Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 1

California in the 1970s generated the equivalent of two new nuclear power plants of energy, just by improving the efficiency of fridges.
Rob Murray-Leach, head of the Energy Efficiency Council of Australia

Equanimity: Whatever is, is, and is all right. If I have a mental or physical pain, it only hurts if I fight it. If I simply accept it and observe it, then I can have the pain in contentment.
Dr Bob Rich

Bobbing Around

Volume Nineteen, Number One,
July, 2019

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

*From me to you
Welcome to the 19th year of Bobbing Around
Book born on a train and other matters: Bob interviews Melanie Robertson-King
Campaigning for survival
If a flower could write about her life, this is how she would write
A fun collaboration

*New stuff

*Blog posts during June

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.

Studies published in 2016 and 2018 led to the estimate of methane’s warming potential being revised upwards by 15%, meaning methane is now considered to be 32 times more efficient at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO₂, on a per-molecule basis over a 100-year time span.
Loh et al.

Climate change is adversely affecting human health… There are major near term health benefits arising from decarbonising the economy as a result of reduced air pollution and other co-benefits of climate change mitigation.
European Academies’ Science Advisory Council

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.

From me to you

Welcome to the 19th year of Bobbing Around
Book born on a train and other matters: Bob interviews Melanie Robertson-King
Campaigning for survival
If a flower could write about her life, this is how she would write
A fun collaboration


Welcome to the 19th year of Bobbing Around

The heading says it all. This is the 1st issue of the 19th year of this magazine. In that time, the subscription base has risen from about 30 to thousands, plus all those people following my blog. And every time I post, I get likes and following notifications from new people.

My metta to you all.

Book born on a train and other matters: Bob interviews Melanie Robertson-King

Melanie’s latest book has won an award, and she has published in magazines in several countries. You have a chance of winning one of her books, but only if you comment on our interview. And that means clicking on this link.

Campaigning for survival

Eastern Health consists of four huge hospitals, several smaller ones, and multiple other health services. I am one of the people this organisation serves. This is the letter I sent them:

    Dear Kim and Ivan,

    Before my retirement from Counselling Psychology, I spent a three-year stint as a Director of the Australian Psychological Society. In that role, I was involved in the establishment of the Climate And Health Alliance (CAHA) This is a coalition of Australian health-related organisations that are seriously concerned with the terrible health impacts of humanity’s assault on our planetary life support system.

    CAHA currently consists of 29 health organisations. I was dismayed to find that Eastern Health is not yet a member.

    We are now in the 6th great extinction event of earth. On the evidence, this one promises to be as bad as the one that ended the Permian era, 252 millions of years ago. At that time, 96% of marine and two-thirds of land species died out. It took 10 million years for complex life to start evolving again.

    There are two differences between the present extinction event and the previous ones. First, it is proceeding at a hugely faster rate. Every research publication on the matter indicates a faster slide toward global disaster than previously predicted. Second, the cause is clearly humans.

    In its latest report in 2018, the IPCC gave us a window of 12 years for action. In its previous report in 2014, that figure was 30 years.

    Regardless of the specifics, it is clear we are in a global emergency. There is no economy on a dead planet.

    Eastern Health can help. Please join in the solution.

    Dr Bob Rich

If a flower could write about her life, this is how she would write

I said that in my review of Malala’s autobiography, soon after it was published. Recently, Carolyn Howard-Johnson published a less than complimentary review of this book, and I left a comment. She invited me to send my review along, so I did.

Then the American date-order conventions got me. I announced the event on the 6th of June, when in fact the “6” referred to the month where I’d put the day. Never mind,
you can read it now.

A fun collaboration

One morning last week, my wife woke from a very vivid dream. Two desperately unhappy little kids are on a ship, in the care of a huge, rough-looking man. Their mother died when the little boy was born, and their father has just died. Their uncle hired this man to kill them, but instead the man is in the process of hiding them somewhere. And mother isn’t really dead, but…

We’re having fun, writing the story together. Current word count is just over 5000, and the story is at its point of climax. I’ll keep you posted.

Here is the start. I’ll appreciate your reaction: do you want to read on?


