Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s open thread is hosted by a sleepy Oriental Small-clawed Otter from Amsterdam, courtesy of Joop Reuvecamp who shared the photo on flickr.

otter snoozing in the crook of a gnarled tree

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?



Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

31 replies

  1. You would think that holding a press conference and asking reporters to ask all their questions about events 17 years ago would shut them up. But apparently not Peter Hartcher who feels the need to rake over things again today for no apparent purpose that I can see. Most of the questions he asks have already een answered, most of them in his own newspaper. FFS

  2. New research from Harvard economists: How Americans view wealth and inequality (summary: Americans are hideously misinformed about wealth distribution and when given a choice of ideal distributions even 90% of Republicans opt for a more equal wealth distribution than Sweden currently displays)

  3. Now I know where all those creepy liberals are coming from – the student union at the university of Queensland! I’ve been involved very heavily in a campaign for transparency and fairness around the student elections, which has been gathering unprecedented support on campus, after the incumbent party pretty much decided to change some rules to its liking and knock everyone else out of the running.
    Background here , another one here, and yet another one here as well.

    • Jo, by “liberals” I presume you mean members of our national conservatives the Liberal Party (or since it’s Queensland, the Liberal National Party)? Because not capitalising might confuse some of our overseas readers.

  4. Animated gif http://i.imgur.com/vmf8N.gif via @dannolan and others on twitter

  5. Some great publicity in the Herald today for the Tempest I’ve been working on. Watch the video for the beautiful, contact-juggling Ariel + corsets. Opens Wednesday, runs until the 8 Sept.

  6. Have spent the week in class at Curtin Uni for my Forensic Sexology unit. I already knew but have had it totally confirmed that the justice system is far from just and the law is an ass. Particularly when it comes to sex crimes.

  7. Sorry, tigtog, I did indeed mean the capital-L Liberals, referring to the conservatives/right-wing people who seem to be slowly taking over Australia.

    Though did anyone see the Leigh Sales interview with Tony Abbott where she ripped him to utter shreds? Kudos to her!! It was brilliant to watch.

    • No worries, Jo – I just thought it was important to clarify. Goodonyer for being part of the organised pushback against a slimy bit of rules-lawyering that they seem to be exploiting.
      I loved the Leigh Sales-Tony Abbott interview (video + transcript from our ABC). I wish she’d go into ruthless dissection mode more often, she’s so very bloody good at it.

  8. Scenting blood in the water, Lisa Wilkinson went after Tony Abbott on yesterday’s Today show.
    Wilkinson may not be quite as razor sharp as Leigh Sales, but it’s nice to see someone outside of Aunty putting the knife in.
    (sadly, 9 doesn’t appear to transcribe their interviews.)

    • My 12 year old cat is feeling the spring in the air – she’s started chasing her tail and running playfully up and down the stairs for the first time in ages. It’s adorably endearing.

  9. Pretty sure I have entered the Internet Twilight Zone this morning. I have read two articles this one by Julia Bard and this one by Kate Hagan.
    It is 9.05am and the comment threads, while not long, are great. Maybe all the feminists and HAES people are up early and commenting. Whatever it is I hope it lasts.

  10. Just seen the doc who agreed with me 2 months ago that it was not likely I could lose weight through ‘sensible’ eating because my metabolism would resist anything but starvation. Now she has found pre-diabetes, which is scary, and airily recommended I lose weight, even though ‘it will be hard.’
    I’m going to try to change my eating to include more low-GI foods, and not worry about the weight-loss side of it – any other ideas from Hoydens?
    I don’t want to develop diabetes, but I don’t want to go back on the diet/weight gain cycle again either.

  11. @Thacky
    As a recently diagnosed diabetic I can say it’s not all doom and gloom although obviously it is a chronic condition that needs management. I have found that by being more aware of portion sizes (1 serve of carbs = 15g) I have actually lost some weight. So I would recommend looking at carb servings packaging to see how much you should eat at each sitting. Main meals is 2-3 serves of carbs and snacks 1-2. My dietician didn’t differentiate between low and hi GI but I feel fuller on low GI serves.
    If you only have ‘pre-diabetes’ then you should (NOT A DR) be able to handle your blood sugars with a balanced diet. I can do this as a diabetic, but your underlying health may be quite different to mine. But don’t panic just yet. I was told the closer I can get to the 5 veg and 2 fruit a day the better. Also 30 mins of exercise a day. Haven’t quite achieved that yet.
    I also recommend that you look up Health at Every Size. If your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are all fine it doesn’t matter what you weigh.
    There was also an article a week or two ago which talked about some research finding that people who got diabetes while fat actually had pretty good longevity outcomes compared to people who got diabetes while thin. If you are thin and get diabetes you are in big trouble (apparently) but fat people don’t seem to fare as badly, which was unexpected. So score one for the fatties there. 🙂

  12. Mindy and Thacky, seems like a lot of carbs? I’m not trying to lose weight (and my weight is steady), but I try to eat a diet that’s close to the diet humans evolved eating, which certainly involves far fewer grams of carbohydrate than that (since it doesn’t involve large amounts of grains – it’s not exactly low-carb, since it still involves large amounts of vegetables, but not as many as 30-45 grams of carbohydrate in a meal and 15-30 in a snack).
    Some nutritionists suggest eating a paleolithic type diet can help prevent diabetes (such as these ones). Literature reviews also suggest carbohydrate restriction lowers blood sugar levels – such as here (no doubt two links mean my post will disappear into moderation!)
    I love eating this way because I feel so much healthier – and I don’t feel restricted because I’m not attempting to restrict how much I eat. I do occasionally have things like a slice of birthday cake – I’m not totally fanatical 🙂 (and I wouldn’t normally mention how I eat here, but since Thacky asked…)

  13. Rebekka and Mindy,
    thanks so much for those thoughts, and Mindy: thanks for hosing down my incipient panic – as with all things, better to address it early, but no need to dive back to the old dieting days.
    Thanks for the tips – don’t want to derail into too much diet talk – it’s already making me anxious, don’t mean to spread it around.
    Feeling really good about having this space to vent, though, so my thanks to all.

