Bobbing Around Volume 17 Number 10

Poverty is a social disease, not an individual sin.
Peace Paul


Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Albert Einstein

Bobbing Around

Volume Seventeen, Number Ten,
April, 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
Walking with a will
Guest post
Letter to Queensland premier
We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change
But this is so depressing
The citizens’ jury

*Responses
J. Q. Rose

*Politics
Malaysia moving toward compassion

*Environment
Heatwave in the Arctic
Marry a tree!
Arnie: climate change is murder
Extinction event
Plastic: stop it at the source

*Good news
Damaging pipeline stopped, for now

*Inspiring people
Cooking up a rescue from a storm
The Florida student spearheading the gun debate in the US now has more followers than the NRA
The most beautiful girl in the world was a great inventor
The most inspiring teacher

*Compassion
It takes a village to love an oldie
16 year old boy transforms lives

*Technology
There are simple ways of saving the world

*Deeper issues
Animals do have personalities
Children need the benefits of play
The way to a contented life
Love these twins
10 minutes of peace
Are we living at the BEST of times?
Sustainability and people

*Psychology
Secondary gains for acting depressed
Wisdom about depression
Could you be brainwashed?

*Health
Food dyes
Wash new clothes
Have asthma? You can reduce your environmental footprint

*Look over a writer’s shoulder
So a Reviewer Said Yes. Now what? by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Where do your story ideas come from?

*What my friends want you to know
Doctors without borders needs us
Awareness meditation course
Consumer safety guide
Rich McLean’s new book
Sharing with writers
From Bohdan Szuprowicz

*Reviews
Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Homelessness: From Pretreatment Strategies to Psychologically Informed Environments edited by Jay Levy and Robin Johnson
Sleeper, Awake reviewed by Nick Lomb

*Fun
A cute little person
Why do they need to repeat ads over and over?
Why do women menstruate?


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.


Climate researchers have identified individual actions that will have the greatest impact on climate change mitigation, provided enough people join in. These include having one fewer child, living car-free, avoiding air travel and shifting to a plant-based diet.
Anne Schwenkenbecher


On February 25, the Cape Morris Jesup weather station in northern Greenland recorded 6.1 degrees C, despite the fact that at this time of year, when the sun is still below the horizon, temperatures are typically around -30 degrees C.
Norwegian researchers Meyer et al.

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

Walking with a will
Guest post
Letter to Queensland premier
We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change
But this is so depressing
The citizens’ jury

 

Walking with a will

No, I am not leaving you anything in my will, sorry. But, post hip-chop-op, I am walking and exercising, to the point that my dear wife is threatening to tie me down.

To celebrate 3 weeks post-op, I walked for 6.6 Km (4 miles) up and down hills, at exactly the rate online maps reckon to be ordinary walking pace. Only, I used a 1-point walking stick for two-thirds of it (much needed at the end), and for a day and a half afterward felt like I used to after a major running race. Still some way to recover…

To celebrate the coming end of my rehabilitation, I have entered in a fundraising 3 Km (nearly 2 mile) walk for a wonderful local charitable organisation, HICCI (Healesville Inter Church Care, Inc.). The date is 28th April.

HICCI looks after homeless people, feeds the hungry, has volunteers drive people to medical appointments, gives clothing and other necessities, on and on. While it is a cooperative of churches, the only qualification for assistance is need; religion or lack of it is immaterial.

I would be grateful for my readers to sponsor me, but HICCI still lives in the 20th century. They only have a paper sponsor-seeking form. I am doing my best to help them switch to an online method, but the lady running the show expects that for next year…

Still, if you can spare it, please send me $5 Australian (or even more) through Paypal to bob@bobswriting.com and mark it “HICCI walk.”


Guest post

If you haven’t read my guest post at EPIC blog in November last year, you’ll enjoy it now. Actually, you might enjoy it even if it’s for the second time.


Letter to Queensland premier

People outside Australia may not know: there is an ongoing battle to keep a corrupt foreign company from establishing one of the largest coal mines, ever. Adani have bought a great many politicians. They have made many claims proven to be lies, and are still trying to save themselves by getting backdoor loans from the taxpayer.

The local Aboriginal nations whose land is to be destroyed are leading the fight. The response is a threat to have the Queensland government extinguish their “native title.”

