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The Ghost Lights of Australian Nights

The Ghost Lights of Australian Nights

Written by Montanna Macdonald 

Paranormal Investigator Craig Powell recalls the time he witnessed a Min Min light in the dead of night. 

“There is the old wives tale, hundreds of years ago, you know you don’t follow the Min Min lights, or you will get lost. But you wanted to, everything in your body was telling you to follow it, go towards it, see what it is.”

You may have heard of the spooky Australian folklore about the Min Min lights around the campfire, in Aussie shows like McLeods Daughters, Slim Dusty songs, or maybe you have witnessed this hair raising phenomena yourself. With hundreds of sightings around Australia for thousands of years, perhaps these lights are not a myth? 

 

Often reports of Min Min sightings are in outback regions of Australia at night. 

Witnesses report a silent circular fuzzy light, quarter the size of a full moon that dances in the dark sky. They claim these balls of glowing light can appear in colours of white, yellow, red, green and even blue, with an edge that looks like a swarm of insects. 

The erratic nature of a Min Min light is what often frightens those who spot one. Known to suddenly divide into two lights and appear like headlights in the distance, then frantically looking to move closer, further, up down and around the horizon. Some claim that Min Min lights have followed their movements as they drive, then disappear. And, as the old folktale goes, those who follow the Min Min light often never return. 

This mystery has been around for thousands of years, Australia’s First Nations people say these lights have appeared more frequently since settlement. 

It is unclear when sightings began, and due to the oral traditions of these indigenous stories pre-settlement, there is not a substantial amount of written evidence of sightings and indigenous names for these lights. Aboriginal studies researchers such as Larrakia man and Senior Lecturer at Charles Darwin University, Dr Roman, have found consistencies in light descriptions among Indigenous communities. For example, the lights being like snakes, which could be connected to the Indigenous belief of the rainbow serpent, and that they have a ‘guardian role’ on sacred sites. 

The name Min Min was adopted in 1918, named after the small Min Min settlement and Hotel in between the two Northern Queensland towns Boulia and Winton. The story goes that a stockman was riding his horse down the Kennedy development road past the now burnt down Min Min Hotel when suddenly a light appeared above the graveyard that was behind the premises. Boulia is now a major tourist hotspot for Min Min sightings.

photo credit Boulia Shire Council

These lights are not just in Boulia; there are sightings predominantly on fine winter nights among the Channel Country of South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and in the Kimberleys in Western Australia.

The lights have been spotted all year round, including above seashores. Not only in Australia, but similar mysterious lights have been seen in Saudi Arabia, called Abu fanoos. Similarly, global folklore lights exist, such as ghost lights, ignis fatuus, the Celtic will o’ the-wisp, Mexico’s brujas, South America’s luz mala, phantom lights and fairy lights. 

Paranormal Investigator Craig Powell shared with Ponderings his own Min Min light experience when on a field research trip in the notorious NSW Pilliga Forest.

This is what Craig had to say:

“This light appeared, but the light started pulsating, and it would get really bright, and it got really dim, and then it would start dancing around through the bush. At one stage the one light broke into two lights. They would change colours from like a bright white to an orange type colour. It would look like it would come down the gorge towards us, and then it would look like it was heading back away from us.

So we sat there, and we watched these two lights dancing around the forest. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.

If we go out on a night hike, we travel that route during the daytime hours, so we get our bearings, and know exactly what points we want to stop.

You take yourself back to the daytime where we were sitting, and you think well what’s down there? And it was like a big cliff so these lights would’ve been coming up halfway up on a cliff.

You think about it; there is no way a possible person could get to that position, especially at night time, it was really odd. The light seemed to disappear at one point, and then we just continued on our way back to camp.” 

Now it wouldn’t be a mystery without a few hypotheses. 

What is a Min Min light? Can it be debunked with a scientific explanation, or is this phenomenon a conspiracy of the unexplainable?

In different Aboriginal legends, the Min Min lights are elders protecting the country. First Nations people in the Channel Country don’t regard the Min Min lights positively, but also not harmfully. 

Conspiracy theories for the Min Min lights also include you guessed it…aliens, UFOs and ghosts. However, polymath and neuroscientist Professor John Pettigrew has several hypotheses. 

