Wall-E Jamie 2…

Since watching Wall-E for the first time last week, Jamie has really got into the theme!

He used my collection of badges and pinned them onto his lego PJs, pretending to be Wall-E. He’s started talking like him and has a little bowl with his collection of interesting objects.

Claire and I have both made Wall-E related lego models and he loved the one Claire made!

I also showed Jac how to play Downfall. He was getting slightly frustrated at first but then picked how to turn the wheels and line up the adjacent holes really well. He sees to like detailed technical activities.

Also a super-hill train track!

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Wall-E Jamie…

We just watched the Disney/Pixar film Wall-E the other day for the first time. Great film but I thought it was a pretty bleak start! Then I remembered that Disney only distributed it. Pixar created and produced it.

Anyway, Jamie seemed inspired by it and made a Lego Wall-E with Claire!

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Film: ‘Simply Raw – Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days’…

What an amazing documentary. This is the third film we’ve watched in the last week and they’ve all been incredible. They have had so much power as they are about real issues, real people and real stories.

Simply Raw: reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.

It’s certainly one of the best films i’ve seen and it encapsulates issues such as health care, disease, healthy living, nutrition and personal achievement. It just shows what you can do if you really want to, even against the ‘advice’ of the experts. Some parts of medicine are vital and worthy, but others limit personal health and trap people in a cycle of drug dependence and huge cost. They make the point in the film that medication shouldn’t be the first step to prevent or treat an illness – it should be the last. There are many things to try before resorting to drugs.

Watching the people shooting insulin into themselves was pretty grim and they all said they hated it. One of the guys found out after the 30 days that he had actually had type 1 diabetes, which should have meant his pancreas could not produce insulin, but after the 30 days, he wasn’t taking insulin and his pancreas was working normally!

The impact which a purely raw and vegan diet has on these people is staggering. Those involved were from a range of backgrounds and from a range of age groups, with both male and females. The joy, inspiration and hope in the participants was amazing.

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Film: ‘No Impact Man’…

Last night we also watched ‘No Impact Man’, by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein.

What an inspiring documentary! A consumer-driven New York couple and their young daughter went on a year long mission to reduce their impact and produce no NET environmental impact.

You have to see this film. There were some hard decisions to be made but they dealt with them all really well and at the end, they were stronger, more resilient and their impact on the planet was far less. They were also stronger as a family and had to rely on each other and their community more, rather than letting technology do the work for them. Their health improved, as they were walking, cycling etc more and they learnt loads about how things work and what you have to do to solve problems presented by day to day issues.

This has led to us thinking more about what else we can do to change our own lifestyle.

We’ve already done things like installing solar panels on the roof and insulating render to the outside walls, insulated the inside walls & floors, taken out the gas central heating and just use gas for water heating, bought only the most efficient appliances, use a wood-burner for space heating the main living space, got rid of the car & walk to work, become vegetarian, don’t use planes and buy absolute minimum air freight goods + have started an allotment to grow more of our own fruit and veg.

What we could do…

– Get rid of our old B-rated electric oven. At the moment, the grid is fairly carbon-heavy, due to all the coal, oil and gas power stations, so getting off the grid is good. Our solar panels are the best option but they only work when the sun is out, so cooking an evening meal in the oven uses the grid, not the panels.

– Switching off more lights in the evening and using candles. Not a massive one but could make a difference.

There’s probably loads more stuff we could do and the film was really inspiring.

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Film: ‘Into Eternity’…

A human made structure capable of lasting 100,000 years, designed to store nuclear waste. The Onkalo nuclear waste repository.

This is the subject of the documentary film Into Eternity, directed by Danish director Michael Madsen. We just watched this last night and it was an amazing film. It explores the psychological, political and philosophical issues behind the very long-term storage of nuclear waste.

One of the lasting images was the ‘landscape of thorns’; one of the potential methods of depicting to future generations what is stored there. One of the major concerns was if at some distant (or not so distant) point in the future, human society had broken down to a level where the knowledge of the facility had been lost, but also our modern communication methods and languages had also changed. What if humans tried to uncover the facility and could not understand the markers left behind by our generation?

The main conclusion was that we cannot predict what the distant future will hold and what the fate of Onkalo will be. The scientists and engineers interviewed basically said they had to deal with the theories and information that exist as at this time and the necessity to deal with the nuclear waste legacy of the previous generations (as well as our own) was too big a responsibility to just ignore. They had to take action and after considering all the issues, this was their conclusion.

There will have to be many more Onkalo facilities in other countries, but the issue of reprocessing waste still needs to be very carefully considered, if we are to reduce the waste stock and try and get as much use out of the limited resources. Thorium also needs to be considered as an alternative to plutonium, given it only stays radioactive for roughly 100 years!

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Planeat (film)…

Just read an inspiring article on non-meat eating..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/may/16/meat-food-vegetarian-health-climate-pollution

A new film called planeat is released in the UK on 20th May. I’ve got to see this, as it partly stars T Colin Campbell, author of ‘The China Study’. A great book about the effects of a non-plant based diet on health. The film should be interesting as it makes the case in a number of significant ways.

My own reasons for being vegetarian include the high cost (£) of meat, environment & sustainability issues and the sometimes serious implications for health.

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Ferris Bueller’s friends, Dad’s house – for sale!

If I was loaded, I would defo buy Cameron’s Dad’s house from the classic film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day off’! It’s only going for £1.1 Million anyway – bargain!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jan/09/house-ferris-buellers-day-off

The Rose House, outside of Chicago, where the film is based, saw the classic Ferrari crash through the rear glass wall of the raised section of the house and crash and die below. There’s a threat to demolish the house is no one goes for it – surely there must be someone out there?

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Inception…

I actually went to the cinema the other day! Yes, amazing news I know. I saw a new film with Leo DiCaprio called Inception.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inception_(film)

Not a bad film at all but it’s the sort of thing you have to see a few times to fully understand. Once you get past Leo’s slightly annoying style, it’s a really good film and a good idea behind it, with a couple of effects which i’ve never seen before. They get away with lots of stunts becuase half the film is set in various dream worlds or dreams within dreams.

Tipped for lots of awards and I can see why.

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Avatar…

Just went to see Avatar while Claire’s Mum looked after the boys. We both thought it was a really good film and there were more special effects than you could shake a very large stick at. Amazing landscapes and some not too annoying characters. Cameron getting back to what he loves – BIG FILMS.

Nice underlying story about basically the actions of USA in Iraq and Afghanistan (or them in all the other conflicts they keep seeming to get involved in). Good to see such a massive director as James Cameron reversing the normal ‘Marines are good’ into them being the aggressors in a foreign land (or in this case world) they are trying to exploit + in the process wiping out the locals. There were a few classic lines about the locals not wanting the earth’s roads, technology or medicine + they don’t want to give up their resources so let’s just take what we want anyway and make up a justification – sound familiar?

The big deal with the film is apparently the 3D feature, where you all sit there wearing silly glasses. This gives the usual 2D cinema effect a more realistic and less flat appearance. Overall, this was an improvement, but there was very little difference in the interior or close-up scenes, as compared to normal 2D. The real difference was the wide-angle shots and actions sequences. Not exactly the IMAX true 3D effect but it’s pretty cool.

The other issue is the cost – maybe I don’t get out as much as I used to, BUT…it was £6.10 to see the film, an extra £1.50 for the 3D version + another £2 for the specs! Add in the essential pic ‘n’ mix and it was more than £27 for 2! I’ve seen reviews saying that the 3D thing will be the saviour of the industry…I can see why!

Actually, can’t wait to see The Matrix in 3D!

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