Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.


with 97 comments

Pharaoh – just being a dog!

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

About these ads

Written by Paul Handover

July 5, 2009 at 02:31

Posted in Core thought

Tagged with ,

Wherein lays the truth?

with 4 comments

It is said that the first casualty in war is truth!

Ansel Adams

In yesterday’s post Vested interests, perhaps, I featured an article brought to my attention by dear friend, Dan Gomez. Namely an article featured in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper that was headlined: ‘There is NO climate crisis': Man-made global warming is a lie and not backed up by science, claims leading meteorologist.

Dan’s strong belief is that labelling the natural change in the world’s climate as anthropogenic global warming (AGW) serves governments and many large institutions incredibly well because it offers greater leverage to raise taxes.  In other words, Dan has no doubt that the climate is changing, but as a result of natural forces that go back long before the days of man.  In other words, it is being ‘sold’ as the direct result of man’s activities because it makes it easier to apply taxes and levies for purposes not related to climate matters.

As John Coleman was reported as saying:

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, claims that the belief humans are causing climate change is not backed up by science.

In an open letter attacking the UN, the 80-year-old from San Diego, said that what ‘little evidence’ there is for global warming points to natural cycles in temperature.

‘There is no climate crisis,’ he wrote. ‘The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number. ‘Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

‘I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.’

Now I am as sceptical about the workings of governments as the next man. But I find it incredibly difficult to believe that AGW is a myth, hoax or conspiracy.  There is a wall of science to say that we, as in man, are dangerously close to going over the edge, going beyond ‘tipping points’ from which there is no returning.

A quick dip into Wikipedia tells us [my emphasis]:

Scientific understanding of the cause of global warming has been increasing. In its fourth assessment (AR4 2007) of the relevant scientific literature, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that scientists were more than 90% certain that most of global warming was being caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities. In 2010 that finding was recognized by the national science academies of all major industrialized nations.

Affirming these findings in 2013, the IPCC stated that the largest driver of global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and land use changes such as deforestation.

Only last Wednesday there was an item on Naked Capitalism that opened [again, my emphasis]:

J.D. Alt: Have We Passed the Tipping Point of Biological Collapse?

alt1The squiggle illustrated here may look like the Ebola virus, but it isn’t. The resemblance is just an eerie coincidence. It’s actually a graphical snapshot of the classic “Predator-Prey Model.” This mathematical exercise, first developed in the 1920s, serves as the introductory basis for a more recent NASA funded effort which produced—amidst a brief flurry of news and commentary last spring—the startling conclusion that a complete collapse of modern civilization may now be “irreversible.”

The NASA study involved the creation and running of a more elaborate model—HANDY (Human and Nature Dynamics)—which simulates the human consumption of naturally replenishing systems, as well as (intriguingly, given today’s news cycle) wealth and income inequality between two classes of citizens: “Elites” and “Commoners.” Now a new study, just released by the World Wildlife Fund, reports a grim statistic suggesting the abstract mathematics of the HANDY Model may be more than just a theoretical exercise. According to the WWF, in the last forty years—from 1970 to 2010—the Earth has lost over HALF (52%) of its wildlife population.

There are yards and yards of solid information all over the internet about our changing climate. The loss of wildlife, the destruction of forests and wild lands is beyond argument, and those aspects of this ‘modern’ world are most certainly the direct result of man’s activities!  Our inability to stop growing as a global population is insane.  Our inability to stop seeing continual economic and material growth as a ‘good thing’ is insane. We need massive change  – now!

Therein lays the problem.  Because, whether or not there is an approaching climate catastrophe as a result of man’s activities is, in a very real sense, irrelevant. If that seems a bizarre thing to write, I mean it is irrelevant in terms of what you and I, ordinary people trying to lead civilised lives, can do to make a difference.

Patrice Ayme recently published a post under the title of Total Plutocracy covering the death of Christophe de Margerie when his jet hit a snow plough on a Moscow runway at midnight, flipped on its back, caught fire, and skidded across. All four on board died.

