Senn. More than a film.

You may never have heard of Senn. It’s a film not out of Hollywood – and that’s a good thing, because I don’t think Hollywood will ever make something of such quality and depth.

Do as you’re instructed.

On my writer’s blog I’ve already paid some attention to Senn in regards to the film and the language that was designed for it. This post will focus on something else.

Senn is the name of a person on the planet Pyom. Pyom is a destroyed planet. The people of Pyom as a destroyed people. Oh, they live, walk and talk but their life isn’t what it used to be. (You may have gathered that Senn is a science fiction film. Otherwise now you know.)

Looking at Senn I saw lots of similarities of what’s going on on our own planet, and despite everything that’s going on, there is still that human touch which can remain alive. It shows the strength of people. Senn has touched me deeply.

Senn is not for science fiction lovers who are into space battles, Cylons, Klingons and gory, ooze-dripping aliens that rip people apart. Senn goes deep, very deep. If you feel you can handle that, if you think you can having your own mind ‘ripped apart’ (in a way that is how it felt to me after seeing it the first time) then please have a look at Senn. Otherwise go back to the Cylons.

You can find the film for sale (DVD, Bluray, digital download, etc.) at the Reelhouse. If you want to learn more about Senn, visit Sennition, the website that will tell you lots and lots about it.

Natural cleaning products

Original post found at Homesteadsurvivalist.com.

3 Natural Cleaning Products That Will Clean Your Entire Home

 BY  

These days, there are chemical substances in just about anything. And those chemicals can certainly be very harming, to our surroundings AND to our health. Natural substances for cleaning your house are certainly essential if you have animals or kids. You can also spend less too! Seems too excellent to be real?
Baking Soda
Baking soda is a superb deodorizer. That’s why they use it in our freezers and refrigerators. Also you have to know that it’s a natural abrasive and functions simply like those brand name cleaners? Excellent for sinks, bathrooms and tubs. Just spread and use with the sponge that’s all!

Hydrogen Peroxide
This cheap small gem is superb it is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and an anti-viral, which makes it exceptional for cleansing. Especially on kitchen counter tops in floors and in the bathroom (mildew, sinks, toilets). It presently is offered in a perfect bottle. Just purchase an inexpensive spray top that works. While you spray it on, remember to let it sit for a short time to be able for it to remove the microbes. If you are using the THIRTY-FIVE per cent grade hydrogen peroxide, in that case it’s preferred to decrease it, or just use the 3% you can get it in your regional shops.

Vinegar
Plain white vinegar is an excellent disinfectant. You can use a half and mix it with water, put it inside a spray bottle and start using it in many different places, also it’s particularly good on desks and for use on soap scum. Be sure you use it diluted, as vinegar is acidic and may be too hard on some types of surface. If you’re not so hot on the aroma of vinegar, you can put a squeeze of lemon juice or utilise lemon oil. An extra benefit of white vinegar is as a vegetable clean. Put half a cup in a sink full of water and throw in all those fresh vegetables.

to get rid of germs on your home sponges, make sure they are damp and set them in the microwave for TEN to FIFTEEN seconds. It destroys all microorganisms that can be hiding. Just be smart taking out them, they’ll be very hot

All of these items can easy get, quick to use and very cheap. Choosing all healthy cleaners is the painless option for our family member’s health and our surroundings.

Change we can believe in

From DynamicSpiral:

So, by now you’ve probably heard that we’ve recently crossed a dubious milestone: Earth’s carbon dioxide level has reached 400ppm. That’s the highest it’s been since we started taking measurements—and, as far as we can tell, the last time it was that high, there weren’t any people around to talk about it.

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. There were people, but they looked more like this:

Image of female Australopithecus
San Diego Museum of Man

As you might have grasped from the NatGeo article, this is…kind of a big deal. Right about this point, the folks who’ve been sounding the alarm on climate change for years might be about ready to tear their hair out. Why aren’t we doing more about it? Why aren’t we doing absolutely everything in our power to try to reverse the damage we humans are doing to the climate?

The short answer—the easy answer—is that there are too many climate-change deniers. And while that’s definitely true, there’s a bigger ideological issue here.

As you may have heard, we have a bit of a problem here in the U.S. involving the intersection of science and religion. These two have some trouble getting along, sometimes. For reasons that I’ll leave to the religion scholars, our country has become a stronghold for a particularly virulent strain of fingers-in-ears, head-in-sand Biblical literalism that is so anti-science it’s frankly terrifying. You may be familiar with the anti-evolution, Young Earth Creationist nonsense that gets spouted by these folks, but there’s another branch of Christian thought that isn’t anti-science so much as anti-Earth.

