Thursday, December 15, 2016

 

Cowspriracy




Emma Samuelson Popular Guest Blogger Emma Samuelson is back with a hot topic - Animal Agriculture and Sustainability!

Emma is a recent college graduate from California who writes her own songs, sings and plays guitar. Check out the excellent music and ASL videos on her YouTube channel! In Emma's own words, "I am a spiritual person and I love music, listening to it, creating it, and everything about it." Her love of music is obvious in her videos!

Please use this link to see a list of ALL guest blog posts by Emma Samuelson.

Emma just started getting involved in the world of Sustainable Permaculture this year. Please read her Permaculture article! What about eating animals? Is it sustainable? How are these animals raised and slaughtered? What affect does production of animals for human consumption affect the environment of the Earth? The Cowspiracy documentary talks about these issues and Emma talks about how she found this documentary, below!


Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

As a young adult in a changing society, I find it important to stay informed of local and global events, keeping up with the national news as well as the issues we face as a species. I often watch documentaries and series that shed light on phenomena that aren’t in the spotlight or aren’t discussed enough in the mass media. Some of the most incredible documentaries I’ve seen include Inside Job about the 2008 financial crisis and Inhabit about the permaculture movement. Although I love learning about many different topics, I can’t help but be drawn to documentaries about permaculture, the environment, agriculture and the food industry. There are many amazing documentaries in this arena: Super Size Me, Food Matters, An Inconvenient Truth, Planet Earth, Cooked, and Food, Inc to name a few.

I usually feel inspired or challenged to change my ways when I watch these films, but I recently watched a documentary that completely turned my perception upside down… it’s called Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Available on Netflix and their website http://www.cowspiracy.com/, this film explores and delves into the “true number one cause” of climate change, global warming, deforestation and pollution: animal agriculture. Since the industrial revolution, farming and agriculture have become a mass industry that works to feed the world as cheaply as possible. With this cheaper process, comes less care for the animals, the land, the soil and the atmosphere. Raising livestock for consumption is responsible for thirty percent of the world’s water usage and forty-five percent of the world’s land usage. It takes thirty-two trillion gallons of water a year to raise livestock on a global scale, which is largely factory farming.

This inspiring film was made by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn, both hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to making this film, Anderson was already hyper conscious of his carbon footprint: giving up driving for biking, limiting his water and electric usage as well as recycling and composting. After watching An Inconvenient Truth from former Vice President Al Gore, Anderson felt called to look deeper into how he could contribute to global health and environmental justice… he discovered just how much damage modern animal agriculture has done to the world and started to approach environmental organizations about the issue. Not a single major environmental organization was willing to have a conversation about animal agriculture and quickly dismissed it as a major cause of environmental devastation.

Together, Anderson and Kuhn connected with many experts that were willing to talk about this issue including Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Dr. Richard Oppenlander (author of Food Choice and Sustainability), and Dr. Will Tuttle (author of The World Peace Diet). Eventually, after the first release, Leonardo DiCaprio executive produced the newest cut of the film and released it on Netflix in 2015. This film changed the way I thought about meat, farming and agriculture. After watching this film, I research where my meat and fish come from, I pay attention to how I contribute to the environment, and I am much more conscious of my carbon footprint. I highly encourage everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, to watch this documentary and get educated. I would especially encourage meat lovers to take a hard look at the reality of consuming animals and how the world is being affected by continuing to order steak for dinner.

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Monday, November 07, 2016

 

A Permaculture Perspective - What is Permaculture?




Emma Samuelson Popular Guest Blogger Emma Samuelson is back with a hot topic - Permaculture!

Emma is a recent college graduate from California who writes her own songs, sings and plays guitar. Check out the excellent music and ASL videos on her YouTube channel! In Emma's own words, "I am a spiritual person and I love music, listening to it, creating it, and everything about it." Her love of music is obvious in her videos!

Please use this link to see a list of ALL guest blog posts by Emma Samuelson.

Emma just started getting involved in the world of Permaculture this year. What IS Permaculture? How is it good for us and for the environment? Emma tells us what Permaculture is, and shows us 3 videos that answer the question, What is Permaculture!


A Permaculture Perspective

Beginning in April of this year, I began a journey of learning and practicing permaculture as a way of life. It turned out to be my practice of connecting back to the earth, and after living from a permaculture perspective this summer, I will never look back. As a garden intern at a hot springs community in Southern Oregon, I worked in our garden every day growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, and medicinal plants that fed and nourished our local community of residents, visitors and friends. I learned how to plant seeds, tend them as they grew, harvest and process food, as well as how to take proper care of the earth and environment around me as I did it. Not only did we study the practice of farming and gardening, but we also delved deep into permaculture design and applied it to our practices of growing food.

