Archive for the education Category

Swansong

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

Many times over in the past, the question about use of nuclear energy has been raised. The element of safety particularly catching the attention of those in our communities globally with regard to environment and the future safety of generations to come. Nuclear energy in Britain began with the opening of a plant, in Cumbria, Calder Hall at Windscale, in 1956. From Hunterston to Dungerness, Britain still has about eight or nine open and operating plants. And more recently, the Tory Government has decided to increase this number

(https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/03/mini-nuclear-power-stations-uk-government-funding)

, and created the portal for doing so with funding being made available from tax payers. It is something to heavily debate with regard to what happened in Japan at Fukashima. Even during the first months of this year, new earth movements have been recorded, big enough to be of concern and reported in news items on television networks and papers.

(https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/28/cumbria-hit-32-magnitude-earthquake-residents-describe-shaking/)

Notably France has developed and used nuclear energy to supply electricity for its population. There is little mention of how waste is dealt with, but, I do suspect like the USA, they bury it probably deep in a mountainous area, supposedly away from heavily populated zones. How sad if something then might disturb these safe areas or sealed safe areas, say by way of an earth quake for example. I am so glad and grateful to all those who have campaigned for safe renewable energy and for all the provocative and thoughtful protest against dangerous fuel types of energy. Thankfully Greenpeace and anti-nuclear groups did enough work to make people aware of what the world might look like if we were to pursue this type of fuel. Additionally, it is notable, that whenever any kind of unusual event occurs, perhaps a change to the magnetic polar positioning of the planet, that governments stay still tongued and I would have to say ‘scared’ at the prospects of what might happen.  I kept thinking of the information I read about Fukashima and the radioactive plume effect that resulted from the leaks coming from the plant after the Tsunami hit the island of Japan. Some reports are saying the Pacific is ‘dead’ of animal life. There was mention of the China syndrome, which is the result of the melt of highly active particles supposedly burning a hole right the way through the planet. Well, with mentions of the mid-Pacific floor being on the move, (material from the upper mantle rises through the faults between oceanic plates to form new crust ocean floor spreading) and further earthquake and volcano activity, it leads me to think, that, we just may have gone  too far with the development and reliance on nuclear fuel. Fukashima is still in a dangerous state. The whole of at least the north east side of Japan will feel the effects of the radioactive material for many years to come. The pollution from the Fukashima plant is still entering the ground water system of the island and also thus flowing too out into the Pacific. There is an abundance of silence. I wonder where politicians spend their free time. It clearly does not reflect in their plans, the absolute tragedy of Fukashima, or possible equivalent happening our side of the globe. All seas meet. The radioactive isotopes, the particles, these have free flow in water. There is no magic switch to undo the radioactive element.

Our supermarkets are selling fish caught in Pacific waters, including Alaska, cheaply as fish fingers, or white fish in the freezer cabinets. I am terrified for people who are unaware. It horrifies me that fish is seen as a healthy option, and parents with little time to research these issues, will find their loved ones succumbing to cancers. Cancer anomalies will begin to show again around any nuclear plant zone, as this was also the public outcry before around the Sellafield plant. Are we going to sit idle waiting for this horrendous plan to be carried out? Or will people address these issues through their local MP’s and finally government? Comments  welcome.

(https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/jul/14/greenpolitics.science)

 

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The Cost of a Life

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by kathydasilva

alfie evans

It does not matter, to me, the complexity of someone’s illness, or ailment. It does not matter to me, how long it might take for someone to get well. It does not matter to me, if it might take a lot of adaptions, if someone is disabled. If it is a relative or son or daughter of mine, they have the life God gave to them, and I would love them no matter what happened. Our NHS has been under attack for so long, that now it is coming to this, who lives, and who dies. It is appalling that a specialist children’s hospital should end up, with a choice of ending care, in the way that the little toddler Alfie Evans long term care came to an abrupt final week, at Alder Hey, in Liverpool, England. Expected to die after the life support system was removed, and yet he breathed, and even opened his eyes. And he did so the whole of five days from the Monday to the Friday, apparently only succumbing to death due to no fluids or food being administered to him. He would have I am sure lived a little longer with the right amount of nutrition and food. It is impossible, to see why the hospital behaved as it did once the babe had actually survived the removal of the ventilator. Additionally the doctors would not release the baby to the care of a Vatican Hospital, where the entire family would have benefited from the prayer of a Christian community. Whether Alfie was destined to live, is not down to the bureaucrats who organize funding. The offer from the Vatican was for ‘free’, including transportation. So there is no excuse for the hospital staff to not have a heart. It would not have cost Alder Hey a penny to allow the parents to take up the offer from Pope Francis himself. I find myself angry, but, yet I am not the one hurt, or punished. I am not the baby allowed to starve. I am not the parent who had to watch, and hope someone would come with a passport out of the hospital. They had arranged it that Saturday would be the home going day, but the parents had thought it would be with a live baby. So what went wrong? And was that the gruesome (sea change) that doctors expected both Kate and Thomas to accept, that a baby could only go home once he had passed?  There is something dreadfully wrong with this story. There is something dreadfully wrong with the law. I do think that parents faced with these dreadful decisions, have to have a lot of empathy from hospital staff, and more, the possibilities, need to be broader and freer. I spent my entire week thinking and worrying  about Alfie, and the fact he might not be being fed, or nurtured as a toddler would need energy to do all that breathing, even if he was unable to walk, breathing does take some energy. I hope, Alder Hey, change their policies. Not another child or parent should suffer. Parents and particularly mothers are given so much attention when pregnant. Pregnant mothers attend ante natal classes and literature is passed to the family for free. All so babies can live. I would hate to see the problem that occurred in Germany of selection of only healthy babies, being introduced to society. The problem with not enough ‘reaction’ to this death, will be, that it will happen again, the same doctor will assume it was alright. I could not believe his appearance on Morning Television, amidst the whole sufferance of the parents, the same week. May the whole of Liverpool get behind Kate James and her partner Thomas Evans with how they proceed from here.

