Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 6

Bobbing Around

Volume Fourteen, Number Six,
November, 2014

Bob Rich’s rave

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bobswriting.com anxietyanddepression-help.com/ mudsmith.net/ other issues

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
My new essay, prompted by denial
Letter to the Editor of my local paper
Degrowth: Getting to the Root of the Climate Crisis
Two appearances for Ascending Spiral
My best interview to date
Prize awarded
On uTube, talking about Alfredo’s book

*Responses to past issues
Lance Collins
Matthew Smith

*Politics
Second chapter of Koch expose
The right way to combat Muslim extremism
Australian Greens want to counter extremism among youth, using outreach body
Poem from a child within the concentration camp on Nauru
Good on you mate! Major prize winner “ashamed to be Australian”
Help a poor country fight Monsanto
Coal is good for humanity?
Pacific Islanders stop coal ships
Karl Kofoed on what being a Republican used to mean

*Environment
Renewable energy rallies
Melting of Antarctic glaciers measured
All of California desiccated
Nature has hired film stars to speak for Her
Sea level rise in 20th century is a 6000 year record
News from Alaska’s northernmost town
It’s getting repetitive: warmest September
Debi Goenka: India doesn’t need Australian coal
Brazil a case study: climate change is NOW

*Good news
Australian National University is divesting
Declining energy demand — it’s energy efficiency, stupid! by Tristan Eddis
Public education saves rhinos
10 things you can do to reduce planetary damage
Poor countries lead the way on clean energy
Eat local, feed global
Global Frackdown a global success

*Compassionate action
Read about a remarkable President
Teacher ensures his students eat over the weekend
And a generous cop
A city discovers that compassion for the homeless is more economical than persecuting them
A little girl leads the world in compassion
A small Canadian town shows how
Malala donates $50K prize to rebuild schools in Gaza

*Technology
Personal power: 10 tips from Nick Sharp on saving
Breathing solar cell is a battery

*Deeper issues
Putting human concerns into perspective
…and a different perspective; one of time
On vanity
Must read: I didn’t know this about the Kurds
Childfree and no regrets
The relationship between climate change and war
Straight thinking
Why do young men become jihadists?

*Psychology
Does schizophrenia require drug treatment?
Why does everything make me angry?
Step children becoming intimate
Was I sexually abused as a child?

*Health
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can cause blood clots
The real causes of the Ebola virus epidemic
And the facts about Ebola
The human face of a terrible disaster
New technique cures paraplegia
Mountaintop Removal Linked to Cancer, by Anastasia Pantsios

*For writers
Where should you question mark?

*What my friends want you to know
Visit Sea Shepherd ships, Melbourne, 23 November
Sharing with writers
Help stop the spread of Ebola
Hepburn wind farm campout, 15 November
Wilderness Society meeting, Sydney, 16th November
New poetry book for the holiday season
Electronic book conference
Bainstorming
Amnesty’s freedom raffle

*Reviews
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Caitlin M. Smith
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by @cafarrell
Great News, by Karl-Friedrich Lenz
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People, by Dennis Cardiff
The Hundred-foot Journey

*A bit of fun
Sensible locals


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.


From me to you

My new essay, prompted by denial
Letter to the Editor of my local paper
Degrowth: Getting to the Root of the Climate Crisis
Two appearances for Ascending Spiral
My best interview to date
Prize awarded
On uTube, talking about Alfredo’s book

 

My new essay, prompted by denial

A climate change denier posted a comment below my essay But there is no need for despair. It was so illiterate and unintelligent that I was tempted to dismiss it with a brief reply. But then I thought that he is a person like I am, and deserves as much respect. So, I took about three days to write a 2000 word essay, which I think is one of my best on the subject. I’ll be interested in your response to Climate change is still on track — but that’s all right.


Letter to the Editor of my local paper

With a State election coming up, local Greens candidate Marie Sellstrom has been looking for places to display public signs urging people to vote Greens. These signs need to be in highly visible places, preferably along main roads, and by law on private property.

At the “meet the candidates” event at the Healesville Uniting Church on the 22nd of October, she said something that I find horrifying: a number of people have been sympathetic, but were too afraid to agree, because of possible vandalism of their property, and even violence against themselves,. Some businesses have declined in the fear of losing customers.

Is this a fair go? The Australian way?

If you look up the Greens’ policies, you will find that they are built around decency, compassion for the less fortunate among us, and a change in lifestyle so we stop stealing from our children.

Both the Coalition and Labor have poor records of running this State. With preferential voting, you can choose the one you least disapprove of, and still give your number 1 vote to the Greens. This will indicate your support for a survivable future, and one worth surviving in.

Dr Bob Rich,
Professional grandfather.


Degrowth: Getting to the Root of the Climate Crisis

im-here-to-live
I don’t know the author’s name, but want to help her message go viral. Please read this essay.


Two appearances for Ascending Spiral

Reader’s Entertainment has a “sneak peek” feature — which has featured Ascending Spiral.

And the Potpourri Parlor has done the same.

Thank you.


My best interview to date

Fiona McVie has interviewed me.

I am offering a gift to one person who comments on this blog. The choice is a free edit for 3000 words if you are a writer, or a free electronic book from among my 14 available titles (the building book is only on paper).

People who have commented said they’d got a good laugh. You might too.


Prize awarded

In my last issue, I drew your attention to my interview with Erin Ireland, who is a survivor of extreme domestic abuse. Her book will help others to avoid this terrible trap.

We offered a free copy of her book, A Voice in the Night, to one person who commented. Strangely, I received more comments in response to my publicity postings in places like LinkedIn and Facebook than on the page of the interview itself. I’ve entered all these in a draw — and the winner is JOAN Y. EDWARDS.


On uTube, talking about Alfredo’s book

Thanks to very professional work by Matt Cairns (want a movie made? I can put you in touch with him), I have re-recorded my verbal review of Alfredo Zotti’s book Alfredo’s Journey: An Artist’s Creative Life with Bipolar Disorder.

My face or voice won’t launch a thousand ships, but Alfredo has placed some lovely music and one of his paintings at the end. That may make it worthwhile to listen to me first. 🙂

See the video here.

Responses to past issues

Lance Collins
Matthew Smith

 

Lance Collins

Hi Bob,

In Bobbing Around you posted a link about physical punishment of children.

In a comment on the research I found this:

“This study by Dr. Afifi and her colleagues cannot draw any conclusion about whether the most appropriate kind of spanking (e.g., two open-handed swats to the buttocks) should remain an available option for parents when children of an appropriate age (about 2 to 7 years) defiantly refuse to cooperate with milder disciplinary measures, such as time out. That limited use of spanking, when directly compared to alternative disciplinary tactics, has actually been shown to lead to improved compliance and less aggression in children. Sadly, this study says nothing about the effects of appropriate disciplinary spanking, adds to the growing confusion surrounding the topic of child discipline, and furthers an unscientific bias against corrective disciplinary measures employed by parents.”

I really liked that comment as when we brought up our three children we used 1,2 3 with a smack on 3. As I recall we never got to 3 after the kids reached the age of 6. Really it wasn’t punishment, just something to get attention. When you want a three year old to wait for traffic, threatening ‘time out’ doesn’t cut it.

I now have grandchildren who are 4 and nearly 2, and watching my daughter try to get co-operation I’m glad it’s her problem not mine.

And a comment on writing.
I’m amused by the inability of many writers to use principal/principle correctly. I don’t know whether it’s my idea or whether I read it somewhere but I resolve the issue by substituting the word ‘main’.
If it’s roughly right then it’s ‘principal’. If it’s silly then it’s ‘principle’.

