The Blue Economy

I am big on sustainability, but I’m also a realist. I know there have to be trade-offs for certain things to be done to help the environment. In today’s world, all over the globe, people come first. It’s an undisputable fact. This means people need a way to live, and not just survive. Living takes money – another indisputable fact. People don’t do things for free unless they want to. Most of the time, they don’t want to because doing things for free doesn’t help them in any way they value. Personally, doing things for free garners you goodwill, and that’s more important.

What is The Blue Economy?

This is the name given to anything related to water – seas, oceans, rivers, lakes etc. There are quite a few countries surrounded by water on all sides, and their economies are based on what they can get from the sea. This is mostly fishing, but there are other things that can be harvested from the sea for profit as well. This is by no means a perfect definition, but it’s how I understand it to mean.

There are also a lot of countries with rivers, and there a quire a few communities almost entirely dependent on these rivers for their livelihoods. All of these dependencies have caused a great deal of concern worldwide especially as the effects of all this usage is being seen on a global scale.

The Response

The response has included at least 40 different entities, countries, communities, businesses and scientists. The Ocean Finance Handbook was created in 2020, and it outlines plans and resources to help turn back the ill effects of using the world’s natural water sources for economic purposes as well as to support and promote sustainable practices amongst all the communities reliant on waterways for their very existence.

Prior to this collaborative effort on behalf of all nations and communities, in 2018 specifically, several regional handbooks such as the The Blue Economy Handbook of the Indian Ocean Region were published. They were focused only on assisting the regions the handbook was written about, and they are still used to assist with efforts in their regions along with the more global Ocean Finance Handbook.

The Results

These handbooks have led to many people turning their attentions, and their wallets in many cases, towards solutions to the issues arising from overfishing, dying coral reefs and communities traditionally using only the ocean when they may have other resources they can use to help their communities. This has been going on for years, it’s not something that’s new. In fact, if you live in one of these countries or communities, you already know what’s being done in your area to improve things related to your own waterway.

If you’re interested, you can view the Ocean Finance Handbook for free in its downloadable PDF form here:

The Ocean Finance Handbook

Even if you don’t live in a region dependent almost solely on a waterway for your livelihood, looking into the Blue Economy wouldn’t hurt. It’s just one of three economies being developed all over the world in an effort to move forward with ways to save the environment and make money at the same time. Research and actually implementation of many policies and procedures have already proven both are possible at the same time.

The other two economies being developed are: Forest Based BioEconomy and Agriculture Based BioEconomy. In the United States, Michigan is already building its Forest Based BioEconomy working with local businesses, local citizen groups, its local governments and its local universities. You can learn more from this video below:

Michigan Forest Based BioEconomy

Just thought I’d give you something to think about. Sustainability and saving the environment aren’t just catch phrases any longer, they are goals governments are working towards on a global scale. It’s just taking time as everyone’s needs have to be met in some fashion, mostly people, but the environment and animals as well. I see great things for the future of the world if people would only get out of their own way and really think about everything. Research is being done in so many fields to find the best solutions and so far, the benefits are greater than the trade offs so we’ll see…

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Art, Writing, and the Pursuit of Expression

Another interesting blog to share!

Writer of Age

Death would have been better…

If only for a fleeting span…

Clouded, blind, and flailing.

Moments, like days, can trip near any foot. Toe-catchers we’ll call them. There is something unique about moments, they lie beyond measured time, they endure minutes. The painting above has something to do with that, in an obscure, far-off, and unexplained way…

There are moments that bend toward a drawn out stuckness, a mire of trapping, that elusive span of time can grab hold and dwell. Some should be held. Others still, hold darker lingerings.

Why do I write? Or paint?

It’s because of these very moments… the ones that threaten who we wish to be, those breaths where everything seems to snatch away… and sometimes do. When we are left with only ourselves.

I write for the notion of expression. For the harried moments that breathe life into a heart-wrecked soul.

This painting is…

View original post 211 more words

Free Pattern Friday!

Here is the second pattern on my bookmarked patterns to make. It’s found on ALLFREECROCHETAFGHANSPATTERNS.com, and it’s called Sky Blue Lace Crochet Pattern

This afghan is gorgeous in Country Blue, but I’m certain it would look good in any color. It has a lovely lacey look and is lightweight – perfect for Spring! I’m thinking of making mine in either a light pink or a grass green! Perfect for Easter/Ostara!

