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View allAll Photos Tagged stockpiling food

My first job in Denmark was in the building on the left. It was a fabulously restored warehouse which was used to stockpile food at the beginning on WWII.


Life forces enough final decisions on us.

We should have the sense to avoid

as many of the unnecessary ones as we can.


~John Irving


sponsored items -

MadPea | park decor @belle!

junk food | basket bike RARE @bloom, play to win commons & RARES!

♡ SL: Pentacles666


directional signs (entrance, exit, that way, this way, wrong way), dripping bench (blue, green, pink, violet, yellow), dripping table (blue, green, pink, violet, yellow), modular walls (small-large), splat ice cream (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla) & trash bin (blue, green, pink, violet, & yellow).


pose: *le poppycock* strawberry sky B pack @the mainstore as part of wanderlust weekend

bike: junk food basket bike RARE @bloom - animated bikes you can wear, animates like you're riding it! decor version included with each set. 7 commons, and 3 rares stockpiled with food goodies.

trees: botanical douglas fir

dirt path: HPMD dirt road/curve light brown

hair: doux malori

top: evani candy velvet top

jeans: blueberry laine zipped jean

sneaks: native urban unknown high sneakers

President Trump said, “you don’t have to buy so much.” “There’s no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies.” Although it looks a bit ridiculous, I kind of understand people who stockpiling food. Now, you don't know what the next day will bring and everybody deals with anxiety in their own way. I will try meditation and mindfulness, it's hard on empty stomach though :)


Spotted in Market Basket, Waltham, Massachusetts.


There’s noithing like a tasty nut to make your day! Chopmunks are small, striped rodents, found throughout North America. They’re omnivorous, eating seeds, nuts and fruits. They also eat grass, shoots, fungi, insects and other arthropods, small frogs, worms, and bird eggs. They also occasionally eat newly hatched baby birds Around humans, chipmunks can eat cultivated grains and vegetables, and other plants from farms and gardens, so they are sometimes considered pests. Chipmunks mostly forage on the ground, but climb trees to obtain nuts such as hazelnuts and acorns. At the beginning of autumn,they begin to stockpile nonperishable foods for winter. caching their foods in a larder in their burrows so they can remain in their nests until spring, Cheek pouches allow chipmunks to carry food items to their burrows for either storage or consumption


Western chipmunks breed only once a year. The young emerge from the burrow after about six weeks and strike out on their own within the next two weeks. They’re diurnal. Eastern chipmunkS hibernate in the winter, while western chipmunks do not, relying on the stores in their burrows.


They live about 3 years, although in captivity, they’ve been known to live up to 9 years

That's no moon...


Tonight's moon is both a super moon (the moon is at perigee, or its closest point to earth in its orbit) and a hunter's moon (so-called because it tends to fall in October, when hunters tracked and killed prey by autumn moonlight to stockpile food for the coming winter).


This shot is actually two exposures using a 400mm lens in order to capture the features on the moon as well as the ethereal clouds - the moon is so bright that one exposure wasn't able to capture both.

I sacrificed part of a roll of this scarce resource to show it in a new light. I have used this for photography before but because of the coronavirus scare that is upon us, toilet paper has become a symbol of our panic. Buying and preparing our homes for the worst-case scenario helps us to feel a little in control. I remember back to the craziness of Y2K and people stockpiling dehydrated food and water, keeping large amounts of cash around, and buying weapons to protect it all. Hopefully, we can find some tp and hand sanitizer on the shelves again soon. Be safe and I wish you well!


Its been 5 months since the sandstorm storm hit...


It came out of no where...


I.. I didn't even have time to stockpile some food..


Rations have run thin.


None of my clothes fit anymore..


It's been so long since I've been outside.


I didn't know what to expect..


Everything is just... broken..


How do we come back from this?




This is just a teaser for a larger MOC that I've been working on and off for the past 6 months.


I've got 5 weeks left of my final semester of college. So hopefully I can become more active in the community again in the very near future.


I hope y'all enjoy!



You can find the whole work here:


Some parts of the Regional Natural Park of Tepilora, Sant’Anna and Rio Posada – 8,000 hectares of forests and rivers on the north-east of Sardinia, in the province of Nuoro – might make you think human history never set foot here.


Your gaze will span between holm oaks, junipers, strawberry trees and cork oaks, and rivers, streams and springs. There is a good chance wild boars, foxes, hares, deer and mouflons will pop out from the vegetation, and you might even spot a majestic golden eagle soaring around the top of Mount Tepilora.


Then, in a corner of this beautiful natural oasis, nestled on a small hill, you will see the medieval silhouette of the small town of Posada, near the remains of an ancient settlement where – about one hundred years ago – archaeologists found a small statue of Hercules dating back to the 5th-4th century BC. Furthermore, a number of finds were discovered near the river of the same name: statues and interior decor objects, evidence of the Roman colonization in this area in the early 4th century.


The village is overlooked by the 13th-century Fava Castle, at the center of an old legend according to which locals once resorted to an interesting trick to defeat the Turkish pirates who had them under siege: they sent a pigeon to die in the enemy’s camp, after feeding it the last broad beans they had. The enemy observed the viscera of the bird, full of food, and deducted the village still had plenty of food stockpiled – finally deciding to give up on the attack and leaving.


So much history, in fact, has passed through this splendid natural oasis.




“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…

they are made with the eye, heart and head.”

[Henry Cartier Bresson]


Please don't use any of my images on websites, blogs or other media without my explicit written permission.

© All rights reserved

-According to locals, this island used to be native's storage area for a year-long stockpile of foods, goods and materials. Keeping and hiding it away from other tribes and conquerors.

whilst locked in for a while,thought we'd keep the usual visiting squizzes fed and my left is a bunch of them chomping of Weetabix and monkey my right is this one..very quietly picks up a whole Weetabix and can be seen creeping off,where he then hides it under a tree..!

The Hunter's Moon is so named because plenty of moonlight is ideal for hunters shooting migrating birds in Northern Europe. The name is also said to have been used by Native Americans as they tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead. The Hunter's Moon and Harvest Moon are not brighter, smaller or yellower than during other times of the year, but all full moons have their own special characteristics, based primarily on the whereabouts of the ecliptic in the sky at the time of year that they are visible. The full moons of September, October and November, as seen from the northern hemisphere—which correspond to the full moons of March, April and May as seen from the southern hemisphere—are well known in the folklore of the sky.



“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”

― Siobhan Vivian




EXPLORED - December 19, 2013


Thanks a lot for visits and comments, everyone...!

Please don't use this image on websites, blogs or other media without

my explicit permission. © All rights reserved


The vending machines at work are about 95% crap.

Sure, some of it is marked healthy foods, but it's protein bars and other things that are actually unhealthy.

I would get the raisins, gum, and almonds.

Stockpiled them, because almonds and raisins are good on salads.

Peanuts, too. And cashews,

But now that I can't eat nuts and sticky stuff, those three are out.

I'm down to the oatmeal packets, which are reduced sugar and not bad at all for my cholesterol and to fill me up.


Every so often, the people who manage the vending machines will collect up the expired food and leave it out.

It's usually all jumbled up.

I go down there and sort it out.

It's as much enjoyment I can have with the stuff without wrecking my blood sugar or weight.

Obsessed much? Maybe.

But I can always take a bar, put it on a warm plate, and just bask in its aroma as if it were an incense stick.


Okay, so I admit to slipping up now and then, buying a candy bar.

But I get it just for the taste. One bite, spit it out, throw out the rest.

It's wasteful, I know.

So with this expired stuff, all the more reason to take one bite, savor it, spit it out, and throw out the rest.

It was going in the trash anyway, right?


I asked the admins if they could put in something truly healthy.

I did price checks of everything and availability.

Seaweed snacks would work.

A few other things, too.

But they haven't added any of them.

Just kept me busy and wasted my time while they continue to poison everyone's inner child.

It's the little things that remind me:


An unexpected side affect of the Coronovirus has been a world wide shortage of one of life’s daily necessities. Toilet paper has become the new “Buttcoin” as shoppers around the world face empty shelves in the toilet tissue aisle. In an inexplicable panic-buying phenomenon not seen since tulip bulbs were all the rage, shoppers have been stockpiling not just food, but trolley loads of toilet paper for lockdown. What anyone will do with a year's supply of bathroom tissue is unfathomable.

I finally managed to get hold of some toilet rolls from a company called 'who gives a crap'. This brand is sustainably-sourced 100% recycled. Also, they donate 50% of their profits to provide toilets and sanitation for 2.3 billion people in developing countries, partnering with charities such as Water Aid.


The second story of one of the houses in Wendt, SD (see earlier post for description). I think they were saving food in these jars for the end time, but the end found them first...


I really appreciate comments and invites, but please refrain from posting large flashy banners. I would much rather hear your actual thoughts and words.


contact me if you're interested in my shots (no digital version requests).


I'm also now on imagekind!


All rights reserved




“Federal deficit jumps to $743 billion in March”




“'A disastrous situation': mountains of food wasted as coronavirus scrambles supply chain

Farmers are seeing produce rot in fields and dairy wash down drains as they rush to find areas of demand and prevent closures”




Ornithoptera and Delias, to name but a few:

“For biodiesel in the European Union: massive logging in Papua”




“Loggers Are 'Taking Advantage Of Quarantine' To Cut And Burn The Amazon Rainforest”




Conservatives must be held responsible for killing the planet with us along with it:

“First trump cancels EPA. Now Doug Ford does this.. thoughts ?!”

“Ontario suspends environmental oversight rules, citing COVID-19”




“House probes role of Jared Kushner as federal government seizes orders of COVID-19 medical supplies”








“Oversight Panel: Trump Admin. Didn’t Distribute Stockpile Supplies Based On States’ Needs

Trump health officials said that 3.5 billion N95 masks were needed to respond to this epidemic but only .33% of that number was distributed to states.”








“Trump wants the Post Office unfunded to stop the "Vote by Mail" movement so he can tamper with the voting machines to rig our November election! #FightFascism”


“Trump reportedly said he would reject a bailout package if it included aid to keep the US Postal Service functioning”




Think of Climate Change as a COVID-19 like pandemic only without any light at the end of the tunnel:

“Fearing Shortages, People Are Planting More Vegetable Gardens”


"Perhaps the most important lesson of the coronavirus is that if we don’t prepare now, and start thinking about how to stop problems before it’s too late, we’re risking everything we care about: our homes, our jobs, and the health of our loved ones."

