Ecocentrism

Ecocentrism has been described as post-humanism, for it transfers the reality-spotlight from humanity to the Ecosphere, from the part to the whole. This outside-the-human focus brings with it new standards for thought, conduct and action on such seemingly intractable problems as world population, urbanization, globalization, maintenance of cultural diversity, and ethical duties to the Ecosphere with its varied natural ecosystems and their wild species. 

The Ecocentric Alliance

The Ecological Citizen

 

A philosphy of putting the Earth first. How far is a philosophy from a religion? Would it start out labelled as a cult and then continue to grow, as Christianity did in the past?

International Highway Sign Makeover

How would you design a traffic/ road sign? All the elements of sign design you never thought of, come into play when you really start planning a better road sign.

The idea isn’t new. I’ve saved screen captures from the Wayback Machine from the older site (below). Glad to see someone else has taken up the idea and kept it going on another site. I’m linking there first so people can see what’s new and contribute ideas of their own.

I used to send possible highway route signs to the owner of The Great International Highway makeover website, Mr. R. V. Droz, a while back. Well I found out recently that his email link at his website is inoperable. Rats. I hope it’ll work well in the future.

Source: International Highway Makeover 2

From the old site, by Robert V. Droz.

Highway route markers have gotten boring over time. In the 1940’s, there were many varied shapes and colors. Many governments opted for the MUTCD default (circles) or plain blank squares. The justification for those sparse designs is that they provide for increased number visibility and easy recognition. True enough, but nothing says you can’t design a useful sign that’s graphically attractive. Linked below are many examples of potential re-designs.

highwaymakeover1

highwaymakeover2

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highwaymakeovercan

highwaymakeoverab

highwaymakeovernorth

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highwaymakeoversk

highwaysignmakeover

Pierced for Frameless Eyeglasses

It is a good idea. An option for people who don’t want to wear contact lenses on their eyeball but don’t like the frames of eyeglasses on their face either. Still, I feel squicked at the idea of having my face (other than ear lobes) pierced. So, as good as it could be for some people… I won’t be trading in my eyeglasses, with frames.

Image source: Never Lose Your Focus – All About Colored Contacts

The Sadness of Disappearing Used Book Stores

starlight Starlight Books in Newmarket, Ontario, has closed. Not big news to a lot of people. I was sad to see it gone this week when I drove by on my way to visit my sister in Newmarket. I used to live in the area. Starlight books was one of my favourite places for about 20 years. Now its gone.  The Facebook page is missing, not even a note to say good bye. The website is just a dead link.

Technology killed the little community book store.

Where will all the secondhand books go when there are few (or none left at all) places to trade books? The best thing about Starlight and the other secondhand bookstores is being able to bring in books I’ve read and find more from the same author, or take the risk of a new author.

Used book stores are opportunities for readers. Not just finding old books no longer in the big retail stores, but books in stock catered to the reader rather than the shopper. Also, when I exchange books I can select a few for free then. This was the best time to try someone new, a book I would have passed up as too expensive to take a chance on otherwise.starlightbooks

How much is the literary world losing as the used bookstores fade away? Likely more than many people realize.

It’s not a co-incidence that Starlight thrived and grew for at least 20 years (that much time since I’ve been shopping there) and all at once has now closed. I’ve talked to the local used bookstore here too. She says there is more stock coming in and less being bought (or traded out again). The paranormal genre which was selling so quickly is now slumbering too. That doesn’t help as they come in and stay, taking up space now.

Less space consuming are the ebooks, of course. The approaching paperless swarm of electronic books many people buy but only a few actually seem to read. It’s the buying that counts though, not the reading.

I do feel sad for the future of the paperback especially. Will all those printed words end up in landfills? No longer able to find new readers at the community book shops.

What will happen to writers too? There may be book buyers but are there still book readers?

Arranged Marriages via Online Dating?

Not so long ago young women of my generation were thinking how awful an arranged marriage would be. Marrying (or even dating) someone chosen for you by someone else. A blind date with the expectations of changing your life for you.

Now we give this power to online dating sites. Match us up with their algorithms and theory of personalities and data of interests… is it really any different than an arranged marriage? Sure you have the choice of a second date but, as things get faster paced do we actually feel more in a rush to meet someone, get married and have a family? Are we using computer dating to put a rush on our lives?

At least when family arranged marriages they actually cared about the outcome. A computer will never think about you at all, not even the first time when it’s arranging your life.

Analog relationships are antiquated, she thinks. She never had a date that wasn’t proposed by CuePID scores.

But, as Grandma tells of her great romance, Jenna wonders what drew them together. After all, none of what attracted her grandparents can be captured in online profiles.

Gradually, Jenna’s feeling of freedom changes—into a sense of manipulation by stupid CuePID

via – NetAppVoice: Online Cupid — Not So OK [100 Words Into The Future] – Forbes.