If you make this before I do, PLEASE post pictures! I’d love to see what you made! When I make it, I’ll be sure to update this post with pictures as well.

Happy Hooking!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Artist Review: Ava Sol

I am actually not sure what to call this post as it’s about the artwork of Ava Sol, and not the artist herself. Still, the work is inspiring and incredibly beautiful. I wasn’t able to contact the artist and get permission to include one of her pieces since I began writing this on the spot after seeing her work, but I will definitely post a link where you can view her work and maybe, order a print.

Ava Sol Artwork

I encourage you to view her work! It’s definitely something different. Let us both know what you think of her work. Suggestions for what to title review posts of artwork would be greatly appreciated!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Writer Igniter

This week’s prompt is using DIY MFA’s Writer Igniter, a random generator that chooses Character, Situation, Prop and Setting. I have chosen to start leaving one of these elements out to make the prompts a bit easier. Last time I did the Writer Igniter prompt I left out the Prop. This time, I’m leaving out the Character. So, here’s the prompt:

Situation: Hosts a Wedding

Prop: Someone else’s spouse

Setting: Dirt country back road

PJ chewed on a piece of straw from one of the hay bales being used to hold up the wedding arch. The arch was two poles with some paper strung across saying Wedding in big silver letters. There was just enough room under the arch for the preacher and the happy couple.

“You’ve done a great job, PJ!” a woman gushed as she hurried up to PJ.

The woman was packed into a blue dress, and it made her look like an overstuffed sausage. Davy did like his wives plump though so who was she to judge.

“Thank you kindly Mrs. Cleete,” she said around her straw and nodded at the woman. “Nice dress.”

Mrs. Cleete blushed and gave her an aw shucks look.

“My husband helped me pick it out,” she simpered and then, she looked concerned. “You don’t think the bride will be late do you?”

“Considerin’ how Bobby Sue’s daddy is guarding Junior by the preacher and Junior’s sisters are guarding Bobby Sue at my house, I doubt it,” PJ replied, and she shot a look at the darkening sky. “Shouldn’t be much longer now. Bobby Sue wanted to get hitched as the sun was going down, and it’s starting to go now.”

There was the sound of an engine roaring down the dirt road alongside the field the wedding was being held at, along with a lot of shouting and yelling. PJ turned to see a big jacked up truck race up the road. It did a donut in the road and then, it ejected the bridesmaids and the bride. PJ shook her head.

“Didn’t think they’d all fit the heifers,” she muttered, watching the girls puling their dresses down and smartening up. The bride was a bit giggly, but she was beaming with joy. She ran over to PJ and threw her arms around her. PJ almost choked on the smell of moonshine coming off the girl.

“You’ve given me a wedding to remember, PJ!” the girl said, managing not to slur her words.

“You’ve given us one to remember too, Bobby Sue,” PJ assured her, letting the girl’s mother peel her off of her before the girl could go on.

They got the wedding underway, and the couple kissed just as the sun set, it’s fiery rays bathing them in its lurid light.

“Well that’s gonna last.” PJ muttered, and she walked away as the couple was being cheered.

I’d love to see what you did with this prompt so please, either post below or share the link to where you posted. I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

YouTube Tuesday: Goobertown Hobbies

Brent is the man behind the paintbrush and minis on this channel, and he’s fun to watch and listen to. I enjoy his sense of humor as well as how down to earth he is. He’s done some really great work. I found about him while I was watching a video where he was helping Neil from Real Time Terrains paint the buildings for a town he was building. This town was part of a massive build that took Neil ONE YEAR to complete!! Talk about commitment!

Brent doesn’t just paint minis, he helps raise funds for charities and donates to charitable raffles – when he’s not playing with paints and glues at the molecular level. You’ll have to check out his channel to find out what I mean about that. Here is the link to his newest video and his continuing love for Warhammer minis:

Check out the link below for the rest of Brent’s videos:

Goobertown Hobbies

If you like his work, let him know. We artists love knowing what you think about our work.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Hybrid Energy Systems and the Weather

Just two weeks before the energy grid in Texas failed due to unprecedented freezing temperatures and other winter related damage including frozen water wells, I was researching hybrid energy systems for a freelancing client of mine. Texas has two small nuclear reactors pumping out about 3,200 megawatts each plus fossil fuel and renewable energy sources so, normally, the grid does its job quite well. No, most of it wasn’t winterized when it was built and serviced since being built. In a state where the snow belt ends just below the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, why would it be?