Now the accidental death of any person is a tragedy, make no mistake, but as Patrice revealed in his post, this particular accident did raise some interesting aspects.  Here’s a little of what Patrice wrote:

With 200 billion Euros in revenue, TOTAL SA is not far behind the French government budget. TOTAL’s profits are 14 billion Euros (“Soyons serieux!” laughed Margerie). It pays nearly no tax in France, having concentrated there its money losing refineries.

Other countries get nearly all their fuel from French refineries; TOTAL has also a green light to frack in Britain. So this is not just a French situation. TOTAL is one of the five great oil companies concentrating the fossil fuel firepower. Those companies have the best technology. Some of TOTAL’s specialties are very deep water drilling, and using steam to extract tar oil in Canada.

What was de Margerie doing at midnight? Flying back to France, after meeting with Putin and Medvedev, late at night.

That’s how these guys are: great fun. Putin was recently invited to Milan for a big time European meeting. He arrived several hours late to visit with Merkel, who was not amused. After keeping her up past midnight, he motored to Berlusconi’s mansion, and the two plutocrats reveled together until 4 am. (We don’t know how many female teenagers were in attendance to further their studies.)

The next European meeting was at 8am, and Putin showed up.

Supposedly Margerie had just told Medvedev and Putin to cool it with Ukraine. At least that’s the massaging message Margerie’s minions floated after his death.

Why was Margerie so important to the Russian dictators? Because the six “supermajor” oil companies have the advanced technology. After all, they recruit from the best universities in the world (that’s paid by taxpayers). TOTAL SA was the spearhead of high tech development for hydrocarbon production in Russia. Among other things, it’s helping to build a gas liquefaction plant in the far north, to load special ships with methane (something TOTAL does with Qatar, in the world’s largest such installation).

Once a ship is fully loaded, it has several times the explosive power deployed at Hiroshima (such a catastrophic accident has not happened yet, but it’s just a matter of time).

When citizen Lambda dies, Mr. Anybody, nobody official cares. When a major plutocrat dies, our leaders, even our socialist leaders, weep, and present the accident as a national, even international tragedy.

Is the death of a plutocrat worth that much more, that all this public weeping has to occur?

And, by the way, who and what has authorized Mr. Margerie to lead his own foreign policy? Who authorized him to make nice with thermonuclear dictators? To the point of allowing their survival?

I recommend that you read it in full for it says so much about what is wrong with these present times: so much inequality and so many abuses of power.

Just the other day the Guardian newspaper published an article under the title of: Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report.

The richest 1% of the world’s population are getting wealthier, owning more than 48% of global wealth, according to a report published on Tuesday which warned growing inequality could be a trigger for recession.

According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report (pdf), a person needs just $3,650 – including the value of equity in their home – to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.

“Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets,” said the annual report, now in its fifth year.

On October 8th, George Monbiot published an essay in The Guardian newspaper under the title of The Toll-Booth Economy.  The opening lines set the theme.

Corporate power is the real enemy within, but none of the major parties will confront it.

The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.

On Friday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, claimed that business is under political attack on a scale it has not faced since the fall of the Berlin wall. He was speaking at the Institute of Directors, where he was introduced with the claim that “we are in a generational struggle to defend the principles of the free market against people who want to undermine it or strip it away.” A few days before, while introducing Osborne at the Conservative party conference, Digby Jones, formerly the head of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that companies are at risk of being killed by “regulation from Big Government” and of drowning “in the mire of anti-business mood music encouraged by vote-seekers.” Where is that government and who are these vote-seekers? They are a figment of his imagination.

Read the full essay here.

Yes, one could go on and on.

Indeed, I will. Go on with just one more reference.  From the Smithsonian. An article that started, as follows:

Five Conflicts and Collapses That May Have Been Spurred by Climate Change

Earth’s changing climate has been a spectre in centuries of civil conflict and, at times, the collapse of whole civilizations

By Natasha Geiling
October 20, 2014

Is climate change a matter of national security? In a warming world, sea-level rise, drought and soil degradation are putting basic human needs such as food and shelter at risk. In March, the U.S. Department of Defense called climate change a “threat multiplier,” saying that competition for resources “will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions—conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.”

