pjf: Well-being = creative education + freedom
Education for Life: self-empowerment; Creative, productive freedom; organic food, farming > biodiversity, ecology

books and documentary: educational fiction satire videos

books: fiction, satire, popular science, health, diet, psychology, sociology, economics, education, environment, physics, astronomy

Democracy, health, psychology , Astronomy / space and satire might also appeal.

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Individual versus dogma - Harraga
Harraga by Boualem Sansal One of the best books I've read recently. Harraga means 'those who burn', in this context it's someone who attempts to illegally immigrate to another country/regime.  The book was written in French, by the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal, and translated into English by Frank Wynne. The book is set mostly in the house (and the mind!) of Lamia. Her house is very

books, Boualem Sansal, conformity, fear, fiction, freedom, meaningful, psychology, religion,

The Firm: Ultimate Fat Burning Workout
Specially recommended for LD as he limbers up for Spring planting; also for anyone with a weight problem: There is a series of these exercise videos - a must for anyone living in remote areas or cultural deserts. Visible Results in ten workouts, it says; emphasising the visible and maybe superficial. But the genuine health benefits are likely to come even sooner than that. From an Amazon

books, exercise, fitness, health, popular, video, wellbeing,

The Way Between - peace activism as fantasy story
The Middle Way, between fighting and fleeing ... The Way Between by Rivera Sun Everybody loves a good story ... and together, we bring them into the world!  The Way Between blends fun, action, adventure, and fantasy while delivering an uplifting message of waging peace and active nonviolence for a new generation of readers.  Join a creative team of Community Publishers in launching . .

books, bullying, empathy, fantasy, fiction, freedom, harmony, hope, peace, video,

DIY projects education for children
TED Resident Fawn Qiu designs fun, low-cost projects that use familiar materials like paper and fabric to introduce engineering to kids. In this quick, clever talk, she shares how nontraditional workshops like hers can change the perception of technology and inspire students to participate in creating it.  easy_diy_projects_for_kid_engineers   Educational video to inspire creative

books, children, DIY, documentary, education, engineering, video,

corporate politics - presidential auctions
I was tempted to title this 'Corporate Democracy', but that would be such a glaring oxymoron. It is frustrating to witness the 'relatively' poor people of the world beating each other to death over whether to vote for Trump or Clinton in the 2nd $billion + US presidential auction. Both candidates are representing corporate interests, and a system that is in debt to a handful of

books, consciousness, corporations, creativity, democracy, matrix, politics, psychology,

How immigrant voices make democracy stronger
In politics, representation matters — and that's why we should elect leaders who reflect their country's diversity and embrace its multicultural tapestry, says Sayu Bhojwani. Through her own story of becoming an American citizen, the immigration scholar reveals how her love and dedication to her country turned into a driving force for political change "We have fought to be here," she

books, democracy, immigration, psychology, sociology, video,

Schools Kill Creativity - the remedy ...
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. e.g. World Class ballerina (incapable of thinking without moving) was nearly labelled 'problem student'. She was one of the very few lucky ones that met a education 'professional' that was awake. Related: books, creativity, documentary,

books, creativity, documentary, education, psychology, video,

Mystical experience following a stroke - jill bolte taylor's stroke of insight
Excellent video on consciousness, and the 2 sides of our brain: Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke.  As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment.  This is a powerful story about

books, consciousness, documentary, psychology, video, wellbeing,

The Eagle's Throne - Carlos Fuentes
A fine book, set in the very near future. Due to a disagreement with the USA, Mexico finds itself without telecommunications, so people begin writing letters again! This is a problem for hard hearted politicians, because they believe it is unwise to ever commit anything to writing. They like everything that other people say to be in writing, because that gives them power. The principal

books, fiction, meaningful, politics, psychology,

Capital for 21st Century
An excellent book, and I hope it gives me a complete picture of what is really going on in the world of money and business, and the bloody corporate matrix. I refer of course to Thomas Piketty -Capital in the Twenty-First Century  a book based on facts, to counter the nonsense spoken by vested interests. Very recently I was subjected to 2 supposedly educated, supposedly adult people ranting

