AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Monday, January 28, 2008

Brunei Dreaming - an antidote to frustrations of the spirit!

This is a bit of a diversional, self-indulging posting! Money never seems enough! And being paid monthly causes no end of "o help" in the final fortnight! (I'm at the "o help" stage right now!) So, without offering misery details, I believe the best antidote is to think of something else in contrast. (And not start wistful thoughts on the digital camera I long to own this year!) I found an article in today's "The Age" about the Empire Hotel in Brunei by the sea. I am always drawn to the allure of waters. It looked like a dreamscape! Perfect dream food for the listless spirit. "The Age" 26.01.08 - The atrium near the check-in desks is 53 metres tall - the height of a 12-storey building - and appears to be modelled on a marble-and-gold tent. Precious stones by the hundred are inlaid into hectares of marble and 21-carat gold plating.
The Brunei Travel Mall says: The regal splendour of early majestic Royal courts, reminiscent of Brunei's Golden Age has re-emerged with the arrival of The Empire Hotel and Country Club. This bygone era now returns to tantalize and pamper discerning guests and provides an unsurpassed Bruneian experience.
The Empire is a grand, spacious, fully integrated, state-of-the-art, luxury 5 star hotel. Located on a magnificent stretch of Brunei's pristine coastline, caressed by the South China Sea, The Empire evokes an opulent yet tranquil ambience. The hotel meanders through 162 hectares of lush tropical gardens providing an idyllic sanctuary and is Brunei's only hotel on the beach.
M.I.C.E. BTN - Monday, 30 April 2007
German hotelier Manfred Keiler has been appointed general manager of the Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei. Keiler was previously general manager of the Intercontinental Grand in Mumbai, India.
The Empire even makes its own chocolate! Now I am totally mesmerised by exotic names like Saffron, Durian Ganache, Pandan Leaf and Kelapa!
Gold-plated beauty
Fed by dark, velvet oils ~
For a little while
The ambrosia
The hungry spirit
For a little
But sunlight is smiling
Beyond my dusty window ~
And I can just see the haze
Of swaying olive greens
Gracing a gentle mountainside
Slipping quietly
To my favourite blue sea
A kookaburra's laughing song
Breaks my reverie
I have all the riches I need

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ticking off the Week Days - (or is that "weak" days?) - Option 1 - for Cafe Writing

Option One: Seven Things ~ In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you.
List seven resolutions that you’ve made - for the New Year, or just for yourself - that you’ve actually kept. (They don’t have to all be from the same year, either.)

Resolutions for me are those rushes in some swampy backwater. Sometimes I see them. Sometimes I don't. It all depends on the mood and the moment. But always, I know, like it or not, there is some little voice reminding me that there will be washing up to do eternally.
Wash the dishes,
dry the dishes,
turn the dishes
1. Moon~day ~ This is shock day. The moon snickers quite unromantically as I try yet again to spring out of bed when the alarm goes off! Week-end seems so far away! One day, I'm going to beat that alarm and turn it off before it starts! One day!
~I resolve to bond with this day in a more friendly tone!
2. Mars~day ~ The heat is on! It's war! This is the day for getting the act together. Often, this is the day I organise my work schedule.
~I resolve to always improve on this day!
3. Mercury~day ~ Colloquially known as "hump day". More romantically, it is the time for the winged messenger to sprinkle some love dust. It's a day when a new surge of energy flows through the body! For me, I suddenly crave to write. So this day becomes a juggling act of work commitments and writing dreams.
~I resolve to practise tai chi more dilgently on this day.
4. Jupiter~day ~ Ahhhh!!! Day of thunder and lightning! New weathers! It's jolt day! When I just may see those rushes in the swamp.
~I resolve to give more time to my inner, higher spirit on this day.
5. Venus~day ~ Love is a beautiful song! But pity this day has sunk to P.O.E.T.S. day! Well, at least the anagram looks pretty! It's a funny day. It could be a melt-down, trying to complete work demands. But it also could be procrastination day. There's always Moon-day!
~I resolve to work on my shyness and eat lunch in the staffroom more regularly.
6. Saturn~day ~ The day of Father Time. It's the day I try to hide from his stony stare, willing me to face the weekly ritual of grocery shopping. Strangely, this is the day I have my best poetic impulses!
~I resolve to do the shopping first ~ sometimes!
7. Sun~day ~ Beautiful Sun~day! There is a freedom in Sun~day. A "to be or not to be"!
~I resolve to let Sun~day be Sun~day!
I keep these resolutions turning over and over...
A little like cycles in a washing machine...
Yes! I am a victim to the weak impulses of the week!
All my week's a circle
Sunrise and sundown

