Sunday, April 24, 2011

Water Bottle Story- Please get your water from the tap!

The Story of Bottled Water is a story about how we, in order to save all the terrible problems with filling a stainless steel bottle from the tap, are creating 70 % of the plastic waste in the world. It is about enough fuel for one million cars- per year. It is not necessary, and it isn't healthy. The worst way to drink water is from plastic. Watch the film, if you don't agree. Tell me and tell me why. thanks...Jeff Darling (Oh if you noticed I wasn't around for a few days, my Hard Drive crashed)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Happens in the Karoo: Happens to Us All

For my friends in the Karoo, and as a warning for all of us that this travesty against Nature is coming to every door. In America, there are more shale deposits in the US than anywheree and they are virtually everywhere. I have noted before that a break in the law was given so that no studies on damage are required and no information on the chemicals used is required to be issued.Wake Up.

The Karoo is one of the last untouched places in South Africa.
Film makers Johann Vorster and Theart Korsten from Happy Handgrenade Productions recently returned from the Karoo, filming a documentary exploring the threats of Hydraulic Fracturing and the concerns of the local residents.
To learn more about Hydraulic Fracturing visit and add your voice.
We thank you!

Stop Hydraulic Fracturing in the Karoo. from Happy Handgrenade on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

History of the World-TED-for the next generation

I thank and hope to honor Dr. David Christianfor his work in making "the big History" Project possible.This is a TD presentation meant to be shared...Jeff Darling

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fracking Blues

Please take a look and support this important cause. We can make a difference for these people trying to save the Karoo.
to see
and I
can't quite.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Libuse Binder-4-4-2011 -Review

10 Ways to Change the World in Your 20s

Have you ever had the feeling you had just seen the next big thing? I was at an author speech this week and believe I watched something very unusual. A crowd of Young people(18-22) who were paying rapt attention as someone urged them to take responsibility. It was amazing and gratifying. After years of feeling pressured by the Status Quo environmentalists, this young woman Libuse Binder, showed them the need in a way that made them want to sign up now.

Her Book, 10 Ways to Change the World in Your 20s is a refreshing “lead the horse to water” approach that gets these kids’ attention. I have written a short review of the event to use. If I should need to make it longer or shorter, or if it would be better to include the book in the review, let me know. I have run some articles in The Rapidian, and a couple of events.
Jeff Darling
Website: Science Perspectives

Libuse Binder visited Grand Rapids April4&5 Lecturing at GVSU and GRCC campuses about her message of “Making a Change in the World in Your Twenties”
10 Ways to Change the World in your 20s-Tour

“10 Ways to Change the World in your 20s” is a pretty lengthy title, and a pretty strong claim. The author, Libuse Binder, acknowledges this in her opening statement. In fact she makes a bit of a clumsy joke about it. I think that it is perhaps her artistry with the apparently clumsy joke that makes this woman the artist of the year when it comes to penetrating the armor of apathy that has plagued this “generation of the electronic idol.”

Having attended the lecture, I think there was a fair enough sample of the book’s contents to review both in a reasonable light. The fact that most pertinent tables, list and facts were shown at least in brief gives a fair first representation. The fact that we had the author expressing what things about these tables and lists were pertinent to her mission (Her word) should put us in a position of advantage over those who only read the words.

Libuse’s mission, she makes it clear, is to empower, not preach. She has gone to great lengths to avoid imitating what she feels are the errors of the past. “In dealing with this generation, I avoid the word ‘should’,” she says with a smile.

A typical entry in Libuse’s “lists of things” with appropriate verb, (to empower, to resource, to change,) etc, would be:

Bring your values                             extend life of useful items
Vote with your dollar                       educate yourself
Eat real food                                   speak up
Every word on the lists meant to be a guide to action, without a should.  Libuse is banking on the "Don't say should" plan as an effective Vaccine against the Tree-Hugger finger-pointing of the past.                                   I hope the strategy proves to be a helpful as it is hopeful.

At the talk I attended, Libuse was careful to make eye contact with every person in the room, and for those representing her target, she stayed in eye contact mode a lot. It is clear the idea of gathering the best information, presenting it in steps, then guiding gently to where the ball is so they can go “find” it, has resonated with a generation.

The book and the author offer a simple method, beginning with the smaller steps, interlaced with accomplishments by those who have followed that path, to larger. Each step has its own prices and rewards, and she is quite honest about it all. I did not sense any sugar coating about the realities of the commitments she was endorsing. It also was clear that each possibility had other coaches farther down the road to show the next way. It played like a big community of pathfinders operating together.

