Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Good bye, Gjøvik!

  • Why didn't you want to understand me?
  • Why didn't you want to love my family?
  • Why didn't you want to see my beautiful daughter grow up?
My wife wanted to fill our garden with flowers, and she made a good start. In the Gjøvik song the town is told to be a place of flowers. So why didn't this town make a fertile ground for her?

Another of my wife's makings

In my eyes my daughter is the most beautiful of flowers. Thank you very much to Trollhaugen kindergarten! You gave her a lot of love, and she loved you very much! You gave her a good start in life. Also thanks for the friends she got there! I'm extremely sorry she has to leave you!

One of my images of Gjøvik on Wikipedia. Before me the town of Gjøvik was really badly introduced on Wikipedia, the article of Gjøvik was a shame compared to the ones of her siblings around Lake Mjøsa, the towns of Hamar and Lillehammer. I'm sure my gallery of Gjøvik and the improvements made from my gallery has meant a lot for marketing and goodwill of the town. So that we have to leave is a shame!

Two times before we were forced to leave our home here in Gjøvik, because of cigarette smoke. This time we have to leave because of anti-biophilia. It's told that all good things are 3, but for us the third time was the worst. So now I give up the town of Gjøvik, as we seems to be like cursed here.

My vision was to make Gjøvik a center for Pocket Neighborhoods in Norway! I was even once contacted by Mr. Ross Chapin himself, the "primus motor" of the pocket neighborhood - movement of the USA, as he had found interest of this blog.

I really cannot understand how anybody can hate and disgust something as beautiful as pocket neighborhoods!?!

Why do Norwegians hate pocket neighborhoods?

Why do Norwegians embrace Suburban Hell? Here a Suburban Hell from Gjøvik.

It's like Norwegians are unable to connect quality of life with anything else than what the fabulous urban writer Nathan Lewis has named Suburban Hell. We only import the worst of american culture, like Suburban Hell. Pocket neighborhoods are now popping up all over the USA, while in Norway we continue like madmen with building a Suburban Hell of our whole country! Suburban Hell can only be compared with junk-food, another crappy idea from the USA.

Good bye, Gjøvik! You failed us for the third time. We have to leave you behind now. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry!

My pregnant wife cried because she has to leave the house she praised with flowers.

And our dream of a pocket neighborhood.

The only thing we can do now is to keep the vision of Christopher Alexander burning in our souls:

A New Kind of World

This is the world I want to create for my daughters, and all children on Earth.

A New Kind of World

By Christopher Alexander

Published at P2P-Foundation on August 4, 2014

  • A world in which we experience, daily, our unity with the universe

  • A world which is made like nature – and in which we are daily making nature

  • A world in which the daily process of making, adapting, and deepening is a vital part of our lives

  • A world in which there is something to believe in – not a religious thing – but a believable vision of God as the unity behind all things which guides us and impels us to act in certain ways. God not conceived of as a construct of any organized religion, but as a fact of nature and its wholeness.

  • A social and political world which contains (and explicitly provides) the freedom for us to act in this way – something we rarely have today

  • A world in which we feel the cultural trace of human beings before us who made and loved every part

  • A world in which we value ourselves according to the beauty of the places we have carved out, and modified, and taken care of, and in which we have woven our lives together with that of other people, animals, and plants

  • A world in which buildings are shaped according to these principles, and laws governing the shaping of buildings in this way, are the laws most precious to us, and those to which we give most weight

  • A world in which we have an entirely new understanding of what it means for the world to be sustainable: not a technical matter, but a matter in which respect for the whole governs

  • Above all, there is a world in which meaning exists. The deadly and frightening state in which we do not know why we are here, is replaced by a world in which there is a natural and accurate and truthful picture — an answer to the question ‘why am I here’ – one that is not made up, but that stems from and accords with the true nature of things.

How Individual Health is Connected to Community Health

By Jay Walljasper from On the Commons. Published at P2P-Foundation here.

Public health and community health linked in three projects in the Twin Cities

There is growing recognition in the medical field that maintaining good health means more than taking care of yourself and getting regular medical check ups. Healthy living conditions and strong community cohesion foster healthy neighborhoods, while inequality, discrimination, crime, pollution, traffic, isolation, and a sense of powerlessness contribute to disease. It’s difficult to improve people’s overall health without addressing the social, economic and racial issues where they live.

The image is from Sørum Økogrend, Norway

Indeed, you can think of health as a commons in which we all have a stake in maintaining.

A book by Walljasper

In many low-income communities, for instance, residents make more visits to emergency rooms and participate less in preventive health programs. There is less access to health care and wellness services. Fewer people carry health insurance that pays for doctor visits, surgery and medication. Local stores stock less wholesome food and fewer exercise facilities are available. The stress from financial pressures and holding down two or three jobs can makes people more susceptible to disease, accidents and chemical dependency. The close social connections that have been shown to strengthen health are often missing because neighbors move frequently.

