Sunday, December 31, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
...The Goldberg Variations are probably my favourite piece of music. I discovered them a little later in life than most of the classical pieces I love. Last Saturday I also managed to try another classic, a Pommard 2002, (Demeter organic) from Christine and Didier Montchovet who have been making superb organic wine in Burgundy since 1984. Beautifully balanced and elegant this is a wine for that very special romantic dinner. I'm grateful to Johan Kunst, who was at de Belly organic store on the Nieuwe Lelie Straat, for introducing me to this treat. Johan runs Vin Bio in Brummen. (Tel: +31 (0)6-42326143)
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"The conspiracy virus is not new. Let me recall. The Russians couldn’t possibly have built an A-bomb without Commie traitors. Hitler was a victim of treachery, otherwise he couldn’t have been defeated by the Red Army marching across eastern Europe and half Germany. JFK couldn’t have been shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, it had to be the CIA. There is no end to examples seeking to prove that Russians, Arabs, Viet Cong, Japanese, whoever, couldn’t possibly match the brilliance and cunning of secret cabals of white Christians." writes Alexander Cockburn. I agree.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
It is 100% legal, it is making a serious point in a satirical way and it is great fun. One day you will tell your grandchildren you were there, I promise."
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
...At 3.30am on January 6, 1990 I received the news that my mother had just died in hospital. We had seen each other the night before and she was at peace and ready to leave. We all lose someone we love sometime. The end of a relationship, a death, or the breakdown of a friendship or marriage. Yet time heals and nature repairs the wounds. New loves come and new friends enter our lives. I have been blessed to know some very fine women and this music, that I listened to on that morning nearly seventeen years ago is dedicated to them. A small handful of women philosophers, scientists and activists who have brought the joy of Ceridwen's muse into my life.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
...and reminds me of my first cat, Susie, who was wise and warm and my first contact with the spirit. Tonight I celebrated with a very good friend who has just passed her masters exam. We went to a party and then we drank a beer in a little brown cafe and talked of science, nature and the future. It was a most magical evening.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
with thanks to Anina at 360 Fashion for the picture. Anina has been working on ecofashion with Hempworks and we spent the evening talking about fair trade, organic and natural fashion as well as the possible positive benefits of new technology as part of the solution to the environmental crisis. It was a positive exchange of ideas. The night before I was at Soma's tea which was awesome this time. I visited a sacred space that is in us all if we only look for it. The illusion of time in a living universe that is mind itself. The vision of compassion and beauty that arises out of the heart. Geshe-la has left for Paris and I wish him a safe trip back to India. There was much love around me and within me this night.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way." (William Blake)
Monday, November 13, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The poll of one thousand 8 - 14 year olds also found that young people are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers of climate change, with 75 per cent saying they were worried about the impacts of climate change compared to just 60 per cent of respondents in a similar poll conducted last year. The survey also showed that over half of young people had talked about climate change with their parents and that many young people have taken action to save energy at home and at school. Fifty seven per cent said they made sure they turned their computer, stereo or TV off when not in use rather then on stand by, and 60 per cent make sure they turn the lights off when they leave a room.
Shout about climate solutions week offers teachers and youth leaders a fun and engaging way of exploring the issue of climate change, and how to tackle it with young people. As part of the week schools and youth groups also have the chance to win a wind turbine worth over £1500." according to Friends of the Earth.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic negineering, defended people's knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation.
It has its own seed bank and organic farm spread over an ares of 20 acres in Uttranchal, north India."
It is modernity that separates spirit and matter to the detriment of the former. When we touch the earth we touch the spirit. Joli weekend, mes amis.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The group warned that the consequences of the accelerating pressure on the Earth's natural systems were "both predictable and dire", and would mean the collapse of ecosystems and the erosion of the Earth's ability to support people." What is more important? Fighting a war that is already lost or trying to change our habits so that future generations have a planet to live on? It is time for Tony Blair to move on. Maybe Arnie can give him a job in California where levels of consumption require five planet Earths. But who should replace him? Gordon Brown sounds just as bad and Cameron has a long way to go to be convincing although he does try at least to make the right noises. No, it is we the people who must decide whether or not we want a future. Each one of us has a responsibility to adopt a sustainable lifestyle so that we leave a minimal environmental footprint as we walk this Earth that is the mother of us all.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
...as a number of squats were evicted today by the riot police. The clowns were great but at one point on the Weteringschans the cops lost their sense of humour and decided to arrest them, which seemed a bit silly. I spent my lunch being chased by the riot police with their water cannons. Then we had a picnic by the cops van and watched the whole spectacle. The last action was near the Anne Franck House opposite the Westerkerk. A number of the squatters were arrested so we hope they will be let out ASAP and free the clowns, guys! Where's ya sense of humour?
