8 February 1999.
early Othernews - 1993.
There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.
The Soup Designer`s Handbook.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
We are still redesigning The Other News From England.
There is at least one new article this week, and articles on many subjects in earlier issues (which can be seen by clicking below).
Index of earlier issues.
I think she may be being lyrical when she says "once we are balanced we will remember we can fly". The articles she has put on this site (see above) will tell you more than I can about what she does. It`s all a bit metaphysical for me.
BUT - remember "the wearing of loose trousers is recommended"!
there is a new one this week, drawn originally for an adult ed class called "Front bites, rear kicks".
So new, in fact, that there is nothing there. I want to open a section of this site to be used as a kind of green reference. Ordinary folks usually know what to do in order to be green, but there are times when (a) they don`t know the technology, or (b)they are short of ideas, or (c) they would like to see what some other people think.
So the purpose of this area will be for people to describe to others how they made their own electricity, or saved a great deal of domestic water being wasted, or captured the methane gas from their cesspit, designed their solar bicycle with regenerative braking and portable overnight windcharger, caused plants to grow in a desert, made a solar water pump, etc.
A site for forward-looking people, in fact.
It may be very difficult to edit, but I would like a few articles and tips that are concise, easily understood and ecologically useful. These will be left on the site, and gradually as the number of articles builds up hopefully somebody will construct an index. I won`t volunteer myself, as I have yet to make a subject index for the whole Other News site.
I wrote about these people last week, but at that time I hadn`t realised the magnitude of their scam-like activities.
Looking through the paperwork in connection with the summons for possession I noticed that far from my repayments being #425 a month on #48,000, they are #500, and the interest alone is far greater than the whole repayment on another of their mortgages would be for #60,000!
The Abbey National say I owe them #47,000 (but that it would take #48,000 to get them off my back) and that the current monthly instalment is #499.91! This makes the total repayments per year amount to just under $6000 - which is approximately 13% of the total. This is the cost of not being able to pay them off.
Because the mortgage has been going a long time the interest is #364.02 per month, or #4368 per year. This amounts to an interest rate of 9.5%!
Almost anybody who knows anything about mortgages will know that if I were creditworthy I would be able to borrow money for this kind of purpose at about 6%, and had I been borrowing at normal mortgage rates over the years there would now be no arrears, the total outstanding would be reduced instead of increased, and I would be creditworthy. But I`m not creditworthy, so they know they can charge what they like - and the current reason I`m not creditworthy is largely that they are suing me for possession of my property!
It doesn`t end there, though. They are also asking for costs!
I know what I`d call them. It isn`t complimentary.
Ecology and education.
It is not often these two subjects can be shown to be inextricably tied together, even though a bit of education might have helped our Minister for the Environment understand something about ecology, and this could have helped him avoid the embarassment of having talked to reporters about "beneficial species".
But politicians are only in it as a career, so I won`t waste further time on him.
At nightschool I looked in the rubbish bin in the workshop, and I want to tell you about the contents, because, you see, a school is thought of as being "our future" (difficult to believe it when you consider how little importance education is given, but nevertheless.........) - that is, it is a place where today`s children are thought to learn how to run the world properly when they are old enough (although when you consider how it is run that is definitely a matter for debate!).
In the rubbish bin in the Design and Technology department I found copper wire, paper, clean plastic, steel swarf, elastic bands, new pencils, pieces of wood big enough to make something from, electronic components, batteries...........etc.
They teach ecology and environment in science, you see, so it`s OK to unteach ecology and environment in Design and Technology. In design and Technology you learn how to do all the damage that industry has always done, and how to litter the world with toxic waste, and spread raw materials so far and wide that nobody will ever be able to use them again.
I have heard the arguments often about it not being economic to recycle small quantities, the metal all oxidises if you try to resmelt it, and so on. But what we are doing here is teaching kids that if something is in the way you just chuck it in the bin (it miraculously disappears whilst you are at home with Mum and Dad watching the telly) and when you next need it you get a new one from the stores.
What we should actually be teaching them is that every little effort helps, and that if we don`t try to recycle we never will know how to overcome the difficulties associated with recycling.
Saturdays 7-10pm , 6 March 3 April, 8th May, aat The Contact Centre, 60 Hamnbolt Rd., London SW4. (10 mins from Clapham Common tube stn. or buses 137, 35, 37. For info ring Kathy Hughes 0181 671 7300. They would like more participants.
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