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2 Weeks into 2019: Where are You Headed?

This updated marketing plan template takes you from big-picture goals to the right methods, activities, required skills, and budget, and impact! Preview the plan template here.

Eeesh! Those New Year’s resolutions—including the ones we set for marketing and fundraising work—are so hard to keep.

That’s because most marketing resolutions are specific action items (to-dos)—I am going to get this email list cleaned up this month, or I’m going to start posting our available dogs twice daily on Instagram—rather than guiding goals—the real “what we want to achieve.” Then, when things change in the environment in which we work—making those actions irrelevant or too difficult— or there’s no clear framework for assessment and adaptation, our aspirations come to a dead stop. As your marketing resolutions fade, you’re stuck in the same place you’ve been.

Instead, resolve to follow this proven path to effective marketing planning. 

  1. Articulate your marketing goals (a.k.a. resolutions) —start with a max of three smart, realistic, and attainable goals for the next six months. If you get pressure to go beyond that timeframe or add goals, push back as hard as you can. Planning too far ahead in this quickly-changing environment is a waste of time and effort. Establishing too many goals is pure self-sabotage.
  2. Outline the specific, tangible benchmarks that will indicate you’re making progress towards these goals. You have to be able to SEE these benchmarks for them to show how you’re doing. Include metrics and other insights such as anecdotes.
  3. Create a nitty-gritty work plan of the actions likely to get you to goals, most likely to get you there, including the frequently-overlooked 1) skills and time required for each task; and 2) who does what.
  4. Monitor your benchmarks on a frequent, ongoing basis and adjust actions accordingly. Even if this means you don’t execute all planned communications, you’ll get better results. Stay accountable to yourself and your colleagues. Action without benchmarking wastes your time and effort.

Get your updated marketing plan template now.
It’s a proven path to getting attention and driving actions you need!

Categories: Non profits

Explaining the concept of karezza

Go to www.reuniting.info - Tue, 2019-01-15 17:59

In this video a man explains karezza to a guy who may be ejaculating too frequently. This might help someone new to the concept understand how karezza can makes sense. Karezza discussion begins around minute 12. If you don't want to watch the video, you can read the article on this same page.

Too much sex? How to maintain relationship harmony and stay pornfree.

 

 

Topic:
Categories: Healthy sexuality

Take Action to Help Your Local Meat Producers!

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-01-15 14:56
January 15, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationAlexis Baden-MayerFarm Issues, Politics & Globalization chicken_foliage_face_profile_1200x630.jpg

The new Congress is busy setting its priorities for the 2019-20 session. So now is the time to let your representatives know how they can help the regenerative organic food and farming movement.

One easy thing Congress can do is to make it easier for farmers who produce pasture-raised meat to process their animals closer to home, and access new local markets.

The benefit to consumers? More locally produced meat at potentially more affordable prices.

TAKE ACTION: Ask your representatives in Congress to be original cosponsors of the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act and the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act.

The PRIME Act would allow animals butchered at small-scale custom slaughterhouses to be sold by the cut within the state.

The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act would allow producers of meat and poultry products inspected by USDA-approved state programs to sell their meat across state lines.

Both bills were introduced in past legislative sessions, but will have to be reintroduced in order to go anywhere during the current session.

Please ask your representatives in Congress to re-introduce and sponsor these bills!

Gambling With Our Health: Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Cost the U.S. $340 Billion a Year

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-01-15 14:29
January 15, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationJulie WilsonAll About Organics, Health Issues grocery_1200x630.jpg

The diseases caused by exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food, environment and household and personal care products cost the U.S. $340 billion a year, says children’s environmental health expert Dr. Leonardo Trasande.

Trasande is the author of “Sicker, Fatter, Poorer,” featured on a recent CBS News segment. The book highlights the potentially harmful effects of thousands of endocrine disruptors, also known as hormone mimickers, which can interfere with the body’s endocrine system and cause adverse developmental, reproductive and neurological effects.

Endocrine disruptors are linked to a string of health problems, including diabetes, brain disorders, fertility issues and cancer. The chemicals can be grouped into four categories: 

• Pesticides used in agriculture

• Phthalates used in personal care products and food packaging

• Bisphenol A (BPA) used in aluminum can linings and plastics

• Flame retardants applied to furniture, electronics, mattresses and car seats

"Hormones are molecules that our body uses to signal and communicate, and hormone disrupters are chemicals that scramble those signals and contribute to disease, Trasande told CBS News. “We know now of over 1,000 chemicals that are hormone disrupters," he said.

