• Musings - Teaching

    School Holiday Traffic

    Driving in to work this morning, the traffic was blissfully sane. As it always is during school holidays. It occurred to me that, rather than spending billions on new roadworks to ease traffic congestion, simply getting the majority of the ‘school run’ off the road would make a very dramatic…

  • Musings - Religion - Science Stuff

    Something I’ve been thinking about

    First, check out this amazing video. You might have seen it before, but watch it again anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo&feature=search Now, God could have just walked over to the car and switched it on, metaphorically speaking. But how much more amazing and awe-inspiring to do it this way! Similarly, he absolutely has…

  • Musings - Religion

    Church and the Semiotics of Space

    Here’s an iPhone photo that I sneaked this morning of the interior of the church: The church was built in the 50s, and I think the pews and many of the other furnishings are original. The small thing I noticed was the little decorated (with different shades of wood) wooden…

  • Musings

    Patholatry

    As well as being a decent possible band name, this word that I coined on my bike ride this morning seems to me to be a decent descriptor of some aspects of our society. It’s jamming together ‘pathology’ and ‘idolatry’, and I take it to mean something like ‘worship of…

  • Musings - Teaching

    Disciplined Eclecticism

    Chatting in the car with Suzie the other day, and she asked me ‘what’s the key educational idea you’re all about?’1 The discussion was pretty much about ‘branding’ myself: Mr Piaget has his stage theory, Mr Kohlberg his moral reasoning, Mr Vygostky his ZPD and so on… What will be…

  • Musings

    Evidence, Eminence and Vehemence

    Heard the tail end of a very interesting story on ABC Radio National yesterday afternoon. It was based on some ideas from Peter Heimlich, the son of the Dr Heimlich who gave his name to the Heimlich Manoeuvre for helping people who are choking. Here’s a link to the program:…

  • Musings

    Progress or Symptom?

    So, Ms Smith and Mr Jones are in love, and have the big white wedding. But it would too, too archaic for Ms Smith to take his name and become Mrs Jones. How patriarchal! So they keep their own names, which is entirely fine. Then they reproduce… young Master… well,…

  • Bike Stuff - Musings

    Procrastination

    I lubed the chain on my bike this morning, and it felt much happier on the ride in. I’d been trying to get around to doing it for a week or so, but I was away for 3 days, and left home before it was light another couple of days,…

  • Musings - Politics

    UnAustralian

    One of the local newspapers included in today’s edition free small Australian flags to be flown from cars, so there were lots of them about on the weekend. Lots of flags everywhere else as well, including on clothes and even bikinis. I had a bit of a rant-ette to the…

  • Musings - Religion

    Religion is like Alcohol

    So, it seems to me like alcohol, particularly in large quantities, just exacerbates (or disinhibits) a person’s existing personality characteristics. If someone is already belligerent they’re likely to get in a fight, if they’re happy and mellow they’ll be more happy and mellow, and so on. And it seems to…

  • Musings - Personal

    Random Notes and Incidents

    Been too busy to post for a while, so here’s a rapid catch-up: Brisbane has had 3 wild storms this week, leading to over 320,000 houses losing power and many being destroyed. And there’s another one forecast for tomorrow. So far we’ve been rainswept but undamaged.Alex mused that although they’re…

  • Bike Stuff - Musings

    Let Karma Take Care Of It

    I started out mostly thinking about it in relation to bike riders, and the things drivers do to them. For some reason on one particular trip home last week people pulled out in front of me 3 times. I had my lights on as usual, was doing everything the same…

  • Musings - Philosophy - Reviews

    Religion and Truth

    I need a big book to take on a big flight, and as I think I mentioned here before, I’m enjoying Neal Stephenson’s ‘Anathem’ on this trip. It’s over 900 pages of fairly small print, so I only read about half of it on the trip up, and have plenty…

  • Musings

    Affirmation

    The pastor at church this week was talking about our value in God’s eyes, and said something about God’s regard for us telling is we’re awesome every day. Then he said something like “How long is it since someone told you you’re awesome?” (my paraphrase). My response (to myself) was…

  • Musings

    Fundamentally Flawed Numbers

    Some of us in the School of Education did an activity last week where we had to look at some statistics about our programs and compose a response to be sent to the Faculty and the University. There were all sorts of stats, on enrolments and attrition (students who start…

  • Musings - Politics - Religion

    Breeding Contempt

    It happens in lots of places and on lots of issues, but the place I notice it most is in the response letters in the local newspaper, the Courier-Mail. The web-based version of the paper allows people to comment on stories, kind of like blog comments, and a lot of…

  • Musings - Science Stuff

    Have a nice day

    We kind of know that any day on earth could be our last: sickness, accident, or even a lightning or meteor strike, and it’s all over for us. It makes life precarious and precious if we remember it. But in reading and thinking recently, I’ve come up with my Top…

  • Musings

    Ascription Errors

    It started on Salon with a discussion about feminism, and how sometimes feminists can be unkind to women who decide that they want to be stay-at-home parents. Someone claimed that such unkindness should not be ascribed to feminism itself (since it is about allowing women to have choices), but to…