Permaculture, which reflects the concept of "permanent agriculture”, is the conscious based design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems. It is a solution based outlook that utilizes harmonious appropriate technologies, efficient modes of energy, and provides goods, shelter, and other needs in a sustainable way. One of the goals of permaculture is regenerative designs that honor earth care, people care and fair share of resources. In comparison to industrial farming, permaculture not only provides people with better food and resources, but also decreases environmental damage immensely... permaculture works with the earth and its soil rather than depleting its beneficial value.

What is Permaculture?


In this short documentary, Ana Sany and Jacob Redman interview countless people involved in permaculture design and practice asking them “What is Permaculture?” This is just a brief introduction to permaculture and how it can impact various people around the world. The interviewees include Pandora Thomas, a well known permaculture professor from the Bay Area, Rosemary Morrow, known as one of the pioneering women of permaculture based in Australia, and John Champagne, another pioneer of the Permaculture Movement in Australia.



Permaculture is a way of life.


As you can tell, permaculture is more than just a way of gardening, it’s a way of life, it’s a movement that is at the forefront of environmental science and social justice. Permaculture branches out into many different areas including agriculture, environmental science, food science, and even government and politics. In particular, I’m very excited about diving deeper into the connection between permaculture and sociology, looking at how we are as a society can benefit and grow from adopting a permanent regenerative design for gardening and farming. Starhawk, a well known writer and activist, recently did a Social Permaculture Conference along side Pandora Thomas, which a few of my friends attended. Starhawk is very influential in many different networks and has a lot to offer in the world of sustainable living and connection to the earth. In the following video, pre-conference, Starhawk discusses some of what she believes Social Permaculture is.



Permaculture restores Mother Nature.


As Starhawk said here, “permaculture is the art of designing beneficial relationships, it’s a system of ethical, ecological design.” I truly believe that permaculture is the way to resurrect the soil we walk upon, it is the way to restore mother nature and allow ecosystems to flourish naturally, it is the way to consciously feed our communities. There are many different Permaculture institutes and classes you can take all around the country, including courses that provide you with a full permaculture education resulting in a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). By getting your PDC, you can go on to pursue further education, practice and get involved in global projects to help support sustainable living and regenerative design. After getting the basics down, I am currently on the road to getting my PDC and giving back to the earth that has given so much to me.

As a twenty two year old in the technology era, I am so incredibly proud to say I can grow my own food. I can make compost, I can grow vegetables and herbs and preserve them, I can cook, I can chop wood and build fires... I can feed myself, from seed to skillet, which is a skill I will have for the rest of my life. One of the films that truly helped me to learn more and understand what having a permaculture perspective is, came out last year and is entitled INHABIT. It is an incredible documentary that interviews a variety of people, groups and communities that practice permaculture in daily life. It is a well crafted and informative documentary that changed the way I looked at agriculture and farming. I highly recommend watching it and learning more about how you can be a part of this amazing movement. Here is the trailer, just to give you a taste of how permaculture can better our world and the way we work with it.



Read more about Permaculture on Steemit.



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Monday, October 31, 2016

 

Happy Halloween 2016 - Halloween Music!




Happy Halloween 2016! Here is some Halloween themed music videos for your spooky enjoyment!

Up first, we have a great song called "Stand By Him" a.k.a. Night Of The Witch! Joshua made a nice video to go with it, using Scooby Doo clips, and that just adds to the fun! This song is by the Swedish Rock band "Ghost" who I first wwrote about here.

Here's a Goth Classic from Type O negative, called Black Number One. The reference is to the blackest hair dye you can buy. It's about a guy who's girlfriend is a Goth who wants to go out when it's raining and blowing, but can't because her roots are showing. He says, "Loving you was like loving the dead!" Sadly, singer Peter Steele died himself at a young age. Watch the Goth Doom master in this Halloween favorite! It has 8 MILLION views!

Finally, we have a candidate for the creepiest song ever recorded! Its from shock rocker Alice Cooper, and it's "The Ballad of wight Frye." Seems Mister Frye has mental issues and has been committed to an insane asylum. He wants to get out of there. He Really wants to GET OUT! Warning!!! It's creepy!

MORE Halloween Music, on Steemit!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

 

Steemit - New Social Network, Post to Earn!




First there was MySpace, then there was Facebook. Now, there's Steemit!

Are you on Facebook? How about Reddit? Maybe Google Plus? Are you sharing your thoughts and photos with your friends and the world? Do you get paid for this? Sure, you get to use the service for free, and that's great! But suppose you could do the same thing you are now doing on Facebook, but earn money for doing it?

Steemit is a brand new social network that is very similar to Facebook and Reddit. You can write posts, which can contain pictures or videos. Others comment. They can also "Like" your post and comments, by up voting them. The most up voted content rises to the top and becomes more visible.

