Guest Post: Discovering Your Talents

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I love featuring talented writers especially when it comes to writing the career and business niche. You see, to write about these serious topics isn’t easy and more so if you want to make these topics approachable, inspiring and informative, it is so much harder.

So you can imagine how much excitement when I came across this post and how much I want to share with you MiddleMe fans here.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out more of Gottfried’s posts here.

I have a lot of hidden talents. The problem is I can’t find them. On some days I like to think that it takes real skill to choke on air, miss-step while climbing stairs and trip over absolutely nothing. Not everyone is able to pull this off.  It’s worse when you’re with a group of people and everyone is talking about their skills and talents, and you’re there like; well, I can breathe.


Multitalented. I can talk, annoy and irritate you all at the same time. It takes real dedication to pull this off. On a real though, talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity but we use it all the same. Isn’t it curious that we all have that one friend that finds a way of making everything innocent perverted? Yes you, I’m talking to you!

Lecturer: How can you fiddle with your phone and still manage to pay attention to what I’m saying?

Gottfried: Pure unadulterated talent, Sir.

Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Imagine finding out your talent as an 80-year-old man because you’ve been so immersed in poverty all your life, you never had the opportunity to look up. I’d be pissed if I discovered I could have won an Olympic medal for hopscotch. The pain!

Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads. That fart you’ve been holding onto the entire ride? Drop it! Who knows, you could make it to 9’oclock news. I can already picture it. The headline will read, ‘Legendary fart kills 30 on a bus, maims two”. Authorities say the FARTER is still at large, armed, and very dangerous!’.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see. Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius. I once met a beautiful lady at a park. I told her I wasn’t good at anything. She looked me in the eye and said, ‘survival is a talent’. I agree!

Sometimes you don’t get the talents you really need. Great, you just discovered you can chew ice. What are you supposed to do with that kind of talent? God really skipped artistry, creativity, athletics, and handed you the ability to chew ice cones. And you think all is well? Some people have the odd talent of making the most simple things sound complicated. Marry them!

No one respects a talent that is concealed. You might want to shove it in people’s faces every now and then. Because the truth is, everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty. Talent is a dreadfully cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is hard work. But make no mistake, never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.

Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you one of your 9 lives. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story. The human tragedy is that we all want to be extraordinary and we all just want to fit in. Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in. That being said, if you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room…

find another room.

© Gottfried. All rights reserved

Enjoy reading this guest post? We have more here:
Guest Post – Ever been bullied by colleagues in mental health?
Guest Post: Every Job is Meaningful
Guest Post: Confessions of a Hard Worker..(because I take my breaks)

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
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Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

Source: Guest Post: Discovering Your Talents

Saturday Art Gallery – Day 6

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Welcome to Saturday Art gallery!

If you are not already aware, this is part of a series called “Saturday Art Gallery” where I share one of my art works every Saturday.

I wanted to create something known and give it a little twist, that’s how this owl was born! Beauty is everywhere, it’s just the matter of seeing it, it lies in your eyes.

Things I used to create this:

  • A white sheet
  • Black Micron pen set to draw the pattern.
  • My phone to click this picture.

Hey everyone! Thankyou for visiting this blog! Would love to know your interpretation of this sketch.

Wanted to let you all now, that I have created a new portfolio to showcase my art work. Do check it out here. Thankyou for all the love and support! 🙂

Stay safe! Stay healthy!

Australia Enrages Activists, Embraces “Technology Neutral” Carbon Credits

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The Boundary Dam CCS power plant in Saskatchewan Canada. Credit: SaskPowerCCS

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Looks like Planet of the Humans might be having an impact on policy; The Australian Government has broadened the scope of activities which can qualify for carbon credits, diverting cash away from renewables.

Fossil fuel industry applauds Coalition climate measures that support carbon capture and storage

Adam Morton Environment editor @adamlmorton
Wed 20 May 2020 03.30 AEST

Environmentalists say the Morrison government is directing emissions reduction funding to polluting companies

Fossil fuel industry groups and companies have applauded new climate change measures proposed by the Morrison government, including support for carbon capture and storage developments.

The government has agreed to 21 of 26 recommendations made by an expert panel review headed by the former gas industry executive and business council president Grant King, who was asked to come up with new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low cost.

Recommendations included paying big industrial companies to keep their emissions below an agreed limit, and allowing the government’s main climate policy, the $2.5bn emissions reduction fund, to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

Angus Taylor, the energy and emissions reduction minister, said the government agreed in-principle that two publicly owned clean energy agencies, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, would be given a “technology neutral remit” – a proposal that has been interpreted as allowing more funding for projects that do not involve renewable energy.

The plan to include CCS in the emissions reduction fund follows oil and gas giant Santos saying access to carbon credits or a similar revenue stream would be critical if it was to invest in a joint CCS project with BHP in South Australia. The Moomba CCS project, in SA’s remote north-east, is promised to capture 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year released during gas processing.

Richie Merzian, from thinktank the Australia Institute, said the changes backed by the government would increase fossil fuel industries’ access to a limited pool of funding for climate action, and criticised the lack of process behind the review.

He said King’s four-person expert panel was commissioned in October without public visibility, run without public consultation, and its report was held back by the government until it was ready to also release its response.

“Australians have a right to be frustrated by this, not just because of the support for fossil fuels, but by the appalling process,” Merzian said. “We should wake up to the fact that this is happening at a much larger scale with the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, which will involve the investment of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Read more:

I have no problem with carbon capture, other than the waste of providing any kind of carbon credits, as long as it stays remote. I’m very concerned about the risk when people propose putting large concentrations of CO2 next to large concentrations of humans; a sudden large release of CO2 could cause high rates of death over tens of square miles.

What I find really interesting is this rule change might pave the way for Aussie nuclear power. The availability of gigawatts of reliable green nuclear energy would make any renewable energy investment a tough sell. All we need is someone brave enough to take on the bureaucrats and big green, to make it happen.

via Watts Up With That?

May 21, 2020 at 04:07PM

6 Strategies for Success in the Virtual Classroom

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Like an uninvited guest, the COVID-19 pandemic swept into town, upending the school year and our very way of life. As we reinforce the need for social distancing and hand washing, school closures are affecting around 55 million public school students nationwide, with schools shuttering for the remainder of the year including here in Massachusetts. But just because the schools are closed doesn’t mean that school is out. Thousands of educators around the country have had to quickly shift from the familiarity of their classrooms to the uncharted terrain of distance learning in a crisis. 

