Thursday, 28 June 2012

Words fail me, it's time to try a new tack!

Photos are from the Organic farm...  

Myself and Frank from Holland (i keep calling him Fred?)

A chick from Tasmania told me about this song by Billy Brag called Valentines day is over

I quite like this lyric, only because at some stage in your life it would mean more, the rest of you time here on earth, it would be just a lyric.
Whats wrong with me is wrong with everyone that you want to play your silly games with
Valentines day is over

It's funny, being in the country on an organic farm, near Byron Bay. It would appear that i'm so relaxed, i've got nothing much to say VIA the blog, write, writing, written kinda way, that or i couldn't be bothered?

Thats not my intention at all, i want to be writing every day, well most days, right after lunch, maybe it's all the vegetarian clean living, maybe i need a bit of carbon monoxide and steak to get the words rolling along?

Does anyone want to talk about 'Welly Boots?', i get mine made in China!

When bad things happen to people that dont write, it's a bad thing, when it happens top someone that writes it's 'Material', the material i would have written about before all of a sudden doesn't interest me so much, could i be upping my standard? Was there ever a standard?

Maybe i should get out more, get up, get high? Who know's?

Tom Robbins says (someone asked me if he was god, i said of course he is!! Because, he is!!) that
People with  imagination do not get writers block
 I'm not beaten yet, lets try this, forget words (...but keep reading)!!

I've been cock blocked, word block? Never!!

You been blocked?

Now for this, it doesn't rely on as much words as you need to hear this, it's called...

Any movie maker worth his salt, that's into propaganda will tell you people are not motivated by words, they are moved by
  1. Music and 
  2. Images
Top 10 tools used by the Nazis

Germany's most famous film maker movie maker was Jewish and a woman to boot, you could ask her all about this, if yea like!

Music was used in World war 1 too, it was a weapon, this is before Heavy metal came on the scene too!

I remember Cliff em all, a Metallica video, some fan had this to say 
Every generation will attack the next and their
Question is, who do i attack or am i defending?

Did you know, 90% of what you say is body language (see link below) NOT the words speak, which is a good job, because i'm not doing a very good job rounding up these words, maybe i need a sheep dog for my haphazard language, maybe i could whistle sheep dog commands to myself and that would help?

But i digress...
I watched a documentary the other night called The secrets of body language, apparently Obama is pretty handy with these principles
  • He gets talking in a rhythm
  • People don't listen to his words so much as voice tells you how you should feel
  • The guy really gets the crowd worked up in a frenzy
So that was my, doing something-that-didnt-involve-too-many-words

And i'll leave you with this, courtesy of the chick from Tasmania (how random?)

My daddy was a bank robber

Meet Fred from France, i call him 'Fred', weird huh?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Just fill in the knowledge gaps and the Mirage becomes a reverie

I was watching a presentation on Tedx last night by some guy called O E Wilson, now Mr Wilson might be someone important? He was speaking at the Ted presentations, so ''importance' was a given, he was somebody.

Other acceptable Synonyms for importance would include: significance - consequence - moment - weight - magnitude

But none of this is of consequence, not right now anyhow.

Introducing O E Wilson

Maybe his wife calls him 'Orsen Edward'? Maybe she says
'Hey you, yea big good for nothing, would you put the damn cat out already?'
 I know what your thinking, your thinking...
 Is he related to Owen Wilson?

Unfortunately, none of this was going through my mind last night as i was wrapped up, seeking shelter from the element's and Senior Wilson's words were starting to resonate in my mind, the mouse at the controls in my brain was scurrying about.

Yep, no doubt about it, Sr Wilson was making a lot of sense, Junior Wilson is just terribly good looking, but that's another story!

What was Senior Wilson saying? Well Mr O E Wilson was saying things i think too, and he should know, after all, he's a man of significance!

Whats interesting is, Mr Wilson said that
  • Traditional fields of study will grow and meet  and create new fields, you need to cross train in your industry and other non related fields
  • Our scientific knowledge is doubling every 10 years 
Do you get it? 

Do you get it?

