Friday, July 31, 2009

And more snorkeling

Thursday, July 30, 2009

And more kayaking

Oh How the Tides have turned

This is an amazingly hate filled set of clips directed towards our president. These are the same people who said not even a year ago, you have to agree with your president, you have to support him, and even if you don't like his policies you have to be respectful and support him. Wow! That was maybe the worst 180 I've ever seen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More snorkeling

Would it have made a difference if they told me ...

I was told the other day by a friend that the whole idea that I, and all other international students and women in the department, that it would have been okay if the department had told us beforehand that this was what would happen. I don't think it would have been okay

If they would have told me that in their eyes that my Masters Degree, my two undergrad degrees and graduating from two honors programs along with all my previous teaching experience was going to mean that I'm not as qualified as a 3rd year student that they have known for 2 years and has much less physics training then myself, I would have never thought about coming to Australia. If they would have told me that in their eyes they were never going to count the teaching experience that I have had at the University of Newcastle and still only see me as "experienced" as a 3rd or 4th year student, I wouldn't have bothered even packing for Australia. If they would have told me that they would use excuses of people having trouble with accents I wouldn't have bothered. This is not okay even if they would have told me about it before, either before I came or before last semester.

This means that they are deciding even before a single international student arrives, when they don't ask any of the women coming up through the department to teach and only the guys, that their resumes are not going to be as complete as the male students who completed their undergraduate education here. It means that they are already making it harder for us to find jobs and professorship positions, let alone limiting our chance at a better income in the immediate future.

How can people only think this is a question of them not being honest about my chances of finding work, it goes much deeper then that. The other term people have put to this is that it's politics. This is not politics, this is racism, and sexism. This is a good old boys club and the reason it is so hard for minorities to break into groups such as this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And some more Mission Beach

Here was a sand dollar.

No women lab demon. for 2nd Sem.

We aren't even being considered. Why? because they refused to give us labs other then first year algebra based physics. The reason they gave me now (last sem. they told me that there was no difference between teaching any of the labs) is that I had never demonstrated before, which is an out and out lie. Apparently any thing I did before coming to Australia doesn't count. There were also other women in the department who had taught labs there previously so it is a bit odd that they put us all in the same position. They decided last sem. that none of us would be eligible to teach, that we would be forced to have a lower income. The thing that gets me, none of the girls seem to care, none of the Prof. seem to care (although mine did have words with the guy hiring people and said that he will make sure that I get into the other labs next year, and that what is happening is ridiculous). It seems like people just look over the plight of the women in the department because there aren't many of us, and all of us are also international students.

So I will say that it might not be a women's issue (although I think it is) but it might be a international student issue. As I stated above, all of the women in the department (post grads that is) are international students. The men who are international students (except for one South African who also did his undergrad there) are also in the position. Whether this is a problem with sexism, or with xenophobia, this needs to be fixed, unfortunately the overwhelming response is "No Worries".

Monday, July 27, 2009

A hilarious video.

I wonder if this is a good look at politics in Washington DC. I can understand that they might not want to answer some peoples questions, but to run away, to try to hide, and to name call is just absurd. They need to grow up. I would have thought that they would have a standard answer of something like "contact my office to set up a meeting or to pass your questions on to and we'll get back to you. I'm busy working for you the American people so I'll talk to you through those paths." Instead you get this...

Yet more of Mission Beach

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

And more kayaking

Rachel Maddow and why I love Obama

I think I've found a new newscaster whom I can respect, and it's not John Stewart, although he is still my favorite, it's Rachel Maddow from MSNBC. Here is her wonderful report on Obama, some one who can admit when they were wrong, some one who is willing to try to make bridges, some one who just wants us all to get along.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And more kayaking

There is a turtle in there I promise.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

and some more

In case you missed it...

Here is the press conference of President Obama on health care reform. I really hope that this passes and with his ideas of how to fund it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And more of our private island

If you have some time...

