I was happy to learn that our local technology professionals (IT, web, engineers) got together and formed an action group. The topics include how to improve the local technology.
From a historical point of view, we are are currently at a turning point when era of ego-centrism is moving on to the era of community. The timeline of humanity goes through three stages:
Era Zero (potential) -> then Era One (ego-centrism or animal priorities) -> Era Two (human priorities)
Today we are right in between: we are in transition from Era One to Era Two. Era Zero is the baby stage of humanity and era of potential: what path would we choose? We have chosen the path of technology. Era One is akin to teenage years: independence is important here, we needed achievements, needed to feel that we are capable to live on our own. Era Two is humanity’s adulthood: where we no longer question our abilities and capable of taking in our ancestor’s knowledge without being blind followers. We combine our achievements with that of our ancestors and become finally creators.
We are now facing a situation when old ways no longer work. We now feel the dead end. And technology is one of the reasons for the changes of the Eras because it brought about the following changes:
Don’t get too serious when talking about politics. Don’t get emotional. Don’t get excited. It’s all a big show and what they want is you getting excited. If they can get you to get excited in one way and somebody else in another way and then clash you together – that’s even better because that causes even more excitement. The more emotions – the better. Think of media as of suckers or vampires that feed on your emotions.
Here is another example of magical fantasy series that comes from England, English fairy tales, and filled with the feeling of streets of London.
First thing I’ve noticed the bright graphics of the series. That certainly grabs attention. Second, it’s a fairly large series with 7 books just of the main plot, then additional series, add-on books with characters, histories, its own website, maps, even character cards. The only thing missing is probably lack of connection to the real-life world.
I had a strange experience with this book as I really did not like the settings, my attention wasn’t there at the beginning, I didn’t like the system of magic, nor the characters. So I only kept reading to learn writing. However, to my surprise, closer to the end it turned out to be very interesting book, with great emotional involvement. At the very end I felt a bit bored again but nonetheless all the characters became dear to me and if entertainment was my goal I would probably got the rest of the books from the series to read.
Here is a list of things I’ve noticed while reading fantasy books that for my taste would improve your writing:
write about topics that you already know or willing to take time to learn
grab reader’s attention and try to keep it during the whole book
awesome add-ons: humor and write about the feelings of your characters
happy-end adds a nice after-taste for any book
include some real-life meaning, food for thought, help your readers to become better people
a well-developed world, system of magic, characters really help you as a writer to stay out of boo-boos like contradicting yourself or describing events that are not possible, or illogical. I guess if you are starting to write it is easiest to take real-world people and make characters out of them.
include spontaneous, non-logical events, change the rules of the world on the fly, let your characters act on their own without your control
base your story on something greater like folklore – like Loki’s Wolfs based their story on Scandinavian mythology
connect your story to real-life: create tasks that readers can do in real life
show how your main hero progresses, improves his character, becomes a better person, solves problems
As I want to write in that genre I am raiding the library for fantasy books. Here’s the first one I found: “Loki’s Wolves” by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr – this is a first book in “The Blackwell Pages” trilogy.
Judging by the cover I thought this is a standard fantasy, standard storyline, and it really did turned out to be the baseline for fantasy.
writing: well written, it kept my attention and it leads you quite smoothly through the story.
characters: I find that the characters and likable and they might be more developed which will probably happen in the next two books
what I liked: great idea about bringing the Scandinavian folklore tales to life
suitable for children: very much so, I think it matches well its suggested audience
I am not very excited about this book. I think this is a really good baseline book if you are just starting to write: learn to keep the story flow, keep the readers’ attention, character development, etc.
I’ve got to admin that books is my weakness. I am that guy who can pick a random book from a shelf and start reading. Reading through the night? – Easy. No matter what kind of book it is I’ll find something interesting to love about it. Oh wait, no, there are some books I don’t want to read. In any case, I have already started writing up my reviews/critique of some of the books that came to my attention: Terry Pratchett’s “Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”, Joanne Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. So I’ll start a readers’ club by publishing reviews on books that I’ve read.
Actually, what I like best is not reviews, but analysis of the books – the meaning, what impact they make, what they teach. For instance, the two books mentioned above got my very negative review, while for pure writing technique they get A+ without any doubt. Unfortunately, that only increases the negative effects on the children – the target audience of the books.
If you want my opinion about a book, just drop me a line and I;ll see if I can review it. I am going to take it to the next step and hopefully write something myself in the fantasy genre so anything except Tolkien would be fine. He is too big, but I’ve read him without thinking a long time ago so I’ll have to re-read, and I’ll get to it, but not just at this moment.
Our new cat started getting first victories catching rodents. Way to go, Pushkin! Before moving out of the city I thought it might be boring to live out in a country. This is totally and absolutely wrong! Just look at this guy for example. He is a small cat that every night ventures out into the darkness and there are crows, vulturs, owls, coyotes out there, other cats – it is life-and-death every time. For him, this is very, extremely exciting. That is a life of a cat.
For us, there is so much in the garden to plan, to do, to imaging and to create – it’s unbelievable. And that’s just one area of life. But the same goes for business: will we survive? Same for social life: will we make friends or enemies? Whichever it is in a small town we are stuck with these people. That’s a life of a human.
