25 July 2007


I lost my main camera at Kata Tjuta but had a small back up one with which I took these and quite a few others.

09 July 2007

Festival of Ideas

The 2007 Adelaide Festival of Ideas has finished, or, to be more accurate, the live sessions have concluded. Fortunately for those who weren't able to attend, and thanks to modern technology, the Festival lives on. As I post highly civilised human beings are on the airwaves trying (with considerable success) to thrill me. The organisers have also provided brief session notes for several sessions, and several bloggers, including the usually estimable Tim Dunlop of Blogocracy, have been anointed and appointed as "official" bloggers (which sounds a bit oxymoronic to me) to the Festival.

I only went on Friday, but found plenty to stimulate my mind. The first session I attended, "Decent Work", has been summarised quite well by Mr Dunlop , though I thought that the chair, Professor Pocock, ignored some pertinent questions which audience members asked. One from a self-employed business owner who claimed to be taking his first Friday off since 1970 was especially succinct and pertinent: he asked whether the introduction of the "Work Choices" legislation had moved the balnce from the rogue employee to the rogue employer.

I also went to presentations by Simon Longstaff, the ethicist, a panel discussion about the future of the print media, and a gentlemanly debate/ discussion between Ramachandra Guha and Francis Wheen about the respective legacies of of Mahatma Gandhi and Karl Marx. Quite by chance I met Francis Wheen afterwards and was able to spend a few minutes talking to him: our mutual interest in cricket provided a natural focal point for our conversation.

Two speakers described the audience as "Radio National listeners", which I took to be code for elderly. I thought that enough younger people (presumably not RN listeners) attended and asked questions to give the lie to that one, unless, that is, Radio National is making a comeback among the young.

08 July 2007

Minister hints at more support for search

Last week's Channel 9 Sunday had a report by Tim Lester about the flagging search for HMAS Sydney . This week's Bulletin also has a story by Roy Ecclestone(not online, though the mag's website has some interesting archived articles on the topic) . It's a pity that the latter article is illustrated with a photo which appears to be the first Sydney (the one which sunk the Emden in WW1, not the one which disappeared following an engagement with the Kormoran in WW2

Both stories report Assistant Defence Minister Billson's hint that the RAN may be able to provide some assistance to get the ball moving again. Ecclestone seems to think that any really worthwhile assistance may not eventuate, but there seems to be, if not a strong head of steam, a considerable amount of pressure from relatives of the missing and WW2 buffs to do more.

04 July 2007

Alan Johnston released

It's just been announced that Alan Johnston has been released after being held for 114 days. It may be too much to expect that this will be followed by other conciliatory moves in the region (and the world) but we can still hope as we thank those who arranged and agreed to the release.