Bobbing Around Volume 16 Number 7

Donald Trump’s election does not change the laws of physics.
Union of Concerned Scientists

GE crops have benefited no one except the corporations selling the chemicals required to grow them.
Ronnie Cummins

Bobbing Around

Volume Sixteen, Number Seven,
January, 2017

Bob Rich’s rave

email

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

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
The winner of Carolyn’s book
100 word story
There IS no global warming?
Why is the new year now?

Responses to past issues
Margaret Goodman

*Politics
The best explanation
Pull a tiger’s tail…

*Environment
A graph is worth 1000 words
Extinction event on course
No more imperial purple
Fish officially running out
Bolivia running dry
Reminder: freezing US is climate change
Keep coal in the ground — or breathe this

*Good news
We will starve carbon of money
One place protected
Las Vegas
Portugal proves: renewables are reliable
Out of tar sands, into wind

*Inspiring people
Happy birthday, Pope Francis
Forgiveness
Gifted 2 blankets? Give one away!
There ARE decent politicians
Kiribati’s weightlifter
98 years old, and still fighting for the poor
The courage of a German grandmother
A lawyer for fairness
San Francisco

*Technology
Housebus
A new kind of solar cell on the market in 2017 = hope
Solar aluminium
Grow a chicken on your kitchen counter?

*Deeper issues
True religion
A true sage of our time
The end of economic growth
Gisela Kaplan on feathered people
Experimental demonstration: plants remember and learn
Generosity is good for you
A horrifying prediction: Trump dynasty?
Returning to sanity
Arnold has it right

*Psychology
A few hints on coping with newsitis
Grieving for my father
Another girl with urges to kill
My husband won’t listen to me

*Health
Forget climate change: it’s your health
Sunglasses
Choose a woman doctor!
Does fat make you fat?

*For writers
What does a beta reader do?
Advice from Asimov

*What my friends want you to know
Environmental Defense Fund
Exxon is bashing 350.org…
…and Union of Concerned Scientists
Skills for community living, 26 Feb 2017
Support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Malala fund
Sharing with Writers
Alfredo’s journey with bipolar
Rich McLean’s art launch
Geoff Nelder’s short story is a book
Pandora’s Box: new online magazine

*Reviews
Dangerous Sanctuary by J. Q. Rose

*Fun
Wisdom
Wise comment
The Santa legend, revised


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.

We need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations.
Stephen Hawking


From me to you

The winner of Carolyn’s book
100 word story
There IS no global warming?
Why is the new year now?

 

The winner of Carolyn’s book

Nine people commented on my interview with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, regarding her new book How to Get Great Book Review Frugally and Ethically, although for some reason WordPress has swallowed the first two, by Karen Kioffi and Carla Moora.

I generated a random number at Random.org, and the winner is Bob Selden.
caroreviewcover


100 word story

For the third year, I’ve entered the 100 word story contest Reader’s Digest runs.

At the time of writing, I don’t know if I have won, because deadline for submissions is 31st December, 2016. However, I clearly got past the first hurdle, because they notified me that my story is included in their 2017 anthology, one of “more than 400” out of the many thousands of submissions.

Here is my story:

    PRESS RELEASE

    This year’s Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to Emma Smith of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, for instantaneously doubling the global economy, an act of genius that has revolutionised the science of Economics.

    She has evaluated the monetary worth of house cleaning, cooking, child care and early child education, dispute resolution and mediation services, taxi services at Uber rates, and information networking.

    These services are provided within each family.

    By assessing their value, she has managed to double the global Gross Domestic Product.
    She has achieved this miracle without even including the monetary value of sexual services.

Wish me luck for the remaining two stages: selection for publication in their magazine, and of course getting the prize. I mean, if Emma Smith did, why shouldn’t I?

Naturally, this is a marketing exercise. They would love me to buy this short story collection, for only AUD 29.98 and postage of $9.99 within Australia. I’m afraid that’s beyond the budget for someone enjoying life in voluntary poverty, but here is the link in case you are interested.


There IS no global warming?

I announce Bobbing Around in various email lists. A person responded in one with this: “It was hotter in the 30s and much hotter during the medieval warming period. Long term it’s been cooling for the last 13 thousand years after a sharp warming that ended the last ice age. We are in an interglacial period that probably will end on the next thousand years. If carbon goes below 200 parts/million then agriculture ends because plants cant grow fast enough. There’s been a warming since the 1750s when the little ice age ended.”

Well, I’ve corrected his spelling and punctuation a little. Being a polite sort of a person, I have given a detailed response.

Comments welcome.


Why is the new year now?

Read my brief blog post on this important subject.


Responses to past issues

Margaret Goodman

Bob,

As always, thank you for sending Bobbing Around to me. The prejudice census was interesting!

Hoping that December treats you well and that the planet deals wisely and effectively with the United States election.

Margaret Goodman


Politics

The best explanation
Pull a tiger’s tail…

By and large, I currently find politics, both globally and in my own country, to be so depressing that I’ve kept away from it. So, I have only two gems for you this month.

 

The best explanation

alexsteffen
There is a suicide pact ruling this planet. They don’t know they are killing themselves, and everyone with them, because of cognitive dissonance. They think they are increasing their profits, protecting their investments, engaging in risk reduction.

The risk is that the Carbon Bubble will pop. They know it will happen, but in the meantime, they want to milk it for all its worth. Tomorrow? What’s that?

Naturally, Trump and his select group of oil industry employees are part of this suicide pact. But actually, the person most to gain from this action is Putin.

To understand all this, please read this incisive essay by Alex Steffen.
vladrex


Pull a tiger’s tail…

It has started already. By the time Trump is sworn in, the disaster for the US will be on the way.

Read how China plans to defend itself.

If you can’t get past the paywall, here is a summary.
tiger


Environment

A graph is worth 1000 words
Extinction event on course
No more imperial purple
Fish officially running out
Bolivia running dry
Reminder: freezing US is climate change
Keep coal in the ground — or breathe this

 

A graph is worth 1000 words

globalice
This is the extent of sea ice.

Have a look at the red line at the bottom. That’s 2016.

From the National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Extinction event on course

Here is a new summary of the evidence, focusing on probably the most powerful cause for species extinctions: habitat loss through human activity.

