Category Archives: Change

Critical year for USA nuclear industry

Who funds Nuclear power plants??

Antinuclear

Watershed year ahead for US nuclear industry 22 January 2018  This may be a “watershed” year for the US nuclear industry, which must maintain a strong domestic sector by keeping its reactors operating but must also demonstrate it can build new plants, while paving the way for advanced reactors, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) John Kotek told the US Energy Association’s State of the Energy Forum on 18 January………

Kotek said the nuclear industry must demonstrate that it can build and complete nuclear plants. He said the decision to proceed with the nuclear construction project at Vogtle in Georgia was significant, offering an opportunity for the US nuclear sector to show it can “successfully” build new reactors…….. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Watershed-year-ahead-for-US-nuclear-industry-2201187.html

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Girls Code Their Way Out of Nigeria’s Slums and Into the Tech Sector

Miriam Matti inspired me to share this with you – imagine the social change that occurs when we treat everyone with respect and equality.

NADJA

Twelve-year-old Miriam Matti beams with pride as she runs her index finger over the homepage of the website she has been building for a year now. The site, called Food Insecurity, allows visitors to give money, time or equipment to help struggling farmers. It targets people looking to make charitable donations, but also volunteers who can teach farmers how to use and maintain their tractors.

“I want to get donations such as money and tractors for our farmers, because a farmer using a tractor can farm a large amount of land in one week and produce more food,” Matti says. “A farmer using a hoe and cutlass can take one month to farm their land and will get only a small amount of crops.”

Matti is building her website as part of a coding class she takes through the GirlsCoding program run by the Pearls Africa Foundation, a…

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Words as a tool of change

An inspirational speech from Angie Thomas:

A long time passes

Life flew by and I’m around again to the month that I find the hardest to deal with. You see my Mother died at the beginning of January and my Father at the end of January. Yes there was a few years between them, Mum died in 1998, Dad followed her five years later, but for me January is the worst kind of month.

It’s the month I dread for the rest of the eleven, because even though the years have flown by since I lost them, the grief is still there. It hides away, waiting for something or someone to remind you, to then flare up and you’ll find yourself (or I do) standing there in public with tears rolling down my cheeks. I find that hard black lump in my throat as I stand or sit or even lay there and really feel the loss that they have left behind.

I cuddle my partner, our child, our animals to try and salve this wound, and yet that isn’t enough, and will never really fill it up.  I’ve learnt to move on, to accept this grief as a small part of who I am, and adapt to the new paradigm that exists. And for folk who have never lost anyone in this permanent sort of way, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But for those of us who have, and will live a different life afterwards we do understand.

Catching up with friends, it is the ones who have lost something or someone (a relationship or a person) that understand it more. Who get where I’m coming from. Who accept the older woman with tears on her cheeks in public, mourning her loss in public.

Cyborg

So I’m sitting here typing into the computer, and reflecting on a conversation my partner had with his class this week. As he looked around the classroom where all the heads of the students were bent over their computers interfacing with their digital worlds, he asked how many of them thought they were Cyborgs. After some conversation they came around to his interpretation of what a Cyborg is now.

I don’t use social media, so I’m not as connected as most folk. I don’t own a smart phone either. So my own interactions with digital worlds are when I’m sitting down with my child when he needs help establishing a colony in Age of Empires. We grow and build the colony until he’s ready to go off and wage war.

So I don’t consider myself a big C Cyborg – I walk down the street and greet people personally. I live in a small rural town where the majority of folk on the street don’t have their heads down, or ear phones on as they live their digital lives. I live here, now, in the present. Not waiting for the promised lands of the digital environment.

I use the internet but not as a reference tool, as an entertainment tool. (I’m hanging out for the next Star Wars movie but that’s another story). I prefer my interactions to be face to face, but have been known to text and email folk who just need to know that I care and love them. (Usually when they’re going through tough times and don’t want to talk….).

