Cycling

via Cycling 

Something many of us could do more of.
Yes there are plenty of things to keep you fit, but what better mode of transport can one use that allows you to cover so much ground fairly easily and enjoyably at the same time, knowing that you are leaving a very small carbon footprint as you make your way around from point A to point B and all along the way in between!

I was saddened to see John close Bykology! A much appreciated venue for all things pertaining to Bicycle maintenance and care! Maybe he will consider other opportunities Bicycle orientated? Some of these bike opportunities which I hope to bring to light at some point in the very near future!

There is an incredible amount of potential for real growth in Hexham! And I’m not talking about economic growth! That is a fallacy destined to be doomed! I’m talking about the growth of community spirit and all the things that are important to the residents of Hexham!
Like good wholesome honest ethical food and the good honest ethical work that goes into producing it!

I see a genuine fusion between bicycles and food, particularly DIY food (a.k.a. grow you own) and if anybody is interested in having a chat with me about what they can bring to the table I’m all ears and willing to get my fork stuck in and sow some seeds for thought and further action!

Please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you if you live in the Hexham area and surrounds!

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An Increcible contribution to Eco-Engineering in South Africa

aqueousphere-and-birdsvia Eco-Engineering with Floating Wetlands

Solving South Africa’s devastating water issues, compounded by drought and destruction of wetlands, has fallen to a new generation of engineers who work ecologically with nature, in many cases mimicking natural phenomena like floating wetlands.

Wetlands supply us with much more than water. Besides supporting populations of fish and other edible resources, in some instances they control flooding, recharge natural underground water sources, and can be used effectively to clean waste. Simply, aquatic plant life acts as a ‘decomposer’, filtering and trapping harmful substances, sediments and nutrients in their roots, and through a kidney-like process allows microbes to absorb them for their own growth. So effective is this process, that wetlands have historically become a convenient system for the disposal of waste, be that sewage or industrial, as a result polluting not just the wetlands but rivers, and soaking down into groundwater bodies and the soil needed for agriculture.

The impacts are horrendous, and civil engineers have spent huge amounts of money finding, largely, concrete solutions. However, one of the simplest answers lies in nature itself, with the phenomenon of floating wetlands. Naturally occurring floating islands are masses of vegetation that have broken away from a shoreline because their roots can no longer reach the soil. The mass of roots is buoyant and can grow to many hectares, supporting all manner of life.

The emergence of eco-engineers, who work ecologically with nature, has prompted thorough studies into how to salvage and recreate wetlands, and innovators have turned to nature for the answer and begun to create artificial floating islands. Yolandi Schoeman from Baoberry, an ecological engineering services company, is one of those innovators advocating for more sustainable solutions.

Wetland warrior

Schoeman is a finalist in the eco-innovation category of the Eco-Logic Awards, and a third prize recipient of the City of Johannesburg’s Green Challenge Fund, for her work on the Baoberry floating island treatment called AqueouSphere, which creates a micro-habitat for the surrounding species in which it is placed.

One of the reasons the prototype caught the judges’ attention is its adaptability and wide application: not only can Baoberry’s islands be used for waste and stormwater treatments but also for shoreline remediation, fish spawning, conservation practices, living walkways, erosion control, aesthetic water-scaping, carbon sequestration, and community projects. “The beauty of the AqueouSphere is that it can create sustainable businesses, particularly for local agricultural communities, and by default inspire other downstream businesses, and comes in either wet or dry formats,” says Schoeman.

The plants used are varied, depending on their ultimate purpose. Results from the AqueouSphere prototypes we have placed around Johannesburg are proving that Cyperus sp and Typha sp are showing levels of manganese, iron, aluminium and other contaminants being absorbed into the roots and foliage, while promoting a reduction in algae and improved overall ecosystem function and health,” says Schoeman.

Costs for one square metre of an AqueouSphere starts at R1500 (including the plants). AqueouSpheres are made from a combination of Polyethylene and natural materials, and are non-toxic. The plants are selected based on the environment and ecosystem characteristics they will be introduced into, and the type of contaminants needing to be removed from the ecosystem. They have an indeterminate lifespan and once positioned, begin working immediately. The ultimate result is that not only is water made cleaner (but not necessarily drinkable), the environment begins to recover and a natural balance is restored, ensuring that compromised wetlands do not die. AqueouSpheres can also be integrated in constructed wetlands to improve efficiency.

