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The Origin of Aids

  • Posted by tim
  • 10 November 2008

This Program was first aired in 2003 but has yet to be seen in the UK on television, make of that what you will. I have a low res version here. It's 90 minutes long and gives you the lowdown on the origins of the virus. Despite winning many awards and being hotly debated the reason is because of the barrage of legal assaults made on potential screeners by Dr Koprowski (and his legal network), who strongly denies causing the Aids epidemic during his 1950s trials of an experimental polio vaccine in Africa.

The War Against "Cold Fusion"

  • Posted by tim
  • 10 November 2008

Not only can religion at times be full of dogma that avoids dealing with things as they exist and appear to us as its beliefs sometimes seek to limit our way of life, so science also suffers at times from the same attitudes and inhibitions to the progress of human endeavour that seeks to find better solutions to the way we conduct our existence here on earth. Most of the time those who seek to destroy theories that have been tried and tested (but are new and threaten the old ways) have the most to lose if they are proven to be true in some way. This has been very true of the story and scientific development of proof of the existence of " Cold Fusion." 

Cold Fusion has been given a hard time since it's discovery in the 80's and for good reason, there are a lot of big time governments, institutons and individuals who would profit a lot more if it hadn't been discovered and it has been these factors that have prevented it from being more widely known. Imagine for example a process where all the harmful by products from Nuclear reactors could be transformed to a harmless byproduct from this new discovery. Imagine a car being able to run thousands of miles on a single thimble full of water. All this and more, all pollution free. There is a great documentary on Pons and Fleishman's discovery.  All you have to do is register on line here It's called "The War Against Cold Fusion." 

I also bought a 1965 Moulton at the weekend, with luggage racks front and rear and a sturmey archer three speed hub. now i can do my shopping in town on the bike.

Making Bread

  • Posted by howies
  • 10 November 2008

After watching Andrew Whitley's talk about bread from the Do lectures. I was inspired:


It tasted pretty good.

Click here for the recipe.

peak oil/economic troubles

  • Posted by ruben
  • 7 November 2008

I just watched Chris Martenson's 'crash course' on the economic, environmental and energy crises which are emerging in the world today. 

Chris is a finical observer and scientist with some pretty interesting and insightful thoughts about the world we live in and the problems we are facing. 

I highly recommend that you find time to watch his videos in order, they are fascinating.  

But it can be kind of terrifying to think that the wonderful economic system that supports our modern lifestyle is based on generating debt that assumes the future will always be larger and more productive than the present, but ignores the fact that we live on a spherical planet with finite resources.  

Follow this link if you're interested: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

(this might be an interesting blog for people to try out the new comment features on!)

How to catch your own supper

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 November 2008


Between the months of May and September, the coastal waters of the UK are visited by shoals of mackerel – a delight to those who prefer their food direct from source and without clingfilm. For years considered a second-rate eating fish, recently the mackerel has been re-considered by fishermen and cooks alike – and deservedly so. It is plentiful, nutritious (high in Omega oils), and – unfortunately for the fish – extremely easy to catch. The most important thing is that a fresh mackerel fillet, patted with flour, fried and served with a squeeze of lemon juice, a slice of bread and butter and a cold glass of beer – is one of the best suppers ever.

Being fortunate enough to live by the coast, and being part-owner of a second-hand river canoe, it’s possible on most summer evenings to paddle out into the harbour. After a work day, and when the sea is mirror-flat (the only time its safe – our canoe isn’t really designed for the sea) it’s a great pleasure to glide along until we’re about 50 metres out, and then tie up to a buoy. With the sun lowering but still warm, in the calm of the bay we’ll start to fish.

Countless words have been written about the restorative effects of being in, on, or near water – and they are all true. No matter how stressful or draining a day at work has been, within five minutes of being on the sea, there’s a wonderful sense of carelessness, not as strong as after a long run or good surf, but still very special. Especially as there’s hardly any exertion involved in this kind of fishing. The canoe bobs gently and we sit at either end, with handlines over the side – hoping to catch our dinner. Often we’ll fish until the light dies and it is rare to go home empty-handed.

Of course you don’t need a canoe to catch mackerel. Most seaside towns will advertise trips on boats where equipment is provided and you’ll be pretty much guaranteed to catch. But the simplest and least expensive way to have a go is the old-fashioned way. You’ll need a rod and reel borrowing is cheap), a weight, and a set of feathers – usually six hooks strung together with silver foil lures attached (for around £3 from a good tackle shop). If you’re unsure, ask someone else to set up the line for you.

Mackerel swim in to shore from deep seas to feed on the incoming tide. The best time to try and catch them is half-an-hour before high tide, and at this time in any coastal town worth its salt there will be fishermen ‘jigging’ for mackerel – whether for bait or plate. Cast from a safe place into calm water and then jig the line. This means pulling the line shorewards and then letting it drift out again repetitively and rhythmically. This constant motion will hopefully mimic the small fry the fish are looking for. Shaped like a torpedo, the mackerel is a voracious hunter, and has been clocked travelling 19ft per second after prey. If the conditions are right, then it shouldn’t be long before your line starts thrumming and you’ve made a catch. It’s not unusual to haul up five fish at once, but to take only what you need seems a good rule, and joeys (juvenile fish) should be put back until next year.

