Category Archives: Social Networking

Love Locked

At the Dogs’ Refuge Home where I volunteer, they’ve set up a novel idea for celebrating people’s love for their dogs. It’s called “The Trellis of Love”.

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For AU$25, you get your name and your dog’s name placed into a padlock, which is then placed onto the trellis for evermore. You also receive a paper certificate to commemorate the event. It’s such a romantic notion, like that evinced by the (many) Bridges of Love in Paris. (The trend seems to have caught on and spread to other countries around the world – read this Wikipedia entry on “love locks“).

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This year, I hope lots of people visit the Refuge to adopt a new furever friend for themselves, or a playmate for their existing dog. I hope to see that Trellis of Love filling up soon with lots of love locks. After all, our dogs deserve all our love, as unconditional as the love they give us every day of their lives.

Love is not just for Valentine’s Day, it’s for Always and Forever. Dogs will give us just that, day in, day out, without a complaint or bouts of anger, and certainly without a battle of egos. The same can hardly be said of us human beings, we who profess to be the “superior race”. Give me the love of a dog any day.

Beauty

I am not perfect. I am no spring chicken. I’m no Barbie with flawless plastic skin, legs up to Heaven and an impossible waist. I have wrinkles, stretch marks, freckles, pimples. My stomach is no washboard for sure, but that is not because of diet or lack of exercise. My body bears the scars of many, many experiences a lifetime of living brings.

I like my food. I have an enormous propensity for eating. Where does it go, I hear you ask. It goes to my face, that’s where it goes. My Oriental Moon face, as some like to call it. Yes, it’s a round shape, I can’t help the genes I was born with.

When I put on weight, it goes to my face first. When I lose weight, it goes from my boobs first. Shucks. So, if you see me looking like a lollipop, big round face with a stick body attached, you know I’ve been on a diet. I realised this when one day I found myself stuffing tissue paper into my bra cups, just to look less flatchested. After the last time that happened, oh so many years ago, I decided to learn to love my body, and not try to make it something it clearly isn’t. I chose Health and Exercise instead of Fashion and Make Up. I’m much more comfortable in a t-shirt and trousers and boots, than in a filmy, floaty dress and stilettos.

These days I’m anything between a UK size 12-16. Yes, when we women are close to getting our periods, we can get bloated from water retention and shift up a dress size or two. That’s a fact of life. Embrace it, don’t deny it. You’ll feel better about yourself for it. Yes, PMS is real too, so deal with it, gents, or stay out of our way. 😄

And if anyone dares to criticize your size, weight, looks and appearance…you tell them where to go, sister.

It’s Your body. Learn to love it, because you’re going to be living in it for a long time.

Cosmetic surgery? Sure, go ahead, if you really must. It might fix a thing or three, but you’ll be constantly fretting about your other imperfections, and then you’ll spend the rest of your life and money fixing those things. Have you seen what happens when cosmetic surgery goes wrong, or when someone has clearly had way too much of it?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This sick Society we live in has declared that Beauty should be such and such, and every girl should try and fit into that mold. It will make you attractive to men, so you can catch a handsome husband, get married, have children and live happily ever after.

Maybe our forebears lived that fairytale, but we sure don’t these days. For one, many of us gals are finding that the company of other women is far more enriching and satisfying than the company of men. So, hetero guys, you really need to pull your socks up and change your outlook and criteria, or you’ll be left in the dirt.

Men can be just as shallow as women, if not more so. In the name of research, I signed on to a free internet dating site, to see what the fish were like in the sea these days. Turns out 95% of men still believe that they can attract women by boasting about their motorcycles, cars and boats. Or about their strong affiliations with certain sports and teams. My impression was that these guys are actually searching  not for potential life partners, but for likeminded friends in a sports club. So, why not just go to a sports club?

Gents, if you’re really serious about finding The One, you really should start thinking about what The One may be looking for. You’d be extremely lucky to find The One online, who loves your Harley as much as you do, or will go wild beside you and scream along with you at an AFL match. If that’s what you’re after, my advice is to ditch the internet dating scene and go to a motorcycle rally, vintage car show, sports event, or whatever your poison is. You’re more than likely to find that those places have done you a great favour already by filtering through your potential candidates and presenting you with those who share your passion for hot rods or angling rods.

