Bobbing Around Volume 17 Number 9

The Earth is actually just a big spaceship, with a very, very big crew. It really has to travel sensibly, be maintained and looked after properly, or its voyage is going to come to an end.
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet


If you have more wealth than you could possibly spend in your expected lifespan, what’s the point of accumulating more? Is this not insane?
If so, humanity is ruled by the insane.
Bill Sutcliffe, in You Can’t Escape Destiny

Bobbing Around

Volume Seventeen, Number Nine,
March, 2018

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
Still in one piece
newest short little story

*Responses
Lots, but not for general consumption

*Politics
Scientists into politics

*Environment
We can’t remove enough CO2
Fukushima is nothing compared to this
Water and refugees
A Quora answer about sustainability
Warning from Climate Council

*Good news
Columbia river safe
Chile decides to ditch coal
I love the French even more
Chubb divorces NRA

*Inspiring people
Free food that’s good for you
In praise of Norway
A brave lady
Leonardo is wonderful

*Compassion
Another compassionate cop

*Technology
Your home can be a power station (in South Australia only)
Fuel from air almost here, but…
Heating/air conditioning for plants
Energy positive, in the Arctic

*Deeper issues
Detrumping, by Sven Aake
Animals are people too
With the constant growth of the human population on Earth, where do all those new souls come from, assuming that reincarnation exists?
Volunteer better than wage slave
Christians need to follow Jesus
5 guidelines for shopping less

*Psychology
Tortured by terrible urges: sexual abuse and murder
Difficult kids
Electronic Devices Make Caring for an Elderly Parent Easier, by Marie Villeza
My daughter blames me for everything
I can’t help hating my family
My professor makes me suicidal

*Health
A useful form of exercise
Cycling is safe for the you-know-what

*For writers
Being a Children’s Ghostwriter, by Karen Cioffi
Headline analyser: a useful tool
My fictional teachers

*What my friends want you to know
Trevor is asking for Aussie stories
Online heartfulness meditation course
Help prevent murder
Ghost town to solar town
Earthjustice fights for a future
Radioactive exposure tour
Support abused workers
Climate Council needs your help to fight back

*Reviews
Guardian Angel Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett
The Choice, by James Alexander
Alexander the Great

*Fun
Premade snowballs, for your convenience!


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.


When problems are too big to face, the best solution is to grow bigger.
Mary Pipher, in Green Boat


Global warming is a conspiracy of mother nature against the coal and oil industries.
Dr Bob Rich

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

Still in one piece
Another little short story

 

Still in one piece

I was supposed to have my hip chopped on 20th February, but the surgeon ran away… Deferred now to 6th March.

To save any mistakes, I’ll use a felt point pen to write on my right hip: OPEN OTHER SIDE!

February has been utterly consumed by four activities:

Exercising every third day, riding my bike like crazy another day, and resting for the third.

I’ve also done about two years’ worth of gardening (mostly pulling weeds). This is to make up for 2017, which I spent renovating my house at Moora Moora, and to anticipate my rehabilitation period, when the ground will be even further down than usual. (I’ve noticed, I must be getting taller with age, because down there is definitely further away.)

Fourth, I am delighted that a nice family has moved into my house, and I’ve spent time helping them to settle in.

So, not much in the way of other news.

But if you’re still on my subscriber list, I’d love it if you could switch to being a “follower” of Bobbing Around. Please let me know by email when you do.


Another little short story

I schedule these story releases well ahead. The next one has popped up on the 26th of February.

Enjoy.


Responses

Many lovely people wished me a happy birthday, and let me know they’ve switched to following Bobbing Around as my present.

Thank you, all!


Politics

Scientists into politics

What an excellent idea! Instead of the current crop of ignoramuses, a whole heap of people with scientific training are standing for public office.

You can read about it in the Huffington Post.

See? There is a silver lining around every cloud.


Environment

We can’t remove enough CO2
Fukushima is nothing compared to this
Water and refugees
A Quora answer about sustainability
Warning from Climate Council

 

We can’t remove enough CO2

Please read my 3rd Feb. blog post about a recent authoritative report on why we need to generate less carbon in the air, because removing it cannot be enough.


Fukushima is nothing compared to this

The US detonated 43 atom bombs in the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 50s. Some of the radioactive stuff went into air and water, then, but the worst was buried under a dome the size of a football field.

Now, sea level rise has started leaking water into the dome. If the stuff in there escapes, it’ll poison all life in and around the Pacific.


Water and refugees

The number of refugees on the planet is about the same as the population of France, and growing. Most are victims of the Middle-Eastern conflicts, particularly the Syrian civil war. And part of the reason for that war was 6 years of terrible drought before hostilities started.

Now, a major problem for refugee camps in places like Jordan is making water available.

Please read this authoritative, well-researched report about the interaction of water and the refugee crisis.

The real tragedy is, it could have been prevented. In the 1970s, many large multinationals like Exxon and Shell had the information. They knew climate change was coming. If the people running them had had a shred of humanity, they could have led the change to replace fossil fuels with alternatives. Instead, they put billions of dollars into misinformation.

All this suffering is so that certain computers can have more zeroes after dollar signs. Earth is ruled by the criminally insane.

Photo by Randall Hackley


A Quora answer about sustainability

What are the most important aspects to pay attention to that relate to sustainability?

You may be interested in my explanation.


