An Introduction to Effective Altruism

Most people I know are concerned about the world. Some care deeply about the environment and many are passionate about a variety of social issues. We support crowdfunding campaigns, attend public demonstrations, sign petitions, and generously donate to charity. But how effective are we? I’ve been thinking about this question for some time. The search for answers led me to the Effective Altruism movement. I think Effective Altruism is something anyone can do. What is Effective Altruism? Effective Altruism…

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International Women’s Day Carnival

It’s International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Every year, there is more to celebrate and it’s also a reminder of the work there is left to do. Here’s a carnival roundup of some great articles about International Women’s Day. In Long live International Women’s Day? I certainly hope not, Georgina Dent reminds us why we even have such a day. Do they consider the reason such events, or such an occasion, remains…

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Australia Day

If you were to ask me how Australian I feel, I’d say very little. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not reminded that not only am I a foreigner, which is bad enough, but that I’m American, which is probably the worst kind of foreigner. My otherness is highlighted most strongly on Australia Day. What is Australia Day? Celebrated annually on the 26th of January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of…

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Australian-American Roundup

Foster’s, Australian for beer. Throw a shrimp on the barbie. Lies, all lies. As it turns out, Foster’s is an Australian brand of lager, but it was created by two Irish-American brothers who arrived in Melbourne from New York in 1886, and now it’s owned by a British brewing group. More importantly, Australians don’t actually drink it. Outback Steakhouse? Yeah, that’s not Aussie either, but it didn’t stop some poor customer from complaining. Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed…

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Your Guide to Melbourne Metro Trains

For the last few weeks I’ve been taking public transport to and from work. I generally enjoy it. You see and hear a lot of interesting and humorous things on the train. Sometimes I run into a friend and that always makes the journey more enjoyable. The train is packed when I take it both in the morning and afternoon. At first, I was confused about how to fit in with the rush hour train…

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Melbourne, Most Liveable & Friendly City

Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city. Again. And it’s also the friendliest. For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne came in number one in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking, which surveyed 140 cities. The survey rated cities out of 100 in healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment, and infrastructure. Melbourne received 97.5 out of 100. Aside from the arts, cultural, and sporting environments that add to the quality of life…

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My Australian English

There are certain words that will probably never come out of my mouth. For starters, I can’t shorten much in the way Aussies do. I still say sunglasses, breakfast, and chicken rather than sunnies, brekkie, and chook. Speaking in abbreviations is forced and unnatural for me. Like text speak. I can’t do that either. I text in complete, grammatically-correct, properly-punctuated sentences. It’s not because I’m a snob (I am a little bit of a snob). It’s because…

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My Place in Australian Politics

You know how Buzzfeed has all those quizzes? Which Contemporary Artist Are You? Which “Twin Peaks” Character Are You? What Kind of Pocket Are You? Really, I’m not making that up. I need What Australian Political Party Do You Belong In? There are several political parties, but the two major players here are the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal Party of Australia (Libs). At first glance, this sounded to me like two sides of the U.S. Democratic…

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Australian Culture and the Workplace

I visit my local library two or three times a month. Browsing, I came across this little book and I had to share it. G’day Boss!: Australian Culture and the Workplace, by Barbara A. West and Frances T. Murphy, is a study into the diverse cultural environments of Australian workplaces. It is specifically aimed at migrants seeking to understand, adapt, and succeed in the Australian workplace. Discussions about culture require a degree of generalising, which…

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Anzac Day

I’ve blogged before about how traditional holidays don’t feel as festive to me here in Australia as they do back in the USA. I still stand by those controversial entries, but what I’ve discovered since then is that there are other holidays that Aussies care very much about. Anzac Day is one of them. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who…

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Hamilton Watts Migration Services

Throughout my writings about my visa process, I’ve mentioned that I have been using a migrant agent. Today I’m going to plug the agency. I don’t know how I would be getting through this migration process without them. Hamilton Watts provides high quality migration services. They have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Canberra, and represent clients throughout Australia and overseas. I worked directly with Laurie Duncan, the current Chairman of Hamilton Watts, who joined the company as…

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