Above: Me at a Pilbara waterhole, 1993
‘Some ways I think about ‘place’
“And I’m thinking of a place, and it feels so very real.” *
I think about place as physical, geographic locations, with each place different despite similarities.
These places also exist as constructs, or ideas, or ideals, which sometimes sit at odds to the physicality of the place. The way we make a place in our lovely little brains calls upon far more than the physical and the material ‘bones’ of the place, it is laden with what the place means and often it is laden with what we want the place to mean. Still, the geography and the physicality of place are important markers of the place and I’m keen to always acknowledge the very dirt we stand on, remembering that we ‘stand on holy ground.’
Ironically, we are becoming more geographically literate without becoming geographically experienced. Digital media’s constant flow of neatly processed and presented images that travel us to places we’ll likely never set foot is a paradox worth unpacking. Just because we’ve seen an image of a place doesn’t mean we have experienced the place, for better or for worse. There is an endless list of places that probably ‘look’ better in a photograph, and travellers can sometimes wonder if they have missed something or mistimed their journey when they feel that their expectations aren’t met or they are unable to compute the location in the same way they can compute an image on a screen.
Perhaps our experience of a place needs to access the physicality of the place to be purified; until we experience a particular place in that particular place, we should hold that pre-experience lightly lest we have been sold fool’s gold.
I think about place as a liminal space, like a small town that you pass through on the way somewhere.
You might not stay there, but you went there, and so it becomes another dot on the journeyline.
I think about place as a location of experience, the setting where something significant happens/happened.
Feeling, sensation, change all become part of my experience and how I remember that very place. This ‘inbetweenness’ of place can easily take the form of dreamlike experience; we were passing through, were we ever there?
I think about place as image.
Or, at least recorded as image, but this doesn’t necessarily work backwards: image can’t always create place.
I’m wondering if the proliferation of digital photography and dissemination of image via social media has made ‘image’ the gateway to ‘place’? We are learning to process our understanding of place via image, but we are failing to learn to process place in a deeper sense; we are losing touch with the traditions that promised story and sacredness. Partly, this is because they are not our images. The image we are given of a place is a corporate, not personal, image and we have not experienced the genesis of that image and so we do not own it.
I think about place as memory.
Memory can help us retain our own images, but memory doesn’t always need an image. I can remember the feeling of places that I cannot remember the image of. Brisk, cold winds on semi-desert highways, when we would have sandwiches and little packets of raisins. The wind is almost sharp and it can leave your lips dry and cracked within half an hour; it’s ironically both hot and cold on your skin, so when you step behind the car out of the wind, you suddenly feel the heat of the sun. And always thirsty; a never ending need for water to quench this confusing hot-yet-cold sensation. I believe strongly in the power of image but not enough to let it replace memory and embodied experience. Again, fool’s gold…
I think about place as knowledge.
When I talk about bodily experiences of intense heat or intense cold, I could very well be referring to the landscape too, with its longing for drenching rain; maybe the experience I remember is a shared experience with the land around me? The danger of losing touch with these modes of experiencing place is that they are being replace by commercial modes of experience. What I mean here is that when we ‘forget how to remember’ through our body and spirit, all we will have is the subtly loaded advertising image. The place becomes the podium for the product, for the message, for the commercial experience. And if we are not careful to hold to other ways of understanding place (and, probably moreso, experience), then all we will be able to use to access place will be commercial modes. ‘Pic, or it didn’t happen’…
Experience, memory, physicality and image (personal, not corporate). When we lose these systems of making meaning of place, we have little left to offer ourselves by way of shared experience, except what we have in turn been offered by careful brand positioning: ‘the holiness of this place is a testimony to this product’. The product makes the place, and ‘place-making’ has been reappropriated to a commercial exercise alongside the balance sheet.
The creative call, then, is to remember place and remember how to make sense of place, to return to personal ways of experience.
To be there.
*Thinking of a Place, The War on Drugs
Below is the body of work that was ‘Between Two Places‘. In short, it is ‘a recording of my experience of landscape’, both land and sea.
“There is a timelessness to the currents of the ocean and the breath of the wind, but we interact with these locations so briefly that their magnificence is lost on us. Our experience of the created world is just a taste of its fullness and beauty – it offers us so much more should we just stop moving and be still in it.
Drift in the waves, walk in the shallows, lay in the warm sand.
Between Two Places is an exhibition of paintings that reflects on our relationship to place, noting that sometimes we’re merely ‘passing through’ a location and fail to feel the place, see the place, hear the place.
