing, they’re bad at it, as this instance illustrates. The decision was apparently more political than legal

• · · · · The future of finance, and in particular saving it from a popular backlash against the global financial crisis and related crisis-management policies, has rightly become a matter of great concern. There is broad agreement that finance has, as in the past, the potential to do good, which should be harnessed by all. However, it is essential to minimise its potential to do harm. Society, economic policies and the financial sector ; Graphene once again proves that it is quite possibly the most miraculous material known to man, this time by making saltwater drinkable. The process was developed by a group of MIT researchers who realized that graphene allowed for the creation of an incredibly precise sieve. Basically, the regular atomic structure of graphene means that you can create holes of any size, for example the size of a single molecule of water. Using this process scientist can desalinate saltwater 1,000 times faster than the Reverse Osmosis technique Making Saltwater Drinkable With Graphene.

• · · · · · For the past two decades New Yorkers have been the beneficiaries of the largest and longest sustained drop in street crime ever experienced by a big city in the developed world. In less than a generation, rates of several common crimes that inspire public fear — homicide, robbery and burglary — dropped by more than 80 percent. Scientific American - How New York Beat Crime ; Burglary reports dropped after officers began taking patrol orders from computers. L.A. Cops Embrace Crime-Predicting Algorithm

Sales – The more expensive something is, the less logic people use to decide if they are going to buy it. People will buy a 50k car because it’s red, and scrutinize the calories in a $1.50 snack...

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Václav Havel - Truth Prevails

The moment a man can really do his work he becomes speechless about it. All words become idle to him, all theories.
-John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies

Exhibition reveals the man behind the politician I do not hesitate to say that Václav Havel was the most photographed personality of our agency in history. We want to remember the vibrant, vigorous, cheerful man, as ČTK photographers knew from their work. Although the exhibition is composed of photographs of more than two dozen authors, it speaks of one thing: that Václav Havel was an exceptional person. States don't fail overnight. The seeds of of their destruction are sown deep within their political institutions. Havel in photography - the satisfying clang of truth; Boycott threats, menacing graffiti, cyberattacks: Behold the radioactive celebrity of the Polish historian Jan T. Gross

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

A complex escape with a complex history Quite Contrary

More than 12 million civilians were expelled from their birthplaces; at least 500,000 died: This is the European atrocity you never heard about...
I sit in one of the dives
On Macquarie Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade or three ...

The purpose of bohemian poetry is to make the future more tolerable… Past is just a foreign aboriginal country …

During the Second World War, tragic scenes like those were commonplace, as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin moved around entire populations like pieces on a chessboard, seeking to reshape the demographic profile of Europe according to their own preferences. What was different about the deportation of Loch and his fellow passengers, however, was that it took place by order of the United States and Britain as well as the Soviet Union, nearly two years after the declaration of peace. In the largest episode of forced migration in history, millions of German-speaking civilians were sent to Germany from Czechoslovakia (above) and other European countries after World War II by order of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. The screams that rang throughout the darkened cattle car crammed with deportees, as it jolted across the icy Polish countryside five nights before Christmas, were Dr. Loch's only means of locating his patient. The doctor, formerly chief medical officer of a large urban hospital, now found himself clambering over piles of baggage, fellow passengers, and buckets used as toilets, only to find his path blocked by an old woman who ignored his request to move aside. On closer examination, he discovered that she had frozen to death. Finally he located the source of the screams, a pregnant woman who had gone into premature labor and was hemorrhaging profusely. When he attempted to move her from where she lay into a more comfortable position, he found that "she was frozen to the floor with her own blood." Other than temporarily stanching the bleeding, Loch was unable to do anything to help her, and he never learned whether she had lived or died. When the train made its first stop, after more than four days in transit, 16 frost-covered corpses were pulled from the wagons before the remaining deportees were put back on board to continue their journey. A further 42 passengers would later succumb to the effects of their ordeal, among them Loch's wife.

