Cargo trikes

From slow bikes on Facebook conversation I started

Clive Durdle
25 May at 13:33
I am thinking of getting a Christiania cargo trike, I am in East London and would be a very early adopter. I have balance issues and have been researching extensively. I would love some first hand views! I understand there is a risk of toppling and hip fractures. I would get electric assist. Is this a boldly go or Houston we have a problem issue?

Matti Kinnunen With some careful training and care, it is not that easy to topple a Christiania bike. One only needs to ride a bit slower when turning.

Matti Koistinen I’ve some experience of Christiania Light and on downhill it might be a bit unstable, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a person with balance issues. Especially with electric assist.
The bigger and heavier Christiania is the more stable it is. Trio Bike would be maybe more stable, so I’d recommend you to check out their options too.

Clive Durdle I hired this for a day but would prob go for 26
Clive Durdle’s photo.

Clive Durdle steel not alu?

Adam Edwards Pashley trike eg Tri1 with rear cage boot is good. No balance issues and lockable storage

Clive Durdle I thought tadpoles were stabler than two wheels at the back

Rowan Goodfellow DeBonaire

A few years ago, you could have popped over to Fitzrovia and bought one from Andrea at Velorution, but now I recommend Practical Cycles, which Simon Thornton linked to above. I’m currently stuck in the Blackpool area awaiting my escape to civilisation, so it’s my ‘local’, but if you want to try some trikes, DO arrange beforehand, as their shop is not often open, being an online business for the most part.

Gary Cummins

Clive, contact my friends at Tower Hamlets Wheelers, the local lobby group, they will let you try one out: Tell them I suggested you contact them, I used to run Wheelers and the person who now runs Carry Me Cargo Bikes was also a member of Wheelers

Rowan Goodfellow DeBonaire

When I hit the mainland, I’m going for a Christiania longbox with door, for the dogs!

Clive Durdle

Maybe I have been looking too much at google scholar, and I know this is about motorised types, but are there basic question marksabout rollover, yaw and shimmy?…/the_three_wheeler__adult…

The Three Wheeler (Adult Tricycle): An Unstable, Dangerous M… : Journal of…

Clive Durdle Isn’t London green cycles some of the people from velorution?

Rowan Goodfellow DeBonaire
That article is irrelevant to the Christiania trike. For starters it was published in 1986 based on statistics in Alabama. The article doesn’t even specify the type or configuration of trike they are referring to.

Since 1984, Hundreds and thousands of them are carrying kids to school every day all over the more advanced nations, with no catastrophies. People believing nonsense like this, then perpetuating it in an irrelevant context is how the plague of misinformed ‘Elf & safety’ garbage permeates into the mass (un)conciousness, and is part of why Britain is so backward.

Rowan Goodfellow DeBonaire A true history lesson, not written by an idiot….

About christiania bikes

I visited christiania bikes a day in september 2012. I interviewed Lars and Annie. With their background in…

Clive Durdle

I did say the problem in Alabama was about motorised trikes – you know those all terrain big tired things! And why has a Danish physiotherapist specialising in brain injuries commented to me about broken hips? There is an issue of trikes being dynamically unstable. When I tried one I was surprised how easy it is to lift a wheel off the ground. The engineering issues are all well known, what I have not found is how the real issues of rollover have been solved in particular cases Like with Christianiatrikes, for example what the steering damping does.

Clive Durdle oh, and shimmy and yaw

Rowan Goodfellow DeBonaire

The steering damper has been fitted since the first Christiania trike in 1984. Having owned a nasty undamped ‘tadpole’ cargo trike, a damped one, and three Christianias, I definitely contend that the damper and the 2 degree negative camber transform the handling. You can ride a Chris on level ground with no hands. In corners of course it’s possible to lift a wheel – it’s often done deliberately to bump up kerbs, and I’ve ridden 2-wheel fashion just for the fun of it! (I used to do that in cars for a living but that’s another group!) unless the rider makes a mistake, there are no safety issues with a Chris. If you’re really that convinced that there are, don’t buy one! It is possible to crash one just as it is possible to crash anything.

Clive Durdle Is it hard to ride?