The young people I was watching were mesmerized, by the way .All in all I see a bright future for this book, its author and its concepts. I have listened for years as every manager, educator, sociologist and NGO has thrashed about, seeking the “golden ring” of a method of getting through to this generation. I believe a Guru is upon us, and her name is Libuse Binder.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Future Climate Change - Conversations from Penn State

The Truth About Global Warming, or climate change if you prefer. It is time for the Universities and NSF to finally quit placating Climate Deniers. I applaud Dr Richard Alley for taking the lead and making these things undeniable. We need to do this because even if we let it go there would only be inaction at a time when action is needed more than ever before. In times when the money men are willing to go to the extremes they have don't people see that it is your children that are going to pay for this inaction? Please get on board so we can get together and figure out what to do. This is way past the Tree-Huggers. All of us need to find out what we will do....Jeff Darling

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Biodiversity/ Benefits to Clean Water/ University of Michigan

The University of Michigan's Bradley Cardinale has made a comprehensive study indicating that increased biodiversity does in fact actively promote water quality. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is solid science.  Climate deniers and those who would rope the EPA, for instance, can be effectively neutralized by fact....Jeff Darling

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tools of the Wheel Wright- background of Tom Cutter

In a review of Tom Cutter's life,  visualize what things looked like and how the world was in the 1840's of the Michigan Frontier. I am doing this piece from my growing and continuing story 'The Challenge of Tom Cutter.' The story is taking place in the 1840-50's, as events unfolded. In the coming chapters:
 Tom has more trouble than he can handle as someone comes calling on the Yankee Springs Trail.
Tom has a time of it when he runs into someone who has some making up to do;
Jubal was a handful from the word go, but Tom's firm hand and Open heart show the way.
Available by going to http://  click on authors then goto j_darling, the Challenge of Tom Cutter

I can see this place as the shop of Tom's cousin,George.

Here is a collection fit to open Tom's shop in Brownsville.

A nice wheelwright's Lathe (like George ultimately gave Tom)

The building of a good Hub insured that the wheel would be as solid as could be hoped for.
Join me in my exploration of another time as I continue and broaden the story of Tom Cutter. I have gotten him started in frontier Michigan. He has had some genuine adventures and will be having more as he gets to know his new, frontier life, and the people who are waiting to be part of his future. Go to, look up Author-j_darling- small j then underscore, then, darling, all small letters. they may ask you to sign up, but it is free, and there is no obligation to write, although it is nice to have if you ever want to. There is a wonderful community of folks at, come in and look around. (and read about Tom)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Challenge of Tom Cutter

Here is a short story I have been working on at I have a couple others there and will likely have more as time goes by. Go to, and go to authors, or fill the author space with  j_darling as that is my name there. Here is a preview, but go and read it. It is only a few pages long at this point, but complete.


My name is Tom Cutter. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1829, 25 years ago. I later moved to Detroit, where I lived for several years.  I entered an Apprenticeship with George Cunningham, a cousin to my Mother, as a Wheelwright.  One thing I must admit: I had a family relationship with Cousin George.  He treated me like I was his own son.  My cousin beat me, worked me like a slave from dawn to dusk and then stole my money just like my own dear old father.

My cousin also taught me how to solve a problem, and I have one. I haven’t the tools I need to open shop in a livery. I had planned on my fee for serving my cousin for an extra two years. It could take another two years to save enough for the start of our Homestead. Captain Townsend the steamboat Captain told me He had taken 2,000 immigrants to St. Joseph and Grand Rapids himself last year Sweeney at the Port Authority told me: If I don’t go now for the land, with 12,000 immigrants coming  this year alone, the pickings were going to be slim.  I knew I had to put first things first and get my property, but I really didn’t know what I was going to do afterwards.

It started six months ago, in early spring. I knew it was time to leave George’s shop; I had been a Journeyman for two years.  I worked some jobs on the side so I had a little money put away in a place where George wouldn’t find it. I also had a fee coming from George for staying two years extra after completing my Journeyman card.  I had decided to start in a new place, and Brownsville, outside Grand Rapids, seemed like a good choice.  I went to the Land Office in Kalamazoo and looked the offering (Over 5oo tracts) over well. I found three tracts of land I thought might be nice, according to surveyor's notes, then I went to have a look.

I went to Brownsville prepared. I had a wagon, which I would leave with a friend of mine from Pennsylvania. I had left most of the pots and pans and household things I would need back in Detroit with Molly, the girl I planned to wed. I had been close with Molly Duffy since I came to Michigan.
I got a room at the Oak Grove House, owned By Mr. Asahel Kent, right next to the Battle Creek Trail, at 100th.  I could almost travel a straight line to anywhere and not get lost once.

The hotel where Tom might have stayed