Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

From the Kitchen

September 2, 2016

From the Kitchen #189

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Unlucky Planet?

There is a planet at the centre of the known universe and, according to the god of at least three of the major religions on that planet, man was given dominion over all the animals and plants. It is a shame that this was not given to woman, to nurture and care for, because man has cared little. (more…)

Book Reviews

September 1, 2016

Classic Farce Hides the Pain

Our_Tiny_Useless_Hearts-200pxOur Tiny, Useless Hearts
Toni Jordan
ISBN: 9781925355451
$29.99
269 pp
Text Publishing 2016

Other reviewers seem to have focused on the farce aspects of this new novel by Toni Jordan and a classic bedroom farce it is. As a farce, the story is a well-paced romp with frequent and surprising twists and turns.

Many reviewers have labelled the book ‘romantic’. Whether it really is romantic depends very much on what that word means to you. There is little about the story I find romantic. The three couples and one interloper do not fit my idea of romance. They are self-obsessed, self-absorbed, cynical, jaded, tired and unhappy – none of this lends itself to romance in my world. (more…)

Book Reviews

August 22, 2016

Walking the Memory Lane

The_Memory_Code-200pxThe Memory Code
Lynne Kelly
ISBN: 9781760291327
$32.99
318 pp, including index, chapter notes and photos/illustrations
Allen & Unwin 2016

There are books that have the potential to change lives and this is one such. It is more than that: it starts to return dignity to non-literate peoples; and it puts into fresh perspective the orality of societies that were and still are frequently denigrated.

Lynne Kelly set out to write something quite different for her PhD dissertation: about animal behaviour and indigenous stories. At Stonehenge, she had an epiphany that led to an in-depth examination of non-literate societies. (more…)

From the Kitchen

August 6, 2016

From the Kitchen #188

188-corridor_of_power-450pxUncharted Waters

I have read the Magna Carta (well, a translation), and the Bible (ditto) and parts of the Quran (again, ditto) and, likewise, translations of numerous other texts: the Baghavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the Book of the Dead and The Divine Pymander.  Interesting reading.  Inspirational. Thought-provoking. (more…)

From the Kitchen

July 31, 2016

From the Kitchen #187

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They’ve moved everything again. I mean, how could they, without warning me? I came in this morning and my normal cubicle was gone. Cubicle 8.1. Why 8.1? Don’t know. I used to be in 7, but they ‘upgraded’ me. (more…)

From the Kitchen

July 26, 2016

From the Kitchen #186

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[Photo of dead Sunnis in Rada’a after US bombing of Yemeni Sunnis.
Posted on Twitter by #White (#البيضاء), 26 October 2014.]

This is what war looks like. These Yemeni women and their children were, I assume, non-combatants. They were not soldiers. They were presumably not insurgents or terrorists. They were unlikely to have been a threat to anyone. (more…)

From the Kitchen

July 25, 2016

From the Kitchen #185

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July is a month for snoutings. There are three major birthdays – including mine – two anniversaries and a ‘Christmas in July’ dinner. All of them involve snoutings.

snouting, /snaʊtɪŋ/ noun a social gathering at which too much is eaten and/or drunk.
Etymology: an outing, combined with the image of a porcine or bovine gathering at a trough. (more…)

Book Reviews

July 2, 2016

Holy Bible

Holy_Bible_cover-200pxHoly Bible
Vanessa Russell
ISBN: 9781742706269
$15
335 pp
Sleepers Publishing 2013

This is Vanessa Russell’s first novel and it is beautifully and thoughtfully crafted. It delves into the underbelly of a Christian religious cult that, like many such groups in real life, has internal frictions that threaten to tear it open; and they eventually do. (more…)

From the Kitchen

June 19, 2016

From the Kitchen #184

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What should we, as a society, as taxpayers, be paying for? What should we be subsidising? Who should we bail out?

It is possible to divide our society into three major sectors: private individuals, corporations, and government. Society is the creature of its individuals and arguable should exist to serve those individuals. The individuals also constitute the corporations and elect the governments. (more…)

From the Kitchen

May 21, 2016

From the Kitchen #183

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Grub’s up.

What are you eating and what’s eating you? Survival of any individual, and of any species on this planet, is a matter of balance. While you are alive, you eat to stay alive and, hopefully, thrive and pass on your set of winning genes to the next generation of critters. (more…)