Sunday, 22 October 2017

Monsoon Nights in Bangkok - We've arrived


New Road Guesthouse, Bangkok 03:00 23rd Oct 2017

21-22 Oct 2017 Bangkok

02:50 in the foyer of the New Road Guest House, Bangkok. Raining hard outside, it's the end of the monsoon season and the weather grips the humid night. We've a very early start to catch our plane to Mandalay, Myanmar where after a day layover in the city we catch a sleeper train, heading north where the real adventure and search for the Pink-headed Duck starts.
Don't you just love the skills of strangers with your mobile phone camera?

We had a hectic day yesterday. Our long-haul journey was tedious, uncomfortable and none ending but is what it is. We flew from Heathrow – Oman – Bangkok. The first leg of the flight was a disaster for Pilar and I. We had horrible, cramped seating. My TV didn’t work (only 9hrs looking at a movie of choice……..with no sound!) To top it all, the meal Pilar had booked online with the airline did not materialise. Our #Vegan delights had not made it onto the plane. 

Apologises on behalf of the caterers were forwarded and we were presented with a large ball of sugar and syrup with some form of eggy goo in the centre as a consolation, err, no thank you. 
Silly o'clock, another airport

Exhausted after our 18hr flight we land at Bangkok for stormy skies. After collecting our bags and catching the Sky Train and a taxi we arrived tired but excited at our guesthouse. We were several hours too early to check in, so no shower or sleep was waiting for us until at the earliest 14:00.
Pilar Bueno outside our guest house upon arrival

Fighting off the fatigue and humidity we ventured into the suburbs of old town #Bangkok, searching for sustenance but most of all coffee. Errol and Richard found a McDonalds, I know, I know, they needed their Maccy fix and chowed down on something gross, haha. The coffee and O.J. tasted like heaven. 
Old Town Bangkok

Pilar, Errol, Richard, searching for food downtown Bangkok

Errol, Richard, John riding the McDonalds coffee wave

At 3pm we had an appointment with a journalist from the associated press who wanted to film interviews with us all. Thankfully that gave a little time to check-in our very reasonable and cleans rooms, freshen up and go over a few points of interest with the journalist before filming started.

The light was poor and the rains were threatening again. But nevertheless the hour filming went without hitch and all parties seemed happy with the results. When edited and live online I'll post a link. It should be across the news networks with a few hours, keep your eyes peeled on the news stations and let me know if you spot us.

Not really related but while talking with the journalist he told us he was covering the official funeral of the late King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away October 16th, 2016.

I had no idea that he hadn't been cremated yet. A full year of official mourning but now the country and especially the city of Bangkok is gearing up to see him off with what I expect will be a very emotional event. We'll be long gone and probably knee deep in mud and muck inventing new phrases of hatred and expletives aimed at the swarms of bugs that await us. I know where I’d prefer to be, and I certainly won’t be wearing black, more like ‘Wellies and Combat Jungle Chic, it more my kind of madness, better get my hair done.

After the interview, we freshened up again and headed out. We trawled the streets for a suitable eating place, somewhere not ‘too street’ as Richard and Errol had more refined palettes than Pilar and I, who are used to eating from the street stalls. 

Richard Thorns, Errol Fuller, John Hodges 
'The Search for a decent Thai Restaurant'

We eventually found a restaurant called, imaginatively ‘The Thailand Curry House’. Advertised on a board outside was the deal clincher, a veggie set menu. Pilar and I had Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Red Thai Curry and steamed rice. I even broke my sobriety of 2017 and partook in a cold Singha Beer, which I confess was bliss. The food was superb and the stories, adventures and sparkling repartee from Errol Fuller (he does a superb impression of his friend Sir David Attenborough) kept us entertained. 
The Team - Richard Thorns, John Hodges, Pilar Bueno, Errol 'Attenborough' Fuller

Finally, at the 8pm we gave into fatigue, beer and food and on autopilot head back for the bliss of bed and long overdue sleep. Poor Richard was nodding off in the restaurant.

Sitting here writing at 3:30am, wide awake and waiting for 06:30 to come around so I kick the team out of bed, I regret the single beer I had. I can feel its chemical wizardry still in my system, yuck, time for coffee!

