Bobbing Around Volume 17 Number 5

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, about 28 percent of assessed freshwater species are heading for extinction. As shown by the 2016 Living Planet Index, they’re declining at a faster rate (an 81 percent decline between 1970 and 2012), than for marine (36 percent) and terrestrial (38 percent) species.
Dr. Ian Harrison

Bobbing Around

Volume Seventeen, Number Five,
November, 2017

Bob Rich’s rave

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

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
Readers Choice Awards
Win a $100 gift card?
What makes a children’s book stand out?
EPIC interview
39th recipient of LiFE Award
New feature: short stories for your enjoyment

*Responses
Jennifer Poulter
Nick Sharp
Sam Luxenburg

*Politics
Why Trump’s impeachment scares me
Canada is moving
Ali’s wedding
Genocide
Terrorism
Refugee girl is in NZ parliament

*Environment
Pollution kills
How the 6th extinction event progresses
Ever heard of Kiribati?
Can technology solve climate change?

*Good news
Brazilian rainforest safe from mining — for now
Michael Bloomberg attacks coal
Chevron follows BP out of Great Australian Bight
1 million trees planted, in a few suburbs

*Inspiring people
Farmer offers to buy forest
RIP John Thompson
A man of principle

*Compassion
This is friendship. Be inspired

*Technology
Organic but chemical pest control
Stone paper

*Deeper issues
From oilslick to tyranny
And from oil to global bankruptcy
Childfree
A “gay” father’s lovely story
The hole in the web of life is growing
Brainstorming about the end

*Psychology
Stress and health
Alcohol and antidepressants
Sex as performance
An essential step toward enlightenment
SAD

*Health
For frequent flyers
Cigarette filters kill
Antibiotic apocalypse
Plague probably plugged up — for now

*For writers
The Art of Critique
When?

*What my friends want you to know
City2Sea run, 12th November
The Stolen Maps: Trevor Tucker’s new book
Help Fijian reps to attend climate talks
Conservation International: feed the world
Sharing with writers
Free meditation event, 22nd November
Expressions of an Artist — The whole Shebang, by Frances Bildner
Defend GetUp

*Reviews
Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kristin Yodock
Loving ordinary life by Anastasia Petrenko
Half Life, by Scott Skipper

*Fun
Unbolt me


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.


I never believed that whole mentality that two wrongs make a right. You can’t give me something back by turning me into him. Do you want to be a person that feels better because of the murder of someone?
Bethany Webb

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

Readers Choice Awards
Win a $100 gift card?
What makes a children’s book stand out?
EPIC interview
39th recipient of LiFE Award
New feature: short stories for your enjoyment

 

Readers Choice Awards

I accepted Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s advice, and entered Guardian Angel in this award, which depends on votes from visitors.

I will be grateful if you could visit their voting page and vote for my book. Of course, this is best done if you have read it. If you haven’t already, please do!

Historical Fiction is one of the last screens, but the organisers have advised me: you can reach it quickly by clicking the LEFT arrow three times.

So far, there have been a few 4 star reviews of Guardian Angel, but the overwhelming majority have been 5 star. Even some 4 star reviewers have written things like, “Last night I picked the book, began to read, and I couldn’t put it down.”

I have located 30 reviews. Several had nom the plumes. I’ve managed to identify all but one reviewer. I’ve constructed a new review page for this book. Please check if your review is on it, and let me know if not. And if you’ve read it, but haven’t written one, PLEASE do so.

Also, a review is proof of purchase, which qualifies you for a second book, free. Please choose.


Win a $100 gift card?

Well, no guarantee that you’ll win it, but one person shall, and you can only do so by visiting a Facebook event featuring me on Saturday 4th November.

As I write, I still don’t have the details, so will take the liberty of sending a separate email with the URL as soon as I do.


What makes a children’s book stand out?

I have reproduced this guest post at Bonnie Ferrante’s blog. If you haven’t read it before, please have a look now.


EPIC interview

My latest interview is on the blog of an organisation I’ve been a part of since 1999.

Long term readers of Bobbing Around will be familiar with some of the things I’ve said — but not all. For one thing, I’ve talked about a 50 year old event that may give you a smile.

You’ll need to scroll down a little to find the start.

I haven’t been able to find a way to leave comments there, but you can email me, and I’ll publish what you want to say in the next issue.


39th recipient of LiFE Award

I am delighted to let you know that the final volume of Brian Burt’s award-winning Aquarius Rising trilogy, The Price of Eden, is the latest recipient of the LiFE Award: Literature For Environment.