Hormone mimickers also play a role in weight gain and may be a key factor in America’s growing obesity epidemic, which now affects 78 million adults and 12 million children, according to the National Council of State Legislature.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals that cause weight gain are called obesogens. Studies show that not only do obesogens promote weight gain, but they also cause the body to hang on to other environmental pollutants for longer, which could explain why obesity is an underlying risk factor for so many other diseases, including cancer.

Trasande says these chemicals “scramble hormone signals and shift our diet and how it's transformed in our body into fat as opposed into muscle or other categories.”

The use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in consumer products is so widespread that the toxins are showing up in the environment, and subsequently, wildlife, too.

A study published in 2018 found phthalates in the urine of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Phthalates showed up in 71 percent of dolphins tested in the area over a two-year period. The discovery is alarming as it marks the first time scientists have found endocrine disruptors in the urine of wild marine mammals, which indicates the chemicals remained in their body long enough to process them.

Despite their persistence, there are steps consumers can take to limit their exposure to hormone-mimicking chemicals. Buying organic and locally sourced food can reduce exposure to toxic pesticides. Avoiding canned food and drink can help protect consumers from BPA and BPA alternative chemicals.

Finally, never microwave anything plastic, and try to avoid consuming food or drink that comes from a heated, plastic container. 

Click here to learn more about how you can avoid hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Julie Wilson is communications associate for the Organic Consumers Association(OCA). To keep up with OCA news and alerts, sign up for our newsletter.

A Call for the Food Movement to Get Behind the Green New Deal

Organic consumers - Mon, 2019-01-14 15:58
January 14, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationRonnie CumminsEnvironment & Climate gnd_1200x630.png

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan… Half measures will not work… The time for slow and incremental efforts has long past [sic].”- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then-candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Huffington Post, June 26, 2018

“Just transitioning 10 percent of agricultural production to best-practice regenerative systems will sequester enough CO2 to reverse climate change and restore the global climate. Regenerative Agriculture can change agriculture from being a major contributor to climate change to becoming a major solution.” - Andre Leu, international director, Regeneration International, “Reversing Climate Change with Regenerative Agriculture,” October 9, 2018

The ‘Great Climate Awakening’ of 2018

The final months of 2018 will likely be remembered as the decisive moment when the global grassroots awakened to the life-or-death threat posed by global warming. With violent weather and climate disasters becoming the norm, and international scientists finally shedding their customary caution to report that we must drastically slash (by at least 45 percent) global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, hundreds of millions of ordinary people across the world seemed to simultaneously wake up.

Young climate activists under the banner of the Sunrise Movement in the U.S. and the Extinction Rebellion in the UK and other countries, sat in at politicians’ offices. They blocked streets and roadways. They demanded immediate and bold action. 

The Green New Deal is born

In the U.S., an insurgent slate of newly elected members of Congress, inspired by the Sunrise Movement and led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have generated headlines and popular support by calling for a Green New Deal (GND), a 21st Century upgrade of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal carried out during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Given the severity of the climate crisis, and the deterioration of the U.S. and global status quo (economic, political, health and environment), it’s no exaggeration to state that the GND is perhaps the most significant blueprint for system change in 100 years.

The GND’s call for a mass conversion to renewable energy and zero emissions of greenhouse gases in the U.S. by 2030, is in line with what most scientists say is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

But what’s new, and long overdue in this  evolving manifesto is that the GND also calls for the greening, “just transition” and elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from our multi-trillion-dollar food and farming system as well. That call is long overdue, especially given that our degenerative food system generates 44-57 percent of all global greenhouse gases.

The GND draft statement calls for “eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country.” It also calls for funding “massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases.”

Beyond offering comprehensive energy and agricultural solutions for our climate emergency, what is truly game-changing and revolutionary about the GND is that it calls for system-wide economic regeneration as well: full employment, $15/hr. minimum wage, universal health care, free public education, and economic justice for all—policies extremely popular with the overwhelming majority of the body politic, including students, working class communities and low-income groups.