When I encounter a climate change denier, I don’t argue with them. Instead, I talk about extinctions, their effect on humans (I don’t think humans are special, but the other person probably does).

Cities are expanding. An increasing human population needs more land to be cleared for food production. Mining used to be underground. Now, it replaces nature. Forests are being murdered. Overfishing is stripping the oceans of life.

When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.
deaddodo Dead dodo sketch by Andrew Trimmer


No more imperial purple

In the ancient world, purple was the royal colour. The secret of the dye was a source of Phoenician wealth.

They couldn’t do it in today’s world, because the dye came from a species of Mediterranean shellfish, and the warming waters of the sea have catastrophically reduced the numbers of this shellfish. They are on the way to extinction, one of a very high and increasing proportion of plants and animals on the way to leaving us.

Does it matter?

Not as an isolated fact, except of course to the poor shellfish. But it is yet another indication that we are killing everything on this planet. For example, giraffes are facing a catastrophic reduction in numbers.
purple


Fish officially running out

No, no, fish can’t run. They swim. (Sorry!) But according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature, current evidence shows that today’s rate of fishing will strip the oceans bare by 2048.

Who cares? That’s YEARS away, right?

Wrong. Such forecasts don’t say something about the future, but about the present. Fish is not just something you feed your cat, but a huge part of the global ecosystem. This is yet another component of that extinction event I keep shouting about.

Here is an analogy. You are driving along, and your car is drifting toward the centre line. When should you correct? After you have crossed over, or when you know you’re on the wrong path?

According to the report, the fishing industry is two to three times as large as what the oceans can support. That’s not a drift toward the centre line, but going at right angles to the road, rushing toward disaster.


Bolivia running dry

Worsening of droughts in areas subject to it is one of the known consequences of climate change. Another is the melting of glaciers.

When you have a country in its worst drought in 25 years, with its glaciers gone or nearly so, you have a life-threatening emergency.

Sadly, this is now happening in Bolivia.
boliv The photo shows what was once a ski resort. You can’t ski on rocks.


Reminder: freezing US is climate change

I don’t like the term “global warming” because local cold weather can be misinterpreted as evidence against it. But when climate change weakens the temperature difference between the Arctic and the tropics, the barrier between cold and warmer air wobbles all over the place. This happened in January, 2014, and is happening again; hence the current cold spell over the United States.

You will find that other northern areas will be hugely warmer than expected as a result of the wobble. This large but local cold area doesn’t affect overall global temperatures. This is happening: Arctic sea ice is a record low because temperatures are way higher than expected.

Take advantage of NASA research while you can.
coldsnap


Keep coal in the ground — or breathe this

The major reason for getting off coal is not climate change, but health. This is Beijing, thanks to a cold snap that has people warming themselves by burning coal.
beijingsmog
Photo by Tony Kent


Good news

We will starve carbon of money
One place protected
Las Vegas
Portugal proves: renewables are reliable
Out of tar sands, into wind

 

We will starve carbon of money

Please read this report in the Guardian.

    Five years ago, the idea that investments in fossil fuel companies were morally or financially problematic was all but unheard of. But an argument started to take shape on US university campuses — that with more coal, oil and gas in existing reserves than can ever be burned while keep climate change under control, it is ethical and economic madness to spend billions looking for more.

    Fast forward to today and the argument has rocketed into mainstream financial thinking. It was revealed on Monday that investors worth over $5 trillion have now committed to dump their fossil fuel stocks, and over 80% of that is professional funds run for profit. Furthermore, this risk of a “carbon bubble” is now being taken seriously at the highest level, including the Bank of England, World Bank and the G20’s financial stability board.

coal


One place protected

Shelburne Bay “is the last intact landscape of its kind in Australia. A rare and spectacular stretch of snow-white sand dunes, spring-fed streams, ancient rainforests and sprawling wild-flower rich heathlands. Its seas include some of the most significant turtle and dugong habitat in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”

After a long battle, it has been handed back to its traditional owners.

Shelburne Bay

Shelburne Bay

Photo: Kerry Tapnell.


Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the largest city in America to run itself entirely on renewable energy.

All public facilities are powered by solar and geothermal energy, saving the city $5 million a year.


Portugal proves: renewables are reliable

Portugal enjoyed a landmark last May: four and a half days and nights during which 100% or electricity came from renewable sources.

This is mostly hydro and wind. Their solar installations are still tiny, despite the climate being very favourable for solar.
lisbon


Out of tar sands, into wind

This is the action of Norway’s energy company Statoil.

What has been happening to coal for some years is now shifting to oil. Can’t be too soon.


People who inspire

Happy birthday, Pope Francis
Forgiveness
Gifted 2 blankets? Give one away!
There ARE decent politicians
Kiribati’s weightlifter
98 years old, and still fighting for the poor
The courage of a German grandmother
A lawyer for fairness
San Francisco

 

Happy birthday, Pope Francis

I am not a Catholic, or even a Christian, but I love this man. He turned 80 on 17th December. I hope he stays in his position as long as possible.

Humanity needs his humanity.
francissmile


Forgiveness

The history of American interactions with native peoples is full of genocide, betrayal and greed.

There has been a moving ceremony at the Standing Rock reservation in which military veterans received forgiveness.

The Dakota pipeline has been stopped. The action of armed force veterans was the final blow to achieve this. It is fitting that two fiercely independent and brave traditions should now support each other.

I do hope, however, that the perpetrators of recent inhumane attacks against peaceful protestors will face the law.
standingrock


Gifted 2 blankets? Give one away!

emmab
Last year, this little girl was given 2 blankets to keep her warm in winter. She gave one away to help another child, and was inspired to start a campaign in her home town to spread the action.

As a result, now hundreds of other kids can be more comfortable.


There ARE decent politicians

kelvint
Kelvin Thomson retired from Australian Federal politics last July. That means, he has a very generous income for the rest of his life. The same is true for other pollies, which doesn’t stop them from moving into high-paid jobs that amount to prostitution, such as becoming lobbyists for special interests.

Kelvin has done the opposite. He has chosen a low-paid job as campaign manager for an organisation opposed to gambling and all the harm it causes.


