Early Learning to Incorporate Cosplay

psycholgyBehavioral psychologists are causing waves with a new child care strategy that promotes cosplay as a tool to accelerate children’s learning.

Doctor Komcon, a child psychologist at the Melbourne Institute of Ridiculous Science, presented his findings at a conference earlier this month. Behavioral psychologists have been quick to laud the strategy as ‘groundbreaking’, and possibly a breakthrough in communicating with children who have learning difficulties.

“I want to see this in every child care course in Melbourne,” says Komcon, “This will revolutionise the field. You see, if children learn from their favourite television and film characters, they are far more likely to retain the information. For adults, this is like being taught by someone they consider to be an inspiration, or a person they idolise. Obviously, you’re going to want to hold onto this teaching far more than from a random educator.”

In his thesis, Komcon has advised parents to regularly cosplay as their child’s favourite characters and teach them life lessons while maintaining their persona. Example videos showed children learning from Bob the Builder, Basil Brush, Ben 10 and the entire cast of the Tweenies. Komcon has also stressed the importance of maintaining the illusion, and not allowing the child to know that the actor and character are the same person.

“We’re trialing this in early learning centres,” says Komcon. “Teachers will be supplied with a number of costumes, which they’ll test on focus groups. I have high hopes for the project.”

However, certain child care courses have stated that they are unsure about the new methods, especially considering that some teachers do not possess acting skills and are just plain ‘weirded out’ by the scheme.

Young Briefly Rejecting Technology

newspaperReports indicate that young people are losing their affinity with technology, as part of a rebellious new craze that deems tech as ‘so yesterday’.

Melbourne’s leading technological colleges have found that their attendees have seen a significant average age jump, with web design courses across Melbourne expressing surprise that their youth have vanished, leaving only the middle-aged.

“I guess there’s nothing wrong with that,” says Emerson Square, the dean of a local college, “But it’s so strange. We had a thriving youth culture just a couple of months ago, and now none of them want anything to do with technology.”

The trend is known online as ‘Rechrograding’, and it refers to the culture of abandoning technological advancement for no good reasons. Teenagers all across the world have abandoned their phones in favour of using telephone boxes and staring constantly at broadsheet newspapers, and parents have suddenly found that they are the most technologically savvy in their households at using tablet computers, despite experiencing difficulty in the past.

“What we’re seeing here is a cultural spike,” says Spike Bording, teacher of an app development course. “They happen on occasion, right after there have been some serious tech developments. They’re declared too ‘outdated’ and there’s a huge shift towards the old way of doing things. At least, until things go back to normal. The last one was when Tim-Tams started making other flavours, and everyone went back to eating canned spam for a couple of weeks.”

Sociologists estimate that the current prevalence of technology education, such as web development courses, has aided in establishing technology as ‘mainstream’ and therefore unattractive to the current generation.

Carrie’s Cuts: The Changing Seasons

fireHi everybody!

So glad to be back from my unexpected break. Thanks to all the people who sent me cards when I was in the hospital. Everything went well in the end, and now I’m back to work with perhaps a bit of a different perspective on things. There used to be some people I just couldn’t stand, and I used to let them hurt me a lot. Now, I just want to focus purely on getting to the bottom of things with you all!

Today’s topic: arctic chills. Hasn’t it been freezing around Australia lately? Melbourne has dropped into the minuses, and even Darwin is feeling the chill (at about 25-degrees, but it’s all relative). As you know, I just spent a lot of time in Adelaide. You wouldn’t think it was as cold there, further north, but it was! Oh, I got to know Adelaide heating repairs quite well, as my sister’s heater couldn’t handle the strain of shutting down all the time and we had to constantly give it a bit of percussive maintenance. I almost had severe hand injuries by the end of it.

It’s funny how people just don’t see winter coming, every year. We complain, moan and act as if cold weather is an unexpected curse, and heating is the only way we can survive these harsh times. It’s all relative, I suppose, but I can’t help thinking of places like Siberia, where it’s -20 and completely normal. There’s relative, and then there’s just us being babies because we don’t like it being chilly on our toes when we have to get out of bed in the morning. I mean, our people came from England, and we like to think we’re a bit better than them, so what’s with all the whining? Especially in Melbourne, and even Adelaide, where heating is more or less all over the place anyway. We like to think we can have extreme weather, but it’s just tiddlywinks compared to others. Enjoy the seasons while they last!


Four hospitalised in mystic doctor plant debacle

There were no injuries sustained due to magnolia consumption.

There were no injuries sustained due to magnolia consumption.

An innocent school fair has turned into a disaster as a local woman posed as a mystic doctor with poisonous plants.