At their request, I’ve sent the following email to the Premier of Queensland:

    Dear Premier,

    I understand the difficult situations you face every day, with special interest groups shouting over each other. However, in regard to the proposed mining of coal, there is no rational argument for allowing any more, anywhere in the world.

    We are in the 6th extinction event of planet earth. The death agonies of the Great Barrier reef are a significant part of that. Coal is killing the reef in two ways: directly through incursion and pollution, and even more seriously through climate change.

    Please listen to the wisdom of the original Custodians of the Land. Their ancestors survived here for perhaps 100,000 years. We white invaders have wrecked most of it in less than 300. We need to treat everything the way traditional Aboriginal culture relates to their land: as their mother and their being.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Rich, PhD


We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change

Mike Stasse reproduced a post by Kate Marvel, and since I am following him, I read it with interest.


In summary, she, a climate scientist, bears out my view of what’s coming. It is way too late for hope. What we can do is to accept the facts, and to do our best to react with compassion and decency to the new world, as she does.

I didn’t know whether to classify her essay as environment, philosophy or psychology, because it’s all three.

Have a look for yourself.


But this is so depressing

…wrote Karen Kioffi in response to Kate’s essay. This is my reply to her.

If you are intelligent, and refuse to have your head in the sand, you need to read my response.


The citizens’ jury

I wrote a short blog about a way politics could be run. Please read and leave a comment.


Responses

J. Q. Rose

Thanks, Bob. Received your newsletter and I did FOLLOW Bobbing Around. Do I win a prize for doing that?? Like a lollipop or a plastic ring or an amazing gift like what was always in the Crackerjack box??

Again, I am amazed at the length and breadth of the topics in your newsletter. You are a wise and thoughtful curator finding articles we could never dig up.

Mystery and non-fiction author, J.Q. Rose

The prize is the warm feeling of having done someone a favour… 🙂


Politics

Malaysia moving toward compassion

Politics is usually bad news. Not this time.

Malaysia, which is a Muslim country, has launched a new policy, a National Human Rights Action Plan.

Not only does this set out a path toward dignity, compassion and decency, but it does so through a national consultation to work out the details.

The Prime Minister has correctly explained that this course of action follows the dictates of the Quar’an.


Environment

Heatwave in the Arctic
Marry a tree!
Arnie: climate change is murder
Extinction event
Plastic: stop it at the source

 

Heatwave in the Arctic

You’ve probably heard of this:

So, who cares what happens near the North Pole? We all should, because it determines weather for much of the planet. Freezing Britain is almost certainly one consequence.


Marry a tree!

Please read this little essay with lovely photos of Mexican women marrying trees.

Since most tree species are both male and female, men can do the same.

The Mexican ladies are drawing attention to the damage illegal logging causes. But the concept goes deeper than that.

All is one. All depends on everyone.


Arnie: climate change is murder


This great man pulls no punches. He intends to sue the oil companies for deliberate misinformation since 1959.

He points out, correctly, that their campaign is exactly parallel to that of the tobacco industry, which has been found culpable, and forced to pay up.


Extinction event

Extinctions are not uniform around the planet. A recent study has focused on areas of high biodiversity, and found that 50% of plant and animals species there are at risk, largely because of climate change.

There are only two kinds of people: conservationists and suicides.


Plastic: stop it at the source

That means you and me. Copy my wife, who is a Garbage Granny, picking it up in streets and parks so it doesn’t wash down the drain to the sea. Refuse to buy it.

Why?

Various places in the ocean now have HUGE collections of plastic. The largest is twice the area of France.

It kills birds and aquatic animals. As it breaks into smaller pieces, it is eaten, and passes up the food chain (that means you if you eat fish).

There once was the carboniferous era. Ours is the plasticoferous.


Good news

Damaging pipeline stopped, for now

In Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, all of Earth has been covered in miles-deep construction. There is no nature left.

Of course, that’s science fiction, but it may well also be inspiration for certain commercial enterprises, which would just love to replace all nature with oil pipelines and other attractive features.

It breaks my heart to tell you, a Federal judge has preferred local humans and other animals and plants to commercial wisdom.

More power to her.


