Tag Archives: rap

Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma

Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma
Such a great talk with lots and lots of great info. Summary below for my future reference. * means that it blew my mind.

Terra Perma – Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup from Terra Perma on Vimeo.

– Pests and weeds have a beneficial ecological role. Pests attract good predators so let it happen.
– Analyse your site to see where the sun is passing. In summer a lot of intense sun will be bad so you can plan shady plants and trees at multiple heights. Same for winter, breeze/winds, etc.
– Where you walk past most often is where you can plant things that need the most attention. Think about design function in this way. Raised beds are easier to reach further in.
– Instead of the usual pets, why not chooks?
– Hi production plants like herbs are better in containers instead of crappy sand.
– TORK soil – Texture (sand/silt/clay), Organic matter like compost/mulch, Rock minerals, Kelp. Fill haft a jar with your soil and the other half with water, shake it up and let it settle. You’ll see the 3 textures so you’ll know what to add.
* Apples don’t just give us fruits. It comes along with birds and bees and beauty and and and!
* Annuals are when you plant something, it grows, then you grow it again after it goes to seed while perennials will be there for 3-5 years so more reward less effort. I’m sure I missed a part about the magic of deciduous trees that give a good shade in the summer and shed leaves in autumn/fall/winter so they are good as other plants get more light.
* SEED SAVING (this one really blew mine mind even though it was pretty obvious). You don’t only save seeds because they’re free or you keep on cycling but you save them because every generation will be stronger and more adapted to the soil. It changes genetically! (I’m so excited to learn this!)
– Talks about water tanks, clay in the soil to hold the same amount of water when it rains. Grey water or access to a bore. Tap water has chlorine which is antibacterial while the soil needs the bacteria so think about other options. Types of drippers. Wicking beds.
– Shade cloths are good pest solutions. Pests and weeds were all part of nature and human life. Also if you kill things like rats in a nontoxic way you can just put it under a tree and you don’t need to get blood and bone. I use a couple of facebook groups to know more about plants and animals. WA gardeners and Insects of Perth & South West Western Australia. So find out what the bugs and things are and then find out natural predators or solutions like getting frogs etc. – Benefits of ponds and Q and A to Z time.

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Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook

My Notes:
– Reframes negotiating as a good thing and you can use it anywhere! Gyms, credit cards, phone companies, etc.
– Gives you scrips you can good. Links with other goodies below.
– Build rapport by talking about how long you’ve been with them. Stay cool.
– Ask what else can they do or offer.
– What to do when others negotiate with you.
– Ask open ended questions not yes or no questions.
– In a job interview never answer salary requirements question.
– Women find it harder to ask but they also smile more which helps.
– How to take or turn down offers that are close to what you do like wedding photography. I don’t have the equipment right now, I’m not an expert but I’ll try.
– Don’t feel bad for charging what your worth is and first sell yourself to yourself. Creatives should not underestimate themselves. Don’t feel bad monetising your work. Don’t defend yourself, take it or leave it.
– Start of with an hourly rate and see what competitors charge.
– When you work for free tell them what your normal rate is and say you’re doing it because you want 3 referrals or whatever condition you decide because sometimes there are other things more valuable than money.
– Be prepared to answer ‘your greatest weakness’ question. Tell a good story as humans cannot stop listening to a good story.

Show notes from original post on Tim’s blog – http://tim.blog/2016/06/15/how-creatives-should-negotiate/
Optimizing your spending with credit card companies, cable and telephone providers, the gym — you name it. [07:46]
Ramit’s word-for-word negotiation script (tested with tens of thousands of people and multiple companies). [11:43]
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about negotiating. [13:01]
Mock negotiation (waiving a credit card late fee). [14:50]
The importance of rapport. [17:28]
Is rent negotiable? [18:50]
Negotiating even when you’ve already got the best price in town. [21:21]
How can you negotiate if you don’t have a perfect track record or the advantage of being a long-time customer? [22:28]
What to do when clients use your negotiation tactics on you? [23:18]
Are there gender differences in negotiation? [25:32]
How to answer the “What are your salary requirements?” question. [28:19]
The difference between theory and practice in negotiation. [31:21]
Your credit card was just sold to a new company. How long should you wait to negotiate with the new company? [31:55]
Can you negotiate insurance? [33:34]
Can you negotiate with monopolies? [34:32]
What Ramit learned by videotaping his negotiation style that changed everything. [35:43]
Why being “too busy” is a good problem for creatives to have. [43:08]
How to overcome the mindset of “I hate selling myself.” [43:53]
Understanding the needs of your client base, upping your rate, and justifying it (to yourself) without guilt. [50:25]
When you’re comfortable with your rates, you can be okay when clients say “No thanks.” [53:54]
Finding ways to overdeliver. [56:40]
How do introverts talk business? [57:47]
How much should you charge? [59:12]
Should you ever work for free? [1:00:40]
How to go from one client to many. [1:05:55]
How do you research what your competitors are charging when many of them don’t discuss it until they’re trying to close a sale? [1:08:10]
How do you handle price shoppers? [1:10:41]
For hourly consulting, is it better to price in packages? [1:13:22]
Do you have to tell a story to convey emotion every time you’re pitching a client? [1:14:52]
How powerful is a smile? [1:17:35]
How to answer, “What is your greatest weakness?” [1:20:56]
Reiterating the importance of storytelling. [1:26:44]
How to answer the “Among all candidates, why should I choose you?” question. [1:28:13]
How can you practice? [1:36:14]