Procrastination - "a Clayton's resolution" - Option 6 -Timed Writing - for Cafe Writing

Option Six: Timed Writing
Take nine minutes (you have to use all nine, you can’t go over), and interpret the topic Resolution.
Any format (fiction, essay, verse) is acceptable; and it’s expected that your writing will be raw, so don’t stress about editing.

Procrastination is a wonderful gift. It is far from wasting time but re-allocating time to incredible activities. Its a Clayton's resolution! The resolution you have when you're not having a resolution!
~ Isn't it far better to suddenly notice the cobweb in the corner of the room than open those study books?
~ Isn't it far better to put on some nail polish - on long neglected toes - than face the mountain of washing leering behind the laundry door?
And the ultimate! I loathe grocery shopping! I should have braved the Australia Day hordes yesterday! But it was too hot! Too many flies! I wanna write! And now, here it is nearly midday on a Sunday! I am writing pink notes in preference to dancing the grocery halls. I keep telling myself, the supermarket is air-conditioned! That should be enticing! But I only succeed in cringing about moving from my writer's throne. I love sitting here - blaise - bare feet propped on a paper loaded chair and still thinking about dressing for the new day! Nah! Not thinking about that at all! All part of the procrastination routine!
~ Sudden thought - pink jottings may be a little nauseous for the males.
~ CHANGE ~ Procrastination is the best way to make time stand still that I know. It is a luxury best tasted on the side roads. You know! The ones that seem to lead to some airy blind alley. It could be littered by garbage bins, waiting to be collected. But there could be some lucky dip, where someone discarded a winning lottery ticket without realising!
Woops! 9 mins of procrastinating trivia has flown!

Clockwork Orange - Option 2 - for Cafe Writing

Cafe Writing - Option Two: Pick Three ~ Pick at least three of the following eight words, and write a paragraph, scene, flash-fic, essay, blog entry or poem using them. It’s fine to change tenses, or pluralize if you want to, but please bold the words you choose.
breathless, change, elusive, pensive, reflect, surge, tide, vibrant
Clockwork Orange ~
Lunar cogs gyrating
The 21st aeon
A new
Earth time
Cached ~
In the Big Ben
Of an Olympian
Is a vampire
No tide
No man
Pensive cynics
(They think ~
But how many
Quietly booked
A trip to
Mongolian landscapes
(In August 2008)
To wonder
To reflect
The eclipse
Of solar power.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"In silence and movement you can show the reflection of people" - Marcel Marceau ~ for Cafe Writing

It may be
In the silence
Of mystical blue
Where just one tree Bends
To catch
The whispers of the Wind

It may be
In the swirling cycles
Of starry nights
Where just the eyes
To hear
The music
Of legends
Of dreamings
It may be
In the longing
To travel
A cosmic
Silk road

It may be in the still breath of an earthly landscape
Or in the whirling, creative spirit of the endless skies ~
There you will find
The inner
Reflective light of
The soul song
Of people