Regards
Lance

Hi Lance,

To a large extent, I agree with you, and it depends on the child. My daughters never needed anything more than words. But when my son was about 2 or 3, he just kept mucking up until he got a tap on the nappy. Then he’d stop. 5 minutes later, he’d climb onto my lap to show I was forgiven. :))

The thing is, though, that it’s very difficult to train most people to distinguish a loving tap that doesn’t cause pain from something quite brutal. Physical punishment sends a message: “I am more powerful than you. You did something I don’t like, so it’s right for me to hit you.” Kid then applies this logic. “I want that teddy bear the other kid has. He won’t let me have it, so I am right to hit him.”

And this is what ISIS and the west are doing to each other.

🙂
Bob


Matthew Smith

Dear Bob (if I may),

I just wanted to pass on my thanks for your comprehensive and insightful review of Kevin Murray’s Blood of the Rose. You made some very generous comments about the book, as well as some comprehensive and incredibly useful constructive criticism of the writing style and editing. I have of course taken all these comments on board and I have them ready to be implemented where relevant at reprint stage. Said comments have also been discussed with Kevin personally, and I’ve taken a look at the copyeditors we use to ensure we avoid any issues on future titles. Kevin wanted me to pass on his gratitude for your thoughtful comments.

Thank you again for your time, effort and honest appraisal of the book. It is sincerely appreciated.

Best wishes
Matthew

Matthew Smith
Director, Urbane Publications Limited


Politics

Second chapter of Koch expose
The right way to combat Muslim extremism
Australian Greens want to counter extremism among youth, using outreach body
Poem from a child within the concentration camp on Nauru
Good on you mate! Major prize winner “ashamed to be Australian”
Help a poor country fight Monsanto
Coal is good for humanity?
Pacific Islanders stop coal ships
Karl Kofoed on what being a Republican used to mean

 

Second chapter of Koch expose

In the previous issue of Bobbing Around, I gave the link to a now famous Rolling Stone article that laid out the Koch Brothers’ criminal record.

Read the follow-up.


The right way to combat Muslim extremism

Well, it’s half the right answer. The component of the problem being addressed is how to stop young people in western countries from being seduced into becoming cannon fodder for revolutionary forces.

The Huffington Post reports a successful German program which is social work rather than policing.


Australian Greens want to counter extremism among youth, using outreach body

Possibly by coincidence, the leader of the Australian Greens has proposed in parliament the setting up of a similar program for combating alienation among Australia’s youth. This has the potential of depriving bike gangs, drug dealers and other antisocial groups of new recruits, as well as addressing disaffection among young Australian Muslims.

Unlike war and terrorism threats, there is no money in this, and it doesn’t provide an excuse for spying on the country’s citizens, so I don’t think the major parties will support it.


Poem from a child within the concentration camp on Nauru

If my conception of what happens after death is correct, Australia’s Minister for Concentration Camps, Scott Morrison, had better do his best to stay immortal. His karma is waiting for him.

Here is a poem from a detainee on Nauru:

          Nauru also cried for its children
          O rich senators!
          Good spring day, right?
          Don’t you want to give a smile,
          a kind message, a listening ear,
          a parental look and tear
          to the children of this ‘green hell’?

          In what way do you define humanity?
          Where is humanitarian greatness?
          Grant these children their right.
          I just see humanity in the little hands of these children.

Please read the heart-wrenching story.


Good on you mate! Major prize winner “ashamed to be Australian”

rflanagan
Richard Flanagan has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel on the lives of WW2 prisoners of war.

When interviewed, he was asked about Prime Monster Tony Abbott’s idiotic statement that “coal is good for humanity.” Richard correctly stated that this is destroying all that is beautiful in our world.


Help a poor country fight Monsanto

guatemala
What happens when small farmers in Guatemala save seeds from one year to the next, as they have for centuries? They get up to four years in prison.

That’s according to the “Monsanto Law,” which was recently struck down by Guatemala’s highest court.

But now Monsanto is saying the law is required under free trade deals, and it’s only a matter of time before it launches a wave of lawsuits to force Guatemala to give in.

Developing nations like Guatemala have no chance against a corporate superpower like Monsanto — that’s why we’re standing with Guatemala and fighting to stop the expansion of trade deals that allow this kind of bullying.

Can you chip in AU$25 to help stand up to Monsanto?

For centuries, farmers have saved seeds from one year to the next. But Monsanto now claims that seeds are its intellectual property — and it will use trade deals to force countries like Guatemala to give in no matter what their courts say about it.

This is a classic example of how Monsanto and other multinational corporations use trade agreements to bully sovereign governments — and as we speak, it’s pushing for new trade deals like the TTIP and the TPP, which would expand its powers to stampede over the rights of people even more.

That’s where we come in. SumOfUs was created to leverage the global consumer power of our 5 million members to take on multinational corporations that have gotten too big for any of us to take on alone.

Thanks for all that you do,
Paul, Jon and the rest of the team at SumOfUs


Coal is good for humanity?

This is a claim the whole world is laughing at, made by Australia’s Prime Monster Tony Abbott.

Tony is hosting a G20 meeting on 15-16 November. Guess what. Climate change is not on the agenda.

Here is a request from the Australian Conservation Foundation:

Together, we can show that climate change is on our agenda.

Will you host an #ONMYAGENDA event, and show the world and our leaders that Australia is ready for action?

ACF supporters will host events all over Australia between November 12-16, screening the Reasons for Hope video to demonstrate that the world is moving, and inspire their communities to action.

Reasons for Hope features world leaders, scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes. It shows that solutions exist, people are getting on board, and leaders are acting — but the Australian government is falling behind. We’ve chosen the best footage from the amazing 24 Hours of Reality global broadcast.

As a host, you’ll receive a copy of Reasons for Hope to screen with your friends, family or community, as well as a support toolkit to help you organise your event.

Your events will inspire conversations that matter with people who care. With hundreds of events and thousands of voices across social media, we can show the international community that climate change is on our agenda.

We’ll support your event by telling its story nationwide with social media, traditional media and advertising.

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg
Climate change campaign manager
Australian Conservation Foundation


Pacific Islanders stop coal ships

warriors1
Newcastle, Australia is one of the planet’s largest coal ports. It was shut down for a day, with 10 huge ships unable to go.

The 350 Pacific Climate Warriors paddled out into the Port of Newcastle, followed by hundreds of Australians and came head to head with gigantic coal ships. It truly was David versus Goliath.
warriors2

Wherever you live, spread the word. Coal is a life and death matter to Pacific Islanders, right now. It will soon be the same for you.


Karl Kofoed on what being a Republican used to mean

This is a copy of Karl’s letter to the Philadelphia Inquirier:

It was a pleasure to read Frank Wilson’s short bio of Republican president Dwight D, Eisenhower, who did as much as any president to build our economy and our middle class. It showed how far today’s GOP has shifted from classic Republican ideals. Can anyone imagine any Republican today making these statements?

“Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

Or:

“Workers have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers. And a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”

The Free Market and “trickle down” Reaganomics has had over 40 years to prove its merits and it’s been a failure. It’s time for Republicans to get back to their roots and work to benefit “We The People,” not just the billionaires.


Environment

Renewable energy rallies
Melting of Antarctic glaciers measured
All of California desiccated
Nature has hired film stars to speak for Her
Sea level rise in 20th century is a 6000 year record
News from Alaska’s northernmost town
It’s getting repetitive: warmest September
Debi Goenka: India doesn’t need Australian coal
Brazil a case study: climate change is NOW

 

Renewable energy rallies

Thousands of solar- and wind-power supporters across Australia turned out on Friday 26th September 2014 for protests at key federal government ministers’ electorate offices calling for ‘no reduction’ to the Renewable Energy Target.

What is remarkable that this response was on a working day, less than a week after the huge climate marches.
ret


Melting of Antarctic glaciers measured

Read a fascinating plain language description in The Daily Beast. Two satellite programs combined allow us to measure minute changes in Earth’s gravity as mass is transferred from the Antarctic into the oceans.