By bringing together the concerns of youth, food, farmer, environmental and climate activists, with the bread-and-butter concerns of workers and frontline communities, the GND offers nothing less than a contemporary roadmap for survival and regeneration.

As Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, pointed out in a recent email urging groups to sign on to the GND, it is economic injustice, the lack of money in the pockets of workers and consumers, the 80 percent of ordinary people who live from paycheck to paycheck, that has, in large part, held back the greening of America:

Who wouldn’t drive a Tesla, put up solar panels, or buy an energy efficient home in a walkable neighborhood with great public transportation? Everyone wants these things. We all want to enjoy good health, breathe clean air and drink pure water. There aren’t many families who would have to be convinced to eat locally grown organic health food if it were available and they could afford it. The problem is we’ve got student debt. Our mortgages are under water. We’ve got medical bills and childcare to pay for. And many of us have been too poor to go to college, buy a house or start a family. Our country’s struggling family farmers have the same problem. Sure, they’d love to go organic and pay their workers fairly. They want to do what’s best for their families, their communities and their environment. They just have to figure out how to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy first.

Support grows quickly for the GND, but so do attacks

With unprecedented speed, Ocasio-Cortez, insurgent Democrats and the Sunrise Movement have stimulated massive media coverage and generated significant public support for the GND, putting radical change on the national agenda. More than 45 members of Congress, five U.S. Senators, leading 2020 presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, hundreds of local officials, and over 600 activist organizations have already endorsed the GND.

In late-2018, polls indicated that 81 percent of Americans support full employment, economic justice and renewable energy, as outlined in the GND.

Yet despite initial strong support for the GND among activists and the general public, establishment politicians (both Democrats and Republicans) and the corporate media have launched a massive counter-attack, denouncing the GND (and Ocasio-Cortez and her allies) as “utopian,” “radical,” “impractical” and even “dangerous.”

The unfortunate truth is that Congress and the mass media are infected and dominated by powerful climate emergency deniers and establishment politicians taking money from fossil fuel companies, climate-destructive industrial agribusiness and Wall Street. Yet with global scientists sounding the alarm that the onset of runaway global warming (with atmospheric CO2 levels of 450 ppm or higher) is not 80 years away or even 50 years away, but more like a dozen years away unless we drastically change course, it can hardly be called “utopian” to organize around a bold emissions-reduction, drawdown and economic development plan that can avert catastrophe, and improve the lives of everyday people at the same time.

Painting Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement as “radical” is not likely to derail the growing insurgency. Because a radical emergency more serious than anything humans have ever faced in our 200,000-year evolution demands a radical solution. As Cortez said in an interview on “60 Minutes” on January 6 (watched by 11 million people), she admits to being a “radical”— not unlike previous “radicals” in American history, including Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who likewise confronted severe crises demanding radical solutions.

Is it possible to achieve zero emissions in the U.S. by 2030?

On the same “60 Minutes” show, Ocasio-Cortez was pressed on the practicality of zero fossil fuel emissions by 2030. The host tried to trip her up by asking if zero emissions meant that all of us would be driving electric cars within a decade. She responded by saying that there are technological breakthroughs on the horizon that we can’t even imagine yet.

Although it’s undoubtedly true that there are technical breakthroughs in renewable energy and electric cars on the horizon, I wasn’t fully satisfied with Ocasio-Cortez’s answer (even though I admit she’s my favorite political leader of all time). Here’s how I would have answered that question:

“Millions of Americans are going to be driving electric cars in 2030. But you’re right, a lot of us will still be driving our old gasoline-powered vehicles. If you read the details of our proposed Green New Deal carefully, you’ll see that we’re not just talking about rapid reductions in fossil fuel emissions, the CO2 and other greenhouse gases we put up into the sky by burning fossil fuels. We’re also talking about drawing down these same greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, utilizing climate-friendly farming practices that qualitatively increase plant photosynthesis, soil fertility and natural carbon sequestration. These regenerative practices include farming organically, holistic grazing, improving soil health, and restoring our forests, grasslands and wetlands. In other words, we can and must reach zero net emissions in 2030 by drawing down as much atmospheric carbon as we’re still putting up.