Many teachers are navigating distance learning for the first time, asking questions like, “How do I ensure my students are still receiving high-quality education?” and “Will I be able to track the learning that is taking place?” Educators understand it will be crucial to keep students engaged in the virtual classroom to prevent residual learning loss. Research shows that students across all socioeconomic backgrounds experience nearly three months of learning loss in math over the summer, and new research based on summer slide is predicting a “COVID slide” of half a school year or more.  These losses will be particularly acute for low-income students, as they are for summer learning loss. 


p>However, what we have learned from efforts to stem summer learning loss in math can guide educators, districts and parents as they transition their education plans to the virtual realm. For the past three summers, EdVestors has partnered with several public schools in Boston to pilot a virtual learning model as part of our “Zeroing in on Math” blended learning work. The initiative has helped us better understand how existing technology-based interventions can be part of the solution for closing knowledge and skill gaps when school is closed.

Amid this unprecedented public health crisis and recent guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), there is an opportunity to explore what works with these tools in this remote learning environment. Some of the lessons we learned over the past three years through “Zeroing in on Math” may be useful when putting any tech-based remote learning into practice including:

  • Set clear and reasonable expectations for students, teachers, and families. Teachers and leaders set clear expectations, as best as one can in this uncertain time. Educators can use data provided by various tools to monitor student progress and use the information to celebrate students, provide more challenging work to students and identify areas of focus.
  • Maintain relationships. Teachers and leaders set up structures for active communication with students and families to both create spaces for student discussion and as a way to check-in with students who may not be logging in. Connecting via phone or text was more effective than email in many cases, especially for younger students. Tools like Google Classroom or Class Dojo can help drive this communication, adding other helpful resources such as dedicated spaces for questions.
  • Use student incentives to drive engagement. With relationships and community maintained, the most important incentive is always a relevant and engaging learning task. Additionally, teachers and leaders can use a variety of other incentives to drive student engagement on the Ed Tech tools. They can show students working from home and celebrate student independence, ownership and resourcefulness. Some educators also provide an easy-to-use tracker for students to use throughout the week as a Google Doc so they can see their progress and have more ownership.
  • Encourage distributive leadership around technology troubleshooting. Have a school-level point person who can field technology concerns from staff members, while also encouraging staff to reach out to tech support on their own, so that all staff members have ownership and agency around their use of the tools. This is a learning opportunity for students and for their teachers.
  • Give grace: to students, families, teachers—and yourself. This is a transition and a learning moment for all. To start, know that virtual learning is not the same as in-person learning. It won’t be without its kinks. 

Finally, see the opportunity. Although putting a system in place for distance learning may seem challenging, these investments will be worth it as they will get us through this pandemic and provide lessons for the future. Not only is it an effective way to connect with students and meet their educational needs, but these approaches will also advance educators’ ability to connect with students, their families, and our world in a time that is reassigning the role of school to be a collective effort.

Source: 6 Strategies for Success in the Virtual Classroom

Public Confidence In The Media Collapses To Record Lows

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By Paul Homewood


Guido has been tracking the You Gov polls on public confidence in the media during CV. It has been steadily collapsing, and now lies at an incredibly low 23%, while disapprovals have risen to 48%.

In my view, the coverage by most of the media has been utterly scandalous, consistently running the country down, to the extent that those living abroad think we’re some sort of basket case.

Fortunately the public know better.


As a prime example of the disgraceful coverage is this from the far left BBC:



Unsurprisingly then, the BBC’s rating amongst the public is truly dreadful:



None of this antipathy is new, of course, and I would encourage others to leave reviews on the Trustpilot link.

I also understand from Guido’s post that the Telegraph and others are pulling out of the ABC, which reports on newspaper circulation figures. Apparently the Telegraph’s reader numbers are that dire!

It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the media’s coverage of a whole range of topics has been woefully poor, often because of a reliance on young, inexperienced hacks. I don’t think I am giving away any secrets when I say that Christopher Booker was appalled by much of the childish reporting in the Telegraph, not to mention the juvenile sub editors he was lumbered with.

Nowadays people are beginning to realise that they can get much more informative comment and analysis on the internet.


May 21, 2020 at 03:39PM

Paging Dr. Fauci …

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Rand Paul Calls Out Dr. Fauci, Shares Chart Showing COVID-19 Mortality Rate Similar To Flu For People Under 60 – True Pundit

via Real Climate Science

May 21, 2020 at 02:09PM

Calls to add ‘climate change’ to Australian death certificates

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Tasmanian bush fire, 2013 [image credit: Chuq @ Wikipedia]

Climate alarmists yet again strain credulity to the limit, no doubt hoping to stir up guilt in the populace about energy use.
– – –
Heat-related deaths have been “substantially underreported” on Australia’s national records, according to experts from The Australian National University (ANU).  

Researchers say the amount of deaths attributed to excessive natural heat is at least 50 times more than recorded on death certificates.  

Published in The Lancet Planetary Health, figures show over the past 11 years 340 deaths in Australia were recorded as being due to excessive heat but statistical analysis found 36,765 deaths could have been attributed to heat.

“Climate change is a killer, but we don’t acknowledge it on death certificates,” co-author Dr Arnagretta Hunter, from the ANU Medical School, said.

“There is second component on a death certificate which allows for pre-existing conditions and other factors.

“If you have an asthma attack and die during heavy smoke exposure from bushfires, the death certificate should include that information.

“We can make a diagnosis of disease like coronavirus, but we are less literate in environmental determinants like hot weather or bushfire smoke.”

The new analysis suggests Australia’s national heat-related mortality rate is around two per cent.

“Climate change is the single greatest health threat that we face globally even after we recover from coronavirus,” Dr Hunter said.

Full article here

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

May 21, 2020 at 01:24PM

Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020

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From the “remember, thou art model” department.

Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely

An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe.”

The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity.

Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.” 

This year, as during any hurricane season, the men and women of NOAA remain ready to provide the life-saving forecasts and warnings that the public rely on. And as storms show signs of developing, NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft will be prepared to collect valuable data for our forecasters and computer models. In addition to this high level of science and service, NOAA is also launching new upgrades to products and tools that will further improve critical services during the hurricane season.  NOAA will upgrade the hurricane-specific Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast system (HWRF) and the Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean coupled Non-hydrostatic model (HMON) models this summer. HWRF will incorporate new data from satellites and radar from NOAA’s coastal Doppler data network to help produce better forecasts of hurricane track and intensity during the critical watch and warning time frame. HMON will undergo enhancements to include higher resolution, improved physics, and coupling with ocean models. 

