Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to live a happy life.

How to be happy!

Some of the most frequently quoted regrets of dying people according to a palliative nurse are the following. The regrets contain considerable wisdom accumulated over the years are worth careful thought before we reach our final destination.


Firstly always have the courage to pursue your passion. Many people allow parents, teachers, friends, to influence the direction their lives take, to study subjects, or trades for which they have little deep love. It is important to choose a path of your choice and not one necessary for its status or money.

Many people become trapped into working so hard trying to improve their qualifications, to advance in their careers they become trapped in their jobs. They don’t enjoy their occupations, but do not have the courage to move on. Their lives revolve around the weekend or next year’s holiday rather than a sense of contentment in their life.

Have the ability to express your true feelings, your emotional state about things, have the courage to back your own ideas rather than always searching for new knowledge. Listen carefully to the advice of others, but trust yourself.

Keep in touch with your friends throughout your life. It is only when you begin to louse them towards the end of your life that you realise how important their contact was in your life.

Finally allow yourself to be happy. Don’t become obsessed with over planning, or allow finances, investments, dominate your every moment. Each day is precious and occurs only once . You may not agree with all of these suggestions, but they are the most common regrets of people on their death beds.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Art of Drawing.

Learn to Draw:

The rampant addiction of taking mobile and i-pad photos currently sweeping the world calls into question, how much detail do people notice in the world around them. All these photos destined for Facebook or twitter have approached plague proportions, do people really have the time to look, let alone examine them all.


What a great pity that the ancient skill of drawing seems to have vanished. A skill that started on the walls of caves by our ancestors and has been with us ever since. Practicing artists now also appear to rely on computer, digital, and other technical means to record their statements about the world.


To understanding anything visually around us we need to observe, and look for its detail, texture, tone, and patterns. It is the combination of these inferences that create visual memory. It is the best way to understand the world we observe daily. Yet we continual to i-pad the and hardly take time to look at our handy work.


John Ruskin claimed that the most important things in life are thought, and sight, not speed. Our goal should be to try to understand the wonderful world we live in by searching for the details. No postcard or momentary image will replace the skill of drawing, its not that difficulty.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eurovision 2014, age of tolerence.

Eurovision 2014

As the last waving flag is put away, the amazing vote for tolerance exercised by Europe’s youth this year hopefully will puts to rest so much of the bitterness around the issue of gay rights. The victory of Austria’s transgender entertainer Conchita Wurst stands as a beacon, hopefully for a more tolerant world. How this annual event has changed and developed over the years is nothing short of amazing. The formal evening dress and orchestra long left behind speaks volumes about how informality  triumphed over correctness. Gyrating, minim skirted, tattooed performers have made sure of that. The Eurovision contest now has more of a football atmosphere, this sense of great excitement lights up the venue.

 With ballads, rock, and folk songs of the participating singers, accompanied by dancers and traipse artists  helped propel the event to an audience of 180 million viewers, to such an extent that over one million Australians tuned in. Intense activities of  performers at times pushing the boundaries with their acts, express a wonderful balance between different priorities, all intent in gaining  maximum exposure.

It is a credit to young and not so young, that they  voted this year's Austrian entry a victory. I’m sure many will feel this result is not in society’s best interest, but the issue of gay rights has to be addressed in a mature manner. To long it has been little more than a political football. Do we want to endorse middle ages legislation as in Putin’s Russia or some African states who have introduced the death penalty for homosexuality? The whole concept of Eurovision has been to draw the world together, not to separate it. The unity of today’s youth with their cultural icons is fully displayed in this contest, and they must be congratulated for their accepting attitude in voting for an accepting future. We live in one world of one people.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

War Crimes

Accumulated Evil of War Crime Law.


A recent lecture in Hobart on War Crime Law by Professor Gerry Simpson provided an informative overview, but somehow left me with too many unanswered questions. The whole idea of War Crimes is a very modern concept that grew out of events in the Great War. Until then wars were “natural” events that had occurred over the preceding several thousand years. Massacres had always occurred, populations wiped out, territory annexed by new masters. This was what Empire was all about.

Prof. Simpson suggested that the 1st W.W. could have been resolved diplomatically after the assassination of Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo, but such were the aggressive foreign policies of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire that they refused to negotiate a mutual settlement and preferred to declare war on Siberia, a typical 19th cent solution. When the war ended Germany was quite surprised at Allied attempts to allocate blame for the conflict giving rise to the whole idea of war crimes.

The issue of responsibility for acts of aggression are very close to my heart and I feel far too often such events are not dealt with in a satisfactory manner within our current legal system. The problem as far as my understanding is concerned, resolves around language, the attempt to define what is a “War Crime”. Legal language or the juryfication of war, [not sure whether there is such a word] revolves around the interpretation of the meaning of words in a legal sense, and attempts to require antagonistic parties to settle through negotiation becomes near impossible. Here in lies the major problem when parties are not interested in accepting responsibility for events and deflect their actions onto others. Did Hitler invade Poland or did Germany? Was the German Army simply carrying out orders and so on? How many war crime trials have travelled down this road. Lawyers love such banter, but does it lead to what I would call justice in any meaningful sense.

The league Nations and later the United Nations have never really been able to define what constitutes a legal war, let alone enforce justice in numerous instances of genocide over the last hundred years. The Armenian genocide in 1915, a trial run for the Jewish Holocaust that was to later follow, although the details of the events have never been addressed it seemed as though Western Powers at the time were more intent in dividing the spoils of the Ottoman Empire than address such issues, much I believe to their shame. Aggression may be defined as an unprovoked attack on another, but war, what does the word really mean. In recent years conflicts are no longer referred to as wars, it is as though the word has been abolished altogether. We now become involved in peace keeping operations, intervention only with the approval of the U.N, we need legal opinion to act, to stop blatant slaughter of innocent people. We attempt what is called regime change, but don’t call such acts war.

The reason for rephrasing the words war crime being that it is a social issue, a personal action and thus does not fall within the perimeter of war crimes. Wars require nations to undertake them, We no longer declare war, rather attempt to rectify wrongs in the name of humanity not states. After all we now all live in an International World. In a way we have declared war on death, not on men or flags. The struggle to make aggression a war crime in any true sense is not in the interest of nation states. When we view the aggression by governments or insurgents against their own people, cases such as Timor, Iraq, Cambodia, Syria, the list goes on, we are not able to define these issues as war crimes in any legal sense. There is no legal judgement for what is war, war is a political action not defined by law. This view allows every country to carry out any action it desires for ego or vanities sake, but never with without legal justification, this remains a major problem to creating a peaceful world.

What then is a war crime if not the massacre of innocent peoples. It is highly unlikely that current events in the Middle East or Africa will be dealt with in satisfactory way and proper punishment administered to those responsible. The issue of a legal definition of war crimes urgently needs addressing, not confined as at present to events between 1939 to 1945. Only then will any true justice prevail in this unequal world.