The Search for the Pink Headed Duck begins, Myanmar 2017 #LostSpecies


On behalf of myself and Pilar, I'd like to thank everyone who has supported our mission and so generously donated to our fundraiser.  We are all touched and humbled by your support; words can never thank you enough.

After our designated search for the Pink-headed Duck with Richard Thorns and Errol Fuller in Myanmar Pilar and I will cross borders and head north to relocate to Assam, India, which also crosses the border into Bhutan.

We will be the humble guests of the Manus National Park, making valuable contacts and documenting the wildlife in the area. This part of the World also has historical accounts and records of the existence of the Pink-headed Duck and although it is very unlikely that it is still here any new information will be an invaluable addition to the body of data and the continued and greater understanding of this #LostSpecies.

Pilar and I will also be conducting some research for other projects for the GWC Lost Species initiative of which our #PinkHeadedDuck expedition has become a flagship expedition.

This is the beginning of an exciting journey for us all. We have a lot of hard, stressful times ahead of us. Trust me the ‘glamour’ of such an adventure soon disappears when the reality of time, heat, humidity plus the extensive and laborious travel kicks in. When you’re fighting of voracious mosquitoes, leeches and a myriad of other creatures that would like to dine on our European blood. The humid nights when you’re trying to grab some well-needed sleep and all you long for is your own dry, clean and safe bed. This is in no way an easy mission but we promise to do the very best we can.

If on this expedition we do not uncover a remnant population of our quarry then I hope to discover new data and species unknown to the natural sciences that will give us a greater understanding of this important environment that in turn can lead to an initiative to help protect and conserve these important habitats for future generations.

We will not give up until we have answers.
All our team and sponsors are in for the long haul.

Never in the history of our time on this planet have our ecosystems been in more immediate peril. We are losing more species every year than we are discovering due to the effects of climate change, environmental toxins and the ever increasing human population and the pressure on our planet’s resources. The more we understand what we have the easier it is to protect.

How do we protect something if we aren’t aware of its existence?
This is why we do what we do, to advance the body of knowledge, educate, protect and conserve.

The opportunity to work in this field of exploration and help document our natural world is a dream come true for Pilar and I. To work alongside Richards Thorns whose solo vision and personal dedication to finding the Pink-headed Duck have brought us to this place today. We are about to take the research to the next level and finally get answers to the question, ‘is the Pink-headed Duck still in existence?’

Of course, we firmly believe it is, in a small but viable number, going mostly unnoticed by the native population but occasionally showing it’s elegant pink head, although briefly, but leaving a lasting impression so that we can follow its shadow.

The habitat is most definitely still there, but for how long? The country we are searching has been closed to the outside world for so long. This bird was never seriously hunted and much of the habitat is still in place in parts of Myanmar so we have no obvious reason why it has all but disappeared. Nobody has really conducted a serious survey because of limited access and resources.

The work Richard has done will go down in the historical annuals of this species whether we rediscovery it or not, thank you for including Pilar and I in your dream and life’s work.

The other member of our team is the internationally renowned artist, author and highly acclaimed expert in endangered and extinct species Errol Fuller. Long before I met Errol his magnificent books where an established part of my library. His last work co-authored with my hero Sir David Attenborough Drawn From Paradise’ is, in my opinion, the definitive work on the incredible Birds of Paradise, it’s a feast for the mind and eyes. It’s an honour to be working with Errol and I hope we can have many future projects together.

This year’s expedition is just the first stage in a much larger project. Next year will see the beginning of a documentary film project and a return and much longer field trip. None of this would have been possible without the full support of our corporate sponsors GWC (Global Wildlife Conservation), Bushnell EU & Charles Martell & Son Ltd.

On a personal note, the encouragement both financially and emotionally in putting this project together from family and friends and of course the people who have selflessly donated to our fundraiser has amazed both Pilar and I. You know who you are; you have our deepest love and gratitude. Thank you for your belief in us.

John Hodges and Pilar Bueno Oct 2017

Special Thanks to:


#AnnHodges

#MandyBonehill

#KayDeverill

#LynetteWills

#ElkeGraul

#WendyKnight

#SteveKnight

#LyndaClark

#JuneAshford

#DevavratPawar

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

In Search of the Lost.......