As the hurricane season gets underway, NOAA will begin feeding data from the COSMIC-2 satellites into weather models to help track hurricane intensity and boost forecast accuracy. COSMIC-2 provides data about air temperature, pressure and humidity in the tropical regions of Earth — precisely where hurricane and tropical storm systems form. Also during the 2020 hurricane season, NOAA and the US Navy will deploy a fleet of autonomous diving hurricane gliders to observe conditions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea in areas where hurricanes have historically traveled and intensified.

As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important this year. “Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets. An easy way to start is to download the FEMA app today.”

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. The Climate Prediction Center will update the 2020 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August prior to the historical peak of the season.  Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2020 hurricane season, just as it is every year.

Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

via Watts Up With That?

May 21, 2020 at 01:10PM

Solar Owners worried Big Brother AEMO wants to turn off their panels at noon in emergencies

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Last November at lunchtime 64% of the entire generation of South Australia was coming from across thousands of small generators that the Grid Managers had no control of, and that clouds could wipe out. This is the junk conglomerate infrastructure that billions of dollars in forced subsidies have created.

The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) has no control over the vagaries of two-thirds of the electricity generation. Audrey Zibelmen has described it as “”It’s almost like driving without your headlights.” She wants new panels to get “smart inverters” which means they can be dumb servants — controlled by the AEMO, just in case there is an emergency — lest the state suffer another System Black. They also want old panels to get the new style inverters when the next replacement is due.

Who could have seen that coming (only anyone with an engineering degree).

Poor solar home owners are feeling pretty miffed. They didn’t realize their panels were never economic, a burden on the grid, and they’ve been riding on the backs of fellow Australians for years. And after reading this ABC story (below), they still won’t know. So it’s a complete surprise to them that the green electrons they […]

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via JoNova

May 21, 2020 at 12:58PM

Why Tom Burke’s Green Deal Is Pie In The Sky

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By Paul Homewood



Environmentalist Tom Burke has just written this article for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy:


One of the hardest truths about the pandemic, which so abruptly cancelled everyone’s future plans is that, even now, we do not fully understand what this means. Despite a colossal global effort we are still some way from being confident of being able to ensure public health as we release people from the disciplines of lockdown.

It is also true that we do not yet know the full extent of the pandemic’s damage to our economy. We do know that it is deep, potentially deeper than that of the financial crisis of 2008. We also know that recovery will not be quick and we are all being unwillingly inducted into the arcana of ‘V’, ‘U’ and ‘L’ shaped recoveries.

Understandably, the speed, scale, and malignity with which this coronavirus struck has driven other issues from the headlines. Neither politicians nor the public have much residual attention to pay to climate change. This time last year it was dominating the headlines as Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion gave powerful expression to growing public anxiety about the future of the climate.

Through the fog of uncertainties that currently surrounds us, one thing at least remains certain. The build-up of carbon in the atmosphere is continuing to change the climate. The abrupt pause in the relentless growth of the global economy will produce a welcome 7% reduction in carbon emissions – about what we need to achieve each year to keep the climate safe.

But, as Chris Stark, the CEO of the Climate Change Committee points out, all that means is that we have turned down the tap. Carbon is still pouring into the atmosphere, just more slowly. Meanwhile, without attracting much public attention, it is becoming clearer that the impacts of climate change on our wellbeing will be sooner and greater than previously thought.

We are having a brutal lesson in the vulnerability of a global economy that supports nearly eight billion people to disruption. But this disruption is marginal compared to the havoc that failing to build the carbon neutral energy system a safe climate requires will produce. The viral disruption was a sudden and visible shock that commanded, and got, an immediate response. Climate change is a stealth disrupter – concealing its harm until it is too late to prevent – and all the more dangerous for that.

Having tackled the immediate Covid-19 health emergency, political attention is now turning to restoring the health of the economy.

This will require a huge and sustained effort if it is to succeed.

The first priority will be to restore the purchasing power central to the momentum of our consumption driven economy. As has already become evident, this will require an appetite for public borrowing unlike any previously experienced outside of war. Dealing with the resultant debt will put a premium on improving productivity.

It is no more than common sense to ensure that as we restore the economy to health now, we do not also restore momentum to burning fossil fuels and so make future climate disruption worse. Disruption does not have a discount factor. Governments can borrow money more cheaply than anyone else. The current Government has, to its credit, remained staunchly committed to its target of decarbonising the economy by 2050. It now needs to back that commitment with serious amounts of rapidly deployed public spending.

Lockdown has so far led to reduced income for 68% of households and led to a growing struggle to pay their bills. At the same time, the construction industry has had the highest rate of layoffs in any sector following lockdown and one of the highest rates of use of the Government’s job retention scheme. It also has one of the lowest levels of confidence in companies surviving the pandemic.

Accelerating the stalled drive to improve the energy efficiency of our inefficient building stock would bring a double whammy of purchasing power benefits.

It would generate incomes by employing large number of people in construction, widely distributed around the country, more rapidly than other public investments, especially if local authorities were significantly engaged. It would also lower energy bills for households thus increasing disposable income. There is growing evidence that this results in persistent increases in spending on higher value local goods and services.

Our current electricity system has some 90GW of installed generating capacity. During the coldest half hour last year demand peaked at about 55GW. For long periods of the year and a third of every day, it barely reaches 40GW. For most of the year, therefore, most of our expensive generating capacity is earning no revenues and is thus a drag on the productivity of our economy.

A smart redesign of our electricity system to take full advantage of the falling costs of renewables and the huge increases in our capability to balance electricity supply and demand made possible by digitisation would improve productivity.

A rapid ramping-up of both onshore and offshore wind deployment would also accelerate the growth of a new industrial base to replace that being lost from the oil and gas industry.

Applying common sense to our post pandemic economic recovery will ensure that we do not turn the solution to one painful disruption into a contribution to an even greater and much more painful disruption.

Tom Burke is the Co-Founder and Chairman of E3G and Chairman of the China Dialogue Trust.


He makes two arguments:

1) Employ an army of construction workers to retrofit insulation

Leaving aside the question of where these workers will come from and how they will be trained, Burke ignores the very real problem, that somebody has to pay for their work.

He claims that the government can borrow cheaply, but how long will that last if it has to borrow trillions more to finance the green agenda. In any event, the money borrowed still has to be paid back sooner or later.

It is self evident that his claimed energy bill savings do not stack up, otherwise householders would be queuing up to fit insulation.

He also conveniently forgets to mention that low carbon solutions for heating will add considerably to household bills.