At a recent evangelical Christian conference, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll is reported to have said during a talk, ”I know who made the environment. He’s coming back and he’s going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” (You can see liberal Christian publication Sojourner‘s theologically alarmed response here).

Driscoll also made some comments linking SUVs and his concept of masculinity that I’ll leave to his psychoanalyst to unpack—but, for now, back to the topic at hand. Driscoll’s comment, referring to the “End Times” of Biblical prophecy, basically conveys that he sees no point in exerting any effort to protect the environment because it’s all going to end in a fiery cataclysm, anyway.

Just like the good Lord intended.

There is a strain of Christian belief that views the world as fundamentally flawed, “fallen” along with our mythical garden-going progenitors who succumbed to the temptations of forbidden fruit. From within this mindset, the world is inherently corrupt, and slotted for destruction. It’s not worth saving. Which might be why believers in the End Times are less likely to believe we should take action to avert climate change.

Especially if you don’t believe the end is far off. I mean, all those climate-disaster-scenarioweather-pornos films that Hollywood’s cranked out over the years make it look like climate change would kind of suck. But if you’re planning on getting Raptured out of here before ravening wolves take to eating people in Central Park (or whatever happened in that one movie), then what do you care what happens to this planet before it collapses into an unholy hot mess?

Do you remember way back a year ago, when folks were freaking out over the purported end of the Mayan calendar, and a Reuters poll found that 22% of Americans think the world will end in our lifetime? At least 1 in 5 people in this country believes the material universe is currently circling the drain, and that we—as in, the people alive right now—will personally witness its final lap around the cosmic toilet bowl.

When you look at it from their perspective, what’s a few miles per gallon in the not-so-long run?

But this worldview doesn’t just make people indifferent to environmentalism; it is, by logical extension, fundamentally anti-environment.

Christians of this stripe are in the world, not of it. This wicked world belongs to the unwashed masses of unsaved souls who are doomed along with it, and to expend any effort trying to preserve what God has earmarked for righteous destruction is an exercise in both futility and borderline-heretical arrogance. From the perspective of someone who adheres to this belief system, it might even be a sign of one’s faith to actively oppose any perceived pro-environmental causes.

For example: In a recent study, researchers found that self-identified conservatives were significantly less likely to buy an energy-efficient lightbulb if its packaging included a pro-environmental sticker than if it didn’t. Pitching it as something that would save them money on their electricity bill was fine; but as soon as you said the Evil E Word, conservatives checked out.

“He who is not with me is against me,” as they say.

America. Your rain are belong to us.

Yes, dear Americans, you saw that correctly. Your rain is not yours.

Via NaturalNews: Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else.

As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.

Check out this YouTube video of a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.

After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.

“Utah’s the second driest state in the nation. Our laws probably ought to catch up with that,” explained Miller in response to the state’s ridiculous rainwater collection ban.

(Follow the link to NaturalNews for the whole article.)

The green thing

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

 

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

 

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

Belo Monte dam construction halted by Brazilian court

‘A Great Victory’: Controversial Brazilian Dam Construction Halted

Brazilian Federal court finds Belo Monte hydro-electric dam licenses invalid, indigenous peoples were not consulted

A victory came to activists in Brazil on Tuesday when a federal judge halted construction on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon, saying that the indigenous peoples had not been consulted.

The impacts of the dam, which would have been the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world, had long been slammed by indigenous groups and environmental activists who said that it would have displaced thousands and wreaked havoc upon the ecosystem while contributing to greenhouse gases.

When the Brazilian Congress gave approval for the dam in 2005, there were no consultations with the indigenous peoples about the environmental impacts, a fact that Judge Souza Prudente found in violation of the Brazilian Constitution.

“A study on the environmental impact of the project was required before, not after, work on the dam started. The legislation is flawed,” Judge Souza Prudente told O Globo newspaper.

“The Brazilian Congress must take into account the decisions taken by the indigenous communities. Legislators can only give the go-ahead if the indigenous communities agree with the project,” he said.

Souza Prudente remarked at a press conference that “only in a dictatorial regime does a government approve a project before holding consultations.”

Indigenous groups lauded the court ruling. “It’s a historic decision for the country and for the native communities,” said Antonia Melo, coordinator of the Xingu Vivo indigenous movement.

“It’s a great victory which shows that Belo Monte is not a done deal. We are very happy and satisfied.”

