April 3rd, 2008


It's the Year of the Frog

Reading this in the latest Intersector

The Amphibian Ark program has been established to rescue priority endangered amphibian species and place them into protective custody in dedicated biosecure facilities at zoos, aquariums and other institutions around the world for safekeeping and breeding.

Go on. You *know* there is a story in that.

2012 Review

angriest has just posted a really nice review of 2012 here. His favourite is "Soft Viscosity" which I note for David's benefit!

I really am quite proud of the feedback for the book so far - thanks for sharing your thoughts and reactions to it. It makes the project all the more worthwhile and fun.

Sex is not a business transaction

I am outraged:

A FEMALE politician today confirmed she was serious that women should sign a contract before sex to combat false rape allegations if proposed laws are passed.

Here's the thing about sex and rape - even if I am consenting when I leave a bar to come have sex with you, I can still change my mind and have the right to not continue. Even if we are in the act of sex of which I am consenting, I have the right to change my mind and not continue. Even if I am your wife, I have the right to say no. At *any* point at which I am no longer consenting, if you continue, that is rape.

A person can suddenly change their mind for a bunch of reasons and they should be allowed to exercise that human right to say what happens to their own body at any and all points in time.

I say when, I say who and I say how.


list insight

A couple of people asked me about my list revelation yesterday so therefore this post. My revelation was not some new fantastic methodology. I've been using the same way for at least 5 years now. The actual revelation related to what and how things have been put on the list.

So ... what I was missing is my broad vision list. I knew I had to have one and in some places on the current working list I had things that alluded to long term planning but I was actually a bit lost as to how those should be done and thus .. they weren't being done. What I had missed was the daily or weekly or even monthly task lists separated from a long term vision. I had a mishmash of the two so that I had a 6 page working to do list that rarely got smaller because there were also long term goals that were not broken down into doable tasks.

So for example ... I had sections on the list for all my projects as well as for ideas for future projects. For some projects on the go, there are things that just are on long time lines ... like book launches in 2009. None of these things should go on a daily to do list along with things like "post so and so a copy of 2012".

So the revelation for me is two-fold. I need to get myself some long term planning lists - one for each project, that allow one page per project and have room for brainstorming how to execute these goals down into task by task things. And two .. I need to work off these long term lists by making up either weekly or daily lists of easily executable tasks. So what that means is .. you are more likely to do this task: post invoice to Jen over this one: design a financial plan for TPP.

As a rule of thumb, I also like to work lists in the following way.
1. A good list is one that you complete between 70 and 80% of in the alloted time
2. Allot yourself 10 daily tasks to complete
3. Try and complete 4 items off your daily list before lunchtime

And the big thing is to make sure the items on your list are easily executable. So if something looks too hard and you never ever get to it and it rolls over from one day to the next, have a look at what it is. Is it something that can be broken down into more bite-sized chunks? Can you do part of it now and get to the rest later? Do you need to get x done before you can proceed with y?

I always take the philosophy that if I am not getting through my list, there is something wrong with the way the list is written. And the first task for the next day should be reworking the list so its more tacklable.

Friendships among Women

In the presence of knowledge that this is going to be both positively and negatively received, conversations today with all sorts of people have reminded me of this article my mother sent me a couple of weeks ago.

By Gale Berkowitz
University of California, Los Angeles

A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriages, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more. Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis.

A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research---most of it on men---upside down. "Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experienced stress, the condition triggered a hormonal cascade that prepared the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible," explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study's authors. "It's an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers." Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just "fight or flight." "In fact," says Dr. Klein, "it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the 'fight or flight' response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect.

This calming response does not occur in men", says Dr. Klein, "because testosterone ---which men produce in high levels when they're under stress---seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen", she adds, "seems to enhance it."

The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men was made in a classic "aha!" moment shared by two women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. Collapse )

I don't have to source but am happy to amend if someoe else knows where the article was printed.

Video Killed the

editormum and I were on the radio tonight chatting about Swancon and Ditmars and ASif! and Shiny. And I got to choose the track! (Thanks lilysea - I took Regina Spektor in! and it's "Better" )

You can stream it here: http://www.rtrfm.com.au/restream/3014 and we're about half way in.

Was fun to play radio peeps for a while. And on playback, my voice is not horrible, as I feared it might be.

Afterwards we ducked into Planet and visited robinpen who laughed at my postCon Blues and then sold us lots of happy graphic novels. Well, I bought one and editormum bought lots. A nice bright bit in my day.

Work is piling on at work - which is *good* cause they will need to keep me on, maybe. But .. loooooooooooooots of reading. And pilates was *hard* today. I bet I can't walk tomorrow.

I'm taking deborahb to bed with me now - she's gonna be my bedtime reading for a while!