The Darker Side of Badminton

Badminton is dangerous, as it turns out. But seriously, I got into this thinking it would be a nice, soft sport for the light-hearted. It just doesn’t look aggressive, you know? You’re hitting a funny little shuttle thing, and no matter how hard you smack it, it still flies through the air at its own, leisurely pace. The people who play badminton? They are not like that. They are not at ALL like that.

People who play badminton can be…mean. Some of them, anyway. I should know, because one of them put me in the hospital. He aggressively dived for a shot and basically stabbed me with his racket, cracking one of my ribs. So we had to find a place in Melbourne for oxygen therapy, because it’s sort of like two birds with one stone. Three, if you include my hayfever. The broken rib makes it difficult to breathe without pain, but here in the hyperbaric chamber it’s a lot easier. Plus, it apparently helps the healing process, and I’ll take whatever I can get.

Oxygen therapy isn’t where I thought I’d be ending up after a particularly dire game of badminton, so I guess I called that one a bit wrong. Thing is, I’ve tried a lot more than this. Cricket was just too much standing around in the sun. Football is a lot of tackling…which is fine, but not for me. I even spent three months doing Kendo, during which I didn’t sustain a single injury. That’s a lot of getting hit, I’ll have you know. I only quit that one because it was too heavy on the ancient Japanese mythology side and not so heavy on the actual practical stuff.

After all that, it’s BADMINTON that does me in and sends me to a hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne just seems to be a hostile place to play sport, perhaps. But they already have the arts, so you’d think they’d tone it down. Nope. Not in Melbourne.


Top-Grade Special Effects, Clearly

Movie making takes so much…stuff. You need money, people to do all the jobs (of which there are many) and after all that, you need to let people know about it. How do people even get established in this field to begin with? I’m looking at the viability of getting involved in the industry, and it seems like less of an uphill battle and more of a vertical climb. With no handholds, or equipment. If I had loads of money it would be different, but it definitely is not.

People used to make do back in the day, right? Forty years ago they would’ve just taken a video camera of some sort to a pest control person in Sorrento or wherever and just asked if they could film a bit of their work. Just…stuck the camera right in the dirt, where all the ants are going about their business. Maybe get an idea of if they’re termites or regular worker ants going about their day finding food.

Then those would be the base special effects for ‘Attack of the Fifty Foot Killer Ants’. People wouldn’t mind, because they didn’t live in a world full of special effects and lifelike CG. They’d be appropriately terrified because it was happening on the screen and accompanied by people overacting. We’re spoiled in this modern world, but still, it’s made the process a lot harder than it has to be.

Maybe I can do the same thing, find myself a pest control expert…and then pass it off as retro? People love that sort of thing nowadays. Silent films are back on the rise, and practical effects are SO in. I could find a pest control person in local Dandenong…and they might understand that my movie is actually pretty much aligned with their job. Product placement, basically.

The Energy Storage of the Future

Here we are, in September. It sure is interesting how time continues to flow in a linear fashion, creating the same progression of year, every year, forever. But then, the only reason we call it September is because we as humans came up with that concept. We could’ve had six months in a year that were double the length. As if February wasn’t already complicated enough.

Maybe in the distant future, it will be. I’ve been looking into future technology, and the good thing about actual, REAL sci-fi is that there’s actually some scientific baking behind a lot of the ideas. Here on Earth in 2017, we’re only just getting into commercial energy storage and monitoring on an industrial scale. I wouldn’t call the technology primitive- we’ve had solar batteries and power plants for quite a while- but we’re still limited by only living on a single planet, and only having access to a single solar system.  Just imagine how much energy storage we’re going to need when we’re jetting around the galaxy, building skyscrapers to the moon and terraforming planets left right and centre. The energy need will be massive, which is why people have theorised Dyson Spheres. They wrap around a star and essentially store its energy for other uses. When you think how much energy we use right NOW, harnessing the power of a star could be on the cards in some way.

