Bobbing Around Volume 18 Number 1

Greed is an environmental issue. We are now in the 6th extinction event of earth that will kill everything because those with too much want everything.
Dr Bob Rich


This year is the worst we’ve ever seen. There was so much melt over the summer that more than half the glaciers have lost all the snow they had gained last winter, plus some from the winter before, and there’s rocks sticking out everywhere. The melt-back is phenomenal.
Trevor Chinn, who has been annually surveying New Zealand’s glaciers since the 1960s.

Bobbing Around

Volume Eighteen, Number One,
July, 2018

Bob Rich’s rave

email

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

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
At last, Hit and Run is published
Guest on Carolyn’s blog
On having a good life
Michael Thal’s opinion
New resource for keen readers
Editing
Another global warming question on Quora

*Responses
Ron Cothero

*Environment
Poison by any other name…
No oil or gas pipeline is safe
Antarctic ice has melted
Water

*Good news
Legal in Thailand to expose criminal business
India’s farmers are returning to sustainable practice
Solar saves

*Inspiring people
Francis again
Hero was scared — afterward
Wisdom from a new lawyer
The courage of her convictions
People vs. coal seam gas

*Compassion
What do you do when your neighbour is attacked?

*Technology
Fishermen fixed plastic problem
Untangling whales in Hawaii
Simple Ways To Go Green On The Cheap, by Bailey Newman

*Deeper issues
Save the future: go childfree
Wisdom on wants and needs
Bees can learn what the Romans didn’t know
And wasps are an essential strand in the web of life

*Psychology
New book illustrates positive psychology
Terribly traumatised kids can be led to a good life
I’m 15 and suicidal
Am I a sexual abuse victim?

*Health
Grow organic or die
Are medicines killing people?
Keep safe in old age, by John Moreland

*Look over a writer’s shoulder
Reader survey: have your say
New book review site
Chocolate icing on the cake of life

*What my friends want you to know
Poet Published in Award-Winning Review Journal
Help us protect people from this coal mine
Before the last elephant dies
Medicins Sans Frontieres
Claire Dunn hosting famous shaman

*Reviews
Hit and Run reviewed by Erik Fogg
From Timor Leste to Australia Edited by Jan Trezise

*Fun
How politics works


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.


Mayors don’t look at climate change as an ideological issue. They look at it as an economic and public health issue.
Michael Bloomberg


Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation.
Pope Francis

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

At last, Hit and Run is published
Guest on Carolyn’s blog
On having a good life
Michael Thal’s opinion
New resource for keen readers
Editing
Another global warming question on Quora

 

At last, Hit and Run is published

Please read the brief announcement here.

Dozens of people have been kind enough to give me advance reviews. I have now emailed all of them, with the review attached as a reminder. However, I’ve noticed that neither Amazon nor Goodreads has all those reviews.

Please, do me a favour and post your review in three places:

Goodreads

The book’s page at Writers Exchange

and The Amazon page the button at Writers Exchange takes you to.


Guest on Carolyn’s blog


My publicly frugal and frugally publicist friend Carolyn Howard-Johnson has posted my little essay on what is a bio at her blog. Pay her a visit: she always has interesting stuff there.


On having a good life

You might enjoy this immensely short blog post.


Michael Thal’s opinion

Talented YA author, AKA Pop, has posted his review of Hit and Run on his blog. Michael has a wide following, so I am grateful.


New resource for keen readers

My publisher of Hit and Run, Writers Exchange E-publishing, has established a new page at Amazon that is basically a catalogue of their available books. That includes those of several of my friends, so if you’re looking for a book to read, check this out.


Editing

One of my most recent editing clients has this to say about my work.


Another global warming question on Quora

Please read my answer.


Responses

Ron Cothero

Hey Bob, I really like your Bobbing Around. I approve of your aim of trying to make this a better world, and find the many and varied contents interesting.

But…

But the problem is the word “many.” It’s too many. When I got the notification of your last issue, I almost didn’t click on the link because the length of the table of contents was intimidating.

In the event, I looked at about half your items. I recommend you exercise some editorial ruthlessness, and keep length to something a busy person can get through.

Keep up the good work!

Ron

Ron, I am grateful for the feedback. In this issue, I’ve done my best to be ruthless, and keep to as small a number of items as I could. Also, in response to your feedback, I won’t put the table of contents into the notification email!

