A WORLD WITHOUT WASTE IS POSSIBLE? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Inane

I try not to be inane and in the name of non-inanity when I have nothing to say — not infrequently — I shut up. That’s what pictures are for. Or reruns. Or reblogs.

I wrote about politics a lot at the beginning of this mess we are in and after a while, I realized all I was doing was repeating myself. Things are bad, getting worse, and there’s no bottom to this administration. My repeating that endlessly was not going to fix anything and — more important — wasn’t going to make me, you or anyone feel better. It might help me let off steam, but mostly, I think it makes me feel worse, not better.

Didn’t we fight this battle before?

That was pretty much when I discovered birds. it helped me get out of myself. All summer, the Red Sox did that for me. Watching them beat everyone was a huge help to our sagging morale.  Now, it is birds. And watching the Pats beat the bejeezus out of the Challengers.

We weren’t expecting it, by the way. We thought the Pats were too old. And though they are winning — like really winning — I’m pretty sure there will be a slew of retirements at season’s end. Too many injuries. Age is catching up with even the best of them.

Not today, though. They are walloping the Challengers. Right now, the score is 38 to 7. So I guess they are going to the Super Bowl. I didn’t think they’d make it. Personally, I hope Brady retires before he gets seriously injured. Take the trophy, go home. Reconnoiter. Become an unbelievably well-paid talking head on television. Time has its way with all of us and 42 is still 42. On the playing field, that’s mature. Okay, old. If we win this year, go home and enjoy being the best that ever played the game.

It’s time to rebuild.

There’s a lot of rebuilding to be done. We need to rebuild our government. Did you read that Coca Cola has pledged to make ALL of its bottle recyclables by 2030? I know it doesn’t sound like such a big deal for one company to make such a pledge, but Coca Cola doesn’t just make Coke. They make most of the “named” soft drinks on the market, so it’s a big deal.


Coca-Cola today announced an industry-first goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.

The company and its global network of bottling partners will tackle the ambitious goal, which is part of a holistic plan called “World Without Waste,” through a renewed focus on the entire packaging lifecycle – from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re recycled and repurposed.

“Consumers around the world care about our planet. They want and expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible,” said James Quincey, president, and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. “Through our ‘World Without Waste’ vision, we are investing in our planet and in our packaging to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.”

Read Quincey’s op-ed titled “Why a World Without Waste is Possible.”

For once, I don’t think the government forced them into it, either. Someone said “We should DO something,” and they did.

Inane. There’s much inanity on the web. A lot of young people trying to tell old people how to live their lives and too many old people trying to tell young people how to live theirs. Everyone should stick to what they know and stop telling other people how to live.

Overall? Everyone should stop trying to tell other people how to live. I could stop gnashing my teeth.

Can You Survive Nuclear Fallout?

So — how are your “hiding” skills?

ScienceSwitch

Nuclear weapons are enormously powerful tools of destruction, and one can’t imagine the full extent of its obliteration. However, there is a scientifically supported plan of action that could help us survive the fallout. So what is it?

THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

  • Video via – TED-Ed
  • Further Readings And References @ REMM, IAEA, FEMA (PDF), and Reducing consequences of nuclear detonation (YouTube)

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HEIDELBERG, GERMANY

Our Visit to the Valley, Rich Paschall

For most of my visits to Strasbourg, France I returned home by going directly to Frankfurt airport for my flight.  It is about two and one half hours away by Lufthansa bus, slightly longer by Flixbus as they usually make one brief stop.  My friend from Alsace has driven me there as well. This year we had to change the plan.

Our return flight left early in the day so our options were to stay overnight near Frankfurt, or get to some place were we could make the journey in a short period of time.  We decide to go to Heidelberg for two nights.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a university town nestled among surrounding mountains in the Rhine Rift Valley.  The Nekar River flows through the valley with the town being largely on one side and the Heidelberg mountain rising on the other.  At just 48 miles from Frankfurt, it was a good place to be within early striking distance of our morning flight.

The population of the city is approximately 160,000 with a fourth of that said to be students at the renowned university.  Founded it 1386, it is Germany’s oldest and one of the world’s most respected universities.  It’s buildings are spread out over a large section of the old town.