    Gawain Cooper wanted to enjoy the magnificent scenery the towering cliffs of Cotter Island as the little ship corkscrewed over the waves — but the odd trio held his attention. They’d come up from below maybe ten minutes ago. Still, it was the scenery he’d come for, wasn’t it?

    Well, no. It was to get away from Claire and bloody Harrison. Just thinking of the bastard formed Gawain’s hands into fists. But if he had to run away, it was to the Islands.

    A half-dozen species of sea birds did their screeching aerial ballet in the ship’s wake. No doubt, their motivation was food rather than beauty of movement, but in his mind’s eye, Gawain saw them on canvas in oils, against the background of blue-grey water and white propeller foam.

    But that tiny boy… Why didn’t the father, if he was the father, wipe the poor little tyke’s nose?

    The fellow was a head taller than Gawain, and even the bulky jacket didn’t hide his muscles. The head was a cannon ball on broad shoulders, with no neck to speak of, and the expression on that ugly face said, “Don’t muck around with me!” He seemed more like a guard than a carer. He stood with feet apart, hands in pockets although everyone else needed to hold onto something. The girlie, maybe five years old, clutched the guard rail with one gloved hand, the other protectively holding onto her little brother. Both children had bloodshot eyes, and the sadness they radiated made Gawain want to hug them — except for the presumed father, of course. Mind you, his artist’s eyes saw no similarity between him and the little ones at all. Their blue eyes contrasted with the fellow’s near-black ones, their tanned but very fair skin with his swarthy face, their light skeletal structure with his heavy bones. Oh well, step-parents were all too common in today’s world.

    The ship passed through the Heads into the little harbour, and the movement smoothed out. Within a few minutes, they were tied up to a jetty.

    “Come on,” the big man growled. The girl looked up at him, big beseeching eyes, and again all Gawain wanted was to give the children the love they obviously lacked. The man reached down, grabbed her free hand, and walked toward the gangway.

    Gawain thought he’d probably never see them again. He joined the exodus of passengers, and explored the quaint fishing village for half an hour before returning to the ship.

    As he walked up the gangway, he heard a desperate, thin wail, and turned. Here the fellow came, carrying the little boy under one arm, like you might hold a rolled-up carpet. The child must have cried for quite some time, and hung there, legs and arms dangling. Of his sister, there was no sign.

New stuff


Nancy Wagaman

We ARE in the Plasticoferous Era

Should I stay or should I go?
Sexual abuse
I want to hurt/kill bad people

Energy-free air conditioning

Look over a writer’s shoulder
Real life in stories
Stuck for a name?

I approve of these announcements
Suppose We: a vegan science fiction story from Geoff Nelder
Live Aid II – SOS Save the World
The Tibet Fund wants you to know this
Support lady plumbers in Jordan

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Laurent Grenier
The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Essentials by Nancy Wagaman
Meditation Time by Laurent Grenier
Shaded by Stone, by Ari Schneider

The cause of rising CO2

It walks around at midnight

Nancy Wagaman

You will find Nancy’s review of From Depression to Contentment below, but she also wrote something more personal. She has given me permission to share this with you.

Wow, what an amazing, well-written book! Very easy to understand, it covers everything in a very understandable and reader-friendly way.

This book is also clean as a whistle in terms of formatting, spelling, etc. I’m not surprised, based on your level of expertise. 🙂

Words can’t describe how blown away I am by the magnificence of this book — as a whole, your writing style, the value it provides, the messages and the “messages behind the messages” (love yourself, love others, etc.).

So much of what you write about is not only familiar to me, but I’ve already incorporated into my daily living and outlook — and so I know firsthand these things will result in the effects you describe. I live and breathe the results of those practices and mindsets every day. In fact, it strikes me that much of this book would provide such great value for people in general — not just those dealing with depression. A large part of this book’s content could be easily repurposed into a second book with a focus on happiness and inner peace, benefitting a whole different market. Along those same lines, you could create a “Self-Therapy Guide” for other mental challenges, such as one for anxiety, one for grief, etc. (Just brainstorming here — I’m not familiar with your other books, so maybe you’ve already done that.)