🙂
Bob


Environment

Poison by any other name…
No oil or gas pipeline is safe
Antarctic ice has melted
Water

 

Poison by any other name…

So Bayer has bought Monsanto. As a public relations exercise, the M name is to be dropped, but that doesn’t change the fact that Monsanto’s business is global ecocide.

Despite misinformation, the hiding of research findings, and severe discouragement of the publication of adverse research, the harm done by various agricultural poisons, including glyphosate, is now well established. And chances are overwhelming that YOU personally have significant quantities of these poisons in your body.

No name change can hide this.


No oil or gas pipeline is safe

A new one, starting operation only this year, has had a spectacular explosion.

I really, really wouldn’t want one of these in my area. Neither should you.

Oh, but society needs the oil and gas…

Carbon fuels are the addiction killing us. We need to get off the addiction, not to feed it.

Photo by Fiveflower.

And a more recent accident shows again that oil trains are as bad.


Antarctic ice has melted

Denialist arguments used to include the claim that Antarctic ice is growing rather than melting. A new report in Nature shows it ain’t so.

Certainly, the apron of surface ice around Antarctica has grown in area, because freshwater runoff from melting glaciers freezes on top of salt water. But, the report shows, the VOLUME of ice has reduced.

“The Antarctic ice sheet lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017.” That’s a lot of uncertainty, but ice loss from West Antarctica increased from 53 ± 29 billion to 159 ± 26 billion tonnes per year. That’s a three-fold increase.


Water

I’ve pointed out for years, one of the major ways humanity is killing itself is through fresh water. We use more than comes from the sky, and aquifers are being exhausted. This report states that India is facing a terrible shortage of fresh water.

India may be a long way from where you live, but the causes are global. This has been demonstrated as a major problem in part of the USA, in Australia, South Africa, Mexico…


Good news

Legal in Thailand to expose criminal business
India’s farmers are returning to sustainable practice
Solar saves

 

Legal in Thailand to expose criminal business

Andy Hall was jailed for investigative journalism that showed the abuse of migrant workers.

This report is good news: an appeals court has affirmed the right of people to make such criminal actions public in Thailand.

We need protection for journalists, everywhere.


India’s farmers are returning to sustainable practice

There is a big movement in India to reject factory farming, and return to growing food it was meant to be. It is actually cost-effective, better for the soil, and above all, better for human health.

If this spreads, organic food will become affordable.


Solar saves

This PDF file is interesting reading. It demonstrates that a new home made all-electric and with a 5kVA solar system saves between $9,000 – $16,000 over 10 years compared to a gas + electric house with no solar.


People who inspire

Francis again
Hero was scared — afterward
Wisdom from a new lawyer
The courage of her convictions
People vs. coal seam gas

 

Francis again

Multiple news sources (e.g., The New York Times) have reported that Pope Francis has had a conference with the leaders of the biggest oil companies about climate change and social justice. He has urged them to lead the change to sustainability, stating, correctly, that we have little time.

I hope he has managed to inspire them. They can’t take their billions with them.


Hero was scared — afterward

People who sling off at Muslims from poor countries need to read about this fine 22 year old man from Mali.

He risked his life to save a child, and, I hope, has become an ambassador for humanity.


Wisdom from a new lawyer

She is only 24 years old. Her skin colour is sufficiently away from white to provoke discrimination from some people. She comes from what she says is a disadvantaged background. She gave birth a year before her final exams, and has been a single mother since.

Despite these challenges, she has graduated from Harvard, and is now a lawyer. As well as a paying job, she intends to do pro bono work to help those less fortunate than she is.

If you read this article, you’ll find where her values are: to be cheerfully of service.

Briana Williams for president in a few years?


The courage of her convictions

It must be terrifying to have made a murderous president your personal enemy. This is what happened to a 71 year old nun in the Philippines.

Sister Patricia Fox investigated human-rights abuses in the country, which she has been serving for 28 years. She sided with workers abused by Coca Cola, and spoke up for people violently displaced from their lands to make way for mines and palm oil plantations by multinationals.

So, of course she must be a Communist revolutionary.

I feel relieved that I don’t face the choices she has. But if I ever do, I hope I’ll follow her example.


People vs. coal seam gas

When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim in the Northern Rivers of NSW, they got more than they bargained for. Communities across the region mobilised to stop the gas invasion.

This dynamic community campaign culminated in the historic Bentley blockade — where thousands of people from all walks of life showed up to take a heroic stand to protect their region.