Bioluminescence from birds, insects and fungi is a possible theory. 

Still, no one has ever caught or observed these proposed organisms maintaining the intense illumination and circular shape of a Min Min light. Another is burning marsh gas, which is a well-known phenomenon causing what is called the will o’ wisp, but this natural occurrence lacks the shape, height and brilliance of Min Mins. 

The most probable theory is the Min Min lights is a refraction phenomenon, otherwise called an inverted Fata Morgana; a mirage. A Fata Morgana is where light in the day can be reflected from a hot ground layer of air, like when you see the sky reflecting on a hot road when driving. 

Similarly, an inverted Fata Morgana mirage is where at night, a temperature inversion can occur, where a cold ground layer of air can refract light due to a gradient increase in refractive index, meaning the light can appear above the horizon. It can travel over the horizon for hundreds of kilometres with possible magnification, reduced dispersion and dissipation. 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Natural atmospheric light and human-made lights like headlights can cause phenomena. 

Pettigrew in 1992 made his own Min Min light. On a cold calm night, he drove his car 10km North of his camp where it is not viewable from the campsite. As the headlights were on, campsite observers confirmed via radio the headlights were causing phenomena with the characteristics of a Min Min light. When the headlights were off, the light also vanished. 

A Fata Morgana mirage is also common overseas, where sea cliffs in Ireland can be seen clearly in the middle of the North Atlantic sea, even though they are hundreds of kilometres away from their location. 

Documentary filmmaker Don Meers created the critically acclaimed AustrAlien Skies series, with the third 2019 film dedicated to the “Search For The Min Min.” This documentary is a must-watch, exploring the varying theories with balanced scepticism and in-depth research. Don also appears to catch the Min Min phenomena on camera. 

When Ponderings asked Don about how it felt to finally catch a Min Min light, he said:

 

“We were on location for many days, staying up through the night, camera-ready, resting and filming through the day. So you can imagine it was quite exhausting. By the time we actually saw the light, it was like a rocket taking off. It’s an instant hit of adrenaline after many nights of nothing. Your brain just goes into overdrive.” 

 

Don believes the majority of sightings are explainable, being misidentified causes like distant headlights or mirages. Still, he also explains:

“Temperature inversions need specific climate conditions to manifest. One main factor is that they can usually only happen in winter and surrounding cooler months, and because of climate change, scientists are noticing a significant drop-off. So I think that they can explain a lot but not all and that more research is needed. I think there are a lot of plausible explanations for Min Min lights, but there is still an outlying percentage that is unexplained as yet.”

 

You can watch the series across the major streaming platforms including iTunes, Google, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more. 

 

The Min Min lights remain one of Australia’s biggest mysteries, and whether you are the sceptic, the witness, or the mystically minded, remember, if you ever find yourself in the Australian wilderness in the dark, you won’t find the lights, they find you. 

Some extras: Want to listen to the Slim Dusty Song? Click here

 

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Influenza Insights From the Pages of Literature

Influenza Insights From the Pages of Literature

Written by Kirsten Macdonald 

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sherlock Holmes and Zombies piece together a picture of our culture, one that ravaged the world with the spanish flu over 100 years ago. 

A LETTER FROM F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, QUARANTINED IN 1920 IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE DURING THE SPANISH INFLUENZA OUTBREAK.

Dearest Rosemary,

It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. It rings like jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told Hemingway, but to that, he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.

The officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, if we need it, brandy. Please pray for us.

You should see the square, oh, it is terrible. I weep for the damned eventualities this future brings. The long afternoons rolling forward slowly on the ever-slick bottomless highball. Z. says it’s no excuse to drink, but I just can’t seem to steady my hand. 

In the distance, from my brooding perch, the shoreline is cloaked in a dull haze where I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while. And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow.

Faithfully yours,

Scott Fitzgerald

PS: I thought this would be a nice break from the news. Next week I will publish my perspectives on what we’ve all been through this week. N- this is a parody letter designed to lift your spirits care of this wicked fellow

The Great Gatsby by Scott f Fitzgerald available here. 

