International Women’s Day: girls and women – where to from here?

Here we go again, it is International Women’s Day 2016. A great day to celebrate women’s achievements and their place in the world. If you are a man, cherish the women in your life. If you are a woman and lucky enough to live in circumstances that allow you to kick back and relax, do whatever makes you feel good – and yes, I know it is Monday, but what the heck! We deserve it :)

250 million girls live in poverty worldwide

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Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t stress – it has it’s benefits!

Single on Valentine’s Day? Don’t stress – it has it’s benefits!

You are single on Valentine’s Day – you are not alone!

World-wide, the single person household is growing rapidly in line with economic development and education. The more developed and educated, the higher the proportion of single person households…it is predicted that the lone person household will rise most of all households over the next 25 years and more than half of these households are females.  And the reason is simply that people want to live an individualistic lifestyle when they can afford it.

The economics of Valentine’s Day

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Green Valentine’s Day 2016 for greenie sweethearts

Green Valentine’s Day 2016 for greenie sweethearts

What is Valentine’s Day about ?

If love is an embrace, a kiss, caring and feeling – a fondness or affection, why then has the annual celebration of love – St. Valentine’s Day become a consumer driven machine worth an estimated $18.9 billion USD that leaves even the most reasonable of spendthrifts feeling a little sinful (estimate of figures by About News – that’s huge!)

In the 1850’s Esther A. Howland began mass producing Valentine’s cards in the US, from the 18th century custom of exchanging handmade cards to loved ones on St. Valentine’s Day and it has steadily gained momentum to the excessive holiday it is today that people love to hate and retailers unashamedly relish.

St. Valentine’s Day wasn’t always linked with love, it wasn’t until Chaucer’s Love Birds that the custom of exchanging cards began.

The history of Valentine’s Day:

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World Animal Day 4 October

World Animal Day 4 October

Did you know that there is such a day as World Animal Day? And that this week is also ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’?

Each of us can make a big difference to animals.  Rather than harping on about the state of animals around the world today I will let the wonderful initiatives that various people have founded to celebrate animals speak for themselves:

Check out the Be Kind To Animals Week website which is a bounty of resources for schools and others who simply wish to care for animals.

The top 10 ways to help animals according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). I don’t entirely agree with this list but it is good food for thought.

World Animal Day UK website – very cool site with lot’s of information!!

Check out the beautiful rescue animals – more than 300 – who live at Edgar’s Mission in Victoria, Australia! That will put a smile on your dial! There are similar projects all around the world which are testimony to the many animal lovers out there who wish to create a fairer place for all animals, human and non-human! And maybe somebody will get inspired to set one up right now.

And last but by no means least, please watch the wonderful Avian Behaviourist Josh Cook : Thinking Outside the Cage and showing us how we could engage in a beautiful two way relationship with birds.


Happy World Animal Day everybody!!!


9 must reads for conservationists

Protecting the environment is becoming more and more urgent and is by no means a new issue. We need more conservationists. Our green conscience has been evolving since the beginning of the industrialisation. Here are nine must read books – some because they put the climate change debate and environmental protection into historical context and others because they are entertaining and have brought environmental issues to the masses.

Just click on the links in the carousel below. Should the carousel not load for you, below is the list spelled out again.

The list is:

  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, 1865
  • Germinal by Emile Zola, 1885
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson 1962
  • Flight of Ashes by Monika Maron 1986
  • Farewell to Matyora by Valentin Rasputin, 1995
  • Purple America by Rick Moody, 1998
  • The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson 2003
  • The Swarm: by Frank Schatzing,  2007
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, 2008
self induced hearing loss & how to prevent it

self induced hearing loss & how to prevent it

Self Induced Hearing Loss

Attention has been focused on the potentially negative effects smartphones can have by way of emissions, privacy intrusion and unsafe driving practices. We haven’t yet shed sufficient light on the impact smartphones, MP3 players and other listening devices can have on our hearing.

1.1 Billion Young People Are at Risk of Hearing Loss

This has led to a situation where,  according to estimates by the World Health Organisation, about 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.

Due to the prevalence of relatively cheap modern technology we are facing a sharp rise in self-induced hearing loss.  Luckily, however, state of the art remedies – including highly effective and almost invisible hearing aids- are available.

Prevention of Hearing Loss Requires a Change in Attitude

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Reflections on Mother’s Day

vcm_s_kf_repr_640x448It’s Mother’s Day again. We take the existence of modern day Mother’s Day for granted and it seems a great idea. Because mothers mostly put their children first Mother’s Day is designed to put mothers’ needs first for a change. It apparently is celebrated in more than 45 countries. Because, surprise, surprise, everybody has a mother! Hence – this day is relevant to all of us. Whether we want to remember our mothers or still have the opportunity to spend time or money on our mother or whether we are a mother – Mother’s Day is for all of us.

The modern day version of Mother’s Day originated in the USA and is just over 100 years old. Unfortunately and allegedly to the despair of the women who advocated for the day, it is has been largely commercialised.

Mother’s Day gifts that Won’t Cost the Earth

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International Women’s Day – make it happen – make what happen?

International Women’s Day – make it happen – make what happen?

International Woman’s Day marks the achievements and highlights the plight of women around the world.  This year’s theme is: Make it Happen.

Making what happen, you may ask. People often state that woman have achieved so much and enjoy equal rights and don’t require special attention these days and age.  This might be true in our immediate environment, BUT, there is one particular area where women seem to be most vulnerable.

Violence against women.

Here are some key facts: [Read more…]

Business and Human Rights the basics (2)

The Business and Human Rights field is evolving quickly.

If you are interested in the topic from an academic viewpoint, the debate about a business and human rights binding treaty will interest you. If you are more interested in the practical application of human rights in the business world, outcomes of litigation and new case studies, then the following will be more relevant to you:

The Institute for Business and Human Rights has released their list of 2015 Business and human rights priorities again, each of which offers a good entry point into the topic.

Alternatively, you can read the list of priorities here with some extra explanations. Now you obtained a quick overview of priorities in business and human rights, here is an introductory resource list for those of you who want to dig deeper into the topic:

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Drug Awareness Week: How Safe are Prescription Drugs?

Drug Awareness Week: How Safe are Prescription Drugs?


The American Recall Centre is running an outreach programme to raise awareness of the use of medical drugs in the USA  and part of the outreach consists of asking bloggers to share the information with their networks during drug awareness week.  Upon review of the facts, it is clear why: Did you know, the United States alone consumes 75% of the worlds prescription drugs? And that: [Read more…]