Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Enjoy this champagne cocktail at the Charles'

Cube of sugar
dash of brandy
Dash of bitters
Fill flute with champagne
And then join us for our favourite New Year's film After The Thin Man.

Watch the trailer here:

-- Nora

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness

After we spoke, I no longer felt any anger towards him — all of that had been worked through in preparation for the meeting. I didn’t want him to carry the burden of guilt for ever. As I left, I turned to him and said: ‘A lot of people won’t understand this, but I forgive you.’ He simply stared at me, his eyes full of tears.

I hadn’t planned to forgive Sean right then, but on the spur of the moment I did, and it came from my heart. I feel liberated by forgiving him, but it’s not unconditional. If my mother had been attacked instead of me, there would have been no forgiveness. Sean won’t die in prison and I wouldn’t want him to. Enough of his life has been wasted. I was chosen at random; simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. But forgiving Sean has helped to heal me. I am no longer a victim, I am a survivor.
-- Nora

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crime Support

That generous public-funded welfare leads to crime has been well established but even now statistics like this surprise and dismay:

One in three people claiming unemployment benefit is a convicted criminal, figures show.

Taxpayers are funding around £2billion a year in out-of-work payments to nearly 1.3million people with criminal records, including £1.2billion to those on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
I wonder what that figure would be in Australia.

-- Nora

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Growing Up The Hard Way

Here's an idea: Wouldn't it have been easier to work on the marriage and stay together?

Admittedly, it’s never easy for an ex-partner to be relegated to visitor status in the former family home, especially when new partners are thrown into the mix.

To make matters worse, these days many families are rambling networks of current and ex-partners, children and step-children, which can make for ever more complicated arrangements.

Another friend, Patrick, is a prime example of this — last year he spent December 25 with his ex-wife, her new husband and her new husband’s ex-wife . . . not to mention their various offspring.

‘It’s all very “modern”, but I hate it,’ he says. ‘I do it to keep the children happy. If I’m honest, there is also a bit of envy involved, because their house is much nicer and more Christmassy than my flat.’
-- Nora

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Berry merry
* 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
* 50ml boiling water
* 250g boysenberries or blackberries
* 1/2 cup (125ml) vanilla vodka
* 1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
* 4 cups crushed ice
* 1 (750ml) bottle chilled rose sparkling wine

1. Combine sugar and water in a small bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
2. Place sugar syrup, boysenberries, vodka and lime juice in the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and discard seeds and pulp.
3. Place half the ice and half the berry mixture in the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Spoon evenly among half the serving glasses and top with sparkling wine. Repeat with remaining ice, berry mixture and sparkling wine.
-- Nora

Who's Filled With Loneliness And Despair On Halloween?

It's antithetical, but loss, unhappiness and hardship are what produce a feel-good film. It's no surprise that A Christmas Carol remains so popular and is so regularly adapted. A proper Christmas film needs to have a dark heart buried within, one that pumps out bleak visions of the future populated by sinister characters.
-- Nora

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Better Late Than Never

THE federal government will work with Nauru to re-establish offshore processing, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says.
It's only taken hundreds of deaths over the past three years to restore a little commonsense.

So much for 'compassion'. Hundreds of men, women and children needlessly dead because of the Labor-Green Government decision to create uncertainly and ambiguity in our immigration system.

At least this is the beginning. Perhaps the reintroduction of the temporary protection visas and turning the boats away will also be part of the mix. We can only hope.

Kudos to Robert Manne who can admit that he was wrong in congratulating the Rudd Government on abolishing Howard's Pacific Solution.

Yet how many lives might have been saved had those on the left and the soft hearted, but easily manipulated general public thought about this issue logically and with a real world focus?

-- Nora

Empty Minds, Empty Spirits, Empty Words

Congratulations Britain - the first so-called Christian country to celebrate Christmas without Christ:

The worst offender overall was Asda, which had just four Christian cards out of 2,638 sold individually across all the stores visited – 0.15 per cent.

It also had the lowest proportion among multi-packs, with 13 out of 427, or 3 per cent.

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: ‘I can’t believe this is being led by consumer demand.

'I believe there is anti-Christian prejudice in the buying departments involved.

‘There’s too much of this multicultural indoctrination and too much of an idea that if they put out Christian cards they will alienate or discriminate against or offend other faiths.

‘There’s a kind of militant atheism and nasty secularism at work in this country which is completely opposed to Christianity.’

Christmas cards emblazoned with obscenities are on sale across Britain’s High Streets.

One card showing a quintessential 50s family inside a wreath reads ‘Merry Christmas W*****’, while another depicts a pair of carol singers with the words ‘Merry F****** Christmas.’ A third says: ‘Merry Christmas You F****** F*****.’

-- Nora

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Release The Hounds, Kill The Monster

Brisbane's Courier Mail whips up a baying mob to sell newspapers and page views:

Pedophile in top Queensland Health job as more failed checks on public servants revealed (by) Alison Sandy and Josh Robertson From: The Courier-Mail December 21, 2011 12:00AM
... and not only reveals his work unit and position but also names the man who

... was convicted in the Brisbane District Court in 1994 and sentenced to 18 months jail, of which he served six, for indecently dealing with a child under 16.
The man was convicted almost 20 years ago and the story admits - several paragraphs in - that Queensland Health were aware of his conviction, that he appears to have been a problem-free employee for 11 years, has not reoffended and that his case had been examined and cleared by the CMC. Furthermore, he does not have any contact with children in his work.

Besides, what exactly did this man do 18 years ago? How old was he at the time? The Courier Mail isn't saying though it surely knows.

But the newspaper and its 'journalists' eagerly whip up the slavering knee-jerkers who believe that certain classes of offender should be punished first by the law in court, secondly by other criminals in prison and thirdly by them on the street with mobs and 'vigils', and who show their bared teeth and drooling mouths in comments.

However, scattered among them are those who 'get it'. From just the first page of comments:

Michelle of Mt Gravatt Posted at 12:33 AM Today
So? He probably does a great job. He also has zero contact with children. Besides I'd lay bets that peadophiles (you dont need a conviction to be classed as one) work for the Courier Mail and many other media vehicles who make a buck from this hysteria to. More scaremongering and sensationalising from a bored media outlet desperate for some explosive news events. Thanks..

