Home | Useful And Fantastic

October 23, 2013

How Puny Are You

"Many people believe they are so puny they can't affect the climate or the degradation of the earth,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "How Puny Are You" »

October 16, 2013

Our Age Of Paradoxes

"At present, our scientists are on the brink of discovering all the secrets of life, at the same time that we face innumerable problems that threaten us, many of our own making,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Our Age Of Paradoxes" »

October 09, 2013

Old People Contribute To Society

"Most old people contribute to the community and the economy in inestimable voluntary work in every area,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Old People Contribute To Society" »

October 02, 2013

Free Trade And Fair Trade

"Many people believe that they are helping the third world develop when they buy overseas goods. However, each purchase should be scrutinised and determined whether it actually does help the citizens of these countries. Sometimes commodities produced in developing countries are controlled by multi-nationals at the price of those countries' own self-sustainability,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Free Trade And Fair Trade" »

September 25, 2013

The Curse Of The McMansion

Val Yule protests at the building of a huge new house in her et Australian quiet suburban street.

Continue reading "The Curse Of The McMansion" »

September 18, 2013

Best Possible Education

Continue reading "Best Possible Education" »

September 11, 2013

Violent Video Games

"People whose environment has no terror in it, do not copy the violence in terror-filled games, but people who live amid violence can learn to copy the violence they see in games which have a similar context to their own lives,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Violent Video Games" »

September 04, 2013

Rapid Obsolescence A Form Of Waste

"I have a fantasy that Stonehenge is all that remains today of an electronic civilisation. The rest is lost,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Rapid Obsolescence A Form Of Waste" »

August 28, 2013

Australian Wildfires

Val Yule is opposed to controlled burning as a means of protecting Australia from wildfires.

Continue reading "Australian Wildfires" »

August 21, 2013

Producing A Clever Country

"How do we produce a clever country?'' asks Val Yule.

Continue reading "Producing A Clever Country" »

August 14, 2013

Social Reasons For Legalising Gay Marriage

Val Yule gives reasons for legalising gay marriage.

Continue reading "Social Reasons For Legalising Gay Marriage" »

August 07, 2013

Excess Is Followed By Collapse

"Excess generally has been followed by social collapse – as in 5th century Athens and before the French Revolution. It is a
characteristic of the fall of empires and nations,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Excess Is Followed By Collapse" »

July 31, 2013

For Want Of A Nail...The Kingdom Was Lost

"We talk of Big Things, but so many little things cause a great difference,'' writes Val Yule.

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July 24, 2013

Fantasy Economics

"What some first imagine, others are liable to do,## writes Val Yule.

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July 17, 2013

Beyond Tygers

Val Yule wrote this poem, a take on William Blake, during the Vietnam war.

Continue reading "Beyond Tygers" »

July 10, 2013

Multiculturalism And Segregation

Val Yule says that Australia is becoming increasingly segregated through its schools and education system.

Continue reading "Multiculturalism And Segregation" »

July 03, 2013

Doing Something To Stop Roadkill

Val Yule is concerned about the slaughter of animals by speeding vehicles.

Continue reading "Doing Something To Stop Roadkill" »

June 26, 2013

Learning From The Paralympics

"From the Paralympics we are all learning to respect the courage and the abilities of those afflicted. We can also learn about the causes of their affliction,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Learning From The Paralympics" »

June 19, 2013

The Little Things

...Another small thing causes injustice and huge waste of talent, when the disadvantaged, dislexic and forin-born face barriers that need not be...

Val Yule calls for spelling reform.

Continue reading "The Little Things" »

June 12, 2013

Protecting The Predators

Val Yule says we are making the world safe for predators.

Continue reading "Protecting The Predators" »

May 29, 2013

A Female History Of Sex

"Nature made food and sex pleasurable, to ensure eating and reproduction,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "A Female History Of Sex" »

May 22, 2013

Fairy Floss And The Eiffel Tower

...“Yuck!” I said, as loudly as I could, and I pushed it back at her. I thought she was a horrible little girl for making me eat the stuff. I might have pushed her harder than I meant to, because she fell off her chair and she started crying...

Val Yule tells of a child who did not behave as well as she was expected to behave.

Continue reading "Fairy Floss And The Eiffel Tower" »

May 15, 2013

Are We Being Dumbed Down - 4

Our responses to being dumbed down are often paradoxically stupid, writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Are We Being Dumbed Down - 4" »

May 08, 2013

Are We Being Dumbed Down? - 3

"We are letting ourselves to be made more stupid,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Are We Being Dumbed Down? - 3" »

May 01, 2013

Are We Being Dumbed Down - 2

"We are allowing ourselves to be made more stupid.'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Are We Being Dumbed Down - 2" »

April 24, 2013

Are We Being Dumbed Down? - 1

"People have always been stupid,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Are We Being Dumbed Down? - 1" »

March 27, 2013

Jonathan Swift's 20th Century Journal

Val Yule presents a distopian view of present-day human affairs.

Continue reading "Jonathan Swift's 20th Century Journal" »

March 20, 2013

Inventing Alternatives

Val Yule advocates new thinking to solve the probelms we have created.

