America’s Ridiculous War on Agenda 21

America – the mentally impoverished land… Resulting in a directly increasingly impoverished land, with little social support for the people. It is unbelievable to me that due to lack of funding there were only three people working at the tax office when I went (and only for a couple of hours in the morning) while a long line of people waited outside. The long lines at the DMV. The lack of funding for libraries and teacher’s salaries at schools. The lack of convenient public transportation. Yet, without limitations corporate heads get huge salaries, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies make unbelievable amounts of money off of an increasingly taxed people, and the list goes on.
It is amazing to me how Americans still haven’t figured out they are being duped, and instead support conspiracy theories in their fear. It is time that Agenda 21 was taken out of the damn closet.
America, get your act together and look around at the other successful countries in the world, or you are going to be left in the dust because you didn’t take care of yourself. Just like someone who doesn’t take a shower or brush their teeth, buy new underwear when needed, and eat properly, America is not doing the basics to maintain what is necessary for a healthy economy. Instead, like an internet gamer waking up, eating junk food and spending hours watching TV and playing video games rather than working towards getting a job, the efforts are badly placed and will ultimately result in a negative balance for the country.

Living in Japan, I have seen some things that make me really reconsider moving back. There is funding support for government entities. Not that they are wallowing in it; the buildings are old but clean. That being said, there are always people to help you at the Japanese DMV, the city hall, and all other branches I have visited. Almost never a long line, and if so people really complain indignantly. There is funding for teachers, not only administrators, and for libraries to buy books. There is a cap on salaries, so most who would make $700k+ in the States don’t make more than $150k to $200k, and all jobs are respected because it is a job and someone is working hard every day. The government has a working health insurance system, and the payment is based on how much money one makes, so no one is left without health insurance and can afford their medicine. The list goes on. In Europe, my friend just posted that he saw 11 different political parties in Denmark discussing how to deal with their problems, not just two parties pretending to deal with problems while making an easy road for their friends in the back room. Denmark, by the way, is 2nd in the Happiness Index.

In the US, people of course want to live in beautiful places where there are good schools and infrastructure. But sadly, I don’t see it on a whole, and it is not the government’s fault; it is the people themselves who do not see how their decisions are creating problems. Here are my recommendations.

Encourage bike lanes. It isn’t bad to have bicycles, and it is dangerous for people riding them. Encourage public transportation. Encourage putting money into your DMV and your schools, so that you don’t waste time in line, and your children grow up healthy in body and mind.
It’s time for America to grow into America The Beautiful from America on crutches.
Please read this Wikipedia article on Agenda 21 and find out where America stands, and why you should care

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

Finnish Ed & Humanizing Math

https://medium.com/@sunilsingh_42118/you-really-want-to-rehumanize-math-education-build-a-new-ship-8aa6fe6b43d0

Had this hopeful future been the case when I was in school, I might have become a physicist.

But because my ability in math was based on time, not actual ability, I was even derided by the teacher in my precalculus class.

That being said, the Fractal of Life, in all its complexity and confusion has led me here, and actually anywhere is really okay. It is the journey, and feeling it, that matters.

At some point maybe the world education system will realize that there is a reason Finland’s education system (wherein children are not given homework and are allowed freedom after only three hours of school) has been top-rated worldwide. Maybe they will see that rather than trying to control and test what has been literally crammed into delicate grey matter, it is ultimately better to allow our infinitely more-intelligent-than-us yet extremely naive children to explore their world. After all it is theirs, and they will all tell you their concerns for the future, which are very real… Actually, there may be a correlation with the education system and the fact that Finland is also famous for its social support and peace in its society. It is consistently rated one of the top happiest countries on Earth according to the Happiness Index.

But it may take destroying all we have for reasons included in the Seven Deadly Sins (there is a reason they are called that), before we change our idiotic ways from control and fear of the unknown, to trusting and allowing guided growth. In that healthy future, people might choose very different careers. They might choose happiness instead of money, an in doing so really be alright financially.

In fact, people would be much happier because they would have been training since a young age to follow their interests instead of what they are force-fed to think is what they have to do. In this, the overall quality of everything, from furniture to management would improve, because only those who thought that they were good at something would pursue it, and they would know it from their elementary education. 