Monday, October 16, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Each year, the day that the global economy starts to operate with an ecological deficit is designated as ‘ecological debt day’ (known internationally as ‘overshoot day’). This marks the date that the planet’s environmental resource flow goes into the red and we begin operating on a non-existent environmental overdraft." Bon appetit!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
"If there is talk of Russia asset-grabbing as it carries out its right to, belatedly, defend its environment, it should not overshadow the asset-grabbing Shell is attempting in the form of billions of dollars of international taxpayers' money for a project it has been unable to get right for the last three years."
That the Russians are showing awareness of the environment is to be welcomed. The search for natural resources needs to take account of the consequences for the natural world, in this case among other issues the future of the Pacific Grey Whale is at stake. We also need to seriously invest in alternatives to oil. That should mean other companies than Big Oil taking the lead in the renewable energy industry. Business as usual is not an option.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
...Based on Firefox, Torpark is a free web browser that allows you to surf the net anonymously. "Plug it into any internet terminal whether at home, school, or public. Run Torpark.exe and it will launch a Tor circuit connection, which creates an encrypted tunnel from your computer indirectly to a Tor exit computer, allowing you to surf the internet anonymously. How much does Torpark cost? IT'S FREE." "The Torpark tool has been created by Hacktivismo - an international coalition of hackers, human rights workers, lawyers and artists.
Torpark uses the Tor network of internet routers set up by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that already has tens of thousands of regular users.
Whenever any computer connects to the net it freely shares information about the address it is using. This is so any data it requests is sent back to the right place.
The Tor network tries to stop this information being shared in two ways. First, it encrypts traffic between a computer and the Tor network of routers - this makes it much harder to spy on the traffic and pinpoint who is doing what.
Second, the Tor network regularly changes the net address that someone appears to be browsing from - again this frustrates any attempt to pin a particular browsing session on any individual." BBC
In an unprecedented step, the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific academy, has written to the oil giant to demand that the company withdraws support for dozens of groups that have "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".
"The scientists also strongly criticise the company's public statements on global warming, which they describe as "inaccurate and misleading". This is the first time that the Royal Society has gone so far as to write to a company and it represents the extent of the consensus of the scientific community with regard to global warming. The Society's action should be a wake-up call for those still in any doubts about the dangers of climate change denial. Those in power , both in business and in politics, have a responsibility to take heed of the scientific consensus and take the action required to ensure the future of generations to come. Does the CEO of Exxon have any children? If he does he should be worried.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
"Among the organisations that have been funded by Exxon are such well-known websites and lobby groups as TechCentralStation, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Some of those on the list have names that make them look like grassroots citizens' organisations or academic bodies: the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, for example. One or two of them, such as the Congress of Racial Equality, are citizens' organisations or academic bodies, but the line they take on climate change is very much like that of the other sponsored groups. While all these groups are based in America, their publications are read and cited, and their staff are interviewed and quoted, all over the world.
By funding a large number of organisations, Exxon helps to create the impression that doubt about climate change is widespread. For those who do not understand that scientific findings cannot be trusted if they have not appeared in peer-reviewed journals, the names of these institutes help to suggest that serious researchers are challenging the consensus." says Monbiot. There also seems to be an unholy alliance between Big Oil and Big Tobacco on this issue as the same methods and organisations are being used to run the denial campaign. At a critical time in the past few years when urgent action was needed to mobilise public opinion and governments to accept the facts of climate change Exxon seems to have been doing its best to obstruct and decieve. That's the power of too much money in too few hands.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
...according to NASA satellite pictures. "The extent of "perennial" ice - thick ice which remains all year round - declined by 14%, losing an area the size of Pakistan or Turkey. The last few decades have seen summer ice shrink by about 0.7% per year."