One area that you might say more about in this book (if you create a next edition) is self forgiveness — releasing judgments against oneself. One example is in the “Implications for Living” in Chapter 7. You mention “a little voice inside me says, “Yes, Bob, your readers, but of course not you!” That little voice of judgment and despair is pointing to an opportunity for healing within — an opportunity to let that voice express whatever’s behind its message (self-judgment, a self-defeating belief, etc.) and then releasing or working through them. In my experience, a little self-disparaging voice is a huge red arrow pointing to a little area within my consciousness that’s available to be healed, such as through self-forgiveness and love (unconditional positive regard). After years of dealing with my “little voices” this way, they’ve all moved on to other, more supportive jobs within my consciousness. 🙂 Again, just my two cents.

One more observation (not necessarily a suggestion to change book content): According to the definition of a Mitzvah as you describe it, we’re discouraged from telling anyone about our good deeds. However, think about how hearing about others’ random acts of kindness inspires us to do the same (along the lines of what you discuss in “The Power of Showing” in Chapter 8). I know we aren’t going to change the definition of Mitzvah, but it seems there should be a distinction between talking about the deed in order to boost one’s ego as opposed to sharing the spirit of kindness.

Nancy and I welcome responses to her response. Please check out her books on dream analysis. You will find my review of her latest also below.


We ARE in the Plasticoferous Era

I’ve been saying for a while, if any humans survive (or the next sentient species to evolve 10 million years into the future), archaeologists will identify our times by the layer of plastic everywhere, just like we have a Carboniferous Era.

It’s happening. Marine biologist Ignacio Gestoso has found plastic bonded to rocks on the shores of Madeira, thanks to the force of wave action. If the plastic layer is forming there, you can be sure it’s forming everywhere.

For us, it’s merely an eyesore. But if you happen to be a sea snail or mollusc or the like, it can mean death, because it’ll become part of your protective shell.

Photo by Ignacio.


Should I stay or should I go?
Sexual abuse
I want to hurt/kill bad people


Should I stay or should I go?

A lady in her 60s posted a long cry for help at Queendom. In summary, she suffered a brain tumour many years ago, and is living on a disability pension. Her husband is an airline pilot with a high income.

She has multiple permanent handicaps, including loss of peripheral vision, falls, and a disrupted endocrine system which means she is permanently overweight, and nothing she and her doctors have tried has helped with any of these problems.

In public, her husband dismisses and minimises her problems. She is “doing well.” In private, he emotionally abuses her for them, and has forced various attempts at treatment for obesity onto her, against her will.

However, the worst aspect is financial abuse. He gives her no money at all. She is required to run the household using her miniscule pension, but to his standards, of course.

“I am tired of being told what time to get up, what time to go to bed, what HE wants for dinner, tired of him leaving me lists of what he wants done around the house while he’s gone for a couple days. He tells me one thing, but when I ask about it he says he never said it. Everything I do or say is wrong. He insinuates that I’m forgetful, lazy, and stupid.”

So, her question is: “Deep down inside, I know that for me to rescue myself I have to leave him. But why is it so hard for me to walk away?”

My dear, from your story it’s clear that there are no financial benefits to staying. You have described a classical abusive situation, even if physical violence is not involved.

Please have a read of this.

Your state has organizations that will assist you. 16 of them are listed here.

There is a Family Court in the state, and lawyers who specialize in supporting women in your situation. I don’t think you should simply walk out, but should use the legal process to ensure you get a fair share of the family’s wealth — which is 50%.

As to WHY? It’s because you have had over 20 years of systematic abuse, and he has trained you to think like a victim. Will you stand for that?

Once you have shed the load of this man, you will find a new burst of energy. Even your physical health may substantially improve.

Have a good life (you can),

Sexual abuse

I also had a long email from a 22 year old girl with a history of sexual abuse by several men in her family, including her father. One of her sources of distress is that any physical contact with men, particularly men of her own age, induce feelings of disgust and avoidance. She finds the company of older men pleasant, but not in a sexual way.

One resource is that she is a committed Christian, and her pastor, who has a psychology degree, has been of great help to her, particularly in convincing her that none of it was her fault.

Kathy my dear, you need serious therapy. That has an excellent chance of being effective for you. There are well-tried ways of getting over your childhood. They have worked for many other people in your situation. Your pastor has helped you, but having a degree in psychology is probably not enough. Ask him to recommend a therapist.