As for me, I’m just your average 45-year-old Oriental lassie, carrying a few extra pounds, with a Moon face, little eyes, floppy belly, scars and scarecrow hair. But I’m also witty, savvy, intelligent, funny, hardworking, self-motivated, passionate, honest, truthful and always to the point.

I don’t like using my photo for social media profiles. But it’s not because I’m ashamed of my looks. It’s because I know people will respect me more based on what I write in black and white, or over the phone and internet, rather than on what I say in person. Because, unlike a lot of people, I don’t judge a book by its cover, but by what its contents are like. I’m more interested in the story than in its flashy outer wrapping. My own outer wrapping is perhaps not the prettiest, and I find most men tend to look past me or even through me because of that…but that’s a reflection on their shallowness, and not on me.

What they don’t know is just what they’re missing out on, because baby, I’m all about content 😉.

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A New Perth

This week, in a flurry of publicity and media advertising, Perth officially opened its newest tourist destination, Betty’s Jetty. I mean Elizabeth Quay. 😄

The powers that be apparently felt it justifiable to spend AU$700,000 on changing the name of the Esplanade Rail and Bus terminals to Elizabeth Quay. This meant that, as the Esplanade was the main terminus for all Transperth bus and train services, every bus and train timetable was affected and had to be reprinted to reflect the change of name. Every train line that passed through the Esplanade also had to have new destination posters printed and the old ones removed from their walls, ditto every train station affected (what’s wrong with simply sticking the new name over the old one? It would have cost the taxpayer less money).

And so, Perth, Western Australia, has had a facelift. Tourists used to bemoan the fact that Perth, unlike her iconic sister Sydney, lacked a focal point for tourists.

Until now, that is. I don’t rightly know if a little pedestrian and cyclist bridge counts as a major landmark, compared to the size and majestic setting of the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or if a smattering of eateries and a new venue for the annual Perth Fringe Festival count either.

I took my trusty mobile phone for a photowalk around Elizabeth Quay last week, after another hot and sweaty day at the Dogs’ Refuge. There was one part of Elizabeth Quay that did remind me of the walk around Sydney Opera House. Perhaps it was the series of stepped seating areas, the boardwalk, or the wavy curves of the new Ferry Terminal’s roof. It was lovely to see a ferry coming in to dock. It did remind me of my jaunt to the Sydney Opera House many, many years ago (25 years, to be exact – OMG, when did I get so OLD?!!), albeit on a much smaller scale.

Anyhow, here are some of the photos I took, so you can see what all the fuss is about. Sightseers are able to walk clockwise or counter-clockwise, it’s a more or less a circular walk. You could start from the Perth Bell Tower and walk clockwise, to end back at the Bell. Or, if you’re starting from the Esplanade sorry Elizabeth Quay train station, you could walk counter-clockwise, to the bridge and over to the Bell and back round to Elizabeth Quay. Below is a map I saw on a wall at the entrance gates.

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And here are the rest of my photos. Sadly, just as I was taking photos from the bridge, my mobile phone battery went dead 😕. So, apologies for the lack of photos after the bridge. I will have to make another trip there, I guess…

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The New Bullies

Social Media can be a great tool for bringing about an increase in business traffic. It can serve to alert many people to the existence of a product, service or cause.

But it also has a very ugly side. One that seems to be rearing its head more and more frequently these days. And I’m not talking about how our Media feed is being manipulated so that we only see or know about what They choose to let us see or know. They’re not even trying very hard to cover up the real news these days. And why? Because generally, people are stupid and lazy and can’t be bothered to scratch under the surface, to peel away that very thin veneer of a facade, to uncover the Truth. The Elite are almost guaranteed that the sheeple masses will soak up and bask vicariously in the glorious scandals and “news” of celebrities, and not be inclined to look elsewhere. If it does not appear on your Facebook feed, it never happened, right?

But I’m not going to harp on about that. Not today. Today I’m calling out the New Bullies On The Block. Yes, the playground bullies of old have grown up and migrated to Social Media, where they’re having a whale of a time.

These days I find myself holding back from making comments about any posts I see online. The first thing I do is check the Comments section. I can then gauge by the level of “flaming” going on, whether the post is going to be full of online trolls, or real human beings, with a modicum of respect and common sense. If it’s the latter, then I might post my comment.