The research is reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. As ice reflects heat back into space a planet with less ice gets warmer. Once more evidence of global warming from a reliable source should be making this issue a top priority. Yet the debate goes on as Global Warming Watch points out. Why do humans have such a hard time recognising the obvious when it is in conflict with their own selfish interests?
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
...was one of our topics on the radio today. Is it a human right, a common good or a commodity? I know that I drink too little of it, tending to try to survive on coffee. We live on a water planet. Global warming and climate change will probably mean that some parts of the planet will have far more of it than they bargained for, while others will have less. It is a precious resource. We should respect this ubiquitous molecule. Water Aid
Monday, September 11, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
...It's part of modern living, the expectation that you can shop till you drop 24/7. Retail therapy as a substitute for community. The Blog of Hope has done a piece on Tesco and the effect that supermarkets have on local communities.
"Supermarkets are also contributing to global deforestation and biodiversity loss by their reliance on using cheaply produced palm oil in thousands of their products. Palm oil plantations are now the major cause of rainforest clearance in Indonesia and Malaysia, threatening some of the world's richest wildlife forests and endangering native species including the orang-utan.
The criticisms are stacking up against the big supermarkets; their influence extends beyond the homogenisation of the high street and the ruination of local economies through to the detriment of animal welfare, to environmental damage, to the suppression of foreign economies and the exploitation of workers throughout the world. Their impact is truly global."
Only a recognition by the global community that it is in all our interests to support fair trade and local products can help to turn the tide of this disturbing trend. One of the ideas discussed at Ecotopia was the concept of anti-consumer education and the need to focus on quality of life rather than quantity. Humanity runs the risk of destroying itself in a consumer orgy of diminishing returns.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
in Parliament Square along wth many other activists and people concerned about many of the draconian laws passed by the Blair junta. Maya Evans was also a victim of this stupid law. Rachel says, "New Labour wanted a Big Conversation, once. Engagement with Voters. Feedback. Dialogue between People and Government.
Well, if anyone of them, Blair's MPs, Blair's Cabinet, who were only a few hundred yards away, behind security guards and concrete bollards and bombproof glass had stepped outside, he or she could have had their dialogue, in the gentle evening sunshine, on as diverse an array of subjects as you could have desired. Cameras would have recorded it for posterity. Police would have protected them. They would have come to no harm, for we meant none.
And I'm sure there would even have been a pint for them at the Red Lion afterwards."
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
...in Cardiff. This is the record shop where I bought my first Beatles record as well as Hendrix, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin et al. Henry Spiller opened the world's oldest record store in 1894 in the Hayes in Cardiff but the shop is now up for sale as part of a divorce settlement. Spiller's was where you went to spend your pocket money in the sixties, and where you got your punk vinyl in the seventies and the independent store is still flourishing in the internet download age. Spiller's has been a part of the musical and cultural life of many Cardiffians for a long time. Bobcaster Swipe has made the suggestion that George Orwell would have been a blogger if he were alive today. Very probably. Blogging is also a way to be a small voice in the crowd and part of the wider dialogue. The sale of Spiller's has made me feel a bit nostalgic and sentimental for all the quirky individuals and projects that help to define our lives. Yet to constantly compare with the past is to lose the present in regret. Perhaps today would be a good day to start a new Spilller's.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
...as last Friday the US Department of Homeland Security, who are usually fighting the war on terror, has urged Windows users to install the latest patches from Microsoft as quickly as possible. In particular it warned about one bug fixed in the latest batch of security updates that, if exploited, could put a PC under the control of an attacker. The bug allows attackers to take over Windows machines. In any other industry a market share of 90% would be considered a monopoly in need of urgent regulatory intervention. Now I know that what I'm saying is not new but I think it's still worth saying. When will the EU bite the bullet and do something about Microsoft's dominance of the operating system market? After all we now have much better open source software such as Linux and Ubuntu. After a week of Windows/Internet Explorer/Dell hell with a computer that crashes on average once an hour I'm quite ready to start saving up for my Apple MacBook. Why is it so difficult to buy a PC without Windows? It should be the law that a customer can demand to buy a PC without having to make an involuntary contribution to Bill Gate's pension fund. I have a friend who works with Ubuntu on her PC and it is fast and never crashes.