Connecting climate change to a global increase in violence is tricky, and attempts to make such a link receive a fair amount of criticism. A hotter planet doesn’t automatically become a more conflict-ridden one. The 2000s, for instance, saw some of the highest global temperatures in recorded history—and some of the lowest rates of civil conflict since the 1970s.

But there are historical examples of civilizations that did not fare well when faced with drastic environmental change, and those examples may offer a window into the future—and even help prevent catastrophe. “We can never know with 100-percent certainty that the climate was the decisive factor [in a conflict],” says Solomon Hsiang, assistant professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “But there’s a lot of cases where things look pretty conspicuous.”

Read the five historical examples and realise that we are not immune.

Earlier on I ventured the idea that whether or not an approaching climate catastrophe was a result of man’s activities was, in a very real sense, irrelevant.  Because of the lack of individual power to make a real difference, especially a political difference.

What is relevant is improving the way we govern ourselves. The abuses of money and power are too widespread to be ignored.  We need to start with strong local democracies and thence building a system of global governance that really is of the people by the people for the people.

Phew – I need a dog to hug!

The truest of love between a man and a dog!

Hazel providing the ‘love-in’.

Vested interests, perhaps.

with 2 comments

I’m being very brave and stepping into the climate change cauldron!

Learning from Dogs has been posting a wide range of items for well over five years. Indeed, today’s post is number 2,238!

Over those five years, my position regarding climate change or global warming has been pretty clear: a belief in the proposition that man’s behaviours are changing the very climate of our planet.  For instance, a little over a year ago I posted under the title Sceptical about global warming?  It opened:

Learning from Dogs is not a blogsite about climate change!

Why, you may ask, do I start today’s post with that sub-heading?  Because, I am conscious that many of my posts do touch on this subject.  For example, just two days ago there was Breaking news.  Then there was the piece about the climate implications for Phoenix, Arizona.  Followed the next day by the changes in the flow of the jet stream across the North Atlantic with all the weather implications for North-West Europe.

Indeed, as the heading to today’s post makes clear, this is also about the changes going on to our planet.

Learning from Dogs is about a different way of living and behaving.  A campaign, if one wants to call it that, to show that the way that modern man is living is corrupt.  Not with a big ‘C’ but still in the sense of living a dishonest life.  Learning from Dogs attempts to show that our wonderful dogs, a source of so much love and pleasure for so many millions, offer us an example of a life in and of this planet.

If there was ever a time in the history of man when we needed being reminded of our frailty and vulnerability, it is now.  As the following so starkly illustrates.

Peter Sinclair of Climate Crocks recently republished an item from Skeptical Science that opened up as follows:

A new study of ocean warming has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters by Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (2013).  There are several important conclusions which can be drawn from this paper.

  • Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years.  This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.

Then last week-end, Dan Gomez, friend for over 40 years, sent me the following:

Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming Science ‘Not Valid’

Meteorologist John Coleman, who co-founded The Weather Channel, says the claim that human activity is leading to global warming is no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, the “little evidence” there is for rising global temperatures points to a “natural phenomenon,” Coleman asserts.

In an open letter to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he wrote: “There is no climate crisis. The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number.

“Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

“I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environmental agenda item, but the science is not valid.”

Coleman says he based his views on the findings of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (not to be confused with the U.N. panel), a body of scientists and scholars who assess the science of global warming.

“There is no significant man-made global warming at this time. There has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future,” says Coleman, who was the original meteorologist on “Good Morning America.”

“Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed.

“There has been no warming over 18 years.”

The U.N.’s IPCC argues that their research shows man-made global warming will lead to extreme weather events becoming more frequent and unpredictable, the Express in Britain reported.

Climate expert William Happer, a professor at Princeton University, expressed support for Coleman’s claims.

“No chemical compound in the atmosphere has a worse reputation than CO2, thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control [of] energy production,” Happer said.