The Bentley Effect movie documents the highs and lows of this successful five year battle to keep a unique part of Australia gasfield-free.

You can now watch this uplifting story online or purchase a DVD and enjoy 90 minutes of informative bonus material.


Compassion

What do you do when your neighbour is attacked?

In the 1930s, Jewish people in Germany could be persecuted because, during the first, merely annoying actions, ordinary people looked the other way. True Christians in Rochester, Minnesota refuse to do that.

Some idiot(s) placed bacon at the local mosque. The local interfaith community has come out in support of their Muslim neighbours, and so should we all.


Technology

Fishermen fixed plastic problem
Untangling whales in Hawaii
Simple Ways To Go Green On The Cheap by Bailey Newman

 

Fishermen fixed plastic problem

Please read this inspiring story of how women gained employment, and men have significantly reduced a terrible environmental problem in southern India.

We tend to throw our hands in the air about unrecyclable plastic, and complain because China now refuses to take our garbage.

These women sort what their men pull from the sea, recycle what they can, and make a sort of confetti from the rest. That’s added to asphalt for road making. Should glue it together very nicely.

The illusion has developed that recycling is a high-tech, complex business. Not so.


Untangling whales in Hawaii

Discarded nets kill. There has been a program in Hawaii, involving volunteers, that frees mighty whales from torture and death, but it’s a dangerous business.

This report in a Hawaiian newspaper states that the use of drones makes the process both safer and more efficient.


Simple Ways To Go Green On The Cheap
by Bailey Newman

Human beings thrive on Earth’s bounty, but this won’t last forever. Research suggests that a host of issues threaten our planetary home in irreversible ways. Many of these issues are likely to be human-caused, from greenhouse gas emissions to deforestation. As such, there is a compelling need for us to change our ways, and one of these is adopting an Earth-friendly lifestyle. While far too many people assume that going green would be expensive, this can be misguided. Cheap green living is feasible — there are dozens of cheap ways to reduce your environmental print!

The Things You Buy

You can kick-start your cheap Earth-friendly lifestyle with the things you buy (or those you shouldn’t). For instance, buying a programmable thermostat allows you to save energy while you’re away and reduce your utility bills at the same time.

You can also:

  • Buy second-hand clothing: It helps keep used clothing out of landfills and doesn’t encourage the production of new clothing.
  • Invest in an inexpensive low-flow showerhead: Because low-flow showerheads use a lot less water than their heavy-flow counterparts, using them can help conserve water and reduce your water bill over time.
  • Choose reusable diapers over disposable ones: This helps reduce the tons of waste that disposable diapers add to our landfills each year. While you may have to pay to launder cloth diapers, it’s still a lot cheaper than buying disposable ones for the first few years of a child’s life.
  • Stop buying bottled water: Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it over and over instead. This will help reduce the billions of plastic bottles that end up in landfills each year.

    The Things You Do at Home

    Things such as turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash dishes may sound trivial, but they are a great way for you to adopt an Earth-friendly lifestyle without draining your wallet.

    Here are some ideas for you to get started:

    Wash clothes only when they are dirty: You don’t have to throw your barely worn clothes directly in the bin, you can hang them back up and wear them again before you wash. Not only can doing this help save energy, it can help you save money and time as well.

    Line dry your clothes: When weather permits, consider line drying your clothes. It helps reduce energy usage. It can make your clothes and sheets smell better, too.

    Donate instead of throwing away: Tired of your old furniture, clothes, or household goods? Donate them. Websites like craiglist.com and Freecycle.org can help you with that.

    Unplug appliances when not in use: Items like your toaster and curling iron suck energy from your sockets even when they’re not in use, so save energy by unplugging them when you’re not using them.

    You see, adopting a green lifestyle can be cheap, if not free. If you want to learn more about how to get started today, read CouponChief’s cheap green living guide for saving the planet.

    Bailey Newman is part of the content team at CouponChief. She likes brisk walking in the morning with her dog Chichi. She loves the smell of nature and can’t imagine a life without it. Having pledged to reduce her environmental impact, she reduces, reuses, and recycles.


    Deeper Issues

    Save the future: go childfree
    Wisdom on wants and needs
    Bees can learn what the Romans didn’t know
    And wasps are an essential strand in the web of life

     

    Save the future: go childfree

    Humans are the only pest species on this planet. Particularly, us in the overdeveloped, wealthy countries are killing everything.