Dell is recalling 4.1 million laptop batteries which is why we are reposting the lovely Japanese photo above. That must be the ultimate security flaw. For more Dell hell read buzzmachine. So if there is a reliable laptop manufacturer out there that is prepared to sell it's products with an open source OS such as Linux I would like to hear from you.
Friday, August 11, 2006
...and the great unwashed and uneducated are taking over according to the dazed and confuzzled Heather. And the hacks are scared wicked. How dare we have the temerity to give our purile opinions on the internet. That sort of thing should be left to the experts. They are known as journalists. Maybe Arnie Blairo can pass a new law to get us all burned at the stake? Roll up! Roll up!Auto da fe in the bunker. Not content with just writing. People such as the Rockmother are even podcasting. Now perhaps even the BBC will get its knickers in a twist. So it seems we are here to stay and we are lowering the tone of the place. Janet Street Porter sums up her views on blogging in her frankly obnoxious column by saying:
"The web is fast becoming clogged with blogs; the verbal diarrhea of the under-educated and banal."
Patroclus comments, "What a great post, nice one Heather. At times like this I like to air my zombie analogy - the media are scared of blogs because blogs are like a horde of attacking zombies: they look like the media, but they're all disfigured and horrid, and there are millions of them, and you can't kill them, and even if you 'kill' one or two (e.g. by hiring them as columnists), hundreds more rise up in their place."
As information degenerates into chaos and stranded holidaymakers have spontaneous champagne parties in airports around the world life imitates art yet again and a horror scenario future becomes our present. 8/11 nearly joined 9/11 in the annals of the bizarre Orwellian reality we now inhabit. Greenland's icecaps are melting three times faster than expected so I hope we can all swim. Across the channel maybe! Joli weekend mes amis.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
...as the UK goes critical on the MI5 Richter scale of the new combined terror alert and shipping forecast. Sonia's media empire has all the latest on Britain's new splendid isolation. Once again our country needs lerts so if you want to be one send your holiday plans to "Arnie Blairo" 10 Downing Street Bunker, London or if you are stranded in Europe we recommend you hitchhike to the Costa Brava. Think of all the pollution these lerts are saving by closing down Heathrow.
So all the femails can't get to Rotterdam to make themselves young and beautiful again with stem cell embryos.
We have discovered a new personal search engine called Rollyo where you can roll your own search. "Rollyo offers the ability to search the content of a list of specified websites, allowing you to narrow down the results to pages from websites that you already know and trust." (BBC World)
We have also set up a few radio stations on Pandora with the help of a friend in NYC so happy listening. The stations are also on a button on Ceridwen Jazz where you can escape the lerts and watch some Jimi Hendrix. Have fun!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
...according to a study made by John Hopkins University. Soma sent us this link to theDaily Mail article on the study made by Professor Roland Griffiths, from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
" Researchers also found that people who took the chemical experienced genuine mystical experiences, as defined by psychologists. A third of the 36 study participants described their psilocybin experience as the 'most spiritually significant' of their lives." according to the Mail. The group were given either psilocybin or the drug Ritalin which was used as the placebo. "The volunteers were all healthy, well-educated, mostly middle-aged and with no family history of psychotic illness." The findings were published on July 11 in the journal Psychopharmacology. See also ABC News."[The study] shows that, under carefully controlled conditions, psilocybin can be administered safely and that it can occasion a mystical-type experience, which scientific measures say are very similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences" Griffiths said in an e-mail to ABC News. "The results suggest that such events may have lastingly beneficial consequences." So now the experts have confirmed what many of us know already. I've been drinking mushroom tea with Soma for over three years now and have had many mystical experiences during the monthly trips. I've also noticed a significant long term positive effect. I never get depressed these days perhaps because the mushrooms have given me a glimpse of the divine beauty of the universe.