“Your zip code affects your health as much as your genetic code,” notes Mary Wheeler, program officer at the Twin Cities office of the Local Initiative Support Corporation, a national organization that helps communities working collaboratively on transformative solutions to their problems.
Indeed, you can think of health as a commons in which we all have a stake in maintaining.
“The social component of health is as important as the medical component,” Wheeler adds. “When you look at how much we are spending on health care in this country you can see that investing in community health can only help us.”

Limiting Noise

Excerpt from Charles Siegel's book Unplanning, chapter 7. I strongly recommend to visit Siegel's Preservation Institute for reading free e-books and other resources.

Published at P2P-Foundation on August 31, 2014.

Noise is another telling example of the failure of growth. All through the nineteenth and twentieth century, the middle class tried to move to quieter neighborhoods by moving to lower density suburbs. Until World War I, they succeeded: from the walking city to the streetcar suburb, middle-class neighborhoods did become pleasanter and quieter. But during the twentieth century, so many new sources of noise appeared that modern suburbia is noisier than the much denser streetcar suburbs were one hundred years ago.

It should be obvious by now that the only way to reduce noise is by limiting its sources!

For example, cities and suburbs could cut their noise levels significantly by banning gasoline-powered gardening equipment. Electric edgers and electric chain saws work just as well, and there are always electrical outlets within reach on urban or suburban lots; there are also rechargeable battery-powered lawn mowers available. Some cities already have banned gasoline powered leaf blowers, because people refuse to put up with this new nuisance; the next step is to go back and get rid of the old nuisances that people accepted in the days when they thought less about the quality of life.

Some sources of noise can be banned at the municipal level, but we also need strict Federal standards to limit noise from motorcycles, garbage trucks, construction equipment, trucks with refrigeration equipment, and the like. Federal noise standards were developed in the 1970s, but they were never implemented, because the Reagan administration said they would slow economic growth: no doubt Reagan believed that people needed faster growth so they could afford to move to suburbia and get away from the city's noise.

A Norwegian suburb. A paradise of Reagan.

Likewise, if we want any quiet in our parks, we need to restrict the use of jet skis, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles and other motorized recreational equipment. Americans already spend too much time pushing buttons and getting instant gratification, and we would be better off with outdoor recreation that requires more physical effort, such as canoeing, sailing, hiking, and bicycling. Environmentalists have had some success in banning off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and jet skis.

We would be better off with outdoor recreation that requires more physical effort, such as canoeing

Finally, if we want any quiet in either our cities or our countryside, we need quieter cars and trucks. Hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, are much quieter than ordinary cars. Likewise, hybrid turbine buses reduce the noise and pollution from diesel buses dramatically, and we need similar technologies to replace conventional diesel trucks.
Noise is the number one reason that people give for wanting to live in lower density neighborhoods.
Vehicles are the single greatest source of noise in suburbs and cities. Noise is the number one reason that people give for wanting to live in lower density neighborhoods. Noise is also responsible for some of our worst suburban design - such as subdivisions surrounded by sound walls. There will be limits to the popularity of neotraditional neighborhoods until we do something to reduce traffic noise: many people will not want to live in denser neighborhoods if they have to listen to neighbors revving up their cars and motorcycles.

Many people will not want to live in denser neighborhoods if they have to listen to neighbors revving up their cars and motorcycles. Image: Basher Eyre

Noise is a clear example of the failure of growth. Through the nineteenth century, growth and new technology such as electric streetcars allowed people to escape from the cities to lower density neighborhoods that were quieter. During the twentieth century, new technology allowed people to escape to even lower density neighborhoods, but new technology also made these neighborhoods noisier. By now, it should be clear that political control of technology is needed to give us quiet neighborhoods or even a quiet countryside.

Even on the countryside cars have taken over

Feeling Must be the Clue to Wholeness

Here is another example of the way feeling must be the clue to wholeness, when we seek to make something alive. I once had an interesting discussion with Sim Can der Ryn. He was arguing that feeling is not enough. In his view it was too vague, too emotional. For instance, he said: “In making a sustainable fishpond which works, you just have to concentrate on the facts about fish life, water, plants, and so on, ecological facts about a healthy pond.“

I told him: “It is true that these ecological facts are a necessary part of our knowledge, our understanding of how to make a pond. And it is true that many of us know too little about what it requires to make the world sustainable, harmonious in its biological and chemical detail, and so on. But suppose, indeed, that we are trying to build a fishpond. The facts about the ecology of the pond – no matter how detailed by themselves – will not tell us how to make that pond good. Even if we have theories and facts about sustainability, edge plants, fish, breeding, water temperature, types of weed, types of insect, and so on – even with all of this we will not succeed in making the pond have life unless we also have a clear inner feeling – a subliminal perception, and awareness, and anticipation – of what life in that pond will be like.” That means we must have a dim awareness within us, of what a pond with life is like, as a whole and in its feeling. 
Image: Rronenow
If we do have that feeling of life clear (for the fishpond), we can then use it to guide us. It will help us move towards a pond which does have life. But if we do not have such a feeling clear in us, no amount of knowledge about ecology and sustainability will get us to a pond that has life in the sense I am discussing.