On a quest to find a missing primate, a team of scientists discovers that sometimes maps tell only the smallest part of the story. For full article go here In Search of the Lost


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Risking it all in a last-ditch search for Australia’s lost tiger

Risking it all in a last-ditch search for Australia’s lost tiger: Two tantalising sightings of possible Tasmanian tigers have inspired a renowned conservationist to find out if thylacines really are extinct




UK plans to bring 20 species back from brink of extinction

UK plans to bring 20 species back from brink of extinction: 
A major funding boost of by £4.6 million is expected to protect little-known but highly endangered plants and animals across the country



Saturday, 3 June 2017

Atlas Obscura article Pink-Headed Duck Myanmar 2017



The latest media coverage about the Pink-Headed Duck in Atlas Obscura and our 2017 Expedition In Search of the Pink-Headed Duck.                                                                            
https://www.gofundme.com/myanmar-pink-headed-duck-2017
GoFundMe Expedition Myanmar 2017

                                      

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Search for Lost Species Intro by Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig aka 007 James Bond has added his support to the Global Wildlife Conservation project to search for 25 endangered and missing species, including our project for the search for the Pink-Headed Duck.

To add your support please go to: 


Monday, 15 May 2017

In Search of the Pink-Headed Duck - Myanmar / S.E. Asia Expedition 2017 UPDATE


video

https://www.gofundme.com/myanmar-pink-headed-duck-2017

Donate and Support us HERE


UPDATE: 15th May 2107
Our expedition commencement dates have been more or less nailed down. Pilar and I plus Errol Fuller will be meeting up with Richard Thorns in Bangkok in or around Oct 25/26th to then fly on to Mandalay accompanied by Richard on the 27th Oct. After a days rest and assessing any changes to last minute details (you expect this in Asia) we head north and the search begins in various, remote location.

Our equipment list is growing daily, mostly camera equipment and accessories (new camera body, lens, camera traps, go-pros, additional batteries, SD cards etc). Also looking at a new notebook instead of my laptop. My old one died shortly after my last trip through Europe. 

Of course, it's great having all this equipment but the biggest problem is keeping everything charged and all data collected transferred and backed up. Since the last time in Asia 2008/09 thankfully the technology available is not only more powerful but also the costs have dropped considerably. I'm looking at various solar chargers 

After our initial expedition to Myanmar, Pilar and I will be extending our field search into after N.E. India to visit suitable habits in Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and maybe into Bhutan. We are considering adding aand teaming up with a local researcher in the area, but this needs further discussion. This part of the expedition will continue hopefully into mid-December and then we intend to rest our mosquito bitten bodies on a beach over Christmas in Goa before heading back to the UK just after New Year.

We have a lot to do and time is not on our side but the excitement in the air is tangible. Pilar and I are starting to work on our fitness levels and I intend to push us hard in the mountains and hills surrounding Nerja, Spain this summer. The heat is very different to the heat & humidity of Asia but the training of carrying all my equipment in this terrain will either kill me or make us fit for purpose, of course, it will be the latter.

I'd like to thank the ongoing support of GWC - Global Wildlife Conservation and our generous, individual sponsors (you know who you are).

John Hodges
Come join me on Facebook

To support and donate please go to the banner and the top of this blog post

Historical range of Pink-Headed Duck
RhodonessaCaryophyllaceaMap.png
By Shyamal - Own work, Public Domain, Link


Friday, 12 May 2017

Saturday, 29 April 2017

ANUNCIO: Búsqueda del Pato de Cabeza Rosada - Expedición Myanmar 2017


Finalmente, después de tener los labios sellados durante más de un año, salvo a unos cuantos familiares y amigos cercanos, finalmente puedo anunciar que Pilar Bueno y yo nos uniremos al naturalista y explorador Richard Thorn y al internacionalmente aclamado autor, pintor, colleccionista y naturalista, Error Fuller, en una expedición a Myanmar (Birmania) en busca del críticamente en peligro de extición Pato de Cabeza Rosada (Rhodonessa Caryophyllacea)

Pilar y yo seremos fotógrafos, naturalistas y asesores en el viaje.

