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Good news is never far away

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We all need a reminder of the many good things happening in our world!

It’s common knowledge that homo sapiens is wired to react to the threat of danger in a rapid manner.  But while the danger of a bear or a lion jumping on us from out of the trees is much diminished in the 21st century, our fear-response circuits are still alive and active.  One of the fundamental reasons why so much of the media ‘sells’ stories via alarmist headlines.

Thus it was a real delight to come across a magazine with the simple, yet powerful, brand name of YES!

Cover of the current issue of YES!

Cover of the current issue of YES!

Even better than coming across YES! was receiving a complimentary subscription for Jean and me!  (Thanks John H!)  Jean and I took to the magazine immediately.  Not only because of an active blog but also because of their support for sharing their content.  I quote:

Reprints & Reposts

We want you to pass along the work of YES! Magazine. All we ask is that you follow these easy steps:

Text

For all material designated Creative Commons (cc):

(as used herein, material means the text of the articles, and does not mean titles, images, or illustrations)

  • Use the same byline information that we have placed at the end of the article. For reposts, keep links intact.
  • Material is free except for commercial use.
  • Do not alter, change, or add to the material.
  • Please notify us that you are reprinting by sending an email to reprints [at] yesmagazine.org.

For full details, see the Creative Commons license.

Copyrighted © text:

We have adopted Creative Commons licensing beginning with our issue #44. We readily grant reprint permission for earlier copyrighted material, upon request. Just ask us at reprints [at] yesmagazine.org. We occasionally reprint or excerpt material that is copyrighted by others, and this material is NOT included in the Creative Commons license.

Moving on to the next good news item.

I forget how but recently came across the Buy Nothing Project.  As the ‘About’ page explains:

Buy Nothing. Give Freely. Share Creatively.

The Buy Nothing Project began as an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA; in just 8 months, it has become a social movement, growing to over 25,000 members in 150 groups, in 4 countries. Our local groups form gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that our groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them. Time and again, members of our groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting in our groups, finding new ways to give back to the community that has brought humor, entertainment, and yes, free stuff into their lives. The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.

 

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The gift of flowers. © Liesl Clark

How does the Buy Nothing Project work? Using the free platform provided by Facebook Groups, Buy Nothing Project members can easily participate with their local group. Our rules are simple: “Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.” The transparency of Facebook groups’ design allows our members to see mutual friends they share with relative strangers, and to build trust based on real-life connections visible through personal profile information. This trust allows groups to grow quickly and encourages people to both give freely and ask for what they need; everything from toilet paper roll springs to rides home from the doctor; burial sites for beloved pets to freshly-baked bread and casseroles have been given freely; our members share things mundane and meaningful in equal measure, and throughout it all connect with each other by means of the shared personal stories and chatting encouraged by the platform. We rely on our co-founders’ daily guidance and direction for the development of our nascent culture, assisted by a team of volunteer local administrators who have on-the-ground knowledge of their communities.

The Buy Nothing Project Connects Us With Our Neighbors. © Liesl Clark

The Buy Nothing Project Connects Us With Our Neighbors. © Liesl Clark

Why the Buy Nothing Project? The Buy Nothing Project is brought to you by the creators of Trash Backwards (www.trashbackwards.com,) an app that helps you with the last of the 3 Rs, “Reusing” and “Recycling” the everyday things in your life. The Buy Nothing Project addresses the first of the 3 R’s, “Reduce” as well as the lesser-known Rs “Refuse” and “Rethink.” Participating in a local Buy Nothing Project group allows individuals and communities to reduce their own dependence on single-use and virgin materials by extending the life of existing items through gifting and sharing between group members. Rethinking consumption and refusing to buy new in favor of asking for an item from a neighbor may make an impact on the amount of goods manufactured in the first place, which in turn may put a dent in the overproduction of unnecessary goods that end up in our landfills, watersheds, and our seas. It most certainly creates connections between people who see each other in real life, not just online, leading to more robust communities that are better prepared to tackle both hard times and good by giving freely. The Trash Backwards app, blog articles, and Buy Nothing Project groups are diverting more materials from our landfills and oceans than we can possibly quantify as hundreds of items are rehomed each day.

The Buy Nothing Project Strengthens Communities.

The Buy Nothing Project Strengthens Communities.

