Food for Thought…

 

These cartoons pinpoint some actual issues…

 

Food for thought…

Circle

Evolution of Man by Dan Piraro

 

 

= As an aside, please find an interesting interview with cartoonist Dan Piraro here. =

 

 

 

… and thought for food…

Bizarre Evolution

Bizarre Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent video of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN shows more serious details around these themes. Worth the watch:

FAO on Farming

 

Sour Grapes and Sweet Lemons

Illustration by Aofie-Fionn

Illustration by Aofie-Fionn

A famished fox saw some clusters of ripe black grapes hanging from a trellised vine. She resorted to all her tricks to get at them, but wearied herself in vain, for she could not reach them. At last she turned away, hiding her disappointment and saying: “The Grapes are sour, and not ripe as I thought.”


—Aesop, traditional fable, The Fox and the Grapes

 

The fox in this fable is very motivated to get her hands on some deliciously looking grapes. Unfortunately, she cannot reach them… In the end she turns her back to the grapes and comforts herself by thinking that they are not so ripe or desirable anyway.

Like the fox in the fable, if motivated, people bring judgments of desirability in line with judgments of likelihood. (How likely is it that a desired object is obtainable? How big is the chance of getting something and hence, how much do I want it?) A great article on this phenomenon is “Sour Grapes, Sweet Lemons, and the Anticipatory Rationalization of the Status Quo”.

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Fooling around

slider_escherIn my prints I try to show that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in formless chaos, (…). I cannot resist fooling around with our established certainties. It gives me great pleasure, for example, to deliberately mix together objects with two and three dimensions, surface and spatial relationships, and to make fun of gravity.” – M.C. Escher

Read more…

Les fous d’Afrique

Folle d'Afrique?

Folle d’Afrique?

This book on Africa is a few years old, but worthwhile the read:

Dowden, Richard, AFRICA – Altered states, Ordinary Miracles, 2008

 

I like the quote about travelling on the African continent:

 

The best way to find out is to go, not as a tourist in a bubble of Western luxury and safety, but as a traveller to meet people and engage with them. It is easily done. But be aware. Africa can be addictive. Les fous d’Afrique, the French call them, those who become mad about Africa.” (page 9)

Shareholder statement

Headline in the Guardian dd.  1 July 2015: “Church of England divests from Soco oil firm over Virunga operations“

 

The Church of England, a key shareholder in the UK oil firm Soco, sells its GBP 1.6m stake, citing ethical concerns over UK firm’s controversial plans to drill in Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Please read more here:

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/01/church-of-england-divests-soco-oil-virunga-operations-ethical?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

To be interpreted… Certain payments and activities in Virunga…

The New York TimesVery unfortunate, but maybe nothing new: Global Witness presents latest evidence that UK oil company SOCO has been involved in corrupt activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in and around Virunga National Park. Please see the following New York Times article (dd. 9 June 2015):

 

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/world/africa/soco-oil-company-paid-large-sums-to-officer-in-congo-activists-say.html?smid=tw-share&_r=2&referrer

 

Whether it is about bribery or “facility payments” (these concepts and the “differences” between them are intriguing; shady and grey), it was – is – and remains a tricky situation in this magnificent, unique region of the world. Sad but true. It shouldn’t be like this. And it doesn’t need to be like this. There are multiple opportunities for sustainable development here…!

Dare to explore

title

Eruption of the Nyamuragira

This was my view from the Frankfurt Zoological Society camp in Rumangabo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the eruption of the Nyamuragira, one of the Virunga volcanoes. A true force of nature. Mind-blowing! Working and living in East Congo amazes in every possible way.

Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

title

Unbelievable

title

The mind-blowing Nyiragongo lava lake

 

 

 

Limited minds… and (corporate) responsibilities?

Upon reflection, we can acknowledge that our human mind is rather limited:

We overestimate what we do know and we underestimate what we don’t know.

 

We humans take a lot at face value. We suffer from “black swan blindness” (as we mostly see white swans, we tend to think they are all white and we tend to forget about the black ones). We can even ignore “stampeding black elephants” if we want?! In other words, we can ignore very obvious facts that are in the face (please see the previous blog post dd. 25 November 2014).

Interesting questions that follow out of these facts are: How do we deal with reality? How do we (want to) see things? How much are we aware of our limitations? And how do we manage these limitations?

 

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher Museum

 

In my prints I try to show that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in formless chaos, (…). I cannot resist fooling around with our established certainties. It gives me great pleasure, for example, to deliberately mix together objects with two and three dimensions, surface and spatial relationships, and to make fun of gravity.” – M.C. Escher

 

 

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Attention! Stampeding black elephants…

Black Elephant

“Black Elephant”

The New York Times of 22 November 2014 makes us aware of the black elephant phenomenon that has been discussed at the World Parks congress in Sydney recently.

A black elephant is:

“a cross between ‘a black swan’ (an unlikely, unexpected event with enormous ramifications) and the ‘elephant in the room’ (a problem that is visible to everyone, yet no one still wants to address it) even though we know that one day it will have vast, black-swan-like consequences.”

 

Let’s think about the state of our world. Do we (want to) realize what is going on? Do we (want to) act upon it? What can we do? Please find the insightful article of Thomas Friedman via this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-stampeding-black-elephants.html

Conservation is self-preservation.” (Adrian Steirn)

TEDxLeiden 2014: ABUNDANCE

TEDxLeiden2014_1TEDxLeiden2014_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEDxLeiden2014_4

Photos by Rienke Wiersma

TEDxLeiden2014_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme of the day: ABUNDANCE

TED talks are all about “ideas worth sharing”. Or as the moderator of this TED conference in Leiden, Joep Stasse, said: “sharing ideas from the stomach, the heart and the mind”. It was a very inspiring day! It made us realise once again that we live in an abundant world indeed.

 

Some key take aways:

 

* Conservation is not charity. Conservation is business. Restoration industry.

Restoration brings 4 returns:

  1. Inspirational capital
  2. Social capital
  3. Natural capital
  4. Financial capital

(Willem Ferwerda)

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National Geographic Junior

For my Dutch speaking friends:

 

the November 2014 edition of the Dutch National Geographic Junior magazine is out now!

 

With a great “Dare to explore” story on Yaya’s (ranger/guide in Bukima) and Anita’s (as reporter) visit to Virunga’s mountain gorillas.

NGJ NOV2014

NGJ NOV2014

NGJ NOV2014 front page

NGJ NOV2014 front page

First taste of chocolate

It is a short documentary from a while ago, but I just re-watched it. It is a kind of incredible:

“The first taste of chocolate” in the Ivory Coast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEN4hcZutO0

 

The Ivory Coast is one of the key producers of cocoa beans worldwide, but chocolate is hardly available (the beans are exported and processed abroad. Imported chocolate is not affordable for the local people).

Cocoa beans

Cocoa beans

Sweet

Sweet