    Please read this thoughtful, friendly-personal, well researched essay in which several childfree by choice people explain their reasoning.

    They are not missionary about it. If you feel you must have a kid, go for it. But do consider the evidence they present.

    This lovely couple say, adopt a rescue dog instead.


    Wisdom on wants and needs

    The book I am preparing for publication, From Depression to Contentment, emphasises an important tool for living a good life: satisfy your needs, but let go of your wants. This essay by Jon Gorey gives detailed instructions for the 21st century. He demonstrates how the average American can save more than $100,000 by following this philosophy.

    It’s all simple common sense, which is not at all common. Ignore the herd and decide where YOU intend to put your resources.


    Bees can learn what the Romans didn’t know

    This is the mathematical concept of zero.

    I enjoyed reading about this ingeniously designed bit of research.

    A honeybee, with a pinhead brain, can learn to understand a concept that was invented in India in 628 AD, and which the Roman ancient Chinese civilisations lacked.

    I keep saying, all the characteristics we consider human are features of all living things.


    And wasps are an essential strand in the web of life

    You’ll enjoy this well-written, brief essay on wasps.

    Like bees, they pollinate many plants. Some plants like the fig tree have specialised wasps: they can only survive together. They are the top-level creepie-crawly predator. Without them, pests would be even more numerous. Mind you, I reject such human-oriented, economic arguments. Instead, think of them as the lions of the arthropod world.

    There is a huge number of wasp species, and they vary in many ways.


    Psychology

    New book illustrates positive psychology
    Terribly traumatised kids can be led to a good life
    I’m 15 and suicidal
    Am I a sexual abuse victim?

     

    New book illustrates positive psychology

    Please read this beautiful little book extract by Kimberly White.

    It demonstrates the attitudes you need to raise your ongoing level of contentment. I haven’t yet read her book, The Shift: How Seeing People as People Changes Everything, but I suspect it will be added to the classics of positive psychology.


    Terribly traumatised kids can be led to a good life

    This is of course the theme of my latest novel, Hit and Run.

    There is a fostering program for kids others have found to be unmanageable, which works. Children such as those trafficked by their parents to paedophile rings, and those who have seen their parents commit murder, have responded to long term loving care by surmounting their trauma.


    I’m 15 and suicidal

    I’m constantly plagued with thoughts of how awful I am and hopeless life is. I get panic attacks quite frequently and my stress is insane. I’m constantly lonely even if people are around me. I’m way too apathetic to people even though I’m a huge people pleaser. I just feel this weight in my chest and I don’t have the mental or emotional energy to do anything most of the time. I feel hopeless and just want to disappear. I constantly read books to escape reality and if I’m not reading or watching a TV series I’m imagining how great life would be if I were one of the characters. Or if I were an adult and on my own.

    I want to get out and be alone. Maybe have one or two people I really care about. I feel like my head is full of information and I can’t keep track of it all. I feel stupid most of the time and don’t get stuff. Usually, I like to be alone, it’s how I calm down, recharge, and where I’m happiest. The funny thing is that everyone who hears me say “I’m an introvert” immediately says I’m not or laughs at me. I have good social skills but only because my mom forced me into social situations all of the time. I’ll freak out and have to go to the bathroom to calm myself down because someone asked a question. Even if it’s an easy one. I don’t know how to speak up or ask for things. I constantly feel shitty and anxious.

    I went to therapy and my therapist told my dad to get me checked out by a psychiatrist to see if I have depression. He had an appointment set up and then canceled it along with my therapy. He said he didn’t think I have depression and stuff like that. I’m just really overwhelmed and the one person that I can talk to and feel less apathetic towards is moving states away. I can’t get close to people because of all of the walls I’ve built up and every time I try to get close I always mess it up. I think about suicide a lot, every day no that I think about it, and I feel like nothing will get better. I feel like a stranger in my own mind. I can’t trust myself. It’s like every time I say something I think “Wait, is that even true? Am I really feeling this way? Or am I doing it for attention?” I also experience depersonalization all the time. It sucks and I can’t get rid of it. I feel so empty and lonely. It feels like nothing will change. I feel like I’m trapped in a prison.

    What should I do? How can I help myself through this?

    Dee, my dear, you are where I was at your age: strong on the outside, bleeding inside. I built a great life for myself, and so can you.