Baby steps, I know. For now it’s great to see more people going for energy efficient solutions like LED lighting and solar panels. I am excited to see where it’s all headed though. Unfortunately I can’t disturb the linear flow of time and catapult myself into the future…unless I COULD. But the energy required for such a feat is immense. All of Melbourne commercial energy storage, or indeed the storage of the entire world, may not be enough. So…the slow path it is?

Victorian Pool Safety in Regards to Barriers and Fences

Note that Tell Me About is a general purpose knowledge repository and any specific advice on home pool safety and barriers should be taken to a professional or the Victorian state government.

We all love a good day in the pool and with today’s ever busy environment maybe you splashed out (ha ha ha) and bought yourself your own pool, for your home and for your loved ones (but mostly for yourself, am I right?). There are a few things that you will need to know in regards to pool fencing and barrier, and any concerns should also be discussed with your Melbourne pool fencing supplier.

A key to pool safety is your pool fence, or barrier. It must meet the state’s regulations about fencing, and safety, as well as location and general permission guidelines. The good news is that your existing boundary fence, most often used to peek into your neighbours better kept yard, can now be used as part of your pool fence installation, so long as all other requirements for the barrier are met. That also means that you have some license to create or commission a good looking pool fence, so long as it meets guidelines. Common pool fence designs include aluminium, steel, glass, both frameless and frame-abundant. you can even have windows, so long as they are closable and child-resistant.

The penalties for not having an appropriate pool fence, or no fence if you’re a real rebel, can be substantial. Penalties can go as high a $5,000 as well as $250 per day the fence is not up to code. The advice that I’m doling out today is this; if you have to get a fence that’s up to go, why not go all out and get one that you and your family can cherish, and enjoy looking at when you’ve had enough of looking at each other. Perhaps a nice semi frameless Melbourne pool fence will do wonders to your sorely lacking decor.

Ice Skating or Origami?

I was given a choice when I turned eight: origami or baking. The first is Dad’s thing, while Mum is the baker. I think they were trying to prove that their hobby was more important by the fact that their firstborn son chose one over the other, but…I chose a third option. Even at that tender age, I could see what they were doing, and I wanted no part in it. Now my sister has chosen origami, my brother loves baking and all the equilibrium has been restored while I just progress in my ice skating.

Yep, I chose something pretty out there. But while it’s not the best-known Australian pastime, least of all in Melbourne, there was an ice skating rink just down the road and I just thought…well, it looks cool. I barely have to walk to get there. And then when people have their birthday parties there, I can be the awesome one in the middle doing all the spins, and jumping, and whatever else. It’s been a good nine years or so, and I got my wish several times over. I guess because there’s been that ice skating boom, everyone wants to have parties there and such. So that means I get to subtly, humbly show off my moves, get the girls…you know how it is (awesome). Though it took blood, sweat, tears and probably other things before I got to that level!

Now I teach, sort of. It’s an informal thing, because I just feel like I got a bit of a head start in life and I want to pass that on to people. I guess I’ve really become some kind of super-fan, promoting the sport and following all the ‘ice skating news’. There’s not a huge amount of that when the Winter Olympics aren’t on, surprisingly. I got to meet that Yugoslavian guy, though. That was cool. But yeah, I guess ice skating instructor is something that’s on the cards for a bit later. Unless I gravitate towards baking in my later life.

Gardening found relaxing for millennials

Busy millennials are turning to gardening to alleviate stress levels, feeding a growing online nursery industry.

With no time to go to the nursery down the road, young green thumbs have been buying their hybrid tea roses over the net.

The annual Gardening Enthusiast Association survey revealed that over one third of gardeners are millennials. Over half of millennial gardeners exclusively purchase their gardening needs online, the survey found.

Follow-up interviews with a group of young gardeners who participated in the survey found that top reasons for gardening include relaxation and having a sense of accomplishment.