Michael Leunig has the last philosphical word on Australia Day

Leunig cartoon attached to his article Our flagging enthusiasm ~ "The Age" 26.01.08.
Many Australians regard their flag and song and national day, not so much with awe, but rather, a casual, bemused affection, in the way that we may regard an eccentric uncle or a peculiar spinster aunty. They are ours but they are not us.
It is surely the old people who are the fruit of this land — the bitter and the sweet; ripe as they will ever be and soon to drop off the twig. You can meet them and see how life in this country has rendered and ripened their souls and know something profound and otherwise unknowable about our land. It's the character of the elders in any land that says it all and cuts through the delusional propaganda, the inflated ideologies and the ephemeral catchphrases about the national psyche. You may work it out for yourself. Those old people can be full of surprises.
David Mowaljarlai travelled the country and spoke urgently and eloquently of his concern for the wellbeing of white society, which he could see was suffering from a loss of spirit and an incomprehension of the land in which it lived.
His integrity and wisdom often included an important word from his Ngarinyin language: a word that could be very useful to this country in these depressed and anxious times. I use it often.
"Yorro-yorro" is the word — and it means "everything standing up alive" or "the spirit in the land that makes everything stand up alive".
It's a beautiful Wandjina country word to use on Australia Day — or any other day, for that matter. David Mowaljarlai gave it to us and left us with it.
When you've got yorro-yorro you don't need a flag.
But I have only shaved a little of the skin of the article. To experience the full mystery of its spirit, follow the link above!
~ In the shadows of the recent passing of "The Bulletin", Leunig seems to be the last voice linking the old literary bush worlds with the parade of modern media. He also walks in the footsteps of more ancient drums!
When you walk in the footsteps
Of ancient drums
The rhythms
Will live
In you
When you see
And protect
The joy of earth
Nature will cool you
In times of heat
And wrap you in warming suns
When the air
Seems cold
When you feel
The seasons of the skies
You will always know
The time for planting
The time for
The time for dancing
In life-giving rains
When you walk in the footsteps
Of ancient drums
The rhythms
Will breathe
Through you

Australia Day tribute - odd stories for being a convict settler

HMS Sirius - guardship of First Fleet - by John Allcott

From The Age
~ TWO hundred and twenty years ago today, a young London-born solicitor's clerk, all of 18 years of age, arrived in Sydney Cove on the First Fleet. Matthew James Everingham's sin was pinching a few books worth 10 shillings, and for that he was given seven years.
~... an illiterate convict woman from the Second Fleet — one Elizabeth Rimes — whose crime was taking a bed sheet that didn't belong to her.
* Matthew and Elizabeth married.
~ From Convict Tales
~ At the age of 18, in 1821, William Cox was sentenced to death for stealing a horse. This was changed to a life sentence in NSW.
~ Charles Lansbury was convicted at Oxford 12/4/1841 to 7 years transportation. He and 3 mates scuffled with a man at a party at a lady's house at midnight 12/1/1841. They stole his hanky and hid it in the snow.
~ Edward PUGH was born sometime between 1749 & 1766 (possibly February 1758) in the Parish St Marys, Shewsbury, Shropshire, England. Convicted on October 5th 1784 at Gloucester Quarter Sessions, England of stealing a great coat which belonged to one William Barnard. He was sentenced to 7 years and ordered to be transported to America but due to the American War of Independence was transported to New South Wales. He remained in gaol for nearly 3 years before being ordered to Portsmouth for the “Prince of Wales” on March 23rd 1787, with Betty Mason and Elizabeth Parker and probably fathered the child to Elizabeth, Ann (Nancy) Parker who went with them. Edward was received on the “Friendship” on April 17th 1787 and his occupation given by Ralph Clark as “House Carpenter” and his age 22 years.
~ OLD BAILEY SESSION PAPERS. 11th June 1829.1116. DAVID LANGLEY was indicted for stealing, on the 1st of May, 1 screw-cap, value 25s. , the goods of William Thomas Smallwood . JOHN CUTHBERT . On the 1st of May I was standing at my door, and saw the prisoner coming towards me - when he got past he ran, and dropped this screw-cap; I took him and the screw-cap to Mr. Smallwood. WILLIAM THOMAS SMALLWOOD. I am a brass-founder, and live in York-terrace. This brass cap is mine; it was cast from a pattern which I have in my hand - it was taken from my window that morning.
Prisoner's Defence. I did not see any thing of it till that gentleman caught me; two young men passed, and I suppose they dropped it. GUILTY . Aged 17. Confined Three Months .
~ David Langley was convicted at Middlesex on the 16 January 1830 for stealing 24lb of cheese, the property of Thomas Davidge. David was found guilty and transported for life. Prior to this charge, in June of 1820, he was imprisoned for 3 weeks for larceny, after being charged at the Old Bailey.David was transported aboard the 'David Lyon' which left Sheerness, London on the 2 May 1830, and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on the 19 August 1830.

From Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal
~ From Among the arrivals with the First Fleet was Mary Bryant (also known as Mary Broad).
In 1786 at age 21, Mary was found guilty of stealing a cloak and was sentenced to death. Luckily for Mary, her sentence was later changed to seven years transportation.

~ At 13 years of age, after being orphaned as a young girl, Mary Reibey (sometimes spelled Reiby) stole a horse as a childish prank. She was arrested and sentenced to transportation for seven years, arriving in New South Wales in October 1792.
~ Seventeen year old Esther Abrahams was sentenced to seven years transportation after stealing a piece of black lace when she was employed as an apprentice milliner.
~In 1788, the eleven ships of the First Fleet landed their 'cargo' of around 780 British convicts at Botany Bay in New South Wales. Two more convict fleets arrived in 1790 and 1791, and the first free settlers arrived in 1793.
~ When the last shipment of convicts disembarked in Western Australia in 1868, the total number of transported convicts stood at around 162,000 men and women. They were transported here on 806 ships.
~ Men had usually been before the courts a few times before being transported, whereas women were more likely to be transported for a first offence.
The chains are long and sinuous
But the links
Of shame
Are slowly
Cursed to
Billow in
Are almost
Is the art of feeling
And the artist
The pigments
Of sapphire island seas and
Dusky desert silence~
The tones
Of mountains rambling in
Cool eucalypt greens and
Iced white peaks~
The magical
Of secret gems
Deep in
Marakoopa and
The chains are long and sinuous
But the links of
Are slowly

rabi Khan's contribution to St Martin's Island - upcoming kite festival

Bangladesh owns 6 islands. One, St Martin's Island, is a coral island in the Bay of Bengal. Rabi Khan's latest project is a logo for an upcoming kite festival there - "Fly the kite within you" (mentioned in his HubPages posting, "Do you see what I see".) What a gorgeous idea! (It appears the kite festival is celebrated ~ 10-17 February ~ just before Independence Day !! A comment on this pic from the 2007 festival is recorded by a Finnish blogger - Gagan, originally from Bangladesh. ~ More kite pics! )

On the 26th March 2008 will be Bangladesh's 37th birthday (1971).
~Fly the kite within you
Feel the colours fly
Watch an old cord
Slip into the sky~

Geneva on Ice - Rod Beglerf's amazing pics

For details of the story behind these amazing pics, see Rod Beglerf on HubPages
Some dawdle
Sunny domes
While others
In caves of ice
Some dance
In warm climes
While others
A cooling
Silk road
Some bathe
On burning sands
While others
Thin ice

Desire - for Writers' Island

With purple light
Pulsing longing
And in the ray
Is a fjord~
A possibility
Of sailing
But the closer the dream
The further the fall
A heady spiral
And stones
(like riotous anarchy)
Into some abyss
With hot
Golden orbs
Heaven is
A fractal place~
A helpless
Into hell
If there is one~
May only be a
Midnight moon
Darkly lighting
Skeleton silhouettes
Like willows
By still
Desirous waters

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Australian closure - just a day later

When The Bulletin's young, enterprising proprietors threw open the shutters in 1880, most Australians lived in the country; 20 years later, they had shifted to the cities. The poet A.B. "Banjo" Paterson recorded the change by collecting and publishing the old bush songs treasured by generations of Australians.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

