Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The eclipse

It's been a bit too cloudy to see the eclpise very well here. I took some pictures, but the Moon's only visible in the long exposure ones (because the buildings are too bright) and they're pretty burry because I don't have a tripod. I like this one a lot thought, even though it's really blurry:

Daleks in Manchester

Media coverage: Flickr, BBC, Boing Boing

Monday, August 27, 2007

St Kilda to Brighton

The last few days it's been warm again, so yesterday I caught the tram to St Kilda, and skated down to Brighton, and then walked back, because it was so hot. Today I went down there again, and skated a bit further this time. Today I had to walk back to St Kilda as well, because there's something wrong with the wheels on my left rollerblade, and they won't turn very fast. I'll see if I can fix them later. I might need to get Ben or Nate-Dawg to have a look at them.

'Afghanistan opium crop hits new record'

There's an article in today's Age about Afghanistan's heroin industry. This article from last year is also worth reading.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pine Gap in the news #12

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has appealed the Pine Gap 4's sentence, claiming that the fines are 'manifestly inadequate', and that they need to go to gaol.
Donna Mulhearn and Adele Goldie are also appealling the conviction itself.

'Commonwealth appeals against Pine Gap sentences' - ABC News
'Govt to appeal "inadequate" Pine Gap fines' - Catholic News
'Commonwealth appeals Pine Gap sentences' - News.com.au
'Pine Gap protester surprised about DPP appeal' - ABC Alice Springs

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today I went out to the retreat centre at Gembrook again, this time with Gin and Alfred. (They have a big work day out there once a month, so we were going to help.)

In the morning finshed off digging up the concrete tiles from the property's original house, and I found a whole heap of little ceramic tiles. They look like they're from a bathroom. I might use them in some artwork at some stage.

We also dismantled a shed that had collapsed, so the materials can be reused, and then we all had lunch together.
After lunch a butcher came to kill a sheep they had there. I was a fair way away when he actually cut its throat, because I was with Alfred cutting some Protea flowers to take back to Credo. I went over once we'd cut the flowers, and before we headed back to Melbourne I helped them hoist the sheep up in a tree, so that the blood would drain.

I generally don't eat meat, largely because I don't think the way we produce meat is sustainable (for example, it takes a lot more water to produce meat than vegetables), or that the way we consume it is very healthy. These days we're able to produce so much meat that most people in our society have meat every day, something we wouldn't be able to do if we were producing our food locally. I also think we need to have a better awareness of where our food is coming from and how it's produced.

Gemma's blog

Gemma (my housemate) has a blog. It is here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

'No way home'

When we show school groups and church groups around at Urban Seed, we often get asked about what causes homelessness. This article from Sunday's Age explores that question a bit.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ferntree Gully community dinner

On Wednesday my brother Adam turned 21, so I went out to the community dinner that Adam and Justin and our parents are involved with at the Ferntree Gully Guides Hall.
This is Justin toasting Adam with a piece of birthday cake:

Gembrook, and sandwiches at the Vic

Yesterday morning we went out to Gembrook. We've been trying to take groups of people from Credo out there once a month, to spend some time out of the city (a lot of people who come to Credo don't get much opportunity to get out of the city) and help with some of the work at the retreat centre there. (We went and stayed there for a weekend back in February.) Yesterday we just had one punter, Steve, with us, but it was still a good day. Gemma did a hook turn for the first time, in the van on the way there. (I wasn't much help, having never done one either.)

Once we were out at Gembrook, we spent until lunch time weeding, cleaning out gutters and pruning the jasmine that grows around the windows of the main house. Steve also taught one of the kids who lives at the retreat centre (with his family) to say some (nice) things in Maltese.
This is me and Steve having lunch:

After lunch we were digging up concrete tiles from that formed the floor of the property's original house, and moving them over to one of the huts, so that they can be used to make a footpath from the hut. (There's just a dirt path at the moment.) There were some Sweet Pittosporum trees coming up around the property that had to be gotten rid of (they're an environmental weed), but we didn't get around to that.

After work on Fridays we normally have drinks at the Vic. Yesterday at the Vic, Chris was talking about how when he was a resident at Urban Seed, they used to have free sandwiches at the Vic on Fridays. I still had a heap of rolls and salad left from lunch, so Chris used it to make a sandwich in memorial of the Vic's free sandwiches.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homelessness Myths and Memories

The Council to Homeless Persons have released a series of short animations called Homelessness Myths and Memories, which tell the stories of various people's experiences of homelessness:

One of the recurring themes that became apparent whilst researching Equal service is the need to break down the pre-conceived views that business owners, operators and the general public have about homeless people and about why they are experiencing homelessness. Many participants in the project to date have expressed the belief that if the wider community could understand how easy it is to be at risk of homelessness, they may be more willing to see themselves as part of the solution to solving homelessness issues.
You can have a look at the animations here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This is what I've been working on the last few days:

I think it's still got a long way to go, and it's still just a test one, on a cheap canvas, because I've never worked on canvas before. I've got a better quality canvas which is a bit bigger, and I'm going to do the final version on that.

Monday, August 06, 2007

UNOH Surrender conference

This is what we were up to the other weekend, which I didn't say anything about here because I didn't have any pictures.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Seeds in the City

Tonight we had our Seeds gathering at Treasury Gardens. We lit some candles (in jars so they wouldn't blow out) to symbolise our prayers, and we read and discussed the scripture together, and afterwards Tex found somewhere for us to have tea. (He had a Texas burger.)

We'd done something similar a few weeks ago, except we used glow sticks instead of candles.

We've been trying to find stuff we can do for our church gathering that doesn't take an awful lot of organising, because there aren't that many of us at the moment, and we're mostly already doing a fair bit of stuff anyway.
Generally we've been meeting either at the Den or at my house, and used some liturgy that Mark gathered together before he left, which centres around a shared meal (soup, usually). We're not really supposed to meet at the Den, because the lease says that we can't have church services there.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

At Pain in the Arts today, Tomsy made me wear an art smock.

Clean coal?

While John Howard's been recommending nuclear energy as a solution to climate change, Kevin Rudd's been spruiking 'clean coal'. The thing with 'clean coal' though, is that it is a nonexistant technology, and I'm pretty skeptical about predicitions that we'll manage to invent it within a certain timeframe.