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All reviews are scored out of a total of five Anarchy symbol's. A score of three is given to something that is a typical example of its style with nothing too outstanding or bad about it.

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Urban Jungle #2

Common greenbottle (Lucilia sericata)

Flies. Maggots. Nasty.

Except they’re not (well, sort of). Without maggots, we’d literally be neck-deep in crap. And there are many flies that are pollinators. Flies like this common greenbottle (Lucilia sericata) that was feeding off of the forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) whilst flitting about the garden today.

Not only does this fly do a good job of spreading the flower love, its offspring have a penchant for rotting flesh and have been successfully used for treating really […]

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Urban Jungle #1

I’ve taken quite a few pics over time of the local flora and fauna (with the occasional not-so-local shot too), in large part thanks to the fact that the wildlife-friendly garden I’ve created either features or attracts ’em in. I like looking at other people’s pics of such things, so I thought why not share the ones of my own that I like? No reason whatsoever, so here’s the first.

This is a common whitethroat (Sylvia communis), who spent a fruitful half-hour this morning flitting around the slightly dishevelled post-winter […]

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Soap Bodger

Having suddenly realised that lye = sodium hydroxide = caustic soda = drain cleaner (thanks, internets), I decided to have a go at making my own soap using the cold process method. And it turned out to be a piece of piss, albeit a piece of piss that could horribly scar you if you don’t take precautions with the lye.

Basically, you mix lye with water, add it to vegetable oils of your choice, agitate until it goes custardy, pour it into a mould for a day or two, tip […]

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Snug As A Bug In A Bottle

Being a simple chap I’m a big fan of simple ideas, especially if they’re free / cheap. They don’t get much cheaper or simpler than the lacewing hotel [PDF file] I stumbled across yesterday. I managed to make two in a few minutes this afternoon with stuff that was readily to hand (the only thing I needed to buy was a bit of straw, but that’s only pennies from a local shop).

Lacewings are great little creatures. For something so delicate looking they’re pretty ferocious predators, particularly the larvae. Fortunately, […]

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New Kids On The Plot

One of the posters over at the Profane Existence forum was looking for some beginners tips as they set out to grow for the first time in a new plot this year. I came up with a few suggestions and, as an avid recycler, I’ll put ’em up here too.

Check out your garden’s micro-climate. What’s the garden’s aspect? Are there damp / dry / shady spots? What plant hardiness zone are you in? Which way are the prevailing winds and how strong can they be?

What sort of soil […]

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Soil Not Oil!*

A British animal farmer with a wildlife-friendly farm recently realised just how dependent modern farming is on fossil fuels. She set off to look at the problem and possible solutions, and came up with some surprising information and conclusions. The BBC followed her during her research and produced an eye-opening documentary, ‘A Farm For The Future’, for their ‘Natural World’ series.

The politics of food is something that will become increasingly important over the coming years. Vegans and bonecrunchers alike should watch this, learn and act. Time really is running […]

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Green Your Eats!

Thursday 1st November is World Vegan Day, a chance for vegans globally to show just how positive veganism is. And not just for the animals we don’t kill, but also for our own wellbeing and for the health of the planet. In fact, this year the focus will be on the ecological catastrophe that is animal farming. ‘Eating The Earth? How Your Diet Could Change The World’ (PDF) pulls together the evidence and makes a forceful case for veganism for those who claim to be concerned with environmental issues.

I’ll […]

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21st Century Skipdiving

Recycling usable stuff online with Freecycle

Like many punks and other proles with limited income, I’ve often been found rummaging through skips to see if there’s anything useful to blag. Over the years I’ve managed to find things that I needed (sometimes quite desperately but which I couldn’t afford to buy), often because others were so wealthy they could just afford to throw away perfectly decent shit, or the stuff was no longer needed but the owners simply didn’t think about any alternative to ditching it.

It has to be […]

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What A Gas!

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the media in recent times, you’ll have probably noticed yet another round of stories resulting from the latest UN report about global warming and impending ecological catastrophe. Human activity is put in the frame, and quite rightly so. There is now no question that what we do and how we do it has led to destructive climate change and, if we fail to tackle the problems caused by our activities on this planet, then our future’s going to be short-lived, unpleasant and brutal.

[…]

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