Action, action, action

It is hard to walk around Paris now without bumping into actions. Here are the Climate Guardian angels:2015-12-09 11.31.07

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“There are no biodegradable bombs”

We have a new lodger in my Paris flat – an activist from the UK who was part of the Seeds of Hope – East Timor Ploughshares group. In 1996, they broke into a British Aerospace factory and disarmed an attack plane intended for the Indonesian military to use against civilians in East Timor. They were arrested but later acquitted of all charges as the jury ruled that they had been using reasonable force to prevent the crime of genocide. During and after the intervention they were very open about their identities and intentions, believing that their actions were completely justifiable and right.

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All the humans in Calais

Hi T,
Things are moving quickly here. I thought I’d share with you a still very undigested experience of volunteering in the Jungle, the camp in Calais. In some ways it was just what I expected, in others I was taken by surprise. The chaotic organisation of volunteers and donations was just what I had anticipated, but I was taken aback by the level of permanence demonstrated in the Jungle itself.

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Building soil and soul at Findhorn

Hey T,

I recently passed some time visiting our friend in Findhorn in Scotland. Officially I think it is described as a spiritual community, potentially with the word eco in there somewhere as well. It’s the sort of place where people stop and talk to each other in the street, food grows outside front doors, small creative ventures involving pottery, weaving, painting, music, you name it, pop up everywhere, and there is a sense that your occupations (intentional plural) consist of what you want to do rather than what you are supposed to do.

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Soy Beans and Caffeine

Hey M,

My word. Quite some thought coming my way – my statistics midterm worries seem rather sad and pathetic in comparison. In fact, they seem rather sad and pathetic even without any comparison. The pictures are beautiful, and I think I would do really well at a no-talent show. At least I had another look from above I haven’t shared pictures of yet: Toronto from the top of the CN tower. At night, this beast of a building looks like an upright, see-through worm with a clump of food (the elevator) traveling up and down its digestive tract.

I love the cloud shadows lying over cities that way – they’re like woolly blankets keeping part of Toronto warm
a peninsula in prison

On our way back to Kingston, we stopped at the ‘big apple’ for lunch (food very much unlike what you would have eaten in the Duddon valley – the type of lunch, in fact, which more than anything seems to suck vitamins and other nutrients out of your system), where they had very Canadian warning signs, a lama, and a big apple you could actually walk around in.

Big Apple

Back in Kingston the following reminded me of you, though the verb on there doesn’t entirely correspond to the sign’s blue boat…

Nova Scotia

We have a one-month project comparing soy (Glycine max – my professor’s favourite Latin name “… you almost want to call your daughter that”) and green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) growth when subjected to different treatments – you get rather attached to your little soy babies as you watch them shoot out of the soil this way. Sadly that doesn’t mean you always remember to water them.


Did you know that Henry Ford loooved soybean and designed the Soybean Car, a car “built of agricultural plastic … the body was made partially from soybean and hemp” and was actually fairly efficient?

Other fun facts from classes include that apparently, plants produce caffeine not only as insect deterrent, but also in their flowers, as it improves the memory of pollinating bees. As for excess alcohol consumption – it doesn’t actually cause memory-loss, but rather prevents the formation of memories. Isn’t it the strangest thought, that your adult self could go through certain evenings just not making memories?

I for one am glad it usually does,

May you find your Laya Point whenever you need it, and I shall go searching for mine,

How DO you get to know a tree?