E-Merging

Today I took a leap of faith (of great risk more likely) and decided to merge two of my blogs together. That is this one and “It’s a Small World”. It seems the posts are now spread throughout my allaboutwordswa posts. The only way I could be sure that the merge worked was to find some images from the other site. This one below is a flower from a chilli plant. It is not taken with a conventional camera but a tool that can be used in the field for enthusiasts – it actually magnifies the image up to 500 times. The image above is of a blueberry.

Chilli

Here are a few more examples 🙂

“Nature’s Geometry: Succulents” by Russel Ray

Just wanted to share this post by Russel Ray – I have purchased the book and love it 🙂

Russel Ray Photos

"Nature's Geometry: Succulents" front cover

Several people told me that they would like to have a copy of my book but postage from the U.S. to their countries was too expensive. So………..

I have been trying to make a “Nature’s Geometry: Succulents” flip book but no luck. They either cannot make a good flipbook from a PDF, or they want thousands of dollars and several months to re-format my book to fit their requirements. Nope.

I do have a very nice PDF that works on Windows, iPad, and Mac, now in my Etsy shop with my printed book. Print book is $35 with free shipping to U.S. locations, and the PDF is $15 as an instant download. Both will make great Christmas gifts!

Here’s the link to my Etsy shop:

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RusselRayPhotos

Nature's Geometry: Succulents back cover

"Nature's Geometry: Succulents" review

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The new normal

I really enjoyed this post from maylynno. Wanted to share it as it expresses how I am feeling about the changes at the moment!

mostly philosophy

TOPSHOT-BRITAIN-HEALTH-VIRUS photo by livescience.com

This new concept is everywhere now, underpinning new behaviours, new reflexes, new apprehensions and a new way of life. The so called “new normal’ is a normal reaction to an aftermath.

Knowing this fact, why to hate the new reality?

Reality is a complex concept. The etymology is Latin, res, which means “thing” (for example, the word republic comes from res publica, public thing. A dictatorship calling itself a republic is a contradiction of words). Therefore, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic notion of them.

Zooming in, it is clear that reality is made of different layers: social reality, political reality, public reality, personal reality, environmental reality, individual reality and so on. A repetitive collective action defines the norm or what is normal or abnormal. Wearing a mask has become a new normal as a planetary and…

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Day 22 Creativity Challenge

For more info on my Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic is A Poem

FAIRY MUSIC by Rose Fyleman

When the fiddlers play their tunes you may sometimes hear,

Very softly chiming in, magically clear,

Magically high and sweet, the tiny crystal notes

Of fairy voices bubbling free from tiny fairy throats.

When birds at break of day chant their morning prayers,

Or on sunny afternoons pipe ecstatic airs,

Comes an added rush of sound to the silver din –

Songs of fairy troubadours gaily joining in.

When athwart the drowsy fields summer twilight falls,

Through the tranquil air there float elfin madrigals,

And in wild November nights, on the winds astride,

Fairy hosts go rushing by, singing as they ride.

Every dream that mortals dream, sleeping or awake,

Every lovely fragile hope – these the fairies take,

Delicately fashion them and give them back again

In tender, limpid melodies that charm the hearts of men.

South West Australian Wildflowers

I did a blog recently about the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition and my involvement in promoting the event that was held last Thursday and Friday.

Below is a gallery of most of the flowers on show at the Exhibition. There are strict rules about what flowers can be picked in the wild and the quantities allowed so as not to impact on their sustainability for future years.

I found it impossible to choose just a few! Our local Geographe Community Landcare Nursery had some native plants on sale – the bottom few photos.

Reflections on my philosophy classes

Over the past few weeks we have been discussing David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).

I have to say I have found them at the same time, very hard work and yet brilliant. If I had just read about them in the book we are using I would never have grasped some of their concepts but having a group discussion about them was really stimulating.

David Hume spoke about causation and that we can never assume that because we observe something happening once, we can’t be sure that it will happen the same way again! Lots of talk about billiard balls.

From Kant I learnt about the Categorical Imperative – I understand it to mean that if I need to determine if an action is moral I need to consider how it would be if it was a universal law that the action be carried out by anyone/everyone.

And then there was Hegel. I found him the most difficult to understand and yet the most fascinating. Hegel’s philosophy covered such a wide scope. I think I almost understood his “thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis” but don’t ask me to explain it here. Again, the group discussion really helped my understanding.

Next fortnight we will discuss Bertrand Russell and I am looking forward to it!

Machiavelli Continued …

We had two lively discussions last Thursday on Machiavelli. He is mostly remembered for the words “the ends justify the means” but I don’t believe he actually ever used those words specifically. In his book, The Prince, he develops something of an instruction manual for a Prince who is about to lead his kingdom.

There are around ten people in each group competing to share their ideas. I try hard to let everyone have a chance to talk.

It was inevitable that we would end up discussing some well known politicians such as Donald Trump and Theresa May. We also tried to discern if Machiavelli really supported unscrupulous behaviour or whether he was just “telling it like it was/is”. We generally believed he wrote from his knowledge and experience within the government of the day.

Since Thursday I see so much Machiavelli wherever I look. People in power presenting an acceptable face to the world but barely hiding some of the measures they take to continue in their roles.

It could be argued that we all have a dark side or shadow but hopefully most people work towards bettering themselves and not at refining their dark arts!

What makes you happy?

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Today we met and considered happiness (the Greek word is eudaimonia) as described by Greek philosopher, Aristotle. We each talked a little about what makes us happy. There was a lot of common ground with friends, family and nature featuring highly. I will include some of the ideas we looked at today:

Happiness comes from discovering who you are, developing your distinctive talents to work for the overall benefit of others as well as yourself.

Aristotle’s way of achieving happiness: activities that are in accordance with our virtues and the person having a noble purpose in those activities.

Happiness is having a sense of well-being that is achieved through good living. (Dr Martin Seligman).

According to Aristotle, ethics is about how people should best live, while the study of politics is from the perspective of the law-giver, looking at the good of the whole community (Wikipedia).

We talked about happiness and reflected on other positive emotions of which there are many examples as explored through the Positive Psychology field.

JOY, GRATITUDE, SERENITY, INTEREST, HOPE, PRIDE, AMUSEMENT, INSPIRATION, AWE, ELEVATION, ALTRUISM, SATISFACTION, RELIEF, AFFECTION, CHEERFULNESS, SURPRISE, CONFIDENCE, ADMIRATION, ENTHUSIASM, EAGERNESS, EUPHORIA, CONTENTMENT, ENJOYMENT, OPTIMISM, LOVE

(https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/positive-emotions-list-examples-definition-psychology)

There was plenty of lively discussion and different points of view which made it all the more interesting. Next time we meet we will be looking at Machiavelli.

Philosophy 2019

Next week I will be starting the Let’s Talk Philosophy course for our local University of the Third Age.

This year we will be using the book “50 Philosophy Classics” by Tom Butler Brown. We hope to cover just ten philosophers between now and June. It will really be an introduction to each of the chosen philosophers and we will enjoy some stimulating conversation and hopefully a few laughs!

I usually include a quote by a philosopher as a basis for discussion. Our first one is Aristotle and the quote is:

Aristotle 384BC – 322BC

Do you have any thoughts on the quote? I would love to hear them!