Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sketches at Wedding Location

from w
We were really too busy to do much sketching but I found some white paper on the back of three maps to get to St Alban's and beyond, so did some scribbly drawings of a tree, a small hill opposite, and the place where the wedding ceremony took place. For a wedding gift I gave one small framed print of a sketch I had made at a garden shop, and various other prints the couple can use if they wish. One however I signed upside down - in a hurry - of Lake Connewarre! Okay, some kind of art it doesn't matter which way up I suppose! I've put that picture at the top of this post.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

And the kookaburras laughed

from w
Yesterday we attended a delightful wedding up past St Albans, more than two hours drive out of Sydney. Our nephew Alex married Laura and what a pleasure it was to be in a beautiful landscape meeting up with relatives and making new friends. During the ceremony there was some funny poems and statements read, and suddenly there was a huge chorus of kookaburras laughnng loud and clear above us! This was a real rural setting yet there was a large tent for the dinner, and decorations everywhere, tents for the campers and pigs and lamb roasting on spits. Greek food. Pictures to come later when we are back in Geelong. Blessings on the young couple Alex and Laura in their great adventure.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trash and treasure in Melbourne

from w
I had an errand at the Immigration in Melbourne which only took five minutes once I waited 20 minutes for my number to be called, then I walked downtown to buy some music at Allen's - dowhloaded from the internet - Katcheturian Spartacus music, have a Thai lunch and then wander through lanes and arcades before catching the Geelong train to home, noticing the Buddha statue in one of the western suburbs.

Of course, different people would have their own views on what is trash, what is treasure. Those lanes with the graffiti have enthusiasts and enemies. Colouring the grey walls to me is excellent. The city is so full of contradictions. Trash to me is the excesses - the wigs, the cakes, the shop windows full of things we don't need. And expensive shoes - I hate shoes. The beauty is there too in some of the stories people tell. I am a loner usually on these day trips to Melbourne and don't engage easily in conversation but I did talk with the girl in the almost deserted music shop. She was a singer and violin player. I neglected to talk with the Aboriginal girl drawing with chalk. A woman on the train from Geelong only talked with me when we caught the same tram. Her story - going to a hospital for an after-cancer checkup. A Tongan couple were at Immigration and we talked about the recent death of the King of Tonga. But mostly I just kept silent in my day in Melbourne, taking photos and doing a little drawing at Southern Cross station.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Geelong High needs upgrade

from w
Oh dear, Geelong High does need a bit of attention. This is the school our grandkids go to, and our sons went to, and we lived at Shenton Manse across the road for nine years and the halls etc. behind our house was used as classrooms. These days even the Manse is owned by the school and used for music. Good idea. However up in the art room in the Winstanley Wing there's trouble apparently. When the kids downstairs cook muffins and cakes (and they are tasty when Andy brings samples home) the art students are too hot! One student took his complaint to the local Member of Parliament and complained. Here's the story from the local Addie.

Geelong student tells Canberra to fix school
Mandy Squires | March 16th, 2012

FEELING THE HEAT: Year 12 student Matt Hrkac and VCE Studio Arts teacher Kelly Veenstra. Photo: CORMAC HANRAHAN

A GEELONG High School student is so hot under the collar about his appalling classroom conditions he has taken his concerns to Canberra. Year 12 student Matt Hrkac yesterday pleaded with the State Government to provide funds to fix his dilapidated school.

On hot days students were forced to work in airless, upstairs classrooms, which could reach temperatures of more than 40 degrees, he said. "It's absolutely shocking that it can get that hot up there and it is absolutely unsafe," Mr Hrkac said. Sick and tired of hearing his classmates complain about the heat and outdated facilities in the school's Winstanley wing "but never doing anything about it", Mr Hrkac said he decided to write a letter to Federal MP, Richard Marles.

"I just took it upon myself to actually try and do something," the 18-year-old said.

Mr Marles said Mr Hrkac's letter became the subject of his constituency speech in parliament on Wednesday, because he, too, was concerned for the welfare of students at the school. After touring Geelong High at Matt's request, Mr Marles said he was shocked by the conditions students had to work in. "The Winstanley block is in terrible shape and I defy anyone to walk through that building and not believe that it's a really inappropriate place to teach kids in the 21st century," he said.

The former State Labor Government had approved a redevelopment of the school but the Baillieu Government had refused to match that promise and left the school feeling badly let down, Mr Marles said.

Geelong High had been identified as one of the 50 most needy schools in the state, he said.

"What we don't want is another generation of students educated in this archaic facility," Mr Marles told parliament.