People who inspire

Cooking up a rescue from a storm
The Florida student spearheading the gun debate in the US now has more followers than the NRA
The most beautiful girl in the world was a great inventor
The most inspiring teacher

 

Cooking up a rescue from a storm

José Andrés, a chef, has used his professional skills and readership to provide tens of thousands of hot meals to hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico. At first, he covered all costs from his own resources.

He has now been honoured as Humanitarian of the Year.


The Florida student spearheading the gun debate in the US now has more followers than the NRA

The headline says it all.

More power to Emma Gonzalez. I hope she stays safe, given who her opposition is.

You can read one brief report here.


The most beautiful girl in the world was a great inventor

I was fascinated when I read a brief account of the life of Hedy Lamarr.

You will be too.


The most inspiring teacher

Imagine that your teacher in 5th grade (or any other stage, up to postdoctoral) ran her educational program according to this “classroom mantra.”

Jen Robinson of Fishers, Indiana does just that.

Her students learn, to their maximum abilities. More important, they learn to practice decency, compassion, empathy, kindness.

Jen became a teacher because in school she had attention difficulties, and three of her teachers treated her with kindness, compassion, understanding and tolerance. She is passing it on.

This is the change we need, in every field, everywhere.


Compassion

It takes a village to love an oldie
16 year old boy transforms lives

 

It takes a village to love an oldie

The village is Frome, in England. Please take a minute to read this brief account by Katherine Martinko. (I followed up the original, but it was much dryer, with less feeling.)

People can stay out of hospital when everyone cares. Human nature being what it is, we are designed to be social beings with compassion and cooperation at the heart of community.


16 year old boy transforms lives


Kevin Barber’s mother is an emergency room doctor, and talked with him about the plight of homeless people. Then he saw a TED talk video about a program to help them elsewhere…

He became an activist that has resulted in a program to provide part-time employment, dignity, self-respect, and in some cases, housing, to homeless people.

Kevin for president?


Technology

There are simple ways of saving the world

This essay in the Guardian focuses on Australia, but the logic of the article, and the wisdom in many of the comments, will apply everywhere.

Basically, it’s what I said many years ago in a speech, only I start with the why rather than the how.


Deeper Issues

Animals do have personalities
Children need the benefits of play
The way to a contented life
Love these twins
10 minutes of peace
Are we living at the BEST of times?
Sustainability and people

 

Animals do have personalities

“Here Bob goes again,” I hear you say. Well, there is evidence. Please read Katie O’Reilly’s review of Mousy cats and sheepish coyotes by John Shivik.

“Studies revealed that individuals within a single species, such as western bluebirds, range from aggressive to passive. Mosquitofish can be adventurers or homebodies. Some spiders are loners, while others prefer to live in groups. Elk can be even-keeled and consistent, or just as easily exhibit flighty and capricious behavior. Primates read emotional situations to resolve conflicts of personality, and reptiles form cliques.”


Children need the benefits of play

Four big wheels say so. They are the CEOs of Lego, Unilever, IKEA, and the National Geographic Society.

I agree with them. Mind you, they also need safety, and food, and shelter, and love. Let’s follow these four men, and work toward a world where that is the birthright of every child.


The way to a contented life

If you want my opinion, read How to change the world.

If you want exactly the same message from a couple in Vermont, read Elizabeth Willard Thames’ account of her and her husband’s major life change.

Oh, she is also Mrs. Frugalwoods, whom I’ve written about before.

I welcome them into my team. How about you?


Love these twins

Who cares if one looks like her Jamaican father, the other like her English mother? They’re sweet, any colour.


10 minutes of peace

Listen to this free meditation from Emily Horn.


Are we living at the BEST of times?

That’s what Jordan from High Existence argues. He presents evidence that a great many measures of welfare have improved, over many years, and are now better than at any previous time. The reason for all the doom and gloom, the malaise of despair, is that the media cherry-pick all the worst that happens anywhere.

I haven’t checked back to the source of his various graphs. Intuitively, I strongly doubt his thesis. For one thing, what about the terrible flood of refugees?

What do you think?


Sustainability and people

Someone asked a somewhat confused but genuine question at Quora. S/he wanted to know why we need to do something about sustainability, and what the effects of the issue are on people.

You may like my answer, which is from the heart.