We shall just be left scrambling mentally, churning about, marshaling our facts, making experiments perhaps – but still not clarified by an inner vision which tells us what to do. Building the pond, stocking it, putting weeds in it, placing bushes around it, we need to be guided by an inner vision of good life in this pond. We must have a feeling, in us, which will reliably tell us when we are going in the right direction, and when we are going in the wrong direction.

It is ultimately this inner feeling, this inner vision of feeling, which is our reliable (and necessary) guide. In short, we must be able to imagine the pond – not as a copy of another pond, or with detailed factual vision about dimension, depth, plants. We must be able to summon up, inside us, an inner sensation of the feeling of a healthy pond, which makes us remember or create the kind of feeling which a good fishpond has: the slow movement of the fish, the edge, the light on the water, the kind of things that may be present at the edge – all this, not in biological or architectural detail – but as a morphological feeling which allows me, in my inner eye, with my eyes closed, to remember, breathe, the kind of soft and subtle feeling of life which such a fishpond requires. It is that vision of feeling which, above all, must guide me. - The Process of Creating Life, by Christopher Alexander, page 375-376


Introduction in Norwegian:

Hva Alexander beskriver i dette vidunderlige lille tekststykket er forskjellen mellom ut- og inngruppa, hvor henholdsvis de gode eller de destruktive kreftene i handikapprinsippet kommer til overflaten. 

Handikapprinsippet og de to sidene av dette er i dag akseptert evolusjonsvitenskap, disse kreftene styrer all interaksjon mellom mennesker. Evolusjonsbiologen Terje Bongard forklarer dette i en episode hos Verdibørsen 29.06.2013: Vi er ikke snille i store samfunn!

Lever man i et inngruppenabolag vil utfoldelsen av helhet gjennom de 15 transformasjonene være den naturligste ting av verden, og man behandler sine medmennesker som seg selv, ja til og med bedre enn seg selv. Her kan de vidunderligste ting skje, og man kommer ikke kun nær hverandre, men også naturen og det store "Jeg-et", hva Alexander kaller "the I".

Lever man derimot i et utgruppenabolag kan intet skje, og hva som skulle vært kommer aldri til overflaten. Dette fordi den mørke siden av kraften har tatt overhånd.

Blir du definert som et utgruppe-menneske, ja kanskje til og med som et utgruppe-monster, er du derfor fortapt. Da kan du aldri komme nær dine medmennesker, naturen og i siste instans Gud eller "the I", der du bor. Og slik vil ditt liv bli tappet for mening, og din livskraft tørker ut.

Min erfaring er at introverte og stygge mennesker lettere blir definert som utgruppe-personer enn ekstroverte og vakre. Vårt samfunn dyrker ekstroverthet og skjønnhet ut i det perverse. Selv er jeg svært introvert og har et utseende godt under middels, noe jeg har fått lide mye for. 

Introverte har også en mye sterkere biofil natur enn ekstroverte, i den forstand at vi reagerer langt sterkere på alle former for sanseinntrykk. Selv tror jeg mye av det hatet til biofilia vi ser i samfunnet, skyldes nettopp denne koblingen mellom biofili eller naturvarhet og introverthet.

Original text here. Published at P2P-Foundation here.

A note from Christopher Alexander

Human relationship. There are two fundamentally different ways of understanding the word “relationship,” when it comes to human beings.

Image: Øyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons
One of these ways is conventional: this can describe the relationships you have with a shopkeeper, or a policeman, or a banker, or, in very sad cases, with a parent, a spouse, a son or daughter. These relationships are instrumental relationships; they are typically defined by convention – by the rules of behavior as set out by custom or by society.

The other way is personal: the essence of the relationship is that you seek, and find, a connection; you treat the other person as nearly as possible to the way you treat yourself, and you strive constantly to treat the other person more as you treat yourself. You recognize, and slowly come to feel, that you are part of the other person, and that the other person is a part of you, so that the two of you are gradually experiencing each other as an indivisible self.
This is not only something that happens with a person who is very dear to you. You can have this quality of relationship even sitting next to a person on a park bench for only a few moments, when the exchange is something real.