“Coronavirus Is a Dress Rehearsal for Climate Change

We can flatten the curve on climate change, too—but only by altering the balance of power in Washington.”




Joe Biden intends to have Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase join his administration:

“Beyond belief! With oil prices plummeting and the industry in danger of bankruptcy, big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are now setting up independent companies to buy and directly own oil and gas assets. What's more, they may do so using public money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

“Critics Decry 'Massive Step in Wrong Direction' as Big Banks Move to Buy Up Fracking Industry Assets With Coronavirus Bailout Funds

"Taxpayers shouldn't be required to backstop oil and gas companies that were already in trouble prior to the pandemic."”




The Democratic Party needs to get the Corporate Death Penalty and prohibition of its operatives from ever engaging in politics ever again:

“By Picking Joe Biden, Democrats Are Kissing Their Future Goodbye”




"For two agonizing months, Trump downplayed and marginalized ominous daily intelligence briefings. According to Trump: 'We have [COVID-19] totally under control.' 'One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.' 'We stopped it.' The list of Trump’s false and misleading statements during this critical two-month window is staggeringly long."

“Trump's hubris and ideological rigidity will cost American lives”




The Democratic Party is owned by the same Special Interests$$$ as Republicans, and it is leading to both parties destruction in the eyes of the People:


“Biden says coronavirus’ impact on health system hasn’t changed his mind on single-payer”




“America’s Poaching Epidemic - Poaching of wildlife is rampant in the United States - experts estimate that as many wild animals are killed illegally as are killed legally and only between one and five percent of poachers are caught.”


“Illegal Poaching Supplies an International Black Market for American Animal Parts”




“Experts estimate that 10 - 20 million wild animals die from lead poisoning in the United States each year after scavenging on carcasses contaminated with lead bullet fragments or ingesting spent lead-shot pellets or lost fishing weights.”

“National Ban On Lead-Based Ammunition, Fishing Tackle Sought To End Wildlife Poisoning – Lead Still A Potent Killer Of Millions Of Wild Birds, Health Risk For Humans”


This one is from my phone, too.


Note: After I took the photos of the new items, I realized that light beer probably didn't exist in the 60's, so I looked it up. It turns out that Miller made it first in 1975, so the Coors Light will have to go in a more modern store. ;)


Trying to find grocery items for only the 60's has been difficult. For instance, I have a bunch of 2 liter bottles of soda, but that wasn't around in the 1960's--only glass bottles and cans. Some of these items were made in the 60's, but with different, vintage packaging. I've decided to take a little license with this in some instances. I'll never get it done if I don't. I will try not to feature the items that aren't fully period correct as prominently.


I have also done some hunting for photos of foods in 1960's packaging, and I'm going to try and print some of my own.

Travelling the livestock trails down the mountains, Yngvi and Erik come to the first village below the tree-line. Here they find simple yet sturdy cottages of stone and wood, with step pitched roofs to prevent the build up of snow. During the winter months livestock will live on the ground floor with the humans sleeping on the first level. Outside, the leaves are starting to fall and the villagers are preparing for winter, stockpiling supplies such as food and firewood.


Another Age of Mitgardia build for Guilds of Historica on Eurobricks. The birch trees are a combination of a number of methods I've seen on the internet including the use of the stud shooters. The leaves are of course Alt Bricks.

Here we are.


This was Saturday. I'll be honest, everyday since the 23rd March has felt strangely similar.


Most of the actual world is now on 'lockdown' which at the moment means all the schools have closed, along with pubs, clubs, every kind of shop selling non-essentials (so almost everything except supermarkets and people selling food), hairdressers, beauty salons, markets (which I still don't understand), some takeaway outlets including McDonalds (!), and coffee shops.


This is Second City Coffee, Dex's coffee shop. It's on a business park serving the organisations based in the buildings on the park- so no footfall from the general public unless you are there for a meeting. Dex stayed open for as long as he could, but the moment the schools closed, it meant people were forced into a homeschooling/working from home situation and everything dried up overnight.


An evaluation of 'key workers' had to be found overnight, and these people mostly seem to be anyone working for the NHS, GPs, Pharmacists, Supermarket staff, carers, radio presenters, some television presenters and some Council staff.


I am blessed in that I can work from home and still operate some semblance of business as usual, albeit it is very far away from business as anything like normal.


Journeys are being watched and Police currently have the powers to fine people not keeping an appropriate distance of 2 metres (social distancing) or if the journey isn't deemed essential, a couple were arrested and tried in court for having a BBQ on the beach in Brighton last weekend.


The language around this whole thing has been quite fascinating to watch, "lockdown, panic buying, hoarding, stockpiling, pandemic, flattening the curve, supporting, fighting" it has felt very military and controlling.


So this is where we went on Saturday. An essential journey to make sure the fridges and freezers were still working ok, to pick up the post, to take home hundreds of pounds worth of crisps that will go out of date before they can be sold.


I shot this whilst Dex did his thing in the shop. He has set up a Second City Coffee hub at home and is relying on retail orders through his website which is some relief but nowhere near what the shop would be doing. Thank you to everyone supporting individuals trying to keep their businesses afloat right now, you are appreciated and helping another human being more than maybe you know.


I was trying to emulate something I had in shot 13 in this series (8 years ago!), I remember @mattmccosh saying

"Brilliant, lt seems to make me think of old Russian sci fi films. With people that always seem distant and automated. Another great one - your getting really good at these now"


He reads a lot of books by obscure artists and particularly pays attention to process so I always listen to his thoughts on process.


When I edited, it felt like the whole scene had an Edward Hopper vibe to it, although the colour palette could probably do with muting the brightness a little. I still like it- it feels like I feel at the moment.


*Trivia*, the very first time I visited the shop, I was grabbing dinner on the way to a meeting and weirdly Dex wasn't it!, I sat in this seat.



To bring society to its breaking point:


“Federal Support Ends For Coronavirus Testing Sites As Pandemic Peak Nears”




04/07/2020: “Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word”




04/07/2020: “The masks were reportedly already on a plane bound to leave the airport in Shanghai when US buyers turned up and offered three times the amount.”

“At least 5 countries — including a small Caribbean island — are accusing the US of blocking or taking medical equipment they need to fight the coronavirus”




04/08/2020: “The Trump just ADMITTED that federal government's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment like masks, face shields, gowns and gloves is already depleted, and states will not be receiving any more shipments amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "Now that the national stockpile has been depleted of critical equipment, it appears that the administration is leaving states to fend for themselves," the chair of the committee said”

“Federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment depleted, House panel says”




“New analysis finds Interior Department took dozens of policy actions unrelated to COVID-19, moving ahead with unfettered oil & gas leasing, removing protections for endangered wildlife, and expanding mining operations across the country.”

“As America fought coronavirus, Trump’s Interior Department rushed through dozens of environmental attacks

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt opened or closed at least 34 public comment periods despite widespread calls for a halt to rulemakings and major actions”




“Ex-ethics director under Trump says the president is in the late stage of ‘an authoritarian coup’”


“Emergency COVID-19 Laws May Become Permanent Features of the Security Landscape”




“No police and military force, even if loyal to its government, cannot prevail against millions. Starvation and oppression will eventually bring fearless collective rage. That is the essence of revolution.

We could be on that path.”





“The Bureau of Prisons just bought $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine, the unproved coronavirus treatment touted by Trump”


“Donald Trump Has Stake In Hydroxychloroquine Drugmaker: Report

The president has repeatedly touted the anti-malaria drug as a coronavirus treatment despite a lack of medical evidence.”

And people have died


“… life-threatening cardiac side effects.”

“Mayo Clinic cardiologist: ‘Inexcusable’ to ignore hydroxychloroquine side effects”




Bringing American society to the breaking point:

“More Than 2 Million Uninsured People May Be Hospitalized for COVID-19”

In addition to which:

“In midst of pandemic crisis, Supreme Court schedules opening briefs for Trump's ACA challenge”

In addition to which:

“Millions of Americans are about to lose their health insurance in a pandemic”

In addition to which:

“Trump Doubles Down on Plan to Slash Crucial Funding for Social Security”




Robin Vos:

“Clad in gloves, a mask and full-length gown, Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos assured voters that it is “incredibly safe to go out” on Election Day despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Wearing PPE, Wisconsin Speaker Claims It’s ‘Incredibly Safe To Go Out’ To Vote”


“More People Might Die Because Wisconsin GOP Forced Election”


“Biden: Voting in Wisconsin Is Safe. Locals: It Could Kill Us”






“Trump knew in November that a crisis like this could come at any time. He failed to prepare us for it—and Americans are dying as a result.”

“Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources

"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," a source says.”




“Thank you, Biden Supporters. You have defeated Universal Health Care, Climate Action, Debt Relief, Wealth Tax, College For All, Expanding Social Security, Justice Reform, Internet for All, Campaign Finance Reform, and any hope of Peace. Trump couldn’t have done it better himself.”




“Sanctions have long been indefensible; now in the time of Covid-19, more so than ever. Nor are they some minor phenomena. Over a quarter of humanity lives under U.S. economic sanctions. That means millions of people lack untroubled access to food and medicines during a lethal pestilence. Thus in Iran, where the government fears millions of deaths from Covid-19, sanctions amount to genocide.”

“Amid Plague, Sanctions are Genocide”


Not to be outdone by the U.S. Supreme Court, the IMF is on sabotaging progress on the COVID-19 pandemic:

Note the publication:

"When presented with an opportunity to sign off on something that Iran is specifically requesting that would aid them in a pandemic, the Trump administration refuses to get out of the way. The administration doesn’t even have to do anything in this case to allow Iran to get some help. All they have to do is not oppose it, but even that is too much to expect from them."

