Ephemera *

*things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.can opener

To think that motor cars, meat, doctors, lawyers (yay!), teachers are ephemeral, just temporary fads, is quite sobering.

My grandfather was a cavalryman, born in 1861 in Ireland. He died in 1931.  I am pretty sure he never owned a motor car.

A forecast I read (which I checked out in case it was fake – it wasn’t) noted:

In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.

My grandkids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.

Here’s another point from the same list:

  • The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.
  • With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
  • Aeroponics will need much less water. lab burger
  • The first petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow  produced veal in 2018. …

There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat.

Sustainability requires us to reduce the environmental footprint of the meat producing industry…accounting for some 18% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

A Tricorder X machine  that works with your phone, will replace your doctor:  it takes your retina scan, blood sample and you breath into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease.

online medic

shongololo

Enough for today – my mind has been boggling since I read this… hope I didn’t spoil your day.

Anyone for a shongololo burger ...

spidersauce

 

 

with spidersauce…?

Another Myth

Once upon a time, less than 40 years ago, I sent people to gaol for growing hemp; reeferswell, the recreational type of it. In those days it was used as a drug for purposes of pleasant intoxication and it was verboten!

It seems that marijuana was caught up in the prohibition legislation years when all intoxicants were demonised and prohibited: liquor, morphine, heroin, etc.

Before that industrial hemp was a major crop: even George Washington grew it, as did the ancient Egyptians. Henry Ford said: “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” 

Big business seems to have had a hand in suppressing the cultivation of all types of hemp.

These days we are slowly rediscovering the wonders of hemp (including marijuana). All that is necessary is to re-educate ourselves. Even legislators are grudgingly relenting on the illegalities of cannabis, persuaded by its undoubted medicinal benefits.

We are all educated to a high level now, so we can get over the mythical monsters of past propaganda… even communism has been deflated as a 20th Century bogey.

So … get your mind around the fact that industrial hemp is a wonderful and highly useful plant:

  • 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp fibre until 1883. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, but hemp stalks only take four months to mature, whereas trees take 20 to 80 years.
  • Clothing & Fabrics: One acre of hemp will produce as much material as 2-3 acres of cotton
  • Hemp can be made into various different building materials, hempcrete, fiberboard, carpet, stucco, cement blocks, insulation, and plastic.
  • Hemp plastic can completely replace oil based plastic materials that we are using today… and is completely biodegradable hempstalk_diagram
  • Hemp can be made into fuel in two ways: biodiesel, or ethanol and methanol.
  • Hemp seeds are very high in protein, containing 25% protein content. Along with magnesium, potassium, dietary fibre and almost every vitamin and mineral that the body needs, they contain high amounts of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
    • In Australia it fetches above the average price of grains that are currently grown.
  • In Canada, industrial hemp has become a booming multi-million dollar export.

So check it out for yourself. You will find that like butter, hemp is good stuff! Become a new age hero and promote hemp as a replacement for paper and fossil fuel.

Not as easy as you may believe. Common sense has other opposition:

hemp joke

This is the new age challenge: rooting out fake news and reviving buried treasures of the past: Remember Nikola Tesla  – his inventions are now being realised as the treasures they are!

There’s a kick in Silly Socks!

no necktie noblesThose of you who have followed the doings of the sillysocksonfriday school/movement will know that victory was recently declared in the campaign against the necktie and a new target was identified: plastic bags!

no use bag

Well now, you may be as surprised as we were when within a few weeks of our declaration, the big supermarkets announced they were banning the horrible thin bags and would promote re-usable bags.

sugar snakeAs you will recall we also targetted the sugar snake recently and there are increasingly loud calls for a sugar tax as a prelude to a stronger campaign to reduce sugar usage.

no sugar cokeCoca Cola have now released a No Sugar Coke and are moving into the bottled water market.

Tell me that is not mega-impact!

So where to now? We need a Goliath to tumble!

don quixoteObsolete windmills or naked emperors are the preferred targets for a quirky tilt, but occasionally some dumb stunt will prompt a rant or a sunny day an ode to the good life.naked emperor

Please add your ideas and targets in a comment below.

namaste.jpg                                                           Namaste!