Our Statistics:

With over 25,000 members and growing every day, we have a captive audience in each of our groups. Most members visit the group pages several times a day and many literally spend hours there, commenting, reading posts, while posting their own gifts and wants.

Our Trash Backwards blog, app, and the Buy Nothing Project website garner over 50,000 unique visitors per month. With 7,000 followers on Pinterest and 3,775 “likes” on our Facebook Pages, we have enough sway to bring significant traffic to our sites whenever we upload news or new blog posts.

Funding:

With funding to staff our core project, PR, legal help, design, and developers, the Buy Nothing movement will grow quickly, spreading the joys of gift economy giving and receiving. The world is ready for this experimental model of sharing our possessions and talents to help others, but the endeavor needs its basic operational costs covered to foster the movement even further.

Isn’t that a fabulous idea!

I’m determined to start a local group here in Merlin, Oregon.

My final item of good news, that I’m sure many others read about, was:

A declaration announced as part of a UN summit on climate change being held in New York also pledges to halve the rate of deforestation by the end of this decade and to restore hundreds of millions of acres of degraded land.

The Guardian newspaper released the news, as follows:

UN climate summit pledges to halt the loss of natural forests by 2030

New York declaration on forests could cut carbon emissions equivalent of taking all the world’s cars off the road

PEKANBARU, SUMATRA, INDONESIA - JULY 11:  A forest activist inspects land clearing and drainage of peat natural forest located on the concession of PT RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper), a subsidiary of APRIL group which is being developed for a pulp and paper plantation at Pulau Padang, Kepulauan Meranti district on July 11, 2014 in Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The Nature Climate Change journal has reported that Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of natural forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil despite their forest being a quarter of the size of the Amazon rainforest. According to Greenpeace, the destruction of forests is driven by the expansion of palm oil and pulp & paper has increased the greenhouse gas emissions, pushing animals such as sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction, and local communities to lose their source of life. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

PEKANBARU, SUMATRA, INDONESIA – JULY 11: A forest activist inspects land clearing and drainage of peat natural forest located on the concession of PT RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper), a subsidiary of APRIL group which is being developed for a pulp and paper plantation at Pulau Padang, Kepulauan Meranti district on July 11, 2014 in Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The Nature Climate Change journal has reported that Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of natural forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil despite their forest being a quarter of the size of the Amazon rainforest. According to Greenpeace, the destruction of forests is driven by the expansion of palm oil and pulp & paper has increased the greenhouse gas emissions, pushing animals such as sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction, and local communities to lose their source of life. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Governments, multinational companies and campaigners are pledging to halt the loss of the world’s natural forests by 2030.

A declaration announced as part of a UN summit on climate change being held in New York also pledges to halve the rate of deforestation by the end of this decade and to restore hundreds of millions of acres of degraded land.

Backers of the New York declaration on forests claim their efforts could save between 4.5bn and 8.8bn tonnes of carbon emissions per year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking all the world’s cars off the road.

The UK, Germany and Norway have pledged to enter into up to 20 programmes over the next couple of years to pay countries for reducing their deforestation, which could be worth more than £700m.

Companies such as Kellogg’s, Marks & Spencer, Barclays, Nestle, the palm oil giant Cargill, Asia Pulp and Paper and charities including the RSPB, WWF and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have signed the declaration.

The declaration’s supporters say ending the loss of the world’s natural forests will be an important part of limiting global temperature rises to 2C, beyond which the worst impacts of climate change are expected to be felt.

It comes after analysis suggests that land use change such as deforestation accounts for around 8% of the world’s carbon emissions, with carbon dioxide released when trees are felled and burned to free up land for agriculture or development.

“Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today,” the declaration says.

“Action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, poverty alleviation, rule of law, food security, climate resilience and biodiversity conservation.”

Signatories to the declaration are committing to a number of steps to halt forest loss, including backing a private sector goal of eliminating deforestation from producing agricultural products such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef by no later than 2020.

They are also seeking to support alternatives to deforestation which is caused by subsistence farming and the need for wood fuel for energy and reward countries that reduce forest emissions.

Read the full article here.

I first picked up on this news courtesy of the Grist blog:

rainforest-e1411587105860

Cargill promises to stop chopping down rainforests. This is huge.

