Technology at the speed of light

The one thing that I found most interesting the BCM206 lecture this week was how some members of humanity will never truly grasp the power of the technology at their fingertips.

The one part that got to me was the anecdotes on people’s lack of understanding with the mechanics of the telegraph.

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Image by Tayla Bosley

 

The woman who wanted to send soup to her son on the western front for example, resonated with me. Simply because I had to explain to my own grandmother that I can send her my holiday photos to her phone, and not have to physically print and send them to her.

The lack of physicality still remains a concept that is hard to grasp by some.

While some generations appear to have it easier than others.

It appears that the rapid rate of technology will always leave some people behind.

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Discover: Brewtown Newtown

You wouldn’t be blamed for walking right past Brewtown Newtown, or even not knowing that it existed.

To get there you must pass the eclectic mish-mash that is Newtown. My journey took me towards the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, then along the windows of Elizabeth’s bookstore, and a final left at the sweet-smelling Chocolate Room.

So by the time I got there I was ready to eat.

And I walked straight past it.

The minimalist signage of Brewtown Newtown, accompanied with the floor-to-ceiling windows leaves little warning to the casual onlooker that behind lies some of the best coffee in the city.

Sequestered off the main King Street Brewtown Newtown sits at 6-8 O’Connell Street, and features an ‘artisan’ bakery, coffee roastery and clothing store.

It was as if I’d died and gone to hipster heaven.

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http://shayben.com

 

The interior of the café pays homage to the late 19h Century warehouse in which it resides. Dark exposed rafters adorn the ceiling, complimented by the heavy industrial fans that waft the aroma of coffee to every corner.

Despite the dark rafters and exposed brickwork Brewtown Newtown is filled with light; mostly from the huge windows that run the length of the shop front.

The darkness is also expelled by the wait staff.

After taking my seat at one of the table rows that seat only couples I was greeted by the most joy-filled waitress I’ve ever met.

In all appearances, every employee of Brewtown Newtown seemed to genuinely enjoy speaking with me and the other customers, whether it be about their day, or simply the weather. Which overall made the whole experience delightfully memorable.

Now to the important bit; the food.

Brewtown Newtown is renowned for its Elvis burger; a delicious monstrosity filled with ground beef, savory brewnut, Canadian bacon, gruyere and mayo served with chips and relish.

Unfortunately, it was not my day to tackle the beast. The heat of the day and the limited space in my stomach led me to a different tasty dish.

The wood smoked salmon salad with goat’s cheese, caper berries and baby beets is the perfect thing on a warm Australian day.

Doused with a delectable dressing of unknown origin the salmon salad was a lovely companion to my espresso blend flat white, as I was too afraid to attempt any of their four single origin blends.

http://www.toffeecases.com

 

The ‘steampunk’ of Ethiopia was particularly intimidating, combined with the tortuous looking natural press machine, I was glad for the availability of my elementary caffeinated beverage.

Despite the severity of its coffee machines, for me, Brewtown Newtown, offers a delectable space to chill out amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as a damn fine brew.

Is Sydney the best city to discover new food?

What makes Sydney one of the greatest cities in the world? Is it the beatific harbour views? Or the lovely sunshine? What makes Sydney so special to so many people around the world?

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Source: http://cdn.wonderfulengineering.com.au

 

Well the answer is obvious.

It’s food.

Sydney is home to some of the most delicious, most inspired, and most daring dishes on the planet. So it’s natural for people to fall in love with the harbour city.

There are three reasons why Sydney has such an invigorating culinary industry;

  1. Constant new blood
  2. Endless variety
  3. Revolutionary innovation

Constant New Blood

Sydney’s restaurants are forever redefining themselves. In suburbs such as Newtown and Surrey Hills it’s common to become misled when the Japanese restaurant you went to last week is today an avant-garde Nordic bar.

But it is this constant thirst for originality and freshness that brings new life and new food to Sydney.

