Friday, September 26, 2003

It doesn't get much worse than this: fascist gender equality:

'I headbutt, punch and kick just like a man,' says Jackie Oakley, editor of the White Nationalist Party's Valkyrie magazine and head of its women's division. 'None of your poncey girly scratching for me; I'm up there with the men and so are all the other women in the group.'

At last! EU goes Dutch on gay rights.

Again, what took them so long? If you have PMS blame your man!

Battersea Power Station is now on the World Monuments Fund's watch-list of most endangered sites, and this is why:

We must remember that buildings like this matter. Architectural icons are culturally significant, particularly if they're as "other" as Battersea Power Station. They remind us of difference, and of aspirations that don't toe the line. They are antidotes to the mundane. They are, whether beautiful or crude, items of hope. However hard it is to do so, we must try to think of Battersea Power Station in the same way as the World Monuments Fund thinks of Shackleton's Hut in Antarctica, the Great Wall of China, and the Nineveh and Nimrud palaces in Iraq.

I love these lists - so inspiring - thirty ways to get sustainable - at home.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

The real urban badgers:

Few towns and cities have established urban badger populations. Badgers are reported to be most numerous in south-west London, Bristol, Bath and South Benfleet in Essex.

Caring capitalism: the drinks manufacturer Diago pledges free HIV treatment to workers and dependents for life.

Don't get mad get vegan!

Happy belated birthday to Maya Angelou:

'Let me tell young people this - you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter some defeats to know who you are.'

Improving fertilizer efficiency. Anything that helps to prevent nitrogen run off is good news. But far better to farm in a manner that makes fertilisers unecessary.

Will George W Bush please define freedom:

The Americans have become a heavy weight on our shoulders. They don't respect human beings, they humiliate the Iraqi people. They promised freedom and democracy. Is it freedom to kill people, make bloodshed and destroy our house? Is that what they mean by freedom?

It's a tough call, now that troops are there they should help to rebuild the country. I can't help thinking that these are, for the most part, inexperienced and poorly trained (though not poorly equipped) youngsters stuck in an impossible situation - of course they are going to panic and make these tragic mistakes.

I have always told the animator that, should we have children, I do not want him to be present at the birth. My instinct has always been that it would lead to increased stress levels, at a time when surely the emphasis is on trying to calm both parents down. It seems much more natural to me that a caring woman should support the mother to be. The benefits of this are only now being recognised by the medical profession.

Meanwhile, at a time when falling birth rates are a concern for all in the developed world, the Tory party wants to encourage women to have more kids. It is hard to believe, but if this goes through the Conservative Party could fight the next election with a feminist manifesto!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Does exactly what it says on the tin: 1000 great books for sustainable agriculture. Of which I've read two...ah well winter is drawing close and if I read just a quarter of these I'll be well prepared for spring!

On a more personal note, the animator's new website/online showreel is now live. The animation sections seem to only work for some people - a quicktime glitch - hopefully that will be sorted out soon. If anyone has any clue as to why it is going wrong please tell us! Just so that you know, the animator is now available for bar mitzvahs, weddings, parties etc, etc - but, to be honest, he'd prefer a well-paid 3D computer games job.

Ten ways to conserve nature. (via Rebecca's Pocket):

8. Choose a home close to work or school: A convenient place to live reduces the amount you drive, which means you'll lower your emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. You'll also have more time to spend on things you care about.

Currently, I achieve 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Number 8, in particular, the animator and I felt very strongly about. The decision to live right in the heart of London was a trade off: no garden, but we can walk everywhere we need to. That is a luxury as far as we are concerned. I'm working on 5 - just as soon as I have a free Sunday, I'll be buying fresh veg at the Marylebone farmer's market. Somewhat surprisingly, recycling didn't make it in.
Finally, farmers are learning/rediscovering that companion planting is the way forward. This time it's soy and rye in the USA:

This study is benefiting from the experience and knowledge of Robin Brekken, a farmer from Crookston, Minnesota, who began transitioning to organic in 1998. Although this is only the first year of the study, it is Brekken’s fourth year of planting soybeans into rye.

How much knowledge and how many varieties have been lost since farming went industrial?
Okay, okay. So if you think that badgers are the perfect comedy animal and if you like crazy flash animations, this site is for you. Be warned, there is an evil pop up.

Check out Bill Mollison, founder of permaculture:

We have this argument about which way you proceed: Philosophy to garden
or garden to philosophy. I think that there are people traveling both
ways, people coming from the abstract to the garden and people coming
from the garden to the abstract. Most of us are coming up out of the
garden and heading towards the philosophy. A few have been up to the temple
and are coming down to the garden.

I definitely started thinking first and got to the garden second. In fact, given our inner-city location, I'm still looking for the garden!

Monday, September 22, 2003

Yay, went on permaculture intro. Met a chap who'd built a composting toilet. We saw a video, but pics of the project can be viewed here. Not for those who are anti nudity - you have been warned.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

This is fantastic - intercropping for vastly improved yield in Kenya.
This is also good news, in a more muted way. Finding the survivors of Dutch Elm disease. What the article doesn't say, and I really wanted to know, is what is being done to plant new elms.
So...been silent for a while! Blame the animator, who has only just relinqushed control of the internet-enabled, comfortable to sit at machine. Had a busy few weeks: went hunting this earthship last weekend, but couldn't find it. Will be embarking on an introduction to permaculture this weekend. It is all happening!
Perhaps one day, I'll live like the Path to Freedom gang, perhaps one day we all will...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Been collecting links like other people collect stamps, but been too busy to stick them in the album - if you catch my drift.

Occasionally, I might think that someone is a waste of space, but nothing beats landfill as a real waste of space. This site explains in simple terms how we can shrink our landfill.

Perhaps Dougal from Father Ted was on to something with his size/distance confusion after all. The Crowned Anarchist disagrees with the whole "these are small, but the ones out there are far away" philosophy. Scroll down to the pictorial representations.

If you are a woman with a family and a career (through choice or necessity), or even a woman thinking about having a family, this article makes for frightening reading. Why is it that adequate childcare is still seen as a luxury item? Hasn't anyone learnt from Sure Start? The best way to create the skilled, socially responsible adults of tomorrow is to invest in preschool care, and not just for the disadvantaged - for everyone!

Apparently, acid rain is still a big problem, and part of the problem is that it is old news. Is it possible to just get worn out with environmental concern?

More bad news on the global environmental meltdown front: fish just aren't what they used to be. On a positive note, new research shows how helpful marine reserves can be in replensishing fish stocks.

I'm vegetarian, but the animator is an Aussie and, therefore, resolutely carnivorous. Where possible, we buy organic. I would have thought it obvious that happy animals make better meat.

Look here for garden inspiration. A blooming marvelous site :-)