Guest Blog Post: “Bugging About and Global Warming,” in Mick E. Talbot’s exact words

Each of UK nature lover Mick E. Talbot’s three sites (first here, and then here, and lastly here) is a delight. Here’s a sample of his unique writing and photos…

A Little About Me

Sticking to the little bit, as anything larger would constitute an autobiography, and if my memory serves me well they cost. So going back to when digital cameras became available to me, (some time in 2006), which meant I could take my interest in photographing wildlife into the realms of the affordable. Back in the analog days spending £50+ for a few hours enjoyment, and then the worry as to how many shots made the grade had me limiting myself until, yes, digital. A couple shots out of the many 10’s of thousands digital cameras allow.

yellow fungiThe first is of ‘orange peel fungi’, the second, although a captive bred specimen, is found in the wild in Lake Malawi, East Africa. It is of a cichlid, namely, Melanochromis auratus, one of the many cichlid species found in the lake.

Moving on to 2007, this was quite an eventful year. Cutting a short “About Me” even shorter, I made my first big insect find during this year, which got me a mention in the British Entomological Journal. The bug, a tiny little leafhopper, was first discovered back in 2001 by a professor from the university of Sussex, my find, the second in the UK, wasn’t until the year I’m on now, (2007),  and some 200+ miles further north in my back yard, literally, in the City of Lincoln. Well pleased I was, oh, its name, Zyginella pulchra.

The third photo depicts the male Z. pulchra, showing the distinctive red v,  formed by the closed wings, the female is basically monotone from pale green to yellow.

A big jump to 2010, this was my biggest year in the field of entomology. I discovered a first for the UK and it was also the start of my disillusionment with the professionals involved with natural history. The species involved this time is Conostethus venustus, and as my claim was not accepted even to this day, (I hasten to add it was originally authenticated by the county recorder), has still not been resolved, so my disillusionment is to some extent on-going. I’ll end this one with an image, and a link to my page on flickr where Tim Ransom, himself a professional entomologist, gave me the link to another claim a year after mine, and as far as I am aware is the one that has been accepted as the first. The image below is that of Conostethus venustus.

Moving on to 2014, the year when I first signed up to WordPress. Never used it until 2016, and then it was on the rebound from disassociating myself from the professional naturalists fraternity. My first posts were still concerned with, and for nature. My Garden Biodiversity blog goes to show just how much I was still involved with the recording side. I still go out with my cameras, and should I find something I can’t find an ID for online, I will let the appropriate authority know.

Getting toward the end of 2016, I found I was being drawn to poetry. Now, I have always been into writing poems, for the lads to their girlfriends, whilst in the army, and being somewhat of a romantic, for my beloved. Micks Blog, is where I started to really let go and used it in a way I have never done before, as in trying to inspire folk to get more involved with caring for wildlife. More than that, I thought would be a bit OTT. However finding myself online more often than my normal 8 hours, I was becoming more and more aware that climate warming was for real. And the main cause was due to all manner of human pollutant’s, from *deforestation, the destruction of sensitive habitats, the use of fossil fuels, which in turn pollute the atmosphere and the oceans. You will find all my feelings on the topic of pollution, climate warming, along with my romantic side in my poetry on my blog, Mick E Talbots Poems.

Other folk’s blogs that inspire me, and there are many, to name some I must, yassy66, a genius of a poet, a definite must read. Whispering Whippets, Xenia a mistress of Japanese poetry, and her amazing photos of her two whippets Pearl and Eivor. Her photography is amazing and her haiku visionary. My hosts blog Happiness Between Tails, the truth, her video on Happy Persian New Year! a Toastmasters Speech, is as far as I have got, but I am working on it. If I haven’t named your blog, and I found inspiration in it, you know who you are, and I thank you, and long may you continue with your inspirational works.

