Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours

I was sitting in a large meditation hall in a converted novitiate in central Massachusetts when I reached into my pocket for my iPhone. A woman in the front of the room gamely held a basket in front of her, beaming beneficently, like a priest with a collection plate. I duly surrendered my little device, only to feel a sudden pang of panic on my way back to my seat. If it hadn’t been for everyone staring at me, I might have turned around immediately and asked for it back. But I didn’t. I knew why I’d come here.

Source: Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours

This happiness hack from a wildly popular Stanford class can help you create a life you love — Quartz

Thanks to master organizer Marie Kondo, many of us now evaluate our belongings based on the principle that things we love should bring us joy. But too often, we fail to bring the same level of scrutiny to the rest of our lives. Just as passivity can leave us buried under a lot of junk we don’t need, so can we aimlessly fall into patterns of behavior that don’t serve us well and wind up leading a muted life.

Source: This happiness hack from a wildly popular Stanford class can help you create a life you love — Quartz

Rewilding: The slow return of European predators – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I have reached that point where the chill has got into my bones and I know it will be hours before I can hope to feel warm again.The thought that at the end of all this I will return to my accommodation — an establishment that can only be described as a poor man’s Fawlty Towers — does not lift my mood.The pounding rain of the previous day has stopped, replaced by an incessant drizzle.They call this summer in the Scottish Highlands.

Source: Rewilding: The slow return of European predators – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Breaking news: marriage has very little to do with religion (and vice versa)

As further tensions emerge in the Coalition government over the details of the proposed marriage plebiscite, reportage of the religious nature of the “no” campaign is becoming more prominent. Yet the relationship between religion and marriage is not clear to many people and is being distorted in the media.

Source: Breaking news: marriage has very little to do with religion (and vice versa)

ACF versus the Environment Minister – our Adani court case explained – Australian Conservation Foundation

To summarise the case, ACF argued that in making his decision the Minister did not correctly or fully consider the impact or likely impact of pollution from the coal burnt in India on the Great Barrier Reef. That is, he incorrectly characterised combustion emissions as “not a direct consequence of the proposed action” and did not properly applying the legal test that was required by s527E of the EPBC Act.

Source: ACF versus the Environment Minister – our Adani court case explained – Australian Conservation Foundation

Turnbull government takes high stakes risks in Dastyari-bashing.

So right. Whatever happened to ‘freedom of speech’ in Australia!

Urban Wronski Writes

sam-dastyari-looking-like-mussolini


Back home Bill Shorten is standing up for Sam Dastyari’s right to take from a company associated with a foreign government.”M. Turnbull Hangzhou September 2016.   

Sweet Custard Bun, as Malcolm Turnbull is known in Hangzhou, checks in to the G20 club, for an annual, ritual mutual tail-sniffing of capitalist running dogs, this week. Suddenly he rears up on his hind legs.

Along with a yen for dressing up as a statesman, Bun loves the idea of one day taking a trick against Labor. Any trick will do for The Great Dilator, whose foghorn of lofty aspiration and fear-mongering of disaster by debt or by terror belie an abyss of empty promises within. Impulse overtakes him. It’s one way of breaking his perpetual, crippling indecision.  He lashes out at Sam Dastyari and Bill Shorten for lacking judgment to dismiss Sam immediately, unlike his own excruciatingly slow response to Stuart Robert’s…

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David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue – The New York Times

Last summer, early in the morning, I stood out in the main square of Florence to watch the tourists come in. It was quiet. A Zamboni-like street cleaner drove its rounds, leaving wet circles on the paving stones. A vendor unpacked tarp-wrapped souvenirs from the back of his white van.

Source: David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue – The New York Times

Direct Action not as motivating as carbon tax say some of Australia’s biggest emitters

Australia’s largest listed, carbon intensive companies say management lost focus on carbon matters, abandoned energy projects and didn’t have the commercial imperative to produce long-term strategic action on reducing emissions after the carbon tax was repealed, new research finds.Our research looked at the comparative views of emitters before and after the repeal of the carbon tax legislation, in interviews with 18 senior managers from nine carbon-intensive listed companies.

Source: Direct Action not as motivating as carbon tax say some of Australia’s biggest emitters