Posts Tagged ‘education’

Monday Moaning

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday… deal with it! I am. I’ve got coffee.

Nature Ramble on Sunday warned of illegal pets, or transporting species from one part of the planet to another.

Here’s another issue that runs parallel to keeping turles and other unusal pets.

Hewlett-Packard ad featuring runaway iguana ‘poses threat to native wildlife’

Invasive Species Council asks company to pull ad, saying ‘Ralph the iguana’ could encourage Australians to buy the illegal pet

Hewlett-Packard’s Australian advertisement features a boy whose pet iguana is on the loose.

Hewlett-Packard has been criticised for featuring a runaway iguana in its Australian advertising, as the animal is considered an environmental threat and is illegal to own as a pet.

The Invasive Species Council has said the use of “Ralph the iguana” in HP’s marketing campaign would encourage Australians to obtain iguanas as pets, only for them to be released into the wild, where they could cause significant damage to native flora and fauna.

The HP campaign is an online effort involving the tagline #HelpFindRalph. People can look at pictures of Ralph to guess his location in order to win various HP products.

So far, Ralph has been photographed alongside camels on the beach in Broome, looking sanguine in a South Australian vineyard and looming in front of Sydney town hall. The green iguana has also been shown at the Twelve Apostles in Victoria and the Whitsunday islands in Queensland.

“We don’t want to create a new demand for this species and for people to buy them on the black market,” Andrew Cox, chief executive of the Invasive Species Council, told Guardian Australia. “These things can grow up to two metres long and then people will dump them, which causes a major threat to northern Australia.

“Hewlett-Packard should have known better. They should have done their homework. They now need to make people aware that it’s illegal to have iguanas in Australia and that they are a threat to the environment here.”

Green iguanas, which can weigh up to 9kg, are considered a pest because of their broad diet, which may include native plants, animals and bird eggs. Their burrows can also disturb the environment.

A Queensland government analysis has warned the animals are considered “high-risk” to the natural environment and are prone to spread in that state because the climate is comparable to that of their native central America.

Although they are often kept as pets, the Queensland government warns: “Adult iguanas are large, powerful animals. When threatened they can bite, cause severe scratch wounds and deliver a painful slap with their tail.”

It is illegal to import iguanas or keep them as pets but 17 animals have been seized by authorities since 1999.

“We can only guess how many are in Australia, probably hundreds,” Cox said. “We don’t want that number to increase because once they are established, it’s a hard creature to dislodge. They can camouflage themselves in the wild, after all.”

The Invasive Species Council, which recently warned of an influx of pest species into Australia, has written to HP asking the company to scrap the advertising campaign and apologise.

But an HP spokeswoman told Guardian Australia it had no plans to alter the ads and that Ralph would continue appearing next to Australian landmarks.

Source: TheGuardian


I realise that Ralph is an invasive species and therefore a concern, but I wonder is this making a mountain out of a molehill?

Ralph makes an endearing ambassador for HP and understandably so.

Perhaps HP should have been a little more astute in their campaign and added an educational factor into the ad, therefore actually helping the powers that be.

But there is also the responsibility of parents in educating their kids about such issues and the matter should also be dealt with in schools.

Change the World Wednesday – 16th Jul

Remember my green tomatoes from a couple of weeks ago?

Well, a couple of them actually turned red, small but ripe.


Ripening before the plant died off

And this was their fate…

A blurry pizza

A blurry pizza

Yes, they were sacrificed in the name of football (soccer) during the World Cup.

A couple of weeks ago, three actually, I harvested my chilies. Here is the bush again this week.


Ready to harvest again

I also have fresh ginger to pull when I need it.

This is one lot of ginger, there is another

This is one lot of ginger, there is another

And my guava are guavering…

Bunches of guava, soon for the plucking

Bunches of guava, soon for the plucking

I have so many guava, that I have been giving them to the neighbourhood kids, which prompted one of them to comment, “Você não é tal velho caduco),” (You’re not such a grumpy old man at all). Made me grin.

The produce shop has closed permanently, sadly 😦 It is becoming a neighbourhood pizza place…

Click the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW,

Plastic Bags!

Those evil things.

This week, ban plastic bags. Carry a reusable bag, use a box, or simply carry items loose. Say NO to plastic bags and don’t allow them into your home.


OR … If your home is plastic bag free, please refuse to buy anything which is packaged in plastic (I know … it’s truly a challenge … but I have confidence in you).


OR … Look around your home for plastic items and then, research non-plastic alternatives. If you are ready to replace the item, please do. If not, make plans to do so when the time comes.


I don’t qualify for parts 2 & 3.

But I do try to minimise my plastic bags. I try to take reusable bags, but don’t always find myself in a position to do so, my visits to the supermarket are often spontaneous, a decision made while out.

At the moment, one of my supermarkets is out of the paper option, and the girl at the checkout was packing my stuff. Sometimes she would put just two or three items in a bag, I complained bitterly, unpacking and repacking more items to reduce the number of bags.


My haul of bags from the supermarket

This girl had no idea. I might have been talking Portuguese (actually I was) and she still couldn’t grasp the idea that I wanted less plastic bags. The concept was totally beyond her. I reduced the number of bags by more than half had I let her do it alone.

