Category Archives: Nature

What 2022 brought to us and looking forward to 2023

Liberation

Lots of people thought 2022 would be the year of liberating us from that terrible virus which got the world in its grip. Though not a liberation became several people on their part, an even more senseless killing ‘disease’ came unto Europe.

The leader of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who would love to find a renewed Soviet Union, said at the beginning of the year he would bring liberation to the Ukrainians. Instead, his “bloodstained” tyranny plunged Europe into the war on a scale not seen since 1945 as Russian troops advanced on Kyiv on Thursday night, February 24th.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is shocking and disgraceful. It is the latest terrible aggression by the Putin regime and the latest damaging conflict in our world, with so many people being killed or injured, losing loved ones and seeing their homes destroyed.

2022 has been a tough year to navigate, with a series of political and economic crises that continue to shape our world.

One powerful man

Who could have ever imagined that one man, from up north, would single-handedly turn the world upside down? However, he has succeeded very well in not only bringing black snow over several people, and literally turning the landscape blood-red, he has severely disrupted economic life in several countries.

Following two long pandemic years – with many still experiencing the effects – we’ve witnessed the outbreak of war in Ukraine and could feel in our purse how it affects us also in our region. We cannot ignore this war that has affected many citizens. At our new WordPress Site “Some View on the World” we have given a voice to those suffering in the conflict as well as reporting the situation on the ground and providing the expertise needed to understand geopolitics.

Picturing what is happening in the world

As best we can, we try to give a picture of what is happening in the world on the continuation of “Our World“. 2022 was another year of figuring out how we would be able to keep up with bringing political and religious news alongside our other spiritual websites. We hope to find that balance further in 2023.

By nature, I am not an easy person and have dared to clash several times by speaking my mind outright. Even in the articles, I publish here and on my other websites, my thinking is based on my personal opinion. One can agree or disagree with that view. I, therefore, appreciate that people also dare to express their opinions. But in general, there is a little reaction in that area. Still, I hope the articles brought, can make people think. For instance, I was happy to find that my op-eds on Christmas in the Daily Telegraph were able to bring a debate after all.

Hoping to expose wrongdoings

With the news we place at Some View on the World we do hope we also could be able to expose the mistreatment and deaths of migrant workers in Qatar for almost a decade as well as other wrong attitudes towards people as well as animals and plants. At my personal site and this site as well, in particular on “Some View on the World” we continue to bear witness to the climate crisis as it destroys lives, uproots whole communities and changes the course of our shared future. We hope for 2023 to be able to bring regular news about our environment.

The fallout from the January 6 hearings and Donald Trump’s presidency could get our attention, and we hold our hearts for the intentions of Mr Trump, wanting to come back as president of the U.S.A..

Independence of my websites

For all the reporting we do here, and on my other websites, I would like to remind you, readers, that there is no financial support from companies anywhere and that all reporting is based on personal and independent reporting, where I keep searching for this site among texts that appear on the net what could possibly be fascinating for you to read as well, and thus to reblog them here.

2022 could bring lots of blogs on the net of which we presented some selections over here too. At Firefox several could find their way into ‘Pocket’, like: Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid, How to Want Less, A Neurologist’s Tips to Protect Your Memory, Why You Should Really Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight, A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything, a.o. most read.

Uncovering and unravelling

Whether on social, political or religious issues, we are eager to seek the truth and expose false reports. Exposing wariness is not always appreciated, but is very important in our view. To do that, we can count on several investigative journalists and some newspapers to join in the pursuit of that muddle, so that together we can make certain things known to the world while others would rather see them covered up.

At Some View on the World we have maintained round-the-clock coverage from several places, not always bringing nice news, like mass graves of Bucha, Izium and many war crimes.

The war accelerated a global economic slump, sending costs soaring, throttling energy supplies and raising the spectre of blackouts, malnutrition and a winter of discontent across dozens of countries. As global food supplies fluctuated, we reported on the hunger gripping the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. In 2022, it became impossible to ignore those victims in poorer countries. But sadly, we had to observe how little the public cared about those people living far from their homes. And closer, many did not wish to have refugees, so we could speak of a refugee crisis again this year.

Here in Belgium, the influx of refugees seems completely uncontrollable and many, even with small children, shamefully had to sleep outside several nights through rain and wind. This while in Great Britain, the reception was also not going smoothly and people started looking for a housing solution in Rwanda, and proceeded to deportations.

Condition of mother earth

A lot of people do not want to realise that things are very bad for Mother Earth. To this, in 2022, several scientists again tried to make it clear to the world that we need to think seriously about this and take action. We were confronted with UK’s hottest summer, a very early and long great Summer in Belgium, drought in Europe, and the accompanying fires.

Heating the houses became for many difficult to keep in the household budget. It looked like mother nature felt the pressure on the energy market, as well. Everywhere in Europe, we had extremely high temperatures for the time of year. In Belgium 2022 became the warmest year since measurements.

The climate emergency ran as a constant thread through much of our Some View on the World journalism in 2022.

While many European countries were suffering from a shortage of water, they had it in other countries, like Pakistan, too much. Devastating floods in Pakistan, encountering one of its worst natural catastrophes, Sydney’s wettest year on record, ferocious heatwaves in the US southwest and the costliest Atlantic hurricane for years, could catch our attention.

At Cop27 in Egypt, the Guardian asked the tough questions. Though, we did not give so much attention to the changing tactics of activists, now more likely to throw soup at a painting as they are to glue themselves to a public highway.

Uprising

In my view, many other protests could get our attention earlier, as they were carried out in a more correct way. Coming from a not expected corner, sparked by the death in custody of a young woman, Mahsa Amini.

Once again, we were able to conclude in Afghanistan and Iran that there is no improvement in human rights yet. The Iranian authorities tightly control reporting inside the country, so we counted on the teams of the Guardian to redouble efforts to reach protagonists to tell their stories. Social media remained also important for this, so it was satisfying to see the Guardian Instagram video on why Iranians are risking everything for change reach more than 2 million viewers.

It is impossible for me to have news sources everywhere, which is why we must also call on professional companies, for which we must also pay. Financial aid is therefore very welcome to cover these expenses. Nevertheless, we try to be as aware as possible of the general events, for which we also make further use of the known news channels and reliable TV channels and newspapers.

United States debacle

In terms of exposure, it was imperative to look at the Trumpists who still claim high and low that the US elections were forged.

The country which was formed on the idea that it could be a free world where everybody could express himself freely and would not be bounded by limitations through a government, in 2022 came to see deep political divisions, caused by a man who as 45th president of the U.S.A. did mutiny on that state and brought democracy in danger. His party made the ongoing climate crisis and racial, economic and health inequalities worsened. It was impossible to ignore the fallout from the January 6 hearings and Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as his willingness to come back as president.

The repeal of Roe v Wade provided a divisive backdrop to the November midterm elections. The conservative, or better said, the extremist Christians in the U.S., made it possible that women lost even the right to their own bodies. They also did not want to give an eye for mother nature nor for all those poor Americans who have no house or anywhere to live except on the streets, where many in the last weeks of the year found their dead by Winter storm Elliott. Buffalo got the worst hit by that bomb cyclone.

Political storms

In 2022 there were more significant elections in America which caught our attention. In Brazil, there were an anxious few weeks as Jair Bolsonaro wanted to do like his friend Trump, saying the votes were falsified. Finally, he suffered a chastening defeat by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who completed a comeback from prison to the presidential palace.

To our annoyance, we in northern Europe had to observe an inverse movement towards South America. The far right in Sweden, Italy and Israel, could get most seats in parliament. Despite her political prowess, the 45-year-old from Rome, whose strong will and determination has drawn comparisons to Margaret Thatcher, Giorgia Meloni has spent three decades fighting her way to the top of Italian politics. She is clear evidence that go-getters win. In October last year, after Brothers of Italy managed to draw votes away from the Northern League in its northern strongholds in local elections, a secret recording revealed Matteo Salvini hitting out at Meloni, calling her a “pain in the ass”.

In Belgium, too, the newspapers disguised several polls, clearly showing that the right is making a strong rise and where voices can already be heard that NVA will have to make the choice to form a majority coalition with Vlaams Belang.

As for British politics, prime ministers came and went with alarming regularity and the nation buried the pound, Queen Elizabeth and its global standing in quick succession. For 10 days in September, the future of the monarchy dominated the newsroom. The crazy game of the English conservatives who wanted their leader to put his capsones under the benches and to ask the people to stay at home because of Corona and not to have parties seemed to think it normal that their leader could do that and lie about it too. The whole world could laugh at the blunders of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, while the British citizen seemed not to mind. In any case, they did not demand new elections and left it to the Tory members to elect the new prime minister.

