Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Happy Birthday To You

Dearly beloved - we are gathered here today in the sight of God to celebrate the fact that, on 15 July this blog celebrated its first birthday.

And I forgot completely.

So thank you to all of my readers - all 42,532 of you. Special prayers for all of you, even my stalkers.

Some stats for the wonks:

Average monthly views: 3455

Most popular post: @Pontifex - The Truth is Out (1592 views)

Second most popular post: David Murray on the Continuing Crisis (1010 views)

Third most popular post: Blue Tie Mining (565 views)

Most common traffic source: Quadrant Online - which wins on both URLs (710) and referring (5158)

Second most common traffic source: catallaxyfiles.com (514 and 1961 respectively)

Most common search entry: transverse city (16)

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Frock On

Naturally my eye was caught by this article:

WA Academic Creates the Perfect Little Black Dress

Well, whose wouldn't be. I read with interest how Danijela Kambaskovic - UWA Adjunct Professor, feminism and ancient history scholar, and associate investigator at my favourite research centre of all time, the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions 1100-1800 - has developed a rather snazzy on-line business designing and selling a range of little black dresses.

Most of those involved are UWA humanities scholars. I don’t know whether to applaud their entrepreneurial skills, or wonder why they’re receiving taxpayers’ money to study the Renaissance, etc, at the same time as they develop this rather interesting-looking business.

Quite possibly I will do both.

Sadly, for me the dresses are neither here nor there; some are lovely, but I also think that perhaps the boots were a mistake. (And at 5 feet nothing, I'd be dragging most of these on the ground like a train behind me.)

But still, it's interesting, and I'm sure she'll do well out of it.

PS I’m still waiting for the study showing that funding research into the history of medieval emotions is lowering the WA suicide rate.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Pacific Solution? No Wukkas

More at Quadrant Online. You know it makes sense.

PS. Hope they send us lots of cashed-up US troops, like they did last time ...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Horror! The Horror!

On Saturday night I made an awful discovery.

I and 13 of my close relatives were at Kailis in Leederville, having a splendiferous feed of fish products after my nephew Justin's wedding. We were in our good clothes. The wine was flowing freely. In fact, all was tickety-boo until my sister Catherine told me that Kevin Rudd's birthday was 21 September.

I mocked her roundly. My brother Tony got his phone and googled the matter, and there it was.

Kevin Rudd's birthday is 21 September.

So is mine.

For those of you who care about these things even more than I do, it's also the birthday of:
  • Savonarola, famous Florentine ascetic and fanatic
  • H G Wells, famous fantasist and philanderer
  • Leonard Cohen, famous poetic depressive
  • the late Larry Hagman, famous TV astronaut and oil mogul
  • Liam Gallagher, famous public drunk and brawler
I'm quite fond of all these men, actually, especially Savonarola, who features in a stained glass window in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried.

It just goes to show.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Ask Your Doctor If You Don't Believe Me

Had a thoughtful rant today at QED, a rant which is not for the squeamish, the faint-hearted, and those who think babies come from under cabbages. 

QED isn't actually 'my' blog per se; it just feels that way sometimes.

And if you want to know where Ottoline and Ptolemy come from ...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A No Pot-Pourri Riot

I should have known there was something wrong when I saw the shop sign from halfway up the  road that runs through Toodyay, a very pretty little country town outside Perth.

I could have sworn it said, 'Toodyay Popery and Craft'.

I said this to my sister. She started laughing. What the shop sign actually said was 'Toodyay Drapery and Craft'.

Thankfully this was after we'd had the most superb meat pie I've ever eaten in my life from the Toodyay bakery on the same road, plus a vanilla slice that would make angels weep with envy.

We stopped at Noble Falls on the way home, and I paddled. Then we went to the pub across the road. It was a beautiful sunny winter's day, and the waterfall had water in it.

However, by the time I got home, the 'hayfever' I'd left home with that morning had metamorphosed into a hideous viral thing involving prodigious sneezing, streaming nose, muscle aches, and fatigue.

To make matters worse, for days now I have been unable to access one of my favourite blogs, Eccles and Bosco is Saved. Bruvver Eccles, one of the English-speaking world's most incisive and uncannily accurate Catholic bloggers and journalists, was hacked a while back, and I don't think he's fully recovered, because blogspot.com.au stops responding when I go to his page.

I will be back when I am feeling more up to things. Meanwhile, I did have a tiny rant on QED the other day.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Two Down, Lots To Go

I am very proud to be a patron of the national association Abortion Grief Australia, which does so much to help women struggling with (often decades-long) unhappiness, anger and regret.

It's an association I would like to see go out of business for all the right reasons, namely lack of demand. Sadly, this seems very far in the future.

So I was delighted to receive this wonderful message earlier this week:

"After eleven years of providing abortions, the Women's Clinic in Jones St Balcatta permanently closed on Monday 1st July 2013.

This is no accident, but a surely the result of the prayers, sacrifices, witness and faithfulness of so many Christians: those who have taken part in the three 40 Days for Life campaigns in Perth; those who have attended the Helper's weekly prayer vigils including those outside the Balcatta clinic for the past 10 1/2 years and those who have never ceased to pray and believe that there will be an end to abortion.

We praise and thank God for His great Mercy. There will be a final vigil at Balcatta on Friday morning in thanksgiving for the closure of this house of death, in remembrance of all the babies who have died there, to pray for women and men who have been wounded by abortion and for Dr Judith Nash and staff."

The final prayer vigil was on Friday. This follows the news that in the UK, the abortion mill in Bedford Square has just closed, again after years of peaceful protests which offered alternatives to women in crisis.

We all know that often the plan is to amalgamate these facilities or put them back into large hospitals, but thankfully we can keep offering alternatives, no matter where these facilities are.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Let's Try That Again, Shall We

Alannah McTiernan has run into a spot of bother. The former WA pollie has announced that she'll be contesting the federal seat of Perth in the next election(whenever it is). Thing is, a criminal charge is about to be laid against her husband.

No biggie. Until you put it through my patented Media Bias Translator. ™

"Newly anointed Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Perth, Josephine Bloggs, has moved to head off potential controversy, warning a criminal charge is likely to be laid against her husband.

Ms Bloggs said her husband, lawyer Tim McTernan, probably faced a charge in the next month regarding the administration of a trust fund.

He had brought his mistake to the attention of the Legal Practice Board, she said.

The matter had been referred to police and they had said they would likely lay a charge.

"This could have become an issue for him and we need to get that out at the beginning," Ms Bloggs told reporters.

"I have been thinking very deeply of whether it was fair to subject him to that level of public attention.

"He assured me that he shares my political views and philosophies. He wanted me to go forward."

In 2005 Ms Bloggs was accused of a conflict of interest after it emerged her husband held a small amount of shares in gas utility Alinta when cabinet made a decision in principle to support a stamp duty concession on the sale of the Epic Energy pipeline to a consortium including Alinta.

She told parliament she did not declare the shareholding because she was not aware her husband held the stock and promised to declare such interests in future."

Reads rather differently, doesn't it. I can see the ABC heading for the phones right now.