January 2013


Here’s an important petition you can sign to help convince EU leaders to ban pesticides that are known to be harmful to bees, not to mention people. Please read the following and add your voice to this important ethical stand.

Thanks, John

Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But in 48 hours the European Union could move to banbee the most poisonous pesticides, and pave the way to a global ban that would save bees from extinction.

Four EU countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are already recovering. Days ago the official European food safety watchdog stated for the first time that certain pesticides are fatally harming bees. Now legal experts and European politicians are calling for an immediate ban. But Bayer and other giant pesticide producers are lobbying hard to keep them on the market. If we build a huge swarm of public outrage now, we can push the European Commission to put our health and our environment before the profit of a few.

We know our voices count! Last year, our 1.2 million strong petition forced US authorities to open a formal consultation on pesticides — now if we reach 2 million, we can persuade the EU to get rid of these crazy poisons and pave the way for a ban worldwide. Sign the urgent petition and send this to everyone — Avaaz and leading MEPs will deliver our message ahead of this week’s key meeting in Brussels:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_the_bees/?buCAtbb&v=21421

Bees don’t just make honey, they are vital to life on earth, every year pollinating 90% of plants and crops — with an estimated $40bn value and over one-third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees, many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.

Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations — some bee species are already extinct and some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers and now the European Food Safety Authority is saying that toxic chemicals called neonicotinoid pesticides could be responsible for the bee deaths. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee-killing pesticides. But Bayer continues to export its poison across the world.

Now the issue is coming to a boil. EU parliamentarians are stepping up their pressure on the European Commission and key governments to push new legislation to ban the deadly pesticides, and we can offer them the public support they need to counter the powerful pesticide lobby. Sign the urgent petition to Europe’s leaders, then forward this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_the_bees/?buCAtbb&v=21421

Our world is beset with threats to what makes it habitable, and to what fills it with wonder. The Avaaz community comes together to defend both — large or small. Whether winning a battle to keep the International Whaling Commission from sanctioning the murder of these giants, or saving bees, the tiny creatures upon which so much depends, we will come together and stand up for the world we all want.

With hope,

Luis, Ari, Alice, Iain, Ricken, David, Alaphia, and the Avaaz team

SOURCES

Pesticides pose danger to bees (European Voice)
http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2013/january/pesticides-pose-danger-to-bees/76158.aspx

Crop pesticides are ‘killing our bees’ – says MEP (Public Service Europe)
http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/3007/crop-pesticides-are-killing-our-bees-says-mep#ixzz2JGICse6a

Death knell for nerve agent pesticides in move to save bees (Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/death-knell-for-nerve-agent-pesticides-in-move-to-save-bees-8454443.html

Give Bees a Chance! (The Greens European Free Alliance)
http://www.greens-efa.eu/give-bees-a-chance-9012.html

Studies fault Bayer in bee die-off (Christian Science Monitor)
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0406/Studies-fault-Bayer-in-bee-die-off

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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

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genetic-salmon-1

Here’s one worth signing from Azaaz:

The US is about to treat the world to the first genetically modified meat: a mutant salmon that could wipe out wild salmon populations and threaten human health — but we can stop it now before our plates are filled with suspicious Frankenfish.

The new fake salmon grows twice as fast as the real one, and not even scientists know its long-term health effects. Yet it’s about to be declared safe for us to eat, based on studies paid for by the company that created the GMO creature! Luckily, the US is legally required to consider public opinion before deciding. A growing coalition of consumers, environmentalists, and fishermen is calling on the government to trash this fishy deal. Let’s urgently build an avalanche of global support to help them win.

The consultation is happening right now and we have a real chance to keep mutant fish off the menu. Sign to stop Frankenfish and share widely — when we reach 1 million, our call will be officially submitted to the public consultation:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_frankenfish_r/?buCAtbb&v=21102

The company that developed the Frankenfish altered the DNA of the salmon to create a fish that would grow at lightning speed, year-round. Not only do we not understand its long term health effects, if a few of them or their eggs reached the wild, these super-salmon could decimate entire wild salmon populations. Worse, once they hit supermarkets, we won’t be able to tell apart Frankenfish and real salmon, so there won’t be a way to avoid it!

The biotech industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying governments to approve its GM crops. Frankenfish is their next million dollar baby — it could open the floodgates for other transgenic meats. But the US government will consider public opinion before it makes its final decision — if we can stun them with a giant global opposition when they least expect it, we can stop this reckless deal.

Frankenfish is on the verge of being approved — let’s make sure biotech companies don’t decide what we eat. Help build one million voices to stop the mutant fish:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_frankenfish_r/?buCAtbb&v=21102

Avaaz members have come together to protect the natural world and our food system from dangerous meddling. In 2010, over 1 million of us spoke out against genetically modified food in Europe. Let’s come together again to stop Frankenfish.

With hope,

Jamie, Nick, Emma, Dalia, Emily, Paul, Ricken, Wen-Hua and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

Engineered Fish Moves a Step Closer to Approval (NY Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/gene-altered-fish-moves-closer-to-federal-approval.html

GM salmon: FDA’s assessment of environmental risks (LA Times)
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-aquabounty-salmon-fda-assesses-risks-20121224,0,2554480.story

Genetically Modified Animals (Women’s Health Magazine)
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/genetically-modified-animals

Protect our waters from GE Salmon (Center for Food Safety)
http://ge-fish.org/

Below the Surface: The Dangers of Genetically Engineered Salmon (Food & Water Watch)
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/factsheet/below-the-surface/

Genetically Engineered Salmon (Ocean Conservancy)
http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/aquaculture/aquaculture-genetically.html

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

peace-symbol-150x150The pious of many faiths have for centuries been deeply touched and inspired by the life and words of Saint Francis of Assisi, a man who undoubtedly lived the truly simple life that Jesus advocated. In our times where many self-medicate on consumerism perhaps it is more important than ever to re-evaluate our lives and look to the example of Saint Francis to determine the focus that will bring us and this world peace.