Since Steemit is just getting started, they are encouraging new people to join, by really paying well for introduction posts. Just go there, sign up using your Facebook or Reddit account, post something interesting about yourself, use the tag #introduceyourself, include a nice eye catching picture of yourself, and watch the value of your post rise!

You will see a number under your post, showing it's estimated value in dollars. Half that amount is yours! The other half is split between up voters and commenters. The money is paid out in Steem Dollars and Steam Power. Steam Dollars are about equal to a US Dollar. You can convert Steem Dollars to Steem, Steem to Bitcoin, and Bitcoin to US Dollars. Steem Power increases the percentage of the money you get from your up voting and commenting.

I've been on Steemit for about a week now, and it's fun! I made a few posts and 2 did well. Their value is well over $1000. I have made friends there and read lots of good articles. One of the most interesting members on steemit is stellabelle. She writes interesting articles about some of the crazy things that have happened in her life. She is very random and you'll never be able to guess what she will post about next! She is also on YouTube.

If you're wondering where the money to pay the members comes from, have a look at this article on Steemit: https://steemit.com/steem/@steemrollin/steem-where-does-the-money-come-from

On July 4th, Steemit will be doing their first payout. After that, payouts happen daily. NOW is the time to get there and get the big payouts. This is like the early days of YouTube, the site is very exciting! Lots of people join every day. Welcome them, upvote their posts if you like them. As I said above, write your own intro post and get involved!

Questions? Ask in the comments or email me!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

 

Cirice by Ghost - Satanic Black Mass or Award Winning Performance Art?




Ghost sings Cirice

So guess who was recently at a festival in my area? BABYMETAL!
I recently wrote about their US television debut, performing "Gimme Chocolate!" So when they were here for Carolina Rebellion, I thought I'd check YouTube for some concert footage. In the related videos to the right, I noticed another band that was at the show, called Ghost.

Ghost (a.k.a. Ghost B.C.) is a Swedish rock/metal/doom band who are touring in promoting their third full length album, Meliora (link at left). They have something in common with BabyMetal. BabyMetal combines Metal and Thrash musical stylings with the theater presentation of J-Pop. Ghost combines the musical styles of Rock and Doom with the theatrical shock value of a Satanic Cult. All the members wear the same black robe and plastic devil face mask, and are known as Nameless Ghouls. The exception is the singer who dresses like the anti-pope and goes by the name of Papa Emeritus.

So what do they sound like? There is a definite influence of Blue Oyster Cult, KISS, Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper. They sound like BOC and Pink Floyd mixed with Black Sabbath, but they look like KISS in that their identities are hidden. They borrow from the Horror themes of Alice Cooper but dress alike like Devo.

Let's discuss and watch their Official Video for Cirice. This song won them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance! Here are some lyrics, to give you an idea of what it's about...
I feel your presence amongst us.
I know your soul is not tainted, Even though you’ve been told so.
I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart; I can see through the scars inside you!
You and I see eye to eye.
Now there is nothing between us. From now our merge is eternal.
Can’t you see that you’re lost? Can’t you see that you’re lost without me?

It is clear that the singer is forging a connection, a bond, with the listener. The listener is told that they are part of the group, they are understood, they are in a place where they should be. Without this in their life, they are lost. Notice that cults and, some will say, religions work to perform this psychological function in people's lives. They make them feel like part of a tight group where they are wanted and if they depart, their life will be devoid of meaning, left in Hell on Earth or perhaps eternal fires of damnation. Heavy subject matter but something to think about!

The video starts with Cirice, about 11 or 12, and her mom entering a school to watch a talent show. They were late and have to sit in the front row. Cirice looks less than interested in the acts, until Ghost comes out to play. The crowd is uncomfortable except for one couple who look slightly demonic; possibly the parents of Papa Emeritus, who is now singing directly to Cirice. She instantly feels a connection, and stands hand in hand with Papa as her mom tried to pull them apart. She succeeds but then when the MC tries to attack Papa, Cirice exhibits powers that are similar to those of movie icon Carrie who has a similar sounding name. All Hell breaks loose!

So is this an Award Winning Metal Performance or the work of The Devil himself? Have a look and decide for yourself!



Now if you thought that was Satanic, evil and creepily disconcerting... let's go back 50 years to the groovy 60s when the Hippies were singing about Love and Flowers. Not everyone was so happy. There was a man named Jason Crest who related his experience at a terrifying Black Mass.

Let there be light; stop these sounds! ahhhhh Black Mass-s-s-s-s-s. Heavy organ music, creepy evil lyrics and chanting, and a backwards percussion track might give you nightmares. Have a listen to "Black Mass" by Jason Crest, and ponder on whether this old slice of demonic horror from the swingin' 60s outdoes the new Satanic Ghost band or not!



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