As a start, you could look at my book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide. It will guide you on many things you can do to immediately improve your life, and then do self-therapy on a longer term basis. However, the kind of long-term, systematic abuse you have described does need face to face therapy, probably with a female psychologist.

Second, you have a wonderful resource in your faith. Pray, and read the words of Jesus. Also, imagine that before you were born, you and a superior Person (God, an Angel, whoever) had a conversation, in which you were asked to identify the lessons you want to learn. This Person then organized the life you have had. All right, what are the lessons you have set yourself up for, how is your terrible childhood giving you the opportunity to learn them, and what kind of person will you be when you have achieved this objective? Take your time, and put in a lot of effort, in answering these questions.

Third, a frequent result of ongoing childhood sexual abuse is inability to enjoy intimate contact with the offending sex. (Sometimes it is mother sexually abusing a daughter. In your case, the criminals were males, so you have this with men.) In such a case, it is perfectly all right to seek love, closeness and even sexual contact with people of the same sex. This is in no way against Christianity. Some people claiming to be Christians show strong prejudice and even hatred against homosexuality, but they’ve got it wrong. If you read the episode of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, you’ll find that its message is completely against that of Jesus. It approves of Lot offering his virgin daughters to the mob, and of his daughters later getting him drunk and having incest with him. If that’s God’s word, I’ll eat my Bible. It is a later insertion by someone evil, and people use it to justify evil acts of their own.

It is perfectly all right for you to have friendship and Platonic relationships with older men, married or not. I am sure that if any made sexual advances to you, you’d feel the way you did with the young man in church.

I hope that what I’ve written here will start you on the way to self-healing. You are welcome to email me back, and to join my global group of grandchildren.

I want to hurt/kill bad people

I want to hurt/kill pedophiles, murderers, rapists, people who destroy lives and take innocence. I’ve wanted to since I was young, though I never wanted to be a superman. I’ve always been weirdly okay with blood and violence, but I got so infuriated when it was committed to innocence. I’m physically fit and healthy and I’m proficient in basic self defense, gun usage and knife combat, and I want to use those skills, but I know I shouldn’t, I’ve gotten so far to the point of stalking a rapist who got out of jail early for “good behavior”, I was so close, but I couldn’t it wasn’t fear, it was something else, and over the past year I’ve gotten more interested in why I want to do these things, because it stresses me out on a hourly level it’s gotten so bad I was fired a month ago for punching one of the other workers for harassing a lady at our work. There was no ‘stop it asshole’ or something, I just saw him touching her rear, the discomfort on her face, I heard her say ‘please stop’ and he made a joke, and I cracked him across the face. I was angry but it wasn’t anger that did that, it was compulsive. Ironically I ended up being friends with the lady (she’s married so it’s not like what people would think) and I certainly don’t regret hitting him, I just wish it wasn’t so compulsive. I don’t know why I’m like this I lose so much control and get lost in the moment, could you help me?

Dear Fred,

I have answered similar cries for help from a great many people, so have constructed a webpage that gives some general information, and links to about 20 of such questions and answers. All of them have some similarity to your situation, and all of them are different in some way. Please read what I have to say there.

So, at one level, like these other people, you have urges to be violent because of the kind of world we live in. You are unknowingly responding to the pressures of a crazy culture, and then, because you are a good person, you focus these urges onto people who do evil things — and good for you.

When you stalked a rapist, you chose not to hurt him, and this was a wonderful learning experience for you. It shows you that you can exercise choice, and are not a puppet of these urges.

This is because intuitively you have realized that anger, vengeance, punishment, all such actions, are a hot coal you pick up to throw at someone. It is your hand that gets burned. When you struck a guy who deserved to be struck, it was you who lost your job, and again, this was a wonderful learning experience.

So, I can see that you are determined not to do acts of violence, even on people who deserve it, but are motivated to get rid of this compulsion.

You can, but it takes time, effort and work.

One standard tool is the “ABC Diary.” This can be in a little notebook in your pocket, or perhaps in your phone. Set up a table with columns labeled date/time, place, target (and the reason he is a target), thought, outcome.

There is always a thought, even if the urge to act is faster than putting the thought into words.

