Archive for March, 2012

Make you Fink on Friday

There is something very fishy going on, and it’s high time people were made aware of it.

Many of the issues about the environment or being green fight against the demon mercury. We complain about fish being polluted with it, we complain about the content in batteries , we complain about it in dentistry, we complain about it in CFLs and the need to dispose of them carefully.

We all know that mercury (Hg) is one of the greatest threats to the environment. We all know that mercury threatens neurological activity in the brain. We all know that mercury is a poison.

Then why do we pump mercury into our children?

Read this report from The American Dream, follow the links, check the internet for independent reporting (not that conducted by the pharmaceutical companies), go to The American Dream and read the tearful stories/testimonies from distraught mothers and see what this terrible secret is.


Vaccines And Autism: The Secret That You Are Not Supposed To Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children in the United States with autism has risen by 78 percent over the past decade. It is now estimated that 1 out of every 88 children in the United States has some form of autism disorder. Our schools are absolutely packed with “special needs” children and millions of parents are desperately trying to figure out why so many kids are having such severe developmental problems. Strangely, most autistic children start out perfectly normal. Most of them develop just fine for the first year or two and then something dramatic happens. So what could that possibly be? Well, there is a secret that you are not supposed to know. That secret is that vaccines are one of the primary causes of autism. As the number of vaccines being administered to our children has risen, so has the percentage of our children with autism. Today, in some areas of the United States more than 30 vaccinesare being given to young children before the age of 3. When you inject so much mercury and so much other toxic material directly into the bloodstreams of vulnerable young children, bad stuff is bound to happen. The evidence linking vaccines and autism continues to mount, and yet the pharmaceutical establishment continues to vigorously deny that there could possibly be any link between the two.

Each year, there are thousands upon thousands of parents that take their perfectly healthy toddlers into the doctor to get a vaccine and later end up deeply regretting it. Shortly after taking one too many vaccines, many children get sick, stop talking and never recover. The parents of those children are left absolutely devastated.

If you start surfing around the Internet you can find enough testimonies like this to keep you reading for days on end.

But for the pharmaceutical establishment, a link between must never be admitted between vaccines and autism. Hundreds of billions of dollars of profits are at stake, and the legal implications of admitting that vaccines cause autism would be absolutely mind blowing.

The big pharmaceutical companies will never, ever, ever, ever admit a link. And since those companies also spend billions of dollars advertising on the mainstream media, the mainstream media will never admit a link either.

It is all about the money.

So they have to act incredibly puzzled about what is causing cases of autism to dramatically surge in the United States.

And “dramatically surge” is actually an understatement.

It is getting really hard to deny that the epidemic of autism in America is absolutely exploding. The following is from a recent CNN article….

In 2000 and 2002, the autism estimate was about 1 in 150 children. Two years later 1 in 125 8-year-olds had autism. In 2006, the number was 1 in 110, and the newest data — from 2008 — suggests 1 in 88 children have autism.

So what is causing this?

The mainstream media is floating all kinds of bizarre theories.

But an increasing number of U.S. parents are coming to one conclusion. Despite overwhelming propaganda in the mainstream media that vaccines do not cause autism, one poll found that one out of every four parents now believe that vaccines cause autism.

So why are so many parents not listening to the “experts”?

Well, it is because of what they have seen in real life. The following is from a recent Huffington Post article….

It’s a fact that many children with ASD regressed following normal development just as they were receiving multiple vaccines at regular doctor visits. Health officials say the timing is entirely coincidental.

Regression usually occurs between 12 and 24 months, though one study found that some children show signs of autism as early as six months, but never before that age.

By six months of age, most U.S. children have received about 18 inoculations containing 24 vaccines against nine diseases. Over the next two years or so, they will receive another nine shots containing 14 vaccines against 12 diseases.

So whether a child regresses at six months, or 18 months, the tragedy happens during a period of intensive vaccination. In many cases, parents report that the child had an abnormal reaction after being vaccinated (seizures, spiking-fevers, diarrhea, lethargy, high-pitched screaming and/or other symptoms).