Personally, I think all these disparate energy producers need to be replaced by at least one hybrid system that uses all of these sources in a more efficient and safe manner. One of the nuclear reactors went offline automatically when its water source froze over, and it couldn’t get any more water. That’s not something that’s being talked about in the media here in Texas. Instead, people are playing politics and the blame game when there’s nothing to blame except the weather. Politically, that’s unacceptable and so, the bullshit continues.

Instead of playing around, Texas researchers need to access the research the United States’ Department of Energy has been working on regarding novel hybrid energy systems. They have three of their top research labs working on this, and they’ve been working on it since Summer of 2020! A paper co-written by the three labs was released in Joule earlier this year, and it outlines the work they’ve been doing.

In a nutshell, the labs are taking a holistic approach to energy generation with the goal of producing cheap, efficient energy that will be available to everyone while producing little to no emissions. Any emissions it does create will be captured and used to make by products needed by the Industry and Manufacturing sectors. They plan to develop a blueprint of a system using only the best parts of all current energy producing systems namely: nuclear, fossil and renewable, maximizing efficiency and output of the energy produced. This means all the related items such as transmission, storage and transportation(to name a few) of this energy will need to be developed to meet the needs of the new system once it’s created.

And it will be created. There is too high a demand for energy that is efficient, cheap and reliable. Winterizing the system will be done even where there has never been snow before because you just never know. Making the system’s housing hurricane/tornado proof wouldn’t hurt either. Best to be prepared.

So that’s my thought for today. Let me know what you think.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Blog Sharing: The Gastronomy Gal

I t’ried to reblog this, but I had to cut and paste because I couldn’t get more than the title to come up. I love this blog!

Blackout Mochi Brownies with Raspberry Filling (GF + Oil-Free)

BY JAMIE LIN ON  • ( 30 COMMENTS )      41 Votesn’

These gluten and oil-free mochi brownies stuffed with raspberry chocolate take brownies to the next level!

If you have followed my website for a while, you must know that I love anything that is mochi (sweet rice flour) related. From my coconut matcha butter bars to mochi baked donuts to red bean and mochi manju, the possibilities are endless! You can catch me experimenting with mochi in all sorts of dishes, so I decided to make brownies with sweet rice flour instead of all-purpose flour because why not? I went a bit above and beyond and did more than just a typical brownie… I made a blackout mochi brownie, stuffed with raspberry chocolate. Whew! That’s a long name, so let me break down each component of the dessert for you.

  • Blackout brownies are brownies made with black cocoa powder which has a smooth, non-bitter and less chocolatey taste. I got inspired by the blackout brownies from a cafe in Singapore called Bundt by Backyard Bakers.
  • Mochi brownies are brownies made with sweet rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. The best thing about these brownies are that they’re gluten and oil free! Perfect for anyone who has some sort of gluten intolerance or allergy. These turned out way better than I expected and I think I may prefer mochi brownies over regular ones.
  • I made my own raspberry chocolate to pipe into these brownies and the flavor combination is spot-on. The brownies are slightly sweet and the raspberry chocolate is a bit sour which complements the sweetness of the brownie so well! My homemade chocolate consists of white chocolate chips, raspberry powder, and a bit of cream. You can also consider using ruby chocolate, a naturally pink chocolate with a fruity taste.

I chose to use black cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder for this recipe since I wanted the dark black to contrast more with the pink chocolate. The common Dutch-processed cocoa powder is brown rather than black.

What is black cocoa powder?

Black cocoa powder, as it sounds, is literally pitch black. It is cocoa powder that has been processed with alkaline and yields a less bitter and less chocolatey taste. I do like it because the flavor isn’t as dense. The most popular use of black cocoa powder is in Oreos. Black cocoa powder is responsible for Oreo’s signature black, not brown, color. I had difficulty finding black cocoa powder in person so I ordered The Cocoa Trader black cocoa powder online.

What is mochi (sweet rice flour)?