The outcome is what you actually did.

This is very effective, for two reasons. First, it focuses your attention on this behavior. Attention is a searchlight. You’ll become aware of the urge before it becomes overwhelming, and so will be able to control it. Second, it will actually reduce the frequency of the urges. It works like magic.

There are many other tools in an approach called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Read up on it.

Your new grandfather,



Energy-free air conditioning

It’s chemically transformed wood that reflects back 100% of incoming solar radiation while allowing longer-wavelength warmth from inside to leak out (so, you still need insulation in winter).

As a nice extra benefit, the new material is as strong as steel, but doesn’t need mining or smelting.

If this technology becomes widespread, it will buy us a few more years in changing the world so there is a survivable future.

The researchers are at an American university, but it pleases me that most of them have Chinese names, one Islamic of some kind, one Italian-sounding… We are all cousins, back to the Rift Valley.

Look over a writer’s shoulder

Real life in stories
Stuck for a name?


Real life in stories

Rhobin Courtright’s question in June was: “Has an event in your life, or one of someone you know, or one covered in the news, ever worked its way into one of your stories?” I reckon I managed to write an entertaining answer.

Stuck for a name?

Names for characters, places, geographical features, streets… this kind of detail can pull a writer up short. The Fantasy Name Generator is an excellent, free resource to help you out.

I approve of these announcements

Suppose We: a vegan science fiction story from Geoff Nelder
Live Aid II – SOS Save the World
The Tibet Fund wants you to know this
Support lady plumbers in Jordan


Suppose We: a vegan science fiction story from Geoff Nelder

There I was minding my own, writing the first chapter of a surreal science fiction novella, SUPPOSE WE, when a butterfly landed on my laptop. I was in a retreat on a Greek island inhabited by far more butterflies than people. “Ah, you want to be a character in my story, do you? A ship has crash-landed on a faraway planet. Sadly, the natives are a million years ahead of Earth, so ignore the humans. You, Papillon, can be their go-between. How’s that?” And so it became.

Suppose We is unusual, possibly unique, because unless you tell me otherwise, it is the only SF novella (only 160 pages) written by a long-time vegan, with a vegan main character and set on a vegan planet. What? How can a planet be vegan, you ask? There are no predators larger than insects. Overpopulation is controlled by fertility and food supply adjustments by its ecology. I used to teach the subject and have done the schematics. The bacteria are larger and more fearsome than Earth’s. Of course not all the crew are vegan, so juicy debates ensue.

SUPPOSE WE is available as paperback or Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0997554939

Live Aid II – SOS Save the World
Dr. William J. Ripple, Director, Alliance of World Scientists and Dr. Alison Green, Director, Scientists Warning UK

The 1985 ‘Live Aid’ concert was a watershed moment for humanity, showing how an event could successfully channel compassion and raise money. Minds, hearts, bodies and souls united to try to avert a humanitarian crisis. Today, we face a planetary crisis that is the defining issue of our times, yet awareness is not growing nearly fast enough. ‘Live Aid II‘ responds to this urgent need.

Climate breakdown is happening much faster than many expected. It is more severe than scientists anticipated and is threatening natural ecosystems and even the fate of humanity. Sir David Attenborough has said, “The future of all life on this planet depends on our willingness to take action now.” We need to raise awareness of this climate crisis immediately if we are to stand a chance of halting untold human misery.

Live Aid II will be either a summer outdoor concert or a series of back-to-back concerts around the world and will be offered during the summer of 2020 on the 35th anniversary of the 1985 Live Aid concert. Sponsors and promoters will decide on the location and number of venues. Performers will be asked to donate their time. In addition to tens of thousands of attendees, hundreds of millions of people will be able to participate online and on television.

The main objective of Live Aid II is to raise awareness and educate about climate breakdown and the ecological crisis, and how we can respond. Every person attending or watching will have their worldview changed. Performances will start with a dispatches video, documenting climate breakdown in action around the globe. Performers may share their feelings about the existential crisis we face and make calls on how we need “all hands on deck.” We plan to build inter-generational awareness and connections, such that the voices of the young are empowered to use their perspectives as levers for change. Those with power, money, status and privilege then need to accept some responsibility and use their own levers to commit to advocating for transformative change. This event transcends the various activist movements, and Live Aid II will not be affiliated with any one movement in particular.

