Monday, March 28, 2011

Half the Sky

I promised I would blog about this last weekend, but as I'm involved in volunteer emergency services, one has to go when one is called. So this is my first chance, and I fear it's brief.

If you haven't yet put this book on our list, do so soon. It's inspiring yet shocking, it's compelling yet scary, and, from my own experiences in this field, it's very accurate. As the back cover says its 'a call to arms against the most shocking and widespread human rights violation of our age'. It's talking about the fight for equality for women and their daughters around the world.

I've not yet finished it, but here's just two powerful quotes for now.
* note of warning - this is terrifying....
Violence against women is also constantly mutating into new forms. The first documented acid attack occurred in 1967, in what is now Bangladesh. Now it is increasingly common for men in South Asia or South East Asia to take sulfuric acid and hurl it in the faces of girls or women who have spurned them. The acid melts the skin and sometimes the bones underneath; it it strikes the eyes, the woman is blinded. In the world of misogyny, that is technological innovation.... such violence often function to keep women down....... in many poor countries, the problem is not so much individual thugs and rapists but an entire culture of sexual preditation....
++ on a more encouraging note - the authors share stories of the work of social entrepreneur such as Zach Hunter (now in High School) who started the Loose Change to Loosen Chains campaign. It's the inclusion of these positive change focused case studies that makes this book so valuable - we can be a part of change too.
Aid workers function in the context of an aid bureaucracy, while social entrepreneurs create their own context by starting a new organisation, company, or movement to address social problems in a creative way. ... they tend not to have the traditional liberal suspicion of capitalism... They are not content just to give a fish or to teach how to fish - they will not rest until they have revolutionised the fishing industry (Bill Drayton).
I'd like to provide more of my own analysis - but time prevents that for today. More soon. Don't forget, you can fin out more at Halfthesky.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

1. Why does it seem that I'm distracted from my goals?

2. Hasn't it been said to sneeze is equal to sex?

3. My favorite breakfast includes fruit and maple syrup.

4. I dont remember what was the last book I read before I turned 20.

5. I am SO glad it's friday!

6. A cocktail would make me feel better right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to coffee with my french teacher, tomorrow my plans include a bike ride and a haircut, and Sunday, I want to cook and blog about 'Half the Sky'.

Go to Friday Fill-ins for more like this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

French Film Weekend

This weekend, my friend Sarah and I went to Sydney for the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival. It's a rare occasion that one would spend a whole day in a cinema let alone watching 4 movies in a foreign language. We actually saw one movie Friday night, then 3 in a row on Saturday. We enjoyed the company of other francophone's, champagne and nibbles in comfy lounge chairs of the Palace Norton Cinema, and the challenge of trying not to read the subtitles...We watched
  1. Angele & Tony - Angele is a young woman falling apart. after returning to the seaside town after two years away, she's fiercely determined to reconnect with her young son, yet also scared she's unfit to care for him. She meets Tony through a personal ad, and through a testy period of clashing personalities, the two come together in the end, making it possible for Angele to reconnect with her son.
  2. Bus Palladium - reported as an 'irresistibly charming tale of a rowdy group of would-be rockers trying to make it big in the music business'. While I found it engaging, I did find it a little 'noir', with the lead singer attempting and finally taking his own life. Still the music was good.
  3. L'age de Raison - a 'feel great romantic comedy' which captured my attention as 40 yr old Margaret, a high powered executive, is invited by her own 7 yr old self, through letters she wrote at the 'age of reason', to explore who she has turned out to be. Finally Margaret is reunited with her long lost best friend, Phillibert, and her younger brother Matthieu, her dream to feed starving children in Africa, and ultimately her french name 'Margaruite'.
  4. Crime D'Armour - with Kristen Scott Thomas, this movie claimed to be cross between Working Girl and Dangerous Liaisons. It was, and with some interesting twists and turns, it concluded with the publicly defamed younger executive designing and completing the murder of her senior who stole her successes for her own progress. The success of the murder, was that she had also successfully orchestrated her own freedom and another's imprisonment for the crime.
While wondering through the streets in a spare time, we were sucked into several good book shops ending up with a small bundle to carry home. My collection included
  1. The Ethics of Trade and Aid - development, charity or waste? by Christiper D Wraight.
  2. Humanitarian Assistance? Haiti and Beyond by Neil Middleton
  3. Half the Sky: How to change the world by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn.
  4. Jacob's Hands: A Fable by Aldous Huxley and Christpher Isherwood.
I know I haven't been online much recently, but I have been discovering new things to blog about. I'll be doing a garden update soon, because this afternoon I'm peeling some 'Loofas' for the first time, and I should also be cooking up an oversupply of beans. I'm hope to see you soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Follow Me

This week I received a request from Jan to add the followers link on my blog because she wants to follow me. I was quite taken by this request, so now that I've added the link [see the left hand column], I'm going to send Jan a little gift for her suggestion, and I will send someone else a little gift too.

Win a Gift!! If you join up to my followers by the end of March 2011, I will randomly select a winner. I look forward to cementing current relationships or forging new ones through this blog improvement.

Thanks Jan!