This is an amazing speech by Obama about the Health care reform. It talks about how this bill will help you keep the doctors that you like, try to make more hospitals and doctor offices work like Mayo, and save money for the citizens of this Country. After listening to the first 20 mins, I have no idea what the GOP is complaining about. They have been spreading lies and I would like to know how much money they get from the drug, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies and lobby groups, and I would like to know how much those groups are paying the media to air the false claims that seem to be running wild. Take a listen, and then if you still aren't sure about the issues visit the White House website and the Health Reform Website

Monday, July 20, 2009

The media corrects itself

It's too bad that the media took so long to correct itself, but it finally has, at least in part, so here it is.

And more kayaking

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Two of the islands we visited.
I think this was a bunch of fish... Again this is why I need an under water camera

A sunset from our private beach.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And more kayaking

This was our private island. There was no one on it but us... Okay we had to share it for the first 2 hours that we were there with maybe 5 other people. Then as we were kayaking around to about 4 other islands we say a grand total of two other people. I tell you if you ever want to feel like you've got it all, your own island, your own chef and guide, then Coral Sea Kayaking is the way to go. They are absolutely amazing!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I need an under water camera (or an underwater case)

Interesting notes from Wikipedia.

I was watching Media Matters this morning and saw yet another very disturbing interview from Pat Buchanan about Judge Sotomayor, so I thought I'd look her up.

Of course where does one go to find out things? Wikipedia, okay so it is the new Encyclopedia Britanica, and it might not always be 100% accurate, but it's easy to check it's sources, and for this article they seem sound. Here is what I found out about Judge Sotomayor.

Over her ten years on the circuit court, Sotomayor has heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and has written about 380 opinions where she was in the majority.[9] The Supreme Court reviewed five of those, reversing three and affirming two[9]—not high numbers for an appellate judge of that many years[14] and a typical percentage of reversals.[98]
Sotomayor's circuit court rulings have led to her being considered a political centrist by the ABA Journal[61][99] and other sources and organizations.[61][78][99][100][101][102] Several lawyers, legal experts, and news organizations identify her as someone who has liberal inclinations.[103][104][105] In any case, the Second Circuit's caseload typically skews more toward business and securities law rather than hot-button social or constitutional issues.[14] Sotomayor has tended to write narrowly formed rulings that rely upon close application of the law rather than import general philosophical viewpoints.[14] A Congressional Research Service analysis found that Sotomayor's rulings defied easy ideological categorization, but did show an adherence to precedent, an emphasis on the facts of a case, and an avoidance of overstepping the circuit court's judicial role.[106] Unusually, Sotomayor reads through all the supporting documents of cases under review; her lengthy rulings explore every aspect of a case and tend to feature leaden, ungainly prose.[107] Some legal experts have said that the attention to detail and re-examining of facts of a case in her rulings came close to overstepping the traditional role of appellate judges.[108]

Across some 150 cases involving business and civil law, Sotomayor's rulings are generally unpredictable and do not represent consistently pro-business or anti-business tendencies.[109] Sotomayor's influence in the federal judiciary, as measured by the number of citations of her rulings by other judges and in law review articles, has increased significantly during the length of her appellate judgeship and has been greater than that of some other prominent federal appeals court judges.[110] Two academic studies have shown that the percentage of Sotomayor's decisions that override policy decisions by elected branches is the same as or lower than that of other circuit judges.[111]

With all of Pat's worries that she wouldn't be there for the white man, I was shocked to read this, again from wikipedia,

In Pappas v. Giuliani (2002),[125] Sotomayor dissented from her colleagues’ ruling that the New York Police Department could terminate an employee from his desk job who sent racist materials through the mail. Sotomayor argued that the First Amendment protected speech by the employee “away from the office, on [his] own time,” even if that speech was "offensive, hateful, and insulting," and that therefore the employee's First Amendment claim should have gone to trial rather than being dismissed on summary judgment.[126]

Although I agree, but hate to agree, one would think that she wouldn't have dissented based on the rhetoric used by the GOP against her. It's amazing to me how many lies the news and journalist can spread with out ever having to check their facts, apologias, or at least tell the whole story. It's lies by omission, lies by ignorance, and lies by ineptitude.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some good and some bad in the news

It is amazing to hear what some of the media have to say about Supreme Court Nominee, Obama, and Health Care. . . and then it's good to see some unusual suspects speaking out and correcting others with their miss information.