We will include teach-outs and drop-in eco-anxiety sessions, so people can learn about the climate and ecological crises and receive support for anxiety. We will run sessions where people can learn how to construct a simple solar charger to power their mobile phones. We will use satellite imagery to illustrate the scale and rate of deforestation, for example, and use this information to seek pledges to fund reforestation. We will encourage people to download apps that measure and help reduce their carbon footprint, and we will run some online experiments that show how much energy can be saved by simple measures, such as switching off lights and reducing speed. The venue will provide catering outlets where people can sample and learn to cook plant-based foods rather than meat because collectively what we eat has a huge effect on the climate and environment.

During some of the musical breaks, famous actors, artists and musicians, well-known scientists, spiritual leaders and striking students will make calls for unified action along selected themes. The voices of the children will be a focus. The School Climate Strike actions and the student’s voices (Greta Thunberg) are the ones that will endure and resonate. A major event involving many famous musicians, a few big-name actors & scientists, and some student activists would be inspiring and affirming. The event will foster international cooperation to fight the climate crisis. Brian May of Queen is supporting the idea of Live Aid II

The Tibet Fund wants you to know this

And of course they have a reason for drawing our attention to their rating.

Support lady plumbers in Jordan

This is Oxfam’s request, and it makes a lot of sense. Please read their press release.


From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Laurent Grenier
The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Essentials by Nancy Wagaman
Meditation Time by Laurent Grenier
Shaded by Stone, by Ari Schneider


From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Laurent Grenier

“It’s not the cards you were dealt that matter, but how you play them.” Bob Rich, in From Depression to Contentment, a Self-Therapy Guide

Life is not all beer and skittles, as they say, and this is especially true today when everything, it seems, is teetering on the fringe of chaos. Environmental crisis after decades of industrial plunder, political crisis, as democracies over time have degenerated into plutocracies that grossly misrepresent much of the electorate, and a host of other ills that challenge our will to live. The question is, where do we go from there, and how? For the countless individuals who feel overwhelmed and chronically depressed, this loaded question weighs a ton and calls for a wholesome and effective answer as a matter of urgency.

This is where the author (a doctor of psychology with considerable experience) intervenes, with much articulate intelligence and scholarly knowledge, together with personal insights. The focus is not on psychotropic drugs, although they may at times prove necessary, but on a carefully laid-out therapy that is meant to be accessible and practical. The idea is to empower those suffering from depression to first grapple with the basics, like self-care and self-direction, before endeavoring to rewrite the software of their mental framework to maximize their ability to cope. This is all the more welcome as the opposite path — according to which the sufferer perceives themself as a victim of bad genetics, unfavorable circumstances or any other identifiable factor that can take part in this blame game — is by contrast disempowering and likely to aggravate the depressive state.

As you read Dr Rich’s book, you will immediately grasp that you are dealing with a brotherly soul who is profoundly understanding and compassionate, and eager to help you overcome whatever stands in the way of your contentment, yourself included. Chances are that he will inspire you to transfigure your life force into a force for love, very much in his image. I cannot think of a better outcome.

Laurent Grenier, author of Meditation Time, Know Yourself and the World Around You

The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Essentials by Nancy Wagaman

While Freudian therapy is far less efficient than modern techniques, many of the old boy’s insights are still valid. The power of what goes on below consciousness is one of them. I think of the conscious mind as a monkey riding an elephant. The elephant does all the work, but the monkey gives it directions. I prefer to talk with the elephant through hypnosis, but dream analysis works equally well. So, analyzing your dreams is not an idle pursuit, but a means to resolving painful issues, and a path to personal growth.

Think of this book as a textbook on dream interpretation, and you won’t be far wrong. Nancy Wagaman explains the relevant concepts, techniques and caveats as well as I’ve ever seen. She has a knack of explaining complex, vague concepts in clear words. Her chapter on intuition is an example.

This little book is intended as a free or low-cost giveaway, with two purposes. It is a lead-in to the author’s more comprehensive books, and an introduction to the concepts. All the same, an intelligent, thoughtful reader with no previous experience should be able to carry out significant dream analysis based on this book alone.