Continue reading "Inventing Alternatives" »

March 13, 2013

Play The Wishing Game

Val Yule suggests that the wishing game can be played to keep your mind occupied during boring meetings or when you are finding it difficult to fall asleep. It can be played individually or in a group.

Continue reading "Play The Wishing Game" »

March 06, 2013

Gardens Of The Future

" In the garden of the future some unpleasant facts may sprout,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Gardens Of The Future" »

February 27, 2013

Gardens Of The Past

Val Yule imaginesgardens of the past - "little paradises on Earth''.

Continue reading "Gardens Of The Past" »

February 20, 2013

Lawns For The Future

"Small suburban lawns can be mowed quickly with a light modern hand-mower that improves the waistline and cuts obesity, greenhouse gases and fuel bills,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Lawns For The Future" »

February 13, 2013

The Past Alive

Val Yule brings a poem which reminds us of the temporary nature of human existence.

Continue reading "The Past Alive" »

February 06, 2013

Gardens Are Good For Your Health And Weakth

Val Yule extols the virtues of gardening.

Continue reading "Gardens Are Good For Your Health And Weakth" »

January 30, 2013

My Life As A Garden

Val Yule muses on her life spent in gardens.

Continue reading "My Life As A Garden" »

January 23, 2013

Waste No Anger – Use It Profitably

".What can we do with all our anger?'' asks Val Yule.

Continue reading "Waste No Anger – Use It Profitably" »

January 16, 2013

History In The Garden

Val Yule suggests there's much more than meets the eye in many a garden.

Continue reading "History In The Garden" »

January 09, 2013

The Garden Cook

"Use what you can and can what you can’t. There are many garden cook books, so here are just a few ideas that don’t make it into most books, using the easier plants to grow,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "The Garden Cook" »

January 02, 2013

Wanted Babies

"But thousands of babies across the world are born to people who don’t want them,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Wanted Babies" »

December 26, 2012

Hoarding

"Hoarding is popularly said to be a problem of our age, but it may turn out to be tomorrow's salvation. And it isn't the problem of our age - which is acquiring what you do not need,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Hoarding" »

December 19, 2012

Saving The Little Birds

"Surely small birds have enough predators with cats, foxes and cars. Surely there is no need to protect all of the growing hordes of native crows or Australian ravens,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Saving The Little Birds" »

December 12, 2012

Noise In The Garden

"The noises of children in a garden are lovely - I am fortunate that there is a well-behaved school over my back fence, and as I enjoy the garden, I hear the laughter of children at play,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Noise In The Garden" »

December 05, 2012

Too Wild Life

"Gardens are wonderful places in which to be one with Nature, and also to be fed up with Nature,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Too Wild Life" »

November 28, 2012

The No-Mo Nature Strip

Val Yule suggests that Nature should be allowed to take its course on strips of land at the roadside.

Continue reading "The No-Mo Nature Strip" »

November 21, 2012

Flower Sharing To Ease Depression

Val Yule proposes a great idea to help cheer up those in need of good cheer.

Continue reading "Flower Sharing To Ease Depression" »

November 14, 2012

Legalising Gay Marriage

Val Yule suggests social reasons for the legalisation of gay marriage.

Continue reading "Legalising Gay Marriage" »

October 31, 2012

Waste Of Millionaires

Val Yule expresses strong views on how great wealth could be used to best effect.

Continue reading "Waste Of Millionaires" »

October 24, 2012

Don’t Waste Our Work

Val Yule wants someone willing to carry forward her work and research into literacy innovations.

Continue reading "Don’t Waste Our Work" »

October 17, 2012

Flower Sharing

Flowers can be better than pills in cheering up those who are depressed, suggests Val Yule.

Continue reading "Flower Sharing" »

October 10, 2012

The Experimental Garden

"You too may help to save the world with an experimental garden!'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "The Experimental Garden" »

October 03, 2012

Nature Green In Leaf And Bud

...The place is like Andrew Marvell’s poem about a garden, with everything that’s made turned to green in a green shade, and different flowers throughout the year.,,

Val Yule describes her garden.

Continue reading "Nature Green In Leaf And Bud" »

September 26, 2012

Gullible's Travels

Australian Val Yule brings a cautionary tale which applies to every nation.

Continue reading "Gullible's Travels" »

September 19, 2012

Garden Wildlife

Val Yule tells tales about the wildlife in her garden.

Continue reading "Garden Wildlife" »

September 12, 2012

A Hospital Garden

Val Yule tells of a hospital garden for children.

Continue reading "A Hospital Garden" »

September 05, 2012

Gardens For Children

Val Yule gives suggestions on how to make a garden child-friendly.

Continue reading "Gardens For Children" »

August 29, 2012

Purposes Of A Wild Cottage Garden

Val Yule has a theory that plants flourish from being looked at.

Continue reading "Purposes Of A Wild Cottage Garden" »

August 22, 2012

Back Yards – A Precious Resource

...I have cooked eggs and toast on a tin tray in the yard, and water for washing-up will heat in buckets. Simple solar...

Val Yule reveals how to best use back yards.

Continue reading "Back Yards – A Precious Resource" »

August 08, 2012

A Surprise Wild Romantic Cottage Garden - Introduction

Val Yule introduces a book about her garden - a garden which combines delight and thoughtful ecology.