Sadly, we’re living in a world full of trolls. You can’t post anything up on your own Social Media feed, without attracting these lowest forms of life. No, I don’t mean to insult amoebas. I mean the ones that have nothing better to do that jump on your back and try to pummel you to death with Their Opinions. And, being the malcontents that they are, these heinous creatures will then sit and wait for other unsuspecting people to come along and dare to make a comment. And then they’ll set to with fangs bared and claws out, ripping to shreds any dissenting views. They must have really ginormous Egos that require constant buffing and buttering up.

Many a forum thread or post have had to be deleted by either the original poster, or moderators, because these bullies have so effectively hijacked them as to be unrecognisable. What may have started out as an innocent statement, has been turned into a maelstrom of seething discontentment, like a pit full of vipers.

Why? Why do people feel the need to troll? Why do they need to take to Social Media to vent their frustration against something else? Because rarely is their anger really about the subject or person they’re flaming. These cyber bullies have other ants down their pants, but have turned to Social Media as a means of releasing their angst. Welcome to the world of Virtual Psychiatry, where you attempt to heal yourself by tearing someone else a new a**hole to bits.

Even the most inocuous Pages can be filled with the most horrendous wolves in sheep’s clothing. Everyone’s out to get something for nothing.

Even a post selling off some books can turn into a playground full of bullies. Where the seller perhaps needs to sell quickly, in order to get much-needed cash, and has named their terms. You’d think this transaction would’ve gone smoothly without notice, but you’d be wrong. Instead, these new playground bullies decide that they don’t want to respect the seller’s terms, so they try wrangling different terms, their own terms to be precise, advising the seller of their own requirements, and they even start arguing amongst themselves and talking as if the seller isn’t in the conversation. Brazen? Yes. Cheeky? Definitely. Rude? Oh, most certainly. Enough to drive people away? What do you think?

It’s becoming rarer and rarer to find decent human beings in this world. Mostly, they’re the ones living away from our technologically advanced but soul-sucking, materialistic world. Or, they’re the ones who realise where Society is going wrong, and are managing to keep their heads while everyone else is running around like so many headless chickens. When you come across people like these, (the ones still owning their heads, not the headless chickens), hold tightly onto them because they are as precious and rare as hens’ teeth these days. I’d rather have just 1 of these “real” people as a friend, than a million “the lights are on but nobody’s home” vapid, vacuous, vain, empty sacks posing as human beings. I recently uncovered 2 diamonds in the rough, and they are definitely worth holding on to.

Why do people feel they can misbehave so freely on Social Media? Is it because of the relative anonymity the Internet provides? Is it because anyone can set up any identity they like, hell why not create a dozen different profiles, and let’s go take our anger and frustration out online, and bring others down to our level so we can feel ever so slightly better about ourselves for the next 5 minutes? Why do some people, especially the younger generation, feel so entitled? And get so aggressive when their bullying is called out?

Here’s another example of the sort of attitude that makes my blood boil. It’s not on Social Media, this example…it’s far worse than that. This is a real life example.

Someone’s just been asked if they would like to sell their car. Let’s call them the Seller and the Buyer.

Buyer: How much do you want for your car?
Seller: $5000
Buyer: I’ll give you $2000
Seller: But you asked me how much I wanted, and I said $5000.
Buyer: Hey listen, I’m just trying to help you out here. $2000 is my offer, take it or leave it.

That is just rude and disrespectful.

Society is sick. And we need to start reversing the trend, before it’s too late for all of Humankind.

Are you with me or against me?

Is this going to open up a whole new can of worms?

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(Image source: http://www.sinfest.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=3824&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=65 Which, incidentally, provides a rather good example of the type of flaming or bullying that goes on in online forums. It’s by no means a new phenomenon either, as this site harks back to 2008 or even earlier).

Which Planet Are You On?

The Kid and I were watching the TV series “Supergirl” the other night, and something one of the characters said to another made me sit up.

Kara is Supergirl, and her Aunt Astra, who was imprisoned on Fort Roxx, a floating space satellite maximum security prison thingy, has contrived a confrontation with Kara. In a nutshell, Astra was regarded as a terrorist on Krypton because of her revolutionary activities, and when she got captured she was sentenced to life imprisonment on Fort Roxx. When the Planet Krypton exploded, Fort Roxx was knocked out of orbit and landed on Earth. Kara herself had been placed in a space pod as a 14 year old girl, and sent to look after and protect her baby cousin, Kal-El…unfortunately the shockwaves from the demise of Planet Krypton also knocked Kara’s pod off its intended trajectory, Earth, and she languished in space for years, before ending up on Earth. By the time Kara got to Earth, her baby cousin Kal-El, had already grown up and become the superhero known as Superman.