Richard Thorn ha realizado expediciones anuales independientes en búsca de éste enigmatico y esquivo pajaro desde 2009. Su dedicación y enfoque en redescubrir o explicar la extinción de éste icónico pato del sudeste asiático evoca a los grandes naturalistas y exploradores de la antigüedad.

Algunos han dicho que se trata de una "misión de locos” y que el ave ha desaparecido hace mucho tiempo. Personalmente, al igual que Richard y Errol, no creo que este sea el caso. De hecho, estamos muy seguros de que debido a la inaccesibilidad de los entornos naturales de Birmania (Myanmar) durante décadas, a causa de los conflictos políticos y religiosos internos, en algún lugar remoto de estanques, lagos, ríos o arroyos sigue habiendo una pequeña población remanente que ha permanecido inadvertida.

Myanmar todavía ofrece grandes áreas de hábitats inexplorados, los mismos hábitats donde este, siempre raro y tímido pájaro, vivía. Richard, en recientes visitas a particulares zonas, ha recopilado nueva información y avistamientos fiables de pescadores locales y aldeanos. Estos lugareños no tenían nada que ganar identificando el pájaro; ningún dinero cambió de manos. Como evidencia anecdótica de testigos presenciales no hay nada mejor. Los aldeanos no tienen ni idea de que este pájaro es tan importante y raro. De hecho, deben considerar que somos muy raros por el hecho de gastar tiempo y dinero en busca de un pájaro. Ja ja.. puede que tengan razón!

Los testigos han identificado la especie en libros presentados sobre aves del Sudeste de Asia sin haber sido instigados, pero eso sí, admiten que es muy raro y sólo visto muy ocasionalmente. Estas observaciones ofrecen una chispa de esperanza y un latido de corazón para la supervivencia continua de esta especie. Para leer sobre las exploraciones de Richard hasta la fecha, echa un vistazo a su magnífico blog: Pink-Headed Duck

Nuestro plan es visitar nuevos terrenos, entrevistar a la gente local e identificar hábitats apropiados para la observación y el studio, con la ayuda de la tecnología moderna, como camaras-trampa y esperemos uno o dos drones, si es que podemos persuadir a los organismos gubernamentales implicados que nos concedan permiso para usarlos.

Nuestra exploración no va a ser nada fácil. No sólo estaremos luchando contra el calor y la humedad sofocante, sino también con los peligros de la flora y la fauna. Myanmar tiene grandes felinos, osos y elefantes salvajes, sin olvidar las serpientes y los insectos. Nuestras pruebas serán muchas, pero no exactamente nuevas para nosotros; es para lo que vivo. Los desafíos de viajar a zonas remotas cargados con pertenencias y equipos son a menudo pasados por alto, cuando se ven a través de las pantallas de nuestros televisores. Esto me parece a veces la parte más difícil de este tipo de viaje, pero es parte del trabajo. Es hora de ponerse en forma de nuevo!

Estamos muy contentos de anunciar que en las últimas semanas nuestra expedición ha sido aprobada como parte de una nueva iniciativa científica para buscar 25 especies desaparecidas. Probablemente seremos el primer equipo en el terreno como parte de este proyecto de Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC / Conservación Mundial de la Fauna, en Espaňol), una organización que está trabajando con socios locales para enviar expediciones científicas a algunos de los lugares más remotos e inexplorados de la Tierra.

La iniciativa ha reducido la búsqueda para centrarse en 25 especies. GWC compiló la lista con la ayuda de más de 100 grupos especializados bajo la Comisión de Supervivencia de Especies de la Unión Internacional para laConservación de la Naturaleza (UICN). La lista se seleccionó de un total de más de 1.200 especies que se consideran perdidas en más de 160 países. Ninguna de las especies en la lista final han sido vistas antes de 2007. Algunas pueden incluso estar extinguidas.