Continue reading "A Surprise Wild Romantic Cottage Garden - Introduction" »

August 01, 2012

A Stitch In Time...

"Much of what the West throws out into landfill only needs mending - and what a lot of carbon emissions and non-renewable resources could then be saved. Many forests might not need to be cut down,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "A Stitch In Time..." »

July 25, 2012

Multiculturalism And Segregation

"Children can have pride in their Australian culture and pride in their origins too,'' declares Val Yule whose extended family includes nine races and 21 nationalities.

Continue reading "Multiculturalism And Segregation" »

July 18, 2012

The Effects Of Violent Video Games

People whose environment has no terror in it, do not copy the violence in terror-filled games, but people who live amid violence can learn to copy the violence they see in games which have a similar context to their own lives, writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "The Effects Of Violent Video Games" »

July 11, 2012

Rapid Obsolescence Is A Waste

Customers deserve some idea of how long a product is expected to be repairable or parts available,'' derclares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Rapid Obsolescence Is A Waste" »

July 04, 2012

How Do We Produce A Clever Country?

Val Yule calls for a simplified spelling system.

Continue reading "How Do We Produce A Clever Country?" »

June 27, 2012

Co-operation And Competition

"Competition has caused more disasters in the world than it has stimulated progress,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Co-operation And Competition" »

June 20, 2012

A Surprise Romantic Cottage Garden - 1

Val Yule begins a series of articles on the delights of her cottage garden, and the creative imagination that has gone into the making of it.

Continue reading "A Surprise Romantic Cottage Garden - 1" »

June 13, 2012

Adult Arithmetic

"So much sorrow, strife and stupidity could be avoided if everyone understood simple addition, percentages, and how to imagine numbers,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Adult Arithmetic" »

June 06, 2012

The Unwake Dirge

Val Yule's poem brings no coimfort for the greedy and wasetful.

Continue reading "The Unwake Dirge" »

May 30, 2012

Postcessional

Val Yule's poem demands that humanity should remember past misdeeds.

Continue reading "Postcessional" »

May 23, 2012

Postcessional

Val Yule pleads that we should not forget our past military wrongs.

Continue reading "Postcessional" »

May 16, 2012

Matriotism - Love Of All My Countries

Val Yule's poem reminds us that the whole Earth is our "country''.

Continue reading "Matriotism - Love Of All My Countries" »

May 09, 2012

Peace Will

Val Yule finds hope in the midst of destruction.

Continue reading "Peace Will" »

May 02, 2012

Hobbes Leviathan

Val Yule's poem suggests that we cheer like children as we rush towards the abyss.

Continue reading "Hobbes Leviathan" »

April 25, 2012

Star Wars, Star Peace

Val Yule's poem reflects on the consequences of a nuclear war.

Continue reading "Star Wars, Star Peace" »

April 18, 2012

Playworld

Val Yule's poem reminds us that play war can become real war.

Continue reading "Playworld" »

April 11, 2012

countdown

Val Yule wrote this poem after reading a news item which announced that Britain was reducing its spending on missiles.

Continue reading "countdown" »

April 04, 2012

Sent To The War

Val Yule brings a powerful anti-war poem, a poem more useful than a million tanks.

Continue reading "Sent To The War" »

March 28, 2012

Beyond Tigers

Val Yule brings a powerful protest against those who make evil weapons of war.

Continue reading "Beyond Tigers" »

March 21, 2012

Family Connections And Religions

People on the whole believe what their family belive says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Family Connections And Religions" »

March 14, 2012

Facing The Mirror

Val Yule highlights the flaw of seeing evil in others, but not oneself.

Continue reading "Facing The Mirror" »

March 07, 2012

History's Bicycle Syndrome

Val Yule looks at the follies of human history from a new angle.

Continue reading "History's Bicycle Syndrome" »

February 29, 2012

Make The Best Of Yourself

Val Yule suggests ideas to help you make the best use of your life.

Continue reading "Make The Best Of Yourself" »

February 22, 2012

Clutter

Val Yule longs for rooms as bare as a haiku.

Continue reading "Clutter" »

February 15, 2012

Ten Little Country Boys

Val Yule invites us to see where we stand on the ten steps to climate changes.

Continue reading "Ten Little Country Boys" »

February 14, 2012

Love Is Our Only Hope

Val Yule brings us a poem for this particular day.

Continue reading "Love Is Our Only Hope" »

February 08, 2012

facing the mirror

Val Yule's poem forces us to face our own nature.

Continue reading "facing the mirror" »

February 01, 2012

Batten Down The Earth

Val Yule wrote this poem after hearing of a bunker in Scotland in which "important'' people could shelter in the event of a nuclear war.

Continue reading "Batten Down The Earth" »

January 25, 2012

For Whom The Bells Ring

Val Yule's poem begs for a more thoughtful, peacable world.

Continue reading "For Whom The Bells Ring" »

January 18, 2012

Jerusalem, Australia

Val Yule brings an updated version of William Blake's famous poem.

Continue reading "Jerusalem, Australia" »

January 11, 2012

The Fiery Moon

Val Yule presents a doom-filled poem.

Continue reading "The Fiery Moon" »

December 28, 2011

The Bird Is In The Egg

Val Yule offers an apocalyptic vision - and a hint of hope.