Here’s a transcript of the conversation that construes between Aunt and Niece. This is in Season 1, Episode 8: “Hostile Takeover”.

Krypton is dying.

Our core is unstable. It has been for a long time because of how we’ve harnessed it for power.

We became greedy. And now the oceans have changed, and the weather.

I’m trying to get people to stop and see what they’re doing, and in doing so, I’ve had to do some difficult things.

Now, those of us who grew up on the Superman stories know exactly how it ended for the planet Krypton.

All just science fiction, right? Therefore not relevant, right?

But…Astra’s words have a certain ring of truth to them. Just look around us. Look at the human race. Look at the effects of our wanton disregard for the gifts of Mother Nature, our exploitation of Her animals, plants, oceans, minerals etc.

What have we done to our own Planet Earth???

Isn’t it time we stopped and started to think of ways we can SAVE our planet? Instead of continuing to plunder it for its resources, just to feed some greedy, grasping, profits-before-people corporations? Money isn’t even real!

Or…will those who dare cry that the emperor wears no clothes simply be locked up, just like Astra was? Will the Elite simply pay their minions to silence the revolutionaries, the rebels, the ones who dare speak the Truth?

If we do nothing, then Planet Earth is doomed to the same fate as Planet Krypton. Only this time round, it isn’t going to be science fiction, it’s going to be fact.

WAKE UP!

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More on Dog Enrichment Toys

Yesterday’s post was about Dog Enrichment Toys. In my research online on the subject, I came across dozens of different types and brands. It certainly seems like there are a lot of manufacturers out there jumping on the doggy bandwagon, all hoping that their product is The.Best.Dog.Toy.Ever.

That’s not going to happen, luckily for some and unluckily for others, whichever side of the retail market you happen to belong to. Dogs, like children, adore novelty. The scientific term for this, (yes, there really is one), is “neophilia”. Click here for the Science.

So, in effect, any toy that’s new is The Best Toy Ever to a dog. For the next few minutes anyway, until the novelty wears off. But, before you despair, and go out and splurge on more new toys, here’s some really good news…Put away a toy in a cupboard for a few days, and meanwhile let your dog play with its other toys. It’s a matter of “Out of sight, out of mind”. When you reintroduce that toy to your dog again, it will again be The Best Toy Ever. You could even fill the same treat dispenser with a different type of treat each time, and your dog wouldn’t care less that it’s the same old dispenser, he’s more interested in what’s inside it.

Here are just some of the more unusual enrichment toys available on the market. I won’t name them or provide links, as all you need to do is Google “Dog Enrichment Toys”, and you’ll be presented with a shedload of sites offering these products. I will however say this: try the DIY ones first, as you may already have the materials needed to make them at home, and save a lot of money AND have some fun yourself in the making of the toy. The retail manufactured ones can be quite expensive to buy.

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Here are some examples of DIY dog enrichment toys.

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As you can see, the first 2 above are essentially the same, only one uses PVC piping and the other uses empty drink bottles. The principle is the same – the dog needs to tap the bottles hard enough that they spin on their axis (the horizontal pole) and the treats fall out.

In the last picture, the toy is again made from PVC piping, (check the plumbing aisle in your local DIY store). The ends have been capped with a tennis ball. You can also buy end caps from the same aisle you get your pipes from. Drill some holes randomly in the pipe, fill from the end with kibble treats, and your dog’s challenge then is to push the toy this way and that to get the treats to fall out.

The trick is keeping the dog keen while it figures out how to get the treats out. Some dogs are very smart and will test out different ways of getting to the treats. Others will lose interest after just a few failed attempts.

Inspiring Art from around the world

…or, from Pinterest, actually. But that’s just as good, as Pinterest is my spaceship to anywhere my Imagination tells me to go.

So today, my Imagination told me to look at my Pinterest board “Inspiring Art”. And to pull some of my favourites from that Board, and share them with you, my dear readers.

Just because.

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For information about any of these images, please look for my Pinterest profile and then take a look at the images in my “Inspiring Art” board. When you click on the image within Pinterest, you’ll be taken to the original source website for that image.

Quotes on Why We Need Art

Yesterday I wrote about why we need Art, especially in this mad new world of ours, where Money is God.

As I did my online research, I discovered many quotes on why we make Art, and why Art is important to us all. So today I thought to myself, why waste a good opportunity to share those quotes here with yourself.

