Bobbing Around Volume 18 Number 3

Travel may broaden the mind, but it shortens survival.
Dr Bob Rich


We’re never going to dig up enough coal, cut down enough trees, catch enough fish or grow enough corn. To keep our economy plugging away, we need more than enough — we need enough, plus interest.
Ilana Strauss

Bobbing Around

Volume Eighteen, Number Three,
September, 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
Third free book edit contest
Current guest appearances
And I have also hosted the author of a great book
Short stories
Response to “You look scared. Are you scared?”
Poison Planet

*Politics
Defeat hate with love, from Action Network
Mexico will ban fracking
Energy is politics

*Environment
Monsoon disasters
But the north is melting
Extinctions: going, going…
Investigative reporting is still alive: Methane
Another reason against coal

*Good news
Cricketer for trees
Roundup found guilty
Brazil safe from glyphosate
France to free itself from plastic

*Inspiring people
Planned random acts of kindness
Inspiring website
Can a Christian favour the death penalty?
Money needn’t corrupt
Fame and power don’t necessarily corrupt, either
Blueprint for a better world

*Compassion
A journalist who cares
A must-buy book
Mothering love

*Deeper issues
Our global foodprint
Blue whales talk to each other
Robin Hood goat

*Psychology
Hugs and happiness, by Linette Garcia
On forgiveness
New parents’ depression
But what if that child does remember something?
I haven’t killed anyone — yet

*Health
How much alcohol is OK?
Physical and mental ill health go together
Humans are carcinogenic

*Look over a writer’s shoulder
Free-to-enter contests
Free ebook converters
Book covers for a series

*What my friends want you to know
Bernie Sanders on Jeff Bezos
Whales need your help
Rise for climate on September 8
Owner Builder magazine
Assessing a treatment for PTSD
Free online meditation course
Rainforest not oil
The International Day of Peace
Award-winning books in 3rd edition
Training on helping traumatised children

*Reviews
A New Reality, by Jonas & Jonathan Salk
Hit and Run, reviewed by Dorothy Carroll

*Fun
Wikipedia entry: Trumpistan


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.


Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. Science fiction? It is already happening to some extent in our own society. Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed, modern society gives them antidepressant drugs. In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual’s internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable.
Theodore J. Kaczynski


Equating money with wealth is among the most dangerous delusions currently afflicting humanity.
The Consciousness of Sheep blog

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

Third free book edit contest
Current guest appearances
September appearances
And I have also hosted the author of a great book
Short stories
Response to “You look scared. Are you scared?”
Poison Planet

 

Third free book edit contest

Every author runs around the same squirrel wheels of book promotion. I’ve spent enormous effort in doing the same, but hey, I’m supposed to be creative.

In the past, I’ve run free edit contests in order to build up my editing business. As an accidental side effect, I got thousands of visitors to my website.

I don’t really need new editing clients anymore, but would enjoy thousands of new visitors to read my essays, consider my opinions — and buy my books. So, I’ve organised my third book editing contest.

If you’re a writer, why not enter? Even if not, I’ll be grateful if you spread the word.


Current guest appearances

I am still working hard, answering interesting questions from kind people on other blogs.

If you haven’t, you’ll still enjoy my August appearances:

JQ Rose

Cheryl Holloway

Wendy Laing


September appearances

Rita Chapman has interviewed me before, and we had fun building on the previous one. She seems particularly interested in pets, and my answer to this question will give you a laugh. Her interview goes live on the 2nd of September, and will be there for a week.

Damilola Ogunremi has welcomed me to Nigeria, and I am fascinated by both the similarities and differences in her approach to interviewing. She even taught me something new about myself. She hasn’t let me know date of publication as yet, but I’ll announce it a second after I know.

Nancy Wood is hosting me on 10th September. Same thing: as soon as I have the link, you can, too.

And Lisa Haselton, who has interviewed me before, is publishing our latest chat just before the NEXT issue of Bobbing Around


And I have also hosted the author of a great book

Actually, she is not the author. Some delightful schoolkids are. Jan Trezise organised the project, pulled it all together, and is listed as “Editor.”

So, there are several youngsters who can move on from school, as published authors.

I have reviewed From Timor Leste to Australia.

Here is the interview.


