World parrot day! I hope all you bird lovers out there or parrot owners are having a great day. These are incredible looking creatures with vast wing spans and a large beak. They come in a variety of colours and have amazing personalities. They also get pretty big too.
There is around 372 species of parrot currently known! Most do live in tropical areas, such as the more hotter climates. As mentioned their beaks are quite big, but they are also curved, and they have real strong clawed feet for gripping. Parrots are highly intelligent which might explain why they are so popular among exotic pet keepers, as they can sometimes talk or mimic a human voice, which is something a lot of birds can do. When I say they are popular as pets, budgies and cockatiels are a type of parrot which is commonly kept in the home. The age range is also vast as some species are known to live as long as 80 years! Blimey.
Definitely one of the more interesting species of birds in existence. Please consider looking at the site below for more information.
At school I was taught or made aware of healthy eating and the need to consume at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day. As a child who actually cared about my health, I was interested but hesitant to believe this. I thought to myself, ‘that isn’t a lot,’ and it turned out it wasn’t! What came as more of a shock was the fact that the required ‘portions’ were quite large for each fruit and vegetable, and yet, somehow only counted as 1 portion if you had a bunch of vegetables mixed together. Why? Surely there is something to be understood from this lingo.
On the NHS website, they detail what counts as your 5 a day, some include; 80 grams of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables; and 30 grams of dried fruit (80 grams fresh) – think prunes, raisins, cranberries.
So is that really the truth? Do you need to eat 5 a day which consists of 80 grams of fruit and vegetables? Many people can interpret that how they want. For example, literally eating only 80 grams a day. But what it means is that each portion should be that amount. However I disagree with this, as 80 grams is quite the amount if you weighed it.
An analysis by Harvard does still show that five servings a day of fruit and vegetables offers the strongest health benefits. The research indicated that compared with people who eat two servings a day, people who ate five had the following;
1) a 13% lower risk of death from any cause
2) a 12% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke
3) a 10% lower risk of death from cancer
4) a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
The truth of the matter is that eating this amount of fruit and veg a day is realistic, doable, beneficial and most importantly it is very likely cheaper than processed food. I just had dinner, consisting of at least 5 portions of vegetables, and I’ve had 1 portion of fruit today. But I am not an advocate of eating a lot of fruit, simply because it raises blood sugar and wreaks havoc on your liver, the organ that processes fructose.
Steve Jobs was a fruitarian, and he passed away due to cancer. Now, the reason I mention Jobs is this, he had a liver transplant after his bout of pancreatic cancer. He ‘gamed’ the transplant allocation system to get a liver (probably due to his money). Skeptics doubted he should have received the organ at all, because he had previous treatment for the pancreatic cancer. People suggest the liver was sought as a result of the cancer, which itself made him a poor transplant candidate, as the risk of cancer returning (and it did) meant it could have gone to better use. We can see that eating fruit will impact the liver, since it deals with fructose, and the pancreas – the organ that produces insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar. I’m going to let you draw the connection between a fruitarian diet and liver failure. So, just to reiterate, don’t overload on fruit, it really isn’t worth it. Vegetables are much better.
The main reason people don’t eat the recommended amount is twofold; they know it is simply a recommendation and not anything more, they can’t be forced to do it; and people don’t think it is possible. I think the second part has merit simply because people might forget to eat that amount if they have busy schedules. It comes down to better day planning, perhaps meal planning and advanced preparation which, let us be honest, most people ironically don’t have the time for, or worse cannot be bothered. The health benefits extend far and wide, as adequate – not high – intake of fruit and veg can actually reduce blood pressure, manage diabetes, reduce high cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity and cancer. If we all want to eat more healthily this is a simple and great way to start! See:
It isn’t quite as daunting when you look at the above picture. There is a mixed variety above. But don’t stick to this all day, mix it up. Having multiple bananas isn’t going to be as effective as a banana in the morning and a grapefruit at night. Variety is the key here, and one of the many things people get confused about. You can eat tons of broccoli but it doesn’t mean you’ve had 5 portions, it means you’ve had 1 portion.