Continue reading "The Bird Is In The Egg" »

December 21, 2011

Batten Down This Earth

Val Yule was prompted to write this poem after reading about a conference which discussed the provision of nuclear bunkers for "essential'' people.

Continue reading "Batten Down This Earth" »

December 07, 2011

Matriotism

Val Yule's poem emnphasises the dangers of patriotism.

Continue reading "Matriotism" »

November 30, 2011

Star Wars - Star Peace

Val Yule brings us a sombre poem of warning.

Continue reading "Star Wars - Star Peace" »

November 23, 2011

Waste Of Effort

"How did the Victorians of the 19th century manage to get so much done? Because they did. So many of them had the energy to fill every minute of every day with what they believed were 'Good Works' - and often they were,'' writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Waste Of Effort" »

November 16, 2011

A Highly-Coloured Boy

In this three-verse poem Val Yule says a whole volume about the idiocy of colour prejudice.

Continue reading "A Highly-Coloured Boy" »

November 09, 2011

J Did Not Know

Val Yule tellingly reminds us that we only have ourselves to blame for the ruination of our world.

Continue reading "J Did Not Know" »

J Did Not Know

Val Yule tellingly reminds us that we only have ourselves to blame for the ruination of our world.

Continue reading "J Did Not Know" »

October 26, 2011

The self-Awarded Emoluments Of Directors

Val Yule's reflects on the fate the greediest of the greedy in this mercenary age.

Continue reading "The self-Awarded Emoluments Of Directors" »

October 19, 2011

Museum Of The Future

Val Yule suggests a travelling mueum to feature our possible futures.

Continue reading "Museum Of The Future" »

September 28, 2011

Help For The “Have-Nots’’

Val Yule suggests ideas to help the have-nots towards a life thought to be worth living.

Continue reading "Help For The “Have-Nots’’" »

September 21, 2011

Cutting Waste

A Nobel Prize must go to whoever resolves the fatal contradiction between the economic need to increase consumption to save jobs (and profits) and the environmental need to cut consumption to save the environment and resources for our future, writes Val Yule.

Continue reading "Cutting Waste" »

September 14, 2011

Waste Of Growth

...'There's no point saving the planet if it wrecks the economy' said former New South Wales premier Maurice Iemma. But there's no point saving the economy if it wrecks the planet...

Valerie Yule considers the big ussue of the 21st Century.

Continue reading "Waste Of Growth" »

September 07, 2011

Shopping For Furnishings

"When you buy furnishings and furniture, ask questions,''says Val Yule. "Are you wanting something stylish, or to show-off, or are you wanting a home?''

Continue reading "Shopping For Furnishings" »

August 24, 2011

Restful Nights

Val Yule brings excellent advice on how to obtain and enjoy a good night's sleep.

Continue reading "Restful Nights" »

August 17, 2011

Ageing Populations

Val Yule calls for more thought to be given to making life easier for older people.

Continue reading "Ageing Populations" »

August 10, 2011

Ageing Populations - Not A Problem

"Most old people contribute to the community and the economy in inestimable voluntary work in every area, including as grandparents, who provided 68% of all informal child care in Australia in 1997,'' says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Ageing Populations - Not A Problem" »

July 27, 2011

Fashion Innovations

Val Yule offers some thoughts on sensible planet-saving clothing.

Continue reading "Fashion Innovations" »

July 13, 2011

Look Behind You When You Leave

"When I was a child thinking that the bushland and the seascapes were infinite, we used to go with our buckets and bring home what we found in the rock pools, and collect all the wildflowers we could pick from the bush'' recalls Val Yule.

"Now the fish and other creatures and the living shellfish are gone from the pools.''

Continue reading "Look Behind You When You Leave" »

July 06, 2011

Worm Farms

Valerie Yule suggests that householders should establish their own worm farm.

Continue reading "Worm Farms" »

June 29, 2011

The Waste Of Waste

Humans are no longer part of Nature’s food chain, returning waste to the Earth, declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "The Waste Of Waste" »

June 22, 2011

Applied Imagination – 10

Val Yule concludes her series of articles on how we can make best use of imagination.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination – 10" »

June 15, 2011

Applied Imagination - 9

Val Yule challenges a "widespread distaste for thinking''.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 9" »

June 08, 2011

Applied Imagination - 8

"When imagination becomes inured to blockbusters, explicit gore, constant novelties, explosions of information, or the ear becomes used to decibels that verge on damage to the eardrums, then softer music, finer emotions and feelings such as sentiment, gentleness, subtlety, appear blanched and insipid,'' says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 8" »

June 01, 2011

Applied Imagination – 7

"The stories that we all tell ourselves influence our own lives, as our imagination weaves interpretations and expectations,'' says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination – 7" »

May 25, 2011

Applied Imagination - 6

Val Yule tells of the educational and cathartic effects of children's stories.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 6" »

May 18, 2011

Applied Imagination - 5

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 5" »

May 11, 2011

Applied Imagination - 4

We can learn from the vicarious experiences provided by stories says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 4" »

May 04, 2011

Applied Imagination - 3

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 3" »

April 27, 2011

Applied Imagination - 2

Val Yule indicates that we regularly use imagination to guide our lives.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 2" »

April 20, 2011

Applied Imagination - 1

Imagination is the ability to see what is not in front of your eyes. It is the most exciting faculty you have, declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Applied Imagination - 1" »

April 13, 2011

Waste No History

Val Yule encourages us to preserve the best of the past.

