The Story of Stuff

Annie Leonard’s been wondering…

The video which resulted from Annie’s deliberations is a must see for everyone who thinks it’s a good idea to keep our planet viable. It’s a must-see even if you don’t give a stuff about the planet but you just need an excuse to get off the madcap consumer roller coaster.

How did big business create a system that puts consumer products on the shelf for a fraction of their actual cost? We’ve all wondered about it. Annie went to find out and it changed her life.

She tells you in an entertaining and disturbing way how this obscene system started, how it functions, and why—one way or another—it cannot last. She’ll tell you the real cost of our addiction to stuff and why your grandchildren will pay for it tomorrow just as the world’s poor are paying for it right now.

this is a dummy line break
this is a dummy line break

Please visit Annie and The Story of Stuff

Click right here to go to the Story of Stuff website where there’s a lot more stuff about our obsession with stuff. Annie has become  the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA recently, so has less hands-on role at the website.

Quotable

Quotes on quotes :)

“After all, all he did was string together a lot of old well-known quotations.”
H.L. Mencken on Shakespeare

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know. ” Abraham Lincoln

“I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.” Dorothy Parker

Recently a writer sounded off about aphorisms. Or maybe it was maxims, Anyway he hated them. I disagree, OK they’re abused and misused, they’re often boring and better left unsaid, but there are many which distil a lot of wisdom into a small space and help us avoid having to re-invent the wheel of life every time we’re confronted by a quandary or need a little advice.

Here are some I value or which make me smile. I’ll add to them from time to time, so I won’t put them in any logical order apart from the newest at the top. Or not.

Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!
George Carlin

If you have anything to tell me of importance, for God’s sake begin at the end.
Sara Jeannette Duncan

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H L Mencken

Sometimes I’d like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I’m afraid God would ask me the same question.
Anonymous

Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?
Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna af Södermöre

When poking an old bear in the eye with a sharp stick, always ensure that the stick is longer than the arm of the bear.
[Read more...]

Chocolate Pots de Crème

The best dessert in the world – honest

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Chocolate Pots de Crème - wow

Most rich pots de crème recipes contain lethal quantities of cream and egg yolks. this one doesn’t. Although the coconut milk used in this recipe is richly endowed with cholesterol and saturated fat it’s not the long-chain-molecule saturated fat found in animal products and it’s nowhere near as guilt-inducing.

If you don’t like the flavour of coconut, never fear, you can’t taste it in this dish.

Unless you’re one of the ten people on the planet who suffer the great misfortune of being chocolate haters, I guarantee you’ll love this. I found the original—proclaimed as the best dessert in the world—at thevoraciousvegan.com but that link is now broken. This divine dish deserves to be recorded for posterity, so here’s One Wild Kiwi’s version:
Ingredients:

  • 1× 400g (14 oz) can of full fat coconut milk.
  • 140g (5oz) of dark chocolate.
    • This is where you have some control over the final result:
    • you can increase the amount for a richer result;
    • the sweetness of the chocolate should be chosen to taste;
    • you should choose a good quality high cocoa content chocolate, definitely not budget cooking chocolate—I tried it and it was awful. I found Cadbury’s 70% cocoa Old Gold to be perfect but if you find this is too bitter, next time go for something a little sweeter.
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) honey (if you can locate it, agave nectar is an excellent alternative to honey).
  • ½  tsp (2.5ml) vanilla essence.
  • a pinch of cinnamon.
  • a pinch of nutmeg.

Method:

Don’t go feeling guilty. Dark chocolate is a superfood. It’s choc full :-) of antioxidants and will help you live for MegaYonks. Give or take.

Full fat coconut maybe not so great but who wants to live forever?

  1. Break the chocolate up into pieces, put it into a food processor or a bowl along with the honey (or agave nectar), vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon—don’t process it yet!—just wait…
  2. Bring the coconut milk up to a simmer on the stove, and then pour it over the ingredients in the food processor
  3. Blend everything together in the food processor (I use a stick mixer in a bowl—less cleaning up) until smooth and creamy, pour into small ramekins, sherry glasses or coffee cups and chill for about 5 hours until firm and creamy.

I’m a sucker for desserts with chocolate and cream. The good news here is that this is so rich and satisfying that a small serving is sufficient even for a weak sinner such as myself and it’s so delicious and luxuriously smooth that the addition of extras like whipped cream is just gilding the lily. Not at all necessary.