New feature: short stories for your enjoyment

I’ve posted four short stories on this blog. One of them came live in October, and you can enjoy it now. The links, and the due dates of the others, are on this page.

The first three are exactly 100 words long. The fourth is a 1000 word story, one of the 29 in Through other eyes.

Why am I doing this?

First, of course, I enjoy writing, and enjoy having people read my productions. I want to give pleasure.

Second, I want to give you a reason to send other people to Bobbing Around. I have all these books, I know my writing is good — I need more readers. If you like my work, please help me to bring it to more people.

This is not (or not entirely) an ego trip. I have a job to do on this planet, and my writing is a tool for doing it. Help me.


Responses

Jennifer Poulter
Nick Sharp
Sam Luxenburg

 

Jennifer Poulter

Thanks, Bob! Another great Issue!

On a practical note , I LOVED the weed solutions!

Also hope manufacturers take up the plastic potato!

Very best
Jennifer
Ps many thanks for the book plug in the award entry!


Nick Sharp

Nice AGW clipping from that newspaper!

But earlier still:

(and all very nicely laid out at Wikipedia for early 20th Century, and back to 1896.

Global warming: First mooted in 1824 by Joseph Fourier

He of the fourier transforms — part of maths that will ever pass me by.

So, he mused that the Earth was a lot warmer than it should be given its position 150M Km from the Sun and just 6400 km radius. And he thought that it might be the insulating effect of the atmosphere.

Supported by John Tyndall’s research in the late 1850s.

In early experiments on the infra-red absorbency of gases, he showed that CO2 was VERY GOOD at it. This is a key part of AGW of course.

Expressed as a calculation by Svante Arrhenius in 1896, work that it still the bedrock of AGW calculations today.

I love Arrhenius’s academic progress. He got on Very Badly with his prof, so got a miserable degree. Finished up with not one but two Nobel prizes (one based on work from his derided thesis) and membership of a Nobel prize committee.

SO:

Why is it taking some people so long to get it? Especially that lot in Canberra. I wonder if it is their education (lack of).

A miserable 20 out of the 226 of them admit to a tertiary STEM qualification.

Science literacy in Parliament (oxymoron?)

Cheers
Nick

PS: loved the delightful details of your house.


Sam Luxenburg

After reading, What if you accidently kill someone? in the recent Bobbing Around (1/10/2017), I was reminded of my own involvement.

Some years ago, a young man (we will call him “John”) came to see me for counselling. He told me he had been involved in a fatal car accident. He was driving at night; a woman ran out of a driveway; his car hit her; she died at the scene of the accident. He knew it wasn’t his fault, but he was having intrusive thoughts and dreams about it.
He said that had been to see a counsellor who had “only blown smoke up my arse”.

This is my recollection of part of our conversation.
Sam: “You were driving your car, you hit a woman and she died.”
John: “Yes, that’s right.”
S: “So, did you kill her?”
J: “Well — yes — I suppose so.”
S: “With no blame, no judgement, you killed her.”
J: “Yes, I did.”
S: “Can you say the words, ‘I killed her’?”
J: (after a thoughtful pause) “I killed her.”
S: “How does it feel to say that?”
J: “Strange — but it’s the truth. I killed her.”

We talked some more. He felt something heavy had lifted from him. He had spoken the plain unvarnished truth, and it felt right.

This is no magic cure, but it is a good place to start any healing conversation. How can we deal with any situation if we do not face up to the truth? In so many situations, there is an “elephant in the room” that we feel restrained from talking about.

My credo is to speak up whenever you can, if you can do it with respect and compassion for everyone involved. Of course, there are times when it’s better to keep silent.


Politics

Why Trump’s impeachment scares me
Canada is moving
Ali’s wedding
Genocide
Terrorism
Refugee girl is in NZ parliament

 

Why Trump’s impeachment scares me

Because that would lead to President Pence. Jane Mayer in the New Yorker explains the horrific implications: total victory for the Koch brothers.


Canada is moving

Canada’s New Democratic Party has very green policies, and now they have a very green leader. He is a Sikh, is a cycling enthusiast, and his list of preferred policies has me cheering.

Best of luck, Mr Jagmeet Singh.

Mind you, people are ingorant. 🙂 Among the comments on the Treehugger article about him, one person was worrying about Sharia law. So, I left this comment: “How ignorant can people be? Sharia law is Muslim. Sikhs have an entirely different religion, more akin to Hinduism than to Islam.”


Ali’s wedding

This is the title of a movie. In our sick world, anything to do with Muslims is political, which is why I listed it here.

It shows that they are just… people.