2) Build more wind farms

This is a classic example of somebody trying to mould the facts to his pre-conceived agenda.

According to the official data, there was actually 105GW of generating capacity at the end of last year in the UK:



As Burke rightly states, this is much more than we actually need. Yet he uses this fact to argue that we build yet more wind farms.

He implies that we should shut down most of our conventional capacity. In the real world, that Burke clearly does not understand, the National Grid still needs 50GW of reliable, dispatchable power, as standby for when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow.

And his answer to that little problem? A smart redesign of our electricity system to take full advantage of the huge increases in our capability to balance electricity supply and demand made possible by digitisation.

What planet is he on? Digitisation?

If there is any expensive generating capacity that is surplus to requirements, it is wind and solar power. Yet he wants even more!


May 21, 2020 at 12:27PM

Texas Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott W. Tinker vs Energy Poverty

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Guest “Switch On!” by David Middleton

New Documentary “Switch On” Combats Energy Poverty

January 14, 2020

For much of the past two years, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott W. Tinker has been traveling the world to film a crucial documentary that illustrates the crisis of energy poverty. Some 2.5 billion people live in some form of energy poverty today. Access to secure energy impacts all other major humanitarian issues, including hunger, shelter, clean water, education, healthcare, human migration, empowerment of women, and more. Those who do not have energy access suffer from energy poverty.  

With partner and Emmy-winning filmmaker Harry Lynch, Tinker has produced Switch On, a new film which examines the very human story of energy poverty to raise awareness of this global problem. They traveled to rural villages and urban slums in Colombia, Nepal, Kenya, Vietnam, and Ethiopia to discover some of the creative approaches being deployed to bring electricity, water pumps, cook stoves, and irrigation to those with no energy.  

Switch On builds on the remarkable popularity of Tinker and Lynch’s award-winning global energy film, Switch. Switch On will be screened this spring in limited release, but a trailer can be viewed here:

“Energy poverty is pervasive,” Tinker said. “Eradicating it will impact the whole world in countless positive ways. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do.”

For more information about Switch On, visit, and to help end energy poverty, contact the Switch Energy Alliance at

Bureau of Economic Geology

Scott Tinker even dresses like a geologist…

Scott Tinker
Another geologist

via Watts Up With That?

May 21, 2020 at 12:13PM

New Video : Reopening The Schools

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New Video : Reopening The Schools

This entry was posted in


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via Real Climate Science

May 21, 2020 at 11:40AM

Medieval Universities Costs

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The post will talk about some of the characteristics and costs of university studies during the Medieval time period. Naturally, there are a lot of similarities to modern times. However, many aspects of university life took time to grow and develop as we will see.


Universities during the Middle Ages were distinct from what we see today. There were essentially no buildings that made up the university. This means that initially in many situations in Europe there ewer no libraries, no laboratories, no halls, no endowments or money, and even no sports. Today, we often think of universities in terms of there physical presence. In the past, universities were thought of in terms of the students and teachers who learned and taught regardless of the physical location.

A university was defined as the totality of students and teachers in a particular location. Both the teachers and the students organized themselves into groups for bargaining power. The university of students would work together to control rent, book price, and tuition. If local businesses tried to abuse them the students would threaten  to leave. The students also placed expectations on the teachers such as no absences without permission, no leaving the city without leaving a deposit (this prevented crooks from taking tuition and running), maintain a regular schedule.


Professors formed their own guild called the college and set expectations for people who wanted to become professors. In addition to colleges, teachers would form themselves into faculty, which is several teaches from the same discipline. Faculties were allowed to confer degrees and promote students to the academic rank of masters. In addition, it was common for teachers to be celibate

The term “college” was also used to refer to the hospice or residence hall where students live. This is similar to the modern-day dormitories. Originally, colleges were for religious students and not for secular. To this day, institutions of higher learning are referred to as colleges and or universities. The success of universities put the cathedral, monastic and provincial schools a=out of business.


Textbooks were hard to find during the Middle Ages. This was before the printing press which means that books were copied by hand. this was highly time-consuming and kept the price of books high. To get around this, it was common for students to rent books rather than purchase them. This is a strategy that is stilled being used today, especially with ebooks.

Books were so valuable that they were not even supposed to leave the city. In  addition, professors were expected to turn over their lecture notes occasionally so that they could be converted into books. Famous textbooks from this time include Peter Lombard’s “Sentences” a theological book and the jurist Gratian’s text “Decretum.” With the rental system, it actually postponed the need for libraries


Completing the degrees involved 3-4 for the BA which included completing an examination before 4 teachers. Since nobody owned books, memorizing was heavy. For many students, the BA was the end of their academic career but for those who wanted to continued they were often expected to teach for two years before taking the masters.

The masters was often focused on obtaining the license to teach. This process involved attending lectures until a student believed he was ready for the examinations. This varied by disciplined but after the BA a student could take 2-4 years after completing the BA for a total of 5-8 years


University life was different yet somewhat similar to the modern era. The features of the modern university crept in gradually as the schools adjusted to the demands of modern life. As such, we can be sure that higher education will continue to change as it continues to adapt to the needs of the students

Source: Medieval Universities Costs

National Grid Facing Unprecedented Wind Power Surplus

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By Paul Homewood





With a windy weekend forecast, it sounds like constraint payments will be sky high!


May 21, 2020 at 11:33AM

Education Or Learning?

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Do you remember how many years of your life you have spent on studying? I am talking particularly about the formal education that we go through until we get a job.

I calculated it today, turns out I have spent more than half my lifetime till date, just studying. This blew my mind! However, one question that I still cannot get answer for is:

What should I call it – 18 years of education or learning?

Education is something that is done to you. Learning is something you do for yourself.

-Joi Ito

As rightly said by Joi Ito, learning is you, your life experience, your journey, your understanding, while, Education is something we get from others – our teachers or schools or colleges. Education gives us access to knowledge that is already there and we just need to remember or study it.

As a kid I was always encouraged to study and get “good marks”. Marks were always the deciding factor of who will be celebrated in the classroom and who would be considered “weak”. I never wanted to be in the weak category, so I tried my best to get those numbers. Sometimes, I was even rewarded by my parents based on my mark sheet.

Obviously I did not understand the impact of this education system back then. Neither did my parents.

When I look back now, I feel, was it the best way of encouraging kids and young minds to learn? Or were we just trying to get educated and have a marksheet with us for rest of our lives?

I am no where doubting the importance of education, it definitely is important! What I wonder is, shouldn’t we be focusing more on learning than just remembering stuff to get good marks?

