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Posts Tagged ‘wikipedia’

Hi Damian, I hope you dont mind me replying via my blog, but I had too much to say for a tweet 🙂

Firstly I think you are doing a brilliant job and are to be commended for taking action to help save our bees.  I have been horribly concerned for the bees of the UK and the USA for some time now and if I remember correctly I wrote a couple of blogs a while back.

Re the @InnocentDrinks issue, I agree that they should be complimented for the 40 hives to the @NationalTrust and helping to re-introduce 2million bees back into the UK, and bravo to them for doing that.   I love too that they have the wee flower packs attached to the drinks bottle… great idea and excellent marketing, and why not also to the carton?

What I have issue with is what feels to me like a bit of jumping onto the band-wagon.  Now I know that they are not the first, are certainly not alone in the practice and probably won’t be the last to use a current cause to promote a product.

I just have a problem with what feels like commercialism and self-interest.   I also feel very uncomfortable with them making a drink using honey.  The bee population is already having great difficulty meeting human demand and are overstretched in so many ways, that it is almost unbearable.  If they had promoted the bees and the project using a different flavoured drink I would have applauded them for sure, although of course for obvious reasons they have to use a drink with honey.

Your comment raises an interesting question: Have Innocent in fact used British honey for the drinks?  Their whole marketing agenda  is based on ethical buying, congruency & giving back to the planet et al, so I sincerely hope that they have in fact only used UK honey.   BTW, whilst reading through their press releases I noticed they recently did a deal with Coca~Cola????

As for myself I only ever buy UK honey and preferrably from smaller co-operatives or at markets.  I would rather pay more for the product than not support our industry, although I do realise of course we have to trade.  I just feel that with the current situation the poor bees should be given a break and allowed to recover.  After all they need the honey for their own purposes too and that is why they make it in the first place (citation off wikipedia: Honey is created by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when fresh food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy).    It’s only coz we humans have formed a liking for the taste that we have bred bees to produce more than needed by the bees themselves 🙂   I’m not surprised that the poor wee creatures are dying out, they are exhausted! 😦 and that besides all the muck (chemicals) that has been thrown at them over the years.

I did some research and reading up on the subject some months ago for my own personal interest, and this is one of the sites I visited to that end.  It may be of interest to you although I am sure you know way more than I do.   I have learnt a lot more since reading your posts 🙂

Just as a matter of interest, what do other tweeters say about the Innocent Drinks campaign?  Or am I the only one with a bee in my bonnet?  Excuse the intended pun 🙂 🙂

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Today being Sunday, I am of course blogging about religion and spirituality (just because I like to be orderly). 🙂

As a child my mother used to send us to Church (Sunday school) every week.   There we got to learn about Christ and Christian principles and about God.  We also had a load of fun colouring in pictures and listening to stories, and one of my most vivid memories of Christ was of him dressed in a long pure-white robe, a long vibrant sapphire blue cloak over that, brown sandals long brown hair and a beautiful smile.   That image was portrayed in a large book my Mother had given us of Bible Stories.

As we got older and started going to grown-up Church, sometimes my Mother (or Father – depending on whom we were living with at the time) would come with us, most times not), I recall that the preacher – of whichever church was nearest at the time (we moved a lot), would stand on his pulpit and either preach about how God would punish us for various sins etc and banish us to hell, or would preach about a loving God who forgave all sins.   This confused the heck out of me and I could not relate that to the pictures I had seen in the book or the stories I had read. (I do confess I have never read the bible through, only got as far as Genesis and touched on Revelations, as well as briefly on others in between).

In the fullness of time church went out the window and religion took a back-seat to real life, and we practised what my Mother called a ‘shot-gun’ religion – church for weddings, christenings, funerals and the occasional seasonal catch up.   Although I then considered myself to be a Christian the reality was that I did not lead a Christian lifestyle.   Neither I, nor my siblings were either; Baptised, Christened or whatever.   We had conflicting experiences of how life should be lived and how life was lived – leading to total confusion.   Although I pretty much gave up on ‘religion’ per se, I was still curious and over the years I investigated, albeit briefly, different religions; touching on Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, I went to different churches: Methodist; Church of England; Catholic; and Baptist and even ventured into the world of Seventh Day Adventists.

When my daughter went to school, I sent her to a Catholic School for most of her junior years, the result of which that she has sworn off religion for life (so far).  (Actually, the Toasim venture, was unwittingly mitigated by her; through a Chinese school friend she was helping to learn English and who was teaching her Mandarin in return.)   We were totally taken with the whole experience and faithfully attended services every Friday, which lasted till they told us that cats don’t have souls!   Bearing in mind: I am a cat lover of note, had five cats at the time, one of whom had just been killed by a car that very day – bad timing).  Taosim went out the window.