A Sample of ‘Driftwood’

Posted in Biography, education, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

bookcoverimage

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1207044

A while back, I got interested in trying to get people to look at my novel Driftwood, and perhaps say what they thought about it. So at createspace.com the little company that helps new authors get their work out there, they offer, a place to put a few pages, of preview of each novel, and you can get people to rate the text without them having to make purchase, should they not have the money or inclination. It in some ways gives you more than the cover sampler, and descriptions but, hopefully, it also makes a space for comments and criticism as both are needed when you first put your thoughts into a book. I am still working on other titles, and am hoping to steer my lifestyle in the direction of committing more time and energy, and make the most of the writing gift and interest I have particularly in creating fictions. We all draw from life, and though this is there somewhere in the text, I have deliberately kept the names and places more or less fiction based in all of my novels.

Just recently I was trying to check if other people had noticed my book, for example, and found lots of independent distributors, have got my title among there collections for sale globally, and as far now as Chile! But, too, other sites, have started playing with found PDF files, that maybe have been caught in transit, on the net. Some will describe this as a hack or rip, but, I have only so far placed any of my manuscripts with the Amazon group and affiliated companies. I started with originally http://www.feedaread.com and progressed to http://www.createspace.com the latter making it possible for Amazon distribution to be free from my point of view as author.  The above link is to http://www.createspace.com’s  review space. If people want to read a page or two of the book, you can do it here or look on the Amazon pages for a preview read experience..

One of the independent domain sites  (abouthistory.info), offered an entire manuscript as a PDF file, for free (to read on their tablets), and obviously, that means most people would see this as a way of reading the book without having to pay, but, to me, it was not the way I had permitted the book to be launched, or seen in public, together with the fact some of the text was not my story, it looked a little chopped about  in places, and sentences existed that were not anything to do with the story Driftwood. At this point you see me with my mouth turned downward in sorrow. This book has a message and has been written with good intentions to create discussion. We are living in troubled times globally, with too many wars and uprisings, happening, and always the innocent suffering.

My audio book, will soon be available too.

Thank You! .. Happy Holidays and please do go have a look.

Housman’s Bookshop Throw a Party For Chelsea Manning

Posted in Current affairs, education, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2017 by kathydasilva

At 7 pm this evening Housman’s Bookshop, opened its doors and celebrated the news of Chelsea Manning’s first day of freedom. All supporters, who had travelled to London for the party took part in the evening of entertainment and mirth. Poets and activists for peace stood with beer and wine in hand with a tremendous feeling of worth. Such a wonderful day for Chelsea Manning seeing her sentence of more than 35 years commuted to the six she has served with clemency from Obama as he left the Whitehouse for the last time.

Attendees, are as follows: Jim Radford, campaigner and activist for peace a veteran of WW2; Kirsten Bayes, from C.A.A.T. Campaign Against Arms Trade; Rod Langlands, activist and anti-aparteid campainer in Israel for the Palestinians; Susan Johns, who read the statement from Chelsea Manning on what had kept her strong whilst in prison; Pauline Sewards, activist and poet, who also read tonight her own poem thanking Chelsea for her bravery( she says she writes mainly for activism on the site ‘I am not a silent poet’;  the staff of Housmans including manager Catherine Barter. The whole shop was filled with the most amazing warmth, and feeling of purpose. I looked around and found titles of grand inspiration, including Naom Chomsky’s titles. The main purpose was to celebrate the victory of Chelsea Manning’s freedom, and the wonderful feeling of perhaps being part of it.

The shop aims to send to Chelsea Manning the photograph of everyone who came with the signatures and well wishes of the many who came to support this brave whistleblower. Thank you Chelsea Manning for standing for PEACE and TRUTH!