Not at all – once you get the hang of it. I would recommend some practice before taking on passengers. It can be tricky going round corners at speed, just because you have to lean into the corner to avoid flipping over (I’ve never flipped, but I’ve come close!)

Clive Durdle…/our-christiania…

Bikes, ‘Bones, and Boston: Our Christiania trike
I’m afraid not. It was built by hand in Denmark by a…
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Clive Durdle

The Christiania, however, is a bit of a beast. When you go around a corner the entire front box – to which the handlebars are attached – rotates, which causes the saddle to weave under you and pulls your arms off to one side. I felt more like a buckaroo breaking a stallion than a father out with his children at the weekend.

“To make matters worse, it is prone to tipping. This adds to the excitement of the thing – how the children whooped – but is not ideal from the perspective of head injuries (use helmets. We did, but not when being photographed). ”…/Cargo-bikes-and-tricycles…

Cargo bikes and tricycles for the school run
In a bid to cut down his car usage, Jake Wallis Simons…

Clive Durdle

Although : “We have used a Christiania-bike for 3 years in hilly Stockholm for our kids and for deliveries. It was great and safe! Never tipped over, its a matter of getting to know the bike. I would say that tipping on a 2-wheeler is a lot easier, especielly when parked.

Clive Durdle

“The Christiania is no way proned to tipping, just don’t treat it like a standard bike, like you would not treat a van like a mini, everyone who I have sold a Christiania to, all say that it takes a week to get used to, and then it is as easy as any other bike, wonder how a standard bike would be rated fist time you rode on that.
The 2wheeled cargobikes are great too, but very unstable at 5 km/h so no chance to ride on foot paths or school grounds…
All the bikes mentioned above are great bikes and have their strong and weak points, but to say the Christiania is prone to tipping is like saying a standard bike is unstable..”

“Must agree with Peter Santos on this one. The Christiania, or any three-wheeler for that matter, does not ride like a standard bike and therefore shouldn’t be compared to its two-wheeled counterparts until you have had the chance to learn how it handles. Then, the discussion should revolve around things like carrying capacity, durability, gearing, accessories, etc…
After riding a three wheeler for only a day, I found it almost impossible to tip — the learning curve is quite steep. I would, in a way, compare this to the experience of riding a standard, two-wheeled bike — except most of us learned that when we were little kids. And this, for some, creates a fall sense of how difficult riding a two-wheeler actually is when compared to riding a three-wheeler.
When we first leaned to ride a two-wheeled bike, we were (likely) all over the place because we didn’t understand how it handled. Once we learned how to control it, it then became almost impossible to fall off of because you have a handle on how far you can push it and your instincts keep you from crossing that line. Same goes for the trikes.
All of this said, the trike takes some time to learn, but once you have figured it out, I believe the advantages that come with them (carrying capacity, stability at slow speeds, etc..) more than compensate for the slight learning curve at the outset.”
“As a result of the above, I would propose that the “golden rule” might be better replaced with the following three “rules of thumb” as guidance for tricycle design:1. The centre of gravity should be mounted as close to the two-wheel axle as possible to…See More
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Clive Durdle…/on_the…

Clive Durdle Above posts are quotes!


Isn’t Antikythera Celtic? … 7.html#B10

‪The Antikythera Mechanism is a unique Greek geared device, constructed around the end of the second century bc. It is known1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 that it calculated and displayed celestial information, particularly cycles such as the phases of the moon and a luni-solar calendar. Calendars were important to ancient societies10 for timing agricultural activity and fixing religious festivals. Eclipses and planetary motions were often interpreted as omens, while the calm regularity of the astronomical cycles must have been philosophically attractive in an uncertain and violent world. Named after its place of discovery in 1901 in a Roman shipwreck, the Antikythera Mechanism is technically more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterwards. Its specific functions have remained controversial11, 12, 13, 14 because its gears and the inscriptions upon its faces are only fragmentary. Here we report surface imaging and high-resolution X-ray tomography of the surviving fragments, enabling us to reconstruct the gear function and double the number of deciphered inscriptions. The mechanism predicted lunar and solar eclipses on the basis of Babylonian arithmetic-progression cycles. The inscriptions support suggestions of mechanical display of planetary positions9, 14, 15, now lost. In the second century bc, Hipparchos developed a theory to explain the irregularities of the Moon’s motion across the sky caused by its elliptic orbit. We find a mechanical realization of this theory in the gearing of the mechanism, revealing an unexpected degree of technical sophistication for the period.