I wish you each peace.

John

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Many musicians and choirs have rendered the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi to music. The following example by Snatam Kaur is just one of the many, but it is truly a beautiful rendering. Enjoy!

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Woman's Eye and World Globes

On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark. But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground. An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light. It is a silent revolution. From the inside out. From the ground up. This is a Global Operation, a Spiritual Conspiracy. There are sleeper cells in every nation on the planet.

You won’t see us on the T.V. You won’t read about us in the newspaper. You won’t hear about us on the radio. We don’t seek any glory. We don’t wear any uniform. We come in all shapes and sizes, colours and styles.

Most of us work anonymously. We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world;  in cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands. You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice. We go undercover. We remain behind the scenes. It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit but simply that the work gets done. Occasionally we spot each other in the street. We give a quiet nod and continue on our way.

During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs but behind the store front and at night is where the real work takes a place. Some call us the Conscious Army. We are slowly creating a New World with the power of our minds and hearts. We follow our inner guidance with passion and joy. Our orders come from the Central Spiritual Intelligence. We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking:

Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Movies ~ Kind words ~ Smiles ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Social activism ~ Websites Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness … . We each express ourselves in our own unique ways, with our own unique gifts and talents.

Being the change we want to see in the world. That is the motto that fills our hearts. We know it is the only way real transformation takes place. We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the Oceans combined.

Our work is slow and meticulous, like the formation of mountains. It is not even visible at first glance and yet with it, entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come.

Love is the new ‘religion’ of the 21st century. You don’t have to be a highly educated person or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it. It comes from the intelligence of The Heart, embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Nobody else can do it for you. Perhaps you will join us, or already have.

All are welcome. The Door is Open.

~ Author unknown

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

lanecove600

I went on my own to a great track just 25 minutes drive from here today. It’s through the bush with quite a big hill up and down, across a creek (where I had a swim on the way back), along a fiord-like inlet with mangroves to a neat place where quite a few people anchor their boats over the holidays, Then up a steep cliff that required clambering up a chain fastened in the rock to an amazing lookout called Duke’s Nose. You can guess what it looks like.. Next a dip in the sea before making my way back. When I’ve gone with other people it always takes 5 hours plus. It was nice to go at my own pace, still stopping several times for food and swims and finishing in 4 hours. I forget that others don’t comfortably go my pace. There are multi-coloured cliffs surrounding much of the walk with a really high waterfall tumbling over one. It is a truly beautiful place.

I was impressed to find young families ready to head up the cliff-side to Duke’s Nose after I’d just had the place to myself for twenty minutes. The primary-aged children were so excited.

Generally recognised as Northland’s “best short walk” the Wairakau Stream Track gives access to the western arm of Whangaroa Harbour. It’s an area only accessible by foot or boat.

A few years back I interviewed Tony Foster. He runs a tourist business that includes taking people on the walk I did today. He can include people doing the walk one way and taking his water taxi through beautiful Whangaroa Harbour the other. Here’s a link to the interview I did with Tony:

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2010/11/05/tony-foster-and-plant-heritage-new-zealand/

Here’s where I found the photo:

http://www.fairwind.co.nz/lanecove600.htm

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 The other day a young lady came into the library to get library cards for her young children. What a great choice to make! The young mother had just moved back to the area, having grown up in the Far North and she had been a regular library visitor to our Melba Street location as a young person herself.

Sudbury Valley School

Sudbury Valley School

 When her four-year-old printed her own name on the card the mother noted that she did so backwards. I have observed this many times over the years. It seems a natural, if temporary, stage in the development of the brain. It is interesting to note that some languages are written from right to left.

I wonder sometimes if we, with all the best intentions, in hastening our children to read, do them a great disservice. In the Waldorf system of education (based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner) children are not introduced to the mechanics of reading and writing until aged seven. Before that they are encouraged to play and are introduced to the arts including music. Teachers read aloud to them. They are all, girls and boys, encouraged to learn handwork, progressively working their way through more complicated forms of sewing, knitting and crochet throughout the developing curriculum.free-last-sudbury-valley-school-daniel-greenberg-paperback-cover-art

Sudbury Valley School was established on a beautiful rural property near Concord, Massachusetts (not coincidentally the home of Henry David Thoreau over a century earlier) in the late 1960s on the democratic premise that each child is uniquely capable of determining when and what he or she wishes to learn. The school role has, over the years, consisted of children who have fallen through the cracks of other schools; problem children, we might say. Without exception each of those children has taught themselves to read, when they felt compelled to learn the skill. This compulsion could Summerhillarise at any age, for some not until they were ten, eleven or twelve. Interestingly, Sudbury Valley School has never had a case of dyslexia. Could it be that this learning disorder is a result of pushing children to read before they are ready, perhaps when their brains are still wired to write from right to left?

Sudbury Valley School, was itself inspired by the ground-breaking work of A. S. Neill with Summerhill School in England. Democratic Schools (sometimes called ‘free schools’) have, of late proliferated around the world, and include Tamariki School in Christchurch, one of the earliest ones established.

Read with your children. Begin with picture books and share the experience of stories. Inculcate in youngsters the love of reading by reading aloud with them. Enjoy this precious time you have together. Then, quite naturally, they will want to read, in their own unique time frame. Each child is capable of learning the skills of reading and writing, but only when they are ready. Read aloud with your children and your grandchildren, and perhaps you will be rewarded with the tables being turned and being read to yourselves by your children. This has been our experience.

 
CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101