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Campaigning on the web March 23, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics.
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I can’t wait to see what animators come up with in the lead up to the Federal Election. Using internet humour is such a great tool in campaigning.

“In the Liberals” about Peter Debnam for the NSW election  is produced by the National Union of Workers. It is a quite personal attack ad but I would still rather see that than the usual negative spot on television. I think the audience is more likely to watch it through to the end as well.

Google yourself. March 21, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Personal.
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Did you know that I am a character in a Marilyn Monroe movie? I have known that for a while, but I didn’t know that I am also a band in Spain and have a Myspace page.

To add to my accomplishments, I am a clarinetist in the US Air Force “Band of Liberty” with a PhD in Musical Arts, an award winning agriculture scholar at the University of Maryland and a cancer nurse specialist in Shropshire. I seem to have some presence in the Bronx, New York as well but I don’t know much about that.

I went to Hamilton Girls High School in New Zealand and JCU in Townsville and I think I won a prize by shopping at a butcher on Semaphore Street in South Australia.

Who knew? At least I am not a criminal.

Saving water March 18, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Observations.
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Brisbane is only three weeks away from level 5 water restrictions and we are all being encouraged to do whatever we can to limit our water usage. Brisvegans are being asked to restrict water usage to 140 litres of water per person per day- I think this is down from about 190 litres average now. The most publicised suggestion of the Target 140 campaign is that showers should only be 4 minutes long.

Someone was telling me the other day that some older people don’t make appointments on certain days of the week because it is washing day. I think there is merit in that idea because, too often, we just throw things into the washing machine and switch it on. I have lived with obsessive washers who have a load going at least once a day. Let the pile build up and even *gasp* wear things more than once. It isn’t going to kill you.

I have been trying to do some research for an article into “The last dunny man”. Brisbane still had outhouses in the 1970’s. That would be another way to save water if it wasn’t for the smell. Surely someone can come up with a way to use less water in toilets.

But the most practical suggestion I heard was that businesses be given incentives to install rainwater tanks to collect the water from warehouse and factory roofing. I think this where there is real potential. If businesses can save money by using their own water, then they might be motivated to look into it.

As for the four minute shower, that is going to be a challenge. Maybe I will have to ask Chris to only shower once every three days because I don’t think I can kick the habit.

Everyday ethics March 12, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Observations, Personal.
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I faced an ethical challenge today. When I took my Stella McCartney for Target purchases to the counter, the shop assistant didn’t scan the skirt I was buying. The skirt was priced at $99.99 so it is a fair whack of money for most people and certainly for me.

I admit, I hesitated. A part of me just wanted to walk away with my free skirt, but it wouldn’t have been free because everytime I wore it, it would stick in my mind. I would rather live without that sort of baggage.

I think we have a responsibility to live as ethically as we can. I am lucky to have a husband who really tries to do this- he thinks about the ethics of almost any situation and it has made me step up to the mark as well.

The pay off of being honest is that life seems simpler without having to feel guilt or remember if I have told the whole truth. So far it hasn’t had too many dire consequences either- even when you are admitting a mistake at work or whereever, people seem to appreciate it when I am up front and are less inclined to come down hard.

It is like getting out of debt, I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders and it is one less thing I have to worry about. It also makes me a bit of an evangelist for living this way, but I will stop preaching now.

A Stella day March 12, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Fashion.
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Today marked the first time that Australians have really had an opportunity to experience the ‘designers go discount’ phenomenon. Stella McCartney released her affordable range through Target to scenes of mayhem in many Southern stores.

I am glad to say that things in Brisbane were a lot quieter than those at Bondi. I went to Indooroopilly and my sisters-in- law  went to Brisbane CBD and Chermside so between the three of us, we had the major shopping centres covered. There were crowds of people and the city store racks were cleared fifteen minutes after opening but none of us saw any pushing, grabbing or other crazy behaviour. The lines for the fitting rooms were long but friendly with people offering sizes they didn’t want to those in the queue.

Some may say that Brisbanites aren’t as interested in fashion, but I think it is more about the laid back nature of the city. Sydney is a dog eat dog business world and that spills over into the way people live their lives. We often made this observation when we lived in the harbour city.

The clothes themselves were not as exciting as I thought they might be. The detailing wasn’t as good as that sold through H&M in Europe- there were no Stella McCartney buttons or flourishes like on the jeans I bought overseas but the fit was good and that is what you look for in denim.

For those who still want a taste of dollar design, head to Brookside in Brisbane- at 2pm their shelves were still full!

Kate Ellis March 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, politics.
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Is it a coincidence that perhaps the most attractive member of the Opposition benches is seated so prominently in the House of Representatives?

According to the Guide to Procedures : “… Members have allotted seats. A Member’s request for the allocation of a seat should be made to the Serjeant-at-Arms but any question arising regarding the seats to be occupied by Members is determined by the Speaker (S.O. 24(b)). A Member is entitled to retain the seat occupied at the end of the previous Parliament (S.O. 24(a)) (except when a change of government necessitates a change of sides).”

See a better picture of Kate Ellis here.

And one of her in action here.

kateellis.jpg

Separated at Birth? March 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, politics.
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rudd2.jpg Kevin Rudd
brains.jpgBrains from Thunderbirds

I am sure it has been done before somewhere but it struck me the other night when I was watching The 7.30 Report