Comment 9 of 228

Disgusted in our media Posted at 4:00 AM Today
What a terrible witch hunt you've embarked on here Courier Mail. Without any context at all you have now marked this man with a huge red "P". Shame on you. If he isn't dealing with children, isn't in a role that requires a blue card, and his situation is being monitored and has been advised on by the CMC, what possible harm can he do? Again, shame on you. People who have served their time can be rehabilitated, can be productive members of society and deserve to be given the chance. I think this is the last straw. I've had enough of the filth and propoganda published on an almost daily basis. I'm finished with the Courier.

Comment 18 of 228

ST of Bris Posted at 5:55 AM Today
No chance of going striaght in this state, I urge all public servants to check wardrobe for any skeletons as the CM is on the hunt

Comment 29 of 228

Unsure of the correlation Posted at 5:59 AM Today
So the guy committed a crime, served his time, and has not re-affended. In addition, he disclosed his record to his employer and is in a position which is not in direct contact with kids anyway. I'd say this is a good news story for the State's penal rehabilitation system. Bad form CM.

Comment 32 of 228

Sharon Posted at 6:04 AM Today
The media is disgusting Mr Austin has done his time ,he is getting on with his life and helping others .This is witch hunt by the media shame on the CM shame .

Comment 34 of 228

Moral Crusader Posted at 6:14 AM Today
I think your tabloid style reporting and fear mongering is treading a fine line here CM, particularly by naming the bloke. The idea behind our justice system, as frail as it is, is that a person is convicted and sentenced and when they finished that sentence, considered to have paid they're debt to society. The cirumstances of his crime are not known and nor should they.

Comment 38 of 228

Gleemonex Posted at 6:45 AM Today
Nice work Courier Mail! For cheap political point scoring and your daily vendetta against Queensland Health, you have exposed someone's almost 20 year old criminal conviction, despite your story indicating that Queensland Health was well and truly aware of this employee's past. This is not news. And, was there any need to name this person? Even better, why are you promoting a public website for people to find the details, including a picture? Anything to satisfy the uneducated, angry masses baying for political blood, right!? No, just poor, trashy, tabloid journalism yet again from the Courier Mail. I hope you get sued for loss of income and damages as no doubt this article will cause.

Comment 52 of 228

Callie of Bundy Posted at 7:01 AM Today
Sick to death of the Courier Mail and this type of gutter journalism. Mr Austin has served his time and is now a productive person helping those in need . But the Courier Mail would rather conduct a witch hunt . I certainly hope hope the whistle blower gets what they deserve.

Comment 58 of 228

Get tougher on crime of Brisbane Posted at 7:04 AM Today
Conviction 1994, judged and sentenced, did the crime, did the time. At what point is he free to move on with his life. Sounds like the whisle blower may be a disgruntle employee or internal Govt employee seeking to further damage the govt.

Comment 59 of 228

Brian Posted at 7:06 AM Today
Witch hunt by this disgusting rag the Courier Mail. Alison Sandy and Josh Robertson you missed the pedophiles under the rocks and behind those bushes. Congratulations on destroying a person who has done their time and is now helping mentally ill people in need.

Comment 60 of 228

Barry of Brisbane Posted at 7:08 AM Today
I hope the whistle blower get what she deserves , this person was jailed and did his time, he now help others in need , what a great lot we are ,the media should be ashamed of itself.

Comment 63 of 228

Labor Dude of LaborLand Posted at 7:32 AM Today
This guy makes a mistake 20 odd years ago pays for his crime doesn't seem to have re-offended and you want to make a story of it. Should have just shot him back then and be done with it. I'm sure if you went through the CM employee list you'd find a few shady characters in there as well. Keep digging though, I'm sure you'll find a cleaner who ran a red light back in the 80's.

Comment 78 of 228

Alice H of Kedron Posted at 7:39 AM Today
If this man was to have direct interaction with children, the law requires he hold a Blue Card. Since he's not in contact with children he doesn't need a Blue Card, a fact confirmed by the independant watchdog, the CMC. The man's conviction was in 1994 - 17 years ago. Is it responsible for this newspaper to publically name this person after so much time has passed and no further laws have been broken? Is it in the public interest? I doubt it. Is it in the selfish interest of boosting newspaper sales? You'd better believe it!

Comment 82 of 228

Windsor Neighbour of Kelvin Grove Posted at 7:45 AM Today
So the CM wish to ruin a person life who has obviously learnt from their mistake and has now demonstrated over a number of years they con contribute to society in a productive way. The position is not dealing directly with children so what's the problem?

Comment 84 of 228

Ironic of Brisbane Posted at 8:21 AM Today
It would be interesting to see how many Couriermail journalists would be left to write stories if News Ltd did police background checks?

Comment 97 of 228
It would be interesting indeed.

Perhaps it's time to start introducing the pot to the kettle and outing journalists for their sins.

There must be plenty of people out there who know of journalists who have, say, just for argument's sake, been 'spoken to' by the police regarding having had sexual intercourse with a 15 year old girl.

Which could be very alike 'indecently dealing with a child under 16'.

Only worse.

-- Nick

Postscript: No link to the Courier Mail story so as not to compound the newspaper's offence.

Silent Night

Oh dear:

The survey of 1,000 school children aged between five and seven years old reveals that 36 per cent don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on December 25 - with over one in five believing the festivities are in aid of Simon Cowell's birthday.
Read the piece. It gets worse:

In addition, the research by online retailer found 24 per cent of children believe that Brentwood in Essex, home to TOWIE stars favourite nightclub the Sugar Hut, was the location of Jesus' birth.

Another quarter think Jesus was born at 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace, with only 28 per cent of those polled able to name Bethlehem as the correct birth place...

...The confusion over festive traditions are not just confined to the nativity story with over a quarter of those polled thinking Lapland was the name of a London nightclub and 35 per cent could not even name Rudolph as one of Santa’s reindeer, despite his famous red nose.

Instead the average British child thinks the reindeer are named after celebrities, including Tulisa Contostavlos, David Beckham and Pippa Middleton...

'We’re not saying that celebrity culture has ruined the traditions of Christmas but from these results it certainly seems to have had an effect on how children think about the big day!'
They may not want to say it by I will.