The Grass On the Other Side was Greener

Being Green (reprinted from Facebook)

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 f or
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 truly 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 smart ass young person.

Prompt for December 3 | Project Reverb

Brave: What was the bravest thing you did in 2013?

via Prompt for December 3 | Project Reverb.

I don’t feel brave and mostly I seem to be letting things go and not doing as much as I really could if I weren’t making excuses and procrastinating. But, even in the middle of a mess there are brave moments, days and weeks.

I’ve felt brave when I faced things. Put a good face forward. I don’t want to dredge up specifics. It was enough to have faced it all, done my best and gone forward enough that some things are now part of my past rather than hanging around looking like threats in my future.

It is terrific when you face something hard and find out it wasn’t as bad as all the build up you had given it.

Would you Be a Great Junk or Antiques Picker?

If you were picking for antiques and such I think you would need to go beyond looking in established places like flea markets and auctions. Even the American Pickers approach people who seem to be hoarders/ collectors in their own backyards and see what they can buy from them. To me, that’s what picking would really be.

The Canadian Pickers are advertising a casting call for people with a lot of antiques/ collectibles and junk to sell. Doesn’t that kind of spoil the whole thing? It really loses the entire aspect of mystery, random chance and treasure hunting if you are going after fish in a barrel.

My Mom and I like to look at stuff in the thrift stores. I don’t consider anything we buy at the store to be picking. Picking is finding something thrown out or going up to ask someone if they would sell their junk to you. Picking is DIY (do it yourself) not shopping.

We do pick up stuff we find tossed out at the end of people’s driveways or in rubbish bins, dumpsters, and so on. Some of it gets refurbished and given to family members, mostly furniture which we fix up.

Also, I’m amazed at how much junk people collect from TV shows, movies, etc. I don’t see much of that being worth anything in the long run. Just like the Beanie Baby craze. You can’t do much with any of those stuffed animals now except dust them. (I’d throw them in the washer to make a quick job of it… but that might detract from their value as a great collectible. NOT!).

I think the best advice for anyone picking up antiques, junk or collectibles is to think about the future and think along the lines of what will be practical in the future (and in the present). Don’t get carried away collecting something you couldn’t even find a decent way to recycle. Beanie Babies may be cute in the eye of the beholder (years ago) but they’re just a lot of small stuffed animals now. No real purpose to them now. There are far too many of them for them to ever have a chance to pick up in value again. I’m always seeing them sold in thrift stores for less than a dollar.

What is it Worth?

People most often post to the antique and picker forums to ask about the worth of stuff. It’s interesting to read about all the objects/ stuff they post about. But, the worth of something is always whatever you can get someone else to pay for it. Really, that is the long and short of it.

No one can really tell you what something is worth unless they are pulling out their purse or wallet and offering to pay you the amount they say the object is worth. Anything less is just speculation. You could find someone who would pay more than the guess amount from any expert. Or, you might not find anyone who values your stuff as well as you do. In that case it might have nothing but sentimental value – until you find someone who feels the same sentimental value as yourself.

Parkour for Fat Girls (Women Too)

Parkour is more than an exercise, it’s spiritual and about learning to live your life in a better way. I see parkour not as something just for the young, fit people but for the fat girls and women who need to move forward and help themselves reach their own goals.

The inspiration to write this came from myself entirely. You see, I really don’t like to exercise. Being a fat woman, I’d rather stop eating than get up and sweat and have people see me ‘working out’.

I hate being fat but it’s easier than making a real change and having people notice how fat I really am. When I go out, I just forget myself and do what I want to do. The actual physical weight isn’t so hard to forget – except when it comes to the odd time when I choose which chair to sit in or should I try running for the bus or just skip it and wait for the next one, even if it is a cold day and I’m carting groceries home.

Sure, I know nothing will change if I don’t change. So, I’m taking up parkour, for fat girls or women.

What is parkour you may want to ask but feel it might be one of those stupid questions. Actually, it isn’t a stupid quesiton at all. Parkour is mainly considered an extreme sport. In actual fact, there is more to parkour than extreme exercise.Parkour is actually about forward movement, in whatever way, shape, form or speed you choose. Parkour is about finding new ways to keep moving forward. Isn’t that kind of perfect for a fat girl?

I can move forward. I need to move forward. It’s just the actual act of moving forward that ruins my momentum. So, that is where I start my Parkour for Fat Girls. Getting started, at all.

First, I bought a floor mat sort of thing. This was so I could feel less like an elephant clumping around over the floor. The mat I picked is stuffed with memory foam. It’s intended purpose was a bath/ shower mat. I have repurposed it as my exercise mat for parkour.

The next thing I am doing (after I close the window blinds and pick my spot on the floor) is to look up exercises and foot work in general, which I can do walking in place, more or less.