Important piece from Daniel Larison. If you're still trying to tell us the Trump administration values - or has ever valued at any point in the past - just stop

“The U.S. Is Wrong To Block Iran’s Loan”








White Nationalists are ruling America:

“Louisiana is 32 percent African American. Yet 70 percent of COVID 19 deaths in Louisiana are of African Americans. These differences are produced by policy, not physiology. They’re based on race and class bias in the health care system, access to health care and preventative care. Similar disproportionate impacts have been observed in Chicago and Milwaukee. This shows the pandemic is following patterns of entrenched inequalities in economic and medical opportunities.”

“Seven Disturbing Facts About COVID-19 in Louisiana”




Entire suburbs of starving families?:

“The scale and quickness of this economic crisis is unlike anything we've ever experienced. It is proving every day what progressives have been arguing all along– that our economy depends on consumers and workers not big corporations and the rich.”

“The Economic Devastation Is Going to Be Worse Than You Think

The coronavirus’s overwhelming toll on jobs and businesses has only just begun.”




Stoking the fires of extremism for what’s to come:

“Trump Defends Using ‘Chinese Virus’ Label, Ignoring Growing Criticism

“It’s not racist at all,” the president said. But experts warned that the term could result in xenophobia.”




“Results of two coronavirus studies have just come out. One study finds that African Americans are dying from Covid-19 at disproportionately high rates. The other reveals that coronavirus deaths are higher in counties with higher levels of pollution. Put the two studies together, and you have a case study in environmental racism.”

“Race, Pollution and the Coronavirus

Also this week: How to be ready for overlapping disasters”




“Trump Fires Inspector General Overseeing Distribution Of $2 Trillion Relief Package

Glenn Fine was also removed as the Defense Department's acting IG and as chair of the Pandemic Response Team. Could it be he wouldn't let Trump run wild with the $2 trillion in the CARES package?”




With Biden or Trump I fear our Environmental future will be the same:

“Unchecked Global Warming Could Collapse Whole Ecosystems, Maybe Within 10 Years”




“The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its most widespread bleaching ever recorded

The ongoing episode is the third mass bleaching event in five years”




“The Tasmanian government just opened up a third of all old growth forest in the state to logging, increasing the area of old growth under threat by 700% overnight!”

“Logging lutruwita: Tasmania's extraordinary forest felling plans”




“Climate Enemies: The Men Who Sold the World

The CEOs, oilmen, financiers, politicians, and ideologues who are robbing us of a stable climate”




Our government exterminates wildlife:

“Wildlife Services killed four endangered Mexican gray wolves in late March”


“How Montana’s annual bison cull – which secretly slaughters 1,000 animals each year for population control – went wrong when hunters killed two of the beasts in front of horrified tourists”


“BLM may remove majority of southwest Wyoming's wild horses”




Dr. Jill Stein:

“Why did Dem establishment do all it could to sabotage a popular progressive like Bernie Sanders? Because DNC & GOP serve same donors. DNC’s the good cop, GOP’s the bad cop. GOP stabs you in the front, DNC stabs you in the back. NOW do you get why we need the Green Party?”


700,000 people - from all parts of the UK - marched in central London, calling for a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


Mr and Mrs Teameister were amongst them. Read why below.


Concerned about Brexit? Do you agree the people should have the final say on this huge decision, once we can see the actual deal we would get?


Here's the single most useful thing you can do - and it only takes around 1 minute.


*****Contact your MP now to call for a People's Vote****


Your voice counts. It's time to use it.


Making your voice heard on Brexit - a campaigner's tips




Why we need a People's Vote


Remember the promises made by Brexit leaders in 2016?


"We’ll gain £350 million a week." "It would fund the NHS."

We’d get new trade deals with the US. A new deal with the EU would be “the easiest in history”.


Now contrast those promises with the cold hard reality.


- Brexit has already cost the UK billions, even before it happens.


- The NHS is facing a massive drop in EU nurses working here.


- The US President is more interested in trade wars and tariffs on UK steel than in trade deals.


- And now, with the prospect of no deal with the EU, the UK government is preparing for gridlock at our ports and stockpiling food and medicine.


Is this what people who voted Leave in 2016 wanted? I doubt it.


All of us, however we voted in 2016, have the right – and a responsibility to our children - to make this decision based on FACTS, NOT PROMISES.


This is why we need a People’s Vote on the final deal, with the option to stay in the EU.







Wolves under attack:


“The holiday season is supposed to be about peace, joy, and compassion for all living beings, but before leaving the capital for the holidays on Friday, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced legislation to remove federal protections for gray wolves across the continental United States.”


“A nationwide delisting for wolves would reverse the incredible progress that the Endangered Species Act has achieved for this species over the past few decades and once again put the gray wolf at risk.”


“If this legislation passes, more gray wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.”




“Through Snow and Rain, Tree Sitters Continue to Fight a Gas Pipeline”


“The protests, intended to slow down the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia, are now in their second year.”




“From the Tongass to the Amazon, we thought a lot about our precious forests this year. We must preserve them to protect our climate and the wildlife that lives between the trees.”


“Amazon deforestation accelerating towards unrecoverable 'tipping point'”




Lisa Murkowski needs to be charged with Environmental War Crimes:

“Forest Service moves to open "America’s Amazon" to loggers”


“Loggers want to raze trees more than 1,000 years old.”




“Amazon Facing Criticism over Data Breach with Ring Home Security System”


“Amazon is facing criticism over its home security camera and “smart home” product called Ring, after a data leak exposed the personal information of over 3,000 users. The data breach follows criticism over Ring’s cooperation with more than 400 police departments.”




“Don’t Mention the War”




“There will be children going hungry this holiday season thanks to Trump cutting food stamps for 700k. We will be paying the bill for his extended stay at Mar-a-Lago and his kids Secret Service protection while they take ski vacations in Aspen.”




“San Antonio Finds the Key to Flood Control in Its Gardens”




“Men Save Reindeer Trapped In Thick Mud From Almost Certain Death”




“No one owns the water. No one owns the lands. No one owns the oceans. No one owns the sands. These are given by our mother. The planet provides for free. Only by hands of the greedy. Does the Earth require a fee.”




“Trump Actually Asks Why House Is 'Allowed' To Impeach The President”




“Community-Led Efforts to Ban Glyphosate in Public Spaces Pick up Speed”


“Buoyed by scientific and public concern, hundreds of communities around the country are banning the use of glyphosate and working toward organic lawn management. Non Toxic Communities”




“The naked lie that Republicans are the party of ‘fiscally responsibility’ has been completely demolished"




Hon. Paul V. Malloy:


“Wisconsin threw hundreds of thousands off the voter rolls, endangering democracy”


Madison and Milwaukee were targeted.




“White-Collar Populism”


“On the politics of professional-class anxiety.”




“Toxic Avenger: Did EPA Appointee Do Industry Employer’s Bidding?”


“The federal ethics system is supposed to prevent political appointees like David Dunlap from serving the interests of former employers—who helped quash a government study into a toxic chemical making big money for Koch Industries.”


“We explained this past May why this system is not unfortunately not working. #POGOLooksBack”




“Here Are the Corporate Elites Hosting Biden’s Manhattan Fundraisers”






“'Trump is winding up tensions again with Pyongyang for two reasons. It gives Washington greater leverage to extort money from South Korea for US troop presence and tensions can be used as cover for increasing regional forces aimed at China.” ... #NorthKorea




“Biblical Basis for War”


'WHERE DO REPUBLICANS FIND THESE BIGOTED JERKS?! According to the Times, the legislator distributed a document called the “Biblical Basis for War” in which he says that everyone who supports women's choice rights and same sex marriage must “surrender.” “If they do not yield,” he wrote, “kill all males.”. Similar to a recent judicial appointment in WI


“A GOP legislator in Washington called for a 51st state led by a military Christian government”




“Coffee, Avocados, Chocolate and Other Foods Climate Change Could Take Off The Menu”


“'If we don't change how we farm and eat, the climate crisis will.”




“Paris Agreement targets need to be 5 times stronger to actually work”


“The worse news is that many of the world’s biggest emitters aren’t even on track to meet their Paris accord pledges.”




“Fast Fashion May Be Cheap, But It Comes at a Cost”


“Poverty wages and toxic chemicals undergird low prices.”




There is profit to be had in chaos, destruction, and war. For politicians the riches of war profiteering come in the form of political contributions and votes from the defense industry and their workers:


“America is making the world more unstable”


'"The country is now a known unknown, increasing the risk of crises from the Middle East to East Asia to Central America, a new survey suggests."




“The Impact of Climate Change on Cities”


“Some of the world’s biggest cities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis.”




“While nobody was looking Corporations stole more from their workers than thieves stole period.”




“Please sign the petition to Ban Neonicotinoids insecticides in Australia.”




“Here’s how China became the world’s No. 2 economy and how it plans on being No. 1”




After Trump America will never achieve global domination of technological innovation:


“China nears completion of its GPS competitor, increasing the potential for internet Balkanization”




“More Climate Lawsuits Could Spur Federal Legislation and a Just Transition”




“Oil Companies Were Not Held Accountable for 10.8 Million Gallons of Oil Spilled in Gulf of Mexico”




“Regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) system.”




“Trump’s EPA Backs Bayer’s Appeal in Roundup Verdict Appeal”




“Mormon Church stockpiled $100 billion intended charities and mislead LDS members, Whistleblower says”




“Immense amounts of invisible methane leaks are escaping from oil & gas sites nationwide, worsening global warming, while the Trump admin weakens restrictions on offenders.”


“The clock is ticking. We need to #CutMethane.”


“It’s a vast, invisible climate menace. We made it visible.”




“Can Arizona move past its crippling inaction on groundwater? Yes. Here's how”




“Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Will Be Devastating to Trump Country”




“What are we to take from the news that not only has the theoretical "president" of the nation has told well over 15,000 documentable public lies since his inauguration, but told more lies during this past year than the previous two years combined?”


“If there are no penalties for misleading the public, the public will always be misled”




“True Religious Faith demands an unwavering rebuke of Trumpism”




Jr. traveled with Pence to Russia, where he had a special meeting of unknown content with at least one high ranking Russian official. So, Jr's laundering Russian campaign contributions for Republicans. T/F? Also, yes epitomizes Hitler but both Trump and the Rev. James “Cool aid” Jones refer to themselves and are referred to by others as God like.