Walt Disney was 17 when he joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps in September 1918. 

He came down with the flu while serving on the south side of Chicago. He returned home to be nursed back to health by his mother. Walt Disney survived it and went on to draw a famous mouse. 

   original print Mickey Mouse available here

Katherine Anne Porter is the iconic author of the short novel Pale Horse, Pale Rider and well known for a fictional account of the epidemic. Katherine herself became very ill with the flu and nearly died, her romantic interest at the time died from the same strain and set the sad interpretation and muse for Pale Horse. She is reported to say

“It (the flu) just simply divided my life, cut across it like that. So that everything before that was just getting ready, and after that I was in some strange way altered, ready.” 

 

Science journalist Laura Spinney’s book Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World 

“It was a pandemic of influenza that struck in three waves. The first, mild wave in the Northern hemisphere’s spring of 1918 receded in the summer or late spring. A much more lethal second wave erupted in the latter part of August and receded towards the end of that year, and the third wave emerged in the early months of 1919.”  

 

She goes on to say “Russia was the first, followed by Western European nations, to put in place socialized healthcare systems. Along with that comes epidemiology, the search for patterns and causes and effects of patterns in healthcare and alternative medicine took off in a big way and spread around the world.”

 

Laura’s book available here

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Historical literature expert  Susan F. Beegel is Editor of The Hemingway Review and an Associate Professor of English. 

Recently featured on a podcast, Susan mentions Hemingway likened the Spanish flu to war, a shocking way to go. The normally reductionist writer spoke gravely about the ‘battle.’ He lost family members to it. 

“My grandmother talked about going to work one day and working with a doctor, and coming in the very next day, and the doctor was dead. Before the pandemic burned itself out, it killed approximately 5 check . It killed more people than World War I itself, it claimed more lives than the Black Death of the Middle Ages in 100 years, and more people in 24 weeks than AIDS in its first 24 years. And most of these people were young people, or the majority of them, between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, and historians who study this say maybe killed between 8% to 10% of the world’s total population of people in this age group.” You can hear more of this podcast – click here 

Spiritualism took off in a big way after so many deaths. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes series, whose son and younger brother died of influenza was a big promoter of spiritualism. Doyle sold-out events discussing spiritualist ideas and showing “spirit photographs,” which claimed to show living people with the “ghosts” of dead family members standing behind them. 

Gregorios Xenopoulos October 1918 was a novelist, journalist and writer of plays from Zakynthos. He was lead editor in the magazine The Education of Children during the period from 1896 to 1948, during which time he was also the magazine’s main author. He wrote poetically about the flu as a Spanish woman. 

“As only if I could speak Spanish, I would be able to get on with this odd lady. The first thing that I would beg her would be not to invade so suddenly – she could understand me, if I could speak to her in her language. What a devil! Forty degrees of fever, suddenly, without any warning are not a joke! The invasion of forty crazy masqueraders in the saloon, during the carnival celebration, wouldn’t increase the temperature as much as the invasion of this lady. Despite the fact that ‘children’ of Andalusia are warm and lively, in a foreign place, they should behave in a distinctive way… I would also beg her not to stay for so long! Forty days visit is performed not by the Armenian, but by the Spanish lady… As for forty days, I couldn’t stand up on my legs, as during all these days I was obliged to entertain my crazy visitor… Hot drinks, quinine, suction cups, mustard plasters, foot washes, tonic regimes and so on… And as I didn’t know Spanish, I couldn’t even study, during the hours that Mrs. Influenza was letting me alone, the ‘Don Quixote’ from the original text!…’

Elizabeth Outka, associate professor of English at the University of Richmond says in her book Viral Modernism -The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature; 

“Writers wrestled with the scope of mass death in the domestic sphere amid fears of wider social collapse. Overt treatments of the pandemic are seen in works by authors like Katherine Anne Porter and Thomas Wolfe and its subtle presence in works by Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats.” 

HP Lovecraft was said to be inspired to create Zombies with the Herbert West–Reanimator after the Spanish flu. 