De niño, en mi tiempo libre fuera de la escuela, pasé mis días soñando despierto explorando hábitats remotos del mundo e incluso redescubriendo especies perdidas. Las dos especies que se destacaron para mí fueron el legendario Pájaro Carpintero Real (Campephilus Principalis) y el Pato de Cabeza Rosada (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea)

Ya he cumplido muchos de mis sueños. Pero esta expedición es la culminación de un trabajo duro (especialmente por parte de Richard), dedicación, algo de suerte, pero sobre todo, la creencia que todas las cosas son posibles y que podemos manifestar nuestro propio destino.

No sólo tendremos la oportunidad de hacer historia, si esta especie es redescubierta por nosotros, también vamos a completar la historia de la búsqueda que ha llevado a cabo Richard Thorns, que merece mucho mérito. Espero poder ayudar a proporcionar la evidencia fotográfica requerida para proteger no sólo el futuro de esta especie, sino también los ambientes y los hábitats requeridos para que este pájaro viva junto con toda la otra biodiversidad que habita esta zona del mundo. Esto es de la mayor importancia para nosotros.

Nuestro viaje también abrirá la puerta a la oportunidad de descubrir nuevas especies desconocidas para la ciencia. Hay mucho hábitat no visto por los ojos de la ciencia y mucho menos por una cámara. Aquí es donde entraremos Pilar, yo y nuestras cámaras.

Como naturalista, una vez en el terreno, fotografío todo lo que encuentro con el fin de poder refereciar e investigar luego más tarde en la comodidad de mi casa, mi biblioteca y por supuesto Internet. Que tipo de "bichos" nos esperan sólo puedo imaginarlo, pero por el momento, mis sueños tienen forma de Patos y son Rosa.

Espero transmitir actualizaciones de video blog habitualmente durante nuestro viaje, con la esperanza de crear un público comprometido e interesado en nuestras aventuras.

Pilar y yo, después de que el trayecto de la expedición en Myanmar haya terminado, continuaremos nuestra búsqueda y viajaremos al Noreste de la India en Nagaland y Assam. Después planeamos dirigirnos hacia áreas remotas del norte de Tailandia. La intención es de pasar por lo menos 3 meses de viaje recogiendo datos.

Actualmente nos autofinanciamos, aunque estamos en estos momentos negociando un patrocinio.
Pero también estamos buscando patrocinio adicional de otras fuentes, no sólo financiero, sino también de equipos. Si alguien que lee esto puede ayudarnos de alguna manera a alcanzar nuestras aspiraciones, por favor póngase en contacto con nosotros. Será plenamente reconocido por su ayuda en los libros y proyectos que se lancen como resultado y por supuesto tendrá nuestra eterna gratitud.

Estamos tratando de hacer historia y esa historia tiene forma de Pato y es Rosa.


PARA HACER UN DONATIVO EN GoFundMe POR FAVOR PINCHE EN LA IMAGEN


#Nikon #Bushnall #CamarasTrampa # EspeciesExtintas # EspeciesEnPeligroCrítico #PatoDeCabezaRosada #Expedición #Myanmar2017 #MyanmarAves

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT: Search for the Pink-Headed Duck expedition Myanmar 2017


https://www.gofundme.com/myanmar-pink-headed-duck-2017


Finally, after keeping tight-lipped for over a year, except to a few close family and friends, I can now announce that Pilar Bueno and I will be joining, naturalist and explorer Richard Thorn and internationally acclaimed author, painter, collector and naturalist Errol Fuller on an expedition to Myanmar (Burma) in search of the critically endangered Pink-Headed Duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea

Pilar and I will be photographers, naturalists and advisors on the trip.

Richard Thorn has conducted single man searches every year for this elusive and enigmatic bird since 2009. His dedication and focus into either re-discovering or explaining the extinction of this iconic S.E. Asian duck recalls like the great naturalist and explorers of old.

Some have said that this is a 'fools mission' and that the bird has long since disappeared. Personally, like Richard and Errol, I do not believe this to be the case. In fact we are very confident that because of the inaccessibility to the environments of Burma (Myanmar) for decades, caused by the internal political and religious conflicts, that somewhere in remote ponds, lakes, rivers or streams remains a small remnant population, hanging on, unseen.