Short stories

Do check the list of short stories and things I occasionally post for your enjoyment. In August, I uploaded two: Aaron was a hero!, a therapeutic story a 10 year old boy wrote with me, and Deer don’t have headlights, which is about Murphy’s law.


Response to “You look scared. Are you scared?”

Sami Grover has published a powerful essay at TreeHugger.

You may be comforted if you read my response.


Poison Planet

My latest blog post is about a research group everyone should know about. It’s only 300 words. Please read it.


Politics

Defeat hate with love, from Action Network
Mexico will ban fracking
Energy is politics

 

Defeat hate with love, from Action Network

Today we are sharing a deep reflection on how we can get people to move away from Trump. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a while.

We are knocking on a lot of doors in the primaries and plan to talk to more than one million people this fall. We might be onto something, but we need to test this out on the doors in battleground districts and states.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us that “hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.”

King continued, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Don’t you want to know why people identify with Trump when he is such a bully? You may be disgusted with him yourself. You might find him to be morally repugnant. But can you explain the adoring crowds who have stood with him through the onslaught of weekly scandals and moral failures?

People who have been bullied often identify with their oppressor. Especially if they were bullied by their father or someone important to them when they were little.

If they reject their abuser, then they feel small, helpless and alone. No kid can bear that. So they become a bully themselves to not feel that way anymore. Kids who are bullying others at school are being bullied at home. They had to learn it somewhere. This is why people defend their parents or loved ones even if they do bad things to them.

Trump is a bully because he feels small and powerless inside. His supporters feel this way too. Our facts, charts, figures and arguments are not going to change that. Over time you start to feel that the mentality of the aggressor is right.

By asking people to reject Trump, we are asking them to reject their parents, pastors, teachers — whoever bullied them and made them feel powerless. Trump’s supporters can’t reject him unless they are ready to face their behavior and that of their own abusers. They don’t want to be alone.

To his supporters, Trump is a strong man who is taking a stand for them. People who have been pushed around don’t want to feel that way anymore. They want a way to stop the bullying that does not mean rejecting their loved ones. So they believe that it’s really America that is being bullied and Trump is the one who can stop it (and help them at the same time).

If we want people to move away from Trump, we can’t ask them to outright reject him. We have to ask them to consider a better option. One that is liberating; one that offers respite from the shame that comes with identifying with the oppressor or becoming one themselves.

When we are out talking to people, we have to listen. We have to understand the legitimate things that people want, like better wages, better opportunity, better schools, health care, retirement and more. They want a solution that makes them feel bigger, stronger, and more whole.

So we are not asking them to reject Trump or their parents, but to accept an alternative. We want people to move beyond Trump and white supremacy, but they’re only going to do that for a better deal.

We need to offer people identified with Trump a safe way out of this mindset. They don’t have to feel shame that they voted for him or admit he is wrong.

The courage to change or forge a new path is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Are you with us? This is a risk. If you are, we could use your support today.


Mexico will ban fracking

The incoming President has promised several environmentally sensible measures, top of the list being just this.

Great to see sanity.


Energy is politics

And to understand the issues, you can visit this brand new website. It is about Australia, but the facts apply everywhere, including where you live.
tesbat


Environment

Monsoon disasters
But the north is melting
Extinctions: going, going…
Investigative reporting is still alive: Methane
Another reason against coal

 

Monsoon disasters

Myanmar is awash.

There are landslides in Nepal, terrible floods in many places on the Indian subcontinent.

OK, it’s the Monsoon season, and rain is expected, right?

Not in the volumes currently falling. This is climate change in action, now.
monsoon.jpg


But the north is melting

What was once Sweden’s highest mountain is melting. It has lost four metres (13ft) of snow between 2 July and 31 July. This means an average of 14cm of snow melted every day on the glacier in July, as Sweden experienced record hot temperatures, triggering dozens of wildfires across the country, even in the Arctic Circle.
Kebnekaise.jpg


Extinctions: going, going…

Please read my very brief post about a recent paper in Nature.


Investigative reporting is still alive: Methane

Mark Olalde spent considerable time, trawling through the records of the US Labor department health statistics. That’s the ONLY place where methane emissions from coal mines are listed.

His report is scary. Seven coal mines cause more climate change than 13 million cars.