One thing we must remember, society’s fear of a looming demise is as old as time itself. Pandemics are not unprecedented; we have been here before. During the Spanish flu, those in quarantine were lead to reflect, express and found ways and means of surviving, creating and breathing life into storytelling and art.

Right now, we are all living through an event our future children will learn about. What beauty will they be taught? How shall we inspire them? What will we change?

One thing will continue to raise us up; the joy of true faith, friendship, humour and as the great Mr Fitzgerald mentioned; red wine, whiskey, rum, gin, and lord, if you need it, brandy might help too. 

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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To Be Human Is To Be Musical- We Ponder With Allison Davies

To Be Human Is To Be Musical- We Ponder With Allison Davies

words by Kate O’Donnell 

 

This month we pondered with the wonderful Allison Davies. 

 

Safe to say this interview left the heart full and the mind is buzzing with new information and some life-changing insights.

 

Allison Davies has this extraordinary ability to draw on her extensive knowledge of music, the brain and all of its mechanics, and present insights in such a way, that even the really big revelations of brains and behaviour is easy to digest and becomes common sense!

 

Professionally, Alli is known by many as a registered music therapist, her work with understanding brains and behaviours, neurodiversity, inclusion and her creation of the Brain Care Cafe. 

Growing up listening to Blues albums and Rock and Roll, Alli’s first words were out of a Fats Domino song. 

 

Music has always impacted her life, but it wasn’t until she was a neurologic music therapist that she truly understood the relationship between music and the brain.

 

It turns out, the information our brain gets from music, and the stimulation is far greater than you probably imagined. Relaxation music is not what you thought, and fast-paced music blaring on your road trip could encourage a lead foot and speedy driving—not joking! The mind boggles.

Allison davies Ponderings magazine
photo credit: ponderings magazine

So what is the essential aspect people NEED to understand about music and helping the brain?

 

According to Allison, it is critical to reclaim our musicality and to understand that to be human is to be musical. 

 

“Our brain is a musical organ.

We are all musical.

We are all driven by rhythm. 

All experience melody.

We all have voice and vibration.

 

We need to understand this. To feel and believe that we can use music in our homes, in our classrooms, and by ourselves strategically and therapeutically and in ways that will help us and support us.

 

Too often, we are led to believe that we aren’t musical. When it comes to music, there is no right or wrong. You can’t sing out of tune unless you’re singing someone else’s song. YES! Shower closet rock singers unite! There is hope for us all!”

ponderings image guitar shot
photo credit: ponderings magazine

Now more than ever, anxiety is peaking, mental health, exhaustion, and dysregulation is on the rise in epic proportions. The struggle is real. 

Why?

 

“Our brains were not designed for a fast-paced, expectation dense, highly structured, modern, Western, rushed world. No humans, no brains have had this kind of environment in the last 100 years.”

 

Alli’s expert advice: We need to pull back. If we use ISO and the current COVID situation as an example.- although it’s been a stressful and angsty time, with a lot of survival mode for a lot of people, simultaneously- our brain has had a break. We’ve been rendered choiceless and forced to pull back. Pulling back from information, back from sensory overload, back from too much socialising- this is the stuff our brain health depends on.

Allison davies Ponderings magazine
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There are a lot of things we could be doing more of for our brain to function at it’s best. 

 

Allison very successfully runs the Brain Care Cafe. More than a membership, the cafe is a library of brain care strategies and a community committed to making progress on their own brain care.

 

Allison defines brain care as “more of what helps the brain run and less of what shuts it down.”

 

In our daily lives, there are a lot of things we could be doing more of for our brain to function at its best. The Brain Care Cafe focuses on 12 pillar specifics that are really important for our brain. Each week Alli delivers a brain care strategy. There is an activity that will help the brain to regulate and function at its full potential. This Cafe is a library of brain care strategies. These are mostly musical based and all things we can be doing in our daily life, everyday anxiety management. 

 

photo credit: ponderings magazine
But it’s not just music therapy and a string of other titles and boxes that Allison fits into. Connection is key. From her picturesque sanctuary in Tasmania, Alli shares her thoughts and processes regularly on Instagram and Facebook. The landscape is intoxicating. Nestled amongst 40mt high gumtrees, you will find her bush bath. Complete with flowers, platter and a cheeky glass of wine this is the bath Mother’s Day dreams are made of! (swoon). When Ali shares a post, it feels like you are listening to a friend- and creates this beautiful space where you find yourself asking similar questions and parallel pondering!