“In Spirit Of Christian Charity, Falwell Jr Predicts Dems Will Be Nuked In 2020”


“Peace on earth, goodwill toward all men, as long as they're white, middle-aged conservatives who bow to god Trump.”




“Russian Youth Climate Activist Arshak Makichyan Freed from Jail”



“Going 100% Green will pay for itself in seven years, study finds”




“'Just About Cruelty': Sanders and Tlaib Rip Trump 'Holiday Menu' of Gifts for the Rich and Nutrition Cuts for the Poor”


"Two years after passing a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations, the Trump administration plans to strip 3.7 million people of their nutrition benefits."”




[Look at that vacant expression. Mikey's learned to squint to create the impression he's a gifted statesman when in fact Pence's just listening to the echoes coming from between his ears.]


Said Mikey Pence at the White House campaign event press briefing on April 13, 2020:


"And our hospitals were not overwhelmed, and are not overwhelmed at this hour. I have to tell you, standing here today, I couldn’t be more proud to stand alongside this President and to be a part of this team that has served the American people during this challenging hour." [Spoken like a true lickspittle.]


Over in the real world, hospitals are overwhelmed:


The New York Times

April 11, 2020

Nicholas Kristof


Life and Death in the ‘Hot Zone’


“If people saw this, they would stay home.” What the war against the coronavirus looks like inside two Bronx hospitals.


This is not a time to die.


Terror, pain and loneliness mingle in the air with the coronavirus in the “hot zone” of the emergency department at Jack D. Weiler Hospital in the Bronx. The room is jammed with patients whose frightened eyes peer above their oxygen masks as they struggle to breathe, feel that they are drowning, wonder if they will ever again see loved ones.


No family members are allowed here, yet the space is more than twice as crowded as normal. About 80 coronavirus patients, ranging in age from 31 to 97, are squeezed into the room, bed-to-bed, some near death. A group of newly arrived patients sit in chairs in a corner to await stretchers, and they look around in alarm. Doctors and nurses hurry about so sheathed in protective garb — some of it makeshift, such as welding helmets over ski goggles — that even co-workers cannot recognize them.


The truth is that the doctors too are frightened and exhausted, overwhelmed by death and their own helplessness. Dr. Nicole Del Valle, 29, told me that what shattered her was treating a 30-year-old woman with Covid-19 whose 23-year-old sister had just died of it; Dr. Del Valle called her own younger sister and ordered her not to leave her home.


All day in the hospital, Dr. Del Valle maintains her reassuring manner as she intubates patients, holds their hands, fights for their lives — and then, she acknowledged, she goes home and cries.


To spend time in New York City hospitals today is to see how wrenching the practice of medicine becomes in a time of plague.




HHS watchdog finds severe hospital shortages in combating covid-19

The Washington Post

By Amy Goldstein

April 6, 2020 at 11:13 a.m. PDT


A federal watchdog is corroborating warnings by governors and front-line health-care workers that hospitals’ ability to combat the coronavirus pandemic is being impeded by shortages of tests, protective gear, staff and space, as well as inconsistent government advice.


Some hospitals are so desperate for protective masks that they are scrounging them from auto-body shops and nail salons, according to a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. At least one hospital is making its own hand sanitizer by mixing gel used for ultrasounds with alcohol from a nearby distillery, the report said.


The report is the first public federal critique of the capacity of the nation’s hospitals to cope with the flood of infected patients in coronavirus hot spots — an inundation likely to arrive elsewhere soon. In substantiating complaints about inadequate equipment, it essentially counters assertions by President Trump that hospitals and state officials advocating for them are being greedy.


“Hospitals across the country reported facing similar challenges, regardless of which stage of the process they were in — treating patients with [the virus], testing patients who were potentially infected, or preparing to treat covid-19 patients in the near future,” the report says.


The report’s findings are based on a survey of 343 hospitals spanning 46 states. It was conducted during five days at the end of March.


Released Friday, the report says the findings are “not a review of HHS response to the covid-19 pandemic” but are intended “as an aid to HHS as it continues to lead efforts to address the public health emergency.”


Its central findings include “severe shortages” of testing kits and delays in test results, and “widespread shortages” of personal protective equipment needed to help keep staff safe. Hospitals also reported that they cannot always maintain enough staff on duty and that the pandemic is “taking an emotional toll” on doctors and other medical workers.


The findings buttress dire descriptions of hospital conditions from physicians, nurses and health-care workers who have spoken out from wards overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, many fighting for their lives.


Many governors have been pleading for supplies at news conferences, as well as in direct communications with federal officials all the way up to the president. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), whose state has tallied more than 4,700 deaths and is home to the nation’s largest virus epicenter in New York City, frequently chronicles the shortage of ventilators for patients with the most severe breathing difficulties.


Governors plead for medical equipment from federal stockpile plagued by shortages and confusion.


Trump has repeatedly warned states not to complain about insufficient respirators and other medical supplies from a federal stockpile, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Just over a week ago, Trump said at a White House news briefing that he had instructed Vice President Pence not to speak with governors critical of the administration’s response to the pandemic. “I want them to be appreciative,” the president said.


But the inspector general’s report documents that the concerns of governors, hospital executives and health-care workers are not simply naysaying from disgruntled political adversaries, as the president has suggested.


Asked about the report at Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing, Trump said repeatedly, “It’s wrong.” He demanded to know the name of the report’s author and when that person was appointed. The main author, Christi Grimm, has worked in the HHS inspector general’s office since 1999 and became the principal deputy inspector general in January, according to her biography.


Her tenure means she joined the office while Bill Clinton was president. Trump accused reporters at the briefing of having withheld the fact she worked in the adminstration of President Barack Obama. “We are doing a better job [at testing] than anybody else in the world,” Trump said.


/ / /


To reduce the number of patients coming to emergency departments, some hospitals have created triage systems by phone or by relying on community clinics, the survey found.


Still, the findings point to the complexities facing the U.S. health-care system as it struggles to cope with the pandemic while the case count rises rapidly.


For instance, the report notes that even when covid-19 patients get well enough to leave a hospital, freeing up a sorely needed bed, hospitals sometimes cannot send them promptly to rehabilitation facilities to continue their recovery. Rehab facilities are insisting on proof that people have tested negative before they will accept them.


Hospitals reported an array of adaptations to cope with shortages of protective gear. They included buying masks from retailers including paint stores, auto-body supply shops and beauty salons. Some hospitals said they were using masks intended for other kinds of workers, from veterinarians to nail salon technicians.


The survey found that some hospitals were using sandwich bags as thermometer covers. Some hospitals reported that they needed more poles for intravenous therapy, bed linens, toilet paper and food.


“Isolated and smaller hospitals faced special challenges” keeping supplies on hand and restocking, the report says.

To conserve scarce supplies of protective equipment, some hospitals were reusing masks, face shields and gowns that are supposed to be discarded after a single use, restricting the use of such materials to patients and staff in intensive care units, or telling staff to interact with infected patients less often.

To lower hospital workers’ stress, some hospitals were helping employees find child care, grocery and laundry services — and putting them up in hotels so they don’t expose vulnerable relatives.


But wait, there's more:


The Ring of Fire

Mike Pence Is Full Of Coronavirus Lies, Too


By Farron Cousins -

April 2, 2020


Donald Trump isn’t the only top member of this administration willing to lie to the American public; Vice President Mike Pence is getting in on the action, too. On Wednesday, Pence said that Trump has NEVER belittled the virus or the pandemic, and that he has always taken this thing seriously from day one. There is plenty of video evidence that says otherwise, and all Pence has to do is be honest about one thing and he can’t even do it. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


Now we know that Donald Trump has been lying to us since day one about the coronavirus and the pandemic, right? He’s lied to us about the severity of it. He’s lied to us about what other people are saying, saying they’re the liars, not him.


But apparently vice president Mike Pence wanted in on this action a little bit. So this week he spoke with CNNs Wolf Blitzer where he told Wolf Blitzer "I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus."


It was after Wolf asked, you know, about the months of Donald Trump belittling the coronavirus. Should, should we take him seriously on this?


I mean, you know, he told us for so long that this wasn’t a big deal and Mike Pence is like, ah, he never said any of that Wolf.


Except he did and thanks to the Intelligencer at the New York magazine, we actually have a handy little list of some of the times, not even all of the times, just some of the times that Donald Trump belittled the virus.


On January 30th he said, we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment, five and those people are all recuperating successfully.


On February 19th he said, I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.


On February 23rd he said we had 12 at one point and now they’ve gotten much better. Many of them are fully recovered.


Then on March 4th, he said, now and this is just my hunch and but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this because a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild.


They’ll get better very rapidly.


They don’t even see a doctor.


They don’t even call a doctor. You here, you never hear about those people.


He also on Twitter compared it to a very mild flu and this was after we knew at this point that no, this is not a very mild flu.


On March 24th, 24th, he said, we’ve never closed down the country for the flu. So say to yourself, what is this all about?


He also went on Sean Hannity’s program as we had discussed on here and downplayed the whole thing.


He went on Fox news and claimed that this was some kind of democratic hoax.


You know, said that the WHO, the world health organization was lying about the mortality rate and the number of deaths we’ve seen from this. He said they were lying.


So no, I’m sorry, Mr vice president. But you’re lying to the American public and as a good Christian boy, I would have to imagine that that’s probably eating you up inside, isn’t it? Or are you not actually a real Christian? Because I seem to remember those commandments, right? Thou shalt not bear false witness. And to translate that from by bible’s is don’t f’n lie. But you just can’t stop yourself can you, Mike? You want the power. You want to be a part of this administration and you’re willing to prove to us all that you’re just another phony right-wing Christian in order to maintain your position of power here. There is nothing Christian at all about you, Mike Pence. You are in every way just as evil, deceitful and stupid as Donald Trump himself.



Diana roared, causing flocks of birds to flutter into the air, alarmed.

She had realized her lasso wouldn’t be enough and, despite Morrow’s complaints, melted down his android to create a sword. The metal was tough, called Nth, and reportedly extremely rare. By the time Trevor had assured Morrow that there was more Nth back in ARGUS’ stockpiles, Diana was long gone.

Now, Savage was nowhere to be seen.

