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Dec 10, 2009

This weekend, 12-13 December, we are giving up electricity, to experience life without all the lights, gadgets, excesses and energy wasting - and we'd like you to join in too, or let friends know about it. 

You must know some adventurous people who are prepared to take action for a good cause and to feel good themselves? It is short notice - but please nip over to this website of mine, have a quick look, and if you like it, try it. In your own house, just turn the power off and enjoy a simpler 48 hours, do good, feel good. 
For us, at 59 degrees north, it is winter, electricity provides all our heating, lighting, cooking and all the computers etc - but a couple of days talking with real friends, playing games, sawing wood, reading and making tea over an open fire - is going to be bliss! Have a look, please:
Over 100 people around the world have signed up to join us, either on our Facebook page or by emailing and pledging to do it. I hope to hear from you and share the adventure.
Starts tomorrow, Friday 11 Dec at 11pm, your time.
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 1:28pm
Sep 2, 2008

My new blog is up and running - which explains why my blogging on care2 dried up - also due to the fact that it is summer and so I am busy. The other main factor is we have moved house, out into the countryside, right beside the Atlantic Ocean. This new location has much slower internet connection speed, little faster than dial up and there is nothing more guaranteed to reduce my time on the internet than that. It is a reminder of how accustomed we have become to communications that until recently were "luxuries". Yet we waste too much time on our cell phones, social networking, blogging, watching television and film. We fail to stop and think of how all this information is being communicated around the globe, by satellites and high tech connections. Maybe just a little less data transmission is no bad thing. It's not as if you missed me anyway. OK - have a look at my blog - full of good stuff: http://play2survive.wordpress.com/ and leave a message. Best wishes Malcolm - in Orkney, Scoltand

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Posted: Sep 2, 2008 9:33am
Mar 9, 2008
http://www.squidoo.com/orkneytravel

Here is a wee website I have made which shows pictures of Orkney Islands (Scotland) with honest info about what to see, why and with web links.

I thought some of you might like to see it, learn about a different part of the world - and feel free to comment or add stuff on the feedback area.

Rating is very welcome too, should anyone be inclined to help.

Happy March everyone!

M
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Posted: Mar 9, 2008 2:41pm
Jun 15, 2007
The Big Global War Economy. *source - DefenseNews.com

Wars fuel the global economy - creating demand for weapons through instability, fear and defense. Weapons sales and support services are a major income for the G19 (G20 when you include China) industrial countries of the world.

Before you switch off and say, so what, consider this: The populations of these countries depend upon this industry for their standard of living, their very jobs or the 'multiplier effect' of this money in the economy, sloshing around. It is our wealth, comfort and leisure (cars, foods, beer, clothes, holidays ...) that is paid for by death. Once it was slavery and empire, now it is wars - and global warming is going to fuel this as finite resources and their unequal distribution amongst regions and nation states are exacerbated by 'disappearing' drinking water.

Who are the top 100 Weapon Manufacturing Companies in the world? *
Which countries are they from?
*
I am not typing it all out here - just go to http://www.defensenews.com/index.php?S=06top100

Is your country one of them?
The following is a list of the countries and the number of weapons manufacturers they have in the top 100 (2006 data).
Australia 2
Brazil 1
Canada 1
France 5
Germany 5
India 2
Israel 4
Italy 2
Japan 7
Netherlands 1
Norway 1
Russia 9
Singapore 1
S. Korea 1
Spain 2
Sweden 2
Switzerland 1
United Kingdom 10
USA 43

(Bold shows members of the G8, which also includes European Union)

The top 10 earning companies globally, for war related industries:
Lockhead Martin (USA)
Boeing
(USA)
Northrop Grumman (USA)
BAE Systems (UK)
Raytheon
(USA)
General Dynamics (USA)
EADS (Ger/Fra)
L-3
(USA)
Thales (Fra)
Halliburton
(USA)

China and other nations manufacturing for their own defence will not be represented.

This is the reality of our world.

Please, don't shoot the messenger!

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Posted: Jun 15, 2007 8:34am
May 31, 2007
It is very sad that people often seem to place greater importance upon the welfare of animals such as cats, dogs, seals, elephants etc etc than they do for animals such as humans.

Whilst pets get special foods, flea treatments and whisked off in special travel boxes to the vets for expensive treatments (often thousands of dollars), millions of humans drink water contaminated by shit, are murdered in bloody wars, are homeless, sick and abandoned.