    You write, you feel you’re trapped in a prison. I used to have an image of being inside a black steel box with no way out. I got out, through two years of work I didn’t know was therapy at the time. If I could do it without an external helper, or even reading and books about it, then you have a much better chance.

    You are correct and your dad is wrong: you are experiencing severe depression and anxiety. You say you had therapy. If you had come to me, I am confident the two of us working together would have had you moving along a good path to healing in somewhere between 8 and 20 sessions. I don’t know why this therapist was ineffective, but it’s like buying anything. If you don’t like the food in one restaurant, that doesn’t mean you should never eat in any restaurant, but that you check out another one.

    Please read my first aid document, which will start you on the way to recovery.

    My little e-book, “Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias” will be of great help to you, whether you go to another therapist or not. Have a look at it at the publisher’s page for the book.

    It’s a pity you didn’t leave an email address. If you read this, contact me through Queendom.

    Your new grandfather,
    Bob


    Am I a sexual abuse victim?

    I’m so confused as to why these feelings are coming out of nowhere.

    My earliest memory of doing something that I found “odd” as a child, was around the age of 10 where I would strip my Barbie dolls and tie them up. I would video tape my stuffed animals, having them perform “sex acts” on each other at this age as well, and I found anything that had to do with bondage “satisfying”. I didn’t touch myself to the idea of rape until I was 13-14 years old. The more gruesome the rape, the bigger the turn-on.

    I don’t have very many memories before the age of 13, which my mom always commented as odd. I don’t remember the good or the bad, any of my birthday parties, school experiences…nothing. I excused it as just having bad memory, as I always struggled through school from a very young age.

    When my parents first divorced, a pastor at a local church invited my mom, me and my brother, to attend his church. We did. Long story short, he took a special interest in me. My mom would always comment that he “liked me so much”. He’d always comment how pretty I was in front of the congregation which of course, embarrassed me, as I was already very shy.

    They had a bible study for the kids on Wednesdays. I don’t remember actually attending them, or what we did there, but I remember crying a lot because I would become dizzy in crowds of people. And crying beforehand a lot because I would tell my mom, “I’m so nervous”. Anyhow, the memory that sticks with me that haunts me because it didn’t feel quite right, was when the pastor had me on his lap, shaking his leg up and down to try and calm my crying. As a child, I remember having the thought of, “I don’t know why I’m still on his lap, I’m not crying anymore”. We were away from the other kids.

    Then BOOM. The memory goes black.

    Skip ahead about 7 years (my family had stopped attending a few years prior, as my mom fell away from church), some girls come out that he’s been sexually molesting them, and there must have been enough evidence piled against him because he was found guilty and sentenced to 5-6 years in jail.

    It’s worth noting that my family began attending his church when I was about 9-10 years old, and stopped attending when I was about 14. He was convicted and sentenced to jail when I was about 17. I am unaware of the ages of the other girls that came forward, as their identities were not revealed.

    I struggled with severe depression in my first year of college, and attempted suicide at the age of 18. I am now 20 and deal with my mental illness, to some degree, on my own. I journal a lot, and found comfort in becoming more involved with another church, (which ironically is literally down the road from the previous church my family had attended) and I am now a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader, and a bible study teacher for the younger kids. Staying busy seems to be all that keeps me going. But then I have nights like these…where I question things and become scared, confused, and conflicted about these memories.

    It frightens me, you know? I’m not trying to grasp onto a memory that isn’t there, but these little snippets of my past keep haunting me because they just don’t feel quite right.

    However, I want to receive the correct help if something DID or didn’t happen because honestly…my sexual fantasies in the past have been more than gruesome. They have remained that of fantasies, of course. But I’ve never questioned these odd behaviors until now, or these small odd snippets of “memories” that I have with that pastor.

    So, Is it possible that I have suppressed memories on sexual abuse between this pastor and myself? When do I know when to receive help from a professional? Is it worth looking into professional help, or am I trying to grasp at a memory that isn’t there? I’m so confused.

    My dear, what you have written could have come out of a textbook on childhood sexual abuse. The things you have described are very loud alarm bells: I am convinced that yes, as a child you were subjected to such horrible experiences that you locked it all away into a box so you could avoid constant flashbacks and memories.

    You have done such a good job of describing your history that I also know you have the inner resources to overcome the problem, but you do need help.

    As a first step, search on the internet for “sexual abuse help” and your location. When I did that for your city, I found this organization. Call them, tell them a brief version of your story, and they will put you in touch with suitable resources. There is effective therapy for childhood sexual abuse. You can turn your life around.

