Saturday, 22 October 2016

Project SBM (or smb) small birds and mammals

gg in the forest

This project aims to set up a small safe feeding area in a forest in a secret location on public access land in Hampshire or Dorset.

I sat on a hill overlooking a river watching someone kayaking towards the sea when I noticed a kestrel fly into view and start hovering. After a minute or so the hawk dived to the ground. I felt for the small mammal that was being ripped to shreds.

BBC Autumnwatch is in Dorset soon and I thought the BBC presenters would be jumping up and down with delight if they could have filmed the hawk killing it's unfortunate and innocent prey. I have decided to leave predators to BBC presenters and try and do something to help small mammals and small birds, both of which get ripped to pieces by owls, hawks, stoats and weasels.

part of a safe feeding area
 I've found an area with thick cover where woodland mammals might make their home and where there are some small birds.

When I was young a forest would be alive with birds but small birds seem to be in a steep decline. In fact despite the high number of cats, towns are more of a haven for small birds than hedgerows, woodland and forest. So I'd like to do a little bit to help.

I've made a feeder out of an old plastic protector of sapling stems and pinned it firmly to the ground. This gives protection to small mammals from hawks and owls. It makes it difficult for squirrels to get at the food. It fits perfectly with the environment and nobody would even notice it was there. I put some feed down the other day and it has been taken. The intention is to go to the location whenever I can and put some food down.

My reward? With any luck I should get some great photographs next spring and summer.

If you walk round woods and forests you'll see nest boxes for owls placed high in the trees.

Well here's one for the birds that owls kill and I'll put it deep in cover.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tesco comes good with two great pays d'oc wines

Praise where praise is due...

I like pays d'oc wine and usually buy from Lidl which is not bad but my favourite is JP Chenet Merlot usually bought at Tesco.

JP Chenet has a distinctive bottle known as Josephine.

On looking at the wines in Tesco the other day I noticed another pays d'oc called Louis De Camponac Merlot at £1 cheaper than the JP Chenet so I thought I'd give it a try.

To my unskilled and unrefined palate this is a great wine.

Well done Tesco

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

How to use a magic wand

A magic wand can be anything including a finger. It is both a device and a ritual for focussing and then casting intentions. It can be used for good or evil.  Almost anything can be used as a wand but it is said that a wand chooses the wizard.

A few days ago I was meditating to the music of JoJo Flores. An image of a place in a nearby natural harbour came to mind along with an urge to go there. I went there today and I found an unusual long tube with a metal end laying on the ground beside the backwaters of one of the world's largest natural harbours. I don't know what it is and I was about to throw it away when something told me that it is a magic wand.

This is how to use one. (and this might just work)

Think through the specific intention you want to make real or change. Go into this in as much detail as you can and be very clear about what you want to happen. Picture it in your mind, have internal conversations, make sketches rough drawings take or use photographs. Make it as real as possible in your mind.

The stronger the thoughts, pictures and intentions the better the wand will work.

Rub your hands together for about 10 seconds or do any other ritual your intuition indicates.

Take hold of the wand and bring to mind the intention as clearly as you can.

Write a summary of the intention with the wand. You can do anything your intuition guides you to do. It should involved moving the wand because this will 'cast' the intention into the world through the wand. Be clear and precise with the movement of the wand.

This clear intention will flow out of the wand and it follows the intensity of the thoughts.

It may take several tries and practise improves the skill of casting intentions.

Incantations strengthen the process and add power to the desire.

Incantations are normally sung or chanted but can be spoken or can be any sound that is linked closely to the intention. If you don't want to sing or chant your intentions write a poem and read it out. Send the incantation to the cosmos, to your deity if you have one or to anything you can imagine. This is especially powerful if you send an incantation to something spiritual you believe in.

Use of symbols

Symbols can communicate and even transfer the message or essence of what they represent. The proof of this pudding is in advertising.

Things that lower or stop the power of the wand

Alcohol will block the power for the rest of the day and reduce the power for up to three days.
Cannabis will reduce the power for up to a week.
Any drugs that make you tired or sleepy will reduce or prevent the power of the wand.