The photo of a bad location is by Mark.
emitmethane


Another reason against coal

…is the ash left behind. Read this informative report about what it has done in Puerto Rico.
coalash
Photo from Earthjustice, who report on a teen who is fighting for justice for her people.


Good news

Cricketer for trees
Roundup found guilty
Brazil safe from glyphosate
France to free itself from plastic

 

Cricketer for trees

Imran Khan was one of Pakistan’s greatest cricket player (for Americans, that’s a game very vaguely like baseball). He has been elected as the next Prime Minister.

Last year, he was instrumental in a project to plant 330,000 trees. Now, as the PM, he wants to make it 10 billion trees in five years.

Goodonyer, mate.

imrank


Roundup found guilty

It’s a first. A jury has ruled that Roundup is responsible for a person’s cancer, and whacked Monsanto with $250 million punitive damages for hiding the evidence.

Don’t expect an instant payout, given the torturous appeals process, but hopefully we’re now on the road of tobacco and asbestos.

It seems obvious to me. If something kills things, it’s dangerous.

Here is the winner of the hearing, Dewayne Johnson, with the leader of his legal team, Robert F Kennedy, Jr.
kennedy_johnson


Brazil safe from glyphosate

A Brazilian judge has ruled out the use of Roundup and the like in Brazil.

Mind you, the growers of genetically modified crops that depend on the use of poison that kills the farmers are complaining.


France to free itself from plastic

Macron’s government is getting serious about reducing plastic waste. A list of measures includes lowered taxes on recycled plastic, increased taxes on the new stuff, deposits for containers and other common sense measures.


People who inspire

Planned random acts of kindness
Inspiring website
Can a Christian favour the death penalty?
Money needn’t corrupt
Fame and power don’t necessarily corrupt, either
Blueprint for a better world

 

Planned random acts of kindness

If your faith in human nature is shaken, you will regain it by reading this lovely story. It’s about an airport shuttle driver — just a working man — whose motivation is to make the world a better place, one sandwich at a time.
actkind


Inspiring website

I was doing a search for a public domain picture to illustrate the previous story when I saw this:
rak
Intrigued, I checked out the website. This is Random Acts of Kindness.

Research on positive psychology shows that being kind as a deliberate practice increases the wellbeing of the giver.

Whenever you are feeling low, do an act of kindness — or visit this website.


Can a Christian favour the death penalty?

Pope Francis says not.

And his reasons make sense to me. They have nothing to do with religion, so you are welcome to take notice, regardless of your beliefs.


Money needn’t corrupt

Having wealth is only a problem if you are addicted to it. Harris Rosen made millions from his hotel business, but has refused to turn into a money monster.

Read the many ways he is sharing his good fortune.

Please note that, despite the nasty stereotypes about Jews, Harris is Jewish.
harrisr


Fame and power don’t necessarily corrupt, either

Read about Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter to be inspired.
carters


Blueprint for a better world

The organisers have drawn a blueprint for a better Australia, but their logic applies to your society, wherever you live.

Please read this view of what the world could be like.


Compassion

A journalist who cares
A must-buy book
Mothering love

 

A journalist who cares

Her name is Jessica Schulberg.

She has spent a great deal of effort and emotional energy to write about the terrible injustice five men have suffered, simply because the wrong person got elected as US president.

Read her article in the Huffington Post about one of them, Abdul Latif Nasser.

All of these men were captured by American forces, imprisoned without charge for years at Guantanamo Bay, and were eventually found to be innocent of any misdeeds. They were about to be released.

Now, Trump and his cronies are happy to keep them there forever.

What touched me about the article is this lady’s dedication to justice fairness, truth, and her compassion.


A must-buy book

Behrouz Boochani has been the voice for a special class of dispossessed: the tortured refugee treated worse than any animal. He is one of the unfortunate men who have been illegally detained by the Australian government on New Guinea’s Manus Island. Using a mobile phone, he has sent essays to Omid Tofighian, an academic in Australia who has translated them, with the passionate, intelligent, evocative essays appearing in The Guardian

They have now published a book. It shows that refugees and asylum seekers are human — and those who abuse them are less than so.

Please buy it.
behrouz


Mothering love

The little baby was filthy, and stank. Hospital professionals pulled up their noses. But the policewoman on duty recognised a hungry infant’s cry. She happens to be the mother of a still-breastfeeding infant — so fed the little child.