Drawing on coastal and semi-arid Western Australia – the South West and the North West – these paintings are recordings of my experiences of places. Sharp, tricky reefs, sandy headlands, powdery red dust, comforting sun rises.
They are grateful postcards from memories between land and sea.
All paintings produced between Spring 2016 and Spring 2017.”
I’ll have some more detailed writing to accompany this soon.
Until then, enjoy the paintings,
Thistles and Seeds, Spray and acrylic on wood, 60cm x 60cm
Waterhole, Spray, gouache and acrylic on wood, 80cm x 80cm
Harbour, Spray, ink and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Currents 1, Spray, ink and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Currents 2, Spray, ink and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Currents 3, Spray and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Squall, Spray and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Drift, Spray, ink and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Lagoon, Spray and acrylic on wood, 60cm x 60cm
Banksia, Spray, ink and acrylic on wood, 80cm x 80cm
The Mountains to the Sea, Spray, acrylic and ink on wood, 106cm x 82cm
Nest 1, Spray, acrylic and pastel on wood, 90cm x 60cm
Nest 2, Spray, acrylic and pastel on wood, 91cm x 61cm
The Making of Seashells, Spray, acrylic, ink, oil and pastel on wood, 106cm x 82cm
It’s been a while, but I’m still here. ‘Home’ has been a beautiful place of making and being … Just not a place of writing and sharing here.
I’ll endeavour to bring some of the last season ‘here’.
I am highly excited to open my exhibition Between Two Places on Friday 17 November. Blank Space above Mills Records, Fremantle.
Clinical trials are essential in contemporary evidence-based medicine. They help us to evaluate new drugs, therapies, devices, interventions, systems, methods and tests (let’s call them all ‘interventions’ from here on). In this article, we describe the main aspects of clinical trials, why they are important and the benefits of participation.
We’ve relied heavily on material from the Australian Clinical Trials initiative, which provides information for consumers, health care providers, industry and sponsors and researchers – the website is well worth a visit if you’d like more information on any topics discussed here.
Definition of a clinical trial
The World Health Organization’s definition of a clinical research is ‘any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes’.
This means that people are invited to take part in study in which they (might) receive the new intervention, and are followed over time to determine whether it works.
Why do we need clinical trials?
Clinical trials are essential to the development of new interventions that help people to live longer and with less pain or disability. Computer simulation and animal testing are important, but are limited in their ability to determine how a new intervention will work in the human body.
Clinical trials allow us to test whether a new intervention:
- is effective or safe
- works properly in the clinical setting
- works better with one group of people than another
- is acceptable to a larger proportion of patients than the existing intervention.
Most recent medical interventions are a direct result of clinical research. New interventions for most diseases and conditions — including cancer, heart diseases, hepatitis, high blood pressure and asthma — were developed in this way.
Clinical trials can be used to test:
- experimental drugs
- medical devices
- surgical and other medical treatments and procedures
- diagnostic or screening tests
- psychotherapeutic and behavioural therapies
- health service changes
- cells and other biological products
- dietary changes
- preventive care strategies
- educational interventions.
Evaluating trial outcomes
Clinical trials are designed to test whether a new intervention is effective. A new intervention found to be effective might:
- cure a higher proportion of treated people than an existing intervention
- work significantly better than a placebo (see below)
- result in greater improvement in (or better management of) a health condition than another intervention
- perform at least as well as another intervention, and:
- have fewer or less-severe side effects
- be safer
- be easier to administer or promote better patient adherence or compliance
- be significantly cheaper.
Clinical trials measure the effects of interventions in large numbers of people, ensuring that improvement is a real outcome for many people (e.g. in 800 of 1000 people treated) rather than a randomly occurring effect for a few (e.g. in 8 of 10). Although the proportions cited here are identical (8/10 = 80 per cent), larger sample sizes give greater statistical confidence in the result.
What is a placebo?
Placebos are dummy interventions that are indistinguishable from real interventions. Placebos are usually substances containing no medication, but surgical placebos are also possible. Despite involving no active ingredient or therapy, a placebo can have real effects in some patients due solely to the psychological benefit of being treated – this is known as the ‘placebo effect’.
The inverse to the placebo effect is the ‘nocebo effect’, in which patients experience adverse effects of a dummy intervention – or placebo – due to their negative expectations. The placebo and nocebo effects are the subjects of considerable research. Recent discoveries include a possible genetic basis for the propensity to respond to placebos. Click here for a summary of current knowledge about placebos.