“Show yourself, coward!”

She bellowed again, to no avail. Shutting her eyes, she listened to the wildlife around her. Their minds were simpler than hers, but gave her a rough idea of what was happening around her.

“Loud woman.”




Diana continued listening to the various squawks and chirps before giving up. Someone cleared their throat from behind her, and she swiveled, sword flashing in the jungle sunlight. Savage stood there, in the same ragged suit as before.

“Your boyfriend destroyed my three-piece. Kind of inconsiderate, actually.”

Diana snarled.

“I will waste no words on you, tyrant.”

“You have already. You’ve literally spent the last half hour yelling for me. It was fun to watch at first, but then it just got — well, pathetic.”

Diana swooped forward and pushed her sword through his trachea. Savage looked mildly perturbed before backhanding her into the ground. He removed the blade, his skin weaving shut.

“Nth Metal, huh? Where’d you get this beauty? One of the birdies? They’ve been a thorn in my side for millennia.”

His calm tones enraged Diana more, and she dived for her sword, rolling, and slicing his legs off at the knee. Savage fell hard onto his back, wincing.

“Not the first time that’s happened to me, I’m afraid. I’m assuming it won’t be the last.”

He placed his hands behind his head leisurely as his legs sprouted outwards.

“Diana, I have no wish to hurt you. You’re the only one of those morons who could come close to understanding me. As a person, I mean. We’re both immortal, or something like that. Both warriors, we both thirst for blood.”

Diana stabbed down into his head.

“I’ll never join you, monster.”

Savage’s eyes glazed over briefly, then consciousness returned as his brain started healing. The sword popping out of his head and he shivered.

“That was never my intention. Too…repetitive, you know? Both of the Caesar idiots wanted me to join them. I stabbed the first one a couple dozen times for that. I get it, it’s annoying. You don’t want to do something, someone else tries to force it upon you. With that being said, maybe it’s time to try something new, Diana? You’ve been at this game for something like twenty-five years?”

Diana raised her sword and Savage chuckled.

“You’re tiring yourself out, princess. Look, just hear me out. If I wanted to kill you I would have done it by now.”

Diana sheathed her blade, then gasped as a searing pain forced its way into her back. She gasped and fell to her knees. Vandal got up.

“My daughter, Scandal.”

From the corner of her eye, she saw a short-haired young woman with a mask over the bottom half of her face. Vandal smiled.

“She’s not quite immortal, but she ages a lot slower than a human. Now you and I...we could make an immortal baby.”

The knife was doing something to Diana, she could feel it, but she didn’t know what. Vandal noticed her groping for the blade and smiled.

“It’s a trinket I found somewhere. Killed a couple cultists for it. There’s supposed to be a curse on it, but I don’t think it’ll work on you.”

Diana stopped reaching for it, and braced herself, gritting her teeth. Scandal looked at her.

“You sick or something?”

Diana didn’t respond, just focused on the smoking, skeletal corpses of the village she had stayed in. The corpses of her friends. She focused on the sickening, jagged, coldness lodged in her right shoulder blade, and flexed her arms, bringing them back, before slamming them forward. The rippling mass of superhuman muscle snapped the blade in half, causing both pieces to shoot out of her flesh.

Diana kicked Scandal in the stomach, causing her to sail back into the brush. Vandal watched Scandal as she revealed blades mounted on her gauntlets. He nodded approvingly as she slashed at Diana, only for Diana to knock away the first strike and kick Scandal in the ribs.

“Don’t scuff the blades too much, please, they’re a family heirloom.”

Vandal called, and Diana ignored him. The pain in her back was already starting to fade, and she regained some of her confidence. Scandal swung her arm, which Diana caught and then pulled. Vandal’s daughter stumbled forward into Diana’s raised knee, and was knocked unconscious with a quick uppercut. Wonder Woman hurled Scandal to Vandal’s feet.

Vandal stepped backwards, disgusted. Scandal, dazed, tried to get up, but Vandal backhanded her roughly.

“500 years of training and she couldn’t take down a wounded opponent. Pathetic.”

Diana didn’t respond, just drew her sword with her right hand and curled her lasso around her left. Savage shrugged, pulling off his ruined coat, vest, and shirt. He wrapped the coat around his right arm. The two warriors eyed each other, shifting their weight, waiting for the other to make a move. Vandal kicked out at Diana’s calf, and she sliced his foot clean away, before following up by plunging her blade under his ribcage.

As flesh sprouted from his ankle and twisted back into the shape of a foot, Vandal kicked Diana in the kidney. She doubled over and Vandal seized her hair, pulling back. She regained her balance and flipped over his arm, breaking it. Vandal smiled through the pain and spun around, breaking it further. He slipped out of her hold and kicked her behind the knee, so Diana fell over.

Vandal kicked her in the cheek and drew back for a second attack, but Diana twisted his foot in a 360-degree motion, cracking it horribly. Vandal gritted his teeth for a split second as Diana seized his arm and sent him over her shoulder in a judo throw.

Vandal’s spine hit a rock and he gasped in shock. Diana seized the advantage, driving her fist into his face several times. He held up his hands to protect his head, but Diana swatted them away with no effort at all. The immortal began cackling, even as his nose was shattered and his jaw crumbled. Diana stopped punching.

“This can go on forever,” Vandal laughed. “Just you, me, and the jungle. I could do this for literal eons. And you know the minute you leave, I’ll go back to killing villages. And if you decide to take me back to America, I’ll kill everyone I can. There’s a much larger population density there anyway. No matter what you choose to do, I win.”

Diana stopped, panting heavily. She sat back, thinking. Finally, she got up, holding her sword. She picked up Scandal and slung her over her shoulder.

“I’m taking her back with me.”

Vandal shrugged.

“She’s a disappointment. Do what you like.”

“Oh, I will. She’s not immortal, just like you said. So if I find that you have left Vietnam, or touched a single villager, I will kill her, slowly, painfully, personally.”

Vandal’s cheery disposition faded away. His gaze shifted almost imperceptibly, revealing something much older and primal than Diana could have expected. The trees threw shadows across his face, and the sunset painted red light onto his eyes. Vandal stood up, moving like a jaguar or cheetah, lanky, muscular, violent, and ready to go off at any second. His fists clenched and unclenched.

“I’ve walked the Earth for millennia. I murdered my brother at the dawn of time. I’ve taken many names, but everybody throughout history who’s done something worth a damn, that’s me. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Vlad the Impaler, Judas…I’ve fucked millions and killed twice as many. Anybody who’s ever known me, who’s ever cared about me, they’re all dead now. What do you think one death more will do to me?”

“There has to be a breaking point sooner or later, Vandal. The fact that you bothered to train Scandal shows that she’s your favorite child, or as close to a favorite as you could have.”

Vandal’s face turned red, madness dancing dangerously in his eyes. His veins pulsed in his neck and forehead. Diana continued warily.

“I think that one more death is your breaking point. Only one more. You love Scandal. If she dies, you’ve lost everything yet again. You’re hiding in the jungles, so it’s not like you have an empire. Scandal represents the last vestige of power you hold. If—“

Vandal stood up and screamed, a primeval roar, and dived forward, hands outstretched. Diana, Scandal, and Vandal all fell over. Vandal punched forward quickly, his fists pile-drivers, and Diana was barely able to bring her hands up to defend herself. He rained blows down on her face and head, until she was near unconsciousness. Using the last of her strength, Diana grasped her sword, and as Savage dived forward to bash her head in, she drove the blade cleanly through his stomach. The immortal gargled as Diana used her other hand to hug him close to her. He struggled, but to no avail.

“What are you doing?”

Diana caught her breath, then breathed:

“I’ll never let go of you. You back away, and let me take your daughter, or I will keep you here for the rest of eternity.”

Savage, frustrated at being trapped so simply, thrased like a chained beast, before sagging forward. He nodded and snarled:


Diana pushed him off the blade, and he slid along it cleanly, his stone-carved face featureless. Diana picked up Scandal and waded into the brush, stopping only once to turn around. Vandal sat, alone, a single figure against the backdrop of the jungle.

The next few hours passed uneventfully. After returning to ARGUS’ field base, Diana refused to return the metal, causing a temper tantrum from Morrow. A fellow scientist, Ivo, offered to share the Nth, calming down the young man.

Scandal was taken into custody by an agent codenamed Mockingbird, and immediately shipped back to the US. Waller’s body was on the same flight, and was heading back to his family.

Steve and Diana talked quietly on the flight back to the US, and by the time they had landed, Diana had agreed to take a position in ARGUS as an US agent.

“What’s your last name?” Steve asked, looking over the employment forms.

“I don’t have one.”

“Cool. You’ll work that out as you go along. Just don’t go doing something stupid like naming yourself after a singer.”



“You said ‘you’ll work it out as you go along’. Not we?”

Steve shifted his broken arm painfully.

“I’m old now, Diana. I have a grandson.”

“You’re married?”

Steve looked at her, then his crooked grin showed.

“Yeah, I’ve…I proposed after I came back from the war.”

Diana felt something in her throat stick. Steve looked down.

“I’m retiring. And—it might have been all the cigarettes, but the doctors don’t think it looks good.”

Diana had seen death, had discussed death, but realized now that one of her friends was going to die, and it would be painful, slow. She didn’t know how to respond. The pit in her stomach clenched into a knot. The plane swam in front of her eyes. Words failed her. She stood up and kissed Steve’s forehead.

“Good luck, Steve.”

She stepped out of the aircraft, not sure where she was going. A mist clouded her eyes and a single tear rolled down her cheek.


Thanks very much to my good friend Superior_Idiot for the photo.

A Grey Squirrel poses for the camera on the root of a tree during it's busy forage to stockpile food for winter.

-Translated from Russian-


Russia, St Petersburg, 2067


I opened the gates. It was a long time since the Metro had been open. When the infection hit Russia, the first thing the Russian Government did was to lock off the cites separately, no one could leave or enter any city. It was smart, if you think about it, if one city was infected, it wouldn't spread on to the other parts of Russia. The second thing they did was to dismantle the Metro System, after all, people could move to and fro using the underground tunnels, they posted guards down there, shooting anyone that walked near the gate. Soon, they blew up the tunnels in the Metro, closing the the last way out apart from the huge ass walls enclosing the city.


