Welcome to the Second Edition of:
‘Weak Skim with a Little Sugar’
A regular segment of stories that are opposite to the Strong Full-Cream no Sugar variety which is very political involving wars, murders and all things nasty. This segment is about lighthearted pieces of news that I find interesting from the newspaper, online or on radio that I want love to share. From this, the Weak Skim with a Little Sugar variety of news was born!
It is interesting what a few days hanging about listening to the radio and reading can give one in the form of light-hearted news. Therefore this week, I give you a few items of Weak Skim with a Little Sugar Number Two. Put everything down dear friends and come along for the ride!
#1 Funding for The Arts
Well, you had to be living under a rock not to know that the new Australian Government handed down their budget last week folks. Oh dear… so much discussion, controversy and mayhem has been unleashed! However, I am not here to debate the budget as Weak Skim is not about politics but I would like to point out that not too many people picked up that funding to the arts has been cut in the said budget.
In fact, the loss of $38M of funding to Screen Australia was kept very quiet and, according to some experts, will definitely lead to less films being made, less new talent developed and overall less content created by Australians. Now, this did make me sad because I love to see Screen Australia producing movies and drama for TV. However, not every country gets government support for their movies and in fact, Hollywood and Bollywood are the only two film industries in the world that survive without government funding support. Interesting?
Then I heard Hugh Jackman say when asked in a interview after the budget, that the Australian Film Industry will just have to resort to philanthropy. I loved this … typical of our much-loved Hugh! And did you notice he never got into a slanging match about the politics? Handled with great aplomb.
Of course, he said this when he was in Western Australia promoting his latest movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Philanthropist that Hugh is, he announced that he and his wife were giving a $1m dollars to the Western Australia Arts because he had trained as a actor there. Now, we need more of this type of thing … right? (read more here: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2014/05/19/hugh-jackman-to-donate-1-million-to-wa-arts/)
I bet that W.A won’t have to worry as much as the rest of Australia about funding with that nice injection of cash! Watch this space for any more news re The Arts.
#2 Things you Never Knew about BEER
Last week when having an early night, I heard a discussion about beer on the radio which helped me forget myself for a little while. As I am not a beer drinker myself, I never knew that the topic of beer could be so interesting!
It appears that President Obama brews his own beer … honey ale that is. Yes, bees are kept on the West Lawn and the honey taken from them is used in the brewing of the honey ale. He has been very careful to purchase his home brewing kit with his own money so there is no comprises. Good boy! It all began like this:
Buzz about the White House beer recipes first began when Obama told an Iowa man his bus was stocked with beer brewed at the White House. A Reddit user then submitted a Freedom Of Information Act request for the recipes, and thousands signed a We The People petition to reveal the secrets behind the brews. The White House has released its beer recipes in a blog post titled “Ale to the Chief.” The recipe is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/01/white-house-beer-recipe_n_1849054.html)
Another tid bit re beer and a famous person concerns Queen Elizabeth I. She liked to drink beer for breakfast and would send the brewer ahead when travelling to make sure he provided her with the best beer at every stop. Who would have thought? As for the present Queen Elizabeth II there is no beer for her! Her tastes are more sophisticated. According to Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, QEII’s alcohol intake never varies:
She takes a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. She will take wine with lunch and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening. That comes to six units a day, which would make Her Majesty a binge drinker by Government standards. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_Queen_Elizabeth_drink_each_day)
Perhaps she has got used to imbibing this much alcohol and it has no effect? Sometimes it is nice to know some personal details about those who are famous isn’t it? Brings them down – just a tad – to the everyday methinks.
#3 Visiting Pet Shops
Have you ever visited a Pet Shop for pure escapism? When Geoff and I returned home from Coff’s Harbour a couple of weeks ago, we were tired and exhausted from our visit to a dying friend but we didn’t quite feel like sitting around resting either … so what did we do? We went off browsing to the local Shopping Complex and happened across three puppies playing in a glass window at the front of the shop!
Enthralled, Geoff and I watched the puppies as they played and tussled, rolling around on the shredded paper as if they never had a care in the world. Nearby was a sign: “Snakes now in store!” Oh this was turning really interesting so off we went to check out these snakes, wondering how big they would be. Alas, they were tiny but as we viewed each snake in a cage on their own, we noticed the other strange and exotic creatures that were on sale in the Pet Shop. We felt as if we had landed in the deep jungles of Peru.
Pure escapism at its best! And there was pigs ears for sale. Crickets too. Any other thing that one feeds to keep animals happy and well fed. If you’re feeling low, visit a Pet Shop and you will feel yourself smiling and then you might get talking to other people watching on just as we did that day. A lot of fun!
#4 Placebo Effect
I woke up in the middle of the night during the week and heard an interesting talk on the radio. I only caught a snipped but it has stayed with me; in fact, I have found myself quoting it to a few people who found it fascinating so it must be shared. It is about the Placebo Effect in research:
“When researchers find that people have got better due to the placebo effect of a sugar pill as much as by the pill that is being researched, doctors do not like it! They simply pass it off and get back to their research. But the fact of the matter is that if people get better thanks to the placebo effect, why aren’t they more interested in how this came to be? The speaker pondered this question and then went on.
Yes it does mean that it is possibly mind over matter and therefore it might not seem important, but in actual fact the doctors should be asking more; they should be trying to find out HOW the mind works that it would cause this placebo effect and then try and use the MIND as a tool for healing. The ultimate goal should be that people are healed and not whether ‘their pill’ cured them or not … or perhaps they should look at both?”
What dear friends, do you make of this? I was reminded of it yesterday when I was chatting to my sister. She told me of her brother-in-law who has been very ill with numerous complaints and doctors have been unable to help him. Then, out of the blue a friend invited him to a meditation class and his life changed as he learned to mediate and to change his thinking.
This led him to a ‘healer’ of some variety which involved laying on of hands and ‘operating’ so to speak. I have heard of this type of ‘healing’ before where the healer does spiritual operations (in the mind you understand) and the person in question is healed. I also read about this in a respected women’s magazine a few years ago and thought it was interesting.
I know it sounds a bit like voo doo, but I believe in prayer for healing by Christians so why not by a person with a ‘gift’ for this sort of thing? It has made a tremendous difference to this man and he is now able to do things he couldn’t do before … like walk for instance!
All of this just shows that we don’t always understand why we get better when hope has faded, do we? If it is the placebo effect, well and good. Don’t limit yourselves dear friends … be open to how you can be healed in your life.
Sometimes it is gradual and other times it can be quite miraculous as happened to me many years ago when sight was restored to my damaged eye after I kept picturing it as restored and thanking God for it. Then one day I heard a ‘poof’ when I put in the drops and my eyesight came back to where it was previously!
Placebo effect? I don’t care what effect it was, I was simply grateful to God that it had happened! My eye specialist could not believe it either. However, I kept the ‘placebo effect’ (faith) to myself as I suspected ridicule if I disclosed it. See? The speaker was right about doctors and the placebo effect! Who’s going to get the message … and when?