Friday, 26 April 2013

Mars One

Mars, 2001, with the southern polar ice cap vi...
Mars, 2001, with the southern polar ice cap visible on the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Decided to give the Mars one application a go. Why not? I mean my chances are low, but do you want to be sitting watching it ten years from now an know you never took the chance?
You can click below to see my application video.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Online petitions – A force for good?

38 Degrees members appear
38 Degrees members appear (Photo credit: 38 Degrees)

I’ve been signing a lot of online petitions recently. It started what seems like a long time ago with a 38 degrees petition to save the forests in England; a petition that actually seemed to have an effect. Since then there have been loads of them to sign, from saving bees to asking Starbucks to pay tax.
On the surface I doubt most people can really see anything wrong these petitions. They raise awareness of an issue and allow people to take some kind of action and express their feelings easily – almost too easily. And therein lies the rub. It’s really easy to sign a petition and think that your part has been done.
“No need to worry about the arms trade or the environment anymore, I’ve signed an online petition!”
Not sure what to think with online petitions anymore. It’s becoming clear that they are having less impact than they did at first and it seems that like protesting and letters to leaders, the people in charge will just nod, smile and do the opposite. Have online petitions started to have the opposite effect from what was intended? Do they just numb people to issues that they previously would have done something more about? I’m not sure.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I’m Chris and I’m an addict.

Expanded coke zero can!
Expanded coke zero can! (Photo credit: Audin)
Now I know many people will say it’s not a real addiction, but recently I’ve been trying to give up or at least cut down on my caffeine and it’s been really hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.
My particular brand of addiction comes in the shape of a can of coke Zero. I never really got into coffee – thank god as that has crazy amounts of caffeine in it and I’d need to take out a loan to pay Starbucks’ prices – and while I drink tea from time to time, it just doesn’t seem to have the kick of a can of zero. For some reason that little black can just works for me. As a teacher I often throw one back between classes to keep my energy up and it’s not easy task getting through a hundred or so exam papers without that little jolt to keep me going, not to mention when I want to get a chapter done in a book, but it’s all got a bit out of hand recently. More and more I find myself drinking the stuff without really thinking about it and gradually it’s become my water; it’s time to start cutting down.
Thing is, it’s much harder than people think. Online I’ve read a lot of people complaining about the headaches that come with withdrawal and I’m glad to say while I’ve had a little, it’s not been anything too bad. The thing for me has been the sleepiness. I just feel so tired at the moment and it’s not the kind that you can just push through. It’s like when you’ve been up for two days straight kind of tiredness with weights pulling down your eyes and when you have to work, that’s really not a good thing.
I’d say the big thing that makes cutting down on caffeine so hard is to be surround by temptation all the time. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m sure giving up heroine it probably a little bit harder, but at least – for most people- they’d have to make a little bit of effort to get some. With caffeine it’s everywhere. In the school I just have to walk down a flight of stairs to get to my dealer and sometime people just give me some without asking. Although I’m sure in some parts of Glasgow that’s the same for a heroine junky.
One thing people have asked though is why do you want to give up? And the answer is I don’t really. It’s also part of the problem. As a veggi my diet is boring enough without cutting out caffeine, but I want it to be a choice rather than a compulsion. The thing is I know I can give up. Last year I gave up all soda for half a year, but what I really want to learn to do is manage it and getting that balance seems to be a lot harder for me and something I think I’m going to be wrestling with for some time to come.