By Nathanael Johnson

Everything I’ve been reading about the U.N. Climate Summit had been making me pretty gloomy, until I read about the New York Declaration on Forests.

The first notice was a press release from the Rainforest Action Network informing me that Cargill, the agribusiness giant, had pledged “to protect forests in all of Cargill’s agricultural supply chains and to endorse the New York Declaration on Forests.” Cargill has a big handprint — they have soy silos in Brazil and palm oil plants in Malaysia. So as of now, if you want to carve a farm out of the jungle, you’re going to get the cold shoulder from a company that is a prime connector to world markets.

And this isn’t limited to hot-button crops like soy and oil palm. Here’s what Cargill’s CEO Dave MacLennan said at the U.N.: “We understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains,” said MacLennan. “That’s why Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”

It’s not just Cargill. Kellogg’s, Unilever, Nestle, Asia Pulp and Paper, General Mills, Danone, Walmart, McDonalds, and many other corporations have committed to the New York Declaration on Forests. But, here’s why Cargill is interesting: It’s making a concrete pledge, while the actual declaration is pretty mushy at this point. The declaration calls for ending forest loss by 2030. And, to quote a U.N. brief: “It also calls for restoring forests and croplands of an area larger than India. Meeting these goals would cut between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon pollution every year — about as much as the current emissions of the United States.” Or about as much as taking all the cars in the world off the roads — that’s another comparison I’ve seen. The details are supposed to be hammered out in time for the 2015 convention in Paris.

Again, read the rest of the article here.

So as much as you, I and hundreds of thousands of others get battered with ‘gloom and doom’ stories every single day, we do need to balance that out from time-to-time with the good things around us. Also every single day.

Now where’s a dog to hug!

AS18

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Picture parade sixty-three

with 8 comments

More wonderful pictures courtesy of Su.

Last week’s set of pictures from Su are here.

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Final set of eight photographs from Su next Sunday.

All of you have a safe and happy week out there!

Written by Paul Handover

September 28, 2014 at 00:00

Posted in Art, Culture, Environment, Photography

Tagged with

Playing in the sand!

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Now this is what I call making sand-castles!

Apologies to the person that sent me the link to: PHOTOS OF WORLD-CLASS SAND SCULPTORS AT WORK!  Their name has slipped my mind.

The event was the 2014 US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition held recently in San Diego, California.

In any case, I wasn’t going to reblog the whole article because it’s much, much better if you go and read about the talented artists directly. Artists who produced this:

sand1

and this:

sand2

not overlooking this:

sand4

or this:

sand3

No, you absolutely have to drop into this place and read about these most talented artists.

Now how far is it to the nearest beach? …..

Must start practising …. wonder how long it would take me to build this:

sand5

 

Seeds of thought.

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Two very different perspectives.

solstice

I’m writing this post a short while after midnight (UTC) on the morning of Tuesday, 23rd September.  In other words, 00:00 UTC 23/9/2014. (I hasten to add that the local time in Oregon is late afternoon Monday!)

In approximately three hours time it will be the moment of the September Equinox, or 02:29 UTC on the 23rd to be precise. The planet Earth has been in orbit around the sun for a very long time!  It’s almost beyond comprehension how long the Solar System has been the way it is.

All of which constitutes my introduction to a recent beautiful post over at Sue Dreamwalker.  Kindly republished with her gracious permission.

ooOOoo

Planting a Seed … A Thought!

William Blake, said:

that everything that now exists was once imagined,

Wayne Dyer said:

So, if you want something to exist, you must first be able to imagine it.

Each of us have a chance of planting new seeds.. Yet we so often never have the courage to pick them out of our minds to plant them with intention into our reality… Those alexander-graham-bell_thumbwho do have the courage may see how from their tentative thoughts ideas grew beyond their wildest dreams… I bet Alexander Graham Bell never in his wildest dreams would have thought how his invention would now be in everyone’s pocket!.

But we need to have the courage to take those first steps and plant them..

Like all seeds they take time to germinate, so too with our ideas we often wonder why our wishes are not fulfilled.. All too often we sabotage them before they even begin to grow roots. How?, because we doubt our own capabilities and we say we are far from worthy of success. Telling ourselves we are never lucky.. and its bound to fail.. So we poison the very idea, so the seed withers even before it gets a chance to grow..

