Tuesday, 28 December 2010

John Butler Trio - Ocean

Probably the best live acoustic I've ever heard... certainly one with the most heart. Consider yourself warned.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy winter holidays everyone

More videos at the official Simmon's cat website.

Veganism and the B12 conspiracy

One of the main concerns of people considering a vegan diet (and a question that I get asked often as a vegetarian) is the possibility of B12 vitamin deficiency.

The B12 deficiency conspiracy has been completelly blown out of proportion by those who cling to the idea that meat is necessary for a healthy body. First it was the protein deficiency risk, then the omegas deficiency risk and now the current vegan bogey man is the unlikely possibility of B12 deficiency. The fact is that the biggest mammals on Earth are herbivores and I never heard them having any B12 deficiencies, so what real reason of concern is there for vegetarians and vegans?

Multi-vitamins & minerals
The following article Vitamin B12: Facts for Vegetarians contains a full overview of vitamin B12. It starts by pointing out that:
"Vegetarians who continue to eat dairy products and eggs therefore also have no trouble supplying their bodies with enough B12."
Great, so if you're vegetarian you can stop worrying about the risk of B12 deficiency. But how about vegans? To answer this question, lets fully understand the B12 origins.
"The vitamin in fact does not technically come from animals or plants. It is made by micro-organisms such as bacteria and algae that are found in and on the foods we eat.
[...] Changes in agricultural production have also eliminated another reliable plant-based source of B12: the soil on the surface of fresh vegetables. In the past, when people ate carrots, beets, turnips or mushrooms fresh from the ground, the soil left clinging to the vegetables often contained Vitamin B12."
So, in short, herbivores eat some soil with their grass, which contains micro-organisms which produce vitamin B12. Suggestion — grow your own organic veggies, don't wash them and you'll be fine!

Vegetable patch (with plenty of B12)
Also, apparently our bodies store B12 for a long time, so it's not something vegans need to consider daily but I would still recommend reading the full article: Vitamin B12: Facts for Vegetarians.
"For most of us, excess B12 can be stored in our bodies for three years, although this varies."
The reality is that anyone is at risk of a dietary deficiency if we don't eat a varied range of foods but, contrary to the still widely believed myth, this does not have to include meat. In fact I would go as far as saying that there are plenty of meat eaters deficient in all sorts of vitamins and minerals for lack of eating enough fresh vegetables and fruit but it's easier to focus the unlikely risk of B12 deficiency of those who do not follow the conventional omnivore diet... lol it's laughable really.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A diet for all reasons

In this relatively old presentation, Dr. Michael Klaper explains the shocking effects of animal fats in the human body and what constitutes a balanced diet, in what is probably the best summary of vegetarianism ever, compacted into one hour. Even if you think you already know all there's to know about diet, chances are you'll still get something out of it. At least I still do every time I watch it.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Wikileaks' Cablegate: the truth is out there

MP3/Lyrics and information about Rap News:
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Saturday, 18 December 2010

The humbling silence

Sunset at Azambujeira beach, Portugal
Today I went to a funeral of a grandmother of a couple of friends. The lady was in her eighties and had been loosing her strength for a few years. I barely knew her but regardless of the degree of closeness or surprise of one's loss, moments like this always make me stop and wonder about the unanswered questions of life. And although some of us live our lives in denial of the harsh truth, of our time limited existence, at one point or another we'll have to confront the reality of ceasing to be... at least in this reality or who knows forever more.

As I stood in the crowd, the priest's words faded into the distance while uncomfortable questions scrolled through my mind. What is the purpose of life? Why going through the trouble of getting born to end up like this? Is this really the end? Who and what the heck am I?

For as pointless as this exercise seemed at the time, to ask seemingly unanswerable questions, seeking to understand myself has got to be one of the most grounding experiences ever. As the inner silence fails to eco an answer, the dawning realisation of one's self-ignorance can be as humbling and as liberating as the answers themselves.

R.I.P. Maria

Monday, 13 December 2010

Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs

"Right Where It Belongs"

See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it's all
Right where it belongs

What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks?
Would you find yourself
Find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world's inside of your head
Just creations of your own?
Your devils and your gods
All the living and the dead
And you're really all alone?
You can live in this illusion
You can choose to believe
You keep looking but you can't find the woods
While you're hiding in the trees

What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks
Would you find yourself
Find yourself afraid to see?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Anonymous recruits Everyone for OperationPayback

In their latest press release, Anonymous defines itself as a group of "average Interent Citizens" with "a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness every day".
"Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies [Amazon, PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, etc] to impair WikiLeaks' ability to function."
And so with the aim to increase their numbers and effectiveness, Anonymous have placed their "weapon" of choice online, called JS LOIC (JavaScript Low Orbit Ion Cannon), enabling anyone courageous enough to join OperationPayback at the click of a button. At what cost and consequences, we'll soon find out. But the last time I checked, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks were illegal.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

WikiLeaks: The perfect check mate

Recently I've had a few heated discussions regarding WikiLeaks with people who question the motives and consequences of leaked secret documents. Some believe a leak this massive is only possible if it is either a disinfo operation run by those seeking to further censorship the internet or in the best case scenario, it is being exploited to leak false or filtered documents that will push the globalists agenda. From what I gather, WikiLeaks sceptics think this way because, they say, WikiLeaks has had mass media attention. Because the content is slanted or unimportant. Because it promotes war with Iran and because it blames the US. Oh, and the fact that Assange hasn't caught up with the inconsistencies in the main stream story of what happened on 9/11. Some also claim a "fishy" gut feeling that something isn't right but they can't put the finger on it! Hmm...