Another good rule is ‘an hour from hook to plate’ – mackerel, like most things, is at its most delicious when fresh, and part of its (unfairly) bad reputation comes from the fact that the flesh spoils quite quickly, so eat them as soon as you can. Cleaned whole fish or fillets can of course be frozen – but don’t keep them longer than a month.

The simplest method of cooking as mentioned earlier is by far the best – but being so versatile, there are many mackerel recipes, and many more you could invent yourself.

Happy fishing.

Joby Barnard

Why we need a real bread campaign

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 November 2008


What’s in a loaf of bread? Flour, water, yeast, salt and maybe some seeds or flakes? Wrong. Take a look at the label of an ordinary sliced loaf and you’ll find some other ‘ingredients’. You may wonder what ‘flour treatment agent’ is and your tongue may get tied over ‘diacetylated tartaric esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids’. But allow me to let you into a secret: there’s something else in your bread – and it’s not declared on the label. The big ‘plant’ bakeries together with the instore supermarket bakeries account for about 95% of the bread eaten in the UK. And the vast majority of this is made using undeclared industrial enzymes. Amylase, xylanase, lipoxygenase, protease, hemicellulase and others, singly or in combination, often produced using GM technology, derived from cereal, fungal, bacterial or animal sources and added to bread in forms to which the human digestive system has never before been exposed – these are British bread’s tawdry little secret.  Why aren’t they declared on bread labels? Because the law treats enzymes as ‘processing aids’ which, unlike ‘additives’, don’t need to be disclosed.  They may be perfectly safe, of course. Trusting folk will, no doubt, be content with assurances to this effect from the regulators – the very same regulators who allowed other additives like potassium bromate to adulterate our bread for decades until they were suspected of causing cancer. The more curious may wonder why, if added enzymes are so safe, the big bakers want to keep the good news that they are in our daily bread from us. Could there be a connection, some may wonder, between the cocktails of enzymes designed to make bread stay squishy for weeks and the growing number of people complaining of ‘bloating’ and other digestive sensitivities?  Research is needed into the effects of eating enzyme-laced bread. But people are unlikely to support calls for such research if they don’t know enzymes are in their bread in the first place. And anyway, isn’t it everyone’s right to know what they are eating?
Making food choices without all the necessary information leaves us confused and manipulated. It’s time to get real about bread. Enough of the additives (hidden or otherwise), the endless ‘healthy eating’ masquerade of charging more for sticking supplements into the same basic dough and the nostalgic marketing suggesting that bread is ‘as good for you now as it’s ever been’ when in fact modern hybrid wheats, bred for intensive farming, are less rich in micronutrients, when white flour is so depleted by milling that it has – by law – to be fortified with chalk, iron and two synthetic B vitamins, and when bread is mixed and baked so fast that there is no time for fermentation to make it more nutritious and digestible. We’re starting a Real Bread Campaign, to encourage more people to make, buy, share and enjoy proper bread. If it’s going to happen, we need to make everyone aware of the adulteration that’s going on. The labels on most loaves are deceptive and incomplete, so let’s stick one on ‘em! Real bread activists might arm themselves with little blocks of sticky labels, printed with the missing information about enzymes. On visits to the supermarket, they might spend a few moments peacefully making good the information deficit on those loaves with the hidden additives. And then we all might open our eyes and make a real choice. 
Andrew Whitley Author of Bread Matters (Fourth Estate) and founder of the Real Bread Campaign.

More info: www.breadmatters.com

Here’s to the slow guy

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 November 2008


The Slow Food international movement officially began when delegates from 15 countries endorsed this manifesto, written by founding member Folco Portinari, on 9 November 1989.

Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model. We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction. A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.  May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency. Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavours and savours of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.  In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer. That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?  Slow Food guarantees a better future.  Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol.

An Ode To the Potato

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 November 2008


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Might be a bit tricky
Seeing as you’re a potato
But I still like you
In fact, it’s more than that
You’re special
And you grew strong
Even though I neglected you
Not on purpose
I was just doing other things
(mowing the lawn, restraining the slugs)
But you were there, just growing
No fuss
Just growing
And when I came back to you
On that warm August day
Fork in hand
And lifted you from the earth
I gazed upon you lovingly
Fresh and perfectly formed
Nature’s knobbly bounty
Then I took you inside
And mashed you right up
With some butter
Sorry about that bit
Hope it didn’t hurt
But if it’s any consolation
You tasted real good

Words by Dan Germain

Bread Facts

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 November 2008


Bread has been a staple food for humans since 7000BC. The workers who built the Egyptian pyramids were paid in bread.

Wheat production is estimated at 350 million tonnes annually.

12 million loaves of bread are made every single day. We consume only 8 million of these, the rest goes to waste.

The average UK household buys around 86 loaves per year.

70% of the bread we eat is white.

The UK bakery market is worth almost £3 billion. However, of all bakeries, less than 5% of them are real craft bakers.

Bread tastes really nice when toasted with jam on top.

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