  14. @Rebekka – 1 serve of carbs is 2/3 of a cup of rice, 1/2 a cup of some veges or 1 med potato. I could probably track down my list if you wanted a copy. I found it was much smaller than I had assumed a serving was but YMMV.
    @Thacky – I have decided eating a balanced diet, with occassional fun things and moving in a way that feels good to me is what I will aim for. The rest can be managed. Plus, no diets which I think is a good thing.

  15. Sorry, did that sound snarky? It wasn’t meant to. My painkillers are making me a bit fuzzy today.

  16. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8522739/man-freed-after-wrongful-rape-conviction
    The Comments! *headdesk* *headdesk* *painful headache* *headdesk* *head bleeding* *still better than reading the comments*
    Would I be right in guessing that there’s a post here somewhere on the topic of false rape claims, how uncommon they are, and why they happen?

  17. Mindy, not snarky at all, don’t worry!
    I’d probably eat one serve of carb-y veg at dinner (carrots for example, or beetroot, or parsnips), probably not even one serve at lunch (typically a chicken salad, or roast and steamed greens, which don’t tend to be carb heavy) and none at breakfast (except on the weekends, when I’ll sometimes have asparagus/avocado/tomato with my eggs). Plus loads of lower carb veg, and usually two bits of fruit as snacks – although just realised I didn’t snack today – ran out of time and consequently over-ate at dinner – plus nuts (walnuts often as I’m aware I should eat fish for the omega three, but can’t stand it!)
    I reckon maybe I’m eating 50g carbohydrates a day typically (having just googled what’s in various fruits, as this isn’t something I obsess over) – a lot less than the 100+ grams that would typically be recommended. Mind you, I’m also eating a lot more fat than is typically recommended – mainly because I think most dietary information is bollocks 🙂

  18. I was looking at a few threads on Feministe lately, and I was reminded of an issue that one runs into in liberal blogs. There are a lot of issues out there and each of them has a lot of people who feel very strongly about them. It’s hard to write a post or a comment which won’t somehow be on the wrong side of one or another of them, and at some blogs (Feministe in particular), there’s a culture of “calling out” people who transgress on any of those issues. What ends up happening is that the discussions end up being about the different ways that the OP — or the commenters — are (or are not) being racist, ablist, or some other X-ist, rather than the original topic.
    I recognize that it’s good for people to learn about these issues and to understand when they’re unthinkingly continuing some oppression or other bad thing that they would not want to. But at some point, the demand that everyone already be at a point of complete understanding on everything before writing anything just shuts down conversations.
    So I’m wondering. For one thing, how might one have on-line discussions that neither empower the people who are invested in not supporting any change, nor shut out those who are making an honest effort to understand things? For another, how can/should one participate in a blogosphere that often seems to consist more of shouting than engagement without losing one’s mind?

    • AMM, I’m kinda both on the outskirts at Feministe (because I’m not a regular commentor, although I’ve been commenting intermittently since 2005) but also central because I’m part of the backend discussion (since I’m the designated webwrangler there). There’s definitely an imbalance there right now between what the bloggers are hoping to be discussing and what the commentariat decides to discuss instead, and it’s getting rather messy. Ideally this could be an opportunity for growth all around, but I’m trepidatious.
      I’m a wee bit squiffy right now, and not quite sure that I should be commenting further in this condition. I just didn’t want your comment to be hanging any longer.

  19. Sending up the Hoyden Signal! Is there a word (or short, neat string of words) for the kind of privilege shown by white middleclass Westerners who’ve lived their entire lives with the contraceptive pill readily available? Who have no idea what life might be like without reliable contraception, whether living before its invention, or not being able to afford it, or being in a country or sub-part thereof (American pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions) where it’s not readily available? Who are all smug “well, of course in exceptional circumstances like rape” about abortion? Who don’t realise they are exceptional circumstances, by having so much control over how many children to have, and when, without unpleasant ethical conundrums?

  20. Privileged fuckers (pun intended) comes to mind but probably not that helpful 😉

  21. Not related to any of the previous comments, but a friend just sent me this, which is the most golden thing I have seen on the interwebs in a long time.

  22. Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy birthday dear Tigtog
    Happy birthday to Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    *Cheers
    *Cheers
    *Cheers
    Here is your gift wrapped otter! Sorry about the water dripping…

    • Thanks Helen! I had a terribly pleasant computer-free day and a night out at my favourite French restaurant. Awesome meal, as always.

  23. Happy Birthday Tigtog! For yesterday, I’m assuming. 😀

  24. Happy Birthday, TT!
    I actually jumped on here to ask whether the burn-off smoke in Sydney is getting to anyone else. I *consciously* know it’s all fine, and also that it is a good thing as it (hopefully) reduces risk/severity later in the season. But one bushfire season literally came a bit too close to home for me, and anything reminiscent of that summer (including anything generally to do with bushfires! such as a pall of smoke over the city) raises my general stress levels significantly. (All was fine for us in the end, I should add.)
    Anyway, I am a bit miserable and grumpy today, the second day of haze 😦
    (And – HA – deep breathing does not help! 😉 )

  25. Happy Birthday Tigtog!

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