Thursday, January 31, 2013

In 2003 Simonne Butler Had Her Hands Severed And Her Neck Cut By A Madman With A Samurai Sword. Today She's Over It, Giving The Thumbs Up To Life...

Ten years ago the late, crazed, drug fuelled madman Antoine Dixon severed this woman's hands nearly completely off and cut the back of her neck just short of her spinal column.
With a Samurai sword.
Today this remarkable woman is an inspiration to those people who might think that life's dealt them a raw deal. You know what I mean.
Who think the world's against them if they can't get a carpark outside their favourite cafe.
My friends, read this
and give the thumbs up to Simonne.
And life...
Thank you Flying Tortoise for re-publishing 
this article. I'm sharing my story with the world to empower and inspire men and women alike to know they can become the hero of their own story regardless of the challenges they have faced up to this moment.
Best wishes to you all as you begin or continue your own healing journey.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The World Wastes Nearly Half The Food It Produces. And People Starve...

We are a world of seven billion people.
We produce some four billion tonnes of food each year. And people starve.
We waste over 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year. And people starve.
Industrialised nations waste around  three hundred million tonnes of food because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption.
And people starve.
That three hundred million tonnes is more than is produced in Africa and is enough to feed the 830 million people who are starving worldwide.
The cost of wasted food in the US is around one trillion dollars. And people starve.
In the UK, thirty percent of vegetable crops are not harvested because their appearance doesn't meet the exacting demands of consumers.
And people starve.
Half the food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away. And people starve.
Around 500 billion cubic litres of one of the world's most valuable resources, water, is used to grow crops that never reach the consumer or the hungry.
And people starve...
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Flying Tortoise. Freedom Camping At Ahipara on New Zealand's Ninety Mile Beach...

The Flying Tortoise landed here yesterday.
Time isn't the only thing that flies when you're having fun.
The current easterly wind means an offshore wind on this western side of the top of New Zealand and so I've come to the beautiful little settlement of Ahipara for a couple of days.
Tomorrow it's further up the famous Ninety Mile Beach to Utea for some serious long line fishing.
But more about Ahipara.
The land was renowned as an area for the collection of Kauri Gum from the once numerous Kauri forests that covered the area.
And the name Ahipara means Sacred Fire or Ancient Fire.
Ahi means fire and parapara, a place where certain rites were performed.
And they were. You can brush up on some local history here...

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Michael McGillis And A Wake In The Park...

In the midwest of the US, stacks of firewood are a common sight but Michigan artist Michael McGillis does something beautiful and unexpectedly different with a row of logs.
This wonderful installation was originally exhibited at the Francoma Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95 foot long trench of cut logs painted purple as if the logs were a new species of tree.
Curious to know more, I asked Michael why the piece is called Wake?
The title uses both meanings of the word. Referring to lingering turbulence in a disturbed natural system as well as a funerary ceremony to acknowledge the death of a physical space.
And why the colour purple?
The choice of colour for the end cuts had various influences. I wanted the presence of colour to suggest a lingering energy of human contact with the trees. And selecting purple was a response to what natural colours dominated the location at the time I built the work. And my desire to defy them.
Thanks Michael, and of course a Wake is a Celebration of Life...

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Beautifully Decorated Mud Houses Of Tiebele Village in West Africa...

The Kassena people, living in the little circular village of Tiebele in West Africa's Burkino Faso build their little homes entirely of local materials, wood, earth, rocks and straw.
They are well known for their traditional Gourounsi architecture and the elaborately decorated walls of their homes, turning each dwelling into a piece of livable art.
Burkino Faso is possibly the poorest country in the world but its people are just so culturally rich and decorating their houses in this manner is part of their wonderful cultural legacy.
The beautiful artwork is done by the women and when completed the surface is coated with a natural varnish made from boiling pods of Nere, the African locust bean tree.
It's really worth clicking on here and finding out more about this beautiful culture...

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

When A Bullfighter Has A Nervous Breakdown...