Celebrity culture has ruined the traditions of Christmas and many other aspects of society.

-- Nora

Monday, December 19, 2011

Welcome To The Real World Kiddies

'Students have made an investment in their educations, then they come to the real world and they realize that that investment is essentially worthless.'
She's an arts graduate. Naturally.

-- Nora

Atheists Are Whinging Whiners

Anyway, this Wisconsin-based Christophobic group was pouting about a nativity scene in Texas and was demanding that it be taken down because Jesus was an “insult to human nature” because He taught that “men were sinners” and would one day be held accountable for their sins if they didn’t repent and would be sent to a slow roast in Dante’s House of Pain.

Dan and his ilk represent the “we will sue you” nuevo atheists who go after our nation’s Christian holidays and symbolism—but not Islam’s—because it bashes their ideas. Waah. Frickety. Waah.

Dazed And Confused

Wikileaker Bradley Manning prepares his court marshall defence:

Bradley Manning has “gender issues”
Oh I would say that 'gender' is not his only issue...

-- Nora

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where's The Credit Card? II

Very pretty, girly and would look very much at home in my wardrobe - not only the red dress but the very pretty floral number too.

-- Nora

Condemned To Repeat It

Experts have warned of the ‘death of History’ after shocking figures revealed the subject is becoming virtually extinct in some areas of the country.

-- Nora

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

FAKE Tahitian prince Joel Morehu-Barlow fled to Australia after a complaint was made to New Zealand police about an alleged criminal offence seven years ago.

The revelation will embarrass the Crime and Misconduct Commission, police and Queensland Health, which last year dismissed a complaint about Barlow without a proper investigation.

The Sunday Mail has discovered Barlow's childhood "castle" was really an ageing weatherboard home with a tin roof in Thames, on New Zealand's North Island.

His mother the "Queen", Andre Barlow, was last year convicted in the Wellington District Court of stealing almost $25,000 from her lesbian partner's inheritance funds to pay her bills.
Oh dear.

-- Nora

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I've started Christmas baking.

The fruit mince is mascerating, gingerbread is done.

The brambrack cake is next as will be the macaroons, almond crescents, Christmas biscuits and fudge.

I might take a little break with a Candy Cane Martini

To make one candy cane martini, mix:
1 1/2 ounces of vanilla vodka
1/2 ounce of peppermint schnapps
1 ounce of club soda
crushed candy canes for garnish

Dip the rim of a martini glass with water, then the crushed candy canes. Mix the vodka, schnapps, and club soda with ice in a cocktail shaker; strain into your prepared glass.
-- Nora

Defender of the Faith

Which leading British identity said the following:

‘We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so.

'The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today. Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend.

‘Whether you look at the riots last summer, the financial crash and the expenses scandal or the on-going terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world, one thing is clear, moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it any more.

‘Put simply, for too long we have been unwilling to distinguish right from wrong. “Live and let live” has too often become “do what you please”.

‘Bad choices have too often been defended as just different lifestyles. To be confident in saying something is wrong is not a sign of weakness, it’s a strength.’

Your choices are:

  • Head of the Anglican Church Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron

Bonus question:

Which of the above leading British public figures ought to have spoken out in defence of Christianity?

-- Nora

Nativity - FAIL!

Blogger Why Is Marko creates a list of the 27 worst nativity sets. It's now up to 37 and growing in hilarity.

My favourites? The nativity made from bacon and sausages and the Irish nativity, to be sure, to be sure.

-- Nora

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

The world has lost a great writer today. Christopher Hitchens succumbed to oesphogeal cancer.

His influential work God Is Not Great [i]is[/i] a revelation, not for Hitchens musings on Christianity and theology (which are flawed), but what they revealed about Hitchens himself.

While I'd disagree strongly with Hitchen's view on Christianity, his insight on politics, culture and the human condition were always involving and fascinating.

His openness and candor during his terrible illness was searingly honest and sometimes uncomfortable to read and I hope is greatest legacy is not his atheistic writings, but his later works written during his illness.

These are the works that should be compulsory reading - for those who have a terminal illness and for those whose loved one is serious ill.

He will be sadly missed.

-- Nora

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fair Facts?

Fair and unbiased? Not on issues of the environment and climate change. The Fairfax media empire owns 1/3 of Earth Hour along with the World Wildlife Fund.

Excellent old school journalism by blogger Boy On A Bike.

-- Nora

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mrs Peel, We're Needed

Nicky reminded me that I had forgotten another Charles' household Christmas classic - the 1965 Avengers episode Too Many Christmas Trees.

By the time this episode aired on Christmas Day 1965, the playful nature of John Steed and Emma Peel had been established and the early season prickliness between the two characters - a hangover from the earlier seasons with straight-laced Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman) - had completely evaporated.

This season marked Diana Rigg's first with the franchise and with her on-screen chemistry with Patrick Macnee and a deft touch to directing by Dennis Spooner, the show became a truly international hit with US audiences fascinated by this piece of television which was part drama, part comedy, part romance, part fantasy.

Enjoy Too Many Christmas Trees:

Cocktails By Request

This is especially for our blog friend Kae, by special request:

Bombay Sapphire Collins
60ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
Fresh squeezed juice from 1 lemon
2 heaped tsp of castor sugar
soda water

Serve with ice in a high ball
This version of a Tom Collins is one of mine and Nicky's favourite cocktails. It's a light and tangy alternative to a gin and tonic and always goes down well during summer.

-- Nora


Why the need to co-opt members?

AN ESSAY on Hugh Jackman's Broadway show by the world's most powerful theatre critic is laced with insinuations about the Australian star's sexuality, saying that he comports himself on stage like "a flaming queen".


But he isn’t gay, and is bemused — as is his wife Becky, an English teacher — by the fact he has such a strong gay following on Twitter.

‘Camp? I don’t think I am,’ he says, before adding: ‘Well, maybe a little. Whatever, I get messages which suggest people think they are going to be able to “turn” me, which I find bizarre.