This is what being human is about.
celestea.jpg
(Oh, the pics showing her breastfeeding were all copyrighted.)


Deeper Issues

Our global foodprint
Blue whales talk to each other
Robin Hood goat

 

Our global foodprint

How is that? I’ve invented a new technical term. The inspiration was this report in Treehugger, in which Katherine Martinko explores some of the implications of a recent scientific report.

Basically, if we all ate according to US dietary guidelines, we’d need a huge chunk of additional arable land.

So, I reckon we should have an annual estimate of our global foodprint as part of the global footprint.

Diet is the intersection of health, environmental damage, global toxicity, and politics. It is one of the most powerful tools individuals have to make a difference.


Blue whales talk to each other

And they do so over incredible distances.

This is part of a beautiful answer to a child’s question by two marine scientists.

In addition to lots of other fascinating details, what I picked up was that two blue whales thousands of miles apart made an appointment, had a rendezvous, chatted a while, then separated.

I consider this just another of thousands of indications that animals are of the same level of sentience as humans.


Robin Hood goat

fred
Fred has won the hearts of the people in a small New Jersey town, although the owner of a livestock auction business is not impressed. A year ago, Fred escaped death and probably a final fate as dogfood, and now lives with deer in a nearby forest. He now makes it his special responsibility to free other prisoners condemned to death.

Don’t tell me animals can’t reason, are unable to feel empathy and compassion!


Psychology

Hugs and happiness, by Linette Garcia
On forgiveness
New parents’ depression
But what if that child does remember something?
I haven’t killed anyone — yet

 

Hugs and happiness
by Linette Garcia

Do you ever wonder why hugs feel so comforting when you’re feeling down? Turns out there is a direct relationship between your health and hug levels. Hugs have shown the ability to help with healing, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress. As children we receive and give lots of hugs but as adults hugging seems foreign. You may be hindering your health by not hugging enough.

For example, studies have shown that lack of physical affection can actually result in babies passing away. Even when babies receive proper nutrition, if they are not held, nuzzled, hugged enough they will stop growing and potentially die. If babies are not able to keep growing and can pass away from lack of touch, what are the effects of going without touch on an adult?

Benefits on Health

There is a positive relationship between hugs and the health of your heart. A study reveals more frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Hugs also stimulate the thymus gland. Thymosin is the hormone that stimulates the development of disease-fighting T cells in the immune system. Hugs release immune and heart-strengthening chemical in the body, which helps you be healthier and has long term benefits.

Benefits on Relationships

Hugs help you better connect with your loved ones. According to Dr. Chapman, there are five universal ways that all people express and interpret love. Many people use three of the five types of love languages but, which three depends on the person. Touch is one of the five love languages.

If one of your top three love language is physical touch, you’ll relate to hugs much more for feelings of satisfaction in your relationships. Hugs are often associated with feelings of trust between two people and leads to more open and honest communication.

Benefits on Mood

Physical touch can increase serotonin levels and regulate dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is thought to regulate anxiety and happiness. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain that causes addictive behavior. By having more hugs your body is able to regulate this chemical to prevent impulsive behavior.

Benefits on Confidence

For many, parents have provided a foundation for our confidence. Growing up, we are told we are loved and given many hugs. According MBG Mindfulness, the cuddles we received while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that as adults. Therefore when we hug our bodies remember the feelings of security from our past and give us a boost of confidence.

In order to stay balanced in our relationship with others and ourselves, we can only benefit from hugging more often. Virginia Satir, a family therapist and author, recommends doses of hugs a day; “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Have you gotten your hugs for the day?

Linette Garcia is a contributing writer for Online Counseling Programs, a website that offers extensive resources surrounding counseling degrees, mental health education, and related professions. She also is a proud mother of three and spends her spare time cycling.


On forgiveness

You will benefit from reading this little essay at Queendom blog.

It is in accordance with a great deal of research into positive psychology — and the teachings of all the great religions.


New parents’ depression

There is post-baby blues, which is a frequent reaction of women to rapidly changing hormone levels after a birth. This is entirely different from post-partum depression, which tends to kick in later, is far more serious and long-lasting.

A better way to understand it is as the triggering of longer term habits of thought and emotion that is involved in depression. A major life change, loss of sleep, new stresses, result in a chronic plummeting of mood.

