Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Archive for January, 2010

From the Kitchen

January 27, 2010

From the Kitchen #36

Some years ago, a group of Australian Aborigines celebrated India’s Independence Day – 26th January [1].  They thought this much more appropriate then celebrating that day as the date the Aborigines lost their independence when the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove (although some sources say it was 25th January).  Indian independence was seen as symbolic – the kicking out of the British. (more…)

Book Reviews

January 25, 2010


Author: Peter Ralph

Publisher: Melbourne Books, 2007

ISBN: 9781877096952

RRP $24.50,

This is a story that needs to be told again and again.  The avarice and self-serving attitudes of the principle character are depicted graphically and chillingly.  People like Douglas Aspine should be locked up as quickly as possible and ‘re-educated’, before they can do more harm. (more…)

From the Kitchen

January 20, 2010

From the Kithcen #35

Every now and then we are treated to a thoroughly entertaining film that also carries important messages.  Avatar is such a film.

Most discussion I’ve heard and read has been about the spectacular computer graphics, the amazing scenery, the fast-paced action and the violence.  Only a few people have mentioned the powerful underlying issues the film deals with: corporate greed; corporate-military collaboration; the treatment of ‘people not like us’ as inferior to us; the possibility of a strong connection of a people with their environment; the possibility of a planetary intelligence; connection with a numinous presence. (more…)

From the Kitchen

January 13, 2010

From the Kitchen #34

The trains in Metroville were all painted bright yellow with green ends.  They had comfortable orange seats and doors that hissed when they opened and closed.  But they were mostly empty.  Metrovillians preferred to ride in their roaring cars to go to work and to go shopping and to take their children to school.

Over the years Metroville grew from a very large town to a small city and then to a very large city.  As it grew, more and more people drove more and more cars and eventually the roads were so crowded that every journey took four times as long as it used to.  Metrovillians complained to the city government, which built beautiful freeways in response. (more…)

From the Kitchen

January 6, 2010

From the Kitchen #33

Wasting time on the Internet seems to be a part of modern life.  I’m not talking about games or social networks or Googling one’s own name.  I’m peeved about forced time-wasting, struggling with badly-designed web sites.  There is no excuse for this (the bad design, not the bad mood).

I recently spent a fruitless two-and-a-half hours on a site, trying to buy, download and install a European map on a GPS for someone about to travel there.  The best way to describe the experience is to liken it to visiting a building designed by morons. (more…)

Book Reviews

January 4, 2010

Award Winning Australian Writing 2008

Published by Melbourne Books

ISBN: 9781877096660

RRP: $28.59

The reason I’m keen to include this review is that one of my stories is included.

This is the first of what Melbourne Books plans to be an annual publication.

The publisher looked at over a hundred stories and bush poems which had won awards around Australia in the past year and then chose twenty-six of these to showcase some of the best writing being produced in this country. (more…)