But, there isn't any Government now. The disease isn't spread from physical contact like the people in Moscow said. It was airborne. The blocked city did not help at all, unless you mean, keeping survivors in with no escape.


Within a few days, Russia was gone. Russia's contingency plan was a house of cards. The plan genius tacticians in Red square spent hours planning doomed Russia.


I was lucky though, I wasn't infected, somehow. But, it doesn't matter, if one of the infected touches you, you are dead, they will eat you alive, tearing your brains out.The remaining alive in Russia was gonna have a hard time looking for food as most were situated in places where they were a lot of infected, rumor has it that the Military stockpiled some food down into the Metro. I took all I can find from my local police station, mostly a Mosin and a small backpack with food loaded in it, hoping to find some food down in the Metro.


The Metro was dark. Scary. Untouched for years. It's a maze in the dark, tunnels connecting cities, wrong move, hit a dead end, and you might just get stuck there for the rest of your life. Starving to death, not to mention, the foundation of it was badly damaged due to the explosions, the whole thing could just collapse any moment.


The only source of light down here were the emergency lights I managed to power, but shit. The track ahead's flooded. Water gushed out from a crack in the wall, no doubt caused by PVV-5A Russian Semtex. No way to find out how deep the water is, and I don't wanna find out, with the gear I'm armed with, I'd probably sink to the bottom of the hole. And in New Russia, leaving a gun and gear unattended is a stupid way to get you killed.


I'd have to head back to the gate and find another way pass into the Military Stronghold.


I hope to find some food in this shitstorm through the Metro, but, it seems that it might not be as easy as I thought it would be."


Yeah, first chapter out for the storyline! Played around with the lightning alot! Special thanks to Sanders for the logo! ( Don't ask me for it, I'm not allowed to distribute.) And yeah! A Metro themed storyline, don't worry, not everything happens underground, only the first few scenes!


And Dat lightning tho

And so the garden lock down continues as I find ways to entertain myself in between bouts of working from home with varying measures of success. I'm not sure how long it's going to keep my frankly limited imagination occupied but I'm not going to complain. I know many of you are going through much worse and at least I live in a rural area and have some outside space to play in.


So I thought I'd try and photograph some birds in the garden. Which birds I really had no idea as I ramped up the ISO and wound the aperture to its widest setting in an attempt to get the fastest shutter speed possible. I guess I could have set the camera to shutter priority but I live in AV mode and apart from the occasional bulb related adventure have all but airbrushed the other settings on the dial from my mind. I even put the focus onto the auto tracking mode and engaged the mysterious AI Servo mode. And finally I put the camera into high speed auto-focus continuous shooting mode. Confident that I hadn't forgotten anything I then waited but despite there being plenty of chirping all around me nothing was revealing itself. What might have been a Chiffchaff (but don't quote me on this) was having a lovely time chirruping away on the topmost twigs of the cherry tree, but it was playing hard to get and I began to lose heart. How you birders manage the patience to do this I've really no idea.


I wandered round to the back of the house and found a blackbird helping itself to berries on something green that might be a kind of Ivy. As I poised the camera it decided it had collected enough food and left the scene with three berries in its beak, which put me in mind of some of the panic buying tales we've all witnessed recently. I pointed, hit the shutter and hoped. In camera the RAW file was pretty dark but I could make out some feathers in the top right hand corner of the image that looked as if they might be in focus. And some heavy cropping and a bit of processing later the picture you see before you emerged. I was quite pleased. Later on in the evening I found myself absentmindedly looking at huge zoom lenses on eBay (this was shot at 200mm - or 320mm allowing for the crop sensor). They're not cheap are they? I think I'm going to leave this field to the experts and stick to landscapes once we're all allowed out again. Stay safe folks #stayathome


There’s noithing like a tasty nut to make your day! Chopmunks are small, striped rodents, found throughout North America. They’re omnivorous, eating seeds, nuts and fruits. They also eat grass, shoots, fungi, insects and other arthropods, small frogs, worms, and bird eggs. They also occasionally eat newly hatched baby birds Around humans, chipmunks can eat cultivated grains and vegetables, and other plants from farms and gardens, so they are sometimes considered pests. Chipmunks mostly forage on the ground, but climb trees to obtain nuts such as hazelnuts and acorns. At the beginning of autumn,they begin to stockpile nonperishable foods for winter. caching their foods in a larder in their burrows so they can remain in their nests until spring, Cheek pouches allow chipmunks to carry food items to their burrows for either storage or consumption


Western chipmunks breed only once a year. The young emerge from the burrow after about six weeks and strike out on their own within the next two weeks. They’re diurnal. Eastern chipmunks hibernate in the winter, while western chipmunks do not, relying on the stores in their burrows.


They live about 3 years, although in captivity, they’ve been known to live up to 9 years

Seen at Clipper Park, Baltimore


EXPLORE #497 OF 31 JULY 2012

Semipalmated sandpipers, like so many arctic birds, started their southerly migration months ago, amid summer. We saw them along our east coast beaches in July and their numbers waxed and waned throughout August and early September. Now, most of the beaches are devoid of these energetic little birds. They linger in staging areas along the coast. Staging areas provide abundant, predictable food resources that allow the birds to stockpile calories for their long journey. The birds frequently wait for favorable winds before leaving. An amicable breeze can save them abundant energy, making their journey much easier. #Semipalmated #Sandpipers

Going through the photo stockpile and realised I have a few to upload. Enjoy!

According to folklore, October's full moon is called the "Hunter's Moon" or sometimes the "Blood Moon." It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead. You can picture them: silent figures padding through the forest, the moon overhead, pale as a corpse, its cold light betraying the creatures of the wood.


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Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.

Chipmunks ( Tamias ) have an omnivorous diet consisting of grain, nuts, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, insects and on occasions small mammals like young mice. At the beginning of autumn, many species of chipmunk begin to stockpile these goods in their burrows, for winter. Tamias is Greek for "storer," a reference to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.Wiki

All chipmunks have facial stripes.


“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”

― Siobhan Vivian




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We have squirrels here in Florida, just like every place else, but ours are noticeably different than their northern cousins. In fact, they look quite emaciated by comparison! This skinny squirrel has the good fortune to not have to store up nuts for the winter like most do. Living in a park, people feed them, but also, because we don't have the bitter cold weather many places have, there's more around for them to eat in winter months, so they don't have to stockpile and fatten up.


I remember when we first moved here when I was 10. The squirrels on Long Island were grey and plump. Here they were more brown and scrawny. (In fact, the tail on this one is pretty fluffy compared to most.) I thought they were all starving to death or something, lol!


Squirrels here do just fine, and there's no shortage of them. The park squirrels have learned how to beg, too, which can almost be creepy when a half dozen or so of the thin little devils surround you looking for a hand out! In another park, they learned how to knock a peanut out of someone's hand, grab it and run! They're still wary, but have little fear if they think there is food involved. Don't let them fool you. Florida squirrels are clever and resourceful and doing just fine!

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I spent the late afternoon watching the robin trying to convince himself that the insect house I have on the wall would be a good nesting site. I have seen bluetits do the same. So I took one of my nesting pockect and have attached it to the wall . . . but It isn't wooden and doesn't have a des res roof and isn't quite as near the fat ball feeder . . . oh dear!


I went to Sainsbury's in Winchmore Hill with Max today - the Chancellor, I am sad to say, has done nothing in yesterday's Budget to help the disabled on benefits. Was pleased, however, to hear Johnson say the other week that he couldn't survive on benefits . . . but sadly he expects those in receipt to do so. Anyway, the shelves in the supermarket were very short of produce and some were just empty. I couldn't buy: a lemon, raspberry jam, celery, salmon, sardines or mint tea nor a bumper pack of cereal to put in the food bank . . . luckily I wasn't trying to buy loo rolls, kitchen rolls, tissues, hand sanitiser etc because there was none. If I had been trying to buy a chicken I would have had the choice of two. I bought the last pack of plain flour. Lucky Peter, who requested it on the list! What is happening? Peter says it isn't like this in Enfield's Tesco . . . and the sad realisation is that in a wealthy area like Winchmore Hill people have the money to panic buy and stockpile, and in an area like ours here, where the incomes are more average, people don't have the money to panic buy . . . and things stay more or less normal!


Max entertained me at the check out with a video of people fighting in a super market somewhere over loo rolls. One person had a trolley full and the other just wanted one of the packs. Loo rolls at dawn!

Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.

Chipmunks ( Tamias ) have an omnivorous diet consisting of grain, nuts, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, insects and on occasions small mammals like young mice. At the beginning of autumn, many species of chipmunk begin to stockpile these goods in their burrows, for winter. Tamias is Greek for "storer," a reference to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.Wiki

All chipmunks have facial stripes.


Some parts of the Regional Natural Park of Tepilora, Sant’Anna and Rio Posada – 8,000 hectares of forests and rivers on the north-east of Sardinia, in the province of Nuoro – might make you think human history never set foot here.


Your gaze will span between holm oaks, junipers, strawberry trees and cork oaks, and rivers, streams and springs. There is a good chance wild boars, foxes, hares, deer and mouflons will pop out from the vegetation, and you might even spot a majestic golden eagle soaring around the top of Mount Tepilora.


Then, in a corner of this beautiful natural oasis, nestled on a small hill, you will see the medieval silhouette of the small town of Posada, near the remains of an ancient settlement where – about one hundred years ago – archaeologists found a small statue of Hercules dating back to the 5th-4th century BC. Furthermore, a number of finds were discovered near the river of the same name: statues and interior decor objects, evidence of the Roman colonization in this area in the early 4th century.


The village is overlooked by the 13th-century Fava Castle, at the center of an old legend according to which locals once resorted to an interesting trick to defeat the Turkish pirates who had them under siege: they sent a pigeon to die in the enemy’s camp, after feeding it the last broad beans they had. The enemy observed the viscera of the bird, full of food, and deducted the village still had plenty of food stockpiled – finally deciding to give up on the attack and leaving.


So much history, in fact, has passed through this splendid natural oasis.