For me moving forward is not going to be about moving around all over the house. I’m going to get moving, find my motivation and keep moving. The forward will come – it just won’t be physically walking one step at a time, more along the lines of mentally walking one step at a time from being the fat girl doing parkour to being the chubby girl who can run for the bus if she wants to.

My First Fancy Parkour Trick

My first idea for parkour, other than the walking in place which will get tiresome in more ways than one, is to walk back. Not to actually walk backwards, just to lift my legs behind me instead of in front. This will use muscles I seldom get around to in the ordinary run of the mill day. I think it’s a great plan.

Another idea came from watching Russian soldiers marching years ago. They march without bending the knee. It’s harder than bending your knee, give it a try and see for yourself.

I’m going to be watching for more walking, marching, pacing and other ideas I can use for my parkour. I’m starting out at an easy pace. As I get into the exercise and able to do more I will find new ways to move. I can bring in an obstacle – I’ve got a low step which I can walk over, walk around or step on and off of it. I’m not going to be jumping over it any time soon, but that will be in my future too if I stick with it.

In general, go at your own pace. If you are large sized you already know you have some limitations. So, not a big deal. Parkour, or any exercise will put extra strain on your body. That isn’t a reason not to work at parkour. You may see people flipping themselves around, jumping off things and so on. But, that isn’t how you get started. Start at your own, current level. In time you will be able to do more, last longer and have the strength and co-ordination to try fancier parkour moves.

Links for Parkour Girls

How I Chose to be a Pagan Earth Witch

When I was about 20 I decided to look into religions. I knew the traditional Christian ways were not for me. I didn’t like they way these religions viewed women. I had just read a book where the women were put into isolation after having their period or giving birth, they were “unclean”. This was on top of growing up with the Adam and Eve mythology. From that point the Bible (written and rewritten by men) just goes on to look down on women, and worse. If I were a male, I would probably never have become Pagan. I would never have begun researching other religions and beliefs and looked deeper than the surface. Most likely I would have put religion behind me as not being all that important.

My Early Pagan Experience

I started with Witchcraft and Wicca because I found a book written in the 70’s. It’s a book I wouldn’t choose to read now but parts of it were enough to send me looking for more information from more reliable sources. I found a Pagan bookstore referred to in a book. I made the hour long bus trip to downtown Toronto and found the place. Entering for that first time was not easy. I felt daring and yet I also felt I was walking into a place I didn’t fully belong and might not be welcome. I wondered if they could see inside of me, my mind and my thoughts. Would they know what I was thinking, could they see my future and my past, my aura…? That was creepy.

The first thing that really happened was the smell. Ever since then I have noticed the same smell, strongly of incense over time, in every Pagan bookstore. I like pulling out a book I bought in a Pagan store. Even a couple of decades later I can smell it in the pages. If the smell ever goes away I don’t know. So far it hasn’t.

My adventure in that first Pagan store was intimidating. If I were less determined or less curious I doubt I would have tried another Pagan store. The people there did watch me and yet said nothing. Maybe they thought I was going to walk off with something, maybe they were just curious too, I won’t know and I didn’t ask then. I was already the shy type. I bought a book and a couple of polished rocks and I left, glad to be out of there. I was left with the feeling of not belonging and I never did go back to that store. Luckily there were others and more came along later.

Finding Where and How I Fit In

A few years more and the Internet came along too. By that time I was making my own decisions about what I believed and how I believed it. I didn’t accept Wicca as it came. I took what felt right to me and put it together with how I felt about the world and it’s people. I still believe this way; I’m very much an eclectic solitary type of Pagan. I gave myself the label of Earth Witch and I’ve stuck with that, to keep the explanation simple. To me an Earth Witch means I focus on the Earth, the natural and I don’t feel influenced by deities or magick. I believe we each create our own magick from ourselves and it is up to each of us to choose how to use it, or not use it.

I have written about my Pagan beliefs before but not shared much of my actual experience. I used to get email from young women who wanted to know more about being Pagan. The main thing they wanted to know was how to hide it from their parents. I was never behind this. For one thing, if you have to hide it, maybe you should rethink the whole thing.

I do understand that some families are very Christian and close minded or even afraid of Pagan ideas and Pagan ways. If that is the case and you are living at home, this is not the time for you to explore being Pagan. Wait until you can do it openly. In the meantime, there is no reason you can’t do simple things like have a collection of rocks, maybe some shells and feathers, keep a journal about your observations of nature, history and people. These are things you can do without upsetting your parents and family. You can be Pagan without having to prove you’re Pagan. Know it yourself and start there.

Nowadays…

For me, being Pagan is a personal thing. I mainly keep it to myself. I’ve found a local group with weekly meetings but I have yet to venture out and attend one. I think I will. Each time I have stepped out and met other Pagans I have enjoyed the experience and learned new things about history, religion and beliefs. But, I’m comfortable with what I believe now, the way my feelings about being an Earth Witch have evolved. So I’m not as eager to stir myself up as I was when I was younger and just starting to explore and discover.