Valerie Yules Letters

October 12, 2014

Climate change and exercise

Climate change and Housework Exercise

Recently a radio station ran a campaign for more exercise. People rang in about how they exercised with gyms, bikes and so on. None of it was useful, apart from transport.
In the past until about 1950. and in many countries still, exercise by almost everybody was useful. Only the wealthy took on useless exercise – or huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’, which had something at the end of it, or in ancient Greece, they went to the Gymnasium.

Most of the people rested as their recreation; Their work was their exercise – outside, growing their food, or inside, cooking, cleaning and making their clothes.
Today in our cities almost everybody uses electricity instead of exercise in the home.
Yet we can reduce carbon emissions by reducing unnecessary use of electricity and exercising instead.

People could save electricity by bending their knees, stretching their arms, strengthening their arm muscles, tuning up their wrists, and reducing their waistline. Thus with minimum electricity and carbon emissions, they would sweep and garden, clean the floor, polish, and sweep cobwebs off the ceiling.
It would improve their circulation, tone up pelvic-floor muscles, keep the heart fit, strengthen the legs and prevent osteoporosis, by doing housework like it was done up to 1950, without unnecessary electricity.

Carbon-emissions are saved by not driving.
Walking to go shopping used to require for light shopping, a basket, soft-handled string-bag, dilly-bag or backpack, and for heavy shopping, a shopping jeep or pram. This is exercise especially good when the back was kept straight and elegant and pulling or pushing with your arms so that the back was not bent. Shopping was not weighed down with wasteful packaging

A good hand-mower for level or ‘drought’ lawns. Push from the waist, not hunched, for figure-improving exercise for the stomach. Save $$$ and £££. A hand-mower saves carbon emissions and does not annoy neigbours. There is at least one excellent mower on the market so light it almost flies.
Do repetitive jobs with rhythm for more speed, pleasure and exercise – eg dishwash by hand, hang up washing, make beds, use a carpet-sweeper for quick jobs rather than vacuum. Move your feet rather than stand still at kitchen jobs, or use a high stool or chair when convenient, to avoid varicose veins. Carbon-emissions saved by not using electricity.
Exercise while you wait. Walk and turn while waiting for a bus or train or person, turn and stretch when sitting at a phone. These are times to exercise the neck, feet, leg and arm raising, pelvic-floor contracting, posture correction, correct breathing.
Sing or hum around the house or in the bathroom for morale and good breathing. Children love to hear you singing, until they are old enough to discriminate. Dont disturb adults though.
Dance down the passage sometimes.
Creative hobbies for healthy exercise – play music, paint, carpentry, home renovating.
Play with children. Even catching children for bedtime or washing them can be good exercise.
Sleeplessness. A good time for breathing exercises . . . . by the time you have breathed deeply to a hundred or so . . .
Don’t use electrical goods that do the job no better than you could get exercise. Buy the goods you really need to make life easier with the money you save.
Exercise inventions. Here’s an opening for the local bicycle industry. An exercise bike could generate TV power for your home – pedal as you watch, or run a mulch-maker, or . .
One Englishman powers his television with an exercise bike – the children can watch as long as they keep pedalling.
Human energy could generate power for many household tasks, and charge batteries. Treadmills and all those machines to make you strong or powerful or fast, could all do something useful – turning a compost-cutter, helping to make waste-paper into recycled paper, grinding up stuff, charging batteries.

Loneliness is a major reason why people do not like doing housework. Have a child or adult friend around, or listen to interesting talks on the radio to ,or even sometimes enjoy the quiet, to think and daydream.
Do men and women need the same sort of exercise?
For hundreds of thousands of years, men have been the exercise freaks, out hunting and fighting and digging and building, muscling their way around, puffing and panting and sprinting away. Today if modern man does not have regular vigorous exercise, his health deteriorates.
For hundreds of thousands of years, women have worked very hard but at a more regular pace. They have not needed large-muscle speed and power. And if they survived child-bearing and resulting disorders, they lived longer. Today perhaps modern women are still evolved to need that sort of exercise, which most women have had in housework and in the fields. Perhaps puffing and panting exercises are for male physiology, and may wear women out sooner. As, conceivably, the men’s harder, faster life, may actually wear out the healthy male for a shorter life than the conservationist female. Like that famous jogger, they may ‘die healthy’.

