Archive for the ‘Article review’ Category

From Sulawesi Bunaken Resort – a quick qizz. What the heck is this?

January 12, 2012

Another one from Bunaken Cha Cha resort! Guys, brace yourselves! One or two a day.




Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort

Bunaken Island

PO Box 1316

95000 Manado

North Sulawesi


Tel +62 813 569 30370 (Raf)

Fax +65 (0) 67228665

Email : rafd

Email : info

Skype : BunakenChaCha

Padi Resort 6704

Lordly Stag, Classic Castles And Fine Single Malts – WildOpenEye’s Filming In Scotland Going Well!

October 20, 2011
Andy and Jerry's progress through Scotland

Andy and Jerry's progress through Scotland

By Charles Paxton

Andy Luck and Jerry Short of WildOpenEye are zooming around Scotland at the moment on a three week filming expedition for Visit Britain 2012.

On the drive up from Bristol, they stopped over in my corner of Westmorland for a jolly evening at our community pub The Butchers Arms, which furnished a restorative feast of melt-in-the-mouth local lamb and tattie pot with the best real ale I think I’ve ever had – Hesket Newmarket Brewery’s “Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale”.  Anyway after filming an interview with me they drove north for the border.

I’ve heard things are going very well, so far. It’s gloriously photogenic country and they have a comprehensive itinerary, they’ve filmed in Edinburgh – our “Athens of the north”, historic Stirling with its exemplary Scottish castle and are now busy in Braemar, exploring the stunning country of Royal Deeside.

They’ve had their first snowfall, a close encounter with a lordly staggard and some very fine single malt whisky. It’s a working trip and they have their hands full of filming gear and are pretty preoccupied with the filming, but where feasible, they’ll take some stills to share with us.

Please see WildOpenEye blog for more.






Sharks have more value on a reef than in the soup

May 3, 2011

Here’s a link to a great article in The New York Times that confirms the economic value of shark conservation.
They are certainly worth more in real terms alive in the sea than served up in Chinese restaurants.
Egg drop soup is fine, finning should be given a rest.

Priced Off the Menu? Palau’s Sharks Are Worth $1.9 Million Each, a Study Says
Published: May 2, 2011
A study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science puts the lifetime value of each shark to the government of Palau at nearly $2 million.

Nothing At The Waterhole?

October 5, 2010
Kyoto Journal issue KJ75 cover

Kyoto Journal issue KJ75 cover, an exquisite and meaningful work of art

Check out the latest issue of The Kyoto Journal, issue KJ 75, that focuses on Biodiversity, an exquisite publication of landmark importance.

When there's nothing at the waterhole

When there's nothing at the waterhole in The Kyoto Journal Online

“This richly informative and lavishly illustrated edition features wide-ranging contributions by more than 50 writers, photographers and artists, specially prepared for distribution this fall at COP10 in Nagoya, the UN’s 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). An extensive 22-page section explores the ideal – and troubling present-day reality – of Japan’s satoyama: rural areas where people have lived with the land and on it without spoiling it over many generations, preserving and even promoting biodiversity. Plus over 30 diverse exclusive online reports — all downloadable.”

My wife Midori contributed the article “When There’s Nothing At The Waterhole” pictured left, which focuses our attention upon the myriad of lives that so often go unnoticed.

In his contribution, “Life Sustains Life”, Professor Stephen Hesse puts the importance of Biodiversity into perspective, he writes:

“The year 2010 has been the UN’s Year of Biological Diversity.  I can’t help thinking, however, that if we clearly understood the importance of biodiversity, we would dedicate each and every year, each month, week and day, to conservation.

As simplistic as it sounds, biodiversity is life — life in all its varieties, plants, animals and fungi, organisms ranging from microbes and plankton to blue whales and redwoods, and all the ecosystems that provide homes to this cornucopian wonder of creation.

Biological diversity also provides virtually everything we humans need and want from life. It is the source of our food, much of our shelter, our clothing and our medicines. It is the backbone of our global economy through production, trade and consumption. Our arts, leisure and entertainment, too, are linked to the myriad shapes, sounds, materials and colors of biodiversity. In short, when we speak of biodiversity we are also talking about the quality of human life and human survival. Life sustains life — ours among many others’.”