Mr Hrkac's letter showed how desperate Geelong High School students were for change, he said.

"Matt's letter was a passionate appeal from a young man who clearly loves his school, likes his teachers and believes they all deserve better than the deal they currently have," Mr Marles said.

Geelong High School principal Ruth Higginson said upstairs art classrooms in the Winstanley wing were above the food technology rooms and became unbearably hot when students were cooking below. Senior students were trying to create VCE art portfolios in those conditions, Ms Higginson said. "Students come here every day and do the best that they can in facilities that should be so much better," she said.

A spokesman for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development yesterday said funds to redevelop the school would be considered as part of the State Government's "budget process". "The Government is currently engaged in State Budget planning to determine how best to allocate public resources in the 2012-13 financial year," the spokesman said.



from w
Congratulations to our grandson Jordan for winning a medal in the third swimming sports for the season - first at the High School sports where Andrew also got ribbons, then Geelong region, then Western Victoria. Excellent.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Too much paper, too many trees

from w
At last they did it! Decided to stop printing Encyclopaedia Britannica using paper. Realizing that the way to go these days is on-line, this humungous set of books will be no longer printed and updated. Thank goodness. Too much information. When we were children we did use such sets of books (though my Dad's set of encyclopaedias was modest, very Anglo, and small) but really who wants to know everything about everything. Wikipaedia isn't perfect and googling a topic comes up with some nonsense at times but we can distriminate surely.

Now newly built libraries do not have to be huge places at all if information can be small enough to be on discs or computers be set up instead of stacks. Okay? What do you think? It's not as if holding a volume of an encyclopaedia is going to be comfortable in bed to read in order to put you to sleep!

At the Geelong Donation in Kind depot where Peceli and I go most Tuesday or Wednesday mornings to sort and box books into Baxter boxes to send on to schools in the South Pacific etc. we dump most sets of encyclopaedias before 1980 to turn into cardboard.We are given lots and lots of such sets. I dislike packing them up as the print is small, the information barely relevant to children in the highlands of Papua New Guinea etc, though some of our volunteers like them and want us to pack them. I don't.

from a website;

But what will librarians do with all that shelf space?

By Benjamin Reeves:
March 14, 2012 12:44 PM EDT

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, for nearly a quarter of a millenium the English-speaking world's singular authority on virtually all disciplines, will no longer publish a paper edition as one of the most revered icons of the pre-digital world morphs into so many gigabytes.

Actually, it's already morphed.

Encyclopaedia Britannica launched its digital edition for LexisNexis and its first multimedia CD in 1989. The Web version of the encyclopeadia came out in 1994. But all that time it kept coming out in paper. Its most recent edition, the 2010 version, was 32 volumes long and weighed 129 lbs.

It's been an amazing, 244-year run. The encyclopaedia was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1768. In 1902 it became a U.S. company, and today Swiss financier Jacob Safra owns the Chicago-based publisher, Britannica Inc. Throughout the 20th century it was sold door to door. Because the encyclopaedia was so expensive, many families bought it in installments, a few volumes at a time.

Its most recent paper edition, the 2010 version, cost $1,395, according to the New York Times, and only sold 8,000 units. In fact, there are 4,000 remaining sets still in a warehouse. Contrast that with 1990 when 120,000 sets were sold in the United States alone.

"In spite of our long history with print, I would like to point out that no single medium, neither books nor bits, is at the core of our mission. That mission is to be a reliable, up-to-date, and scholarly source of knowledge and learning for the general public," Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., wrote.

While sales of the printed encyclopaedia have faltered recently, Britannica's online branch has burgeoned to over 100 million users between the core Web site and the company's educational sites and apps. Britannica charges a $70 annual fee for an online subscription.

"I guess it would be the end of an era if they were actually going to stop publishing it, but so long as they keep updating it ... that's fine by me," said Jeffrey Douglas, Librarian of the College at Knox College.

"I definitely feel a certain nostalgia. It's one of those moments when you have to pause and say to the world is really changing," Denise Hibay, Head of Collection Development at the New York Public library said of Britannica's move to digital only publication.

However, paper versions of reference books do have advantages in terms of ease of visual scanning and comfort. "There's a level of comfort when you have a large set and can page through it," Archer said.
and also:

Lynne Kobayashi of the Language, Literature & History section of the Hawaii State Library notes some people will always prefer using print sources, but that readers are becoming attuned to online searching because of a proliferation of electronic publishing.