“The Green New Deal aims to change not only our climate-destructive energy, manufacturing and transportation systems, but also our degenerative food and farming systems. The Green New Deal is designed to raise the living standards for all Americans, including low-income workers in both rural and urban communities, so that all of us can choose and afford healthier and more climate-friendly lifestyles. In the next decade, we must facilitate a just transition away from climate-destabilizing factory farms and fossil fuel-intensive agriculture, at the same time as we switch, as rapidly possible, to 100-percent renewable energy. With renewable energy and regenerative food, farming and land use working in synergy, there is no doubt that we can reach zero net emissions by 2030, significant negative net emissions by 2050, and literally, along with the rest of the world, reverse global warming and avert climate catastrophe.”

We know what to do. The best practices and practitioners in alternative energy, infrastructure rebuilding and regenerative food and farming are already visible in or near our local communities. We simply need to mobilize politically to scale up these practices utilizing the power of a GND. But we’re running out of time unless we can quickly build a massive united front, elect new GND supporters to Congress and the White House in 2020, and pass federal legislation for a GND starting in 2021, as Ocasio-Cortez puts it, “similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan.”

The time to join the GND Revolution is now. On February 5, hubs and homes across the country will host parties to tune into a Sunrise Movement livestream detailing the 2019 GND strategy. Anyone can host a party to grow the movement. These house parties will unite communities to build the people power we need to make the GND happen. To host a party click here:

Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here. 

Organic Consumers Association Wins on Motion to Dismiss in Case Against Unilever-Owned Ben & Jerry's for Deceptive Marketing Claims

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-01-10 14:08
All About Organics, Environment & ClimateOrganic Consumers AssociationJanuary 10, 2019 ben_and_jerrys_ice_cream_shelves_1200x630.jpg

Photo: benjerry.fr, CC BY-NC 2.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2019

CONTACT: Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, (207) 653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org

Washington, DC –Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today announced that the District of Columbia Superior Court rejected Ben & Jerry’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit OCA brought against the Unilever-owned brand in July 2018 under the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA).

“We are pleased that the court agrees that Ben & Jerry’s can be held accountable for the claims it makes about its products, and how the production of those products impacts animal welfare and the environment,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director. “This is a major victory for millions of consumers who have been deceived by Ben & Jerry’s marketing claims.”

OCA sued Ben & Jerry’s for the deceptive labeling, marketing and sale of its ice cream products as humanely sourced and environmentally responsible, despite the fact that ingredients are sourced from typical factory dairy farms and some of the products contain traces of glyphosate, an environmentally harmful biocide and the key active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® weedkiller.

In its ruling, the court agreed that consumers may have been misled by Ben & Jerry’s environmental responsibility statements into believing that the company’s ice cream products would be free of glyphosate.

The court also agreed that Ben & Jerry’s general messages about humane treatment of cows in the “Caring Dairy” program and “values-led sourcing” may mislead customers into believing that Ben & Jerry’s uses ingredients only from dairy farms with higher-than-average animal welfare standards, when the evidence may suggest otherwise.

OCA is represented by Richman Law Group.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit grassroots organization advocating on behalf of millions of consumers for safe, healthful food and a clean environment. Visit: https://www.organicconsumers.org/.

Richman Law Group (RLG) is a collective of lawyers specializing in impact litigation to repair the world. RLG was founded on the idea that what cannot be achieved by way of legislation can sometimes be achieved by way of litigation. This tight-knit cadre of tenacious and diverse professionals is dedicated to fighting for the rights of its clients, and through them, the needs of the community at large. Visit: www.richmanlawgroup.com.

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Deer Disease Poses Risks to General Public, Not Just Hunters

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-01-08 02:42
January 7, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationMartha RosenbergFood Safety deer_buck_antlers_field_meadow_1200x630.jpeg

If you live in an urban area, should you be concerned about the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in U.S. deer herds?

CWD has caused hundreds of captive deer to be euthanized on commercial deer farms in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Pennsylvania. The disease has also spread to non-captive (wild) deer herds.

CWD hasn’t been widely publicized. So it’s no surprise that many people, whether they live in rural or urban areas, are unaware of the issue. But among those urban dwellers who are aware, there’s often little concern—because most people think CWD affects only rural areas, namely hunters and Departments of Natural Resources (DNRs) that depend on hunting licenses for revenue. 