 

DSCF9154

I have now uploaded the small snack bites of video from the party you can hear some of the speakers to the above event on YouTube.com  …

 

Trolls

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, education, politics, Stories and reviews, writing with tags , , , , on April 11, 2017 by kathydasilva

Yes the title is appropriate.. I remember reading in a fairy tale, about trolls, or monsters, hiding under bridges and trying to cause harm, there ready to ‘gobble you up’.. yes this type of ‘would be’ nightmare, if you had them as an adult, would mount to horrendous proportions. A troll, being inevitably something ugly and unwanted even a bit demonic. The bad nature in some humans, have thus been likened to these fictional creatures. The darker nature of hate, and the negative nature of wanting to make the ‘hate’ known. It is at this point, I think that this is how I understood religion, because if anything, faiths globally tussle with the whole dilemma of human behavior the well behaved versus, total chaos. And then there is law and order, to add, to the considerations. Whilst media ‘trolling’, can to some degree be controlled by adding some policy statements and regulation, it still does not stop, the phenomena existing and like the old demonic bad spirit in a fairy story, there you have it again, a troll, to try to make a person feel uncomfortable, it is an easy going kind of expression for just plain nasty behavior. And how come, this all gets an airing? Well for the love of sharing, our thoughts, our arty bits and pieces, and promotions of books, there you have it the green eyed demons come out in the plenty. And some more insidious than others. The real bite, is whether it is indeed right wing factions or extremist views, saying what they cannot say clearly, that they feel fear. Fear of losing control, of a world that by chance or virtue of survival, still produces a level of unequal behavior. Someone sent me a link, on my academic site, about the history of the ‘elite’ schools and I imagine this includes places, like Eton, where if you have the money, you can purchase a really good education, something unforgettable, once you near adulthood, and indeed beyond. I have to say, that I only began to notice the difference in opportunity as an undergraduate, when public school child and state school offspring merge at the higher educational level of university. It is probably true, that if you look at people in the media and I mean the top papers, and news jobs, you might find a few of the ‘elite’ offspring well and truly using all the education life gave them to full success. So it is even more remarkable, when the odd one or two of the ‘ordinary’ people manage to get through the barrier! The story of Hans Christian Anderson, emerged through drama on our TV screens the other day, and indeed, he had been helped to an education having spent most of his childhood illiterate. Strangely powerful, the Emperor’s New Clothes, and other stories by his pen. He could tell the stories but not write them down. So wisdom is not only passed down through school, there are other sources, and parents, and libraries, can play their part. How wonderful God allows for such lessons. Trolls. I think too Shakespeare did suffer because of his talent, yet again not coming through a traditional scholarly upbringing, he the tanner’s boy, and secretly a Catholic, in a time when Catholicism was still forbidden to be openly practiced. Imagine all these hidden political forces. Imagine, if you were party to being ordered to ‘harass’, individuals, to essentially take the carpet from under them, to dissuade them from flying high, well higher and therefore toward potential success. Because success, means fame in part, and popularity, and influence. And possibly becoming wealthy. What happens then, should the egalitarian soul, succeed? The whole EU debate, has opened a hornet’s nest of thoughts. Strangely I was finding through various debates, especially about borders, and opinions, that there our neighbor Ireland, was showing potential above the British Isles, as it had no plans on leaving the EU at all. And too the debate over whether we should as a nation have made it to becoming a republic. The old debate of Kingdom. Had Cromwell decided to manage the country at the time of the uprising caused by an over indulgent King Charles, would we have managed to temper and balance out this surge toward elitism, that seems indwelling, an inherent snobbery. I am mentioning this, simply because the whole capitalist agenda is to get people to spend, and desire spending, usually on the basis of quite false promises. It will make us happy. Hilary Clinton herself, had also implied, that ‘everyone can be wealthy’. I think perhaps not and the only reason is that some people do work harder and longer hours, and still too, is that healthy, for our families. If both parents work, and then, children do not relate so well, with their parents for example and perhaps people in society? So why do people do this awful thing, this trolling behavior? And if it in some part is military, what does this suggest? Is personal hate allowed. King Charles’ son, had the body of Cromwell dug up from his grave, and decapitated, and the head was put on show I think hung from or on a spike, in the chapel that is next to Westminster. Somehow, this seemed to me a bit extreme as the man was already dead. He was a Christian Cromwell. And the issues of Charles I, who was accused of treason toward the nation. So too, how horrid, that this moment in time is presenting to us the British, public something so big, and perhaps too, on the scale of something to fight for. Imagine if your opinion, results in ‘action’ against the individual. It makes me outraged, that ‘assassinations’ go unchallenged. In America, other kinds of punishment, to me it seems illegal, but, the case of Barrett Brown, who was imprisoned, and charged with various indictments, some of which would have only resulted in a ticking off, in another land. Trolling? Some might call this harassment, some, might even say this is the insidious element of the ‘elite’, depending on the ‘target’. So, yes, the essays and writings, that try to make things like real change occur become more relevant. I have been gradually sliding back into my academic roots. They are good roots. I am painting. I am novel writing. And I am applying a good sense of knowledge. The miracle of language is enough for me.