The Benefit of Inversions

Being upside down is a strange sensation; after all, we spend the majority of our life up the ‘right’ way. A lot of people become anxious when approaching an inversion as it is not what they are used to, however it is worth delving into the unknown in this case, as standing on your head can help both your body and your mind. After getting to know the facts, the way we stand all day might not seem like the right way after all.

An inversion is a pose in which you hold your heart higher than your head, for example in Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) or Halasana (plow pose). These poses help your body to recover from the overwhelming compression of gravity, as well as the tension held from everyday activities. An inversion is advantageous for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous systems- basically it’s good for your whole body.

In terms of the cardiovascular system, turning yourself upside down increases the flow of fresh blood to the heart, improving your circulation in a way that aerobic exercise does. Inversions are also said to improve lung tissue quality.

On top of this, we all owe inversions a chance as they improve back pain, which I am sure every single one of us will suffer from at some point, whether it be after sitting at a desk for hours on end, or from other forms of exercise. The spinal cord is the most important part of the body, and by inverting we improve our posture, making the way we sit and stand less stressful on the back.

Inverted poses are also beneficial to the bones. They help to strengthen the ligaments that surround the bones, therefore making them less likely to break.

Inversions are the yogic approach to controlling indigestion, which can cause anxiety and skin disorders, as well as being very uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable, inversions can also help to counteract premenstrual symptoms. When blood circulation is improved, the hormones become balanced to make a person feel light hearted and happier than usual.

For anyone who suffers from sleeping problems, these magical inversions can help with that too. When the mind is at peace and blood is flowing healthily, a person will sleep better. When you are inverted, muscle tension decreases, therefore relaxing the body, making it easier to sleep.

Crazily, inversions are also said to stop people from shrinking, as they grow older. There we go everyone, we don’t have to be tiny, frail and hunched when we get older, and all we have to do to stop it is stand on our head for a few minutes a day!

With the amount of benefits that inversions hold, it’s a wonder we don’t all walk around on our hands rather than our feet all day. Not many people have time for that though, so we can just start with a few minutes hanging out upside down a day to improve our health out of sight.


Culture and Technology

As described in the Potts Murphie Intro for this week’s reading, culture and technology are inextricably linked.

There is no denying that culture has an effect on the advances of technology and that technology changes aspects of culture. Long before television the Olympics would only be seen by those who attended them and heard about via word of mouth. Nowadays when the Olympics are on it is impossible to escape the coverage- you don’t even have to open a newspaper in the morning and you are already greeted by Olympic victors on the cover.

The reading also uses the example of tourism. Something that nowadays we take for granted but years ago countries, even states, would have been much less linked. Linked physically by boats, trains, planes etc, but also linked in terms of media allowing people to hear about what is happening on the other side of the world.


Is Facebook a Dying Art?

In the symposium this week, Adrian mentioned how he believes that Facebook is on its way out due to the paid advertising system that it works with. His belief is that Amazon has a much better system in that the recommendations given to a user on Amazon actually do relate to their interests and “other users who liked this book also liked this one” sort of organisation.

Personally I don’t think that the paid advertising as recommendations will kill Facebook due to the fact that Facebook is not an online shop, but rather a social media website. I do not use Facebook to go shopping, however if a recommendation comes up on the sidebar I might check it out.. Usually I just ignore them.

I agree that Facebook will have its decline, much like Myspace did, but not due to its recommendation system.. Because of change in trends and because something newer and better will come along and steal everyone’s attention.

Week 8 Symposium Notes

  • Video Games as hypertext
  • Hypertext Narrative is not the same as Interactive Narrative
  • Games are not about story telling eg. Tetris
  • You cannot win a story
  • No consecutiveness
  • Link to what is required to understand argument
  • Family trees- hierarchical
  • ‘Intertwingled’
  • Keyboard- layout to slow down typists
  • Unchanged for 140-150 years
  • Hyper textual mode of reading- jump around, read other things mid-essay etc
  • Hypertext is cinematic
  • Nodes= film shots
  • Meaning is outside the shot, it is relational
  • All parts and relations between the parts
  • Long Tail
  • Excluding content that you are not interested in eg. Facebook feed
  • How taste cultures form
  • Determined by markers of your identity + self driven stuff eg lifestyle choices
  • How clusters form in networks
  • Ways around recommendation hierarchies
  • Democratization of tastes
  • Power to make judgements
  • Equal access?
  • Facebook driven by advertising recommendations, selling ad spaces
  • Facebook= ‘social media disaster’
  • Different from Amazon
  • Page rank on Google- how many links come into your content
  • Important to link to each others’ content
  • Scale-free networks do not have centre eg. Internet
  • Appears to be built randomly, but has a structure


I find the 80/20 rule in the Barabasi reading The 80/20 Rule somewhat confusing but also interesting.. If it is indeed accurate.

I gather that this is ‘Murphy’s Law’ so is not a set in stone law, however I find it hard to believe that in a business the majority of the time only 20% of employees will be making most of the profits.

I can imagine that 80% of links on the web point to only 15% of webpages as most links would point to Google, Facebook, perhaps Twitter or news sites too. There are so many webpages out there that it would be easy to figure out the most visited, but so much harder to figure out the least visited.

I am not completely sure if the above ^ has strayed completely away from the context of the reading as I really struggled to understand it and will be asking a lot of questions in my tutorial.. Particularly about the opening story regarding laws and economics.

Interpretation of the Bible

From this week’s un-lecture, I really liked the idea brought up that authors can never control interpretation and the perfect example of this is the bible.