I complained to the owner. We have spoken on many occasions, mostly complaints; Brazilians don’t complain, I do. I told him of my experience, and suggested that his staff training was lacking when it came to environmental issues. He agreed, and said he would look into it, and I know he will, he’s not Brazilian, but rather Portuguese and sees management from a European point of view.

So while I suffer plastic bags, I don’t do it lightly.

In this case, I hope that I have raised some awareness.

All those bags will be reused. Mainly as rubbish bin liners; buy plastic trash can liners, that I’d never do, our rubbish collections are not designed for trash cans. Also they are used for my recyclable items on Tuesday’s recycle collection. If I have a surplus, I give them to the botequim for take-aways, so he doesn’t have to buy plastic bags for customers to lug away their bottles.

Oh, and the people who use them to take away their beer, they’ll use them as trashcan liners. Triple and double use is better than single use.

Here in Brazil the lack of education, especially in environmental issues is almost non-existent, although small changes are being made in schools now, but it will be a generation before we see any real improvement.

Public utilities like rubbish collection need to change their ways before these horrid things become unnecessary. Park maintenance rakes up the leaves and mown grass and packs it kerbside in huge plastic bags for collection, the dice are loaded against us.

Meanwhile, here there is no escape from the ubiquitous plastic bag.

So while I fail at the CTWW this week, I do take remedial action.


Plastic bag use rises for fourth year


Monday Moaning

We have become a world of pill poppers. You name the malady and there is a pill to pop for it.

I have read in many places that a lot of the pills we take are in fact placebos, they do nothing. Or they screw around with your brain.

Years ago, I had a problem with reflux caused by an ulcer that was caused by the anti inflamtories I was taking for a broken hip. The specialist gave me some pills, sure, stopped the pain. I then discovered how it stopped the pain. The medication simply told my brain to ignore it; the problem was still there.

More than a year later my own doctor told me this, and changed me to a medication that helped heal the ulcer and so stop the pain.

Last week, I posted this…

And it made me wonder where doctors lost the plot.

Recently, I read this post:

A Cure That Doesn’t Kill

Here’s the opening gambit.

“Worried about gun control? Yes, of course, let’s demolish the Second Amendment and instead let the “Doctor”, hand us death, faster than any bullet…

Mr. President, trust this when I tell you, that my own doctor, FDA and all the processed foods in our super-markets, will kill me quicker than any gun ever will.

If you get sick in USA and your family is not on Forbes list of the most richest wealthiest (there’s a difference) and influential people in America… you’re fucked.”

Click on the link above, read the full post, it’s an eye-opener.


Make you Fink on Friday


Monday Moaning

split_endsMy Monday moaning could well be about the fact that I didn’t get to moan on Monday.

I am suffering a terrible affliction at the moment, it’s called work. Not just work, but it’s worse than split ends, it’s split days. Split days do not bode well with my post load.

It’s now Tuesday late p.m.

So here is Monday Moaning.

Generation Cool: Self-obsessed Millennials having so much fun

I saw this BBC Headline, the rest of the article was not so much about the topic, but it did give me an idea for a moan.

“We will not be a great generation, we are too self-absorbed, spending most of our time on frivolous things, like posting photos of ourselves. We are cool kids, we are the cool generation.” – That’s the last paragraph from the BBC article.

The Millenials, as opposed to my own time called the Baby Boomers, are about as a miserable generation as I could ever have depicted; totally frivolous and wasteful, like never before.


Milk and honey, even the oatmeal is a GMO

What was the ‘land of milk and honey’ is no more. We’ve polluted and destroyed the milk and , as the Brits are finding out, we’ve poisoned the bees with insecticides; so there goes the honey. What we have left is bland white liquid and honeyless love.

Of course, all this is helped along by the devious politicians. This is exactly the way they want it because there are too many people around, 7 billionish at the last count, and rising.

The cure is piss poor education to keep us stupid, and chronically shocking health ideals to help some of us to die off, being so stupid that we can’t see the wood for the trees.


Next station: Extinction

We, as a race, are barreling along like a driverless steam locomotive heading directly for the last station on the line:

“Extinction! All out!” Cried the conductor.

We are all too busy being cool, wasting stuff and having fun, that we aren’t capable of noticing our arrival at the last station.

Change the World Wednesday – 29th May

running lateRunning late today, although when you get to my age, it’s more like a fast hobble.

Doing things, not doing the things I should be doing, but doing other things.

My mean green leaf eating machine from Sunday’s Nature Ramble is doing fine. He wasn’t very active in the clip I posted, so I shot an action movie yesterday, you can see that on my post Day Off. Could be inline for an Oscar here.

I have resigned myself to the harsh white light of the eco-bulb. Every time I turn it on I am reminded of the line in the song… ‘Blinded by the light….’

Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW is about water, again, but with a difference.

This week challenge others to reduce water. You might write a post, asking your readers to take shorter showers or to wash full loads of laundry. Perhaps you ask your Facebook or Twitter followers to let their lawns go dry for a week. This will be your challenge … you may make it as broad or specific as you wish and on any platform that suits you. The goal is to expand our circle and get more people reducing water use.