Price comes into play too. I guess prices have increased but the fresh fruit and vegetables, for the most part are quite affordable. You aim for 5 portions of each a day, then that is probably going to cost what… £10 a week? Probably less. If cost is an issue, try markets, offering literal dirt cheap veg and fruit, farmers markets which don’t have all that extra cost to cover shipping and to make a profit. Food that is bought in season, like summer fruits, are likely to last considerably longer and are usually cheaper than those bought out of season.
Variety doesn’t just mean variety of food, it also means how you eat them. Boring fruit and vegetables you say? Why not make a smoothie and drink them! You can fry vegetable, heck, you could fry a banana if you wanted. You can make something like a bean salad with balsamic vinegar to give it a kick. Add a variety of sauce too. I found so many sauces that work well with vegetables, not just gravy for your Sunday roast either. I’m talking about mixing it up, trying horse radish, caramelised onion (yes I put this on vegetables), so explore the world. Make your own with vegetables!
At the end of the day if you want to eat healthy you have to start taking active steps to achieve that goal. Sometimes the smallest steps can be effective. The first step is always the hardest. I no longer eat animal products and don’t want to go on about being vegan, but it does have benefits beyond eating meat. I think this is my preferred diet. Don’t get me wrong I am tempted occasionally, but am more motivated to eat plant based for my health. It costs a lot less too.
Chamomile and honey is a widely used drink today. In the past as far back as the ancient times, chamomile was used as a healing remedy, and so too honey. Monks advocated during the 8th-8th century C.E for the consumption of beverages that were non-alcoholic which meant they were coming in contact with the average person who felt the same way. It is said to be a sleep promoter, inducing relaxation. It tastes, okay.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it has more benefits than lavender tea for example, because personally I found more help infusing honey with lavender. But the tea does have many benefits:
1) It can alleviate colds and sore throats
2) reduce headaches
3) aids stomach cramps
4) assists in managing gastrointestinal and IBS ailments
5) regulates blood flow
6) heals wounds faster
7) helps flu and cough symptoms
8) aids sleep disorders
9) regulate blood sugar levels
You can buy chamomile and honey as 1 tea. Or, you can buy chamomile tea and add honey. Whatever your choice, I recommend good quality brands and quality (preferable fresh and from actual bee owners) honey. I used to buy an occasional jar of honey from the local market, which was 10x better than store brands. It was great because they had so many flavours. I also don’t advocate for supermarket honey or things like runny honey. They are simply loaded with things. Usually the way the bees are kept makes a huge difference to the quality too. The variety I used to buy was acacia honey which was lovely. Fortnum and Mason do their own too. Manuka honey is supposedly touted for the many benefits too.
Enjoy your tea and divulge in some classical music! Thank you and have a wonderful day.
I decided to turn my Xbox one on the other day as I hadn’t played it for a while, and fearing that I’d be swept into the abyss that is nostalgia, I riskily loaded up the downloaded version of Dead Island: Definitive Edition. I enjoyed playing it originally on the Xbox 360 back in 2011 and onward, and spent many hours replaying it because a) it is a huge game both in scale and storyline b) I loved it. You don’t find games like this, with the exception of Dying Light, anymore. Both Dead Island and Dying Light were created by Techland, although some might argue Dead Island was a split effort.
When I got the Xbox one in 2017 and played Dying Light, my 3rd game on that console, I was immediately impressed. However it didn’t have the glitz and glamour of the luxurious tropical island that we saw in Dead Island. When the campaign in Dead Island was over I was keen to explore more, so went and bought Dead Island Riptide I think sometime late 2017, but am not sure. I enjoyed it. The other day however, I found that the ultimate edition includes the Ryder White campaign which was a great surprise for me! I don’t remember playing this but recall watching YouTube videos. So I began to play.
Anyone familiar with the game will know the island is split into big sections, all accessed as individual segments, and all massive. Ryder White campaign started in the run down slums of the city of Moresby. The storyline so far has been more military focused with more guns which is great. Don’t go dump on the graphics based on the below picture. The game still stands up as being well made, great graphic, storyline, and characters. You know, this is what gaming should be. I think it is time I go and buy the new Dying Light 2, since Dead Island 2 never materialised and the trailer released in 2014… FML.