I was once told by Dr. Fujii, the Japanese traditional garden specialist, that the reason Japanese garden trees have changed so much is this. In ancient Japan, the trees were pruned for the way they wanted to grow. This style of pruning can still be seen in Kyoto, and the most beautiful example I have ever seen is the tiny private garden in the imperial palace there.

Now they are pruned to force them into what is considered the proper form, or what is most convenient for the space. They are caricatures of what they could be, and the gardens suffer for it visually.

The trees, like the children, are being stunted, forced to fit into a mold, and not allowed to become the greatest they could be.

Rainforest Commons

Happy birthday to me.

The last of the Amazon Rainforest is being torn down and scorched to ashes. I can feel it. It is a horrible. It is a classic example of the Tragedy of the Commons. The Rainforest has no physical owners… That anyone with power RESPECTS anyway. They are too wise for their own good in this small-minded modern world, and instead call themselves “Guardians of the Forest”. Also, they have no money, and in this story, people with money are greedy assholes who want more. So with guns, bulldozers, and flamethrowers, they take it. It’s not hard. Because to be a guardian is to understand that nothing in the world is yours. Not your children or your spouse. Nor your pet or your house. Philosophically speaking, we own nothing. We are born with nothing, and we die with nothing. Ownership is an illusion formed by society so that we can create rules and systems… But the rainforest does not work inside our little boxes.

The sad thing is that, we are so obsessed with what we have and what we want, that we have forgotten that what is shared is our greatest treasure. Our greatest moments of humanity are spent when we are together in some way, sharing an experience. A concert, an exhibit, an awestriking view, a traditional family dinner, an anniversary, a trip to the park. It is when we give to each other. When we forget “this person is MINE” and instead stare in wonder at the person we love after they have done something that strikes us at the depths of our souls… The sad thing is, the Rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants are a gift to us all. Like the artists at an exhibit, or the band at the concert, or our loved-one who is not ours but is there for us out of simply being there. We could have sat at dinner with the Rainforest and enjoyed her wonders, and instead we rape her and steal and burn. So that we can have a steak dinner with our loved ones who we know so much better. We don’t need the steak dinner… because just like too much sugar, the loss of the forest is going to kill us. Because we are so small, in our little societal boxes, we fail to see that this is going to be our undoing. Our individual greed translates to a colossal demon that is ripping the forests out, vomiting on the oceans, and creating agricultural deserts of nothing but “green”, because it is something inedible that does not contribute to the global ecosystem — meaning no one else can use it except for us. At the same time we increasingly commit atrocities within the social system, underneath our own noses and behind closed doors in the name of “science” for the next LD50 or to test the physical testicular load on rats so that we can see the best supplement for testosterone production. Ridiculous!!! What a joke. The Tragedy of the Commons is no less ridiculous than it was when first coined, and no less deadly. Because whatever is not owned by someone more powerful than anyone else, is going to be abused and destroyed in the name of…. Whatever anyone feels like saying!! “We are going to test on all sorts of little animals, because, well, they aren’t human.” So WHAT?! “We need more cows, so uh, we’re just going to build this farm right here where thousands of species are living now but will disappear.” What if it were OUR SPECIES?!

What.If.It.Were.Our.Family?

The Indigenous people’s religions in the USA and Mexico were misconstrued 450 years ago. They did not believe in this Father Sun God or that Mother Rain God. They believe that actually, the rain is their family member, the plants are their family members also. Because they are. Even in the Bible it says that man is to be steward; that means a guardian, not an abusive owner.

And if humanity is able to survive the next hundred and fifty years, it will be because we were somehow able to move past our little boxes, into a wider philosophy that protects the Commons, we found some sort of protection for the Commons, or we lost everything we had and somehow from the garbage left over from our ancestors, we built a new philosophy. One about being sisters and brothers with everything around us, because in the end, that is the only way we can maintain the world “for seven generations” after our own. And the land we stole, we took from the wise who had lived here 20,000 years already, and would live indefinitely, in their family of man and sky and land, enjoying concerts, exhibits, traditional family dinners, and trips to the park, had we not come.