* * *

Oddly enough, there is a connection between the process of unfolding, the use of generative codes, and the character of the human relationships you choose.
  • If you carefully build relationship, in the second, truer sense, one by one, step by step, with each person you encounter, then gradually the process and understanding of unfolding, will emerge, almost by itself.
  • I know this to be true, just from experience. Somehow the deep understanding of how things in the world unfold, emerges from each person in a group, naturally, when there relationships are real.
  • It is, I think, because when relationship is real, each person feels able to express what is going on without fear. There is no inhibition from mental constraint; the notion of what must happen in a process of development is not clutched, fearful or uptight, but rather what seems right and natural can flow from the situation.
  • That is, of course, what happens as things unfold.
  • It arises from acceptance of reality, without imposing mental structures.
In any case I do know from experience that when people are in this kind of relationship, understanding of unfolding then slowly pervades the situation, and the more beautiful and natural structures are allowed to appear in the land. On the other hand, if the relationships that are present are formal, or institutional, relationships then acceptance of what is real is not allowed to exist, and the resulting mesh of mental constraint is so rigid, sometimes even slightly nasty, the most ordinary things are not allowed to appear.

* * *

Unfolding of life then appears of its own accord, almost automatically. Generative codes, and the unfolding which proceeds from them, then appear of their own accord, almost automatically, simply as a direct result of the personal relationships which govern people’s minds.

This is a very beautiful result.

And, sadly, vice versa. In institutional settings, governmental settings, many business settings, the reverse is true. Since the setting guarantees that people cannot feel for each in a way that allows true things to be felt and said, then the result, so often – far, far too often – is a scrambled mess. Intellect cannot solve it. Living environments can hardly ever be born.

This is a very sad result, but true.

* * *

As I get older, what has astonished me, lately, is the dramatic speed of the effect. One beats one’s head against the wall, for years, within the institutional and business context, and never quite manages to loosen it sufficiently, in human terms, to get the desired results. But if you start, without worrying about the results so much, and focus attention only on the building of these true and personal relationships, one by one, then, as if a lever in a mountain stream had unleashed a cascade of water, the process of natural and harmonious unfolding is loosened and happens as if by a miracle.

This is so strong, it is worth taking very seriously indeed, and worth putting it first.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Leon Krier: Architecture in the Age of Austerity & Print Open Source Solar Panels in Your Backyard

This lecture by Leon Krier is one of the most informative I’ve ever watched on the field of architecture, each minute is a flash of insight. Great architecture is just so simple, maybe this is why it is so difficult to achieve for modern man? We are born with the language of architecture, it’s universal, but we lost it with the coming of Modernism. Luckily, as Krier states, flowers have not become modernists.

There is a short introduction in Spanish, but Krier speaks in English language. The theme is architecture in the age of austerity, and we learn that modern architecture is only possible because of abundant energy and big machines. With the decline of civilization we’ll have no other choice than a return to traditional architecture, which is one of the aspects that will make our future better than the present, in spite of all the turmoil we’ll face.

First I wanted to write a summary of this lecture, but I found that too immense a task, as it’s filled with mind breaking stuff. I’m too overwhelmed and need time to absorb all this information. Just listen to what Krier has to say about skyscrapers at about 45 minutes into the video, and even the most fanatic skyscraper lover will have to admit this is one of the most stupid inventions in human history.

I know that people like Nikos A. Salingaros and Joseph Redwood-Martinez see Leon Krier as a giant, and after watching this lecture I’ve come to the same conclusion. Krier gives hope for a return to sanity for humanity. Beauty and sanity are the same thing, and the only thing that can give us back love for Earth.

The Open Source Solar Pocket Factory seems like a game-changer:
Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working restlessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels. The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Neuroergonomics, Urban Design & Sociogenesis, by Stefano Serafini

Introduction in Norwegian:

Denne artikkelen av Stefano Serafini ble skrevet som en introduksjon til International Society of Biourbanism (ISB) sin sommerskole for 2014. Men det er en meget viktig artikkel, som også for meg inneholdt nyttige nye begrep.

I dagens arkitektur og byplanlegging blir det ikke tatt hensyn til biofilia, bevisbasert design og neuroergometri. Sosiogenesis, menneskelig interaksjon, er avhengig av myriader av velfungerende mønstre og biofile omgivelser. Gode neuroergonomiske bomiljø er en forutsetning for at mennesker skal bevare en god psykisk og fysisk helse, for slik å kunne bry seg om hverandre og naturen. Dette gjelder i forhold til alle former for støy, lys, lukt, stråling, farge, form, materialbruk etc.

Fungerer ikke de neuroergonomiske omgivelsene kan det ikke oppstå gode mellommenneskelige bånd. Modernistiske planleggingsregimer og profittbasert entreprenørvirksomhet tar ikke hensyn til neuroergonomiske tilpasninger og biofilia, noe forskningen til Christopher Alexander og Nikos A. Salingaros har vist. Mennesket har som biologisk og åndelig vesen aldri hatt det verre enn i dag!

Neuroergonomics, Urban Design & Sociogenesis, by Stefano Serafini

“What if, instead of breaking them, the design of cities could naturally feed social ties? There must be a way for urban planners to make cities more human-centred and livable, by focusing on how the built environment affects sociality.”