‘I love women. I have always loved women. The irony was that being in the choir when I was a teenager was a surefire way of meeting them.’
-- Nora

UPDATE: Kevin Rudd's Labor supporting sister takes a principled stand in opposing same-sex marriage and is cruelly pilloried for it in comments on this story and the Brisbane Times link on Facebook.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not Ashamed

Author and columnist hits another one right out of the park:

That’s right. When Brees talks about faith, he is talking about faith in Jesus Christ. J for J, esus for esus, Jesus. Was that so hard for Layden to say out loud? The answer, apparently, is yes. He reminds me of no one so much as the reporter anti-hero of my novel True Crime, who says, “Whenever someone… says Jesus as if they really mean it… it makes my skin crawl, as if they’d said squid or intestine…”

Cool Breeze

After a warm summer day, it's nice to be experiencing a cool breeze.

And a drink.

Cool Breeze

2 oz vodka
6 1/2 oz lemon soda
1 oz fresh lemon juice

Pour the vodka into a highball glass over 5 ice cubes. Fill with Lemon Perrier, and add the juice extracted from half a lemon. Stir and serve.

-- Nora

Race To The Bottom

Columnist Andrew Bolt, a critic of the Stolen Generation meme has often asked people to name 10 Aborigines who have been stolen from their families for racist reasons.

Well the Full Court of Australia has come close to providing the first truly documented case:

THE Family Court has declared a "notably fair" man to be a "proud Aborigine" despite both his parents saying they are white.

The court was asked to consider the matter after the man, who was raised white but began identifying as an Aborigine in 1999, got an Irish backpacker pregnant.

She wanted to go home to Ireland with their baby daughter, but the Family Court is required by law to give special consideration to Aboriginal children, and their need to retain links to their culture and heritage.

This would normally mean that an Aboriginal child could not be taken out of Australia to be raised by a non-Aboriginal parent.
After a decision and an appeal, the child was allowed to leave with her mother to Ireland.

-- Nora

Repent At Leisure

Whingers who complain that social conservatives want to 'take us back to the 1950s' might want to take a look at this piece from the Daily Mail.

Problem families are each costing the taxpayer an astonishing £75,000 every year, new figures reveal today.

Ministers have been horrified by research showing that on average £9billion is spent each year on 120,000 families blighted by jobless parents and truanting children.

More than two-thirds of this is devoted to protecting children – via social care and child support – and tackling the crime and anti-social behaviour such families often generate.
Oh my.

What to do?

Well why not go back to the 1950s? The majority of children born to parents who are married, the majority of households with the breadwinner in work, less crime.

To be sure the genie is out of the bottle but any modern government that fails to endorse and strengthen marriages and whole families (mum, dad and the kids) and work to create an improved economy and the employment it brings, becomes directly culpable for the disintegration of prosperity and social order.

-- Nora

Desperately sad. Completely avoidable.

And by the time Kelsey was 17 she was dead – strangled by Willcocks in an alcohol-fuelled row over claims of sleeping around.

In the words of his barrister, ‘they were much too young, both of them’. Stuart Driver QC added: ‘It was a disastrous cocktail, because they had powerful adult feelings but the immaturity of children.’

Yesterday at Chester Crown Court, Willcocks was jailed for a minimum of 16 years after being convicted of murder.

More The Merrier?

‘I still can’t believe all that time he was living like a bigamist. He won’t accept that. He has claimed that we split up in 2003 but we didn’t. He was still spending Christmas here then. We were still sleeping together.
And people think advancing legalised polygamy will work out just fine...

-- Nora

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas

Being financially straitened this year, Nick and I are having an austerity Christmas which means no bought gifts and accepting Christmas dinner at the home of some generous friends.

I'm getting my shopping thrills vicariously by taking my elderly grandmother to do her Christmas shopping which I've done for the past three years (which has given me the opportunity to guide gift purchases for members of the family much to their relief).

Nicky and I have pulled out Christmas decorations for the first time in three years and have started watching our Christmas themed viewing:

The Thin Man (naturally!)
It's A Wonderful Life
Meet John Doe
Holiday Inn
How The Ghosts Stole Christmas (episode of The X-Files)
The Big Little Jesus (episode of Dragnet)
of course, no Christmas would be complete without watching Die Hard, which Nicky is delighted has made the cut at number 8 in a list of Britain's favourite Christmas films.

While I wrap my grandmother's Christmas presents for the family, enjoy this cocktail:

Angel's Delight
* 1 oz cream
* 3/4 oz triple sec
* 3/4 oz gin
* 2-3 dashes grenadine

1. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
2. Shake well.
3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
-- Nora

UPDATE: Well said Mr Bailey!

It's All About Context

The Facebook page of the T-Base store at Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore, features a photo of a boy wearing a "Boobies make me smile" T-shirt, and the store stocks tees with nipple-exposed shots of Kate Moss.

Adidas Global said there was no move to withdraw the T-shirt but they told The Sunday Mail they apologised to consumers affronted by the design.

Owner of the T-Base store claimed the store made the T-shirt specifically for the boy at his mother's request.

"We don't do sleazy," she said. "That was just for a laugh ... I don't sell the porn-style shirts - only artistic ones like the Kate Moss item."

People who know Nicky and I well would be the last to call us prudes. We have a playful attitude to nudity and sex as some of our classic pinup entries on Nifty Knick Knacks demonstrates.

So our endorsement of the Australian Christian Lobby's objection to the sale of what the Sunday Mail describes as 'sleazy T-shirts' is not hypocritical but logical.

Our society quite correctly regulates the age of consent for sex on the basis that one should enter a sexual relationship with a degree of maturity and that children are too physically and mentally vulnerable and immature to develop a healthy sexuality.

We quite rightly deplore paedophiles but how much do we unwittingly groom our children through the exposure to highly sexualised images in the public space and then get all surprised when teenage girls are sexting - thus turning themselves into child pornography producers?

In this case, if the owner of the T-Base store is correct and the mother of the child (he looks about 10 years old to me) had the T-shirt made for him, then I would be questioning the woman's fitness as a mother. Is there a bit of an Oedipal thing happening? What message is she giving her son with respect seeing girls and women as mere body parts? How will this impact on his ability to develop healthy relationships as he gets older?

The owner of the store is being disingenuous is suggesting that she 'doesn't do porn' and that the nude images on the T-shirts are 'art'. Indeed they may very well be art, but context is the thing.

On a gallery wall where adults can make the determination for themselves whether their children are mature enough to appreciate the work is context is one thing, having the images thrust in front of them is quite another.