In Australia Labour could note a historic federal election victory.

Economical storms

The struggle between Russia and Ukraine is also a struggle between the Putin regime and Western Europe.

The war accelerated a global economic slump, sending costs soaring, throttling energy supplies and raising the spectre of blackouts, malnutrition and a winter of discontent across dozens of countries. But we also noticed that certain companies were abusing the war in Ukraine to raise their prices.

Cereals and gas were not released enough by blockades from the Russians, which caused major food problems, especially in Africa. In Western Europe we felt our energy prices skyrocket due to the pressure on the export and import markets. In Belgium, it took forever for the government to take measures to mitigate the costs of its citizens. After several months of calls by the Labour Party PvdA/PtB to reduce VAT to 6% and by their appeals to the public to put pressure on the government, things finally came to a head.

Health matters

2022 received big leaps forward for Alzheimer’s treatments, bowel cancer prevention and understanding depression.

In several countries there was joy that people could come together again to party and that the elderly should no longer be separated from their children and grandchildren. The lockdown had made it very clear how important personal contact is. It was striking how in 2022 teenagers and twens still had many psychological difficulties, which were not resolved. Bad enough, many could not be admitted in time, causing unnecessarily too many young people to die, while this could have been avoided.

Post-pandemic in Europe in danger

For months Europe tried to combat Covid-19. We started the annual overview with the relaxation of the Corona measures. But at the end of December, they now appear to be endangered because Europe does not want to take strict measures for the Chinese who are now allowed by their government to travel outside China again, which will allow them to spread the increased disease further outside China. With the coming Chinese New Year, they could start a new pandemic as in Belgium, it started in Antwerp.

For much of the world, a sort of post-pandemic normality has resumed – with one striking exception: the country where it all began. Chinese leaders faced a rapid spread of public anger caused by their draconian Covid lockdown policy. Only after some activists could ignite a revolt against the lockdown and more people joined them on the streets, even coming to shout to get rid of the Chinese leader and communist party, the government got seriously afraid and eased the lockdown measures. After they had done that another hell broke down, the virus rapidly spreading and killing so many people the mortuaries could not handle it anymore.

While the Chinese seem to be in the first Corona wave, as it were, the rest of the world has gotten out over time and everyone is now looking forward to a shock-free 2023.

We too look forward to an ending of the war in Ukraine and to a peaceful solution between Kosovo and Serbia.

At Some View of the World and at my other personal Space, we shall try to bring you up-to-date news of the happenings in the world, and here on this website, we hope we shall still be able to offer you and share with you, some worthwhile articles to read in this coming New Year.

 

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A sincere thank you to our readers and supporters – wherever you are in the world,
we wish you a wonderful end to 2022 and an optimistic 2023.

°°°

In case you like our work,
do not forget that we always can use your support.

To help us defray the costs
any gift is welcome at
Bankaccount: Giro: BE37 9730 6618 2528
BIC: ARSPBE22
With mention: support websites

For which we thank you wholeheartedly

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Additional reading

  1. G7 agreed to ban or phase out Russian oil and gas imports
  2. 2022 the year of fearing some wars

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Food, Headlines - News, Health affairs, History, Lifestyle, Nature, Political affairs, Publications, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Beautiful Breathtaking Sunset And A Poem

Dra. Martha Andrea Castro Noriega, MD

SUNSET

Now the sun is sinking
In the golden west;
Birds and bees and children
All have gone to rest;
And the merry streamlet,
As it runs along,
With a voice of sweetness
Sings its evening song.

Cowslip, daisy, violet,
In their little beds,
All among the grasses
Hide their heavy heads;
There they’ll all, sweet darlings,
Lie in the happy dreams.
Till the rosy morning
Wakes them with its beams.

art taking pictures photography sunsets puestas de sol en este bello mundo en el que vivimos dra martha castro noriega tijuana mexico

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Gone away from the suntimes

The Boom children or Boomers knew very well how important our relationship with sun and earth was. Many of them, being called flower children or hippies, enjoyed the rays of the sun, letting them infiltrate on their bare skin, swimming naked in the wild rivers.

Mankind has evolved under the sun and at regular intervals had a very close and special relationship with it. It even became so bad that some people came to worship the sun. Others considered themselves the centre point of the universe and thought that everything circled around them.

Not everywhere on earth have people got the same cycles, though in fact there came to be counted 365 days, with short ones and longer ones (though now they know it is a 24-hour cycle). In some countries, the sun became too hot, in other regions they were pleased to get some warmth from the sun, whilst at other places, they were happy to have summer and winter. Though the dark winter period was not loved so much. For that reason, some brought more light in those darker days by fires and lights.

Summer, winter, hot and cold, we are part of it and can not escape it, even when we try to go to other places every time the season changes. Lots of elderly British overwinter in Spain. They move around like birds move around when the season changes. As such, we can not ignore that the cycles of nature have a profound effect on us and our health, even when we have evolved as humans to be part of this cycle.

Unfortunately, our modern world breaks these laws of nature. We don’t truly experience the sun, or true darkness, winter, or even hot and particularly cold. We have moved indoors with our artificial blue lit world and temperature control environment.

We are not going to bed to sleep, like the chickens go to sleep when it gets darker. Even if it gets dark, and we have to turn on lights to still see something, we want to continue our day, instead of laying ourselves to rest. Living this way, in a certain sense, we have brought our body (and soul) in imbalance with nature.

Instead of doing natural hunting to get to their food, the majority of mankind became a sedentary society. Sitting most of the day and not giving their body enough physical work to stay healthy. In the 20th and 21st centuries, they became aware they had to do something about physical fitness and as such created several systems for exercising their body.

Having lost the intense relationship with mother earth and the physical food, man also lost the spiritual food.
Throughout the centuries, humans did search for a relationship to be taken between the components of nature and its phenomena. He even went so far as to view natural phenomena as gods that could overpower him, because they were no match for that mother nature.

But with the advancing centuries and new knowledge, man came to understand natural phenomena better, but increasingly forgot who was actually behind them. To supplement what man lacked, he began to acquire more materialistic things that also took him further away from spiritual matters. Due to the fast pace of our lives, man lost control and lost the connection with his Creator, overlooking the necessity of spiritual food!

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Preceding

Being alive and living life don’t always go hand in hand

The Cares of Life

Looking at an Utopism which has not ended

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

New form of body exercises gaining popularity

Everyday activities to keep you fit and healthy

Mini-MAX-malism: A Bigger Approach to Less is More

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Additional reading

  1. 2015 Health and Welfare
  2. Religion and believers #4 Order of Nature and Polytheism on the way to monotheism
  3. the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life
  4. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  5. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  6. Consciously or unconsciously forming a world-view and choosing to believe or not to believe in God
  7. Melt the Ice of Form and Become a Blessing to the World
  8. The Garden Outreach Project: GOTYOURBACK Initiative
  9. Soar to Places Unknown
  10. Keeping healthy whilst not going to far away from home
  11. Brits have less access to green space than ever – and it’s getting worse
  12. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  13. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  14. Reasons why Christianity is declining rapidly in America

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Related

  1. Beautiful Breathtaking Sunset And A Poem
  2. The Crone of Winter, by Molly Remer
  3. Full Cold Moon
  4. Last Full Moon of 2022
  5. Winter Solstice
  6. Orion On Relationship With The Beauty & Bounty of Mother Earth
  7. Mother Earth Within
  8. The Inlet
  9. God Has Competition
  10. With God on Our Side
  11. We are all brothers and sisters of the same human family
  12. Unsullied Minds
  13. Seven Deadly…Gyms?
  14. What Would it Take?
  15. How can I change My Lifestyle?
  16. Changing your source of motivation
  17. Surviving Winter: A Guide to Maintaining Your Fitness Levels
  18. How Stretching Can Improve Flexibility and Health
  19. How Physical Exercise Makes Your Brain Better?
  20. The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Loneliness in Older Adults
  21. Endurance Pilates-why we do Pilates the “correct” way!
  22. Self-Assessment, a Psychological exercise
  23. Right way at of living
  24. What is health and its importance?
  25. What Is The “Exercise Flu”?
  26. Feed the Body and Nourish the Soul this Thanksgiving – Eat with an Attitude of Gratitude!
  27. The Beauty of His Temple
  28. Five Ways to Accelerate Your Spiritual and Emotional Growth This Year: Adding a Spiritual Exercise
  29. More New Year’s Exercises
  30. See beyond our own time
  31. Taking care of Mother Earth like how I take care of myself
  32. Come Spirit, Come
  33. Prayer Life

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Evergreen trees and Decorations with festive foliage

For the festive events throughout the year, there are lots of people who not think about the reason why those celebrations are there. Others perhaps do know the origin of the festivals but consider it not so important anymore for what reason there was a celebration or why we should not take it as an ordinary civil celebration without any connotation to earlier connections.

