Friday, 28 May 2010
Just heard about the Bristol-based web startup, thingloop, aimed at enhancing community/shared life by enabling people to share their stuff more easily within their social network. Its based on the belief that by sharing our possessions we could significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary consumption of goods, and save ourselves money in the process.
It's a free service, and readers might be interested in thingloop, as an aid in reducing their environmental impacts. If you are interested but still unsure why not look over their website or contact thingloop and ask them any questions you may have.
You can follow/support thingloop on Facebook and/or on Twitter.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Some impressive science is involved but its not really fully 'life made in the lab' because a naturally-occurring microbe, minus its genome, is used as the host and though the genome then inserted is synthetic it needed both yeast and E.coli to be used as part of the production of longer DNA sequences.
The term 'life' has been applied with little or no reference the fact that there is huge debate about what life is. There is still a challenge for scientists and philosophers to define life in unequivocal terms. Defining life is difficult —in part— because life is a process, not a pure substance. Any definition must be sufficiently broad to encompass all life with which we are familiar, and it should be sufficiently general that, with it, scientists would not miss life that may be fundamentally different from earthly life...(more).
There's been talk of a 'new industrial revolution', bringing together together biology and engineering, using 'synthetic life' to clean up oil pollution and nuclear waste, taking climate changing human carbon emissions from the air, producing biofuels and new vaccines - and even human body parts! Interesting choice of problems caused by industrial revolution(s) that will be 'solved' by purely technical means due to another industrial revolution. Purely technical 'solutions' are all too often no solution at all - remember the technical promise of an 'unsinkable' Titanic, nuclear electricity 'too cheap to meter', freedom of movement via cars tempered by congestion and pollution, nuclear weapons that would deter still ever-present wars.
Technology certainly has a role to play in solving problems - we need it but it should meet the definition of being the practical means to live decently. We should be asking ourselves what proposed technologies are and undertake a rounded assessment of technical capabilities and limitations, cost-effectiveness and impact on working lives and various systems and environments now and on into the future. We need to question technical developments at the earliest possible opportunity as opposed to regarding them as unstoppable drivers of 'progress'. Unconditional surrender to inventions and novelties would mean we had no regard for any possible social, economic and environmental consequences. We need to consider - in a systemic and systematic way - how scientific and technical change can be best harnessed for individual, community, social and environmental good - but we are currently very poor indeed at this task!
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
The city council has said it “carefully considered the nature of this private launch party” and is “satisfied” that it was appropriate for this event. Julie Finch, director of the council’s museums and archives, and council chief executive Jan Ormondroyd, were both at last night’s event.
‘In order to contextualise the promotion of equality between women and men, we plan to deepen and broaden awareness of gender stereotyping and gender equality and develop understanding of the historical basis of discrimination against women.’
‘We will do this by running a seminar series for our employees.’
Bristol City Council, Gender Equality Scheme And Action Plan, 2007 – 2010, page 19
This is a great film project (http://www.tennerfilms.com/) . Tenner Films is an interactive film and online project which looks at the human stories and the issues surrounding nuclear power. Thirteen short films to entertain and encourage debate have been made (the example above is my favourite so far). Eight have now been completed - check them and the rest of the project out and give the makers some feedback!
You can feedback on-line or by emailing email@example.com. If you would like to hear more about the project as it develops you can also join an email list. You can also join the Facebook group and follow Tenner films on Twitter!
Please pass details of this project to anyone who you think may be interested.
More on nuclear power:
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
"The biggest shake up of our democracy since 1832, when the Great Reform Act redrew the boundaries of British democracy, for the first time extending the franchise beyond the landed classes." said Clegg
Well, lets hope so because we certainly need change on this scale. However, Nick Clegg does have a very strong tendency to overstate and exaggerate at times, so we shall have to see what happens in practice.
Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre - The UK's Best Veggie Fayre's - the biggest vegan veggie eco friendly family day out in the UK
Very interesting and well worth a visit - especially given that the brief now includes wider sustainable living issues.
May 29th and 30th 2010
Show opens Saturday May 29th 11am and closes at 11pm
Sunday May 30th 11am - 9pm
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
THE BRISTOL HAPPINESS LECTURES 2010 http://www.chrisjohnstone.info/happiness_lectures.htm
This year’s theme: Positive Psychology Responses to Depression natural ways to improve your mood
Tuesday 18th May 2010 7pm - 10pm
With.... Positive Psychologist Miriam Akhtar, (website: http://www.miriamakhtar.co.uk)
GP/Broadcaster Dr Phil Hammond(website: http://drphilhammond.com/)
and Self-help Author Dr Chris Johnstone(website: http://www.chrisjohnstone.info).
At St George’s Hall, Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RR Price: £10 / £8 concs
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Adrian Ramsay :: Deputy Leader :: MP candidate for Norwich South | Lib Dems Have Betrayed Their Voters
Adrian Ramsay commented: "There are real risks to cutting back on public spending while the economy is still recovering from recession - which is presumably why the LibDems didn't support making cut backs this year in their manifesto. I'm very concerned that the LibDems have signed up to the Conservative cuts and about what this may mean for crucial local services such as Sure Start nurseries and day care centres.
