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The Motherland

 

The need to continually justify the colony's early existence in London became part of its character and from 1788 until the early 1970s Australia spent a great deal of time trying to stop mummy forcing her to leave home.  Bob Menzies was still getting his washing done at home until his death as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports; and he 'did but see her passing by' , referring to good Queen Bess II and 'loved her till he died'.  Contrary to popular belief today, when we hear 'we fought under our flag in two world wars', Australia still used the Union Jack as our National flag until 1954, when the current flag became the official one, thanks to the Queen's visit and the need for a gracious act.  This is clearly seen in old newsreels.   My high school was the repository of the Changi Flag framed in the School Hall.  It was made by Australian prisoners of war in Singapore around 1943.  It is a Union Jack.

Australians still carried British Passports until 1949 and the word British was not completely removed from Australian passports until 1967. God Save the Queen  was our National Anthem until 1974.  Even the reformer, Gough Whitlam, never stopped referring to his old school masters in the 'Old Dart'; how should one pronounce kilometre?  We are probably the most reluctant independent Nation in history.  When I was a child our elderly neighbour always spoke of 'home', meaning England, even though she was second or third generation Australian. 

This self imposed sycophancy towards the Mother country, juxtaposed with the egalitarian sentiments of convicts made good, defined the Australian character for much of my childhood.   Intellectuals and artists had to be recognised in London; the 'cultural cringe' became a term of self abuse; we were constantly seeking the approval of the world in general; we wanted to emulate Americans; we built the biggest this and best of that, or so we told ourselves while in our hearts doubting it all the time; we had to excel in every sporting endeavour, culminating in 'the best Olympics ever'.  At the same time we doubted the credentials of our high achievers and were constantly on the lookout for a chink in their reputation.

 

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Travel

South Korea & China

March 2016

 

 

South Korea

 

 

I hadn't written up our trip to South Korea (in March 2016) but Google Pictures gratuitously put an album together from my Cloud library so I was motivated to add a few words and put it up on my Website.  Normally I would use selected images to illustrate observations about a place visited.  This is the other way about, with a lot of images that I may not have otherwise chosen.  It requires you to go to the link below if you want to see pictures. You may find some of the images interesting and want to by-pass others quickly. Your choice. In addition to the album, Google generated a short movie in an 8mm style - complete with dust flecks. You can see this by clicking the last frame, at the bottom of the album.

A few days in Seoul were followed by travels around the country, helpfully illustrated in the album by Google generated maps: a picture is worth a thousand words; ending back in Seoul before spending a few days in China on the way home to OZ. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Time Lord

 

 

 

For no apparent reason the silver haired man ran from his companion, shook a tree branch, then ran back to continue their normal conversation. It was as if nothing had happened. 

Bruce had been stopped in peak hour traffic in the leafy suburban street and had noticed the couple walking towards him engaged in good humoured argument or debate.  Unless this was some bizarre fit, as it seemed, the shaken tree branch must be to illustrate some point.  But what could it be?

Just as the couple passed him the lights up ahead changed and the traffic began to move again. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Discovery of the Higgs boson

 

 

Perhaps the most important physics discovery of my lifetime has finally been announced.  I say 'finally' as its existence has been predicted by the 'Standard Model' for a long time and I have already mentioned this possibility/probability in an earlier article on this website (link).

Its confirmation is important to everyone, not just to physicists working in the field of quantum mechanics.  Like the confirmation of the predictions of Einstein's Theory of Relativity we are now confronted with a new model of reality that has moved beyond an esoteric theory to the understanding that this is how the Universe actually is; at least as far as the Standard Model goes.

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