Warning from Climate Council

The British paper Daily Mail has published a must-read. It is about Australia, but applies to most places in the world, particularly the USA as well.
tanda
These are Professor Tim Flannery, and Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie, delivering the bad news.


Good news

Columbia river safe
Chile decides to ditch coal
I love the French even more
Chubb divorces NRA

 

Columbia river safe

The Governor of Washington State has rejected the bid for oil trains and the associated port facility.

I certainly wouldn’t want one of those things in my area. The list of accidents is terrible, and growing.

At the same time, the economy needs the oil. It is addicted to the oil.

What is the standard recommendation when a person is addicted to a deadly substance?


Chile decides to ditch coal

This is a big deal, because until now, coal has been the major source of energy for the South American country.

The original news item is behind a paywall, but here is an excellent, brief account by Sami Grover of Treehugger.


I love the French even more

The city of Paris has decided to sue the fossil fuel industries for climate-change-related damage such as the repeated terrible floods that have devastated the city.

New York, now Paris… come on, the more the better.

Yes, yes, we need oil, and gas, and even coal, for now. Get rid of the addiction.


Chubb divorces NRA

Hi friend,

We have great news. Chubb, the company underwriting the NRA’s dangerous Carry Guard “murder insurance,” just announced that they will no longer be working with the gun lobby. The company told Reuters that they informed the NRA of that decision in November, just days after we released our petition calling on the company to end its ties with the NRA!

And they aren’t alone! In the past 24 hours, car rental and hotel companies, insurers, and the bank which issues the NRA’s branded credit card, have ended relationships. Companies around the country are cutting ties and making it clear that they want nothing to do with the NRA and their deadly agenda.

Now pressure is building around the gun lobby’s other corporate friends, including FedEx, a member of the NRA’s “Business Alliance.”

We’ve heard from supporters over the past few hours about swamped phone lines at FedEx headquarters, and we’ve seen the number of online conversations spike. We are so close to getting more companies to end their partnership with the gun lobby.

Right now, we need your help to make sure that happens. Here are three ways to make a big difference:

Call-out FedEx on social media. You can find them @FedEx on Twitter and also @FedEx on Facebook.
Sign and share our petition calling on FedEx cut ties with the NRA.

Call FedEx customer service at 1-800-463-3339 and let them know they can have either your business or the NRA’s friendship.

Take action now and help undermine the gun lobby’s corporate relationships. Make it clear that you’ve made the moral choice you stand for American lives and against the gun lobby, and that you expect companies you do business with to do the same.

Thank you for your support. Together, we’ll end the gun lobby’s partnerships with companies and cut off an important part of their funding.

The Guns Down Team


People who inspire

Free food that’s good for you
In praise of Norway
A brave lady
Leonardo is wonderful

 

Free food that’s good for you

This is the message of a growing worldwide movement. Grow your own, share, swap, grow where others can use… there are many options.

This article in the Guardian uses Australian examples, but there is no doubt that the same exists where you live.

If not, set it up!

The graphic comes from a salad bar owner in California. He put up this sign — and the authorities forced him to take it down. ?????


In praise of Norway

Norway generates so much renewable energy that it exports electricity to its neighbours. This also allows the country to put other values above profit. Recently, an application for a wind farm was rejected because it would be within an important reindeer habitat.

The only Norwegian institution I object to is their oil company, Statoil, which is still aggressively exploring for oil around the world, including in environmentally very sensitive locations like the Great Australian Bight.


A brave lady

Phyllis Omido worked as a secretary in a factory that recycled lead-acid batteries. Her baby son was sick. She found out it was lead poisoning.

Despite threats against her life and constant intimidation, she has now succeeded in leading a movement that has shut down all lead processing in her country, Kenya, and they now have a class action for compensation.

Stay safe, Phyllis, and more power to you.


Leonardo is wonderful


This is one of several reports I’ve seen. Leonardo DiCapricio is making life easier for the people of a third-world country, by paying for a huge marine reserve.

You know that bit in the bible about the eye of the needle? (Actually, the thing that can’t go through is a cable or rope, not a camel, but then you can’t trust translators.) The usual, literal interpretation is that rich people can’t go to heaven, and this has always been used to keep the rest of us behave ourselves. But this is a faulty interpretation. It means that ADDICTION to wealth — greed — keeps you out of heaven. Leo will do fine.


Compassion

Another compassionate cop

I belong to a Facebook group devoted to the issue of homelessness. You’ll be touched by a brief video about a policeman and a pregnant homeless woman.

She’d fled from domestic violence, and had nowhere to go…


Technology

Your home can be a power station (in South Australia only)
Fuel from air almost here, but…
Heating/air conditioning for plants
Energy positive, in the Arctic

 

Your home can be a power station (in South Australia only)

Everyone knows about the super-duper battery Tesla installed in South Australia. It’s been a brilliant success. Now there are plans to equip thousands of homes funded by state public housing with solar panels, and combining them into a “virtual power station.”

This is a brilliant solution to an ongoing problem, and makes this state a world leader.

The pic shows a typical participant, with Tesla solar panels and Powerwall batteries.

PS
Since then, South Australia has had an election, and the new dinosaur government has cancelled the deal. Sigh.


Fuel from air almost here, but…

Here is the description of a very promising way of using cheap solar power to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into liquid fuels to replace gasoline and dieseline.