ACP Magazines Chief Executive Officer, Scott Lorson, today announced that weekly news and current affairs title The Bulletin with Newsweek would cease publication from the current issue of the magazine which went on sale on 23 January 2008.
The Bulletin is Australia’s longest running magazine and was launched in 1880.
In the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, The Bulletin had 57,039 in sales (Sept 07), which is down from circulation highs of over 100,000 in the mid 1990s. This trend is consistent with that experienced by many leading weekly news and current affairs magazines globally and is somewhat symptomatic of the impact of the internet on this particular genre.
“This is a sad day for all of us at ACP Magazines. The Bulletin has been an institution in Australian publishing and has provided its loyal readers with the best quality, in-depth news and current affairs analysis in the country. The Bulletin has often set the political agenda, broken many important stories and won many awards for journalism over the years,” Lorson said.
And the final publication was a special Australia Day edition.
Ref: Wilsons Almanac - 1856 JF Archibald (Jules Francois Archibald; b. John Feltham Archibald in Warrnambool, Victoria; d. September 10, 1919), Australian publisher who in 1880 co-founded (with John Haynes) The Bulletin, which published a great many of Australia's writers and artists.
Like many Australians of his day, he was fascinated by all things French, changing his name from John Feltham to Jules Francois; he even wore a French goatee beard although they were not fashionable. Under Archibald's sole control, and with
AG Stephens as his literary editor, The Bulletin became Australia's leading outlet for poets, cartoonists, short-story writers and comic writers. Henry Lawson was one who 'Archy' of the 'Bully' took under his wing as a young writer.

In his later years, when he was an inmate of Sydney's Callan Park Lunatic Asylum for the Mentally and Criminally Insane, Truth magazine wrote of him (1916, following a Bulletin attack on the recently deceased Truth publisher, John Norton): "The crank used to go tearing around Sydney buying diamond necklaces for flash barmaids: he used to imagine he was Moses, and was writing a new set of commandments; he drove his wife to drink, he behaved like an orang-outang at the Zoo, and, generally speaking, was as freaky a freak as was ever permitted out on probation from a lunatic asylum." There was some truth about "Archy's" wife, the drink and the asylum.
In his will, he made the two bequests by which he is best remembered by the general public: funds for the Archibald Fountain in Sydney's Hyde Park, which he specified must be designed by a French sculptor, and the Archibald Prize for portraiture, now Australia's most prestigious art prize ...
~ And today, it was reported that people were stranded on Luna Park's Mad Mouse. Curious! Now I am told by a reader it happened in Melbourne! But all I find of Melbourne's accident did not occur today, but earlier - December 28 when there was a power blackout! Yet TV news flash (no details - just a line) said Sydney! Curioser and curioser! Yes! There are 2 Luna Parks! One in St Kilda, Melbourne and one on the shores of Sydney Harbour near the Harbour Bridge! Too hasty reporting? Hmmm Perhaps tomorrow will bring more enlightenment!
And I heard from some voice on another TV report, I hated travelling after 9/11. Thankfully, I wasn't actually watching at the time. I just heard the distant voice.
There is a sense of losing
As if the safety ropes
Are slowly being
One by
It would be so easy
To throw up the hands
In utter despair
And scream
A soundless
I remember a Queen Mum
Of some old England
Far across
Commonwealth seas
Who stayed
At the heart of
The bombing
I could pretend to be
Some royal mum
As fortune
A little
The pretence
Will fade
There really will be
A commonwealth
Of hope
There MUST be
Australia Day
Is just a tomorrow away~
And her spirit
Must smile
For her birthday!
P.S. LATEST LATE NIGHT NEWS! China is experiencing its fastest economic growth in 13 years! So it's China! It's good news at last! (Does little happy dance!)

