Sunday, 13 December 2009

Music and Life

The principles of Music and Living aren't all that different, we think,
"Wouldn't you say, Pooh?"
"Say what?", asked Pooh, opening his eyes.
"Music and Living - "
"The same thing", said Pooh.

From The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff.

Far as I can see, there is only one good thing about The Rolling Stones and that's their music. But since the mid-70s it's been almost entriely dull.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Milking it for All it's Worth.

I was very disappointed to find that the Belgian firm, Alpro had recently been bought out by Deans Foods, a North American multinational up to its grubby neck in the exploitative unkindnesses of the dairy industry. So when buying soya milk I transferred our modest patronage to the reputedly excellent Plamil. Plamil make their soya milk using beans grown in Europe organically. At Single Step, a shop I like very much, 1 litre of Plamil costs £1.50. (Deans Foods are behind certain brands of soya milk which are very much less costly).

So we've bought a soy milk maker, found it on Amazon and it came directly all the very long way from China. It cost £45 + £22 p&p, a more than trifling expense, yet cheaper than most if not all of its competitors. And how quickly can one spend £67 on milk produced by very soon worn-out, antibiotic-overdosed, land misusing, arable crop-scoffing, dirty cows pumping shedloads of methane into our overheated planet?

Our new machine, a Joyoung (a good model, so says a Chinese student staying nearby and whose parents have one), makes 1 litre of soy milk from 40g (less than 2oz), of dry organic soy beans, water and nothing else. But I am embarrassed to find that our beans from Suma which previously were grown in the USA, are now grown in China, but at least that's not the South American rainforest.

The machine takes about 10mins to do its job and costs (a short blast of GoodEnergy's electricity plus), £0.10 for the beans. You wouldn't be far wrong if you said that making our own organic soya milk is 93% cheaper than buying it. A litre of soya milk generally lasts the two of us 3 days. It would take a stronger man than I am not to smirk. Inwardly, of course.

I don't have room to grow my own (although it's quite possible in the UK), so all I want to do now is to find a closer, European source of organic soya beans.

We took this course of action because we could afford it. Too often, especially in the opulent West, it is folks on relatively lower incomes who find it more difficult to live inexpensively. Green-ness is almost always relatively "unfair" in application and I suspect that this unfairness, i.e. inequality, is used by many well-off folks as another overworked excuse not to take (m)any green actions at all.

Well, soon I'll be making our own tofu. Really.

Bread, Milk and Oil, and Who's Ruling the World?

The smell of tomorrow's bread reminds me we've bought only two loaves since we left Le Guerrat six weeks ago.

And today our very smart machine made our first soya milk. (We'd had the machine for several days and had entered into a dispute with the Chinese seller, but now he's given us £20 to compensate for the operating instructions being in Chinese only, and the mains plug being utterly useless in Britain. A Chinese student in digs next door to Jo's mum translated the booklet for us, and I'm using the "kettle lead" from our old pc to connect to the mains).

I've been using ready mixed bio-degradable chain oil for the saw and, as at Le Guerrat, the smell of the hot oil makes me hungry. But the smell is much reduced when I find myself cutting below water level! I'm clearing a line of trees overhanging, and many long ago fallen into, a field ditch and am frequently surprised at how deep into the water the saw can go and keep running, making froth with the chain and bubbles from the exhaust!

My full attention has been just drawn to Jarvis Cocker's Quantum Theory and the excellent song which comes in at 29.35mins:

Well, did you hear, there's a natural order?
Those most deserving will end up with the most,
That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top,
Well, I say: Shit floats.
If you thought things had changed,
Friend, you'd better think again,
Bluntly put in the fewest of words,
Cunts are still running the world,
Cunts are still running the world.

Now the working classes are obsolete,
They are surplus to society's needs,
So let 'em all kill each other
And get it made overseas.
That's the word, don't you know,
From the guys that's running the show,
Let's be perfectly clear' boys and girls,
Cunts are still running the world,
Cunts are still running the world.

Oh, feed your children on crayfish and lobster tails,
Find a school near the top of the league,
In theory I respect your right to exist,
I will kill ya if you move in next to me,
Ah, it stinks, it sucks, it's anthropologically unjust,
But the takings are up by a third, oh, so
Cunts are still running the world,
Cunts are still running the world.

Your free market is perfectly natural,
Or do you think that I'm some kind of dummy?
It's the ideal way to order the world,
Fuck the morals, does it make any money?
And if you don't like it, then leave,
Or use your right to protest on the street,
Yeah, use your rights, but don't imagine that it's heard, oh, no, no,
Cunts are still running the world,
Cunts are still running the world......

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Wind Turbines for Lancaster University.

Lancaster University is set to significantly reduce its carbon footprint following a £5m funding award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The University is one of only three out of the 37 applicants to win the funding from HEFCE's £10m Transformational Fund. The fund has been made available specifically for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across England to radically transform their approaches to energy consumption and reducing emissions.

The proposed project is to develop two 2.3MW wind turbines on the university's Hazelrigg site to the east of the M6 motorway. Click here to view a map of the proposed location:

Lancaster University would be the first in England to install two 2.3mw wind turbines which would reduce its electricity consumption by approximately one-third, equivalent to the residential requirements of all students who live on campus.

A series of public exhibitions will be held at the University and in the local community for anybody interested in finding out more about the Wind Turbine project to attend.

* Monday 14 December 2009, 12:00-15:00 Lancaster University, University House reception

* Monday 14 December 2009, 17:30-20:00 Ellel War Memorial Institute, Stoney Lane, Galgate

* Tuesday 15 December 2009, 14:00-19:30 St Pauls Parish Hall, Scotforth Road, Lancaster

* Wednesday 16 December 2009, 16:00-20:00 Quernmore Methodist Church Hall, Quernmore

* Thursday 17 December 2009 10:30-16:00 Lancaster Central Library, Market Street, Lancaster

A scoping request has been submitted to Lancaster City Council, which set out the technical and environmental assessments that would be undertaken as part of a planning application.

To view the Scoping Opinion PDF document please click here:

Please give your feedback on the Scoping Opinions document by emailing the uni using the Your Opinions form: or writing to the uni or calling – see contacts:

A planning application will only be submitted following agreement on the scoping request by Lancaster City Council and the completion and assessment of the community consultation process. If the application is successful, construction would start in early 2010.

Video - Free Electricity for Welsh Hill Farmers to Sell !!!

Click on the title. Very hopeful story and related article here.

Now all they need to do is plant (native) trees for biomass where at present there are methane stinky | stoopid | no-use | harmful sheep.