Sunday, 30 March 2014

Twitter - #help


I am new to Twitter.

I have read much about it (140 characters - got it) observed it's many interesting effects on global events (#arabspring) and was made aware today that Twitter has now converted the US to universally accept the word "hash" as opposed to "pound" to describe that little symbol that looks like a noughts and crosses grid - #.

The reason I recently waded in to the twitter pond was unashamedly political. Senator Scott Ludlam, the Greens candidate who is up for re-election in the WA senate by-election next weekend, is a hero of mine and of most politically sensitive Gen Y people I know. He 'gets' Twitter, and Facebook, and new media and well, he is killing it in the social media universe right now. At least the ones I know about.

Senator Ludlam made a freaking awesome speech to Parliament a little while ago. Shame on you if you do not know what I am talking about - shame on me if I do not direct you to where you can find this speech. The speech has been viewed over 800 thousand times on YouTube. Senator Ludlam and his excellent media savvy advisers have cleverly decided to capitalise on it's popularity and make a better film clip starring all his supporters, a la the Bob Dylan film clip with all the signs. See here:

I wanted to be in on this. I particularly wanted to be the one holding the sign that said "Game On Prime Minister." Not just because it's a cool line in a cool speech, but because I remember that Julia Gillard said this to Tony Abbott, albeit without the Prime Minister part, when she first took over from K-Rudd. I remember thinking "Hell yeh to a real challenge! Hell yeah bring your worst!" Sadly, Abbott became PM a few short years later, mostly due to K-Rudd's reemergence and the Labor party's inability to stop itself imploding.

I still like the line though.

To participate, I needed a Twitter account. I managed to take a selfie with the slogan and upload it to Twitter. I am a digital native after all. But what I didn't get, after successfully tweeting from my fresh new account, is how to really use Twitter.

I am thinking it's a tool for me to participate in things I like - such as Senator Ludlam's campaign. I can follow people too - but then my family will attest I have never really been much of a follower, ever. I found a link to the tweets of Rupert Murdoch - I think I will be scarred for life. I bobbed around on the surface of my tiny little Twitter account for 15 minutes or so and then posted "I don't get Twitter #help" on Facebook. Knowns and unknowns people, knowns and unknowns.

The truth is I like the long version of just about anything, and to me, Twitter is just a bombastic amount of little tiny thoughts all vying for my attention at the same time. Eeee! My brain felt like it was unintentionally eavesdropping on the entire world. Like when you are on a plane and the two people next to you are having a deep and meaningful and you can't HELP but hear what they are saying because you can't sleep and forgot to bring headphones.

I am sure my trepidation will mature in time; I am certainly no early adopter, but right now, if I've got something to say, I like more than 140 characters to explain myself, thank you very much.


My next post will undoubtedly be a monologue on complexity versus simplicity, once I have finished and absorbed the very excellent The Brain in Wider than the Sky by Bryan Appleyard (bought yesterday). The book explores, among other things, the relationship between the rise of 21st communication mediums that seek to simplify our existences and the diminishing ability for individuals to absorb and construct complex ideas. Fascinating.

See you then.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Knee goes Kapow!

The reason I'm finally blogging has nothing to do with conviction or desperation to be an awesome blogger - no, it's got to do with an accident I had on the netball court on Tuesday night.

Our team, KAOS, is lead my brother, Mark, and we have been cursed pretty much since the start of the season. We can't keep good players because they keep injuring themselves, both on and off the court. When we DO have a team, we are great. We are fluidity itself. The ball is on a string and we defeat our opposition without raising a sweat. This state of play has happened a total of once so far this season. How awful that we KNOW how great we can be yet our injury curse leaves us forever chasing that optimal state of play.

Back to the reason for blogging.

We were off to a great start in the first half. We were up by 15 goals heading in to the second half. The opposition gained a player at the break and we no longer had the advantage of having a player loose in our goal third. The pressure started to build. We were making mistakes and they were capitalising on our sloppy passes all over the court. Worse, we started losing our centre passes to intercepts and mistakes.

The whistle blew and I ran from behind Mark, our centre, to take the pass. He bounced it low to avoid the defender closing in on me and I fumbled it, falling forward and crashing my right knee awkwardly to the left where I felt it punch out sideways and back as I landed. Oh exquisite pain.

I have a history of injuring my ankles on the netball court and my mother, watching from the side lines, was no doubt unworried about my cry of pain at this stage. The Nicole Down scenario usually ends with me hobbling from the court to ice my ankle or standing up for a few seconds to test the injury before continuing play. Such is the frequency of my ankles rolling and my body going Meh.

This time, my body went Oooh Nooo.

I did manage to hobble off the court, aided by my captain who was already blaming himself for such a dodgy pass. If anything good came of my injury, it may have been that it helped stop the momentum of the Red Devils. We swapped players around and managed to scrape home with a win. If not for the huge margin we had built in the first half, we would have been goners.

I was still not too concerned about my injury after the game, although I did ice it and try not to walk around on it too much once I got home. Waking up the next day to a small water balloon surrounding my knee cap made me think that work was not going to happen. There was not much pain, but oh, there was not much movement either. Off to the doctor for me.

I would like to point out at this point that I am so freaking grateful to live in Australia and have access to FREE medical care. FREE folks. FREEEEE!

I shelled out almost $100 in taxi fares (right knee injury = no driving) to get me to my GP, then from the GP to the MRI clinic, then back home, and then back to the GP to check the results. All in a 10 hour window. I did not pay a cent for a great doctor to refer me to a great clinic that did an MRI scan within 40 minutes and gave me results that day and THEN go see my GP again for a diagnosis. Not one penny. God help anyone who tries to rip apart Medicare. I will personally go after you.

Dr Damodar (lovely attractive man who wins Good Guy Dr Award for this week) broke my heart a bit when he told me the damage bill. I basically ripped any tendons living in my knee joint and made them shrivel up in fear. There are many fancy medical terms to explain this, but I will summarise by saying: Knee goes Kapow!

Off to hospital for me. Slowly.

That night I was given a knee brace by the lovely staff at the Princess Alexandra hospital (for FREE) and a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. I was also contacted by the hospital's physiotherapy department the day after to book an appointment, which I dutifully attended today. I did not pay for my physiotherapy session either. Um, wow.

So the reason I am blogging is that I am now at home with a dirty great brace on my leg bored out of my mind and wanting to share my thoughts. Anyone who wants to know what happened can conveniently be referred to the above description, saving me much time and energy, and I can continue to expouse thoughts on socialised medical care and all manner of other blogworthy thoughts that pass through my mind as I recover.

Expect the blog frequency to go up around the post op period...

Til then folks.