It looks like it should work, and is scaleable.

Another promising approach is to speed up the formation of rock containing carbonates. One such approach is also ready to roll.

However, I agree with this critique in Science by Kevin Anderson and Glen Peters that no amount of such efforts are enough. Their solution, and mine, is that we must reduce use.


Heating/air conditioning for plants

Seriously. If you keep a plant’s roots in an optimal temperature range, it grows hugely better. And if that plant is a valuable crop, you’ll get excellent return on both money and energy investment.

So, this is not really for your backyard vegetable garden.

A simple, effective system on the market uses the temperature deeper in the soil to even out surface variations, with results like this:

Thank you Lance Collins for sending me the link.


Energy positive, in the Arctic

I almost put this item from Treehugger under Inspiration. A Norwegian company has built a beautiful hotel at the foot of a glacier in the Arctic circle. Despite there being no sun for much of the year, the building GENERATES MORE ENERGY THAN IT USES, so much more that over its expected 60 year lifespan, it should more than pay back the energy used in building it.

Amazing.


Deeper Issues

Detrumping, by Sven Aake
Animals are people too
With the constant growth of the human population on Earth, where do all those new souls come from, assuming that reincarnation exists?
Volunteer better than wage slave
Christians need to follow Jesus
5 guidelines for shopping less

 

Detrumping by Sven Aake


If you have ever wondered why we are in the global mess that’s killing everything, you need to read Sven’s thoughtful, well researched essay.

He explains what neoliberalism is, how it became the dominant ruling set of beliefs of global culture, and what needs to replace it.


Animals are people too

Long term readers of Bobbing Around know this to be one of my hobbyhorses. Here is a delightful little essay by Abigail Geer at Care2.com that gives ten supporting examples.

This person will help her mother or sister to raise the new lot of babies.


With the constant growth of the human population on Earth, where do all those new souls come from, assuming that reincarnation exists?

This question was asked at Quora.

You can read my answer here.


Volunteer better than wage slave


I have a great admiration for Guardian columnist George Monbiot. In this short essay, he examines one of the advantages of robots replacing people. Already, now, volunteers keep many essential services going. We could quite easily maximise unemployment by using technology, and give people the opportunity to have meaning in their lives through the joy of giving of their time, energy and passion.


Christians need to follow Jesus


This essay by Corey Fields is longish, but a must-read.

He voices strong criticism for those people who call themselves Christians, but advocate governmental policies that are cruel and inhumane.

It’s very simple if we go by the criterion, “Above all, do no harm.”


5 guidelines for shopping less

My wife and I have deliberately minimised our spending and earning since the 1970s. An originally unexpected side benefit was a life of contentment, and of joy from the occasional purchase we had to struggle for; things others take for granted.

An excellent little essay by Katherine Martinko describes how you can do this well, with minimal pain during the habit change period.


Psychology

Tortured by terrible urges: sexual abuse and murder
Difficult kids
Electronic Devices Make Caring for an Elderly Parent Easier, by Marie Villeza
My daughter blames me for everything
I can’t help hating my family
My professor makes me suicidal

 

Tortured by terrible urges: sexual abuse and murder

A recurring theme in the cries for help I receive is guilt and shame an adult or teenager has suffered from for years, because of sexual molestation they committed as children. If they were to face a court of law (some have), they would be acquitted of any wrongdoing, but the corrosive guilt eats at them and spoils their lives. I have made a permanently available list of links to several of my answers to such people at my website. This includes an explanation of why this problem occurs.

Compulsions to kill are even more frequent. As we know from the news, some people give in to them, and commit horrid crimes. Those who contact me are different. They have not (yet) hurt anyone, and are resisting. A list of 20 such q&a exchanges is now permanently at my website.

To explain the reason for such murder urges, I have posted an extract from my coming book, Depression: A user’s guide about the work of John B. Calhoun. This will be of interest in its own right, because it shows the reason for many other social problems, but it is central to explaining violence.


Difficult kids

As a guerrilla fighter against my stepfather, I was the naughtiest kid in the world. So, I know what I am talking about when addressing the issue of difficult children. On this new page at my website, I give guidelines on how to raise kids, even difficult ones.

This issue is a major theme of my forthcoming book, Hit and Run, which you can still read and review for free.


Electronic Devices Make Caring for an Elderly Parent Easier
by Marie Villeza

Caring for an aging loved one can be challenging, especially those who live far away. But new advances in technology are helping to bridge the distance between us in many ways. While technology doesn’t eliminate the need for human care, it does make it easier to keep track of your loved one’s comings and goings, remind them to take their medication and alert you when they need help.

Medical alerts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are a leading cause of death injury among senior citizens. The medical alert device was created as a way to get immediate assistance to these people. A medical alert system is usually a pendant with an emergency button that is worn around the neck or wrist. When the button is pressed, it sends an alert to local medical personnel that help is needed at their address. This way, someone with limited mobility will be able to easily access emergency assistance even if they can’t make their way to the phone.

Electronic pill dispensers

According to AARP, the average older American takes at least four prescription drugs daily [PDF file]. That’s a lot to remember for anyone, but for someone who might have dementia or is simply more forgetful, it is almost impossible. For people with aging loved ones, it is always a concern that they won’t remember to take their medication or that they will accidentally overdose. That is where automatic pill dispensers come in. Each brand has its own advantages, but generally, they have various compartments that only open at the times you set. They all have an alarm that sounds to alert the patient when it is time.