Mochi or sweet rice flour is flour high in starch, made from short-grain glutinous rice. It is commonly used in East and Southeast Asian cuisines to make desserts and entrees. The flour produces a chewy and elastic product and is usually used in a dessert, although it can be used in savory dishes as well. Sweet rice flour should not be confused with other flours such as glutinous rice flour or tapioca starch. The most common sweet rice flour is Mochiko, which can commonly be found in the International aisle and Asian grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill also sells sweet rice flour.

How do you make the raspberry chocolate filling?

The raspberry chocolate filling is simply made with white chocolate, raspberry powder, and a bit of heavy cream. You can microwave the mixture or melt over a double broiler (recommended) to prevent scorching. I use Food to Live raspberry powder, which is made from freeze-dried raspberries and is slightly sweet and sour. The filling is viscous rather than solid since you want the filling to ooze out when the brownie is cut open. If you don’t have raspberry powder, you can also use ruby chocolate, naturally pink chocolate made from pink cocoa beans. It has a sour and fruity taste, making it a good alternative for raspberry chocolate.


Blackout Mochi Brownies with Raspberry Filling

yield: 9 brownies (8 x 8 pan)

total cook time: 1 hr. 30 min.

Ingredients:

For brownies:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 185 g. or 1 c. minus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 g. or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 360 g. or 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 260 g. or 1 1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. sweet rice flour (such as Mochiko or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 40 g. or 1/2 c. black cocoa powder (I use The Cocoa Trader black cocoa powder)
  • 2 g. or 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 g. or 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 45 g. or 1/4 c. chocolate chips, optional

For filling:

  • 120 g. or 2/3 c. white chocolate chips
  • 15 g. or 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 20 g. or 1 1/2 tbsp. raspberry powder (I use Food to Live raspberry powder)
  • Additional raspberry powder to dust the top.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  2. Add in the sweet rice flour, cocoa power, baking soda, and salt and whisk until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 in. baking pan linked with parchment paper and bake at 350 F for 55-60 min.
  3. In the meantime, use a double broiler to melt white chocolate chips. In a small bowl, mix together the raspberry powder and heavy cream until a pink thick paste forms. One the white chocolate chips have melted, add in the pink paste and stir until combined. Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature and chill for 20 min. The mixture will thicken but not solidify.
  4. Once the brownies have baked, remove the pan from the oven immediately and let the brownies cool in the pan for 10 min. Then place on a cooling rack to cool for 30 min. Cut the brownies into 9 squares.
  5. Once the raspberry filling has thickened, place into a piping bag attached with a narrow piping tip. Use a small knife to core the inside of the brownie from the side and pipe some raspberry filling into the brownie brownie. Cover the raspberry filling with the cored brownie. OR, if you choose not to cover the cored brownie, you will have the filling exposed which looks great as well. Repeat for the rest of the brownies and then sift some raspberry powder on top of the brownie and enjoy!

Storage notes: The brownies should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend microwaving the brownie for about 10-20 seconds. The chocolate filling may melt a little which is fine.

*Nutrition facts are estimates.

Free Pattern Friday: Pineapple Afghan by MomsLoveofCrochet

This is a gorgeous afghan I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I have it bookmarked, and I check it regularly to make sure it’s still online. It’s a lacy piece made up of two different motifs, and it’s so pretty.

You can check it out here:

Pineapple Afghan

I hope whoever makes this first will post a picture in the comments below. I will still like pictures if I make it first! It’s the first on my bookmark list to make this year.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Website Review: Robinhood

I personally use this investment site. They allow me to buy single stocks if I need them, and they don’t charge me a fee. They make all prices clear, and they are at market price as well. I like how they provide up to date news and information about all their offered stocks. I can add or detract stocks from my watchlist as well. The best thing I like about Robinhood.com is that all their stocks are from companies that are rated green. This means they not only do their best for the environment but also for their employees and their communities. That, to me, are the best reasons for investing in a company.

I have used this site for about a year now, and I’m in for the long term with my investments.

I have heard bad things about this site, but that’s mostly because people mistake it for acorn and similar sites. This site will not sell your stocks without your consent like other sites do. You have to choose which stocks to buy and to sell, they don’t do that for you. They also don’t give you investment advice. They give you information, and that’s it.

Don’t take my word for it, look them over for yourself! Robinhood.com

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!