OR … If you’d rather not challenge others, then please find additional ways to conserve water in your household.


The botequim nextdoor

The botequim next door, my favourite watering hole, has a hose for the players and kids from the praça to use as a free shower or drink. It’s a service that the bar does for the praça, because the bar has to pay for the water used.

Many times the kids forget to turn of the water, or waste it with horseplay. I began policing the use, and reminding the forgetful ones to turn of the spigot. Since I started now many of the fregües (regulars) have adopted the same role.

It’s not so often now that we have to remind kids, they’ve got used to the idea and have become self-policing.

It’s a small thing, but the word has spread.

This is the type of thing that I do as a matter of course, not just because it is a CTWW challenge.

Change the World Wednesday – 15th Aug

I got dobbed twice last week for the same award. Cool, I am now a double Sunshine Award winner, that’s even better than an Olympic Gold. That’s something that I’ll never win, not unless they introduce leap-frogging supreme with walking sticks as an event.

Water was the theme last week. I didn’t have that much to say, as I am already pretty careful with my water.

The weather has become sunny, but not hot, so still having every-second -day showers. The neighbours haven’t complained yet and my students haven’t noticed, so there seems to be no harm done.

This week’s CTWW challenge is an important one because it’s about education. Educating the kids to do their bit.

This week, if you have kids, think of something which involves your children, which also creates waste or is environmentally unfriendly, and commit to changing it. For example, consider how your baby is diapered and whether or not there is a more Eco-friendly method. What types of materials does your youngster use when creating those artistic masterpieces? Does your teenager drive or walk to school … and what about school supplies? This week is all about greening our kids.


Or …

If you don’t have children, your challenge is to be an observer and then offer recommendations. Take a look at the families around you and talk about what you see working … and what doesn’t. Offer recommendations and helpful tips to assist parents in greening their children.

I have stewed over this challenge all day. You’d think it would be easy after raising 12; you’d think I had all the answers, but it doesn’t work like that.

Instead of offering advice, I am going to show you a situation near my home as an observer in the second part of the challenge.

Just behind where I live is the Rio Cabuçu. It’s close, about a three minute walk. It doesn’t look like a river; no rivers in Rio do, they’re concrete canals. Not at all like the city rivers where I grew up.

I am used to beautiful rivers, clean rivers, rivers with grassy bank, rivers where you can play, fish and scoop out a handful of water and drink it.

The Avon River, Christchurch

But, let me go back to the Rio Cabuçu in contrast.

Rio Cabuçu

You can neither play in, fish from, nor drink this ‘water.’ This photo was taken about a year ago; the river is currently wall to wall at the bend where the water flow is impeded by the rubbish.

The people from the small slum area (r) beside the river and those from the suburb to the left just throw their rubbish into the canal. The kids do the same; the kids are told to do the same. They have the same trice-weekly rubbish collections that we have, but they have no conscience. They are passing this lack of conscience on to their kids.

If you challenge them, they get indignant. The river floods with every rain storm and becomes a raging torrent that fills the canal washing all before it. And the cycle starts again. Household rubbish, tree trimmings, old furniture, dead animals, they even throw concrete rubble and bricks from building projects into the canal.

These families are poorly educated. The parents don’t know how to teach their children, and so the children don’t have any respect for their surroundings.

This is not just a case of advising the parents, it is a case that the whole community needs to be taken to task by officialdom and educated. Anyone like myself would be just considered a busybody.

I walk across this river daily and lament at the artlessness, hold my breath on hot days to avoid the stench, and wonder how can people do this to their own backyard.

This is why it’s so important to educate the kids.


Make you Fink on Friday

We often don’t realise just how important nature is to us. Often blind-siding the many aspects of nature that are beneficial.

I have in past posts talked about things like ‘cow poo’, now you can’t get more natural than that, that’s really down to earth. But it’s an important factor in reducing stress.

Polluting the planet is another detriment, deforestation, industrial waste, plastic bags, use of non-recoverable resources, technology are all widely talked about.

How often do you see Asians wearing glasses?

Another less obvious aspect is our need for daylight. I have blogged about this too; and I am going to again.

We ignore our need for daylight.

In the above post I complained about the building of buildings that need artificial light during the day.

Now I am going to show the detrimental aspect of a lack of natural light.

Read this article:

Massive rise in Asian eye damage

Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia – short-sightedness – a study suggests.

Researchers say the “extraordinary rise” in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.

Average levels of myopia are 20-30% in the UK

The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.

In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.

According to Professor Ian Morgan, who led this study and is from the Australian National University, 20-30% was once the average among people in South East Asia as well.

Source: BBC News Read more

The need for Asians to study to get ahead is endemic. They push themselves to the limits and to do so they are indoors, but at what cost to their health?

The cause – “a commitment to education and lack of outdoor light. ”

Education is a good thing, but it must be balanced with the body’s need for nature.

Artificial light is a form of pollution, and we must act against it in the same way we fight plastic bags.

Friday Night Horror Movie


The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

Take the time to watch this, it’s for all parents. It shows what’s happening to your kids. If you care, watch it.

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