New fathers are at risk of exactly the same tendencies. There is evidence that indeed they can also suffer in the same way.

As I say in my coming book, From Depression to Contentment, the logical insurance policy is to do therapy on any depressive tendencies BEFORE the birth.


But what if that child does remember something?

Twenty years ago, as a teenager, a lady sexually fiddled with a tiny boy. She and I exchanged emails about this issue, and she ended up feeling a lot better. However, this month she had a new worry: what if now, as a young adult, he remembered? She has been catastrophising over it, and contacted me again.

Here is my reply:

My dear, how old were you when you did the act that is now torturing you?

There is a reason children below a certain age (different in different countries, but almost invariably about 18) are not allowed to vote, to sign contracts. If they commit a crime, they are tried in special children’s courts.

They are legally deemed to be not yet responsible for their actions, and the reason is that they don’t yet have the brain development, experience and wisdom to be able to make adult judgments.

I have had clients who actually did go to the police to confess a childhood infraction. Basically, they were told not to be stupid, and go away.

If a small child is exposed to sexual actions from an older child (or an adult), there may or may not be damage. The small child may not even notice, not know that anything had happened. Or s/he may take part, not yet knowing that this is socially unacceptable. There is damage if the little one doesn’t want to “play” but is forced to. The damage is caused by the power imbalance, not so much by the sexuality.

If an event occurred when the child was 2, and has shown no signs of problems in young adulthood, then it’s almost certain that no damage has been done.

Finally, the very fact of your feelings of guilt show that you have learned this lesson. If you assault someone tomorrow, they may jail you for a couple of years. How long have you been punishing yourself? I think you’ve served your sentence.

Please read what I say about this general issue on my website.

With love and caring,
Bob


I haven’t killed anyone — yet

So, long story short, I have the urge to murder/torment people. I’ve had the urge to kill since I was a small child. I was taught to be nice to animals, so I remember fantasizing about brutally murdering 10 happy baby pillows from a children’s book when I was 5. I would crave for it and imagine ripping them apart for hours.

I enjoyed dissecting roadkilled animals, which mom helped because I loved it so much. When I played with dolls or figurines, I would kill every character that I’ve made up throughout three generations, and I feel like this is totally normal among children, but now I’m a teenager and wish to murder people. I go as far as to planning how to not get caught, or how to get rid of the body, or who and how will I kill. Then I stop and decide to wait, because it’s a waste to get stuck in prison or a mental asylum at such a young age. I’m full of curiosity and love to explore. I wouldn’t give that up for 15 minutes of euphoria, not yet.

I’m a good person at heart, and feel bad about certain things, but can’t share feelings with others. When a close friend of mine gets hurt, I don’t care. When a man got hit in front of me and wobbled towards me with blood all over his face, I wasn’t amused. When I almost got hit by a car, I remained indifferent. The only thing that makes me on edge is getting caught on my phone by my mom. I have been abused by her all my life, and half of the times, it was about me being on the phone. She’d emotionally abuse me when I get caught on social network services or even youtube. I guess that’s PTSD for me. Anyways, I feel bad when I accidently break other people’s stuff or hurt them without intending it, but I wouldn’t feel bad at all if I intended it or think that they deserve it. For example, if I broke my friend’s cup, I’d feel bad and get her a new one. But I never feel really sorry for avoiding my responsibilities and putting someone in a bad place because of it. I am good at thinking and acting for other people, like helping them carry something heavy or helping them in any way possible, but I only do it when that person is worth it.

I feel like I am superior compared to other people, and hate people who I think are stupid. I hate them a lot. I can’t stand talking to them.

I like to test people. Like, how stupid they are, or how deeply they understand me, or how much are they able to understand about me? Then I’d treat them as they deserve. That’s how I keep relationships.

I’ve never been arrested, but I hate keeping rules. I live in a dormitory and I’d never really keep the rules if they were against me. I avoid responsibilities and I never do what I don’t feel like. I’d miss out on essays and presentations even if that meant that I would get a D. Things are a bit different in my country, and my school is kinda strict, too. Nobody would do stuff that I do.

