"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Thursday
Feb082018

Water into Wine

“Beer is proof that God exists and wants us to be happy”. You may have heard that cheeky quotation attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but it isn’t quite accurate. According to The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), Franklin actually wrote this in a letter to Abbe Morellet: “We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!”

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Tuesday
Jan302018

We are Starting to Know Ourselves

Jonathan Haidt 2012 03We certainly know more about our physical world now than we did 10,000 years ago. It is incredible to see what we now know that we didn’t know even 100 years ago.

 However we know a whole lot less about ourselves, Homo sapiens. We are just now starting to get results of our long term explorations into knowing ourselves. Yuval Noah Harari gives a good overview of what we know in his recent book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I found this to be an excellent and insightful read.

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Thursday
Jan252018

The Inclusive Development Index

The World Economic Forum holds an event at Davos Switzerland every year. This is an invite-only event, and brings together the rich and “successful” people of this world. This year's event has just been completed. Both Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau gave speeches there. It was possible to follow the Forum on-line. There is much there to give food for thought.

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Tuesday
Jan162018

Weather Extremes

A few months ago I was sitting at my dining room table in the middle of a power outage writing with the feeble light from two candles. Outside the wind was howling and the rain was lashing against the windows.

At that time we ‘only’ had 70 or 80 km/hr wind so I cannot imagine what it must have been like for people in the Caribbean who had already suffered from a number of terrible hurricanes last season.

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Tuesday
Jan092018

How I Live Without Plastic Bags

Shopping plastic bagsBanning plastic bags in our homes is the easiest and most obvious thing that needs to be changed in our lives immediately. Why? Because we don’t need them, and because over 150 million bags are handed out in Manitoba each year - every one of them ending up either in the dump or spoiling our fields, trees and waterways. That’s because even recycled plastic ends up being garbage after a limited number of uses (unlike say, aluminum which can be recycled indefinitely). So this is pretty basic stuff.

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