Kiribati’s weightlifter

David Katoatau is Kiribati’s national hero, being the only citizen of this Pacific country to have won sporting medals. Objectively, he didn’t shine in the Rio Olympics, but won people’s hearts through his joyful dancing after his lifts.

He is also strongly motivated to coach and encourage youngsters to follow him into sporting excellence, and more important, is a global ambassador for climate change action.

Do read about this fine young man.
davidk


98 years old, and still fighting for the poor

And, as a social worker, he has chosen to live in voluntary poverty.

He is Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, an Indian man who was part of Gandhi’s movement, went to jail for criticising Indira Gandhi, and is now treated with respect even by politicians when he lambasts them.

There would be no involuntary poverty is we all had this old man’s attitudes.
doreswami
Here, he is honoured by the Chief Minister of the state where he chose to participate in a protest. (BBC)


The courage of a German grandmother

Irmela Schramm has been assaulted. Police threaten her with a large fine for her activities. All the same this sweet-looking old lady spends many hours a day spreading love and tolerance, and advertises her opposition to hate and divisiveness.

She has been a “political cleaner” for 30 years, countering any hate graffiti she sees. She scrapes off stickers, sprays over graffiti swastikas, removes posters.

Being German, she is very systematic, and documents all her actions. The German Historical Museum has exhibited 80 binders of her collected material.

I read about her in the Huffington Post.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY DEBORAH COLE
66-year-old anti-Nazi activist Irmela Mensah-Schramm sports a bag inscribed with the words “Against Nazis” as she does her round in eastern Berlin’s Lichtenberg district December 20, 2011. For 25 years, Mensah-Schramm has been removing far right graffiti, stickers and other symbols all over Germany and in 6 other European countries. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)


In case you can’t read German, her bag is labelled “against Nazis.”


A lawyer for fairness

Terry Higgins was representing penniless, unfortunate people instead of making money. He worked his way up to being a Supreme Court judge, still on the side of decency, fairness, Justice.

At 70, he was required to retire, so he moved to the Supreme Court of New Guinea. There, he was one of the bench of judges who unanimously declared Australia’s concentration camp on Manus Island to be unconstitutional.

Read his story and be inspired.
terryh


San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Times carries this announcement:

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution, introduced by Board President London Breed, in response to the election of Donald Trump. The resolution reads as follows:

    WHEREAS, On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate—we build bridges, not walls; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we will never back down on women’s rights, whether in healthcare, the workplace, or any other area threatened by a man who treats women as obstacles to be demeaned or objects to be assaulted. And just as important, we will ensure our young girls grow up with role models who show them they can be or do anything; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That there will be no conversion therapy, no withdrawal of rights in San Francisco. We began hosting gay weddings twelve years ago, and we are not stopping now. And to all the LGBTQ people all over the country who feel scared, bullied, or alone: You matter. You are seen; you are loved; and San Francisco will never stop fighting for you; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we still believe in this nation’s founding principle of religious freedom. We do not ban people for their faith. And the only lists we keep are on invitations to come pray together; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, even if they may not in the White House. And guided by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, we will continue reforming our police department and rebuilding trust between police and communities of color so all citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That climate change is not a hoax, or a plot by the Chinese. In this city, surrounded by water on three sides, science matters. And we will continue our work on CleanPower, Zero Waste, and everything else we are doing to protect future generations; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we have been providing universal health care in this city for nearly a decade, and if the new administration follows through on its callous promise to revoke health insurance from 20 million people, San Franciscans will be protected; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we are the birthplace of the United Nations, a city made stronger by the thousands of international visitors we welcome every day. We will remain committed to internationalism and to our friends and allies around the world—whether the administration in Washington is or not; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That San Francisco will remain a Transit First city and will continue building Muni and BART systems we can all rely upon, whether this administration follows through on its platform to eliminate federal transit funding or not; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That California is the sixth largest economy in the world. The Bay Area is the innovation capital of the country. We will not be bullied by threats to revoke our federal funding, nor will we sacrifice our values or members of our community for your dollar; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we condemn all hate crimes and hate speech perpetrated in this election’s wake. That although the United States will soon have a President who has demonstrated a lack of respect for the values we hold in the highest regard in San Francisco, it cannot change who we are, and it will never change our values. We argue, we campaign, we debate vigorously within San Francisco, but on these points we are 100 percent united. We will fight discrimination and recklessness in all its forms. We are one City. And we will move forward together.

I congratulate them for being a voice for sanity and decency.


Technology

Housebus
A new kind of solar cell on the market in 2017 = hope
Solar aluminium
Grow a chicken on your kitchen counter?

 

Housebus

Please read this delightful report with lovely pictures about a young couple who traded both working overtime to pay outrageous rents in exchange for time together, emotional energy for creative pursuits, and less environmental impact.

They are living in a converted school bus, and have made it beautiful.
housebus

Incidentally, when we were building our house, we provided eldest child Natalie with her own independent bedroom, which was a bus. She had a tiny wood-fired heater, and a solar panel providing light and music. When her room in the house was ready, she chose to stay in her bus, until she left home.


A new kind of solar cell on the market in 2017 = hope

Stephen Luntz is a fellow Australian Green, and a long term solar energy expert. In easy to understand words, he has described perovskite solar cells, which are hugely more efficient than silicone-based ones, and are ready to roll onto the market now.

The result will be an acceleration of the death of coal. It simply cannot compete on price. Stephen says this is so profound that it may even affect American politcs.

Well worth a read.
perovskite From another excellent place, the Clean Energy Institute of the University of Washington.


Solar aluminium

Yes, Americans, that’s the proper spelling: aluminIum. 🙂

Alcoa is funding a major research project to use concentrating solar collectors to generate the enormous heat needed to convert bauxite into aluminium.

Until now, aluminium refining and processing has been one of the major sources of electricity demand. Until the invention of electric furnaces, this metal was more expensive than gold. In the near future, places with lots of sunshine will be able to generate that electricity from the sun, at a fraction of the cost — and at a very small fraction of the environmental footprint.
thermal
The source of the pic is well worth reading for the history of solar thermal, how it works, and examples of it already in use.


Grow a chicken on your kitchen counter?