Continue reading "Waste No History" »

April 06, 2011

Waste No Anger

Val Yule suggests that if we must be angry we should direct our anger towards towards demanding solutions to social problems.

Continue reading "Waste No Anger" »

March 30, 2011

Waste No Pleasures

"Great things in life are mostly free,'' says Val Yule. "Life is meant to be happy, even if life is not easy.''

Continue reading "Waste No Pleasures" »

March 23, 2011

Wasteful Products – And Customer Power

Val Yule urges us to go to war against wasteful and poorly-designed products.

Continue reading "Wasteful Products – And Customer Power" »

March 16, 2011

Waste No Wood

"About half the timber that is grown is wasted,'' declares Val Yule, putting in a passionate plea for a more sensible use of one of our most valuable natural assets.

Continue reading "Waste No Wood" »

March 09, 2011

Korea As It Used To Be – 6

...We left in the early morning, when the country-side was fresh and beautiful with dew. It was Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm, before the wind rises, - with the delicate poplars and quaint bent pines and patterned terraces and tidy clusters of villages and blue lakes edged with white sand. There were the herons and the fishermen; the back of a bullock harrowing among the green barley by the yellow road; the black goats being driven over a graceful stone bridge...

Val Yule concludes her account of the time she spent in Korea some 60 years ago before the country was riven in two by war.

Continue reading "Korea As It Used To Be – 6" »

March 02, 2011

Korea As It Was - 5

...Their dancing enthralled me. I have seen Australian toddlers bouncing around to music. These children, boys and girls, moved like entranced ballet-dancers; they pretended to be birds with such grace that I held my breath. It was perfectly spontaneous, free movement that they made up to the music...

Val Yule continues her account of life in Korea before a fierce war tore the country apart.

Continue reading "Korea As It Was - 5" »

February 23, 2011

Korea As It Was - 4

...Sometimes school children were excursioning on the hills, vivid dots among banks of azaleas. Or a couple of old gentlemen would be sitting in a little pagoda of a play-house, half-way up with a good view reserved for such old gentlemen to enjoy. Usually on a hill-side somewhere, were round green knolls, the graves of ancestors, set among a few crooked pine-trees...

Val Yule travelled by train from Seoul to Pusan in the days before Korea was torn apart by war.

Continue reading "Korea As It Was - 4" »

February 16, 2011

Korea As It Once Was - 3

...There were also spavined, sway-backed horses looking as if they were slung on stilts, and tiny, miserable furry donkeys, half-buried under their loads of pine-brushwood, the universal fuel. Bicycles dodged in and out, - and what bicycles. They had heavy, crude, solid frames, always going back to the welders, but at night they looked rather beautiful, as each carried a low-slung, flickering carbide lamp, with flames that seemed to lick the rider’s feet every time the pedals came around...

Val Yule describes the Korea of long ago, before the country was torn apart by war.

Continue reading "Korea As It Once Was - 3" »

February 09, 2011

Korea As It Once Was - 2

Val Yule continues her account of life in Korea before the outbreak of war in the early 1950s.

Continue reading "Korea As It Once Was - 2" »

February 02, 2011

Korea As It Once Was -1

Val Yule tells of arriving in Korea before the 1951-52 war as a 21-year-old with her husband who was going to teach at Seoul University. This is the first of a six-part account of life in the Korea of that era.

Continue reading "Korea As It Once Was -1" »

January 26, 2011

Don’t Waste The Murray River

Val Yule calls for a more sensible use of the waters of Australia's great river, the Murray.

Continue reading "Don’t Waste The Murray River" »

January 19, 2011

Regional Currency

...Local economics is possible, while a community is at the same time also participating in national economics, with banks, supermarkets and imports of what cannot reasonably be supplied in the region...

Val Yule suggests a novel way of keeping small communities ticking in hard economic times.

Continue reading "Regional Currency" »

January 12, 2011

Lovely Lawns

Val Yule is no friend of power lawn mowers.

Continue reading "Lovely Lawns" »

January 05, 2011

Peace Museums

Val Yule calls for the establishing of museums to glorify peace.

Continue reading "Peace Museums" »

December 29, 2010

Great-Grandmas

Val Yule says great-grandmas are a bridge to another world and should be treasured.

Continue reading "Great-Grandmas" »

December 22, 2010

No Waste Of Babies

Every baby should be wanted, declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "No Waste Of Babies" »

December 15, 2010

Hoarding

Hoarding may turn out to be our future salvation, says Val Yule.

Continue reading "Hoarding" »

December 08, 2010

The Value Of The Elderly

Val Yule thinks a proper assessment should be made of the value of the elderly to society.

Continue reading "The Value Of The Elderly" »

December 01, 2010

Wasteful Wars

Val Yule believes we should all combine to fight the common foe - the devastation of our planet.

Continue reading "Wasteful Wars" »

November 24, 2010

Spelling Revolution

Val Yule calls for revolutionary changes in English spelling.