Friday, August 04, 2006
...Lord Rees, the President of the Royal Society has made a plea for more investment by government into tackling global warming. Whether anyone will listen to his words is a moot point. We seem to be living in a state of mass denial of the obvious. I had an email from a friend today pointing out that all us green activists don't have a clue and everything is really all due to the sun and the Mayan calender. So in 2012 it's all over anyway and the great cosmic shift comes to the new age of something or other. This sort of tosh is all over the place and even Britain's leading scientist can't do much against superstition. The rich love superstition as it means they don't have to do anything except consume more and fate will do the rest. I quote from my friend's email,
"In our environmental crisis the sun is the problem, not the earth. This on
a stellar, maybe even galactic or cosmic scale and this could be seen as us
(the solar system) moving toward higher energy area's or levels of the
galaxy/draco stellar system, in this material 3/4 or other, nonmaterial
dimensions...Blaming this solely on human greed and stupidity, as the green movement tends to do, makes us direct responsible for the developing disasters.
The earth is seen as an independent piece of the universe and we are to blame
for not taking care. However, if the real problem is the sun in its stellar
or galactic wanderings or energy cycles, then the scope of the situation is
broadened and new questions and scenario's arise...The relevance of the sun issue, as I stated in the beginning, is not merely hypothetical. Apart from the 2012 lore, the great shift as predicted by Maya's, Hopi's etc. (my guess is dec 29, 2011, however), now the ecological crisis can no longer be ignored and will have such enormous implications for our common psyche, that politicians, sociologists, psychologists and in fact nearly all scientists will have to deal with it. And maybe they will, as happened before in times of great upheaval, turn to the intradimensional specialists, the theologians, the priests, the mages and (true or false) prophets."
Now that's all very clear then. Just sit back and enjoy the ride in your Hummer!
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
...once again just a few blocks away from the ex Russian consulate. Mushroom tea of course and once again the cosmos was at home in my inner biochemistry. Funny how each time the tea takes me somewhere new. This time some old friends turned up out of the blue and I learned to smell and touch again. Awesome! Happy daze. There is a world in us and out there that is good and full of wonder. Just waiting to touch us.
Now a few days later on a rainy Amsterdam day I can still feel the afterglow of a wonderful vision.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
|Mon 29 May 2006 10.40pm|
Appearing at The Guardian Hay Festival, Al Gore talks exclusively to Jonathan Freedland about his crusade to stop the world burning up through global waming. His film "An Inconvenient Truth" is in US theatres now.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
|How can you you live with the thought of walrus pups crying for their mother's -floating away on blocks of ice to their deaths ? this planet's melting and we need to change things now.|
A young filmmaker Ruby Reynolds - explores some of the options that are staring us in the face.
...Clicking on next blog to play Billy's small blog world I came across this small baby in Ankara, Turkey. Today baby Mert has to go into surgery for CDH (congenital diaphragma hernia) so I hope this little bit of serendipity brings Mert and his parents Emel and Aytekin plenty of health and good luck. This could be a new twist on the game. Instead of trying to find our way to Billy, which as Swipey has found out is not always that easy, we could find people and stories that we might otherwise never know about. And who knows one day we may find our way back to Billy too!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
...is the title of a book by Fred Wolf who also blogs as a time travel yogi. The basic idea is that life is a dream, except on the Northern Line where of course it is a nightmare. Ask Norway's famous existential confusionalist who has just bought a new dress. A dream come true, maybe? So is there a Big Dreamer? Are we all just the eyes and ears of the Dreamtime, stuck in Plato's cave wishing to be free? Should we awaken from the dream where shall we be then? Who shall we be? Pure awareness with no object?
The Tibetans have an ancient tradition of dream yoga. Using visualisation and concentration they develop the state of lucid dreaming and so liberate themselves from harmful patterns of conditioning. I learnt some of these techniques from Sogyal Rinpoche. Through Sogyal I met Dudjom Rinpoche, one of Tibet's greatest Nyingma masters who once said "You actually have this awareness within you. It is the clear, naked wisdom of dharmakaya. But who can introduce you to it? On what should you take your stand? What should you be certain of? To begin with, it is your teacher who shows you the state of your awareness. And when you recognize it for yourself, it is then that you are introduced to your own nature. All the appearances of both samsara and nirvana are but the display of your own awareness; take your stand upon awareness alone. Just like the waves that rise up out of the sea and sink back into it, all thoughts that appear sink back into awareness. Be certain of their dissolution, and as a result you will find yourself in a state utterly devoid of both meditator and something meditated upon - completely beyond the meditating mind." Keith Dowman is a great source for much of this ancient wisdom.