books, economics, education, freedom, hope, matrix, psychology,

Going Postal – Terry Pratchett
Going Postal: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett stars petty con man Moist von Lipwig, who has been caught, and is offered hanging or a new job. He takes the job (which beats hanging around) and the Postal ?Service of Ankh Morpork is transformed. Gentle satire from Sir TP. Available as book or DVD. It's often difficult to choose; with the Discworld it's easy - buy both! a film

books, Discworld, fiction, humour, Terry Pratchett, video,

Allotment Gardening - organic guide
Full title: Allotment Gardening - An organic guide for beginners, by Susan Berger. After 40+ years I hope I'm not a beginner, but this fine book certainly brings me up to date, and has useful sections on rotations, improving the soil and producing your own compost (either in a bin, or by using green manures to keep the minerals from washing away and feeding the worms and bacteria with fresh

books, compost, gardens, health, internet, organic, soil, wellbeing,

Young Maria Callas Bruno Tosi
A biography of Maria Callas' early life. Bruno Tosi is president of the Maria Callas International Association. This is an extraordinary journey through the life of La Divina, an account of Maria Callas' early years. The heart of the book is her unpublished diary which is full of a young woman's dreams. It is complemented by reminiscences of friends who knew her well, and wrote

biography, books, dreams, female vocals, Maria Callas, opera, singing, soprano,

Professional WordPress
Full title: Professional WordPress Design and Development (Wrox Programmer to Programmer) By far the best book I have found and making the most of the WordPress opensource publishing system. It might take slightly longer to get started than some of the quick guides, but everything you need to know is here, and it is organised in such a way that it is straightforward to reference any issues

books, internet, PHP, software, WordPress,

Grow Your Own Fruit - Carol Klein
Grow Your Own Fruit is published by the RHS (Royal Horticultural society), and covers all aspects of choosing, propagating and protecting your fruit garden. # Hardcover: 224 pages # Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 1st Edition edition (5 Jan 2009) # Language English # ISBN-10: 1845334345 # ISBN-13: 978-1845334345 Nearly every purchaser has given the book 5 stars, so there! I have a

books, diet, fruit, gardens, health, wellbeing,

obscene wealth inequality
Several news reports today highlight the growing domination of wealth, power and economic/banking control by the few. The Oxfam plea:  "Oxfam calls on governments to take action to reverse this trend. It wants workers paid a living wage and the gap with executive rewards to be narrowed. It calls for an end to the gender pay gap, compensation for unpaid care and the promotion of equal land

banking, books, consumerism, corporations, economics, health, matrix, wealth, wellbeing,

Maria Callas A Musical Biography
by Robert Levine. A biography of Maria Callas, operatic soprano with over 100 black and white photos and 240 pages. "Her voice was controversial; there were those who had negative visceral reactions to it, finding it ugly and weird. Millions of others worshiped it - and her. Listening to her now, more than 30 years after her early death at 54, there is no real argument: listen for

biography, books, Maria Callas, music, photos, singing, soprano,

December 1941 - Evan Mawdsley
An excellent book about the first 12 days of 1941 and the events round the world that started World War 2 Gives a good balanced look at all the major countries and what and why they were doing them. A very good book for students looking at the events and how they started the war. Mawdsley, honorary professorial research fellow at the University of Glasgow, brings a remarkable breadth of vision

books, Evan Mawdsley, history, politics, war,

The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
A Penguin modern classics paperback from 1951. Reprinted 1972.<br /> $6.99 at Amazon, used copies from $0.93. Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye,  Holden  Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical  adolescent." Holden  narrates the story of a couple of days in his  sixteen-year-old life,  just after he's been expelled from prep school,  in a slang that sounds  edgy even

adolescence, alienation, books, fiction,

DVD, Kiefer Sutherland, Leslie Hope, Elisha Cuthbert, Sarah Clarke, film, thrillers
Recently I was lent the first season of 24 Hours on DVD. It is an interesting idea to portray a story in real time, though an unrealistic amount of action, trauma and politics is packed into 24 hours - that starts at the END of most characters working day - and no-one falls asleep at their desk, or while driving their car! It's a shame there has to be so much violence and suspicion, and every

books, dvd, fiction, film, photos, thrillers,

The Book of Dave - Will Self
The Book of Dave - Will Self Imagine a biblical Job transported to the 1990s and working as a cabbie. Imagine him driven into psychosis and recording all his racist, misogynist ranting in a notebook – which centuries later becomes the religious tract of the few surviving families amid the flood waters of what remains of London. Their principal source of meat sounds like a hybrid of pigs,