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About; Atrocity [When countries fail. Collapse is marked by a whimper more often than a bang. An economy built on exploitation cannot long stand 10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart ; Voltaire teaches that even when you disagree with what a speaker has said, you must defend to the death his right to say it … Slavoj Žižek can’t fathom why people ask him for advice. “Look at me!” he shouts. “Look at my tics! Don’t you see that I’m mad?” 'Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots' ; Philosophy of love. Why is a lefty like Alain Badiou preaching monogamy? “If you limit yourself to sexual pleasure it’s narcissistic”... Joy of love ]

• · What is the lesson of culture? That it is a precious but precarious inheritance, more difficult to achieve than destroy. And once destroyed, it’s irretrievable.. Future tense, XI: The lessons of culture; Faith in markets remains high. Why? They spare us from the unpleasant work of thinking and arguing about the meaning of goods. We need to reason about how to value our bodies, human dignity, teaching and learning

• · · Envy means wanting and not getting. But artistic envy? That’s another thing entirely. Nothing reveals a writer’s flawed character more than his jealousy of a peer’s success... Can a literary interview be a weapon? What if the magazine in which it appears – The Paris Review – is part of a CIA-financed campaign of psychological warfare?. Letters discovered by Salon show even deeper Cold War ties between the Paris Review and a U.S. propaganda front ; Amazon’s world. The book industry’s woes are largely self-inflicted. “This is a business run by English majors, not business majors”. The Amazon Effect

• · · · Mary McCarthy might have been a viperish, bipolar nymphomaniac. Who cares? Pay attention to what matters most: her writing... Quite Contrary ; What will survive of us is love.” Oprah? The Beatles? Hallmark? No, Philip Larkin. As soon as he wrote it, he had second thoughts... Does Love Survive Loss?

• · · · · For lonely people in a lonely age. Psychoanalysts were once imbued with intellectual authority, dabbling in religion and philosophy. Now therapists are more like artificial friends.. Psychotherapy – and - the – pursuit – of -happines ; The tyranny of the clock. Our ever more intimately clocked world is increasingly efficient. The problem: We are forever on the edge of being late

• · · · · · A complex drink with a complex history The perfect shot. Grind, temperature, pressure: Good espresso is good chemistry. It’s also good art. Done well, it’s pure sensory pleasure... The Long History of the Espresso Machine ; For Edvard Munch, art was an act of memory, a revisiting of images and ideas, a blurring of the line between original and copy. “I don’t paint what I see – but what I saw” Edvard Munch: the ghosts of vampires and victims ; The Barthesian moment. These days everyone fancies themselves a culture critic.. The blogosphere is a Petri dish of amateur semiology

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Media Drago 1 and 0 - A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step …

It is hard to believe that in June 2012 the Media Dragon turned Ten (10) a decade aka X It's also not difficult to argue that blogging has done more to spread knowledge and ideas than any other publishing innovation since the printing press. Here's a look at the most popular blogging platforms to help you get your ideas out there. It is all about picking bohemian culture's collective brain for bright ideas across art, media, technology, politics, science, sustainability, music and more: X - Stay-ay-ay just a little bit longer

There is an old Slavic YakcM saying – ‘Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.’ Fools are plentiful around the world. Get your own free Blogoversary button!

Oscar Wilde famously once said, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” LiteraryMinded was five in May

Be Fearless even at times of Controversial Confrontations Danger Room @ Media Dragon – Too Good To Be True

Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about the aftermath of cold war partying, and then some The past ten years have brought us many, many memories, some joy and some heartache, the move from Brissie back to Sydney. Everything that we have been through has caused us to grow into who we are today and I would not change anything … a difficult, middle-aged break up. My world was shattered, but not all was lost. You see, we can honestly say we are grateful for this experience as life has a way of surprising us with amazing grace and blessings ;-)