The finding? Over the 3 years of the project so far, three Antarctic glaciers together have lost approximately 185 billion tonnes (204 billion US tons) of ice each year.

Based on a nominal depth of 2 m, an Olympic swimming pool holds 2,500,000 Kg of water. So, the ice lost per year by these three glaciers alone is as much water as would fill 74,000 of these pools.


All of California desiccated

Emily Atkin writes at Thinkprogress that even the dams that feed hydropower are dry.

“The drought, which began in 2011 and is now covering 100 percent of the state, is drying up the reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams.”
califdrought
A sign at what used to be Folsom Lake.


Nature has hired film stars to speak for Her

Big names, including Penelope Cruz, Harrison Ford, Edward Norton, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Ian Somerhalder and Kevin Spacey speak in videos, each for some aspect of what keeps us alive.

Why is Julia Roberts involved? “I’ve always been an environmentalist, but my life changed the day I had children. I realized that I wasn’t doing enough to protect the planet.

Do have a look and share it around.


Sea level rise in 20th century is a 6000 year record

A recently published study summarising 20 years of work has found that sea levels have risen 20 cm during the 20th century. This is way above any other sea level change in “recent” millennia.


News from Alaska’s northernmost town

Temperature records are available for Barrow, Alaska, since 1921. Sea ice extent has been reliably measured since 1979.

A recent report [PDF file] shows that as ice has retreated, temperatures in Barrow have soared way above global averages. For example, October temperatures have increased by an average of 7.2 degrees Celsius between 1979 and 2012.

The most probable reasons are that open water doesn’t reflect as much radiant energy as ice; and that warm currents from the south are not kept under the ice but can warm local air.

Not that there is climate change…
barrowalaska
Barrow, Alaska, July 1996, Copyright Monte M. Taylor


It’s getting repetitive: warmest September

Yet again, the temperature reports are in. September, 2014 has had the highest temperatures, and the year is on course for a record high.


Debi Goenka: India doesn’t need Australian coal

debig
A powerful and accurate op-ed in the Guardian counters an often-heard argument. When I say we should not open up horrendously large new coal mines for export to India, some people reply that this would keep poor Indians from the benefits of electric power.

In fact, the opposite is true.

Debi Goenka is executive trustee and founder of Indian NGO the Conservation Action Trust, and has been active in the conservation movement in India since 1975. In October, he lodged a landmark legal objection to Indian energy giant’s Adani’s 60 million tonne Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.


Brazil a case study: climate change is NOW

Sao Paulo, Brazil is suffering its worst drought in history. Reservoirs providing water for 40 million people look like this:
brazildrought
(Photo taken by None Specified.)


Good news

Australian National University is divesting
Declining energy demand — it’s energy efficiency, stupid! by Tristan Eddis
Public education saves rhinos
10 things you can do to reduce planetary damage
Poor countries lead the way on clean energy
Eat local, feed global
Global Frackdown a global success

 

Australian National University is divesting

The Climate Spectator reports that the university is getting rid of investments in 5 companies that produce excessive carbon pollution, including Santos, which has recently been in frequent conflict with people protesting about its fracking operations.


Declining energy demand — it’s energy efficiency, stupid!
by Tristan Eddis

The International Energy Agency has released a report finding that if the energy saved from energy efficiency up to 2011 was considered a fuel, it would be the largest source of energy from any single fuel source across the 11 IEA member countries analysed, greater than coal or oil.

The results of this work attempting to expose the ‘hidden fuel’ provide some striking results. They illustrate that energy efficiency should be at the centre of energy market analysis and policy, rather than the sidelines.

The combined energy saved across the 11 nations is so significant that it exceeds the entire total final energy consumption of the European Union and nearly the United States.

Read on and inspect Tristan’s graphs.
energysavings
Here is the first of them.


Public education saves rhinos

The Guardian has reported that public education in Vietnam has led to a 38% drop in demand for rhinoceros horn as a medicine base. Vietnam has been one of the major markets for horn products.

Perhaps the remainder could be met from collected human fingernail clippings, and sweepings from hairdressers’ floors? Rhino horn is made from the same stuff.


10 things you can do to reduce planetary damage

The article by Tex Dworkin at Care2.com has an alarmist title, but I’ve focussed in on the positive recommendations.

Well worth reading.


Poor countries lead the way on clean energy

Anastasia Pantsios reports in Eco Watch that poor countries are installing far more renewable energy facilities than the overdeveloped economies. The reason is that the alternative is often far more expensive, such as diesel-powered generators.

This counters a frequently heard argument against clean energy.


Eat local, feed global

eatlocal
Jo Tan held her very own Eat Local Feed Global meal at Oxfam.

She asked her workmates to help out, and everyone prepared a plate of food using a Middle Eastern theme.

At the lunch, Jo charged $10 to enjoy the food (though some paid much more). Then during the lunch, she screened a short video from Timor-Leste, supplied by Oxfam as part of Eat Local Feed Global. She then encouraged everyone to sign the petition calling on the Australian Government to help stop climate change making people hungry.

“It was so easy to do and really tasty too!” said Jo.

Simply by sharing a meal with friends, family or workmates, you too can help increase awareness on what each of us can do to ensure everyone gets enough to eat. We supply everything you need to take action and raise money in support of Oxfam’s life-changing work in countries like the Philippines, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.

More than 400 community groups, schools, workplaces and Oxfam supporters like you have already registered for Oxfam’s Eat Local Feed Global in support of World Food Day.

Help boost this total beyond 500 just by sharing a lunch or dinner this October too.

Find out more and register to Eat Local Feed Global today.

The Eat Local Feed Global team,

Clancy, Kate, Jen, Simone, Paddy, Melita, Emma, Anna and Juan


Global Frackdown a global success

nofrack
Dear Bob,

I didn’t think it was possible, but this year’s Global Frackdown exceeded our expectations.

This was the largest Frackdown to date — over 300 actions, in more states and in more countries than ever before, with thousands of attendees all over the world. From California to New York, Bolivia to Australia, we showed that the global movement to ban fracking is stronger and more strategic than ever.

Check out the photo album on Facebook.

What makes the Global Frackdown so powerful is that it’s a day for communities to come together and advocate for one simple demand: to protect our health and environment and ban fracking.

In Colorado, Denver residents took a tour of fracking wells in a nearby county, some right next to schools and playgrounds. In Pennsylvania, we worked with our allies to hold launch events for a new statewide coalition, Pennsylvanians Aganst Fracking. In Washington, DC, we visited the EPA office and asked Administrator Gina McCarthy to take what we’re calling the #FrackWaterChallenge — to drink green and brown well water contaminated by fracking in Dimock (watch the video). Or, to do what we’ve been asking them for over a year: reopen investigations into fracking waste contamination that were prematurely closed due to industry pressure.

A Global Frackdown action in Geneva drew 2,000 people from France and Switzerland. In Germany there were 20 actions including an event with at least 600 people in Ueberlingen. More than 10 actions were held in Romania, where Chevron is drilling for shale gas. The list goes on and on, with actions held across Europe, in Australia, Asia, Africa and South America.

This was the third Global Frackdown organized by Food & Water Watch. Over 300 partner organizations in the global anti-fracking community signed on in support and organized incredible events all over the U.S. and the world. We know that when we come together and speak with a unified message, our movement against fracking will continue to grow stronger.

Let’s celebrate the Global Frackdown, recharge, and continue together to fight fracking from the smallest municipality to the federal and international levels.

Onward,
Mark Schlosberg
Organizing Director
Food & Water Watch

P.S. If you’d like to support our work, please consider making a donation and we’ll put it to good use. We don’t take corporate or government funding, which means that we rely on individual contributions to keep fighting for the public good.