Nancy Wagaman is a personal-growth innovator whose techniques enable people to tap into deep levels of self for inner transformation and life improvement. Focused on the intersection of science and consciousness, her work springs from her years in R&D, applied intuition, and advanced degrees in applied psychology and communications.

Meditation Time by Laurent Grenier

If you make the right choices, the worst imaginable disaster can lead to wisdom and even enlightenment.

Laurent broke his neck as a teenager, and became quadriplegic. I am sure he went through endless times of despair, and anger, and self-pity — who wouldn’t — but he ended up in a place of wisdom and contentment.

The Dalai Lama says, the reason for enlightenment is to be of service to others. Laurent has written this book to be of service to all of us who seek wisdom and contentment.

Meditation Time is not a book to read, but one to study. You need to take in one of his short essays, think about it, digest it, perhaps for days. Later, after having done the same for other offerings within the book, you may want to return and consider what it says again.

Most of us live physically more fortunate lives than being unable to move below the neck. If Laurent could make his life a good one, regardless, then surely you and I can follow him.

For inspiration, instruction and a mental challenge, you can’t do better.

Shaded by Stone, by Ari Schneider

I see this book as a case study in positive psychology.

The author starts his story from a place of meaninglessness, with alcohol providing the only relief. He is imprisoned in a succession of jobs, in a city lifestyle that’s the opposite of everything he values. So, he gives it all away, and returns to the love of his life: rock climbing.

Why would anyone risk serious injury and even death, go through terrible discomfort of several kinds, just to reach the top of a climb? Often, there is a relatively easy walking path to the same spot, and even if not, when you’re up there, you merely need to get down again. So what?

Because there are immense rewards, not in money or even in fame, but in internal growth. You become a better, stronger, more resilient person. He cites a friend who works with handicapped children. Learning to climb a practice wall inoculates them against stigma, and “You can’t do that.” The same is true for all of us, when we deliberately challenge ourselves. This is one of the findings of positive psychology.

Another is “flow,” as defined by Mihaly Csikzsentmihalyi. This is when you are so immersed in an activity that everything else disappears. Rock climbers were among the groups Csikzsentmihalyi had studied, and reading “Shaded by Stone,” you can see why.

This is a thoughtful, intelligent book written by a thoughtful, intelligent person. Don’t bother reading it unless the basic questions of existence interest you. But if you are in the fortunate situation of the need to understand, you’ll love “Shaded by Stone.” It is about rock climbing, but that is merely the setting for the important messages.


The cause of rising CO2

My friend in Sydney, geologist Dr John (Wombat) Byrnes, sent me this poem. He didn’t write it, and doesn’t know who did. If the author reads this, please contact me.

There seems to have been a marked increase in global carbon dioxide emissions soon after 1942, the year I was born. I thought I saw a connection and began to feel guilty.

            Two things occurred in ’42:
            I was born, and CO2
            Began its climb into the blue.
            Is there a link between the two?

            My breathing must be what’s to blame–
            It’s all my fault! (This claim to fame
            Will devastate the family name
            And tarnish it with lasting shame.)

            I’ve built up such a carbon debt
            It represents a global threat.
            I’ve got the answer, though — don’t fret:
            I’ll just stop breathing. But not yet…


It walks around at midnight

Posts during June


It’s gas or your life


Who should be a politician?
Sister of my spirit


A true world leader
Will my daughter inspire you?


The psychology of denial
Magic mushrooms for depression


Feeling down? Joan can help


Climate emergency is a health issue


You can invest in recycling space suits
Andrew Gaines: Concerned about climate change?: Call to action, 2nd week in September.
Barbra Streisand campaigns for a pro-environment president of the United States


Nancy Wagaman reviews From Depression to Contentment
Kevin Richardson’s review of From Depression to Contentment on Midwest Book Review


Puzzled or intrigued? The start of a science fiction story. Please comment.

About Bobbing Around

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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.

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 19 Number 1

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you Barbara. My day is always better when “meeting” with you.


  2. barbarakay1 says:

    Wow! Yes, I want to read on. Back to the (currently) 15,673 emails and 50+ past-due ARCs… May you have a blessed day. Barbara


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