  • Hubert
  • Recently opened Hubert is a restaurant like no other. The new addition to Bligh Street, Sydney boasts a retro Parisian theme and menu to match. Dishes such as terrines and blood cakes are mixed with modern styled deserts such as melon en surprise to make a truly inimitable dining experience.
  • Acre
  • A restaurant that delights in the trend of farm-to-table, Acre in Camperdown is a newly made country haven in the middle of the city. Meals such as beef cheek with oxtail with parsnip, raisins and chocolate give the restaurant a high-end menu, but in the comfort of the rustic eatery.

 

Endless Variety

Australia is renowned as a multicultural country. With people from all over the world gracing our shores with their fascinating culture and delightful food.

  • Kammadhenu
  • A combination of Malaysian, South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, Kammadhenu located in Homebush includes a varied menu that will leave you deciding for hours.
  • Al Aseel
  • This Lebanese restaurant from Lakemba will have you wondering how you’ve lived so long without trying chicken shawarma; a sliced kebab style marinated chicken served on a bed of onions.

Revolutionary Innovation

Even If the restaurant itself isn’t new, Sydney’s eating dens are constantly looking to one-up another, in the ever entertaining challenge of the most bizarre food in the city.

  • El Topo
  • Often cited as ‘the best Mexican food in Sydney’ El Topo has no fear when it comes to creating the latest and weirdest meals around. At the moment they feature ‘chaplines’ also known as roasted crickets, especially imported from Mexico. But don’t scream yet, flavoured with chilli garlic and lime these little insects provide one unique and delicious experience.
  • est.
  • Not one of Sydney’s best kept secrets est. in the CBD features a bountiful menu that will leave you salivating despite the long booking wait. One of their more innovative creations is the venison saddle with salt baked Jerusalem artichoke, boudin noir, prunes and coffee crumbs.

Nordic What?

Take a step into the wild north with Sydney’s latest trend; Nordic dining.

Australia is renowned for its multiculturalism, our music, our fashion, and our food arrive in our country from all corners of the globe. It is easy to step into any of our great cities and experience the taste of many countries and places that you have never visited.

But what about the landscapes of Scandinavia?

Amidst the plethora of Thai shops, Chinese restaurants, and Lebanese cuisine a new culture has come to our shores; Nordic dining.

Although still a relatively niche market Nordic restaurants and bars have begun their slow integration into our already overflowing industry of foreign food.

Three of these Scandinavian havens have made their way to Sydney, and all of them are already developing a cult following.

As of today we have Norsk Dor, which is a Viking-themed restaurant and bar on Pitt Street. The low dining-hall styled restaurant sends you back to the time of pillages and seafaring, but with the deliciousness of modern-day Sydney.

Source: http://www.norskdor.com.au

As one satisfied customer by the name of Priscilla, put it on ‘Dimmi.com.au’, “Loved this place. Good atmosphere and nice decor. Delicious food full of flavour. Great staff, friendly, knowledgeable and gave us great advice as to how much and what to order. The venison was cooked to perfection and I tried the duck too which was packed with flavours. Delicious! Highly recommend it!”

Then we also have Sven’s Viking Pizza out of Coogee, which is a curious combination of Swedish toppings on the classic Italian dish. The fun of this place comes from its menu; where every dish is named after a god or member of Nordic mythology.

 

Source: http://www.svens.com.au

 

Some interesting bites include, ‘YGGDRASIL- The World Tree’, which features garlic and chilli marinated king prawns, crispy pancetta, roma tomatoes, and chèvre. As well as ‘RAGNAROK- Judgement Day’, but this end-of-the-world slice offers Spanish chorizo, pepperoni, smoked ham, and spicy red chilli crème.

Lastly we have Nordic B, from Newtown, who aren’t kidding when they say, ‘Nordic food and drinks. You name it, we have it!”

This home away from home for the Scandinavian expats of our country boasts the most comphrensive assortment of Nordic drinks you’ve ever seen this far south of the equator.

As Nordic B owner Leif Kivela said, “Most of the food and alcohol we offer is not available anywhere else in Sydney. The only truly Nordic restaurant and bar in Sydney.”