GPS tracking

According to crime reporter, David Lohr, wandering Alzheimer’s patients is a “growing concern.” Keeping track of where they go may serve to give you enormous peace of mind. There are different options available including watches, shoe inserts, pendants and tags that can be carried in the wallet or pocket.

Mending fences

When there is a family rift due to a previous addiction on the part of the aging parent or grandparent, it can sometimes be difficult to mend those fences. This is especially true if the elderly person is beginning to experience dementia and has trouble recalling certain events. Here are some steps you can take to begin to heal that relationship:

  • Remember that addiction is a disease and it affects how a person’s brain functions. It is helpful to remember that they were probably not aware of how badly they hurt those around them.
  • Find support groups for families of addicts. Group counseling is sometimes helpful in healing if your loved one is physically and mentally able to attend.
  • Use good days to have open, but positive conversations. During times when your loved one is fully alert, have conversations with them about emotions that you would like to heal. Just be sure to talk to their physicians before you do this, as some types of disease can be severely agitated by stress. Stick to positive memories as much as possible.

Technological advances help to lighten the load of caring for elderly loved ones just a little, even if it’s just to help you keep track of where they are. The peace of mind of knowing they are taking their medication and can reach medical professionals whenever they need them may be all the help you need at the present time. But when the time comes for further care, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. So she developed http://elderimpact.org/ to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.


My daughter blames me for everything

My daughter age 42 lives with her young child as she is separated from the father. She lives near her older sister who has a number of children but who also helps out with the childcare.

I find my daughter’s company very difficult at times — it seems that no matter what I do for her or how thoughtful I try to be in buying this or that, it doesn’t seem to make for a lasting happy relationship. She seems to blame me for everything. When visiting the area I try to include both families by sharing myself between the houses which feels so disruptive and I return home very tired.

My late husband was an alcoholic and when growing up my daughter coped by ‘keeping her head down.’ She didn’t like me to confront my husband about anything as it would end up spoiling the day. Ironically, my daughter seems to behave in much the same way and has spoiled many family occasions which we all find very difficult to cope with. It seems all about how she feels, how things affect her and, although we appreciate that being a lone parent is not easy, it feels like ‘walking on eggshells’ in case we say the ‘wrong’ thing. Understandably, we gravitate to the other daughter’s house as its so much more relaxed — this causes jealousy, accusations and upset. When I try to change my responses in the hope it will help her change hers, she says she doesn’t know me anymore. I live a few hours away from her and usually end up feeling so down and unhappy. I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Please, can you give me any suggestions to manage this difficult situation.

Dear Viv,

Indeed this is a very difficult situation, and I can see how it just has to take a lot out of you. Seems to me, you want to be there for your daughter, want to be in your grandchild’s life, but it’s just too hard…

When your daughter was young, she saw her father as being all-powerful, and however much she feared and perhaps even disliked him, she modelled on his behaviour and attitudes. That’s what kids do. It is fortunate that your other daughter has chosen to react differently.

If she were ever to acknowledge that she has the power to change her life from one of unhappiness to something positive, and that her problems are her responsibility, not yours or anyone else’s, then she could turn her life around. However, no one else can make her do this. Any attempt by you, her sister, or anyone else would feel like an attack to her, and have her counterattack.

She is 42. Her personality and habit patterns are formed, and are unlikely to change without some external event to get her to question her deepest inner beliefs. Such things can happen, but you can’t do it for her.

At the same time, you have the power to improve YOUR life, even while she continues her unfortunate pattern. Do you know the Serenity Prayer?

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

She can change herself, if she ever realises that she needs to, but you can’t. You can grow spiritually as a person by making her a loving gift: simply accept her the way she is, whether that’s for now, or forever.

If YOU can make this change, then you will be able to put up with her abrasive ways with an inner smile.

You won’t succeed in doing this all the time. When you manage it, you’ll feel good about yourself, and know that you are giving the unconditional love that all the great religions say we should give to others regardless of their behaviour.

When you can’t manage it, that’s all right. We don’t need to be perfect, only to do our best. So, then, forgive yourself, and do your best to return to the high path.

This may well drive her mad, because her provocations will no longer have an effect. Or, it may surprise her, and without knowing why, she may respond to the changed social situation within the family by changing herself.

Give it a go, and let me know in a few weeks how things are doing.

With love (of the kind I’ve described),
Bob


I can’t help hating my family

My name is Sally, I am 18 years old and was adopted by a white family when I was 10 months old. I am Vietnamese and we obviously do not look related at all. Before my adoptive parents got me, they had a biological child who is 6 years older than me, she is a girl and is the spitting image of our mother. I know absolutely nothing about my biological parents, name, age, background, nothing. But neither do my adoptive parents. I had a great childhood, never mistreated or abused in any way, loved by everybody. About 8 years ago, when I was 10 I started to HATE my family, mom dad and sister. I always felt like they loved her more than me because she actually came from them. I often wish eternal misery on her and wish she was dead, I have also wished that about my parents before, mostly my mom. I have been doing research about these feelings and came across some interesting things. apparently is a child does not form that “mother-daughter” bond within the first year of life they will have a hard time forming relationships or trusting people in the future, is this true? Also, I am so sick and tired of my sister telling me how to feel, she constantly tells me, no, just be nice, and all I have to do is change my attitude, I try this every day but for some reason, I just cant love my family, I don’t know why? my parents always tell me to be grateful that they saved me, but I’m not, the only thing I think of when they say this is how they stripped me of my cultural background and everything I have ever known.