Setting up a stand and calling herself “The Hippie Healer”, local vagrant and mother of four Heidi Peck dispensed plants purporting to cure all ills. She was one of twenty parents to run a stall at the annual Dogwood Primary School Fair.

From innocuous flowers such as magnolias to toxic mushrooms, Ms Peck appeared to choose the appropriate “cure” for each person’s ailment at random.

It is estimated that up to one hundred fair attendees, including children, visited Ms Peck’s stall. Of those, four have been hospitalised due to poisoning from the plants she provided as miracle cures. Three have been discharged while a fourth, beloved prep teacher Mrs Kane, remains in a critical condition.

Ms Peck’s four children have been withdrawn from the school following allegations of bullying.

The majority of the plants are believed to have been sourced chiefly from Ms Peck’s own garden, where she grows a variety of common flowering plants and nut trees. The poisonous mushrooms are believed to have been picked on school grounds. The plants used by Ms Peck are not usually prescribed by mystics, and lack symbolic meaning. They appear to have been chosen for their availability.

The school’s principal, Eric Kwong, announced at an emergency meeting of the parent-teacher committee that the fair may be cancelled in future years.

“I thought the name was a play on words and that the only plant she would be dispensing was the hippeastrum,” he said.

“I apologise unreservedly to the school community and extend my deepest regret to those who were made ill as a result of attending Heidi’s booth. The future of the fair is uncertain, as the committee determines whether or not we can safely run the fair.”

Air Conditioner Strike Back

air conAir conditioning specialists in Brisbane have struck back against claims that the rest of the world is in need of Brisbane services, after several protests were staged demanding that air conditioning be brought to countries that were lacking.

“The world needs us,” says Maria Piggins, a protester in the Leovale area. “We clearly have superior technology, and that means we must do everything we can to help those poor, unfortunate souls who labour without cooling services. With great air conditioning comes great responsibility, after all.”

However, air conditioning specialists have criticized the logic of the protesters, pointing out that people survived for many years in history without the advent of air conditioning, and many countries do not see the need for it.

“Heck, some people HERE don’t need it,” says Brett Ice, a cooling technician. “All you need to do is toughen up a bit. Air con is a really nice thing to have, but some people work in the hot sun all day long and they’re totally fine. And other countries just are so used to it that it’s pointless. Trust me, some places just don’t need what we have.”

The mayor has echoed these statements, claiming that most places on Earth have heard of air conditioning, but don’t necessarily need it.

“Do not bother our friends in Melbourne and Sydney,” says the mayor in a public statement. “Our Brisbane air conditioning repairs have stacked up as it is. Please, redirect your energies to more worthy goals.”

Citizens Urged to Ignore Termite Cuteness

termite damageRecent controversial reports have suggested that termites do not qualify as ‘pets’, and there have been moves to educate homeowners as to the dangers of harmful pests.

“I’ll admit, they’re very cute,” says entomologist Peter Bugsworth, “I’d certainly keep them as pets if there was a proper, humane place to put them. However, you can’t simply let them live in your home.”

Termite inspection experts in Frankston have already been sent out by several local councils to stem the flow of collapsing homes, as the population are steadily educated as to the dangers of keeping termites.

“They’re so fuzzy wuzzy!” squees Suzanne Brenless. “I can’t believe anyone would ever want to remove them. Let them live here, what’s the harm? I just can’t get enough of how cuddly they are.”

Local councils have been making attempts to educate the citizens of Melbourne as to the true dangers of keeping termites, as their only food source is generally what makes up part of a home’s structure.

“People cannot let themselves be drawn in by how adorable these insects are,” says deputy sub-mayor Karen Strate. “They are cute, yes. But do not be fooled: they can cause serious damage.”

The warnings have incited protests in some areas, with plush termites being created and counter-statistics being offered that present wood-eating insects as harless when treated with respect. However, pest control experts in Mornington and the surrounding areas have begun a push to remove them from homes at any cost.

Carrie’s Cuts: As Good as a Lawyer?

slippersHello, everyone!

Carrie’s back for good, and I’d like to thank you all for the lovely comments on my last post. It meant a lot to me, and you can be sure that I read down the entire list.

Now, today I’d like to unload something that’s been playing around on my mind for a while now. So I’m a little bit different to the rest of the family, maybe because I was a third child, imbued with the expectation that I’d be all artistic and creative. Well, here I am, a writer!