"There are many advantages to online searching, chief among them the ability to search within the text," Kobayashi said. "The major disadvantage is the need for a computer or devices with access to the Internet."

Kobayashi said her decision to use traditional or online resources depends on the question she wants answered.

"Sometimes subject knowledge and familiarity with standard resources may get faster results than keying in a search and sifting through results," she said. "If the search is broader, searching across several online sources may yield more options."

Britannica has thousands of experts' contributors from around the world, including Nobel laureates and world leaders such as former President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It also has a staff of more than 100 editors.

"To me, the most important message is that the printed edition was not what made Britannica," Cauz said. "The most important thing about Britannica is that Britannica is relevant and vibrant because it brings scholarly knowledge to an editorial process to as many knowledge seekers as possible."

Kobayashi said as information professionals, librarians see an important part of their role as directing patrons to trustworthy information sources.

"While Wikipedia has become ubiquitous, the Britannica remains a consistently more reliable source," she said.


Monday, March 12, 2012

The caravel in Geelong

from w
Yesterday it was sunny and nice for a stroll along the Geelong waterfront. It was the windup of the Wooden Boats Festival, and a chance for us to see the 'Notorious' a replica of a Spanish/Portuguese style boat of the 15th century. It took the passionate boat-builder, Mr Wylie, down in western Victoria, ten years to build it. Amazing. It was only $2 each to clamber all over it and take a few photos and think about how once upon a time our ancestors (or their enemies) worked or pirated from these kind of ships! Top photo is from an article in the Herald Sun, the rest are my pics. Some info from that article - Replica Portuguese caravel the Notorious sails into Corio Bay, Geelong
Matthew Schulz From: Herald Sun January 20, 2012 12:00AM
and a video on it.

In the 10 years' full-time work it took the cabinet-maker and keen sailor to craft the 55-tonne wooden ship by hand in his Bushfield back yard, many were quick to laugh at his apparent folly. Mr Wylie, 54, said he never wavered in his belief that he could and would build a ship to sail the world. The result is a 21m wide, 17m tall marvel that can cruise at up to seven knots and take spectators back in time. That is no accident.

Mr Wylie was inspired by the legendary Mahogany Ship, a Portuguese explorer thought shipwrecked in 1522 on the wild coast west of Warrnambool. But despite sightings dating back to the 1800s of a ship part-buried in the dunes and a $250,000 reward once posted to prove it existed, the ship remains a mystery.

Mr Wylie brought his mystery ship to life with just $20,000 and old-fashioned methods. He drafted the design - without a computer - from pictures of the ships used by pirates and conquerors - Portuguese caravels - fashioning the "nimble and shallow- drafted" vessel by salvaging fallen cypress trees off farms and using an abandoned ironbark for the keel.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reminds me of Japanese pottery

from w
Once upon a time, it does seem a lifetime away now, I was up to my elbows in pottery, interested in Japanese and Chinese ceramics particularly. Always seemed to have clay in my fingernails - at Bendigo Tech evenings while I taught art at Bendigo High School. This week I made some images using photos I took at our church group's picnic to Van Loon's Nursery. The pics reminded me of that time in Bendigo and the earth coloured glazes we used to try out. Hey, this was the early 60s!


Linda's frocks

from w
When I was up at Federation Square in Melbourne recently I looked around the gallery and one exhibition was really beautiful - the frocks by Linda Jackson. Taking photos with a flash is banned at the gallery so I took one without a flash after a guide 'fixed' my camera but it wasn't good at all. So I found some pics of her designs on the internet - influenced by her love of the Australian bush, flowers and fauna. I did some rough sketches that day. I do not wear beautiful clothes, and never did - just the same old clothes, time after time and I really won't go to fashion parades where boring clothes are worn. However I love to see fashion as art such as these designs by Linda Jackson.
WEBSITE http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au
OPENING HOURS 10am - 5pm Tuesday - Sunday
VENUE National Gallery of Victoria: Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne 3000


Colac caravan park

from w
Peceli and I spent two nights at the Colac Caravan Park beside Lake Colac and our small house was fine and was an excellent place to stay as Peceli helped the local Uniting Church with pastoral visits and in leading worship. The people of Colac have been very warm, friendly and affirming of Peceli's ministry in retirement. We heard many stories and each person we met had so much to tell about their life. Also we had a chance to walk along the lakeside in the early morning and later I made a brief visit to the botanical garden next door. Formal and informal landscapes of course. Australian landscapes are often messy and scribbly and trees bent every which way. I had a go at drawing the ducks at the caravan park but I've made some of them look a bit dodgy!

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