It is a curious aspect of human existence that tribes of people reserve their greatest hatred not for a truly foreign foe, living a great distance away. No – the nastiest contests are with your immediate neighbour, the bully at school or at work you really detest. You are likely to experience more of that in a big company than a smaller, founder-owned one. So one compelling reason why entrepreneurs win is that they are more efficient, wasting less energy on office politics. Like Kevin, we are big believers that having the focus to see beyond your fears can instigate change. When you take risks, embrace the unknown, and 'go for it', that is often when you get the breakthrough you've been looking for. Laugh at the theatre of the absurd performed by the truly rich and mad ;-) In a sane and truly fair-and-balanced, no-spin world, apologies combined with admissions of idiocy by Gina Rinehart would be a nickel a dozen. But, media-wise, we've got what we've got. A world in which Kerry Stokes’ son Ryan becomes in charge of the national library ...

Knowledge itself … turns out to be not only the source of the highest-quality power, but also the most important ingredient of force and wealth. Put differently, knowledge has gone from being an adjunct of money power and muscle power, to being their very essence. It is, in fact, the ultimate amplifier. This is the key to the powershift that lies ahead, and it explains why the battle for control of knowledge and the means of communication is heating up all over the world.

• Media Dragon is obsessed with Trivia - A mixture of news, analysis, rumour and links This blogger's mantra: Try eveything, even oysters at the Oyster Bar‎ ; Instances of instability are hard to predict, and carry with them the risk of becoming a self-fullfilling prophecy. However, the general characteristics described above and the indicators given at the end of this report can provide analysts with a better understanding of civil unrest and a solid framework through which the risk of instability can be incorporated into risk rating models Why people rebel: Analyzing the risk of political instability [ At the Huffington Post, Jason Linkins focuses like a laserbeam on the really important story; This is not HiaisPPPPenis]

• · This was the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. “The censors were in full whack-a-mole mode Blacking Out 180,000 Candles; sparks - alchemy of ideas • · · The "big picture" blog showcases the best in visual storytelling from events around the world and has had more than 10 million page views. The most popular post? "Japan marks 6 months since earthquake, tsunami." Sacbee celebrates 4th anniversary of The Frame photo blog It’s a global village out there. Whether in New York or Mumbai, London or Bangkok, people are being exposed to the same news, music, movies, and products regardless of geography. Our increasingly globalize culture has sparked a counter change in behavior - people are choosing local, unique experiences over the Hiltons and Big Macs They shop at street markets, enjoy food at local restaurants and stay at independently run hotels. Staying With Local Media Dragons ; There's something about the future that makes people shudder. It's daunting, unpredictable and coming at us at warp speed. art beat

• · · · The slow motion train wreck that is the Euro is grinding relentlessly on. Commentators are smugly, if not gleefully, announcing the currency’s imminent demise, enjoying their triumphant occupancy of the moral high ground; Yet Bachelorette falls in love in Prague

a • · · · · Ever wonder what sorrow tastes like? How about happiness, anger or even a sneeze? The people at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies of London have created a unique range of seasoning salts collected from none other than human tears. Each of the five salts have a distinctly different flavour... The Taste of Media Dragon Emotions; Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about. In the actual use of expressions we make detours, we go by side-roads. We see the straight highway before us, but of course we cannot use it, because it is permanently closed. More speeches than you can imagine are doomed to fail by bad introductions...Instead of kindling fires of enthusiasm within the audience, the introductions lead to an epidemic outbreak of brain freeze.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Parliamentary Legends

Labor's general-secretary, Sam Dastyari has claimed that on the eve of former premier Nathan Rees being dumped in favour of Kristina Keneally, Mr Torbay called him into his office. Mr Dastyari claims that the 51-year-old, who was parliamentary speaker at the time, pulled out $200 from his wallet and said he would join the party if he was given the job of premier, Fairfax newspapers reported on Sunday Torbay says Labor man's claims false ; Richard Torbay and his coat of many political colours

A truly diabolical craziness in NSW politics Keneally may pass ball to Botany Bay Mayor Ron Hoenig

I n a scene littered with MPs who have entered into polygamous political arrangements throughout their careers, the intrigue is astounding.