I wonder at the future my child will inhabit if the vast majority of the world is caught in the digital world. How often they will interact one to one, not through the safety of the digital tools, but in person. Will it be better? Or worse. He’s growing up in a world where the internet is the norm, Facebook is everywhere (at least amongst the teens at my school), and Minecraft is what you do with your lunchtime.

Unlike the Cyborgs of the present, I’ll be shutting down the computer soon, and heading out to spend the afternoon gardening in my veggie patch, and watching my child play with the dog. I won’t be waiting for the next Facebook update or any of the other digital “musts” that this age we live in seems to insist we do. Instead it will be me, the earth, and the sky – as I prefer it.

Ageing

My memories of my Mother – who has been gone now for 16 years, are of a hard working, tired woman, who spent her entire life devoted to her family. She was a shy women, with few friends outside of the family, by she was loyal, honest and kind.

We would fight, as I think may be normal for those Mother/Daughter relationships, and argue, and disagree – especially on issues that shook her conservative way of thinking. (Oh how many times have I pictured what she would say if she was still here and found out I married a Catholic!). Anyway, she also came from a time when women wore themselves out, caring for everyone before themselves. Her mother had done it, and her mother before her. They all died from heart attacks, their lives shortened by the poverty and lack of health care that was the England of yesteryear.

So here I am – mid forties, going, am I going down this track? No. For me, the future doesn’t hold a slow wearing down, I’m going to age as disgracefully as I can. So that’s going to be allowing my grey hairs to shine through, their evidence of some hard won battles against Ovarian masses and tumours. I’m never going to get plastic surgery because my face is the road map of my life, I have a lot of laugh lines, but you know, they’re evidence that I often don’t take life too seriously, and that I can still have a laugh with my son and partner. I want to be me, not some caricature of what an older women must look like. I want to enjoy what the future holds, without worrying or panicking about perfection.

Because that’s my lesson, life isn’t perfect, and even though I may want to control it, it’s out of my hands most of the time. I need to accept this perfection and live the life I am living now…..

Cloak of invisibility

I had presumed that the tales of becoming invisible as you age were just that, tales. But I’ve started to experience this strange and mysterious invisibility cloak myself…..and I’m only in my mid forties. So why is this so?

Is it because I’m female, and tend to blend into the background because of it? Or is it because in this age of mobile devices, those fiends who push ahead of me in queues are too busy glued to their screens then to social niceties?

I’m pretty loud – you know the type of person whose laugh can be heard throughout a building floor? So it’s not like I’m shy or retiring, but I’m finding myself exasperated by folks who use their mobile devices as shields, and so think they can get away with ignoring the fact you’re in a queue, and can push ahead. They’re also the very important folk who have to use their electronic devices through a transaction, so that they don’t have to acknowledge that there is a human being serving them.

I just wonder at what sort of relationships these people are building, when they hover their screens, and not actually attend to the folk their out and about with. I see it in Cafes, and Restaurants, two bright young folk enter, sit down, and before the waiting staff have even given them menus, out plops the electronic devices and they’re on their way to electronic nirvana. What’s the point of that? Surely if you’ve gone to the trouble of choosing to go out together, you should at least attempt to communicate with each other?

I’m one of the old school of parenting, my child does not have an electronic device to be glued to when we’re out, instead I carry around a backpack filled with textas, colouring paper, blank paper, everything you can imagine you’d need to draw some pretty amazing pictures. It works, he’s happy to draw or play a game of hangman, while we’re out, and we’re all interacting…especially hangman – the games get quite complicated and we usually end up laughing out loud…..too loudly too at times because we cause the mobile device users to sit up and glare at us….

Anyway, is it because I’ve entered the era for me to be grumpy about poor manners or just frustrated with the fact mobile lives are taking over basic human interactions? Who knows, but next time you’re waiting in a line and you think you see someone out of the corner of your eye, it might be one of us women of a certain age, cloaked in our invisibility, be polite and say hullo – we don’t bite!

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