David Stevens

So Excitement

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2016 at 12:15 am

So excitement is right. There must just be something wonderful about being a ‘Tim’. I’ve raved before about Tim Powers, and of course there is Tim Brooke-Taylor, and, er, I suppose, Tiny Tim. But Australian Tims are in another category altogether – and I am not (just) talking about Tim Tams.

Tim Winton releases a book (for adults – not ‘The Bugalug Bum Thief’, for example, despite the intriguing title), and I’m there. Tim Flannery, (almost) ditto – ‘The Future Eaters’ remains amongst my favourite books. Hell, I even liked Tim from Big Brother a few years ago.

The darker moments of a former career can be interesting companions at 3am, but one moment of pure pleasure was when I arranged for Tim Low to speak at a conference. He divided the audience, and that was great. People came up to me afterwards, both pleased and puzzled. ‘Feral Future’ dealt with exotic invaders and pests, at the same time revealing much I never knew about the modern history of Australia, and it was followed by ‘The New Nature’. An important part of both books is how we are dominated by the thinking of our age, an alleged commonsense which often does not stand the test of time, and how important truths may be counterintuitive. I would wish these books on anyone with an interest in nature and/or Australia, and our ecological future. However, very important, read them in order – TNN has a greater degree of (cautious) optimism, and was meant to given the topic of FF. I, of course, being me, read TNN, thought, this is great, and hunted down FF – also great, but man was I bummed out. In the words of the immortal-ish Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour and read them both (but yes, in order).

But: so excitement – I have in my hands the latest Tim Low. I cannot really comment because I have not read it yet, but it is about one of my favourite things: birds! And plenty of Australian birds! (have I mentioned that I am a birdwatcher, though a very bad one? has my wife told you how hard it is to work through our holiday photos to find a photo of our children, when most photos are of a branch where a bird had been sitting only moments before?) And science! And did I mention birds? – well, birds! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous …

song began

Low is an amazing writer and speaker, a fascinating man. He is a scientist who writes with both passion and where appropriate, dispassion, about such interesting and amazing things, especially on topics dear to my heart. I look forward to diving into this.

 

Senate Inquiry into Lyme-like illness in Australia

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2016 at 12:49 am

Thousands of Australians are suffering from a Lyme like illness. The Australian medical profession is failing these Australians by denying the existence of the disease,  failing to diagnose the disease, and failing to provide adequate treatment.

The Federal Senate is conducting an inquiry into this situation. This is great news. However, it requires material to work with. It requires submissions.

If you are an Australian who:

  • suffers from a lyme like illness
  • is a carer for people with a lyme like illness
  • has experience with a family member or a friend suffering from a lyme like illness

or if you are just concerned about this situation, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you make a submission. It is easy to do:

LEFT CLICK ON THIS LINE TO BE TAKEN TO THE LYME DISEASE ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA RESOURCE PAGE

Here you will receive all the guidance you need to write a submission

It can just be a few lines or a couple of paragraphs, it does not need to be an epic.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – MAKE A SUBMISSION TO THE SENATE INQUIRY NOW

Happy Australia Day

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be a thing. Why does stuff have to change? It used to be a dusty little public holiday tucked away at the end of the summer school holidays, a final gasp. Now its concerts and loyalty tests and mass barbecues. We didn’t used to wave flags, we all knew where we lived.

Sorry kiddies. Listen to me carrying on! It’s not like we haven’t seen it all before, somewhere. And so now I repeat myself …

FLAG DAY

It was Flag Day

so we wrapped ourselves in flags

and went to the pub.

Funny, eh!

Everybody else had the same idea, but.

And all the flags were the same

because we are all Flaglanders.

It would have been nice to wrap myself

in the flag of difference

but I was too scared.

Everyone looked the same.

The fun idea had become

A Sad Party Thing.

It doesn’t matter.

The flag unites us.

Our fear of looking different unites us.

All eyes are wary on Flag Day.

Everyone smiles with their mouths

as they lift their beers,

but all those eyes are looking about.

And those eyes are quick.

You don’t want to stand out.

Not on Flag Day.

There are no excuses.

It is not “I pay my taxes” day.

It is not “I am a human being, I have rights” day.

It is fucking Flag Day.

Alright?

You sad party thing.

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