marsden_online: (loved)
It is ANZAC day here in New Zealand, the annual public "holiday" to commemorate and honor those who died fighting in "our" name in military service. In practice this means primarily World Wars I and II with in recent years the occasional nod creeping in to Vietnam or more recent actions in the Middle East.

There are links I have shared on FB over the past few years that this year I am going to round up here before putting down more of my thoughts


Cliffs of Gallipoli [Sabaton]
"There is no enemy, there is no victory
Only boys who lost their lives in the sand
Young men were sacrificed their name are carved in stone and kept alive
And forever we will honour the memory of them""

19 things you need to know about ANZAC Day (that we should not be proud of)

The Pencilsword remembers the Maori Land Wars - arguably more important to NZs history and identity but often forgotten

The Making of Gallipoli into a Marketable Memory

I was only 19 [Redgum]
"And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me - I was only nineteen"

"Lest we forget" means different things to different people. For some it is about the family who went to war whether by choice or otherwise and didn't come back. For some it is about the need to be prepared to go to war "for the right reasons" (these reasons vary).

For me it means
a. Being aware that
-- wars past and present are not times of glory and righteousness as presented by the media and spin doctors, but of horror and death

-- that the amounts spent on military adventurism by western economies would go a long way to giving the oft-struggling citizens of those countries(arguably the losers and casualties of a form of civil /economic/ warfare which has taken place of the intervening decades) a decent standard of living. Food, healthcare, accommodation, the freedom to be productive rather than just trying to survive.

b. Saying #notinmyname when my government continues to choose to hire out our military "defence forces" especially in a time when modern military conflict often seems to mean
-- a technologically superior force operating on behalf of interests who are posed no significant threat by the other side
-- sowing death with machines which doe not need to have human compassion or judgement drilled out of them, dissociation of their operators enabled by a safe distance
-- inflicting civilian casualties and recording them as "enemy combatants" for simply being present

c. That the best way to not become involved in a war against a nation with a "morally bankrupt" government is for people to stand up, be critical and questioning, and prevent their government from becoming that sort of institution.

Every. Day.

War (What is it good for?) [Edwin Starr]
marsden_online: (loved)
This is something I wrote to someone who is finding everything too much at the moment. I have been asked to make it more widely available - if you feel it would help someone please feel free to share it. If that is the post, please use the Dreamwidth version. Link at bottom if you are reading this on LiveJournal.

I don't know you very well, we've maybe spoken a couple of times at parties and other than that only what I see on FB. But I'd like to share something I've learnt in times like these - we're /taught/ that it's a bad thing to be a "burden" but that's a lie. People will happily carry something (or someone) they see value in. Additionally the context always seems to consider the weight as if it all has to be borne by /one/ person. This is also false.

Sometimes we just have to accept little bits of ourselves being carried by different people as, when and how they can. And life is a complicated beast so sometimes individual people have to set down the responsibility or they (and we) have to let it pass to a different person.

And yes sometimes it feels that we are the only one left to carry our own weight with no hope of respite, and that can be a terrible, crushing, soul destroying feeling. But it is never, ever true. Sometimes we do drop pieces of ourselves along the trail, or cannibalise our ability to care about something to make it through another day. There is always hope. There is always another day. Someone will smile at us, even a stranger in the street, or comment on something we post and the weight will lift a little.

We all become a burden at some point in our lives. I believe it is just part of the human learning experience. When we come out the other side - granted not all do and every one of those is a loss worth grieving - we are better prepared and equipped to carry not only ourselves forward but others as well, strength permitting.

The comments on this post show you have a lot of people who see value in you, even if you don't, can't believe it right now. I certainly do even if all I have to offer are my words. They are willing to lift and carry you for a while. Trust them. Lie back and ride the crowd. Rest. Be well.

As a bonus here is a something else hopefully uplifting another of my friends shared.

marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
It's been over two months since I posted anything about life in general which wasn't dumping angst. So here's a less-transient-than-facebook record of some events.

Hall )

kitty )

gaming )

dentist )

other stuff )
marsden_online: (globe)
Embedding is disabled, go here

The artist's facebook page is
marsden_online: (camera2)
Battle and party in Dunedin
Shield ... wall

marsden_online: (skull)
I must have invoked one of the "oh gods" of overdoing things slightly yesterday. Today I ache in all-the-muscles and move very slowly :(

I'd quite like to spend the day in bed, but that's boring and depressing and I have these things that need done. So far I've breakfast and putting the laundry on around being distracted by youtube.
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Arthur)
So at the weekend I was introduced to Van Canto, a "Heavy Metal A Capella" / "Hero Metal" group from Germany. Among other stuff they did a cover to a song called Kings of Metal (originally by Manowar). The chorus I initially heard (and still prefer to hear) as
"Some men slay, men of war kill" (Some bands play, Manowar kill)
Which gives me a great idea for the foundation of a Lawful fighter/knight type character's personality and code of conduct. In the business of war and killing, but not indiscriminate slaughter. They type of character that targets the biggest threat on the battlefield or the opposing commander, cutting through the ranks if he has to and preferring to let the enemy flee rather than wipe them out to a man (or goblin, or whatever).

