I was reading an article about a woman living in a Berlin apartment who is keeping bees. We do have a bee crisis and I know that Europe has different programmes to encourage back yard people to become beekeepers. Keeping them in an apartment block sounds very daring to me. I love bees and am concerned their numbers are dwindling but I understand it better now. Farms have basically become uni crop – just corn or just wheat or just lentils. Then farmers tend to use sprays which do not help the bees and are killing them. The farmers are dealing with difficult weather conditions and are doing what they can to stop their crops from being destroyed by pests or fungal diseases. If Europe can do it, we can do it. I loved watching that video. It is clever and inspiring and you can see that a back yard bee keeping exercise has turned into a business. It is well thought out and the level of care is obvious. There is also someone locally who provides honey from a back yard bee keeping establishment. I don’t know whether it’s good to keep back yard bees or not. I am going to find out. I wouldn’t want it to be a danger to myself, pets, children, people. Maybe I won’t be keeping bees. Maybe I can help someone? My plan for the new year to to find out what is offered locally by way of bee keeping courses. I then plan to find out where we have our local bee keeping people. It’s the sort of thing which could become a community project so that no one has the weight of carrying all those bees. I don’t know. I am creating a plan and then I am going to follow it through because it is not about me. It is all about the bees.
Germany has things called Schuttberge. They are made of all the rubble from World War II. The bombing was so severe and the subsequent rubble was so profuse, the Germans had to think their way out of it. There was nowhere to put it. Much of the rubble has been turned into Schuttberge. There is one called the Birkenkopf in Stuttgart. It is a place for people to get outside in the fresh air, to walk and ride trails and then to reflect on the meaning of war. It’s both a place to relax and operate as a memorial. You can read about the Schuttberge at Spiegel online. Why am I telling you this? Because I have been thinking about all the plastic, much of which will not break down. I blogged about how Adidas is recycling ocean plastic into sneakers – will they break down when their life is finished? Then there is much on the internet about the plastic bricks which may or may not be a fire hazard. People are thinking and we need to keep thinking. Plastic would be an insulator. Can plastic rubble not be turned into landscaping or safe building material somehow? Bike trails, parks, mazes, hills, waterproofing ? Could we not use all this plastic and turn it into something good like they have in Germany? Would it be suitable to stop degradation around beach and river areas? Could it be used to fill areas which actually need filling? Would it be safe? We need the scientists and environmentalists in on this. They would know what is feasible and what isn’t. Could it be used to build coral reefs? I feel sure now we need to get rid of plastic unless we can invent one that is safe for the environment. With war we do destroy the environment but we are doing that knowingly now just by daily living. We need to change our ways but we also need to work out a safe way to upcycle the things we cannot recycle. For the next while, at least, until we get smarter, we need to focus as much on upcycling as recycling.
Designers will be asked not to hire either models with a dangerously low body mass index (BMI) or excessively muscular men
Trafficking in Persons Research Program
Australian Institute of Criminology
If you are Australian and wish to stop people trafficking, I draw your attention to the link below so that you can complete the government survey about people trafficking. The conditions are clearly explained before you choose to go ahead.
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They are using ‘solar bees’ to filter the dam water in Warragamba. Algal bloom has become increasingly a problem in our water ways, but it is also a problem for our dams and swimming pools. The climate has changed and the algal bloom growths have been a constant , nasty nuisance. It would be good if we can now have the technology to filter water so that the algal bloom cannot grow. Treating it is not really a safe option for drinking water. We are not the only country to have this problem as you can see from the picture of a waterway in China. Australia is a good place to test technology though because we have a smaller poepulation so should things go wrong or not according to plan it does not usually impact significantly. It also means equipment can be tested before there is a large capital outlay for more populated coutnries.
Image via WikipediaMapping wine yeast is a major breakthrough in technology and wine production. The northern hemisphere is ahead of us on this one, but the fact we have got it off the ground is fantastic and good news for our wine industry and consumers. It will mean they can produce low alcohol wines and they can perfect aromas and flavours. A nation of wine drinkers will appreciate this I am sure. As long as it is in keeping with a sensible lifestyle, wine with your dinner is not only civilised, it does have health benefits. The lower alcohol wines will give us that extra bit of choice.