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*Sitting opposite The Iceberg Lounge is the old Gotham Gazette building. It's sixth floor peers directly into the Penguin's meeting room. In this wind and fog, most men might miss. I'm not one of those people.*


====The Iceberg Lounge====


*Roman Sionis stares at the fish tank in The Iceberg Lounge. A pair of red eyes stare back at him. Then, the black and white mass swims away. "You like her?" Cobblepot asks. Sionis smirks, and turns to meet his old rival*


Sionis- Not my thing. But I bet Gaige would have loved her.


*Leaning on his umbrella, Penguin smiles*


Penguin- From what I hear my friend, our dear Doctor Gaige loved her a little too much.


Sionis- Well, I'm sure there was enough blubber to go around. Oswald


*They shake hands, then embrace in a bearhug, difficult when Penguin is a good deal shorter*


Penguin- Roman. It's been far too long. You remember the Monarch don't you?


*Penguin's companion, The Monarch of Menace offers his own hand, which Sionis accepts*


Sionis- Your partner in crime, eh? I heard the stories in Blackgate. Music Meister, huh?


Penguin- Yes, yes. And if I recall, you too have a story to tell. Danto Twag hmm? It's true isn't it?


Sionis- Yep. The Pike girl used my own blade to do it. Shame really, you know how I like to savour these things


Monarch- I've heard. He was the one supplying the Arkham Moth wasn't he? That was the rumour, no?


Sionis- Nah, don't believe that. There was some real hatred between those two...


Penguin- I believe her father, Carson something or other, left her a little nest egg.


Sionis- Carson. I've heard that name begins... He wasn't Mr Moth's crony was he?


*The three laugh, remembering those days of old. Penguin wipes a nostalgic tear from beneath his monocle*


Penguin- The very same! Please, sit.




*Penguin invited me. Me. Kite-Man. Kinda crazy, but it's been so crazy these past two months already... maybe I shouldn't be surprised. To be here, in a building that's structurally sound, a building that has no shortage of food... makes me need a drink*


Chuck- Len?


Len- Chuck.


*This... this is crazy. Len serving drinks again, like nothing changed*


Chuck- Len, what's going on, can I help?


Len- You can help by buying a drink.


Chuck- Are- they keeping you here?


Len- *No*, I work here. Cobblepot stockpiled some drinks here... Fancy some mulled wine? It's from Christmas, but it'll be fine


*He passes me a glass and I take a few sips*


Chuck- But I saw you, in February, I saw you get taken-


Len- Oh yeah, they did beat the shit out of me, but I got out alright.


Chuck- Then I'm glad you're doing ok.


Len- Good. Party's starting.


*He motions to a table. Black Mask. Two-Face. Freeze. Penguin. Is that Ten as well, sitting next to a priest of some sort? I sit down beside Scarecrow. My skin crawls a bit.*


Penguin- Happy Easter gentlemen. This has been a long time coming. You all know me, and you certainly know one another. Easter of course celebrates the resurrection of Christ. And in the spirit of the holiday, I believe it's high time we all reconcile, forgive our transgressions, and revive old alliances. But there must also come a cost. Many of you don't trust one another, we have our reasons. Let's not take the violent route. Let's talk this out. Like men. And women. Firstly, a good deal of you are outgunned and perhaps outnumbered. To that I offer a shipment of guns to each party.

Roman, will provide trade routes, so business can boom even inside here.


Sionis- Heh. Will I now?


Penguin- Yes. Doctor Crane, will offer any chemicals one might require. Bleach, detergent, the lot of it. The phone lines are down, so he'll also supply you with crows


*The room snorts*


Penguin- Crows that will be used to deliver messages across the city.


Crane- Indeed


Penguin- Lastly, The Kite-Man will supply bed sheets, soaps, and other amenities found in the old hotel. Now, if that will suffice, I have an excellent roast prepared for all of you


Blackfire- *Ahem*


Penguin- The cut is truly stunning, believe me-


Blackfire- Excuse me.




Penguin- Yes, Deacon?


Blackfire- Child, I did not come here to be pandered to. I came here because an atrocity was committed. One of my brethren was murdered, and I require justice.


Penguin- Is Easter not a time of forgiveness, let's have a fresh start-


Blackfire- Wrong. Have you even read the Bible Mr Cobblepot?


Cobblepot- Not in full no. In all honesty, I prefer the old testaments.


Blackfire- Then you'll be familiar with the Ten Commandments, unlike, say, the Black Devil?


*What have I walked into?*


Sionis- Ah yes, Rat-Face. Let's be clear, he was not cooperating. My people will attest to that.


Blackfire- People that you have bought. What, pray tell, were you hoping to gain?


Penguin- Gentlemen-


Sionis- Justice. Like you. I knew someone was patroling the tunnels, killing anyone who went down there, and it seemed familiar.... What was it you used to do again Deacon? Something about an underground society?


*Blackfire slams his fist onto the table*


Blackfire- Heresy!


Sionis- How else do you explain it "Father" ? My people, were found stabbed to death down there. I'll jog your memory, one had an ape mask, the other a dog.


Monarch- Someone's killing people underground and your first thought wasn't the reptile?


Croc- Hnh. I don't like Chinese food.


Sionis- They were stabbed.


Penguin- Let's get back to the matter at hand. Deacon, if you want-


Sionis- Let's.


*He pulls out his side arm, and points it at Blackfire. Ten stands in front of the Deacon. In response, Penguin points his umbrella at Roman*


Penguin- I just had this floor cleaned old friend.


*Blackfire's two other disciples pull out pistols. Harvey flips his coin and now Two-Face and the Sons of Scarecrow point guns at them*


Penguin- Don't do this old friend


*Unnoticed by anyone else but me, Len cocks his shotgun. Freeze points his gun at Penguin. The Kabuki Assassins stand in front of their boss. Zebra Man aims his rifle at Freeze. Black Mask's assistant, Li I think, takes shelter behind a piano*


Penguin- Everybody! Calm down!


*Croc snarls at Li, who finds himself protected by Phosphorus, who's in turn cornered by Clayface. The entire room is like a powder keg, waiting for a spark until everything explodes. Everyone except me, what's happening over *there*?*


Penguin- You know how this ends Roman.


Sionis- Maybe pal. But better safe than sorry.


Penguin- Roman, for godsake-


Blackfire- Give it your best shot heathen. Mere bullets can't harm me.


Penguin- You're not helping! Now does anyone want *this*?


Two-Face- Yeah. I think he should do it.


Penguin- Really Two-Face?


Two-Face- The coin's not wrong.


*Oh for the love of- Can't they just shut up for a second?*


Chuck- Oh. Oh hell no.


Monarch- -see how it is. You just want his territory, don't you Dent?


*I see it, and I launch myself at Sionis, throwing him to the ground, as a gunshot fires. But it's not his*


Sionis- Get off me, kite man, I-


*Roman throws me off of him. That's gratitude I think, but at least it's over. Then we see the blood*


Penguin- Oh dear lord.


Clayface- Look at that- The Monarch! He's dead!


Phosphorus- Where?! Who shot-


Li- The Gazette building, across the way.


Freeze- Whoever they are, they're-


*Another gunshot rings out and Freeze crashes to the ground, his helmet shattered into pieces. Oh god, I think he's-*


Sionis- Freeze? Freeze!


*Crane crouches down beside Fries. He looks like he's still breathing, thank god*


Crane- He's alive, his dome just shattered. Forget *him*, somebody kill our trespasser


*Penguin throws off his Assassins who had instinctively covered him*


Penguin- I'm fine you idiots, get off me, get off me!


Len- You heard the man, let him breath


Ten- What's going on Len?


Len- I don't fuckin'- get down!


*Another round of bullets fire. The Monarch is dead, Freeze is injured, I don't know about anyone else, and some sniper's in the adjacent building. Whoever they were, they just lit the keg*

Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.

Chipmunks ( Tamias ) have an omnivorous diet consisting of grain, nuts, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, insects and on occasions small mammals like young mice. At the beginning of autumn, many species of chipmunk begin to stockpile these goods in their burrows, for winter. Tamias is Greek for "storer," a reference to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.Wiki

All chipmunks have facial stripes.


Flughafen Frankfurt am Main


From Wikipedia:

"On 26 June 1948 the Berlin Airlift officially began to Provide food, fuel and medicine to 2.5 million West Berliners cut off from the world by a Soviet Union imposed blockade of all Surface Transportation. By the end of the Declared "Big Lift" on September 30, 1949, 277,264 flights had been Conducted from West Germany to West Berlin delivering in excess of 2.3 million tons. On the first day 32 C-47 aircraft Carried 80 tons of supplies to Berlin. Two days later the Commander USAF / Europe, organized a dedicated airlift force to carry out 'Operation Vittles' and a parallel British effort which called "Operation Planefare". By late July the "Lift" had expanded to include 54 C-54 "Skymasters" and 105 C-47 "Gooney Birds" of the USAF and Navy, alongwith 40 York and 50 Dakota aircraft of the Royal Air Force by the Task Force. Eventually a fleet of 200-300 C-54 s FORMED the backbone of this force. Aircraft flew Constantly to West Berlin for 482 days. Despite great odds, at the peak of the "Lift" in the April 1949 "Easter Parade" surge set a record of 12,490 tons Carried by 1,398 flights within 24 hours. The Allies used loading fields at Celle, Fassberg, Fuhlsbuettel, Luebeck, Rhein-Main, Wiesbaden, Wunstorf, and a Seaplane Base at Schleswig country. They off-loaded at Gatow (British), Tegel (French), Tempelhof (US) airports. And even the city lakes. Throughout the "Big Lift" aircrews dropped packages of chocolate and gum by tiny parachutes to the children of the city. On 12 May 1949 the Soviets Admitted defeat by lifting the blockade, However the air bridge continued through September to insure Sufficient supplies would be stockpiled to thwart future blockades. The "Lift" What The Greatest peacetime airlift operation in history, as one official put it, "It was born of peace, and lived in peace and died in a Peaceful World - - it kept peace in Europe". It produced many significant achievements in aviation and air transportation history. It established airlift as a major factor in Maintaining World Peace. It demostrated the need for dependable air traffic control and all weather landing system, more importantly the air lift proved the ability of the collective human will to sustain Freedom Throughout The World. For 42 years, there were two of Berlin, until theywere reunited in freedom. Seventy-nine airlift personnel died to keep West Berlin alive. The names on the base of the "Airlift" memorial monument recognize Their sacrifice, and remain as to eternal symbol of the human desire for freedom. Those of us who know the price of freedom must forever keep it alive! - The Berlin Airlift Veterans Association - 1993"

Blackbird Days: January 29th,30th, 31st - (Italian legend).