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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations
I have tried to keep the notes as neat as possible. You can find another great summary here –
http://www.fscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Difficult-Conversations-Summary.pdf

Click to get the book or audiobook

– 3 Conversation
1. The “What Happened?” Conversation. Most difficult conversations involve disagreement about what has happened or what should happen. Who said what and who did what? Who’s right, who meant what, and who’s to blame?
2. The Feelings Conversation. Are my feelings valid? Appropriate? Should I acknowledge or deny them, put them on the table or check them at the door? What do I do about the other person’s feelings? What if they are angry or hurt? These feelings are not addressed directly in the conversation, but they leak in anyway.
3. The Identity Conversation. This is the conversation we each have with ourselves about what this situation means to us. We conduct an internal debate over whether this means we are competent or incompetent, a good person or bad, worthy of love or unlovable. What impact might it have on our self-image and self-esteem, our future and our well-being? Our answers to these questions determine in large part whether we feel “balanced” during the conversation, or whether we feel off-center and anxious.

– 3 fronts — Truth, Intentions, Blame
1. The Truth Assumption. As we argue vociferously for our view, we often fail to question one crucial assumption upon which our whole stance in the conversation is built: I am right, you are wrong. This simple assumption causes endless grief. There’s only one hitch: I am not right. They are not about what is true, they are about what is important. (Paras note: Something I say about relationships. Either one person wins/is right or the relationship wins/is right)
2. The Intention Invention. Did you yell at me to hurt my feelings or merely to emphasize your point? What I think about your intentions will affect how I think about you and, ultimately, how our conversation goes. We assume we know the intentions of others when we don’t. Worse still, when we are unsure about someone’s intentions, we too often decide they are bad. Sometimes people act with mixed intentions. Sometimes they act with no intention, or at least none related to us. And sometimes they act on good intentions that nonetheless hurt us.
3. The Blame Frame. Most difficult conversations focus significant attention on who’s to blame for the mess we’re in. We don’t care where the ball lands, as long as it doesn’t land on us. But talking about fault is similar to talking about truth—it produces disagreement, denial, and little learning. It evokes fears of punishment and insists on an either/or answer. Nobody wants to be blamed, especially unfairly, so our energy goes into defending ourselves. Talking about blame distracts us from exploring why things went wrong and how we might correct them going forward. Focusing instead on understanding the contribution system allows us to learn about the real causes of the problem, and to work on correcting them. The distinction between blame and contribution may seem subtle. But it is a distinction worth working to understand, because it will make a significant difference in your ability to handle difficult conversations.

– Why We Argue, and Why It Doesn’t Help. We think they are the problem. They think we are the problem. We each make sense in our story of what happened. Arguing blocks us from exploring each other’s stories. Arguing without understanding is unpersuasive.

– Move from Certainty to Curiosity. Curiosity: the way into their story. Embrace both stories: adopt the “and stance”. They can feel one thing and you can feel something totally opposite. Exceptions are I really am right (caught daughter smoking) and giving bad news (firing/breaking up).

– Disentangle Impact and Intent. Separating impact from intentions requires us to be aware of the automatic leap from “I was hurt” to “You intended to hurt me.” You can make this distinction by asking yourself three questions: 1. Actions: “What did the other person actually say or do?” 2. Impact: “What was the impact of this on me?” 3. Assumption: “Based on this impact, what assumption am I making about what the other person intended?” Share the Impact on You; Inquire About Their Intentions.

