Thursday, October 3, 2013

Summer, space, Palmer, pigs and Winslet: A list of links

1. My mind has turned towards summer. I am dreaming of it; I’m making plans for holidays and Christmas and visiting with family; I am wishing for the sun as we battle on with 16 degree days here in Melbourne. I’ve been thinking of swimming lessons for Dear Boy for a little while and was going to organise something over the winter but the cost and the timing was never right. He likes the water but I’d love for him to know it better, to understand it and himself in it as he gets older. This piece from The Guardian on the truth about children and swimming made me smile and just a little bit nervous. The final dilemma on who to dry first is eternal.

2. Leading into summer, I’m also turning to exercise with a little vigour than I do in the winter months. I’m going to try out this series of podcasts for runners to see if it helps me get back into the swing of things in time for the Colour Run 5K fun run at the end of November. It seems similar to the Couch to 5k programmes, mixing walks and gradually increasing jogs and sprints to improve stamina and pace. Not sure how long I’ll be able to cope with the instructor’s voice or someone else choosing the music.

3. Dear Boy’s birthday is smack bang in the middle of the summer holidays and I’m trying to decide if I want to give him a little party. Last year’s little family party was the victim of a gastro-disaster, which meant Dear Boy ate cake by himself as the adults lay in various states of ill repose. He won’t care or even remember it, but do I want to throw a party, which would essentially be to satisfy myself or show off

4. I love it when our scientists tick off huge, momentous milestones but does anyone else think it’s irresponsible to just eject machines out into the universe when we really don’t know what (or who) it may hit?

5. On balance, I think I like Amanda Palmer. I don’t like her eyebrows (they scare me a bit) and I’m not such a fan of all her music, just the awesome comedy songs and the piece she plays here. I really, really like that she chose to make her latest (crowd-funded) album in Melbourne. I like her weird interviews and moments and her attitude to criticism.  I love the song she quickly wrote in response to a boob incident in the UK. I love her Radiohead cover in the night-time darkness of life with Neil Gaiman. 

6. I’m also mostly sure I like this pig series (Wilbur 101) on Radio National. It’s a weird one, really, an ongoing series following one pig amongst dozens from birth to plate. What’s weird, I think, is that the listeners, the followers, get polled on decisions that will affect the pig’s short life. Should Wilbur (the pig) be castrated? Yes. Should he be immunised? Yes. When we finally kill the pig, what kind of product should we call it? Ethically-raised pork.

7. I heard the news that Kate Winslet was pregnant with her third child, this with her new husband Ned RocknRoll. My first reaction was about which surname the kid would get. But reactions elsewhere have been vicious. Three children by three different men? How dare she? Let’s stone her. I think I’m biased about the whole situation – I’m my mother’s third child from a third father. I was baby RocknRoll. To me, the idea that having multiple baby-daddies makes her a bad woman or an immoral woman is ludicrous. Quite besides the fact she’s been married to each of those fathers (does that make it better, Judgey Judgerton?), when did the morality police decide that divorcees aren’t allowed to love or procreate any further? This article from Mama Mia has an awesome list at the end about what it takes to be a bad woman in this day and age.


  1. Voyager 1 and 2 and later Pioneer 10 and 11 are so unlikely to hit a planet or star any time in the near future that the probability approaches zero. Voyager 1 is out in interstellar space which whilst not quite as empty as inter-galactic space has virtually nothing in it compared to our solar system.

    1. I get that space is vast and largely empty but maybe I watched too much Star Trek.


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