Or in the supermarket? Imagine real meat that doesn’t involve killing, doesn’t require animals to be slaves, avoids the environmental damage of animal husbandry, has no antibiotics or toxic chemicals… but it is real meat.

This is the process Katherine Martinko describes in TreeHugger.

The technique was developed by Professor Yaakov Nahmias, who has successfully grown a human liver that can be transplanted into a person who needs it. SuperMeat is applying it to food. Think of it as a womb in which a tiny culture is grown into drumsticks and chicken breasts and things.

About my only question not answered in the article is the source of raw materials. Something must be fed into the system to be converted into the meat, and that may involve environmental damage.
drumstick


Deeper Issues

True religion
A true sage of our time
The end of economic growth
Gisela Kaplan on feathered people
Experimental demonstration: plants remember and learn
Generosity is good for you
A horrifying prediction: Trump dynasty?
Returning to sanity
Arnold has it right

 

True religion

In our current world of hatred, intolerance and mutual fear, it is wonderful to see a Catholic church hosting a meeting of many faiths. All the speakers follow the same God, in somewhat different ways.

I wish they were the model for all of humankind.

PS The newspaper reporting the story has removed the page, sorry.
manyfaiths


A true sage of our time

francisnature


The end of economic growth

Mike Stasse has reproduced an essay by Eugene Marner titled “The Peak Oil Election.”

Cheap, conventionally extracted oil is now history. That peak oil has passed. The unconventional methods are getting more and more expensive, and with economic recessions, people are less and less able to pay for it.

We need a new global economy.

The essay is not long, and well worth reading.


Gisela Kaplan on feathered people

Professor Gisela Kaplan has worked on the cognitive abilities of birds for many years. Her research shows that many species have abilities we arrogant humans think only we can practice.

Please read this beautiful essay about several Australian species.
kookie


Experimental demonstration: plants remember and learn

If I can trust my past life recalls, in my immediately previous life I was a walking plant somewhere else in the universe. The story is in Ascending Spiral. Also, in the Doom Healer series, the alien Merlin tells Bill Sutcliffe that mosses and cabbages have life energy, the same as animals like humans do.

So, I don’t find it at all difficult to accept Prudence Gibson’s description of the work of Monica Gagliano on the ability of plants to learn from experience, and processes exactly like Pavlov’s classical conditioning with animals.

Fascinating stuff. Follow it up.
monicag
Associate Professor Monica Gagliano


Generosity is good for you

Science is catching up with philosophy and religion. While it doesn’t cite sources, this little essay summarises the scientifically demonstrated benefits of generosity.

The more you give, the more you get. What you get is feeling good about yourself, feeling more positive and loving toward those you give to, and inner peace. Generosity is a great antidepressant.

Given the fashions of writing about psychology, the author feels the need to put this at least partly in brain language, which I find silly, but the conclusions are spot on.
give


A horrifying prediction: Trump dynasty?

Professor David Dillard-Wright, writing in Alternet, gives a plausible explanation of the greatest upset of our times. He compares Trump’s success to the attraction of religious cults, and predicts a move toward a dynasty, like the Kim family in North Korea.

    The stadium becomes the evangelical circus tent of renewal and transformation: a purgation of America through ecstatic trampling of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. The cult of personality around Trump and his family goes a long way towards explaining his popularity. His followers support him through a maneuver of sympathetic magic: by supporting this bombastic billionaire (a euphemistic phrase, but words fail the sheer scope of his ego), they hope to imbibe some of his Midas touch. Ethics and accountability be damned: his fawning admirers want a slice of the proverbial pie even if it comes at someone else’s expense. They are not bothered by Trump University or the Atlantic City bankruptcies — they just want a piece of the action.


Returning to sanity

Please read about Mark Boyle’s decision to reject all complex technology.

He is putting into practice what I recommend in my essay, How to change the world.

All such acts of withdrawal from the toxicity of our culture are necessarily compromises. He has chosen a different, more radical level to compromise at than I have, and I wish him luck with it.

If all of us could divest from stuff, as far as our circumstances permit, we would have a chance of saving a future. Contentment is a by-product of doing so.

And I love his chair:
markboyle Photo Sam Frost


Arnold has it right

Renewable energy is great for the economy, and you don’t have to take my word for California has some of the most revolutionary environmental laws in the United States, we get 40% of our power from renewables, and we are 40% more energy efficient than the rest of the country. We were an early-adopter of a clean energy future.

Our economy has not suffered. In fact, our economy in California is growing faster than the U.S. economy. We lead the nation in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, entertainment, high tech, biotech, and, of course, green tech.

I have a final question, and it will take some imagination.

There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.

I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

I’m guessing you chose the Door Number Two, with the electric car, right? Door number one is a fatal choice — who would ever want to breathe those fumes?

This is the choice the world is making right now.

To use one of the four-letter words of you commenters love, I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change. I couldn’t care less if you’re concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science.

I just hope that you’ll join me in opening Door Number Two, to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.
Arnold Swartzenegger


Psychology

A few hints on coping with newsitis
Grieving for my father
Another girl with urges to kill
My husband won’t listen to me

 

A few hints on coping with newsitis

Steve Williams, writing for Care2.com, has described a few easy to implement tactics for reducing anxiety, depression and hopelessness the news (or more exactly, the “news”) induces in many people, me included.

I’ve found that my creativity has been battered by the bizarre turns of history. If the same is true for you, follow up Steve’s suggestions.


Grieving for my father

I lost my beloved father 16 DAYS ago. Someone I loved and cherished all my life and one and only tragedy I’ve always been afraid of. After living abroad for over 16 years, I moved back home just for him and I of course, just a little over a year ago, to be close to him, with him and to help him with a big deal problem that the government had created for him about 30 years ago, I suddenly lost him over a heart attack he had, leaving me and all of our dreams behind.

Please help me understand death, why he left, how or if I should try to stay connected with him and how to understand and accept that he is in a better place? Help me with anything pls.

Dear Shiva,

Death is a part of life. We all die, sooner or later. What counts is not how long we live, but how well.

The fact that you love your father so much says good things about him. He must have done well in the journey of life.

Also, your great pain says good things about you. Being able to love is wonderful. Grief is the price we pay.