We know more than we need to know about whats going on in the galaxy, but do we even know who we really are?
And this my friends is what i was thinking and it's what i'm doing by getting back to nature by volunteering on a farm, the biggest gap in my knowledge is all practical stuff, like
  • Growing anything out of the ground (Supermarkets, Coles esecially, i am done with you!!)
  • Plants (which ones are the good ones and which ones help you talk to the baby Jesus)
  • Fixing things (the city is a long way's away, what would MacGyver  do?)
  • Being useful (What would Bear Grylls do?)
  • Making stuff (love or Porn? Explode like a scene out of MacGyver? What am i on about again?)
  • Somewhere to lie low until September and go back to the big city and live life all over with a new perspective with new skills
  • Chick's dig guys with skills
  • And more importantly, i really need to work on my tan lines, Byron bay is down the road, Hip hip Hurrah!!
Of course, a life time of city dwelling and working in IT prepares you for all the things that are unimportant in life, and that's not to say i don't enjoy living in the city, it's just not that important to my core being, who i really am and probably who you are too?

Maybe it's just another step, a step backwards to leap forwards?
Where ever you start, there you are. Sounds a bit like Snake's and ladders?

Take a look for yourself

Letter's to a young scientist

This cross training is applicable to just about everybody in the planet, a few weeks ago i was talking to a woman that did training seminars for companies, she told me her biggest challenges are
  • Getting people to co-operate at work and 
  • To see that peoples roles in companies were actually co-dependent even though they weren't evaluated for bonuses that way

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Oh take me back to the start....

So this week, it was my day off, i get weekends off and one day off during the week, so i went to Byron bay for the day, yeah!!!

So off i went, all you have to do around these here parts is stick your thumb out and that your ticket to ride, people stop, you get in, chit chat, more chat than chit and yo get to the next place.

All went well getting to Byron, the tricky bit came when it was time to leave.

So, after the swimming, running, coffee the brain said
Have a beer Kieran, your worth it

How could i disagree with that logic, but one became 2, then 3 stuck it's head over the fence.

The time in my mind was 5pm, it really was time to go and i went, but the thing is as i was soon to discover was that people don't pick up hitch hiker's when the cricketing rule of 'Bad light' comes into play.

My tough luck, should of known better?

Who was i fooling? Just as i was going to give up on getting the 2nd ride and go back to Byron, i got a ride, i was game on still, or so it seemed and i was game.

So i got in, that guy dropped me off at the next town, he told me i was about 10kms from where i needed to go, now it's not hot anymore, the rain forest cold is after digging in and it's dark = no fun on the road.

The next ride (oh, but they come in series, don't yea know?), well the driver was about as oriented to the area as i was, that made 2 of us that didn't have much of a clue (obviously my counting ability was not hampered by this ordeal?)

A little musical interlude, reader?

My driver was going to Byron bay, for a movie night, you could see Byron bay, it seemed like a logical thing to do?


A world of possible outcomes came into view, the main one being, beer, a giant $5 burger and chips, sleep in a hostel next to the beach, swimming and running in the morning, do you see where i am going?

And so i went back to Byron...and i thought of this song

What strange is i feel Byron Bay, the pull of it, i don't know what it is, but i just like being there, it not anyone or anything special, someone told me it's a powerful healing place, i would have to agree, somehow?

The next morning hitching went a treat, i started off from about the same place again (which was the wrong location too, a comedy of errors)

I asked some guy that came out of a house where to hitch, and as it turned out, he was going most of the way, then i got a ride off of an old Dutch hippie, that was telling be where money comes from, apparently one of them is the Bank of England, who cares, money, i don't need to think or touch the stuff on the organic farm, hip hip hurray!!

The next guy was the post man, i was bouncing around the back of his van for a bit, he's a notorious for his driving, a tradie picked me up and the last guy's family used to own the farm i work on and he was telling me all the gossip, and why people hate the new owner.

All in all, hitch hiking, is a totally excellent way to get around, until some wackjob driving a VW Volkswagen thinks you'd be rather tasty fried up with some Brussels sprouts?

Flower power? Only after you've been chopped finely baby!

And how wold you know until you tried it? You might like it!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Caught, like a fox in a trap!

I visited this family (Video below) a few month's ago, which was the lead up to where i am about 2000kms of where i woz.

First there was the thing and then one thing led to the other
Well the other is where i am on a farm outside of Byron bay and i'm loving it, it's amazing the things that can literally switch you on, was i switched off for years? Why didn't anyone notice?

The past few weeks have happened moment to moment, that just grew and grew and all i had to do was pay attention to the moments

Sydney, the memories were coming back...

