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A Long Time Ago…

…or in a short time soon.
(don’t worry if you wanted to go with me, this is only my first viewing)
Here’s hoping it’s a good one.

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The Cost Of Teenage Optimism (via David Zahl at Mockingbird)

A post by David Zahl dealing with the implications of a social science report that finds that tries to engage with optimistic teens turning into disillusioned 30 somethings.
From the report itself:

The researchers can only speculate about why getting older is less fun than ever, but it seems the downturn in happiness among today’s thirtysomethings is the lasting effect of an overly optimistic youth, Twenge said. “This is something I’ve thought about for a while,” she told Science of Us. It’s the natural, if unintended, backfiring of a childhood filled with messages like, You can be anything you want to be!
Soaring expectations, if left unmet, can lead to crushing disappointment; this is the kind of common-sense statement that happens to also be backed up by a raft of psychological research…

From Zahl’s reflections:

When we embrace an inflated anthropology, we set ourselves up for disappointment and confusion, rather than wonder or compassion. For example, a vaunted view of ourselves all but dictates how we will respond to the horrific events that transpired in Paris last week. Empathy is too frightening for what it might say about us, and so we demonize. We classify the perpetrators as completely other–bad as opposed to good, savage as opposed to enlightened, victimizers as opposed to victims–which only furthers the same dehumanization that makes such acts possible in the first place. Perhaps that’s too close to the bone.

Read the whole post at Mockingbird.

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Footwear In Australian English (via OZwords)

The May posting at the OZwords blog features some terms associated with footwear in Australian English language usage.
Nothing too spectacular, with Blunnies, thongs, ugg boots and others being featured.
Probably the best in ‘chewie on your boot’.
I’m probably surprised there weren’t more.
Probably because most of us in Queensland grew up barefoot.

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Carnations And Whistles (via Tanya Riches)

Somehow I found Tanya Riches’ blog a while ago.
The articles reflect a personal perspective on sociological issues in Australian culture and Christianity.
This confronting article about the stories of indigenous women in Australia unfolds remarkable resilience in unthinkable circumstances, and hopes for a culture where the abused will be believed and supported.
The carnations and whistles?
They were Mother’s Day gifts at a church service:

…during a Mothers Day service at Mount Zion Aussie Indigenous Church, women were handed a single carnation flower and a keyring with a light and a whistle. Their pastor, Stephanie Truscott, an animated African American lady, ordered the ushers to pass them to ladies sitting in the pews. She stared over her glasses and down the pulpit yelling, “I don’t want any more calls! Do you get me? You use these! I don’t want any more hospital visits! I can’t bear it any longer!”
I compare this to other “gift moments” I’ve seen in churches. Teacups. Miniature shoes. Journals.
Yeah, handing out a pretty little silver key-ring and hoping it might save a woman’s life is pretty sobering.
Read the rest here.

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People Prefer Electric Shocks To Being Alone With Their Own Thoughts For Fifteen Minutes

This seems so weird, but is based on the premise of being without company, phone, pen, paper, book, music or anything.
The whole situation stands at odds with the observations about having too much to do or being overloaded with busyness.
The very situation we contend plagues us, we’re actually addicted to.
People apparently can’t last even fifteen minutes totally alone with themselves.
Given the choice they administer electric shocks to themselves just to have something to do.
I wonder how the same experiment would go, but giving people the choice of watching The Bachelor?
Try the fifteen minutes alone thing some time.

Read about the experiment here.
There’s lots of analysis around the internet as well.

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The Origins Of The Names Of Australia’s States, Territories, and Their Capitals (via Today I Found Out)

Just in case you didn’t know, this post from Today I Found Out provides the origins of the names of Australia’s states and territories, along with their capitals.
I don’t know if they teach Australian geography and history in schools anymore.

Now, if you search around the internet you might find out that the list might not be absolutely complete.
But what is there sounds correct to me.
Including the useful fact that you don’t pronounce Brisbane ‘Brisbane’, and the slightly disappointing fact that Melbourne could have had the much, much cooler name ‘Batmania’.

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Opera Company Of Philadelphia ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ Flashmob (Again)

Posted this back in 2010, but someone else reposted it recently and it is so good.
(Flashmobs seem to have faded away, haven’t they?)
Anyway, in this case it’s not so much a flashmob as a Random Act Of Culture.
The Opera Company Of Philadelphia have continued to perform these, and if you click through to their youtube page there are renditions of Verdi at a Cheesesteak Diner and Mozart in a Library, among others.
While not featuring the massed number here, part of the treat is that each performance seems out of place but finds a home in strange environs.
Now, if you haven’t seen this you’re in for a treat, if you have it’s as good as you remember.