Connected to the computer, but also to each other. On a recent visit to the African side of the family, my son (AM) showed some of his siblings what you can do with basic coding.connected-2015-08-08 15.51.11

What you can’t see in this pic, is AM’s dad (DadaK) on the other side of the table, eating his lunch and listening attentively to AM’s explanation of why coding is important, how fundamental it is to modern society, how it connects people in more ways than we can even imagine. Continue reading

Black enough for who?

Book cover - Anita Heiss looks over her glasses at the reader.In her Boyer Lectures, Marcia Langton points out that many white Australians haven’t really got to grips with the reality that Aboriginal people can be middle class. Instead they cling to a particular stereotype of Australia’s Indigenous population: very dark skinned, very poor and in need of help, either living isolated from modern society in remote areas, or begging on urban streets.

It’s a convenient stereotype, because it enables non-Aboriginal Australians to continue acting in racist and paternalistic ways towards Indigenous people, including denying them the right to self-determination and identity. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Descent

Would you descend into the deeps with these sea monsters?

20141103_111502-smallAlthough there are several monsters, I like this next photo, which makes them look like a single beast, reclining ominously on the rocks between Bondi and Tamarama at Sydney’s annual Sculpture by the Sea. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Spring

Um … hello? Just wondering if the good folks at WordPress realise that it’s only spring in a small band of countries in the northern hemisphere?

Here in Sydney, Australia, we’re in the last month of Autumn, at least according to the European calender. If you were to go by the calendar of the traditional owners of the area that I live in, we’re in the time of marrai’gang, the quoll. Bana’murrai’yung is the time when it’s ‘wet, becoming cooler’ which is exactly what the weather is like today. It’s the time for mending your winter cloak in preparation for the colder months ahead, and gathering lilly pilly fruits. It’s also the time when quolls used to be heard calling for their mates in the bush. There are few quolls in Sydney now; they can’t compete with cats and dogs.

Perth November 2013-calendar

Australia is a vast continent, with many different ecosystems, so the seasons recognised by the traditional owners vary from place to place. Right now in Perth, Western Australia, it’s djeran: the time when the hot weather eases, banksias flower, and seed cones form on the casuarina trees. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Community

Scanning through my photos, wondering what to post for this week’s WordPress photo challenge, I found it hard to go past this little cluster of jars, full of freshly pickled eggplant. pickles

Any grouping of objects could remind you of a community, but these jars are the result of a communal effort. In early winter, I got together with two friends for a bottling day. We made the pickle, lime chutney, guava jelly and passionfruit cordial. Paul, whose fabulous kitchen we used, posted the recipes, pics and tips on his foodie blog Buth Kuddeh.

It was such a fun day, and seeing the picture of the jars got me thinking about how food is such an integral part of community. Growing, preparing, cooking and eating food (and cleaning up afterwards too of course) has all over the world been an activity performed communally, probably for all of human history, in most cultures. Continue reading

Drums & thighs

I’m having a holiday from compiling Monday Music this week and instead, sharing a post from one of the blogs that I follow, which has a wonderful dance mix. If, like me, you aren’t up to speed with fashion news and are curious about the controversy related to the first clip, you can find out more here and here. You can also read interviews with the steppers here and here. Sorry if the post is not displaying properly – don’t let that put you off! Just click on ‘Read more’.