*Deforestation, pollution of the oceans and the burning of fossil fuels are the main human contributing factors that are affecting the world’s climate. The production of CO2 by industries is now recognized as a major contribution, domestic production of the gas is also adding heavily to its depth, and therefore needs to be considered. Deforestation, unless totally forbidden, is hastening the end of the world as we know it. Forests remove CO2 and produce life-sustaining oxygen, as does all flora, the oceans are also a major producer of the gas we breathe. How long do governments think they can go on supporting businesses that are either in denial or have no understanding, or even no wish to help in the control of global warming? If the scientists are correct we have less than a thousand years to put nature back on its feet. A study has highlighted the risk posed by projected climate change on the world’s ability to grow enough food. A US team of researchers found that forecasted shifts in climate by 2070 would occur too quickly for species of grass to adapt to the new conditions. For governments to think that global warming is a conspiracy is scary, and to think one of those is that of the United States of America, is a nightmare.

© Mick E Talbot 2017/66

Guest Blog Post: “An Incomplete Family,” in Michael Kraus’ exact words

Have you penned a story you’d enjoy seeing published online for free? Blogger Michael of Storybuss has you in mind! His site features other people’s fiction, as well as his. Here’s one he wrote…

Photo of heterosexual couple's hands with weddingbands
Photo courtesy of Josh Willink, Pexels

My husband and I were never able to get a child after trying countless times.

But we really wanted to bring a new life into the world that we could call our kid.

He of course really wants a boy but I wouldn’t really mind a boy or a girl, but I guess I would prefer a girl.

My husband and I moved to a nice big house with a very big backyard. And we live in a neighborhood with many children. We both always looked with jealousy but also with happiness as the kids gun down their friends with their water pistols.

One day my husband said to me, “honey we could also adopt a child.” I looked at him and I thought to myself, ‘why haven’t I thought of that?’ So the next day we decided to go to an adoption centre. We saw many different kids, we checked in and they made an appointment with three kids for us to have a chat with. Two boys and one girl. The girl was already twelve years old and we had a chat, but we wanted to see them grow from a younger age so we decided to not take her. Then there were two boys, they were brothers. One of the boys was four and the other one was six and both had black hair. They talked about many things to us without us even asking them for anything.

One week later we came back to the adoption centre to fill in the legal papers for the two boys to join our family. And we have never been more happy, they are both soaked from gunning each other down with their water pistols.

About the author: Hi, I’m Michael (Storybuss) and I am a day-to-day writer.

Guest Blog Post: “Finish What You Started,” in Jeyran Main’s exact words

Does your ‘to do’ list often threaten to strangle you as mine does?

Consumer reviewer, book editor, book promoter, freelance book translator, and owner of Review Tales, Jeyran gets mega stuff accomplished, pus some! Here’s her tip for maintaining one’s cool…

Finish What You Started written over picture of a sky“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” David Allen

There are many things in our lives that we wish to change. That may be getting rid of bad habits or implementing new good ones. We set goals, promise ourselves, get a planner, get a coach, set reminders but still after a few days or maybe weeks, we give up. We get distracted or do not succeed in seeing any results, and so we do not finish it.

All of these 30-day challenges, 45-day goals, accomplish your goal in 2 weeks headlines draw you into joining them. You are empowered and feel inspired with thousands of other people that are with you in these group chats, forums, and Facebook groups. However, again after a few weeks or many months, you stop and quit.

Another good example is when you purchase something like a book and promise to read it, then as your reading the first book someone recommends the second book and so you buy that too. Then you see the third book; you buy it. Now you have three books of which you have not finished reading even one.

All of these unfinished starters accumulate and end up as stress causing health issues in your life. Imagine all of these incomplete starters to be a small gray dot on your heart. As you continue these dots end up together creating a black hole. Once the black hole is created, it is very hard to go back and to fix it.

The closure is everything for the mental mind. The human body strives to complete goals instead of piling them on. The recommendation is to try and finish one thing at a time before starting another. Give your body the calmness and the stress-free lifestyle it needs.

More of Jeyran Main’ thoughts, reflections, and book reviews at Review Tales.