I went on a bit of a walk down memory road, in Sydney.

Here was one of the moments on the Coogie to Bondi walk

Monday, 11 June 2012

Education, a revolution? I'm all ears!!

So i watched a video on about a guy called Ted Robbinson and for a guy involved in education, he was making a lot of sense, he got my attention, he says the system is wrong, i've been saying that since the moment i could talk!!

mAyBe I wOs wRiGht?

Take a look for yourself.

Ken Robinson

In this video Ken refers to Abraham Lincon, one of America's hero's (me too!) 

Abraham Lincon
 It is not "can any of us imagine better?" but, "can we all do better?" The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. 
As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
The interesting thing about history and i'll quote Alessandro Manzoni
"History may truly be defined as a famous War against Time"
You cannot wage a war if you deny reality. You cannot predict the future if you don't understand your reality. If you don't remember history, there is no reality.

The point i make is that history repeats, any problem the world is facing, your facing, it's happened before, the thing I've been learning is, what did the people in the past do to get themselves past it?

Bob Marley said:
This is the great future, you cant forget your past
With education, according to Ted Robbinson
“We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture.  
We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it's an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.” 
And what have we learnt from the past? 

The industrial revolution is over, so why do we cling to the education model? It's time to move to a model that is suitable for the current world and now that we now know that that the old way of judging peoples IQ doesn't apply in this day and age. It's interesting how he says why isn't dance or the arts as important as maths.

Yeah, why? 
And if i remember correctly the Industrial revolution was driven largely by cotton, which was driven by the slave trade in America.
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.

It's not that outdated either
Slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures. The number of slaves today is higher than at any point in history, remaining as high as 12 millionto 27 million. Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations. Human trafficking is primarily used for forcing women and children into sex industries.

Now, the slave trade is driven by world wide debt, not that many people see it that way, but i do.

Banking is fraught with fraud

Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,  it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
But, lets not stop with education, this idea can be applied to 

Why do we service our energy needs on burning coal? It's like buying a TV from the 1950's 

Buy me, you know you want to!

Lincon's term 'Dogma' caught my eye, and i remember Steve Jobs in his famous Stanford address, he said

'Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary'

Who ordered Change?

And i was thinking would a game theory approach to education and life be going a little bit too far, or maybe not?

What ever happened to 'Common sense'? Is it common?

Tupac said we have to change, how right he was?
I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhereunless we share with each other. We gotta start makin' changes. Learn to see me as a brother 'stead of 2 distant strangers. And that's how it's supposed to be.

We gotta make a change...It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to dowhat we gotta do, to survive.
The time is now people or, that just the way it is? 

Culture is used as a deterrent in Queensland

So, i was sitting at a bus stop waiting for my mate Andy to pick me up in Southport 2 weeks ago and all of a sudden i fell pretty happy.

Why was i happy? Well i was starting to think the same thing myself and then i realised it was music, music, music, music the Queensland government was pumping out.

What music? But opera music, yeah, you'll never hear it performed in Queensland

The bus we weren't waiting for

I mentioned this to a 20 year old waiting, probably for a bus, not the Nimbin bus and he said
'Yeah, it's something differnt'
He was probably referring to the music, although i was waiting for the Nimbin bus a week later, and he would have been right and both counts, it is something different!

How do you make these young adults someone else's problem?

You see, government's all over the globe have realised the easiest way to keep teenagers at bay is to play Classical and Opera music and the Tupac, Eminem kids dont want to hang out?

As i left the anthem for Europe was playing, it's sinking quicker than the Titanic, but it's nice to know the Queensland government is keeping the flag flying in Southport!

Anthem for Europe

When i was in Canada, i was walking down one main street and i heard Earl Klugh playing, i like Earl Klugh and as similar, i was trying to figure out why i was so happy, it was Acoustic Jazz!

The Canadian solution

Before America went to Iraq Bush branded Eminem 
“the most dangerous threat to American children since polio”

 During the invasion, they pumped Eminem's music to all the kids in the middle east, just to show them how cool America is/was, all of a sudden his is America's biggest weapon?

Eminem and his music all of a sudden became a tool for the same people running an illegal war

The real Slim Shady, went from terrorising parents, teachers, girlfriends to Terrorists?

Now i like rap, i like all kinds of music, i guess the rap kids haven't evolved to like jazz or classical, but if they do, then what, what would they play?