I can’t help reflecting that as we are now in the last quarter of 2010 and the official year of Biodiversity is running out, so too are the sands of time running out for many of our fellow life-forms. The importance of Biodiversity conservation has to be given a far greater priority across all fields of human endeavour than it currently enjoys.  Palaeoecologists can tell us what low-biodiversity Earth was like, in short a ‘hell world’.

Brigitte’s Pick: Paint Your Cat…unbelievable and beautiful

September 20, 2010

Wonder how toxic the paint is and how they get the cat to sit still while they’re doing it …

Paint Your Cat…unbelievable and beautiful

Some of the paint jobs cost $15,000 and had to be repeated every 3 months as the cat’s hair grows out. Must be nice to have $60,000 a year just to keep your cat painted!!

And people wonder why cats sometimes attack their owners.

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Captain Bethune on Trial for Attempting a Citizen’s Arrest

May 28, 2010

The Japanese are charging one of the Sea Shepherd skippers after he boarded a whaler intending to make a citizen’s arrest on attempted murder charges.

Sea Shepherd News

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Update: Captain Pete Bethune’s Trial Starts Today

The criminal trial against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteer Captain Pete Bethune began in Tokyo on May 27. Captain Bethune was arrested in March and remains in maximum-security detention in Tokyo. He was detained after boarding the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 in February to protest the sinking of Sea Shepherd’s vessel Ady Gil (which he captained) as well as Japan’s illegal whaling operations. He faces several charges, including trespassing and property damage.

Contrary to the many inaccurate media reports currently circulating, Captain Bethune has not pled “guilty” to the charges he’s currently facing. If that were the case, there would be no need for a trial. While it is true that Captain Bethune concedes many of the facts related to his charges (such as boarding the Shonan Maru 2 which are of public record), this is not the same as admitting “guilt.” Japan does not do “pleas” in the way U.S. criminal law operates.

Captain Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to present the captain of that vessel with a three million dollar invoice for damages arising from the Shonan Maru 2’s destruction of the vessel Ady Gil. Bethune also boarded the vessel in an effort to stop it from slaughtering more whales, and his actions did cause the Shonan Maru 2 to prematurely withdraw from the illegal whaling operation in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd’s Seattle-based law firm, Harris & Moure, will have two of its lawyers in Tokyo during the trial both to assist Bethune’s Japanese defense team and to explain Sea Shepherd’s position regarding the trial and Japan’s illegal whaling operations. Harris & Moure’s Managing Partner, Dan Harris, will be available in Tokyo for media questions beginning on May 26 and throughout the trial.

Steve Dickinson, who heads Harris & Moure’s Asia practice out of Qingdao, China, will be at the trial both as a translator and as a liaison to Sea Shepherd in the United States. Mr. Dickinson began his legal career with a prominent Tokyo law firm and is fluent in Japanese.

Community Hero: Chewang Norphel’s Ingenious Response To Drought From Himalayan Glacial Melt

May 27, 2010

Some people really make a positive difference to the well-being of their communities. Chewang Norphel is a community hero. See this link to Scientific American for a truly impressive application of this man’s clever response to drought problems stemming from glacial retreat in the Himalayas due to climatic warming. It took considerable faith for the community to enact his plan. It was faith well rewarded!

Blog Review: Thaksin’s Blood Gold

May 4, 2010

This week’s essential reading comes from …

That’s Thaksin Shinawatra that they’re talking about, Thailand’s ex-prime minister and the current figurehead of the recent bloody ‘Red Shirts’ insurgency in Bangkok.  You’ve heard of Blood Diamonds? Well, the Thailand Jumped the Shark blog introduces the concept of Blood Gold and offers some very interesting insights on the subject – including a CBS Sixty Minutes video clip and an excerpt from the London Times interview with Thaksin in which he discusses his Ugandan gold mines and diamond trading. The Thailand Jumped the Shark blog then points out that Uganda doesn’t have any gold mines of its own to speak of, and presents the case that Thaksin’s “Ugandan” gold is in fact sourced from the neighbouring Congo and is Blood Gold. The Thaksin Blood Gold post presents a picture of Thaksin’s shady cross-border financial wheeling and dealing that doesn’t gel very easily with his aspirations of returning to his former role as Prime Minister of Thailand.