About wanting to kill people, I yearn for it. I want to bash somebody’s brains out with a hammer, or slice the side of someone’s throat. Doesn’t have to be a specific somebody. The urge kind of comes and goes, but it’s so strong. I love music, but murder is a need. Even thinking about it is euphoric. I feel like I’d just lie down beside the victim and smile in perfect content, put my head down in a pool of their blood and just enjoy the moment until the warmth from the blood is gone. After that, I don’t know. I definitely do not want to get my freedom taken away. Now I don’t even feel like this is wrong. It feels right and normal. I bet a lot of normal people get this urge, but I just want to make sure. Am I under any mental condition or personality disorder?

Dear Ziko,

Clearly, you are highly intelligent for writing in such a coherent, analytical manner about your lifelong problems, and in a foreign language.

So, I will give an answer that relies on that intelligence.

First, you are not alone. You will be surprised at how frequent the urge to torture and murder is, everywhere. Some people give in to it, and become monsters. Most are like you, and resist, partly because they can see the consequences, partly because they know it is morally wrong. It is not normal, and the overwhelming majority of people do not have such urges, but it does happen far more than most people realise.

I have provided links to 20 of my previous answers to people with similar problems. Please read and think about each one.

There is a general explanation for why these terrible feelings are so common: the work of John B. Calhoun.

You are remarkably self-aware about your psychological makeup. You do kind things and act with empathy, but you don’t feel it. So, here is my first suggestion: act AS IF you had those feelings of empathy and compassion. Yes, you’ve been doing that anyway, but make it a firm habit. Before doing something, ask, “How would a compassionate person act in this situation?”

Second, given you come from an Asian culture, I am sure you understand the concept of reincarnation, whether it is part of your family’s belief system or not. Please read what I have to say about it.

It is more than likely that, since your urges started at a very early age, they are karmic. If this is true, then before being born, you set up certain lessons for yourself, and have chosen to pay restitution for mistakes or bad actions in a past life. So, these sexual, torturing and murdering urges are your opportunities to grow. Every time you experience them, realise that they are choice points for becoming better, wiser, stronger — or for slipping back. It would be stupid to slip back, wouldn’t it?

Finally, I’d like to address your contempt for the rules of others. Actually, I have the same, and have had it all my life. I think for myself, and no one can tell me otherwise. You have chosen to react to the strict rules at school with defiance, even if they lead to low scores.

But why don’t you copy me in something else? I don’t accept other people’s right to tell me what to do, but sometimes choose to go along with the rules anyway, because I judge them to be to my advantage. That is, I pick my battles.

If you get good educational results, you gain power to run your life the way you want to. If you fail, or do poorly, you condemn yourself to poverty, and poor treatment by society in general. So, stay the rebel you are, but with wisdom and intelligence: fit in where that is an advantage. Doing essays well, getting high marks, is to your benefit. Do your best academically, not because it is expected, but because you choose to.

I think I have covered your major, most important points. Please email me back, so we can continue to work on them, and on the ones I didn’t mention like enjoying dangerous places.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


Health

How much alcohol is OK?
Physical and mental ill health go together
Humans are carcinogenic

 

How much alcohol is OK?

A new, very large scale examination of the evidence has found:

    Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero.

wine2


Physical and mental ill health go together

This brief report demonstrates a correlation between a variety of chronic physical health issues with anxiety and depression.

One short section is headed “why,” but doesn’t actually offer an explanation. I have two and both apply to both problems: the toxic global culture, and living on Poison Planet.


Humans are carcinogenic

This paper in Nature demonstrates several ways in which human activities give wild animal cancer.

As Joel Boyce points out at Care2.com, the same activities are driving cancer rates for humans too.


Look over a writer’s shoulder

Free-to-enter contests
Free ebook converters
Book covers for a series

 

Free-to-enter contests

Thank you, Susan Stewart for drawing my attention to this.

Jerry Jenkins has a frequently updated list of writing contests of many kinds. This is a very valuable resource.


Free ebook converters

I needed to convert Hit and Run and Guardian Angel into the two main ebook formats. This was frustration ++, until…

I found this online service.

You upload your file, and within a couple of minutes it returns the output format of your choice. I had to experiment a little at first. I suggest you specify 0 border and a small font size.

My publisher has supplied me with a mobi format for Hit and Run. It looks ugly, and is all of 11.6 Mb. Ebook.online-convert.com produced a far better appearance, and only 800Kb (less than 1 Mb).