Compassionate action

Read about a remarkable President
Teacher ensures his students eat over the weekend
And a generous cop
A city discovers that compassion for the homeless is more economical than persecuting them
A little girl leads the world in compassion
A small Canadian town shows how
Malala donates $50K prize to rebuild schools in Gaza

 

Read about a remarkable President

mujica
This man is the president of his country, yet lives like a poor peasant. He gives away 90% of his salary, mostly to support poor single mothers. He spent 13 years in jail for being what would now be called a terrorist, and is unapologetic for what he did then — but now he guides a country toward fairness, decency and prosperity.

Here is the report.


Teacher ensures his students eat over the weekend

Teachers are not highly paid in the United States, but that doesn’t stop many from having a heart. Carolyn Gregoire, writing in the Huffington Post, reports on one, Marvin Callahan, who sends food home every weekend for those of his students who would otherwise go hungry.

Wonderful. But even better is the comments section, where many other teachers say they do similar actions of kindness as a matter of routine. One says, “I think the article is less about singling him out as exceptional, and more about singling him out as representative.”

This reminds me of the principal of my high school. During my first week at school, when I could not even read the street signs, he presented me with a new school uniform. I only found out years later that he’d bought it out of his own funds.

My life has been shaped by many “angels,” and Mr Dutton was a major one. I hope these good teachers also become role models for many of their students, and lead us toward the kind of revolution this planet needs.
marvin


And a generous cop

Following on, here is a story about a policeman who helped out a young mother by spending his own money, telling her to “play it forward” when the occasion arises.


A city discovers that compassion for the homeless is more economical than persecuting them

AlterNet reports on a successful social experiment in Salt Lake city: a Housing First approach, like that advocated by my friend Jay Levy, works.

I have reviewed Jay’s book, Pretreatment Guide for Homeless Outreach & Housing First.
Homeless


A little girl leads the world in compassion

Vivienne Harr is 10 years old, and has already raised both a lot of money and a lot of awareness in her campaign to end child slavery. Please read Ximena Ramiez’s inspiring essay about her.
vivienneh


A small Canadian town shows how

Gwennedd, writing in Daily Kos reports on the remarkable behaviour of residents of Cold Lake, Alberta.

Recently, two alienated Muslim Canadian young men committed murder, and were killed by police. In response, someone vandalised the Cold Lake mosque. Read how citizens of the town responded.
coldlake


Malala donates $50K prize to rebuild schools in Gaza

This girl is an inspiration.


Technology

Personal power: 10 tips from Nick Sharp on saving
Breathing solar cell is a battery

 

Personal power: 10 tips from Nick Sharp on saving

None of these tips alone will stop human-caused climate change or achieve total sustainability — but they are a start, and some save you money too!

1 HOW MUCH electricity does that use?

Control requires measurement. Is it worth turning off something at the wall when it is not in use? One estimate puts 5%-10% of the electricity used in the US as standby power.

Sometimes it IS useful to have something on standby. NO, DON’T turn off the refrigerator when it is not running!

Visit that link and read FAQ “Is standby power use necessary?”

Under $20 will buy you a device to measure it.

Oh, and I take the battery out of my meter when I’m not using it!

One desktop computer left switched on at the socket might be using 20 watts even when the PC is shut down. On NSW electricity (coal Coal COAL) that’s ~200kg of CO2 released and ~$60 wasted per year. Moves ARE afoot (European standard) to get all new devices to standby on no more than 1 watt. Good, but not all done yet!

2 The kettle

Many kettles now are cordless and sit on a corded base when they are being heated. They also have a quantity gauge on the side. Often, MINIMUM is about half a litre. Don’t use less water, as that would risk overheating the element, but DON’T use more if you are making a mug of tea for one or two, as the extra hot water will just sit in the kettle and get cold again, and need reheating.

And DON’T put the kettle back on the base when it is empty. Sure, it saves a bit of bench space, but it also wears out the connector twice as fast as necessary.

3 Check the water meter

Read the water meter, say every few days. Otherwise, the news that you have been using much more water than usual comes after 3 months, when the bill arrives and shows you the little graph “THIS BILL vs. SAME TIME LAST YEAR”. Recently, mine was 3x bigger for no good reason. What caused that? Perhaps a hose tap left running? Who knows, but it would have been better to spot it in a day rather than after a quarter of a year!

My meter shows 8 digits. The left four are black on white, and are the kilolitres, which is all the meter reader notes for your bill. The right four are white on red and are the litres and fraction of a litre digits. Your meter may differ.

Keep a spreadsheet with these headings:

DATE+TIME
READING (don’t bother with the fraction digit!)
DAYS (DATE+TIME minus previous row DATE+TIME)
DIFF/DAY (this READING minus previous row READING divided by DAYS)

You can add others, e.g., AVERAGE since last bill, COST of water this period, etc.

But if DIFF/DAY is WAY over the normal, go find that leak, which can be very NON trivial. My neighbour’s fast-dripping shower would have cost over $500 per year if left leaking!

4 Compost if you can

If you have a garden, set aside a few square metres for several recycled plastic compost bins. Mine are 60 cm square and about 90 cm high, with a lid but no base, so they sit on the earth and allow worms in and out. I dig the edges into the soil a bit, to deter vermin.

Take ALL of your kitchen waste (keep a little lidded bucket on the bench) and put it in the current bin (spread it out a bit), then sprinkle earth on top to suppress smell and make life nice for the worms. When the bin is about full, cap it off with some earth and move on to the next bin.

When they are all full (I have four) dig out the first bin. It is nearly all lovely crumbly sweet-smelling earth, ready for the garden. I often sieve mine and use it for growing herbs in pots and tubs. The sieve will contain bones and other items that did not get fully composted first time round, such as the outer part of a mango seed, some of a corn cob, and pumpkin seeds. Add them back to the current bin for another go! They also probably contain worm eggs ready to hatch and do the work. Personally, I find the above is WAY better than a worm farm.

You have improved your garden, and reduced land fill, plus avoided putrefying waste, which generates methane (CH4), which is 20x worse than CO2 taken over a century, but that’s silly, because half of released CH4 is oxidised after ~7 years so after a century there’s virtually none of that release of CH4 left at all. Over 20 years, it is 72x worse (only 1/8th of the CH4 left by then).

5 Really short trip?

Look at the end of your legs for bio-fuelled, health giving, self-repairing vehicles.

You legends! Correction: your leg ends. Yes, WALK! (Or cycle!)

6 Hand washing

I shred a cake of soap into a saucepan and add a litre of boiling water and stir till clear. Only shed the cake with a food processor if you are sure it is up to the job. Soap is hard!

When it is tepid and still just liquid, store in an old detergent bottle (NOT a drinks container — safety!). Fill an old liquid soap dispenser with the mixture, which you will find is a sloppy jelly when cold. Dispense a press or two onto your dirty hands and wash. The mix will stick to your hands as it is not too runny, but contains enough water to wash properly.

NOW turn on the (COLD) tap (GENTLY) and rinse off. This is better than turning on the tap, wetting hands, then soaping with the cake, washing (tap still running eh?!) then rinsing. Yes, it only saves a few litres (~5?) of water, but multiply that by your number of hand-washings per year (~1000?) and the population of the country (23,000,000) and that alone could save over a hundred million kilolitres plus avoid all the CO2 made when electricity is used to run the pumps.

COLD? Well, use the hot if you want, but you will probably waste a few litres of cold run off from its pipe, which will cause an extra few litres to be heated up later.

7 Shopping

Think about packaging. Choose the lesser and recyclable packaging that is consistent with the product you want, hopefully local (not just patriotic: less food (etc.) miles).

8 Wallet

Engage brain before opening wallet. We spend far too much on wasteful over-packed trivia. And where are the world’s biggest rubbish dumps?