Continue reading "Spelling Revolution" »

November 17, 2010

Learn From The Past

Val Yule advises us to explore the past and learn the lessons it has to offer.

Continue reading "Learn From The Past" »

November 10, 2010

Why Not Re-Use Envelopes?

"Millions of envelopes are thrown away daily,'' says Val Yule, going on to outline a number of brilliant tree-saving ideas.

Continue reading "Why Not Re-Use Envelopes?" »

November 03, 2010

Worm Farm

Val Yule suggests a novel way of dealing with kitchen waste.

Continue reading "Worm Farm" »

October 27, 2010

Festivals Of Sport

Val Yule suggests that the time has come for a really modern Olympic Games.

Continue reading "Festivals Of Sport" »

October 20, 2010

Nineteen Re-using Tips

Re-using saves more money than recycling, declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "Nineteen Re-using Tips" »

October 13, 2010

Memoirs Of A Community Psychologist

Val Yule tells of working with children thought to be dyslexic.

Continue reading "Memoirs Of A Community Psychologist" »

October 06, 2010

Literacy Videos

Val Yule prepared these short cartoon literacy videos to assist failing learners who were not helped by conventional methods.

Continue reading "Literacy Videos" »

September 29, 2010

Don't Waste The Past

...we are busy trashing. We are the biggest trashers in history. Buildings survived unvandalised for hundreds of years, and then our vandals or our developers trashed them...

Val Yule puts in a plea to preserve the good and valuable things which human beings have created.

Continue reading "Don't Waste The Past" »

September 22, 2010

Can You Affect The Climate?

Val Yule highlights the biggest challenge facing human beings.

Continue reading "Can You Affect The Climate?" »

September 15, 2010

Waste No Animals

Val Yule says that we humans waste animals. In this regard we are different to all other animals.

Continue reading "Waste No Animals" »

September 08, 2010

The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 5

Val Yule concludes her surrealistic tale concerning a great man’s missing sock.

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 5" »

September 01, 2010

The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 4

Val Yule continues her surreal tale.

To read earlier episodes and other articles by Val please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/useful_and_fantastic/

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 4" »

August 25, 2010

The Da Vinci Sock Mystery- 3

Val Yule continues her imaginative a surrealistic tale of the missing sock of a very famous man.

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Sock Mystery- 3" »

August 18, 2010

The Da Vinci Sock Mystery – 2

Val Yule continues her surrealistic mind-bending tale.

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Sock Mystery – 2" »

August 11, 2010

The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 1

Why was the great Da Vinci wearing only one sock? Val Yule begins a five-part story which touches on the Secret of the Universe.

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Sock Mystery - 1" »

August 04, 2010

A Waste Of Fish

Val Yule demands more thought and responsibility in the ways we harvest the oceans' limited numbers of fish.

Continue reading "A Waste Of Fish" »

July 28, 2010

Waste No Abilities

...Most people do not exercise half the abilities that are latent within them. They may even realize that they are not fully living, not being fully what they could be...

Valerie Yule offers practical advice on fending off senility.

Continue reading "Waste No Abilities" »

July 21, 2010

War As Waste

Val Yule suggests antidotes to war.

Continue reading "War As Waste" »

July 14, 2010

Childcare In A Box

Val Yule's thoughtful tale will make you think hard about how we bring up children.

Continue reading " Childcare In A Box" »

July 07, 2010

Waste No Brains

Val Yule says that our brains are our greatest resource and we should make the very best use of them.

Continue reading "Waste No Brains" »

June 30, 2010

Street Scavenging

Val Yule voices a vigorous plea for the re-using and repairing of household goods rather than treating them as throwaway landfill rubbish.

Continue reading "Street Scavenging" »

June 23, 2010

Immigrant Children

Val Yule suggests the stories made up and told by immigrant children can help us to understand their thought, feelings and attitudes.

Continue reading "Immigrant Children" »

June 16, 2010

The Wonderful Lawns Of The Future

…Lawns reflect a 200-year-old Romantic dream of fusing ourselves with nature. Yet that very dream now poses a major threat to the nature it so lovingly celebrates. Everyone with a pocket-handkerchief of a lawn thinks they need their own several-hundred-dollar noise-making polluting neighbor-annoying petrol-mower. Why? MOST suburban lawns do not need the great enormous waste of power mowers…

Val Yule expresses radical planet-saving views on the care of lawns.

Continue reading "The Wonderful Lawns Of The Future" »

June 09, 2010

Human Rights

Val Yule summarises the rights which make civilised living possible and worthwhile.

Continue reading "Human Rights" »

June 02, 2010

Mark Twain - Social Reformer

...Twain, with his sharp eye for nonsense, was an energetic campaigner for spelling reform. Lacking modern knowledge of linguistics and cognitive psychology, he was a ‘spell-as-you-speak’ Pitman’s shorthand man, and like Shaw, wrote in a new shorthand himself, but he was very aware of the problems of both the old spelling and the new, and of the reactions of the public...

Val Yule, along with Twain and other celebrated figures, is an enthusiastic supporter of a more logical form of spelling.