Who dreams? Where do dreams come from and where do they go? We are children of stardust. How many degrees of separation lie between us?
Monday, July 10, 2006
...It was a night to remember. The Friday squat protest on Dam Square was peaceful, the food was good and every one had a great time. Everyone I spoke to this morning who was there still feels energised and motivated. Amsterdam krakers showed the positive contribution they make to the city. So why change the law? If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Friday, July 07, 2006
..."Photo shows The Wounded Angel of St. Pancras church, dedicated to the victims of the 7th July bombings, and flowers underneath left by some of the passengers of the 8.50am Piccadilly line train that was suicide-bombed, ( 'Kings Cross United'), the London Underground staff, from Kings Cross and Russell Square and the British Transport Police officers who rescued the passengers, and the drivers of the bombed Piccadilly train."
"When we all got on the train we did not know that for some of us it would be a last journey, and that some of us would not come home.
We did not all finish our journey together, but we carry you in our hearts. To all that loved you, knew you, worked with you, miss you, our thoughts are with you.
Wherever we travel, we know that we are all fellow passengers,and we are with each other on our journey.'
Silence for one minute
Today is Rachel's day as well as being a day that belongs to all those that died or were injured last year in the London suicide bomb attacks. It is also a day that belongs to every Londoner who gets up to go to work by public transport each day. It is a day that belongs to the rescue services and police who came to help the victims. It is a day that belongs to ordinary people who became heroes by helping those next to them. It is a day to remember all victims of violence everywhere, whether in New York City or Kabul or Baghdad. Rachel's blog has been an inspiration to many. Her humanity and honesty and her determination to fight for justice for the victims are an example to us all.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
...Preparations are underway for the sleep-in on Dam Square on Friday night. So far we've had a positive response for the idea from those we have spoken to, and many have promised to come. It really is a case of safety in numbers and publicity as it is technically illegal to sleep on Dam Square since 1970. Street medics will be on call during the night and there will be a free vegan kitchen, organised by the squatters from WildeWestenVoKu. This is intended to be a peaceful protest to show the positive side of squatting in Amsterdam. Should you come and be arrested on the night the lawyers Böhler, Franken, Koppe, Wijngaarden will be standing by to help. Radio Patapoe will be live at the event on 88.3 FM. ASCII will be hacking the night away with free internet. So come and add your voice of protest for freedom and the right to a roof over your head and show that Amsterdam has a future as a cultural and community city open to all, not just the rich.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
...on Friday evening starting at 9pm (7 July) against government plans by Ministers Donner and Dekker to make squatting illegal. The plan is to have a sleep-in on Dam Square which has been illegal since the marines cleared the square in 1970. It is planned to have a festival with music and artists and activists. So if you are in Amsterdam on Friday evening come along with your sleeping bag and help us to make a peaceful protest on behalf of the homeless and a movement that has made the cultural life of Amsterdam what it is today. Free WiFi will also be available, so bloggers, bring your laptops!
"Are you an artist? Do you work in a Volkskeuken (cost price restaurant)? Are you in a band? Do you run a free radio station? Do you dance, or do acrobatics? Do you run a cinema? Write books? Bring it along to Dam Square and show everyone what you're up to! Apart from a few things like a press group, a legal team and street medics, we will not plan the action's programme. All too often we passively perform a demonstration-ritual through the city, after which everyone goes home quietly. This time it is our collective responsibility to use our own inventiveness, our creativity and our solidarity to make this night a success."
Thursday, June 29, 2006
...where Scotland's sexiest blonde blogger reveals all her past indiscretions. Could this be the real cause of global warming as blonde lovers the world over pant tons of CO2 in sweet anticipation of the next sexy episode? But wait. All this may one day have consequences as Scotland's blog template megageek Jules points out.
"I'm bored and unhappy, and doped up on St John's wort, rescue remedy and frequently also red wine. I'm silently angry.
And I'm terrified because all there is of me now is being a mother, all that made me who I am has been drained away by it. And here I don't even like it." she says. I can sympathise. I used to be a single father, which was quite a rarity in those days. It wasn't always a picnic but I enjoyed being a dad. Fucked my career up for a few years though which is one reason why I am all for women's rights. Being a mother is a full-time job and should be recognised as such by society. How many women have been turned down for a good job because their prospective employer thought they might get pregnant?
