Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sibling rivalry opportunity

If you have a moment, spare a thought for Vicky, daughter of Maryland (USA) couple Pat and Joe Posey. While she may have been content to be an only child, her parents had other ideas. Nineteen years ago they adopted Kevin, a 1ft Cabbage Patch doll, and have raised 'him' as their only son. Kevin is described as "easy-going, quiet and well-behaved" and goes everywhere with them. They talk to him - and he "replies" through Joe putting on his voice.
Kevin has his own 1,000 sq ft playroom, a red (doll-sized) Chevrolet Corvette car, a pet dog, a full wardrobe and a £2,000 savings fund for when he goes to college. He also has the love of his 'parents' who say they prefer him to their real child, Vicky, now an adult .
Pat said: "With every kid that you adopt, you promise to love them and be a good parent and take care of this child. And that's what we did with Kevin."
(You just have to love the Ananova news site!)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Gold medal quality

We haven't seen much of the Athens 2004 Olympics thus far, although I have enjoyed what I have seen. I have spent more time at the Athens site, which is excellent, well thought out, has great links, and is updated frequently with news and results. You can drill down within the site to get profiles on each of the athletes ... and the horses!

Rabbiting on

For someone with little or no visual memory, it surprises me that I can sometimes clearly see pictures in my mind's eye. Unfortunately this is usually late at night, when I'm overtired and more than ready to go to sleep - and would if I could just get the image of the ogre (not Shrek!), alien or vampire out of my brain. It's worse if I've been watching movies with scary monster content after dark but I'm usually good about not doing that. I have been known to sleep with the lights on, or to turn the lights on to run to the toilet - once I work up the courage to swing my feet out of the bed and on to the floor!
I am relieved to find out I am not the only adult I know that gets scared. But I am puzzled. Is it better or worse to be afraid of Frankenstein (well, actually Frankenstein's monster) ... or Frank? I have only recently found out about Frank - the horror rabbit - through a workmate. She admits needing the lights turned on, plus quickened pace, to stay well clear of the reportedly 6' of bad news bunny she became acquainted with through a review of Johnny Darko on The Movie Show. Of course, not all 6' rabbits are evil. Harvey, in the movie of the same name, starring James Stewart, was by all accounts, a reasonable rabbit. I think we should watch them both - during daylight hours, preferably first thing in the morning so there's plenty of time to forget the furry fiends before 'lights out'.
I don't know that I'll be nearly as brave with the new M. Night Shyamalan film, The Village. It looks pretty scary - and I've only seen a 15- or 30-second preview on television so far.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Learner Driver - congrats Mum!

I learned today that my mother has passed the test and has joined the ranks as a Learner Driver. Well done Mum! It's some years, no, make that decades, since Mum gained her licence at a small country police station - and almost as long since she stopped driving. I can vaguely remember being a pre-school age child with Mum behind the wheel - and that there was some fairly unsupportive criticism but I don't recall much more than that. Who did it, what was said, and whether it was in any way warranted will need some research. (Must ask my brothers if they've caught up on this news.)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Thinking ...

Thinking about philosophy. I was given a book of philosophy "problems" for my last birthday and still find myself thinking about them from time to time. I found some of the scenarios to be fairly common sensical; others were less so and seemed to offer little insight. Or perhaps I just don't understand the whole philosophy concept. So to the SlovoEd dictionary (Princeton University ed. for Palm) I go.
1) (cognition) a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school. Synonyms: doctrine; school of thought; ism
2) (cognition) any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation
3) (cognition) the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics.
No. 3 comes closest ... questions about existence and knowledge and ethics. But surely these are dictated by the location, time and setting. Is the pursuit of philosophical thinking a modern Western construct or is it a universal consideration which has been with us for eons. Are there those who accept that ''this is the way things are" rather than ''why are things like this, and is this the way they should be"?


How many people would you speak to, and about what, when compiling/researching your autobiography? I had ever thought about it before, but I guess you might want to include other people's views in your autobiography. That could make it slightly more objective - depending on what you chose to include!

Truth Dawns

Dawn Fraser, Australian swimmer extraordinnaire and four-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, has been in the news twice over the last couple of days. The first was about her not being invited to attend the Athens Olympics as part of the Australian Team. She claims the snub was because of her hard stance on drugs. The second was a small item in this morning's media about her finding out she killed her mother in a car accident 40 years ago - just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games (at which Ms Fraser won "gold, gold, gold" for Australia).
Ms Fraser had apparently been told her mother suffered a heart attack before the accident. It was only a few years ago, while working on her autobiography, that she learned the truth of her mother's death.
How strong must her defences have been to not have learned/seen/remembered the truth for so long? I can remember when her autobiography was released but not that there was mention of the circumstances/secrecy surrounding her mother's death. So why has this made the news now?

Friday, August 06, 2004

First name basis

I don't know if it's the same with other reality shows, but it seems if you're in 'Big Brother', you might as well not have been given a surname. Who won BB4 in Australia - Trevor. What's his last name? What were the last names of the other BB4 housemates? Suspend the natural question 'Why? Do we care?' and think about the Australian Idol - Guy Sebastian, and runner-up Shannon Noll -- while the spelling, and the names themselves, may be inaccurate we do know their names. Mind you, though, I can't tell you who the third of the final three was. Perhaps Australian Idol just has a more effective publicity juggernaut - or that singers, besides Cher, usually have two names ... because there are so many of them?

More quirky news

I don't know why I love quirky news so, but I do. I haven't had a chance to catch up with the Ananova site much recently but I did yesterday - and there were some great stories: boy has plant growing in his nose, Russian fishermen catch hippos, and tennis balls cure snoring. That sounds more like a selection from a publication whose items appear to be made up - B52 Bomber Found on Moon, Dead Alien Found Clutching Half-Eaten Cheese Burger, B52 Bomber Disappears From Moon!!! These are actual headlines from one of those publication from a few years back - I can't remember its name but I think it had 'News' and 'World' in its name.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Guarded security

A Sydney security guard last week allegedly shot dead a robber who had reportedly knuckledusted her to the ground and grabbed a bag containing a hotel’s taking. The guard, Karen Brown, has now been charged with murder. The dead man, Bill Aquilina, had apparently dropped the bag (so was not going to get away with the money) and was sitting in his vehicle when he was shot at point blank range through a closed window. Of course, this has raised the question in the media … did he deserve to die? I’m wondering if the people who say “yes” are those who believe in capital punishment.
There are many rumours and stories doing the rounds about the episode. Karen Brown had done an interview with a current affairs show for which she was reportedly paid $100,000 but now that she has been charged with murder, that money will be confiscated (I’m not sure if that is the right word) if it is paid to her.