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Help save our environment… use old stuff in new ways

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

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what happened here?

Here’s a post-apocalyptic themed track. The woman’s voice is from https://www.freesound.org/people/Corsica_S/sounds/99480/ . I think she’s got an amazing voice. If interested, check out other samples her boyfriend has uploaded (she’s usually described as “my girlfriend”).

And here’s a list of all other sounds:

Freesound.org (lighter background) and freeSFX.co.uk (darker background)




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Old and New

I’m fascinated by the contrast between old and new. I like both, although I hate to see the countryside gobbled up by munchkin homes… you know, those faceless carbon copy sub-developments that all look the same.  This was taken near Port Hope Ontario. I’d just stopped by a Service Center to have a stretch and liked the old barn off in the distance.


Curious Custom

We got a real Christmas tree this year after using an artificial one for three or four seasons.

As much as I love the scent and presence, I have to wonder if it’s ethical, having this poor thing half alive, half dead, sitting in a pan of water in the living room.

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Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends (DVD Review)

This review also appears at Earthpages.org

Title: Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends
Genre: Conspiracy, Prophecy, End Times
Production Company: Reality Films

Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends is a bit of a mind-bender. Just when you think you can forget about the world’s problems, sit down and have a nice cup of tea, along comes Reality Films with this engaging, sometimes disturbing film.

The premise of Apocalypse 2012 is that the Earth is alive, a living organism. Hippies from the 70s or students from the 80s might remember James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis. Or maybe Lewis Thomas’ The Lives of a Cell. These two scientists have their differences, but both agree that the Earth looks like it’s some kind of self-regulating, living system.

That’s a nifty idea, but Apocalypse 2012 takes it to a whole new level. A panoply of elders, sages and unorthodox thinkers all seem to be saying that the Earth doesn’t just look alive. It is alive—and not just as a simple organism or self-adjusting system.

Many of the film’s speakers believe that Mother Earth is a conscious entity, one that demands payback for terrestrial abuses. So 911, for instance, wasn’t caused by a single group of extremists but, rather, by our collective exploitation of the planet. We’ve been treating the Earth as a money making resource instead of seeing it as a source of life. And this, according to the film, is an unforgivable no-no just asking for planetary retribution where countless people get hurt and die.

Pretty heavy stuff. I started to feel a bit glum after the first hour. So I paused the DVD and went out to do some shopping. (Food shopping that is, and thank God I didn’t drive a SUV or the roads might have cracked before me..!).

Reality Films

Okay, honestly, I struggled a bit with this film. Part of me felt it was naive but another part sensed that it was important. At least, important for me to see at the time.

On the plus side, 2012’s archival footage and editing are amazing. It’s worth watching for that alone. And the soundtrack is effective. Also, its eclectic mix of speakers aren’t identified until after the show is done, which is a great idea. This sort of levels the playing field so we hear what’s being said without prejudging on the basis of credentials or honorary titles. (I hope that’s vague enough to avoid a spoiler!).

On the not so great side, the DVD offers a simplistic view of history that seems to glorify a distant, golden age that most likely never was (unless one takes Adam and Eve and other creation stories literally). The industrial revolution is portrayed as the Big Bogey Man that’s chasing us toward our collective downfall. But what about the Black Death of the Middle Ages, and various other lethal diseases spread by contaminated water in ancient and medieval society? All this happened well before the industrial revolution.

Having said that, can we really deny that the 21st century is dangerously imbalanced, globally speaking? The news media tells us that so-called mental illnesses are on the rise, as are the environmentally polluting drugs manufactured to treat them (most people forget that man-made medications, now matter how nicely they’re presented by pharmaceutical marketing agencies, are constantly being urinated back into the water supply). And as 2012 rightly says, the oil supply will eventually run out. Not even the Canadian oil sands are limitless.

Reality Films

But as to what happens next, I disagree with some of the film’s more gloomy pundits. I’m no gambler but would be willing to bet that God allows us to continue only so far on our haphazard course until we come up with better solutions. Technology isn’t necessarily the problem. We just need to develop better technologies, as many green companies already are (ask Neil Young if you don’t believe me).

I mean, where would we be without electricity? Just think of music. No Chuck Berry and “Johnny B. Goode.” No synthesizers or digital keyboards. No Close to the Edge or Fragile by Yes. Come on. Obviously this blending of art and technology was meant to be. True, those classic 70s albums warn us, as does 2012, to take stock of our situation and make a better world. But I believe God knows what’s going on, and won’t let us slide too far without giving us the necessary light and practical conditions to make that change happen. In the worst case scenario, a lot of people might go insane, murder, die or commit suicide. But the whole human race won’t.

Apocalypse 2012 was probably also meant to be, a DVD that uses all sorts of high tech gadgets and natural resources to get its message across. But just because something is meant to be doesn’t mean that I agree with everything it says. To be fair, though, the second hour affected me more positively than the first. I could feel it working away on my opinions, shaking my proverbial cage, and compelling me to reflect.

And that’s exactly what this film sets out to do.


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Review – Birds Of Norfolk: A Bird Watchers Dream (DVD)

This review also appears at Earthpages.org

Title: Birds Of Norfolk: A Bird Watchers Dream
Genre: Documentary, Nature, Bird Watching
Extras: Photo Gallery
Production Company: Reality Films

I’ve seen a lot of nature films so wasn’t expecting too much while placing The Birds of Norfolk into my DVD player. But this film, well, this one is different. Superb, actually.

The narration is lively and detailed with a fantastic soundtrack ranging from classical standards to tasteful, relaxing pop. Excellent maps illustrate exactly where each chapter is filmed along the breathtaking shores of the North Sea at Norfolk, UK.

But what makes this film stand out is its awesome cinematography. Directed by Robert and Jill Wilson, who also run a photo processing shop in Norwich, the cameras use state of the art telephoto lenses. The close-ups are crisp and clean, with vibrant color and outstanding depth of field.

Bird watchers, ornithologists and anyone loving nature will delight in this production. Not only does it offer sweeping, full color landscape shots of the beautiful beaches, marshes and farmland around Norfolk and the North Sea, but its coverage of indigenous and migrant birds and other wildlife is astounding.

Get ready to see sleepy seals, poisonous snakes, hungry squirrels, and high fliers from all over the world, to include the US, Canada, Africa, Siberia and Japan. Birds clearly know no national boundaries. And a host of enthusiastic bird watchers gather regularly at Norfolk to witness this dazzling diversity of species.

How ironic that I watched this in the midst of the BP Oil Spill. Although I already know that innocent birds soaked in oil is horrendous, this film just brought it all home and yet, thankfully, was something of an ideological antidote to that tragedy. It gave me hope to be reminded that some people really do care.

The Birds of Norfolk celebrates the grandeur and mystique of our natural environment and underscores the importance of not only conserving but actively nurturing the biosphere. We also learn how local ecological initiatives have, in some cases, cleaned up habitats and actually restored endangered bird populations. And that’s a wonderful thing.

This inspiring film depicts the exact opposite of the gloom and doom scenario now unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. In a world with many wondering if we’ll make it through the 21st century, The Birds of Norfolk is nothing short of a revelation and certainly a wake up call to protect and appreciate this magnificent creation called Earth.



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David Suzuki “The Green Guru” on CBC TV

I hope I’m this cool when I get to be Suzuki’s age…

http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/videos.html?id=898495314 (Video)