Types of trials
Many people want to find the quickest possible way to lose weight. However, these methods are ofen not effective in the long run. A healthy lifestyle is the best long-term weight management strategy to lose weight permanently and healthily.
When it comes to losing weight, it’s best to do it the healthy way. Weight management is a lifestyle that incorporates the principles of healthy eating and active living. Here are simple things you can do every day that can help you achieve permanent weight loss because we don’t want to lose weight, only to gain it back the next day, learn more about steel bite pro supplement.
1. Balance Your Food Choices
Caloric balance is the key to managing your weight. You do not have to give up your favourite foods just because they are high in calories.
The recommended daily calorie intake for females on average is about 1600 calories per day (kcal/day). An average man needs about 2000 kcal/day.
When you eat more calories than what your body uses or “burn off”, these extra calories will be stored as fat in your body, leading to weight gain. If you want to lose weight, the number of calories you consume must be less than the number of calories burned through physical activity.
To balance your calorie intake you can try one of the following:
Smaller serving sizes
Exercising portion control by reducing your food intake can help you lower your calorie intake so that you do not consume more calories than you burn. Some things you can try are using a smaller serving plate, sharing desserts and packing home leftovers if you can’t finish your food, try out Nutrisystem for better results.
Budget your calories
If your favourite foods are high in calories, you do not have to give them up just because you need to lose weight. Furthermore, studies suggest that avoiding your favourite foods altogether often make them irresistible and may cause you to give in to food cravings and perhaps overeating. What you can do is to include them but make sure you eat within your caloric allowance. If you choose to have a high-calorie meal, choose a lower-calorie option for your next meal so that your total energy intake does not exceed the number of calories you need in one day. If you are meeting your friends for a buffet in the evening, try to have a healthier meal for lunch, and eat more fruits and vegetables instead.
2. Watch What You Eat
Healthy food does wonders for the body. Be mindful of the food choices you make and select healthier options whenever you can. Here are a few simple rules to bear in mind:
Abandon the refined grains! Switch to wholegrain foods
Whole grains can help you manage your weight as they help you feel full faster and keep you feeling full longer. This is because wholegrain foods are higher in fibre, which provide bulk. In addition, they are generally digested at a lower rate; hence prolonging the feeling of “fullness”. You can include a wide variety of wholegrain foods (e.g. wholemeal bread, brown rice and oats) in your diet. Be sure to look out for the Higher in wholegrain Healthier Choice Symbol when shopping for groceries.
Choose and prepare food with less fat
Cutting down on high-fat foods will reduce your intake of daily calories and promote weight loss/prevent unnecessary weight gain. Did you know that 1g of fat contains 9 calories while the same amount of protein or carbohydrate only contains 4 calories?
When you cook:
- Choose low-fat oils like sunflower, soya bean, corn, canola and olive oil.
- Cool soups, stews and curries to remove solidified fat.
- Choose high-protein lean meats and poultry and remove any fat or skin.
When you’re eating out:
- Choose plain rice over flavoured rice (e.g. chicken rice, nasi lemak, nasi briyani).
- Avoid dishes with coconut cream or coconut milk as these dishes are high in calories (e.g. curry chicken, laksa).
- Order soup-based dishes (e.g. Yong Tau Foo, Sliced Fish Soup).
- Remove fat and skin from meats (e.g. fried chicken).
- Choose plain rice over flavoured rice or better still, choose brown rice. In addition to the health benefits of brown rice, it can help us feel fuller for a longer time as well.
A lot of things factor into how much your home is worth, such as the location, the square footage, the school district and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Although several of those parameters aren’t easily changed, some are under a homeowner’s control.
As an astute homeowner, your job is to consider both what you can do to improve your home’s value, as well as what you may (inadvertently or otherwise) be doing to decrease it. Completing renovations and repairs might pay off to varying extents. In other cases, you may just have to put up with some of the things you don’t love about your home, but letting a house slip into disrepair is a surefire way to decrease its value. Whatever path you choose, it’s crucial to be aware of how you’re affecting your home’s bottom line and to understand what can be done to raise it back up.
One of the main things to remember while trying to boost your house’s value is that people have a wide variety of tastes. Those tastes may vary greatly both geographically and demographically. A house with the flexibility to suit a big slice of the population pie will be more in demand than one highly customized to any one particular lifestyle. The more people who find a house attractive when it hits the market, the better off you’ll be.