For Gods sake Manuel!
Will you please get your act together.
We are playing to a full house, there's eighty thousand people watching.
This is not the time Manuel to have one of your silly nervous breakdowns.
Sometimes you're so damned selfish.
You're denying me my fifteen minutes of fame and ruining my reputation.
This is where you pretend to get gored.
You know what's going to happen don't you
you wimp.
I'm going to get run out of Pamplona...
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Friday, January 25, 2013

One Of Nature's Scariest Phenomenons In The Australian Outback...

Film maker Chris Tangey has very recently been out at Australia's Alice Springs scouting locations for a movie and was suddenly confronted by one of Nature's most intimidating spectacles.
A tornado comprised entirely of fire.
He was a mere 300 metres away from the 30 metre high fire whirl which sounded he said like a jet fighter despite there being no wind in the area.
This type of tornado, also known as a fire devil will cause significant damage.
Usually one will last for just a very short time but Chris found himself mesmerized by this incredible sight for more than forty minutes.
Chris has been shooting in the great Aussie outback for 23 years and while he's heard of these fire whirls he'd never seen one till now.
In 1923, a fire tornado emerged during Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake and killed 38,000 people in just fifteen minutes.
Thanks Chris for being in the wrong place at the right time and getting these amazing images...

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ashes And Snow. A Film Of Rare Beauty By Gregory Colbert...

Canadian born Gregory Colbert has crafted an exquisitely beautiful piece of cinematic art titled Ashes and Snow and gifted it to the world.
Gregory debuted Ashes and Snow at the Arsenale in Venice, Italy in 2002 to much acclaim.
More than ten million people have viewed this film at the Nomadic Museum making it the most attended exhibition ever by a living artist.
Gregory's photos have been described as windows to a world in which silence and patience governs time.
This film is a result of many years of perserverence, persistance and patience for this photographer. The results are well worth the time and effort that has gone in to this piece of poetic cinematography as you'll be witness to this man capturing the interaction between humans and wildlife.
You might like to spend eleven minutes and eight seconds contemplating this piece of artistic serenity. Poetry in slow motion...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Anne And Bob. Gypsies Slowly And Simply Travelling The World...

Leaving their home base at Mackay
in the Land of Oz, Anne and Bob spent most of 2010 on the coast of Africa, then through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, England and much of Europe.
In late 2011 the Grey Nomads arrived in New Zealand where they've been touring and freedom camping down under and catching up with friends and relatives.
Their solar panels keep their simple system electrical charged up and their 12 volt, and sensible, top-loading fridge working well.
They don't use gas for cooking, preferring instead a Coleman 424 stove which uses unleaded petrol that's so much cheaper than gas and readily available anywhere in the world.
In a few weeks the World Travellers will pack up their little home on wheels and after cleaning it from top to bottom literally with a toothbrush to get through the strict health regulations and the inevitable customs procedures, they'll seal it into a container, pop it on a ship and send it back to Australia.
There they'll work and replenish their travel funds before heading off to the Americas for more adventures...

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Very Gorgeous Tiny Boat Roofed Shed In Wales...

I was visiting Kent Griswold over at Tiny House Blog, another wonderful site dedicated to living simply in small spaces, and I found this simply gorgeous little shed that has as its roof a fourteen foot long by seven foot wide clinker boat that had seen better days.
Built around 1905, the old clinker has been placed on a frame of four telegraph poles and located 750 feet above sea level near the village of Cemmaes Road near the market town of Machynlleth in mid Wales in the UK.
The magical little shed-dwellers delight has beautiful views of mountains across the valley.
A solar panel feeds a 12 volt battery providing power for a refrigerator, a sound system and a few LED lights. There's a gas hob for cooking.
The shed is made from recycled materials, the windows from a 400 year old house and an old caravan. Corregated iron, wattle and daub, which is a mixture of woven wattle, mud, clay and straw and then covered with liberal coatings of thick bitumen paint.
I do like the way the inside of the boat has been left untouched and will you look at the old French enamelled wood stove from the early 1900's.
There's more to read here and lots of wonderful images here.
Take a look, it's simply gorgeous...

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