From my personal experience, I spent four years studying Engineering. Again I was more focused on getting good marks and excelling in “numbers”. However, If you ask me today, I am applying zero percent of what I studied back then, in my day to day life. Instead, what is coming handy is the learnings and the experiences I had while I was living all by myself.

All my glorious marksheets with amazing numbers on them are sitting nicely in my cupboard drawer while I achieve my dream from the learnings I had throughout my life. All those numbers are now forgotten, the only thing matters is my learning and experiences.

One question still remains, who will teach us how to deal with real life crisis and situations? Or is it something to be learned the hard way.

Hello there! Thankyou for reading this post. I would love to know what was your experience with Education and Learning? What would you prefer?


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Home is where heart resides.

Home is where love is welcomed and envy stays out.

Home is where all the corners of the house is filled with warmth, leaving the fragrance of every person living there.

Home is where you share all the emotions of life without hesitation.

Giving space for growth,

Telling stories of glories and defeat.

More than the costs needed for living,

What requires the most is a “tempting place to stay“.

Home is not made by the walls,

But with people who matters the most in your life.

Home is the favourite place of mine, from the beginning till end of each day.

Giving peace when waking up with the rising sun,

Ending day with a peaceful sleep.

No matter where we are, what we learn and how we live but we wish to return to a place by the end called

Home sweet home.

Heaven, Hell and a Volkswagen Bus

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I got a respite from reading the 1970s Road & Tracks in my pile, because I discovered that I had the January 1963 edition sitting there, so I grabbed that one for reference.

Road &amp; Track January 1963

Wow, what a difference a mere 8 years makes.  In 1963, the regulatory madness of the 1970s, the conviction that automobiles were somehow responsible for all of society’s ills were not even in the radar.  Even the cover is gloriously devoid of emissions-controlled subcompacts and features a close up of the Great Pedro Rodriguez on a three-wide starting line (remember when everyone’s front row was three wide?  Me neither, the safety campaigners killed it before I was born, leaving only Indy to hold the torch).

The prevailing attitude in this era was sensible and had  a recent world war to put things in perspective: Storming the beaches of Normandy was dangerous, driving Ferrari sports cars wearing an open-faced helmet was fun.

The 1963 issue, edited by the immortal Dean Batchelor (the Hot Rodder, hero at Bonneville and El Mirage) was reflective of that joyful era (I hear the 1960s were famous for things other than cars, but let’s concentrate on the important stuff for now).  Racing coverage, auto show articles and even an analysis of the entire Formula 1 grid.  Only one article was about a small car, and that one, the Austin 1100 was about a car with a very novel suspension system, a technical first which, though not adopted by everyone, worked very well.

Of course, the world, sadly, moved on from the sixties and, as dictators say when facing the war crimes tribunal, mistakes were made.  In the US, those mistakes apparently included siring an entire generation of people whose sole concern was… concern.

Deeply concerned individuals wanted to make certain that everyone was safe enough to satisfy them, and that anything unregulated should be subject to government oversight forthwith.  Remember that this was the middle of the Cold War and that Americans had an excellent example of how to regulate the joy out of life in the Soviet Union.  People like Ralph Nader and many, many others, led the assault on Capitol Hill.

They were probably still angry that prohibition, the greatest experiment in adults imposing their opinions on other adults ever attempted, got repealed, so they were looking for new ways to tell everyone what to do.

We dealt with bumpers (the law passed), emissions (the law destroyed many livelihoods and American Motors, and caused the current global warming problem) and the second most hated law ever passed in the US, the 55 mph speed limit.

But the forces of darkness never rest and even more evil was being plotted.

Road &amp; Track July 1971

The July 1971 issue of Road & Track opened with the appalling news that a group called Youth Organization Toward Highway Safety (probably a bunch of people who got beat up a lot at school and were out for revenge by destroying any fun on the planet) advised that the following laws should be put into effect.

  1.  Cars should, by law, be limited to 95 miles per hour.  No manufacturer could build a faster car than this for sale to the public.  At all.
  2. Cars should be made 100% crashworthy at speeds up to 30 mph, meaning that the occupants–even without seat belts–should be uninjured in all 30 mph accidents.
  3. each year, maximum speeds should be lowered and crash-worthiness increased until glorious success would be reached when automobiles could go exactly as fast as the speed that guaranteed absolute safety of the occupants.
  4. (this one is an assumption) Much obligatory rejoicing and thanking the party for keeping adults from themselves.  All hail!

Now, a single look out the nearest window confirms that this insanity failed.  How?  I don’t actually know, but I suspect that someone intelligent with a little power heard about this and had the leading members of the group quietly shot.

(Seriously, I know these avenues were pursued, but in the end, the cost of meeting them and the public outcry against yet another attack on their liberty was considered too high a political cost, so common sense, unusually for automotive regulation in the 70s won out).

Of course, it wasn’t all gloom and doom.  The racing scene in 1971 was wonderful, particularly because it was the day of the Porsche 917, one of the most glorious objects ever devised by man.  The January 1971 issue even had a profile on that car’s not-quite-as-successful rival, the Ferrari 512.  So not a total loss, but definitely not a golden age for road cars.

Best article in either of these two magazines, however, was a love poem in prose form dedicated, of all things, to the Volkswagen Bus.  Written by Dick O’Kane, entitled “O’Kane & the People’s Bus”, it is a wonderful, whimsical paean to that most versatile beatnik vehicle, and it really, really brings the “civilian” (as opposed to racing) side of the 1971 mag to life.  After all, not everything can be small, imported cars that struggle with future emissions laws.

And if anyone is keeping score at home, the mad clipper had removed the classifieds and an article about the newest Mercedes SL launch from the 1971 edition.  The ’63 is uncut.

I know you can sleep better knowing that.


Gustavo Bondoni’s latest novel is a monster book set in the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere, the Darien Gap.  It’s called Jungle Lab Terror, and if you want a thrilling ride, you can buy it here.

Two Days in Cairo, Egypt

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Last week I posted a detailed account of the first leg of our February trip involving four delightful days in Jordan where we floated in the Dead Sea, hiked all over Petra, explored Wadi Rum and snorkeled in the Red Sea. When initially booking this trip to Jordan, I wanted so badly to fit in seeing the legendary pyramids into our itinerary. Yes, we could have fit in visiting Jerash and Amman in Jordan, however visiting Cairo has always been a bucket list item and I was rather stubborn and insistent on making that long held dream become a reality. With this goal in mind, I set out to start planning this last special leg of our journey.

