Archive for environment

BLACK FEATHERS By Joseph D’Lacey – Reviewed

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Printed with the kind permission of Morpheus Tales. This review will appear in the forthcoming (very soon!) Morpheus Tales Supplement!

Black Feathers is the first the first volume in the Black Dawn Duology. A story of an environmental apocalypse…

Gordon Black is born into a world that is starting to crumble. The very Earth is sick, its disease is humanity. Floods, solar flares, famine, financial crises, earthquakes, mudslides. The old saying that society is only 72 hours from falling apart is going to be tested.

The Black family can see what’s happening. They start saving tinned food, hoarding supplies, preparing for the worst. But they can’t prepare for The Ward (a multinational corporation, part police, part military, part government). The Ward takes control of a faltering nation. They “collect” people and their belongings, taking whatever they want or need. They are self-proclaimed saviours of humanity. Gordon’s family is collected and imprisoned by The Ward for hoarding supplies, but the teenage boy manages to escape with his life and sets off to find the mysterious figure called The Crowman: a figure that some say is Satan, and others say is the saviour. While The Ward chase Gordon down, he attempts to find The Crowman.

This is a story of discovery. Gordon and Megan Maurice (who also searches for The Crowman) set off into the wilderness to try to find answers although they don’t even know what questions they need answering. Both are at the mercy of a humanity shattered and broken, as well as rapists, murderers, liars, thieves. Both must discover the truth about the Earth, The Crowman, and what happened to the world.

D’Lacey paints a disturbing picture of the apocalypse, giving hints of the epic dangers and actions that took place, while focusing on the lives of our main characters and telling the story of these epic events through our protagonists. The horrors, instead of the numbing millions, are directly relatable to the terrors that both teenagers face. The human de-evolution due to the crisis is dangerously clear at every stage. Each new face they meet is a potential danger.

This first book sets up the scene nicely, gives us a lot of the background, and sets up a nice cliff-hanger ending that’s left me ready for more. D’Lacey gives us hints of the horrors of the apocalypse, making it a mystery for our protagonists to discover. The story is carefully laid out for the reader to interpret. This is intelligent and subtle, with life-threatening dangers on an individual scale, not an action-filled battle for Earth’s survival. Not yet at least; there may well be some of that in the second book in this duology (and from the author of MEAT, I’m really looking forward to that).

Black Feathers is an original and intelligent apocalypse story. It’s a myth-filled fable of the end of the world on an individual basis. It’s a coming-of-age story set on a cruel and broken Earth.

D’Lacey writes with a power and conviction that is scary. This could well be our future. Bring on volume two! Right now! I need to know what happens next!

www.angryrobotbooks.com

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Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide – Seepage, Wastage – Being switch-conscious

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Did you know it takes about 40-90 minutes to charge your phone? How long do you leave it plugged in? Once it’s fully charge, which most phones display, you’re just throwing money at the electricity company! Don’t overcharge! This goes for rechargeable batteries (which are much better value than regular ones so invest in some if you use a lot of batteries), electric toothbrushes, iPod (although you’re more likely to plug those into a PC.

Switch off at the plug, seepage means your electricity is draining away. For multiple plug sockets, videos, dvd players, microwaves, kettles that light up, internet routers/modems, anything with a display that is left on, will move that little electricity meter and cost you more money. Unless you use it your plugged in device as a clock turn it off! At the plug! Never ever use standby, it uses almost the same electricity as full power.

You can buy special plug sockets that power down certain PC accessories for you when you’re not using them. But how about not switching on your PC speakers when you’re messing around on myspace or downloading porn! If you don’t need it on then don’t plug it in!

And remember when you’re switch-conscious you are not only being good to your pocket but also to the environment.

Credit Crunch: Saving money without going without. The no pain savings plan.

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by stanleyriiks

You need to start thinking about how your money is spent and being aware of waste. Most of the things I’ll mention are just common sense. All of us waste money to a certain degree, and don’t think you don’t. If you are paying more than you should for something then that’s a waste. If you’re using something you don’t need to use then that’s a waste. If you can cut out as much waste as possible and live more efficiently then you will save money.

Get loyalty cards for everywhere that offers them for free, Sainsbury, Tesco, Iceland all offer loyalty cards. What better way of saving money than getting something for free, even if it is only one week’s worth a shopping a year, it all adds up!

Turn the light off when you leave a room (providing no one else is in there!). This can save you upwards of £5.00 a month.

Use Energy Saving light bulbs, good for the environment, good for your wallet! (can save you another £5.00 or more a month).

Reuse plastic bags, particularly in Sainsburys (where you can receive nectar points for using them) and Tesco (where you get clubcard points). (Can gain you £1.00 or more a year depending on how many shops you do a month).

Put on a jumper when it gets cold. Ok, so when it gets really cold you need to put on your heating, but only use your central heating to heat, then turn it off until the temperate gets low again, then turn it back on. Set your timer for the minimum time you need it and make sure you never have it on when nobody is home. (can save £20.00 or more).

Never put things on the radiator to dry! It will suck the into the wet towel and the room will not be as warm as it should be!

If there are rooms you don’t use, such at the hallway or spare room, shut those doors and turn off the radiators. Don’t heat rooms you don’t need to. It might also be worth turning it off in the kitchen, normally when you are in there (whilst cooking) it’s warm enough.

Go to bed early. Not only will you benefit from all that extra sleep, but you can turn off the lights and heating while you’re in bed.

You think that’s all a waste of time? That little lot could save you over £500.00 a year!