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The Office: Goodbye, Michael

It’s not often that a show can last long enough to not only allow for a deep emotional connection to form between characters/ and the audience, and it’s certainly even more rare that a show takes the risk of allowing one of the lead characters to be written out with integrity. Going one step further, it’s certainly even more rare for this to happen, and to result in a genuine sense of loss on the part of the audience. Going even further, this is rare as dragon droppings when it comes to sitcoms, and certainly the only definite example I can think of was when Colonel Henry Blake was written out of M*A*S*H all those years ago. But it’s happened again, and this time it was when we said farewell to Steve Carell as his character of Michael Scott departed The Office to live out his dreams away from Dunder Mifflin.

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Jupiter's Hotel & Casino

Recently I had the chance to attend a two-day retreat for work focussed around integrating ICT elements into my teaching strategies. While the retreat itself was beneficial from a work perspective, that isn’t the reason I am writing this post. What I did want to spend some time commenting on was the venue chosen for the retreat - Jupiter’s Hotel & Casino. While the place itself has been around for a few decades, I had never actually stayed in the venue for any reason. So it was with great delight that I had this opportunity to experience what made the place so appealing to tourists and locals alike, and I came away from the entire experience feeling quite pleased with what was on offer. If you are looking at staying on the Gold Coast for any reason, and are looking for a quality venue that is almost completely self-contained, then you really should consider Jupiter’s Hotel & Casino.

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Windows 7 Secrets

It’s been a heck of a long time since I’ve purchased a proper computer book, but I decided to break this long hiatus because of my growing respect for Mr Paul Thurrott, the Majordomo of the SuperSite for Windows. While I wouldn’t call myself a Microsoft fanboi at all, I have made a commitment in recent years to utilise their ecosystem of products, as opposed to say Apple or Google. While they have a lot of things that are great (XBox and Bing, for example) there are some things that they do that could be so much better (Zune is a good example, why that sucker isn’t global I don’t know!). But it is the Windows operating system that they are best known for, and with the recent release of Windows 7 we have what is arguably the best version of Windows that Microsoft has ever produced. So a chance to learn more about the intricacies of this great OS was a chance not to pass up.

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Quarterly Essay: Issue 40 (Trivial Pursuit)

I have been quite a big fan of the writings of George Megalogenis for some time now. Unlike a lot of his News Ltd brethren, George has a fairly balanced outlook on Australia’s political landscape. So it came as absolutely no surprise to me when his latest Quarterly Essay, which looks at the last decade or so of political developments, all of which culminated in last year’s extraordinary Federal election result, became such a compelling read for me. Unlike so much of the commentary out there right now, which attempts to force us to subscribe to strange theories around the implications and reasons for the election result, Trivial Pursuit puts things in a much simpler, and therefore easier to believe, format. It’s really this common sense simplicity that makes this essay compulsory reading for anyone interested in understanding why Australian politics is so messed up right now.

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Water Falling Down

While the QLD Theatre Company have had a slightly rocky start to their 2011 season, with the disappointing Sacre Bleu! opening the year, there was a lot to like in their latest production, Water Falling Down by Mark Swivel. Certainly the deeper focus on emotions and relationships was more fertile ground for the company to explore, as opposed to French farce. Mark Swivel’s play draws upon his own real-life experiences with his own father, and it is this interesting personal connection that really provides the meat of the enjoyment for the audience. Although enjoyment really isn’t the right word to use here, simply because while we do get to explore what happens when an adult begins to lose their sense of self, it’s a tragic tale to watch unfold. But the performances and the writing are what really make this exploration of human feeling so damn engaging.

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