– Listen for Feelings, and Reflect on Your Intentions. When we find ourselves being accused of bad intentions — we have a strong tendency to want to defend ourselves: “That is not what I intended.” We are defending our intentions and our character. However, as we’ve seen, starting here leads to trouble.

– Listen Past the Accusation for the Feelings. Accusation about our bad intentions is always made up of two separate ideas: (1) we had bad intentions and (2) the other person was frustrated, hurt, or embarrassed. Don’t pretend they aren’t saying the first. You’ll want to respond to it. But neither should you ignore the second. And if you start by listening and acknowledging the feelings, and then return to the question of intentions, it will make your conversation significantly easier and more constructive.

– Be Open to Reflecting on the Complexity of Your Intentions. When it comes time to consider your intentions, try to avoid the tendency to say, “My intentions were pure.” We usually think that about ourselves, and sometimes it’s true. But often, as we’ve seen, intentions are more complex.

– Blame Is About Judging, and Looks Backward. Contribution Is About Understanding, and Looks Forward. Contribution is joint and interactive.

– Three Misconceptions About Contribution.
1: I should focus only on my contribution.
2: putting aside blame means putting aside my feelings.
3: exploring contribution means, “blaming the victim”.

– Four Hard-to-Spot Contributions.
1. Avoiding until now.
2. Being unapproachable.
3. Intersections.
4. Problematic role assumptions.

– Two Tools for Spotting Contribution. Role reversal. The observer’s insight.

– Map the Contribution System. What are they contributing? What am I contributing? List each person’s contribution. My contributions. His contributions. Who else is involved? Take responsibility for your contribution early. Help them understand their contribution. Make your observations and reasoning explicit. Clarify what you would have them do differently.

– Don’t Vent: Describe Feelings Carefully.
1. Frame feelings back into the problem.
2. Express the full spectrum of your feelings.
3. Don’t evaluate — just share. Express your feelings without judging, attributing, or blaming. Don’t monopolize: both sides can have strong feelings at the same time. An easy reminder: say “I feel . . . .”

– The Importance of Acknowledgment. What does it mean to acknowledge someone’s feelings? It means letting the other person know that what they have said has made an impression on you, that their feelings matter to you, and that you are working to understand them. “Wow,” you might say, “I never knew you felt that way,” or, “I kind of assumed you were feeling that, and I’m glad you felt comfortable enough with me to share it,” or, “It sounds like this is really important to you.” Let them know that you think understanding their perspective is important, and that you are trying to do so: “Before I give you a sense of what’s going on with me, tell me more about your feeling that I talk down to you.” Sometimes feelings are all that matter.

– Three Core Identities. Am I competent? Am I a good person? Am I worthy of love?

– Vulnerable Identities: the all-or-nothing syndrome. Denial. Exaggeration. We let their feedback define who we are.

– Ground Your Identity.
1: become aware of your identity issues.
2: complexify your identity (adopt the And Stance).

– Three Things to Accept About Yourself.
1. You will make mistakes.
2. Your intentions are complex.
3. You have contributed to the problem.

– Learn to Regain Your Balance. Let go of trying to control their reaction. Prepare for their response. Imagine that it’s three months or ten years from now. Take a break.

-Three Kinds of Conversations That Don’t Make Sense.
1: is the real conflict inside you?
2: is there a better way to address the issue than talking about it?
3: do you have purposes that make sense?

– Remember, You Can’t Change Other People. Don’t focus on short-term relief at long-term cost. Don’t hit-and-run. Letting go. Adopt some liberating assumptions. It’s not my responsibility to make things better; it’s my responsibility to do my best. They have limitations too. This conflict is not who I am. Letting go doesn’t mean I no longer care. Create a learning conversation.

– If You Raise It: Three Purposes That Work.
1. Learning their story.
2. Expressing your views and feelings.
3. Problem-solving together.

– Why Our Typical Openings Don’t Help. We begin inside our own story. We trigger their identity conversation from the start.

– Getting Started.
1: Begin from the Third Story. For example, in the battle between bicycles and cars for the streets of the city, the third story would be the one told by city planners, who can understand each side’s concerns and see why each group is frustrated with the other. When tensions arise in a marriage, the third story might be the one offered by a marriage counselor. In a dispute between friends, the third story may be the perspective of a mutual friend who sees each side as having valid concerns that need to be addressed. Think like a mediator. Not right or wrong, not better or worse – just different. If they start the conversation, you can still step to the third story.
2: Extend an Invitation. Describe your purposes. Invite, don’t impose. Make them your partner in figuring it out. Be persistent.