A part of me doesn’t want to go back on the console, since it just brings me to a state of mind where I feel good. That might sound strange, but if I nurture that, then I’ll be on it as a result because I feel good. You feel me? Yes. I try to keep gaming in the evening so that I am not stuck on it all day. I think my childhood game days are long gone, so are the gaming days of my early 20s, which I don’t regret. They never took up that much time anyway. Always at night!
After the disappointment that was Back 4 Blood, which I couldn’t be bothered to go back and play since December (not kidding) I don’t think I’ll review it either, I’ll probs rest my feeble hopes on Dying Light 2 after the surprise campaign on Dead Island. If I knew how I’d upload myself playing… but I don’t!
“The film had its world premiere at the 48th Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021, and was released in limited theatres on November 19, 2021, by A24. It has received acclaim from critics, with praise for its performances, direction, and cinematography.”
“Johnny is a radio journalist traveling the country with his producing partners, interviewing children about their lives and their thoughts on the future. While in Detroit he calls his sister Viv; they had not spoken for the past year since their mother’s death from dementia. Viv asks Johnny if he can come to Los Angeles and watch her nine-year-old son Jesse, as she has to travel to Oakland to care for her estranged husband Paul struggling with mental illness.”
A dramatic and family based movie, one with a music score, direction and more that you don’t find in many movies now. Classical music to my taste and I suppose that works well. I watched it on Amazon Prime as it is recently added. A low key movie for Joaquin Phoenix because I personally, hadn’t heard of it until yesterday.
What we have is disconnected family. Johnny is already trying to connect with children about their own experiences and expectations in life, delving into big questions, not usually the sort people ask children. Like, ‘what do you think happens after you die,’ and ‘do you think this is real.’ I suppose the thought revolution has to begin somewhere. For the most part, adults don’t bother with these ideas as they would rather live in ignorance. So, getting into the care of his nephew, which I found to be quite heartbreaking. Why? Because the kid has been having issues at home, his mother is worried about his absent father, who is taken unwell, to a treatment facility. We don’t actually get all the answers as to what is going on with his father, but we can assume it is not good.
Naturally Johnny and Jesse have their differences, as Johnny tries to connect. But it does take some time. Yet with the movie shot in black and white, and the musical score, it sort of feels like it is going for a whole take on ‘what is life’, so that we as an audience can see what it is. Dramatic yes, the child Jesse is not to keen on opening up, but despite that Johnny has only good intentions in his heart and wants to try and be a good role model. Jesse is quite the unbearable kid at times, having his tantrums, running off etc. Johnny comes to a sad realisation that he cannot take care of Jesse any longer, because he thinks he is spoiled. I found it quite difficult to watch this part. There is a lot to read between the lines. Jesse doesn’t even want to go back to his mother, understandable I guess. It leaves Johnny in the position of either keep looking after him or send him back, but he sticks with it.
They are in Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans for most of the movie, but most time is spent focused on the interaction and chat of the two. Johnny is trying to learn about children, finding Jesse to be more withholding of emotions. The way the movie is produced and delivered is slightly different too. It makes use of books, with the the title and author shown on our screen as it is being read in the movie. I found this great, because we can go find those books if we want. They are for children, but the messages in ‘starchild’ or something like that, a book read to Jesse, delivers the message that we come from nothing, and will return to nothing. I think it’s more of an existential scene because I felt Johnny was the one struggling with the idea of dying alone. That is why the ending is difficult for him. Jesse will go and because of the distance, life and other variables is unlikely to see him for some time, although the movie seems to suggest that Jesse will forget, and they might never remember the time together.
It is a dramatic movie, about emotions, family, connection, existence, and the more deep questions like why are we here, and what do we need from life? I’m sure you will appreciate that this is considerably different to Joaquin Phoenix previous movies. I enjoyed the movie, it actually had substance and morality and these deep ideas about empathy and compassion, existence which we don’t see in life that much. Movies have taken on shallow meanings, however, I thought the acting, directing, delivery, scriptwriting and music and scene selection made for an effective art piece.
Welcome to Flash Fiction Saturday! This weeks challenge is to write a 50 word flash fiction story, and the theme is anything! I hope you don’t mind me putting this on this site, because my author website hasn’t got any traffic so seems like posting there is a waste of time.