Genocide

What is happening in Myanmar (Burma) has slipped from the news, but the human tragedy continues. Please read this factual, hysteria-free, well documented report by Steve Williams at Care2.com, then sign the petition to the UN and spread the word.


Terrorism


Taliah Manchini, writing in Ms Magazine, asks why white extremist mass murderers are not referred to as terrorists in the mainstream press.

Her short, hard-hitting essay is spot on. Please read.


Refugee girl is in NZ parliament


Golriz Ghahraman came to New Zealand as a nine-year-old refugee from Iran. She is now a member of parliament.

I am proud to say she is a Green.

Her qualifications are impressive: she has been a human rights lawyer with the United Nations.

Here are a few more facts about this impressive young lady.


Environment

Pollution kills
How the 6th extinction event progresses
Ever heard of Kiribati?
Can technology solve climate change?

 

Pollution kills

We all know this, but… it’s sort of a background. It is probably the most ignored source of global suffering.

The facts are here.

Photo credit Larry C Price for the Guardian. That lovely yellow water is full of lead and stuff.


How the 6th extinction event progresses

It’s not only habitat loss and climate change and plastic and murder by humans. We are also guilty of carrying pathogens and pest species from one continent to another.

Read this interesting and well-written essay about how American bats are being killed by a stowaway from Europe.

So what, you ask? Bats eat insects like mosquitoes, which carry diseases that discombobulate people. All things are related.


Ever heard of Kiribati?

It may not be there for much longer. What was once a tropical paradise is being washed away by sea level rise.
Have a look at a series of beautiful pictures.


Can technology solve climate change?

This is a shortened version of a question on Quora. Before I got there, 5 others outlined their pet techniques, like storing carbon in biochar or grassland, or putting sulphur particles into the stratosphere…

Here is my answer. Regular Bobbing Around readers will be familiar with most of it, though I am making a couple of new points:

    The problem is not one of technology, but of a global economic system that can only stay viable by growing in a limited system. We have passed several of the limits. Climate change is only one of the symptoms.

    In the 1970s, the Club of Rome produced a set of reports that, among other things, demonstrated that you can solve any one problem, but this will make other problems worse. 30 years later, their predictions were validated by an analysis of what had gone on in the meantime.

    So, technology cannot save us. It is useful to do various things to delay disaster, but you need to understand the concept of “return on investment” (an economic term usually used for money) when applied to energy. Return of energy on energy invested has been plummeting for all sorts of things such as oil extraction, which is what keeps technological society going. For example, in order to replace all electricity generation with wind and solar would take more fossil fuel energy (and other raw materials) than we have available globally.

    The only solution is a change to global culture. We need “degrowth” in the overdeveloped countries, and local self-sufficiency in the poor countries that are currently being crippled by being in the global economy. We need to dismantle the cancer that is eating our planet’s ecosystem.

    The trouble is the real cause: greed, territoriality, aggression, fear hate of others a little different from us.

    If we can switch to a global culture in which we all live simply so we may simply live, in which compassion and decency motivates us to share, and to help each other, then we can buy time. It is likely that it’s too late anyway, but even then would not such a world be better to live in?


Good news

Brazilian rainforest safe from mining — for now
Michael Bloomberg attacks coal
Chevron follows BP out of Great Australian Bight
1 million trees planted, in a few suburbs

 

Brazilian rainforest safe from mining — for now

The original announcement is in Portuguese, but here is the English report in Ecowatch.

An earlier permit for mining companies to destroy large tracts of Amazonian rainforest has been revoked.

However, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has stated: “The country needs to grow and generate jobs, attract investment to the mining sector, and even tap the economic potential of the region.”

Cancer grows.


Michael Bloomberg attacks coal

The former New York mayor has added $64 million to his previous donations to enable the phasing out of coal-fired power stations.

Trump and Pruitt can do what they like. He says the fight is not in Washington but everywhere, and coal is losing.

The press release focuses on effects in the USA, but his action has global benefits. Thank you, Mike.


Chevron follows BP out of Great Australian Bight

Here is one of several reports I’ve seen.

The whales and other creatures whose life depends on this focal point for the global marine environment are cheering.

Chevron says the reason is strictly commercial. Let’s make such decisions even more commercial by reducing fossil fuel use by every possible means. For example, read my post Downhill for one method. It’s more a way of thinking about anything and everything than the specific actions.


1 million trees planted, in a few suburbs

Please read about how a region of one city is greening itself.

Some of the benefits include cooler summers, reduction in air pollution, beauty, and a better environment for the locals.