Because it played on Pandora today and it has always moved me, I have added this little gem  from Crosby, Stills , Nash and Young for y’all:

Teach your children    (click on the link to hear the song)

You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a goodbye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
and feed them on your dreams, the one they pick, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
so just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years, can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
and so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children’s hell will slowly go by,
and feed them on your dreams, the one they pick, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
so just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

Honour the Warrior

iwo-jima glory

“One hour of life crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation.”

Sir Walter Scott as quoted by Peter FitzSimons when writing about the recent Lions vs All Blacks third test.

It caught my heart as had a clip on Facebook showing the last parade of the Rhodesian Light Infantry in 1980.

It got me thinking about passion and the drive to pursue adventure into the face of danger, and courage and why so many seek to confront death.

morituri te saluant

The warrior heart, the need to prove courage, dominate and defeat opponents?

It has been so forever: Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant!

 

I believe it is not just the pursuit of glory. It is justification of our primordial need to defend and protect our community and values.

I hope that the story of the Spartans’ defence at Thermopylae is still told in schools and will always be told and the  Victoria Cross, Croix deGuerre, Medal of Honour and Iron Cross continue to inspire and motivate new generations.

It is all very well to debate and decry the horrors of war and predict that modern society will have no place for warriors but pay heed to the words of PF Sloan written in 1964 (over 50 years ago) when he was just 19:

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

I remember it made my Mum cry, because there is always somewhere on the eve of destruction. She knew all our ancestors had carried weapons and served in armies and that it was likely her sons and their sons would too – and so it was.

We need warriors and defenders of our communities and they need supporters.

Hmmm! That’s as rough as guts…! Enough!

It’s Friday, so here’s something that might make you feel a bit better:

cold-beer “Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.” –  Henry Lawson

That is philosophy and by the time you get your head around it, you will be ready for another one.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose

So sang Kristofferson and Joplin after Bobby McGee left them heartbroken and bereft.

That may be true in the sense that relationships and possessions carry obligations which are fetters on your freedom.

Throughout Africa, freedom from colonial rule has led to continued corruption and tyranny, the destruction of agriculture and plunder of natural resources without regard for posterity and a disregard for welfare of the people, which will soon leave nothing left to lose.

In the supposedly more civilised ‘western world’, increased freedoms have led to the inability of governments to curtail or restrict the increasingly conflicted demands on the fiscus and the disempowerment of Police, Border Control and Armed Forces. Soon they too may have nothing left to lose, because everything is free.

But I digress.

I have recently done a course on What Works in Development Aid strategies

corruption funnel

The course started off by saying that not many aid strategies worked because of the rip-offs by the empowered elites in recipient countries.

Somalis, Sudanese and Ethiopians are still starving after how many years and dollars of aid . In addition, because the development aid in health has been so successful, there are many more people doomed to hunger!

We are talking big money: $135 billion in 2014 spent by OECD countries alone!

The United Nations sustainable development goal number 1 is: to leave no-one behind by 2030. Cute, hey?

trickle down effectPerhaps consideration should be given to the existence of the development aid industry as a whole: from UN agencies, to government ministries, to universities to aid workers and supply chain operators – is it worth the significant expenditure of taxpayers dollars?

Should foreigners be intervening in sovereign states to prolong life expectancy in a world where natural resources are being depleted and destroyed by too many people?

Or is the development aid industry too entrenched to re-consider its roots. The disguise or suspicion of imperialism and market growth will remain.

Should we continue to shore up tyranny by removing the desperation of their populace, who eventually must be the authors of their own liberation? The alternative is the one that communism and agencies like the CIA instigated: arming people to enable them to confront abuses. Is the morality not the same?

The survival of our world is threatened by the wholesale destruction of our environment by unrestrained economies with burgeoning populations. The survival imperative is to safeguard resources. Economic and political interventions are apparently tenuous and entail the appeasement of tyrants for success, which is morally unpalatable.

Military intervention to impose and sustain appropriate institutions and practices is an alternative, but failed in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somaliland, Syria and is much more expensive and politically sensitive!

However, my putative rant hit a brick wall.

