Mangoes World

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Northvale Softball Club is back for 2014! #Softball

This year all of us from Northvale Softball Club are looking forward to Season 2014-2015. Last year we experienced a Grand Final upset after having been almost undefeated for the entire season.

This year we have an exciting new addition to the team, a new coach – Dene. Although sadly we have lost our old faithful Johnny, we hope he will still come to the games and share his expertise on occasion. We also have many new players and are looking to enter a junior team for the first time in years.
On the whole we are really excited to take the field.

Training is currently being held each Saturday at Jells Park, Waverley.

We are still looking for new players all the details can be found on our website –
Northvale Softball Club – Jells Park, Waverley

And if you just want to follow our progress, you can do so on Facebook  Google+ or Twitter 

Follow Northvale on Google+

Follow Northvale on Google+

Follow Northvale on Twitter

Follow Northvale on Twitter

Follow Northvale on Facebook

Follow Northvale on Facebook

Visit Northvale Softball Club's Website

Visit Northvale Softball Club’s Website

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Feeling lucky to make it into Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus for Social Media Marketing.

Capture

 

To read a full copy of the articleCommBank Women in Focus – Social Media Marketing


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Get likes from your intellect, not from your body.

Recently I have been beginning to see photo uploads that have bothering me, and it all has to do with women uploading pictures to public networks with minimal clothing. My issue here is that intelligence is far more beautiful than showing excess amount of your skin in a mirror as a like drive.

We want ourselves to be respected by our peers and respected by men but we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of exactly what we have fought so hard against.10417016_785785258113158_2653903517395523347_n

I am not by any means condemning women for uploading all photos of themselves wearing next to nothing, but I believe the purpose behind those uploads is what needs to be looked into further. Of course fitness professionals and models have pictures of themselves online with barely any clothes everyday. And their messages are very different from, “going to the gym to work on my abs”.the-internet-called-out-kim-kardashian-for-photoshopping-her-sexy-selfie

We all know that sex sells. It is easily the quickest way to memorably market your product. However you must remember that when the product is you, you are sending the message that you would prefer people to like you because of the way you look as opposed to your intellect.

I’ve got abs, I could upload a cheesy gym selfie in a crop top or in my bathes at the pool, but I don’t. I don’t because to me that is something that should be left for my private audience or even left off Social Media entirely. Let’s be clear, I am not hating on the private bathes shot on the isolated beach. I am simply bringing to light the amount of women who believe that public marketing their bodies is an effective way of gaining likes. I will not use my body on my public Social Media networks to drive my following.selfie-sundays-21-04-13-sweatforit1

What you decide to do on your personal Facebook with your friends is up to you, but what you do in the public sphere is completely different. Perhaps it is that coming from a background in Education, where a simple bathes shot could cause you to bring the ‘profession into disrepute’, that I believe that there is much more to a woman than her abs in a mirror.

I think of the public Social Media world as LinkedIn, you would never upload a profile photo of you in your bathes on LinkedIn. You would not do it because it is not professional and it does not send the right message. But on your public Instagram, you will upload several pictures of you just hanging out with your mid drift bare. Do you see the correlation?

Fitness professionals with fantastic weight loss stories, body building triumphs, marathons or swimming heats are more than able to upload skin revealing shots. As they create a story and send a message of becoming a powerful woman, however I still will make the statement that many of those shots will be just as powerful with fully clothed. (See example below) For obvious reasons, the swimmers should remain in bathing suits, as technically this is their professional uniform and totally acceptable.

To reiterate my point here, if you are marketing yourself through the use of your skin, be very careful about the message you are sending. Because as for me that message is much more credible if it is cultured from intelligence.

~Mango
“Send your daughter the message that she is intelligent and she will conquer all.” 

Below is an example of a great gym selfie that we should see more of, as it sends a really strong and realistic message:

Workout-Gym-Selfie-Smoothie


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Different folks, different strokes – a comparatively good assessment.