People who inspire

Farmer offers to buy forest
RIP John Thompson
A man of principle

 

Farmer offers to buy forest

In my state, Victoria, the otherwise quite reasonable Labor government is in the control of the union representing a few hundred loggers. Instead of tens of thousands of tourism jobs, these fellows must be kept employed, even if it means destroying unique forests.

Jon Wood’s farm borders an area of State forest threatened with logging. He and the local community have offered to buy it instead.

I do hope they carry it off, but I doubt that the government will agree. They’d rather put up to 50 million dollars into buying a bankrupt timber mill that no longer has enough dead trees available to keep going.


RIP John Thompson

He was arrested at 22 for murder. He was one month from legalised death, after 14 years on death row, when a private investigator uncovered DNA evidence proving his innocence. The state prosecutors had deliberately hidden this evidence. It took a jury 30 minutes to decide he was innocent.

He was awarded compensation of $14 million… and the Supreme Court took it away from him.

He then spent the remaining 14 years of his life working for justice in opposition to the “justice” system, and in helping its many other innocent victims.

“I don’t care about the money,” he wrote in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times in 2011. “I just want to know why the prosecutors who hid evidence, sent me to prison for something I didn’t do and nearly had me killed are not in jail themselves.”

This great and good man has died of a heart attack, at only 55 years of age.


A man of principle

Being Australian, I’ve never heard of Republican Arizona senator Jeff Flake until now, but I am an immediate admirer. He has announced that he cannot stand for election again in 2018, given the direction his party has taken.

You can listen to his inspiring speech, or read a transcript.


Compassion

This is friendship. Be inspired


Her name is Sunshine. Her nature matches the name.

She noticed that her friend in kinder didn’t get any milk because her mother couldn’t afford milk money. So, Sunshine emptied her piggy bank and helped out.

Jackie, Sunshine’s mother, was so inspired that they started a campaign. At the time of the report, they had raised $8500.


Technology

Organic but chemical pest control
Stone paper

 

Organic but chemical pest control

It may sound a little odd, but this article lists several methods for controlling pests in your garden, using methods that do no harm. Well, no harm to anyone except the plants and animals you intend to kill.


Stone paper

They say you can’t get blood out of a stone, but one company is now manufacturing and marketing paper made from crushed rock. I don’t understand the technology, but cheer at the implications.

Check them out.


Deeper Issues

From oilslick to tyranny
And from oil to global bankruptcy
Childfree
A “gay” father’s lovely story
The hole in the web of life is growing
Brainstorming about the end

 

From oilslick to tyranny

Thank you, Mike Stasse, for pointing me to this essay by Norman Pagett.

This is a must-read if you want to understand the rise and fall of industrial “civilisation.” Norman accurately describes why we are plummeting toward self-destruction, and why there is so much denial.

As usual, I only disagree with him on one point. He thinks the current generation will have great-grandchildren to suffer because of what’s happening today. I am afraid, the excrement is hitting the fan far sooner than that.


And from oil to global bankruptcy

If you want to understand why, despite everything seeming to be normal, we are heading for global economic collapse, then you need to read this post explaining why the top oil companies are in increasing debt.

In summary, it costs more to produce oil than it used to be, to the point that the oil giants are running at a loss… for now. They can’t keep it up.


Childfree

Here is a very good article in Care2.com on the reasons for and against having children.

Usually these essays fail to look at environmental issues. This one does, but I still felt like leaving this comment:

    I particularly agree with the last point, except the claim that the earth can support up to 10 billion humans. We are NOW stealing from the future to maintain the present. Our global footprint is over 1.5 earths. That means that to maintain current levels of consumption globally, we should have no more than 5 billion.

    And given all the environmental damage we are causing, the carrying capacity of earth is going down. So, choosing to be childfree is a favor to the unborn child (why bring someone into misery?) and to all other children.


A “gay” father’s lovely story

You’ve got to read this beautiful personal testament from Patrick Lukins.

Two points are worth emphasising: a great many people don’t choose their non-standard sexuality, but are born that way. And love is love.


The hole in the web of life is growing

75% of insect life has vanished in 25 years in certain areas in Germany.

So what, you say? You don’t like creepie-crawlies anyway?

All life depends on all life. This is a part of the 6th extinction event of earth that is killing all of us, human or not.

The cause is most likely to be the pesticides that are permeating everything.


Brainstorming about the end

A new person has chosen to follow Bobbing Around. I clicked the link to an essay in the notification about various ways our world could end, and enjoyed the read. You might too.

This is the comment I left:

    Thank you for choosing to follow my blog Bobbing Around. I hope my posts will provide you with entertainment and benefit.