 

Happy Persian New Year! a Toastmasters Speech

For Persians, honoring the New Year is a happy two-week long event. Norooz 2017 starts Monday, March 20, at 3:28 a.m. Some go as far as beginning the Wednesday before, jumping over bonfires that represent life-sustaining sunlight burning away dark winter cold. Regardless of exact time or day when the northern hemisphere equinox occurs, many gather with family, friends, and food to welcome it. A flurry of brief cheerful teas ensues, with juniors visiting elders, then elders visiting back. Festivities culminate on the 13th day, when all gather for picnics to eat, dance, recite poetry, and sing.

This speech fulfilled my Storytelling manual project 5, “Bringing History to Life.”

Below is the photo I point at toward the end of the speech. It’s from an amazing book called, “Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies,” by Najmieh Batmanglij.

Photo from book.

 

Valentin Popov’s Ironic Icons at Long Beach Museum of Art

Only days remain to see Ukranian-born Valentin Popov’s boundary pushing reworkings of Orthodox Russian iconography at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Don’t despair, however, if you can’t make it. The museum always has something wonderful going, along with free admission every Friday.

Artist Valentin Popov's Holy Family, 2011. Oil on Canvas.
Holy Family, 2011. Oil on Canvas.

 

Artist Valentin Popov, St. Batman, 2016. Oil on wood block, silver plating.
St. Batman, 2016. Oil on wood block, silver plating.

 

Artist Valentin Popov, The Crucifixion of Saint Batman, 1994. David Perry (photography)
The Crucifixion of Saint Batman, 1994. David Perry (photography)

 

Long Beach Museum of Art
Long Beach Museum of Art features cutting edge art, outdoor sculptures, a restaurant, and beach-side views.

“Dieting Tough Love,” a Toastmasters Speech

Ever wonder why losing or gaining weight is so %#$ rough? Allow my dogs to illuminate us on how set points work…

Weigh in with your thoughts…

Guest Blog Post: “Authors Stop Selling Short,” in Jeyran Main’s exact words

green-eyed cat in box
Photo courtesy of Ryan McGruire/Gratisography.com

Read on for blogger Jeyran’s great advice that she’s culled reviewing books, editing them, promoting them, and translating them. Her website is Review Tales

Today, I wish to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while. Time and time again I notice that books are being sold for as cheap as 99 cents. I am not talking about the used or unwanted books you sometimes see at the entrance of libraries. I am discussing about the ones that are being sold online, brand new and in various formats.

Why would an author sell years of his hard work, hours on end sitting, pondering, late night struggling while going over his written work, and  paying thousands of dollars to have it edited only to then sell it for 99 cents?

Do we have such an abundance of books out there that their work is only worth 99 cents after everything they go through to publish it? If yes, why bother?

Are they playing the number game? Assuming they will sell in millions and so 99 cents will still make them a profit?

Are they just doing all this for fun? They don’t anticipate any sales and so they do not care what the outcome is after it is published?

If you value and deem all this hard work to be worth only 99 cents, why would anyone else value it any higher?

In fact, if you dig deeper into the psychological influence you make in having a potential reader ponder over buying your 99-cent book or someone else’s 10-dollar book, you will notice that the buyer will pick the 10 dollar one.

This is because they unconsciously believe that if they buy a book that is 10 dollars then it must have something more to offer than a 99-cent book.

It is like the catch and chase theory. If you offer something for free, then it is not that appealing. If you make it a challenge, then everyone will be interested and will want to know what all the fuss is about.

People don’t buy a book because it is cheap, they buy it because it sounds good, the reviews are good, and the cover is appealing. So in my opinion, you are selling short on everything you sacrificed in producing. Why should you not enjoy having the satisfaction of expressing your thoughts in your book and also enjoy the exposure of it along side the financial security of which it brings?

Next time you wish to give away something for free, please consider, it maybe worth more than that.

Written by Jeyran Main. She is a blogger, consumer reviewer, book editor, book promoter and a freelance book translator. Her website Review Tales demonstrates her thoughts, reflections and works.