If your kid stopped talking within days (or even hours) after receiving a vaccine, how would you feel?

The big pharmaceutical companies have funded many studies to try to show that there is no link between vaccines and autism, but many independent studies contradict the findings of those corporate-funded studies. The following is from an article by Paul Joseph Watson….

Epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, both concluded that thimerosal was responsible for the dramatic rise in cases of autism but their findings were dismissed by the CDC.

Cases of autism in the U.S. have now increased by over 2700 per cent since 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled, and the number of immunizations is only increasing. Just one in 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism before 1991, whereas one in 91 children now have the disease, up from one in 150 just six years ago.

So what is so bad is about thimerosal?

Well, thimerosal contains mercury which is one of the most toxic substances known to mankind. Mercury has been proven to severely impair neurological development. The following comes directly from the EPA website….

For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother’s consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby’s growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb.

So why in the world would we want to pump massive amounts of mercury into our young children when their brains are just starting to develop?

It is literally insane to do this!

Many other countries around the world have recognized this and have banned thimerosal from vaccines.

The following comes from an article by Dawn Prate….

“In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal, suffered brain damage years later. Studies on thimerosal poisoning also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death. As a result of these findings, Russia banned thimerosal from children’s vaccines in 1980. Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have also banned the preservative”

So why is it not banned in the United States?

And why do so many American parents still allow it to be pumped at very high levels directly into the bloodstreams of their precious young children?

Source: The American Dream Read more of this horror story

Change the World Wednesday – Special VI

A treeful of beautiful flowers

Yes, here we are, it’s Wednesday again. For me this week, today is wonderful. I have been to work and finished. My weekend has started, next lesson, Monday.

Also today is great because I saw a new flower; one that I have never seen before.

Walking up the drive to where I work, I spied a splash of colour where I have never seen a splash of colour before. I resolved to investigate.

At coffee break, I explored the phenomenon. My student tagged along.

There by the boundary fence we found them, the lower half of  a 5 metre (15ft) tree covered in these spectacular blooms.

Marcos offered his camera and I snapped a photo. Aren’t they beautiful?

Now comes the tricky bit. Nobody knows what the tree is. I still have some avenues to explore, but if anybody has an idea, please leave a comment. No prizes for the correct answer apart from the satisfaction that you’ve made an old man happy.

On with CTWW Daily…

Small Footprints Lenten Daily CTWW challenges on Reduce Footprints.


CTWW Daily Challenge – 22nd March

World Water Day is observed today. Learn about the global scarcity of safe water and sanitation and the effects of climate change on water at

Farmland in northeast Brazil, where families have to tramp miles just to get a bucket of muddy water from one of the few water traps around. To get water trucked in is just too expensive for some

Water is becoming more and more scarce throughout the world, in parts where it hasn’t been a problem before. For example, parts of England are having drought conditions; England, traditionally known for its wet weather. Now if England can have problems it’s a sure indicator that nowhere is immune. Parts of Brazil are having problems too, but they’ve had problems for years.


Trucked water, too expensive

They can get water trucked in by carros pipa (water tankers), but most families can’t afford R$5 for 18 gallons, not when you are earning below the minimum wage. Some of these families survive on less than R$500 per month (USD300), having been reduced to that by the drought conditions.

We in the west have always taken water for granted, we turn on the tap and water has always been there. We water our gardens, wash our cars, bathe and shower, then there’s the swimming pool. Water has never been a problem.

Can you imagine having dry taps in your house?

Current climate changes are making this a very real possibility for some people who have traditionally always had water.

Photo credit: Royal Horticultural Society, Green Vision Corp

CTWW Daily Challenge – 23rd March

Be conscious about water and energy use when washing dishes. There has been considerable debate on whether washing by hand or powered, automatic dishwasher is more environmentally friendly.

For me there isn’t a choice. Dishes and washing are done by hand. I try to economise, I save my grey-water for the garden and to flush the toilet. My system is nothing elaborate, just a bucket under the sink, but it does the trick.

I have just used the hot water from my boiled potatoes to wash the grease off last night’s plates; that saves washing time and detergent.

