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#fridayreads, 28/12/2012

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

#fridayreads, 28/12/2012

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“The Civil War Of 1812” by Alan Taylor, a detailed look at the post-War Of Independence conflict between the United States and the United Kingdom. I first heard of this from my Canadian (now ex-)girlfriend, and while I was visiting Canada in 2005 I found a book that gave details of the American invasion of Canada. This book by Taylor has a wider scope, and should be an interesting insight into a little-known aspect of North American history.

“The Operators” by Michael Hastings is a look at one of the leading figures in a more contemporary conflict. General Stanley McChrystal was the leader of the US military forces in Afghanistan until Rolling Stone writer Hastings reported some less-than-complimentary remarks the general made about Vice President Joe Biden. Because of the Hastings piece published in Rolling Stone, McChrystal was removed from command and eventually replaced by General David Petraeus, who later as director of the Central Intelligence Agency was forced to resign over a sex scandal.

[No, I won’t be reading these concurrently, but I did buy them today. I’m yet to decide which to tackle first.]

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BBC photo contest

September 3, 2006 Leave a comment
My girlfriend Jen urged me to enter some shots into a photographic contest the BBC is running in which you can win £400 towards covering the news story of your choice. 

The contest is divided into rounds, each round having a particular theme. The current theme is “Look Up”, so this arvo I submitted the following shots…

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In Touch With Nature

ELK ISLAND PARK, CANADA – For the last three days, Jen and I have been camping in this amazing national park. Anyone who thinks Canada is all snow and ice should come here in the middle of summer. It’s been damn warm, but then cooling off a bit at night. In fact, it’s been so warm that I actually felt a little bit woozy as I helped Jen and some of her workmates in a cleanup outside their store on Saturday.

“Hang on,” someone said, “you’re Australian, surely it gets this warm where you’re from.”

“True, but it’s about 25 degrees cooler there right now,” I explained. “The shock from the sudden change is doing me in bigtime.”

Anyhow, the scenery at Elk Island is amazing. The air is fresh, there is plenty of wildlife here to keep us entertained (including some beavers!), and I’m enjoying it very much. Living in a big city, I really don’t have much of a chance to get in touch with nature this way. And of course, it’s giving Jen and I some time together with very few distractions from the “real” world. No phones, no lights, no motorcar, not a single luxury. :)

Admittedly, we have ventured to the nearby golf course clubhouse once or twice for some country music & a bite to eat, so I’ve not completely abandoned my “civilised” ways. There is definitely something quite amazing about sleeping outside, under fabric as opposed to a roof, hearing the wildlife rustling in the undergrowth, squirrels chattering, coyotes yipping and howling in the distance, the wind sighing through the tree branches. I’ve been wondering exactly how remote it would be possible for me to live, whether I could be out in the sticks even moreso than where I grew up.

As much wildlife as we did encounter, it wasn’t until we were actually leaving this arvo that we encountered the animal this park is most famous for; the bison.


Bloody big cow!

Needless to say, the photo opportunities out here are also great.

Edmonton Dawn

Categories: Cityscape, Travel Tags: , ,