Indigenous Lives are at stake… by our own hands. Please be conscious of your purchases, buy reused goods, eat more vegetables and fruit, and breathe in the moment. “This is OUR Earth, most friendly Earth and fair, daily her sea and shore, through sun and shadow, faithful she turns robed in her azure air…”

Grazing that Stimulates Growth

I was taught as a bio major that certain grazers feeding on plants stimulate them to grow more.

I never suspected that it could extend into the insect family!!

ススメガの幼虫がクチナシを食べる。 Sphyngidae “Hawk Moth” feeding on gardenia

For several years, I have been growing two gardenias. They are native to Japan, but due to my lack of fertilization, perhaps, they have been scraggly since sprouting about four years ago.

This year I found a cute little caterpillar near my plants. And another one. I tried to see which ones they would eat by putting them on different plants, because, you see, caterpillars turn into beautiful flying creatures that pollinate our flowers and fruits. So I didn’t want them to die. I found that they liked my gardenias, and knowing it was early spring and they would grow their few leaves back, I put the little guys to graze on them. They chose only the tenderest sprouting greens, and we’re quite picky… They turned out to be SuzumeGa (Hawk Moth, or Sphyngidae, Larvae), who eat pretty much only gardenias. They are lovely, huge moths with a shape like an arrow that hover while sipping nectar from flower to flower. I hope they survived because I haven’t seen many gardenias around here.

The Hawk Moth baby likes only the tenderest leaves… That will soon grow back much fuller!
The gardenia before consumption on the far right in the tall pot. Isn’t it scraggly? I think I could probably count the leaves on it, and they are evergreens!
A Hawk Moth in the Sphyngidae family. I didn’t take this amazing photo (I got it from the free pile) but I wish I had!

Gardenias, by the way, come in two types. The horticultural variety, with many petals, and the native to Japan, with only five. That being said, the one with only five petals, also called Kuchinashi (meaning “No Mouth”) produces an orange, almost flavorless fruit. This fruit is used as a natural coloring agent, and rather than using carcinogenic Yellow Five, the Japanese use Kuchinashi to color everything edible from candy to everyday packaged foods.

Where did the petals go? Rather, where did the seeds go… The seeds were turned into petals over time, as in many flowers, by gardeners who wanted more elaborate flowers. And the seeds disappeared, meaning that all of those plants have to be propagated vegetatively by cuttings, and cannot have their own babies. They can flower but not fruit. So of we plant them rather than the ones that can seed, they can never make their own… Well, that’s another story for another time.

Gardenia, the many-petaled Kuchinashi
Kuchinashi – the Gardenia that fruits

Anyway, lo and behold two months later, the places that were chomped on my Kuchinashis by those colorful babies are now full of leaves!! The moths, I believe, stimulated the leaves to produce more in response. Maybe it is similar to the technique that is being studied for stimulating crop production (see one of my earlier posts); bumblebees bite leaves to stimulate flowering earlier than normal. Anyway, food for thought. Don’t let your friends kill the caterpillars! Especially the cool-looking ones!!

Going back to our Roots

I read this article about an amazing discovery that bumblebees chomp leaves so that the plants will flower… up to a month earlier! They depend on the pollen for nectar. One thing that was obvious to me, but apparently not to the scientists in charge, stood out…

“When the study authors used metal forceps and a razor to mimic the holes the bees made, the plants bloomed earlier than normal, but not as soon as they did in response to the bees’ bites…’They do something we haven’t quite captured… We hope to figure this out.’…Doing so could create a whole new way for HUMANS to cultivate plants, a potentially major boon for agriculture.”

Why don’t they just use bumblebees to make the cuts? After all, they are going extinct…

My cousin owns a very successful company in California, dispersing beneficial insects over crops. Give owners have since time immemorial put hives into fruit tree fields to pollinate the flowers to make fruit.

We need to start working with nature again instead of trying to do things on our own. I know there are some powerful companies that would like to own seeds and the very DNA of life, but this practice needs to stop. So far it has caused a lot trouble for the world. It’s time for us to evolve… By going back to our roots.