    Contact me via Queendom if you read this, and I will be happy to continue supporting you.
    Bob


    Health

    Grow organic or die
    Are medicines killing people?
    Keep safe in old age by John Moreland

     

    Grow organic or die

    That’s the choice many farmers face. Don’t believe the pesticide industry, but those close to the end product.

    Ken Roseboro reports on several touching case studies, that is to say, people who have overcome personal tragedy.

    If the pesticides are killing farmers, what are they doing to the people who eat the produce?


    Are medicines killing people?

    Or at least inducing them to suicide?

    All medicines have side effects. Depression is one of these for some drugs.

    According to a recently published study involving over 26,000 people, taking multiple medicines that have depression as a side effect increases the risk. only 4.7 percent of participants who weren’t taking any of those medications were considered depressed — but that figure increased to 6.9 percent for people on one of the medications, 9.5 percent for people on two, and 15.3 percent for those on three or more.

    And my title is more than sensationalism. There is a steady rise in suicide rates, which in the USA have been rapidly increasing this century.

    So, before you accept a prescription, read up on the side effects. By all means, ease your problems with prescription drugs, but to the minimum possible, and combined with other means of improving health: exercise, diet, meditation, avoiding poisons such as pesticides.


    Keep safe in old age
    by John Moreland

    I just wanted to pass along some information that may help the seniors in your audience educate themselves on how to make their homes safer as they age. With more and more elderly citizens choosing to live in their own homes, it’s critical that they’re taking care to age in place as safely as possible, so with that in mind, would you mind sharing the list below somewhere on your site?

    The Most Common In-Home Injuries for Seniors and How to Prevent Them

    Preventing Falls at Home

    10 Smart Home Features to Help You Age in Place

    Preparing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide

    Home Fire Safety Checklist for Older Adults

    Ten Safe Gardening Tips for Seniors

    Thanks for your time and for helping our elders stay aware of necessary safety measures to take in their homes!

    Warmly,
    John

    John Moreland


    Look over a writer’s shoulder

    Reader survey: have your say
    New book review site
    Chocolate icing on the cake of life

     

    Reader survey: have your say


    Readers and writers — a symbiotic relationship. Ideas spark writers to create stories and build worlds and characters for readers’ consumption. Readers add imagination and thought to interpret those stories, deriving meaning and enjoyment in the process. A story is incomplete without both reader and writer.

    What then do readers want? What constitutes a compelling story? How do men and women differ in their preferences? Where do readers find recommendations? How do readers share their book experiences?

    ANNOUNCING A 2018 READER SURVEY designed to solicit input on these topics and others.

    Please take the survey and share the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68HL6F2 with friends and family. Robust participation across age groups, genders, and countries will make this year’s survey, the fourth, even more significant.

    Those who take the survey will be able to sign up to receive a summary report when it becomes available.

    I have completed Mary’s survey for the past three years, and have found the results to be useful and interesting.

    M.K. (Mary) Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, Time and Regret was published by Lake Union. Fellow authors Patricia Sands and Heather Burch helped design and plan the survey. Mary can be contacted on her blog A Writer of History.


    New book review site

    BookSirens is a listing of bloggers that accept books for reviews from time to time. I have signed on, and also sent queries to a number of others regarding my books.

    The free BookSirens book reviewer directory helps you find honest book reviewers for your books. Around 500 book reviewers have given them their book preferences with more reviewers being added every week. They keep their preferences up to date and easily searchable across hundreds of genres. This saves you research time, helps you reach out to the right reviewers, and ultimately, gets you honest book reviews.


    Chocolate icing on the cake of life

    This is the title of my contribution to the June Rhobin’s Rounds.

    Please read and leave a comment.

    Also, I need your advice. I am thinking of offering a free edit of 3000 words to one randomly chosen commenter to future Rhobin’s Rounds. Can you let me know if this would interest you?

    🙂
    Bob


    What my friends want you to know

    Poet Published in Award-Winning Review Journal
    Help us protect people from this coal mine
    Before the last elephant dies
    Medicins Sans Frontieres
    Claire Dunn hosting famous shaman

     

    Poet Published in Award-Winning Review Journal

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s poem from her unpublished chapbook Nushu and Other Silenced Voices, “The Writing Woman” will be published in the next issue of Flagler University’s Flagler Review (FLARE).
    The poem, from Howard-Johnson’s unpublished Nushu and Other Silenced Voices, encapsulates the chapbook’s theme with these lines, from the prologue poem, “The Writing Woman:”

              Must our skin or religion be the same
              to know the clockworks
              of our fellows. Does being the same
              let us see in focus or does it force
              astigmatism.