KRISTINA KENEALLY'S decision to quit politics has renewed tensions with her colleague Nathan Rees, who has described as ''fiction'' a claim that he apologised for labelling her a puppet of Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid. Ms Keneally, who as NSW premier led Labor to a historic defeat at last year's election, has announced she will leave politics to become chief executive of Basketball Australia. In an interview published yesterday, she was asked about Mr Rees's statement during her challenge for the leadership in 2009 that whoever replaced him as premier would be a ''puppet'' of the then Labor powerbrokers Mr Tripodi and Mr Obeid. Ms Keneally told her interviewer: ''Nathan has apologised, but in the end it is laughable and it has been utterly dispelled.'' But Mr Rees, who has wished Ms Keneally well in her new career, yesterday denied ever apologising for his comment. ''I note Kristina Keneally is reported today as saying I apologised for the 'puppet' remark. That is a fiction,'' Mr Rees said. In the lead up to the 2011 election, Mr Rees did a sudden about-face and publicly declared his support for Ms Keneally, but stopped short of recanting his ''puppet'' comment.

Rees stays firm on puppetry remark ; Swimmer Robertson wishes well Basketball player [Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally insists she doesn't feel any sadness about leaving politics. Keneally isn't sentimental about quitting ; THE US-born MP made history in late 2009 when she became the state's first female premier. Kristina Keneally's anger over being called Kim Kardashian ]

• · Obeid ; MEMBERS of the Obeid family, including the former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, expressed interest in buying a Denman farm nearly three years before an Obeid family friend and financial adviser was granted a coal exploration licence over the property • · · A FRIEND and financial adviser to Eddie Obeid and his family, who had no mining background and a $1 company, won a coal exploration licence worth millions of dollars in a controversial tender run by the disgraced former resources minister Ian Macdonald ; In 2003, Mr Obeid's family acquired the three cafes from his former associate and Labor party donor Tony Imad for $2.4 million. But, on paper, the leaseholder was Mr Obeid's brother-in-law John Abood

• · · · Google ; Obeid told to pay $12m debt within seven days ; A Former IRS agent has been given a three year prison sentence for his part in an investment scheme that conned victims of More than $8 million

• · · · · Ex-Labour leader says he spends 'a fortune' on lawyers and accountants to make sure his business affairs are within the law Tony Blair insists that he does not avoid paying tax ; Barber: “Some people would say, ‘He loved power; he was right on top of the world for 10 years, and now he wants to be top of the world in business; he’s very competitive, Blair: “That is not true! That really is a lie; whoever is telling you that is lying. That is not true. Get me my lawyer! Get my expensive American lawyer.”
Barber: “So are you prepared to go on the record and say that you are prepared to pass to people so that they can score goals?” Blair: “I certainly am, partly because I was never very good at scoring them myself.”
Barber: “But you are very competitive.” Blair: “Look, I am very competitive.” Barber: “And you like making a lot of money … ” Blair (exasperated): “This notion that I want to be a billionaire with a yacht; I don’t! I am never going to be part of the super-rich. I have no interest in that at all.” Tony Blair: an exclusive interview

• · · · · · The twenty-first century is hectic. We live our lives at break-neck speed. We make snap judgements and decisions, which often harm us more than they help. Partnoy makes mincemeat of the idea of “thin slicing” – the art of making snap decisions based on very little information – that was made so popular by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink. He gives the delightful example of the international dating network It’s Just Lunch, which became successful by forcing its clients not to make bad snap decisions. Thus, it refuses to let them see photographs of possible partners and instead makes them eat lunch, a meal taking just the right amount of time for two people to work out if they want to see each other again. Nowhere in Wait is there anything as useful or liberating as something my economics tutor at university once told me: the more difficult a decision is to make – ie the more equally the pros and cons are stacked – the less it matters what you decide Therefore we should not wait. We should cut the dithering and get on with it. ; Legend has it that, during the Sydney Olympics, Bob Carr was caught reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment at the beach volleyball finals.