We interuppt this blog posting for a special announcement by the President of the United States on global warming. There is no cause for panic or alarm.
And here are some tips on what you can do from Edd the duck, Froggy and Mr Cow and James Lazenby. With thanks to our sponsors Sonia's media empire and the Merton Rule and R. Swipe Property Management.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
...as Depressed Single Mother is blogging again. Welcome back, Jules. One less mystery, or maybe one more. While musing on Jules and Hannah's Edinburgh, I could not help but think of the Scottish equivalent of Montezuma's revenge. This particular Scotsman's Wikipedia page has been protected against vandalism. Can you imagine there are those out there who call him a liar and a war criminal? Arrgh! No more politics. It puts me off my lunch. The whole world has now become an army of Bill Gates beggars now that Warren Buffett has made the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation worth more than Tescos or the GNP of Croatia. So if you are poor stand in line at Bill's soup kitchen. Maybe he has a crust for you. It's a cool scam. Make up some tacky product. Turn everyone into junkies so they have to buy it. Then give all the money away and get to be god. Buy your way into heaven.
"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:"
Smart cards for prostitutes is one of the projects sponsored by all this largesse. Prostitutes who fail to comply with health checks get their cards withdrawn. Social control through charity. Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose."
Friday, June 23, 2006
The Merton Rule
Thursday, June 22, 2006
...starts with coffee and chocolate just like this morning. Then a preview of some beautiful thangkas just in from Nepal, including a beautiful Avalokiteshvara. My friend gives me two of his famous organic ganga cookies with isolator hash inside and I think how great sometimes to be in Amsterdam. Then on my red bicycle into town. At the moment I'm listening to Vivaldi and thinking what sort of reality do I want to spend my life in. Right now it's the one I've got. So much magic in such a short space of time. Rigmor's been having a hard time keeping fit at Cannons Health Club. Now I realise why I do Qi gong in the park. It's fun, free and I get lots of fresh air.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
...was all the rage in 18th century London and Sonia has info on the satirical London exhibition at the Museum of London. They have some great period prints. Picture/A Gin Shop/Thomas Rowlandson c. 1809/Museum of London
Monday, June 19, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
...did not have the weather on its side this year. All the usual suspects turned up to the Welsh Cannes of books. Al Gore also turned up and explained why it was that when he had the power he did nothing, but now that he has none he's turned a new leaf. They all loved him for it. Al would save the world if he could at least that's what he would like us to believe. Somehow I feel it is just not going to be that easy. Hollywood goes green. Tell it to Bollywood. They should all read Jared Diamond's "Collapse" to realise just what we are up against.
Lord Rees, the new President of the Royal Society, beat the terror drum. Lord May we miss you already. "In a global village there will be global village idiots. And with this power, just one could be too many," he said. These might not be fundamentalists, but those with the mentality of a computer virus designer or arsonist, he added. "Even a single person will have the capacity to cause massive disruption through error or through terror. We are kidding ourselves if we think that technical education leads to balanced rationality." said Rees. So now we know. The village idiot is to blame.
The truth is it is the pace of consumption that is the problem, Lord Rees. Your predecessor knew this and did not spend his time on red herrings. All this terror tosh is missing the point. It is we who need to change.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
...As the world gets interconnected being able to find what we are looking for becomes vital in a world where there is so much information. Google, blogging, the Wikipedia and Craigslist are changing the wat we find things. As computers get ever smaller and mobile technology means we are always reachable, business models will have to take account of search.
Business Week Peter Morville has written a book that should be required reading for anyone involved in the net and website design. Morville hopes that " as ambient findability becomes reality, we are able to offset the inherent dangers of group think and mob justice by empowering literate individuals with the ability to find and recognize the truth, make informed decisions, and when necessary act independently. I believe librarians have an important role to play in leading us towards this more desirable future." Digital Web
This is one of those books that I feel I need to read two or three times. The book is published by O'Reilly
Thursday, May 04, 2006
...one of my favourite bookshops.
"John Maurice Watkins, the founder of this bookshop, was a friend and disciple of H P. Blavatsky and was himself personally involved in seeing the first edition of The Secret Doctrine, her great metaphysical classic, through the press.
