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May, 2008:

52 Nights Unplugged

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52 Nights Unplugged is all about spending at least one night a week attached to your loved-ones rather than the internet, or the computer in general.  And that means that the Laptop with wireless networking is out as well – it’s one of those intent over form things!

Do you check your email during dinner? Text while driving? Browse the web in bed? Ever feel like you need a little break? Join us as we take an evening a week away from our beloved technology.

We’ve got to say that if you are doing any of these things regularly, or in the case of texting and driving at all, you need help!  You can also follow the founder’s, Ariel Meadow Stallings, efforts in meeting the challenge on her blog – [^].

View Downstream From Princes Bridge

Princes Bridge 1

(Click photo for a larger version)

I thought that it was about time that I started putting up some photos of Melbourne – seeing as I live there.  It’s amazing that it’s so easy to wander around a strange city taking photos, and yet it seems strange to do the same thing at home!  Even though I would be lucky to go into the City once or twice a year. 

So here we have a view looking down the Yarra River towards Crown Casino and the Melbourne’s World Trade Centre.  Southbank is on the left and Flinders Street Station obscured behind the trees on the right.  In the centre is the pedestrian footbridge linking Flinders Street and the Southbank precinct.

Free Range Kids

About a year ago I posted a link to an article in Orion Magazine about getting children out into the great outdoors.  Well I have just stumbled across a whole website devoted to the same topic, FreeRangeKids [^].  This site is written by another American, Lenore Skenazy, a New Yorker no less! 


A furore erupted when Lenore wrote an article in The New York Sun about leaving her 9 year-old son in downtown New York to find his own way home in broad daylight:

Half the people I’ve told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It’s not. It’s debilitating — for us and for them.  FreeRangeKids [^]

As Lenore points out that in 2006 115 children were abducted in America, out of a population of 300 million!  Now don’t get me wrong, the fact that 115 kids were abducted is still 115 too high; but there is a greater chance of being struck by lightning

With almost continuous media coverage of these events, like the Madeliene McCann  disappearance, this very small possibility remains at the top of everyone’s minds.  We take precautions to avoid being struck by lightning, and we should look after out kids – but don’t wrap them in bubble-wrap!  There needs to be a point where parental responsibility and independent thinking by the child meet.