(The following images are curated from Google Images):

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Why We Need Art

I’ve a Pinterest Board dedicated to artwork that inspires me. I’m in awe of the creativity of artists, their talent for drawing, illustration, sculpting, etching, printing etc etc. So many different types of Art, so many different mediums and formats. It boggles the mind just how creative we human beings can be. What’s even more mindboggling is how artists keep struggling to survive in a world corrupted by consumerism, materialism and capitalism.

Why do artists still do what they do? The time for “big” artists is long gone…these days everybody’s well on the bandwagon, hoping to be “discovered” as the next Michaelangelo, the next Turner, the next Bacon, the next Hirst. Everyone wants to make it big, but only a few chosen ones ever do.

And yet we persevere. Perhaps it’s because something in us tells us to keep creating art, just keep pouring our heart and soul into our creations, do it for the sake of expressing our innermost thoughts, sharing our innermost secrets, crafting our innermost dreams. Honing them patiently, fine-tuning each flourish, loving each moment, until the day comes when we are no longer struggling and starving but rich and famous.

Hah! Dream on! 😄

It’s akin to playing the Lottery. We know our chances of winning are extremely slim, but yet we keep buying those tickets and hoping our numbers turn up. It’s Hope that keeps us buoyed and afloat. And when we Don’t strike the Lottery, we simply shrug and carry on buying the next ticket, and the next.

Or…maybe artists are just compelled to create Art, no matter if they never get any profit from it. Like Vincent Van Gogh, who was so driven to paint that it drove Him mad. And he still only ever sold 1 painting in his lifetime, and still died penniless.

I suppose we should be grateful that there are still artists in the world, and that they are so driven that they simply cannot stop doing what they do – creating beautiful Art and saturating our world bit by glorious bit. Art makes the world a brighter, more colourful and vivid place…and we could all do with some of that in this grey and dreary world of ours, filled with worker drones and the constant fluttering of millions of bills.

God help us all if one day there was no more Art. I don’t intend to stick around if that ever happens.

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The Genetic Studies of Dr Elinor Karlsson

For anyone interested in learning how dogs can truly be Man’s Best Friend and even save his life in more ways than one, the work of Dr Elinor Karlsson is essential reading. As part of my ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology course, I had to do some light reading on this subject. It’s exciting and intriguing, and I wish I had more Science residing in my brain cells, but hopefully here is a summary of Dr Karlsson’s scientific ambitions, in a (very small) nutshell:

Why are the genetic studies of Dr Elinor Karlsson and her team so important?

The main principle behind Dr Elinor Karlsson’s research is the premise that humans and dogs share not only many common genes but also a wide range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, narcolepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, heart disease, eye diseases, deafness etc. On top of that, these diseases also display clinical manifestations that are remarkably similar in both humans and dogs. Dr Karlsson hopes that by mapping the dog genome, and by getting dog owners to contribute towards a doggy DNA pool (the Dog Genome Sequencing Project) for further research, she and her team will be able to pinpoint exactly where diseases can occur in specific breeds of dogs, as in the exact location or loci on the dog’s genes, and how to prevent/treat/cure them, and, ultimately, how to transfer their findings to human research and testing.

Dogs live alongside humans and are exposed to similar pollutants in the environment. Diseases occur spontaneously in dogs, just as in humans, over the course of their lives. As dogs have a lifespan around 7 times shorter than humans, diseases of “old age”, such as cancer, manifest earlier in dogs and run their course in a few short years. Treatment for dogs necessarily proceeds more rapidly, and results are seen faster. Clinical trials that might take 5-15 years tested out on humans, will only take 1-3 years in dogs. So, it is hoped that dogs can provide a suitable testing ground for new and novel therapies. If it works on dogs, it might just as well work on humans. Dogs could REALLY prove to be Man’s Best Friend, in more ways than one.

More information on Dr Karlsson’s research can be found on this link, which makes for intriguing (if rather scientific) reading: http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/leader-of-the-pack-gene-mapping-in-700103

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(Photo of Dr Elinor Karlsson taken from this site: http://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2015/12/wall-street-journal-umms-study-of-canine-dna-may-yield-discoveries-to-help-people/ which gives people the opportunity to help Dr Elinor Karlsson’s work by contributing their own dogs’ DNA to her growing database for further research. Photo by Michael J Butts).