Breezy wind whipped across my face, I lurked beside the brim of the snow coated lake. Shimmers of moonlight rippled off the edge of the water, the land expanded for miles. What is that? The howling wind, gushes of ice as it scrapes against the cabin wood. Am I alone?
Why don’t you have a go? I’m happy to continue this on psychedelicwizard.org because it has more followers and gets more traffic.
It’s not about garnering likes or comments so please have a go in the comments, because I’d love to see your flash fiction. But if you did like this then why not like and comment and share? Drop links below to your own short stories. ❤
The world is in pain and we must change now to prevent a worldwide fatal incident which will be detrimental to humanity.
The time for being selfish is over. We are now at a point in human existence whereby we cannot live as we currently do and not expect something bad to happen. In life you have a series of slow burning problems, with much bigger problems like war, famine, disease and extinction of species just to name a few. There are international organisations out there doing the work to help and save the planet and the people on it.
Some of the biggest issues are these: malnutrition and hunger (795m people not receiving the correct amount), aids (epidemic, 2016 1 million died from it),malaria, air pollution, lack of human rights, lack of education, gender inequality, conflict and war, displacement and global poverty (1 billion children live in poverty).
Organisations trying to improve and eradicate these issues include: Oxfam, doctors without borders, food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations, human rights watch, Bill and Melinda gates foundation, red cross, save the children, the Borgen project, the world bank, United Nations development programme, United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF), world food programme, world health organisation, world wide fund for nature (WWF).
What could you do to improve things? I would suggest research and education to schools, colleges and universities worldwide so that people are fully aware of the issues. I am not talking about telling them and then not doing anything. I am talking radical shifts, offering programmes to young people who want to go over to the disadvantaged, and suffering countries and help. Allow them the opportunity to go, fund the programmes well. It might incentivise the human race to become more compassionate. You can offer similar things in developed countries, programmes where people can help the homeless, the poor, the sick etc. Sure they could go work for a charity, but the majority don’t have hands on roles, they don’t work directly with the issues.
It results in a distanced vision of what the issues are, without really seeing them for themselves. The problems start with people not caring, because if they did the world would be a better place. The problem is also the mindset that things can’t change. If they couldn’t change then the organisations out there doing the work wouldn’t bother. We’ve all seen the adverts which proclaim to be helping, but when we see the results in person, it makes it so much more effective. It sparks ‘the inner good’ within the human heart, the compassionate desire to aid other beings. If the world is in pain, which means humans are in pain too, then we need to start being better people.
I went back to Bramhall, Cheshire today. It really is quite the lovely (expensive) suburban area. Returning to a shop selling oils, and purchasing Rose oil, I was almost set. But I’d spotted books outside a charity shop which needed perusing. I found 2: Conquest & Crusade by written by Stewart Binns and published by Penguin Books. On the way back I bought myself some lilies! (lilac?)
I was drawn to them as medieval history has to be one of my favourite time periods. I am also writing about it on my own site under Medieval England History where you can read all about the various fun things in medieval times. Conquest is set in the 1066 battle of Hastings. Crusade is set in 1072, so not that long afterwards. Both very interesting times in history. Well documented. No doubt they will be great reads as both are around 500 pages. They were books which you give a donation of your choosing, so I did.
Now moving onto the topic of mental health. Sadly I have struggled with quite bad depression for several months. Before that, yes it was present but it took such a nosedive. Anyway I am now commenced on an antidepressant called fluoxetine. I was told it helps with sleep too.
A lot of people have suffered depression and especially the last few years, with everything ten times worse, more people than ever have developed isolation and depression. I am glad to now be on this, to finally give it a go. I have tried some before, but it wasn’t great. I just hope this helps. I’m initially on a 2 week course.
It would be good to connect with others on this treatment or those struggling I already had people reach out to email@example.com and enjoyed connecting so far.
I have a novella coming out in summer – you already saw that post here*. It keeps me going. It is also a bridge between my 2nd and 3rd book. I haven’t written the 3rd book yet, but the summer release will introduce back to Beach Town. You know, I love that town. At least I used to, before zombie apocalypse came and ruined it.