Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Benedict Allen

I went to to see a talk by Benedict Allen (author, explorer, TV presenter-filmmaker and public speaker) at Darlington Arts Centre last night. A fantastic talk and well worth going to see if he's appearing somewhere near you.

He talk was based around his unsuccessful attempt to make a solo dog-sled crossing of the Bering Straits, which I'd seen on TV the other year, but uses this expedition, and other near-death experiences he's had) to consider what we humans need to keep them going, whether in extreme situations or in our everyday life.

Belief and a purpose where what Benedict considered were needed. The purpose being underpinned by the belief. The belief could be in anything (your parents, a god or whatever), but without it humans just give up.

Interesting stuff.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Buy Nothing Day 2006

Every November, for 24 hours, we remember that no one was born to shop. If you’ve never taken part in Buy Nothing Day, or if you’ve taken part in the past but haven’t really committed to doing it again, consider this: 2006 will go down as the year in which mainstream dialogue about global warming finally reached its critical mass. What better way to bring the Year of Global Warming to a close than to point in the direction of real alternatives to the unbridled consumption that has created this quagmire?

In the UK, this year's Buy Nothing Day is on Saturday November 25.

Buy Nothing Day [via Swobo's How To Avoid The Bummer Life]

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Just a parent

The Times chief sports writer Simon Barnes describes life with his five-year-old son Eddie, who has Down’s syndrome.

I am writing of love not as a matter of grand passions, or as high-falutin’ idealism, or as religion. I am writing about love as the stuff that makes the processes of human life happen: the love that moves the sun and other stars, which is also the love that makes the toast and other snacks. Love is the most humdrum thing in life, the only thing that matters, the thing that is forever beyond the reach of human imagination.

At the hospital, when they discovered on the scan that Down’s syndrome was a possibility, they very kindly offered to kill him for us.

- I'm not a saint, just a parent [via Pickled Hedgehog]

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

October Biking

Business miles: 42 miles (20p a mile, baby!)
Commuting: 90 miles (18 days riding to work and back)
Jotting about: another 10 miles, maybe
Proper rides: 66 miles (just one ride)

Total: 208 miles

All on my Singlespeed Kona, 2.25" tyres and 32:16 gearing. Only 26 miles off-road.

(Reminded to do this by Tom's post.)