Here is a thought that helps many people. He passed on. You, his child, are still here. How would he feel if you had died, and he survived you? What would you rather have: him grieving for you, or you grieving for him?

Your loss is very new. It is a little like a broken bone. It hurts, but if we do all the right things, it heals, and the once-broken part of the bone is actually stronger. In the same way, your grief, once processed, can leave you a better, stronger person.

It is necessary for you to feel this pain, but it is not necessary to feel it 24 hours a day. For the next few months, set aside two hours a day, not too close to bedtime. 5 to 7 pm suits many people. During those two hours, give yourself permission to feel whatever comes, do whatever you need to: cry, rage at the unfairness of the world, pray, anything that’s necessary. When a thought of grief comes at any other time, say inside your mind, “Go away, dear Father, I’ll see you at 5 pm.” This actually does work, as long as you conscientiously keep the appointment.

Later, you will be able to reduce the time you need to devote to your grief, and eventually it will only be needed on special days like his birthday, anniversary of his passing, and a few other days that were special to the two of you. Even those times will be bitter-sweet: you will enjoy looking at old photographs, laughing with tears in your eyes about funny events in your past, and so on.

When you are ready (now or later), read a wonderful book by Elizabeth Harper Neeld: “Seven Choices: Finding daylight after loss shatters your world”

With caring,
Bob


Another girl with urges to kill

Hello. I need help. I don’t know why, but I imagine killing people I know. Not just straight up killing, but torturing. It hurts. It really does. I want to do it, but I would hate hurting the people I love. I don’t do this when I’m mad, but pretty much half the time I’m awake. When I think like this, my body feels hollow and my mind feels blank except for these thoughts. I have absentmindedly almost done it. I was hugging my dog and suddenly wrapped my hands around his neck, but didn’t squeeze. Another time I was in the ocean with my sister and pulled slightly down on her floaty. She almost drowned. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I need help, but I am scared what my mother and father will disown me. I am also very religious, and scared that I will be expelled.

So, how do I control my problem? How do I tell my family about the monster I am?

Barb my dear, you are not a monster. If you were, you would go and do these things. Instead, the thoughts horrify you. So, you are a good person who has developed a terrible habit. You don’t need to change your nature, but get rid of a particular way of thinking. That is perfectly possible.

You would be surprised at how many boys and girls experience very similar problems. I have answered dozens of cries for help like yours. Some of those people were years ago, and have built good lives for themselves. You can, too.

Here is word for word what I wrote to a young woman who had urges to kill people. It was even worse in her case, since from childhood she had tortured and killed animals.

Let me tell you a true story.

I was once supervising a young psychologist who had a placement at a Christian mental health service. A policeman came in. They had 4 sessions over some small problem before he trusted the therapist enough to say what the real issue was.

All his life, ever since puberty, he had a strong urge to sexually molest little children. Every time he was near a little boy or girl, he wanted that child to play with his penis, and he wanted to do things to the child.

This horrified him. He felt about his sexual urges the way you feel about your killing urges. He’d actually joined the police to stop other men from molesting children. He never had a girlfriend because he wanted to avoid being a father, frightened of the risk of molesting his own children. He felt himself to be evil, and damaged, and disgusting, and sometimes it was so bad that he wanted to kill himself.

My colleague asked my advice on how to help this man, and we came up with something that worked for him, and will work for you. This policeman happened to be a strong Christian, so we put the idea in terms of his faith, but if he had been an atheist, the same idea would still have worked.

In the Bible, it says that Satan came to Jesus and said, “Bow down before me, and all this shall be yours” and showed Him great rewards. Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, then rejected the offer.

OK, why didn’t Jesus say no to Satan straight away? Why did it take him so long to make up His mind? It had to be because the temptation was real. Jesus felt about Satan’s offer the way you feel about killing. He wanted to do it, but knew it was wrong, and knew he’d hate himself if he accepted. Otherwise, why agonize over it for 40 days and 40 nights?

But when He rejected Satan’s offer, that proved to Himself that He was strong enough to carry out His Father’s mission for Him, which was to allow Himself to be tortured to death. That took a lot of courage, and maybe if He hadn’t had training through rejecting Satan’s offer, He wouldn’t have been able to go through with it.

My colleague said to the policeman, “If it was OK for Jesus to face a challenge like that, then it is OK for you. Maybe, before you were born, you and God designed this special challenge for you. You needed it for the training of your spirit, so you could become a stronger, better person. It’s a trial you have been given, and you have passed. You have benefited from it. Rather than being evil, and damaged, and disgusting, you’ve proved yourself to be a highly moral, good person. Despite having these terrible urges, you have managed to avoid hurting any small children, and even chose work where you can protect children from harm. You are what you DO, not what you feel. What you have done is good, so you are good. Those urges are your cross, and even if they are with you for the rest of your life, you can continue to be a good person by resisting them.”

As I said, this was right for him because he was a Christian. You can use your killing urges in the same way. Until now, you have bought into them and perhaps even enjoyed the inner feeling of power you get when imagining how you will kill someone. But from now on, you can say to yourself, “Good. Here is my opportunity to become a stronger, better, more decent person by DOING the right thing. You are what you do, not what you feel. I will do some act of kindness for this person instead of killing him.”

You see, feelings, thoughts and urges are like a muscle: they get stronger with exercise. When you keep thinking about killing, and believe these thoughts, they get stronger and more frequent. When you practice kindness and decency and doing the right thing, then those thoughts become stronger and more frequent.

I also have a second idea for you, one that I often use. When I get an urge I disapprove of, I have a three-way choice: 1. Go along with it and do it. 2. Exert my willpower to resist it. 3. Use a trick I will now describe for you.

Resisting through willpower is hard work. And it can often fail — we slip up. Instead, I realize that this urge is not a command, but an invitation. I can gently say, “No, thank you.” I don’t need to resist the urge, just disown it. I am not the urge, and it is not me. And I am not responsible for it. I didn’t decide to have this urge, it just came. It’s as if there was a little monster whispering in my ear, using the same voice as my own thoughts, “Go on, Bob, no one will ever find out. You can get away with it. What does it matter?”

