30 Apr 2009

Endorphins, recycling, cold fusion, swine flu, permaculture and more

Here is a collection of all sorts that interested me:

Photo: Citizen reports teenager David Evans is back at Whiteshill Primary School as their lollypop man.

The Endorphin Effect. Monday night I was in Cheltenham to hear William Bloom give an inspiring talk about a set of easy-to-use strategies that support our health. Endorphins are natural chemicals produced in every cell of the body and are involved in the relaxation of tissue, the anaesthetizing of pain and the physical sensations of pleasure. All zoological creatures, including the single-celled, produce endorphins. A well-balanced state of health includes an ongoing production of endorphins. Babies, toddlers and children are naturally – given a non-violent family and culture – endorphinated. As adolescents and adults we tend to lose our natural wellbeing and tighten up. Adrenalin and cortisol – the hormones of tension and anxiety – begin to predominate. William Bloom is wonderfully authentic - he was talking about how we can trigger the production of these hormones - and I need them! Well worth a look - indeed essential reading - See more at: www.williambloom.com/endorphins.php

Green Nobel Prize. See more here.
Permaculture Principles at Work. I got sent this introduction to permaculture principles:
Plus Connie Van Dyke’s inspirational urban garden in Portland, Oregon:

The Psychological Benefits of Gardening. There are numerous obvious benefits of growing at least a portion of your own organic food, but very little has been written about its psychological benefits. In Geoff Lawton's new DVD "Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way", we learn how gardening provides food for the soul, as well as the body. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17524.cfm

Cold Fusion - is this really a reality? New evidence could open up the whole scientific community to develop free safe abundant energy? See more at Nuclear Engineering International here. And a link to a Youtube here.

Electrical waste video. I was sent a link to the film "Printer Vs Bin" which has been unleashed by WRAP to highlight the need and facilities for recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Hosted at <http://www.vimeo.com/3761095> the animation recreates a Tarantino-esque duel between an obsolete printer and a wheelie bin. The aim of the film is to remind people not just to bin their waste electrical goods, but instead to recycle them. The campaign is also being supported by the interactive Regeneration Game <http://snipurl.com/dnpm5> in which users put in their postcode before playing the game and then the game cleverly features details of their nearest recycling facilities. There is also a URL supplied at which people can find out where to recycle at http://www.dontbinitbringit.org

Nailsworth School Opts Out. An independent school in Gloucestershire, which Ofsted found 'Outstanding' in many areas when it was inspected has become the first in England to apply for exemption from parts of the EYFS. The Acorn School in Nailsworth, which is registered for 120 pupils aged three to 19, has applied for exemption from the reading, writing and assessment aspects of the EYFS around literacy, numeracy and the use of computers. See one of my previous blogs here. Headmaster Mr Whiting comments: "From nought to seven children have what we call a Kindergarten experience, which is developing the will. From seven to 14 our feeling, artistic and musical elements develop, so it's an artistic, musical, feeling education from age seven to 14. Only at 14 are the thinking processes coming in to the human being, so there we have a more academic and intellectual education here....There are no state exams, no SATs, and no state testing. I have managed to achieve what no other school has achieved in this country, and that is a 100 per cent success rate for students who have moved from the school to university."

Battery recycling. Given the recent EU Batteries Directive and imminent UK Regulations, you may be interested to know that inventors of the USBCELL re-usable battery format www.usbcell.com, just launched a new site www.SaveBatteryWaste.com to help consumers find battery collection points, nationwide council links and recycling advice. I'm not aware of the environmental credentials of the usbcell? Anyone out there help?

Eat the Suburbs. This good short film takes the oil debate to the backyard and follows everyday homeowners as they prepare for the end of the oil age... one garden at a time. See it here.

Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization? See article here.

Success re Nanomaterials. I've been concerned for some time re nanomaterials - Caroline Lucas reports the EU vote recently (see here) means there will be an overhaul of legislation in this area. While the use of nanomaterials comes with the promise of many (yet to be proven) benefits, they may also present significant new risks due to their minute size, such as increased reactivity and mobility, possibly leading to increased toxicity in combination with unrestricted access to the human body. It is right they will be looked at properly - let's hope we don't now see the Chemical industry leaning on the EU.

Swine flu. While attention is understandably focused on how to deal with the consequences of the current swine flu epidemic, it is vital that governments put serious resources into examining its causes as well. Evidence is mounting linking the increasing intensification of pig and poultry production, and the spread of these animal-based epidemics that can be lethal to humans. We need a comprehensive inquiry urgently. See more re Green party view here.

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