Be good to the good guys. End the Uganda death law

February 27, 2010

This Blog isn’t a Gay Rights sort of Blog. I don’t think that gays should be given special treatment. Same goes for Blacks, minorities, Moslems, women…

An even playing field.

Be good to the good guys. Help someone worth helping and worthy of help. Always treat the weak well. Look after animals and the environment. And give the scumbags a kicking.

That’s the bottom line.

But this Blog  also thinks governments and religious zealots should stay out of people’s lives if what they are doing isn’t hurting anybody else. What harm is a gay Ugandan doing?

Idi Amin? The guy needed an air strike. He got one. But not in the right place. The Israeli missiles should have been directed straight up his fat arse.

The Ugandan Lords Resistance Army (allegedly enforcing the Ten Commandments) is still forcing heretics and peasants to eat each other and stealing their children for indoctrination and military training. Read all about it in my novel Homunculus.

These are the Ugandans who urgently need the death penalty. I suggest slow strangulation by piano wire. Accompanied by a vigorous bastinado.

Not somebody who is gay. Leave them alone. They haven’t chosen their sexual orientation. The LRA have chosen their behaviour.

Hang em high and read the following post.

Sign if you have time. Petitions don’t really work in Africa. But worth a shot!



PS Oh gawd! My wife is now playing the moonlight sonata. Is there anything more lovely on a warm tropical evening than to have a moon, the sound of frogs and singing insects in the palms and the glories of a piano? Hope! Let’s keep going. Let’s fix the world!

Subject: Stop the Uganda death law

Dear friends,

Debate is raging in Uganda on the proposal to execute gay people. We can’t let extremists drown out voices of reason — donate now for opinion polls and ads showing Ugandans choose human rights over violent extremism:

Donate Now!
In just two weeks, nearly half a million of us have signed the global petition against Uganda’s proposed law to sentence gay people to death and jail their friends.

It’s an extraordinary response to a terrifying law — but more is needed. Extremists are escalating their rhetoric — with one pastor showing gay pornography in order to whip up rage. But very few know the harsh details of this draconian bill. And no public opinion poll has asked whether the Ugandan people would support such mass execution.

The Ugandan movement against the bill, which has been electrified by global solidarity, hasn’t had the resources to inform their fellow citizens about the bill’s deadly provisions.

If enough of us chip in, we can help launch radio spots, newspaper ads, and billboard campaigns that reach millions of Ugandans with the truth — and a powerful, human call to protect human rights. Donate now to fuel the defense of rights in Uganda:

While homophobia is widespread in Uganda, as in much of the world, so is a belief in basic human rights — and this bill is, at heart, an assault on human rights.

The fundamental belief that every life is equally precious, regardless of nation, creed, or sexual orientation, is at the heart of the opposition to this bill. It’s what has led hundreds of thousands of us to sign the petition — which has been sent to Ugandan and donor governments, and will be presented to the Speaker of Parliament in Uganda next week. And it’s what has united the church leaders, gay groups, and human rights advocates in Uganda to join together for justice.

The Ugandans at the front lines of this struggle are doing all they can. Our support — resources that cost us very little — can make all the difference in the world to them. Donate here:

Let’s rise to this moment, and make their cause our own.

With hope,

Ben, Alice, David, Paula, Benjamin, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team

PS: You can read the actual law here:

You can read more about the proposed law here:

If you haven’t signed it, you can join the petition against the law at this link:

How to express your love this St. Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2010

Here’s a very brief entry in the form of a referral to anyone who’s looking for tips on how to express their love this St.Valentine’s Day!

May Cupid’s arrows fly true for you!

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