Myanmar still offers large areas of unexplored habitats, the same habitats where this always rare and shy bird historically lived. Richard, in recent visits to certain areas, has gathered new information and reliable sighting from local fisherman and villagers. These locals had nothing to gain by identifying the bird, no money changed hands, as eye-witness anecdotal evidence goes it doesn't get any better. The villagers have no idea that this bird is so important and rare. In fact, they must consider us quite strange spending time and money looking for a bird, ha ha they might be right.

The witnesses have picked out the species from books on birds of S.E. Asia without prompting, admittingly stating that it is very rare and only very occasionally seen. These sightings offer a glimpse and a heart beat to the continued survival of this species. To read about Richard's exploration to date please check out his superb blog: Pink-Headed Duck

Our plan is to move into new areas, interview local people and identify appropriate habitats for observation and study with the help of modern technology such as camera traps and hopefully a drone or two if we can wrangle permission from the government agencies involved.

Our exploration is going to be far from easy. Not only are we battling against the stifling heat and humidity but also dangers from the flora and fauna. Myanmar has large cats, bears and wild Elephant, not forgetting the snakes and bugs, our trials will be many but not exactly new to us either, it's what I live for. The challenges of the travel to remote areas loaded with belonging and equipment are often overlooked when seen through the screen of our TVs; this I find sometimes the hardest part of this type of journey but it goes with the job. It's time to get fit again!

We are very excited to announce that in recent weeks our expedition was approved as part of a new scientific initiative to search for 25 missing species. We will most likely be the first team in the field as part of this project by Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), an organisation that is working with local partners to send scientific expeditions to some of the most remote and uncharted places on Earth. 

The initiative has narrowed the search to focus on 25 species. GWC compiled the list with the help of more than 100 specialist groups under the Species Survival Commission at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The list of species was selected from a total of more than 1,200 species that are considered lost across more than 160 countries. Each of the species on the final list has not been seen prior to 2007. Some may even be extinct.


As a boy, in my free time away from school I spent my days daydreaming of exploring remote habitats of the World and even re-discovering lost species. The two species that stood out for me were the legendary Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the Pink-headed Duck.

I have fulfilled many of my dreams already. But this expedition is a culmination of hard work (especially by Richard), dedication, some luck but most of all following a belief that all things are possible and we can manifest our own destiny. 

Not only will we have a chance to make history if this species is rediscovered by us, we'll also complete the story of Richard Thorns quest, which he richly deserves full credit for. I hope I can help provide the photographic evidence required to protect not only the future of this species but also the environments and habitats required for this bird to live along with all the other biodiversity inhabiting this area of the World. This is of the utmost importance to us.

Our trip will also open the door of opportunity to hopefully discover new species, unknown to science. There is so much habitat unseen by the eyes of science let alone a camera. This is where Pilar and I and our cameras will come in. 

As a naturalist, when in the field, I photograph everything for reference and research purposes at a later date when in the comfort of my home, my library and of course the internet. What "beasties" await us I can only imagine but at the moment my dreams are duck shaped and pink.

I hope to be broadcasting regular video blog updates during our journey with the hope that we'll create an engaged and interested audience to our adventures.

Pilar and I, after the Myanmar part of the expedition has finished, will continue our search and travels into N.E. India, Nagaland and Assam. We then plan to head for remote areas of Northern Thailand. We are planning for at least 3 months on the road gathering data.

At the moment we are self funded but with some sponsorship being negotiated as I write. 
But we are also looking for further sponsorship from other sources, not only financial but also equipment. If anyone reading this can help in any way to achieve fully our ambitions please contact us. You would be fully acknowledged for your help in the books and projects that will follow and have our eternal gratitude.

We're trying to make history and that history is duck shaped and pink.

Contact: Pink-Headed Duck Project 2017


#Nikon #Bushnall #Cameratraps #ExtinctSpecies #CriticallyEndangeredSpecies #PinkHeadedDuck #Expedition #Myanmar2017 #MyanmarBirds

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Joe Rogan Experience #901 - Dr. Rhonda Patrick

I'm a big fan of Joe Rogan's podcast, he has amazing discussions with qualified experts in their given fields. This show with Dr. Rhonda Patrick whose field is in nutrition is awesome. Treat yourself and settled down comfortably and get some education that just might save your life.