There are people who consider it a special day for a special event of which the actual day itself is not important and as such Jesus might be born in October though many celebrate his birthday in December. They forget that the day they celebrate the birth of Christ is really a day celebrated by heathen people for the god of light. That is also one of the reasons real Christians would abstain from celebrating December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Legalistic people are very scrupulous about observing a festival on the exact day. Others consider every day as a gift from God, to be equally received with thanksgiving. {Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?}

Later, even people came to believe that they were celebrating the birth of God, forgetting that the Only One True God had never a birth and is an eternal being (= having no beginning or birth and no end or death).

It is wrong to think that early Christians would have taken over the pagan festival and converted it into a celebration of their lord’s birth.  It was only many centuries later that the Roman Catholic Church, to gain more baptisms, introduced those Celtic festivals into their own year circle so that the people could continue their long traditions.

The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the Devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime. It survived further in the custom, also observed in Germany, of placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house during the midwinter holidays. {Christmas tree holiday decoration – encyc. Britannica}

Abies alba1.jpg

Silver fir (Abies alba)

The evergreen tree for many people has something special, it’s resisting warm and cold weather, seemingly growing for ages, in a certain way as many people surviving tree, declared possession of eternity. Those evergreen trees were and still are considered to provide oxygen, beauty, wood, paper, food, and medicine. Some people thought that by cutting down such an ‘eternal tree’ they could bring over endless life to themselves when they made it more beautiful with decorations and honoured it. By worshipping that decorated tree they hoped to show the gods how much they appreciated that tree and as such recognised their god’s creation and showed how it had become part of their life.

The Divine Creator did not create those evergreens to be cut to decorate it and not to use it for proper things, like using the wood for heating or making houses and furniture. Jehovah God knows the world loves those evergreens in another way than He wanted. But He wants His people not to do like the majority of mankind.

“2 Thus says the LORD,

“Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.

4 “They decorate [it] with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter.” (Jer 10:2-4 NAS)

Today too, we see people adorn the evergreen tree, with the idea it will not rot and stand long enough to pass the darker days, with silver and gold, like their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands, as is written in the Scriptures. (Ps 115:4 135:15 Esa 40:19,20) Many people bear it upon their shoulder or carry it into their house, and set it in its place, and it stands, from its place shall it not remove. They put gifts around it and have nice times around it, but also moments that they may cry unto it, yet can it not answer, nor save them out of their trouble. (Isa 46:7)

When we undertake such an action, we must be very careful how we have that decorated tree in the house and how we stand before it.

In many nations so-called Christians sing hymns to the Christmas tree, making it clear that in a certain way they are adoring it. How many on Christmas Eve do not sing: O Tannenbaum (Oh pine tree/O fir tree) It might well be that

When winter days are dark and drear
You bring us hope for all the year.

and as such one could agree that having the green tree with its lovely smell in the house, full of little light or small candles, it cheers the dark days up. We do agree that it can

bring us light in winter’s gloom

Some people do think those evergreen fir trees do not much good to our planet, because they do not clean the air like trees and shrubs with leaves. For them it does not matter so much to cut down such trees because that will not have a lot of impact on the carbon footprint.

Others who want to excuse themselves for keeping up that tradition of putting up all those lights at the end of the year and saying that they celebrate the light God has given us, claim that Jews do that too around this time. Probably they think of Chanukkah, which is by some Christians called the “Jewish Christmas”, though they are mistaken to connect it with Christmas, where many Christian also have a Santa bringing gifts. Historically the Jewish festival Hanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25, historically may have become one of the most popular Jewish religious observances that this year is celebrated from Monday, December 19 to Monday, December 26. It is not a big gift-giving event, so you won’t find massive “post-Hanukkah” sales on the Internet. Similarly, there are also no stockings hung by the chimney or anywhere else.

In Jewish and Jeshuaist families you shall mostly not find cut and decorated trees in the house. It can very well be, that dried flowers can be found in the living room here and there throughout the year, but that has nothing to do with Christmas or to be part of glorification. Though for Jeshuaists and Jehudiem that are married to a Christian it can be a “Hanukkah bush” or some Christmas decorations can also be found in the house. For them, it is 8 days for commemorating the miracle of the long-lasting oil in the rededicated Temple. It is not a high holiday as Christmas is for several Christians, but a minor holiday. Most of them choose a candle whose light is strong and beautiful and place it at the window so that it can be seen from outside as a sign that in the house lives a person who believes in the miracle of the single vial of oil that burned for the eight days of Chanukah during the time of the Second Temple. In a spiritual sense, oil represents Chochmah, or knowledge.

Further similarities might be the gathering and sharing of nice food. On Hanukkah, it is e.g., latkes or laht-kuh(s) (fried potato pancakes and sufganiyot (donuts).

Nothing beats the smell of fresh pine and spruce in the house.
The innate cosiness of twinkling lights is unbeatable when the sun sets before 4pm and by those extra lights we do not feel so depressed by the darkness of the season.

Christmas trees are not as bad for the planet as some might think, but their carbon footprints are still not great. It is hard to beat the smell of fresh pine and spruce at this time of year, so gardening writer Alice Vincent enlisted the help of florist Katie Isitt to help her dress her home for the festivities without relying on a tree.

Photo by Vladimir Konoplev on Pexels.com

Making wreaths and hanging them up in the house brings something from mother earth in the house. You can make them in such a variety and with so many sorts of plants and grasses that none has to be the same. We only may not forget to have a balance of lots of different things.

For colouring and decorating the house so that it feels “warmer” you can use a lot of materials. You can use as much home-grown, recycled and edible decoration as we could, and to go for different ideas, discuss it with friends and amateur gardeners.

Many gardeners have a selection of evergreens, and most of them use it to decorate their and other’s houses. when having selected armfuls of foliage, both deciduous and evergreen, you can recut the stems and put them in deep water to condition them.

Pooling foliage, flowers and decorating ideas, would be a perfect start to the festive season.

Photo by Vladimir Konoplev on Pexels.com

You also shall come to see how making decorations your self attributes so much more to the end of year season and fun. You shall come to feel thaa half the fun is trying different additions and deliberating what to discard and what to keep. It is tempting to throw too much in, and there you shall have to decide for certain pieces to definitely avoid evergreens and berries, just to ring the changes.

Katie comes up with some innovative suggestions – and five top tips you might like to try.

  1. Don’t be a fashion slave
  2. Rummage around for what you’ve got
  3. Don’t be afraid to let the mechanics show
  4. Speak to a florist
  5. Compost or keep it afterwards

Please consider finding our more, reading

about making your home into a feast for the senses with seasonal greenery – and yes, that includes sprouts. Emily Watson (emilytallulah.com), who specialises in flowers for weddings, events and weekly contracts, magnanimously offered to come and share a few pearls of design wisdom and artful techniques,: The Christmas decorations hiding in your garden

to fill your home with fragrant festive foliage – with a little help from innovative floral designer Katie Isitt, com to read the article: Forget the Christmas tree, here’s how to decorate with festive foliage

From stocking up on winter vegetables to protecting plants from frost, there is plenty to keep you busy in the garden this month: Gardening in December: what to plant and tidy in your garden this month

 

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Preceding

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

The True Significance of Jesus’ Birth

Sunshine for a New Year

The Proper Place of Excess

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Additional reading

  1. Only One God
  2. Jesus son of God
  3. Jesus Christ (the Messiah)
  4. God’s salvation
  5. Salvation is of the Jews
  6. When you believe Jesus is God: who do you think is the mediator? #1 Son of man
  7. Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
  8. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  9. The nativity of Jesus is the sunrise of the Bible
  10. Focus on outward appearances
  11. A Christmas thought: Abiding in Christ
  12. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  13. Thought for the Christmas time: A sense of history
  14. Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence
  15. No shepherds in the field in December
  16. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  17. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  18. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  19. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  20. People believing they need to celebrate the birth of God
  21. Which hero to celebrate in December 2020
  22. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  23. Called Immanuel does not mean to be Jesus being God
  24. Hosea Say What?
  25. Chanukah (Hanukkah) / Christmas – Facts or Fabels?
  26. The imaginational war against Christmas
  27. Tekufat Tevet – Darkness, gold moon and Light to look forward
  28. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults) (Some View on the World)
  29. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults) (Our World)
  30. Eight days of sprinkling lights
  31. A season for truth and peace
  32. Today’s thought “Those following the policies of the wrong leaders and popular people” (December 08)