    FLARE, the literary magazine of Flagler College, has published a print edition of poetry, fiction, art and nonfiction every fall for more than a quarter century. It also has published an online edition since 2104. It won first place in the College Media Association’s 2015-16 Pinnacle College Media Awards and Four-Year Literary Magazine of the Year, College Media Association’s 2015-16 Pinnacle College Media Awards and was a third place, Four-Year Literary Magazine of the Year in 2014-15. Read the online edition or learn about submitting work.

    Flagler was founded in 1968 in historic St. Augustine, FL. On 19 acres, the centerpiece of which is the Ponce de León Hotel, built in 1888 as a luxury hotel. The architects were John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, working for Henry Morrison Flagler, the industrialist, oil magnate and railroad pioneer.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers highly respected catalog of poets and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, published by Finishing Line Press, was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America. She is an award-winning novelist and short story writer, was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts, and honored by members of the California Legislature as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment.


    Help us protect people from this coal mine

    Dear Bob,

    My name is Yvonne Sampear. I’m working for an organisation called the Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum, which is an organisation led by women in communities in Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

    There is a coal mine just 10km away from our community and it is run by a company called South32. Coal mining has a huge impact on our lives as women and we feel that the companies don’t care about our lives or our health. All they care about is profits and revenue.

    We have a plan to confront this giant mine, but we are a new organisation that doesn’t have resources. That’s why we are asking support through ActionAid. Please show your solidarity with what is going on in our community right now.

    We have made our strategy carefully, and we know we have a plan to win. That’s because in South Africa, the Government requires mining companies to prove that their project will benefit communities like ours and respect our rights.

    We know South32 has made these commitments under the law, so we want to collect evidence of the impacts we are facing to find out if they are keeping the promises they have made to our community.

    After we have done this investigation, we want to share our findings with the public and campaign to make sure the company is made accountable.

    Will you donate today so we can carry out our plan for justice?

    Where we live, we are actually surrounded by many coal mines. This mining is making us sick by polluting our water. Our air is also polluted, and the soil is contaminated.

    Land is now limited because most of the land belongs to the mining companies. Women can’t do agriculture anymore, because we don’t have land anymore. The environment is not healthy like it was before. Our water is very scarce too. But the mining companies keep plenty of water for themselves. These changes have really affected us as women. At the end of the day, your energy, your water, your land — these are women’s issues.

    That’s why with your support we are trying to mobilise more women so we can have one powerful voice when we speak to this Australian mining company and tell them exactly what they are doing to our lives.

    Thank you for your solidarity,
    Yvonne Sampear, Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum


    Before the last elephant dies

    Dear friends,

    In our lifetime, we could live in a world with no elephants, rhinos, or gorillas.

    It’s heartbreaking — but there’s one group of heroes risking everything to stop this slide towards extinction: wildlife rangers.

    They save thousands of endangered animals every single day. It’s incredibly dangerous work — every four days another ranger is killed. And they do it with almost no training and equipment — half of them don’t even have boots!

    Now we have an amazing chance to revolutionise ranger forces all over the world.

    The world’s top rangers are asking for our help to train and equip thousands of elite protectors. 300 rangers with this training virtually stopped elephant poaching in their area. With our support they can deploy 1,000 new Wildlife Guardians to Africa’s worst poaching hotspots every single year!

    This could be one of Avaaz’s greatest legacies to the world — a global wildlife protection force supported by people everywhere. If 50,000 of us donate right now, we’ll have the first Guardians on the ground in months! An elephant is murdered by poachers every 26 minutes — so chip in now.


    Medicins Sans Frontieres

    Now they are coping with a new Ebola outbreak in Africa, as well as the continuing tragedies in the Middle East, and the Rohonya refugee crisis, and everywhere else people are suffering.

    Please support this magnificent organisation.


    Claire Dunn hosting famous shaman

    Internationally renowned tracker and shaman Tom Brown Jr. is visiting in October for his first (and probably only) teaching tour of Australia.