These thoughts are not my thoughts, they just are. So, I don’t have to fight them. I don’t have to believe them. I can’t make them go away, but I don’t need to listen either. It’s like, suppose you’re in a room where the TV is on. Someone comes in and asks, “Hi, what’s the show?” and you have to say, “I don’t know, I haven’t been paying it any attention.” You can have a killing urge, and deal with it in the same way. “It’s there, so what. I didn’t ask for it, am not responsible for it. I don’t need to make it go away, just treat it as background noise.”

Again, this new habit is a muscle. It gets stronger with exercise.

Please feel free to email me so we can continue to work on this issue together.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


My husband won’t listen to me

Lately this has been really bugging me. Every time I start a conversation with my hubby he seems to be in never never land. I think he is listening because he it looking at me. I can be talking about finances or anything for that matter (what I deem important talk) and he’ll butt right in and say something that is off topic. Like “Guess who I seen today?” I find it really rude. Then after he says “what were you saying?” How rude. I tried talking to him but he says “if I don’t say it now I’ll forget later” Yeah Ok… I’ll talking about where we should be investing money and he’s thinking about who he saw today. And then he says “That’s the way I am.”
What do you think?

My dear,
You are 61. I assume your husband is somewhat older, or about your age. It is therefore possible that he has started sliding into dementia. That does happen to many people. So, if this is the case, he is not rude, but genuinely slipped into a state where your speech is just sound without meaning for him.

It is therefore a good idea for him to be appropriately assessed. If he is indeed losing cognitive abilities, nowadays there is quite a bit that can be done to slow this, perhaps to stop it, even to reverse it, so the earlier it’s done the better.

How to get him to agree to an assessment? If you have a family doctor, confide your worry to that person, get your husband to make an appointment for some other supposed reason, then let the doctor confront him and recommend testing. If you don’t have a connection to a doctor, some other person he respects such as a minister of religion or a suitable relative may be a good ally.

If all else fails, you can record one or two such conversations, then play them back to him, with love and caring. Tell him you are worried he may be losing it, but there is hope of treatment if he urgently does something about it.

Mind you, many men develop the habit of switching off as soon as their wife starts talking in a serious tone of voice, without having lost any of their abilities. This may be because of ongoing stress at work. He comes home, needing to relax for awhile, and is hit with the stresses of home life. When this kind of thing has put stresses on a relationship, I teach my client couple a few tricks.

1. Deliberately timetable fun times together. For perhaps the past 20 – 30 years, he may have come to associate conversations between the two of you with family business. So, you can weaken this link by establishing new, enjoyable things you will talk about. You know what his interests are, or what new things he may become interested in, and lead him to share them with you.

2. Typically, long term problems are maintained by the solutions people use to try and fix them. So, whatever you have been doing needs changing. For example, if your habit is to bring up serious business when there seems to be an opportunity for it, now do it by saying something like, “Henry dear, (or whatever his name is), after dinner today I would be grateful for your attention for half an hour. You and I need to make some financial decisions together, and this needs full concentration from both of us.” That is, actually schedule a formal meeting.

3. Currently, I am sure there are several sources of tension between the two of you, not only this one. Tell him you are somewhat unhappy, and you can see that his life needs improvement too, and that one session with a psychologist or relationship counselor can clear this up. Again, as with the possible dementia, if he doesn’t agree, find some other neutral person to “chair” a meeting, someone he respects.
Then, with this person present, offer a trade. You will find some change you are willing to make that will make his life better in some way. You make the offer, and he then helps you to fine tune it so, insofar as you are successful, his life will indeed improve. You then ask him to be your helper. When you manage to do things the right way, he will show his appreciation. When you slip back into the old way, he is not to react like he used to, but simply give you a gentle, loving reminder that you have slipped back.

Naturally, this is both ways. Next, he needs to make an offer that’s about the same level of difficulty, and will improve your life. The two of you fine tune it, then he asks you to be his helper in the same way.

This converts two sources of conflict into opportunities for cooperation, mutual kindness, and fun together.

It doesn’t matter if his initial offer is something other than listening to you when you say something serious, because when the first trade works, people extend it to new issues. It is important not to convert the offer into a demand though. You cannot suggest to him what his offer should be.

4. I have quite a lot of good information at my relationships page. Read it, and if you can, get him to read it too.

5. Read any of the self-help titles by John Gottman.

Good luck!
Bob


Health

Forget climate change: it’s your health
Sunglasses
Choose a woman doctor!
Does fat make you fat?

 

Forget climate change: it’s your health

Burning coal used to cause the famous London peasoup fogs. It is the main reason for China’s famous air pollution.

There is a convincing argument for closing coal-fired power stations on health grounds alone.

After all, renewable sources are NOW cheaper.

The best trick is still to use as little power as you can, regardless of how it is generated. That will lower your personal contribution to planetary suicide.
airpollution2


Sunglasses

I learned quite bit from reading short explanation about the damage UV light can do to your eyes.

Do read it.
sunglasses Ashley Macinnis offers good advice on buying them for kids.


Choose a woman doctor!

I wasn’t sure whether to classify this titbit as “Health” or “Fun.”

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown a significant difference in the survival rates of elderly hospitalised people, depending on the sex of the doctor in charge. Woman doctors did better for their patients in terms of fewer deaths, and fewer readmissions.

I suppose that’s why woman doctors still get paid lesson average.

docoress


Does fat make you fat?

markhyman
I was interested in the points Dr Mark Hyman made in this article. His ideas on what puts on weight make scientific sense, and are at variance from what the weight loss industry pushes.

Worth a read.


Writing

What does a beta reader do?
Advice from Asimov

 

What does a beta reader do?

