International Jazz Day

 

I’m not particularly into music and on the odd occasion when I do listen to music, I don’t often turn to jazz.  And so I don’t really know much about it. I was feeling very unenthusiastic about this. Why should jazz have an international day? It’s just music…

But apparently not.  The day was established by UNESCO because jazz is more than music.  They explained that it brings people together, it fosters an ethos of respect. The nature of jazz is such that one person listens respectfully and then responds. Within improvisational jazz, there is a forum for non violent discourse around difference. It pulls together many cultures and blends them; an approach which obviously would make life better for everyone should we employ it in our daily life.

And any jazz fans reading this, please give me some suggestions for listening!


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Save the Frogs Day

Did you know that frogs are really suffering?  I didn’t until a few months ago when I watched a documentary about them.  It seems that they’re being attacked from many different sides; climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, frog diseases…

And whilst you might not think much about the humble frog, they are actually really important to our planet.  They play a vital role in the ecosystem and are a good indicator of the health of the planet and thus our own future.  They have also been described as “hopping pharmacies” as they contain a range of potentially useful medicinal compounds.

Of all the amphibians on the IUNC Red List, 41% are threatened with extinction.

How shocking is that?  And most people are completely unaware of the perils our froggy friends are facing.  Which makes Save the Frog day much more important than it might at first sound.

There is lots of information about the risks to amphibians and what can be done to help them from the Amphibian Survival Alliance.  If you want to read more about the frog, then check out my post about the frog card from the wild unknown animal spirit deck.

Morse Code Day

Not to be confused with learn your name in morse code day which occurs in January…

The story goes that a guy, Samuel Morse, missed his wife’s death due to an issue with getting a message to him.  Note that this was many many years ago so no one could message him a little helpful emoji…  Now this guy was an inventor (and painter) and he felt there really must be something he could do to prevent this from happening in the future.  He would go on to develop Morse Code. Although not Morse Code as we know it.  His version would be “cleaned up” to make it more usable but the essence of it, the idea, remains.


National Richter Scale Day

April 26th is the day on which Charles F Richter was born, back in 1900.  As you might expect, he is indeed the guy who invented the Richter Scale at the age of 35.

For those of you who don’t remember your high school geography, the Richter Scale is a measure of the severity of earthquakes and allows us to compare the size of one earthquake with another.


World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria.

Why do we care about ending malaria?  Well, it’s one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.  It kills a vast number of people every year.  And yet it is PREVENTABLE and TREATABLE.

This is a disease we can avoid and a disease which does not have to lead to death.

If all you care about is money then you need to pay attention too; Malaria related-illnesses and mortality cost Africa’s economy $12 billion per year.

HALF of the world’s population is at risk, notably predominantly in developing countries and malaria perpetuates the poverty cycle.  Think about it, if you’re a westerner going to a part of the world with malaria, you take your meds and don’t really think any more about it.  But if you were living in poverty, you couldn’t buy those medications, and if you then contract malaria, you can’t pay for medical care and the malaria impedes your ability to work.  This then further reduces your income.  And malaria isn’t a one time deal.  It can reoccur so making it through one episode of malaria is not necessarily enough.  And those symptoms can be horrendous.  They include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches as well as seizures, coma, or death.

The most common way of being infected is being bitten by an infected mosquito.  As well as treating the disease, there are ways of reducing the risk, such as mosquito nets, mosquito control and education about the disease.

If you do nothing else for World Malaria Day, please make one other person aware that people continue to die from this treatable disease.  There was a lot of hype about malaria when I was a kid but as it’s died down a lot, I think most people assume the issue is no longer serious.


Earth Day

Earth Day could be a really serious, intense kind of day.  And there is a lot out there about the hard stuff; climate change, pollution, habitat destruction etc.

But the other side is that if we celebrate the earth, if we fall in love with our planet, then we will inevitably take better care of it.

So this is a post of celebration and photos…

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A weaving from fabric dyed by plants

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“My” tree

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Clay prints of leaves and twigs found on a walk

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Rowntree park is my local “earth space”.  It’s a wondering park with lots of greenery, wilder parts, more manicured parts.  It’s often busy and is clearly a very valued space for many people.

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My tree oracle deck offers me guidance

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My tree again!  It’s actually in Rowntree Park so you can see that I really do value my local green space.

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And totally differently, this is the coast of Ireland.  A harsher rocky place, on the west coast facing the vast ocean.

The earth is amazing, diverse, vast, intense, beautiful… Our home.  Let’s treat it the way we treat our individual homes.