Broader applications

Mines could find AqueouSpheres enormously helpful, particularly those with acid mine drainage issues because they will survive long after mining operations cease and therefore continue to remove contaminants so that a functional ecosystem remains.

Water activist Anthony Turton is particularly concerned with how mining impacts wetlands, given that they are the natural source of many national rivers. The Upper Vaal water management area is a case in point, being the source for the Vaal River.

“There are a myriad of wetlands that are relatively functional in this area, yet underlying them all is a massive coal deposit. When that is mined, it will destroy the headwaters of one of our major national water resources,” he explains.

Turton endorses floating islands, and Schoeman’s innovation in particular, because both work with nature as opposed to working against it. “Wetlands do for free what engineered solutions do at great cost.”

Trusted technology

Floating wetlands have proven their capability at Hartebeespoort Dam in Gauteng. In 2009 the project Metsi a Me, loosely translated from Tswana meaning ‘my water’, was implemented and included floating islands. Petrus Venter from the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, and the programme’s leader, explains that biological intervention was needed to protect and recover the destruction of diversity and aquatic ecosystems in the Dam and upper catchment, resulting from the 2.8million people living upstream. Close to 1000km of an upstream river and 56km of shoreline of the Dam has been destroyed or seriously impacted.

Experimental though it was in 2009, Metsi a Me has become the most watched, and largest floating wetlands project globally, to Venter’s knowledge, and has been recognised and supported internationally by Finland and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with interest shown by China in terms of copying the project.  The diversity of the aquatic eco-systems, such as fish, plankton and birdlife also improved dramatically. “The Red Knobbed Coot numbers, for example, had increased from 600 in 2009 to 4 600 in the past couple of years.

“Ultimately nature at work, prodded by artificial intervention, has re-introduced oxygen to the bottom of the dam, which helps to block the nutrients released from the sediment that algae thrives on. Even historical phosphate pollution has been reduced,” says Venter.

“We may not be able to control water pollution completely, that is the political state of the country unfortunately, but we can try to improve conditions for the future and sustain those. Floating islands have the magic to help us achieve this objective.”

Natural order

Continuing testing and monitoring is crucial, says Schoeman because  “there is little to no research on social sustainability fused with technology that has economic benefit. There has to be public participation, else there is a chance that artificial interventions, such as AqueouSpheres, will be ineffective due to ignorance or misunderstanding.

This has led to Schoeman spearheading The Ecological Engineering Institute of Africa, which is anticipated to be a centre of excellence, research and training facility across the continent, and will be motivating for eco- engineering post- and under-graduate degrees. “Largely we will be setting out to eliminate the skepticism that surrounds eco-engineering, particularly within municipalities that need to be swayed from concrete solutions. However, we have to bear in mind that eco-engineering is still relatively young in South Africa.”

By Kerry Dimmer

See earthworks Issue 31, April-May 2016 for the full feature.

Earthworks Magazine article

Isn’t Blockchain interesting?hmmm?

Cortana_Help_You

Isn’t it rather odd when you look at the people who are on the board of directors of this company?

Doesn’t it make one wonder? What are their motives? I mean their true motives!?!

Just a thought when pondering Blockchain and AI?…

cognizant board of directors

Considering that probably as much as 85% of the worlds population are enslaved to AI already, Blockchain is merely the tool that will assimilate all these separate AI systems into one amalgamation. Isn’t this what we want?

Strange then that this choice to allow ourselves to be subject to this enslavement will ultimately end up with many of us extremely unhappy with this so called freedom of choice! The same way that so many pro-brexit supporters felt  when we realised that the UK should have stayed in the EU and leaving was a very very poor and short sighted decision! Arent any of you just a little bit curious as to what is truly going on in this crazy world we live in today? Wonder a bit more before it’s too late for your children!

To Be Or Not To Be?