On the flip side, I could run entire campaigns based on some of the other songs/videos in Van Canto's repertoire. Youtube channel
Kings of Metal

Last Night of the Kings

Speed of Light
marsden_online: (write)
Sir Paul Callaghan (Kiwibank "New Zealander of the Year" 2011) takes on some of the comfortable myths that keep New Zealand a hard-working, low wage, low prosperity country.
Embedding is actually disabled, but here is the link: (20 minutes)

Bullet points (some in my words, some direct quotes):
  • Myth: "NZ is an egalitarian society" - actually we're down with the US in terms of income disparity and prison population - but despite this we do score well in education
  • We like to climb on our clean and green high horse but our history doesn't actually give us a leg to stand on, and our journalism is kind of soft in this area
  • Myth: "We don't need to be rich like Australia" - but if we were we would be able to afford the eg latest Cancer drugs which are available in Australia, infrastructure projects wouldn't need to beg for money. We would be better set up to handle events like the Christchurch quakes.
  • Our wages used to be higher than Australia's (within a lifetime), at that time more Australians came to NZ than NZers went the other way
  • Myth: "We need to work harder" - In the OECD only the Icelanders work harder than us - but we rank the lowest in terms of productivity. The French have it right - they hardly work at all but are the most productive per capita.
  • We "choose to be poor" by encouraging our people to work in low paid, low return industries because "this is what we do in New Zealand"
  • The Prime Ministers pet, Tourism, is great for employing unskilled people but contributes less to the economy (GDP) per-job than the average. So more tourism jobs is not the answer
  • Food manufacturing comes in pretty close to the average but Fonterra is the biggie - $350,000 per job. This is still peanuts on an international scale.
  • Myth: "You can't manufacture in NZ because the Chinese do it better" - is not the case. Manufacturing is our biggest aggregate export earner, especially "Elaborately Transformed Manufacture". High profit margin, high value per weight items.
  • Directing all our (pitiful) R&D investment to the things we already do, which are mostly the sort of industries which don't actually need to do much R&D (explaining the low private spend), gets us nothing. Same for anything which can be classified ans the latest fad.
  • What we're -good- at, is really weird stuff. Like sleep apnea devices / respiratory humidifiers - where F&P has the world market cornered. Like GPS chips (Rakon). Niches that are too small for the big players to care about, but where a little country like NZ can make a relative killing using the 500x multiplier that is the world economy relative to us.
  • We only need need 100-120 companies like our top 10 manufacturing companies, but these companies are invisible within NZ. "They make weird stuff, they only sell abroad, they don't sponsor children's soccer or the ballet". So our kids (who are certainly bright enough), and their parents simply aren't encouraged to think that way for possible careers.
  • If we can have 10, why can't we have 100?
  • An extra 40 billion a year like that, ongoing and sustainable, is far better than the one-off 60 billion we might get from digging up our National parks in the process destroying something we hold dear.
  • Creative/talented people have a choice where they live in the world. The companies we have stay here because their people say "sod it, I want to live in NZ". (See also: Peter Jackson Studios, Weta Workshops)


I want to toss this "choosing to be poor" concept around a bit more, and I'll be doing that tomorrow.
marsden_online: (Maniac)
Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim feat. Christopher Walken [pesky embed disabling]
marsden_online: (Maniac)

via SciBlogs
marsden_online: (Rage)
Hurts - Wonderful Life
marsden_online: (Kea)

via the Friday Spoing
marsden_online: (bomb)
Via Sciblogs, also spotted on Public Address.
marsden_online: (Default)

(via P.A.)


Oct. 30th, 2010 09:31 am
marsden_online: (Maniac)

(via Public Address)
marsden_online: (Kea)
Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns reaches out to GLBT teens with a personal story and a message of hope.

Winamp is being appropriate

You are not alone and how long can you run
It's much to late if you dont know what you've got 'til it's gone
Once upon a time you were a child but that was yesterday
Believed that magic in your heart would never fade away

But hold your head up high and let your spirits fly
Keep hope alive yes deep inside and your dreams will never die

We are one
Everywhere I go, everyone I see
And I see my face looking back at me
We are one
Everything I know, what I know is true
Everyone of us is inside of you
We are one
We are one

Oooh take a breath, close your eyes you're on the road again
And then you realize they've brought you back to life again
Something's never change but if you fantasize
You'll feel it deep inside yourself and then you'll realize

When you feel it coming
When you hear the sound
You'll always laugh when you wanna cry
And then you'll know it deep inside

We are one
Everywhere I go, everyone I see
And I see my face looking back at me
We are one
Everything I know, what I know is true
Everyone of us is inside of you
We are one
We are one

You are me, I am you
What you see, is all true
(It's all true)
You are me, I am you
What you see, is all true
(It's all true)

You are me, I am you
(We are one)
What you see, is all true
(I am you) (We are one) (It's all true)
You are me, I am you
(We are one)
What you see, is all true
(We are one)

We are one
Everywhere I go, everyone I see
And I see my face looking back at me
We are one
Everything I know, what I know is true
Everyone of us is inside of you
We are one
We are one

{repeat above}
marsden_online: (Kea)
Watch this video to learn how the fastest bird on the planet, the peregrine falcon, keeps control at mind-numbing speeds, and take a flight with the master of manoeuvrability, the Gos Hawk, as it flies through dense woodland.

(via SciBlogs) (syndicated)

Ninja Cats

Jul. 4th, 2010 06:42 pm
marsden_online: Obligatory pet cat (racky)

(Friday Spoing)

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