Sunday, November 25, 2007

New dawn, new day, new leadership

Finally, after 11.5 painful, depressing and infuriating years of the Liberal party and John Howard trying to turn this country into a mean, fearful, tightfisted and selfish nation, Australia has had ENOUGH!
Yesterday's Federal election delivered a staggering defeat for Howard and his party's policies. What a swing! What relief to see even former blue-ribbon Liberal seats turn their back on the Liberal party and vote instead for a vision of a future where our children receive the best education the government can buy them, where even the poorest Australian has access to excellent healthcare and where the future of our planet is placed above greed and consumerism.
And to all the Liberal hacks saying we should respect John Howard's achievements as being our second-longest serving prime minister, I say quantity does not equal quality. Our wise friend Andy said people use their vote to punish and by god I did that yesterday and it felt GOOD!
Right, enough ranting. Big big congratulations to Rudd, Gillard and the Labour Party for finally giving us something to vote for. Now live up to the expectations.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Is there any point in going green?

New Scientist has just published the most comprehensive, detailed and inspiring feature article on how much difference an individual can make to global warming. So many of us wonder, as we unplug our appliances each night, buy energy-efficient light bulbs and recycle our newspapers, how much impact we can actually have when China and India are pumping out ever-increasing volumes of CO2 at unchecked rates.
The answer is that you can make a massive difference, reducing your carbon footprint by as much as 75% without having any significant impact on your lifestyle. New Scientist writer Fred Pearce has done the hard work of number crunching to demonstrate exactly how much CO2 output is reduced when you do such small things as replacing light bulbs, taking public transport, recycling and turning off appliances at the power point.
For example, each year:
- converting 25 light bulbs to energy-efficient saves 0.25 tonnes CO2
- switching all appliances off at the plug can save the average household 0.1 tonnes CO2
- with every 1500kms of public transport commuting instead of driving, you save 0.5 tonnes CO2
- recycle all your aluminium cans (av 120) will save 0.2 tonnes CO2
Implementing such small steps as these could reduce the average European's CO2 output by 8 tonnes (from average annual output of 12 tonnes). Australians have a much bigger carbon footprint, mainly due to our love of gas-buzzling cars - we produce around 19 tonnes per capita per year - but can still reduce our output by as much as 75% if we try hard enough.
Unfortunately this article isn't free online, but it's in news stands now (and no I'm not being paid to plug this story - I just think it's incredibly useful information)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal

I can't really come up with a creative way to start this blog entry, so I'm just going to launch straight into it.
Our amazing Nepali guide leader, Ang Tsering Sherpa, who so skillfully and wonderfully shepherded us all through Tibet last year, has established a public health mission in his home town of Junbesi in Nepal.
The area is extremely remote - accessible only walking - and until recently had no medical facilities at all for its villagers. Ang worked very hard to set up the Kushudebu Public Health Mission, and has succeeded. As well as helping to restore the medical center, the organisation is also helping to pay for a doctor and nurse for the village.
Anyway, my long-winded point is that Ang has done something extraordinary, and if you're wondering what to give someone for Christmas, deciding what charity to donate to or just feeling flush with cash and contemplating a spending spree, why not donate to the Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal.
Details are on the website at

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Bestest siblings

Lucy, Bianca, Matthew
Originally uploaded by sideboarddave
OK, so I'm listening to Simon and Garfunkel and feeling the love, but just wanted to tell the world that I have the best brother and sister on the planet. Having them with me the morning of Phil and my wedding was so wonderful and special that I smile every time I remember the goings-on.
Thank you both so much for being you. Love yas.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Favourite quote of the day

Thank god for Gordon Ramsay. Not that I have ever watched any of his shows, but I just loved this quote from him, taken from today's Sydney Morning Herald, in which he claimed a prerequisite for becoming a food critic was to be "so far tucked up your backside you can't eat or breathe properly."