Archive for February, 2013

Reflections on ConneKXions

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Dear Friends, Sisters and Brothers who love Life,

For the last four years, I have tended a nomadic musical garden on KX Radio, creating a non-format called ConneKXions.

During my travels, the Bluebird Studio has lit up its tiny red and yellow lights in all kinds of places.

Some shows were recorded with the microwave in a friend’s kitchen as the studio surface. Others found their birth on a sturdy oaken desk on the 26th floor of a hotel room in former East Berlin. Others were created on a wobbly, plastic lace-covered folding table in the front yard of an English cottage. Sometimes circumstances only allowed for the back of a pick up truck.

My views from these varied locations ranged from harsh, concrete parking lots to vast, starlit deserts, from cute Dutch canals to sheep-filled meadows and Bladerunner-esque skyscrapers bordering a ghetto.

As long as there was an Internet connection available, the show rolled on, celebrating music from as far back as 100 years, when public radio was only a dream.

“How do you know which songs to play?” people often ask me.

“How can you explain falling in love?” I ask in return.


One fine day I was walking among stunning orchids, exotic trees and turquoise lizards in a desert park many thousands of miles away from my Native Holland. Suddenly….out of nowhere….a Dutch song popped into my mind, called “Zuurkool met vette jus” by Sjef van Oekel.**

What on Earth…?!?

**Sjef van Oekel was a well-known Dutch comedian, the song’s title translates as “Sauerkraut With Greasy Gravy” and is an ode to food.

The scent of a flower, the look in the eyes of a songbird, the taste of a cookie, the memory of a loved one….all of these amazing experiences connect us to the great mystery, called Life.

And yes, of course — with some songs it can be a particular chord change, a lyrical phrase, a photograph or the life story of an artist that inspires and guides the random music choices, which characterize ConneKXions.

However, most often it is just a change in the direction of the wind.

With Love,
ConneKXions banner

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The Life Of A Lake

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Renewal is a choice
by Simone Walraven


photo credit: Bas Lammers via photopin cc

Dear Friends,

An article published in a National Geographic issue a couple of years ago illuminates to the reader that our oceans are dying.

The reason given is acidification.  Too much CO2 by itself is apparently not the only thing that causes the problem.  It is the mixing of chemicals with the high levels of CO2, which creates a toxic cocktail for millions of creatures — from the tiniest bacteria to coral reefs and the fish that feed us.

Why do we keep pouring sewage and industrial waste into the places that literally give us Life?  Next time I wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap, I will remind myself that eventually, those bacteria killers will also destroy essential bacteria that live in the rivers and seas, because, ultimately, that is where the water in my sink flows to.  I think I will switch to the good old lemon soap that my Grandma used.

LemonSoaponDish photo credit:

An example came to my attention recently, of a group of people who live in a wealthy area of a German town, which sits on the shores of a beautiful lake.  The lake had literally died, after putting up with decades of sewage and chemical disposal.  Nothing was left alive.

The concerned people came together with money, which fortunately they had plenty of, and a willingness to change something to bring the lake back to life.  They worked with their town council to move the sewage system away from the lake shore, and instead build a different kind of sewage plant outside of town, where there was plenty of room for leech fields.  In this way, they put their sh*t on the land, where it could feed the ground and make plants and trees grow, instead of pouring it into the lake, where it killed everything.

The prediction was that it would take ten years for the lake to revive.  However, from the moment the changes took effect, it only took five years before fish started spawning again.  After two more years, there were enough fish in the lake for people to start fishing.

In other words: when given the chance, the power of renewal in Nature is astounding!

I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak with many different kinds of driven individuals from the corporate and scientific world at the Clean Tech Media Awards in Berlin for the past five years.  I have also met with many courageous people in Holland, England and the US, who are actively working to make a change toward a more responsible way of inhabiting the Earth. It is not that there is a lack of willingness to change the way we do things.  The main ingredient that is missing is investment.  

Money.  That’s it. 

The technologies are already there.  The savvy, brilliant geniuses are already there.  The infrastructure is already there.  The ONLY thing missing is money.  Leadership will follow when there is money on the table.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States during the Great Depression, he initiated enormous growth in the job market by starting government-run programs that improved American cities with parks, brought electricity to rural places and upgraded the country’s infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of people could eat and care for their families because of these programs, while at the same time, their country was improved.

Hey!  Can’t we do this again, by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable energy industry?  By making changes to where we put our crap? So how about saving a lake this year? Or a river? 

P.S. Don’t know where to start? Check out these Earthloving Links.

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