“The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.”

What Dan had seen was an article in the UK Daily Mail that, in turn, was echoed on the US WesternJournalism blogsite.  Here’s how that Daily Mail story opens:

Climate change has been proven to be a lie, according to a leading meteorologist.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, claims that the belief humans are causing climate change is not backed up by science.

In an open letter attacking the UN, the 80-year-old from San Diego, said that what ‘little evidence’ there is for global warming points to natural cycles in temperature.

‘There is no climate crisis,’ he wrote. ‘The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number. ‘Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

‘I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.’

The WesternJournalism post runs with the story explaining (in part):

John Coleman, the original meteorologist for ABC’s Good Morning America and the founder of The Weather Channel, which launched in 1982, wrote an open letter to the UCLA’s Hammer Forum urging them “to re-examine their plan” for their forum, scheduled for this past Thursday, after they announced their experts, both of whom believe in climate change science.

Coleman has made his position against climate change science clear in the past.

“There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future. Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant ‘greenhouse’ gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed. There has been no warming over 18 years.”

The Weather Channel founder cites professors from Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, and the University of Alabama, along with “9,000 Ph.D scientists” who agree with him.

“Yet at your October 23 Hammer Forum on Climate Change you have scheduled as your only speakers two people who continue to present failed science as though it is the final and complete story on global warming/climate change. This is a major mistake.”

Coleman urged the UCLA group to reconsider, noting he is not a “flat Earther,” or a “paid shill of the Koch Brothers.”

In a discussion yesterday with Dan, he was of the clear mind that, yes, the climate is changing, as it always has over eons of time, but that the degree of change that is directly attributed to man’s affairs is minute.  Then all around me I see sign after sign, read article after article, that we, as in mankind, are relentlessly ‘fouling our own nest’ and the time left for us to learn how to live sustainably on this planet is fast running out.

Can we get to the truth? The topic will be continued tomorrow!

The intelligence of dogs?

with 4 comments

Fascinating article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

This post was written last Monday in the hope that I will be back home from my ‘op’ by today, or more accurately expressed as hoping I was back home yesterday.

Friend, Chris Snuggs, sent me an item that appeared in The Daily Telegraph about measuring the intelligence of your dog.  Here’s how it opened:

Quiz: how intelligent is your dog?

Take our special test to gauge your pet’s brainpower

Canine brains: test your dog's intelligence Photo: Alamy

Canine brains: test your dog’s intelligence Photo: Alamy

By Andrew Bake

7:00AM BST 25 Oct 2014

We all love our dogs. They repay us with affection, loyalty, fun and amusement, and we boast of their beauty, athletic prowess and impeccable behaviour. But while we can subtly promote our own academic achievements, and hint heavily at the brightness of our children, it is hard to prove – really prove, beyond reasonable doubt – that our canine companions are as intelligent as we know in our hearts they must be.

There is no doubt that some breeds are more intelligent than others, the result – as so much else about dogs – of selective breeding for many generations. But human classification and stereotyping of breeds has also evolved – not always fairly – and there are exceptions within breeds. So it is perfectly possible for an ostensibly airheaded Chihuahua to perform very well in intelligence tests, while a supposedly sagacious German shepherd will fail to distinguish “sit” from “fetch”.

Behaviour that seems to demonstrate intelligence in dogs is often the result of a combination of breeding and intense training. It is often suggested that Border collies are outstandingly bright, and that may be so: but they have been bred for generations to respond rapidly to complex commands; and sheepdogs – the rock stars of the obedience world – are trained from puppyhood, in many cases at the side of their parents.

Andrew Bake closes his piece, thus:

So how can we arrive at a reasonable estimation of our dog’s mental abilities? The Telegraph canine intelligence test combines observation of the subject’s regular behaviours, some of which may have been influenced by training, habituation and what might loosely be termed upbringing, with a series of simple staged exercises which attempt to measure the dog’s ability to think sequentially and to respond to challenges.