Main street

The oldest streets are narrow, and making your way down them by on foot or by vehicle can be a challenge. Nevertheless, we found the city a great place to explore on foot.  Narrow streets may surprise you by opening up onto plazas or university sites that provide open spaces.

In our travels about town, we often noticed many flower shops.  For late October we found the abundance of flowers to be amazing.  The moderate temperature and somewhat longer growing season may be partly responsible.  The cultural interest certainly comes into play as tourists are not likely buying any.

Flower shop, Heidelberg

In all of the European cities we explore, we stop by churches of many denominations.  We often find structures of architectural and historical significance.  Many still operate as churches.  A few are no more than museums now.  Some are both actually.

Almost in the shadow of the largest Heidelberg church, seen at the end of the main street above, is the Parish Church of the Holy Spirit and St. Ignatius, or more commonly known as the Church of the Jesuits. Built between 1712 and 1759, the church steeple was added over a century later.

Church of the Jesuits

Throughout the oldest section of town are buildings of the Universitat Heidelberg.  One of the more impressive is the main library building, constructed between 1901 and 1905. It holds a collection of printed books counting in the millions, as well as paintings, maps and photographs, films and video.  Of course, they are up to modern methods, with e-journals and other electronic services.

While the “modern” library is early 20th century, the university library dates back to 1388.  It has enjoyed several locations around town.  The Bibliothek, or central library, you see here is one of many libraries in the university system.

Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

While the tram system is a good way to get around, students as well as many locals know that the best way to travel about is by bicycle.  You will find that many of the university building are surrounded by bicycles throughout the day.  With automobile traffic being difficult, if not impossible, around many of the school buildings, the only ways to navigate the distances between buildings are on foot and by bike.

Bicycles

For the Heidelberg stop over we rented an apartment near a tram station. We found it on Booking.com as we searched sites for our stay. It was a bit more than a hotel perhaps, but the large space had a kitchen, large living room and large bedroom. It had a washing machine which was essential at this late part of our trip. One of the things that amazes me around Europe are the washer and dryers, as they are actually the same machine. I just don’t know why we continue to buy two machines, but I digress. The apartment had everything you would need to set up shop, although we did no cooking. We used the refrigerator, however, to chill the wine we brought from Strasbourg and there were wine glasses in the cabinet.

From our apartment location

Our brief visit to Heidelberg was just a day and a half, two nights. It did not give us enough time to see all of the historic sites. The autumn weather was mild and we were able to take many meals “in the streets” as my friend likes to say. Out living quarters were at the end of a quiet street in a beautiful old apartment building. Autumn would seem a lovely time to visit and we will hope we can add Heidelberg to our itinerary again.

LET THERE BE MUSIC! – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Music

“And let there be music throughout the land,” he said and there arose a mighty host of singers. There were singers, trumpeters, flautists, piano players, and drummers.

Everywhere, they made music.

Mechanics Hall

At the PopsMy mountain dulcimer

Keyboard

The Berkshire Chorus (at the Pops)

BIRDS OF THE SECOND SUNDAY – Marilyn Armstrong

The bird feeder was almost empty today. Although I haven’t been seeing lots of birds, the feeder has been emptying steadily and fast. I think they eat more food in the winter. They need more calories to keep warm. Our birds are quite fat, so I think we’re doing a good job.

Garry agreed to help me fill the feeder. I can do it alone, but it’s a lot easier with help, though it’s even easier when the help is the tall son.

A well-rounded Tufted Titmouse, rear view

The problem is, the moment we went out to add food to the feeder, the birds flew away and didn’t come back. They’ll be back tomorrow. It’s going to be close to zero tomorrow and they will be hungry.

Chickadee and toad

I feel by now they should get it — that we are not going to eat them. We are the feeders, not the eaters. It probably didn’t help that The Duke came out to help us with the feeding. He actually might eat them.

The Duke is not committed to saving the wildlife. As far as he is concerned, all those little, feathered flyers are snack-food.

Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse

Titmouse and Junco

Full face shot of Chickadee

Two Tufted Titmice

The ubiquitous Nuthatch

I am taking fewer pictures because I think my hard drive is filling up with feathers. I’m aiming for interesting pictures rather than sheer volume. But all bets are off when the woodpeckers come around. I totally lose control.