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Related

  1. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?
  2. Christmas: Is it “Christian” or Pagan?
  3. Is Christmas Pagan?
  4. Christmas Origins Part 1 of 2
  5. The Origin of Christmas
  6. 25th December…why?
  7. The History of Christmas, simple to remember
  8. Caesar’s Census and God’s Sovereignty
  9. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
  10. Should we Celebrate Christmas?
  11. Should There Be Idolatry in Our Worship?
  12. Worshipping created things. The outward acts of their idolatry. Idolatry is Forbidden.
  13. Merry… What?
  14. Matthew 1:18-25 Commentary, Reflection, and Prayer
  15. Mary Listened
  16. Thoughts on the One behind Christmas
  17. The war on Christmas trees
  18. The Holy Tree of Glastonbury
  19. Chanukah (Hanukkah) / Christmas – Facts or Fabels?
  20. O Tannenbaum, 2018 Edition
  21. Oh Christmas tree, MY Christmas tree
  22. Christmas Tree
  23. christmas parties with nosy family
  24. Party Like a Celt: Festivals in Celtic Spirituality
  25. Celebrate heritage and history at the Dayton Celtic Festival
  26. Black Cats Howl and Pumpkins Gleam
  27. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  28. If I Were a Tree What Tree Would I Be?
  29. Warming the Heart – A Christmas Devotional
  30. A Christmas Story
  31. O Holy Night! (Repost)
  32. A Time of Hope
  33. Share the Spirit of Joy and Giving 🎁
  34. Subversive Joy
  35. Disconnections: December 31.18
  36. Cedarwood-Did You Know?
  37. Evergreen Beard Oil
  38. Pine Tree Information, Care, and Problems
  39. AList20: Gemma
  40. December 19th Look For An Evergreen Day
  41. Oh, Say, Can You See…a White Pine?
  42. Australia’s massive Christmas crisis looms
  43. Pennies from Heaven
  44. Rare Ingredients
  45. Christmas Eve – Lessons and Carols
  46. Regifting: Taboo or To Do?
  47. What Hanukkah’s Really About
  48. Tree Ritual
  49. O Christmas Tree, NO Christmas Tree?
  50. The Idol Christmas Tree
  51. Odds n Ends
  52. Bridging the Gap between Santa Claus and Jesus
  53. Tree Talk
  54. Tree worship and tree of wise ancestors’ spirits
  55. “Faith sees […] a giant oak in an acorn.” William Arthur Ward
  56. Tree Worship
  57. Worshipping the Seen and Unseen
  58. Will other religions survive your teachings or live in harmony with you Maitreya?
  59. Get outside and worship in the Tree Church.
  60. Triple Update: Demoniality, Cultus Arborum, Sickness in Hell
  61. Thus began the pulp-worshipers
  62. Finding the gods among their sacred trees
  63. The Real Meaning of Christmas

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Learning From Trees

The Little Mermaid

“There is a lot to learn from trees: their graceful free spirit when they fluidly sway in the breeze, their munificence when they open-heartedly give us shade and sustenance, their dauntlessness in the wildest and most tumultuous of storms, their endurance during a scathing drought and, in particular, their forbearance when we go about destroying them without a second thought.”

-The Little Mermaid, MMXVIII

Copyrights © 2016 The Little Mermaid. All Rights Reserved

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Ecogreen Christmas ideas for gifts

Although Christmas is a pagan festival that is also anchored in many Christian communities, this period is also a time of cosy togetherness that no one can be against.

In these dark days, many families make time for socialising as well as giving presents and wishing each other all the best for the coming year.

It’s not a bad idea to think about these gifts and how to make them as pleasant as possible for those around us.

THE PRODIGY OF IDEAS

Do you really want to save the planet and the lives of your children and grandchildren?
Then buy gifts that don't destroy nature.
Make the right choice.

Here are 10 supportive and sustainable gift ideas:

Books printed on recycled paper, notebooks and diaries made from recycled paper.

Gift voucher from an NGO or a non-profit organization.

Gift certificate from WWF, Greenpeace or SeaShepherd.

Give a tree.

Fair trade products.

Cosmetics not tested on animals
Sustainable and natural clothing.

Today more than ever it is important to choose consciously because our choices as consumers are the only possible tool to be able to really change things. Unfortunately we tend to forget it (me first of all) and let ourselves be carried away by compulsive buying, but we must learn more and more to ask ourselves questions when we buy goods or services, because only in this way can we hope to…

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Seasonal Writing

Random Specific Thoughts

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
― John Howard Bryant

I

Autumn breeze rustling brown leaves,
Littering the path home,
Veiled by an ochre gradient of life
Mortal, stunning and gorgeous –
Life is beautiful.


II

Large columns and broken tiles,
Newspaper scraps blanket the floor.
Abandoned sculptures and
Half-burnt manuscripts
Dwell in these hallways.


III

Gauzy clouds and a drizzle,
Deafening thunder; bursts of lightning
Shed light on these secrets of old
Unspoken whispers of pain
Drift through these carpeted halls.


IV

Midnight blue ink bleeds through
Struck out words, dry ideas
Wander lost and dreamily through these pages,
Twirling in the moonlight –
They sink into forgotten worlds.


V

The world outside cowers under nature’s wrath,
While words fail to appear,
These thoughts scream themselves sore;
Silenced by the downpour
But forever inspired by the falling leaf.

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall…

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How far does one wants to go smash and grab raid on drivers

It looks like London mayor Sadiq Khan wants to have less pollution by cars in Greater London. This can only be welcomed if such a plan takes into account the citizens of the metropolis, who are less able to buy such non-polluting cars.

Photo by Ben Kirby on Pexels.com

Mr Khan has confirmed the Ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) will be extended to the whole of Greater London by the end of August 2023. This includes Britain’s most popular airport, where travellers will be asked to pay £12.50 to drive into the Ulez zone, plus Heathrow’s existing £5 drop-off charge. For sure, this shall make it more expensive for all those who come out of the UK to visit London. (You also may not forget the continental Europeans now also have to buy a passport to visit the UK. – In my village that will cost me 350+ € for a passport valid for 5 years – but a person is not going to give so much extra money just for one visit to Britain.)

The previous Ultra-low emissions zone (launched by Mr Khan in April 2019) took already care that most tourist places in London were places to be avoided by car for many tourists. In a way, such low-emission zones can act as a deterrent to road users with older (and therefore more polluting) cars by charging them a daily fee to enter the zone.

When first introduced, the Ulez operated in the same area as the congestion charge, which currently charges £15 a day. In the mayor’s first expansion in October 2021, the zone stretched to cover everywhere within the North and South Circular roads.

However, what Mr Khan now presented would mean that the ultra low-emission zone will cover the whole of Greater London from August 29 2023. This including the area of Heathrow Airport.

Most petrol car owners whose vehicle was first registered before 2006, and most diesel car owners whose vehicles were first registered before 2015 will face the Ulez charge if they enter the zone. But also driving vans and motorcycles registered before 2007 shall have to face the charge.

It is hoped for that the new zone will reduce the number of the most polluting vehicles in the capital by a further 20,000 to 40,000 each day, City Hall said earlier this year.

Mr DiCaprio, the star of films such as Titanic, Catch Me if You Can and The Beach, is pleased with that proposition and took to social media to lavish praise on Mr Khan for expanding Ulez, saying:

 “[It] will mean five million more people breathing cleaner air, and will help to build a better, greener, fairer London for everyone..”

In 2019, he already praised Mr Khan

“for taking the lead on tackling air pollution in London”,

adding:

Photo by Darius Krause on Pexels.com

“Clean air is a human right.”

But there are a whole bunch of Greater London residents who do still have older cars or have relatives living outside London who want to visit them now and then, but will now face that extra toll.

Now Boris Johnson with several Tory members, like Mr Johnson’s fellow former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith; the former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling; and current minister for London, Paul Scully, are facing off against Leonardo DiCaprio in a row over Sadiq Khan’s decision to target motorists by expanding the London Ultra-low emission zone (Ulez).

Some 60pc of respondents to a public consultation opposed Mr Khan’s plans to expand Ulez across all of Greater London.

In the letter, which was coordinated by the Orpington MP Gareth Bacon, MPs said Mr Khan’s decision is

“undemocratic and a hammer blow to households’ budgets”.

However, they rightly point out that several households in the now designated area will fall under this additional cost, even though their housing already causes a heavy cost in the household budget. Of course, it cannot go on that those who have to work in the metropolis will have to watch how now from their wages that extra cost will leave them with even less household money.

The MPs said:

“The Ulez was never intended to apply to outer London. This is a smash and grab raid on drivers’ wallets that has nothing to do with air quality and everything to do with Khan’s mismanagement of [Transport for London’s] finances. And it comes at the worst possible time for household income.”