The late flight from Amman to Cairo was very short, with us touching down just after midnight. After exiting the plane via a staircase, we all boarded buses where we were then taken to a terminal where we passed through customs. Agents from our tour company were waiting for us just inside the terminal where they helped us fill out our declarations form. We had purchased our Egyptian visa ahead of time in an easy online process that took only a few days to get approved. Once we made it through customs, our agent helped us quickly navigate through the rest of the airport, collecting our luggage, and ushered us into our waiting van. We had a 45 minute drive to our hotel Le Meridien Pyramids in Giza in traffic hardly notable, which was surprising as Cairo is the largest city we have ever been in and we were still having nightmarish flashbacks to Lima’s traffic. As we were were driving along, just before pulling into the Le Meridien, we were jolted away upon spotting the dark outline of the pyramids in the dark night sky! They were so very much bigger than I had ever anticipated. Buzzing with anticipation, we pulled into Le Meridien where we went through security before meeting by our wonderful tour guide Waleed, who helped us get checked into our hotel. We had been introduced to Waleed through our incredibly talented wedding photographers, who are seriously the sweetest people. Seriously, check out Tiberius Images! Not only did they take stunning photos that truly captured our special day, they were a godsend with all the little details throughout the day from bustling my dress to folding pocket squares. Anyway, Russ and Rebecca are avid travelers too and having recalled their trip to Egypt from a few years ago, I’d reached out to inquire their advice regarding tour companies. They connected me to Waleed right away after providing a glowing review for him and highlighting how by the end of the trip you become part of his family. The praise is well deserved, as you’ll read more about during our next two days in Cairo, with Waleed taking wonderful care of us and providing so much wonderful detail every site he took us. He has his doctorate in Egyptology from the Cairo University and his first class knowledge as passion about his country was on display throughout this tour. You can read about Russ and Rebecca’s Egyptian adventure here and contact Waleed here.

We didn’t book through an official tour company but instead booked a private tour  with Waleed. All of our conversations and planning happened through Facebook Chat or sometimes phone calls, but Waleed was always quick to answer any question I might have. When initially researching hotels, I was convinced we wanted to stay in the super fancy (and pricey) Marriott Mena House, but Waleed convinced us to stay at the Le Meridien due to more reasonable rates, with still a stunning view. We loved our stay at Le Meridien and were so thankful we went with Waleed’s advice. Their morning breakfast spread was sprawling and that view of the pyramids, as you can see below, speaks for itself.

Giza Pyramid Complex

Due to having only two days in Cairo, we met Waleed early in the morning for our highly anticipated formal introduction to the Pyramids of Giza. I still have a hard time putting into words how large and overwhelming the pyramids are in real life, especially with the added emphasis of their remarkable age. Once we passed through security, Waleed took us to the base of the Great Pyramid, which is the largest of the three where he told us a brief history of the site and what we know people who built this world wonder. You can enter the Great Pyramid, but based on the masses of people and tight confines we were content to explore the base. The inside tomb of the Great Pyramid requires an extra ticket does not have any hieroglyphs or markings to make the experience stand out, in sharp contrast to the tombs we entered in Saqqara the next day.


It is rather shocking at how close the city encroaches on the pyramids. From photos it appears as though the pyramids are in the middle of the Sahara, however in reality they are just up the hill from our hotel.

After leaving the Great  Pyramid, we crawled back in our van to drive to the back of the complex where we had the most scenic view taking in all three of the pyramids. Before our trip I’d read countless accounts of travelers navigating the Giza Pyramid Complex by themselves, however after experiencing this sprawling area first hand, I still don’t know how you could manage it without having much stress induced anxiety. I say this fully as a traveler who typically enjoyed exploring sans tour guide. 

Waleed knew all the spots for the best photos and when we wanted to ride a camel, there were no negotiations, he knew the base price with a family that he was been working with almost 20 years. Our camel ride started out at the scenic view point, and lasted approximately 15-20 minutes, where we were dropped off next to the Pyramid of Khafre, the middle of the three pyramids. Riding a camel between pyramids stands as one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had and I highly recommend the excursion. If you’ve ridden horses before, climbing onto the back of a camel is fairly comparable, except for on and off stages. Our camel guide also knew the best spots for photos, positioned us just so, and capturing the perfect photos with one shot.  Our camel’s names were Banana (mine) and Mickey (Kara).

Waleed was waiting for us at the Pyramid of Khafre, where we then headed over to the much anticipated Sphinx. While researching the pyramids, I’d encountered the same sentiment repeated many times that the Sphinx in general was markedly disappointing because of its size. That being said, I think my expectations had been mitigated because I didn’t have that reaction at all when finally seeing the Sphinx for the first time. Instead, I loved it! Did you know the Sphinx has a tail? The Sphinx with the three pyramids in the background was one of my favorite overall views of the complex. 

When our morning with the pyramids had drawn to a close and it was time for lunch. While we were waiting for our reservation, Waleed took us to a papyrus store where we saw a demonstration of how the ancient paper was and is created, along with the legends behind several of the key images found throughout the store.

After our trip to the papyrus store Waleed took us to a friend’s restaurant, the El Araby Kebab Egyptian Kitchen, where we were treated to a variety of authentic Egyptian dishes that were positively fantastic.  There was so much food and we were quite stuffed by the end. The lamb, bread, and hummus! It was all delicious.

Once we’d finished at lunch, our delightfully busy day continued at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. This old museum dates back to 1902 and contains over 120,000 Egyptian artifacts. The new Grand Egyptian Museum is slated to open in early 2021, and has been a $795 million dollar project that has been under construction for since 2002. You can get private tours of the GEM for $250 and the early photos of the modern museum look stunning! I’d picked Waleed’s brain about this early access tour instead of going to the existing Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, because I was concerned items would already be transferred over. Waleed assured me that exhibits would still be open in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and that in the future when we came back to Cairo that the old museum would be closed to the public so it is worth visiting now. I’m so thankful we took his advice, because we had such a great time exploring this old museum that could take days to explore. Waleed’s expertise and passion was in full display in the museum as he excitedly described the key items that the museum housed, as well as their historical significance. After hitting the highlights, Waleed let us wander around on own to explore and take in all of the beautiful, ornate items, while trying to process how impossibly old everything around us was.

The King Tut room was amazing! You can see his two sarcophagi below. Photos inside the room were not permitted, but I managed to snap one from outside the barrier through the crowds.

