Thing the first Riding through the park this morning I noticed a large group of people being personally trained (if it is possible to be personally trained in a large group). The current trend in training seems to be a sort of bootcamp style, where participants wear black t-shirts and get yelled at by a burly guy with a whistle. The group this morning were lined up in an oval, on pushbikes on stands, to turn them into stationary bikes. The group was all peddling furiously, but getting nowhere and I imagined that my own bike was looking at them distainfully as we rode by.
Thing the second I walked home past Dimmey's, Swan St. The window display currently features underwear and bras, some of which are being displayed on male mannequins, complete with female wigs. There didn't seem to be any obvious reason for this. Midsumma festival? Valentines day?
Thing the third When I got my splint the other day (Feb 6) the instructions said that it is common for wearers to remove them in their sleep. I thought this unlikely, and surmised that people probably just got sick of wearing it during the night and took it out. However, the last three mornings I have woken up to find the splint sitting on the bedside table, smiling at me. I have no recollection of doing it but as it is fitted too tightly to my teeth to fall out I must be doing it.
There's an article yesterday's Age about the benefits of keeping a journal and how it can, apparently, boost your psychological health. Interestingly,according to one researcher, it would appear that writing about painful or traumatic events initially tends to make the journaler depressed, rather than relieved or unburdened. The benefits seem to be more apparent later on with journal-keepers showing
an "impressive drop" in visits to the doctor, compared with writing groups who were assigned other writing topics
I am not sure if this would apply to blog-keeping, however, which are often very aware of their positioning within the public sphere and as such tend to be more carefully edited than the traditional paper-based journal or diary.
So, Australia has signed a Free Trade Agreement with the US and for the industry I work in (television and new media) this has potentially serious ramifications. As this article in today's Age points out, there are currently quotas that Australian networks must show of Australian-made content. Under the Free Trade agreement this quota seems to be capped at an upper-limit of 55 percent. There doesn't seem to be a lower limit set in place.
It is much cheaper for broadcasters to purchase and screen American shows than it is for them to buy or commission Australian content. Programs are often bought "bundled"- that is, one successful American show is sold with a whole lot of less successful shows as part of a package. Broadcasters, obviously, would prefer to show these "filler" programs that they've already purchased by default rather than commisioning new, expensive Australian content.
While it could be argued that most of the shows we currently screen are remakes of American concepts (Idol, Big Brother etc) at least it is Australian actors, producers, sound-engineers etc who are being employed to work on them. If the caps on Australian content are removed then the industry will disappear and the content that is screened will eventually become indistinguishable from American content.