Psychology

Secondary gains for acting depressed
Wisdom about depression
Could you be brainwashed?

 

Secondary gains for acting depressed

I posted a short extract from my coming book on depression yesterday, because I need your help. Please read, and leave a comment at the bottom of the page.


Wisdom about depression

A recent long term, large scale meta-analysis has demonstrated benefit for antidepressants. I need to go with the current evidence, and accept its findings, though I continue to be sceptical.

Part of my scepticism is that a meta-analysis depends on what studies were selected for inclusion, under what criteria.

No one could do better at pointing to the right course of action than Rhik Samadder in the Guardian.


Could you be brainwashed?

Could I?

This report indicates that anyone in the wrong circumstances is susceptible.

Maybe that can lead to a little more tolerance for the victims of such terrible actions?


Health

Food dyes
Wash new clothes
Have asthma? You can reduce your environmental footprint

 

Food dyes

In the EU, a food additive needs to be shown to be safe before being allowed. In the USA, it is treated like a defendant in court: innocent until proven guilty.

Um… really? Is that sensible?

Please read this informative and well written opinion piece by Annie B. Bond on the topic.


Wash new clothes

This is a new idea to me, but makes sense once you read the article in Treehugger.


Have asthma? You can reduce your environmental footprint

The usual asthma inhaler releases a highly potent greenhouse gas at each use. This essay by Dr Brett Montgomery offers a better alternative.


Look over a writer’s shoulder

So a Reviewer Said Yes. Now what? by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Where do your story ideas come from?

 

So a Reviewer Said Yes. Now what?
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Sighhh. I so hate to see an author or publisher send out bare-bones review copies to a reviewer who has committed to reviewing a book.

Here are a few ideas from my newest book from my HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically, to dress that copy up a bit. The idea is to help your reviewer without violating ethical standards.

  • Affix a review label to the inside front cover of the review copy you are sending. It should have all your book’s key data: contact information including name, phone, fax, email, and Web site. This can be done on a 3.5 x 5 inch label. Print enough for your projected needs.
  • Enclose a media kit or a help sheet (sometimes called a sell sheet) about your title. It should include your media release. It might explain the benefits of your book or why someone would be interested in reading it, and a bio of the author. Include the same information on this as the review label mentioned above. By doing this, you assure that your reviewer has the information he or she needs and that your name is spelled right. Further, if you include a nice synopsis, you may even be able to influence the reviewer to highlight what you find most valuable about your book.
  • Enclose a cover letter stating that this review copy is being sent in direct response to their request and how to reach you if they need any additional information. This information can also go on the outside of the envelope you are using to send your ARC. Do not say that anywhere, though, unless it is the truth.
  • Send the reviewer a brief e-mail and remind him/her of the request and that the copy is on its way. Double-check the address you have at that time.
  • Some reviewers, bloggers, and other media outlets use the information you send verbatim. In The Frugal Book Promoter, I advise that your media kit include a review with permission for them to cut and paste exactly as it is. Be sure to give them guidelines for its use from both you and the original reviewer. (Midwest Book Review, as an example, always extends permission for unlimited use as long as they are credited.)
  • Let your contact know — as part of the letter and the release and even the review slip — that cover art, interior art, and/or author photos are available electronically or as black and white glossies. Make the cover of your book and an author photo available on your Web site so they can be downloaded in either color or black and white, in either high or low resolution.
  • Don’t try to talk the reviewer into an e-copy if he or she requested real paper.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor, including awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. The newest in the series, How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically, was launched as part of a promotional program to more than 20,000 new readers. All are available in print or as e-book. Learn more at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.


    Where do your story ideas come from?

    This is my March contribution to Rhobin’s Rounds. If you haven’t read it yet, please do, and comment. I’ve made the little essay a gateway to several bits of free entertainment.


    What my friends want you to know

    Doctors without borders needs us
    Awareness meditation course
    Consumer safety guide
    Rich McLean’s new book
    Sharing with writers
    From Bohdan Szuprowicz

     

    Doctors without borders needs us

    Following days of intense bombardment, medics in East Ghouta, Syria, are reporting hundreds of dead and wounded, with many women and children among them.