After the museum we had some downtime before our evening excursion. We had the option between a Nile River Cruise and a light show at the Pyramids. Other than driving over the famous river several times, we hadn’t gotten a good view of the Nile, which we’ve heard so much about throughout our lives. The cruise contained a dinner buffet, followed by a show featuring a talented belly dancer and Tanoura performers.


The next morning we set out for Saqqara, which is a massive burial complex and houses the ancient Djoser Step Pyramid. The Step Pyramid is the oldest and first of the pyramids, with its age falling somewhere around 4700 years old. The 50 minute drive from Giza to Saqqara proved interesting in and of itself, as we transitioned from the city to the country. The Step Pyramid was built by Imhotep, a name that will be familiar from the Mummy movie series. You can see Imhotep’s wooden sarcophagus below that is displayed in the Imhotep Museum. Upon arriving at the complex, Waleed took us through the highlights of the museum before giving us a brief overview of the layout and history of Saqqara.

One interesting aside was throughout the day, almost every security guard we came in contact with Waleed passed a few dollars their way. He called it buying their tea. He explained it wasn’t bribes or corruption, instead just a way of smoothing the gears.

Pyramid of Teti

As we began exploring this sprawling complex, we first descended into the Pyramid of Teti, which was one of my favorite things we did in Cairo! When visiting the Pyramids of Giza, you don’t actually see any hieroglyphs until you visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Saqqara is a merging, where you can actually enter pyramids and see the hieroglyphs and authentic paints that are mind boggling old and still intact. Entering the Pyramid of Teti, the the pyramid structure itself has been damaged and looks like a crumbling pile of dirt, but the path leads you to an entrance that descends down into a corridor that leads into tomb. As you can see in the photo below, this entry is quite short, forcing you to stoop backward as you climb down. Once in the vestibule, there’s another relatively long, height challenged hallway that you must stoop through to get to the burial chamber. As someone who has mild claustrophobia, this wasn’t the best of circumstances, but believe me when I say, any discomfort experienced is absolutely, 100% worth it! This chamber was stunning with the hundreds of hieroglyphs covering the walls and ceilings.

Leaving the Pyramid of Teti required more stooping and aid from the hand rails but the experience as a whole was amazing, leaving us excited to see what other wonders Saqqara had hidden. We entered a few other tombs where you could see the ornate hieroglyphs still painted in their bright colors. It was a bit shocking to see these tombs containing open windows in the ceiling, allowing natural light to illuminate the dark rooms, however also exposing the paint and carvings to the elements. Regardless, we loved exploring and could have spent more time ducking in and out of every open room.

Step Pyramid

Our wandering eventually lead us in front of the Step Pyramid where in front there is a large open area. Under this open space are 400 interlocking rooms that have only recently been restored and opened back up to the public. We missed the reopening of the Djoser Step Pyramid after 14 years by a mere two weeks. The Pyramid was closed after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1992. You can see a video of someone’s decent here.

Continuing along the perimeter of the complex, we climbed a hill where we could spy the Red Pyramid in the distance, however behind us Waleed pointed out that you could still see the massive Giza Pyramids.

Leaving Saqqara, we stopped at the Saqqara Carpets School where we were given a brief tutorial on the skill and effort that goes into making these beautiful rugs. The costly, stunning silk rugs had price tags that reflected the amount of work and skill that went into creating the works of art. We ended up leaving with our own beautiful rug that was a bit more in our price range. 

Old Cairo

We next ventured to Old Cairo where our first stop was the Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary that was built in the 4th century. This beautiful church gained its name due to being built over Roman Gate Towers that you can still see. This ornate church is a great example of Coptic architecture.

The Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus (brick arches in the photo below) was next on the itinerary, through the winding streets. You have to enter this church by descending down below street level, where it opens up into vaulted room with beautiful brick arches. What makes this church notable is that legend has it that Mary, Joseph and Jesus hid in the crypts of this church shortly after his birth. You can enter the dark crypt where they were said to have stayed but there are tons of people packed together without being able to see a whole ton. I walked through this cramped area to see it but due to COVID concerns was rather distracted the whole time.

Over lunch Waleed had a special surprise in mind. He treated us to a picnic along the Nile where we picked up Egyptian falafels from Felfela before getting us kushari to top off the meal. Kushari is Egypt’s national dish and a popular street food. It is made of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and fried onions, topped off with tomato sauce and garlic vinegar. This dish is very filling and full of flavor. Honestly, I’ve been craving the Egyptian falafels for weeks now that were unlike any falafel I’d ever had before. Waleed explained that in Egypt, falafels are made from fava beans, making it lighter and more moist than traditional falafels made out of chickpeas.

After lunch our surprise continued with an excursion sailing on a felucca, a traditional Egyptian vessel, along the Nile but it was too windy so we instead headed out in a pontoon boat. It was so interesting to see the Cairo skyline from the center of the Nile.

After lunch we went to the Amr ibn al-As Mosque. This mosque was completed in 642 and was the first one in both Egypt and Africa.

Our tour drew to a close with the must see Khan el Khalili Bazaar that has been active since the 1300s. Today this market is completely over ran with tourist items and it was packed with people but there was so much to see every where you looked. Waleed took us to have the best smoothies and then gave us a packet of Turkish coffee from his favorite shop where he picks up coffee for his whole family.

We ended our tour on the roof of the Le Riad Hotel where we enjoyed one last cup of tea before heading to the airport. We were there just at dusk when the pigeon farms were being called home to their roosts for the night. The pigeons are housed in large precarious structures built on roof tops. Can you spot them in the second photo down? Each set of pigeons responds to a unique whistle from its owner and you could see the flock after flocks swooping home together the night. You can read more about one farmer’s experience here.

On the way to the airport we passed the Cairo’s City of the Dead that we saw from along the highway. The City of the Dead is a massive cemetery that covers an area almost four miles long. People also live among the tombs, with the population peaking in the 1980s at approximately 180,000 people.
We loved our time in Cairo and we look forward to returning in the future to see what other treasures Egypt has in store such as Luxor and Aswan. Waleed was a fantastic, organized, and passionate tour guide who still to this day treats us like family. It was easy to see why the Pyramids of Giza are considered a world wonder as their shear size, let alone age are nigh impossible to comprehend. Six days spread between Jordan and Egypt to see two world wonders was a special trip where countless memories were made but is far too short of time to take in everything in these two beautiful countries. We will be coming back soon to explore more!