A little more research and thinking about the topic suggests that it is in fact very necessary expenditure:

  • On average, the richer states spend only about 0.7% of their gross national incomes on aid (relatively insignificant)
  • it curbs global spread of diseases
  • it buys friends, allies and access to resources
  • it provides markets…
  • the aid industry employs many people at home and abroad; e.g.: in the US all aid supplies must be made in the US.

In 1990, 1.9billion (36%) of the the world population of 5.3 billion, lived in extreme poverty. In 2010, only 1.2 billion (18%) of the increased population of 6.8 billion, lived in extreme poverty. Aid is believed to have significantly contributed to this reduction in poverty and increased life expectancy and the eradication of a number of diseases.

It also definitely contributed to the 28% increase in population.

 

There are other secondary (or maybe primary objectives), like the renewed

scramble for Africa, illustrated by the numerous and significant projects

china aid.gif

funded and manned by China.

 

 

It is ironic that China was one of the main supporters of the spread of communism in Africa, until its loss of credibility.

 

 

 

However, over 150 countries (of the 196 in the world) have committed

themselves to the United Nations Development Programme’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

 

This is where our hopes lie, as signatories can be held accountable to their commitments.

Here’s hoping!

global goals

 

 

Profanity palls

I cannot claim to be angelic in this regard; I admit that I sometimes blurt profanities in theangry words company of those that dislike such language. I always regret it,  but this little streak of perversity persists.

But if we pause to look at profanity, we see a bunch of stale words which have not evolved much except in the mouths of those seeking to offend or draw attention to their meagre presence and vocabulary.

I subscribe to an omnibus blog digest (Medium) which presents individual views on ‘anything goes’. I follow topics on art, cooking, creativity, history, politics, productivity, psychology, racism, religion and technology.

Much space is taken up by angry people. You may not believe how much is written on racprofanity Tism, feminism and anti-feminism. Vitriol and profanity spew out!

Profanity usually accompanies extreme displeasure or discomfort. It has also become some sort of sign of manliness. Big boys use profanity to impress little boys with their naughtiness and daring.

Some women seem to believe that they are liberated by their profanities. How sad! People striving to emulate others in every way destroy their uniqueness and charm.

What is also very sad is the proliferation of profanity.history_of_swearing_in_hollywood

It seems now that coarseness has become an indicator of equality, maturity and defiance. Users seek to shock perceivers and inspire the same sort of admiration that big boys sought from little boys.

Unfortunately for them their audience is different and is discerning and scornful of such puerile and pathetic efforts.

It would be tragic if the economics and rationale of media moguls prevailed anprofane sponge bobd
we are faced with further entertainment perversions, worse than Married at First Sight (#@&%!!) and presented with ‘real life’ scenarios in childrens’ hour

twain profaneGenerally speaking, I believe that, if used, profanity should not be spoken in the presence of parents or children (or by them) or indeed, anyone who would be offended by it

 

no interest profane

Ouch! But that is a stern test for big boys and girls!profane crutch

 

Nuff said!

 

A Moral Compass

 I often feel that we are morally adrift, that we do not have a clear sense of how to ground our identities and actions to ultimate values that transcend time and place. That is not to say that our society is largely immoral. Just amoral—lacking a clear compass or a foundational guide.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/gregg-henriques-phd

moral-compass

The image shows integrity as the core or hub of the moral compass: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

My preference was for the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance

Prudence anever-let-societynd justice are the virtues through which we decide what needs to be done; fortitude gives us the strength to do it and temperance tells us how to do it.

Virtue is not easy; it involves sacrifice and challenge of ormoral-compass-quote-roosevelt at least avoidance of peer pressures.

When I wrote about this about 12 years ago, someone commented that we should not require these values/virtues/principles to be taught in school but instead set the example ourselves. I agree that we should but know we frequently fall short…

So if integrity is the true North of the moral compass of life, how do we instil it in our own lives and those of the next generation?

Your ideas, experiences and thoughts would be appreciated. My spur of the moment suggestion and this is what I am doing, is to start a conversation, issue a challenge, ask for help. Would that be worth it or should we just leave it to osmosis and hope for the best?

small-step