There is an Italian legend that says the last three days of January (29, 30, 31) are the coldest days of winter thanks to the actions of a female blackbird, (una merla), which is why the last 3 days of January are called Giorni della merla, “Blackbird Days” in Italy.

The story goes that the merla had a feud with January, since the weather was so cold, and it was hard for the blackbird to find food then. In an attempt to outwit January, the merla stockpiled food in December, and then didn’t have to venture forth during January.

Before we continue, two things to note: January had 28 days back then in the legend, (but 29 in the Roman calendar and 31 in the Gregorian calendar) and the merla had white feathers, not black.

Anyway, the merla goes outside on the 28th of the month and says to January, basically, “Ha, ha! I didn’t have to go outside and freeze my tail feathers off, and now here we are at the end of your month so you didn’t make me so cold and miserable this year. Fooled you!”

Well, January was not amused by this, so he went to one of his brothers, the month of February, and asked to borrow 3 days from February. Which he got. Then, to spite the merla, January made these extra 3 days in his month the coldest, most brutal days of the month. The poor merla took refuge in a chimney for 3 days, and when she emerged on February 1st, her beautiful white feathers had become black, which they remain to this day.


I giorni della merla: 29, 30, 31 gennaio - Leggenda


I cosiddetti giorni della merla sono, secondo la tradizione, gli ultimi tre giorni di gennaio (29, 30 e 31) e corrispondono ai tre giorni più freddi dell'anno.

Il nome deriverebbe da una leggenda secondo la quale, per ripararsi dal gran freddo, una merla e i suoi pulcini, in origine bianchi, si rifugiarono dentro un comignolo, dal quale emersero il 1º febbraio, tutti neri a causa della fuliggine. Da quel giorno tutti i merli furono neri.

Secondo una versione più elaborata della leggenda una merla, con uno splendido candido piumaggio, era regolarmente strapazzata da gennaio, mese freddo e ombroso, che si divertiva ad aspettare che la merla uscisse dal nido in cerca di cibo, per gettare sulla terra freddo e gelo. Stanca delle continue persecuzioni la merla un anno decise di fare provviste sufficienti per un mese, e si rinchiuse nel suo rifugio, al riparo, per tutto il mese di gennaio, che allora aveva solo 28 giorni. L'ultimo giorno del mese, la merla, pensando di aver ingannato il cattivo gennaio, uscì dal nascondiglio e si mise a cantare per sbeffeggiarlo. Gennaio si risentì talmente tanto che chiese in prestito tre giorni a febbraio e si scatenò con bufere di neve, vento, gelo. La merla si rifugiò alla chetichella in un camino e lì restò al riparo per tre giorni. Quando la merla uscì, era sì salva, ma il suo bel piumaggio si era annerito a causa della fuliggine e così rimase per sempre con le piume nere. E da allora tutti i merli furono neri.

Come in tutte le leggende si nasconde un fondo di verità. Anche in questa versione possiamo trovarne un po', infatti nel calendario romano il mese di gennaio aveva solo 29 giorni che divennero 31 con il calendario gregoriano. Sempre secondo la leggenda, se i giorni della merla sono freddi, la primavera sarà bella, se sono caldi la primavera arriverà in ritardo.


No one reads this part. In 2012 I started stockpiling candles. Now they actually warm my small apartment a bit. The power went out last Fri. FIVE DAYS SO FAR! Anyway. I cooked a hot meal today. Black beans, rice, margarine, minced garlic, seasonings. Tasted awesome! I never thought I would use that little stove and Sterno.

The "Accursed Mountains" tower high above the Shala Valley, snow clinging to their summits even in the summer. Their jagged peaks hide one of Europe's most remote areas, where tribal culture lives on even as the modern world encroaches.


For about half the year, Shala, a protected national park, is cut off by heavy snowfall that blocks access to the two rock-strewn dirt tracks snaking through the mountains. The only way in or out is a seven-hour trek by foot to the nearest road, if the snow is not too deep.


Here a rapidly vanishing way of life lingers in the traditions of the Kanun, the code of 15th-century prince Lek Dukagjin. But fewer and fewer locals are willing to endure the harsh winter in Theth, a Catholic village of roughly whitewashed stone houses scattered along a valley where snow piles so high that even visiting a neighbor can be impossible. Less than two decades ago, about 200 families lived in Theth year-round. Now there are 10 or 15.


"Everybody leaves during the winter," says Dilda Dednoja, a lively 69-year-old who stopped spending winters in her home in Theth's Okol area about seven years ago.


"In the winter you got stuck in the snow and you really wanted to leave," she said, describing a life of privation and toil where food was stockpiled in autumn to last until spring, firewood had to be dragged into the house and villagers were isolated even from each other. "There would be 4 meters (13 feet) of snow outside the door; there was no doctor, no school."


Agetina Carku lives on the valley's slopes, in the first house on the dirt track leading from the mountains into Theth. At 76, she has been shuttering her home in the fall and moving into the northern city of Shkodra for the last two winters. But she'd still rather stay in the mountains.


"When I come here, I am reborn," she says, watching fireflies flicker in her garden on a summer night.


"I still wanted to stay, but the young generation doesn't want to work so hard. I can't stay here alone, I have to follow the family. It is a practical need, but it's also the tradition."


It is in isolated pockets such as these that Albania's traditions are strongest.


Many still live at least in part by the Kanun, a code handed down through the centuries in which "besa" -- loosely translated as word of honor or sacred promise -- is paramount. The code was adhered to by Albania's Muslim majority and Catholic and Orthodox Christian minorities.


The code covers everything from inheritances and the rights of the church to the treatment of livestock. Disobeying the Kanun could lead to harsh penalties that might include banishment or the transgressor's household being burned. A slight could lead to a blood feud that lasted for generations.


In Theth, nobody will sell land to an outsider, or even to another villager. Brides must come from outside the valley, a tradition that follows along the lines of the Kanun's rule that marriage within the same clan is forbidden.


"The Kanun is the law. Just like the state law," explains Gjovalin Lokthi, 39, a gruff "kryeplak," or elected chief of the village.


"With the Kanun you can get killed over honor," he says, sipping homemade raki in what was until recently Theth's only bar -- a wooden shack he converted from a goat shed. "But it's better to get killed, because what good is your life [if you spend] 100 years behind bars?"


Theth's "kulla," or tower, is a reminder of the devastating legacy the blood feuds can have. Now a tourist attraction, the windowless stone building was where the men of a feuding family could take refuge -- for months or even years. Easily defendable with sheer walls and slits for windows, the men survived on livestock kept on the ground floor and food brought by the family's women, who were not targeted.


Kullas are no longer used. But there are still families in northern Albania forced into isolation because of feuds, unable to walk out their front door for fear of being killed. And sometimes these days it's not just men but whole families who fear for their lives.


The Kanun has survived despite four decades of communist rule after World War II, with hardships such as mass imprisonment in labor camps and attempts to stamp out tribal practices.


"What the people went through here is pretty amazing," says Michael Galaty, associate professor of anthropology at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., who led a four-year anthropological and archaeological research project in the Shala Valley that also studied the effects of isolation. "You go from this isolated tribal culture to one of the harshest totalitarian dictatorships the world's ever known, and from there straight into the globalized community."


But many in Albania -- particularly in the rapidly modernizing capital, Tirana, -- now perceive the Kanun as brutal and arcane, with its dictates that blood be paid for blood and that a woman is "a sack made to endure."


The Kanun "has been repeated for centuries and is deep in the conscience of the people," says Ismet Elezi, a retired professor of criminal law at Tirana University who spent 50 years studying the code. But "the young generation is interested in rock and pop, not in the Kanun, although they apply it. . . . It's usually the older people who push youngsters to apply it, though they don't know how."


Even in an area as isolated as Theth, it's clear the outside world is creeping in. Now satellite TV dishes are visible, and a cellphone relay antenna erected recently ensures near perfect coverage in an area where the country's landline grid is still out of reach.


Increasing numbers of tourists are willing to endure the bone-crunching journey by four-wheel drive to get into the valley. The villagers have started taking paying guests into their homes, and it is not clear how much tourism they will be able to accommodate.


For now the villagers of Theth still greet visitors with raki and small cups of thick, sweet coffee. After all, under Albanian tradition and the Kanun, you cannot turn away a guest.


[An article from the LA Times.]

There is beauty all around us.


A small part of my (not much larger) garden and there are Grape Hyacinths, ordinary Hyacinth, Primrose, and Daffodils happily in flower with Buddleia, Foxglove, and Sedum all beginning their annual growth. The grass needs cutting (awaiting delivery of new lawn mower) and the fence needs a coat of paint ( hmmm, I'll leave that a bit). As I walked back into the house Magpie, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, plus several sparrows all came down for their food. Meanwhile we are talking ourselves down into pessimism and depression on social (and even mainstream) media by looking at only the worst aspects of a time of inconvenience. We have a crisis for this generation which, lets be perfectly honest, has never had much to face has it? Imagine the early 1940's generation of our grandparents (or in my case, parents) throughout the whole of Europe and many parts of the Far East who, morality apart, really suffered. Many, ordinary people like us, did not have the option of sitting home for a while - they had no home, their towns and cities were not in lockdown - they were knocked down, their transport was not in mothballs - it was in pieces, their food was not stockpiled in family cupboards - it was destroyed by an enemy. Yet they knuckled down and even brought us into the world.


By chance, last night, I came across a video of Celtic Woman singing "You'll never walk alone." Pure theatre but it still moved me to write this. I may be an ostrich with my head in the sand and my backside high in the air vulnerable to kicking, but I really do not want to read any more misery!


Honestly, I will not respond to any "Yes, but . . " comments.


That video is at

Even Man Utd fans may enjoy ;-)

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