Stemming from evidence-based design, neuroergonomics is a discipline that merges neuroscience and ergonomics in order to match design with human biological and psycho-neuro-immunological wellness. It scientifically upholds the call for a human-centred design by overhauling the user experience design, because it measures the real psycho-physical effects regardless of fashion, ideology, culture, or current use.

Original article here.


The International Society of Biourbanism (ISB) is organizing a Summer school in neuroergonomics and sociogenesis, to be held in Artena, Italy, on July 13th-20th 2014. The program offers seven full days of lectures, practical workshops, and design studios, with international experts for exploring how to design urban environments able to revive, support, nourish, and enhance sociality and human relationships. Seven additional days will be devoted to study the ancient urban codes of two biophilic Italian towns, Artena and Segni – a research headed by the distinguished Professor Besim Hakim. The results of this study will be brought to the international Workshop on socio-spatial transformation under the state of emergency in Greece, on August 1-9.
Any full social interaction includes a fundamental part of the human person: the body. Therefore, it always occurs in a place. Space becomes place when intentionality is at stake, and landscape, nature, buildings, and forms in space have a meaningful interaction with life. An urban place – the social environment par excellence – has therefore always a biopolitical meaning. Designing the urban environment means designing the biopolitical preconditions of human life, including the chances for freedom, social interaction, political practice, health, and well-being.
Any full social interaction includes a fundamental part of the human person: the body. Therefore, it always occurs in a place. Space becomes place when intentionality is at stake, and landscape, nature, buildings, and forms in space have a meaningful interaction with life.
The placelessness of modern and contemporary cities is not an aesthetic issue – it’s social, and it severely affects citizens’ self-determination and quality of life, including the ability to connect to each other and to a nourishing environment. Thus, the ISB school aims at a needful social and cultural change of cities by design.
The placelessness of modern and contemporary cities is not an aesthetic issue – it’s social, and it severely affects citizens’ self-determination and quality of life, including the ability to connect to each other and to a nourishing environment.
Biourbanism is rethinking urban design by joining contributions from the domains of epistemology, neurophysiology, environmental psychology, economics, biopolitics, urban studies, service design, and sociology. The results outline the possibility of a paradigm shift in urban practice. This carries a peer-to-peer approach which involves designers, inhabitants, and places.

A Biopolitical Issue

The third ISB summer school will complete a cycle. Having dealt with neuroergonomics as a prerequisite to urban planning (Neuroergonomics and Urban Design, 2012), followed by its small-scale applications for propagating systemic effects over the entire urban organism through biourban acupuncture (Neuroergonomics and urban placemaking, 2013), participants in the 2014 International Summer School in Biourbanism will focus on how to design spaces that facilitate and reinforce social relations, with a special program in neuroergonomics and sociogenesis.
This issue is of paramount importance because although modern cities gather millions of people in, they tend to overlook and break down human relations, as Marx and Engels already noticed almost a century and a half ago.1 This decade, cities have become the living environment for half of the planet’s population for the first time in history, and according to urban migration and growth trends, 64% and 86% of the developing and developed world respectively will be urbanized by 2050 (67% overall, i.e. 2.7 billion more people than today),2 while urban exploitation of land will double in less than 20 years.3
This issue is of paramount importance because although modern cities gather millions of people in, they tend to overlook and break down human relations, as Marx and Engels already noticed almost a century and a half ago.
What kind of design is behind such an environmentally unsustainable, speedy, and dehumanizing urbanization phenomenon?
 Fig. 1 Three phases of urban land use in Shenzen, China: 1988, 1996, 2010 (source: Google)
Fig. 1 Three phases of urban land use in Shenzen, China: 1988, 1996, 2010 (source: Google)
If you look carefully, modern cities have been meant as machines – economic growth catalysers. Several scholars accuse Le Corbusier of being the evil genius of such an urban conception;4 yet one should date its origins back to the very dawn of the Industrial age, with roots even into the phenomenon of the first ghetto (Venice, 1516).5 In fact, modern cities are designed to functionalize the horizon of human life according to production. And that’s precisely why they break social connections. In a way, the early subsidiary and social role of cities has been morphed into the capitalistic subsumption6 device par excellence. This happened by firstly transforming the physical space of cities through ghettoization, zoning or gigantism. Design has never been innocent.7
If you look carefully, modern cities have been meant as machines – economic growth catalysers.
The industrial revolution has accelerated the transformation of streets, squares, and common environments into paths for goods, and turned dwellings into individualistic boxes, piled into suburbia. This has allowed less and less room for delightfulness and social connections, hence most of the “ugliness” of modern towns addressed by several urban critics like Tönnies, Simmel, Weber, Wirth, Marcuse, Bauman, Augé, Alexander and Salingaros.
The industrial revolution has accelerated the transformation of streets, squares, and common environments into paths for goods, and turned dwellings into individualistic boxes, piled into suburbia. This has allowed less and less room for delightfulness and social connections, hence most of the “ugliness” of modern towns.
Post-industrialism led to a leap in the quality of city morphing: as finance has long dematerialized capitalism, the postmodern city is heading towards a dematerialization of places.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

La humlene suse

Foto: Lans8
Humler og bier er insekter i overfamilien bier.

