The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#69 Weekend reads – Looking towards August 31st and beyond

I’ve continued to be stuck in the Afghanistan news and these last few days leading up to August 31st feel particularly cruel. Not just the absolute carnage released by the ISIS-K Group when they detonated a suicide bomb, but for those currently sitting inside Kabul Airport, knowing the country that promised to protect them, will almost certainly leave them behind.

Boris Johnson came out with a “we’ll move heaven and earth” speech towards the end of this week, but I don’t know, a man who moves with whatever trend offers him the best chance at winning, versus really caring about anything, doesn’t fill me with confidence. For those left behind, I doubt they’re feeling comforted by that message at all.

It continues to be a hard story to follow, and there were days and nights I had to switch off and focus elsewhere. It was time to watch and read nice things, because you can’t be in it and not be overwhelmed by despair, that’s for sure.

However, if you want to read one article about Afghanistan, please read this one: Bilal Sarwary: ‘The plane hit the tower and all our lives changed’. This is the Afghanistan perspective. He also offers the Taliban side through his childhood friends who went ‘over.’ When you read why, it’s hard to blame them. The hardness of these people too. How do you ever recover from that?

Beyond August 31st, we face a known and an unknown future for Afghanistan. As one of 20 countries slipping into famine, the humanitarian crisis facing the world will soon be one of overwhelming desperation.

We must prepare. We must get ready. We must do all we can to help our fellow citizens. Hunger leads to war, and the potential war we are facing will impact us all. Time to do what we need to do. Unite and overcome the challenges facing our world.

Friend’s content and sometimes mine

Why I moved to Portugal – Anatomy of a Life Decision my friend Andrew Bryant had never even been to Portugal, but he packed up his life and moved there with his lovely wife Andrea! This is a great look into the thinking behind it, but equally, as our world changes, especially how we work, these opportunities are open to us all.

A delightful Afternoon Tea treat at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok I met Little Wren very briefly and we’ve built a friendship online since. She’s a travel writer and this piece completely captured my imagination. One strong thought occurred to me – why did we ever let life move so fast, we left behind the traditions that mattered so much? I’m definitely going to join Little Wren in Bangkok for afternoon tea when this Covid madness is over.

An Appointment With Life: Taking Refuge In The Four Noble Truths and my friend, Rohit Bassi, had a brutal fight with Covid, which took him to a deeply powerful and reflective place. The Four Noble Truths, ancient wisdom, shared beautifully by Rohit. Take a look.

My latest podcast, Go big, go small, but go, with Chris McDonald is a call to action, whether you want to change the world, or impact a small group of people. If we all did something meaningful to us, we change the world.

And happy to have launched The Know Show, with my friends Tim Wade and Joe Augustin. It’s new and a weekly wrap up of the news, featuring guests every week. It precedes this round up.

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Help us feed people in Phuket or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , , Soi Dog Foundation.  It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.


Afghanistan Live Updates: U.S. Launches Retaliatory Airstrike and Warns Americans to Leave Kabul Airport

US will hunt down Kabul airport attack jihadists, says Biden

Inside the Hidden War Between the Taliban and ISIS

Kabul Airport Attack Kills 13 U.S. Service Members, at Least 90 Afghans

Afghanistan interpreter: Getting plane out was ‘happiest moment of my life’

Australia denies At Risk Afghan Employees visas to Afghans who helped guard embassy in Kabul tks Jenni Thorman                

Kabul airport bomb attacks leave many casualties

Bilal Sarwary: ‘The plane hit the tower and all our lives changed’

These bittersweet photos show US troops caring for children of families desperately fleeing the Taliban

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn secure Afghan users’ accounts amid Taleban takeover tks Dan Hochuli

Erik Prince Is Charging $6,500 a Person to Evacuate Afghanistan on His Chartered Planes

Washington Post reporter reveals how she and her team were rescued by brave BRITISH troops after Biden banned US forces from venturing out of Kabul airport

Taliban tell working women to stay at home

Biden Sticks to Afghan Deadline, Resisting Pleas to Extend Evacuation

Why can’t the UK hold Kabul airport without the US?

Airbnb to host 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan

‘I’m not OK, man’: Afghans are begging US veterans they served with to help get them and their families out

Foreign troops extension ‘a clear violation’ – Taliban

US decision to withdraw lays bare a not so special relationship

Afghanistan’s female athletes find refuge in Australia

Tony Blair says withdrawal was driven by imbecilic slogan

US ramping up Kabul evacuation effort, says Biden

Afghanistan’s all-girls robotics team evacuated safely to Qatar

US fears risk of Islamic State attack at Kabul airport

Land of Endless War – tks Jamie Camidge

Climate Crisis / 6th Mass Extinction

Climate Point: Are you bone dry or drenched? Here’s how climate change adds to summer misery – worth subscribing to this newsletter

The current drought is worldwide. Here’s how different places are fighting it

“If COP 26 is to meaningfully address the climate emergency, then we need women in leadership.”