Zachary Hurwitz of International Rivers writes that “the decision supports the arguments that the affected tribes have been making over the lifetime of Belo Monte: tribes will face downstream livelihood impacts as a result of a reduction in the flow of the Xingu River on the 100-km stretch known as the Volta Grande or ‘Big Bend,’ and were never properly consulted, much less gave their consent.”

Hurwitz adds that the economic rationale dam proponents pushed is fundamentally flawed. “Economic rationale for the dam is based on a projected economic growth of 5% or more a year, but over the past few quarters, GDP has been lucky to grow at even a measly rate. As far as Belo Monte’s importance to Brazil’s economic race, this is really a case of the horse following the wagon.”

“And, as illustrated by this historic court decision, the wagon has been trampling on indigenous people and their rights, along the way,” writes Hurwitz.
SOURCE – via White Wolf.

The need for speed.

How did the world turn into such a race track? And before you think I speak riddles: I mean motorways, freeways, Autobahn. Fill in the name depending on where you are.

If you have a car, how fast do you drive? And why do you drive it at that speed? Do you stick to the speed limit because faster is an offence? Do you go over the speed limit because it is a thrill? Or because you will be on time if you do? Or do you drive a lot slower?

I drive slowly. My speed on the motorway usually averages that of trucks. 80 to 85km/hour, about 55 or so mph. Is that slow? Sure, why not? People told me that there’s no fun in driving that slowly. It takes so long to get somewhere, all others are overtaking you, yadda yadda yadda.

Yesterday I did an experiment. I drove 120km/hour, about 78mph. Guess what? All but 2 cars overtook me. Right, that takes care of the argument that others overtake me, they do so anyway because they like to race like madmen, and of course madwomen. Well, with regular petrol only costing €1.82 per litre (think around $8.50 a gallon), what’s against that, right? It’s a cheap enough drive then.

My car is an eco-car. A Toyota Auris Full Hybrid. When I drive it the way I do now, I get almost 25km to the litre, about 60 miles per gallon. Works for me. The time I spend is my own, no one else’s, so that works for me too. And I get to see a lot more because I don’t race around like a fool, pushing to be in the rat race, going faster to do more, to be there in time, to do what the big lugs of the global economy expect everyone to do.

The world is going faster and faster, as if there is no tomorrow (there probably isn’t anyway, but that’s a different subject). Time flies, everyone complains about it, and money seems to fly along with it. (Well, pushing the accelerator will make that happen through the tiny vortex you create in your car’s fuel reserve.)

I’ll continue to take things easy. Time to hurry comes when there is a reason to, not because the rest of the world prescribes it. I’ll drive at my slow speed, see the trees and the cows, and the occasional sparrow-hawk or buzzard that sometimes sit on perches and signs along the road.

Would You Trust an 80-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor?

“The worst nuclear near-disaster that you’ve never heard of came to light in 2002, when inspectors at Ohio’s Davis-Besse nuclear power station discovered that a slow leak had been corroding a spot on the reactor vessel’s lid for years (PDF). When they found the cavity, only 1 cm of metal was left to protect the nuclear core. That kind of slow and steady degradation is a major concern as the US’s 104 reactors get older and grayer,says nuclear researcher Leonard Bond. U.S. reactors were originally licensed for 40 years of operation, but the majority have already received extensions to keep them going until the age of 60. Industry researchers like Bond are now determining whether it would be safe and economically feasible to keep them active until the age of 80. Bond describes the monitoring techniques that could be used to watch over aging reactors, and argues that despite the risks, the U.S. needs these aging atomic behemoths.”

Read more via Slashdot.

Transportation. Time for change.

Something has to happen. The picture here is one most people know and recognise. Have you ever sat in such a mess? If yes, I pity you. If not, then how on earth did you manage that?

We are all the slaves of fossil fuel. Diesel, petrol, whatever kind your vehicle likes, it is there for you, and the prices go up and up and up (and down a cent) and up some more. The only ones who thrive on that are the big oil companies. And they know that the reserves of their liquid gold are diminishing, so they are pushing up the prices some more to make as much in their lifetime as they can. All under the guise of wars in oil-producing areas, cost of labour and more of that.

We need to look at the other options much more. Individual transport is the holy cow of the western world. Go electric. Oil companies try to stop electric, but they are failing (finally). They also blocked hydrogen cars for very long, hopefully that is going to fall and fail too. A better form of public transport, smaller units transporting people more flexibly to more places. Electric trains, maglev trains. Oh, of course, that costs bundles of money, but it is an investment in the future, one that will keep its value. More roads, more asphalt, preparing for more fossil-fuel devouring machines is an investment for the short term. A waste of money. We have to look forward.