9 Total Sustainability (TS)

Most of us surely hope that our species will last indefinitely, at least until the Sun gets too hot (tens of millions of years?), but we’d want that to be a comfortable and pleasant life style for all. So much to do!

And an indeFINITE existence on this FINITE planet demands we achieve TOTAL sustainability, though that is more a journey than a destination, as we will never achieve it 100%. Better make a start now!

Rule #1: Stop using UP non-renewables. That really is a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Avoiding human-caused climate change is just part of TS, e.g., “stop burning fossil fuels”.

My other TS rules?

#2 Stop over-harvesting fragile renewables (over fishing, clear felling)
#3 Nurture: the land that feeds us, the waters (food, drink, irrigation), the air (breathing, planet temperature), and nearly every species (except a few obvious viruses)

10 Beyond Zero Emissions

Visit, browse, download plans, donate, and join:

Beyond Zero Emissions, a wonderful organisation planning (literally) to reduce, then zeroise, Australia’s current greenhouse gas emissions, and THEN to go beyond that and start bringing down past emissions.

It is funded by members and philanthropic donors, not governments, and works with researchers from several Australian universities and international groups. It has triaged the country’s GHG emissions, and has or is producing plans to change the worst sectors of energy production and usage:

Electricity
Transport
Electric Vehicles
Buildings
High Speed Rail
Land Use

BEYOND will be in the land use plan that looks at re-vegetation to sequester carbon in the best possible way, as wood, and as organic matter in the soil.

Good luck; the next few decades will be some of the most important and challenging in the entire history of homo sapiens subspecies sapiens.

Better be subspecies sapientior (wiser!) before long, or else!

Regards

Nick Sharp MA Hons (Oxon), MBCS, CITP
Retired International ICT Infrastructure Consultant
Addasima Pty Ltd77 Brighton Street
Curl Curl
NSW 2096
Australia
Tel: +61 2 9938 3459
Mob: +61 413 948 375

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” [H G Wells:The Outline of History (1920)]

Treatises:
A Zillion year plan for humanity (128 pp PDF and 20 min audio talk)

The Zillion year town (35 pp PDF)

Please volunteer with Beyond Zero Emissions

Global warming was explained in 1896 by Arrhenius.


Breathing solar cell is a battery

Tech Times reports a new invention. The device generates electricity while light shines on it. Any unused power induces a chemical reaction within it, converting lithium peroxide into oxygen and lithium ions. Power can be drawn from it by recombining the lithium ions with oxygen.

This promises to be significantly cheaper and more efficient than the best batteries now available.


Deeper Issues

Putting human concerns into perspective
…and a different perspective; one of time
On vanity
Must read: I didn’t know this about the Kurds
Childfree and no regrets
The relationship between climate change and war
Straight thinking
Why do young men become jihadists?

 

Putting human concerns into perspective

galaxy From Science Dump.


…and a different perspective; one of time

earthtime


On vanity

I am not a Catholic, or even a Christian, but I love Pope Francis. He is exactly what humanity needs in our difficult times.

Read what he has to say about vanity, and voluntary poverty.


Must read: I didn’t know this about the Kurds

David Graeber describes a wonderful feature of the Kurds now fighting for their very existence against ISIS, one that has been completely ignored by information sources.

They have established a true democracy (instead of the western sham).


Childfree and no regrets

This lady wrote a statement about choosing not to be a mother 12 years ago. Now, beyond childbearing age, she is comfortable with that decision.

While I agree with her reasoning, I’d add two important ones:

1. The greatest gift you can give to the children of the world is not to add to their number, especially in the rich, overdeveloped, over-consuming countries. This planet is dying under a load of too many humans.

2. I think it’s irresponsible to deliberately bring into the world a person whose future is guaranteed to be more than challenging. My mother terminated two pregnancies, on the grounds that she didn’t want to bring a Jewish child into a Nazi-infested country during a war. She was right. Now, that war is truly global, and that logic applies to every child on earth.

You can always love children with no genetic bonds to you. Why should that matter?


The relationship between climate change and war

Danish activist and journalist Ron Ridenour has powerfully stated the way war doesn’t only kill its victims, but all of us on this planet.

I agree with everything he says. War is a tool for increasing profits, at any cost to anyone and everyone.
moneybags


Straight thinking

This review by Maria Popova of Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is an instant primer on how to assess evidence logically. Her language is easy to follow, and the content has the value of a one-semester course in logic.


Why do young men become jihadists?

robleachThey are not evil but alienated. The solution is not harsher penalties, or more snooping by secret agencies, or dropping more bombs. It is change to a culture that respects all, treats everyone the way Jesus said you should treat everyone (and no, I haven’t become a Christian).

Read the wise words of Robb Leach, the brother of a young man now in jail for terrorism offences, and you’ll see what I mean.


Psychology

Does schizophrenia require drug treatment?
Why does everything make me angry?
Step children becoming intimate
Was I sexually abused as a child?

 

Does schizophrenia require drug treatment?

Read David’s story for the answer.

This ties in with an email a bipolar sufferer sent me years ago. She and David have taken very similar, sensible approaches to quite different problems.


Why does everything make me angry?

Background: I was doing good. until in 2009 I met a guy. I thought he was everything I wanted in a guy. he was very nice he used to love me a lot. but he was very short tempered. whenever he got angry, he used to shout and sometimes abuse me. he used to say anything that could hurt me. n he expected me to return to him as the same girl before the fight. he asked me to send him all my chats with my guy friends. when I said no he used to shout even more that I must be having an affair. this continued for years but I couldn’t leave him because I was very attached to him. one day after 6 yrs of relationship n 5yrs of continuous fights I finally ended things with him. Now also, I was the bad person here. because I dumped him. (he used to breakup with me n leave me crying and after a week or so he used to return and say he was just kidding). All this ended but the anger in me didnt go. I was a happy-go-lucky and fun loving girl. all this demotivating and underestimating and false accuses and fights sucked all happiness out of me.

Lately I have been facing difficulties at job too. its been 5 months since I have completed my masters. parents, relatives are all expecting me to get a job soon. I am working as an intern in a research lab but not getting paid. I stay with my brother now whos really strict.

Now, I am getting angry with the pettiest thing possible and somehow I am not able to control it. today me n my brother got into a small quarrel to which I reacted so badly, even I am shocked at myself. my veins were strained, I was throwing things around. shouting, I threw my cell phone at my head. I got two big bumps. blood clots. earlier after my breakup, self infliction was confined to slapping myself, hitting my hands to the wall. today I was extrememly violent.

I am not liking me. I feel like a failure. job pressure, anger, stress is taking all out of me. m getting depressed. nobody is happy with me. I haven’t even taken up a job and I m stressed. I feel like I can do nothing in life.

Question:

1) How can I control my anger?
2) how can I come out of my depression?
3) how can I build self confidence and not be negative about life.

I wanna live. happily. I dont want to die or suicide. Please help.

Sakhvi my dear,

All your current behaviour problems are the result of being the survivor of a severely abusive relationship. Thank heavens you’ve broken the bond. You might want to read Erin Ireland’s book A voice in the night.

This man you described is the classical domestic abuser. Had you stayed, it would only have got worse and worse.

You do not like you, because part of abuse is to make a victim feel that way. He groomed you to that self-view. You have escaped him in fact, but are still being abused by the traces he has left behind.

Use your anger! Be angry at HIM! Every time you notice a leftover of the abuse, use your anger to defy him, and act in the opposite way. If you notice an impulse to be angry at your brother, remember that the anger is good, the target is wrong. Smile at your brother, say, “Hey, this little thing is not worth fighting about,” and direct your anger where it belongs. Find a suitable object like a big, firm pillow, draw his face on it and punch the hell out of it.