Formal exercise is unnatural. That is, understood as formal exercise not contaminated by being useful in any way. I never do any formal exercises. (I’m heading for eighty-six, and last tested bone density was better than my age.) Instead, I do gardening, walk to the shops with a shopping jeep, do housework – including twin-tub washing machine and outdoor drying, and carpet-sweep the floors
Formal exercise can be a waste of fossil fuels as well as waste of time when people substitute it for doing things for themselves.
Snobbery and exercise
Throughout history, slaves and peasants did the hard work. Useful work was thought undignified. Indeed, most of it was dreadful toil. The upper classes got their exercises at sports, hunting and gymnasiums.
Chinese mandarins even grew their fingernails about a foot long to prove they did no manual work.
Today machines can do the dreadful toil. Thank goodness. But should we still be snobs about useful work that is healthy exercise for us? As well as saving emissions, electricity, oil and money.

Do men die younger because they do the wrong sort of exercise – the repetitive fast Olympic sports type (lots of RSS)and not regularly, and women did regular housework exercise? Doing housework exercise at the times that you don’t really need the electric appliances also saves carbon emissions and money, and you can listen to the wireless at the same time. Or just think.


October 11, 2014

The cost of Bombing a truck

Filed under: political — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 9:45 am

. If the misery of others leaves you indifferent and with no feelings of sorrow, you should not be called a human being. (—Sa’adi, thirteenth century Persian poet)

Leaders in a war make statements addressed to their people, not to the world. Their actions are with an eye on their peoples, not to the whole situation.

Remembering this, we should reconsider our air war against the brutal caliphate.

We are spending millions on our airplanes and their direction – a sortie over the semi- desert can be reported as killing five enemy or destroying three trucks. It will have cost at the least thousands of dollars.  The only profiteers are the armaments makers. (The British arms fair is the biggest in the world, and sells British-made torture implements and civilian-killing land-mines and bombs)

What will it have done for the hearts and minds of those the planes fly over?  Especially the civilian casualties or those whose property is destroyed.  We do not speak their languages. They may see the Muslim jihad as more their friend than the West, which is alien.  They may have memories of the West going back to the first invasion.

We bomb – forgetting how the British responded to the Blitz. We care little about the Arab archaeological treasures as well as the civilian homes and workplaces, and our additions to the world’s loss of land and infrastructure.

We mourn the brutal executions of Westerners – but only mention in passing the horrible fates of civilians under the caliphate.  This makes clear our own preoccupations

Our leaders may say that at least they are doing something –  they do no know how to do anything else and so play with our military might that will not harm ourselves.

October 4, 2014

Democracy can be worse than useless

Filed under: political, politicall problems — Tags: — valerieyulesletters @ 9:10 am

October 1 2014

Democracy can be worse than useless

The first great democracy, in 5th century Athens, with all citizens voting, showed the dangers of democracy when the people are uninformed.

The citizens voted for an attack on another city for the sake of glory and gold, and had a catastrophic defeat; they treated a rebellious island with the utmost cruelty; they followed a charismatic leader and then rejected him so that he led their enemies against them; they squabbled over an oligarchy.

We should all consider how democracies can fail, before seeking to impose them on other countries

Real estate scandals

Filed under: conservation, economic, social problems — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 8:42 am

Sept 2014

A beautiful home, designed a few years ago by a distinguished architect, in perfect condition, is to be destroyed in our street.

It might have been saved – a hopeful buyer would have moved in immediately to live there. The neighbors would have been relieved. The estate agent would still have made thousands in profit. But that buyer only offered 3.1 million dollars, and was second.

The winner at the auction- a foreigner – offered more and plans immediate destruction, to build a McMansion.

This is happening all over our Monash area – good buildings destroyed and McMansions going up – which will then be offered for sale.

See the local paper’s real estate supplement.

If the second bidder had won, there would have been no notice in GDP – he simply would have moved in.

The first bidder has GDP added to by the present home’s destruction and the building of new – and more employment – what profit to Australia!

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