Climate funds often fall short of Paris goals, says report

Millions in Syria, Iraq losing access to water, aid groups say tks KevinCottam

First ever recorded rainfall in Greenland’s ice sheet summit causes ‘widespread’ melting

From 1m trees to a tree graveyard: how Dubai’s conservation plans went awry

Dame Ellen MacArthur to advise ministers on environment

Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ is fighting an invisible battle against the inner Earth, new study finds

Wildfires Grow Worldwide as Climate Sizzles

Tennessee Floods Show Pressing Climate Danger Across America: ‘Wall of Water’

All the right words on climate have already been said tks Sue Adams

Calculate Carbon Footprint: Find YOUR Eco Footprint in Real Time

Big oil coined ‘carbon footprints’ to blame us for their greed. Keep them on the hook

Global Audit Giant Sending All 333,000 Employees To Climate Change School

UN climate report: How much hotter can it get in Singapore in your lifetime? tks Wendy Tan

Snowdon: Call to respect mountain amid spike in visitors

As the Colorado River Dries Up, Phoenix Will Have to Survive on Less Water

Henri Makes its Way to CT as Category 1 Hurricane, Some May Lose Power For 3 Weeks

The Repercussions of a Changing Climate, in 5 Devastating Charts

Fossil Fuel Companies Are Quietly Scoring Big Money for Their Preferred Climate Solution: Carbon Capture and Storage


Children’s hospitals around the country are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients, including this two-month-old baby in New Orleans.

Vaccine complications dwarfed by virus risks

Australian public fed nonsense as country heads to “irreversible” decision. tks Phillipa Edwards

Texas anti-mask organizer clings to life in a battle with Covid-19.

Memo to parents and carers on home schooling: ‘Don’t panic, and don’t feel guilty’

Police say Melbourne anti-lockdown protest ‘most violent in nearly 20 years’

New U.S. Intelligence Report Doesn’t Provide Definitive Conclusion on Covid-19 Origins

The failure of vaccine policy pushed Thailand from the best recovering country to the worst tks Rebecca Kynaston

A Hospital Finds an Unlikely Group Opposing Vaccination: Its Workers

Op-Ed: As a doctor in a COVID unit, I’m running out of compassion for the unvaccinated. Get the shot

New Phuket order revises conditions for suspending Sandbox scheme

COVID-19 Delta: The pandemic of high-level dishonesty in NSW(Part 1) Auto Expert John Cadogan – tks Warwick Merry

Global Politics

Learning to live alongside Gladys Berejiklian (and Scott Morrison) tks Phillipa Edwards

Samoa’s former PM accuses Jacinda Ardern of plot to replace him with a woman

Trump admin deliberately sabotaged refugee process, stranding war allies: former insiders

House Panel Demands Records of Trump’s Movements on Jan. 6

The Trump Clown Car Has a Smashup in Arizona

Instagram Posts Help FBI Nab Trump-Loving Romance Novel Model Who Beat Capitol Cops

What does system change mean, anyway? tks Wendy Tan

Mo Brooks was booed by Trump rally attendees after he told them to move on from 2020 ‘election theft’

Justice Barrett refuses to block construction of Obama Presidential Center

Business and Technology

Personal learnings from a failed indy media product tks Bill Poorman

China’s New 373 MPH Bullet Train Is Now the World’s Fastest Land Vehicle

Behind the Florida Condo Collapse: Rampant Corner-Cutting

Social issues (#BlackLivesMatter) and humanity

Hurricane Ida: New Orleans braces for possible direct hit

Hunger expected to rise in 23 global hotspots, UN warns

Lux tries to show men what it’s like to walk while female tks Karen Prager

Introverts Actually Understand People Way Better Than Extroverts Do, Yale Study Shows

Science quietly wins one of the right’s longstanding culture wars tks Frank Roberts

Nirvana sued by the baby from Nevermind’s album cover

Three men sought by police in Birmingham Gay Village attack probe tks Damian Corbet

Passion, humour, history

Va-Gi-Na – Schmigadoon! – tks Phillipa Edwards

New species of ancient four-legged whale discovered in Egypt

Australia Tourism Ad in 2021 – tks Ina Hammer           

Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



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