    There, I have a number of posts relevant to this article. One is “How to predict disaster,” which sets out the logic of a Markov chain (a major tool for insurance companies in assessing risk). Another is “How to change the world.”

    I think you are overly optimistic. You have covered pandemics (at the moment, one is wiping out American bats, which will have consequences of all life in North America, including humans), and ocean acidity. But there are multiple other human-caused disasters that are already evident: overfishing is threatening all marine ecosystems, plastic waste adds to this and to the wide scale death of birds, factory farming is destroying topsoil at a great rate, air, food and water pollution is killing plants and animals (including humans), etc. etc., not even looking at climate change. We have now unbottled the methane that caused the Permian extinctions 250 billion years ago.

    The danger is that several of these things come to a head within a short time period, which overloads the ability of society to cope. We have come close this year, with several environmental disasters globally including in the US. If the global financial system happened to start its predicted collapse at the same time, it could have led to a catastrophic interruption of supply to many places.

    So, the disaster is not if, or when, but already in the past for many people (Texas, Puerto Rico, India, Bangladesh within the past few weeks). We need to take action now.

    And yes, it is possible. We can do something.


    Psychology

    Stress and health
    Alcohol and antidepressants
    Sex as performance
    An essential step toward enlightenment
    SAD

     

    Stress and health

    An email from a stranger referred to one of the pages on my psychology website. I think I wrote it about 4 years ago, and have forgotten about it.

    I’d obviously put a lot of work into it at the time, and it’s good stuff. In our stuffed-up world, perhaps you would benefit from reading it.


    Alcohol and antidepressants

    Oliver Clark has written a very informative essay about the problems with mixing alcohol and Prozac (fluoxetine).

    Both are brain hand-grenades. They stuff up the working of neurotransmitters. When you mix them, the stuffup is worse than with either alone.

    If you are on a SSRI prescription drug, and/or regularly drink alcohol, you will benefit from reading what Oliver has to say.

    Also, a reminder to regular readers and a note to newer ones: the best way to deal with alcohol addiction is David Norman’s book, Alcohemy.


    Sex as performance

    The Guardian occasionally posts answers to readers’ queries. Here is one from a psychologist who specialises in sexual issues.

    She gives mechanical advice: how a woman’s boyfriend should rub her to give her an organism. This got me somewhat upset, so I left this comment:

      Not the right advice. When people come to me with such problems, I point out the difference the little word “me” makes.

      Stop worrying about what it makes ME feel like, and do your best to copy your boyfriend: give HIM as much pleasure as you can.

      Attention is a searchlight. By focusing on questions like, “Will I get it this time?” “Am I there?” what should be a sharing becomes a selfish performance issue.

      It doesn’t matter if you have an orgasm. What matters is that you should give him all your love, regardless. That may or may not overcome the hurdle — but then it won’t matter, anyway.


    An essential step toward enlightenment

    This essay by Jack E. Othon at Highexistence is rather long, but well worth the time. It explores Jung’s concept of the Shadow. I’ve read Jung for myself, but all the same, I’ve learned from her account.

    In a brief summary, you cannot advance to enlightenment until you have dealt with the darkness we all banish out of awareness.


    SAD

    This stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    If you live in the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, you may find yourself crashing about this time of the year. Several of my email grandchildren and children have reported this pattern.

    The solution is to expose yourself to suitable bright light.

    No need to suffer.


    Health

    For frequent flyers
    Cigarette filters kill
    Antibiotic apocalypse
    Plague probably plugged up — for now

     

    For frequent flyers

    We all know that X rays can cause cancer. Here is a well-researched essay telling us that airport security scanners, whether the old X ray type or their newer replacement, are to be avoided.

    My way is to minimise travel (which I do for environmental reasons in any case). Andrea Donsky, the author, chooses to ask for a pat-down by a real human instead of exposing herself to radiation. If you choose to copy her, allow extra time.


    Cigarette filters kill

    Read this authoritative report on what’s wrong with cigarette filters. The tobacco industry has known about these facts for many years. It’s time you did, too.


    Antibiotic apocalypse

    This is only one of many reports I’ve seen, warning about a near-future with no usable antibiotics.

      A terrible future could be on the horizon, a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors.

      A simple cut to your finger could leave you fighting for your life. Luck will play a bigger role in your future than any doctor could.

      The most basic operations — getting an appendix removed or a hip replacement – could become deadly.

      Cancer treatments and organ transplants could kill you. Childbirth could once again become a deadly moment in a woman’s life.

      It’s a future without antibiotics.