On the rare occasion I have attended church since my childhood, it is usually to pray for someone else (I do believe in an Almighty God/Entity), to attend Easter Service or Christmas Eve Mass (I enjoy the carols) and for weddings, funerals, christenings and very occasionally just because I want to enjoy the spiritual environment.   Other than that I am totally taken with old churches and cathedrals and love wandering about whether they be whole or in ruins.   It is more for the aesthetic beauty than religious, and I also love the traditions.

Which brings me to spirituality.   I would consider myself to be a spiritual person; I had an amazing experience at Date With Destiny (see my book).   And I have been thinking; what is religion as opposed to spirituality and how does spirituality fit into our daily lives?   Doing some research, of course my first stop was Wikipedia and this is what I found.

Traditionally, religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience and have long claimed that secular (non-religious) people cannot experience “true” spirituality. Many do still equate spirituality with religion, but declining membership of organised religions and the growth of secularism in the western world has given rise to a broader view of spirituality.

Secular spirituality carries connotations of an individual having a spiritual outlook, which is more personalized, less structured, more open to new ideas/influences, and more pluralistic than that of the doctrinal faiths of organized religions. At one end of the spectrum, even some atheists are spiritual.   While atheism tends to lean towards scepticism regarding supernatural claims and the existence of an actual “spirit”, some atheists define “spiritual” as nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions that are in harmony with a belief that the entire universe is, in some way, connected; even if only by the mysterious flow of cause and effect at every scale.

Some modern religions also see spirituality in everything: see pantheism and neo-Pantheism. In a similar vein, Religious Naturalism has a spiritual attitude towards the awe, majesty and mystery it sees in the natural world.

For a Christian, to refer to him or herself as “more spiritual than religious” may (but not always) imply relative deprecation of rules, rituals, and tradition while preferring an intimate relationship with God. The basis for this belief is that Jesus Christ came to free humankind from those rules, rituals, and traditions, giving humankind the ability to “walk in the spirit” thus maintaining a “Christian” lifestyle through that one-to-one relationship with God.

Interesting!   This is just a small sample of what I found.  What are your thoughts?   Of course there is much, much more on the internet and the subject could be beaten to death, however, please bear in mind that I am not decrying, deriding or slating any religion, belief or way of life, in any way – I am just voicing what is my belief and how I have experienced life.   I do not wish to be ‘converted’ and if you leave any comments kindly do so at a constructive level, respecting the fact that everyone has a different set of beliefs, values and their own model of the world and that in my opinion we are all correct in our thinking and that we all have the right to our own beliefs.   I also do not feel that any one religion or religious sect, or way of thinking or set of beliefs, is either right or wrong; it just is.   How I do wish that we could all accept that.

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What does wealth mean to you?

Wikipedia: definition of wealth:
Wealth is an abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem. An individual, community, region or country that has an abundance of such possessions or resources is called wealthy.

I recall the threads of a story I read many years ago; and as the memory dims with the years I may not get it 100% accurate.  But the gist of it goes like this:

One dark, stormy wind-swept night a ship was sailing to distant shores.    As it steamed ahead a mighty gale blew up and in no time at all the ship was swept onto the rocky coast nearby.

Hundreds of people from villages nearby ran out into the wet and windy night to help, lanterns lit to guide the way, with boats to rescue, hands to grasp a drowning man.

Dozens of people were dragged up onto the shore that night and none so piteous as an old man who called out in desperation, beseeching all who would listen!  My Treasure, my Treasure! Oh please save my treasure.

Impatient people, dismayed at the selfishness of this old man, slapped his hands away and shook their fists at him, saying: “There are lives to be saved Old-Man; your treasure can wait”.

Minutes passed and soon turned into hours as desperate survivors called out for help and compassionate villagers hurried here and there, wrapping blankets and shawls, handing out food and warm drinks and comforting those who lived and laying out those who could not be saved.

Suddenly above the noise of the people, beyond the sound of the raging storm a cry rang out!   High and keening, it shook those who heard – to their very souls.   The old man leapt painfully to his feet, staggering wildly towards the shore.   Angry men and women tried to grab him, shouting: ‘You fool, you fool, your treasure is not worth your life’.

Then with a last wild dash the old man bent and scooped a little girl up into his arms: weeping and sobbing he held her close, crying: ‘My treasure, my treasure!   Oh, you found my Treasure!

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Facts about Inverness (courtesy of wikipedia):

The name Inverness is Gaelic and translates as ‘mouth of the river Ness’.

Situated at 57.4717N and 4.2254W.