The ideal of founding the bookshop is said to have occurred to Mr Watkins in a conversation with Madame Blavatsky in which she lamented the fact that there was nowhere in London one could buy books on mysticism, occultism and metaphysics."
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
...Dr. Michio Kaku is a Japanese American theoretical physicist who is a co-creator of string field theory. The Harvard graduate and professor at City College of New York is a well known author of popular science books and also has his own radio show. His many activities can be kept up with on his website.
Is the book "Parallel Worlds" science or science fiction? While reading it I had the uneasy feeling of being out of my depth. It seemed as if all the "Star Trek" episodes I had watched were about to become true. Now quantum mechanics is weird but it does make my PC and mobile phone work. Do I have to accept the scientific speculation behind it? Up to a point, yes. After all I can't do the theoretical work behind books like this. Biology I can do. Particle physics is a tad expensive.
I found this blog by Plato the proof that I was out of my depth. So what shall I say of my impression of the book? The multiverse seems a possibilty to me. The contradiction that the unity is more than one. Language does not seem to help much before the big bang (or after the big crunch for that matter.) So creation and nirvana are both possible. Yet we have to plan our way out of this doomed universe, that will no longer be there billions of years in the future. Ecology tries to teach us to value what we have here. Kaku's science seems to be ultimately pessimistic. Maybe at root it is based on some fallacy. Are we missing something mind bogglingly obvious?
At times like this I always fall back on the veil of Isis. She let's us know what we need to know, in order to grow. Yet she still holds sway over the ultimate mystery. I know, that's mysticism. Guilty as charged. At least it helps me sleep at nights.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
...says Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times three time Pulitzer prize winner. According to Friedman changes in the world of economics and technology have begun to produce a level playing field with enormous consequences for the future of humanity. As I was reading this book a thought occurred to me. Ceri and I are taking part in this process as bloggers. What can we do that won't be outsourced? Information crunching is a cultural phenomenon. For some time now I wanted to do a book blog. Not sure of what to do with my own blogs as I'm busy in the backroom of Ceridwen Devi Media most of the time. I thought quite simply I'll turn my two blogs into book blogs. Review what I'm reading and publish on Blogger and Wordpress. Two birds with one stone.
Friedman seemed the obvious place to start. He "describes the unplanned cascade of technological and social shifts that effectively leveled the economic world, and “accidentally made Beijing, Bangalore and Bethesda next-door neighbors.” Today, “individuals and small groups of every color of the rainbow will be able to plug and play.” Friedman’s list of “flatteners” includes the fall of the Berlin Wall; the rise of Netscape and the dotcom boom that led to a trillion dollar investment in fiber optic cable; the emergence of common software platforms and open source code enabling global collaboration; and the rise of outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining and insourcing. Friedman says these flatteners converged around the year 2000, and “created a flat world: a global, web-enabled platform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and work, irrespective of time, distance, geography and increasingly, language."
The process of globalization produces winners and losers like anything else. Today the Latinos of America are out on the streets demanding more rights in some of the largest demonstrations seen since the civil rights movement. They are as much a part of the process as Wal-Mart and Google. They also need to find a voice. I was in Berlin when the Wall came down. I shall never forget those days. The feeling that something big and unique was about happen.
The trick is to get on top of all this and use the opportunities that are there. Beware of the hype though. I see a world emerging on different time scales according to the amout of access people have to all these new gizmos. The social dimension seems to be ignored. Look at the explosion of the NGO "industry." As we remember John Kenneth Galbraith, who died on Saturday at the age of 97, let's hope that some of his ideas, that went out of fashion for a number of years, can live on to help us cope with the consequences of all this change. Friedman has asked the question, but not found the answer.
"While The World Is Flat is not a classic like From Beirut to Jerusalem, it is still an enthralling read. To his great credit, Friedman embraces much of his flat world's complexity, and his reporting brings to vibrant life some beguiling characters and trends. If his book is marred by an exasperating reliance on the first person and a surplus of catch phrases (" 'Friedman,' I said to myself, looking at this scene, 'you are so twentieth-century. . . . You are so Globalization 2.0' "), it is also more lively, provocative and sophisticated than the overwhelming bulk of foreign policy commentary these days. We've no real idea how the 21st century's history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through." wrote the "Washington Post."