Continue reading "Mark Twain - Social Reformer" »

May 26, 2010

Goldfield Teacher - 5

…The goldfields teacher represented the Victorian pedagogue at his most enlightened. He was so enthusiastic about his belief that education could produce a civilised society, and that knowledge distinguished civilisation from the savage…

VaL Yule concludes her account of a remarkable man who taught at a school in the New South Wales goldfields in the 19th Century.

Continue reading "Goldfield Teacher - 5" »

May 19, 2010

A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 4

Val Yule continues her account of one of the mosty gifted teachers in Nineteenth Century Australia.

Continue reading "A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 4" »

May 12, 2010

A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 3

...“Thirty years ago there was a strong prejudice extant against educating the poor children, lest their enlightenment should produce discontent but this benighted fallacy has exploded and vanished into thin air. Education does not promote discontent, but on the contrary, lightens labor and conduces to happiness.”...

Val Yule continues her account of a highly gifted school master who taught in a rural part of New South Wales in the early years of the Nineteenth Century.

Continue reading "A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 3" »

May 05, 2010

A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 2

Inspectors who visited the school run by Mr McCombe in Australia in the early years of the 19th Century were astonished by what they discovered there.

Val Yule continues the story of a schoolmaster with very special talents.

Continue reading "A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 2" »

April 28, 2010

A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 1

Val Yule investigates the truth concerning a "paragon pedagog'' who allegedly taught in a school in the New South Wales goldfields in the 1880s.

Continue reading "A Goldfield Schoolmaster - 1" »

April 21, 2010

Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia

Val Yule is eager to hear from anyone who has been influenced by Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia

Continue reading "Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia" »

Music As Noise - Part 5

Val Yule concludes her series on the effects of loud music.

Continue reading "Music As Noise - Part 5" »

April 14, 2010

Music As Noise – Part 4

Val Yule organised a survey which confirmed that the vast majority of youngsters like loud music.

Continue reading "Music As Noise – Part 4" »

April 07, 2010

Music As Noise - Part 3

Val Yule suggests that muh more research work is required on the effects of loud music on the human brain and body.

Continue reading "Music As Noise - Part 3" »

March 31, 2010

Music As Noise - Part 2

...At a time when we need brains that can work at capacity, is there any evidence that long term exposure to very loud music might affect abilities such as thinking of more than one thing at a time, connecting ideas, reasoning, concentration, intellectual curiosity, ability to face the problems of our time or mental stamina itself?...

Val Yule presents the results of a survey which asked young people why they like loud music.

Continue reading "Music As Noise - Part 2" »

March 27, 2010

People They Laughed At – 18

Val Yule concludes her series of articles which emphasise the need to encourage new thinking and give every new idea a chance to prove itself.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At – 18" »

March 24, 2010

Music As Noise - Part 1

"Almost anything we make can be used. Everything we make can be abused,'' says Val Yule, going on to consider whether the flood of loud music which assaults our lives may have a long-term damaging effect on our lives.

Continue reading "Music As Noise - Part 1" »

March 20, 2010

People They Laughed At - 17

Val Yule says that much human progress has relied on the efficiency of co-operation, even more than the spur of competition.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 17" »

March 17, 2010

Reading Help

Val Yule offers practical help to those who are having difficulties in learning to read.

Continue reading "Reading Help" »

March 14, 2010

The Child Migrant

...We were alarmed about the farm orphanage he had come to in Australia. Although the boy’s report of it was ‘OK’ and he had fun with the other boys, it was noticeable that when he came down to us for holidays he improved rapidly in reading and behaviour, and the gains were lost by the next holiday. The orphanage also took no interest in the boys once they had left. They were out in the world alone. When it closed, they had no links left...

Val Yule brings a first-hand account of children who were give no reason for hope - an account which is distressing yet at the same time inspirational.

Continue reading "The Child Migrant" »

March 13, 2010

People They Laughed At - 16

Val Yule suggests areas where new thinking and new inventions are needed.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 16" »

March 10, 2010

The Decision

Val Yule tells of a sombre and sad ending.

Continue reading "The Decision" »

March 06, 2010

People They Laughed At - 15

Val Yule, a great encourager of new ideas and inventions, suggests a way of developing creative thought.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 15" »

March 03, 2010

We've Never Had It So Good

"No previous time, no previous place, has ever had it as good as the average Australian has now,'' declares Val Yule.

Continue reading "We've Never Had It So Good" »

February 27, 2010

People They Laughed At - 14

Val Yule reveals that she comes from a family of inventors.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 14" »

February 24, 2010

Fine Words - Butter, But No Parsnips

It's amazing when young eyes see and young ears hear when they go on a shopping trip with mother.

Val Yule tells an enticing tale.

Continue reading "Fine Words - Butter, But No Parsnips" »

February 20, 2010

People They Laughed At - 13

Val Yule recommends that we should try to make a habit of thinking up solutions to problems, rather than having a good whinge.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 13" »

February 17, 2010

Bedrock - Part One

Val Yule begins a vividly engaging account of her stay in the Manchester Fever Hospital in 1953.

Continue reading "Bedrock - Part One" »

February 13, 2010

People They Laughed At - 12

People who have ideas are never bored, says Val Yule, continuing her series of articles which call for a fair trial for every new concept.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 12" »

February 10, 2010

Rimes With Reason

Come on now! Flex your spelling muscles on these rhymes presented by Val Yule.