I enjoy nothing more than the development of a good comparison. To compare one thing with another, assess is relationship and decide to which side is in fact the better of the two comparatives, structures most of the context of the world.

More recently I have been evolving in my life. Things are on the move and definitely changing. In the words of an old counterpart ‘about time’. It is exactly how I feel.

Yolo

To this effect, I have been taking the acronym ‘YOLO’ literately. You Only Live Once – and it is so true. In practice this means that I am doing the things I wouldn’t normally do. Mixing it up. Shaken and stirred.

More recent blog posts have be dedicated to the evolution of life and of friendships. I have looked into those around me and have assessed in their entirety the benefit of such people in my life. I understand that likes, tastes, beliefs, associations and knowledge categorize people. That some people are who they are because of their environment and there are others that seek disassociation from the world around them. There are leaders and there are followers, just as there are achievers and laxidasicals. There are girls and there are boys.

When I have a problem, just alike in management processes, I have a metaphorical flow chart of people that I will seek for their advice and knowledge. Some are heartfelt, and some are cold. I know who is going to give me the truth and who is going to tell me what I want to hear.

angel vs devilI am learning that you cannot always have the philosophical conversation with the uneducated, and the educated are less likely to fix your front gate. In a laymen’s comparison you wouldn’t go to your English teacher for help with a Math equation. To this effect, I have begun to accept people for who they are. The good, for the bad. And to some extent our emotions often get in the way of being able to make an accurate assessment of the individual.

Conversing of late has led me to comparative notion of the sexes. How the relationships that you form with both are intricately complex and based on a variety of different factors. As a girl who has a majority of male friends, and one who is ‘not just saying it’, I understand that these relationships, although historic are in fact limited by the fact that many of these men are single. I believe that once they find ‘the woman of their dreams’ that essentially our relationship will fade. This can be contributed to a variety of different factors, most notably that the new girlfriend may not want her boyfriend to have a female ‘bestie’.

law of attraction

Consequentially, I must understand that although these relationships are precious at this stage of my life that few, if any will last. So it is from here that I look find friendships with females who are on a similar path as me. I have been able to establish many over the last couple of months. But what is it that draws you to a person?

The female world is competitive and cutthroat. Expectations and emotions are high. Saying the wrong thing one night might wind you up in a worse situation than before. It’s hard to pick the real from the fake. And appearances often don’t give you many clues.

What is fundamentally different between the women and the men in my life, is that with women I am talking about broken relationships and heart breaks. Where as with men I am talking about life and careers. Men want to know about thought processes and theories of success, and women want to discuss in detail the events of these failed relationships.

womanvsmanI have come to the conclusion that I can fit easily in either conversation. However I like to think that I see the world in black and white, it is or it isn’t. And that is that.

Alike high school, moving towards 30 has begun to unravel the psychological stability of those around me. In your early 20s, everyone is out to change the world and experience as many things as humanly possible. Moving out of my 20s, I am seeing emotional baggage and the effects of poor parenting. But no one is perfect. Everyone has a little wound.

Being that I have made so many monstrous changes over the last six months, I decided that it was time for the third installment of my life as told by a Psychic. What needs to be outlined here is that I am not entirely a believer of the power of Psychics, but I am also not a non-believer either. I took a variety of photos in with me, and they were strategically placed in the pile so I did not give away any precious details. I removed babies from photos, and took away photos with relationships. I was not about to give away any free information.

psychic-lit1When questioned in follow up, did I ask about whom I was going to spend the rest of my life with? I declined. I believe that we are in control of our destiny, that the words of a medium can only be used in guidance and not to be taken as fact.

So why did I go if I didn’t want any insight into the future? The Psychic asked “do you have any questions to ask me?” And all I wanted to know was ‘am I making the right decisions in my life?’ Which in reality, the answer was always going to be yes. I can’t imagine a Psychic telling me I am making bad decisions. It defeats the purpose.