    The major reason is the overuse of antibiotics in animal farming.


    Plague probably plugged up — for now

    Following up from the previous item, plague responds to antibiotic treatment, if caught early enough. It is still endemic in the island country Madagascar. This year’s regular outbreak is so far twice as bad as usual, and people are understandably terrified.

    Bubonic plague is spread by fleas from rats, but the pneumonic version is spread by droplets, like the flu. That’s the kind now overwhelming facilities.

    Authorities have it under control, but… This is the kind of thing that can easily go global, thanks to international air travel, antibiotic overuse, overpopulation, and other factors. Read my essay on how to predict a disaster.

    Read the report in the Huffington Post.


    Writing

    The Art of Critique
    When?

     

    The Art of Critique

    The considered, honest opinion of a discerning reader is growth hormone to a writer. It consists of two components: a massage to the ego and a goad to change.

    Praise is powerful. It validates, reassures and motivates. However, used alone it is deadly: like honey, it is a kind of adhesive that glues bad habits firmly into the work. “It is wonderful, I loved every minute of reading it” makes me feel fantastic, fires up my imagination and raises my hopes for the future.

    But what if it was not entirely true? What if there were errors, big or little, that the reader was too kind to mention? When the work enters the cruel world of publishers, agents, reviewers, readers who paid money for it, its reception will be far more hostile. Will it die at the first dispassionate encounter with a stranger?

    The longer term effects are important too. Practice does not make perfect. Praise confirms habits, and if these habits are bad, practice makes pathetic. I need to know if something in my writing needs improvement, and how can I learn if I am kept in ignorance?

    Think back to your teenage years. Remember growth pains? As a writer, the words I produce are part of me. Being told that a story I wrote and thought to be great is less than perfect is HURTFUL. But nothing is ever perfect, growth and improvement are always possible — and they come only through the honest acceptance of criticism, honestly offered.

    The role of the editor or critique partner is primarily negative, however it is dressed up. As an editor, I need to find every misplaced comma, every typo and malapropism and grammatical glitch. I need to point out when a sentence has poor syntax, when dialogue is dead, when a character is a cardboard cutout. I need to help the author to produce a plot that goes somewhere, keeps the attention and satisfies the intended audience.

    Certainly, if that is ALL I do, I risk squashing the spirit of my client. It is both right and effective to also praise all that I can honestly praise, so that upon reading my comments, the recipient will be motivated to continue, and to benefit from my efforts. After all, I am supposed to be a growth hormone, not a suicide pill.


    When?

    Even if you are not a writer, you may well be interested in my October essay for Rhobin’s rounds.


    What my friends want you to know

    City2Sea run, 12th November
    The Stolen Maps: Trevor Tucker’s new book
    Help Fijian reps to attend climate talks
    Conservation International: feed the world
    Sharing with writers
    Free meditation event, 22nd November
    Expressions of an Artist — The whole Shebang, by Frances Bildner
    Defend GetUp

     

    City2Sea run, 12th November


    Dear Bob,

    I’m training as a member of the Climate Council’s City2Sea Team.

    Melbourne risks experiencing 50C summer days, which will make it way too hot for society to function. This comes off the back of a Weird Winter, where 260 heat and low rainfall records were broken across Australia, including Victoria’s driest June on record.

    These are symptoms of a bigger problem. Climate change is causing more extreme weather events. Heatwaves have become hotter, are lasting longer and occur more often. Extreme rainfall is likely to become even more intense. This means it’s becoming more difficult than ever to sweat it out.

    That’s why we’re creating a team to run in this year’s City2Sea on 12 November. Together, we will be raising much-needed funds to support the Climate Council’s ongoing research on extreme weather events in Australia. However, it’s not just our ability to exercise that’s at risk. Heatwaves are a silent killer. Major heatwaves have caused more deaths since 1890 than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined.

    See you on race day!

    Alexia


    The Stolen Maps: Trevor Tucker’s new book


    It is a tantalizing, thought provoking account of leadership, adventure, discovery, greed, deception and destiny. It is also a tribute, inspired by the bravery of those who met the challenge of the world’s unchartered oceans. Learn how fate ensured Australia did not become a Portuguese speaking nation. You may also be intrigued by well intentioned indigenous interaction.

    If you are not familiar with Trevor’s previous novel, Ned Kelly’s Son, be prepared for an exciting journey that challenges accepted historical beliefs.

    To learn more, refer to The Stolen Maps Facebook page.

    The paperback version is being rolled out to book shops around Australia. It is also available on all major eBook platforms: Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, Apple I-store, etc.

    Please let your family and friends (and those on Facebook) know about Trevor’s new novel and consider ordering your own paperback copy from your favourite bookshop. Alternatively, Trevor will soon be able to provide the paperback directly to you. The price will be $26.95, and a delivery charge of $8.50 will apply. A great Christmas present perhaps?

    Trevor’s contact details:
    Email: ttucker46@optusnet.com.au Mobile/text: 0414 935 218


    Help Fijian reps to attend climate talks

    My name’s Samu. I’m from a small village called Namatakula in Fiji where I help run a community project planting mangroves to hold back the rising seawater. It’s called Kai Ni Cola, or ‘tree of life’. But mangroves won’t hold the ocean back forever. Climate change is already stealing our loved ones, our homes and our schools in the Pacific.

    Pacific Islanders led the fight during the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiations to get a world-first global climate agreement. But most countries who signed it don’t seem to be taking it seriously. Fossil fuels are still being burnt and exported all over the world, while sea levels continue to rise towards my home.

    But this year, the Pacific has the power to hold these governments accountable. Fiji is chairing the global climate talks called COP23 in November. But here’s the catch: Fiji is a small country, so the global talks have to be held halfway across the world in Bonn, Germany.

    My friend Alisi and I want to head over and represent our generation of Pacific Islanders to the diplomats making decisions about our futures in Bonn. We’re part of a small group of Pacific Islanders called Pacific Island Represent, or #PIRepresent. The plan is to send back regular updates on who’s blocking climate progress, and confront governments where we can (all in real people’s language, not UN-speak).

    But airlines and hotels have jacked up their prices ahead of the thousands of negotiators flying in, so the cost is out of our reach. You can make sure we get there.


    Conservation International: feed the world

    Today, 795 million people do not have enough to eat. And as the human population continues to increase, so will the challenges of feeding an entire population while still conserving the environment that underpins all food production.

    The problem is that we’re currently growing our food the wrong way.

    The problems of deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change and land disputes between producers and indigenous communities can seem inextricable.

    But it doesn’t have to be this way. CI’s experts work at all levels — from the growers to the consumers, and all places in between — to ensure that sustainable supply meets healthy demand.

    Even though there’s a lot more work to be done, palm oil is a good example of how small changes can lead to lasting results. In fact, the market is already beginning to show growing demand for sustainable palm oil. Given the massive size of the industry, this slight shift could already be considered monumental.

    For these kind of fundamental changes to fully take hold across all food sectors, we need more consumers demanding change. Help us fight for sustainable food and a sustainable future.

    We can feed this world without destroying it.

    Many thanks,
    John Buchanan
    VP of Sustainable Production
    Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB)


    Sharing with writers

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s October newsletter covers the following topics:

    • Tips and News
    • Opportunities
    • Accessible Contests
    • Word Lovers’ Corner
    • On Poetry
    • Author Successes
    • Mindy Lawrence’s Itty Bitty Column: Using Psychology in Characters
    • Carolyn’s Appearances and Teaching
    • NEW! Wordstuff Switching to fun quotations from writers!
    • Q&A a la Ann Landers: Getting Blurbs the Easy Way
    • Feature: Borrowing Green Formatting from the Greats


    Free meditation event, 22nd November

    We function better when we are full of energy and can think clearly — but we frequently feel too busy to take the time to do the things that we know help us stress less, feel relaxed and enjoy life more.

    Here is your chance to gain the restorative benefits of Mindfulness for yourself, or to learn Mindfulness skills to share with clients, your team and colleagues.

    With summer on the horizon, we have our next free Meditation on the 22nd of November (attend in person or online) and a series of bite sized, one day Urban Retreats.

    Consider one of the longer 3 day intensives: Mindful Relationships, Mindful Leadership or MBCT to learn more in depth Mindfulness skills.

    Mindfulness training has become mainstream from the health arena to the boardroom. It is credited with an amazing number of benefits, from increasing focus and cognitive flexibility, to improved relationship satisfaction and significantly reduced stress levels.


    Expressions of an Artist — The whole Shebang, by Frances Bildner


    This book is a collection of writings and paintings. It encompasses the human condition by covering topics such as love, loss, living, fear, politics, outsider and belonging. Each piece of writing is written automatically and quickly. The writing actually writes itself and the author is a vehicle for her work. The paintings are done in the same way. There are no preconceived ideas in either paintings or writings.

    Although the work is produced this way, it does touch the subjects that we are all concerned with. This is because the artist/author is a product of the human condition and will therefore hold these subjects in her subconscious.

    Some of the work is quite dark, all of it is filled with energy and emotion and an appreciation of life in all its facets.

    The book has been collated into these topics by a reader. One can easily dip in and out or read it cover to cover.

    Frances Wassermann-Bildner has been painting and writing for many years. This book is the culmination of all this work. She was born in Buenos Aires and has lived in London and New York. These cities, their vibrancy and colour have greatly influenced her work. She is also the founder of Creative Wiz Kids: a children’s entertainment company where children come to paint and dance and adults also come to have fun! She loves the honesty and immediacy of children and finds working with them extremely stimulating. Along her artistic work, Frances has been running these groups for almost 28 years.

    Frances loves to travel and visit different countries, sitting in cafes and meeting people. She has two wonderful children, a lovely daughter-in-law, a grandson, an another grandchild on the way.

    She plans on taking her grandchildren travelling when they are old enough.


    Defend GetUp

    This is the greatest threat our independent, grassroots movement has ever faced.

    Hard-right forces led by Senator Eric Abetz are pushing a twisted government investigation to attack your place in Australia’s politics and diminish our collective power.

    They’re trying to use the threat of criminal penalties to force GetUp into becoming an “associated entity” of Labor and the Greens, when not a single dollar has ever been exchanged between GetUp and any political party. We can’t submit to their lie — even if it means facing off in court.

    As GetUp members, we act for the benefit of millions of everyday Australians, not politicians or parties. We ensure our hospitals and schools are funded, our climate is safe and our society is just, without fear or favour.

    Now the hard right want to convict us for caring about our country.

    To match their government-funded attack, we need the legal firepower of an experienced law firm and one of the most respected barristers in the country. Can you help in the greatest hour of need for our independent movement?

    Chip in for lawyers, barristers and more to protect our power as an independent movement — all the way to court, if necessary.

    Thanks you all you do,
    Paul, for the GetUp Team


    Reviews

    Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kristin Yodock
    Loving ordinary life by Anastasia Petrenko
    Half Life, by Scott Skipper

     

    Guardian Angel, reviewed by Kristin Yodock

    I had the pleasure of reading, Guardian Angel, by Dr. Bob Rich. It’s a riveting story set in rural Australia with an eclectic assortment of characters. There’s a fascinating angel, who is assigned to live with the humans. She becomes a girl whose Aboriginal mother was raped by an Australian settler, Maraglindi, who is a sort of a Jesus figure. There is also Bruce MacCaffery, one of the kindest white men in New South Wales.

    Kirsten, an older student at Talbot Ladies’ College detested Maraglindi on sight. Mary’s powers of persuasion eventually turned Kirsten around to become one of Maraglindi’s best friends.

    Last night I picked up the book, began to read, and I couldn’t put it down. I found it to be an inspirational story that left me with a strong sense of hope and a feeling that life has eternal promise.

    The book is significant in that it reveals how prejudice against others because of the color of their skin or their religion affects us all. Guardian Angel shows that love tears down suppression, and compassion stomps out abuse. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something new to read.


    Loving ordinary life by Anastasia Petrenko

    I am a Buddhist, and had a psychotherapeutic practice for 22 years. In this little book, I found many of the tools I use in my daily life, and have taught to hundreds of people who were able to use them to move toward a more positive way of looking at the world. So, I didn’t learn anything new — but you might.

    Written in lively, clear language that speaks to young people, “Loving Ordinary Life” is a good resource for those many sufferers of ongoing dissatisfaction who don’t know why. Only, as the author points out in several places, reading won’t do anything much for you. You need to put its recommendations into practice.

    The publicity states this is a “self-help book for those who are tired of self-help books.” All the same, it follows the formula of self-help books. If you know it all in the head, it won’t teach you anything new. Just DO IT. But if life is getting you down, and you want some light and entertaining reading, then you can use this book to improve your world.


    Half Life, by Scott Skipper

    If you are a strong Republican supporter who just knows that all Democrats are idiots, or crooks, or both, then you will enjoy this book. If you are politically uncommitted, or, worse, have liberal leanings, then don’t bother. You’ll put it down unfinished.

    Also, the book needs a good line edit.

    I find this to be a pity, because the plot is exciting and well crafted, the characters mostly believable, there is some good humor, and the author addresses a number of deep issues in a thoughtful way. If it got edited, and more important, if the political sniping were absent, I’d give it four stars.


    Fun

    Unbolt Me


    A stranger liked my latest blog post. I clicked a link on the notification — and had a half-hour of laughs.

    In case you also want to subject yourself to some delightful humour, click on this link.


    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.

    Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

    • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
    • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
    • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
    • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

    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.

    Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

    Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

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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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