Spinning the spin

Fair enough, Assange has discredited the 9/11 movement but I know plenty of intelligent people who still to this day don't dare looking at the evidence of what happened. Like Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore for example. Could this be a symptom of main stream indoctrination and arrogance of knowledge? Or is it necessarily a conscious and deceitful action of a "disinfo agent"?

So the leaked documents marginalize the US and don't put Iran in a good light. They also reveal embarrassing facts about other countries like China, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and many more. Just because the main stream outlets focus on Iran and try to spin the information to fit their warmongering agendas, does it mean that the info itself is biased? Why would WikiLeaks bother releasing information that affects a huge amount of diplomats/spies all over the world across a broad range of countries? How else could they have shown neutrality? Also, why would a disinfo campaign disclose that US diplomats spied on UN leadership and were asked to collect passwords, credit card numbers and biometric data including fingerprints, iris scans and DNA?!!

It's true WikiLeaks has had the mass media attention but it would be hard to ignore a movement that has been causing an ever growing buzz on the internet over the past 4 years and that has had at least 3 major leaks just over the past year, the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs as well as the very graphic Collateral Murder video. The later shows a US Apache helicopter killing over a dozen of civilians indiscriminately. I'm still to see how this supports the disinfo operation theory.

It is also true that there are moves to further tightening the censorship of the internet. But is this a knee jerk reaction to turn an unpredicted crisis into a useful tool or is it all part of a carefully planned operation? Well, it may be either really. But if WikiLeaks is indeed part of a bigger plan to further erase human liberties, why did Amazon refuse to host the site? Why did Paypal suddenly realise that the WikiLeaks donations account was not in accord with their terms and conditions? Why are there politicians calling for the website to be taken offline or even Assange's assassination?! Why was the website's DNS routing service dropped? Why did MasterCard make it impossible for people to donate? Why was the Swiss bank account frozen? Why the smear campaign of Assange and now his arrest? Why confirming the corruption up high that most already suspected and spreading further distrust of the political system?

I have to say, if WikiLeaks is indeed a disinfo operation, they sure are putting up a heck of a show! But what do I know?

The victory of cynicism

Assange has a whole team of committed volunteers behind him but the media focus is mainly on the man. He's the "lightening rod" of WikiLeaks as he puts it. Now, if there's something that those at the top want more than anything, is to program in the masses the deeply cynical belief that an individual cannot ever possibly make a difference. That individual effort will always be in vain. That any apparent positive change always has a negative agenda behind. So that when someone really does stand out and really does rock the boat people will see it as another covert operation. This is one of the ways how the small elite keeps the power from the huge majority. By making you believe that you are insignificant that you have no power.

Beyond content

But this isn't the full story. Of course Assange and WikiLeaks have an agenda. Even if they're trying to achieve transparency it is still an agenda. But how they plan to achieve this is not through the leaking of crucial, incriminating juicy content itself as the disappointed public expects. Apparently, which information is leaked is unimportant. Yes, you read it right, the information is secondary.

In an essay written by Assange in 2006, entitled "State and Terrorist Conspiracies", the hacker equates a secret cabal to a computer network and explains how it cannot survive in an environment where secrets can be leaked. He argues that not only will the network have to adjust to the constant whistle-blowing, therefore distracting it from its main agenda, but will also become highly paranoid and therefore ineffective. And so far that is precisely what we're seeing as those affected by the leaks run around like headless chickens desperately trying to shut down, to censor and to stop that which is unstoppable. It is the perfect check mate.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

O agricultor rebelde visita Portugal

O agricultor Austríaco, Sepp Holzer, é tão famoso pelos seus métodos de agricultura ecológicos como pelo seu caracter de rebeldia contra a autoridade que, no ponto de vista dele, está desligada da realidade devido á falta de experiência prática.

O agricultor mais multado da Austria, diz-se um defensor da natureza e por isso nunca seguiu nem nunca seguirá leis que vão contra ela. A natureza é a sua professora, e Sepp acredita vivamente que fala connosco se nos pusermos nos pés dela. Segundo ele não existem maus terrenos de cultivo, apenas maus agricultores. E até mesmo áreas desertificadas podem ser tornadas em áreas férteis e abundantes se aprendermos a trabalhar com a natureza em vez de contra ela (como temos feito até agora).

No último Domingo o agricultor rebelde veio á Maia (perto do Porto) dar uma palestra acerca do seu tipo específico de permacultura — um termo inventado nos anos setenta pelo Australiano Bill Molison para designar uma espécie de agricultura permanente. Com a ajuda de uma tradutora da eco-aldeia de Tamera, Sepp mostrou a sua quinta na Austria, deu exemplos de projectos em que ajudou a revitalizar largas paisagens há muito tempo negligenciadas e respondeu a perguntas da plateia curiosa, inspirada e até mesmo séptica, de cerca de 120 pessoas. O video seguinte é da palestra inteira. O debate pós-palestra está disponível aqui, graças á Quercus do Porto.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Long live freedom of truth

We open governments.
On 28th of November WikiLeaks revealed hundreds of thousands of secret USA embassies cables. Since then, WikiLeaks has been criticised, attacked and even censored by regimes that call themselves open and free. Here's small snapshot of the world's reaction, via Twitter, to this unprecedented event:
  1. US Government is just about to find out what it feels like to go through a nudie-scanner.  
  2. In China or North Korea, if they don't like a website, they block it in their country. In the West, they destroy the site.  
  3. I don't see how the leaked cables could possibly be as embarrassing as our government's hostile response to them  
  4. "The problem isn't that is lying, the problem is that they're telling the truth." -
  5. USA, land of the free. Except when you disagree with 'em.
  6. "They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority." - Gerald Massey  
  7. Wikileaks is trying to unplug us from the Matrix. Time to wake up!
  8. "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell  
  9. Buddha: "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
  10. Here's a big list of wikileaks mirrors:
History has never been made at this ever accelerated rate.