On the following pages, we’ll examine some of the top causes of home devaluation and see what, if anything, homeowners can do about them.Contents
Lots of Comparable Listings
The housing market rises and falls, and if you’ve tried to unload a home at a decent price during the real estate chaos that occurs during one of the lows, you’re probably all too aware of how difficult that can be when the market is flooded. The more comparable homes on the market, the harder it is on your house’s particular value, especially when buyers are scarce.
It’s even worse if your home is located in an area where lots of homeowners have failed to pay off or unload property. Living in a neighborhood that has seen many foreclosures or short sells is bad for your home’s bottom line. Each foreclosed house within 250 feet (about 75 meters) will cost an average of 1 percent of the property value [source: O’Connell].
Next up, we’ll look at more ways the neighborhood can affect your home’s value.
Apart from nearby foreclosures, many other aspects of a neighborhood can detract from how much buyers will be willing to offer. If you live by an airport or train tracks, for example, the resulting noise pollution might devalue your home. Light pollution from a nearby highway or athletic complex could make buyers wary, too. Power plants and landfills are bad news, too. They’ve both been proven to affect home values negatively.
Or maybe since you first moved in, a cell phone tower has been built nearby. Or the area went to pieces, and a strip club with dodgy clientele has set up shop just around the corner. If your part of town is known for criminal activity, that’s not good either. Times change and so do neighborhoods, and if yours has gone downhill, the value of your home could suffer.
You can attempt to negotiate with bad neighbors of all sorts. In some cases there won’t be much you can do, but in others you might meet with success. Be sure to document your complaints and deliver them respectfully. It may also be a matter you can bring to local law enforcement or elected officials, depending on your area’s laws and ordinances.
And there are more neighborhood features that might be trouble too, including the one on the next page.
School District Details
The quality of the schools can really have an impact on how much buyers are willing to fork over.JUPITER IMAGES/COMSTOCK/THINKSTOCK
If the schools in your area aren’t healthy and flourishing, that could be driving down the value of your home. It’s very common for homebuyers to want to move to places with top-notch schools. People with children will usually be especially cognizant of the quality of the schools in the areas they’re targeting their search. Other buyers, aware of the impact schools can have on property value, may make it a consideration as well.
There’s not an awful lot you can do to improve a school’s reputation, but studies have found that schools with involved parents often perform better. And good schools — along with concerned parents — often coincide with wealthier neighborhoods, so it’s a complicated playing field.
On the next page, we’ll take a closer look at how local features, in particular fellow denizens, can detract from home value.
That little ongoing argument with the neighbor may escalate into dollar amounts.HILL STREET STUDIOS/BLEND IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
Before a potential homebuyer can get to your house, he has to drive past your neighbors, and they can take a bite out of your home’s value in a multitude of ways. For example, arguing over exactly which blades of grass encompass the all-important property line is just one of the many disagreements that can sour neighbors against one another. Sometimes those arguments spill over to future owners. If it’s apparent you have a dispute with the folks next door, many buyers may pass or offer a lower price.
Another issue that can crop up is colorblindness — your neighbor’s colorblindness. If you’re one of those unlucky people who have a poorly pigmented house in your neighborhood, it’s doing more than giving you something to grumble about when you pass it on your morning jog. That eyesore is driving potential buyers — and potential dollars — away as well.
Buyers may also consider a nearby unkempt lawn or annoying pet within earshot as strikes against a property. People who party at all hours can be a problem, too, as can living close to a registered sex offender. If you’re within a tenth of a mile, that will almost certainly take away some of your property value and your home will likely take much longer to sell — to the tune of about 9 percent of the value and 10 percent more time on the market [sources: O’Connell, Longwood University].
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do when items like these are an issue besides potentially performing some figurative fence mending (or abject pleading) with your neighbors. You can do something about your own property though. Let’s talk curb appeal next.
Curb Appeal — The Yard
Gnomes might be cheerful outdoor companions for you, but other people could find them just a little creepy.PETER DAZELEY/PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE RR/GETTY IMAGES
Pull up to someone’s house, and what’s one of the first things that catches the eye? The yard, right? (Or lack thereof.) If caring for the yard isn’t one of your priorities, it may make your house harder to sell when the time comes. After all, strong curb appeal is essential to selling a house: It sells more than half the homes on the market [source: Heavens]. If your home doesn’t have any, that may mean low offers — or no offers at all.