35 av de rundt 250 humleartene vi vet om i verden finnes i Norge, hvorav seks er direkte truet i vårt land.

27 av våre 35 arter er sosiale humler, som danner ettårige samfunn med dronninger, arbeidere og droner (hanner).

Hva kan du gjøre for å verne om humlene?

  • La deler av hagen være gressklipperfri sone. Løvetann og ugress er snadder for humler og bier. Har du blomstereng, husk å slå den etter blomstring. Ta vare på steinrøyser - der liker de seg og legger ofte bol.
  • Ikke klipp ned seljetrærne. Dette er en nøkkelart om våren.
  • Tenk mangfold, med planter som blomstrer både tidlig og sent. Humlene trenger spesielt mye nektar om våren og høsten. Et staudebed som har planter med ulik blomstringstid er lurt, da kan humlene finne mat hele sommeren.
  • Dropp plantevernmidler!
  • Velg humlevennlige blomster. Jo flere blomster, jo bedre - gjennom hele sesongen. Bergmynte og lavendel er urter humler liker og som passer til balkong.
  • Vil du hjelpe humlene med boplass, kan du sette ut humlehus om våren. De kan kjøpes eller lages selv.

Humlevennlige planter:
  • Lavendel
  • Mynte
  • Oregano
  • Prestekrage
  • Storknebb
  • Timian
  • Tomat
  • Orientvalmue
  • Revebjelle
  • Ringblomst
  • Solsikke
  • Squash
  • Akeleie
  • Bringebær
  • Forglemmegei
  • Gressløk
Selje er en nøkkelart om våren

Humlene liker seg i steinrøyser, her legger de ofte bol


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gunnar Evang: Hvor var dere da rakettene haglet?

Igjen er Gaza-konflikten i rampelyset, men denne gangen fikk jeg virkelig bakoversveis av alt raseriet mot Israel, også fra hold som ellers er meget balanserte i sine analyser. Sett på bakgrunn av alt hysteriet grunnet en liten terrortrussel mot Norge i sommervarmen, sikkert en kjempegod agurknyhet for pressen, framstår nordmenn som en smule hyklerske. Evangs polemikk er et godt korrektiv.

Jeg vil understreke at jeg ikke deler Evangs omtale av palestinerne som arabere, da de i realiteten er urjøder, noe som gjør konflikten ytterst tragisk. Vi har å gjøre med to broderfolk i krig.

Original artikkel av Gunnar Evang i Oppland Arbeiderblad her.

Hvor var dere da rakettene haglet?

Dere som med ujevne mellomrom står på barrikadene og roper høyt om boikott av Israel og om okkupasjon og brudd på folkeretten?

Hvor var dere da rakettene haglet ned over Sderot? Hvor er deres sympati med barna der, som aldri har opplevd noe annet enn å ha trusselen om rakettangrep hengende over hodet, som må reise til barnehage eller skole i pansrede busser og oppholde seg i eller nær armerte bygninger? Når alarmen går i Sderot, har barna der 15 sekunder på å komme seg i skjul. Selv Usain Bolt ville hatt problemer med det! At rakettene har dårlig treffsikkerhet, hjelper ikke på frykten. En hel generasjon vokser opp med traumer. Men hvem av dere som fordømmer Israel, har ofret dette en tanke?

Siden Israel trakk seg ut av Gaza og tvangsflyttet om lag 9000 mennesker i 2005, har det i snitt kommet 1 rakett hver 6 time fra Gaza mot mål i det sørlige Israel, døgnet rundt, året rundt! Men hvem av dere bryr dere om dette?

Hvor var dere da 4000 Katyusha-raketter terroriserte det nordlige Israel under krigen mot Hizb'allah i 2006? Verken disse eller rakettene fra Gaza rettes mot militære mål, men mot befolkningssentra, men jeg kan ikke huske å ha sett noen indignerte leserinnlegg om dette.

Hvor var dere da Syria okkuperte og i praksis styrte Libanon i nesten 30 år? Men Israels beskyttelsessone i Sør-Libanon ble ikke forbigått i stillhet, nei.

Og du, Sissel Vold, som sier at du utfører ditt oppdrag etter beste evne, hvor mange fysisk eller psykisk traumatiserte israelere har du intervjuet? Hvor mange av dine reportasjer er laget på israelske sykehus der Israels ofre blir behandlet, og hvor palestinaarabere blir behandlet side om side med israelerne? Hvis det vi får se på skjermen, er i tråd med ditt oppdrag, sier det ganske mye om din oppdragsgiver!