No-Bake Awesome Cookies!

Hi guys! I have a suuuuper E-Z, tummy yummy recipe for you today! It is no-bake vegetarian cocoa cookies… Mmm’M!
I got a pack of ‘Green Banana Flour’ on iHerb. There was really no other flour to choose from, but this was pretty cheap and is really healthy, so I’m glad I got it! It doesn’t need to be cooked, either.

It has a similar recipe to what I made on the back, but I like to substitute oils and sugars for things that are less heavy. It calls for 3TBSP of coconut oil… Very greasy. Sometimes we can substitute milks for oils, and in this case it works. I substituted that for 1 TBSP of soymilk.

Instead of rolling the cookies in coconut flakes, I rolled them in Almond Flour, very easy to find in Japan.

And instead of 3 TBSP of hard-to-find Agave Nectar, I added 1 TBSP of Honey plus a tsp of Stevia, so the calorie content is really low but it doesn’t have that stevia taste.

Here is my recipe. The ingredients don’t have to be precise:

3 TBSP Green Banana Flour (or coconut flour)
3 TBSP Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
3 TBSP Any Nut Butter
1 TBSP Soymilk or Milk
1 TBSP Honey or a thick Syrup
1 tsp Stevia
Some Almond Flour spread out in a plate
A few Almonds

Mix together everything except the almond flour and the almonds until they stick together, about three minutes.
Wash your hands. Take about a TBSP and roll it in your hands. Squeeze an almond into the top and fit it around it. Roll the cookie in the almond flour. Remove the excess.

Put it on a plate and do the next one. Put them in the fridge for a few hours until they have set. Enjoy!

These are amazing cookies!! They are really filling and sweet but creamy, and they don’t have that much fat in them. They have a lot of fiber and protein. And best of all, they taste incredible!!

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months | Books | The Guardian

Perhaps there is truth in the magic of dates. On September 11, 1999 an unimaginable tragedy occurred in New York, as America woke up to the crumbling and enflamed Twin Towers.

On September 11, 1966 on the other hand, a story of warmth and humanity contradicting what has been taught in American High Schools for so long, was happening in Australia. This story reframes humanity and gives hope.

When I was in high school and junior high, almost all of the books we were forced to read were dark accounts of humanity, the evils of society and our world. The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and The Lord of the Flies are titles that everyone recognizes. My fellow students and I all wondered why we were subjected to a deluge of darkness at the dawn of life, and rightly so.

Now I see this wonderful story, the true story of the Lord of the Flies, not written by a bitter drunkard, but by the true history of six boys stranded on a deserted island and how they survived for a year and a half all alone by the goodwill of their hearts, comraderie, and their sheer determination.

I have often thought that literary education stands to change. I believe it is ridiculous that our youth should be subjected to suffer through these books, when much more optimistic ones abound. And clearly, as it is proven here, that dark view of society is simply not the only truth, and certainly not the only one we should be giving our next generation. I call for a cleansing of the shelves, a reevaluation of what is important so that we can envision and create a brighter and more human future.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months

Major companies, permanent work-from-home, and the future of humanity

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/01/major-companies-talking-about-permanent-work-from-home-positions.html

Yes. Let’s fast forward about 10 years. Because there are less people in cities, there is less chance for people to spread disease. Also, with more people in localized areas, local business flourishes again. Small businesses, mom and pop shops, and true pride through craftsmanship are given a new beginning. We also find space (in my wholesome and imagined future) for public edible landscape where everyone can meet their neighbors and chat while picking the red raspberries. Because people can get out more freely, there are more local social networks, and there’s also a deeper relationship with the landscape, as well as the inhabitants of it, the birds, the butterflies, and the bees. We move forward into another, more mature stage of humanity.