An old shed or a rotting fence also could affect your home’s value, as could having too many artificial installations around your yard, like that funny, little garden gnome. Even elements such as pools, ponds and waterfalls could decrease the value of your house, especially for buyers with small children or for green thumb types who are looking forward to developing a new yard for themselves. Try out with artificial turf, it’s almost maintenance free.
Also, just like clothes and cars, plants come and go in trends. What was all the rage a few years ago may make buyers hesitate, so it could be worth your time to look into what’s currently popular in landscaping. Generally speaking, people may be looking to avoid quick-growing, high-maintenance plants, those that make a mess and could draw complaints from neighbors, and greenery that could damage masonry and other home components.
Lastly, while many homeowners have past pets slowly converting into fertilizer in the backyard, buyers usually are not thrilled at the thought of harboring your dead cat, dog, hamster or rabbit. Removing any grave markers would be prudent.
If your yard made a poor first impression on potential buyers, did the outside of your house make up for it? On the next page, we’ll dig deeper into curb appeal.
Curb Appeal — The Paint
The paint on a house like this could be a deal breaker — even if your house is a little way down the street.JOHN HUMBLE/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES
Needless to say, paint plays a big part in curb appeal, and if your house is in desperate need of a fresh coat, that flaw could be wreaking havoc on your home’s value. Just like the effect a poorly maintained yard can have on potential buyers, paint that’s old, faded, cracked or peeled can give people negative feelings about a house.
Even if you spend time and money repainting your home, a buyer might still be put off by the color (or color scheme) you choose. If you’re planning on painting, your best bet is to pick popular home colors in order to appeal to the largest buyer-base possible. Neutral colors are the most widely used; white, gray, blue and various shades of beige or cream are good bets. Front doors are the focal center of most houses, so pick that color with care as well.
As with the eye, the ear’s performance is affected by ageing. However, bad vision gradually makes reading harder as the letters get smaller, but hearing loss is different.
Hearing loss can make certain syllables and sounds harder to hear. For example, high-pitched consonants like f, s and t are easily drowned out by louder, low-pitched vowels like a, o and u. This results in a person with hearing loss complaining that they can hear others are talking, but not what they are saying.
Symptoms of hearing loss
If you can answer YES to one or more of these questions you might have hearing loss.
Locate your nearest hearing centre
1. Do you find that people around you mumble or speak softly?
2. Do you find conversations in restaurants or crowded places difficult?
3. Do you often have to turn up the volume on your TV, radio or phone?
4. Do friends and family members complain that they have to repeat what they say to you?
5. Do you have to look at people’s faces in order to be able to understand what they are saying?
6. Have you noticed that everyday sounds, like the twittering of birds, footsteps or the clock ticking, are gone?
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss is often associated with advancing age, but this is not always the case. Although it can strike people at any age, the condition most often appears after the age of 65. But it can also be caused by infections, injury or birth defects.
Age-related hearing loss
As we get older we may lose the ability to hear softer, high-pitched sounds. Birdsong is fairly easy to live without, but getting by when you lose some of the building blocks of speech is a far more challenging business.
Age-related hearing loss is caused by daily life-long wear and tear of the hearing system, and the most common symptoms are trouble hearing soft voices, as well as trouble hearing speech when background noise is present. Often, family members will notice age-related hearing loss before the person with the loss is really bothered by it, most hearing loss conditions can easily be treat with silencil.
Noise-induced hearing loss
This is often caused by overexposure to excessive noise. It threatens the hearing of military personnel, police officers, construction workers, factory workers, farmers, dentists and kindergarten teachers – to name but a few. Rock concerts and MP3 players can also damage people’s hearing. Regular exposure to loud noise will accelerate hearing loss. That’s why it’s important to always wear ear protectors if you are exposed to excessive noise.
‘Seashells’, in progress.
I found this floating around my unpublished entries from June, 2016.
In so many ways, everything we do is about us. Despite compassionate motivations and community ideals, the world is always processed through our eyes, through our brain, through our heart. And so the data is interpreted, filtered, filed in ways that make sense to us.
I’m not sure the vein of thinking that took me there, but I think I was looking at the concepts of ‘perspective’ and ‘story’; we can only ever tell our story.
And even in telling the story of others, we tell it through our words.
Or colours, shapes, patterns.
Currents 2, Spray and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
Currents 3, Spray and acrylic on wood, 40cm x 40cm
From the studio, summer:
I will post some finished paintings soon, friends. Hope we are well. ♥Nathan♥