– “I Wonder If It Would Make Sense . . . ?” Revisiting conversations gone wrong. Talk about how to talk about it. A map for going forward: third story, their story, your story.

– What to Talk About: The Three Conversations (What Happened? Feeling. Identity). Explore where each story comes from. Share the impact on you. Take responsibility for your contribution. Describe feelings. Reflect on the identity issues. How to talk about it: listening, expression, and problem-solving.

– Listening to Them Helps Them Listen to You. The stance of curiosity: how to listen from the inside out. Forget the words, focus on authenticity. The commentator in your head: become more aware of your internal voice. Don’t turn it off, turn it up. Managing your internal voice. Negotiate your way to curiosity. Don’t listen: talk.

– Three Skills: 1: Inquiry, 2: Paraphrasing, and 3: Acknowledgment.
1: Inquire to Learn – don’t make statements disguised as questions. Don’t use questions to cross-examine. Ask open-ended questions. Ask for more concrete information. Create a learning conversation. Examples – can you say a little more about how you see things? What information might you have that I don’t? How do you see it differently? What impact have my actions had on you? Can you say a little more about why you think this is my fault? Were you reacting to something I did? How are you feeling about all of this? Say more about why this is important to you? What would it mean to you if that happened? Make it safe for them not to answer.
2: Paraphrase for Clarity – check your understanding. Show that you’ve heard. Create a learning conversation.
3: Acknowledge Their Feelings (Paras note: big one for me) – answer the invisible questions. How to acknowledge. Order matters: acknowledge before problem-solving. Acknowledging is not agreeing.
A final thought: empathy is a journey, not a destination

– Failure to Express Yourself Keeps You Out of the Relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in. Don’t make your story simplistic: use the “me-me” and.

Telling Your Story with Clarity: Three Guidelines.
1. Don’t Present Your Conclusions as The Truth.
2. Share Where Your Conclusions Come From.
3. Don’t Exaggerate with “Always” and “Never”.
“Always” and “never” do a pretty good job of conveying frustration, but they have two serious drawbacks. First, it is seldom strictly accurate that someone criticizes every time, or that they haven’t at some point said something positive. Using such words invites an argument over the question of frequency: “That’s not true. I said several nice things to you last year when you won the interoffice new idea competition”—a response that will most likely increase your exasperation.

“Always” and “never” also make it harder — rather than easier — for the other person to consider changing their behavior. In fact, “always” and “never” suggest that change will be difficult or impossible. The implicit message is, “What is wrong with you such that you are driven to criticize my clothes?” or even “You are obviously incapable of acting like a normal person.”

A better approach is to proceed as if (however hard it may be to believe) the other person is simply unaware of the impact of their actions on you, and, being a good person, would certainly wish to change their behavior once they became aware of it. You could say something like: “When you tell me my suit reminds you of wrinkled old curtains, I feel hurt. Criticizing my clothes feels like an attack on my judgment and makes me feel incompetent.” If you can also suggest what you would wish to hear instead, so much the better: “I wish I could feel more often like you believed in me. It would really feel great to hear even something as simple as, ‘I think that color looks good on you.’ Anything, as long as it was positive.”

The key is to communicate your feelings in a way that invites and encourages the recipient to consider new ways of behaving, rather than suggesting they’re a schmuck and it’s too bad there’s nothing they can do about it.

– Give Them Room to Change. Help them understand you. Ask them to paraphrase back. Ask how they see it differently — and why.

– You can reframe anything. The ‘you-me’ and (I can try to understand you and you can try to understand me). It’s always the right time to listen. Be persistent about listening. It takes two to agree. Gather information and test your perceptions. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Putting It All Together. (See below checklist for more details). 1: prepare by walking through the three conversations. 2: check your purposes and decide whether to raise it. 3: start from the third story. 4: explore their story and yours. 5: problem-solving.

– Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power. Orators need not apply. You’re entitled (yes, you). Failure to express yourself keeps you out of the relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in.

– Don’t Make Your Story Simplistic: Use the “Me-Me” And. “This memo shows incredible creativity, and at the same time is so badly organized that it makes me crazy.” In your attempt to be clear, you say, “Your memo is so badly organized it makes me crazy,” or worse, “Your memo makes me crazy.”

– Problem-Solving: Take the Lead. Reframe, reframe, reframe! You can reframe anything. The “you-me” and (“I can listen and understand what you have to say, and you can listen and understand what I have to say.”). It’s always the right time to listen. Name the dynamic: make the trouble explicit. Now what? Begin to problem-solve. It takes two to agree.