books, dystopia, fiction, psychology, religion, satire, Will Self,

The Last Witchfinder, James Morrow
The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow is highly praised by readers. For example, at Amazon: 1. Shipwrecks, kidnappings, witch trials, illegitimate children, jars full of deformed creatures, humorous night-time encounters with Isaac Newton -- what's not to like?  The Last Witchfinder covers thousands of miles in space and decades in time, deftly considers slavery, electricity, the spread of

books, fiction, religion, witches,

learning Russian / Cyrillic alphabet
The Penguin book The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners  http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Penguin-Russian-Course-Beginners/dp/0140120416/ has a very good introduction, but could make more of the fact that many letters are borrowed from Greek. For example N is pronounced ee ! This makes sense once you realise N represents the Greek letter eta. Having waded through the

books, education, language, symbolic,

William Dalrymple - From the Holy Mountain
Subtitled 'A journey in the shadow of Byzantium', makes for interesting travel/adventure reading, and there are excellent photos. Given the subject matter, I'm surprised there is little about the psychology of religion, since the tales of misery that William unearths are all about the psychological experience of the 'divine' (broadly speaking) and the appalling mess that institutionalised belief

books, institutional mind, photos, religion, spirit,

Funny Fiction / Stories - Terry Pratchett
Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett Hardback book in fair condition (perfect read, worn cover). The target of Terry Pratchett's choice for this story is the ubiquitous happy ending. A fairy godmother dies and the witches find themselves carrying out her last wishes (whilst trying to find the hidden magic wand). The magical wand is left, to the disgust of the other two, to Magrat, with

books, Discworld, fiction, humour, Terry Pratchett, witches,

Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
A must for fans of Commander Vimes, who seeks rather reluctantly to a) catch criminals, while b) not breaking the law himself by mutilating them. On the morning of the 30th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution of the Twenty-Fifth of May (and as such the anniversary of the death of John Keel, Vimes' hero and former mentor), Sam Vimes is caught in a magical storm while pursuing Carcer Dun, a

books, Discworld, fantasy, fiction, humour, Terry Pratchett, witches,

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age - Nathan D. Wolfe
Nathan D. Wolfe "The Viral Storm" interview Dynamic young Stanford biologist Nathan Wolfe reveals the surprising origins of the world's most deadly viruses, and how we can overcome catastrophic pandemics. In The Viral Storm, award-winning biologist Nathan Wolfe tells the story of how viruses and human beings have evolved side by side through history; how deadly viruses like HIV, swine

books, epidemics, health, virus, wellbeing,

Wilt - Tom Sharpe
Tom Sharpe takes of the pee of university life, again, in a return to Porterhouse college, Cambridge. alt="Wilt - Tom Sharpe" image to follow - won't upload at the mo This is a funny book, and probably better relaxation that watching consumer media, like the TV. But there is no sense of insight into the psychology of the characters, and it doesn't appear to offer solutions to societies

books, fiction, funny, satire,

Nanny Oggs Cookbook - Terry Pratchett
Another gem from Terry Pratchett , ably assisted by Stephen Briggs, Paul Kidby and Tina Hannan. Supposedly books for children, but everyone seems to enjoy them.   "They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach which just goes to show they're as confused about anatomy as they gen'rally are about everything else, unless they're talking about instructions on how to stab him, in

books, Discworld, fiction, Nanny Ogg, Terry Pratchett, witches,

Kurt Vonnegut - cats cradle
kurt vonnegut - cat's cradle Reissued following the author's death, Cat's Cradle uses ice-9, a crystalline version of water that freezes at room temperature and turns all surrounding water into the same crystalline form, as a metaphor for nuclear fusion; particularly in its weapons form. Ice 9 has no useful purpose, but the distinctly odd inventor (an unknown to his children, especially in

books, democracy, fiction, Kurt Vonnegut, projection, psychology, religion, satire,

