{ Under The Bluegums }

A personal blog with craft tutorials, reviews of books, films, and music, parenting advice, and opinions on society and politics.

May 30, 2012

The Flower of Life

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May 30, 2012 

The Flower of Life is a design that has been stuck in my brain ever since I first laid eyes on it. It is so representative of everything in this world; of how interconnected everything is.

It represents sacred geometry, reflecting ancient ideas that the Creator had based all his plans for life on a certain geometric plan. The Flower of Life is also very often used in religious design, and for Judeo-Christians, the six petals represent the six days of creation.

Most importantly, the shape is also the basic shape of the snowflake, and the snowflake is made of water, something that is the most essential aspect of life.

Anyway, I ramble. My point is that I decided to decorate our bedroom with it.

What do you think?

May 29, 2012

Consumerism = The Rise of the Female?

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It occurred to me that consumerism is closely linked to women and their rise in society.

The Victorian period ended sharply with the beginning of aggressive capitalism. Sure, it came about because of the rigorous industrialisation that was occurring at the time, but the consumer culture started to grow as women's cultural power did.

Think about it... Much of the advertising today is focused on women - we are bombarded with adverts about everything from how to get your bathroom and toilet spotless and germ-free to how you can dress up yourselves and your family, what to give them to be healthy, and even what kind of car you should buy. Enter any retail clothing store, and you'll battle to find a men's section that's larger or even equal in size to that of the women's section. Toiletries for women have wider ranges and more producers. Women need to indulge in sweet treats, slim down and exercise, plan the meals, decorate the home and garden, and even prevent time from marking their faces with wrinkles and sags.

Women are responsible for everything in society, the advertisers would have us believe. Women must be the largest consumers. And if we're the largest consumers, don't we drive consumerism? Was consumerism and the capitalist lifestyle invented because women - the gender of which there is the most in the world - are the most gullible?

PS This idea occurred to me while reading this on AlterNet.

{Photo: Dreamstime.com, Parrus}

May 25, 2012

I Love the Internet!

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25 May 2012

Here are some of the things I found on the Internet this week!

- A strange sea creature was filmed by underwater drillers. So far, the video has not been declared a hoax:
Via Discovery News

- How men's issues should not be ignored any longer.

- There were female gladiators, or gladiatrices! Though accounts of them have been found, this is only the second physical depiction found.

- This little girl even understands the craziness of gender-based marketing! :)

- An image that sums up the debate about criminalising rape victims via The Good Men Project

- Weirdest stories of 2011

May 21, 2012

Video of the Week

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21 May 2012

A pair of Jaguar cubs was born at the San Diego Zoo for the first time in 30 years.

The brother and sister, which were born on April 26, weighed about 2.3kg each as of May 20, but they'll soon reach about 113kgs when they're fully grown.

They pair haven't gone public yet; obviously they need some time with mommy first!

But you can see them below. Aren't they adorable? :)

May 7, 2012

Random? No!

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May 7, 2012 

"There are no random events, nor are there things that exist by and for themselves, in isolation. The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways.

If you wanted to trace back the cause of any event, you would have to go back all the way to the beginning of creation. The cosmos is not chaotic. The very word cosmos means order. But this is not an order the human mind can ever comprehend, although it can sometimes glimpse it." ~ Eckhart Tolle

{Image Attribution: By Kyle Hoobin (twitter.com/kylehoobin)Gregcaletta at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons}

Video of the Week

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7 May 2012

Cats are not known for their love of water, but there are some who are the exception to the rule, such as this cute little kitty.

The cat also seems to enjoy doing chores, and is helping his pet clean dishes.

May 3, 2012


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2 May 2012

Walk Off the Earth surprises me every time they come up with a new cover.

I've never really been a fan of covers, but their unique compositions make for some really great music!

What do you think?

May 1, 2012

Sadness for Today's Youth

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I feel incredibly sad for the young women and men of today.

There is just so much pressure to be 'pretty' and 'thin', and I wish there were some way I could tell them all they're all beautiful; every single one of them.

According to reports, the teens and preteens of our day are pretty insecure: using the UK as an example, 50% of those aged between 16 and 21 have thought about undergoing some kind of cosmetic surgery; more than one in 10 girls between the agest of 11 and 16 also think about surgery to change their appearance; worst of all, the average age for girls to begin dieting is eight.

When I was eight, my last thought was to try to limit my food intake.

One of the big problems these young children - because they are still children - are facing is the fact that they are bombarded with images of beautiful people all day long - photoshopped beauties that don't exist are their idols. Cosmetic surgery companies also advertise relentlessly in the UK, and we're perhaps lucky in South Africa that the extent of marketing is not too bad here. The aim of the advertising is to urge consideration of cosmetic procedures to help women to stop loathing their bodies, to aid them in their lack of self-confidence and their feelings of insecurities. However, I believe this industry is just tapping into the natural feelings of insecurity we all face, promising a quick fix to what is sometimes a completely psychological issue. The cosmetic surgery industry is taking advantage of people who have body issues by manipulating them with marketing, and that marketing does not nearly reveal everything that goes on in the industry, even to the point of "normalising" cosmetic surgery, and making it a "normal" part of life, when it really is not.

Don't get me wrong; there are times when cosmetic surgery is very important: girls who grow up to have massive breasts have breast augmentation for relief; the issue is that there is a time and place for these surgeries, and I don't believe that adolescence and pre-adolescence is one of them.

{Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Victor Habbick}