Putting the scores from the two together will produce a fair estimate of general intelligence: good enough, at least, to boast about in the park.

No special equipment is needed — though patience, a new dog-toy and a supply of dog-treats will undoubtedly come in handy.

Then at the bottom of the article is a link ‘Let’s Play‘ that takes you to the test questions.


Written by Paul Handover

October 29, 2014 at 00:00

Lights out for the first time!

with 2 comments

My first general anaesthetic in nearly 70 years!

Today, I have an appointment with a urologist surgeon at the Rogue Regional Medical Centre in Medford, about an hour south of where we live in Merlin. All being well I should be out the same day but will need to take it easy for a couple of days thereafter.  I’m curious about the experience of having a general anaesthetic; the first one I have had.

Also this week I need to get my head down and commit to another month of writing under the NaNoWriMo banner.

Last November, participating in the National Novel Writing Month was critical in me completing a draft start of 56,000 words of my book Learning from Dogs. Despite it not being a novel and despite me wanting to continue the draft rather that start another writing project, NaNoWriMo have accepted me for a second time.  I’m very grateful because, fingers crossed, by the end of this coming November I should be within reach of my target of 120,000 words for a non-fiction book.

November also brings along a ’70’ birthday for me, a birthday for Jean later on in the month and our wedding anniversary in the middle of the month.

So you know where this is leading, don’t you!

Creative blog writing is going to be a little thin on the ground for the next four weeks – (What was that you said? Something about creative writing frequently being thin on the ground?!)

There will be a post every day but if I get squeezed for time I will repost something previously published in this place.  I will also republish items of general interest that catch my eye on the broader front of the big-wide-web!

Going to close today by sharing a photograph of the recent solar eclipse.  There have been many published but this one seemed especially beautiful. It was part of a set over on the EarthSky blogsite.

Sunset partial solar eclipse, with sea birds, from the beach in Englewood, Florida, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by K. King.

Sunset partial solar eclipse, with sea birds, from the beach in Englewood, Florida, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by K. King.


Written by Paul Handover

October 28, 2014 at 00:00

Returning to the land – a guest essay.

with 18 comments

A question of a possible catastrophe

Note: As tomorrow’s post will explain, the next few weeks will be encroaching seriously on my blogging time. So it was very timely to receive this guest essay from John in the last couple of days and even more generous of him to give me permission to republish it.

It will make an interesting comparison to an item from Dan Gomez being published on Thursday.


Notes on Dealing With Imminent Catastrophe

We know that our world economy is leveraged at least twenty-five times beyond any earthly material foundation. Regardless of this reality, we have made an artificial global economy more real than our physical world. This situation only makes sense when we recognize that we’re being encouraged to re-establish our awareness of reality. It’s a final exam time for a leading edge species of clever monkeys.

Nature has tolerated human activities for millions of years. Now that our demographics ravenously swarm the globe, belch poisons into the five mile band of air that sustains surface life on earth, dumps wastes and toxins into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, and arrogantly refuses to understand obvious warnings; Nature is reacting.

For those who are inclined to either or choices, in accordance with the physical Law of Entropy, the decision is between pursuing constructive or destructive actions. For those who are more spiritually oriented, there is no question. In either case, we know what needs to be done.

Our first order of business is to stabilize our inclusive global economy through green initiatives that are operated for profit without damage to the eco-system. Yes, this sounds impossible the first time we think about it. Can we come up with a better plan? Not really, when we stop and honestly consider our situation. We’re poised on the brink of a material, economic and cultural collapse created by human beings.

Wars continue to be waged world wide over territory and rapidly diminishing fossil fuel resources. We have essentially lost trust in each other as equal members of a common community we call Earth. And, we are rapidly losing faith in the unsustainably inflated symbol of trust we call Money.

A green economy is our best solution for the multiple problems that plague us. Here’s why and a few suggestions about how we go about the process. Essentially, our critical need for renaissance is a process of education, formation and transformation.