– Gather Information and Test Your Perceptions. Propose crafting a test. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Difficult conversation checklist
Step 1: Prepare by Walking Through the Three Conversations
– Sort out What Happened. Where does your story come from (information, past experiences, rules)? Theirs? What impact has this situation had on you? What might their intentions have been? 
What have you each contributed to the problem?
– Understand Emotions. 
Explore your emotional footprint, and the bundle of emotions you experience.
– Ground Your Identity. What’s at stake for you about you? What do you need to accept to be better grounded?

Step 2: Check Your Purposes and Decide Whether to Raise the Issue
– Purposes: What do you hope to accomplish by having this conversation? Shift your stance to support learning, sharing, and problem-solving.
– Deciding: Is this the best way to address the issue and achieve your purposes? Is the issue really embedded in your Identity Conversation? Can you affect the problem by changing your contributions? If you don’t raise it, what can you do to help yourself let go?

Step 3: Start from the Third Story
– Describe the problem as the difference between your stories. Include both viewpoints as a legitimate part of the discussion.
– Share your purposes.
– Invite them to join you as a partner in sorting out the situation together.

Step 4: Explore Their Story and Yours
– Listen to understand their perspective on what happened. Ask questions. Acknowledge the feelings behind the arguments and accusations. Paraphrase to see if you’ve got it. Try to unravel how the two of you got to this place.
– Share your own viewpoint, your past experiences, intentions, feelings.
– Reframe, reframe, reframe to keep on track. From truth to perceptions, blame to
contribution, accusations to feelings, and so on.

Step 5: Problem-Solving
– Invent options that meet each side’s most important concerns and interests.
– Look to standards for what should happen. Keep in mind the standard of mutual caretaking; relationships that always go one way rarely last.
– Talk about how to keep communication open as you go forward.

Contents:
Foreword by Roger Fisher
Acknowledgments
Introduction

The Problem
1 Sort Out the Three Conversations

Shift to a Learning Stance – The “What Happened?” Conversation
2 Stop Arguing About Who’s Right: Explore Each Other’s Stories
3 Don’t Assume They Meant It: Disentangle Intent from Impact
4 Abandon Blame: Map the Contribution System

– The Feelings Conversation
5 Have Your Feelings (Or They Will Have You)

– The Identity Conversation
6 Ground Your Identity: Ask Yourself What’s at Stake

– Create a Learning Conversation
7 What’s Your Purpose? When to Raise It and When to Let Go
8 Getting Started: Begin from the Third Story
9 Learning: Listen from the Inside Out
10 Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power
11 Problem-Solving: Take the Lead
12 Putting It All Together

A Road Map to Difficult Conversations
A Note on Some Relevant Organizations

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Mega 90’s at Metro City (Dr. Alban, Technotronic, The Real McCoy & 2 Unlimited) 17 March 2017

First of all the important bit. I finally got to meet one of my first heroes, my favourite producers and musical obsession DR. ALBAN! Has to be one of my most memorable days.

Now for the full story. My bro had gone to a previous Mega 90s event with other 90s starts like Haddaway, Corona, Blackbox etc. I just thought they were tribute acts so wasn’t too interested. Then find out it’s the real artists themselves! Oh well too late for that one and anyway it wasn’t Dr. Alban.

This time round it was and even though Prasheel insisted they weren’t tribute acts it took me a while to register. At first I was just going to book normal tickets until I saw the VIP option where you get to meet the star, 2 items autographed and photo op. OH YEAH! Back in the day I even mailed his studio to tell them I’ll leave everything even to clean their toilets if I get to be around the MD (Microphone Dentist).

Tickets booked an all but Oztix were pretty disorganised. Later on sending me an email saying that they’ll start at 8pm and on the day… LAST MINUTE sending an email staying the meet and greet will be at 6:00pm so be there by 5:30pm after artist finish their sound check. Had to drop everything I was doing to catch the busses and trains. Now where I live is pretty far and closer to farmland so had to wait a while for a bus. Usually the busses are small but since it was when kids finish school it was a bendy bus and packed full of school kids bringing the noise. My nose and throat weren’t doing too well since the day before so all the kids cooties made it worse. Oh well I can’t afford to get sick until after tonight!