Another service of this kind that seems fine is Zamzar. I tried it out to produce an AZW3 (Kindle) version of Hit and Run. File size was even smaller. Everything was highly legible, but it did put line breaks where they didn’t belong.

On balance, because of the line breaks, I prefer Ebook.online-convert.com


Book covers for a series

You can read this snippet from Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book in preparation.


What my friends want you to know

Bernie Sanders on Jeff Bezos
Whales need your help
Rise for climate on September 8
Owner Builder magazine
Assessing a treatment for PTSD
Free online meditation course
Rainforest not oil
The International Day of Peace
Award-winning books in 3rd edition
Training on helping traumatised children

 

Bernie Sanders on Jeff Bezos

In 10 seconds, Jeff Bezos, the owner and founder of Amazon, made more money than the median employee of Amazon makes in an entire year. An entire year.

Think about that.

Think about how hard that family member has to work for an entire year, the days she or he goes into work sick, or has a sick child, or struggles to buy school supplies or Christmas presents, to make what one man makes in 10 seconds.

According to Time magazine, from January 1 through May 1 of this year, Jeff Bezos saw his wealth increase by $275 million every single day for a total increase in wealth of $33 billion in a four-month period.

Meanwhile, thousands of Amazon employees are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid and public housing because their wages are too low. And guess who pays for that? You do. Frankly, I don’t believe that ordinary Americans should be subsidizing the wealthiest person in the world because he pays his employees inadequate wages.

But it gets remarkably more ridiculous: Jeff Bezos has so much money that he says the only way he could possibly spend it all is on space travel.

Space travel. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It is absolutely absurd.

Well here is a radical idea: Instead of attempting to explore Mars or go to the moon, how about Jeff Bezos pays his workers a living wage? How about he improves the working conditions at Amazon warehouses across the country so people stop dying on the job? He can no doubt do that and have billions of dollars left over to spend on anything he wants.

So today, whether or not you use Amazon, I want to ask you to join me in sending a message to Jeff Bezos:

Sign my petition to Jeff Bezos: It is long past time you start to pay your workers a living wage and improve working conditions at Amazon warehouses all across the country. He needs to know that you are aware of his company’s greed, which seems to have no end.

Thank you, Bernie. I could have posted this under philosophy, or politics, or even environment, if you think about it.


Whales need your help

Any amount of scientific evidence shows that whales are among the most intelligent creatures on earth. They use language, feel emotions, reason, remember.

And Japan wants to return to mass murder of whales.

URGENT: This is shocking. The Japanese Government wants to bring back commercial whaling by 2020 and is headed to the International Whaling Commission to make the case. Will you chip in to help us attend the meeting and stop them in their tracks?


Rise for climate on September 8

The Sierra Club writes:

We have a vision for a bright future. Imagine our lives powered by 100% clean energy and an economy that leaves no one behind. This is what we’ll be marching for on September 8. Are you in?

Hundreds of marches, rallies, and events are being planned across the country. Let’s make this vision a reality and demand a clean, safe, and just future!

RSVP to an event near you!

I have received a similar message from Bill McKibben.


Owner Builder magazine

In the old days, when building was the centre of my life, I often wrote for this very helpful magazine. I’ve just rediscovered it.

Keeping up with the modern age, you can now get PDF copies, anywhere on the planet. New issues come out every two months, the last one having been on 1st August.

Here is the relevant information.


Assessing a treatment for PTSD

We’re planning on launching a crowdfunding campaign soon and I’d love you to get involved.

We’re going to conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of a homegrown therapy to treat PTSD and we’re looking to raise $250,000 over a 40 day campaign.

Online link to study

David Kaye

David and I have supported each other’s work in various ways for many years. If you suffer from PTSD, or someone you love does, you may be motivated to help him in his research.


Free online meditation course

I have been associated with Buddhist Geeks for years, and can recommend them. Currently, they are offering a series of excellent podcasts on mindfulness meditation.

This is your chance to learn to put peace into your life.


Rainforest not oil

waorani
This is an urgent message from the Waorani people of the upper Amazon, who are fighting to defend their lands from the encroachment of oil companies.

“We are a rainforest people, who live far away from roads. We hunt, fish and grow our food, and we heal ourselves with plant medicines. In the coming months, the Ecuadorian Government plans to sell our land to the oil companies. If we don’t act now, our rainforest homeland — where we have lived for thousands of years — will be put on auction and sold to the highest bidder.”