"The Green Party's General Election manifesto showed that there are ways of dealing with the deficit whilst protecting public services. The way forward should have been through green investment to stabilise the economy, not through public service cuts.
"I fear that the new alliance between the Conservatives and LibDems will take us in the wrong direction. I don't think these cuts are what people in Norwich voted for last week. The Green Party will strongly oppose cuts to crucial services.
"Nick Clegg has also failed to use this situation to secure a fair voting system where every vote counts equally. LibDems have been campaigning for this for decades and this was their chance to make it happen. I think many LibDem activists and voters will be feeling betrayed that Nick Clegg has not made more of this opportunity and will be considering their political home for the future."
The Knowle West Residents Planning Group (KWRPG) will be running exhibitions about the regeneration of the wider area, including Knowle West, Inns Court and part of Bedminster and Knowle, at local community centres on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the last two weeks of May.
KWRPG is a group of local people who are developing a residents’ draft plan for Knowle West, which includes community buildings, shops, facilities, transport, green spaces, schools and more. This plan is NOT set in stone. The group would like other local people to come along to see the ideas they have come up with so far and want to find out what their community thinks about it.
The dates and times are:
1. Eagle House, Newquay Road 18th May, 7-8.30pm
2. Filwood Community Centre, Barnstaple Road 20th May, 7-8.30pm
3. Novers Social Club, Novers Park Road 25th May, 7-8.30pm
4. The Mede Centre (by Inns Court shops) 27th May, 7-8.30pm
5. City of Bristol College, Marksbury Road 3rd June, 7-8.30pm
Alister Palmer, chair of the KWRPG said:
"We are very pleased that Bristol City Council have now made a firm commitment to working with the Residents Planning Group. KWRPG have been meeting every week for 15 months, and meeting with the Project Board and consultants Urban Initiatives at key stages throughout the process. Last month the Project Board and Urban Initiatives came to Knowle West to hear our ideas so far and we await their plan, but in the meantime come and see ours."
"We want all the local people to have their say on what happens with the regeneration in the area, but we realize not everyone can give as much time as the current group members do, so we decided to run the exhibitions. We have timed it so we can feed back local opinion on our ideas to the consultants when they come back in to do more consultation."
For more information about the Knowle West Residents Planning Group and how to get involved call Anita Pearce at Community in Partnership Knowle West 0117 908 4248, or email Iris Eiting at Re:store on Filwood Broadway firstname.lastname@example.org
For regular updates or a catch up on what’s happened so far go to www.knowlewest.co.uk and see ‘Regeneration’.
Anita Pearce, Community in Partnership: 0117 908 4248
Iris Eiting, Re:store: email@example.com
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Friday, 7 May 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
22% of people in Bristol East think Green Party policies are best (202 people in the online survey sample).
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
My party is committed to a set of economic, social and environmental policies designed to cut carbon emissions by 10% per year (eg insulating all homes free of charge, massive investment in public transport and renewable energy...). We have a £44 billion investment package - the Green New Deal - designed to tackle the triple crises: recession; climate change; rising inequality. I have been working to illustrate the quality of life, wellbeing and food, job and energy security benefits of green policies that tackle climate change for many years. http://www.onlygreen.org.uk/
I will continue to work, as I have for decades before this election, for the establishment of a fair and sustainable society ie one that has health and wellbeing as the measure of progress in place of ‘growth’ and which reconciles the economic and social with our environment such that we can
all lead decent lives now and on into the future.
>I live in your constituency, and I am writing to let you know that my
>vote will be strongly influenced by which candidates speak up publicly on
>MPs elected at this general election will have the responsibility to
>drive the low carbon economic recovery that Britain needs. With proper
>political leadership, Britain can upgrade its outdated energy and
>transport infrastructure and housing stock, keep consumer bills down and
>create tens of thousands of sustainable jobs.
>So, I plan to vote for action on climate change, so that I get an MP who
>will champion the opportunities presented by a transformation to a low
>As a supporter of Greenpeace, I'm aware that tens of thousands of people,
>many of whom are supporters of RSPB, WWF, Oxfam and Christian Aid and
>other organisations, want to see candidates show commitment to action on
>climate change during their election campaign. As a result I will be
>paying close attention to which candidates speak up on this issue.
>Every constituency can benefit from action on climate change, and can
>achieve energy efficient homes and businesses, a growth in jobs and
>skills and a more competitive local economy. Many constituencies can
>benefit from the growing offshore wind power industry as competition
>mounts to secure long term supply chain jobs in different parts of the
>All the major political party leaders have said they support action on
>climate change and a more efficient low carbon economy. Do you plan to
>outline how you aim reap the benefits of a low carbon recovery this
>constituency? Will you make a public statement about your commitment to
>tackling climate change?
>Please let me know how you plan to ensure that at least 15% of all energy
>comes from renewable sources by 2020, and how you will ensure that our
>constituency benefits from a transition to a low carbon economy.