Archive for the Meta Category

Well, the blogging hiatus that began with my general laziness and disinclination to write anything about anything much at all and then was extended through our two month leave back in Australia, is over.

Not that there weren’t wonderful and interesting and terrible things happening while we were back in Australia, but what with catching up with family and friends, visiting every park in a 10km radius so the little guys could run around, driving between Sydney, Albury, Melbourne and Bendigo, and speaking at the occasional TEAR, church, or shower function (sure, that last was just me talking to myself…) I just didn’t make the time.

But now we’re back in Nepal. We’re back for one more year, as that seems to be the best answer to the messy and creative compromises of giving as much as we can to work, taking care of diet and health (it’s not as easy to be strictly gluten-free in Nepal as you might think), caring for family and friends and community back home, and all that.

It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s cloudy and smoggy, there’s electricity 12 hours a day in Kathmandu, and it’s a glorious day on God’s good earth.

Hmmmm. Light blogging in the recent epoch.

Which is unlikely to change soon as we’re all off tonight for 2 months in Australia (returning to Nepal in January).

Having the littlest guy waking between 4:30 and 5:30 most mornings mean that sometimes I’m up, but without enough brainpower for anything particularly taxing.

So, I’ve updated some broken links, deleted a few non-actives, and added a couple of new ones.

If I’ve mistakenly removed an active blog, or you know of a blog-or-website-of-goodness I have overlooked, please drop me a line.

A highlight from my morning’s reading came from the new security beat, discussing what we know and don’t know about the interrelationship of climate change and conflict:

1) Economic deprivation almost certainly heightens the risk of internal war.
2) Economic shocks, as a form of deprivation, almost certainly heighten the risk of internal war.
3) Sharp declines in rainfall, compared to average, almost certainly generate economic shocks and deprivation.
4) Therefore, we are almost certain that sharp declines in rainfall raise the risk of internal war.

To understand how climate change might affect future conflict, we need to know much more. We need to understand how changing climate patterns interact with year-to-year variability to affect deprivation and shocks. We need to construct plausible socioeconomic scenarios of change to enable us to explore how the dynamics of climate, economics, demography, and politics will interact and unfold to shape conflict risk.

Yeah, I know they’re old news, but I hadn’t created a wordcloud for the blog before:


I suppose that’s a fair representation of some of my obsessions for the month of May. And possibly an explanation for why I don’t get invited out for dinner much.

So, I was wondering where my blog had gotten to.

It’s always the last place you look…

Mmmmmm. Mandigo.

I like it. What think ye?

I am indebted to Owen for the code behind the new nifty blockquotes. Thanks Owen.

I’m normally very grateful for the Junk Mail handling that my two email clients provide (Thunderbird and Apple Mail) which dumps all that nasty spam out of sight and out of mind.

But this bit of Hebrew spam (doesn’t sound kosher I know, but still…) sneaked through.
hebrew spam

Can anyone translate it for me? I’m still kicking myself for having been away last week and missing out on the chance to channel funds (USD30 million!!!!) for the widow of the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, so I don’t want to miss another great business opportunity just because I don’t speak the language.

Or, more accurately, bloggers in the Parliament…

Warning: This post may come across as a bit self-congratulatory. Just so you know.

I got to meet Australia’s only blogging federal Parliamentarian, Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett. I was very excited actually, for a few reasons. I think that his blog does a brilliant job of awareness raising about political issues and processes on the Australian federal scene. Agree or disagree with his viewpoint, I think that it adds enormously to the health of our democracy that he puts in his time – on top of his parliamentary workload – to engage in this kind of open, personal online conversation about critical issues of politics and governance in Australia.

Also, he links to my blog, and I still find all those links pretty exciting. Now maybe he’s just a very polite guy (he certainly was in person) and links to every blog that links to his, but still it’s nice.

So, it is only right and proper (given that we’d never met in person before) that after hearing my name as we were introduced, he said, “You’re Ben Thurley of Ben’s Blog”, to which I replied “And you’re Andrew Bartlett, of the Bartlett Diaries.”

It really was enjoyable to meet him in person.

Looks like comments are all better now. I’m a little staggered that I managed to fix it. But there you go.