CTWW Daily Challenge –  24th March

Take a shower instead of a bath, and try to limit your shower to less than 5 minutes. If you already shower, consider taking ashipboard shower– turn the water on only to rinse.

I reckon I’ve got you all beat on this one. No bath, only three-minute showers. But then, I’ve got no hair to wash either…

CTWW Daily Challenge – 25th March

Save paper today. Don’t print unless you need to and when you do, print double-sided onto recycled paper. Use paper, tissue, toilet paper and wood that is recycled…

No printer, so no paper worries, although I do have a ream of recycled paper on hand for when I do need paper. I have looked into recycled tissue and toilet paper, but in my part of the city, not one of the supermarkets or stores carry any. The nearest place I can get it is in Barra da Tijuca, which is 50kms (30 miles+/-) away and that doubles my transport costs besides taking the best part of a day to get there and back.

I have spoken to the supermarket manager about it, and while he thinks the idea is laudable, he doesn’t think the Brazilians would buy it. So for him it is a waste of shelf space. He is not Brazilian, btw, he’s Portuguese. I have suggested to him that he could use the opportunity to promote specials, etc; which gave him something to think about.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 26th March

This is a hard one: Keep your highway driving speed between 55 and 60 mph today. For most vehicles, 55 mph is the most fuel efficient highway speed and will save you up to 20-30% in fuel costs compared to driving at 75 mph.

My main means of transport is my walkingstick, as green as you can get. But then I have to use a bus to get to work. The highway to work doesn’t allow them to exceed 60km/h (35mph).

CTWW Daily Challenge – 27th March

If you own or work for a company which engages in travel, learn how MasterCard’s program to report on the carbon footprint of your transactions can help your company manage its environmental footprint.

This one had me scratching my head. I work for a French multi-national company (well, I am contracted to teach there) and I am pleased to say that environmental concerns are very much a priority, so I am sure they have this pretty much under control.

They are very strict about the environment and the factory area has trees and green areas all over. They have a special sector that propagates native trees, shrubs and plants for replanting.

Mico leão

They are also very strict about the wildlife that inhabits those areas. We have many species of birds and animals that roam freely around the factory grounds and personal are prohibited from disturbing them. Just today, after seeing my treeful of flowers, we watched a family of six mico-leões racing through the trees near my classroom.

So while I am not aware of the companies travel policies, I am certain that the environmental concerns related would not have been overlooked.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 28th March

Learn about, use or start a local bicycle sharing program as has been done in Tulsa, Miami, Boston, Vancouver and other communities around the world.

Surprise, surprise, Rio de Janeiro does have a programme like this, but more towards the centre of the city and in Copacabana. You can hire bicycles and use them from one station and leave them in another.

Bike Rio Station in Copacabana

Used by tourists and commuters alike. While the programme is not on a grand scale, it runs about 600 bicycles. São Paulo also has a similar programme.

So there are some green things the Brazilians do.

Well, there you have it. My weekly round up. While I am not able to participate in all the challenges, and get a bit of the track with others, it has all been a lot of fun.

Let’s see what the coming week brings us as the final week in this Daily challenge.

I’m also wondering what Small Footprints has in store for us the following week… big mystery…

NEWS FLASH: Mark your calendars for the week of April 9th. Reduce Footprints will be hosting a HUGE week-long event. It’ll be a little different from our “norm” and I think you’re going to like it!! Want a little hint? Okay … How does Born of Blood save the environment? Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?


I have just watched the clip Born of Blood, WOW! Right up my alley.

Pink Slime – Update

‘Pink slime’ beef production put on hold

Beef Products Inc insists its products are healthy and safe, but public distrust persists

A US company that makes a beef product often referred to as “pink slime” is suspending production at three of four plants amid concern about the product.

Beef Products Inc said it hopes business will return once fears about the product die down.

Officially known as “lean, finely textured beef”, so-called “pink slime” is made from left-over cuts and is up to 97% beef, a spokesman said.

US schools have been allowed to stop serving the food at mealtimes.