When we return to the land as a global priority, the use of solar energy can replace massive industrial electrical generators running on fossil fuel derivatives. Most industrial generators may be easily converted to bio-diesel fuel. Industrial diesel generators worldwide can be converted to bio-fuel overnight. No mechanical adaptation is required.

Electric cars already set speed records at Europe’s classic racetracks. Solar electric cars are on the horizon. A bio-diesel engine to power a golf cart costs about $500 today and is available from Amazon.

There’s a natural need for co-operation when we return to the land and collectively re-establish our financial roots. First, we recognize that each of our actions affects the well being of the earth and its inhabitants. Second we realize that we are responsible for the well being of the Earth which sustains our being.

Third, we re-establish our natural connection with the unity of a living universe. We begin with the community gardens and farmer’s markets that are already operational, and rebuild accordingly.

When we are foolish, we act independently for our personal well being. When we are wise, we act together for the well being of the earth and each other. Growing our own food not only assures that what we eat will be free of chemical by-products; it also makes us aware of how fragile our consumer supply lines have become. Recycling our food waste as fertilizer completes a natural growth cycle.

By the way, a back yard greenhouse can produce enough bio-fuel to operate a diesel vehicle and a solar panel array can generate enough energy to charge your electric car. How much money does this save each year?

We don’t need nuclear reactors that sometimes melt down and sicken us with a continual stream of radiation carried by the tides and the winds of an integrated planet. We don’t need the wastes of nuclear reactors that poison the earth for millennium.

We don’t need nuclear weapons capable of destroying most, if not all, of the life on earth in an all out suicidal war. The only creatures to survive the holocaust of nuclear war would need to be radiation resistant; shielded deep underground or deep under the sea.

Harnessing wind, water and geothermal energy are wiser ways to keep our world energized in a green economy. A combination of habitats and communities powered by solar and geothermal energy will produce a new building boom as we shed the skin of our former infrastructure and a green architectural industry emerges.

Recycling the components of our technological world not only reduces our industrial waste, it decreases the cost of manufacture. Similarly, adapting and reusing what we already have decreases our personal expenses and reduces our demands on the earth.

These are only a few of the ideas which are already possible. Many more are already in the process of becoming our greater reality.

Still think such a massive transformation is impossible? If so, please know that you remain in our prayers.

There is hope for tomorrow. Science consistently opens new doors. Faith in the Nature of God of which we are each an infinitesimal part makes us unified and strong as a consciously aware biological species.

John Hurlburt

an old lamplighter


Written by Paul Handover

October 27, 2014 at 00:00

Picture parade sixty-seven.

with 9 comments

The second wonderful set of photographs sent to me by Dan Gomez.

Continuing the theme of how our pets react to mentioning the word ‘vet’!

















Aren’t they just wonderful!

Another set in a week’s time.  You all take care of yourselves meanwhile.

Written by Paul Handover

October 26, 2014 at 00:00

Saturday special!

with one comment

Enough of the world of spying and whistleblowing and back to stuff that is really important!

Many will recall that on the 10th October, under the heading of Utterly beyond words!, I wrote about a deer befriending us to the point that Jean was able to stroke its neck as it was feeding.  The post included this photograph.

Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer's ear.

Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer’s ear.

Inevitably, being the softies that we are, we have continued to put out feed, in the form of cob or cracked corn, most days.

The word among the local deer population clearly has been passed around!

For here’s a photograph taken automatically on the night of the 19th October.

Time of the shot was a little before 5am.

Time of the shot was a little before 5am.

Then on the 22nd, just three days ago, these photographs were taken shortly after 10am.

Party time!

More food and it isn’t even supper time!


Come on ladies, eat up! You never know when a dog will charge around the corner!

Come on ladies, eat up! You never know when a dog will charge around the corner!



That’s more like it!

One fear that Jean and I had was that they would become vulnerable to an attack by our dogs.  But the deer have quickly wised up to when dogs are being let out of the front or kitchen doors and are off like darts into the forest just a few yards away.

We treasure seeing them each day.

Written by Paul Handover

October 25, 2014 at 00:00


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,196 other followers

%d bloggers like this: