Archive for July, 2014

Can you believe this?

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Change the World Wednesday – 30th Jul

followed-blog-200-1xThe 26th was the third birthday for this blog. I have passed 200 followers and more than 1,000 ‘likes’. Actually, I got the 1337 (LEET) award for likes.

likeable-blog-1337-2xEver wondered what this 1337 means, why that is significant?

No, me neither. But I stumbled across the answer in my browsing. It means ‘elite’ and stems from the code used principally by hackers, 31337, later shortened to 1337, LEET.

One more useless fact bought to your screen by too much coffee.

Small is back with us this week.

The world returns to normal.

Click the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW is about batteries.

The reusable type.

 

If you are not using rechargeable batteries, please make plans to buy them when you next need batteries. As you replace single-use versions, be sure to recycle them rather than toss them into the trash bin.

 

OR …

If you have already made the switch to rechargeable batteries, please find one single-use item in your home and replace it with a reusable version.

 

OR …

If you’ve banned single-use items from your life, please share one of your favorite “upgrades” to reusable.

 

I have had a bad experience with battery rechargers. I gave up on them as I had six go ‘fut’ within a short space of time and at around R$35 a time, that’s expensive.

I actually use very few batteries. I have my TV remote that I rarely use (I turn my TV off at the set), which leaves the batteries enough power to run my wall clock for a couple of months. So I get double use from my normal batteries.

I changed my camera from an external rechargeable battery type, to an internal rechargeable battery, that has never failed me.

That’s it! No other batteries in the house.

Sharing one of my favourite upgrades to “reusable”; here’s one that will surprise you:

pizzabox

Old pizza boxes

Yes, I upgrade, repurpose and recycle my pizza boxes.

When Clorinha was a kitten, she’s a big pussy now. I used my pizza box base with sand as a litter box.

When it’s full, put on the lid for easy stinkless disposal.

My litter boxes went on the compost heap, and turned over the compost on top. Two months later… POOF! All gone.

Now that she’s a big pussy, my pizza boxes go out for the recycle collection.

That’s all for this week.

 

Simple Green Ideas

You got kids?

No, I’m not going to suggest you recycle them, although there’s a thought…

Kids have games and toys. Kids grow up and play different games with other toys.

Forgotten are things like this…

scrabble-board-game_3033_500

So you could give it away, or you could repurpose it.

Do something crafty.

Repurpose and reuse 10

If that’s too arty.

Make fridge magnets for the grandchildren…

scrabblefridgemagnets

or google recycle/repurpose scrabble tiles, you’ll find everything from cuff links to earings and more.

Unmitigated Disaster

funnycartoon19Yesterday when I was checking out a theme for a new blog, What’s left of my life, I did a trial run here.

Didn’t look right, so I changed back to this theme…

Guess what?

Disaster!

I just discovered it.

All my widgets had disappeared.

So, I panicked, and had a glass of chocolate, then came back and checked the inactive widgets on a whim.

Phew! Relief, most of the widgets had been parked there.

I have just spent the last hour putting them back in place. They’re not all in the right places yet, I’ll do some tweeking later.

As near as I can figure it, I lost two completely.

So I got off lightly.

I’ll return you to the regular programme, new post coming up in 45 minutes.

Monday Moaning

It’s time these were taken off the road.

At a time when the world is fighting over oil and the price of petrol (gasoline) to have these behemoths guzzling petrol on our roads is preposterous.

Until our governments grow balls and call out the auto industries we will have problems with supply and horrendous prices.

We do NOT need cars like this, I don’t care how rich you are or if you are a CEO or some other self-important dickhead, these monstrosities are indecent.

The advertising blurb is meant to entice one into buying, to me it reads like a horror story.

Cadillac Escalade: The bling king’s new clothes

The year is 1999, a time of bliss and abundance for SUVs. The rectilinear giants roam the land, stopping only to drink deeply at roadside springs and billabongs. It is a mid-Jurassic golden age, and conditions are ripe for the emergence of an alpha-beast, which they would call Escalade.

Fast-forward to 2014, and the ranks have thinned. Among the first casualties was the Ford Excursion, a four-tonne thumb in Greenpeace’s eye. Though no extinction event is on the near horizon, these vehicles are firmly in their third act, buffeted by volatile oil prices, buyers’ post-recession pushback against ostentation and the sense – not unfounded – that lumbering American SUVs are a bit déclassé. The token refresh granted the 2015 Navigator has done little to suggest large SUVs were ascendant.

Perhaps that’s because the Escalade had yet to speak.

The 2015 Cadillac swaggers into frame with more chrome, more power, more leather, more wood, more LEDs, more cargo room and – surprise – less thirst, yet it is still unabashedly, unapologetically a colossus. Even Cadillac gives its flagship SUV a wide berth. “Escalade is almost a brand unto its own,” said Andrew Smith, head of Cadillac design, at the vehicle’s US media launch. That said the 2015 model toes the Caddy party line more than past generations did, to its benefit.

Source – BBCNews Read more

Nature Ramble

Here’s an issue I have never considered.

We love the outdoors, and some of us try to make the most of it by visiting parks and green areas.

But there are those who do it, and those who complain about people doing it.

Personally, I do it whenever I have the cash to do it, right at my gate.

I couldn’t believe that this was an issue.

Is it anti-social to use barbecues in parks?

Cities around the world are debating whether to permit barbecues in municipal open spaces. What are the dos and don’ts of grilling food in public?

You might recognise the scene on a large patch of public grassland. The odour of inexpertly-charred meat. The babble of drunk people congregating. The spectacle of adults in shorts, arms folded, cheeks flushed with indignation, shouting at each other.

Barbecues are a precarious enough social occasion when they occur in the privacy of a back garden, with smoke and chatter billowing across fences, potentially inciting the ire of neighbours.

In communal spaces like parks – where one ratepayer’s carefree al fresco culinary get-together is another’s smoke-belching, grass-scorching, noisy, litter-strewn, anti-social nuisance – the capacity for confrontation and awkwardness is even greater.

Around the world this summer, civic leaders are grappling with a shared dilemma. In the New York borough of Brooklyn, there are calls to ban grilling in Prospect Park in an effort to rid it of “toxic fumes”.

In Camden, north London, by contrast, a long-standing and controversial barbecue ban is about to be overturned – following in the wake of neighbouring Islington, which lifted a similar prohibition in 2011.

Highbury Fields, north London: A park where barbecues are allowed

The issue can be deeply emotive. Leaders at Bristol City Council were accused of staging “an assault on civil liberties” when they proposed restricting a range of activities including lighting barbecues in parks.

In Rockdale, a suburb of Sydney – where cooking outdoors is widely seen as an expression of national pride – the failure of an effort to overturn a similar ban led to a mass walkout from the council chambers.

By contrast, some naysayers are implacably opposed to the practice of barbecuing in parks under any circumstances.

“Cooking in public places should be illegal,” insists Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace, a noted barbecue-phobe. “It’s going to smell. It’s going to cause a mess. If you want to cook you should do it in the kitchen.

“This is Britain. We have picnics. If you want to have a barbecue, put on a pair of Bermuda shorts and get on a plane for 20 hours to Australia or New Zealand.”

Source: BBCNews Read more

Satireday on Eco-Crap

the-environment-isn-amp-039-t-realistic-anymore_o_1797571

Make you Fink on Friday

kidgardening

Ramifications

Global decline of wildlife linked to child slavery

Children enslaved as fishing labour in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana

New research suggests the global decline in wildlife is connected to an increase in human trafficking and child slavery.

Ecologists say the shortage of wild animals means that in many countries more labour is now needed to find food.

Children are often used to fill this need for cheap workers, especially in the fishing industry.

The decline in species is also helping the proliferation of terrorism and the destabilisation of regions.

According to a study in the journal, Science, the harvesting of wild animals from the sea and the land is worth $400bn annually and supports the livelihoods of 15% of the world’s population.

But the authors argue that the rapid depletion of species has increased the need for slave labour. Declining fisheries around the world mean boats often have to travel further in harsher conditions to find their catch.

In Asia, men from Burma, Cambodia and Thailand are increasingly sold to fishing boats where they remain at sea for many years, without pay and forced to work 18-20 hour days.

“There’s a direct link between the scarcity of wildlife, the labour demands of harvests and this dramatic increase in child slavery,” said Prof Justin Brashares from the University of California, Berkeley, who led the study.

“Many communities that rely on these wildlife resources don’t have the economic capacity to hire more labourers, so instead they look for cheap labour, and in many areas this has led to the outright purchasing of children as slaves.”

This exploitation also happens in Africa, where people who once found their food in the neighbouring forests now travel for days to find prey.

Fishers to pirates

Children are often used by hunters to extract wildlife from areas that would be too costly to harvest.

The researchers contrast the outcomes of the collapse of fisheries of the north east coast of the US and in the waters off Somalia.

The decline of fish stocks is increasing the need for slave labour to work on the boats

Source: BBCNews Read more

Change the World Wednesday – 23rd Jul

No photos to bore you with today.

Nothing really to update either;

Click the banner for the full post

So let’s roll right along with this week’s CTWW.

This week Small has done a bunk.

She’s M.I.A.

Actually, I knew this was coming, just didn’t know when. She’s moving.

Good luck! I hate moving house.

So, the CTWW is continuing what we did last week. Click on the CTWW banner or visit my last week’s CTWW post.

This week my old cellphone gave up the ghost. I can’t complain, it was given to me, the same as my first cellphone. I have had 10 years of cost free cellphones.

I eventually got a new one on Monday.

Steam Punk Cellphone

Steam Punk Cellphone

Of course, it’s made of plastic. Only Steam Punk cellphones are made of steel.

I had looked around some shops and all they had were smartphones, I didn’t want a smartphone, I am smart enough to figure most things out.

I eventually found a kiosk selling such items in another department store I visited.

Simple, camera, music, sms, qwerty keys and it even makes phone calls. $129 (about US$55); it fitted the budget.

I expected it to come coddled in plastic and was pleased to find that it didn’t.

Only the battery was sealed in a small plastic bag, that and the rest was packed in a simple cardboard box.

Now, I have the problem. How to dispose of an old cellphone. It’s not repairable, it was too old when I got it; so that is not an option. I am looking now for a responsible way to dump it.

Not so easy when you live so far out of town. The velho oeste (Wild West) where I live is devoid of such niceties.

In the meantime, it RIPs with other PC bits and pieces in a box waiting a solution.

Perhaps the monitor repair chappy, knows. When I see him next, I’ll ask.

My new cellphone, Fire Orange…

So that’s my continuation of last week’s CTWW on plastics.

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