“We feel like when people can start to understand the truth and reality then our business will come back,” Beef Products spokesman Chris Letch said.

Federal regulators say the beef ingredient meets food safety standards, but critics say the food is unappetising and possibly unsafe.

The beef is heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

Earlier this month a social media campaign against the use of the food was followed by an announcement by the US agriculture department that schools would be allowed to choose alternative beef supplies.

Some school districts and retailers have already chosen to stop using it.

The three Beef Products Inc plants being wound down are located in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa. Together they produce about 900,000lb (408,000kg) of the beef product per day, the company says.

Source: BBC News


Hopefully production will never return in these plants, and the fourth will die a natural death.

The question remains, who are still using pink slime in their products?

My guesses are the military, care for the elderly providers, hospitals, prisons, just to name a few.

The “truth and reality” is that this is just one more insidious attempt to make a profit from rubbish. “97%” beef, when they are using off cuts and tissue that they can’t sell as meat is not beef! Hell, it’s not even offal! It’s rubbish.

Looks like ‘people power’ has won this battle, but not the war, yet.

Monday Moaning

WTF is this?

Squeez Bacon!!!

And they can’t even spell it properly.

Is it any wonder why the world is imploding in its own dung heap?

Do we need this?


Another waste of resources and energy. Think about the machines that are needed to produce this crap. Think about the raw materials that were used to make those machines. Think about the power that was required to manufacture those machines.

Now, think about the diminishing oil resources and the amount of unwanted plastic packaging for this product that was made from petroleum. Think about the electricity used to produce this pink bacon flavoured slime.

Because as sure as ducks quack, this is not bacon. It is my guessing that this product uses the scrag ends of bacon that can’t be sold. Someone had a wonderful idea of how to make money from the shitty scraps of bacon.

Once again, profits reign.

Saturday Satire

Make you Fink on Friday

‘Humans killed off Australia’s giant beasts’

Scientists have linked a dramatic decrease in spores found in herbivore dung to the arrival of humans in Australia 41,000 years ago


Humans hunted Australia’s giant vertebrates to extinction about 40,000 years ago, the latest research published in Science has concluded.

The cause of the widespread extinction has provoked much debate, with climate change being one theory.

However, scientists studied dung samples from 130,000 and 41,000 years ago, when humans arrived, and concluded hunting and fire were the cause.

The extinction in turn caused major ecological changes to the landscape.

The scientists looked at pollen and charcoal from Lynch’s Crater, a sediment-filled volcanic crater in Queensland that was surrounded by tropical rainforest until European settlement.

They found Sporormiella spores, which grow in herbivore dung, virtually disappeared around 41,000 years ago, a time when no known climate transformation was taking place.

At the same time, the incidence of fire increased, as shown by a steep rise in charcoal fragments.

It appears that humans, who arrived in Australia around this time, hunted the megafauna to extinction, the scientists said.

The megafauna included three-metre tall giant kangaroos and marsupial lions, as well as giant birds and reptiles.

Source: BBC News Read more


Man never learns. We are doing it again; or have we ever stopped?

Of all the pestilences on this planet, man is the worst. No other species kills, maims or deforms itself. Man has killed more humans than any natural disaster or disease in nature.

Animals don’t do this.

Man is a lower life form than the animals.

Man may have technology, man may have intelligence and rational thought (LOL there’s a laugh for you) but man remains the stupidest life form on Earth.

Change the World Wednesday – Special V


Another split day…

But they are numbered.

Relaxing with my chimarrão, sipping erva mate.

Erva mate is a sort of herbal tea. You pack the chimarrão, add water let it infuse and sip. You can sweeten it, but I prefer the bitterness of tea. Drinking erva mate is more prevalent in the south of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Our Lenten CTWWs on Reduce Footprints are drawing nigh. So, what have I been up to this week?




CTWW Daily Challenge –  15th March

A brand new study shows that 4 out of 5 Americans have been affected by weather-related disasters. It’s time for people to learn the new reality that increasingly, weather is related to climate change.