Continue reading "Rimes With Reason" »

February 03, 2010

Care Of The Elderly

Of all the nursing homes I have visited, the ones where residents live longest and healthiest and happiest are those where the staff say straight out, ‘We don’t bother with trying to cure, or even forcing them to keep fit. We just want them to have fun.’

Val Yule brings a host of practical suggestions to improve the lives of older folk who need full-time care.

Continue reading " Care Of The Elderly" »

January 30, 2010

People They Laughed At - 10

Val Yule lists invenions which are needed to cut waste.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 10" »

January 23, 2010

People They Laughed At - 9

Val Yule, a person who welcomes innovation, emphases that new ideas should be carefully tested before being greedily rushed into production.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 9" »

January 20, 2010

The Dream Of H G Wells

Val Yule’s imaginative tale takes us 2,000 years into the future.

Continue reading "The Dream Of H G Wells" »

January 16, 2010

People They Laughed At - 8

Val Yule, who believes that every inventive idea should be given a chance, lists some of the many thousands of concepts patented in Britain in the first five years of the Twentieth Century.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 8" »

January 13, 2010

Sir Lancelot Encounters A Woman Driver

Poor Sir Lancelot. Hit by two cars…

Val Yule tells a modern tale.

Continue reading "Sir Lancelot Encounters A Woman Driver" »

January 09, 2010

People They Laughed At - 7

Australians have had a reputation for enterprise, initiative and problem-solving yet as Val Yule reveals more than a quarter of the great achievers were ridiculed for their ideas.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 7" »

January 06, 2010

The Wish Olympics

Val Yule tells a magical story for children of all ages about a great wish contest organised by three wish-granters.

Continue reading "The Wish Olympics" »

January 02, 2010

People They Laughed At - 6

Val Yule, firmly committed to the belief that new ideas should be tried out rather than being laughed at, continues her list of inventions and organisations which were at first scorned.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 6" »

December 30, 2009

A Card Was Born

Joyncie zipped in among the guests at a Greek Orthodox wedding offering them packets of SunWhite rice from his mother’s shop, so all could join in the general throwing. He transcended the linguistic barrier with a most effective sign-language of gambols and gesticulation, interrupted with giggles, but his round eyes alone would have been sufficient.

Val Yule tells of a most remarkable boy.

Continue reading "A Card Was Born" »

December 26, 2009

People They Laughed At - 5

…For ten years from 1834 on, Charles Goodyear was laughed at for trying to solve the problems of how rubber could be produced as a useful product. He suffered one fiasco after another, and he was often in jail for debt…

Val Yule lists more people and ideas which attracted derision when they came to the attention of the public.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 5" »

December 19, 2009

People They Laughed At - 4

Val Yule, who firmly believes that new ideas should be given a chance to prove their worth, tells of some concepts which were at first laughed to scorn.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 4" »

December 16, 2009

Animal Circus

Things are not going well on the farm run by animals, as Val Yule reveals in this bedtime story for children of all ages.

Continue reading "Animal Circus" »

December 12, 2009

People They Laughed At - 3

Val Yule, who believes that new ideas should be given a chance, even if at first they seem strange and laughable, tells of some new thoughts and suggestions that were greeted with derision.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 3" »

December 09, 2009

Jobs That Are Needed

Val Yule outlnes dozens of ideas that would provide work, improve the environment and add considerably to human happiness.

Continue reading "Jobs That Are Needed" »

December 05, 2009

People They Laughed At -2

...Marathon runners and Everest climbers have it easy compared with the heroes who developed the blessings of tinned food and zip-fasteners...

Here is the second episode of Val Yule's book which encourages us to appreciate people who come up with new ideas, no matter how fantastic those ideas may seem at first glance.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At -2" »

December 02, 2009

The Story Of The Little Green Girl

Val Yule tells a most remarkable and memorable sxtory concerning a silent little girl.

Continue reading "The Story Of The Little Green Girl" »

November 28, 2009

People They Laughed At - 1

Today we begin the serialisation of a book by Val Yule which sets out to discourage the ridiculing of ideas which may turn out to be benificial.

"It would be good for everyone to learn at school to hold back from ridicule, persecution and perverse obstruction of ‘ratbags’ enough to give them a chance.'' says Val.

Writing with wit and style Val defends all those who brought benefits to mankind by dari8ng to come up with new ideas.

Further episodes of the book will run in Open Writing on forthcoming Fridays.

Continue reading "People They Laughed At - 1" »

November 25, 2009

The Qcumber Shop

...One morning, as Jenni was putting change in the till, she saw a little drawer underneath the cash drawer that she had never seen before.

She pulled it open, and in the drawer lay a little posy of spring flowers, all pretty and pink...

Val Yule tells a wonderful, magical life-enhancing story for childen aged fom 2 to 92.

Continue reading "The Qcumber Shop" »

November 18, 2009

Innovative Daydreams

Here's a huge welcome to a new Open Writing columnist Val Yule.

Today Val gives some guidance on how to use your daydreams constructively.

Watch our for Val every Wednesday in Open Writing.

Continue reading "Innovative Daydreams" »

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