Despite insisting that he would not go ahead with Ulez expansion if there was overwhelming opposition to it, Mr Khan told the Telegraph last week:

“I didn’t call a referendum; this was a consultation.”

Photo by Cameron Gawn on Pexels.com

The idea of reducing emissions from cars can be lauded, but then one has to provide a dignified alternative. In that respect, public transport, especially with the underground, is not so bad, but it will still need further improvement so that people are not stuck like sardines to each other in overcrowded underground cars.

Mr Khan wants to go even further, having direct charges levied for the use of roads, including road tolls, distance or time-based fees, congestion charges and charges designed to discourage the use of certain classes of vehicle, fuel sources or more polluting vehicles. He is considering to roll out a “Singapore-style” network of toll roads across London once drivers have switched to electric vehicles. The London mayor said that road pricing will be introduced to replace the congestion charge and levies for the Ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) that could use a network of cameras across the capital.

Mr Khan reaffirmed his flagship Ulez policy on Thursday as part of Transport for London’s business plan to invest £8.1 billion in London’s road and rail networks.

Improvements to the capital’s public transport system include replacing Piccadilly line trains with a new fleet that would have the capability to be run driverless if the Government signs-off money to upgrade signals and platforms.

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Holiday season and BBC being questioned

Since we came back from our Summer trip, we noticed at BBC Breakfast and in other news broadcastings on BBC 1 we are not able any more to watch the local or London News. We only come to see a red page with the notice we are not allowed to see that broadcasting in our area (Belgium).

Normally, my day starts with the Breakfast show, me wanting to know what might or should get our attention that day. It is strange the notice let us know it is a matter of copyrights, that we are not able to see that part of the news, whilst at BBC World, luckily we still can see the whole newsbroadcasting.

Furthermore, in recent years, we cannot rid ourselves of the opinion that the BBC seems to be repeating more and more. Since BBC First was all about repeats, we had given up on that channel, provided we felt the extra payment for that channel was then unnecessary. For BBC 1, BBC 2 and BBC World, we still pay extra in our television subscription (which includes Science and Discovery Science in that package)

ITV we cannot receive here in the middle of Belgium, but we are lucky the VRT (or Flemish television) buys a lot of its series so that we can enjoy them even without annoying advertisements in between.

Concerning the BBC we are not the only ones who get the impression the national public broadcaster is taking fewer risks in the last few months. The number of new shows on the BBC has fallen by almost half. In its annual report, Ofcom, the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom, said that the BBC is increasingly reliant on returning series, many of which have been going for decades.

I am sad to note that this also happens on Flemish television, where on VRT 1 they have been broadcasting repeats of “FC De Kampioenen” (F.C. The Champions) a long-running Flemish sitcom chronicling the (mis)adventures of a fictional local football team, for “ages”, for which there are remarkably still many viewers. But last year, the television season seemed to end as early as March/April, on which then almost no new productions were shown.

The private channels seem to be in the same bed ill, but there one may wonder why they have created so many channels, when these then fill up their programming anyway with repeats of each other’s programmes. Sure, it’s all about sending as many adverts into the world as possible. But they would do better to charge more for these commercials and send fewer of them to the viewer. In any case, we at home only watch VTM News and ignore everything else. We don’t feel like being orendulously annoyed by the adverts that constantly interrupt films and series.

Stalwarts of the BBC schedules include Have I Got News For You, now on its 64th series, and Bargain Hunt, which returned this year for its 62nd series. Since 1963 the British science fiction television show broadcast by the BBC, Doctor Who, seems still going strong, approaching its 60th anniversary. The BBC began producing new episodes in 2005, which quickly proved popular. Lots of people wanting to follow those adventures of the extraterrestrial being that with various companions combats foes, works to save civilisations, and helps people in need, it surprises me that still so many are eager to see the new episodes.

Other shows which have been around for years include Mastermind (series 48), Top Gear (series 33) and Silent Witness (series 25).

In its report, Ofcom said that

“the balance of new and returning series sheds light on the BBC’s level of risk-taking”.

But when one looks at new productions one can see there are less new shows or series since 2021, showing a high reliance on returning series.

Series titles over a docklands terrace streetThe lack of new shows is illustrated by this year’s BBC Christmas schedule. Continuing the trend set in recent years, it predominantly comprises festive specials of familiar shows including once again the period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s and 1960s, “Call the Midwife”. Originally, we also watched every episode, but in the long run it seemed like it was always the same, and we had had enough.

For those who love the British–French crime comedy drama television series created by Robert Thorogood, starring Ben Miller, “Death in Paradise”, there shall again be an offering this Christmas season. (Oh boy, oh boy.) Though that series has enjoyed high viewing figures and a generally positive critical reception since its debut, leading to repeated renewals, I hate it, and find the jokes not classy enough and the plot so predictable. (Not worth spending your time on it.)

Mrs. Brown's Boys.pngThe Irish television sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, with moments, can get me smiling, but for me this would be better left to be played in the 1970s though it was only developed from O’Carroll’s works going back to the early 1990s.  The Christmas special broadcast on 25 December 2011 could have been good fun, but the last two years, it all seemed too noisy, exaggerated overcasting. Already in December 2020, O’Carroll announced that additional Christmas specials had been commissioned up to 2026, stating

“This new deal we signed last week goes all the way to 2026, which means I will be able to grow into the part, and we’ve a clause in which guarantees Mrs Brown is aired at 10pm on Christmas night, or else we don’t have to make it.”

But I would not interrupt a family gathering to go sit in front of the television, nor record that Christmas show to see it later. On 19 February 2022, it was announced that Mrs. Brown’s Boys would be returning for a fourth series set to air in 2022, in which I wonder how long people will “milk this”, and how long shall the public accept, or come to terms with, to watch those ever-recurring running gags?.

Blankety Blank Bradley.jpgA lot of games are brought to many television stations, and the end-of-year days are not spared. The British comedy game show which started in 1979 and is still running today, albeit with some sizeable gaps, Blankety Blank, shall also be on the viewing calendar for some people. That show, with Mrs Brown’s Boys, may then provide distraction and relaxation for lonely people, where they can put that loneliness aside for a while and still experience a pleasant fun night in these dark days.

Questionofsport new.jpegProvided there are so many sports fans then anyway, several state-run channels such as VRT and BBC will also bring enough of this on the board. The “world’s longest running TV sports quiz” shall also be present during this coming end-of-year period.

Unfortunately, such a world-renowned organisation lacks the guts to come up with refreshing and new ideas during these days, where family time is after all important, without having to present films that are too chamois-sweet and certainly not to present “The Sound of music” or “Home Alone” for the 100,000th time (which, for example, the commercial channel VTM would dare to do).

Ofcom’s research found that audiences rate the BBC low for risk-taking.

“Taking risks and innovating in how and what it commissions is key to how the BBC can set itself apart from competitors,”

the regulator said.

If television stations don’t pay attention and keep broadcasting so many repeats with an abundance of commercials being sent into the living room, more and more people will drop out of simply watching a TV channel or paying for cable TV. We can already see that the younger generation prefers not to take out a cable subscription anymore, but to order what they really want to see on the Internet when they want to make time for appropriate entertainment on their TV.
In the coming years, one can therefore expect the popularity of streaming services and companies like Netflix, Disney, a.o. to increase, while many people also bring larger screens into their homes with Dolby stereo sound.

Like me, the regulator also finds that

“Risk-taking can also help the BBC evolve its offering to stay relevant and appeal to a wide range of audiences, including those currently under-served.”

It is now, that one will have to be more mindful of those who are so often overlooked or forgotten.

Viewers and listeners from the lowest socio-economic groups – accounting for a quarter of the UK population – are less engaged and less satisfied with the BBC than their wealthier counterparts, the report found, concluding that they were “persistently under-served” by the broadcaster.

Fortunately, we can still be charmed by the many wonderful nature documentaries and excellent police and detective series, but the BBC has to make choices with its different channels to reach certain viewer groups during certain hours on certain channels.

It is a pity to hear that young audiences for the children’s channels, CBeebies and CBBC, are in decline, with increased viewing to iPlayer failing to make up the shortfall. Another problem with iPlayer screening is that people living outside the UK are not able to see those productions. Because of that, many children are missing an interesting boat. Though good to hear that as of 2022, CBeebies-branded channels exist in the United Kingdom and Ireland (their original flagship service) India, Poland, Asia, South Africa, Australia, MENA and Turkey, while branded blocks currently air on KBS in South Korea, and as well as Kids Station in Japan.

A BBC spokesperson said:

“The BBC invests more in original UK content than any other broadcaster and provides an unrivalled range of programming which includes new and exciting shows such as SAS: Rogue Heroes, The Traitors, The English, Am I Being Unreasonable? and The Elon Musk Show alongside favourite returning series, which our audiences love.”

