Posts by oldkeith

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Most modern breakfast cereals contain as much air as the manufacturer can get away with, and cost a great deal more than porridge oats or basic muesli, which are much closer to a natural state.

    This started way back in the 50's with corn flakes, and has gradually got worse since, with stuff like sugar-coated rice crispies and sugar-puffs leading the way. Massive advertising helped kids persuade their parents that this was the way to go.

    Thought it was a politically-incorrect thread for a moment - 'Is mankind doomed?'

    What about womankind? Though to be fair, there is probably a lot less chance of them ending up 'doomed' if there aren't any men about to create wars over land and oil and crazy religions.

    But I think the thread title really meant 'Humankind'.

    'Is humankind doomed?' Inevitably. All species are doomed, given time.

    The last post in 2010 asked what would be the point of it all if we are doomed from the beginning?

    One answer, from the philosophical point of view, is that it gives time. Time for beings to experience and to learn in a great diversity of environments, here and perhaps elsewhere.

    Thinking about how we had to suspend a guy at the Shed today. A bully we had to suspend about a year ago.

    We allowed him back, because everyone should get a second chance.

    A year on, and he was still upsetting people, so we had to suspend him again, and this time he's unlikely to get back. Sometimes decisions have to be made for the greater good, but it's still a bit sad to see someone walk the plank.

    Sorry, but I'll have to disagree with certain comments.

    All dictatorships certainly don't consider themselves to be benevolent and good; at least, not for the majority of people who have to labour under their yoke. They are generally no more considerate of the fate of the masses than most hard-headed capitalists are. Dictatorships are, like capitalism, generally run for the benefit of the few, at the expense of the many.

    Perhaps the idea of a benevolent dictatorship is unknown to some on here, or perhaps you know it by another name.

    So perhaps one or two examples might help.

    During the last world war, most western countries ran under what amounted to something like a benevolent dictatorship. All political parties were involved in this to greater or lesser degrees. Although conditions were tough, and most food and many other supplies were rationed, everybody got enough to eat, because a benevolent dictatorship had introduced rationing and price fixing, so everyone had the essentials, and nobody starved. And to look at public health during that period of rationing, public health as a whole was better then than it ever was in the period before, and in the period ever since.

    This is how a benevolent dictatorship works. Farmers grow what they are told, suppliers can make no more than a reasonable profit. Companies are told what they will be making and at what profit margin they will be operating. Any that cannot or will not do as they are told are simply taken over by the state, which doesn't need to make a big profit, just sufficient to cover running costs, capital costs, and, in some circumstances, R&D.

    Nobody at the top getting paid £250,000 a year, and nobody at the bottom getting less than a decent living wage.

    A good considered post, Marshlander.

    The solutions are indeed very complicated, and require a different business ethos from that we have been used to since the industrial revolution.

    Small-profit, tickover, mostly recycling businesses paying living wages would not go down well with the gross capitalists of today, who want bigger profits every passing year, and whether this is done by harm to the planet, or to people, or both, bothers them not at all.

    I can only see this green society coming about through a benevolent dictatorship and massive re-education, not only of economics but also of life values. At the present time I cannot see how this would happen, unless it were after a huge breakdown of society as we know it, or after a long and economically-crippling war. Both of which are indeed grim prospects.

    When we go to Hemsby on holiday we love walking that stretch of coast.

    There is something basic and primeval about such a big expanse of sky, sea, sand, and weather.

    It is like linking up with ancient things that have been all but forgotten. Walking the beaches gives the slightly eerie feeling that all this has happened very very many times before.....

    That's a great idea, Maragold.:thumbup:

    Up here (Northampton, East Midlands) we have what started out as a Men's Shed, and has now become, over a few years, a Community Shed.

    We do much the same sort of things you mention, like showing people how to repair things, a skill that seems to be lost or never taught in many younger people, who have grown up in a society that uses something until it goes wrong, then bins it and buys another.

    We have quite a number of lady members now, and an important factor here is that many women never learn anything like simple carpentry skills, or even wiring a plug, because in all their lifetime it is their partner who has been doing this. If the partner is a male, and dies earlier (often the case), the woman is left with very few DIY skills. This is something we try to remedy, and the gals are keen to learn.

    We encourage a friendly and inclusive atmosphere, and now have several semi-disabled people who have joined us. We have Stewards who keep an eye on things, give advice, and help set out jobs and distribute tools, and chat encouragingly with those who need it.

    Some of our members come in every week, and some only occasionally, when they can use - or get someone to use - the wood machines to cut pieces up quickly and efficiently, ready to take home and assemble. Not everyone has space and money for a big workshop or shed with machinery at home.

    Our local council is thinking of starting a 'repair cafe' locally, so we are looking at this with interest.

