Gender flipping

Here’s a great summary of this clever social device that makes it clear just how differently men and women are represented. Women are systematically presented as sexual even when men in the same role are depicted as powerful, skilled or simply plain there.

Perhaps if visually depicted roles were more regularly reversed social change could speed up a bit more.

Is gender flipping the most important meme ever


Creative parents

Some parents go the extra mile when it comes to showing love to their kids in creative ways.

Love has a wonderful tendency to inspire you to wonderful small random acts. Obviously some parents catch onto a great idea and make a systematic effort that amounts to something akin to art.

Here are a few great examples.

If you are a parent, you will instantly understand the joyous motivation behind these.

Ps: I think there’s a certain level of obsessiveness displayed here, and conviction and commitment coupled with some extra time that I wish I had!!

Creative dad shares 5 years of sandwich bags

Creative mum turns drawings into plush toys

Amazing mum turns son’s lunches into works of art


Rudd’s pre-election asylum policy

Thanks to Guardian Australia, we now have intelligent political analysis widely available just before the 2013 federal election. Our media landscape badly needed this addition.

Now that Kevin Rudd is back at the helm of the Labor Party his new stance on ‘turning back the boats’ can only be interpreted as a move to win the election by adopting the worst of conservative policy making.

Humanitarian considerations are nowhere to be seen: asylum seekers are increasingly shunted to PNG, Manus Island and Nauru, places where they kept indefinitely in often inhumane conditions with little prospect of having a normal life again. They are simply kept out if sight at an inordinate cost to taxpayers.

The boats cannot be stopped as new navy operational details show that boats carrying asylum seekers increasingly just sabotage boats or push the situation until it becomes a rescue operation of people in the water. And Indonesian does not approve of pushing back the boats either. So ‘turning back the boats’ is practically impossible, endangers lives and strains relations with our neighbor.

Put it simply we are shirking our international obligation even in taking a disproportionately low number of refugees while also creating public panic about foreigners for short term political gain.

We are a rich country with plenty of resources that would benefit from slightly more hard working, diverse, grateful citizens. We are one of a few rich countries that can easily afford to take in 15,000 extra people even if this does not benefit us. Yet we rather pander to xenophobic, racist, short sighted policies. Shame on our government and shame on us.

Lenore Taylor has many more worthwhile insights about the matter in Kevin Rudd’s boat fix shows good sense has sailed.


On dairy milk

Interesting article about whether milk is healthy to drink. It’s an old topic but no doubt it’s of continued interest as milk is being consumed and increasingly pushed by a politically powerful dairy industry.

I don’t think there’s a one size fits all answer with dairy, some do well on it, many really don’t.

I now do quite well on some dairy (my initial low allergy went down after pregnancy) but won’t touch anything low fat. I never drink milk but I’m very happy on lots of leafy greens, tahini, tofu etc which do help build bones. I also eat cheese but tend to go for organic and always full fat. I wouldn’t want to rely in dairy for my calcium or protein needs alone (or even mostly, perhaps).

The most interesting sociological insight in this article may even be more fundamental in rethinking our approach to dairy: the dairy industry is politically powerful and dictates food and even agricultural policies. This is most pronounced in the US but also true in Australia and Western Europe.

The dairy industry doesn’t really care about our health, it cares about its financial livelihood only. They sponsor science that shows what they pay it to show.

“Let’s just forget the science and spend taxpayer’s dollars to promote foods that we know are harmful, because money runs politics. To heck with the health of our citizens”.

What did you think of the article?

Some of you, no doubt, would lament the narrow focus on health. How about the environment and animals themselves? Is our focus on our health alone really selfish?

Got proof? Lack of evidence for milk’s benefits