Contrast with my brother, who is a well-respected Dandenong family lawyer and is climbing the ranks, being successful, bringing home the bacon to his lovely wife…all of that business. We’re just leading very different lives, and sometimes I ask myself: is mine of less worth? Bear with me, because I do have an answer, but in my slightly darker moments I have been known to bemoan my calling. My brother is out there, settling family law disputes, dealing with alimony and spousal support payments, contributing to society in a very real way. But the thing is, what he’s actually doing is contributing in a very visible way. Sure my writing and artwork doesn’t see me at a desk with paperwork stating the exact impact I’ve had on people, but it can be just as important as a Dandenong solicitor. And it’s the same for everyone! As long as you’re doing something to the best of your ability, you’re making a difference.

The only thing I really bemoan now is how my brother gets to wear a snappy suit in his family lawyer duties, and most of the time I’m in pajamas and slippers.

-Carrie xx

Carrie’s Cuts: The Garden Guru

produceHello, everybody!

So glad to be back after I had a bit of a holiday. I’ve had a lot of well-wishers after my Dad passed away, and I can’t thank you all enough…so I thought I’d dedicate this one to him. And the one thing my Dad loved only slightly less than his family? His garden.

Even up until his last days, when he wasn’t quite as mobile, he always found time to take care of everything out there. Just being in the garden seemed to give him life, so the doctor always gave him a bit of leeway when it came to the garden. Even at 93, he was still growing the best seed potatoes you’ve ever tasted. Really, there’s nothing quite like growing fresh produce in your back garden. You know exactly what goes into them (in this case, a lot of earthy goodness) and there are no hidden risks, unless you’re bad a washing vegetables. The whole time I was growing up, I don’t think there’s a single thing that he didn’t try to grow. But not everything worked. Hey, you have to try and fail sometimes before you get it right. He did a lot of both, to the point where he could grow anything. Flowers, plants, bushes, trees…I remember being quite shocked when I moved into a student share house and no one really paid any attention to the garden. The place was overgrown, which just wasn’t something I was used to.

Naturally, my Dad taught me all of this stuff, so if you need some world-class strawberries…I could probably provide. Give me a few years, maybe I’ll come close to his level!

-Carrie xx

Reader submission: The gift of hope and house painting

house painters in MelbourneMy aunt lived in a nice little house in a quiet suburb not too far from the city. She wasn’t a big fan of people, she especially hated crowds. She liked to keep to herself and many thought of her as rather odd. She liked old fashioned things and hated the way society was these days. When I asked her why, she would explain how people don’t care about each other anymore. Society has become very selfish and focused on the individual rather than the community. She didn’t understand why people committed the crimes. She always raged about how money influenced people and destroyed morals.

We decided that for my aunt’s birthday we would get her house repainted. We wanted to show her that kindness was still alive in the world. She didn’t want anything and wouldn’t accept gifts from the family, so we decided to get her something she really needed. Her home needed weatherboard painting since before she moved in, ten years ago. It was in desperate need of house painting in Melbourne. For her birthday, we took my aunt to a nice restaurant for breakfast, then to the water park and the botanical gardens. She had a great day. We subtly slipped into conversation about what colour her dream house would be and took that idea to the  interior painters, Melbourne has so many generous people. I just want my aunt to see that not everyone is heartless. We all agreed to keep the present as a surprise, and devised a plan to distract my aunt for an entire day. The painters arranged extra help for the job to get it completed in time. When we arrived at her house she was shocked to see her house had changed colour. She loved it and said it was the best gift she’d ever got. We had restored her faith in humanity. I say this everyone who know a person in need of some kindness, a small act can make a big difference.

Boats Reported to Sail Through Ocean

boat raceIn an utterly precedented sequence of events, boat owners in Melbourne have found that their vessels are able to float in water and even be steered.

“Someone said to me recently…” says Harrison Sale, “They said ‘Have you heard about this new invention? It’s called a ‘boat’. And so I thought…I have one of those. Was never too sure what if was for, though. So I asked, and now I know!”

Boat mechanics from the Melbourne area have sprung up overnight, ready and willing to help people sail their new inventions, and early reports indicate that certain materials are more suited to floating than others.

“We’ve already tried building a boat made of stone,” says esteemed scientist Mary-Lou Bartholomew. “Yeah, it didn’t work. Looks like wood is the way to go, though we’re still trialling the process of sticking together lots of very small rocks.”

Boat owners have taken to the seas after the great discovery, with confused onlookers describing the sight of people floating on the water as ‘disconcerting’, amongst other reactions.

“But we can’t breathe water,” says confused mother of four Casey Gingham. “Why would you go out into the middle of it?”

“This will anger Poseidon,” says elderly coastal resident Jerry Captain. “Mark my words, it’ll bode nothing good. Mankind belong on the land. It’s just stirring up trouble, these new boats.”

Meanwhile, a thriving business in Melbourne repairing anchor winches has sprung up overnight, with onlookers describing their services as ‘necessary, probably’.