Sex will reduce the power for up to several hours.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Paracetamol is not effective at any dose as a treatment for osteoarthritis

(please note that this post is intended for information and is not medical advice, for medical advice on the issue raised see your doctor)
Paracetamol is not effective at any dose as a treatment for osteoarthritis

This is according to a large scale analysis of 58.5 thousand patients by Dr Sven Trelle at the University of Berne and published in the Lancet.

He found that paracetamol was only marginally better than a placebo for osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis with about 8.5 million sufferers in the UK.

Diclofenac was found to be the most effective treatment.

All medications used had some effect but paracetamol did not meet the minimum clinical standards to be classed as effective.

Diclofenac performed better than all other NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatories pronounced n-sayds). Diclofenac out performed Naproxen.

However there are problems with diclofenac. It should only be taken in a short term course of treatment and never with a patient with heart disease.

Dr Anne-Marie Olsen at Copenhagen University looked into the effects of NSAIDS and death from heart attacks.

Heart attack survivors are 45% more likely to die of a second heart attack within a week if they are taking diclofenac and 55% more likely to die within three months. Diclofenac was to worst of the NSAIDS but all but one, including ibuprofen, increase the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death.

Naproxen was not associated with an increase in death in patients with heart disease and was not found to cause sudden cardiac death.

New(ish) international guidelines discourage the prescribing of NSAIDS to patients with established heart disease. In practise few if any doctors will prescribe diclofenac to people over 55.

Some research is also casting doubt as to the safety of long term use of paracetamol.

Because NSAIDs are effective and because they have been used for a long time they have become the normal treatment. Other non narcotic analgesics have more or less been ignored.

It might be that in the future more doctors will try drugs such as dipyrone. At this time it is not known how dipyrone works. It is thought that it might at least partially work through the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

A partial understanding of the parable of turning the other cheek.

I don't think this parable applies to serious harm or wrongdoing.

I think it applies to the day to day irritations that happen in life.

I was driving home today with a friend along a busy main road in the countryside and noticed a cyclist waiting to join the traffic from a side road.

I thought to myself, "I'd never be daft enough to bring a cycle on a busy, narrow and winding main road like this."

I'd left a reasonable gap between us and the car in front because I hate being tailgated so I don't do it to others.

I said to my friend, "This bike'll pull out in front of us!" And it did. I had to brake and pull into the middle of the road to avoid the bike. (even though I'd anticipated it)

I said to my friend in a passive accepting tone of voice despite the swearword, "It's a f-----g good job I'm alert and not an aggressive driver".

I noticed that the actions of the cyclist didn't bother me at all. Maybe I'm just getting older.

Then it dawned on me, perhaps because my friend is a vicar's son, a possible truth to the parable of

'when confronted with evil turn the other cheek'.

Evil in this context might just be a word for the everyday irritations of life.

I could have gotten angry with the cyclist and shouted at him or made a rude sign. I could have stopped and had a real conflict. I could have justified getting angry.

But on reflection, if I had gotten angry, the biochemistry of anger, even though it might only last a few minutes (or does it?) would have harmed me. If I were to get angry at life's irritations on a regular basis it might equal something like smoking in terms of damage to health and social relationships.

But I just let it slip by as just one of those things.

The net result was zero stress for me.

I think this is something like the essence of the parable.

Other descriptions could be, live and let live, or it's no skin off my nose.

I'm pretty certain that Jesus didn't mean this to apply to serious evil.

Here's a question. If you were being bullied for example, would turning the other cheek be a viable course of action? Personally I don't think it would. If one of my grand children told me they were being bullied at school, I most definitely would not say anything like , "Just ignore it and it'll go away."

So, I'm sorry Jesus but I only partly agree with you and anyway a few days after you said this you went and did exactly the opposite to the extent that you got yourself nailed to a cross.

To which Jesus would reply, "I turned the other cheek knowing that I would pay the ultimate price and a world religion grew from this."

For this parable to work against big evil I think it would require millions - millions of people to turn the other cheek no matter what.

Perhaps they will one day.