I survived my first tsunami

I was watching tv and saw a news bulletin that there was a possible tsunami for NSW. I went to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

IDY68028 Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology MEDIA: NO USE OF STANDARD EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNAL [SEWS] TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE AND FREQUENT BROADCAST ******************************************************************************** TSUNAMI WARNING NUMBER 4 FOR PARTS OF NEW SOUTH WALES Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre [JATWC] at 10:44 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 ******************************************************************************** TSUNAMI THREAT TO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT ******************************************************************************** SUMMARY: Tsunami warning for the marine environment for parts of NEW SOUTH WALES. Threatened areas extend from Gabo Island to Seal Rocks including Batemans Bay, Bellambi, Botany Bay, Gabo Island, Jervis Bay, Kiama, Merimbula, Montague Island, Moruya, Moruya Heads, Narooma, Nelson Bay, Norah Head, Shell Harbour, Sydney Harbour, Ulladulla and Wollongong. Possibility of DANGEROUS WAVES, STRONG OCEAN CURRENTS AND SOME LOCALISED OVERFLOW ONTO THE IMMEDIATE FORESHORE for several hours from 09:45 pm [EST] Wednesday. Although major evacuations are not required, people are advised to get out of the water and move away from the immediate water's edge. Next update will be issued by 11:44 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 For latest and further information call 1300 TSUNAMI [1300 878 6264] or visit ******************************************************************************** DETAILS: A threat of DANGEROUS WAVES, STRONG OCEAN CURRENTS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SOME LOCALISED OVERFLOW ONTO THE IMMEDIATE FORESHORE exists for parts of NEW SOUTH WALES from Gabo Island to Seal Rocks including Batemans Bay, Bellambi, Botany Bay, Gabo Island, Jervis Bay, Kiama, Merimbula, Montague Island, Moruya, Moruya Heads, Narooma, Nelson Bay, Norah Head, Shell Harbour, Sydney Harbour, Ulladulla and Wollongong. Tsunami effects are expected at the following locations from these times: Port Kembla after 09:45 pm [EST] Wednesday Batemans Bay after 09:45 pm [EST] Wednesday Eden after 09:45 pm [EST] Wednesday Sydney after 10:00 pm [EST] Wednesday Newcastle after 10:15 pm [EST] Wednesday COMMUNITY RESPONSE ADVICE FROM THE NEW SOUTH WALES STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE - While major evacuations in these areas are not required, people are advised to get out of the water and move away from the immediate water's edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms and beaches. - Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront. - Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further advised. - Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of dangerous, localised flooding of the immediate foreshore. - Check that your neighbours have received this advice. CAUTION: Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first wave not necessarily being the largest. Low-level effects may be observed in neighbouring coastal areas. People are advised to take care. TSUNAMI SOURCE: An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 [Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E ] occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 near OFF W. COAST OF S. ISLAND, N.Z.. Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated. Tsunami has been observed at Spring Bay in TAS at 10:05pm and at Port Kembla at 10:06pm ******************************************************************************** The earthquake of magnitude 7.9 [Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E ] occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009. ******************************************************************************** The NEXT UPDATE will be issued by 11:44 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 FOR LATEST AND FURTHER INFORMATION: Call 1300 TSUNAMI [1300 878 6264] or visit FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE: Call the NEW SOUTH WALES STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE on 132 500 ******************************************************************************** EST = Eastern Standard Time CST = Central Standard Time = EST - 30 minutes WST = Western Standard Time = EST - 2 hours The JATWC is operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia ********************************************************************************

I then realized that the Tsunami was suppose to hit at 10:15 and it was 10:50. It must have gone by with me not even noticing. So incase you heard anything on the TV about Australia and Earthquakes. I am fine, there doesn't even seem to be any flooding. I'll let you know if anything changes.

More Kayaking