I was still feeling bummed and Prasheel had opted for the VIP meet and greet to but he was going to be in meetings and all. Just before I got to Metro I blocked a van that turned into the back parking. Had a feeling it was the artists and IT WAS! Feeling like a groupie. I wanted to run in the back as I saw him come out! Anyway went to the front and looks like I was second there. Derrick in a wheelchair was there first to do a meet and greet with The Real McCoy. Now thats dedication. We chit and chat. More people come. Find out there are only 4 people up to see Dr. Alban which included 2 Russian dudes who just got to Perth that day. Reeking of vodka.

Gates open. I had planned everything I was going to tell Dr. Alban and instead of just pictures I’ll set the video on so it records a video and also whoever takes pics can capture that too. The non-english speaking Russian did a great job. Dr. Alban kept asking me which of his songs are popular in Perth but I was so gone I just saying the same thing. You can see his frustrated smile in the video. I was fanboying so badly! I even had to be reminded to get my 2 autographs so got my Straight Outta Kenya shirt signed. After the video was taken I just started jumping all over the place lol. Dude is still so built for a 59 year old.

Russian guys want to drink but it’s St. Patricks day so both the Irish pubs in Northbridge had queues. Take them to NBC for their drinks while I walk down to Utopia to catch up with the boys. I was still super early so go back to chill with the Russians and talk Ace of Base, Acapella, La Bouche etc. Back to Utopia with Vikas, Hems and Dilan (who by the way gave us the first Dr. Alban album… how perfect is this!?) Eat, drink, good company and chat. I’m still drying my underwear from the excitement.

Walk down to Metro. Meet Prasheel (we both used to chill and listen to these artists). The organiser told me he can get Prasheel to meet Dr. Alban before he performs so there was still hope. Prasheel gives me a tour or the stair maze that is Metro city. Chill and so glad Prasheel got his meet and greet. He requested Dr. Alban to play Let The Beat Go On.

Locals DJ Nick Skitz & MC James Spy get the party started. Did some awesome remixes of the 90s songs. Hard bass and live saxophone. NICE!

Dr. Alban is on first. He didn’t look too pleased with the sound and was pointing at the speaker a couple of times but otherwise best performance of the night and not only because it was Dr. Alban. Technotronic was next and as much as I want to support them for what they’re doing it felt like they were dragging that one main song for too long and then the other few bits not many people knew. The Real McCoy and MC Sar were next and MC still has that rough voice. They even got on the dance floor with the crowd. And finally 2 Unlimited with their dancers. The new lady singer reminds me of a skinny version of my crush LisaRaye McCoy. I thought the rapper Ray had gone to pursue his own rapping career but so glad to see him perform. Still so fast, live and gangsta!

All in all a great night with great company and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve seen the inside of a club. The fact that I got to see these guys with the people I’ve shared these memories with from Dilan hooking my and my bro up with the music to seeing the artist with Prasheel who shares the same love since way back made all the magic. Oh and I got one of my longest wishes fulfilled, which incase I haven’t emphasised already…. ah you know it.

Doors: 8pm
Nick Skitz Set: 8pm
Dr Alban: 9pm
Technotronic: 9:30pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: 10:00pm
Real McCoy: 10:30pm
2 Unlimited: 11:00pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: following 2 Unlimited til Midnight
DJ TIMBEE – 90s Aftershow party – Midnight til late

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Avoiding waste with the Japanese concept of ‘mottainai’

The idea of ‘mottainai’—a Japanese approach to the concept of waste—could provide the west with a philosophical answer to environmental crises. Kevin Taylor, a graduate student in environmental philosophy from Southern Illinois University, explores this nuanced ethic of care and its deep roots in eastern ways of thinking.

In environmental studies, islands are often noted as isolated places where people have caused problems by exhausting local resources. The most famous example is Easter Island.

The builders of the famous statues, aware that they were almost completely isolated from the rest of the world, must surely have realised that their very existence depended on the limited resources of the small island. Yet they exhausted its resources anyway. This is often used as a metaphor for what we are doing to the planet; an idea made popular by Clive Ponting in his A Green History of the World.

Mottainai has come to be thought of as an all-encompassing Japanese term for the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and respect.

 

In an increasingly globalised world, island nations have access to outside resources but the island mentality remains in countries such as Japan, which has developed a particular environmental awareness articulated concisely by the word mottainai.

The term expresses a feeling of regret at wasting the intrinsic value of a resource or object, and can be translated as both ‘what a waste’ and ‘don’t be wasteful’.