The dimly lit restaurant and bar combination screams its Nordic heritage from the moment you pull open the door.

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Source: http://www.nordicb.com.au

 

 

Exposed plasterboard with green foliage poking through the cracks gives the first impression of a room unfinished. But when combined with the other unadorned white walls, and low hanging lights, Nordic B reveals its charms, and the plasterboard now shows the owner’s Viking-esq connection with the earth.

The ownership of Nordic B is split three ways. “This is a family-company with 3 partners where Leif has most responsibility and myself and Ben less. Ben is not related to us but is a very good friend,” co-owner Mari Jaatinen said.

The little piece of Nordic heaven made its grand opening on the 28th of May this year. Still only a new kid on the busy King Street of Newtown, Kivela and his family fight every day to get more business through their wood-and-glass front doors. As Kivela revealed it took much blood, sweat and tears to get their restaurant open in the first place, and since then has been a rollercoaster of emotions to run.

Of Finnish and Swedish background, Australian born Kivela has always wanted to set up his house of Nordic delights in progressive Newtown.

“I grew up with and love Nordic food and alcohol. I also love Newtown and thought it to be a good spot for something like this as people there are quite sophisticated and open minded to new things,” Kivela said.

And it seems that has proven true for the trio, with many people of Nordic origin or influence coming to taste a little bit of their culture.

“My most favourite thing is to see and chat to people. Almost everyone who comes there has some kind of connection to some of the Nordic countries, either they just love the food and drinks, or they have family from there,” Jaatinen said.

And the food is truly something to be tasted yourself.

The Swedish meatballs are particularly delectable, and lovingly homemade as the menu states: “Grand moms favourite recipe made from a mix of pork and beef. Pick from our three fabulous options, served with rosemary gravy and lingonberry jam.”

The Danish lima beans on rye are also a dish that fills and delights, as even the small entrée portion on dark rye bread beats any hunger pains you may have.

But none of this even compares to the drinks menu at Nordic B, which was meant to be Nordic Bar, but shortened due to council regulation issues. Even if the bar is hidden in the name, it sure isn’t hidden in the restaurant itself.

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Source: http://www.nordicb.com.au

 

Particularly memorable was the ‘Lemon Icicle’; a refreshing cocktail made with real lemon juice, Aalborg porse schnapps, vodka and lemonade. This drink will certainly make you feel like you’ve left the warmth of Sydney for the cold delights of Iceland or Norway. Another icy treat is ‘Sex on the Snow’, another cocktail of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice.

Overall Nordic B is a home for people of all cultures to try and taste their piece of the cold north, as well as for those who miss their home.

“Of course I love working in this place, when it’s Nordic, it is like a part of you… [There’s] a lot of stories, and of course I love to spread the knowledge about the rumours and truths about the Nordic’s alcohol consumption and weird habits,” said Jaatinen.

So step out into our great city and grab a piece of authentic Nordic culture wherever you can; they’re ready to welcome you with open arms.

HSC Hurts Our Kids

Students put under too much pressure during HSC exams can have devastating mental health consequences, an esteemed school counsellor has warned.

Eddy Fracarossi, a health professional for the past 26 years and current counsellor at Holsworthy High School fears that the HSC creates an unsafe amount of stress for students during the four week examination period.

“HSC is an incredibly, unrealistically, stressful time [for students]. It’s the whole emphasis that gets put on it, with the whole thing about your life’s journey. Too much emphasis is placed on it by the department of education,” Mr Fracarossi said.

More than 77,000 NSW high school students are currently in the last week of their HSC exams. Recent studies reveal that the number of students who experience high-level anxiety symptoms during this time have increased over the last few years. Many of these cases involve ‘extremely severe levels of anxiety’ which can have dangerous impacts on students’ wellbeing.

“Some of the repercussions that tend to come is that they don’t study as effectively, and it impacts their memory. It impacts their relationships around them and they stress out more, it’s a vicious cycle. And sometimes when they stress too much they can have mental blanks in the examination and that creates more stress,” Mr Fracarossi said.

