Monday, April 23, 2012

Moral Certainty - H L Mencken

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure." -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956) 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A huge victory for Yes Toastmasters!!!

Yes Toastmasters club toastmaster wins Hawkesbury Division International Speech Contest tonight 22 Apr 2012 -- Yes Toastmasters (@YesToastmasters). Congrats Mathew Tonkiss

Man is the centre of the universe -NOT!

The world, we are told, was made especially for man -- a presumption not supported by all the facts... Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation? -John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838-1914) 

Bushwalk #2 - Wondabyne to Pindars Cave

Wondabyne is short-platform train station along the Hawkesbusy River, on the Mullet Creek. Apparently, it's also the only train station in Australia that has no road leading to or from it!

My daily commute by train winds down the beautiful Hawkesbury River, showcasing the calmness through the scratched window panes. I often wondered what it would be to get off at Wondabyne, sit on the wharf, in solitude, in what seems like wilderness in the middle of the busy-ness of life.

I had my opportunity last weekend, when I accompanied my friend Anthony & his son 10 year old son, Nicholas on a bushwalk from Wondabyne to Pindar Caves. You have to be on the last carriage of the 8-car trains, & inform the guard of your intention to get off at Wondabyne. Three blokes in shorts, with hats & sunscreen, & carrying a bag with bottles of water sticking out, on a Saturday - the guard waved us on as we approached her - she seemed to read our minds!

The first thing that you notice when you get off at Wondabye, immediately after the train pulls off, is the deafening noise of quiet. Well, nothing except the sounds of nature. You can hear the mullet jump out of the water, & hear the tweets of birds (as opposed to the Twitter of Twats). The water gently laps at the one boat tied to the wharf. There is no one besides the three of us, which suits us just fine!

The trail climbs steeply for about 200 metres, before leveling off & joining the Great North Walk. We stop & take a break - well, I needed it rather than either Anthony or Nicholas, both of them fit & seasoned walkers. After a sip of water, we continue on our way.
Hawkesbury river

The trail is not maintained, so we had to elbow our way through at several places where the trail was overgrown. In some areas, we couldn't even find the trail, & it took some expert tracking by Anthony to get back on. We reached Pindar's cave just after noon, after over 4 hours of walking in pristine bush-land.

We saw some amazing wildlife on our way back - a 1.5 metre iguana basking in the sun, a brown snake, hundreds of birds & a zillion insects, not counting the one & only leech on Anthony's leg during the entire day.

My knee has been giving me some grief over the last few weeks - age catching up I guess. I had some pain relief ointment in the bag, which came very handy. It wasn't so bad on the return trip, getting better with each bit of exercise I've been giving it lately.

We missed the train by a few minutes at Wondabyne station, & the next train wasn't until an hour later. We sat down again on the wharf, & then jumped into the river to cool off. A beautiful end to a beautiful day's walk with two wonderful gentlemen. Can't wait for the next bushwalk, coming soon. I'll post some more pictures & a couple of videos soon.

Threads: Free rent?

Threads: Free rent?:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Web to apps: whither, o internet?


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965

Monday, April 16, 2012

Asimov predictions..

an invocation for beginners - Ze Frank

There’s no need to sharpen my pencils anymore; my pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.

The (im)morality of taxes

via- the Guardian.

Tax Avoidance by the super rich is termed "tax planning" - legitimate use of available tax loopholes to minimize tax on absurd amounts of income & wealth (I refuse to be drawn into a pedagogic discussion about definitions of the two terms). This is a facility available only to a select few, couched as it is in legalese, defined & passed into legislation by the "chosen" few, & priced insanely out of the reach of the 99.9%.

I'm back (to paraphrase Syl Stallone)

March was a month of hibernation to blogging.
Come to think of it, so has April, until today.

I didn't feel compelled to share. Not greedy or possessive. Just not compelled to share. Fortunately, that was restricted to my online life activities.

In a way, it was cathartic (I heard the word again today, & felt compelled to use it somewhere, so here it is!). Doing something is as liberating as not doing something.

If that makes any sense.

There may be some posts soon. I've found some sources online that piqued my interest. Openculture was one.
I also my hands dirty (literally) with paving paint, turning our shabby garage into a cleaner play area for the kids.
I'm also preparing for my 10th speech out of the Competent Communicator's manual

Interesting stuff happening all around. Good, bad, who knows? Labels are just another way of getting a handle on things.