{ Under The Bluegums }

A personal blog with craft tutorials, reviews of books, films, and music, parenting advice, and opinions on society and politics.

July 27, 2011

We're all afraid...

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February 27, 2011

No one is upfront and honest with anyone anymore.

Case in point: a certain someone threatened another certain someone and the feelings about this situation never gained closure because the former did not treat the latter like a civilised human being. Thus, the latter forms some sort of subconscious vendetta against the former, and discovers that the former is actually a bit of a sneak, but the former is so sneaky that they make an unprecedented move that the latter did not foresee, but which actually just avoids the good-old-hand-shake-and-I'm-sorry way of doing things.

No, you're not really supposed to understand what I'm talking about, but the point is that people do not confront each other face to face anymore. If you have an issue with your neighbour, you'll run to your caretaker and complain about the noise instead of knocking on your neighbour's door and asking them to keep it down a little.

Since when have we all been afraid of confronting people? We are all people. Perhaps it's because we live such secluded lives. We cut ourselves off from everyone except those we deem worth our time, and this inevitably leads to us making enemies of our neighbours, or feeling bad because we never did take that fruit basket to them to welcome them to the neighbourhood. Do these feelings of guilt lead us to neglect civilisation? We feel bad, so don't want to confront the people personally, so we resort to whatever is the authority in our situation?

Why can we not simply take responsibility for what we do to and how we appear to others?

July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse vs 91 Dead

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24 July 2011

I cannot for the life of me understand why it is that our society is so bent on loving the celebrity culture that it alternately adores and loathes.

Why is it that people care whether or not Lindsay Lohan is in jail again for DUI, or whether Paris Hilton is wearing underwear or not? What is it about the celebrity that we think we need to praise - because, yes, even though we believe what they do is scandalous and embarrassing, we still display their antics for all to see on the front pages of our newspapers and online news sites.

The recent death of Amy Winehouse is such a situation: her death even made it to the Financial Times, and why, pray tell, should we care?

I know it sounds harsh, but she has what she wanted anyway.

Why is it that we are not as caring about the 91 people who were killed in Norway in mysterious right-wing attacks instead? Surely their deaths - which included the deaths of dozens of youngsters who were gunned down while innocently attending a summer camp.

But no...instead the mass of the media is focusing on the death of a woman who embarrassed herself in Germany and elsewhere by performing while horribly drunk; a woman who clearly had no interest in living.

Do you think I'm being too heartless?

July 10, 2011

Zombies Are Taking Over

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10 July 2011

Imagine slowly being taken over by something you didn't know was there?

That's exactly what happens to carpenter ants in Germany, and probably elsewhere.

What's worse is that scientists have found 48 million-year-old evidence that shows this has been happening to the poor carpenter ants for centuries.

Parasitic fungi latches onto the ants as they cross the forest floor. It grows on the inside of the ants and releases chemicals into their bloodstream that alter their behaviour, causing some ants to leave the colony and wander around on their own or they fall from their canopy homes onto the leaves.

Apparently this can happen in the masses, with mass graves of ants found lying between the forest floor and the canopy, clutching into the main vein before dying. This position between the two levels is exactly what the fungus needs.

The evidence showing that this has been happening for millions of years is the piles of fossilised leaves found with the marks made by their mandibles as they were forced into biting.

The fungus grows from the ant, consuming it the larger it gets.


{Photograph: David P Hughes from Guardian.co.uk}