It is true that we should see that the BBC does its best, and does not perform badly with the amount of money which is available for them. This year they also once more have proven to be cracks in presenting life television.  2022 with the death of the Queen showed the world how BBC is a master in such historical times and how they can bring audiences together for major national moments. We also should admit that on the part of bringing news there is the significance of their trusted, impartial news, which means they’re delivering on their remit and delivering value for audiences. I only can hope they shall find a solution for HD viewers so that they soon shall be able to see the news sections of local news again so that in Breakfast and the Nine o’clock news we shall not have those interruptions for 8 à 10 minutes (with just an image of an announcement board that in our region that news cannot be viewed).

Furthermore, we can only hope that the government will continue to recognise the extent to which the BBC is an international signboard that also still has an important job to perform of informing and infotainment, and therefore shall provide enough funds to do that job properly.

 

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Climate justice & Rich people who do not want to share

2022 came to show once again what a huge gap there is between people who have next to nothing and people swimming in money. The latter have seen their wealth grow exceptionally this year as their energy shares soared.

This year, we could see how warfare brought a lot of damage to people and nature. Our earth also had a lot to endure because man did not do much to stop global warming.

Climate justice is about creating a better future for all of us. It’s about giving everyone the ability to live a life of dignity, joy and safety. This better world is possible, but only if we all fight for it.

We have to recognise that there is a very small percentage of extremely rich people whose interests side with and profit from our collective destruction. The fossil fuel execs, the billionaires, the Rishi Sunaks only make up an absolutely tiny percentage of the population. We cannot let them dictate whether we live or die. We cannot let them force millions of us in the UK and billions of us all over the world into struggle, multiple crises and instability just so they can continue to be outrageously rich as a result of the work being done by the many. We outnumber them.

We have to fight back and demand more. We have to support unions striking for better conditions for all of us.
The fight against the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis has to be connected. We have a whole world to win if we come together rather than letting those who don’t have our interests at heart divide us.


Enough is Enough is a campaign to fight the cost of living crisis.

We were founded by trade unions and community organisations determined to push back against the misery forced on millions by rising bills, low wages, food poverty, shoddy housing – and a society run only for a wealthy elite.

We can’t rely on the establishment to solve our problems. It’s up to us in every workplace and every community.

 

Green duotone photograph of General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) Mick Lynch. With the text: Mick Lynch says Enough is Enough! It's no good just being pissed off. You've got to say, I'm going to turn that into an organisation with a set of demands and a way to fight for them.

You can join the Enough Is Enough campaign here

You can find mutual aid groups to support here

A guide to finding a climate group here

A guide on why we need unions is here 

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Antrodia Camphorata

to remember:

  • Antrodia = genus of fungi in the family Fomitopsidaceae = effused-resupinate = lie stretched out on the growing surface > hymenium exposed on outer side + turned out at edges to form brackets.
  • Most species found in temperate & boreal forests > cause brown rot.
  • Antrodia includes some medicinal fungi >  Antrodia camphorata = highly valued medicinal mushroom in Taiwan (known as Niu-Chang), where it is commonly used as an anti-cancer, anti-itching, anti-allergy, anti-fatigue, and liver protective drug in Taiwanese Traditional medicine.
  • three distinct phylogenetic lineages with the Antrodia genus

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Antrodia mushrooms a well kept secret

Antrodia Camphorata , harta karun dunia

Antrodia is a genus of fungi in the family Fomitopsidaceae. Antrodia species have fruiting bodies that typically lie flat or spread out on the growing surface, with the hymenium exposed to the outside; the edges may be turned so as to form narrow brackets. Most species are found in temperate and boreal forests, and cause brown rot. Some of the species in this genus are have medicinal properties, and have been used in Taiwan as a Traditional medicine.Contents [hide]
1 Description
2 Medicinal properties
3 Classification
4 Distribution
5 Species
6 References

Description

Antrodia are effused-resupinate, that is, they lie stretched out on the growing surface with the hymenium exposed on the outer side, but turned out at the edges to form brackets. When present, these brackets are typically white or pale brown. The pores on the surface of the hymenium may be round or angular. The context is white…

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Antrodia mushrooms a well kept secret

Polypores (Ganoderma sp.) growing on a tree in Borneo

In our previous posting we had it about different sorts of birches. Today this brings us to the birch polypore, birch bracket, or razor strop, and other fungi on birches. Polypores belong to a large order of pore fungi within the phylum Basidiomycota (kingdom Fungi) that form large fruiting bodies with pores or tubes on the underside. there are about 2,300 known species.

The inedible birch fungus Polyporus betulinus causes decay on birch trees in the northern United States and is a common bracket fungus and, as the name suggests, grows almost exclusively on birch trees. The brackets burst out from the bark of the tree, and these fruit bodies can last for more than a year.

By the genus Ganoderma several species, including the well-known reishi, or lingzhi, mushroom (G. lucidum), are commonly used in traditional Asian medicine and have received growing interest by researchers for use in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

牛樟芝1.jpg

Antrodia cinnamomea, a fungus species described as new to science in 1995.

For hundreds of years, the Taiwanese have used antrodia mushrooms harvested from high-altitude Cinnamomum Kanehirai trees to treat a variety of ailments. Studies show that compounds in antrodia mushrooms fight biochemical radicals, boost energy levels, and even give powerful support to a multitude of biochemical processes that naturally take place across your entire body.

The flat, ruffled orange mushrooms grow far away on high-altitude Cinnamomum Kanehirai trees in Taiwan, where locals have treasured their incredible health-enhancing effects for hundreds of years. Antrodia cinnamomea has been found to produce anti-obesogenic, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects in high-fat diet-fed mice.

The annual market is worth over $100 million (US) in Taiwan alone. 

 

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Preceding

Dramatic winter displays

Subsequent message:

Antrodia Camphorata

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Dramatic winter displays

There is a magic-lantern show happening in your outdoor space right now, because the sun is sinking a little bit lower day by day. It is slanting through the garden, picking up intricate detail and deepening colour as it goes. From Asian and Himalayan birches to dogwoods and winter grasses, Val Bourne suggests options for a dramatic winter display.

Many trees shine at this time of year, but Asian and Himalayan birches stand out above all the others. Their pale bark has a silky sheen in winter light, especially if the trunks have had an autumnal wash and brush-up with tepid water. There are bumps and lumps, officially known as lenticels and pores, and these dots and dashes come to the fore in winter as their bark peels at the edges. It’s a natural version of morse code on papyrus, and birch trunks feel warm to the touch – the garden equivalent of a hot-water bottle.

The birch, (genus Betula), genus of about 40 species of short-lived ornamental and timber trees and shrubs of the family Betulaceae, distributed throughout cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Gray birch (Betula populifolia), paper birch (B. papyrifera), river birch (B. nigra), sweet birch (B. lenta), yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), and various species of white birch (notably B. pendula and B. pubescens) are the best known. {Encyc. Br.}

Birches are easily grown, although care must be taken to water these shallow-rooted trees in their first year or so. A can of water twice a week, during the growing season, is the way to go. They will also need staking when planted, until their roots get into the ground.

Read more: The best trees, shrubs and seedheads for a magical winter garden

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Planting in a border to get a stunning showcase next year

Autumn is a time to reflect on the garden to remind ourselves of the successful ideas of the past year, as well as those areas in which we need to take a different tack. Although tulip bulbs have been in garden centres for a number of weeks, November is an optimum time to plant as the weather is colder, which deters the disease of tulip fire.

If you have suffered with tulip fire in the past, then would suggest that you avoid planting tulips in that area for a few years and grow your tulips in pots. After a few years, the fungus will die off due to a lack of a host, and then you can start tentatively to introduce tulip bulbs to your borders again.

Tulips are sun worshippers, so for the best results plant your bulbs in a sunny position, whether that’s in a border or container. Tulips detest a damp, waterlogged soil, so those of us with free-draining soil tend to be more successful at growing them in borders. If your soil is heavier and prone to winter waterlogging, then try growing them in containers where the soil can be controlled, as can the watering regime.

Read more top tips for planting in your border, getting the key to a stunning showcase next year, and follow these top tips and how to make your own tulip tiramisu.

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A cloudy morning

George Shetuni

A sagging sky,
It’s so ugly, it’s beautiful.

I was happy once
Ah, to be young and in love…

A dreary wet morning,
Tea alone on a lounge chair

A thunderstorm last night
An open window, a thunderstrike

So loud, so near, so terrible!
That it’s beautiful

The windows left open
Rainwater gushes in.

Ah, to be young and in love…
O what beautiful dark days of youth.

