Friday, May 19, 2006

Big Red.. a celebration of the Simpson Desert


It is late afternoon
I stagger to the top of this red dune
It is a journey I’ve made many times before
and hopefully will continue to make for many years to come

It’s a special place, my high perch
where I sit cross-legged facing the setting sun

To the north and south of me
domes of windswept sand protrude like pimples above the ridge line
each one fired like a glowing poker
while below me
the shadow cast by the westerly dune
inches its way across the interdunal flat
intent on extermination.

The eagle makes a long low graceful run to view the intruder
then catches an updraught and rises effortlessly into the sky
How I envy him his range of visibility, his perspective, his freedom
The sun, now a fiery ball
makes a mockery of the colour chart
as its light dances over the scattered clouds to the west

An artist is at work here splashing, dabbing, continually changing
working his paints on the largest canvas in the world
Then in a frenzy, the final burst
............ and it’s finished
A masterpiece has been wrought by the fire of life

Sadly I watch this moment of art, this original
as it struggles in its death throes
to be obliterated forever by the curtain of night

Darkness falls on Big Red

Denis Bartell 1980

(Nappanerica sand dune near Birdsville named “Big Red” by Denis Bartell in 1980)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Truth... what is it?

"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Man Who Changed The World - 3 times so far!

Steve Jobs' Commencement speech at Stanford (June, 2005)A speech -- especially a commencement speech -- is different from a presentation, but Steve Jobs pulls this off brilliantly.
A wonderful speech. The best speeches tell stories and paint pictures with words and share personal, relevant, and memorable information that have lasting meaning to the audience.
(See text from the speech.)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Top 1%

Alex Krupp points us to this neat post from Jackie & Ben: Church of the Customer Blog: The 1% Rule: Charting citizen participation.

The upshot is that for many organizations, the top 1% do 80% more of the contributing. The fascinating Wikipedia example (fascinating for me, anyway) points out that after about three and a half years, Wikipedia had just 15,000 contributors. But 4,000 or so of them did almost all the work.

Often, it's easy to imagine that big companies like Hallmark and British Airlines and Coke are selling lots and lots to everyone. In fact, a tiny slice may very well be the difference between success and failure.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Paulo Coelho's Latest Journey

Paulo Coehlo continues his 20th anniversary walk...

“Once upon a time there was a poor but very brave man called Ali. He worked for Ammar, a rich old merchant. One winter’s night Ammar said: “nobody can spend a night like this on top of the mountain without a blanket or food. But you need money, and if you can manage to do that you will receive a great reward. If you don’t, you will work for thirty days without pay”. Ali answered: “tomorrow I shall do this test”.

But when he left the shop, he saw that a really icy wind was blowing and became scared, so he decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if it was crazy of him to accept that bet.

After reflecting a while, Aydi answered: “I shall help you. Tomorrow, when you are at the top of the mountain, look ahead. I will be on the top of the mountain next to yours, where I will spend the whole night with a bonfire lit for you. You look at the fire and think about our friendship – that will keep you warm. You will manage, and later on I shall ask you something in return.”

Ali won the test, got the money, and went to his friend’s house: “You told me you wanted some payment.”

Aydi grabbed him by the shoulders: ”Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”

The reader ends his comment on the blog: “wherever you may be at this moment, thanks for having paid us a visit. When you decide to come back to our country, the fire of friendship will always be lit for you”.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

One last song please....

Funerals are becoming less solemn in Western society, as greater numbers of those making final arrangements for themselves or loved ones choose to make the ceremonies less about comforting ritual and more about the individuals being said good-bye to. Pop songs have become an increasingly common component of final services, both because the lyrics of many of them so well express the sadness of parting, and because of a growing lack of familiarity with the musical funerary standards of a previous age: hymns.

According to a 2002 poll of co-op funeral directors in Britain, the ten most requested pop songs at funeral services are:

1. Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
2. My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
3. I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
4. Simply the Best (Tina Turner)
5. Angels (Robbie Williams)
6. You'll Never Walk Alone (Gerry & the Pacemakers)
7. Candle in the Wind (Elton John)
8. Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
9. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon &Garfunkel)
10. Time to Say Goodbye (Sarah Brightman)

However, it doesn't end there. The deliberate working of humor into the funerary rites is a growing trend, with a number of popular music offerings that would previously have been regarded as irreverent for such use being very deliberately made part of the ceremonies. That same 2002 poll of co-op funeral directors in Britain identified the following as the ten most-requested quirky pop songs:

1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (The Platters)
2. Another One Bites the Dust (Queen)
3. Theme from ITN's Ten O'Clock News
4. She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain (Various)
5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham)
6. YMCA (Village People)
7. I Wanna Be Like You (from the Disney film The Jungle Book)
8. Run Rabbit Run (Flanagan & Allen)
9. Firestarter (The Prodigy)
10. Atmosphere (Russ Abbot)

What would have at your funeral??

Friday, May 05, 2006

Juza Nature Photography.

This one above is a Mandarin duck - amazing color, isn’t it? See more of Juza’s photos: Link (via Ursi’s Blog)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Matt Furey and Crabs

From Matt Furey's GREAT blog..

"This is a story about crabs. Not the groteque skin-crawling
sort either. I'm talking about crabs you can actually trap
and eat.

Legend has it that when you place a whole bunch of crabs in
a bucket, invariably at least one crab will get the idea that
he should climb up the sides of the bucket and escape to

Funny thing is, as soon as the courageous crab nears the
top of the bucket, all the other crabs conspire to pull it back
in. Hence, crabs never get out buckets.

This metaphor perfectly illustrates HUMAN behavior as well.
One of the things we like to do is categorize and slot. We like
to organize and 'pidgeon hole.' And once we've done this, we
can relax and pretend that all is well with our world.

But then along comes someone with NEW ideas and/or

Uh-oh. Alarms goes off. Bells sound.

'What is this person trying to do. Who does he think he is.'

'What's up with her - trying to get herself fit. What are you doing -
trying to lose weight or something. Why are you doing all those
exercises - think you're going to win the Mr. Olympia or

'Oh ... NOW you're doing bodyweight exercises. Whatsa matter,
weights too tough for you.'

And so on."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Riddlers in Brisbane

Tuesday night - feeling hungry after flying in from Canberra...

I wonder if Brisbane is shut on Tuesday after 9pm??After a short walk from The Hotel Grand Chancellor which shuts its restaurant at 9pm... to Leichardt Street, and a fabulous little spot beckons.. RIDDLERS

I am dyeing for a steak so I ask the waiter.. "What are the steaks like??" and he answers surprisingly,

"They are good BUT our veal is sensational..." and it was.

When in Brisbane be sure to look up Riddlers... I presume of Batman fame.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Monday Night in Canberra!

10pm Monday... and Canberra, Australia's capital city is closed!!

Jus got in on Qantas QF807... feeling hungry but Monday is the night EVERYTHING is closed in Canberra.

Remind me that when someone says Perth is a dead place... and I will say:

"Not compared to Canberra or Adelaide! "

Although with the bomb in Adeliade last night, maybe I will have to revise that...