Also, a further difference - are these people wearing T-shirts of nudes because they're art lovers but because they like the shock value or the mobile titillation of wearing a bit of tit and arse?

In the privacy of one's own home one can wear (or not wear) anything one chooses but in a public space we all have the responsibility to be mindful of others and to be as 'inoffensive' as possible to maintain civility in our society.

-- Nora

To Know, Know, Know Him...

Kevin Rudd flips the bird and drops F-word

Well that comes as no surprise to anyone who has had any connection with Queensland Government over the past 20 years. Rudd's foul temper and disgusting language is well known.

The only surprise is every time it happens the media appears 'shocked'. What's up with that?

-- Nora

Description: He's A Fab Dresser With A Penchant For Louis Vuitton

It is tempting to mock the ineptitude of our Queensland Bligh Labor Government in allowing a fraud of massive proportions go on under their nose and to laugh at our Premier's statewide BOLO for Joel Morehu-Barlow - but that man has solen $16 million of our money.

A pittance in government terms but let's see what $16 million could buy the state of Queensland:

It could pay for the fit out of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra's new headquaters, pay for the state's migrant settlement program, pay for the refurbishment of the Mackay Police Station and the Queensland natural disaster awareness campaign.

While Morehu-Barlow's current whereabouts are unknown, one can have a guess where he might show up in February.

-- Nora

UPATE: Monday, December 12. Caught!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

And Away We Go

What did I say last week about polyamorists bucking for official sanction of their relationships in light of the ALP's change of policy on same sex marriage? Five years?

Try one week.

-- Nora

What Hurts More?

In to spare 'hurt feelings', a serious message that could spare actual hurt and harm gets dumped by squeamish do-gooders.

-- Nora

Fall For Anything

Quick! Bring out the smelling salts!

A Hervey Bay mother swoons when she discovers that her Year 8 daughter has brought home... a 32 year old boyfriend?... Drugs?... A busload of OWS protestors?... Syphillis?

Quelle horreur, what could possibly cause her to go on a "crusade" right up to Education Queensland's head office?

Birgette Linding said she was mortified when her daughter came home earlier this year and recounted how Gideons Bibles had been handed out to students at the end of a Year 8 assembly at Urangan State High School.

How shocking.

And how quickly the anti-religious haters come out in comments, but also adhering to the law of unintended consequences John of Townsville's comment is a revelation: "Good, religion and the bible have no place in Queensland schools." So it would seem.

"Religion (by which they mean Christianity) is unscientific," they cry - ignoring the fact that modern science owes a significant debt to Christianity which provided most of the founding principles of science with the acknowledgement that a rational God created the world rationally and that those rational principles could be observed, repeated and understood.

These anti-Christian bigots are equally as sanctimonious as the religiousfolk they decry, smug as they are in their rigid belief system that all life evolved from nothing and that the reason we're here is because 'gravity did it'.

"We're far to logical, smart, clever, rational to believe in a sky fairy," they argue.

And yet, unmoored by the Christian belief system to use as a framework for rationality or as a foundation for ethics, these same people become easy prey for other gods - particularly Gaia The Earth Fairy who got a shout out this week at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Durbin, South Africa at which our own Climate Change Minister Greg Combet attended (carbon-neutrally, of course).

From the conference manifesto:

Rights of mother earth
74. Ensure respect for the intrinsic laws of nature.
75. The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony
between humanity and nature, and that their will be no commodification of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose.
Compare this to the instruction given to man in Genesis to have dominion over the earth.

That not is to say that we trash the planet, anymore than a logical, rational human being would trash their own house. But what it does mean, as generations of people before us knew, we are to use the resources it contains to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

This Gaia-mad, quasi-scientific, pseudo-religion demands the opposite. And if you're poor, and life is a today-to-today struggle keeping body and soul together, you're less likely to consider helping others or have the resources to do so even if you were inclined.

And any propensity to charity (particularly one which cannot be reciprocated) makes no sense within a Darwinian framework in which survival of the fittest is the only law.

So what purpose does it serve to condemn humanity to a hell it can avoid? There's a question for another day.

Such a world governed as the Gaian adherents would have it would not be a nice place to live - but get used to it folks, without the Christian world view and the compassion and grace it teaches, your world is about to get even uglier.

Oh, and a final comment to Our Lady of the Perpetually Offended, Birgette Linding - you are under no obligation to read the Bible yourself, neither is your daughter. If you don't like it, don't look.

And a few questions: Why are you so afraid of the Bible? Are you afraid that if your daughter reads it that she will find something wonderful and life changing? Are you usually so narrow minded?

-- Nora

Friday, December 09, 2011

That Why They Put The 'I' In FBI...

Author and columnist Andrew Klavan on the popular culture battleground:

But I think a more plausible explanation for it is that Ms. Dargis is full of crap. I do not believe she found the tenderness of the movie a shock, or the poorly constructed script smart, or the antiquated handling of the story uplifting. I believe she said those things only to tout a film with a pro-homosexual agenda. (I say this as a gay-friendly libertarian.) The Times is infamous for this sort of thing, as documented in William McGowan’s book Gray Lady Down. The paper lies to its readers, in other words, to promote those cultural productions that support their favored causes.
-- Nora

Winding Up

Britain was battered by gales of up to 165mph yesterday, leaving a trail of destruction across the country.

In one spectacular incident a 300ft wind turbine exploded in flames as it was buffeted by the high winds.

Another wind turbine was completely blown down on Wednesday, raising questions about whether wind farms were simply unable to cope with the weather.
Oops, not a reliable form of power generation, eh?

Tim Blair rightly mocks.

::checks watch:: It's time for a cocktail. In a Hurricane Glass:


1 Part Absinthe
2 Parts Mandarines Liqueur
Lemon-Lime Soda
1 Slice Mandarin

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add absinthe, ABSOLUT Citron and mandarines liqueur. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass filled with ice cubes. Topup with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with mandarin.
-- Nora

The Law Of Unintended Consequences II

Post one on the law of unintended consequences can be found in an update here.

This one is about the consequences of the US Government repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' homosexual policy in the military:

In an unlikely alliance, the Family Research Council (FRC) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have found a common cause: the criminalization of bestiality in the military. Both groups are calling for keeping an explicit ban on sex with animals in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that may be eliminated by the Defense Authorization Act.