Of this I have no doubt, although my consideration has been more global than just America. I need no convincing.

CTWW Daily Challenge –  16th March

Environmental justice emerged as a concept in the United States in the early 1980s. Read more about it HERE and HERE.

The first link, I guess is the reason for this blog. The second link is somewhat disturbing. Given in this day and age we are still subjected by race and colour. We call ourselves ‘civilised’ but I think we have a long road ahead until that is true.

CTWW Daily Challenge –  17th March

Think about your children, grandchildren or children to be in the context of climate change. Learn more about the effects of climate change on children and what you can do about it.

Indeed a constant worry. Climate change must have an adverse effect on future generations as we subject them to an environment they were not born for; sunburn is now much more prevalent in the hotter summers and respiratory infections in the colder winters. You must also include the problems with food production as weather and geographic changes come into play and ask yourself, “Are we dooming future generations to go hungry?”

CTWW Daily Challenge – 18th March

Climate change causes deserts that take away arable land for agriculture.

This one goes hand in hand with the previous

CTWW Daily Challenge – 19th March

Reuse and recycle waste, and compost food waste to reduce the rubbish destined for landfill sites.

I am pretty much in line with this one and have been for some time. It’s not always possible, but one does the best one can given the circumstances. My biggest enemy, as I suspect most of you too, is plastic wrappings.

CTWW Daily Challenge – 20th March

Reduce water usage in your home by fixing leaky faucets, which can waste up to 50 gallons a day. Turn the tap off and on during shaving, washing hands and brushing teeth.

Pretty much on top of this one too. I also save rainwater and grey water for the garden.

Ellen & Emmylee on the lawn

CTWW Daily Challenge – 21st March

Have a truly “Green” lawn and garden by avoiding use of toxic chemicals. Visit the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns website for more information.
The last lawn I created and grew was entirely chemical free. I didn’t even buy grass seed which is usually covered in chemicals, instead I collected tufts of wild grass along the road sides and replanted them. They spread into a beautiful lawn for the kids to play on.
The only chemical involved was the sweat from my labours.
There you have it. My round up for the week.

Monday Moaning

This is Danio rerio a lovely peaceful tropical aquarium fish.

That is until the Japanese scientists got a hold of it.

The Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) or the Zebrafish

Now it is a frankenfish.

The ‘glofish’ is a genetically modified Zebra Danio, bred with a natural fluorescence gene to make it glow in the dark.

The cause was apparently noble, but mixing and messing with genes of any creature is not noble.

The ‘glofish’ have since become aquarium fish, sold in brightly coloured hues with exotic names; starfire red, electric green, sunburst orange, cosmic blue and galactic purple.

New Zealand has just had a battle after approval was mistakenly given to import ‘dyed’ fish and they turned out to be ‘glofish’. The original lot was 210 fish, but the Ministry of Ag and Fish have already destroyed 300; so they breed.

But having pretty little fish in your aquarium is not the end of the story.

Glow in the dark sushi made from genetically modified fish becomes the latest food craze to hit America

Sushi that glows in the dark has become the latest must try food craze across America.

Inspired by genetically modified fish first bred for scientific research, a video showing how to make the glowing sushi has become a huge hit online.

The recipes use glofish, a brand of genetically modified (GM) fluorescent zebrafish sold by Yorktown Technologies, which are available to buy in pet shops.

Source: MailOnLine Read more

Yes, you can get glow-in-the-dark sushi made from these genetically modified fish.

Now I love sushi, sashimi and makimonos, but there is no way I am going to knowingly put a GMO in my mouth, with or without wasabi.

The latest fad, ‘glofish’ has become the newest must-try.

I find the whole thing rather sad that we have to invent shit like this. It is another sign of the indulgent human race doing anything to have ‘fun’.

Will we never learn?

How long before these fish inter-breed with the original Danio rerio and dilute the species until there are no more original fish left. This is just another form of extinction.

Man in his endless search for diversion has no limits, no conscience, no brains!

Saturday Satire on Sunday


Pink Slime – Update

Check out Food safety News for further information on the Pink Slime issue

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