Walking out the door of the Psychic, I had made no advancements in my life, that what I had had walking in. I was not clearer than the hour previously. However I had faith that I was connecting with the right people and assessing situations appropriately. Sometimes we wish that we had a ‘Life Teacher’ that would sit there and give you an A, when you are making the right decisions.

decisions decisions wordcloud 2In comparison to this time last year, I am really happy with the progress that I have made thus far. I am happy with the friends that I have and I am happy with the place that I am living in. More importantly, I am working in a job that finally addresses my interests. And with or without the divine intervention of a psychic, I am making the right choices. I believe I am on the right path.

~Mango
“Be in control of your own destiny.”


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The value of a First World life – Familial Gamete Donation

On the fundamental level gamete donation seems to be a wonderful thing. Giving children to those who are unable to conceive naturally. However the more thought I devote to the reality of sperm and egg donation, the more complex ethical issues arise in my head.

As a human, we want to be able to pass our on genetic traits onto our offspring. Parents want to see a ‘little me’ running around the backyard. They want to create copies of themselves that they can relate to. Basically, I want to see my eyes and nose passed onto my daughter.

Twins_280909It is for this reason that the consideration of using familial gametes has surfaced. In layman’s terms, using your brother as sperm donor for your wife, in order to ensure that your offspring will share the closest genetic resemblance with yourself. (Provided the donation is brother to brother.)

In recent weeks, I have taken this topic to discussion with my friends. I have found thus far that most women would donate an egg to their sister, with many more likely to provide donation if the donor had already bore children themselves. Men on the other hand tend to view their sperm as their property and donating to their brother is simply unacceptable. Both the men and women interviewed here express concern for how ‘they’ would feel as the biological parent. Only one male considered the impact of giving your brother the most important gift of his life.

What concerns me here is that suddenly we put a value on sperm/eggs if they are used for a reason other than going in a bin. How many men have given women sperm ‘free of charge’ without further thought?

envyIn the case of women donating to their sisters, many felt that they would feel a sense of missing out on the child, if in fact they never had their own. A selfish/jealous relationship would ensue if in fact a child were brought into this environment. (It is important to note here, I am not judging the responses from my friends, I am merely assessing them critically and primarily.)

The males see themselves proud and worthy owners of their sperm. That they could not give a part of themselves to their brother, but they are happy to give a part of themselves to the next female who walks in the door. More interestingly a gay male was happy to donate to his female best friend so that she could rear a child but not to his said brother. The common link here was that many men felt proud and define themselves by their ability to ejaculate. Moreover the concept of asking their brother for sperm to start their family is an insult to their own penis.

sistersIt is worth noting that in the complexity of the fertilization lies the intricacy of prior family relationships. A woman who tried unsuccessfully to donate eggs to her sister stated that she would be prepared to donate for this particular sister, as it meant the world to her and that they are close. But on the other hand, she would not be so accommodating to her other sister.

Both men and women interviewed feel that they would have some sort of biological responsibility to that child and would be unsure how they would react to adverse parenting decisions by their siblings.  All parties except one reflected on their feelings as the donor and not the desperate couple trying to conceive. Is this because I spoke primarily to a generation of people who are deemed self-centered?

But what represents a parent? Is it because we have a biological association or is it because we rear the child?

father-daughterSperm donation by a genetic father or an unspecified party does not constitute a ‘father’. We view a father as a person who has a responsibility for a child; to protect, to provide and to care. Many times in my teaching career, I hear about so-called fathers who have made no real effort to be a ‘real father’. The same goes for the mothers of these lost children.

In the case of adoption, parents are not genetically related to the child, however the child is still the legal responsibility of the parents who adopt them. That adoptive parenangelina-jolie-and-brad-pitt-family-in-new-orleansts can love a child as much as if it was biologically theirs, although physically they might be races apart. In the case of Brad and Angelia Jolie, they have three adopted children and three biological children. As the adopted children spawning from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam bare no resemblance to their parents or even each other, do you think they would feel any less apart of the Jolie-Pitt family?

