Author: Joya Andrew

Bread Making Workshop

ScreenHunter_01-Feb.-04-13.021Do you like bread?
Do you like eating bread?
Do you like making bread?
Would you like to learn how to make very easily your own delicious, healthy and inexpensive bread?

If you answered yes to at least two of the above questions then do we have the workshop for you! The Montreal Permaculture Guild is organizing a series of “re-skilling” workshops at the NDG Food Depot at 2121 Oxford Street.

Come join us there on Monday, February 7th, 2011 starting 5.30 pm and watch Montreal Permaculturalist Ed Yersh make bread with his very own bread machine.

He will show you how it’s done.
He will talk about bread.
We will watch the bread machine as it:

  • mixes the ingredients
  • kneads the ingredients
  • bakes the ingredients
  • warms the bread

You will be offered bread to eat.
You will enjoy the convivial company of fellow bread enthusiasts.

Washable Cloth Diapers

ScreenHunter_02-Jan.-18-12.54For those 1st time parents, or to veteran parents looking to take care of babies in a more sustainable way, buying and using cotton, cloth diapers is probably the #1 way to reduce your weekly land fill (garbage) bag.

Disposable diapers take an estimated 500 years to decompose. Additionally, it takes up huge amounts of resources including wood pulp and plastic during their manufacturing.

As a parent who used old-fashioned disposable diapers, I can attest to the enormous waste that occurs from using these things. It takes more work, but If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would choose cloth diapers.

Source: Sandra’s Schlog

Bummis has been the go to place for Montreal Moms who wanted to learn how to use cotton diapers and their made-in-Montreal diaper covers. Bummis has moved this month to a nice new home – with more walk in traffic possible.

In their store they have always cheerfully given demonstrations of how to diaper and care for diapers. Starter kits, beginning at $175, are really popular, and would include 2 doz. organic cotton prefold diapers, 6 covers, Biosoft liners, fleece liners, Dimpleskins Naturals Bum Bum Balm and a wet bag. They manufacture diaper covers and swim diapers (and have 2nds too).

You can expect to find products made of recycled plastic, locally made skincare products and an array of baby carriers from the Ergo Baby to Sakura bloom, as well as the Arms Reach co-sleeper bed and Bummis breastfeeding pillows, Bravado bras and pads, Lilla P origami tops and Medela breastfeeding products.

Improved Commuter Rail Service To The West Island

ScreenHunter_01-Jan.-12-11.00Looking at the affluent West Island demographics, it is strikingly similar to Philadelphia’s western suburbs in the “main line”. Those suburbs west of Philadelphia were called the “main line” because of the excellent commuter rail service that was created in the 1950′s. There is no practical reason why the West island couldn’t have such a service. Of course, the reason why there isn’t and why the freeways are jammed every day, is political.

Source: The Suburban wants to improve commuter rail service to the West Island and Vaudreuil-Soulanges

Like Laval and the South Shore, we need regular, reliable service with trains every half hour running from 6:00 AM to midnight. For this, commuter trains must have a dedicated commuter line and stop sharing the rails with freight traffic.

Montreal is opposed, but the decision is not in the bag. They put a priority on funding the airport shuttle, a prestige project of $600 millions that won’t serve a single commuter and will compete with the STM new 747 airport express bus.

As for the government, they believe the West Island have no political alternatives and take the West Island vote for granted no matter how hard our local MNA’s try. We have to show stronger political resolve and demand to be heard.

Secrecy, Wikileaks And The Death Of The Free Internet

The Wikileaks controversy has stirred up old debates about openness, government, corporate secrets and society’s right to information about its institutions. Few writers have acknowledged that the current, free Internet is the foundation, the sina qua non, of the debate.

Remarkably, the Internet has survived for 40 years because it is sustainable. It is open. It is honest (at least at the network level). And costs are shared, more or less, equally.

Without this sustainable foundation, Wikileaks and the surrounding debate would not exist. Ironically, it may be the Wikileaks controversy that destroys the open, free Internet.

Already, many law makers in Washington D.C. and Ottawa are calling for stricter network controls on the Internet in order to maintain national “security” secrets, to prevent the formation of other web sites like Wikileaks and so that “terrorists” don’t get us.

In countries like Russia and China, web sites are routinely blocked from the Internet and communicating to the rest of the world. Now, England is urging ISP’s to ban any web site that may be “pornographic” in the name of keeping children safe.

daniel_EllsbergAs Americans have known for 200 years, free speech is messy and sometimes dirty and even offensive. But that is the ironic principle behind free speech: once you start restricting some speech because it is offensive, eventually all of it gets censored, free thought is aborted and people cease to be free. Our free-flow of information on the Internet didn’t happen by accident or without the effort of thousands of early pioneers who shared a vision of open, free communications between free peoples.

That vision of free speech online is under threat by the Wikileaks scandal. At its heart, the Wikileaks scandal looks like a replay of the Pentagon papers released by journalist Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 that shamed the U.S. government and showed that the Johnson administration deliberately and repeatedly lied to Congress about the war in Vietnam. The response then was the same as today: shut down the source of the information leakage (rather than admit fault and take responsibility). The U.S. government sued the New York Times and won an injunction preventing the paper from publishing for 15 days in 1971.

This was the first successful attempt by the federal government to restrain the publication of a major newspaper since the Civil war. Luckily, the Supreme Court overturned this case and the Times resumed publishing the Pentagon papers.

This time around, however, the Supreme Court may not hold jurisdiction over Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, because he is not an American and his web site is hosted in Europe.

If free people don’t stand up and defend the right of whistle blowers to spread facts about the unlawful and dishonest actions of government and corporations, then we don’t have much to stand on. The continued existence of a free Internet and free people depends upon it.

Source: The Atlantic

It is possible for tiny actions to occasionally have huge consequences on the Internet – like the creation of a Facebook or a Wikileaks by tiny teams – because many thousands of people over decades set up the underlying structure of that seeming magic trick.

It seems to cost nothing to send an email, so we spend billions of dollars on spam. The existing Internet design is centered on creating the illusion of no-cost effort. But there is no such thing. It’s an illusion born of the idylls of youth, and leads to a distorted perception of the nature of responsibility. When there seems to be no cost, the idea of moderation doesn’t seem sensible.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government’s reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.