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Viewing entries tagged with 'unique'

One of seven billion, one of one; Parekura Horomia, you and me

Posted by Philip on 29 April 2013, 6:51 pm in , , , , ,

Today, as Parekura Horomia died, I finalised my will, enduring power of attorney and advanced directive for health care.

I've been reading tributes to Horomia on Twitter. He was a humble, generous and liked politician, by all accounts. A good man.

He was one of what Google says is nearly seven billion people in the world. He was the only him.

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Walking: intrinsic value or mere consequence of human evolution

Posted by Philip on 10 March 2013, 12:19 pm in , , , , , , ,

On Friday a wheel fell off my power chair. To be specific, one of the powered wheels fell off my chair. Literally, the axle snapped.

I use a hybrid power chair system, called e-Fix. It consists of two motorised wheels, a battery and a joystick, that fit onto a standard lightweight chair frame. It's really cool and the only one in NZ, but it's new technology.

In three years it's broken twice, every eighteen months or so. Last time one wheel broke, they were both sent back to Germany, where it was designed. When I got them back, the entire mechanism had been improved, which made the system better. Bonus.

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As Love Draws Near

Posted by Philip on 12 July 2012, 6:31 pm in , , , , , , ,



Buy the single on Amplfier Buy the single on Amplfier


"As Love Draws Near" tells the story of how we all have the opportunity to move from fear to love by removing the labels that tie us down. The core message of this video is to encourage people to engage in social change and for individuals to accept diversity and who we really are.

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Bullying - a retrospective

Posted by Philip on 26 April 2012, 11:48 am in , , , ,

As Pink Shirt Day is less than a month away, on Fri 18th May, I thought I'd put together a retrospective of some of the posts I've written on the subject in the past year or so. Click on the title to see the original post and comments.

Check out the new Pink Shirt Day website and video, too.

Responding to bullying through diversity

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Happy New Year and I'm not doing anything I don't want to do

Posted by Philip on 10 January 2012, 8:21 pm in , , , , , , ,

Hello, it's 2012 - hope you had a great break. So, are you ready for change?

Not cataclysmic, apocalyptic, chronomatic, revelational change.

I mean subtle, gentle, influential and revolutionary change. Like this:

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Bullying has nothing to do with kids

Posted by Philip on 8 December 2011, 6:44 pm in , , , ,

I'm part of a team working on Pink Shirt Day 2012 and I've just been emailed links to these two wonderful videos by young gay men who have been targets of bullying. The second is a response to the first. Both these young men thought they were unique in their experience; in fact it was common.

As I've said before, they probably have more in common with the young people who were triggered to bully them than they'll ever know, too.

It's important to understand that these guys aren't the problem. Nor are the young people who were triggered to bully them. Schools are not the breeding ground for bullying.

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Diversity - straight from the horse's mouth

Posted by Philip on 25 November 2011, 3:19 pm in , , , ,

According to Wikipedia, "Clever Hans (in German, der Kluge Hans) was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks. After a formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reaction of his human observers.

"Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues.

"In honour of Pfungst's study, the anomalous artifact has since been referred to as the Clever Hans effect and has continued to be important knowledge in the observer-expectancy effect and later studies in animal cognition."

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Pragmatically responding to functional change

Posted by Philip on 14 November 2011, 9:19 am in , , ,

In my early 20s I made a conscious decision to start using a wheelchair when I was out in public, even though I could walk, albeit unsteadily.

There were many reasons for my choice. Using a chair stopped me being anxious about falling over. It allowed me to communicate in a more relaxed and articulate manner. And it stopped strangers thinking I was drunk or deranged.

The wheelchair acted as a recognisable symbol that I was "disabled". People got it, they didn't need to cope with ambiguity and I didn't need to respond to their uncomfortable, confused reactions.

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Responding to bullying through diversity

Posted by Philip on 23 March 2011, 12:21 pm in , , , ,

The recent Zangief/Haynes Australian bullying incident has been handled, as usual, appallingly by both Australian and New Zealand media. If it had been covered as a sports story it wouldn't have surprised me.

As I commented on Facebook, the media has only succeeded in reinforcing openly hostile male stereotypes and demonising kids. I find it pathetic and unethical. 

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The denial-of-diversity drama

Posted by Philip on 20 November 2010, 8:24 am in , , , ,

Thomas crying and being comforted by his mother

Listen to this post

The Black Balloon (trailer below) is an Australian film about Thomas Mollison (Rhys Wakefield), who is turning 16. His autistic brother Charlie embarrasses him and so do his wacky parents. When his pregnant mother (Toni Collette) is confined to bed rest, he is put in charge of Charlie (Luke Ford) and with the help of his new girlfriend Jackie (Gemma Ward), Thomas faces his biggest challenge yet.

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