The Gaulish Coligny calendar was found in Coligny, Ain, France (46°23′N 5°21′E) near Lyon in 1897, along with the head of a bronze statue of a youthful male figure. It is a lunisolar calendar. It is now held at the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.

It was engraved on a bronze tablet, preserved in 73 fragments, that originally was 1.48 m wide and 0.9 m high (Lambert p. 111) or approximately 5 feet (1.5 m) wide by 3½ feet in height.[1] Based on the style of lettering and the accompanying objects, it probably dates to the end of the 2nd century AD.[2][3] It is written in Latin inscriptional capitals and is in the Gaulish language (Duval & Pinault). The restored tablet contains sixteen vertical columns, with 62 months distributed over five years.

The French archaeologist, J. Monard, speculated that it was recorded by druids wishing to preserve their tradition of timekeeping in a time when the Julian calendar was being imposed throughout the Roman Empire. However, the general form of the calendar suggests the public peg calendars (or parapegmata) found throughout the Greek and Roman world (Lehoux pp. 63–65).

‪A similar calendar found nearby at Villards d’Heria (46°25′N 5°44′E) is only preserved in eight small fragments. It is now preserved in the Musée d’Archéologie du Jura at Lons-le-Saunier.

I am puzzled why two lunar solar based artefacts are thought to have different origins, especially as there is very clear evidence of huge continuing centuries long propaganda efforts following a never forgotten fall of Rome….

‪The Celts, according to Rome, were a warring and illiterate people. Yet Terry Jones discovers that these people had mathematical know-how beyond Rome’s. It was a society built on an advanced and complex trading network that spread way beyond the borders of the Celtic world. So why was Caesar so hell-bent on the destruction of these civilised people?

You foolish Galatians with your GPS.

Is God mad?

It seems Jung agreed

“Dionysus is the god who is mad. The visage of every true god is the visage of a world. There can be a god who is mad only if there is a mad world which reveals itself through him. We know him as the wild spirit of antithesis and paradox, of immediate presence and complete remoteness, of bliss and horror, of infinite vitality and the cruelest destruction. The primal mystery is itself mad- death lives cheek by jowl with life. The elemental depths gape open and out of them a monstrous creature raises it’s head before which all the limits that the normal day have set must disappear. There man stands on the threshold of madness- in fact, he is already part of it even if his wildness which wishes to pass on into destructiveness still remains mercifully hidden. But the God himself is not merely touched and seized by the ghostly spirit of the abyss. He, himself is the monstrous creature which lives in the depths. From it’s mask it looks out at man and sends him reeling with the ambiguity of nearness and remoteness, of life and death in one. It’s divine intelligence holds the contradictions together. For it is the spirit of excitation and wildness, and everything alive, which seethes and glows, resolves the schism between itself and it’s opposite and has already absorbed this spirit in it’s desire. Thus all earthly powers are united in the god: the the generating, nourishing, intoxicating rapture; the life giving inexhaustibly; and the tearing pain, the deathly pallor, the speechless night of having been. He is the mad ecstasy which hovers over every conception and birth and whose wildness is always ready to move on to destruction and death.”

I felt the presence of this reality when I was mad and do this second as I am typing.”

Terror Management Theory

It seems we are well aware of our mortality and the meaninglessness of life, but expend huge amounts of energy that things are otherwise.

One of the key mechanisms are religious beliefs and the world views constructed by adherents.

Maybe we should cut to the chase, and stop criticising individual religions and the actions of their adherents?

But is that too threatening to us?