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Thursday, 5 January 2017

New Year, New Start, New Opportunities

A lot has happened in the last couple of months and that's my excuse for not writing a new post here on our blog.

2016 came and went way too fast. During the year we achieved some of our goals and missed others by a wide mark. One thing for sure the World is changing fast and I see new hope and new fears in equal measure wherever I look. We are moving into what I believe a defining era in our human evolution. Not only is the political and cultural landscape shifting, I also see a positive awakening among the population concerning the environment, health, and respect for life. It might not be apparent at first glance, especially if your info is coming out of the flat screen 'Weapon of Mass Deception' that's sat facing you on your wall.

As a species, we have huge challenges to work through and the price of failure is not worth thinking about. If our species destroys itself because of ignorance, dogma and fear then I guess that'll be our fate. One thing for sure the planet will not mourn us and any trace of us will soon be erased by mother nature and life will go on. 

However, I don't believe this is necessary or our destiny. The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over and expecting different results. This is what our species has been doing forever, like a hamster on a wheel. 

Our internal and external environment is being challenged with new conditions, forces, and ideas. If we can't learn to adapt to these changes we are doomed. These are the tides of evolutionary change that are confronting our species, adapt or die are our only options.

The most terrifying challenge most people have is confronting change, whether at home in the personal life, political and social ideas or even (I had to get it in) dietary changes. Dealing with these new situations with fear and anger, can and will only lead to fear and anger from the very thing you are fighting against. This is a no-win situation that only leads to conflict, distraction and oppression.

In today's World for the first time humanity has access to a global communications network. We've evolved to the point where we can instantaneously share ideas with anyone, anywhere on the planet. This ability to share ideas has given us an evolutionary edge over the rest of the animals on this planet and allowed us to eventually develop advanced technology. It's all very new to us still, and we are making big mistakes in finding the best use for our ideas. Our species has just learned to stand up without falling over and we also have a choice to stop shitting ourselves and leaving it for our parents (church, state etc) to clean up. It's time, we all, every one of us starts taking responsibility for our own little piece of the planet. 

Leave as little or no waste, recycle, replenish our local environments, encourage wildlife with wild places, cherish all life as a family, help and serve the people we love and have open minds and hearts to people less nourished, educated and treat people the way we all would like to be treated. I'm positive we are all born into this world with these universal ethics and morals inside us, part of the human experience. We recognise them in religion (any flavour) because we identify with the words written down as speaking to our own morals and truths already inside us all. We're all the same species trying to make the best of this life while we drift through the cosmos on a grain of wet sand.

We all have the power to make significant changes for the better. 
If you don't like the power of the big corporations then do some research and stop purchasing their products and services or blindly voting for the politicians that are bought and paid for by the corps you hate. 
If you hate to see the disgraceful abuse of your surrounding countryside, covered in litter and being polluted, start taking a litter bag out with you and pick the mess up. 
If you don't like your current health, start researching what you can do to improve your quality of life, change your diet, get some exercise, stop relying on your doctors and their prescription pads.
Make your voice heard, be honest with your opinions and ideas and share them.
Sign petitions, they work and you can play a part in positive change to end the exploitation of the people, animals, and the planet. You say nothing and just moan then you are part of the problem.

I could go on and on, but what I'm getting at is when you realise that your reality can be changed into whatever you want it to be, you have the power and choice, then positive things can and will happen.

We've all become lazy with our responsibilities and choices, "it'll do, somebody else will take care of that" or the most common attitude "I can't be bothered and it's too complicated". Well tough!!! Our society and the planet is sliding towards a very bad future. We've for too long given control of ourselves to people who don't care about us, they don't even know we exist, we are just stock and crops to be used, manipulated and profited from. We gave that power away when we gave our own personal sovereignty away, something we are born with. 

To use the cliche, 'be the change you want to see'. You're not alone, trust me. Most importantly don't let ego rule your decisions and choices. Change can be very positive if you choose it to be. But often it takes integrity to stand up and admit 'I was wrong'. Seek the truth in all things, question everything. My late father used to say to me "John there are no coincidences", he was right and I just didn't realise it at the time because of my ego, sorry dad.