In recent years, the concept of mottainai has been popularised by Japanese and international media, as well as through children’s literature and in academia. Despite the pop culture applications, the word itself is said to have origins in Buddhist philosophy and religious syncretism. It has long been used to express the feeling of regret that carries with it metaphysical, ethical, and aesthetic connotations.

As a concept, mottainai reflects the feeling that arises from the awareness of both the interdependence and impermanence of all things.

‘The four Rs’

Thanks to Wangari Maathai, an accomplished political and environmental activist, mottainai has come to be thought of as an all-encompassing Japanese term for the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and respect.

 

Before Maathai popularised mottainai outside of Japan, the word was being used by environmentally conscious Japanese activists in 2002. But Japanese scholars and authors insist that the mottainai spirit has been a part of Japanese culture for a long time, especially during the resource-starved post-war period.

Indeed, many Japanese attribute a mottainai attitude to their grandparents. Mariku Shinju illustrated this very attitude in her children’s book Mottainai Grandma.

‘Our parents told us what mottainai is so we know what it means. But if we don’t teach them to our children, they don’t learn,’ she says. ‘It’s a very scary thing. That’s why I thought we have to make an effort to teach the idea and to change the situation.’

This older generation was forced to live through a resource-poor era and the practice of frugality found resonance in Buddhism. Mottainai Grandma was published in 2005, which was the same year Maatthai first introduced it to the world.

Shinto

According to Yuko Kawanishi, a sociologist at Tokyo Gakugei University, mottainai also has ties with Shinto animism, the idea that all objects have a spirit—or kami.

The idea that we are part of nature and should maintain a harmonious relationship with nature is a deep part of Japanese psychology.

Not only does nature find itself imbued with kami, Shinto also celebrates the spirituality in man-made objects.

A prime example of this can be found in the idea of tsukumogami(animated household objects). Tsukumogami are a type of yōkai—variously translated as monster, spirit, goblin, ghost, demon, phantom, spectre, fantastic being, lower-order deity, or more amorphously as any unexplainable experience or numinous occurrence.

When an object turns 100 years old, it attains a spirit and becomes a tsukumogami. The concept that 100-year-old objects are imbued with spirits was an outgrowth of the Shinto reverence for objects and sacred spaces. A modern day ritual known as ningyō kuyō collects unwanted but not unloved dolls and, in a kind of mock funeral, prays for them and thanks the dolls for years of fond memories.

Even though the dolls are not technically tsukumogami, a ritual is performed to purify and drive out the spirits within. Both Shinto and Buddhist sects perform the ritual, though funerals are typically the realm of Buddhist priests. The general perception is that the ritual is necessary to help the passage of the spirit from the realm of the living to the realm of the dead.

This reverence for objects is commonly applied to katana, teapots and calligraphy brushes, but also to more mundane items such as pencil boxes, room dividers and umbrellas.

Buddhism

While Mottainai has been identified in such manifestations, it is for the most part understood as having its origins in Buddhist philosophy—particularly the concept of pratītyasamutpāda, or dependent origination.

Buddhist environmentalism is said to have begun with Gary Snyder in the early 1950s. Among Snyder’s contributions to eco-Buddhism was his ecological reading of Indra’s net—a metaphor used to illustrate the concept of dependent origination.

Eco-Buddhist David Barnhill describes the theory as ‘relational holism’, simultaneously affirming the primacy of relationships among particulars, but also the primacy of the whole.

It is here that we find Buddhism and ecology share a common vocabulary—particularly in terms of interconnectedness—which cautions us to be mindful of our actions so as to minimise suffering and not be wasteful.

The Buddhist monastic tradition emphasises a life of frugality in order to concentrate on the attainment of enlightenment. In fact, stories of ascetic denial in Buddhism are not uncommon, and such stories lend credence to the belief that mottainai is Buddhist in origin. It is within this move towards frugality that a Japanese aesthetic begins to emerge from mottainai as a concept of waste.

Mottainai attempts to communicate the inherent value in a thing and encourage using objects fully or all the way to the end of their lifespan. Leave no grain of rice in your bowl; if a toy breaks, repair it; and take good care of everything.

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Nutritional Myths, Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Dr. Mike (Dr. Michael VanDerschelden) … thanks John Bergman

Nutritional Myths, Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Dr. Mike (Dr. Michael VanDerschelden) … thanks John Bergman

I just want to say I don’t know if it’s cool or if it’s not professional for a Doctor to say things like incisor teeths (pronounced teets) and using hip-hop language like ‘haters’. Yes that is what confused me. Anyway, I’ve summarised the points under each video.