In social psychology, terror management theory (TMT) proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings. Moreover, the solution to the conflict is also generally unique to humans: culture. According to TMT, cultures are symbolic systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. Cultural values therefore serve to manage the terror of death by providing life with meaning.[1][2] The theory was originally proposed by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski.[1]

The simplest examples of cultural values which manage the terror of death are those that purport to offer literal immortality (e.g. belief in afterlife, religion).[3] However, TMT also argues that other cultural values – including those that are seemingly unrelated to death – offer symbolic immortality. For example, value of national identity,[4] posterity,[5] cultural perspectives on sex,[6] and human superiority over animals[6] have all been linked to death concerns in some manner. In many cases these values are thought to offer symbolic immortality by providing the sense that one is part of something greater that will ultimately outlive the individual (e.g. country, lineage, species).


Because cultural values determine that which is meaningful, they are also the basis for self-esteem. TMT describes self-esteem as being the personal, subjective measure of how well an individual is living up to their cultural values.[2] Like cultural values, self-esteem acts to protect one against the terror of death. However, it functions to provide one’s personal life with meaning, while cultural values provide meaning to life in general.


TMT is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker’s 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction The Denial of Death, in which Becker argues most human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound – albeit subconscious – anxiety in people that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religious meaning systems, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview. On an individual level, self-esteem provides a buffer against death-related anxiety.

The Denial of Death and the Practice of Dying

“The denial of death” is a phrase from Ernest Becker, and the title of his most famous book, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974. Becker’s book focuses on how we human beings develop strategies to fend off awareness of our mortality and vulnerability and to escape into the feeling that we’re immortal. “The practice of dying” is a phrase used by Socrates, as recorded by Plato, for describing one aspect of how a person becomes morally mature. Socrates is urging us to face into our mortality and to let an awareness of death purify our motives.


I think that Becker and Socrates are both on the money. Denying death/or practicing dying are well juxtaposed as two basic responses to our awareness of mortality. So I want here to investigate these two responses and follow out some of their consequences.

Two Contrasting Orientations

I’ll begin by recapping Becker’s main thesis in The Denial of Death.


As a cultural anthropologist, Becker was searching for explanations of why human society develops in the way that it does, and he was particularly interested in why human society is so violent, why different social groups are so intolerant and hateful of each other. By the time of writing The Denial of Death, his ninth book, he had reached the conclusion that he had found a very important explanatory principle for understanding human behavior and human culture. This principle, summarized with extreme brevity, is as follows. Human beings are mortal, and we know it. Our sense of vulnerability and mortality gives rise to a basic anxiety, even a terror, about our situation. So we devise all sorts of strategies to escape awareness of our mortality and vulnerability, as well as our anxious awareness of it. This psychological denial of death, Becker claims, is one of the most basic drives in individual behavior, and is reflected throughout human culture. Indeed, one of the main functions of culture, according to Becker, is to help us successfully avoid awareness of our mortality. That suppression of awareness plays a crucial role in keeping people functioning–if we were constantly aware of our fragility, of the nothingness we are a split second away from at all times, we’d go nuts. And how does culture perform this crucial function? By making us feel certain that we, or realities we are part of, are permanent, invulnerable, eternal. And in Becker’s view, some of the personal and social consequences of this are disastrous.


First, at the personal level, by ignoring our mortality and vulnerability we build up an unreal sense of self, and we act out of a false sense of who and what we are. Second, as members of society, we tend to identify with one or another “immortality system” (as Becker calls it). That is, we identify with a religious group, or a political group, or engage in some kind of cultural activity, or adopt a certain culturally sanctioned viewpoint, that we invest with ultimate meaning, and to which we ascribe absolute and permanent truth. This inflates us with a sense of invulnerable righteousness. And then, we have to protect ourselves against the exposure of our absolute truth being just one more mortality-denying system among others, which we can only do by insisting that all other absolute truths are false. So we attack and degrade–preferably kill–the adherents of different mortality- denying-absolute-truth systems. So the Protestants kill the Catholics; the Muslims vilify the Christians and vice versa; upholders of the American way of life denounce Communists; the Communist Khmer Rouge slaughters all the intellectuals in Cambodia; the Spanish Inquisition tortures heretics; and all good students of the Enlightenment demonize religion as the source of all evil. The list could go on and on.