When you come to the realisation that what we think of as our own free will is actually being manipulated and coerced because of our own ignorance things become simple. We can make that ignorance go away and gain more control of our lives and situations. Knowledge is power (LOL another cliche) but it's true. If you hear a story that makes you angry or even feel hate, research it from all sides and sources. You may be right from the outset and your research will only confirm your fears. If this is the case act and do something, no matter how small (petition, engage conversation, and sharing of info). But please be informed and don't just spout views that often ignite a bad situation further.

Intolerance, ignorance, and hate is dividing our species and threatening everything. We could have a future unfolding with a destroyed environment, decimated natural world, political or religious oppression like we've never imagined before, as the norm. Or we can all take a deep breath and step back from the brink, shed the medieval thinking of government and church, after all, they don't seem to know what the hell they are doing and have made a bloody mess of things so far. Breath and look around you. 

Our leaders, kill, destroy and oppress every which way they turn. At the same time, they beg us to help with charity and taxes and to go to war to fix the very problems they cause. There is never enough money to fix human suffering but always a blank cheque for human misery, hmmmm. This happens in plain sight, nothing hidden. We need hospitals, housing, food, education and sanitation for all. How about a government that encourages the scientific communities of the world to come together and solve our burdening energy crisis. Don't hold your breath, cause that is not going to happen anytime soon. We've had clean energy technology for a long time but it has always been suppressed and hidden from us. Do you really think we still need to be burning fossil fuels? We are being lied too BIG TIME. 

Money is created out of nothing, literally (Money Explained) but never it seems for the good of humanity. While we ignorantly imagine that our spiritual and political leaders are working hard for a better future, all the time they laugh and judge us from palaces, cathedrals, and mansions. They are all guilty of spreading fear and hate which is the very fuel we supply back to them to justify their evil acts. We the people are the ones that beg for war and atrocities against our fellow man, all because we believe the bullshit and propaganda we've been fed and it terrifies us. For a historical example, strap in and watch: Vietnam - How we get manipulated into War or Project For The New American Century

Politics and religion have one thing in common.....it's just business based on lies, fear, and manipulation, simple. They create prison bars for the human mind. The resources available from these institutions could fix poverty, malnutrition, and inequality Worldwide within a generation. This isn't and never will be the plan. They are very happy with the current world view. Scared, ignorant consumers, just as designed. For a great insight into the agenda and plan that's been in motion for a long time, make a cup of tea and be enlightened by this documentary by Adam Curtis The Century of the Self

Solutions:
Starting at home with family and friends start living and eating better. Become less reliant on the big food and pharmaceutical corporations. The cleaner you diet the better you critically thinking and overall health will be and the less easily you'll be manipulated by the media and propaganda. Nutrition & Brain Health

When you feel the emotions of anger, fear or isolation. Research the underlying causes and problems that have triggered these emotions, you'll often find it's not what you originally perceived.

If we have to evolve in this political and environmental landscape get educated. No, I don't mean go to school again, I mean use the technology around us to inform yourselves. But please dig deep and don't just go to the massive, corporate media websites, the very originators of fake news...ha ha you couldn't write it!

Demand a better and fairer election system. Democracy is not what we have been given no matter how they polish and wrap it up. 

LEARN HISTORY. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Be brave, be heard, support campaigns and sign petitions. You are not powerless, stop being part of the flock of sheeple, it's time to evolve.

Cherish and wonder at all life, open your eyes. Cause no pain or suffering and help others. Share your excess if you have any, be it food, shelter or happiness. Be good, always.

Teach all children without the bias of church and state that only the fools don't ask questions.
We must always seek the truth with evidence and not be lead by simple hope, laziness or faith. 
The reality we face is the reality we can create, our choice



Ahhhh, much better, New Year's rant over. Time for a plant based lunch, a walk in the crisp, fresh, January air. Maybe hug a tree or talk to a bird (I know you don't believe me LOL). But most of all step forward into a bright future with optimism, love and light. It's great to be alive so come on 2017 let's have it! 😀

Happy New Year everyone Jxx


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