Nutrional Myths with Dr. Mike Part 1 of 2

– Healthiest diet is low-fat. High-carb diet with lots of grains (Myth). The food pyramid is designed to make you sick.
– Restrict salt in order to lower blood pressure and prevent hearth attack and stroke (Myth) Insufficient evidence. Salt took the blame for what fructose should have been blamed for.
– It is best to eat many small meals throughout the day to increase metabolism (Myth). Breaks down the hunters diet and how starvation mode is good.
– Egg yolks should be avoided because they are high in cholesterol which drives heart disease (Myth). There is more evidence of the benefits. The darker deep orange the egg yolk the healthier the egg. Not pale yellow.
– Ancel Keys studies 22 countries and hand picked only 7 to chart high saturated fat intake results when the graph plotted with all countries showed the stats to be really random.
– He doesn’t support isolated proteins as it’s not WHOLEfood.
– People who reduce or stop meat get healthier also because they stopped eating crappy meat so look for grass fed.
– People in France get a baguette everyday because it will get hard quick because it doesn’t have preservatives.

Nutrional Myths with Dr. Mike Part 2 of 2

– Meat is bad for you (Myth). Insufficient evidence. Overcooked meat is cancerous so cook at lower temps and cut off burnt part. Paras note: I love the burnt part! Also processed meats are bad for you and not unprocessed meats. Make sure you get organic and grass-fed beef.
– All hunter gatherer sites showed high meat content. This is his argument for humans being designed to eat meat. The consumption of animal foods is also linked to large and complex brain evolution. Other arguments are the digestive system and acid to break down animal protein and of course incisor ‘teets’.
– Coffee is actually good for you. More coffee less liver cancer. 4 or more cups a day lowered cancer recurrence by 52%. 2-3 cups daily = 31%. It reduced the risk of 11 other cancers. Drinks are less likely to have coronary artery calcium which is a predictor or heart disease. 1-6 cups daily reduces stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, infections, etc. BUT you need to get the right coffee otherwise you’re going to get all the sicknesses. Get certified organic, fair trade.
– Whole grains are good for you (Myth). None of them are really ‘whole’ because they’re all ground so you get more blood sugar and a faster hit of it. It’s bad for you ‘straight up’.
– Gluten-free means healthy (Myth). Choose things that are naturally gluten-free or you’re just replacing the gluten possibly worse chemicals.

Intermittent Fasting

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Note: The main reason I’m sharing this is because I’ve been doing it and feel like it’s a good way to go personally but I also feel your diet is like your fashion sense and personal tastes… only you can experiment and figure out what is best for you. I believe some people will not do well without meat (like Michael Clarke Duncan) while some don’t do well with intermittent fasting. It’s all on your epigenetics ;o)

– Not one research article on eating 6 small meals a day.
– You need to go through ‘starvation mode’. Hunters and gatherers did this while hunting which burns your stored fat. It takes 6-8 hours to metabolise the glycogen.
– Goes through a whole load of health benifits. (Time 9:06 – 10)
– Human growth hormone can release if insulin is not being released so fasting helps the process.
– Preserves health of the brain, better memory. Ketones are good for you.
– Insulin sensitivity is improved. You just need a little released but when you lose sensitivity you release more and more. This is what the body does if you do the 6 small meals a day. Paras note: I’ve been doing the 6 small meals for as long as I can remember. Been fine so far. I also switched to intermittent fasting last year and been find this way too!
– Shares his routine and goes into a Q&A.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

– Does the usual comparison between a long distance runner and sprinters physique.
– So the study between HIIT and steady-state cardio showed. HIIT achieved 7 x more fat loss and 2lbs more muscle. While steady-state cardio lost 1lb of muscle.
– Your body is not designed to slow run for 60 mins. Hunters ran in sprints then rest. Cardiac risk increases with excessive aerobic activity.
– With HIIT you’re using all muscle fibres. Fast twitch and slow twitch. With aerobic you’re only using 40%.
– HIIT reduces telomere shortening. When the telomere can’t shorten anymore you die so you’re reducing that. Lots of benefits with HIIT.
– The workout. You only workout for 20 minutes. Paras note: I do about 30. You can do any workout from swimming, cycling, walking, weights etc. 1: 3 minute warmup, 2: 30 seconds exercise as hard as you can, 3: 90 seconds rest, 4: repeat 7 more times. (Paras note: I’d say repeat as many times as you feel fit to do so. Give it 2-3 days to recover. Workout about 3 times a week.
– Goes into intermittent fasting.

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