    Sadly, we are unlikely to control human reproduction while there is total religious freedom.

    Most religions encourage maximum human breeding because this gains them more adherents, more followers to deal with their religious or secular opponents....

    While constructed fantasies of unreason control the minds of very many of the Earth's human population, that population will continue to grow, and to waste the planet's rapidly diminishing resources.

    Only one factor in the ecological breakdown of the biosphere, but an important one.

    Good post, Marshlander!

    That last paragraph is particularly pertinent at this time.

    At present we are only seeing some weather effects of climate change, The movement of people due to climate change is only just beginning. Quite soon, in human terms, we shall see millions and tens of millions on the move from overheated and dried-out lands, all seeking to try to find a place to merely stay alive.... a little longer. Many countries will be faced with very stark choices; it is not a pretty future that awaits the world if nothing is done.

    I get bouts of listening to sixties and seventies stuff every now and then.....

    Almost a must-have habitual thing.

    Funny how you feel the urge to get dancing to much of it, no matter where you are when you hear it. Can't dance much these days, so probably why I haven't been arrested......:D

    Yay! Back to the future!

    Good to see the old site online again! Well done, Paul!

    Let us know any way we can help, apart from subscribing a bit of dosh now and then....:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    17C here too, near Northampton, and a bit chilly, windy, and a few short showers.

    Is it a bit early to put away the electric fan and the sandals? Is it now unlikely we'll get another stinking hot spell?

    I see I've a week or two before my sub is due, so I'll just mosey along until then, and figure it from there.

    Sorry to lose you, NRT, but needs must where the devil drives, I guess. Hope you can look in from time to time, and rejoin if the site merits it.

    Me, I'm hanging on in here a while longer.....

    I might have mentioned that the O/H collects food waste compost bins from a few neighbours.

    A couple of these tend to throw out anything that is past it's 'best by' date. Sometimes we find whole packs of spuds, or carrots, or even onions, unopened, still in plastic bags, chucked in the bin!

    More often there are loose vegetables, perfectly edible, along with apples, oranges, even occasionally grapes and nectarines!

    Some weeks we wait until these bins have been sorted before we shop for fruit and veg, and save pounds. Everything is carefully washed before it gets eaten, and we've had no problems.

    So every week it's like a little womble, never knowing what will turn up. One week we got about ten eggs! All very edible, and only days past their sell by date.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    Remember a vegan diet doesn't suit everybody; it nearly finished a gal we know.

    She started as a veggie, eventually went vegan, and went on social media espousing the vegan diet as a cure-all, and the only way to go. She was far-out.

    Over the next four or five years her health gradually got worse, and she tried various vegan ways of attaining better health, then went into new age stuff, everything from crystals to ear cones and salt lamps and coloured lights shone up her arse.

    More recently she had an epiphany event, where she thought that she now understood that her vegan diet was the cause of her continued ill-health.

    With typical zeal she plunged into an all-meat 'stone-age' or 'ancestors' diet, and, somewhat astonishingly, began to put on weight and build strength again, and said she never felt better.

    (I think she'll fall ill again, her diet is too extreme. If she only eats meat, where does her roughage come from? Animals get it from skin and fur, as they eat their way into their prey....).

    So by all means try the vegan diet, but do it carefully after studying the practical side of the subject. See how you feel after three months, and go on from there.

    Yes, elderberries are better in jam!

    We used to make elderberry and apple, which is quite nice, but the elderberries give a curious earthy taste which not everyone likes.

    When jam-making, best to start with a proportion of berries first, to see if you like 'em. Then increase the proportion according to your liking. They make an interesting contribution to mixed berry or hedgerow jam, too.

    (Better get back to Fauna, we're discussing Flora here....)

    Is there any way you could find room for raised beds in your garden, so you would be able to look after them and grow some easy greenstuff?

    They take a lot of work and soil putting in, so you'd need some help from friends and relatives, but once in place they last for several years, and fresh stuff can be grown at least nine months of the year. I know at least two people who use wheelchairs who do this, and it makes a nice little hobby.

    Another way is to study up which wild plants and herbs are good to eat, and encourage these to grow in your garden, and eat them. Young dandelion leaves are good in salads, and are fairly palatable, for example. (The larger dark green leaves are still edible, but are too bitter).

    Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables have most of the goodness of fresh, but canning loses some vitamin C, and unfreezing stuff has to be done carefully to avoid similar losses. But most of the goodness of the original is still there. But do check that the fruit isn't laced with fructose syrup, and the veg doesn't contain lots of colourants and preservatives.

    Vegetarian/Vegan sites often list brands which are free from animal ingredients, so you can check up before ordering, or download a list to have handy and study at leisure.