One of the many changes in the act included the removal of the sodomy section of the code after the removal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban. Few realized that the UCMJ defines sodomy either as homosexual relations or as sex with an animal. By striking out the entire sodomy provision, Congress may have decriminalized bestiality.
Yes, you're rolling your eyes now - it's a joke, surely? The White House spokesman and the assembled press pack thought so.

It's no laughing matter to PETA who are taking the issue very seriously indeed:

In watching last night's news briefing, we were upset to note that you flippantly addressed the recently approved repeal of the military ban on bestiality. With respect, this is no laughing matter. Our office has been flooded with calls from Americans who are upset that this ban has been repealed—and for good reason. As we outlined in the attached letter sent yesterday to the secretary of defense, animal abuse does not affect animals only—it is also a matter of public safety, as people who abuse animals very often go on to abuse human beings.

I hope that in the future, you will address important issues with sensitivity and not dismiss them with a joke.
Redefinitions indeed...

-- Nora

It Looks Like A Thingie

The Whiteadders show up for a salad during an Arab Spring...

CAIRO: An Islamic cleric residing in Europe said that women should not be close to bananas or cucumbers, in order to avoid any “sexual thoughts.”

The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve.

He said that these fruits and vegetables “resemble the male penis” and hence could arouse women or “make them think of sex.” cannot independently verify the accuracy of the news item at time of writing.

He also added carrots and zucchini to the list of forbidden foods for women.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

So Near, Yet...

Outstanding writer Christopher Hitchens reflects on pain and suffering and whether - 'that which does not kill you will only make you stronger'.

-- Nora

I Have Some Tulip Bulbs To Sell You Too

RECORD high rainfall in the Murray-Darling Basin has seen the value of the nation's water market slump by 50 per cent, or $1.5 billion, in the past year.

The National Water Commission's annual water market report, released in Canberra this morning, found consistent rain throughout the Murray Darling basin in 2010 saw water holders receive their highest water allocations in six years.

As the amount of water in the system increased, the price for tradeable water allocations dropped from $150 per megalitre in 2009-2010 to just $32 this year.

There's A Good Reason Right There...

Multitasker writes treatise/stalks after being knocked back for a second date:

In addition, I’m both a right-brain and left-brain man, given that I’m both an investment manager and a philosopher/writer.

-- Nora

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

For A Rainy Day...

What a fabulous innovation. It would be wonderful to see this here in Australia:

When Drewery called the organization, she heard something different from the usual payday lending pitch. Wiles explained that Grace Period was a savings cooperative, one you join as you would a gym. Clients enroll as a member in the club for at least one year. Grace Period offers the new member an initial loan and establishes a workable repayment plan. Typically about $50 is deducted automatically each pay period from the member's paycheck to cover loan installments and modest club dues. These automatic payments continue for 12 months. During that time, the initial loan is repaid and additional funds accumulate as an emergency savings reserve for the member. At year's end, members can withdraw funds and close their accounts or remain members, earning interest on their savings.
-- Nora

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Festive Cheer

Nicky and I are off to a Christmas Party this afternoon.

I think one of these is in order - yes, just the one ;-):

Cosmopolitan Champagne
* 250ml (1 cup) cranberry juice
* 2 tbs Cointreau liqueur
* 2 tbs fresh lime juice
* 6 sugar cubes
* 1 x 750ml btl chilled pink Champagne or sparkling wine

Place cranberry juice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Combine the cranberry juice, Cointreau and lime juice in a small jug. Place a sugar cube in each serving glass. Pour the cranberry mixture over the sugar. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and serve immediately.

-- Nora

Where's the Credit Card?

I could see myself wearing these:

-- Nora

Family Lies

Oh no.... we're not trying to redefine marriage and family...

‘By painting the traditional family as a tiny minority this report is giving a false picture of life in Britain. It makes one wonder what their agenda is.

-- Nora


The media is filled with implicit praise today as yet another school child proudly reports escaping the clutches of yet another slavering predator.

I'm sorry to be the one to ask the question - did this event actually occur?

This is the latest in a long line of child abduction alerts on the Gold Coast over the past few months, not uncoincidentally occurring in the aftermath of the discovery of the remains of Daniel Morcombe and the subsequent arrest of a suspect in his abduction and killing.

There is no doubt that the Daniel Morcombe case is true and tragic and his parents' attempts to bring something positive from the event through a child safety foundation in their son's name is very commendable indeed.

However I believe there is a link in the recent rise in reporting incidents and the statewide school tour by the Morcombes.

Children, as we know, are susceptible to suggestion. They are also keen to impress their peers and their adults and will either embellish stories or make them up from whole cloth which is why it is important to deal with lying at a very young age.

Could it be that the reports of attempted abductions could very well be a form of mass hysteria unwittingly encouraged by parents and the media?

I don't believe these children are lying for any malicious reason, I believe that at heart they want to demonstrate to their teachers and parents that they understand the 'stranger danger' message and what better way to do that than by giving the adults from whom they want approval, a real life scenario that demonstrates the their ability to look after themselves?

This is why educators who encounter claims of sexual abuse are counselled by psychologists to be very careful in evaluating those claims and give clues to look out for.

Also of concern is that an innocent enquiry by an adult to a child for directions, for example, can result in a witch hunt that ruins the lives and reputations of innocent people as in this example:

One incident in Livonia involved a tow-truck driver who assaulted a man he had seen asking two boys on the street for directions. He turned out to be a tire salesman on a business trip from Akron, Ohio, who had gotten lost with no knowledge of the slayings.
The fact of the matter is, children are more likely to be abused by people they know - whether they be someone online who has cultivated a relationship with your child, a teacher, sports coach or a family friend.

Child welfare is a serious issue and adults have a responsibility to address with issue soberly and seriously, making sure that we allow children to not only be safe, but to feel safe.

Children rely on the adults in their lives to keep their world safe which in turn gives them confidence to grow, learn and explore. If adults and the media are hysterical, fear-filled reactionaries, then what hope do our children have?

-- Nora

UPDATE: Girl's abduction report 'invented'. Told you so.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday Cocktails

Oh look!

