Opera for everyone!

February 25, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Posted in A Better World, Music | Leave a comment

This you tube video made my day!! I think its also made quite a few other people’s day. Watch it and see for yourself how culture can be taken to any level!!

If they can do it, why can’t we?

April 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Posted in A Better World, Peace | Leave a comment

A friend sent me a link to this video today and I just love it!! The story that came in the email is the following… whether it’s true or not I have no idea, but the video alone is worth believing in!!!!

This is a video of a homeless guy in Santa Barbara and his pets. You can see these guys every week working State Street for donations. The animals as you can see are pretty well fed and mellow. They are a family.

The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn’t have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along and as no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and often on the cat!The dog will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him.
PS. sorry about the extra large font for the bit I copied and pasted. I can’t see how to make it smaller!!!

New year’s resolutions for 2008

January 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Posted in A Better World | Leave a comment

I haven’t posted for quite some time, but I’m back!!! Hopefully with renewed energy. I have decided that 2008 will be the year in which I will make a REAL effort to be more ecological in as many ways as possible. I know that I’m not going to be perfect and that along with my attempts to be more ecological I will be committing many sins, but if my small effort is added to other people’s small efforts we really can make a difference. I have in the past sometimes thought, what’s the point of doing such and such if I’m the only person I know who does so… but there IS a point, every little effort helps, I really believe that!!

So, my mission this year is to stop using plastic bags. I have read that on average we each get through 300 plastic bags a year, that’s almost one a day.. and they are not biodegradable so they just sit there, possibly for ever, in the environment, polluting, filling landfill and killing wildlife.

According to the Whale and Dolphine Conservation Society

“Globally, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from entanglement in, or ingestion of plastics.”

We’re responsible for that… ūüė¶

It really isn’t that difficult to get into the habit of keeping a fabric or wicker basket by the front door so you remember it. I’ve ordered some re-usable net bags for putting fruit and veg in at the supermarket to avoid having to put them in plastic bags to be weighed. We’ll see how the local shops accept that ( or not)!

I’ve bought some biodegradable bags for taking out with the dogs too. They mainly do their business in the open land around here so it doesn’t need picking up, but I always like to have a few bags on me just in case they don’t make it to the woods in time! It seems silly to tie up a biological product in plastic poop bags, so I thought it was time to do something about it.

For birthday presents I thought it would be nice to make people patchwork shopping bags to encourage them to give up plastic bags too.

I’m aware that I’m not going to be 100% consistent on my mission, but I reckon that even a 50% improvement¬† will be far better than nothing!!

More of my ideas to clean up my act a bit will appear soon! Watch this space ūüôā

Webcam of two Bonelli’s eaglets

March 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Posted in A Better World | 2 Comments

A couple of weeks ago two Bonelli’s eagle chicks hatched in the Natural Park of El Garraf , near Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. Thanks to a webcam in the nest, you can watch the two chicks 24 hours a day. The noise when they see their mother appearing with food is quite incredible and apparently people’s cats who can hear the speakers go wild!! It’s quite fascinating watching how these two chicks are growing stronger and larger day after day. Although I’m told that usually only one of the chicks survives, I’m hopeful that if they’ve both lasted this long they might both make it through to adulthood. They’re starting to teeter around the nest now, so I do hope their mother is keeping a good eye on them, although so far they haven’t gone anywhere near the edge of the rock in which the nest is built.

Bonelli’s eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus), is a vulnerable species, according to the World Conservation Union. It is a bird of prey that needs open spaces to live and feed in. In Catalonia there are 65 pairs, of which 3 live in the Natural Park of El Garraf. The Diputaci√≥ de Barcelona, The Department of Animal Biology of the University of Barcelona and the Spanish Ministry of the Environment are all involved in the project, with the collaboration of the Rural Agents of the Catalan Government and the company that runs Barcelona Airport (AENA).

At the following website you can:

See the live webcam (webcam en directe), see a selection of recorded videos (filmacions enregistrade), listen to an interview or read more or less what I have written above!!

The Park’s website also has recorded videos of genet (gat mesquer), wild boar (senglar), marten (fagina) and fox (guinea) over to the left of the page, under webcam.

Good for them for doing such a wonderful job at helping to protect and increase the population of endangered species!!

Neuroscience Unlocks Secrets of Zen Garden

March 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm | Posted in A Better World | Leave a comment


ryoanji

Originally uploaded by Spanish Moon.
Neuroscience Unlocks Secrets of Zen Garden 500-year-old rock pattern suggests a tree to our subconscious. 26 September 2002 KENDALL POWELL The beauty of one of Japan’s most popular Zen gardens has long eluded explanation. Now neuroscientists have found that its minimalist design suggests a pleasing picture to our subconcious.The 500-year-old Ryoanji Temple garden in Kyoto contains five outcroppings of rocks and moss on a rectangle of raked gravel. Using symmetry calculations the researchers have discovered that the objects imply an image of a tree in the empty space between them that we detect, without being aware of doing so1. The finding suggests that Japanese garden designers – originally priests – “balanced forces from visual science,” says study leader Gert Van Tonder of Kyoto University. The trunk of the hidden branched tree lines up with the preferred garden-viewing spot of ancient temple floorplans, Van Tonder found. Repeating the calculations with random rock groups failed to generate any similar patterns. Earlier work by Ilona Kov√°cs, a visual scientist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, showed that the human brain uses similar symmetry lines, like those of a child’s stick figure, to make sense of shapes2. “In the Zen garden you have even less to go on with just the best points, or rocks, along the symmetry lines,” says Kov√°cs. She suggests the brain may recognize the tree during meditation and other Zen states.Through the years people have come up with various interpretations for the rock clusters themselves: a mother tiger herding her cubs across a river, mountaintops poking through the clouds, and strokes of Chinese characters. These logical descriptions miss the point, says Philip Cave, a London-based Japanese garden designer. He thinks the suggestive symmetry explanation fits the Zen mind better.”It’s always been thought that the priest-gardener’s layout was something that didn’t come from the conscious mind, but from a deeper level,” says Cave. “They could have easily intuitively developed that kind of [tree] layout.”The garden, like Mona Lisa’s smile, has intrigued visitors for centuries. Tour guides bringing visitors to the ‘best’ spot to view the garden stop exactly where the symmetry lines converge.

References:1. Van Tonder, G., Lyons, M.J. & Ejima, Y. Visual structure of a Japanese Zen garden. Nature, 419, 359, (2002).2. Kov√°cs, I. & Julesz, B. Perceptual sensitivity maps within globally defined visual shapes. Nature, 370, 644 – 646 (1994).

Source: http://www.nature.com

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