These warnings are echoed by Ninan Mathew, the Wellbeing Coordinator for Student Life and Wellbeing at the University of Wollongong.

“Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work… or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond your comfort zone, stress stops being helpful and can start causing major damage to your mind and body,” Mr Mathew said.

There are ways to beat stress according to Mr Mathew. Techniques such as being physically active, connecting with others, engaging your senses, setting aside time to relax and eating a healthy diet can contribute to overcoming stress.

Mr Fracarossi hopes that students remember that the HSC is not the end of their world.

“There’s more to life than the exams. Exams don’t give a true measure of your ability; it’s one snapshot, so whatever the outcome, there are alternatives,” he said.

 

Retirement in the Digital Age: A Story

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Digital Storytelling Reflective Analysis

Purpose of Project

The purpose of this qualitative digital storytelling project was to publish the ever-growing story of how retirees in Australia use the internet today.

I wished to persuade the audience of my story to think about and discuss how media practices, which in this case was specifically the use of internet for media, and audience experiences, are spatial in nature.

My personal relationship with my grandparents led me to this topic. This was a good choice as it provided a plethora of interesting and in-depth research opportunities on the subjects of media, audience and place.

Readings                                                              

To begin the project a large amount of secondary research was needed so that I understood the current data on retiree internet use, and how this is related to space and place.

This positively influenced my project as I was then able to critically think about how to further this research with my own methodology.

Then three primary interviews were conducted in the homes of three Australian retirees.

The pros of this method was that I gained several in-depth and individual perspectives on the subject of retiree internet use. The cons were that this research cannot be definitively applied to the wider range of retirees, as the small focus group cannot speak for the entire demographic.

However I would have still done it the same way, as it allowed for a personalised sight into the secondary research that backed my project.

Project Management

Next I had to research project management, and how I could fit all of this research into my limited time frame.

  • ‘The Digital Story Project Manager’. Filled with hundreds of well-informed and well-researched article this site taught me everything from ‘A guide to the best resource scheduling tools and resource management software’ to ‘How to respond to a project in crisis’. This provided invaluable data on how to effectively run my project to the stated deadline, and what to do if something went wrong (Warnert, Aston and Davis, 2016).
  • ‘Top 20 Skills for Digital Project Managers’. This site taught me something that I didn’t even consider when I began my project. I never thought about what skills I would need to create the project. These tips such as social media presence, video editing skills, and presentation skills were all vital to the project’s creation, and I was lucky to be able to build on these with the advice from this website (Sena, 2016).

Common Challenges

The challenges that are common in qualitative research all presented themselves throughout my project.

  • Subjectivity. Due to the potential for bias in qualitative research it is of the upmost importance that relevant secondary research is included to back any claims made in the project. This was accomplished in my own project with the chapters ‘Today’ and ‘The Problem’ which heavily feature the secondary evidence of retiree internet use.
  • No generalization. Due to the limited sample size available in qualitative research it cannot be definitively used as a representation of society. Again further research and a clear statement that conclusions are not concrete was used in my project to combat this issue.

Convincing representation

The platform of ‘Prezi’ was chosen for this project as it provides the easiest to read, and most linear digital platform available for storytelling (Gresham, 2014). The timeline allows for a clear story to develop, but also for the user to discover the story at their leisure as they can jump back and forth from each ‘chapter’.

I believe it worked effectively with my story, as each chapter was clearly distinct from the other, and the interviews were seamlessly integrated in with the research to create a flowing narrative. This made my argument engaging, and my research easy to understand, which would be convincing for media industries or stakeholders.

Effectiveness

As the purpose of this project is to reveal how retired Australians use the internet, and how issues of spatiality can impact this, the most effective use of this research would be in relation to improving internet access to our ageing population.

Projects such as the NBN and internet companies would find this project useful in determining where to next to improve their services, as well as how to educate this demographic on the usefulness of computers.

In conclusion, it would be my hope that this project be used effectively in granting more of our seniors the ability to easily access the wonders that are available in online media.