It was no surprise when we asked our Ponderings question Treehouse or Cubby House that Alli chose Treehouse. Hands down.

https://www.instagram.com/allisondavies.com.au/
https://www.allisondavies.com.au/instagram/

Instagram Ponderings leaderboard

Tasmania – #thebarn TAS

 

Quirk factor: an award-winning converted barn

Just minutes away from cultural and culinary attractions in the CBD, you will feel like you are spending a night on a luxury farm. The young super hosts that own the property are also the architects behind the renovation with 1820s sandstone detailing kept intact.

With all the essentials and basic necessities for cooking, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of the home.

Marie stayed pre-COVID-19 in March 2020 and commented on the personal nature of the space as well as the extra special finishing touches

“Beautiful property tucked away in the middle of the city. Set up to feel like our own personal, special space straight away, a bottle of champagne on arrival!”

#thebarn has received 463 reviews and a 4.91 rating.

So there is a clear common theme within our collection! We hope you and your so enjoy our list of the quirkiest and most likely the most unique Airbnb stays around Australia and would love to hear if you get to try any for yourself. Leave a reply below.

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The Magic of Bees and The Beauty of Numbers in Nature

The Magic of Bees and The Beauty of Numbers in Nature

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Why do bees buzz? What does maths have to do with sunflowers and the many beautiful fractal patterns of our world? 

 

A favourite book in our home held some wonderful clues to the mysteries of our hidden world. Critically acclaimed science-fiction author Ian Stewart is a British mathematician. He is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, England. 

He has published more than 120 books, with an extensive list of impressive titles to wet your Harry Potteresque whistle, such as 

Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry 

How to Cut a Cake: And Other Mathematical Conundrums- 

Professor Stewart’s Hoard of Mathematical Treasures

and he even has an award-winning app,  Incredible Numbers by Professor Ian Stewart

We are going to focus on The Beauty of Numbers in Nature.  Ian Stewart’s preface to his masterpiece is a touching genesis.

 

“When I was six, a friend showed me some curious little five-pointed stars that he had found on the beach…I became aware of a deep mystery: why does nature produce so many patterns?”

Stewart’s language maintains the mystery in the metrical, but the plurality of simple explanations and anecdotes make for fascinating reading. A feast for the mind that is anything but mundane; I would like to reflect on a selection of favourite chapters. 

Many shapes in our world typically look flat-faced in geometry. Not the spiral. 

Spiral Swirls 

 

“One of the favourite patterns of life, in fact, is based on curves- the spiral…Spiral shells appear way back in the fossil record, and one of the most common. The shell is formed by a soft bodied organism, for protection. As the creature’s size increases with age, it outgrows its existing chamber and builds an extension into its house.” 

 

Chambers and hidden secrets. It is no wonder Sir Terry Pratchett awarded Stewart Honorary Wizard of the Unseen University. 

 

“On land, snails build similar shells. Snail shells and indeed many seashells, often coil into the third dimension. Of course, the shape of the shells is always three dimensional: what I mean is that the “core of the spiral”, the line that runs along the centre of the chambers, ceases to lie in a plane and starts to curl into a third dimension of space.” 

 

I will never step on a garden snail again. An architect of a logarithmic spiral, powering into itself – not all it seems in our microworld. 

 

The Fibonacci Flowers

 

Fibonacci, the son of a custom’s officer, was a numbers man. His problem solving around rabbit populations in 1202 spawned mathematical patterns that would revolutionise thought. In basic terms; where after the first two numbers, each number is obtained by adding together the previous two numbers in the sequence. eg 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55 – each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. 