When I’ve finished writing a book, I am emotionally involved with it. I’ve made it as good as I could — in my opinion. It’s certain that there are faults and problems, ways it should be improved — but I can’t find them. I need the independent opinion of readers who are willing to tell me what’s wrong with it. These people need not themselves be writers, or editors, or publishing professionals, although such background does make it more likely that they can make specific recommendations for improvement. Any intelligent person who enjoys a book of this kind can make a significant input. A beta reader needs to keep certain questions in mind while reading Here is a list I’ve sent out from time to time, generalised a little to suit a wide range of fiction works:

  • Is it a good read? Please pinpoint any places where your involvement flagged, and it was a chore to read on.
  • Did you get puzzled by anything, lost anywhere? Did you encounter a name and had to think who that was?
  • Did my created reality break down anywhere?
  • This may be a sequel, and you haven’t read what went before it. Did the back story give you trouble at any time? Or, if you’ve read the previous, does this follow seamlessly, without undue repetition?
  • If the book is part of a series, does it end in a way that makes it a complete story in its own right? Does the ending want you to continue, or does it frustrate you?
  • Do you have any other suggestions for changes and improvements?
  • Of course, if you pick up any technical errors, that’s great too, but a line edit is too early at this stage.

    Naturally, a nonfiction book would need a different set of questions. Successful writers like Anna Jacobs have their set group of beta readers who eagerly await the free read of her next story. My method has been to invite exchanges with other writers: beta reading of my book for yours, or for a review, or even for an edit (which is much more work than an opinion). Whether you are a writer/editor or not, whether you require a return service or not, I’ll be very happy to have you on my list of beta readers. Please email me if you are interested.


    Advice from Asimov

    I’ve read every science fiction story Asimov has written, some of them many times. I even enjoyed his Chemistry textbook!

    He is one of the greats.

    Read about how he wrote.
    asimov


    What my friends want you to know

    Environmental Defense Fund
    Exxon is bashing 350.org…
    …and Union of Concerned Scientists
    Skills for community living 26 Feb 2017
    Support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    Malala fund
    Sharing with Writers
    Alfredo’s journey with bipolar
    Rich McLean’s art launch
    Geoff Nelder’s short story is a book
    Pandora’s Box: new online magazine

     

    Environmental Defense Fund

    edf1612
    Climate change is the #1 environmental threat facing life on earth — and it’s a threat we all must face together.

    Stand up for climate action in 2017 with a tax-deductible gift to our Year End Campaign.

    Climate change has the power to set off devastating chain reactions in our world.

    As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide, it acidifies and becomes less hospitable to the shellfish that animals like sea otters, walruses, herons, and cranes depend on for food.

    As hurricanes slam into our coastal cities and cause massive flooding, we’ve seen effects ranging from a resurgence of cholera in Haiti to a population boom for mosquitoes—often a disease vector—in Florida.

    As fertile lands turn to arid desert and island nations slip underwater, climate change could trigger a widespread hunger crisis and spur mass migration of human climate refugees, not only causing geopolitical instability but putting humans and animals in direct competition for dwindling livable habitat.

    A threat to one species is a threat to the entire interconnected ecosystem we belong to. A threat to any of us is a threat to all of us.

    That’s why we all have to do our part.


    Exxon is bashing 350.org…

    Dear Bob,

    Last week we got another subpoena from ExxonMobil.

    They’ve hired a team of expensive lawyers to try and intimidate us into handing over all of our internal emails, documents, and communications. They’re clearly worried about our work opposing the fossil fuel industry, and right now is an incredibly crucial moment to stand strong.

    We couldn’t have done this hard-hitting work without you — thanks so much for your past support. If you continue to believe in our collective work to stand up to fossil fuel interests, I hope you’ll renew your support and make a $15 donation to 350.org this year.

    Not long after we got the Exxon subpoena, we learned that the company’s CEO Rex Tillerson was being considered for the position of Secretary of State. Then, just yesterday, we learned that prominent Exxon apologist Scott Pruitt has been picked as the next head of the EPA (after public outcry forced Trump’s first pick, climate denier Myron Ebell, out of the running).

    With Trump preparing to populate his cabinet with fossil fuel industry allies — if not outright industry executives — the only way forward is to make this movement even stronger. Can you help us get ready for the battles ahead?


    …and Union of Concerned Scientists

    kenkimmel
    ExxonMobil has subpoenaed our staff’s emails and documents related to UCS’s efforts to hold the company accountable for deceiving investors and the public on climate change.

    Their strategy: tie up the people and organizations who exposed their efforts to deceive the public, cost them time and money, and scare nonprofits off from future accountability efforts.

    And with Donald Trump’s nomination of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, it’s clear Exxon’s political power will be more formidable than ever.

    Well, let me say this: we refuse to be intimidated. We will continue this fight. Renew your support with a tax-deductible gift to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    ExxonMobil is attacking UCS because we are a real threat. They know we don’t take government or corporate funding so we’re more independent and less susceptible to intimidation. They know we’re bipartisan and can mobilize people across the political spectrum. They’re hoping the prospect of an expensive legal fight will convince us to drop our role as a defender of science.

    But we won’t stop fighting. Even with fossil fuel allies controlling Congress and the presidency next year, we can and will continue to work for real climate change solutions.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Kimmell
    President
    Union of Concerned Scientists


    Skills for community living, 26 Feb 2017

    This is a one-day workshop held at my community, Moora Moora near Healesville, Victoria, Australia.

    With the cost of housing out of reach for many, growing resentment of consumerism and the lack of nature connection in everyday life, an increasing number of people are searching for alternatives. In response, a diversity of new alternatives are emerging and well established communities have seen increased interest.

    Living cooperatively and sharing resources requires a range of skills and attributes we as society have lost with the move to small nuclear families often living away from family and friends.

    This course will explore opportunities and challenges of living in community and provides participants with a greater awareness of the skills and attributes required to share and live with others including design, governance, relationships and individuality within community. We will be drawing on the 40 years of experience and learnings from the Moora Moora cooperative

    The workshops will be facilitated by the co-founders of Moora Moora, Peter and Sandra Cock, and other members of the cooperative.

    Special notes — Minimum number of 15 required for the event to go ahead. If number not reached, then full refund will be provided. We are in a bushfire prone area — in the event that it is declared a severe, extreme or code red fire danger day, then the event will be postponed and refunds offered.

    Book your tickets here.
    darrieus


    Support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

    kon
    Hi Bob,

    Today, a man who spent years in limbo finally received a protection visa. He shared this with me, “The ASRC was my home when I lost my home, it was my family when I felt all alone in a new country, it’s where I know I will always be welcomed and where people see me and my potential.”

