Nonfiction

Sushi and Stramenopiles

Three and a half years ago, in a first year Genetics and the Evolution of Life lecture, I had an academic epiphany. The lecture itself was not one that you would expect to convert an aspiring speech pathologist into a marine biologist: the lecturer had inherited this section of the course from an academic who retired the previous year and had about as much idea of what was going on as we did. Blocks of lurid yellow text covered blue backgrounds, and the same slide of ‘Snowball Earth’ kept inexplicably popping up with zero explanation. But something shone through the less than stellar delivery that ignited a spark of passion in me.

3 April 2019
Mediterranean Homosexuality

I wonder what it’d be like if Grindr had existed in the Roman Empire. Nude torsos, an appetite for gay sex and toxic masculinity—the Romans certainly weren’t that different (well, except for 4G and smartphones). In fact, if we compared the Roman Grindr to today’s, we’d find a surprising number of similarities, including users’ fear of “fems”.

Making Tomorrow

‘Business as usual’ is hurtling us towards a desolate future. If we continue this way, climate change will intensify, sea levels will rise and humanity will face an existential catastrophe. We know this, but what would it look like if we started doing better? Blind optimism can distract from the truth, but frameworks of hope can help us find common goals and inspiration for the future. I would like to present two such frameworks: solarpunk and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

My father was at a mosque today

He is there every Friday for the Jumah congregational prayers. He prayed and listened to the Friday sermons, in a place that is still, serene and perhaps cosy. In a place where his heart is at ease. In a place where he reconnects with God.

Regulating Language

One of the first problems that you must solve when setting up an education system—though it’s probably not something that an Australian would ever think about—is what language it will use. Ideally, it should be one spoken widely by students, which is why English is a good fit for classrooms in Australia, Japanese is a good fit for classrooms in Japan, and so on.

5 March 2019
Baggy Greens and Blue Suits

You might well need a Foxtel subscription to notice, but a spectre is haunting Australian cricket–the spectre of capitalism.

Kiss and Tell

I was sitting in bed working (read: procrastinating) on an upcoming essay when the infamous “heyy” text lit up my screen. Here we go again, I thought to myself.

Consent Matters

“The story so far: in the beginning the University of Melbourne was one of many institutions that introduced the Consent Matters program as part of their response to the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) inquiry into university sexual harassment and assault.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

Diaspora Dilemmas

The evening we found out that my grand-uncle had been brutally taken from us, my childhood home no longer felt like home. The air hung heavy and the humidity that served as a reminder of the inevitability of summer, clung to my skin, making it hard to breathe.

A Cup Above The Rest

Although the taboo surrounding menstruation is waning, pads and tampons still tend to triumph in popularity over the humble menstrual cup. According to a fascinating article by Natalie Shure in Pacific Standard magazine, the menstrual cup has a long history dating all the way back to the 1930s. That menstrual cups are today still largely unheard-of is, in my opinion, a travesty.  

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