Rodin-The-Thinker

Well we can only try our best, at least if you try I think one can sleep well at night, after all a good night’s rest is good for the brain and a healthy brain is a brain that comes up with good sound positive ideas…sometimes! Sometimes not and that’s okay too.
Give your body and brain the rest it requires and feed the gut goodness and you feed the brain goodness!

I suppose in a strange way we are all trying to express our disappointment and anger with ourselves but we are maybe a little too afraid to take the kind of responsibility it takes to admit that! Here’s the strange thing or rather the not so strange thing but rather the very very normal “not so much spoken about” thing that every single human has in common! We all have our problems no matter what background we come from and these problems are all relevant to ourselves no matter what shape or form they happen to take. The Truth: The world will always have problems and that’s okay too.

How else are we suppose to evolve if not for problems! Problems provide us with context! Problems provides us with perspective if we choose to see that problems are not a negative thing. Choosing to see problems as negative is in fact what proceeds and compounds into further problems upon problems until we reach the point where we cannot see the wood for the trees! We are lost! how did I get myself here you ask?

Its not so much the seeking of glory or success or the aquisition of happiness (Chasing the Dragon or the pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow) that defines us and allows us to flourish! In fact quite the opposite! Often this results in total downright failures!
Failures are problems but again I will say this: not completely negative!
How do we learn? we learn from our mistakes, our errors, our failures!

Dave Mustaine, responsible for creating the band Megadeth responded once quite tearfully in an interview how 20 years later after being kicked out of another very world famous metal band (who many of us now know as Metallica) that ultimately he still felt like such a failure and it was because he had based his metric for success upon always trying to best the band that had kicked him out all those years ago, sadly such a path is destined to make one feel like a failure, although many of us would view such an individual as extremely successful in that particular industry!

Like I said it’s all relevant and no matter your roots or your background, your problems are going to feel like they are insurmountable to you alone no matter whether you drive a flashy sports car and jet-set  around the world to chill at your various million dollar mansions but still feel like the loneliest soul on the planet or whether you are destitute and stealing your brother’s motorcycle to sell it for your next hit!!?? You are still going to have problems!

If I can share my findings or solutions to problems with anyone and it strikes a nerve in a positive empowering way then so be it, if somebody else doesn’t like what I share , so be it, we cannot please everyone!

And we should never try to! That is a path that will ultimately lead to both self destruction, misleading of others and perhaps even ultimately the downfall of society!
I for one am returning to my belief in understanding the within before I even comprehend trying to tackle the outer world, along the way I can start clutching at the outer straws and begin the unravelling! To understand ourselves after all, is to learn how to Love ourselves, for how are we to understand how to Love another if we don’t first Love ourselves and all our problems that are tagging along for the ride!

I wish you all peace and strength and confidence to confront your problems and then accept them and then move on to confront the new problems that present themselves for that is how we grow and that is what is naturally inherent within us all if we care to look deeper! “Shrek” once said ogres are like onions! you have to peel off the layers until you get to the heart of the problem and bingo you find another problem!

Try to enjoy the climb and stop trying to focus on the summit as your pinnacle of success otherwise you miss out all the beautiful details and intricacies of what life has to offer along this wonderful journey we call Life!

To be or not to be? that really is the question but we have the choice to make that decision, in the end the outcome doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but what does matter is did you enjoy the journey along the way?

If you enjoyed this article and found solace in it please pass on the message to people who are important to you, heck pass it on to complete strangers!? I’m positive every single human can relate to this even if they don’t think so at the time of reading for whatever reason”problem” may or may not be afflicting them at the time!

SERIOUSLY! This Is What Going Viral can do!!!!!

H&M

@CharlesMBlow should perhaps have considered the further implications of his tweet!?
Now I am a very open minded individual and accept pretty much any belief or creed or views and opinions but I do not accept violence!

Look at what @CharlesMBlow’s little tweet has escalated to so far!
H&M Stores Ransacked and Damaged in South Africa 

I totally understand where he is coming from and don’t feel any feelings of contempt
for the man. I don’t even know him. I just think that we have to be very careful about the content that we decide to publish on today’s social media networks, given that there is more than enough hardship to go around in the world without sparking riots over what IMHO was not meant to incite racism! just a little tactless.