A cocktail in my honour:


* 1 oz Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth
* 1 oz peach liqueur
* lemon twist for garnish

1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2. Shake well.
3. Serve in a martini glass.
4. Add a lemon twist for a garnish.
-- Nora

Seeing Red

Nice piece from Andrew Bolt recognising the work of the Red Frog Crew volunteers.

So I’d be in despair if my son hadn’t also told me of dozens of other young Australians up in Byron last week. About 150 of them, as I found out.

They were volunteers who patrolled the beach at all hours; checking on the drunk and troubled, and doing everything that some parents would have prayed for, had they known.

Why Indeed?

"I don't know why but we're seeing a lot of teenage girls exposing themselves on web cameras...
Why? Here's Exhibit A:

UPDATE: It's interesting that a rethink of pop culture mores occurs when one becomes a parent.

This from renowned British actor Sir David Jason:

‘Take the adverts – I was watching SpongeBob, a favourite cartoon of ours, but suddenly a scent advert came on with this girl stripping off as she walks towards the camera. It’s done for mums but they forget a lot of girls are watching these powerful images.’

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Packs A Punch

Mr Yanner, who is attending the ALP conference as a business observer to lobby ministers over uranium mining in the Gulf, said he confronted several MPs about the conscience vote.

"It's a cowardly act," he told The Courier-Mail. "It's political gay bashing.
Assault is something Mr Yanner has hands on experience in dealing out.

-- Nora

Marriage - Not a Gay Ole Time

This weekend the ALP national conference discusses, amongst other things, whether to adopt gay marriage as part of its platform, hot on the heels of Queensland's Labor Government introducing civil partnerships for homosexuals.

We're told that it's about 'equality' and 'tolerance' and 'respect' and 'rights' and that to disagree with gay marriage makes one immoral.

Funny isn't it, how ideas can be twisted so that which was once immoral is now moral and many of those who are against same sex marriage (SSM), swamped by the speed that this fundamental societal shift has occurred, struggle to articulate their reasons against it.

Let's demolish some of the arguments for same sex marriage:

The state has no right to discriminate in recognising adult relationships
The principle argument for SSM is that the state has no right to prohibit any adult to enter into a relationship with any other adult.

Well the state already discriminates with respect to relationships between adults. A brother and sister cannot marry; a father and adult daughter cannot marry; a man cannot have multiple wives; a woman cannot have multiple husbands.

The reason for this is plain (watch this space, I believe in the next 5-10 years polygamists and adult incest supporters will agitate for equal 'rights' to marry).

From the state's perspective children who are born to incestuous couples are likely to have medical conditions which the state will have to provide for. Children of polygamous families are often not supported by their father, thus proving a greater welfare drain.

The state also recognises that children raised by their biological mother and father in a committed life-long relationship have better social, educational and financial outcomes than children raised in other circumstances.

Yes, children are raised by solo parents and go on to do okay, (Nicky and I are two examples) but it is nonetheless the truth that children raised by their parents have social and financial advantages that others do not.

The state regulates marriage for public health and welfare.

Marriage is about recognising the right to love who we want and not about raising children or if it is, childless heterosexual couples don't have a right to marriage either
This is a specious argument if there ever was one. And one which (deliberately?) misunderstands the contractual nature of marriage covenant.

Let's take a look at those traditional wedding vows that form the cornerstone of what most people understand as marriage:

my pledge to stay by your side ...
in sickness and in health,
in joy and in sorrow, as well as
through the good times and the bad.
I promise to love you without reservation, forsaking all others,
comfort you in times of distress,
encourage you to achieve all of you goals,
laugh with you and cry with you,
grow with you in mind and spirit,
always be open and honest with you,
and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
The undiscussed nature of homosexual (both gay and lesbian) relationships is twofold:

  • They're short lived. Homsexual relationships are less likely to last 'until death do us part'. In fact a they're unlikely to last to their 7th anniversary with the majority of relationship in gay men lasting about six months (Adrian Brune, "City Gays Skip Long-term Relationships: Study Says," Washington Blade (February 27, 04): 12.); according to a 1988 survey, lesbians fare even worse with the average relationship petering out in less than 5 years; In Australia the average length of a marriage is 32 years. There is no evidence that granting state sanctioned marriage will improve the longevity of these homosexual relationships. Very, very few will last 'til death caused by advanced old age

  • They're rarely monogamous. Now there's the real elephant in the room. Monogamy is a real struggle for gay men and a high number of lesbianstoo. By contrast a survey published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows. (Michael W. Wiederman, "Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey," Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170.)

I'm now going to introduce the Kardashian Law. It similar to Godwin's Law in which 'as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin's Law has effectively forfeited the argument.'

The Kardashian's Law works on a similar principle in which 'as an online argument on gay marriage grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up the failed relationship of a celebrity as an example of normal heterosexual relationship or marriage. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Kardashian's Law has effectively forfeited the argument.'

An example of this pops up on Facebook every so often:

"Let me get this straight...Charlie Sheen can make a "porn family", Kelsey Grammer can end a 15 year marriage over the phone, Larry King can be on divorce #9, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Kim Kardashian can get a divorce after 72 days of marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with EVERYONE. Yet, the idea of same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage? Really? Re-post if you are proud to support equal rights."
The examples quoted here say more about the narcissistic and toxic culture of the entertainment and celebrity industry than it does about real marriage.

Very quickly addressing the issue of childless married couples (Nicky and I are a case in point, we're childless by choice) - the answer is simple: having children is not obligatory. But let me tell you, if homosexuals do receive legal sanction to marry then expect an explosion of court cases demanding the 'right' to children.

It's a civil rights issue
This argument is a big one in the US where homosexual advocates have tried to align themselves with black civil rights causes from the 1960s.

Homosexuals are allowed to vote, can sit anywhere in the bus they like, can make legal arrangements for inheritance and sick bed visitations. There is no real discrimination as was experienced by African Americans during that time.

Unlike laws in some states of the US that prohibited a black man marrying a white woman and vice versa - a gay man is free to marry any woman, a lesbian can marry any man.

The fact that gay men and lesbians are same sex attracted is their issue. Not the State's.

