GM crop movements

ABC News Online: GM canola crops no threat: Bayer.

So the company that’s pushing for the adoption of GM crops says it’s ok. And we’re meant to believe them, despite skepticism from farmers and green groups. Right…

The claim that seed has been distributed outside the research zone through floods is unsettling. This is one of the key issues with GM crop research – we don’t know enough yet to determine how GM crops will spread inadvertently and our government is unwilling to properly regulate this research until we do know enough.

Happy accidents

Gotta love this. So, I left my keys at work today and I’m currently locked out of the house. But fortuitously my wifi connection is strong enough to reach my laptop on the front porch. So I can browse the net while I wait for my housemates. Heh.

Food glorious food

Jason Kottke: Fearing food and frightful eating.

Reading David Suzuki’s “Good News for a Change” really changed my view about our food and agricultural habits. I’m still not great with choosing organic when I go shoping (but getting better), but all signs point to this being the future of food. Not GM, nor chemical pesticides and fertilisers. But working with nature’s cycles and evolved systems.

Recycled CDs

Jai is looking into environmentally friendly options for CD pressing.

I looked into this for the Glance EP too. It is a fair bit more expensive. Jai mentioned that it’s not fair to pass the extra cost onto the consumer. Fact is, the consumer generally won’t pay more. They rock up to a gig – they expect a $10 EP etc. They don’t really make the connection between the $12.50 CD and the fact it’s environmentally friendly. But that’s not the problem – the problem is you have to wear the extra cost for 500+ CDs, even if you only sell 100.

As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t think that we ended up using recycled stock for the EP – but I honestly can’t recall.

There are two other major issues with CDs too (issues that have environmentally-friendly solutions that is) – the plastic cases and printing. It is much better to go with vegetable-based inks (typically soy-based). I have been in touch with ecoDesign-ecoPrint, but they couldn’t do the CD covers at the time – I can’t remember exactly why. I did get some business cards done through them and they were top notch – I highly recommend them for general printing requirements.

On the CD cases front, hemp-plastic CD cases are available. Alternatively you can get recycled paper digipaks – but they are wildly expensive and there is still a plastic component to them (unless you do a custom pack design). I spoke to Mad CDs about some of these options and they were quite helpful. But again, in the end, it proved too expensive for us.

Ultimately all the options I looked at at the time were too expensive, as an independent band with limited funds, for us to pursue. We’d already spent a couple of grand on recording and producing the EP, adding a significant amount to the cost of pressing just wasn’t an option in our circumstance. Hopefully Jai has better luck.

Band news

Had another rehearsal with the new band tonight. They’re getting more constructive as we all start to find out what works and how we each approach things. I threw a loop out to the other guys tonight and what eventuated was pretty cool – I think I want to do some more of that.

I’m having really mixed feelings about how it’s all coming out. I’m really liking the results, albeit different to what I expected, but what I’m grappling with most is just where exactly we’re going to play live. The sound of the band is not the typical stuff that I would expect to hear at the local music venues that I frequent. Perhaps I’m over analysing (not an uncommon occurrence!), I don’t know. I’m trying to stay open to the process and just letting things come out rather than forcing things in a certain direction = the best approach methinks – but it’s still a bit confusing.

On another front I really want to get the full version Ableton Live. I’ve been playing with the demo and it pretty much does everything I want/need to get the whole loops and samples thing happening. I’ll have to wait for some money to drop out of the sky or something…

Latham

I went and saw Mark Latham speak and field questions at Leichardt tonight with some friends. The Town Hall was packed – standing room only and people sitting on the stage behind the podium to fit everyone in. It was good to see such a good turnout, particularly given this was for the party that lost the election! Mind you, this is in the “safest Labor seat” in the country, so it was a bit of preaching to the converted (although there were still a few sceptics in the audience).

I have to say I was pretty impressed overall. I was saying to my friends that it would be interesting to see him do the same thing in a Labor-right seat (Grayndler, our electorate, is pretty left-leaning). Just to see how the emphasis and talking points shift. What was interesting was that Latham was talking about Labor as center-left – pointedly. I think this is interesting and a good step – making this very clear.

A little while ago I ranted about how I wanted to become more actively engaged politically before the next election. I think I have a clearer picture of what I can do. I found out tonight that Anthony Albanese, our member, is the Shadow Minister for the Environment. I have just started with WWF which means I’m going to be learning a lot about environmental issues. So, I plan to begin a simple personal campaign to contact Anthony about these issues. First by letter, then in person.

My strongest feelings are about climate change and Australia’s energy policy, but there will be lots of things that I hope to be able to raise. It is a small step that I can take to help get my voice heard. And I’m glad that I have something a little more concrete to focus on. I’ll keep you posted if/when things progress.

Success?

Jim Moore on online campaigning:

My hypothesis today is that we succeeded at establishing new memes and new meme-based worldwide communities–and that to the extent our memes were picked up and “established” as topics in the major worldwide media, as well as continuously supported in the blogosphere, we actually made successful social change.