Search Results: libraries

  • RELIGION

    Freedom from the tyranny of doing

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 February 2018
    12 Comments

    The human brain has always needed silence, and there have always been people who needed solitude, at least for certain periods. In 1948 war hero and adventurer Patrick Leigh Fermor retreated to a French monastery simply in order to write. But the experience of silence was an unexpected bonus.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Oprah won't be the anti-Trump

    • Zac Davis
    • 12 January 2018
    5 Comments

    With a rousing display of oration not seen since before last November, she electrified the room and inspired a nation to all ask: should Oprah be our next president? True, it was a great speech. If she runs, she will win. If she wins, it will be a substantial improvement. But these are not good enough reasons to cheer for a presidential run.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Victory claimed in Mosul, but other battles loom

    • William Gourlay
    • 14 July 2017
    2 Comments

    With ongoing celebrations in Baghdad and scenes of devastation in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the 'liberation' of Iraq's second-largest city from ISIS. This moment, after an umbrella force of military units fought for nine months to relieve Mosul of the ISIS yoke, represents a victory for the people and government of Iraq. However, many challenges loom, among them reconciling conflicting interests amongst Iraq's peoples and restoring the ravaged landscape.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libraries adapt to the age of free information

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 06 July 2017
    6 Comments

    I often visit my local library. I tend to go in the after-school hours, so there are children everywhere. I can see mothers guiding young, chubby hands across picture book pages. I think of Mem Fox's advice about how children should hear a thousand stories before learning to read. With the internet and ebooks, the free information that made a library unique is no longer exclusive. Classic literature can be found with a Google search. So what do brick and mortar libraries offer that Amazon can't?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In praise of local councils

    • Fatima Measham
    • 27 October 2016
    7 Comments

    Unless you have lived elsewhere, where taxes and rates rarely manifest as a tangible and permanent benefit, it is easy to take councils for granted. I grew up in a town where potholes are forever, healthcare is ad hoc and libraries are private. The things that I see my local council do as a matter of routine are wild luxuries in other places around the world. Such competencies arguably measure the health of a democracy - it means that most of the money has not been lost to corruption and fraud.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Our future is public

    • Andy Lynch
    • 27 August 2014
    9 Comments

    The kind of Australia we live in today can be directly attributed to the kinds of institutions built 150 years ago - schools, universities, libraries, museums, and more. But in 2014 is it even possible to carve out new public institutions or give new life to those that have waned in relevance?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Writing a poem is hard work

    • Various
    • 05 August 2014
    3 Comments

    It never looks like hard work. I’ve just rolled my sleeves up while I stare at an old shoe in the corner of the room for hours. I’ve sweated a day in my life as I skewer a stare right through the Friday morning waitress – the brick wall behind her.

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  • RELIGION

    Thinking Christians spurn hammy creationism

    • Chris Middleton
    • 18 February 2014
    33 Comments

    Australian-born creationist Ken Ham argues that every human is descended from Adam and Eve, that God created man and all land animals on the same day 6000 years ago, and that there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. The relationship between faith and reason goes to the credibility of being a Christian in the modern world. A minority view within Christianity should not be allowed to frame a false dichotomy between religion and science.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bookworm skinned by kin and Kindle

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 July 2013
    23 Comments

    Knowing I was going to spend six months in Greece, I arranged for a trunk of books to be sent over. My illiterate mother-in-law was stupefied: 'So many books! Can't you sell some of them?' I should have known she'd react like this, as during her one visit to Melbourne she'd told me roundly that too much reading was the cause of my prematurely grey hair and my need to wear glasses.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Peter Steele's seven types of ingenuity

    • Philip Harvey
    • 03 July 2012
    7 Comments

    More than once I observed him walking from the Medley Building of the University of Melbourne to Newman College reading a book, not looking up. It was the book leading the human through the everyday world. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Shaky surpluses and dirty nappies

    • Jen Vuk
    • 09 May 2012
    4 Comments

    You could you call it coincidence that the week I'm asked to write on budgets, ours blows out. I call it life. Such is the cyclic nature of our 1.5-incomes-and-two-kids lives that just when we think our savings are safe, a new enrolment fee is due, the kids' jeans are suddenly a size too small and I've run out of nappies.

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  • MEDIA

    Elitism in online dictionaries

    • Philip Harvey
    • 27 March 2012
    19 Comments

    Free dictionaries on the internet are often bland and incomplete, while those that are complex and exhaustive require a credit card. Quality comes at a price, and this is an increasing educational issue. Rich institutions and individuals can pay for the words we all use, while others cannot, or just do not.

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