10 AM | 09 Jun

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama a Film directed by Rick Ray (NR, 85 min.)

“From the first moment I saw him,” says writer-director Ray, “I sensed that he was no ordinary human being.” No kidding. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, who goes by the handle of Tenzin Gyatso, is more like a holy Muppet. (He has the rasp and the intonation of your lovable furry friend Grover.) The spiritual and political leader of Tibet, though chased into exile at the base of the Indian Himalayas, is one happy dude – smiling and laughing even as he describes the “cultural genocide” perpetrated against his people by China and suggesting “more picnics” as a prescription for world peace. A lama for the 21st century, His Holiness is fascinated by quantum physics and mechanical objects, which he disassembles and studies for pleasure; in one stretch of his too-frequent voiceover, Ray tells us the Dalai Lama believes there is intelligent life on other planets. He has an e-mail address, and we see a room full of robed monks tapping away at keyboards. There’s a little too much of Ray in the mix, and the documentary occasionally lapses into travelogue format. (“They say there’s only one thing worse than a cup of yak butter. The second cup.”) Though artfully composed, the static beauty shots of the landscape and ethnographic close-ups of indigenous faces overwhelm the titular interview, which constitutes only the last portion of the film. Allowed 10 questions and 45 minutes, Ray lobs a couple of softballs before inquiring, “At what point do you give up nonviolence and confront something truly evil in the name of doing what’s right?” Ray provides ample exposition for audiences who don’t know a lama from a llama, explaining the Chinese takeover and the tenets of Buddhism. Audiences already familiar with these topics may long for more depth, but the approach suits the film to older kids (who may appreciate the fact that the Tibetan head of state was 15 years old during the Chinese invasion) and absolute beginners. It’s a slam-dunk for history classes, too – informative and challenging, touching on issues of free speech, modernity, democracy, and globalism. The Dalai Lama himself – by this I mean the man, not the institution – is a figure worthy of a more personal and less posed look than Ray is able to give us, though it seems unfair to fault him given the circumstances of the interview. After holding forth on the dangers of human overpopulation, the Dalai Lama explodes into a crinkly smile and peals of laughter.

Australian tour dates 

06 PM | 08 Jun

Just Be

A NEW JOB SITE just for women is set to shake up the online employment industry with major recruiters, corporations and female job seekers supporting its arrival. Just Be specifically targets working women, particularly career mothers looking to reenter the workforce and executive women looking to shatter that glass ceiling.

With a skills crisis facing Australia and a growing industry focus on diversity, EOWA Director, Anna McPhee says “more organisations are realising that women bring significant benefits and opportunities to the workplace and are encouraging a greater participation of women across the board.”

So for many, Just Be has come at just the right time. Just Be’s Executive Director, Lisa Pititto, says the site will help employers reach more women and give women access to jobs and the right resources to manage their careers.

“With women now making up almost 45% of the workforce and growing faster than men, Just Be specifically caters to expanding women’s job opportunities and supporting them throughout their careers, beyond the job finding stage,” Ms Pititto said.

“The way in which women and men manage and seek to advance their careers is quite different, as are our needs and the kind of support & networks we look for,” she said.

“Just Be has been designed with this in mind. We provide women with tailored career resources, tips and information from industry leaders, inspiring stories on other working women, networking and an interactive online forum, along with jobs from employers supporting equal opportunity.

“Unfortunately women are still under represented in many industries and fields particularly at senior management levels, so accessing the right support and information is crucial, Ms Pititto said.

Just Be has over 7000 jobs online and a growing database of female subscribers. Major supporters include: ANZ, BankWest, IBM, Link Recruitment, Robert Half, Michael Page and major women’s networks such as Women’s Network Australia (WNA), Australian Federation of Business & Professional Women (BPW) & Network Central.

To visit Just Be, go to: www.justbe.com.au

Just Be Level 3, 480 Collins St info@justbe.com.au

09 AM | 07 Jun

Help Quinny get out of town

*Geraldine Quinn’s 2007 Edinburgh Fundraiser* *Saturday June 30 @ 8pm* *Toff in Town (level 2, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne)* *Featuring* Harley Breen (Comedy Channel) Adam Richard (Fox FM) Michael Chamberlin (skitHOUSE) Josh Earl (FHM: Fantastic Haired Male) The Bedroom Philosopher (Triple JJJ/Laughapolooza) Alison Bice (2007 Moosehead Recipient) Tommy Dassalo (4 stars from The Age in MICF 2007) Wes Snelling (Green Room Award Nominee) Anyone For Tennis (2007 Raw Comedy Finalists).

*All tickets are $12 *(+ booking fee), all proceeds go to Quinny’s UK campaign. Tickets on sale now from Metropolis Books, Polyester Records and The Corner Hotel box office on 03 9427 9198 & online at https://www.cornerhotel.com/?gig=1183125600&venue=TF – Tickets also available at the door.

06 PM | 06 Jun

Full Code Press

On Saturday 18 August 2007, teams from Australia and New Zealand will compete to build a fully-operational website for a non-profit organisation in 24 hours.

The competition is called Full Code Press <http://www.fullcodepress.com/> , and the Australian side is being organised by WIPA (Web Industry Professionals Association: www.wipa.org.au <http://www.wipa.org.au> ) <http://www.wipa.org.au/>.

WIPA is currently looking for not-for-profit organisations to apply to have a new website created for their organisation as part of this competition. If you know of a small- to medium-sized organisation that needs a new website (up to 50 pages), please encourage them to apply at http://www.fullcodepress.com/register-organisation/.

Entries close 29th June.

04 PM | 06 Jun

Suicides in Japan

Japan’s agriculture minister hanged himself Monday amid allegations of bid-rigging and padding government expenses. The following day, an executive allegedly linked to one of the scams leapt to his death. In 2005, 32,552 people killed themselves in Japan—one of the highest suicide rates among industrialized nations. Why are there so many suicides in Japan? There’s no single factor, but experts point to a combination of economic woes, poor mental-health resources, lack of religious prohibition, and cultural acceptance of the practice.*