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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The lighter side of dementia

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 July 2012
    4 Comments

    Just when my friend was thinking to find a quieter place for this lost and distressed elderly woman while he worked out what to do next, she turned to him, her face alight. With one movement she opened her mouth, removed her denture and held it towards him. On the 'gum' was clearly inscribed her name and a phone number.

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  • MEDIA

    Justifying garden-variety torture

    • Max Atkinson
    • 12 July 2012
    6 Comments

    Any discussion of the morality of torture must distinguish two kinds of justification. The first is concerned with cases so exotic they have nothing to do with the ordinary affairs of mankind, such as the nuclear bomb ticking away in a New York basement. A real-life justification must provide a rationale for a wide range of common garden cases. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    History curriculum perpetuates East Timor myths

    • Susan Connelly
    • 10 July 2012
    7 Comments

    The draft senior secondary history curriculum glosses over Australia's relationship with East Timor. It needs to go beyond the false media and political view that Australia's involvement in East Timor has been unremittingly courageous, generous and exemplary. There is a danger that students will believe Australian soldiers went into Portuguese Timor in 1941 'to protect the Timorese' and that Australia 'saved' East Timor in 1999.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Warm bums and nuclear activism in Tokyo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 May 2012
    6 Comments

    I took the train into central Tokyo, my bum warmed by the heated seats. Each time we stopped, the train's engine shut down briefly, and the bum heater switch off for a few seconds. Over the loudspeaker I heard 'Setsuden chu', the catchphrase meaning 'We're currently using less electricity', which is posted all around the city.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The other side of suicide

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 May 2012
    4 Comments

    When I was 15 I decided not to kill myself. I am still sometimes prone to baseless bouts of depression, but that ragged dark hole has never engulfed me. The main characters in two recent films are notable for deciding to live, rather than lie down and be overrun by dark emotions and events.

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  • EDUCATION

    No easy cure for 'cost disease' in Australian schools

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 07 May 2012
    13 Comments

    The Productivity Commission Schools Workforce report released on Friday does contain evidence of the dire state of productivity in Australian schools, but it is largely neutered. It's as if the Commission was anxious to avoid stating too plainly a disease for which it can suggest only palliatives.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Letter from a lost soldier

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 April 2012
    5 Comments

    'I wish this war was finished for I am fed up. My dear Ann, you and the children try to be as cheery as you can. I feel all buggered up but I shall just have to carry on the best way I can ... we are on another front now and it is actually hell ...' Whatever ambiguous solace Annie could derive from Alex's letter, it was soon lost.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love with an open hand

    • Various
    • 13 March 2012

    When I'm with you, I take off my rings, unlatch my watch and untie my hair. And it's so quiet, so so quiet, like a film without a soundtrack.

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