 Stewart observes: 

“Fibonacci numerology and spiral geometry are surprisingly common. They suggest that plant growth obeys simple but subtle mathematical rules, which lie somewhere in the interface between dynamics, geometry and arithmetic… Fibonacci numbers have penetrated deep into the mathematical psyche as an apparent endless source of inspiration and wonder…these numbers occur in the spiral structures many use to arrange their seeds. Fir cones are a good example. The scales on fir cones are typically arranged in two families of intertwined spirals, and each family contains a Fibonacci number of spirals…the seedhead of a sunflower displays these spirals in a gloriously regular pattern. Lillies have 3 petals; buttercups have 5, delphiniums often have 8, corn marigolds have 13, asters have 21.” 

photo: Ponderings Australia

Like your veggies? 

Stewart states:

“The same numerology can also be seen in cauliflower, which we usually think of as featureless lumps of soft white tissue. On closer inspection, we find that the lumps are arrayed in beautiful spiral swirls. Sometimes the eye of a mathematician can see things that other eyes miss…Broccoli Romanesco, each unit of the spiral is itself a spiral, a miniature version of the entire plant.” 

 

photo credit; Ian Stewart The Beauty of Numbers in Nature

A golden angle is achieved with spiral growth which impacts things such a seed spacing, protection, growth and efficiency of survival. 

 

Ponderers we are consuming an intricate pattern of design, not just nutrients! The microcosmos in our backyards and onto our plates is extraordinary.

 

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The Magic of Why A Bee Buzzes

 

“Most of what goes on when a creature flies is invisible to the eye because air is transparent. A bird in flight spins of a regular pattern of vortices, swirls of air spinning off from the trailing edges of its wings. The bird exploits these vortices to gain lift. Only recently have human engineers understood this particular trick, but the birds have known for a hundred million years.”

“We know how bees and other insects pull off their counterintuitive feat. Their wings move upward until they almost touch. When they beat downward, the sharp edge creates a leading-edge vortex. For reasons we don’t fully understand, this vortex remains ‘stuck’ to the top of the wing, generating lift, and spirals along it until it is shed at the wingtip. This method requires small wings that beat very rapidly, which is why bees buzz. And it’s why the flying pig will remain a metaphor for the incredible.” 

Don’t uyou wish we could see air in colour?

 

Fascinating world of fractals

 

“A Fractal is a geometric shape that has a fine structure no matter how much you magnify it…Nature’s fractals are extremely intricate, but they fuzz out on the atomic scale. A mathematician’s fractals are infinitely intricate and never fuzz out, no matter how closely you look.” 

“Rivers are trees of flowing water-the main river is like a trunk; its larger tributaries are branches, the tiny streams up the hills are the twigs. The water then ends in the river and erodes the land into fantastic treelike patterns. Our entire planet is a fractal. If you are a geologist.” 

The Beauty of Numbers in Nature is 223 pages, explaining every pattern imaginable, cascading into a presentation of deep philosophical questions about the foundations of physical law, the nature of space, time and matter, and the shape and history of the universe. Order in chaos, time travel and the realms of understanding is more than enough to nibble on. With beautiful pictures, this is the perfect coffee table book and will have you pondering. 

“When nature keeps reusing the same catalogue of patterns, the wise scientist pays attention.” – Ian Stewart

For those homeschooling, we have also sourced a wonderful list of resources to help kids explore science and the mico-world! 

 

https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/nature-golden-ratio-fibonacci.html

How Mathematicians Think About Patterns – Professor Ian Stewart

Fibonacci for kids 

 

Professor Ian Stewart is an active research mathematician with over 200 published papers, and currently works on pattern formation, chaos, network dynamics, and biomathematics. He lives in Coventry, UK, and is married (49 years and counting) with two sons, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He is also a critically acclaimed science-fiction author. He has partnered on the award-winning Discworld series with Sir Terence (Terry) Pratchett OBE, an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. 

 

https://ianstewartjoat.weebly.com/biography.html

 

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What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

 

The recent COVID19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on those who are vulnerable in our community, and an Aussie family business is meeting the challenge with generosity so powerful it will blow your socks off. 

The business is Underworks, and the name of the game is undies and socks. However the crisis facing our homeless is no joke, and with organisations like Foodbank and The Salvos getting on board to assist with distribution, hopes are high that the public will get on board using social media joviality to spur donations. 

