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How to run a PERMABLITZ!

Adam Grubb, YouTube

Adam from Permablitz Melbourne shows Sydney how its done!

Adam Grubb founded Permablitz as part of a crew of Melbourne permaculturalists in 2006. Since then, Melbourne Permblitz has delivered many, many successful permablitzes in the greater Melbourne area, and the concept of Permablitz has spread to Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Canberra, Tasmania, Bega, the Sunshine Coast, California, Montreal, Istanbul and Uganda.

So what is a Permablitz?

Permablitz (noun): An informal gathering involving a day on which a group of at least two people come together to achieve the following:

– create or add to edible gardens where someone lives
– share skills related to permaculture and sustainable living
– build community networks
– have fun

Permablitzes are free events, open to the public, with free workshops, shared food, where you get some exercise and have a wonderful time. To be defined as a permablitz each event must also be preceded by a permaculture design by a designer with a Permaculture Design Certificate.

The network runs on reciprocity, and in order to qualify for a permablitz you usually need to come to “3 or so” first, although there can be exceptions in this case.
(16 January 2012)
The elusive Adam Grubb is the founder of Energy Bulletin. He is currently teaching permaculture and writing working a booklet about edible weeds. -BA

Two Wheels and High Heels
Ten lessons from the great cycling cities

Christine Grant, Sightline
In the Seattle suburb where I grew up, the main transportation choice most residents face is what kind of car to buy. I moved to Seattle after college and, inspired by the “car-lite” lifestyles of several friends, decided to give cycling a try.

I fell in love with it. Urban cycling freed me from slow buses, parking meters, and mind-numbing elliptical machines. I arrived at work with more energy. I lost weight. I discovered charming neighborhood restaurants. I could smell fresh laundry and dinners in the oven while I pedaled home through residential streets. Getting from A to B on my bike became the best part of my day.

Recently, I won a fellowship and got to spend six months living life on two wheels in the world’s most bike-friendly cities. I brought home ten lessons, and thousands of photographs, for Cascadia:

1.) It’s the infrastructure, stupid! Amazing infrastructure makes cycling normal and safe in bike meccas, but not yet in the Northwest. For example, parked cars to the left of the bike lane not only provide a barrier between motorized traffic and cyclists, they also minimize a cyclist’s chance of getting “doored.” Most cars in Denmark (pictured) only have one occupant, the driver, and drivers get out on the left. Same goes for the Northwest.
(23 January 2012)

Cracking Open the Scientific Process

Thokmas Lin, New York Times
… For centuries, this is how science has operated — through research done in private, then submitted to science and medical journals to be reviewed by peers and published for the benefit of other researchers and the public at large. But to many scientists, the longevity of that process is nothing to celebrate.

The system is hidebound, expensive and elitist, they say. Peer review can take months, journal subscriptions can be prohibitively costly, and a handful of gatekeepers limit the flow of information. It is an ideal system for sharing knowledge, said the quantum physicist Michael Nielsen, only “if you’re stuck with 17th-century technology.”

Dr. Nielsen and other advocates for “open science” say science can accomplish much more, much faster, in an environment of friction-free collaboration over the Internet. And despite a host of obstacles, including the skepticism of many established scientists, their ideas are gaining traction.
(16 January 2012)

De la cultura del ‘pelotazo’ a la inversión ‘lenta’
(Slow Finance)
Carlos Fresneda, El Mundo
No es codicia todo lo que reluce. En el mundo de las finanzas hay voces sensibles y sensatas como la de Gervais Williams, clamando por un profundo cambio desde dentro. Su libro ‘Slow Finance’ está provocando una honda reflexión en la City, donde ya se empieza a gestar la transición del ‘pelotazo’ instatáneo a la inversión “lenta” pero segura…

“Estamos en tiempos difíciles y hay que mentalizarse: el crecimiento rápido posiblemente nunca volverá”, advierte Williams, con la experiencia acumulada de 25 años como gestor de fondos de inversión. “Al mundo de las finanzas no le queda más remedio que ralentizarse. Como mucho, podemos aspirar a un crecimiento moderado y sostenible a largo plazo, y ahí ya no hay sitio para las operaciones especulativas y casi indescifrables, que han marcado el ritmo vertiginoso de estos últimos años”.

Se avecinan tiempos aún peores, nadie lo duda, y el instinto nos dice que lo mejor es guardar lo poco que nos queda debajo del colchón o dentro de un calcetín… “Ya no podemos ni depositar nuestros ahorros con tranquilidad en un banco, por miedo a que pueda quebrar, ni comprar bonos del tesoro, porque el Estado está también en una situación muy precaria”.

Y sin embargo Gervais Williams confía en plantarle cara al apocalíptico 2012 con una simple y vieja receta: “Vamos a tener que apostar por las empresas pequeñas, cercanas y sólidas que resultan vitales para el día a día y que siguen siendo la base de la economía”.
(18 January 2012)