Monthly Archives: August 2013

Self explanatory

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Equal is not the same as justice.

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Coma-ruga

Coma-ruga

The beach near my house. Well actually it is a stream of hot spring water than comes from the mountains and goes into the Mediterranean Sea. I took this picture on a sunny winter day.

Green green , what does it mean ?… then and now

In the past thirty some odd years  the meaning of  “ being green” has changed significantly. Thirty four years ago, in 1989 a 50 simple things you can do..best selling book was published, 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save the Earth , by  EarthWorks Group, (Berkeley, CA: Earthworks Press, 1989). http://everything2.com/title/50+Simple+Things+You+Can+Do+to+Save+the+Earth You can see the 50 tips at the link above. I remember taking it out of the library, copying the 50 tips by hand in a notebook , and earnestly trying to do as many of them as I could. This book was important because it was the first mass media product I remember that created a lot of buzz….well before the word buzz existed I guess.

On the other hand , at the time I did not realize that this book had an approach that would be later called “ a mile wide and an inch deep.” There was not much analysis of the actions suggested and they varied from pick up litter on a beach to recycle aluminum cans, which was , believe it or not , not very easy to do in many places in 1989. Saving the earth and protecting the environment still sort of a new idea. It was also still largely free from political polarization and not yet highly legislated

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erin brockovich

Over a decade later , in the year 2000  Erin Brockovich , portrayed by the popular Julia Roberts hit the screens. Could this be true? Were big companies really so evil and ruthless? These questions were, perhaps for the first time , brought to the minds of the general public. And we were already in the 21st century.

Of course all, along environmentalists had been trying to get the word out about the multiple and complex environmental issues and even though Greenpeace had been founded almost 30 years earlier , it was still not fully mainstream. green peace

Today we are not so innocent and  not so uninformed but , tragically, we are much more polarized about something that is basic to our very survival and quality of life, as well as that of future generations.  Issues such as fracking, renewable energy,  climate change and many others have become a source of division, as interest groups inform , misinform and counter- inform , often distorting or giving partial information.

In order to be well-informed about these important issues we must make an effort. There is so much contradictory information out there that we need to read extensively , select reliable sources and think critically. Unfortunately not everyone has the time or inclination to do all this work, and that is when political parties or industrial interest groups can get their message out , which may, or may not, be a message that is keeping the common good in mind.

Being green in 2013 may seem complex, but it is also much more urgent, so it is important to find the facts , face the facts and then act in consequence.

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Skys , rocks and sea. Bermuda

Skys , rocks and sea.  Bermuda

Our beautiful planet needs to be taken care of .

Verdolaga…ever heard of it?

Well , I had never heard of it until it started to grow in pots in my roof garden, and someone told me what it was. They recognized it because they had an Italian friend who ate it. Portulaca oleracea , aso known as Pigweed, Little Hogweed and Moss Rose, is either a weed , or a salad, depending on how you look at it. As a very urban person, who is only just learning about so many things related to plants and soil and gardens, I was afraid it could be poisonous, as I had read that there is a related variety which is inedible. The test is to see if it is the edible kind is break a stem and if a white liquid comes out , it is of the kind you cannot eat. Even though this was not the cause I was still very cautious and at only one little leave the first day and a few more the next.

It tastes like Canonigos or other small leaf salads ingredients , actually it tastes a bit salty and it is not at all bitter.

Also it is as hardy as, well , as hardy as a weed! 

And grows like a weed too. No fuss , no special care, very resilient. But the best is yet to come, Verdolaga  is highly nutritious.  According to information found in Wikipedia “It contains more  omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[4]) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Studies have found that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for a land-based vegetable source. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds.[5] It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)[6] and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies

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Portulaca oleracea showing blooms

Quote by A. Nin 1941

Nothing perfect, nobody perfect.

Nothing perfect, nobody perfect.

10 Tips for starting a blog. Lessons learned from my first steps.

1. Don´t be afraid….as long as you don´t publish something you won´t regret forever, there is not much that can really go wrong.

2. Don´t worry what anyone thinks about it, unless you tell people you are writing a blog they will never find it anyway.

3. If you want people to read it, start by telling people in your social media to have a look at it, and invite them to comment.

4. Start out with blog name that you don’t really want to use, and open a practice blog so that you can look around WordPress, (or blog-blackboard-sign-thumb21291119whichever platform you are using ) a bit before you actually begin your blog.

5. Create a new folder and start gathering some photos so that when you have your post written you can quickly add a photo.

6. Download the Evernote app on your smart phone so you can record ideas wherever you are.

7. Get a formatting tool. Windows Live Writer so that you can format the post. On my first Welcome post and the About page, I couldn’t´t get the picture and the text where I wanted them because I was writing it directly in WordPress.  This did take about  an hour to  get it formatted correctly, but that is all part of the learning.

8.  If you commute in public transport like I do, you might want to bring a notebook….in my case I mean paper and pen….or if you have tablet …well , better yet.

9. Realize that having a blog is like any other hobby, either you can abandon it, or dedicate time to it and get better and better at it until you finally are producing some nice hobby results.

10. Keep learning. This is the most fun part for me!!