The depression is also a natural reaction of having been abused. When you feel yourself sliding down in mood, again say to yourself, “This is that bastard still abusing me. I will not stand for it.” Then, do something to lift your mood. Suitable activities include seeking out some beauty, doing acts of kindness, playing with a child, watching birds or other animals, listening to peaceful music, tidying and cleaning to make a space welcoming, reading an inspiring or exciting book.

When you start feeling bad about yourself, put the negative thoughts into his voice. So, if a thought is, “I’ll never get a paying job. Who’d hire a stuffup like me?” then instead hear him say, “You’ll never get a paying job. Who’d hire a stuffup like you?” Put in here the exact words that suit your situation — I am only guessing. Then of course you can reject his abusive put-down and enjoy being angry at him.

You will find that, with practice, these new reactions will become well-established habits. Some will become unnecessary. For example, I predict that the anger will fade away, and instead you will start feeling sorry for him, because he will go through the same cycle with other women, and never find happiness until and unless he starts making changes.

And once you are in a good mental space, good things will start to happen.

Good luck,
Bob


Step children becoming intimate

I have been married to an amazing man for 2 years after a long time relationship with the father of my oldest son. He has a 14 and 8 year old daughter from his previous marriage. My oldest son is 18 and he gets along very well with the three. He’s especially fond of the teenage girl. He doesn’t want to talk to me about it and my husband doesn’t think it’s a problem. Am I overreacting? They cuddle a lot and he lets her sit on his lap while he plays his games in the living room. I’ve caught him with his hand up her thigh but he pulled away when he noticed. She doesn’t seem to mind but I wonder if she even knows what his motives are. I feel like he’s not treating her with respect, she’s a sweet girl and she seems very ‘pure’ and childish, because she is. She is too young and she’s like a sister to him now. She’s supposed to able to trust him.

Should I allow my 18 year old son to continue and do intimate things with my 14 year old step-daughter?

Jane, there is nothing wrong with stepsiblings getting together. There is no blood relationship between them.

However, there is everything wrong with sexual contact between an 18 year old and a 14 year old. It is against the law, and with reason. A 14 year old can’t sign a contract, drive a car, or vote, because the ability to see consequences is not yet developed until later. And, from what you say, she is emotionally young for her age.

If they have sex, even if she has consented, even if she is enthusiastic, then your son will have committed a crime, and could go to jail. If he gets her pregnant at 15, she will become a mother when she still needs to finish her schooling and prepare for her adulthood.

Even if he thinks he is acting from love not just lust, even if she is all for it, his actions are still sexual abuse, because of the power imbalance in their relationship. Does he want to think of himself as a sexual abuser?

So, he needs to keep his hands to himself until she is of legal age, whatever that is in your State. Tell your son to research what that is. In some places it is 16, but even then, they would do well to hold off longer.

I have had many clients in their mid-30s who say, “I love my husband/wife/partner, but all the same, I had an affair.” Sometimes it’s a series of one-night stands. They feel terrible, guilt eats them and they desperately want to undo the damage and repair their relationship. When I ask the age at which they committed themselves to their partner, it is almost always while still in school.

You see, part of growing up in our culture is the experience of being without commitments, obligations, firm ties. Kids have a boy/girl friend for a while, go through the storm of breaking up, try out another one, all the time learning without realising it.

If they miss out on this experience, often they have a feeling of vague, generalised dissatisfaction in their 30s, with bills to pay, kids to raise, the drudgery or work… “There has to be more to life than this.” So some, though of course not all, play up then, making up for the teenage years they’d missed out on.

I know a young couple. They were inseparable boyfriend/girlfriend until about 21. Then, she broke up, saying she wanted to experience how to be independent. He was devastated, but what could he do? They both had a series of short-term partners — then met up again. Now, they are happily married with two kids. This is a much better choice than if they’d married at 21.

Let both of them read this answer from me. You, or they, are welcome to email me.

Have a good life,
Bob


Was I sexually abused as a child?

Hi there. I wonder most days if I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. A neighbour of ours used to look at me in a way that made me uncomfortable and sing ‘Jenny with the light brown hair’ when I went by (I cant remember my age but under 10 I think). I have a memory of being in his and his wife’s bedroom on the bed and him sitting on the end looking at me with a lustful look I now realise it was. That is all I remember really, in the memory I get off the bed and nothing happens and that could well be true.

I also remember however being very sexual with my friends and inserting things into each other’s bodies, at my instigation. I don’t come from a family that is rude and I wasn’t ever exposed to anything rude on TV or in books by my family to have got these ideas from.

As an adult I am very popular with friends and a people person. I am very insecure though and live my life to please others. I often talk in a baby voice to my husband which I can tell he sometimes finds a bit weird — understandably! I am very inconsistent in life and seem to jeopardise everything good that I do or happens to me, never completing much.

I found being close to my beloved mum and also to my not so beloved dad. I always hate it when people want to talk to me and I hate to be confined or restricted in any way. All these things could just be normal personality traits I know but also may not I guess.

I have a serious weight problem and especially when I was young I was a terrible liar, I still struggle now not to represent myself and what I say as better than it is. I block out anything painful or traumatic to an embarrassing extent, I detest confrontation and will forget the details of arguments straight afterwards. Having said all of that I am an optimistic and happy person, a bit scatty and unusual but fairly normal. I would like to not have such a chaotic personality and to be able to relax and finish things. Do you think it sounds like I may have been interfered with? If so, do you suggest I go to speak to the man in question? He is old but still alive I think. Also, do you think counselling would help or just open a can of worms best left sealed?

Many thanks x

Jenny, you are more intelligent than you think. Your letter presents a perfect picture of a woman who was probably sexually abused in childhood, and has repressed it.

Sexualised play is not natural in young children. If you did it, someone taught it to you.

Your memories with that man are incomplete, because as a little girl you found the situation horrifying at the same time as it may have given you pleasure, and I have no doubt he manipulated you to think you could not escape, and could not tell anyone. That’s the situation when people “dissociate:” their consciousness shuts down, or goes somewhere else to escape the horror, because there is just no physical way to cope.

You are now overweight because being attractive is dangerous. At some level, you believe that if you got rid of weight, predators would focus in on you.

Telling lies — he trained you to hide behind untruths. That is often part of the pattern. So is the difficulty with relationships. You are popular because your basic personality is attractive, but your inner view of yourself was shaped by what happened to you as a little girl.

What to do about it?

You’re lucky in Britain: you have free access to help. Somewhere between 5 and 30 sessions with a good psychologist may transform your life. If you came to me, I’d use hypnosis to help you to recover your repressed memories, and do “exposure therapy” on them. Read up on what that means. It sounds scary, but in fact is very powerful, and when you’ve done it you’ll feel liberated.

You may want to talk to a lawyer about whether it is worthwhile to have this man charged. If you do go to talk with him, make sure you are physically safe from him.

This is the start of the rest of your life. Make it great!
Bob


Health

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can cause blood clots
The real causes of the Ebola virus epidemic
And the facts about Ebola
The human face of a terrible disaster
New technique cures paraplegia
Mountaintop Removal Linked to Cancer by Anastasia Pantsios

 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can cause blood clots

Thanks to Janis Silverman to drawing this new research to my attention. Drugs like ibuprofen can be dangerous.


The real causes of the Ebola virus epidemic

Dr Glen Barry has posted a powerful essay on his web site. His analysis is spot on: the Ebola tragedy exists because pressures of population growth and attempts at economic development have destroyed much of the forest, forcing infected animals into contact with people, and inducing starving people to eat infected “bush meat.”


And the facts about Ebola

James Ball dispels common myths about this disease, without minimising the tragedy.


The human face of a terrible disaster

This 13 year old girl’s story brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could do something for her.