Source: Two Days in Cairo, Egypt

Here’s Why We Need Asian American History Right Now

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I have a distinct memory of playing catch with my dad in a public park during middle school, when a stranger yelled at my dad, “Go back to the country you came from!” I remember watching my dad fume at this experience of being “othered” in the very place he was born and raised, while also feeling confused about why he was targeted by this stranger we didn’t know.

While I had hoped that young Asian Americans today would not have to experience the same anxiety that I did as a child, this pandemic has proven me wrong.


p>Instead of celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month throughout May, our community is responding to the disturbing increase in racist harassment and violence targeted at Asian Americans.

This uptick in hate has been fueled by politicians expressing anti-Asian sentiment, including President Trump’s use of racist terms like the “Chinese virus” and a widely circulated Republican memo with blatantly false claims that “China has … exported plagues and fentanyl to the United States.”  

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our communities, young people are watching their parents and trusted adults navigate this crisis and the flood of information that has come with it. What are they learning about whom to trust and whom to blame?

Like Black, Latinx, and indigenous communities, Asian Americans have been targeted by racist policies and violence instigated by hateful political rhetoric. Throughout history, our community has been scapegoated by elected leaders for the loss of American jobs, war-time attacks and the decline of American industries.

This legacy has reinforced wrongful views of Asian Americans as “perpetual foreigners,” spies and threats. This misled mentality has led to injustices like the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the surveillance of Muslim Americans after 9/11.

Asian American History Is Often Overlooked

Though we are often overlooked in history books, Asian Americans have been, and will continue to be, an important part of our country’s rich history. In this time of divisiveness, it is critical that we educate our young people to recognize how Asian American history parallels and intersects with the experiences of other communities of color.

Growing up, I didn’t learn about the leadership of Asian Americans like Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs in the Civil Rights Movement. I didn’t learn about the solidarity between Filipino and Mexican laborers that led to the formation of the United Farm Workers and revolutionized the labor movement in America. The multiracial and multilingual organizing of the United Farm Workers inspires my own community organizing work, and I want students today to be inspired by these stories. 

That’s why Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is leading a campaign to mandate Asian American history be taught in all Illinois public schools. The Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act (TEAACH) would paint a more complete picture of our shared history, respond to this moment of rising anti-Asian sentiment and ensure young Asian Americans see themselves reflected in the history they learn in school.

Asian American history explores the waves of immigration to the U.S. through war and changing labor dynamics—as well as the xenophobia and violence that manifested in these periods. This perspective on American history examines the deeper faults in our society, beneath the cracks that the pandemic has spotlighted. Moreover, it prepares us to build new futures that do not repeat our past. 

Now is the time for us to act. Our campaign coincides with the May 2020 release of Asian Americans, a five-hour PBS documentary film series, and accompanying K-12 curricula (available in late-May) that we hope will help school districts and teachers incorporate this vital history into existing curricula. We call on school boards across the country to proactively include Asian American history in lesson plans and curricula for the 2020-2021 school year.

In your time stuck at home, watch the series with your family or organize a virtual watch party with friends. Call your local school board members or principal and ask them to commit to teaching Asian American history next school year. We are in an unprecedented moment of crisis and change. Let’s use this time as an opportunity to build bridges and promote equity in the classroom and beyond. 

This post originally appeared on Chicago Unheard as “Here’s Why We Need Asian American History Right Now.”
Photo courtesy of the author.

Source: Here’s Why We Need Asian American History Right Now

10 – Creative Imagination

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Imaginative creativity is more than simply active creativity. Daydreaming, for example, is a procedure of creativity.

Creative creativity, then, has to include the capability not just to imagine things, but to picture initial things.

It is seeing things that others don’t see, and developing originalities. So how do you cultivate this?

Creative Creativity 101

Exercise your fundamental creativity. It can be as basic as thinking in photos more, or listening to music in your mind.

The second part of establishing your imaginative creativity is to get more imaginative in your thinking and imagining. Start by taking note of your imagination. Our subconscious minds provide us more of what we take note of. Disregard innovative aspects of your life, and you’re telling your subconscious they are unimportant. On the other hand, if you keep in mind when you’re imaginative, your subconscious mind will begin feeding you more creative ideas.

Want more creativity in your love life? Want brand-new ideas for your business? A modification of environment can get your thinking out of it’s ruts.

You can play video games that exercise your creative imagination. One such video game utilizes a strategy called “concept mix.” Alone or with other players, you integrate random principles or things in new ways, to see who has the very best concept.

A thermometer and a billboard, for example, might generate a concept for a sign that checks the weather condition and adjusts the message accordingly (” Be available in out of the heat for a cold beverage,” or “Come in out of the rain and heat up with our premium coffee.”).

Do Not Wait For Innovative Creativity

Imaginative motivation definitely can strike at any time, but it strikes more frequently when there is work instead of waiting.

If you want to come up with imaginative creations, start psychologically redesigning whatever you see. Imagine a better bicycle, a faster mail service, or a much better chair. Continue this for 3 weeks, and it will end up being a habit.

Naturally, creative creativity exceeds solving particular issues or inventing things. Genuinely innovative minds are constantly developing the questions too, not simply the options. If you wish to be more creative all the time, concentrate on 3 things:

1. Changing your point of view. A child may believe that working just to not work (to retire) is silly. Thinking from that perspective may offer you ideas for how to make money doing things you enjoy. Seeing the world as a bear sees it may provide a painter imaginative originalities. Taking a look at things from a client’s point of view is a sure way to discover imaginative improvements for a company. See whatever from numerous point of views.

2. Challenging your assumptions. What if dining establishments didn’t have workers? Visitors pay a device as they go into, feed themselves at a buffet, and everything is as automated as possible, so one owner-operator could run a big restaurant alone. Difficulty all your presumptions for practice. Do you truly have to pay lease? Do pool require water? Can exercise be a bad thing?

3. Let your concepts run wild. Does a flying bed appear silly? It might lead to the concept of a helium mattress. When you leave it in the early morning, it drifts out of the way, approximately the ceiling. Perfect for small apartments. Don’t stifle your creativity. Unwind, and let concepts come. You can constantly discard them later on.

Since it takes several weeks to develop a habit, remind yourself to utilize them each day. Quickly, you’ll have a more imaginative creativity.

Imaginative creativity is more than just active imagination. The 2nd part of developing your imaginative imagination is to get more innovative in your thinking and thinking of. On the other hand, if you keep in mind when you’re innovative, your subconscious mind will begin feeding you more innovative ideas.

You can play video games that exercise your imaginative creativity. Of course, creative imagination goes beyond solving specific problems or inventing things.

Source: 10 – Creative Imagination

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