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Waiting To Serve While The Business Is Closed

This is a heart-achingly sad feature article by Garry Maddox on Fairfax about the Olympia Milk Bar (Parramatta Road, Sydney) and its owner.
The Milk Bar was forced closed by the local council due to severe structural problems in the building, along with other signs of disrepair.
And yet, within the milk-bar that never opens a solitary figure carries out a daily routine, just as if it were still open.
Its impossible not to think of the similarity to this sad situation to numbers of churches.

The beginning of the article.

The old Olympia milk bar – a landmark on Parramatta Road at Stanmore – has kept sadly declining since it closed late last year.
The sign out front is full of gaps: “SNACK_, SMOKES, S_E_ _S,” it reads. The window is partly boarded up. The awning is black with dirt.
But anyone passing who has a moment to pay attention might see a figure moving in the shadows at the back of the shop. If they ever dropped in for a milkshake, tea or a quick meal after a movie when the Olympia was open, they will recognise him.
Eight months after its last customer, elderly owner Nicholas Fotiou still spends his days – apron on as though ready for work – at the Greek milk bar that has been his life.
“Seven days a week,” he says with a thick Greek-Australian accent.

Read the rest here.


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Still Probably Safer Than The Pick Avenue – Jubilee Highway Intersection

This looks like a snap compared to Mount Gambier’s notorious Jubilee Highway – Pick Avenue Intersection.


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The Vocal Talents Of Tara Strong (via Great Big Story)

You may not recognise Tara Strong, but you may be familiar with voice which features on a variety of animated shows.
In this video she introduces us to some of those characters and speaks about how to convey story and character through vocal inflection alone.


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Does The ‘Close Door Button’ In An Elevator Do Anything? (via Mental Floss)

Articles about why ‘Close Door’ buttons on elevators don’t work, and the reasons why pop up from time to time.
The practicalities behind their non-function make sense, but their presence in elevators even when not connected is still a bit odd.

Read about it at Mental Floss, or search around the internet for plenty of comparable pieces.


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“A System Of Perfectionist Teenage Girls”

This article in Melbourne’s Age newspaper caught my eye.
It’s an interview with Claire Shipman and Katty Kay authors of a book called The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know.
Part of the article deals with what they describe as a “system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.”
The rationale behind it is explained in these terms:

Not surprisingly, it’s a mix of nature and nurture. It does seem that girls’ and boys’ brains develop a little differently. Girls, especially at puberty, start to really have much higher emotional intelligence than boys. They did before, but this is the time they double down. It leads girls to be more cautious, and boys don’t have that. Boys get a big boost of testosterone, stuff that encourages risk-taking. You build confidence by taking risks and struggling and failing and eventually mastering something. You need to be taking action to build confidence. But the system we’ve all set up is one that creates this army of young girl perfectionists.
From preschool through university, it’s all about sitting still, colouring within the lines, doing more than expected, trying to please teacher. So they don’t take risks, fail, mess up. There’s this whole conversation about boys struggling academically. But that means in the real world they know what to do. They’re learning lessons about taking risks, so they’re more ready to try something.
We were really struck by this idea of how is this happening with young women. They are outperforming boys academically. Then they enter the work world, and their confidence plummets. They’re just not learning it’s okay to take risks and fail.

The takeaway is setting up mechanisms for encouraging both girls and boys to learn from failure.

Read the interview here.


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How To Tie Shoelaces With One Hand (via Megan Absten)

Megan Absten is an athlete who lost her left arm at age 14.
Here she provides a video tutorial on how to tie shoelaces one-handed.
(A couple of different ways, actually.)


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Australian (Extreme) Dinghy Racing

Dinghy is such a wonderful word.
This three-minute video from Great Big Story about Dinghy Racing in (South) Australia had me at “In 1981, two dinghy pilots in Australia made a wager to determine which one of them could ride their boat to the pub the fastest. Thus, extreme dinghy racing was born.”
Of course it had to be about getting to the pub fastest.
It’s Australia.