Inverness (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis) is a city in northern Scotland and it is promoted as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland.

The city lies near the site of the eighteenth century Battle of Culloden and at the beginning of the Great Glen, where the River Ness enters the Inverness/Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links.   It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom.   A settlement was established by the sixth century AD with the first royal charter being granted by King David I in the twelfth century.

Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, and in AD 565 was visited by St Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, who is supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig, on the western edge of the city. A 93 oz (2.6 kg) silver chain dating to 500-800 was found just to the south at Torvean.

click here and scroll down for a map of Inverness/Scotland

The 14.11.09 approached both rapidly and slowly and it was with excitement and anticipation that we woke on Saturday and set off on our journey up north.  This is the farthest north we, my offspring and I have ever been – 57.4717N and 4.2254W!!!   Brilliant.

CJ reached Victoria station before I did and very naughtily filmed me walking across the concourse!   We took the Gatwick Express since it was almost £2 cheaper than by regular train.   Go figure.

Check in at Easyjet was chop-chop and with time to spare we went to MacDonald’s for a Happy Meal for a happy CJ 🙂

and a chocolate milkshake for me.

This is the first time wev’e travelled with Easyjet and although the flight is the same as any other cheap airline, I was totally unimpressed with the fact that they left our luggage out in the rain and when we arrived at our destination our clothes were wet.  Even more so since CJ was forced to check her bag at a cost of £18 because the bag was literally a zip width to wide for the onboard luggage sizer.

However, excitement reigned supreme as we boarded and finally took off, 25 minutes late.   We were off to the Highlands of Scotland, Inverness and final destination was the Great Glen Water Park, situated on Loch Oich (which we did not know beforehand).

The flight was bumpy but uneventful and flying over England was a treat as always.   The countryside is so beautiful and I never tire of seeing it from the air.   A great expanse of blue sky and great big tumbles of wonderful white clouds accompanied our flight, providing fantastic photo opportunities.

With no idea what to expect we suddenly flew over the highlands!

first view of the Scottish Highlandsand practically climbed out the window with excitement.   The view was stupendous.   Great open stretches of mountain and wilderness, huge lakes that spread for miles.    The sun shone down and touched on a mountaintop providing a glimpse of the splendour to come.

Scotland; land of legends, castles, humble crofts, high mountains and tranquil lochs, battlefields echoing to the cries of long ago and remote glens home to towering firs and magnificent golden eagles.

Touchdown was uneventful, no rain but threatening.   Collected our luggage, which was soaked!   A complaint coming up here!   Then over to Avis to collect our hire car.  I have decided to write up a checklist of things to look out for and questions to ask for future reference.

It was starting to drizzle again, so in the rain I checked the car over thoroughly, remembering the lesson from Ireland.   By the time I had checked for little bumps and scratches my hands were frozen and my sleeves soaked.

By now the light was fading and losing no time we set off, first stop Tesco, just 2 miles down the road for supplies.   We had fun whizzing round the store (which was massive and jam-packed with goodies) picking and choosing yummy things to eat and drink, mindful of our budgets.   By the time we emerged it was dark!!!  Now for the fun bit – finding our way through a foreign town in the dark.   Fortunately CJ had printed a fairly detailed map of the area and we made good progress to the A82 (I think) and then on to our destination.

At that time I had no idea how far the Great Glen Park was from Inverness and had considered taking a cab there!   Fortunately I had hired a car!   It was 54miles from the airport!   I had no idea.   We drove and drove, the rain falling steadily and with absolutely no idea where the place was, we anxiously scanned the map for landmarks.

1.5 hours later we finally arrived, just before 7pm and we had made the check-in deadline with 10 minutes to spare.  By now pitch-dark we had not an inkling of the beauty and magnificence awaiting us.   The A-frame cabins are darling and we made ourselves right at home.   The first thing that went on was the heating, as it was quite freezing cold.

Hunting around the cabin it took ages for us to find all the switches to activate the various appliances, and the only one we could not find was the switch for the hot water!   The following day we enquired at the office and the handyman came along to show us where it was – right behind the box of oats I had placed on the counter!!! Go figure.

Then a toss-up on who would get the double bed!  CJ won for the first 4 nights since she was only staying till Wednesday, so that was fair enough.  Then time to unpack, hang clothes up to dry and have supper!   We had bought a pizza for convenience and popped it into the oven.   Hahahaha, we ended up with – a burnt pizza for supper!  The oven settings were unfamiliar and we set it too high.  It tasted just fine actually and nicely crunchy round the edges 🙂

Relaxing and watching TV, Strictly Come Dancing was on and not to be missed, followed by X-Factor, we settled in for the week, cosy and comfortable.   Later that evening just after getting into bed, I had a summons from CJ to quickly get my jacket and shoes on and come outside.   I duly complied and stepping out back behind the cabin I lifted my eyes to the heavens and gasped.   A blanket of stars covered the night sky, brightly twinkling and sparkling in the night sky.   I am reminded once again of the fact that because we are creatures of the daytime, we miss out on this glorious spectacle every night.