I was happy once,
I was sad at once

This? What is this?
A sagging sky, so dark, so ugly,

That it’s beautiful?
This is nothing!

Lonely. I must write!
The End

Nje Mengjes me Re (Albanian)

Një qiell i varur,
Është aq i shëmtuar, sa është i bukur.

Një herë isha i lumtur
Ah, të jesh i ri dhe ne dashuri

Një mëngjes i zymtë i lagësht,
Pi caj jashte, i vetëm në një karrike të varur

Një stuhi mbrëmë
Një…

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New form of body exercises gaining popularity

Physical therapies and body exercises

Regularly, some body technique is promoted. Since the 1980s, techniques have thus passed where the utmost of the body was demanded, while other techniques focused on just a few parts of the body. In addition, yoga techniques have come and gone only to reappear in a different form.

Photo by Cliff Booth on Pexels.com

In recent years, many even went so far as to make exercise an essential part of their lives or even came to adhere to a body cult. Thus, in the early 21st century, a kind of new religion or body cult began to replace traditional religions.

People wished to feel good in their skin and were willing to go very far in this and even invest a lot of time, energy and money in it. But there were also many who actually wished to distance themselves from money and matter. For them, materialism was the enemy of our society and dependence on the matter was reprehensible and one had to train the mind to become master of the body again, through appropriate exercises on both spiritual and physical fleets. Several people were convinced that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.

Because of the augmented stress in our industrialised world or so-called developed countries, a lot of therapies were also doled out.

Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including musculoskeletal, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, endocrinology, sports medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, wound care and electromyography. Neurological rehabilitation is, in particular, a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education, and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and these workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities

File:Fitness Magazine January 2015.jpg

Fitness, a United States-based women’s magazine, focusing on health, exercise, and nutrition, launched in 1992.

As we entered this century, a lot of health mags found the publishing market while only fitness magazines left the magazine shelves. Though there appeared men’s and women’s magazines which also centred largely on well-being, body form, exercise, nutrition, health, and beauty. For a while, wellness was the fashion word. Lots of magazines presented several adverts for wellness farms and all sorts of wellness programs.

After all the years of hard, intense exercise with a lot of sweating, place was made for gentil exercises and feel good cures.

An aerobics class

All the brutal violence of the 80s with Aerobics, among others, now seems to have been pushed under the carpet for good. It has finally dawned on several people how bad such ‘good sweat and suffering’ programmes are bad for the body. It has taken several medics years to rid people of such techniques that do more harm than good.

However, a large part of the population has become aware that one has to take care of the heart and treat the body respectfully to know how to handle multiple things smoothly. One came to see that for doing cardio or cardio-respiratory exercise there is no need in such high intensity exercises but has to come to low-intensity enough that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy via mitochondrial ATP production. Medium- to long-distance running or jogging, swimming, cycling, stair climbing and walking, have proven to be more effective and less damaging than the overpopular Jane Fonda Workout or Aerobics. The American actress, political activist, and former fashion model spawned imitators and sparked a boom of women’s exercise classes, opening the formerly male-dominated fitness industry to women, and establishing the celebrity-as-fitness-instructor model. The horrible “Feel the burn!”, became a common saying lots of people really started to believe, along with the proverb, “No pain, no gain.” The exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work, has been luckily now pushed in the corner. It is true that one has to put in the effort to achieve something and it is not all that simple. Effort is a must, but it should not be at the expense of a healthy body.

Something of a revelation to devotees of hard, intense exercise, Zone 2 is one of this year’s key fitness talking points. Influential US well-being podcasters such as the American neuroscientist Andrew Huberman and the Canadian-American physician Dr Peter Attia who focuses on the science of longevity, have been recommending Zone 2 to their many thousands of listeners.

In January 2021, Huberman started the “Huberman Lab Podcast”, focused on neuroscience and science-based tools.In those podcast s he gives attention to breathing/breathwork and the visual system influence the autonomic nervous system, stress, and other brain states, including sleep.

On his podcast Huberman said:

“Getting 180-200 minutes of Zone 2 cardio per week has enormous positive effects on longevity and general health.”

Stress, he says, is not just about the content of what we are reading or the images we are seeing. It is about how our eyes and breathing change in response to the world, as well as the cascades of events that follow. Both these bodily processes also offer us easy and accessible releases from stress. By doing body exercises the wrong way we build up negative stress.

If you need to run and catch your train, you want all the things that go along with stress to go pursue that train. But if the stress response is spontaneous or excessive, it can start to feel pathological.

In the previous decades those exuberant fitness programs won terrain because lots of women wanted to lose weight.

“Despite reaching epidemic proportions, obesity has been wandering in the wilderness of medical lexicon.”

says Attia.

It is striking and distressing to see how several fat people have been added in recent years. Notwithstanding so many fitness programmes and all kinds of diet items and drinks, obesity has increased enormously. (Today the definitions of overweight and obesity are based primarily on measures of height and weight—not morbidity.) Since obesity is often the on-ramp to cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s, we sincerely need to do something against this worrying increase.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity varied across countries, across towns and cities within countries, and across populations of men and women. In China and Japan, for instance, the obesity rate for men and women was about 5 percent, but in some cities in China it had climbed to nearly 20 percent. In 2005 it was found that more than 70 percent of Mexican women were obese. WHO survey data released in 2010 revealed that more than half of the people living in countries in the Pacific Islands region were overweight, with some 80 percent of women in American Samoa found to be obese. {Encyc. Britannica}

The fattening population has everything to do with culture and lifestyle habits among which eating and exercise habits are the main ones.

People need to be aware that it is not about being physically engaged to the point of giving up. On the contrary, one should exercise in a balanced way and not overload the body. It comes down to finding the right balance.

Zone 2 training means exercising at a level of exertion where your body is working, but not very hard – at this level your body is able to use fat as fuel rather than carbohydrates. As you work harder and move up into Zone 3 and beyond you will switch to using carbohydrates, a quite different state in which your heart, lungs and muscles are under stress and will need time to recover. (You know this switch is happening when breathing becomes harder and you are gasping or panting.)

Thanks to its turbocharging effect on our cells’ mitochondria Zone 2 cardio exercises have a very positive effect on the metabolism, improving blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance.

The cardio is linked to lower rates of a whole raft of diseases including type 2 diabetes, dementia, stroke and heart disease.

Dr Richard Blagrove, senior lecturer in physiology at Loughborough University, says:

“In terms of both health and performance, Zone 2 training can be really advantageous. I don’t feel bad about getting on my stationary bike and reading a book for an hour.”

Photo by Rui Dias on Pexels.com

Yes, even in a simple and not too strenuous way, one can train their body and work on it. Of course, it is even better to get out now and then, say twice a week, to fully focus your mind on movement in, say, a beautiful green environment. Though such ‘biking’ can lay down an “aerobic base” before one goes training further and build to more intense modes of exercise for competition later in the year.

For the rest of us, Zone 2 can be transformative.

Blagrove points out.

Former professional cyclist and fitness coach at ATP Performance Andy Turner lost 24kg through this kind of movement.

“Zone 2 makes you better at utilising fats as a fuel source and it can help level out your blood sugar. Longer-duration aerobics work can sometimes be forgotten, now it’s all about time-efficient, 30-minute, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).”

HIIT cannot be done every day without strain and risk. It can take 48 hours or more for your body to recover from a session and unsurprisingly this does not speed up as you grow older, whereas Zone 2 provides its many benefits in a sustainable way.

Zone 2 works best in a mix with some high-intensity training – three Zone 2 sessions a week with two HIIT blasts is a good mix.

Zone 2 is the place where your body is working, but not very hard. Technically this is 60-70 per cent of your maximum heart rate, but I would recommend an easier way, namely to check the Talk Test. If one trains properly and performs breathing correctly, one should be able to simply converse without getting out of breath. If you were to call someone during a Zone 2 workout, you should be able to use complex sentences, not just sentiments such as “Help!” or “Taxi!”.

I hope now some more people will put aside that wrong thought of having to suffer to have some successful training. One should not do penance for having sinned by going to a dinner or party. Physical exercise should never continue as a punishment. It should be an enjoyable activity so that it is also a liberating activity.

Always take of your body, because it is the only one you got.

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

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Preceding

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

What would you do if…? Continued trial

”For The Moment Of Happiness”

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Be it in May or September: Run the race

Do you have painful creaky knees

Reasons to be cheerful

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Additional reading

  1. Strength of older people can be boosted by resistance training
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. The focus of multiculturalism in Europe on Muslims and Jews
  4. Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?
  5. Spreading good cheer contagious

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Celebrate

Celebrate” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy – Channelled by Kay Meade.

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Fashion - Trends, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

About a fleshless diet

Normally the Divine Creator provided enough food in the vegetable world.

