Tag Archives: donate


I know Wikipedia has its detractors, but in my not-so-humble opinion, it’s one of the few, truly good things in our digital world. It’s an attempt to promote the caring, unselfish, generous parts of human nature, by ensuring that information is available to everyone, everywhere.

That’s why I just donated $10 AUD out of my fortnightly pension:

I use Wikipedia a lot in my research, not as my sole source of information, but often as the jumping off point when investigating a new area of knowledge. Why? Because any new area of knowledge is bound to have its own terminology, it’s own ‘language’, and until I get a feel for how that language works, it’s hard to dig down to the bits I’m really interested in. Wiki gives me a way to untangle the thread, to make a start.

If you use Wikipedia in your research, or if you ever look things up just for fun, think about how much harder things would be if Wiki no longer existed. It does not pester us with ads. It does not sell space to special interests. It just asks for donations.

In a way, Wikipedia is the single, biggest crowd funding experiment in the whole wide world. It’s us, taking control away from the vested interests that seek to manipulate us at every turn. It’s freedom…for us.

If you have some loose change, please donate to keep Wiki free:



Neural network needs help with novel writing

I couldn’t resist this one. A neural network [human brain-like computer] needs thousands of ‘first sentences’ from novels to learn how to write a first sentence of its own. Think of this as teaching baby to become Shakespeare. 🙂

In order to feed baby with enough first sentences, Janelle Shane of ‘Ai Weirdness’ is asking netizens to donate first sentences from their own novels, their favourite novels, or any novels on their bookshelves [or Kindles]. These first sentences will be fed to baby to improve its current, um, not-so-creative efforts. Some of its first sentences are hilarious.

I’ve donated first sentences from my books so why not jump in and donate some from yours? No need to register or even leave an email address so it’s super quick and easy. You can read the article and find the form here:


Go on, do it!


Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Melbourne

Christmas is a time for giving, but all too often the ones who get the least are the small, four-legged people who share our world. They depend on wonderful humans like the people at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital to care when no one else will.

This is the story of Metro Flinders, a small black cat a lot like my Golli.

Hi, it’s Metro Flinders here…it’s nice to meet you… Thank you for taking the time to read our stories and hear all about the great work Lort Smith does for us. I like to think my story is as interesting as Neo’s and that I too, will have a happy ending. It’s a long story which starts in April this year when I was found alone and scared at Flinders Street Station. A lovely lady rescued me and knew to bring me into Lort Smith.

The Vet’s found out I had what’s called femoral neck deformities which was why I was dragging my legs and not able to stand for long periods of time. This meant I needed to go into surgery so I could feel better. The Vets operated on my left hand side first which meant I had time to recover before they did the other side. I was feeling very sad and sorry for myself but knew I was going to feel better soon.

With the multiple surgeries, medication, food and overnight stays in the Hospital and Adoption Centre, I cost Lort Smith in excess of $3,600. Please donate this Christmas so Lort Smith can continue caring for helpless animals like me.

And this is what Metro looks like:


The reason I’m telling you Metro’s story is because it illustrates the kind of care that animals receive at Lort Smith. Instead of being euthanised because his health problems were ‘too expensive’, the vets at Lort Smith gave this little guy a chance at life.

I’m tearing up as I write this because a) I love animals and b) after the mess we humans have made of this year, I desperately needed to know that we’re not all bad. Lort Smith restored my faith in humanity, at least in some humans, and that is the best gift I could have received for Christmas. In return, I gave a paltry $25. I know who got the better part of the deal.

I’m also feeling a bit teary because Rosie came into our lives from Lort Smith. Rosie died in my arms a number of years ago. It was a gentle death and I shouldn’t cry but I still miss her.




I miss my Kushi too. Always loved, never forgotten.

If you live in Melbourne and were thinking of giving something to a stranger this Christmas, why not make it Lort Smith?


If you’re not from Melbourne, why not find an animal shelter near home to support. Even the smallest donation can save a life. Isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

Love you all,



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