Tribute to Heath Ledger - The rains of yesterday are still lightly falling for Heath Ledger

The tears of yesterday still linger. So to transform the sadness of tears, here is the beautiful cleansing of Indian Rains. A Beautiful song for the exotic Indian Rain. One of the sensuous songs from the critically acclaimed award-winning 'MTV Album of the year' by the most popular singers of Indi-pop music,Hariharan & Leslie Lewis a.k.a Colonial Cousins.A suitable song to be heard when u feel bored & sit in your lawn having a hot coffee in the cold rains to make you feel the nature's beauty.
Why did I choose rains from India? I have no real idea! So here are a few rains in my songlines.
When I think of gushing, swirling waters
I think of India
When I think of ancient waterworlds
Singing old sweet rivers
Of motherly love
And kindness
I think of India
When I think of eternal rains
Springing hope
From luminous
Rocky ochres
Of dreaming monoliths
To the choking dusts
Of Deccan plains
I imagine
Reaching out
To Indian rains
P.S. I imagine Heath Ledger is Uluru. May he walk eternally in the love of Indian Rains.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

rabi Khan re-visited - Some mystical magic after the last sadness

Butterfly, butterfly please do not fly so high,
I want to play with you...
I love your golden hue.
Wish I had wings, so I could dance and fly, like a butterfly...
~ rabi Khan
His work has a silken gel, that almost captures the essence of transformation from solid to liquid. I am always entranced by the beauty of spirit in this artwork! If a picture can inspire the soul, this artwork does that for me!
For more of his work, visit Butterfly Fantasy on HubPages.

Tribute to Heath Ledger - a little James Dean, a little Bob Dylan, a little Michael Dransfield. A "zero joker" - but "I'm Not There"

One day
A webbed
A scrunched
Sidled out of
The cooking place~
A little like a
With no
Clear past
And a future
With a knapsack
Of backpacking
And there were many one days~
Some James Dean rebellions~
A shred of Byronic romance~
A slow cowboy of all things gaiety~
A sliver of Dylan's gravely flair~
Till finally emerging
As a zero joker~
A small watcher
Of Batman wings
On a dark knight
Of nights
The star of
Michael Dransfield~
Dreaming odd dreams
Till Good Friday
Wiped him away~
Ground zero locked his moccasins
In muddy
Old Perth is so far away~
His eternal heartland
And Matilda
Must waltz
In response to Heath Ledger found dead at NY apartment - National Nine News - 23.01.08 + In Stetson or Wig - he's hard to pin down - New York Times - 4.11.07
~~Also posted on HubPages with pics and some extracts from New York Times

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Troubled souls live in Africa

Rainbows are a little thin
And scarce
In parts of Africa ~
Especially for animals
Especially for animals
In Tanzania
Their songlines are burning
At an alarming rate!
Are rampantly killing
The Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest
Is simply
No more!
Rainbows are a little thin
And parched
In parts of Africa ~
Especially for refugees
Especially for refugees
In Tanzania
Their bloodlines are burning
At an alarming rate!
Refugees from war-torn
The Congo
Are desperate

At an alarming rate!

They trade
With or without a cause?
Only the rainbows know
Their heartbeat
Their soul
Is simply
No more!

~In response to Refugee link to wildlife decline – BBC News – 22.01.08 The UN says there are more than half a million refugees in the country, mainly living in camps near the western border. The border is also home to important wildlife refuges such as Gombe National Park, which achieved international fame as the site of Jane Goodall's pioneering studies of chimp behaviour...In 1994, when intense ethnic fighting in Rwanda drove an estimated 600,000 refugees into the area of Tanzania surrounding Burigi National Park, wildlife in the park declined sharply.
Buffalo numbers fell from about 2,670 to just 44. Roan antelope declined from 466 to 15 and zebra from 6,552 to 606, while the estimated population of 324 Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, a type of antelope, vanished completely.