In my view, Ernest Becker was right about this core thesis. I think it is accurate to say that a denial of death pervades human culture, and that it is one of the deepest sources of intolerance, aggression, and human evil. The notion of immortality systems is an especially useful diagnostic tool. It is easy to spot people (including oneself, of course) clinging to absolute truths in the way he describe–and it is not hard to understand why they do. It is not just anxiety over physical vulnerability. It goes deeper than that. We all want out lives to have meaning, and death suggests that life adds up to nothing. People want desperately for their lives to really count, to be finally real. If you think about it, most all of us try to found our identities on something whose meaning seems permanent or enduring: the nation, the race, the revolutionary vision; the timelessness of art, the truths of science, immutable philosophical verities, the law of self-interest, the pursuit of happiness, the law of survival; cosmic energy, the rhythms of nature, the gods, Gaia, the Tao, Brahman, Krishna, Buddha-consciousness, the Torah, Jesus. And all of these, Becker says, function as “immortality systems,” because they all promise to connect our lives with what endures, with a meaning that does not perish. So let’s accept Becker’s thesis: that fear of death and meaninglessness, and a self–deluding denial of mortality, leads many people to these “immortality systems.”


But then again: is this true for every person with a passionate commitment to a meaning that endures? Are there Buddhists or Christians, for example, whose convictions and commitments do not constitute an evasion of mortality–who on the contrary face up to and embrace their mortality? In The Denial of Death, Becker tells us that there certainly are such people. In the fifth chapter, titled “The Psychoanalyst Kierkegaard,” Becker applauds Kierkegaard’s portrayal of the person who does not lie about the human condition, who breaks away from the cultural network of lies that ward off the awareness of mortality, and who faces the precariousness and fragility of existence–with inevitable anxiety. Becker praises these people for their courageous “destruction of…emotional character armor.” Such a courageous and frightening passage to honesty is symbolized in the literary figure of King Lear: through the terror of being stripped of all his illusions of invulnerability, he comes finally to a profound if tragic reconciliation with reality. As for actual cultural representatives, he mentions Zen Buddhists, but “in fact,” he writes, it is a process undergone by “self-realized men in any epoch (88-9).”


Becker affirms, then, that it is possible to face up to the human situation. The denial of death is not inevitable. But what must be done, how must one proceed, to engage in this process of courageous self-realization?


Above all, Becker says, adopting a phrase from Luther, you must be able to “…taste death with the lips of your living body [so] that you can know emotionally that you are a creature who will die (88).” Then quoting William James (who is himself quoting the mystic Jacob Boehme), Becker further describes this “tasting” of death as a “passage into nothing, [a passage in which] a critical point must usually be passed, a corner turned within one (88).” Thus in this process of self-realization, Becker writes, the self is “brought down to nothing.” For what purpose? So that the process of what Becker calls “self-transcendence” may begin. And he describes the process of self-transcendence this way:


Man breaks through the bounds of merely cultural heroism; he destroys the character lie that had him perform as a hero in the everyday social scheme of things; and by doing so he opens himself up to infinity, to the possibility of cosmic heroism …. He links his secret inner self, his authentic talent, his deepest feelings of uniqueness … to the very ground of creation. Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private, invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance. …This invisible mystery at the heart of [the] creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation.


“This,” he concludes, “is the meaning of faith.” Faith is the belief that despite one’s “insignificance, weakness, death, one’s existence has meaning in some ultimate sense because it exists within an eternal and infinite scheme of things brought about and maintained to some kind of design by some creative force (90, 9 1).”


This, then, is what we might call good faith, not a flight into some immortality system. And clearly, some Christians, some Buddhists–at least the Zen Buddhists Becker himself mentions!–have faith in this sense, a faith that Becker characterizes as growing out of tasting one’s own death, embracing one’s own nothingness, and affirming–not a known ultimate meaningful–but an “invisible mystery” of ultimate meaning.


So Becker is suggesting a difference between (1) inauthentic clinging to the supposed absolute truth of an immortality system; and (2) authentic faith in a mystery of enduring meaning. Psychologically the distinction here is between (1) turning away from the awareness of death, and possessively claiming certain knowledge of eternal meaning; or (2) tasting one’s own mortality, and placing one’s trust in a mystery of eternal meaning.