Dave McNamara, the CEO of Foodbank Victoria, recently assisted with food distributions to the COVID impacted towers in Melbourne, Victoria. McNamara says;

Since the COVID-19 crisis began the demand placed upon the hundreds of charities we support every day has been unprecedented. In the last couple of months, the number of people seeking assistance is up 78% – many of them have never had to ask for help before. We’re preparing for the chilly times ahead, knowing that anyone can make it through winter with a full belly and warm feet. Thanks to #IGiveASock we’ll make sure no one gets left in the cold.

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

So what do the celebs have to say?

Well, when we read the list, it was no surprise, many of these inspiring humans are committed continuously to rolling up their positive impact sleeves.

Peter Hitchener OAM– adored news presenter and journalist

I hope you will join me in posting sock pics to your social media, with the hashtag #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and @foodbankvictoria. Then Underworks will donate an item of essential clothing on your behalf. Let’s do our bit to support this fantastic initiative!

Chrissie Swan– bubbly and beloved television and radio presenter

It’s time to sock it up! @underworksaustralia @foodbankaus and @salvosau have banded together to make sure a pair of socks gets onto the feet of a person experiencing homelessness for every #igiveasock tag they count on Instagram. Just take a pic of your socks and make sure to use the hashtag #igiveasock – 20,000 hashtags = 20,000 pairs of socks to those in need. Let’s do this!

Debrah Hutton – magazine editor and esteemed media personality

People needing assistance from @foodbankaus is up 78%. What a tragic stat. Until July 31st for every silly sock n’ thongs post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia will donate an essential item of clothing to @foodbankvictoria. It’s cold; its winter, let’s lift and help those in need.

#igiveasock Don’t you?

Anyone care to join me?

Sarah Tiong, lawyer, recipe architect, chef and finalist from Masterchef Australia

In recent months the number of people seeking assistance from Foodbank is up 78% – many of which have never had to ask for help before. Until July 31st for every silly sock post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia an item of essential clothing will be donated to @foodbankvictoria to distribute to those who need it most. Let’s help them.

Mishel Karen, teacher, media personality and MAFS star

Australia has just over 116,000 homeless people, with one-fifth of them being youth. Can you help me raise awareness until July 31st?

Plug your socks and thongs – or whatever vibe you’re wearing on your feet, and a pair of socks will be donated to someone who Homeless is in Australia. I want to help make a difference for vulnerable people. We can all do our bit to help. I’ve experienced how lifechanging a helping hand can be for people in need.

Ty Frost, Smooth FMs morning announcer and master of chill

I’m lucky to be in a warm studio playing feel-good tunes with my comfy socks and a mirror ball. I’m happy to be supporting Underworks who are on a mission to raise awareness for the need for critical personal items amongst the homeless and those sleeping rough in our community.

Here’s how you can help Ponderers! 

Post a silly sock pic on your social media account using the #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and you’ll be

donating a pair of socks to an Aussie in need. It’s that simple!

Jump over here for more details: https://igiveasock.com.au

 

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Australian Goodness From Inverleigh to Byron

Australian Goodness From Inverleigh to Byron

So just what is the Ponderings Happiness Tested Shopping Guide? 

To pass the Happiness Test, our recommended products must pass some stringent testing. It must spark joy, be ethical and also if it is Australian Made – it gets a big tick. We buy the products (we are not paid or given anything – a firm rule.) True endorsement, no strings attached. If it doesn’t tick those boxes, it doesn’t get featured. 

We like to know the story behind the products and the quality must be HIGH! As a fourth generation business owner, and a candle company owner in my previous life I understand the importance of Australian small business economy. It’s the kind of inspiring stuff that creates BIG business when supported.

So here we are! This month we have some beautiful products. 

  • This find was an absolute joy – Seed and Sprout

    Sophie Kovic has the inspiring business Seed and Sprout, an enviro dream of home goodies. We went for the dishsoap, rubbish bags, scourers and dishcloths.
    The packaging is sustainable luxe and as for the products? These will be ongoing household purchases.

    The dishsoap comes in large tablet style and just keep going, no suds as this is really friendly and yet glassware come out like it had gone through a sparkling dishwasher.