If exploited, much of the oil from under the Waorani people’s lands will be shipped to refineries in California, and then burned in the tanks of cars around the world. We are asking supporters to donate the price of a tank of gas to help us raise $25,000 over the next three weeks so that the Waorani have the resources they need to protect their lands from the oil companies.

Click here to donate and learn how, for the price of a tank of gas, you can support a millenary Amazonian tribe defend their ancestral lands from oil extraction.


The International Day of Peace

From World Beyond War:

September 21st is the International Day of Peace. Events are being planned all over the world. Find one near you. Or get help creating one near you.


Award-winning books in 3rd edition

gurrewa
They are by Kevin Richardson, and are an Aboriginal view of the white invasion of Australia.

Kevin is, unbelievably, even older than I am, and a fine writer. Have a look at his website to inspect his writing.


Training on helping traumatised children

The Institute for Chronically Traumatized Children is offering training opportunities in Denmark, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand for professionals wanting to improve their skills in this essential field.

Check here for details.


Reviews

A New Reality, by Jonas & Jonathan Salk
Hit and Run, reviewed by Dorothy Carroll

 

A New Reality, by Jonas & Jonathan Salk

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: City Point Press (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947951041
ISBN-13: 978-1947951044

This is an important and thought-provoking book. It sets out a rationale for the kind of life I have advocated for during the past 45 years: cooperative, in dynamic, sustainable balance with the environment, seeking win-win solutions through consensus, valuing wellbeing.

I think the concepts of A New Reality need to be understood by the decision-makers of our times, including politicians and the heads of large corporations.

A particularly valuable aspect is that our current world of conflict is explained. We need to understand it in order to transform society.

At the same time, I find it to be completely unrealistic. Like almost all projections from the past to the future, it fails to take into account the fact that we are past the tipping point. The actions that lead to catastrophe are in our past, and we are seeing their consequences unfold, right now.

Current estimates of extinction rates are 1000 times the “background rate.” If Salk & Salk are right and there is a distant future for humanity, their archeologists will probably consider us to be the plasticoferous era. We live on Poison Planet, which is driving a wide range of illnesses, and increases death and suffering.

I wish I could share the authors’ hope. I read the book wishing they could convince me. But certainly while the rulers of humanity are those most to gain from using the rules of the past, there will be great difficulty in transitioning to the rules necessary to have a future.

However, I return to the start. This is a wonderful book, inspirational, simple and logical. It should be necessary reading for everyone.


Hit and Run
reviewed by Dorothy Carroll

In a world that needs love like never before comes a novel that really can’t be put down once you start reading. The main protagonists not only find an uncanny connection but grow to love and respect one another quite deeply. Our ‘older’ generation has a lot to teach the world in general and this comes through in Bob Rich’s writing. This novel is one that should be on recommended reading lists everywhere.

One should never judge a book by its cover and this is the lesson given throughout Hit and Run — learn to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins; something that is sadly lacking in our current world.

Forgiveness is not about forgetting but letting go so that a positive energy can live within and therefore a good life can be lived.


Fun

Wikipedia entry: Trumpistan

Trumpistan is a colony of Russia. In 2016, Tsar Vladimir installed his employee Donald Trump as his regent.

Trumpistan covers the geographic area of the former United States of America, but has no relationship to the institutions historically governing that once independent country.


About Bobbing Around

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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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2 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 18 Number 3

  1. rjmenacho says:

    Hi Bob,

    Your quote at the top of the email about travel shortening survival caught my attention. Do you have a blog post on this topic? Is it because travel generally uses CO2 (for long distances) or because plant-producing lifestyles require us to stay in one spot for long enough to manage land? Or another reason?

    Cheers 🙂 Rosanne

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      What I good idea! Next time I need to think about something new, I’ll research the evidence.
      Briefly:
      A tourist has approximately 5 times the environmental footprint of the same person at home.
      Jet planes are a significant generator of greenhouse gases, and they put their rubbish in the stratosphere, where it does more harm.
      Even when a tourist destination gains income and employment, the invasion of tourists is socially and culturally destructive.
      Finally, the “need” for holidays elsewhere is very often because life at home is intolerable. I prefer to live in contentment wherever I am, rather than to check out the greenness of the pasture across the fence.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

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