New technique cures paraplegia

The Guardian reports that a man, whose legs were totally paralysed because of a severed spinal cord, is now walking again thanks to a pioneering new technique.

This could be a miracle for millions around the world.
Spinal surgery breakthrough


Mountaintop Removal Linked to Cancer
by Anastasia Pantsios

Fine coal dust was the first occupation-related carcinogen identified, in 1775.

It is still killing people. A current way for it to do harm is through the fine coal dust liberated through mountaintop removal coal mining.
mountaintop
Vivian Stockman / Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


Writing

Where should you question mark?

No, that’s not a typo. “Mark” is not a name.

This complaint is provoked by a mistake I find quite often.

“Where is he going” is a question, so should be closed with a question mark.

If you embed it within a larger sentence, it is still a question and should be closed with a question mark, like this:

Worried, distraught even, she demanded, “Where is he going?”

Clear so far. But what if some or all of the sentence is after the question?

“Where is he going?” she demanded, worry twisting her features.

Any piece of writing should contain the minimum number of words that carry the message. So, brief as this rave is, I will just say, you do NOT put the hooky thing with the dot under it at the end of the complete sentence, but at the end of the question.


What my friends want you to know

Visit Sea Shepherd ships Melbourne, 23 November
Sharing with writers
Help stop the spread of Ebola
Hepburn wind farm campout 15 November
Wilderness Society meeting Sydney, 16th November
New poetry book for the holiday season
Electronic book conference
Bainstorming
Amnesty’s freedom raffle

 

Visit Sea Shepherd ships, Melbourne, 23 November

Come along to our Ships’ Operation Base on Sunday 23rd November and join our captains and crew in a wonderful celebration in support of our upcoming 11th Antarctic campaign, Operation Icefish. This community fun day is open to all our friends, supporters and members of the general public.

This family-friendly event will have something for everyone: Live music, kids’ entertainment, FREE ship tours, rides, raffles, auction, and a community and market stalls precinct. There will also be special presentations by Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director, Jeff Hansen, Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker vessel and well known philanthropist, Philip Wollen OAM, from Kindness Trust.

Tickets can be purchased at the event or at a reduced rate online.

Venue: Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, Victoria
Date: Sunday 23rd November
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Online tickets: $10 (adults), $5 (teens ages 12 to 17), FREE (under 12); anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets available at: www.seashepherd.org.au/defenders2014

More event information can be found on the Sea Shepherd Facebook page.
icefish


Sharing with writers

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s regular newsletter is available for download.

Contents

Regular Features

~Note from Carolyn: Critical Reviews
~Letters-to-the-Editor: A template/example for your next letter to an editor and a mini treatise on publishing and printing days gone by
~Thank Yous (where you also find leads and great resources!)
~Tips and News Galore! (They’re scattered; you’ll just have to find them!)
~Opportunities (You’ll find them in several places.)
~Accessible Contests
~On Poetry
~Author Successes
~Mindy Lawrence’s Itty Bitty Column: Retreating to a Quiet Spot
~Carolyn’s Appearances and Teaching
~Wordstuff Fun with puns, metaphor, and other creative use of words.

This Issue Only

~Feature: Eight Best Tips I Gave to Publishers Association of Los Angeles
~Guest Feature: Never Write an Inconsequential Scene Again, K.M. Wieland
~Subscribers Sharing with Subscribers: Your Home Video Studio, Donna McDine


Help stop the spread of Ebola

stopspread
Dear Bob,

Right now, the Ebola crisis is devastating communities across West Africa. Already, more than 8,400 people have been infected and more than 4,030 have died. Millions more are at risk, with families terrified of losing their loved ones.

You can help protect them by donating today.

Oxfam is in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, playing a vital role in preventing the disease — and helping ensure people get treatment. But with Ebola spreading, David MacDonald, who’s leading Oxfam’s response in the region, says we must act fast to contain it.

“The need to break the spread of Ebola is key. Right now, infection rates are accelerating — we have no option but to rapidly increase our work.”

Oxfam has already helped more than half a million people by providing water for treatment and isolation centres, protective equipment for health workers and hygiene kits for communities at risk. But it’s not enough — we urgently need your help to reach thousands more families.

Face masks, chlorine, soap, mops — they’re all life-savers. With your help, we can provide them. Thank you for being someone we can call on when people are in need.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Szoke
Chief Executive, Oxfam Australia


Hepburn wind farm campout, 15 November

hepburn

Come camp out!

Thanks to Red Energy we are happy to invite you to come watch Gusto be painted and camp out at the wind farm!

Come along to Sleep under the stars, a family friendly camping event on Saturday 15 November. Hundreds of locals and wind farm fans can enjoy a beautiful and positive sensory experience of art, entertainment and clean energy at Australia’s first community owned wind farm.

Register now!

Gates open at 3 pm for campers to set up, the official event will run from 4 until 10.30 pm. Come enjoy our wind farm with us.

Support our Pozible campaign!

After their widely acclaimed 2013 mural on the first of our turbines, Ghostpatrol, Bonsai and team want to return to paint the second turbine of the award winning Hepburn Wind – Australia’s first community-owned wind farm.
Ghostpatrol, Bonsai and the rest of the team have incredibly generously offered to paint Gusto and we invite you to make this possible.

You can support this campaign from $25.

To enable the mural, we are asking our community of supporters to contribute for basic costs. A lot needs to come together in regards to supplies and equipment for the week of painting. At the minimum level of $7750, a team of 3 will be able to undertake the complex painting project inclusive of materials. For an extra $2500 a documentary filmmaker will be able to film the process and create a beautiful video of the mural and Sleep under the stars event.


Wilderness Society meeting, Sydney, 16th November

If you are angry about the attacks that our governments and big business are making on nature and environmental protections, then you can do something about it.

If you live near Sydney, please come to an important public meeting hosted by the Wilderness Society at the Sydney Recital Hall at 11.00 am on Sunday, 16 November 2014, and stand up for nature.

We will be discussing the issues facing nature in Australia, including climate change, and will hear from inspiring speakers from Australia and overseas who are at the front lines of action to protect nature from all manner of threats including coal seam gas and overfishing.

We have also invited representatives from all the major political parties to present their vision for nature protection in Australia.

This meeting will be an important opportunity to meet and network with like minded Australians and to learn about the actions you can take to make a difference.

Admission to this meeting is free, but seating is limited so please book online and visit our page regularly for updates.


New poetry book for the holiday season

bloomingredAward winning poets Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard Johnson have combined again to produce new collection, Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational.

The book has already won A Military Writers Society of America Silver Award, and is a USA Book News finalist.


Electronic book conference

epicon
I’ve been a member of EPIC since 1999, but have never gone to their annual conference, EPICon, because, unreasonably, they tend to hold it in the USA, and refuse to pay my travel costs.

EPICon is a meeting of writers and publishers, to be held in March 13-14, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. Sign up at http://epicorg.com/ to enjoy two days of networking and learning. With guest speakers like David Wilk, Carol Berg and many others, it is sure to be a weekend to remember!

There are going to be tons of great classes and workshops, with everything from marketing to crafting your novel. Come meet all different publishing professionals and network among many other book-loving people. To be held in San Antonio at the historic Menger hotel. Registration opens November 10th and it will be an event you won’t want to miss.


Bainstorming

Despite severe health problems, my friend and popular SF writer Darrell Bain has produced another issue of his newsletter. I have acquired a copy of his new book to read for review. All I need is the time (retirement is terrible, isn’t it?)

The latest edition of Bainstorming is now live at my web site, http://www.darrellbain.com.

Subjects this issue: New book: Samantha’s Talent, My Best Books, Eye infection & Jungle Fever, Publishing Doldrums, Nanny Government, Home and vehicle financing, Betty’s terrible fall, Contest for the two best reviews of Samantha’s Talent, Acute Chelitis.

