Moments created by artist Alice X. Zhang
This is possibly the greatest thing I have seen on the internet.
Right-wingers being all lovey-dovey towards Mandela on social media? Show them his BFF (Castro) and some quotes of his on Bush. And then maybe remind them of how the US helped to jail Mandela in the first place and that he was on the US terrorist watch list until 2008.
Irishman Mark Boyle tried to live life with no income, no bank balance and no spending. Here’s how he finds it:
"If someone told me seven years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal. The plan back then was to get a ‘good’ job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society I was successful.
For a while I did it – I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company; had myself a yacht on the harbour. If it hadn’t been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, I’d still be doing it today. Instead, for the last fifteen months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch.
The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophising with a friend over a glass of merlot. Whilst I had been significantly influenced by the Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then. We began talking about all major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labour – and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our time to. Not that we felt we could make any difference, being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean.
But that evening I had a realisation. These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause. I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems.
The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ we buy.
Very few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalised format.
Take this for an example: if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today.
If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.
If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it.
So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up money, which I decided to do for a year initially. So I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive. I adore food, so it was at the top. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there far too much.
On my first day I fed 150 people a three course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year I ate my own crops though and waste only made up about five per cent my diet. I cooked outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove.
Next up was shelter. So I got myself a caravan from Freecycle, parked it on an organic farm I was volunteering with, and kitted it out to be off the electricity grid. I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode in a wood burner made from an old gas bottle, and I had a compost loo to make ‘humanure’ for my veggies.
I bathed in a river, and for toothpaste I used washed up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it wasn’t double quilted but it quickly became normal. To get around I had a bike and trailer, and the 55 km commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For lighting I’d use beeswax candles.
Many people label me an anti-capitalist. Whilst I do believe capitalism is fundamentally flawed, requiring infinite growth on a finite planet, I am not anti anything. I am pro-nature, pro-community and pro-happiness. And that’s the thing I don’t get – if all this consumerism and environmental destruction brought happiness, it would make some sense. But all the key indicators of unhappiness – depression, crime, mental illness, obesity, suicide and so on are on the increase. More money it seems, does not equate to more happiness.
Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.
Could we all live like this tomorrow? No. It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both it and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both. But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not? For over 90 per cent of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.
People now often ask me what is missing compared to my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic-jams. Bank statements. Utility bills. Oh yeah, and the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.”
this man is an inspiration.
we are waking up
This makes me happy
Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors
Memories may be passed down through generations in DNA in a process that may be the underlying cause of phobias
Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop. Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience. However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA. Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations. The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors. (via Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors - Telegraph)
*gets the urge to delete all my social network accounts, drop out of school and live in the woods*
you can’t just thoreau your life away like that
Peace on Earth (or Whichever Planet You Happen To Land On)
We’ve put up a new billboard in the Meatpacking District of NYC.
In case The Doctor visits New York City again.
You know, the one without the time paradox.
Soo…is no one actually giggling to themselves because that snowflake is make of sonic screwdrivers or…
We were waiting for someone to notice OUR FAVORITE PART!
When is a BBC holiday a happy one…
Right up until the episode airs. That’s when it’s happy
Obit of The Day: Nelson Mandela, Former South African President & Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies At Age 95 Of Complications Related To A Recurring Lung Infection
Former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has died from complications related to a recurring lung infection. He was 95.
Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president by a near two-thirds margin in 1994, after spending 27 years in prison for his role as a leader in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He served as president for five years, until retiring in 1999.
For his part in ending apartheid, Mandela was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, among many others.
Born in 1918 in a small South African village, Mandela eventually moved to Johannesburg, where in 1942 he joined in the African National Congress, co-founding the group’s Youth League in 1944. At the time Mandela was in law school at the University of Witwatersrand, though, in part because of his focus on politics, he failed his third year exams three times and wouldn’t practice law until 1953.
His role in the ANC continued to grow throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, helping transform the group from one reliant on petitions to one that relied upon strikes, boycotts and other forms of civil disobedience. While working with the ANC, he met and recruited a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, whom he went on to marry in 1958.
Mandela supported peaceful forms of protest until 1961, when he co-founded the armed division of the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, or MK, which focused on guerrilla warfare and sabotage, based on Mandela’s newfound beliefs that such measures were necessary to end apartheid. That same year, Mandela organized a workers’ strike. In 1962, he was arrested for the strike and sentenced to five years in prison. In early 1964, Mandela and 10 other members of the ANC were sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on four charges of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Mandela spent the next 18 years of his life in a prison on Robben Island, confined to a damp, 56-square foot concrete cell when he wasn’t forced to smash rocks into gravel or work in a lime quarry. For his first few years in prison, he was banned from reading any newspapers, and was allowed only one visitor and one letter every six months.
In 1982, after nearly two decades in Robben, Mandela and other ANC prisoners were transferred to the maximum security Pollsmoor Prison, where, striking up a friendship with the commanding officer, he was allowed a roof garden and and increased rate of correspondence: one letter a week. He underwent prostate surgery and contracted tuberculosis, while staying politically active as South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement battled President P.W. Botha. In 1985, offered a chance at early release, on the condition that he renounce armed struggle, Mandela declined.
At the end of the decade, in a new prison in the southwest where he was given a warder’s house and private cook, Mandela earned the law degree he had spent part of three decades studying for. Botha suffered a stroke, and was replaced by F. W. De Klerk, who, realizing that the apartheid system was unsustainable, freed all ANC prisoners except Mandela in 1989, and Mandela himself in February 1990.
Upon his release, Mandela traveled throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, meeting world leaders and giving addresses. The next year, he returned to South Africa, was elected president of the ANC, and entered into a cease fire with the ruling government.
Despite increasing personal strain involving his deteriorating marriage with Winnie, who was put on trial for kidnapping and and assault, and violence between ANC supporters and other political parties—much of it, he suspected, promoted by the state—Mandela pushed through negotiations for free and democratic elections with De Klerk. After three years of talks, spurred on by the Bisho massacre, the pair agreed to a new, interim constitution and free democratic elections.
Despite the best efforts of violent ethnic separatists, and over the fears of South Africa’s white media, the elections were held in April 1994. With 62 percent of the vote, the ANC—banned from the previous election—now controlled parliament and nearly enough votes to change the constitution.
Mandela remained in office for five years, creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to push for national reconciliation without alienating the wealthy white elite, increasing spending on aid and development programs in an attempt to bring parity to black and white communities. After his retirement in 1999—Mandela, aged 81, had never planned to run for a second term—he focused on charity and aid work, in particular HIV/AIDS activism.
Mandela had divorced Winnie in 1995, and in 1998 married Mozambican politican Graça Machel. He fathered six children, and is survived by his wife, Graca, and two of his children.