    I’m sharing this with you because, Bob, you may not ever have stepped into our Centre, or witnessed the impact of your contribution, but never doubt — your support touches lives.

    You know, all of this isn’t meant to be possible. When I started the ASRC 15 years ago, I never imagined these walls could give welcome, a safe space, hope and even joy to over 12,000 people seeking asylum and refugees.

    You are an important part of this movement and for this, we now stand stronger than ever before.

    On behalf of our 92 staff, 1300 volunteers and over 3000 current members seeking asylum, thank you Bob for all that you have made possible this year.

    Wishing you and your family, a very safe and joyful festive season.

    Yours gratefully,
    Kon Karapanagiotidis
    CEO and Founder
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

    P.S. Next year, we will be lobbying the Australian government to take more Syrian refugees, for every refugee on Nauru and Manus to be brought to safety and end temporary protection visas. We are $200,000 away from reaching our target that will help us prepare for the fight ahead next year. We’re up against a government that has billions to spend on harming refugees and people seeking asylum – can you chip in a gift of $50 to make sure we can give dignity and hope to people seeking asylum next year?


    Malala fund

    This wonderful young woman wants to ensure that all children, male or female, get education.

    She needs your support.
    malala2


    Sharing with Writers

    Published for the betterment of your 
 writing career since 2003.

    Read the newest issue in pdf.

    Once there, click on Dec 5.

    This newsletter is also a community. Share your ideas. Learn from theirs! Associated with the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers.


    Alfredo’s journey with bipolar

    More than a just a journey, Alfredo gives us a blueprint for humane treatment of mental illness.

    In 1981, 23-year old Alfredo Zotti began his lifelong challenge of living with Bipolar II Disorder. He quickly hit rock bottom, spending time as a homeless person and turning to street drugs and alcohol to medicate his symptoms. After hospitalization and careful outpatient monitoring, he became a successful musician and completed university.

    In 2004, he started to mentor sufferers of mental illness, and together, they developed an online journal. Alfredo now sees mental illness from a new perspective, not of disadvantages but advantages. In his words: “Having a mental illness can be a blessing if we work on ourselves.”

    Please read on at Alfredo’s blog.

    He now has two books, very different from each other.
    alfredobook2

    alfredobook


    Rich McLean’s art launch

    Welcome to my world of art, learning & life.

    I am so excited to launch my creative & autobiographical art website!

    It is not only a statement of over two decades of creativity, it is a legacy of my passions as an artist and writer and also a hopeful beacon of recovery for people who have been affected by mental illness. Or is that mental skill-ness?

    This website includes iBooks, Audiobooks, my music, two decades of autobiographical practice-led visual art narratives, and now an affordable nifty online gift shop.
    mclean


    Geoff Nelder’s short story is a book

    He sent an intriguing SF story to his publisher — who published it as a stand-alone. You can read it for 99 cents.

    This is a world that only exists within the minds of its inhabitants. Once Olga gets past the bouncer she discovers a gangster in the virtual city attempting a takeover for the financial rewards of virtual mind-advertising that takes place there.


    Pandora’s Box: new online magazine

    Pandora’s Box is a new online magazine where readers can connect with authors, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, and get unique views on current events. New content is published daily in the following topics: literature, arts, entertainment, lifestyle, health, faith, politics, technology, and news.

    The name Pandora’s Box was chosen because when people open this magazine to read it, we want them to find content that causes them problems in a “good way” that encourages them to think outside the box and learn something new that can be applied to their lives.

    We will be hosting a Valentine’s Day online party with six guest authors who will be chatting with our readers. They’ll each be offering a free book to lucky winners in the book giveaways that day. A New Book Release party will be held in April. Our Summer Party is going to be hosted in August. Our fourth event during the year will be our Christmas party.

    Our regular contributors and guest authors, writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs enjoy connecting with readers. We look forward to your next visit at Pandora’s Box.


    Reviews

    During the past month, I have been exchanging beta reads with several other authors, so there is only one review:

    Dangerous Sanctuary by J. Q. Rose

    jqrose
    A church is not a place I would expect to be the scene of criminal action — but why not? After all, congregations are made up of people, with all their strengths and failings, including greed, that worst of sins. And the pastor is not a person I would consider either a likely suspect, or a likely object of romance.

    This is what happens to Christine Hobbs, five years a minister of religion, divorced two years ago when her husband ran off with another woman, nine months the loving, loved leader of the church in a little town.

    This is the theme of “Dangerous Sanctuary.” There is a murder, and Detective Stephens considers Christine as one of the “people of interest.” Intrigue thickens as new characters are introduced, and there is attraction as well as hostility between parson and detective.

    The sometimes bizarre humour is the best part of this story. This is how it starts, with Christine extracting an orphaned cat from under a bed. That scene certainly made me want to read on. Later, the cat is joined, improbably, by a pig and a kangaroo (well, wallaby).

    So, this is an entertaining read, with a few little lessons of forgiveness and trust in God in there, without any preachiness.

    I did find the romantic component a little too formulaic and predictable, but am aware that millions of books with the self-same formula are enjoyed by their target audience, which is not me, so I need to be tolerant there.


    Fun

    Wisdom
    Wise comment
    The Santa legend, revised

     

    Wisdom
    positive


    Wise comment
    There is a global war on stupid underway at the moment, and stupid seems to be winning.

    Comment by “Mintslice” on an essay about denialist misinformation.


    The Santa legend, revised
    solarsanta


    About Bobbing Around

    If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

    You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

    If you are not a subscriber but want to be, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends. Alternatively, you can click to follow my blog, which gets you my other posts as well.

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    • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
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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.

    Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

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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.
    This entry was posted in Bobbing Around. Bookmark the permalink.

    4 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 16 Number 7

    1. V Soar says:

      Hi Bob – may I draw your attention to the best explanation I have read, intelligible to even the dimmest denier. http://tinyurl.com/zek7usz

       Veronica-Mae  “Only two things are infinite – the universe and human stupidity;                                                    and I’m not so sure about the universe ” Einstein

      Liked by 1 person

    2. MichaelEdits says:

      Arnold Schwarzenegger is right. Door #2. I could crack wise about locking deniers of climate change behind Door #1, but I’m too mature for that now.

      Liked by 1 person

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