Saturday, December 24, 2011

“Father Christmas is real… in the imaginary world.”

Thanks to Tim Minchin (and daughter Violet) for the title quote which I stumbled upon when looking for some quick and easy festive wishes.

We appear to have just dodged the "Is Father Christmas real" bullet this year, but I feel certain that I will need to use that one next year - Cheers Tim!.

Our efforts to avoid shattering childhood illusions while refusing to lie to our children have been aided this year by the curious tradition of St Nicolas Day. It seems that our 4.5 year old is churning most of his mental cycles trying to decide whether each of the jolly fellows that we see or hear about is St Nic, Santa, Father Christmas, Pere Noël, or just some random bloke with a pillow up his shirt. So far, this seems to be keeping him busy enough to cut off the desire to question their verisimilitude.

I have had some fairly detailed questions about who lives the furthest away though, which I dodged by saying that I honestly don't know because I've never been to any of their houses. Jas has independently managed to narrow the field slightly by observing that it probably isn't St Nic, because he only rides an old donkey, and he always has that black guy walking alongside...

Anyway, it is now after midnight on Christmas eve and my wife will be furious when she finds out that I'm blogging instead of sleeping.

I have to post something though because it has been weeks. We've got Nana visiting and all the usual end of year work and home stuff means that you've all been neglected. I know that any reader who chooses to come here more than once will understand though, so no apologies :-)

So, anyway, what I actually went to Tim's page for was to share this with all you beautiful people:

White Wine in the Sun is the best atheist Christmas carol that I know, and I'm sure it is sending fellow members of the Aussie diaspora teary the world over tonight.

I hope that you all have a wondrous, loving, family day today...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

World Changing Ideas: (The) Faces of the 99%

I know that I promised a break from Occupy commentary, but a friend just sent me some good news and I had to quickly share it...

By now, we've all seen the WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT Tumblr site that presents the personal stories of people who work hard, but who struggle due to circumstances beyond their control. is an example
 of an independent Occupy signal amplifier
Perhaps you've also seen the WE ARE THE 53% response...?
This image is one of the most evocative that I've seen on either site.
It has unsurprisingly inspired some thoughtful responses.
It is important to our humanity that we have an opportunity to share our own story, and to hear the stories of other real people, so I'm happy to report that there is a new wave starting.

In fact, there appear to be two new waves starting independently. Go check out "Faces of the 99%" and "The Faces of the 99%" (Will the real "Faces of the 99%" please stand up! :-)

TEDxBrussels 2011 Commentary

I've been caught up in Occupy commentary for a while and although Occupy is the most interesting and important thing happening in Sustainable Human Flourishing today, I have 20 posts in draft and dozens more flying around in my head. Many, such as this one, are starting to lose the moment so please bear with me while I try refocus slightly and hammer them out.

This post is a synopsis of the TEDxBrussels event that I attended last week, brutally cut to only those talks obviously and directly relevant to Sustainable Human Flourishing. Occupiers please stick around though - TED is billed as "Riveting Talks by Remarkable People" talking about "Ideas Worth Spreading", "Free to the World" - It might as well be an OWS GA, only without the People's Mic, so there are plenty of important Occupy ideas here ;-)