I’ve got basically clay instead of soil. What I was doing before is on the first image. They killed the seedling almost every time. On the second image is what I am doing now: removing the grass, and then just piling a heap of soil right on top of clay – the tree or bush then does all the rest of the work and the roots of the tree do not rot.
We certainly don’t need much to be happy. I’ve planted 10 of each black cherry, choke cherry and hazels 🙂
Got them at discounted price at the Grey Sauble Conservation sale, picked up free mulch at the Owen Sound composting station and some compost from Sunrise Organics.
How do you explain to a 60-year old man that USA isn’t bombing for democracy, that countries in general do not spend money on something that does not give them profit? There is no moral norms, no “good” countries” nor “bad countries”, no “tyrants” and no “freedom” – there are interests, that’s all. How do you explain that “every media reported..” means that the single corporation that owns all of the Western media had ordered to publish this same news report? If you want to find out what happened (that is if anything really happened – which is very often not the case) – you must read the other side, read Chinese media coverage, read Russian, Syrian, Indian, – and then consider the interests do your own investigation, and then you’ll know maybe 10% of the real facts. This is such a world-view change that I don’t even want to attempt. I don’t want to see the tears in his eyes when he realizes that everything he believed in for 60 years is a lie.
It is surprising how little very educated men over 50 with access to Internet and library know about geopolitics. I consider a good introduction to geopolitics to be this book (link to amazon.com for USA):
Mike from Dragonfly Farm just dropped off my order. On one hand, it is quite nice to live close to farms, stop by to pick your own berries and veggies, on the other hand, it is just as easy for Torontians to enjoy the same quality of produce by shopping online, Dragonfly Farm online store is where you can find a nice selection of meats, and they keep on adding to their list. For example, they’ve got (all raised responsibly as a farm rule):
free run chicken
other free run poultry and eggs
plus meat products pepperettes, sausages, gourmet/deli meats
Support our local growers by taking advantage of this great opportunity to revitalize your gardens.
Sunday May 20th, The Market (at the EcoInhabit barn) is hosting its first annual seed/seedling sale and exchange. We are happy to be partnering with Mike (Kolapore Gardens), Kimberly (Free Spirit Gardens), Anastasia (Beaver Valley Flower Farm) and Jennifer Pittet to offer some unique native plants, herbs, fruit and veg.
If you have plants you would like to exchange, bring them along to swap with others.
We will get things rolling around 10am and see where the day takes us.
Hope you can join us!
121 Old Highway #26
Meaford, ON N4L 1W7
This Spring we will be creating several gardening projects on our property based on permaculture principles. Some of the ideas that we have are:
Sepp Holzer raised beds
Three Sisters – native Americans system where three different plants supply each other with needed nutrients thus helping each other grow.
A Rock Garden.
Flower Watch Garden – where different flowers blossom at different time of day.
Healing Labyrinth – ancient garden path design that is claimed to have a healing effect.
This project will ideally be part of a larger project of building up biodiversity and resilience of Meaford municipality, while at the same time attracting tourists and strengthening local economy.
We will announce the planting dates and volunteer details in our combined newsletter with Green Garden Earth project. But the idea is to provide an opportunity to work on the parts of the project that you want to learn and get the practical skills that you need. Participants will get news updates with photos of the garden progress and will be invited to a celebration in Fall 2012. That way we can become more connected, build a team, and enjoy the results of our efforts in vegetable plants!
I hold my 18 month old son a lot. And I mean a lot. He loves to sit on my lap when reading a book, likes me to hold him, carry him around, pick him up from time to time, I still breastfeed him and we sleep together in the same bed. I really enjoy all those moments.
But sometimes I wonder, am I holding my baby too much? Should he become more independent? Can you hold a baby too much? Well of course, all around I see kids of his age at daycare, with sitters, sleeping in their own beds or being trained to do so. And I constantly hear comments from family and friends like “put him down”, “he is big enough to play on his own”, “you are spoiling him” (ouch!). Sometimes I feel protective and at other times frustrated but… never feel like I am doing something wrong.
December is the best time to analyze the year, which is almost gone and to make for the new year. And why not make green resolution for the next year? I have started thinking about mine and tried to recall what I have done the previous years. Tree planting events were probably the major green projects. Here I would like to share my experience on them and provide a Tree Planting Event Guide if you want to make tree planting one of your green resolutions for next year.
My husband and I have a tradition of organizing major tree planting during the month of April around the Earth Days for the last 4 years. We loved this activity so much the first time that it was hard to stop us the following year.
I was looking for this picture on-line and found this great post written by a like-minded mom (credits at the end). Here you will find some interesting fact on disposable vs cloth diapers.
In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year.
Based on our calculations (listed below under “Cost: National Costs”), we estimate that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S.
The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system.
I wrote this article when my son was seven months.
It is amusing to think that a year ago I was expecting a baby and worrying about the necessity of using disposable diapers, which creates such a burden to the environment and feels so unnatural. And here I am today, using on average one per week for my seven month old son. And we could of course forget about them at all but it’s pretty cold here in January and I use disposable diapers for outdoor for my peace of mind. But a year ago I have just discovered the possibility of going diaper free.