    Coconut husk scourers, these fall apart slightly but don’t be fooled they just keep going and are very effective. Not only do they work beautifully but they are great to go straight in the compost afterwards. Biodegradable, ethically sourced.

    Dishcloths- these are like any high quality supermarket brand however once finished you put them in your compost! You can use these knowing you wont be contributing to tonnes of toxic plastic waste produced each year in Australia!

    The rubbish bags that aren’t plastic- now this was cool. Biodegradable, plant based rubbish bags, please, thank you and yes.

    We have never purchased cleaning products and got excited. Something very aesthetic and geting back to nature about this goodies. A big tick from Ponderings.

Seed and Sprout Pondeirngs

Willow and Sea is the beautiful brainchild of Teaghan Barnard.

If you love the ocean and enjoy functional art, you will as impressed as we were.

From bowls to coasters, serving trays (our fave) and chopping boards Willow and Sea is the perfect addition to your table as a feature or a beautiful gift for someone.

“When she is not creating, you will find her exploring the Otway National Park, soaking up the sun along the Great Ocean Road or planning her next overseas adventure. All of which you will find are expressed through her art.”

https://willowandsea.com

  • The Beach People

    Up-cycled denim styled towels and a beach boho fantasy. We saw the Instagram feed and were in heaven. Sisters Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie invented the Round Beach Towel and the rest is history. Beautiful beach inspired brand with ethically sourced materials.

    From duvets to picnic baskets, this is the stuff of Summertime daydreams.

    The fabric of this towel bundle is soft, absorbs well and you want to wear it not use it. Pure decadence. Functional and cool. Most definitely got the happiness tick of approval.

    If you can’t get to Byron, bring a little bit of Byron to you.

https://thebeachpeople.com.au

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Robert Gordon

This month we tried their new candle range.

100% Australian Made Candle, made with a natural soy wax, in beautiful hand painted Australian Made Canvas Latte vessels. The tote bag was a gorgeous touch and this blend of ripe fig and passionflower, pathchouli and bergamot was beautiful. Coming from an ex-candle maker, this blend did not disappoint and is one of the nicest I have tried.

The best part? Once you are finished you have a mug x

‘Around thirty years ago, Robert ‘Andy’ Gordon walked into a ten by eight foot tin shed, picked up a lump of clay and turned his potter’s wheel. The ‘Pack Track Pottery’ was born. But the story and inspiration for Robert Gordon dates long before 1979 and a rickety home made studio.

Andy’s mother, the renowned Australian potter June Dyson, set up her studios in 1945. June formed a formidable partnership with her husband Colin who became the company’s business director. It was June’s second son Andy, who showed most interest in ceramics, helping out in the studio from his early twenties.

  • INIKA

    I first discovered this brand whilst holidaying in Byron Bay, a die hard makeup wearer I often find many natural foundations and concealers too light and not long lasting enough. Until now. The lightness and coverage is inriguing, gentle and dewy. I also purchased the powder finish for a longer wear all day.

    A convert, this brand is outstanding. The products are good for your skin, long lasting and more than a few comments from others and I have shouted its fabulousity from the rooftops. Slightly on the higher price scale, a little goes a very long way. So per unit works out the same as any other chemist brand.

    INIKA Organic is 100% Australian owned, 100% plant based and 100% animal cruelty free, this has a tick of approval.

    https://www.inikaorganic.com

  • Ok so its pretty obvious why this hit the attention button! Sleep pillow, filled with glorius herbs and essential oils ready to pop under your pillow.

    Hello friend! These come in a range of heat packs as well as bath tea bags and the packaging is beautiful. Made in Geelong, Botanical Wellness goodies are available to purchase through Whole Body Health and Wellness, Ocean Grove and Geelong.

    Home

Want more info or to enter our competitions with these beautiful products?

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Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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Three Ingredient Scones

This recipe has been in my family for a very long time, and I am probably going to get into strife for sharing it. Whenever one of us whips this out; those indulging will remark in wonder. Well, in the sake of goodwill and sharing here is our scones recipe with three ingredients. Super fluffy scones you can whip up quickly, and they are delicious.

read more
Follow Us

Join

Subscribe For Updates & Offers

Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. 

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