Yuzu Seedlings

Today I tried to find places to plant my yuzu seedlings around my neighborhood. There was so much concrete, or weed-killed areas, that it was really difficult to find any places where they might survive. When they grow, some people might enjoy them, while others will tear them out of the ground, and that is their right. To me, it is a little gift that I can give back to the world. I hope that many years from now, if someone wants a yuzu fruit and can’t find one at the store, they can take a walk and pick one from a wild tree.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying picking some of my vegetables from forgotten corners in my neighborhood, and from my willing neighbor’s trees. Wolfberry shoots are bitter but taste so nutritious, and mulberry shoots are delicious and tender. I was told to pick some bamboo shoots… But they are two feet tall now!If we can make more space on our roadsides and unused spaces for wild edible plants, we can raise our resilience levels for times when food might be scarce.

It scares me to think that this could have been MERS instead of CoVid-19. If that had happened, the food system would have collapsed.

If everyone knew what plants are edible, that would be great, but after two weeks or even a few days they would be gone. We need to create a world with more kindness towards other species, plant and animal. Birds spread mulberry seeds. Mulberries can provide not only berries but a nutritious vegetable for your dinner plate. But mulberries often get wacked away. We don’t know the value of the species we are destroying by laying down concrete, either.

When I was doing research in a small town down south, the elderly residents said they hadn’t seen a valued ethnobotanical plant (Ashitaba) for a long time in their neighborhood. I asked them why they thought that was, and they answered that they thought it was because there is too much concrete everywhere.

It seems like it is okay to rip trees and plants out of the ground, destroying other species’ homes, but it isn’t okay for us to defend them. Ask the town office why they overprune the roadside and park trees; it is their right to do that but the tree has no rights. The river by my house, covered and sided up by concrete, also has no rights. It isn’t okay to plant trees where people don’t want them, either. It isn’t okay to try to create a viable world for our grandkids.

I think CoVID-19 is a wake-up call for us to realize that we cannot do ‘business-as-usual’ anymore. We HAVE TO change, or we will fail, big time. But how to change?

Today I found a plant I had never seen before. It had been cut down and was growing out of its stump with the most beautiful leaves. I’m sure whoever hurt it didn’t care, and just wanted to make more room in their unused parking lot. Changing is taking baby steps. Opening our minds to new ways of thinking. Refusing to follow those who tell us that “this is the way we have always done it” or “this is the way business will prosper,” because business will not prosper long term and neither will any of us if we don’t change, NOW. Small actions count!! Let’s begin doing little things, thinking about things differently, and the world will change, one person at a time, one community at a time, one city at a time, one country at a time…

So if I would like to make a little Earth Day Wish, it would be for you, the reader, to do something small this week for the natural world. Whether it be planting some edible tree seeds, making a nest box, labeling some wild plants, stop using weed-killer and weeding (cut them and do mulching, cover them with cardboard and compost and plant species you want instead), de-investing in bad companies, donating to a trusted natural cause, sharing an article, making a bird bath, planting a tree in a parking lot, or destroying some concrete and replacing it with something else, or another warm-hearted action. I hope you can do it for yourself, your children, and the world around you.

Tech vortex?

So I was reading this article about how Chinese LCD panel companies are winning the race against LG and Samsung. The article is posted here.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-trends/LG-and-Samsung-in-full-retreat-before-Chinese-flat-panel-onslaught

It seems like there’s a tech vortex movement going on; they’re just trying to focus on the same technology instead of looking outside the box. They’re trying to make old technology better and better, and branch out into new kinds of panels. That being said, they’re still panels.

We could be being had; I often feel like they come up with technology and don’t actually put it out because they want to make money for the next year or two on old tech, but with this, I don’t think that’s the case.

I feel like with AR and that kind of technology, there’s a lot of potential that hasn’t been tapped that relates really closely. I predict that there’s going to be a huge shift within the next five years away from solid panels.

I think they probably have people working in think tanks in some of these companies trying to figure out new technology and how to integrate it into AR technology, or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just Google. The thing is that LCD panels (TV’s, monitors) take up a lot of natural resources, not to mention space in your house, and I’m sure that there is a better way to convey information.

I know there are a lot of people now using projectors, like the really cool projectors from Xiaomi that can be really close to the wall and are silent and can give you a really nice, big picture, but still projectors have their limitations like light interference.

So I’m thinking, something like some special glasses where you can look into them and see the AR of your favorite TV show or surf the net without having to take up any space at all… Kind of reminds me of a guy from the 1920s with a monocle.