Darrell Bain — Newest book: Samantha’s Talent
http://www.darrellbain.com.
Multiple Epic and Dream Realm awards
2005 Fictionwise Author of the year


Amnesty’s freedom raffle

Help raise money for this fine organisation. You could walk away with the keys to a brand new Citroen C3, or be jetting off to experience tropical Cape Tribulation; the magical Red Centre; charming Italy; or relaxing Port Douglas.
Buyamraffle your tickets now for just $5 each.

First prize: A brand new, low emissions Citroen C3 Exclusive valued at $27,895.

Second prize: Five nights for two at the Heritage Lodge & Spa in Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland, valued at $4,524.

Ticket seller’s prize: Sell a book of tickets to family and friends and you’ll be entered in the exclusive draw for an Intrepid Travel four-day Red Centre tour, valued at $2,694.

Book buyer’s prize: Buy a book of 20 consecutive tickets in the same name, and if one of them wins first prize, you’ll also win an Intrepid Travel 15-day Berlin to Venice tour, valued at $9,614.

Loyalty club prize: Join the Loyalty Club and you could win three nights of blissful relaxation at QT Resort in Port Douglas, North Queensland, valued at $1,588.


Reviews

Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Caitlin M. Smith
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by @cafarrell
Great News, by Karl-Friedrich Lenz
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People, by Dennis Cardiff
The Hundred-foot Journey

 

Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Caitlin M. Smith

I loved this book. It was very fascinating. It brought reincarnations of people back to life. The author had many stories to tell in his book. He wrote many little stories in the book. This kept the book very interesting. Each of the had something to teach us. Creating thought within about the lessons you are experiencing and the impact on humanity. I highly recommend Ascending Spiral. I had a hard time putting this book down. It is kind of funny. I was told to take a look at this book from a friend of mine. I am a sci-fi Fanatic. This book really was refreshing. I am definitely going to refer this book to my friends and family for sure.


Ascending Spiral, reviewed by @cafarrell

Ascending Spiral is a riveting, well written tale of one soul’s reincarnations, lifetime after lifetime. The story has a fascinating premise, and offers a glimpse into history as well. The seemingly unrelated prequel may put off some readers, but keep reading! It all ties together in the end. I’m glad I got to read this one.


Great News, by Karl-Friedrich Lenz

greatnewsThis is a tongue-in-the cheek book with a serious message. Like I am, Professor Lenz is doing his best to stop humanity from destroying itself. He looks at the utter insanity of a species unabatedly burning fossil fuels despite the very obvious consequence of cooking the planet, within our lifetime.

He says, repeatedly, that surely a species clever enough to develop our technology can’t also be stupid enough to commit species suicide in this way. So, he has invented an evil alien culture that is manipulating us to do so, for no other reason than for their entertainment.

Personally, given my psychological knowledge, I can explain the twists in thinking that fully account for this blindness. I run a workshop on how such thinking is possible. All the same, I am very happy to accept a different explanation, if it gets the message out that we are indeed transforming our lovely planet into the hell hot that Venus is.

OK, that’s the message. The sugar coating is quite fun. Although it’s clear from the writing that English is not the author’s first language, the text is clear enough to ride over the imperfections. And I do love his twists of ingenuity.

Great News will give you a few hours of enjoyable reading, and you may not mind being educated about environmental matters on the way.


Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People, by Dennis Cardiff

Sometimes bleak, sometimes even terrifying, the stories told by street people reveal two sides of human nature: the savagery of “civilization” that puts some into hardship, danger and humiliation — and the decency, compassion and caring that is equally a part of who we can choose to be.

Dennis has been spending his lunch breaks from work talking to the strays of the city, because he gets a more interesting conversation. He had experienced bankruptcy and losing his home in the past, so he can identify with these people who are now where he could easily have been. He ends up doing voluntary work, as well as being, without realizing, a bit of a therapist and social worker with them.

Much of the power of the stories is in the simplicity of the language. These are accounts of his memory of what people said, and that’s it. You see his friends as… just people, with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else. They are on the streets for a variety of reasons, including drugs and alcohol. It’s clear that, while their lives are bleak and full of hardship, they are not any less happy than those materially better off. Dennis gives a wonderful picture of those spat out by society, giving them personality, dignity and acceptance.

However, the strengths of the presentation also lead to a weakness: repetitiveness. Day to day, the details may change for Dennis’s friends, but it’s more of the same. By giving an accurate, unedited, unvarnished account, he necessarily has to repeat himself. A day to day diary of the average suburban family lacks excitement. A day to day diary of any other group just has to be much the same.

So, I was entertained and inspired by the start of the book. I got to know the key people like Joy, and wished them well in their travails. However, after awhile the story dragged on. All the same, the inspirational nature of the book remains. You could thoroughly improve your wellbeing, the meaning of your life, by copying Dennis.

A generous portion of the proceeds from the sale of these books goes toward helping the homeless. So, do yourself a favor. Spend the few dollars it takes to buy the book (and its companions), and then follow Dennis’s example. The more you give, the more you get, and I mean giving of your essence rather than money. This doesn’t mean you need to associate with homeless people, although that is a worthwhile activity. But find some way you can be of benefit to others, and to make this planet a better place for its inhabitants.

Buy it here. Proceeds support homeless people.


The Hundred-foot Journey

My friend Meredith decided to celebrate her birthday by a group expedition to the movies. I rarely see a movie, but enjoyed this one.

The Hundred-foot Journey has a hidden message, not picked up by the reviews I’ve skimmed, either of the movie or of the book. This message is why I am writing a review, and encouraging you to either see it, or to read the book by Richard Morais.

The Kadam family’s restaurant in Mumbai, India is burned down during a riot, with mother dying. After this tragedy, they end up in France, and, through the failed brakes of their van, in a little village with a famous restaurant and the empty shell of a failed one. Despite opposition from his children, Papa buys the building, and sets up a garishly Indian restaurant.

There is cold war between the two eateries, with lots of conflict — until, again, the Kadams’ restaurant is attacked with fire. Then the two sides draw together in a wonderful way. The dragon running the French restaurant hires the Kadam son, Hassan, who is a gifted cook, sets him on the road to fame. He and Madame’s deputy Marguerite fall in love — as do Madame and Papa.

That’s the surface story. It’s entertaining — scary in parts, funny in others. That much, to me, is “see it and forget it.” What lifts the story above the ordinary is the subtle lesson underneath. While Madame and Papa engage in “payback,” an eye for an eye, Marguerite and Hassan act with consistent decency and generosity, even to the “enemy.” It is her reaction to an act of hate that turns Madame around into a person who acts from Love, even if in her characteristically prickly way. In turn, her unshakeable determination to make amends converts Papa from bitterness and resentment to caring and good humour.

Readers of Bobbing Around will know (been told ad nauseam) that, in my opinion, this is exactly the kind of culture change humanity needs in order to survive.


A bit of fun

Sensible locals

stayoff


About Bobbing Around

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Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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2 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 6

  1. nicholas says:

    Hi Bob… nick gerrard here from Ether… also editor for Jotter United… Just put a link to your blog on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JottersUnited?ref=hl And wanted to ask you if you would like to submit something for our magazine? The next Issue is around the theme of memorandum… could be an essay, political piece, prose whatever… Can be an old piece from the blog or something published elsewhere also… anyway would love to run a piece by youlatest issue http://jottersutd.wix.com/jotters-united#!issue-8/c1cs1

    All the best Nick

    Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 12:10:23 +0000 To: nicc63@hotmail.com

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Nick, thank you for the links, and for visiting.
      Sorry the approval and reply were delayed a couple of days. WordPress’s spam-catching automatic software decided that the last issue of my newsletter was evil, and my site was shut down until now.
      I’ll think about an article for you.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

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