I pose the question, would you feel less attached to your nieces or nephews if for a horrible reason they found there way into your custody? I would argue that these children would become just as a part of your family as your own biological children. And that over the years you would see no boundaries between these children and your own. So why is it so intrinsically different to providing gametes to a sibling?

What about the potential effect on the children? Do you tell them or not?  “Knowledge of the actual genetic relationships among the participants could contribute to a profoundly altered view of identity and family relationships.”(1) Again, how is this so different from an outside gamete fertilization or an adoption? In all three cases, the child would produce symptoms of a non-traditional identity establishment. Many argue that informing your children of their adoption early on helps the child to adjust to the situation whilst their emotional development is still being formulated. This saves the emotional turmoil that a child might undergo if they stumble upon adoption papers in the future. But how to you explain to a five year old that their daddy isn’t their real daddy, that their uncle is their real daddy, but the uncle is not married to mummy, and mummy and daddy love each other? I am finding it hard to explain myself.

mod-famOne further expansion of the issue, is in the case of gay couples. If a lesbian couple used the brother of one of the female partners to produce a child with a genetic relationship to both of the females, is that wrong?

The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine argues that
“Familial gamete donation ensures that some portion of the infertile person’s genes will be passed to the offspring, thus maintaining a kinship tie that would be lost if an unrelated donor were used. In one of the few reports about known sperm donors, family involvement was chosen so that the infertile male could feel a ‘‘genetic closeness’’ to his child.” (2)

sb10065029ba-002So in the case of the gay couples, if the gamete was not a familial gamete that one partner would feel a disassociation to the offspring, if in fact the other was the genetic parent. Furthermore, if the genetic parent became deceased, then the partner of the genetic parent may not have legal guardianship of the child and the child might be removed from the homosexual parenthood and placed elsewhere.  As we begin evolve in the rights of homosexual unions, we have still not directly addressed the issue of step-parenthood/parenthood of homosexual couples. It could also be likely that the genetic donor could request for guardianship of the child. Ultimately leaving the non-genetic homosexual partner with no legal rights or responsibilities over the child they have reared.

In the TV Drama Brothers and Sisters, it addresses a similar scenario, where a gay brother and the second brother donated their sperm to a third brother and their wife. The idea being that neither brother would know who fathered the child. However, as dramas are dramatized and worst case scenarios are always played out, it turned out that they found out that it was the gay brother’s sperm which fertilized his sister in law’s egg. Thus proving only that the concept of familial gamete donation is a very real scenario within the medical world.

Of course there are a variety of different familial gamete donations that can be explored, such as father to son, mother to daughter etc. However for the purpose of this piece I have only focused on sibling-to-sibling donations. The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine also addresses in part sister to brother donation and the consequence of incest in particular cases.

evolution-1hzzvneThe entire argument can not be fully justified without mentioning the Social Darwinist theory of Evolution. Survival of the fittest in this context would point to the assumption that people who can not biologically bear children should not. If it was meant to be it would. Should people have the power to overrule nature?

IVF egg pickIVF practices seem to deny the foundations of this theory and provide those who are not meant to conceive naturally, fertilized embryos to be placed within their uterus. Thus allowing infertile couples the ability to foster life. It is also important to address that IVF is not always successful and many couples are left with holes in their pocket and gaps in their hearts. The argument here is that technology has allowed us on occasion to defy nature and create a population of IVF babies. Do people have the right to play god?

throwing out the trashIn conclusion, I cannot move forward of the point that we give to value to gametes only when they create a fetus, yet we throw thousands in the trash each day. It’s no different to wanting the toy your brother is playing with only because he is playing with it.

I would like to think that on the basis of wanting to give my sister the best present one could ever give, I would donate my eggs, before or after children. After all, if I don’t use them they will most likely end up in a sanitary bin.

~Mango
“Bear the gift of life.”

References:

(1) & (2) The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
www.asrm.org/EthicsReports/ or view the document below –
Using family members as gameteopl donors or surrogates

(3) http://www.theafa.org/article/using-a-known-sperm-donor-understanding-the-legal-risks-and-challenges/