Hobby gardeners have been obtaining not just easily shipped seeds but also entire plants and trees, which are sent by courier.

Mike Paxton, a 29 year old working three jobs in hospitality, says he swapped video games for gardening and improved his life.

“Gaming made me angry, but gardening makes me relaxed,” he says.

“Feeling the dirt with your bare hands is a spiritual experience, it makes me feel connected and grounded. I am at one with my plants. Now, I tend to my garden once a week or I start to feel too stressed out.”

Some millennials, living with their parents, tend to the garden in lieu of paying board.

This is the situation for Daniel Phillips, a 32 year old between jobs and living with his mother.

“I took up gardening because my mum said I never do anything,” he says.

“Well, now she gets to enjoy looking at the weeping roses every day. I really feel like I’m getting something done.”

The interviews also found that millennials favour the inclusion of practical greenery in their gardens.

A trend was away from plants and towards trees- fruit and nut bearing trees were most prized for bringing fresh produce literally into gardeners’ backyards.

Big developments being with Birthdays

I’m getting all excited again, I know, but you don’t know how excited I get about Week of Our Lives. My life is pretty boring, I guess, so it really helps me to plug into the world of fiction and live vicariously through it. As you do, you know?

Yeah, so Tom has put his foot in it again! He took over the fishmongers and I looked at him and thought…he’s up to no good. A single father on television portrayed in a positive light? No good ever comes of something like that, and I was right because it was revealed that he was the dreaded Mime Murderer.

More on him later. So Harriet is trying to find a kid’s birthday party venue in Melbourne, because she’s a single mother of six and wants to give her children the very best she could afford. While at another birthday party she meets Tom, who just finished his PhD in criminal psychology (SO obvious) and he draws her in with talk about how he’s an altruistic father who wants to get a good job and provide for his family. Oh, and say, his own kids are having a party, so why don’t they combine their efforts to find a birthday party venue everyone could enjoy? Harriet is fresh off that whole business with the platypus farming scam and is especially vulnerable, so she’s sucked in. Also, one of her eyes is made of glass and she doesn’t think she’ll ever find a good man.

That’s where they left things: Harriet alone with Tom in the fishmonger shop, giving him googly eyes (or googly eye) and him being all smiley and helpful.

What happens next? Will she realise who he is before it’s too late?? Will they find a party venue in Melbourne that suits Harriet’s germ standards? She really loves her moist towelettes, so I hope whichever place they choose has cleaning standards. Oh…and the mime thing. Excited!

Can flowers lead to love?

There is a new guy at work that everyone has gone crazy over. I personally do not get it. He is average looking and he often makes jokes that are just plain old not-funny. Anyway, he has been moved to my department and I am in charge of his training this week. Turns out he is a fellow botany enthusiast and we actually have a lot in common when it comes to our green thumbs.

We compared climbing roses strategies, having both recently installed some to cover up shady spots in our gardens. He went for an agapanthus midnight cascade whereas I went for the agapanthus diamond cascade. Anyway, after our fairly public bonding session everyone was teasing me saying that I am obviously crushing on the new guy, when actually I was the only one who wasn’t. I mean sure he was good looking, but all I honestly cared about were the flowers. I think he took our shared love of flowers as confirmation that we should be together forever because the next day he brought me the most insane bunch of flowers that he had grown in his garden including, lilies, brindabella roses and of course, agapanthus. I was of course flattered but I felt like I had to stand by my stance as the one who doesn’t see it. I reluctantly agreed to go for dinner with him but only when he agreed to stop lecturing me on agapanthus agapetite.  

Of course, everyone found out and is now taunting me that I had been pining for him all along. Oh well, it’s rare to meet someone that knows their kniphofia from their eremurus so I am going to give him a chance. I told the girls I only agreed to go out with him so they would all shut up but of course they are picking out china patterns already. We certainly know what flowers we’d have. I guess if it works out with this guy we’d have the most amazing garden on the street.