Now Becker doesn’t always emphasize this second possibility of authentic faith. One can get the impression from much of his work that any affirmation of enduring meaning is simply a denial of death and the embrace of a lie. But I believe the view expressed in the fifth chapter of The Denial of Death is his more nuanced and genuine position. And I think it will be worthwhile to develop his idea of a courageous breaking away from culturally-supported immortality systems by looking back in history to a character who many people have thought of as an epitome of a self-realized person, someone who neither accepts his culture’s standardized hero-systems, nor fears death: the philosopher Socrates. … dying.html

Some atheist authors are discussing the relationship of religion and atheism – De Botton,

There is emotional power in these ideas, but that only be my yearning after my pentecostal background.

But I have always thought there is a clarity and honesty in Sartre, Fromm at al that is much needed. Discussions often feel to dry, somehow inauthentic, dishonest.

People have expressed this over the millennia – the myth of Adam and Eve, the story of Achilles, the psalmist what is man, the creed fully god fully man.

We are worm food that contemplates the birth of the universe. We are paradoxical. Let’s try living with what we are!


Evil is the toll of the pretence of sanity.


Reports that Islamic militants have trapped up to 40,000 members of Iraq’s minority communities have spurred the US into considering a military-led humanitarian action.


Most of the trapped people are members of the Yazidi religion, one of Iraq’s oldest minorities. They were forced to flee to Mount Sinjar in the Iraqi north-west region, or face slaughter by an encircling group of Islamic State (Isis) jihadists. The UN has said that roughly 40,000 people – many women and children – have taken refuge in nine locations on the mountain, “a craggy, mile-high ridge identified in local legend as the final resting place of Noah’s ark”.


Gruesome images of brutally slain people have emerged in the past week, as local officials say that at least 500 Yazidis, including 40 children, have been killed, and many more have been threatened with death. Roughly 130,000 residents of the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar have fled to Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan to the north, or to Irbil.


Reports of violence, repression and murder by Isis and other extremist groups have become increasingly prevalent in Iraq. Christians have also been targeted for their faith. The country’s largest Christian city was all but abandoned on Thursday, as Isis advanced through minority communities in the north-west.


On Thursday, the UNSC condemned the Isis attacks on the Yazidi community, saying those responsible could face trial for crimes against humanity.

Who are the Yazidis?

Estimates put the global number of Yazidis at around 700,000 people, with the vast majority of them concentrated in northern Iraq, in and around Sinjar.


A historically misunderstood group, the Yazidis are predominantly ethnically Kurdish, and have kept alive their syncretic religion for centuries, despite many years of oppression and threatened extermination.


The ancient religion is rumoured to have been founded by an 11th century Ummayyad sheikh, and is derived from Zoroastrianism (an ancient Persian faith founded by a philosopher), Christianity and Islam. The religion has taken elements from each, ranging from baptism (Christianity) to circumcision (Islam) to reverence of fire as a manifestation from God (derived from Zoroastrianism) and yet remains distinctly non-Abrahamic. This derivative quality has often led the Yazidis to be referred to as a sect.


At the core of the Yazidis’ marginalization is their worship of a fallen angel, Melek Tawwus, or Peacock Angel, one of the seven angels that take primacy in their beliefs. Unlike the fall from grace of Satan, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Melek Tawwus was forgiven and returned to heaven by God. The importance of Melek Tawwus to the Yazidis has given them an undeserved reputation for being devil-worshippers – a notoriety that, in the climate of extremism gripping Iraq, has turned life-threatening.


Under Ottoman rule in the 18th and 19th centuries alone, the Yazidis were subject to 72 genocidal massacres. More recently in 2007, hundreds of Yazidis were killed as a spate of car bombs ripped through their stronghold in northern Iraq. With numbers of dead as close to 800, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent, this was one of the single deadliest events to take place during the American-led invasion.


The Yazidis had been denounced as infidels by Al-Qaida in Iraq, a predecessor of Isis, which sanctioned their indiscriminate killing.


Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi MP in Iraq, broke down in tears on Wednesday, as she called on the parliament and the international community to “Save us! Save us!” from Isis. … -mountains


Credit Creation


The most important feature of banks: credit creation
(Extracted from: New Paradigm in Macroeconomics, Richard Werner*, Palgrave Macmillan,2005; pp. 174-180)

Many economics textbooks that mention banks still acknowledge that they can ‘create credit’. However, it appears that the original meaning of this expression has been lost.Those textbooks and authors that mention the words credit creation now give it quite adifferent meaning. Proponents of the present-day ‘credit view’ define credit creation as ‘theprocess by which saving is channeled to alternative uses’ (Bernanke, 1993, p.50).

To Bernanke, ‘credit creation’ is therefore the ‘diversion’ or transfer of already existingpurchasing power. This is also the understanding of the concept by economists from other persuasions, including monetarists like Meltzer (1995). They all therefore agree in classifying banks as mere financial intermediaries, providing services similar to and in parallel with non-banks and capital markets. [21]

Clearly, thus defined, credit creation would not be a unique feature of banking. proponents of the credit view consequently also argue that credit aggregates are not to be considered an ‘independent casual factor affecting the economy’; rather,credit conditions – best measured, by the way, by the external finance premium and not the aggregate quantity of credit – are an endogenous factor that help shape the dynamic response of the economy to shifts in monetary policy.

Thus the theory has no particular implications about the relative forecasting power of credit aggregates. (Bernanke andGertler, 1995, pp. 43ff.)

The representation of banks as mere intermediaries is perpetuated by the explanation of credit creation in textbooks, which depict it as a process of successive lending of already existing purchasing power by intermediating banks. Figure 12.1 reproduces the textbook representation of credit creation: Bank A receives a new deposit of US$100. If the reserve requirement is 1%, textbooks say that the bank will lend out US$99, and deposit US$1 withthe central bank as reserve.

The US$99 will, however, be deposited with another bank,Bank B, which will also be able to lend out 99% of that amount (US$98.01) . and keep 1% as reserve. This process continues until in the end a total of US$9900 has been lent out.

Textbooks represent credit creation as successive financial intermediation. According to this description, a single bank is unable to create credit…

Food Banks or food coops and celebration?

Many years ago I was involved in food coops, and recently went to Kos.  I was impressed by the many small Greek Orthodox chapels, all with kitchens and dining areas, and looking up the numbers of Saint’s days, understood why!

Nearby islands are blue zones, with the highest life expectancy on the planet.


Why are we handing out food to the deserving poor?  Yessir, no sir, three bags full sir. What was that report that people cannot afford to cook it?

Why is it not a community celebration, eating good, well cooked, tasty, well presented food together in  beautiful surroundings, sharing, wine, music, people contributing what they can – what is that saying from each according to their ability to each according to their need?

There is some interesting stuff in the new testament – they ate together, maybe the alleged miracle of the loaves and fishes was actually people sharing?


Reading Charles Mann 1491, also have his 1493 that goes into more detail about the effects of pre Columbian American crops on the world. He quotes H Garrison Wilkes. The Milpa ” is one of the most successful human inventions ever created”. granta 2005 p198 


“Charles C. Mann described milpa agriculture as follows, in 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus:[2]

“A milpa is a field, usually but not always recently cleared, in which farmers plant a dozen crops at once including maizeavocados, multiple varieties of squashand beanmelontomatoeschilissweet potatojícamaamaranth, and mucana…. Milpa crops are nutritionally and environmentally complementary. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the body needs to make proteins and niacin;…. Beans have both lysine and tryptophan…. Squashes, for their part, provide an array of vitaminsavocadosfats. The milpa, in the estimation of H. Garrison Wilkes, a maize researcher at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, “is one of the most successful human inventions ever created.”[2]

The concept of milpa is a sociocultural construct rather than simply a system of agriculture. It involves complex interactions and relationships between farmers, as well as distinct personal relationships with both the crops and land. For example, it has been noted that “the making of milpa is the central, most sacred act, one which binds together the family, the community, the universe…[it] forms the core institution of Indian society in Mesoamerica and its religious and social importance often appear to exceed its nutritional and economic importance.”[3]