It is a bit sickening how we neglect to tackle this problem. Such double standards. Quite selfish.
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Posted: May 31, 2007 10:25am
May 30, 2007
I belong to these websites which allow me to safely share what I have with others and in so doing help keep costs down and reduce our impact on the environment.

couchsurfing.com
liftshare.org
carshareforum.co.uk
freewheelers.co.uk


We can, of course, also benefit from these wonderfully generous people by receiving hospitality as well as giving it. Both parties should get something out of it, and put equal effort in.

They are vouched for, safe, friendly and a great way to cheaply travel, meet local people and avoid rip-offs.

I am also a big fan of hitch-hiking (which is safe in the UK) and hostel accommodation (like YHA.ORG.UK) which allows me to self cater yet move on every day. This really keeps costs down (as eating out is so expensive / not so healthy) and increases flexibility.

Try a few websites: www.virtualtourist.com and www.hostel-scotland.co.uk for inspiration about cheap eco travel. It is sociable too!
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Posted: May 30, 2007 8:38am
May 24, 2007
The rich wage war - the poor die

(with a nod to Jean-Paul Sartre)

This is a summation of human behaviour the past 8,000 years or so. It has not always been so and must not remain.

Life is sacred. Get that?!
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Posted: May 24, 2007 9:10am
May 2, 2007
Things I am grateful for ...

We now focus every day upon the things we are grateful for. Just 5 things every day, before going to sleep. I find this to be far more positive and beneficial than praying, which seems to be more a case of wanting something. Helps drifting off to sleep too.

I sit here and smile, happy for what I have, how lucky I am and hopeful that I can share this with you, my friends, my family of humans.
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Posted: May 2, 2007 8:05am
May 2, 2007
Be warned - if you choose to microwave your kitchen sponges - you can easily set fire to the microwave and cause a serious house fire!!!

Microwave power varies, as does the moisture content of the sponge. Do not leave unattended!!!

This might sound obvious but how many of us are doing jobs in the kitchen when the phone rings or the doorbell sounds or the children cry out?

Don't forget good ol'Bircarbonate of Soda, Salt and Vinegar in the armoury against bugs.

The picture is of my sister, beside the Neolithic Stenness Stone (5,000 years old). Primitive Technology that has lasted.

Remember the warning - microwave with care - sponges are highly flammable!

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Posted: May 2, 2007 5:57am
May 2, 2007
This may seem a bit odd - I may seem a bit odd - but I am in the midst of a fast. And it is for the experience of feeling hunger and living with it, not for religious or health reasons (though it may produce positive spin offs).

It has been a long time since I wrote. Perhaps this is a reflection of how busy I have been, in my head, and now that I am without food I am forced to slow down. At last I find it comfortable to sit at the computer and just write.

So, what am I doing?

Well, on a theme of trying to experience new things, push the comfort zone a tad and understand a bit of how our ancestors felt (and how much of the present human  population feel) - I am hungry. It is Sunday afternoon. I last ate Friday afternoon. That is something of a lie, actually, as I have had three apples and a handful of grapes, and lots of water. Also nettle tea. I sip some now, really appreciating the warmth inside.

No real hardship - but I still had to deal with my own demons and resist the nibbles, nuts, oatcakes and all sorts of yummy things around the kitchen. Had to go without. A foreign concept to most of us (me anyway) when it comes to food. Rachel ate fine and I read the paper, trying to ignore the rumbles and aches.

I knew I was in an altered state when the smell of cat food sent pleasant associations to my brain. I could smell the fish and chip shop from far off - and well before others could. The smell from the pork chop in the shopping bag accompanied me all the way home, tormenting me. Ha ha. Now the cats are going crazy, noses in the shopping bag - and I know what they are thinking! Amazing how my sense of smell and probably taste (if I could test it) are more acute. Logical, but still a thought neglected in everyday-land.

My conclusions so far, from this hunger?
Life can be better for it. I feel good; tired and a bit low on energy (surprise!) but otherwise good. This is after all a more natural way of eating for the human. Millions of years of eating practice is altered when we have an endless supply of cheap food, 3 meals a day, every day, on time. But I think our genes are lagging behind again in the evolutionary stakes - and as a consequence 'we' eat too much. I will leave it at that for now.

Let me know if any of you have any similar experiences or can shed light on issues of diet and fast. For now, I look forward to my break-fast tomorrow but with an altered sense of values. I feel good.

Best wishes from Orkney
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Posted: May 2, 2007 3:03am

 

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Malcolm Handoll
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Stromness, NU, United Kingdom
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