** Modified version added to Writers' Cafe.

My January shower of "holiday songlines" breeds blots of sleep

The more I untangle the webs
The more there are
The more I dream
The more reality I see
The more I linger by windows
Staring in wonder at seasonal landscapes
The more they cycle by
The more I open doors
The more I sense promise
Magical miracles~
In a drop of dew
Misty sunlight
A scent of eucalypt
A sprightly linnet or
Blue wren dancing
A whisper of wind
The more I seek lands afar
The more lands appear
The more I wander in rainbows
The more colours emerge
The more I feel the pain of
The hungry
The lonely
The sad
The lost
The poor of spirit
The more I feel the pain
The more I linger by earth's deep wells
Tasting sparkling
The more they flow
The more I remember
Ancient songlines
From somewhere
The more they sing
The more I touch the mystique of stars
The more they gleam
The more I sail
Into horizon sunsets
The further they seem to be
The more I empty the cup
The more it fills
The more I slip into sleep
The more I wake

Monday, January 21, 2008

Panning Tibet

May mean
To scour
A landscape~
And shapes
Into one
But panning
May also mean
The gold
In beds
From old
And then there is the
Pan Himalayan
Railway line ~
Very new and fresh
On the corporate
Blog roll
World's highest train route?
Or lowest scam?
BBC reported
The railway snakes for 1,000km across 'the roof of the world'
Think about it!
In response to "Tibet railway firm seeks listing" - BBC News - 20.01.08
China Railway Construction, which built the rail link to Tibet, plans to list shares on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets, state media have said.
The firm will issue 2.8 billion shares in Shanghai and at least 1.8 billion in Hong Kong, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.
It plans to use the cash raised to expand construction capability...The high-altitude rail link between China's western Qinghai province and Lhasa opened in July 2006.
In the past, Lhasa could be reached only by plane or after a long, arduous road journey.
Hailed as an engineering feat by Beijing, critics fear it will undermine traditional Tibetan culture.
Further details to be found on an earlier article "China completes railway to Tibet" - BBC News - 15.01.05. China has announced the completion of the first railway line to Tibet - one of the world's highest train routes.
The pan-Himalayan line climbs 5,072m (16,640ft) above sea level and runs across Tibet's snow-covered plateau - dubbed the roof of the world.
Trains travelling on the line will have to have carriages that are sealed like aircraft to protect passengers from altitude sickness... The workers who built the line had to breathe bottled oxygen in order to cope with the high altitudes.
And in an earlier article still "China's drive to transform Tibet" - BBC News - 6.09.04 - A Chinese flag hovers in front of the Potala palace, the imposing hilltop landmark which once housed Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
A monument - supposedly to China's peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951 - is also clearly visible from the Potala, an ever-present reminder of China's political dominance...Mr Fan is the visible face of China's economic juggernaut, and sees himself as performing a public service.
"Everybody is coming here to build Tibet. Today's Tibet is richer than it used to be, and there's no question of us stealing jobs from Tibetans," he said...
But at the site of the new railway which will connect Tibet to the outside world, there are few Tibetan faces.

Fire and Ice

Once upon a time
Many long
Midnights ago
Of ash and
A canyon
In ice~
In chunks
Aeons of snow
Human guilt
Cadets of dreams
To nature's stage~
To find
A play
With alternate
(Even a "Waiting for Godot"
Would do)
But sometimes
Answers have a habit
Of getting lost
In more
For all they found
Was a mountain~
A volcanic mountain~
Like a rainbow serpent~
Of some very
Ancient life
The ice
They left
Empty handed
The only sign
Some monumental
Passed by
Was the river
Through veins
On bland brows
In response to "Ancient Antarctic eruption noted" - BBC News - 20.01.08
Scientists have found what they say is the first evidence of a volcanic eruption under the Antarctic ice sheet.
They believe the volcano erupted about 2,000 years ago, and would have burst through its ice covering, producing a burst of steam and rocky debris...The thickness of ice above suggests the eruption occurred just over 2,200 years ago..."We believe this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica during the last 10,000 years. It blew a substantial hole in the ice sheet, and generated a plume of ash and gas that rose about 12km into the air."...The Hudson Mountains lie close to Pine Island Glacier, one of the West Antarctic glaciers whose flow has accelerated in recent years...But volcanoes which are not conspicuously active at present may also be generating heat under the ice..."This complicates things. However, it cannot explain the more widespread thinning of West Antarctic glaciers that together are contributing nearly 0.2mm per year to sea level rise."



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Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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