Friday, 28 April 2017

Lawrence Krauss: A Universe from Nothing

I didn't like science at school. It was tough and it seemed scientists didn't know anything. Forgive my adolescent minds' obnoxious understanding of scientific theory.

So it has shocked no one more than myself that, largely thanks to debates on religion, I have developed an interest in science. For my first read? It had to be Lawrence Krauss' A Universe from Nothing.

He writes with a palpable sense of awe, his passion for science is overwhelmingly infectious and the sense of humour and the pace of his words make even the most confounding of scientific minutiae a joy to read.

Whether reading this with an atheist angle or not (there is an afterword by Richard Dawkins and Krauss himself is an atheist), the argument here is utterly compelling. Of course our Universe came from nothing! In fact it very likely had to!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Answer is Simple

When speaking to people about the state of our world, the disastrous state of our environment, the amount of poverty, war and famine, the inequality of wealth, I am often met with two things:

Agreement and dismay.

'I just don't know what the answer is.' This is a common response to the discussion of the above topics.

But, with the help of various blogs, videos, websites etc. I have realised that the answer is incredibly simple:

Reject consumerism.

Don't buy that new phone, computer, TV, album, car, film, house, skirt, t-shirt, pair of shoes.

Say no to the endless cycle of environmental degradation, wealth inequality, exploitation and greed.

Go vegan, stop raping and murdering for food, drink and materials that we don't need, that poison us and our world.

Oppose ignorance, oppose racism. Educate and talk to one another.

Its easy, it feels good, it helps everyone and it helps our planet, our home.

Monday, 24 April 2017

13 Reasons Why: An Irressponsible Depiction of Depression and Suicide

For all normal intents and purposes 13 Reasons Why is a good show. But there is this vast controversy surrounding it due to the way it tackles its core subject; depression and suicide.

As someone with depression let me tell you: the experts have it right, it does not handle it in an acceptable way. From the way they depict it as a revenge suicide to the way they graphically and needlessly portray the suicide in its entirety, in other words from inception to conclusion, suicide is sexualised, glamorised and simplified. They make the act of her death seem far more pleasant than it actually would be (not that what she does and is shown to do is remotely pleasant to start with.)

Much like the school in the show is criticised for, Netflix begin each episode with a paltry disclaimer and information on how to get help. It seems token, like the posters the school put up. If someone is going to be severely affected by the show a token line at the start may not be enough. It also does not convey the extent to which the content of the show can and does trigger issues and thoughts relating to depression.

Beyond this there is little left to say and there is no need for me to go into further detail. The experts are unanimous and first hand accounts like mine reinforce all that they say. The show is irresponsible, at best.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A Young Man's View on the June 8th General Election

Whether you love or loathe Brexit there can be no doubt that, at best, Theresa May is a sociopath bent on servicing her own short sighted self interest at the cost of a nations' unity, identity, values and infrastructure - damn the human cost of it.

One cannot cast a vote for the Conservative party on June 8th and claim to have a shred of compassion, altruism or conscience.

Be it through systematically gutting the NHS, sentencing war refugees to a life of sex slavery, abuse, fear and death, stripping the poor and vulnerable of societal props or redesigning our education system to wash the lower classes clean of knowledge and influence, Theresa May and the Conservative party have been disastrous for our country and will produce only more disaster with Brexit.

This is an election in which political opinion can and must take a back seat and humanity must be brought to the fore.

I do not support Jeremy Corbyn, regardless or my enthusiasm for some of his policy ideas the man simply is not an inspiring leader for a party who, from Blair onwards, has done little but tarnish its reputation. But he is at least human. Votes on the 8th June must be cast for Corbyn, for Corbyn alone could set right our nations' affairs, deliver a Brexit that doesn't turn our shores into a tax haven for the one per cent and rebuild the infrastructure of our country so it can function in a way that benefits rather than dehumanises.

I entreat all people of voting age in the U.K., on June 8th, vote for Corbyn, vote for Labour. Not for politics, nor for patriotism but for our humanity.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

How We Get Milk From Cows

For a cow to produce milk she needs a baby. (Much like us humans).

So we need the cows that are used in the dairy industry to be in a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. This obviously is not natural, so how is it achieved?

Well, a metal rod is coated in semen and forcibly inserted into the cow. She then falls pregnant. Upon giving birth, the mothers' baby is taken from her, causing a period of great trauma for both mother and child.

The milk that is then produced by the mother, the milk that she produces to feed the child we (humans) have just taken from her, is taken by us.

So to recap, the cow is raped and then her baby is stolen and then we take the milk from her.

What's more is that the average life expectancy for a cow is 20 years, the average life expectancy for a cow in the dairy industry is 4 years. We rape them, we kidnap and murder their child and then we deprive them of 16 years of life.

We do this every single day, all so that we can drink milk designed to raise healthy baby cows.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

End: Civ

End:Civ is documentary inspired by Derrick Jensen's book: Endgame.

For those who don't know Derrick Jensen is an environmental activist who believes that as long as there is civilisation then the world cannot be saved and the environment will die. He views civilisation as our industrial world - the same world that is poising itself.

It is an interesting documentary, with a lot of hard truths and good ideas. It is however, qhite controversial. You see Derrick, like many others, believe that a cause and its activists must use violence if they are to affect any real change. They say that for every Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. there was a Malcolm X or  Bhagat Singh. He believes civilisation must be attacked and destroyed for humanity to survive.

This idea is discussed throughout the documentary and, though I strongly disagree with the use of violence, it does not ruin the remainder of the documentary, as some sound observations are made and, after all, it is always interesting to hear a different approach.

So although I disagree with a lot of what is said I'd still recommend giving this film a watch, the link is below.