Makes 6 servings.

Go for it!



style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-5039366193325363"
data-ad-slot="4397172848">

One Wild Kiwi’s Bircher Muesli

If you haven’t tried an overnight bircher muesli you’re missing a seriously healthy and delicious treat. This makes 4 – 6 servings, depending upon how greedy you are.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 generous tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups (500ml) rolled oats
  • 1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple
  • Optional: a handful of nuts finely sliced. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts… what have you.

Method

  • Peel the oranges and, if necessary, cut them into pieces to remove pips. Use a stick mixer or blender to liquefy them.
  • Add the honey and mix in.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except the apple and nuts – mix thoroughly.
  • Leave in a cool place overnight to soak. An hour will do if you’re pushed for time.

Before serving

  • Grate the apple and mix in thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle the sliced nuts on top and serve with fresh or canned fruit. Blueberries, apricots, bananas, rasberries and/or loganberries go well.

Notes

It’s usually served cold, but you may prefer it hot. I prefer it zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove the chill. If you wish serve with added milk, yoghurt or soya milk.

Most recipes use fruit juice where I’ve used whole oranges peeled. Any dietician worth their salt will tell you that drinking fruit juice is bad nutritional policy. The extra fibre in the whole fruit helps your metabolism to deal with sugar and cholesterol.

You can use any sort of milk, but soya milk provides creaminess without the fat overload of whole milk. Buy organic if you can.

I particularly like cranberries but obviously you can use raisins, blueberries, or any other dried fruit.

In some places you’ll find Light or Lite yoghurt, give it a miss it’s full of disgusting chemicals. Stick with low-fat Greek yoghurt or, if you don’t give a stuff about fat, regular Greek yoghurt.

Keeps refrigerated for at least 3 days.

People are sheep TV is the shepherd

One pissed off bear

Where does money come from?

How the money manipulators are ruining you

bb124s2649

Part 1

Here’s a full length documentary by Paul Grignon explaining how it’s done. It’s 40+ minutes long, but if you’re pressed for time the first 10 minutes or so will be enough to get you hot under the collar. If you’re not into video, read my summary below.

Money As Debt:

this is a dummy line break

this is a dummy line break

Feel better now?

I didn’t think so,

Most people have trouble believing this stuff. Here’s a recent brief article in The Guardian lifting the corner to look at the sorry truth. Generally speaking, the news media don’t expose this outrage. Too many big players are reliant on the system to flourish and to maintain themselves in the ranks of the 1%.

Here it is in a nutshell

[Read more...]

The Economy

 

“Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”
Axel Oxenstierna

Count Axel OxenstiernerSwedish statesman Count Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna af Södermöre wrote that to his son Johan in 1648. Young Johnny was feeling anxious prior to taking on an important European diplomatic job. Oxenstierner Senior pointed out that the world was—as it still is—run by people a lot less switched on than most of us assume.

It’s been all downhill in the intervening three centuries and I wish I’d cottoned onto the problem a bit earlier myself.

…each of these perspectives comes to the same conclusion, which is that our global economy is out of control and performing contrary to basic principles of market economics.
David Korten

Economics 101 from the few who understand

Around the world, those in charge are making a total cock-up of economic management. Here in New Zealand, then Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard was paid $600,000 p.a. to declare the world’s recession over in 2008; Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English have been regularly predicating rosy outlooks upon the overly optimistic forecasts of the same Reserve Bank. They’ve all been peddling fantasy ever since the financial crisis started in 2007. Here I’m posting snapshots from people who really understand what’s going on.

When the meltdown started in 2007 there was a cry around the world of “Why did nobody see this coming?”.

Well some switched on people did, including—forgive my immodesty—One Wild Kiwi. Not because I understood economics all that well, but because I know who does. Hardly anybody listened to the right people, in fact they were derided, abused, and often fired. They were of course correct and if you’d like to know what’s really happening here are some of those people whose views are of value:
[Read more...]

Dr Richard Wolff on the failure of capitalism

Capitalism created prosperity for me, my children, and most of the developed world. Unfortunately, it has now turned upon 99% of the population and is in the process of destroying its own foundations.

Richard Wolff explains how and why in this excellent interview with Bill Moyers.

You have the power

You are the 99%. You have the vote. What are you going to do about it?

Don’t watch this!