it’d be kind of interesting if “abaconings” was foreshadowing of the relationship between stan and his brother. 

stan and his brother the author were best friends…

until the author encountered bill, a supernatural phenomenon that gave him a great deal of knowledge

he became enlightened and pursued knowledge, along with an eager assistant

leaving stan behind

and eventually, they created a machine that would give the world great knowledge

stan feels threatened by his best friend’s quest for knowledge. he wonders if the author is happier with his quest for knowledge than with him

but in stan’s version of “abaconings”, waddles realizes that he does value his relationship with his best friend over his quest for knowledge. he destroys the machine and gets rid of the effects of the supernatural phenomenon

“this brain junk has made you forget who you are! don’t you remember us?”

“it all makes sense now! what good is helping the world, if i can’t help my favorite person in the world?”

“science is a horizon to search for, not a prize to hold in your hand.”

it makes me wonder if this means that in real life, the author actually chose the machine over stan. 

Coffee #26: Verity Peterson (friends on Facebook since October 2007, 9 mutual friends)

This morning I had coffee with someone I’ve wanted to catch up with for years. Verity Peterson and I went to primary school together and I hadn’t seen her since a brief primary school reunion in 2001. 

I remember Verity Peterson as being a pretty alternative kid in primary school. Her parents looked like 90’s grunge rock stars living in Melbourne suburbia and we always got along well. When we saw each other last in 2001 we had both done work experience at the same video production company a few weeks apart from each other, purely by chance. I remember getting along really well with her and admiring her confidence and no-bullshit attitude.

Since I last saw Verity, she’s had an arguably, pretty huge life change and converted to Islam. Despite probably being sick of telling her story to curious people, I was super grateful that Verity was happy to speak with me about her experiences converting to Islam after high school. We talked at length about Verity’s relationship with feminism and how it fits into her religious beliefs, her feelings towards wearing a head scarf and despite some social misconceptions, the numerous ways wearing one makes her feel empowered. She made some excellent points about ‘banning the burka’ (which has recently been in the Australian media) being not merely oppression against Muslims but women in general and their freedom to wear whatever they want.

After finishing her degree in film and television production, Verity was a regular panelist on ’Salam Cafe,’ a TV show initially on Channel 31, and then on SBS, hosted by Muslims, focusing on topics representing Muslims in Australia and stories relating to the Islamic way of life. The show was primarily aimed at the non-Muslim community with the intention of bridging the gap between the Muslim community and non-Muslim community by presenting a light-hearted, humorous side of Muslims in Australia.

We talked about Verity’s job working as a customer relations manager in tele-communications, which she fascinatingly described as having a love of “dealing with complaints,” a job which regularly takes her to Manila. We also discussed Verity’s love of documentary film-making (something I hope she gets back into again), how she met her now-husband and their relationship as well as religions of the world. I told Verity about how I used to be fervently anti-religion and how after traveling around India and speaking with Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists about their beliefs, became much more open-minded. I’m now studying world religions at university, so it was really interesting for me to speak with Verity about her experiences of growing up in an atheist family and how Islam had changed her life.

Today, Verity and I both bonded over our mutual belief in bridging the gaps between people with different beliefs, cultures and backgrounds. We talked about the importance of remaining open-minded and respectful of everyone you meet and the value of seeking connections with people you otherwise maybe wouldn’t connect with.

Verity drank a peppermint tea and I had a strong flat white, which Verity very kindly bought for me. Thanks so much for this morning, Verity!

Unfortunately [there’s] no real deep meaning behind the project apart from being genuinely interested in people and wanting to spend time getting to know people outside of the way we present ourselves online. Putting the ‘social’ back in 'social media.’