Always be teachable

I was inspired recently after reading the transcript from the graduation speech given by Admiral McRaven to the class of 2014 on May 17th at the University of Texas. The speech provided great food for thought and showed the resilience of humans when it really mattered. It made me think sometimes I need to step back and realise the bigger picture through the little things. It also made me think of the characteristics and attributes that are found in those who strive for better and have character and ‘grit’.

If you don’t have the time to go through the entire transcript here are some of the great points he made.

  1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed
  2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle
  3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers
  4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward
  5. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks
  6. if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud

Just reading those points might not make much sense, but if you see the reasons why (tied to Navy Seal training) they’ll make a lot of sense to why they matter.

If you have the time have a read of the transcript for yourself, or if you’re so inclined watched the YouTube video of the speech here at the University of Texas website.



Nana Chocs

Abuelita Hot ChocI was given this packet of Mexican hot chocolate to try from a colleague to got it from the US. I was very interested to try it since chocolate pretty much came from that continent and I’ve never tried “Mexican” hot chocolate before.

Abuelita” means “grandmother”, and was invented in Mexico in 1964, though it wasn’t until much later that Nestle acquired the brand. Its really funny how a lot of American stuff still seems so exotic to me even though we get a lot of imports now but it turns out that Abuelita is really common – a staple almost!

I made it with half hot water/half milk and, due to their Spanish influence, I thought the drink would be a lot thicker and sweeter – like the delicious, almost mind-numbingly rich ambrosia from San Churros – but it was pleasantly light. It was sweeter than the other hot chocolate from Nestle but not overpoweringly so. I thought it tasted nutty with a slight cinnamon flavour. Owl was not such a huge fan but I enjoyed it.

I probably would not buy it due to its pronounced sweetness (its a weird sweetness that a lot of American chocolate products seem to have). My favourite night cap still consists of 2 teaspoons each of Milo and Oxfam Free Trade hot chocolate, half hot water/half skim milk; quick microwave, and marshmallow on top.

Lumpin Awesome.  ❤

Let the Tetrad Begin!

Don’t forget tomorrow evening (April 15 2014) – the first of the four slated lunar eclipse begin. Around 17:30-18:30 AEST (or moonset) is when it will be visible…or not visible since it’s an eclipse and the moon will be darkened. If there are clear skies and you can find a good vantage points facing an Easterly/horizon aspect preferably over water, you should definitely take a look!

Visit the Sydney Observatory website for precise details on the timing of the eclipse depending on your location. Most of the Eastern Australian states will have good view of this, unfortunately not so if you’re on the West Coast of Australia. There should also be plenty of other countries that see this too with New Zealand seeing the full eclipse.

It’ll be super cool too because it’s a blood moon and there will be four of them in the series that will appear so, quite a sight and fabled event. I read somewhere that the last few significant blood moons all sat comfortably around significant Jewish holidays (Passover and Tabernacles), no matter how you cut that information it’s a little eerie or ‘coincidentally’ timed.

If you’re a photographer, these are fun to take pictures of and totally safe (unlike solar eclipses)!

Happy star and moon gazing tomorrow!



Drink tea for World Water Day

HandwashingHappy World Water Day, everyone!

Worldvision Australia has partnered with Chatime Australia today for World Water Day. 10% of all hot and iced teas purchased on 22 March 2014 will go towards transforming the lives of children, families, and entire communities through the precious gift of water. Now thats refreshing!  🙂 Read more here.

World Water Day 2014

World Water Day 2014 logo

The United Nations World Water Day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of March  – thats only 5 days away! Every year brings a different theme to raise awareness of issues relating to our most precious resource and this year’s theme is “Water and Energy”.

Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

In 2014, the UN System – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality.

UN Water, 2014

Energy + Water

I tried to see if there were any events happening in Sydney but the search has thus far proved to be elusive as the main event is occurring in Tokyo, Japan. Nonetheless, you can host your own event with the UN providing lots of free resources including posters, fact sheets, and even T-shirt templates.

Fact on Biodiesel

You can find out more at the UN and the UN Water website. In the meantime, savewater is promising the chance to win a plethora of stuff, including an Apple iPad, for survey fill-ins (they are pretty short).