However, not all fruits were to be eaten like that either. God had provided two trees in the Garden of Eden that man had to keep away from. But the mannin or 1st woman found this difficult and wished to be like God and be able to do things He could. She also tempted her husband, who went along with her story. They ate of the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil” (or Tree of moral) and gained insight into their futility and fragility. After they became aware of their mistake they hid from God at first, but after He found them and gave them another chance to be honest He placed them out of the Garden of Eden. From then on, it was not so easy for man to earn a living and he had to work for his food. At that time though, man was still aware that he should not inflict harm on any sentient creature.

As time progressed, humans began to crave more and/or become more greedy. Man was no longer content to just eat fruit and vegetables, and longed to eat things with flesh and blood. After some time man wanted also to eat ‘living beings‘ by which he first went for animals. In later years, certain peoples also came to eat other human beings, though that is not what God wanted.

The wrong ideaa  lot of people have about the People of God is that because they offered sacrifices that they would have eaten regularly meat. But that is not so. The offerings of pigeons and lambs in the Old Testament were done as an act of repenting, giving to God what He had given to them, showing that they could take distance from it and showing gratitude to the Elohim, but this also in a way that they showed respect for life.

Ascetic Jewish groups and some early Christian leaders disapproved of eating meat as gluttonous, cruel and not according to the Torah. Some Christian monastic orders ruled out flesh eating, and its avoidance has been, for several centuries, a penance and a spiritual exercise even for laypersons.

Today for many people, it is very difficult to go back to the origin of God’s Wishes. In a certain way, it would not be bad for man himself and for nature, when we would come to eat again those things the Elohim had in mind for our food.

Because man wanted to eat more and more meat, the flesh or other edible parts of animals, he had to replenish his meat supply and watched his livestock grow bigger and bigger, with those animals eating grass from deforested fields and thus being less able to purify the air, while their pee and poo polluted the air more. Thus, the world was burdened to a great extent, which would not have happened had he kept to God’s first thought.

The 17th and 18th centuries in Europe were characterized by a greater interest in humanitarianism and the idea of moral progress, and sensitivity to animal suffering was accordingly revived. There were several philosophes, and Protestant groups that came to promote and adopt a fleshless diet as part of the goal of leading a perfectly sinless life.

In the late 18th century the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham asserted that the suffering of animals, like the suffering of humans, was worthy of moral consideration, and he regarded cruelty to animals as analogous to racism.

It should not surprise us that the first vegetarian society was formed in England in 1847 by the Bible Christian movement, founded by William Cowherd in Salford, North West England in 1809. Those Bible Christians put great emphasis on the independence of mind and freedom of belief, stating that they did not presume

“to exercise any dominion over the faith or conscience of men.”

Their idea of and believe in free will and that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans by divine grace have free will to achieve human perfection, made many consider the Bible Christian Church to be a sect.  The Bible Christian Church (1815) was a dissident group of Wesleyan Methodists desiring effective biblical education, a presbyterian form of church government, and the participation of women in the ministry. The group, having a Pelagian approach, originated in Devonshire and spread to Canada (1831), the United States (1846), and Australia (1850), although O’Bryan left the society over administrative differences and began an itinerant evangelism in the United States (1831). The Bible Christians joined with other dissident Methodist groups in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church.

Today, vegetarianism and veganism have changed roles for many.

Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. It also promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.

writes Hesh Goldstein in the NaturalNewsBlogs about health: How and why I chose veganism. She continues

The word “vegan” is newer and more challenging than “vegetarian”. “Vegan” includes every sentient being in its circle of concern and addresses all forms of unnecessary cruelty from an essentially ethical perspective. With a motivation of compassion rather than health or purity, “vegan” points to an ancient idea that has been articulated for many centuries, especially in the world’s spiritual traditions.

“Vegan” indicates a mentality of expansive inclusiveness and is able to embrace science and virtually all religions because it is a manifestation of the yearning for universal peace, justice, wisdom and freedom. {How and why I chose veganism}

We as humans should not think that everything is just ours and can be used by us as we see fit. We must realise that the Creator of the universe has loaned us the world. We are allowed to name and use things there ourselves. But that use should be done with respect. Just killing animals does not show respect at all.

We are therefore expected to have the right attitude towards how we treat things around us.

It is nice to see that there is a new trend and that the contemporary vegan movement is founded on loving-kindness and mindfulness of our effects on others. Hesh Goldstein finds it revolutionary

because it transcends and renounces the violent core of the “herding culture” in which we live. It is founded on living the truth of interconnectedness and thereby minimizing the suffering we impose on animals, humans and bio-systems; it frees us all from the slavery of becoming mere commodities.  {How and why I chose veganism}

We must recognise it has become time we reorganise ourselves and find ways to come back in balance with nature.

The suppression of awareness required by our universal practice of “commodifying”, enslaving, and killing animals for food generates the built-in mental disorder of denial that drives us toward the destruction, not only of ourselves, but of other living creatures and systems of this earth.

Because of this practice of exploiting and brutalizing animals for food has come to be regarded as normal, natural and unavoidable, it has become invisible. Eating animals is thus an unrecognized foundation of consumerism, the pseudo-religion of our modern world. Because our greatest desensitization involves eating, we inevitably become desensitized consumers devoid of compassion and caring little of how what is on our plate got there. {How and why I chose veganism}

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Preceding

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

Less… is still enough

Away with it oh no! – Weg er mee, oh neen

Grain for the heart

Looking at man’s closest friend

Weight loss that works

Having a problem with wonkiness…

Do you feel or love writing about Food

Is Organic food even safe?

Community Farming

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Find also to read

  1. Man was created to be a vegetarian
  2. The figure of Eve
  3. We won’t cut meat-eating until we put the planet before profit
  4. Seed banks: the last line of defense against a global food crisis
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  7. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  8. Today’s thought “Killing and eating” (January 05)
  9. Today’s thought “Allowed to have dominion over the universe” (January 02)
  10. Today’s thought “Rooted and built up in him” (November 14)
  11. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  12. Cap 3000 a Valhalla blinding consumers

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  31. Why I don’t eat meat on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  32. Meat
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  34. Vegetarian women a third more likely to experience later life hip fracture, study finds 
  35. Study Finds That Vegetarian-Vegan Middle-Aged Women Are 33% Are More Likely To Fracture Their Hip Than Meat Eaters
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Filed under Ecological affairs, Food, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Not having the space for large trees in your garden

In case you are able to have a garden, it is not always to have enough space for planting trees.

A small garden does not mean you cannot experiment. Not everyone has the space for large trees, but there are some smaller specimens that not only provide structure and interest to a garden, but are prized for their scented flowers.

You might be surprised what can still be planted in a small garden to have nice fragrances and fine colours throughout the year.

Although it is not advisable to plant trees too close to the house, would suggest that you consider planting these trees near the house so that you can enjoy and appreciate the perfume when they’re in full bloom.

Azara microphylla 1.jpg

Azara microphylla

Please come to know more about the Crataegus monogyna (or the common hawthorn), the Azara microphylla, the Acacia dealbata, or sweet mimosa, the Magnolia salicifolia, and the Hamamelis mollis (or the Chinese witch hazel) you could plant in your garden to bring some variation colour and smell.

Get to read more about scented flowers: A small garden doesn’t mean you can’t experiment – try planting one of these

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Crossing the Ligurian mountains from Italy to Spain

AlpiLiguri0001.jpgSometimes it’s the wildest dreams that lead to the greatest adventures. In the summer of 2022, Louis and his horse Sasha crossed the Ligurian mountains from Italy to Spain. Over 3000 kilometers and countless ups and downs later, he tells their inspiring story.

This travel story is one of 5 winners of the Outdooractive Travelog Contest 2022.

The other four winners: Trek to Kilimanjaro, Winter in Riisitunturi, Bears and volcanoes in Kamchatka, Hiking the Kungsleden. Enjoy reading!

It took me 20 long days to reach France and, with the courage of my horse and the reliability of my routes, we didn’t get lost once.

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Bird and birdsong encounters improve mental health, study finds

Research suggests visits to places with birdlife could be prescribed by doctors to improve mental wellbeing

One swallow may not make a summer but seeing or hearing birds does improve mental wellbeing, researchers have found.

The study, led by academics from King’s College London, also found that everyday encounters with birds boosted the mood of people with depression, as well as the wider population.

The researchers said the findings suggested that visits to places with a wealth of birdlife, such as parks and canals, could be prescribed by doctors to treat mental health conditions. They added that their findings also highlighted the need to better protect the environment and improve biodiversity in urban, suburban and rural areas in order to preserve bird habitats.

Full story here

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Filed under Health affairs, Nature, Positive thoughts, Welfare matters