Saturday, June 16, 2007

Week in a Nutshell

Monday, as mentioned previously, was the Queen’s birthday (or rather, the celebration of the Queen’s birthday) so it was a four day work week. Yippie! So Tuesday seemed like Monday and I was feeling accordingly misplaced the rest of the week. Had a nice lunch on Tuesday with a new book discussion group I’ve joined called The Porpoise Pool (not quite sure why) where we discussed Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a biography of a guy who worked for an international consulting firm whose explicit goal was to convince developing countries to accept gigantic development loans, thereby padding the pockets of US contracting companies (Halliburton and friends, for example) and forever indebting said countries to the US who then take advantage of access to natural resources and ensure political support. Disturbing and depressing though perhaps enlightening and not surprising.

The afternoon was a bit more inspiring as I joined 4200 other folks to see the Dalai Lama speak at the Australian Institute of Sport. He was his jovial and giggling usual self as he shared his timeless message of joy and compassion.

Thursday evening was the opening of the second of a series of art exhibitions that a friend has been working on featuring active transport i.e. bicycling, walking etc. This exhibition featured 8-12 year olds art depicting active transport and why it’s better for the planet than cars. Lots of depictions of solar powered flying gadgets but my favorite one was a simple black and white background of hills and trees with a pathway of rainbow colored footprints across the bottom of the page. I suspect someone mentioned the concept of an ecological footprint to them.

Friday was a full day research workshop where all of the researchers in the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society presented a five minute summary of their current research projects. Interesting but tedious. After work, Brian and I went to an International Students Valedictory Graduation Celebration featuring undergraduate and postgraduate valedictory speeches and cocktails with the Vice Chancellor. Speeches weren’t particularly inspiring but Brian and I had the chance to chat with VC afterwards for ten minutes or so. He was the one who approved and funded my current project so he actually remembered me (well, the piece of paper about me that briefly crossed his desk) and we had quite a nice chat about renewable technologies, carbon accounting and greywater use for campus lawns. He seems very tuned in to environmental issues and has been providing the bucks to back it up.

Did I mention that I graduate on Friday July 13th? I have an extra ticket... :)

Oh, and its been raining for much of the end of the week, which is terrific considering how dry it has been for some time now. But I have to say that cycling to work in freezing temperatures in the rain is not the most pleasant commute. And my rain pants are leaking. Online shopping here I come…

1 comment:

  1. Much more enviro news in Ohio. Every day it seems like more is mentioned. This last week Jacob's Field (for Indians baseball) will have solar panels installed. Enough to do big scoreboard +. All of the major league sports teams in the USA are having green initiatives - from the top down.

    Off with Heather & Jan to do our share of peddling instead of driving for a week.