Jeg kaller deg ikke reporter, for en reporter rapporterer om det som foregår for at vi skal kunne danne oss et komplett bilde av situasjonen. Jeg kaller deg kommentator og agitator, for du legger din egen mening inn i reportasjene.

Og du, Mats Gilbert, som skriker opp om lidelsene i Gaza, hvor har du vært de siste tre årene mens det har vært borgerkrig i Syria, hvor lidelsene har vært langt mer omfattende? Hvis du virkelig hadde hatt omsorg for dem som lider, ville du ha vært i Damaskus og lappet sammen krigsskadde der, eller i Sør-Sudan, CAR, Libya, Somalia ... Men så snart det brygger opp til noe i Gaza, da er Mats Gilbert på plass, for da kan du utøse av ditt hat mot Israel, uten å fortelle at den virkelige grunnen til alle de skadde og drepte er at Hamas bruker sivile som skjold og plasserer sine utskytningsramper og våpenlagre i skoler og sykehus.

Og du forteller heller ikke at grunnen til mangelen på tilfluktsrom er at Hamas bruker det meste av sine midler på våpen og slett ikke er interesserte i å beskytte sin sivilbefolkning. Det ville jo ta fra dem et propagandafortrinn hvis antallet skadde og drepte sivile skulle synke!

Dere som roper om boikott, hvor er dere når mennesker blir dømt til døden i Saudi-Arabia for å ha blitt kristne? Hvor er dere når Marokko fortsetter sin okkupasjon av Vest-Sahara, en okkupasjon som har pågått siden 1975, eller Kina fortsetter sin okkupasjon av Tibet, som har pågått siden 1950? Men dere kjøper fortsatt poteter fra Saudi-Arabia, klementiner fra Marokko og stort sett alt mulig fra Kina! Dere drar på ferie til Egypt og Tyrkia til tross for alle de overgrep som har funnet sted der, med mindre deres egen sikkerhet er truet, da!

Dere snakker om okkupasjon, men bortsett fra Gilat Shalit og de soldatene som deltok i krigene i 2006 og 2009, har det ikke vært israelere i Gaza siden 2005. Hva er det som er okkupert? Når Hamas snakker om okkupasjon, mener de hele Israels landområde. De vil fortsette å bekjempe denne «okkupasjonen» til siste slutt. Er det dette dere vil støtte? Utslettelsen av staten Israel?

Gunnar Evang


Så var Gaza-krigen igjen over for denne gang, og som vanlig ble alle andre saker tatt av dagsordenen slik at mediene uhemmet kunne utøse sitt hat over Israel. Lavmålet var NRK og Gro Holm som benyttet nazistisk propaganda, og falt ned til nivået til gamlekara på Gjøvik bibliotek som gir "jødemakta" skylda for det meste i verden. Best var innlegget til den Israelske ambassaadøren i Norge, palestineren George Deek.

Et særtrekk nå og før ved NRKs nyhetssendinger er at hvis det er israelske døde rapporteres dette kun en gang, helst tidlig om morgenen før folk flest har stått opp.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Broderfolk i krig

Igjen er det krig mellom israelere og palestinere. Men når noen snakker om rasistiske overgrep fra jødenes side er de fullstendig på viddene. Jøder og palestinere er broderfolk, genetisk ligger de like nært hverandre som nordmenn og dansker. Utvilsomt flyter det mye jødisk blod i palestinernes årer, kanskje er palestinerne til og med mer rendyrkede jøder enn israelerne selv, genetisk sett?

Palestinsk kvinne og hennes datter. Kanskje er de bedre genetiske representanter for urjøden enn dagens israelere?

Så vi har her å gjøre med en kulturkrig og en kamp om begrensede ressurser på et lite landområde, som stort sett er ørken. Men tenk om disse to broderfolkene kunne funnet ut av det med hverandre, kanskje til og med i en felles stat.

Jøder og palestinere er av de genetisk mest like folkeslagene i hele Midtøsten, vi har å gjøre med to broderfolk. Illustrasjonen er fra boka Det biologiske mennesket, s. 234

Innlegget nedenfor er også publisert på VD:

Kommentar av Erling Rimehaug i Vårt Land lørdag 26. juli 2014, s. 2-3, som gir en fin oppsummering av bakteppet for dagens situasjon. Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse.

Fortsettelse av artikkelen ovenfor

Så følger et utdrag fra John Michael Greer, hvor han ser på Israels muligheter for overlevelse i et historisk persepktiv. Teksten er hentet fra essayet "In the Twilight of Empires":
To explain that answer, I’d like to tell a story.  Once upon a time—isn’t that how stories are supposed to begin?—there was a group of people who believed that their god had promised them a particular corner of the Middle East, and decided to take him up on the offer. It so happened that conditions just then were propitious for their project.  The cultural politics of the major Western powers of the time favored it, and not merely in an abstract sense:  money and weapons could be had for the attempt, and a great deal more could be made available if the project succeeded in establishing a foothold.