References

Abs.gov.au. (2016). 8146.0 – Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2012-13. [online] Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/B10BDF0266D26389CA257C89000E3FD8?opendocument [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

ABS, (2014). Life expectancy (AIHW). [online] Aihw.gov.au. Available at: http://www.aihw.gov.au/deaths/life-expectancy/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Adams, K., Sanders, S. and Auth, E. (2004). Loneliness and depression in independent living retirement communities: risk and resilience factors. Aging & Mental Health, 8(6), pp.475-485.

Classroom.synonym.com. (2016). Problems in Research: Quantitative & Qualitative Methods | The Classroom | Synonym. [online] Available at: http://classroom.synonym.com/problems-research-quantitative-qualitative-methods-4418.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Cotten, S., Ford, G., Ford, S. and Hale, T. (2014). Internet Use and Depression Among Retired Older Adults in the United States: A Longitudinal Analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(5), pp.763-771.

Gephart, R. (2004). Qualitative Research and the Academy of Management Journal. Academy of Management Journal, 47(4), pp.454-462.

Gresham, P. (2014). Fostering creativity through digital storytelling: “It’s a paradise inside a cage”. Metaphor, (1), pp.47-55.

Industrysuper.com. (2016). Retirement Age – Retiring in Australia » Industry Super. [online] Available at: http://www.industrysuper.com/retirement-info/retirement-age/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Kahn, C. (2016). Retirement Statistics: Then Vs. Now | Bankrate.com. [online] Bankrate.com. Available at: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/retirement-statistics-1.aspx [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Robin, B. (2008). Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom. Theory Into Practice, 47(3), pp.220-228.

Robin, Ph.D., B. (2016). Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. [online] Digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu. Available at: http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/page.cfm?id=27&cid=27&sublinkid=31 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016].

Sena, P. (2016). Top 20 Skills for Digital Project Managers. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/top-20-skills-for-digital-project-managers#sm.0000pvtifbie3e5yplt1ff74ihzka [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Warnert, N., Aston, B. and Davis, H. (2016). Welcome to The Digital Project Manager. [online] The Digital Project Manager. Available at: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Life After Rio: Our Golden Girl Gets Married

Australia’s Olympic champion Chloe Esposito is set to continue her winning gold streak this time with rings not medals.

Esposito blitzed through the final leg of the modern pentathlon at the Rio Olympics to secure herself gold and an Olympic record of 1372 points. Now her sights are set on a February wedding and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“We’ll be in Australia for quite a while, because I have my wedding… but it would be stupid of me to not continue [modern pentathlon],” she said.

Esposito met fiancé Matt Cooper in London at the 2012 Olympics but for the last two years they have been over 15,000 km apart. Esposito moved to Budapest in late 2014 to train for the Rio Olympics and Cooper remained in Australia. Since Esposito’s return home the couple are determined to see the most of each other before training begins for the Tokyo Games.

“It will be hard, because that’s the only thing I have to work out with Matt, because I’m going to be married I don’t want to be spending that much time away from him again,” she said.

Chloe’s mother Suzanne Esposito witnessed the strain that the long-distance relationship had on the young couple throughout Chloe’s intense training regime overseas.

“They were always friends but they never thought they’d be in the same country at the same time,” Mrs Esposito said.

Since being back in Australia Chloe Esposito has exchanged her Spartan-like training for wedding plans and relaxation.

“It’s been nice to just wake up and go for a run in my local area.” Chloe said.

It is also a time to catch up with family as Suzanne Esposito cherishes having everyone at home in Casula for the first time in three years.

“It’s going to be strange, us being home all together under the one roof. I’m sure there’s going to be a few blues,” Mrs Esposito laughed.

Despite the overwhelming fanfare that Chloe’s gold has garnered, the Esposito family has not let the attention change their lives. As Mrs Esposito continues teaching at ‘Esposito’s Swim School’, and Chloe begins a casual job at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.

“We’re just living a normal life again, but a little bit more crazy,” Mrs Esposito said.