Two gays getting married doesn't affect your/my marriage
If homosexual relationships are less likely to be long-lived and less likely to be monogamous, it does by definition changes the expectations of marriage in a wider context - especially when those advocates invoke Kardashian's Law and use the facile, inept and insincere coupling of celebrities as their examples.

Not only have we seen the concept of marriage being an exclusive union of a man and a woman for life eroded through the introduction of quicky, no-fault divorces, but we are also seeing a push to redefine even the meaning of monogamy.

This link on Psychology Today is very instructive:

I've wanted to write an article on this topic ever since I began working with a gay male couple who told me that they were monogamous. After several months, however, they informed me they had had a three-way. When I asked if they had changed from monogamy, they said, "No."

I was confused. Maybe I hadn't gotten the correct information in our initial consultation? I told them, "I thought you told me you were monogamous," and they said, "We are." Now I was REALLY confused! So I said, "But you just told me you were monogamous."

Their reply was, "We are monogamous. We only have three-ways together, and are never sexual with others apart from each other."
If that's not a redefinition of monogamous (from the Latin for One + Marriage - a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse/sexual partner at any one time.), then nothing is.

Hollywood mainstream also plays its part in trying to stretch the accepted boundaries of monogamy in marriage - take this year's comedy flick Hall Pass (defined by the trailer as 'a week off marriage with no consequences) in which two married men are let off their vows by their wives and allowed to do whatever they want up to an including having sex with other women.

Also, take the TV series Big Love that sympathetically portrays a polygamous relationship.

Again the universal principle of 'Garbage In/Garbage Out' applies here. If this is the type of pop culture you and your children are consuming, then it is going to affect how they view relationships and thus the concept of marriage is redefined outside of a true fusion of the lives of one man and one woman becoming (in the Biblical parlance) 'one flesh', one entity for mutual love and support for life.

Those who argue that what others do does not impact on them misses mark on the importance of marriage has on the greater welfare of our society.

Why am I against same sex marriage? For three fundamental reasons:

1. Same-sex marriage is bad for children
2. Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society
3. Same-sex marriage is bad for public health

Same-sex marriage is bad for children
It’s clear that children benefit from having both a male and female parent. Recent medical research confirms genetically determined differences between men and women and those fundamental differences help explain why mothers and fathers bring unique characteristics to parenting that can’t be replicated by the other sex. Mothers and fathers simply aren’t interchangeable. Two women can both be good mothers, but neither can be a good father. One-sex parenting, whether by a single parent or a homosexual couple, deprives children of the full range of parenting offered by dual-sex couples.

Only mother-father families afford children the opportunity to develop relationships with a parent of the same, as well as the opposite sex. Relationships with both sexes early in life make it easier and more comfortable for a child to relate to both sexes later in life. Overall, having a relationship with both a male and female parent increases the likelihood that a child will have successful social and romantic relationships during his or her life.(5)

Same-sex marriage is bad for civil society

Not only does SSM amplify issues around the raising and socialising of children, overseas experience has shown that a government that mandates the acceptance and recognition of SSM are more likely to act punitively against people who do not support it.

Here are other examples, all annotated.

Even those who are not religious and so may support SSM should react in horror to the concept of the state criminalising thoughts and beliefs.

Same-sex marriage is bad for public health
Here's the second elephant in the room - one which homosexual advocates and their supporters don't like to talk about:

Homosexuals have shorter lifespans, indulge in more risk taking behaviour including drug use, are subject to more interpersonal violence (IE suffer more domestic violence) and suffer greater mental illnesses such as depression and suicidal tendencies than those who are heterosexual.

Let's add in one more point. Homosexuals and bisexuals are a tiny minority - why are we pandering to them on this issue? According to September figures from the UK, only 1.5% of the population are gay or bisexual - especially when it can be argued that there are a good number of homosexuals who do not support legalised marriage at all.

So if 1.5% of the population is homosexual and, let's say for argument's sake that one third of that 1.5% are not interested in 'marriage' at all, then why are our political leaders devoting so much time considering such a far reaching (and negative) shift to our society's structure that is demanded by 1% of the population?

-- Nora

UPDATE: The ALP national conference has just officially changed its policy to endorse same-sex marriage. It's just a vote in parliament away folks. I wonder what the old time Catholic Labor Union supporters think of their party now>

UPDATE 2: A couple of typos corrected and a slight rewriting on the paragraph on length of relationships for clarity and to include some additional information.

UPDATE 3: The law of unintended consequences reasserts itself. From the Daily Mail:

People who have had two sexual partners in a year may be 'too promiscuous' to donate organs under new health guidelines

That of course would include the 'monogamous' homosexual men referred to in the Psychology Today article earlier in this post. This is why redefinition of words and the societal understanding that goes with them is so dangerous. Potentially deadly.

UPDATE 4: I've been keeping an eye on this story for a few weeks now. Since we're talking about the influence Hollywood has in shaping our thinking and our expectations of societal norms, I thought it was worth linking to:

Does Hollywood Face a Child-Molestation Crisis in Casting?

And not just in casting. And not just in Hollywood.

Many Happy Returns

Nicky and I speak very rarely of private family matters.

The focus of our blog is 'exploring the mysteries of human behaviour as revealed in politics, media and entertainment (and whatever else catches our fancy)'.

Over the past three years our blog has stuttered along with infrequent posting, marked particularly by the illness and death of my mother, which I wrote about here.

As has mentioned to friends, one would think that the loss of relationship would be the most difficult aspect of losing a significant person, but it is not.

The most difficult aspect is picking up the pieces afterwards and that is what Nicky and I have had to do - managing the on-going emotional and physical welfare of my grandmother (my mother's mother), dealing with the shocking betrayal of my stepfather as well as the ramifactions his actions have had on our family.

And there is the other things thrown in front of you to challenge, to stretch, to deepen - in our case it has been the financial struggles of business ownership combined with the threat to our home due to a confluence of natural disasters.

Such growth has to be done offline, distilled internally, processed and evaluated.

2011 has been a watershed year.

Nicky and I have emerged from the other side focused on new opportunities, more in love than ever and more determined to raise our voice in expressing what is right.

So, to celebrate, a cocktail!

6 Parts Gin
3 Parts Triple Sec
2 Parts Cherry Brandy
1 Part Lemon Juice
1 Whole Maraschino Cherry

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

-- Nora