Even more crucial was the state of the Middle East at that time.  The history of that region has a regular rhythm of systole and diastole that can be traced back very nearly to the earliest clay-tablet records: periods of centralization, in which a single major Middle Eastern power dominates as large a fraction of the world as the current transport technology will allow, alternate with periods of disintegration, in which the region fragments and turns into a chessboard on which powers from outside the region play their own power games.  At the time we’re discussing, the Middle East was in one of its diastole phases, fractured into small quarrelling states, and the sudden seizure of a strategically important part of the region drew only a local and ineffective response.

So a new state came into being, surrounded by hostile neighbors, and a great deal of the shrill self-justifying rhetoric already described came from both sides of the new frontiers. Several of the major Western powers supported the new state with significant financial and military aid; of at least equal importance, members of the religious community responsible for creating the new state, who remained back in those same Western nations, engaged in vigorous fundraising efforts to support the new state, and equally vigorous political efforts to get existing governmental support maintained or increased. The resources thus made available to the new state gave it a substantial military edge against its hostile neighbors, and its existence became enough of a fait accompli that some of its neighbors backed away from a wholly confrontational stance.

Still, the state’s survival depended on three things. The first, and by far the most crucial, was the ongoing flow of support from the Western powers to pay for a military establishment far larger than the economic and natural resources of the territory in question would permit. The second was the continued fragmentation and relative weakness of the surrounding states. The third was the maintenance of internal peace within the state and of collective assent to a clear sense of priorities, so that it could respond with its full force to threats from outside instead of squandering its limited resources on civil strife or popular projects that contributed nothing to its survival.

In the long run, none of these three conditions could be met indefinitely. Shifts in cultural politics and, more importantly, in the economic stability of the Western powers of the time turned the large subsidies supporting the state into a political liability that eventually lost out in the struggle for available wealth. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the power struggles between competing statelets began to give way to a new era of centralization. Finally, the internal cohesion of the state broke down in power struggles between different factions, and too many resources had been committed to politically necessary but practically useless projects such as the support of large religious communities that did nothing but pray and study the scriptures. The arrogant certainty that the state could always overcome its enemies and that the Western powers owed it the subsidies that paid for its survival put bitter icing on an already overbaked cake, and all but guaranteed the final disaster.
Relatert lesning:

Are play spaces for kids being neglected in the urban lifestyle?

Most definitely yes! Modernist planners simply don’t put any care into designating space for children. Outdoor playgrounds designed by architects, on the other hand, tend to impose hard, inhuman forms and spaces. No child feels comfortable there. The sprawling suburban house was thought to provide space for play in the dismal basement “playroom” and in a fenced backyard. But that ignores the need for socialization, which can only occur among peers within a common public space. The wide suburban street doesn’t work: it turns potentially deadly whenever a pickup truck comes speeding by. The shopping mall’s over-regulated private environment offers an extremely poor substitute space for children’s play. Thus, wealthy societies lack what many slum dwellers possess: open space where children can run free, tangential to car traffic, with trees and bushes (not insipid front lawn) to play in and around, and where nobody tells them what to do. - Nikos A. Salingaros

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Friday, July 18, 2014


Kom over dette innlegget i hytteboka i dag, og bestemte meg for å legge det inn her. Det ble publisert i Oppland Arbeiderblad 7. august 2008. Dessverre har intet skjedd.

Oksbakken ligger på Totenåsen.


Vollene på Oksbakken ble etter sigende tilplantet med nåleskog fordi bekken mellom dem lå i nedslagsfeltet til Lensbygda Vannverk, og man slik ønsket å forhindre dyreansamlinger som kunne forurense bekken med tarmbakterier. Lensbygda Vannverk er forlengst nedlagt.

For vollen på østsiden av bekken er denne skogreisningen for så vidt grei, da skogen her vil skjule vegen og det ikke er hytter på denne siden. På den andre siden av bekken, mot hyttefeltet, bør vollen tilbakeføres før det er for sent.

Noen grunner til dette er:
  • Åpne kulturlandskap som bryter skoglandskapet er et særtrekk ved norsk natur, og skaper trivsel og variasjon for dyr, planter og mennesker.
  • Vollen vil være et minne om forgangne tider, da det bodde mennesker her langt ute på åsen.
  • Vollen ligger sentralt til i et hytteområde i vekst, og vil være et trivselsmoment.
  • De store dyreansamlingene som beiter på vollen er et hyggelig innslag, ikke minst for de yngste. Altfor mange barn har for lite kontakt med de tradisonelle husdyra våre.
  • Vinterstid er vollen en fin akebakke for barna.
  • Stedet har vært et samlingspunkt for å se til dyr på beite.
Deler av Oksbakksvollene. På andre sida av bekken har den tette planteskogen helt fått overtaket.

Det gamle gårdstunet på Oksbakken