Eminem battling, it's not war!

Lets hope teenagers dont start tapping their feet to Mozart, or else we will all have to suffer the wrath of Polka music, or worse SKA?

SKA music is the one music that i'd rather play that listen to it!!

SKA was very nearly dead too, but it was revived by a band called 'Madness'

 F*CK Ska music and F*ck you Madness, i will be walking home!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Australia, was it a big misunderstanding from day 1?

I saw an article in the Daily Telegraph on May 29th, it painted a different picture on the invasion day, the first time anything was occupied in Australia, now it's celebrated as Australia day...

Australia was claimed in 1770 for England by Cook

The Gov

When Governor Arthur Phillip was dispatch in charge of a group of convicts and military to occupy the land, the British assumed that the natives would give up their land.

Introducing King George III, an English man you could like?

However King George III instructed Phillip to:
You are to endeavour by every possible means to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affections, enjoining all our subjects to live in amity and kindness with them.  
And if any of our subjects shall wantonly destroy them or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations it is our will and pleasure that you do cause such offenders to be brought to punishment according to the degrees of the offence. 
You will endeavour to procure an account of numbers inhabiting the neighbourhood of the intended settlement, and report your opinion to one of our Secretaries of State in what manner our intercourse with these people may be turned to the advantage of this colony.

This directive got a bit derailed when the first fleet arrived in 1788 and started chopping down trees and failing to ask permission to be on Aboriginal land.

Who did Officeworks ask?

The chopping is still going on in Australia, when are the white fellas going to ask permission?

Was Governor Phillip even good Christian? Did they ever read a book called the bible?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?   
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

What would you ask this lady for?

The Aboriginals hit back, the Governor hit back (doesn't sound good, does it?)


One of the Aboriginals kidnapped was called 'Bennelong' and by 1790 they could explain the cultural differences, but by then Governor Phillip was speared and the Colonists were fighting a guerrilla war against the Pemulwuy.

Bennelong point is now where the Sydney opera house is located

Bennelong point, do you know it?

Which would make you think, for the all the people that want a better understanding of the occupy Melbourne, occupy anywhere, even your mind?

What do you do with your mind?

Just ask an Aboriginal and they can tell you all about the dangers of people occupying land, they should at least ask first!!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Top 5...

Before i left Melbourne, i took a few photos of my favourite window in Fitzroy North, it's a 'High fedeliy' theme and here are some of them

William Thwaites, the engineer for marvelous Melbourne

One of the books i got from the library a while back was entitled 'The engineer to marvelous Melbourne' by Robert La Nauze, sounds catchy, doesn't it?

Introducing William

Well, i was hooked by the title, closer inspection was warranted, and the funny thing about reading a book about a city i have occupied (not illegally) is you start to learn little bits about it, and pretty soon, the picture starts fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle and before you know it, every where i look, there a story and another and it goes on!

Most of this story is happening underground, but people like water, most people don't really think about it when flushing the toilet and not dying from water borne diseases, but it wasn't always that way you know?

Every year you see 'The most livable city in the world' ratings and it's Melbourne consistently in the top 3, always.

What I've learnt is, Melbourne wasn't always marvelous, it was known as 'Malodorous Melbourne', sewage was dumped in Princess park at night, it was known as 'Smellbourne', William Thwaites went to Melbourne University, so his nose would have been very familiar to 'Smellbourne'

Melbourne was also known as 'Batmania' after John Batman, they needed a hero to make it a livable city and William was the man that stepped up to the job.

Heros wanted

 From the 1840s on, the waters of the Yarra River were unsuitable for domestic usage.
"On the riverside entrails, blood, gore and the stripped carcases of rotting animals trailed into the river, creating a malodorous welcome to the newly arrived immigrant."

The big 3 contributions from William Thwaites are
  1. He designed the water system
  2. He designed the Sewage system
  3. He helped drain the marsh lands around the city and curb the Typhoid epidemic (especially in Collingwood, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne)
He also supplied the water to the Botanical gardens and Albert park VIA the Dight's Falls scheme, it could not have happened without him.

There seems to have always been a problem with property speculators in Melbourne too? He had vulchers looking over his shoulder trying to figure out how they could make easy $$ from his work  
When he drained the Elwood swamp, it was government money that was loaned to government officials at low rates, to themselves.
Anything new there?