We shivered and giggled, somewhat nervous that we were so close to the forest, literally feet away, it was dark and eerie and every rustle had us squeaking with fright. With wolves and ghosts in mind, and things that go bump in the night, I did not last long when finally my nerve broke and we skedaddled back inside, laughing and giggling fit to bust.

We had no idea what was awaiting our eyes on the morrow.   And so to bed, I slept like the proverbial baby.  Utter peace and quiet.   Bliss.

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11:00  11/11 – marks – Armistice Day for WW1 aka Remembrance Day.

But what is Remembrance Day?

Researching my favourite website Wikipedia, this is what I found:

Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on November 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Rethondes, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.

The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti. Called Armistice Day in many countries, it was known as National Day in Poland (also a public holiday) called Polish Independence Day. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

Personally I love that we have set aside one day in a year to take the time out to remember those who have fought and died for our liberty.   Of course there are always two sides to every story and what we celebrate may not be someone else’s reason to celebrate.   However, it is wise to remember that wars have been fought for millenia and that so long as mankind roams the earth there will always be wars.   The ultimate ideal would be to have ‘Peace on Earth’, and yet by nature we are a waring tribe, so what is the chance.

The most common causes of war and fighting are Religion and Politics, followed closely by acquisition of natural resources, food and land.   So long as we are all independent of thought and hold an opinion, there will be wars!

However, should we humans one day master the divine skill of acceptance, perhaps then we may find peace.

one of my favourite quotes from a famous gentleman:

“You become what you think about”. Earl Nightingale

let’s raise the flag for future generations and think about becoming ‘peaceful’

One of my favourite videos and the story of  a man to be admired as he struggles to promote peaceoneday

“We must make every effort for the promotion of peace and inner values. I fully support [Peace One Day].” His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Laureate

Imagine if we all did the same thing!

What will you do?

 

 

 

 

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Hello dear readers,

Pumpkin

not just a pumpkin!

Here we are almost at the witching hour of Halloween (ok, so for some of us the witching hour has already come and gone and it is now 1st November……whatever!!! 🙂 🙂   Wherever you are I hope you joined in the fun and got some real great treats.

As for us here in the UK and for our Americans cousins on the other side of the water, midnight is on the way and our trick or treating is yet to come.

And as it approaches do you ever stop to wonder about the what, why or how of Halloween.   Personally I love the idea, I also love the US of A for introducing us to the idea.   Any excuse for a bit of fun is good with me 🙂

I decided to do a bit of research this year, not having stopped to answer the above questions myself in the past and this is what I found:

Wikipedia:

Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.    It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints.    It is largely a secular celebration but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.

The colours black and orange have become associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire or of pumpkins, and maybe because of the vivid contrast this presents for merchandising. Another association is with the jack-o’-lantern (named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o’-lantern).   Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.”

I am totally into things that go bump in the night, scary movies, ghost stories, haunted castles, being scared witless and having fun watching other people being scared witless;  so this type of event is right up my alley.

I was watching ‘Autumn Watch‘ on BBC2 last night and they showed Simon in Abney-Park Hackney Cemetery wandering about at night, which is so cool.  Abney-Park became the first non-denominational Victorian Cemetery.

so if you are into being scared witless, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night 🙂 why not venture into your local cemetery tonight, the UK certainly has plenty of really ancient graveyards that should fulfil your wildest nightmares 🙂 then drop by later and leave us a comment on what you got up to!

My thanks to our American cousins for introducing us to this marvellous event.   HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Mobile phones could cause four different kinds of cancer, according to a survey.  The World Health Organisation research says there is a “significantly increased risk” of people developing 3 different types of brain tumour and one of salivary gland.  News of the findings, to be published within the next 2 months, has led to calls for mobiles to carry health warnings.

as read in the London Lite 26.10.09

Who is WHO?

According to Wikipedia:

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which had been an agency of the League of Nations.

Of course after reading this brief article, being a mobile phone user myself I decided to invesigate and this is what I found on the WHO site.

So it would seem that the debate is still open. However the effects of radiation are constantly in the media spotlight and after digging around on the WHO website I found this article.

It makes for interesting reading, especially that of course, we are exposed to radiation and electromagnetic fields on a daily basis in the form of our day to day household equipment.  So should we ditch the lot and go back to candles and fire?

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