In fact, recent scientific reports suggest that whether you live in the city, the suburbs or the country, you should be concerned about CWD—and you should take precautions.

What is CWD?

CWD is a fatal, transmissible neurological disease that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

It’s called a “prion” disease because it’s caused by microscopic “prions,” defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as “misfolded forms of proteins naturally found in the body . . . [that] can convert normally folded prion protein molecules into an infectious form when they come in contact with each other.”

According to the NIH, these misshapen prion proteins clump together and accumulate in brain tissue. Once that happens, it’s impossible to get rid of them. They aren’t deactivated by cooking, heat, autoclaves, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, phenol, lye, formaldehyde or radiation.

But here’s something that gets very little attention: Prions also remain in the soil indefinitely.

Colorado Division of Wildlife personnel recently found out just how indestructible prions are when they tried to eradicate CWD from a contaminated facility. Staff treated the soil with chlorine, removed the treated soil, then applied another chlorine treatment to the remaining soil and let the facility remain vacant for more than a year.

A year later, the soil still tested positive for the prion disease.

In humans, a prion-related disease is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a degenerative brain disease that leads to dementia and is ultimately fatal. CJD in humans is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly known as mad cow disease.

Research suggests CWD not limited to animals and humans

CWD is commonly thought to affect only animals. However, a 2015 study by University of Texas Health Science Center suggests that the leaves and roots of grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions.

Even highly diluted amounts of the infected prion protein were absorbed by the roots and leaves of the grass plants, in as little as two minutes, according to the UT the researchers. When fed to hamsters, the prion-contaminated grass infected the hamsters.

The fact that humans could eat grass plants—such as wheat grass, typically considered a health food—infected with CWD should give people pause, regardless of where they live.

Here’s another reason for people who don’t live in rural areas to fear prion diseases like CWD: Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the University of California at San Diego and UC-San Francisco, found that people with CJD have the prions in their eyes. That means there is a risk for the disease to spread via prion-contaminated instruments, during eye surgeries or even routine eye exams, according the researchers.

As reported by Live Science, researchers "found prions in all eight regions of the eye that were tested, including the cornea, lens, ocular fluid, retina, choroid (a part of the eye that contains blood vessels and connective tissue), sclera (the white of the eye), optic nerve (which connects the back of the eye to the brain) and extraocular muscle (which controls eye movement)."

Where do prion diseases come from?

Mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also transmitted by prions, is widely believed to stem from the cost-cutting practice of feeding cows to cows. Similarly, CWD may have man-made origins.

Captive deer operations are a main source of CWD due to their concentration of animals, “communicability window” (from trophy stock trading and escaped animals) and questionable feed sources. In a four-part expose, the Indiana Star revealed how “the pursuit of deer bred for enormous antlers and shot in hunting pens” on trophy farms is spreading CWD at an alarming rate.

Infected sheep may also be to blame. In the mid-1960s, the Department of Wildlife ran a series of nutritional studies on wild deer and elk at the Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. Soon after the studies began, however, Foothills deer and elk began dying from a mysterious disease.

It turns out that the deer may have developed CWD as a result of being held at the same facility with sheep that had had scrapie, a fatal, degenerative prion disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Research shows that white-tail deer exposed to scrapie are susceptible to developing CWD.

Can you get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) by eating CWD-infected deer meat?

The official position of Departments of Natural Resources (DNR), which depend on revenue from deer-hunting licenses, is that humans can’t get CJD from eating venison from deer infected with CWD.

Yet a 2002 Centers for Disease Control study contradicts that claim. The study, "Fatal Degenerative Neurologic Illnesses in Men Who Participated in Wild Game Feasts,” found numerous cases of hunters and/or men who ate venison who had developed CJD.

To reduce their CWD risk, DNRs warn hunters to wear surgical gloves when cutting up deer and to avoid exposing open cuts or sores on their hands. They tell hunters not to eat a deer’s brain, eyeballs, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes. Yet, scientific articles say that muscle, blood, fat and other parts of the animal, including kidneys, pancreas, liver, saliva and antler velvet, also contain prions.

What can consumers do to avoid risk?

There are a number of ways you can limit your personal risk, and also help minimize the overall risk of the spread of CWD.