Essential Guide to Yoga
Essential Guide to Yoga by Penny Smith; with Howard Napper. A fine health and exercise DVD to use at home. A nicely paced DVD (a bit of a gallop the first time, not so slow that the 500th view leaves you bored!).  Having 'forgotten' about yoga for years, it's amazed me rediscover that a whole hour can be spent 'exercising' and leave you feeling less tired.  An hour with no phone calls, no

books, featured, health, video, wellbeing, yoga,

Maria Callas: The Scala Years
A biography of Maria Callas covering her time with La Scala opera, by Vittoria Crespi Morbio.  Imprint: Umberto Allemandi & Co; 160 pages with 94 black and white photos and 48 in colour.  ISBN 10: 8842215600  Publisher: Umberto Allemandi & Co  Publication Date: 15/02/2008  Maria Callas (1923-1977) sang on the stage of La Scala for thirteen years. She made her debute in 1950 with Verdi's "

biography, books, female vocals, Maria Callas, music, opera, photos, singing, soprano,

Nassim Taleb Anti-Fragile
Finally this tour de force of economist-bashing has been released in paperback. Independant: From the guru of the 'Black Swan' comes a passionate defence of tried and tested values Nassim Taleb Anti Fragility interview Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the Lebanese-born financial trader-turned-academic-turned-philosopher, in 2007 "foresaw" something very like the global blow-up of the coming year

books, improvisation, Nassim Taleb, philosophy, politics, wisdom,

Psychology - The Science of Mind and Behaviour
By Richard Gross . This fourth edition is an introduction to psychology that adopts a modular approach that is in line with significant recent developments.  The text has been revised and updated, featuring chapters on health psychology, criminological psychology and social psychology of sport, with new topics including parapsychology and substance abuse.  The comprehensive, up-to-date

books, education, health, psychology, wellbeing,

Linux Pocket Guide
An excellent, compact reference book for common Linux commands. Anyone that runs a webserver, or even a VPS, would do well to own this book. I have known people that can remember every command they've ever used, but for mere mortals like yours truly, and for everyone subject to senior moments, this is a great time-saver. Linux - the ultimate open source operating system. Published by O'Reilly,

books, internet, Linux, miscellany 1, open source, software,

Grantchester Grind -Tom-Sharpe
Grantchester Grind Brilliant satire by Tom Sharpe. A novel set in the fictional Porterhouse college at Cambridge, which bears a striking resemblance to Peterhouse :) featuring excellent caricatures of academic types; not entirely believable, but with many recognisable traits :) apparently this is now also available on audio cassette. Currently, the paperback book is £6.99 at amazon, Kindle

books, education, fiction, satire, Tom Sharpe,

Stone Gods Jeanette Winterson
I read this novel three times in a fortnight, so it surely qualifies as one of the most engaging novels I've recently found. It is partly a contemporary and near-future satire of consumerism (particularly sexual), space exploration, robots, the media as non-elected government, environmental destruction, the individual versus the system, techno-information and computerised impersonal policing.

authors, books, fiction, Jeanette Winterson, open minds, photos, Social media, video,

Your Baby and Child - Penelope Leach
Highly recommended by my sister, in the vain hope that the resolutely ignorant might read it ... or read anything. The average review on Amazon is well over 4 (out of 5) and there's a 36% reduction in price at present (July 2013). In the 21st century we know a child's psychological development and well-being is just as important as any physical need. Here Penelope Leach brings together

books, children, education, hope, psychology,

So long, and thanks for all the fish - Douglas Adams
"The fourth book in the hitch-hiker trilogy (sic)." Inspired imaginative satire with a sci-fi slant from Douglas Adams. How I wish he'd written another several dozen novels, and lived to (at least) ninety. 'It was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal. It started to rain, which was particularly normal.  a spacecraft landed, which was not."

books, dolphins, Douglas Adams, fiction, humour, satire, video,

Chaos - James Gleick
Chaos - James Gleick paperback, 352 pages, in good condition. With many black and white illustrations, plus a few fullpage, coloured images of Lorenz attractors, Mandelbrot set and similar. Typical review: This book brings together different work in the new field of physics called the chaos theory, an extension of classical mechanics, in which simple and complex causes are seen to interact.

