Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Day Georja Died.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them." (Ode of Rememberance)

"This incident is nothing short of an absolute tragedy." - Detective Inspector Glen Broadhead (NSW Police). 

To most, she's just another road death statistic. But to me, she's the day I realised that even after nearly 30 years of observing carnage on the roads as a professional driver, that we're not doing enough to stop the carnage. The message isn't getting through.

When I arrived at the scene of the accident at about 1.45am on Monday morning, I didn't know who the occupants of the badly mangled car were. By that time they were pulled from the vehicle, and transported to hospitals. Reports say that Georja died at the accident spot. She was only 15 years old. I didn't learn this until later in the morning. Hardened to these sort of things over nearly 30 years, I was surprised about how I felt about this one - incredibly saddened, largely because it was so unnecessary, and so avoidable, and cost such a young and innocent life.

Georja's life stops here, at the crossroads of Flinders Street and Old Port Road, Port Kembla, in the early hours of Monday 17 August, 2015. She will never grow up, marry or partner, and have children of her own. Her life stops at fifteen.

When will the carnage stop? Only when we as a society decide do to more, and this isn't just a "police responsibility"; it's the responsibility of all of us as citizens. To educate, and warn of the dangers. 


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kyle Petty Revises His View of Danica Patrick: "NASCAR Needs Her".

"Our two most popular drivers are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. That puts a lot of eyes on the sport," Petty said in a phone interview on Wednesday. "And if she's not here, we lose half of that excitement and half of that popularity. I think it's important for her to be here for NASCAR, just from the standpoint that the more people that watch, the more people know who Trevor Bayne is, they know who A.J. Allmendinger is, they know who some of these other drivers are. You already know who Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are, and Jimmie Johnson. It's important to have more people watch and have more people following. I think she definitely helps that."

Danica Patrick is important to NASCAR, Kyle Petty says.

It's very likely that only followers of NASCAR will realise this commentary by Kyle Petty for what it is - a bombshell. And if you need some insight into that, read the comments on Danica Patrick's Facebook Page.

Her fans, of whom there are many, and her detractors, of whom there are many, will tell you the same thing - for good or bad, Kyle Petty's recent statements are nothing short of astonishing, considering what both he and his famous father, Richard Petty, had to say about Danica's venture into NASCAR.

Nearly a year ago on this blog, I expressed the view Kyle Petty now apparently holds:

Why NASCAR Needs Danica Patrick.

Six months before that post, I expressed this view about "The Power of One":

The Power of One - How I Became a Fan of NASCAR.

What it really comes down to is the "It" factor. You either have "It", or you don't. Drawing power, that is. I refer to myself as a "NASCAR rookie", yet over the past 18 months, since I started following NASCAR, I've come to know all the names, and even much of the racing history, of all the drivers in the Sprint Cup (I don't follow the others, such as trucking and XFinity, as much). And my appreciation of all of them has grown greatly. But in my obviously biased view, none of them has the "It" factor that Danica does. And it's not just a "female thing". Women have competed in NASCAR, and currently compete in IndyCar (and also competed against Danica). It's just that none of them has performed as well as Danica has, and her Wiki Bio  says it all.

When it comes to the "It" factor, I really don't think it matters much whether one is male or female. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

An Interview With Nicole Kidman in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

I'd heard some years ago that Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban had bought a property in the Southern Highlands, which is about an hour's drive from where I live in Wollongong (for 41 years, actually). For the reader unfamiliar with the geography, the Southern Highlands are about 114 kilometres to the southwest of Sydney.

The Highlands recently had fairly heavy snowfalls, or what we call "Christmas in July".

Snow in the Southern Highlands (click to enlarge):

The interview published byVogue was, however, the first time I've been able to get an inside look at my neighbour-an-hour-removed.

Two things really struck me about this video. While an occasional sideview wrinkle is apparent for a millisecond, Kidman does not look anything like her 48 years. The Vogue photo brought cynical claims about "photoshopping" (see links below). But there's no photoshopping in the video, where Kidman doesn't look a day over 30.

The second is her quick, and quick-witted replies to "73 questions" in rapid fire. Most of us would pause, sometimes at length, to the questions fired at us. Of course it's possible that she got a draft copy of the questions, and had some time to think about them. But it sure doesn't look so from the video, or maybe it's just her brilliant acting showing up.

Whatever the truth, the most striking thing about Nicole Kidman, is that these days one of the things she enjoys most - is to laugh.

Moulin Rouge:


Inside Nicole Kidman's Southern Highlands home: video.

10 things we learned from Nicole Kidman’s Vogue video interview.

Nicole Kidman, in a Rare, Down-to-Earth Interview, on Her New Adventure.

Nicole Kidman's 'frozen' face appears on Vogue cover, angers critics.