    Medical staff who were already pushed to the brink worked for six days straight, without a break and with almost no medicines, facing the worst difficulties to treat their patients in such extreme circumstances.

    Please consider donating today to support medical care for people caught in war, natural disasters, epidemics and other health emergencies.


    Awareness meditation course

    Emily Horn is offering an online course on becoming aware, starting April 2.

    Discover the Simple Feeling of Being.

    The month-long program costs USD75.


    Consumer safety guide

    Consumer Safety Guide was created to keep the public informed about consumer dangers and safety issues associated with numerous products that can cause the public harm. Our website is constantly being updated with the most recent information on the most popular prescription medications and FDA-approved medical devices that could be endangering your health or putting your loved ones at risk. Our mission is to keep you informed and help you make the most educated decisions about your health care.


    Rich McLean’s new book


    I’m excited and proud to announce an exhaustive celebration of life… a 25-year portfolio of my traditional drawing and digital illustration, instantly downloadable on iBooks, GooglePlay & KindleFire.

    This brand new release, A Certain Beauty in Un-resolution… ART has over 200 colour plates and will thrill the art connoisseur and layperson alike.

    Also available as a physical copy, it is the culmination of a life’s passion for traditional drawing and digital illustration.

    It will be of particular interest to not only artists but also art therapists, art teachers, media studies, psychologists, art connoisseurs, those fascinated with the artistic process, design and digital illustrators and those interested in the crossover of science and spirituality.


    Sharing with writers

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s regular newsletter is as full of goodies for writers as usual.


    From Bohdan Szuprowicz

    During school shootouts and security problems…
    Do you know who is watching your children, where, when and why?
    Check out our E-Guide how to discover secret cameras by clicking here.


    Reviews

    Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Homelessness: From Pretreatment Strategies to Psychologically Informed Environments, edited by Jay Levy and Robin Johnson
    Sleeper, Awake reviewed by Nick Lomb

     

    Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Homelessness: From Pretreatment Strategies to Psychologically Informed Environments edited by Jay Levy and Robin Johnson

    I edited this book for the publisher, and at the time, I made this assessment:

    The target audience of this book is professionals working with the most disadvantaged people in western society. However, the message will inspire and inform anyone with compassion who wants to make a difference, provided they are willing to read a scholarly work.

    I cheer the approach, which sees homeless people as survivors of complex, ongoing trauma rather than any of the many stigmatizing descriptions thrown at them.

    The philosophy and approach described here can, and indeed should, be applied to all client populations, not only to homeless people with long histories of trauma and its effects.

    As well as the theory, and descriptions of practice, the book is full of case studies that illuminate and inspire.

    I thoroughly recommend Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Homelessness to any helping professional.


    Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by Nick Lomb

    Sleeper, Awake creates a fascinating and possibly utopian world of the future. A thousand years after a global catastrophe humanity is leading a blissful existence with only a million people spread over the planet. Some live on the ground, some on the oceans and some in the sky with their houses supported by balloons. Though physically separated, people are linked through implants and holographic (or similar) image transference, while their lives are controlled by a benign artificial intelligence. Actually, there are a little less than a million people actively living on the planet with the rest made up of sleepers, people from an earlier era who had themselves cryogenically frozen in the hope of future developments allowing them to be cured of otherwise incurable illnesses.

    The book is an engrossing read full of psychological insight and one that raises deep questions about what is an ideal society: is a small peaceful, but controlled society better or worse than our own with its many problems and yet bubbling with new ideas and discoveries? More profoundly, can artificial intelligence be fully trusted, can it really stay benign? This is a book that provokes thought and stays with you for a long time after finishing it.


    Fun

    A cute little person
    Why do they need to repeat ads over and over?
    Why do women menstruate?

     

    A cute little person

    It has 8 legs, but is not a spider.

    This brief video will give you a smile.


    Why do they need to repeat ads over and over?

    It’s because 97.42% of people have Alzheimer’s, and won’t remember otherwise.

    (This is one of the reasons I refuse to have television, or listen to commercial radio.)


    Why do women menstruate?

    It’s God’s punishment because Eve bit into the apple.

    Oh. Is that why gorillas and orang-utans and chimpanzees and bonobos and macaques and many other monkeys menstruate?

    On behalf of other monkeys, I am lodging an appeal.


    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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