books, Chaos, James Gleick, mathematics, physics, popular science,

The Philosophers Apprentice - James Morrow
In this fascinating novel, Mason Ambrose fluffs his Philosophy PhD, whilst in a bit of a mood, and is immediately offered a huge pay-packet to be a personal tutor to a girl on an idyllic island - Isla de Sangre. The girl, Londa Sabacthani, is supposed to have lost her memory and all sense of what is right and wrong following an accident, so Mason schools her in ethics. He then discovers that his

books, fiction, institutional mind, James Morrow, philosophy, psychology,

Molly and the Muslim Stick David Dabydeen
I can't recall ever being introduced so rapidly into a story. The first pages of this novel really set the scene very efficiently. It's hard to be enthusiastic, though, because the story is mostly lifelike and dreadful. On reading this I wonder, yet again, if 'God' (by whatever name) has chosen the wrong species to attempt consciousness. I cannot think of any other, except maybe ants, that

abuse, books, David Dabydeen, family, fiction, psychology,

Inherited wealth - Jens Beckert
Now available on offer at $35.58 in paperback format, this sociological study of wealth across the generations is a useful introduction for those of us that didn't begin life in a castle! THE CONTENTS: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS vii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Inheritance and Modern Society 1 1.2 Social Dimensions of Inheritance Law 12 Chapter 2: The Right to Bequeath: Testamentary Freedom and the

books, capital, democracy, featured, matrix, pathological wealth, politics, sociology,

Blender Foundations: The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6
A recent purchase of mine. A very well laid out book on Blender - a complete animation tool, open-source, and attracting serious professional use. Both the book and the software seem excellent to me, but I wouldn't recommend learning the software without this book, unless you want serious eyestrain for peering at online documents all day long! Blender Foundations is the definitive resource for

animation, Blender, books, open source, software,

Major health diet threat to US citizens
And to most of the western world! Imagine a terrorist plot to trick the Brazilian government (through bribes, promises and corporate/political trickery) into cutting down and burning the Amazon rainforests in order to graze cattle and trick the poor American people into eating high fat, high protein, very high sugar junk several times a day. Imagine spending billions of dollars each year on

agriculture, books, corporations, diabetes, lobbyists, obesity, popular, wellbeing,

In Search of the Edge of Time - John Gribbin
Gribbin sets out to explain how time travel is theoretically possible and looks at the various different ways which might allow it. He pays particular attention to the most likely time-machine: that provided by the concept of the "wormhole".  Like a tunnel through space and time, a wormhole could connect different regions of the Universe which occupy both different spaces and different times.

astronomy, books, John Gribbin, physics, relativity, space, time,

electricity storage, corporations and death
Developing capacitors rather than batteries to store solar-generated electricity Nano capacitance from waste is cheaper than batteries for solar storage and electric vehicles. Who'd have thought the cigarette "industry", surely one of the most destructive ever devised (see below), could accidentally provide the raw materials, albeit in the form of litter, to produce cheap, lightweight

books, corporations, environment, renewable energy, solar,

optimum food for free range hens - sprouting wheat for vitamins
It is clear to me, having kept 'free range' hens, that layers pellets are not the only food they need or like. They clearly like grass, especially young short shoots, but in the winter the grass either doesn't grow here (Cornwall) or it is drowned and the hens turn the whole plot to mud if they have access. I also feed mixed poultry corn: 90% wheat and 10 % maize, but several facts have led to

agriculture, books, Cornwall, education, featured, freedom, freefrom, poultry, self-sufficiency, vitamins,

grass carp farming
I've always liked pasture, especially with real, native, mixed species hedgerows and the occasional mature native tree in the field. There's lots of beef and sheep farming hereabouts (North Cornwall), which is fine, but: a. In an overpopulated world, 500 lbs of of meat per acre every other year seems a small crop; b. Small farms are failing, because the profit per acre is miniscule with large

agriculture, books, carp, Cornwall, fish, food, gardens, grass carp, photos, popular, self-sufficiency,

Vanished Kingdoms - The History of Half-Forgotten Europe
by Norman Davies This book, together with Norman Davies' major work Europe: A History (to follow; 1365 pages!) and The Shortest History of Europe by John Hirst are a prelude to my attempt to see where we are now, and why (to follow). This is a fascinating "story" of 15 states, 13 of which most people probably have never heard. But the most condensed wisdom (for me) comes in the introduction and

books, corporations, democracy, history, matrix, Norman Davies, politics, wisdom,


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