Yes I agree it probably was a little naieve and a little ignorant of H&M in the way that they chose to execute that particular item of clothing and I do not by any means condone complacency with regards to racial prejudice nor any form of prejudice!
It makes my blood boil when I think about the atrocities that have been visited upon all humanity regardless of social backgrounds, race, color or decree, faith or beliefs!

But for @CharlesMBlow to carelessly post a tweet like this without fully considering the global repercussions is just plain downright irresponsible! And lets face it when you put yourself out in the public eye which we all do now on a daily basis, then yes we must be very careful about what we say or rather what we write because once it’s on the internet, regardless of whether a Mod takes it down or not (and to be fair I haven’t seen a lot of that happening in the history of twitter or facebook or youtube or any other social platform) It will be retweeted and flung across to the farthest reaches of the planet before you can say the word “racist”  and might just result in such actions as was recently seen in South Africa!

Whats next? Are we going to go and lynch every single entity that practices cruelty to animals, will Trump get strung up at the Gallows, will we smash up every single Security Robot just because we don’t agree with it patrolling our neighbourhood?Or heaven forbid some numpty presses the damn button like in Hawaii but next time on purpose because of ignorance!

Everyone just needs to calm the hell down and stop getting so worked up about stuff! Seriosuly! Like I have tweeted already, there is other atrocities that are far more offensive than a cute little boy in a hoody or that warrant our acute attention such as the state of Japan and the Pacific after Fukushima?! Seriously! get over yourselves! If everyone continues with these tweetishly knee-jerk reactions then we are no better than some “world leaders” who have unfortunately taken to this ridiculous platform for updates on the world’s state of affairs! Seriously? grow up!

JUST SAY NO!

Wait  isnt  that  so  cliched!  or  is  it  just  that  we  never  actually  grasp  the  brevity  of  that  phrase?

Heres  my  response  to  a  recent  post  from  ARM  (Animal  Recovery  Mission)
posted  here  : animalrecoverymission faceook profile  Read  this  first  !  and  then  check   out  my  response!
And  heres  the  video:  Burnham Dairy Exposed!

Burnham-dairy9(Some  viewers  may  find  the  video  in  the  link  above  disturbing  as  it  contains scenes  of  cruelty  to  animals  and  graphic  violence)

My Response:

Of c0urse the CEO would say that , 1ts in the companies best interests to lie about the what r3ally goes on in the agri industry!
I’m so sick to de@th of all these evil greedy capitalistic pigs treating p00r innocent animals like an object you can just use and abuse and then discard like everything else!
Arent You????

I think though the contributing factor here is not only awarene55 and education of our youth! thats only the f1rst stage to closing the door on these b@stards! The biggest impact to bringing these people to justice and putting and end to there evils would be for us all to stop supporting these industries that are harming livestock and wildlife alike, that  would take disruption to a wh0le new level!

STOP buying meat, STOP buying dairy, STOP buying leather, STOP buying animal skins, STOP buying palm oil, STOP buying sugar! get an electric car if you live in the city and a diesel if you travel long distances, harvest your rain water , reuse your grey water , install solar panels, install wind turbines ! If your going to study anything this year Fuck public speaking courses, that should come naturally if you feel passionate enough about something, go and start yourself on a Permaculture course because famine is on its way! just St0p 3verything you are doing to support all these damaging ways and start changing your own life to support a different w@y, a way
that reduces your consumption and the impact on the environment and the beautiful animals that inhabit it otherwise
someday soon there will be nothing left for anybody to enjoy and love and cherish ! !!! !!!   2018 is a year for P@ssion so go out there and get as many people aware of this cruelty and stop supporting it!!!! you can start by visiting

1.Causes

2. Care2.com
to start a petition!

3.Ethical Consumer

4.Fundrazr

5.Justgiving

6.Moveon.org

7.38 Degrees

To name just a few of many great causes! you can of course then go on to create your own custom petitions and or fundraising for a charity or NGO of your own choosing!

The above links are not in any sort of order although some of them do have a more secure website such as causes.com which is reassuring when making donations or sharing details!

Some Guidance on how to write a petition:

https://www.aauw.org/resource/how-to-start-a-petition/

https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Petition

http://templatelab.com/petition-templates/