Problems were most apparent in 'Marvellous Melbourne' - the Brisbane of the 1880s - where speculation in property development and land purchases saw a slowing of real estate sales in late 1880s and difficulties for an unusual number of builders, estate agents and builders. Bursting of the bubble in 1891 saw the collapse of building societies and mortgage banks. That was exacerbated by weaknesses in corporate governance (in particular inadequate disclosure and ineffective restrictions on insider dealings by company executives and directors). Urban property values sank by over 64% in four years.

Some of the officials went to jail, it was noted that one government officials lawyer did a very good job of keeping him out of jail, funny that? Not much has changed since the 1880's?

The movie 'Chinatown' came to mind, starring Jack Nicholson, if you haven't seen it, it's about the land speculation and water distribution that happened in Los Angeles, very similar indeed!


Around the 1880's Melbourne was quite a dreadful place to live, Typhoid was so common, it was known as 'Colonial disease', the place needed a super hero, the country was pretty young, all the help was coming from England, all the approval for engineering projects had to be approved by an English engineer, sometimes in England, people were drinking from the Yarra, dumping sewage there, bathing there, doesn't sound pleasant does it? 

The only person with the credentials to take on such a project was William Thwaites, a home grown engineer that was just brilliant at everything he did, he was better than any of the so called English engineers, at the time the Sewage project was the biggest sewage project in the world, bigger than the Sewers of London.

The success of William Thwaites proved to the world that Australia could stand on their own two feet, with out England's help and the design of his system did not come under stress until the 1960's

Joseph Bazalgette

Like Joseph Bazalgette, in London when he designed the London sewers, (which is one of the wonders of the modern world) Mr Twaites biggest issue was dealing with the establishment and people that did not have the kind of vision that he had for the city.

Whats interesting is, the very first undertaking of the Melbourne water project was to plant trees to protect the project against the winds and without trees it doesn't rain

He vision of what Melbourne could be must of been immense and that's the standard he built the sewers, he had a clear grasp of what the water levels would be like in the Summer and Winter, the water needed to be flowing consistently, that's why some of the pipelines needed to be smaller rather than bigger, he figured all this out himself, the English engineer system would have been chaotic for Melbourne! 
In dealing with the bureaucracy of the time, arguing with them would have been a waste of time, What he did was to suggest 8 different designs, they went from A to H

Option C was chosen as the option the English engineer James Mansergh, (who came for a few weeks to oversee the design) 

After the design had been selected, what William did was to say?
'Look i can make the design better here, it all approved with James Mansergh.....and here, here, here, here, here' 
Until pretty much it was a totally different design. He got grilled about his design too, but he had all the evidence to support his design


It seems like he figured out when dealing with bureaucracy, you need to be like an illusionist and keep people distracted long enough until they see the see the end result, like giving a baby a shiny spoon. 

Like Robert Stevensons that designed and built the Bell rock lighthouse, who had a similar issue and just kept the bureaucrats distracted, long enough to do what he needed to do.

Bell rock lighthouse, nearing completion (computer generated image)

William Thwaites had ideas for generating electricity from the Yarra.
He held lectures teaching the public about the sewage solution, even teaching the public how to flush a to flush a toilet (obviously this was before the half flush?)
He licensed the plumbers and they were made sit exams
He commissioned a survey of the entire city, and every house before work commenced for the sewerage project

I saw a documentary about the water situation in Mexico city, the first thing they did was to plant trees around the city, without trees it does not rain, i wonder did William know this?

Whats interesting about William Thwaites was his calculations were exactly right, every time, he did surveys, experiments long before anybody else did and the results were the basis of his calculations.
The expert that was sent from England for 8 weeks to make recommendations could not have done much without the research William T. did, he was light years ahead of engineers at the time.
When ever a cheaper alternative of his work was approved, it always ended up being near or more than what he estimated.

Elwood Canals, that was Williams idea too

His recommendations to projects saved the city huge amounts of money, it's a wonder why there isn't a day for him, he didn't go to war but he won the war on Typhoid and saved so many peoples lives that lived in Melbourne, he brought the mortality rate down from 20 people per 1000 to 13 people per 1000 with draining the lands in Melbourne

He also submitted a survey to build a tunnel under where the West Gate bridge is today.

 No other person did more for Melbourne than William Thwaits and every time i use water or flush a toilet i think of him and what he did.
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