    I don’t throw the word shaman around lightly. Tom apprenticed for more than a decade to an Apache elder ‘Grandfather’ who lived off reservation his entire life, carrying the old ways passed down from the medicine men in his lineage. It was his vision to pass both the physical and spiritual skills on to someone who would offer them to a world in desperate need of healing and earth wisdom.

    Tom appeared to me in a dream more than a decade ago, before I’d even seen a picture of him. His piercing blue eyes were unmistakable, as was the gruff request for me to attend his infamous Tracker school in the US…

    And so began a couple of summers of training, opening me to new levels of awareness and attunement to what Tom calls the ‘spirit-that-moves-in-all-things’.

    Along with Nature Philosophy, I am excited to be bringing Tom to this land offering two courses:

    The 10-day Philosophy and Temples of Soul will go deep into the Sacred Silence, the power of Radiance, Inner Vision, Sensing Presence, Oneness, Invisibility, Shadow Walking, Journeying…

    The 6-day Tracking and Awareness Intensive will teach both the physical and spiritual tracking skills, including what Tom calls the ‘Sacred Art of Awareness’.

    Love to see you there,

    Wildly,

    Claire


    Reviews

    Hit and Run reviewed by Erik Fogg
    From Timor Leste to Australia Edited by Jan Trezise

     

    Hit and Run reviewed by Erik Fogg

    Hit and Run starts with a mad punch right to the gut, reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange in how absurdly surreal — yet strangely compelling — it is. But then it takes a wildly unexpected turn.

    Instead, it is a book about questioning the very nature of good and evil. To what extent are we good or evil by nature, by nurture, or by choice? And then one begins to question the nature of evil at all — are the ‘evil’ merely sick (in the truest sense) and in need of help? Can the sickness that lies in each of us — greater or smaller — be ever cured?

    It is a book that shows rather than tells: it grips you in the story and explores its themes using the story rather than by taking breaks to preach at you (think War and Peace as the contrast). It is through seeing absolutely radical human kindness and strength — that we know is within our reach if we cultivate the wisdom and compassion inside ourselves — that we are led to question what we know about good and evil, about justice and retribution, and about the capacity to heal.

    Erik is Editor-in-Chief, blogger, podcaster at ReConsider, where he helps readers & listeners understand politics beyond the soundbites and hype. He co-authored Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment and How to Start Thinking for Yourself Again. Erik graduated MIT with a Bachelors and Masters in Political Science and now lives in Boston, MA.


    From Timor Leste to Australia Edited by Jan Trezise

    Before even starting to read, I was impressed. This book, published by Wild Dingo Press (a publisher that focuses on stories that make a difference), is the end result of a high school project. What a terrific concept!

    Read this very powerful starting quote: “I would like to ask you young people who are interviewing me today and will write my family story, that when you grow up, please love each other. Listen to each other and understand each other, have sympathy. If you don’t, you will have an enemy everywhere you go and you will not be helped.

    “I am not wise — I just have experiences in life. So thank you for listening to me.”

    This wonderful man shows true wisdom in many places, e.g., “Despite the awfulness of those times, I consider myself to be fortunate to have lived through them.”

    The students interviewed seven families. Some chose to write poems instead of prose, but clearly, regardless of the form, they were faithful scribes. In simple words, which are all the more powerful for being simple, they bring a culture to life, one that few Australians will be familiar with.

    Not only is this education at its best, but it is enjoyable and interesting reading.


    Fun

    How politics works

    Thank you, Max Shub, for sending this little gem:

    I TOLD MY SON, “YOU WILL MARRY THE GIRL I CHOOSE.”
    HE SAID, “NO.”

    I TOLD HIM, “SHE IS BILL GATES’ DAUGHTER.”
    HE SAID, “YES.”

    I CALLED BILL GATES AND SAID, “I WANT YOUR DAUGHTER TO MARRY MY SON.”
    BILL GATES SAID, “NO.”

    I TOLD BILL GATES, “MY SON IS THE CEO OF THE WORLD BANK.”
    BILL GATES SAID, “OK.”

    I CALLED THE PRESIDENT OF WORLD BANK AND ASKED HIM TO MAKE MY SON THE CEO.
    HE SAID, “NO.”

    I TOLD HIM, “MY SON IS BILL GATES’ SON-IN-LAW.”
    HE SAID, “OK.”

    AND THAT’S EXACTLY HOW POLITICS WORKS.

    And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government. The practice is unbroken to this date.


    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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