Our subconscious mind is an incredible tool, it possess the power to manifest from our thoughts to bring them into our physical reality. You only have to take a look around the room you are now in, and see that every thing in it was once someone’s thought, even the paint upon the walls… An idea born, brought into reality from that first seed of an idea..

I have just finished a book the second time in reading it, I think this time its message really hit home. As I see how I have sabotaged many such seeds in the past. The Book is called Wishes Fulfilled By Wayne Dyer, listen to his talk HERE upon the subject of Wishes Fulfilled.

‘Thoughts become things when you Feel them’ says Wayne Dyer, In the past I have often experienced frustration, Anger, worry, stress. These I have amplified with my ‘Feelings’ as the frustration of helplessness, or horror at how brutal we can be to one another have overshadowed my thoughts..

We need to reprogrammed ourselves to think differently about ourselves and the World..

dr-wayne-dyer-quote_thumb

Seeds are sown, every day within our minds.. What sort of seeds are you sowing within your own mind? Which type of thoughts are you cultivating?

wayne-dyer-quote_thumb2

My last simple post World Peace! Just Imagine got reblogged 6 times!. I got more traffic today than for a long while.. People Do want Peace, and yet how many of us are being manipulated into getting caught up in Conflict? We are part of it every time we read a Newspaper, every time we watch the Media News, Every time we join in Gossip, every time we Judge another. Every time we argue, even with ourselves, We are creating yet more Conflict , more Negative Energy in the World.

Our very thoughts Create…

32108-Positive+thoughts+quotes+every

Let us Create the Future we each wish to Live in..

Have a Brilliant Thought Provoking and Harmonious Week!

Blessings

~Sue~

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So wherever you are in the world, take a moment to look up into the sky and marvel at it all.  As one of Sue’s followers remarked, “ ….. Equinox is an excellent time to focus on the seed ideas for the future.

Finally, the link that Sue included in the sentence, “The Book is called Wishes Fulfilled By Wayne Dyer, listen to his talk HERE upon the subject of Wishes Fulfilled.” took you to a YouTube video.  It is below because I know many will want to listen to Wayne Dyer’s important words.

3D-Autumn-1680x1050

From seeds grow great futures.

Written by Paul Handover

September 23, 2014 at 00:00

Picture parade sixty-two

with 6 comments

Huge thanks to Suzann for sending these on.

You all have a great day!

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Aren’t they wonderful!

More from Su next Sunday.

Written by Paul Handover

September 21, 2014 at 00:00

Ashleigh and Pudsey.

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In terms of the bond between dog and human, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Britain’s Got Talent is a British talent television show that started in June 2007 and has been running very successfully ever since. Originally broadcast by Thames Television it is now part of the ITV ‘stable’.  Inevitably there is a website!

Anyway, Jean and I were browsing YouTube one evening looking for something to watch and came across this:

Published on Apr 7, 2012

Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog wow the judges with their flintstones dance act.

Britain searches for a new act to perform in front of the royal family at the royal variety performance.
Judged by Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Carmen Electra, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.

Resist the urge to watch the semi-finals until you have watched the above; less than five minutes long.

Published on May 6, 2012

Britain’s got talent 2012 Live Semi finals.

Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog perform their dance routine to Peppy and George in the Live Semi-finals.

Of course, you know where this is going!

Here are the finals.

Published on May 12, 2012

The performance of Ashleigh and Pudsey in the Britain’s Got Talent 2012 Final.

Of course they won, deservedly so.

Harvest Moon 2014

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Sorry, couldn’t resist this.

The following photograph was taken around 9pm (PDT) on the evening of the 8th September; i.e. Monday evening.

The image has been tweaked to display the picture more clearly but, nonetheless, shows the most beautiful Harvest Moon.  The camera was pointing to the East; I was standing on the deck at the back of our house.

P1150050

Anything to do with dogs?

You bet! There’s this ….

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and this:

Uploaded on Nov 9, 2010
During Bob and Jan Shaw’s Annual fall training session outside of Newberry, MI in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, I had the opportunity to record over 100 huskies howling at a full moon.

We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…we all shine on…come on and on and on…John Lennon.

Written by Paul Handover

September 10, 2014 at 00:00

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