Please advise me: why do I hate my family who has been nothing but nice and good to me? Why do I feel hatred all the time? How can I tell my parents that I can’t control the way I feel?

Sally my dear,

Many adopted people go through a stage of resenting the fact of their adoption. Usually, it is just that, a stage. For some reason, for you it has become a long term habit of thought and emotion. Possibly, when you were about 10 years old and had these feelings of resentment and rejection and “not fair,” they horrified you. You may have thought, “They love me, and have always been nice and good to me, so I mustn’t feel like this!” Or there could have been some other reason, but this is typical: whatever we try to send away gets stronger.

As an example, imagine you have an itch on your back. You know from experience that after maybe half a minute, it’ll fade away, so you don’t bother to scratch it, just get on with whatever you were doing. The itch will go away. But if you focus on it, and decide not to scratch it but fight the feeling, that itch will become irresistible, and you’ll find yourself scratching it, never mind how hard you try not to.

So, you had an itch of resentment and tried to send it away, and the more you tried, the worse it got until it became overpowering. Probably, it now feels like it is just the way things are, and that’s that.

Even if the initial way the habit got established was different, the end result is the same. You have certain thoughts and emotions that distress you, and also distress your family. You would change them if you could — but the more you try, the worse they get.

The solution is to stop trying to make them go away, but make a tiny little change. Instead of “I can’t help it, I hate my loving family,” have “I can’t help it, I feel as if I hated my loving family.”

Those emotions, no matter how strong they are, are only real if you believe them. They are just inside noises until you do. So, like simply accepting an itch knowing it will normally just fade away, simply accept the negative feelings knowing that normally they just fade away.

Change is the rule. All things are change. If this situation has lasted for 8 years, it’s because some force is keeping it going. I think that may be this struggle. “I should not be feeling like this” ensures that you continue to feel like that.

You can work at establishing a new habit: withdrawing the struggle. “OK, I feel as if… I am allowed to.”

A second point is that you are not what you think and feel, but what you DO. Try this experiment. Start a record book, or a file in your computer. Every day, find some way of acting toward your mom, dad and sister in a way that will make them feel good: some action as if you loved them. This can be as simple as a smile, a friendly touch, doing some little thing to relieve your mom of a chore, whatever. Use your creativity and imagination. Write down each of these acts in your records. At the end of three weeks of doing such things at least once a day, read over your records, and see how you feel. I’m be interested, so let me know.

The third thing is, why don’t you do some research about your culture? See how much you can find out about your own origins. Where do you come from? What are their customs? This could become an interesting hobby that will take your mind off what has been dominating your thinking for years.

What you have been doing so far hasn’t worked, so it’s time to try something different. Give my suggestions a go.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


My professor makes me suicidal

PLEASE HELP ME

I am a doctor, actually a resident and I need help. I wish someone could help me. How to tell I am not a loser, I am not dumb, I am not moron to my prof. How can I top so many exams previously and now with him, I can’t even answer simple basic questions. He makes me feel small, worthless, alone. Every day he tells me I am a waste life, I should die instead of living like this. And now I believe him. I want to end this, too. I don’t want to live anymore. But no one will understand, no one will believe I can be depressed. I have no one to talk to. I can’t move even a muscle in my body. I wanted to save lives. Now I wish someone can save mine. Help me.

My dear, this man is committing a crime. This is bullying. He has no right to treat you this way. His treatment of you says NOTHING about you as a person, a student, or a doctor, but says LOTS about him.

People who put other people down like this always feel small inside, and they need to bully others to feel better about themselves.

If he were a good doctor, he would remember the Hippocratic oath: “Above all, do no harm.” He is harming you, so his behaviour is unethical.

If he were a good teacher, he would find good things in your performance, and acknowledge them. When you made a mistake (we all do; that’s what learning is about), he would help you to improve without criticising you as a person. So, he is an incompetent teacher. If he knew how to teach, he would not be doing this.

It is completely unacceptable for any person, particularly one in authority, to refer to another person as a loser, a moron, dumb.

He has managed to gain power over you as a pocket Hitler, and this gives him a feeling of strength. He has sucked that strength out of you, to the point that now you feel suicidal.

Right. That was until now. Now, it is time to fight back. Take back your power. You can.

In previous times, with other instructors, you did well. So, we know you have the ability. In order to return to that, you need to change your emotional reaction to being in his presence.

Here are a few tricks you can experiment with:

1. Imagine him as his age, dressed in his clothes, but tiny: the size of a 6 year old little boy. He has to jump up and down by bullying you because he is so small inside. Are you going to be overwhelmed by a little kid? Of course not. Only, do your best not to actually laugh at him, ridiculous as you’ll see him now.

2. Before you had this fellow as your superior, you had others who behaved decently. Pick the best one. Before you have your next contact with little boy bully, imagine you are actually with this past instructor, who is only disguised as Dr. Monster. It is a mask, not the real person. Then, answer the question from this decent instructor, or do the procedure with the decent instructor looking over your shoulder, not the little monster.

3. You know you are competent, and able to come top in examinations. You are doing medicine because you are motivated to save lives and relieve suffering. Regardless of what this little boy says, do your best to carry on your life’s work. You are not doing it for him, or for his approval, but for your patients, present and future.

4. Instead of taking his nonsense as true, become defiant. The more he abuses you, the more you can show yourself that you can do it, and do it well. His bullying can be the spur to make you into the best doctor in your country.

With love,
Bob


Health

A useful form of exercise
Cycling is safe for the you-know-what

 

A useful form of exercise

This is the title of a post I made in February, describing one way of staying fit that does a lot of other good as well.

Comments welcome.


Cycling is safe for the you-know-what

A number of studies have indicated that cycling can interfere with male sexual function, and/or increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, a large-scale study has shown these results to be due to the use of small samples.

More than 2500 cyclists were compared with swimmers and runners who didn’t cycle. The proportion of ED and prostate problems were about the same. So there.

One bit of advice: if you go on long bike riders, it’s a good idea to occasionally stand on the pedals, or have a break and walk around.


Writing

Being a Children’s Ghostwriter, by Karen Cioffi
Headline analyser: a useful tool
My fictional teachers

 

Being a Children’s Ghostwriter
by Karen Cioffi

I recently had a conversation with a fellow attendee at a children picture book workshop. When I mentioned I’m a children’s ghostwriter she was curious how I got started in the field.

I couldn’t answer her. I couldn’t remember how it actually came about.

Thinking back, I still can’t remember. But, I did start out editing for authors. Since much of the work I was given was in such poor condition, I ended up rewriting the stories.

I guess it evolved into offering ghostwriting services.

In case you’re wondering, a ghostwriter is a writer who will take your idea, notes, outline, or other information and writes a story for you. And, ghostwriters write in every genre you can think of: fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, screenplays, video, TV scripts, technical, medical, speeches, music, and so on.

The ghostwriter offers a nondisclosure agreement and freelance agreement. And, she usually doesn’t get any recognition for her work.

As far as who hires a children’s ghostwriter, it always amazes me.

They are from around the world. I’ve worked with clients from Italy, Untied Kingdom, Scotland, Norway, Saipan, Jordan, and all over the United States.

And, I’ve had a number of series clients and still currently do.

It seems most often it’s parents or grandparents who develop a desire to be author of a children’s book. Usually, they want to have a story created about their children or grandchildren.

I’ve also worked with therapists who use children’s books as a tool. And, then there are the business people who see a children’s book as part of a marketing strategy for the industry they’re in or as an addition to a product they already have.

In addition to this, I’ve worked with clients who wanted a series of children’s books to use as the foundation of a new business.

To be a ghostwriter, you do need certain skills. The first is to be a skilled writer.

In addition to this, the writer needs to listen carefully to her client. She needs to take simple things like an idea or notes or a basic outline and create an engaging and publishable book. Along with this, the writer needs to ensure the book reflects the client’s voice and vision.

The writer also needs to be organized.

I usually handle more than one project at a time. In one instance, I worked on six projects simultaneously. It takes organization and focus. As the writer, you need to keep things moving smoothly and keep your clients satisfied and in-the-loop throughout each project.

Above all else though, a ghostwriter wants to make sure her client is thrilled with the final product. I know I do.

I love writing for children. It’s very satisfying being able to teach children, engage them, amaze them, bring them on adventures, and stretch their imaginations. And, I love helping others fulfil a desire they have to see their story ideas come to life.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.


Headline analyser: a useful tool

Check it out here. And it’s free.


My fictional teachers

This is the title of my latest contribution to Rhobin’s Rounds, on characters in my writing.


What my friends want you to know

Trevor is asking for Aussie stories
Online heartfulness meditation course
Help prevent murder
Ghost town to solar town
Earthjustice fights for a future
Radioactive exposure tour
Support abused workers
Climate Council needs your help to fight back

 

Trevor is asking for Aussie stories

G’day, my name is Trevor Tucker. I am an established Australian author, approaching the final stages of my third book, Aussie Anecdotes… but I need help.

This new book is a collection of (quite remarkable) short stories contributed by many people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. Regrettably, my publisher has suggested that for my new book to have a chance of succeeding, it requires at least another 15 pieces.

I’m sure many people have experienced, seen or heard of something that is worthy of recording and who secretly harbour a desire to be published. So, want your short story/stories published? Here then is an opportunity to achieve that while lending me a hand.

The only limitations are that any contribution must have a quintessential Australian flavour, be approximately 3-4 pages in length, not contain profanities or be political or religious opinion.

Fear not, your story can be either real or a creation of your imagination.

However, you will have to accept that I cannot guarantee your contribution’s inclusion.

Should Aussie Anecdotes be published, you will share royalties. You will also retain copyright and be named as a contributing author.

There are no obligations except perhaps that time is of the essence if you are interested.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Tucker (Author)
Mobile/text: 0414 935 218.


Online heartfulness meditation course

Inclining the mind toward an open heart

We’ve got a new program now open for registration: Heartfulness meditation.

This is our 3rd program of this year, following on from the Mindfulness program in January and Concentration, which is running through February.

This is Version 1.0 of the Heartfulness Program, our first-ever time teaching in-depth on this topic.

This program is organized around four forms of love:

  • Loving-kindness
  • Compassion
  • Joy
  • Equanimity

Each week we’ll explore learning material related to one of these four forms of love, and will have a weekly circle meeting where we’ll practice social meditation and discuss how our practice is going.

Vincent and Emily


Help prevent murder

In 2009, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered by anti-choice radicals.

Today, Dr. Leroy Carhart, who was an associate and friend of Dr. Tiller, is one of only four physicians left in the country who provides abortion care to women facing tragic complications later in pregnancy. And every day he’s targeted by the same kinds of anti-choice radicalism that resulted in the murder of Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Carhart is seeking to raise $20,000 to strengthen the Maryland clinic’s security provisions to protect everyone who works at or seeks care there. Will you chip in $15?

Dr. Carhart has already had to fight long and hard to defend his practice. In 2000, he went all the way to the Supreme Court to strike down a Nebraska law that banned the safest abortion procedures for women.

In 2009, the clinic was set on fire. He and his family have been harassed and threatened, and their farm was burned as well, killing their animals. Then last year, the clinic was shut down following an intense campaign of harassment.

Now he’s been able to resume providing care at a new location in Maryland, but the harassment has continued.

That’s why Dr. Carhart is aiming to raise $20,000 to help strengthen security and protect his staff and patients.

This is how the anti-choice movement operates: If they can’t win through normal legal challenges, they resort to intimidation, harassment, and ultimately violence. Dr. Carhart and his team refuse to give in, and we need to stand behind them.

Will you chip in $15 to defend choice and provide the security needed to protect Dr. Carhart, his patients, and staff?

Thank you for helping to make reproductive freedom real for all women.

Ilyse Hogue
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America


Ghost town to solar town

It was a forgotten town, deserted in the dust.

Kidston — once a working gold mine — closed for good in 2001, leaving two big holes in the ground: nothing but scars on the landscape, in the words of 5th generation local, Miranda Ryan.

But what may have seemed like a forgotten ghost town, was actually a golden opportunity, soon to be realised in a world-first solar + pumped hydro combo, which is just like a big battery that can provide renewable energy 24/7.

Watch and share our video to spread the word about the world-first solar + hydro project that’s made industry and innovation out of an abandoned mine site:


Earthjustice fights for a future

Across the country there is powerful movement away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy—but to make that change happen, we must keep on fighting back.

Earthjustice attorneys are working with communities around the country to push back against pipelines such as Bayou Bridge, as well as export terminals and other major fossil fuel projects that lock us into a fossil fuel–fired future.

These challenges are daunting but we are showing that we can win them together.

Thank you for being a partner in this fight.

Sincerely,
Jan Hasselman
Staff Attorney

Please donate


Radioactive exposure tour

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a journey through Australia’s nuclear landscape. The Tour has exposed thousands of people to the realities of ‘radioactive racism’ and the environmental and social impacts of uranium mining, radioactive waste and nuclear bomb testing.

Run by Friends of the Earth, this year’s Tour will take place from Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April, 2018. Participants are able to join the tour in Melbourne or Adelaide.

This year we will visit Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia who are stopping a radioactive waste dump, and protecting sacred sites on their land. We will also meet with farmers in the agricultural area of Kimba who are also opposing plans to dump nuclear waste in their community.

We’ll head for Arabana country, watch the sunset over Lake Eyre and see the Mound Springs − oases which are fed by the underlying Great Artesian Basin and host unique flora and fauna. Sadly, some of the Mound Springs have been adversely effected or destroyed altogether by the massive water intake of the Olympic Dam mine. The Tour will visit BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the largest uranium deposit in the world. The mine is a longstanding environmental and social disaster.

In Woomera, we’ll hear first-hand accounts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu Field from nuclear veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson. We’ll also stop by Nurrungar, the desert surveillance base that closed in 1999.

Participants get to experience consensus decision making, desert camping and vegetarian cooking in affinity groups while travelling to some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia. If you’re interested in learning about the industry or anti-nuclear campaigning, the “Rad Tour” is an essential start or refresher.

The costs of the tour are: concession $600 − waged $800 − solidarity $1000.

Full payment due by 28th Feb 2018, but I’ve asked FOE to be easy in this. Mention Bob Rich.

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a drug and alcohol free event. Kids are welcome. Dogs need to stay at home. Tour Vehicles only.


Support abused workers

Dear Bob,

Thank you for adding your name to help us gather 100,000 signatures to support the chicken farm workers as they face trial in Thailand. We are getting closer to our target and appreciate each and every new name!

Last week, two of the 14 workers and the Thailand coordinator of the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), an organisation that has assisted the workers, faced trial for theft. The charge was brought against them by the farm owner for stealing timecards showing working hours of up to 20 hours per day, which the workers took to submit to the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare in order to prove that they were exploited.

Their former employers are doing everything they can to prevent them from getting the justice they deserve. Disappointingly as soon as the hearing began, the farm owner requested it be adjourned, which was granted until April 9.

On top of dealing with a malicious court case, the workers are still waiting to receive the 1.7 million Thai Baht (52,000 USD) of compensation the government and numerous courts has ordered their employer to pay them since August 2016.

Despite all of this, the workers are admirably continuing and showing the importance of taking a stand against labor exploitation in the Thai chicken industry.

This latest trial adjournment means we have more time to gather support so that we can power their voices and show our outrage that instead of protecting the workers, this case suggests whistleblowers in Thailand can expect to be criminalized.

The Thai chicken industry is big business and much of it is exported, ending up for sale on shelves around the world. We are grateful to the workers for bravely fighting to improve conditions in the industry.

It’s not easy taking a stand dealing with their oppressors in court just so that they can get the minimum they deserve, but we can support them to help secure justice. Please share this campaign with your friends and family so that we can reach 100,000 signatures and show that this is important to people all around the world.

In solidarity,

Joanna, Miriam and the Freedom United team


Climate Council needs your help to fight back

Dear Bob,

The attacks just keep coming.

Abolishing Australia’s independent Climate Commission. Deep reaching cuts to key institutions like the CSIRO. Attempts to force environmental charities to spend more than 25% of their funds on tree planting and weed removal in an effort to strangle their advocacy capacity.

And now this.

The Federal Government has recently introduced a poorly constructed Bill that would devastate the work of charities across the board (including the Climate Council) if it went ahead.

This so-called “Foreign Donations Bill” has been introduced in the name of protecting Australian politics from foreign influence.

But the reality is, this Bill is a direct attack on democracy in Australia. It could shut down the voices of community advocates, impose burdensome red tape restricting the work we do, and it could severely limit your ability to participate in public debate.

Under this proposed legislation, we could take journalists to the reef to document bleaching, BUT we couldn’t talk about the reason behind the bleaching: climate change. That’s because climate change could be considered an ‘election issue’, and charities would be bound by this vague, cover-all, rule restricting our speech.

This would stifle our ability to speak out with the facts. Can you chip in and help us fight to keep our voice strong and independent?

In solidarity,
Tim Flannery and Amanda McKenzie


Reviews

Guardian Angel Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett
The Choice, by James Alexander
Alexander the Great

 

Guardian Angel Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

readersfavorie5star
Guardian Angel by Dr Bob Rich imagines Australia in 1850 and what it must be like for Glindi, an aboriginal woman. Glindi was raped by a white man and from that terrible event came a daughter. Maraglindi is a girl who has love in her life, but she comes up against the worst the Victorian world has to offer in her short life as well. Life is never easy and we all must walk different paths. For a little girl whose name means Glindi’s sorrow, life is short but it lives on.

I have always been enthralled with the story of how Australia came to be. A colony for criminals that grew into a fantastic country. Sadly, there were growing pains just like all countries have, and it pushed its native people aside. While that happened some terrible things took place, but from that also came good. Dr Bob Rich has an amazing way of telling the story of Maraglindi, a Jesus type figure. Born from an act that was hateful, and forced to endure hate from the rigid way Victorian society was, she still managed to be a bright light, and to me that is truly amazing. I have a saying that love will heal the world and in this book Maraglindi really seems to walk this way of life. A true guardian of love. I am going to have to read this story a second time to make sure I take all the information in, but I truly did enjoy this book and learning about Maraglindi. I feel this book is something that needs to be read right now, today, in our world that is starting to go more down the path of hate than it should. If you want to read something that will inspire you and is also historical, this is a good choice for you.

Readers Favorite allows you to read books free, in exchange for an honest review, and is a reviewing venue for writers.


The Choice by James Alexander

A 15 year old boy is required to murder a harmless old man, as a way of qualifying for membership of a gang. Sadly, this is a common enough story in urban slums. In the first chapter, he refuses to kill, and suffers the consequences: a beating that puts him into a coma. The second chapter starts an alternative reality, in which he chooses evil.

The rest of the book alternates between these two storylines, in an intriguing way. We follow good guy Jared and vicious thug J-Rock as they go through episodes that are distorted mirror images of each other, interacting with characters who have the same roles in the two stories, and yet their experiences are utterly different.

This is the concept of James Alexander’s The Choice.

The two interleaved stories are both full of tension, and gradually approach each other. You’ll feel a compulsion to read on to the end.

Check it out at his website.


Alexander the Great

I find history fascinating, because, if told right, it has the potential to explain the present, and illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. In60Learning has a list of titles, in Kindle and audiobook versions, that cover a wide range of historical topics.

The author or publisher (I don’t know which, because no author is listed) sent me the one about Alexander the Great. Although I have a good general knowledge of this almost legendary figure, I’ve learned lots of interesting facts, and found the experience entertaining.

While Alexander, and several other main characters came through as well-rounded personalities, much of the account was names without much of an association. This is perhaps inevitable in a story involving so many people, with many of them probably being nothing but names in the source documents.

So, if old Alex interests you but you have little time, this little book will be an informative, pleasant read.


Fun

Premade snowballs, for your convenience!

Yes! the ultimate in civilisation! In Minnesota, you can put only $1 into a vending machine. It spits out a single use, genuinely throw-away plastic cylinder, in which there is a snowball you can throw at your friend. It of course shatters on impact, being a snowball.

Lloyd Alter at Treehugger is horrified. Fellow has no sense of humour, obviously.


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.)

I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, 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.

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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6 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 17 Number 9

  1. wanwu spirit library says:

    This had an amazing opening quote. Also i loved the energy news! Happy hopeful and good

    Like

  2. karencv says:

    Thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your newsletter! I’m thrilled!

    Like

  3. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Sorry, Colin, what was long? I think this issue has less stuff in it than average.
    Thank you for being such an enthusiastic liker.

    🙂

    Like

  4. pendantry says:

    Wow. That was loooooooooong!

    Like

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