Ask one person and they will tell you the Bible is a work of fiction, ask another and they will base their morals and values around what is inside it. This is difference in interpretation on an enormous scale.

An author can have an intention of what they want a story to be about, but there is no way of stopping people’s demographics, upbringing, friends and family from influencing their interpretation of it.

Perhaps the reason one person may love a book while another can hate it could be because of how we interpret said book. Perhaps it is just to do with personal taste. Perhaps the two are related.


Un-Symposium Notes Week 7

  • Remarkable animals vs. choose your own adventure
  • You can create one hundred thousand billion poems from a mixture of 10 sonnets
  • Documentary= statements about reality, alternative representation
  • Documentary can be created through poetry
  • Interactive documentary is less fixed/concrete
  • Emergent
  • Stories about the world not stories about A world (documentary)
  • Doco is a genre but within docos there are genres
  • Britannica will be dead, Wikipedia will not in near future
  • Authors can never control interpretation eg. the Bible
  • Encoding and decoding stories


The Benefits of Hot Yoga For Students

It is a well-known fact that yoga has many benefits both for one’s physical and mental health, so there are no surprises that it is the perfect activity for students.

Spending so much time cramped over a laptop both at a desk during uni time, and in bed watching TV shows at night really does take its toll on the body and I seriously cannot think of a more enjoyable way to balance this out than to go to a yoga class. The new blood flow that you gift to your body during a yoga practice, from your fingers to your toes, can either clear the body of the tension held throughout the day, or perhaps prepares the body for a new day.

Starting the day with a yoga class is also a great way to fill yourself with energy for the day to come, so drop that Red Bull and hit the studio instead.

In terms of benefits for your physical being, yoga, particularly a dynamic Vinyasa flow class, is a fantastic way to build upper body strength and also to tone the muscles. Forget squats; try a powerful chair pose instead!  Yoga also has benefits for the cardiovascular system, as during a class you tap into your breathing and learn to control it so that it flows with your movement. Summer is coming and I know that a lot of girls go on diets or fitness fads to try and get “bikini ready”, but I can honestly tell you that by heading along to a couple of yoga classes a week alongside a healthy diet- which you do learn a lot about being surrounded by like-minded people, cannot be beaten. Everyone loves to share recipes for healthy treats and new exciting brands to check out for example Pressed Juices and Rawsome Organic chocolate who joined us on our Open Day.

In terms of mental benefits, yoga helps you to keep focused and set intentions. It especially helps you to block out the information you don’t need so you can focus on the task at hand.

On top of all this, and I know this sounds CRAZY, going to a hot yoga class with a hangover is actually one of the best cures I can think of. Drinking a ridiculous amount of water and then sweating out all the bad stuff makes you feel like a new person afterwards. You are sure to leave the class feeling detoxed and refreshed.

To read more about the benefits of yoga, feel free to visit the Kula Yoga Studio Blog-

A Day In Glass

Watching the second video in Bruce Sterling’s article on design fictions, I was in awe. Of course these applications for different styles of glass are only fictional, but they somehow seem within our reach. The fact that someone has thought of them is a good enough start for me!

The other day when I got to dancing, one of the girls was telling a story of this amazing new gadget that her brother had just bought that day. I can’t remember the exact name but I can most definitely remember it’s functions as they drew a gobsmacked reaction from everyone listening.

She described this “box” that you place in front of the TV and interact with.. You can’t actually see the box with which you are interacting, but it is there and allows you to use your hands to play games for example “cut the rope”, in which you have to use your hand to slice the rope on the TV screen. It sounds like a really simple game but the idea of being able to play it without actually touching a screen or controller is mouth-watering.

In a sense I thought of this as design-fiction.. I still haven’t seen the proof that it exists and I can hardly believe that it could work the way that she explained it, but this is what I think is so amazing about it. Many people have probably imagined having a piece of technology that worked along these lines and letting their imagination run wild would have lead them to create a piece of design fiction of their own. However, it is this design fiction that eventually leads to the actual creation. I loved watching the video about A Day In Glass, because it allows me to imagine a life with these inventions helping me out. It would be incredible! As Sterling says “it is cool to imagine if they existed”.

What is scary is that I am sure in one hundred years this “box” my friend told me about will be as uninteresting and useless to the population as the first mobile phone is to us now, and an I Pad will be a relic of the past. However for now it is totally futuristic and so are the gadgets seen in A Day In Glass, so I am going to make the most of appreciating their intelligence while I can.


Oral Cultures

This week I didn’t manage to take that many notes during the un-lecture, however one topic towards the end of the un-lecture really struck me as blatantly obvious but fascinating, and it was in relation to Adrian’s word game example. When he asked which creature was the odd one out out of the kangaroo, koala, kookaburra and possum.. I thought to myself well obviously it isn’t possum because that’s too obvious, but the thing is.. it is only obvious because I am literate. Here I am thinking that it is a trick question when really Adrian was trying to show the effect that print media has had on knowledge.

I had never really considered the idea of an ‘oral culture’- a community where communication is solely communicated by spoken word, where all knowledge is transmitted through way of speaking, listening, gesturing, singing and dancing. It seems like a difficult concept nowadays as I sit here staring deep into my laptop screen, however there are still communities out there living in such a way, for example on North Sentinal Island, where locals have been virtually untouched by modern civilization.

These locals may think that there are certain members of their community who have infinite knowledge.. as they know ‘everything’ there is to know about their community. However what we know today is that nobody can ever know EVERYTHING, no matter how high their ATAR score is..