Monthly Archives: February 2006

Mitchell Seow

There are still people coming here looking for information about the Sydney High student Mitchell Seow who died suddenly on 14 January 2006: see my January 2006 archive. Mitchell was in the debating team I supervised in Years 7 and 8. High Notes that reprinted a lovely article that appeared a short while ago, though not online, in the Sydney Morning Herald:
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Posted by on February 28, 2006 in events, ex-students and coachees, personal, Salt Mine


Strawberry Hills Pub

Lunch with Lord Malcolm and Sirdan was here yesterday: warmish beer 😦 but good value food. And Lord Malcolm saw lots of cute — um — and we saw the sexiest car we have ever seen:

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Posted by on February 27, 2006 in friends, local, Lord Malcolm, Sirdan, Sunday lunch


Still preparing to write about Islam

Yesterday in church Dorothy McRae-McMahon said she had been interviewing a woman who had been on the Hajj, and as they talked about what this experience had meant to the interviewee, Dorothy was surprised when, having told the interviewee that she, Dorothy, was a Uniting Church minister, the woman asked “What is a minister?” But then on reflection Dorothy remembered that for years she had no idea what the Hajj is. “We all stay in our boxes, don’t we?”

Today we are reaping the whirlwind of our insularity, and theirs, I fear.

Did you see this odd story in the paper today?
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Getting checked at the hospital soon

The Redfern doc thought the Heinz soup theory possible but also detected an ectopic arrythmia, not in itself necessarily all that dangerous. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 24, 2006 in health, local, personal


Seyyed Hossein Nasr

There was an entry on Lines from a Floating Life in June 2005 when I first got Nasr’s The Heart of Islam, which I am now reading carefully as I think what to say here on the subject soon. At the end of that entry I may have been a bit harsh. Certainly one great plus in the book is to enable the rest of us to appreciate the diversity and complexity of Islamic ideas and practices, and to grasp the import of the fact that Islam has no central authority like, say, the Vatican.

I have also just reread The Koran: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Cook which deservedly is in this Guardian list, Robert Irwin’s top 10 books on Islam and Islamic culture. It really is fascinating.

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Posted by on February 23, 2006 in America, book reviews, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, Iran, Islam, terrorism, Top read, writers


Vertigo again!

So the last time was 9 January: today I have it again, but this time alcohol is definitely not a factor, seeing as I have not had any. But if memory serves me correctly I did have the same meal last time, a particular Heinz soup. That may be significant. But of course it could be any number of things. I will go to the doctor tomorrow and hope, as last time, the condition lasts no more than 24 hours.

Meanwhile the good news is my superannuation payment should be in the bank tomorrow.

I have also ditched IE6 in favour of the latest Firefox: IE6 was freezing far too often.

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Posted by on February 23, 2006 in blogging, Christianity, health, personal


Today Tonight on 7: Shock Crisis Scumbag Betrayal of OUR Kids Horror

The Shock Crisis Scumbag Betrayal of OUR Kids Horror of the moment on this flagship of manifestly declined standards in Australian television “journalism” — the mix of microstories tonight was as bizarre as anything on Frontline — is an education panic story tantamount to an infomercial (is that the correct spelling of this nonce-word?) on behalf of coaching colleges; for a little while at least, until they get bored with it, as they will, and move on to some new “outrage”, perhaps zoo keepers into bestiality with gorillas while rorting tax payers and diddling pensioners of their life savings.

(I really shouldn’t complain, I suppose, as I get a little return myself in the tuition market. Not enough, mind you.)

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Posted by on February 20, 2006 in Australia and Australian, culture wars, education, immigration, Islam, John Howard, linguistics and language, literacy, literary theory/criticism, media watch, Multicultural, Political, right wing politics, Salt Mine, TV