Take these three critical steps to avoid personal risk:

• Avoid eating venison, especially if it comes from “farmed” deer fed animal waste. Because it’s nearly impossible for deer processors to sterilize their equipment after each deer, cross-contamination is always a risk.

• Avoid any meat that comes from a factory farm. Factory farms often feed confined animals slaughterhouse waste, or rendered animal protein. This practice is prohibited in organic meat production.

• Make sure your eye doctor is aware of the new and concerning risks presented by patients who may have prion diseases.

Here are some things you can do to help address the overall problem:

• Call for an end to game farms. Deer breeding and “trophy farms” are a $4-billion/year industry. Farmers operate canned "hunts" in which bucks with trophy antlers can fetch six figures. Customers are guaranteed a kill, and the animals are sometimes drugged. Deer farm operators also sell antlers, velvet, urine and meat.

• Protest the widespread trapping and killing of wolves. Wolves serve the important ecological purpose of culling diseased deer from the herd––a function which is lost when they are hunted and trapped.

• Call on the CDC to require autopsies on people whose death certificate reads "Alzheimer’s disease" or "dementia." Many of these people, especially deer hunters, actually have died from CJD but are buried or cremated with no disclosure. The public deserves to know these risks, which can be transferred through surgical instruments and bodily fluids.

Martha Rosenberg a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). Ronnie Cummins is OCA’s International Director. To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here. 

Source Author 2: Ronnie Cummins

‘Genital/orgasm De-emphasis’ may increase relationship satisfaction

Go to www.reuniting.info - Sat, 2019-01-05 21:32

Research by a grad student at Bowling Green State University attempted to investigate the effects of tantric-sex behavior (in non-tantric practitioners): "Development and Validation of a Tantric Sex Scale: Sexual-Mindfulness, Spiritual Purpose, and Genital/orgasm De-emphasis" (https://etd.ohiolink.edu/pg_10?0::NO:10:P10_ACCESSION_NUM:bgsu154203013060414).

Intriguingly, he discovered that ‘Genital/orgasm De-emphasis’ was associated with increased relationship satisfaction and mindfulness (though not associated with passion). I have full paper.

Excerpts:

Although, as previously noted, the hypothesized Physical Techniques subscale of the TSS [Tantric Sex Scale] did not emerge as expected, a distinct Genital/orgasm De-emphasis scale did.

In terms of genital/orgasm De-emphasis, previous researchers have found that focusing less on achieving one’s intense pleasure of orgasm is beneficial for couples’ intimacy (Weiner & Avery-Clark, 2014). Master and Johnson’s (1970) sensate focused therapy begins with one partner caressing another’s body (avoiding the genitals) while the receiver is mindful of the sensations. This technique has been shown to be effective in increasing felt intimacy between the partners. Engaging in sex without attempting to pursue a pleasurable, climatic end has beneficial effects on the relationship. It is at least plausible that the obtained Genital/orgasm De-emphasis subscale taps into the methods of letting go of the desire to seek personal pleasure/orgasm during sex.

...

Three factors emerged from the factor analysis: sexual mindfulness, spiritual purpose, and genital/orgasm De-emphasis. Sexual mindfulness was predictive of relationship and sexual satisfaction amongst other good relational outcomes. Curiously, spiritual purpose was negatively related to relationship satisfaction but positively with sexual satisfaction. Genital/orgasm De-emphasis was related positively with relationship satisfaction. In total, researchers should continue to test whether different aspects of tantric sex are beneficial for couples in general and as a specific means of intervention in clinical settings.

Abstract

Tantra is a religious tradition that holds sex as nourishing to the spiritual life. Within popular culture and scholarly works alike, there are reports claiming that tantric sex results in deepening intimacy, increasing sexual passion, and increasing relational and sexual satisfaction. To date, there is a complete absence of empirical research concerning the purported effects of tantric sex. Given the reported benefits associated with tantric sex, there is a basis for empirical inquiry. This study examined tantra empirically by developing, testing, and validating a brief measure of tantric sexual practice. Additionally, this work demonstrates how this measure of tantric sex might predict relevant outcomes such as relationship and sexual satisfaction. An exploratory factor analysis approach was used with a goal of reducing a large item bank (81 items) to a briefer, 25-item scale. Three subscales emerged: Sexual-mindfulness, Spiritual Purpose, and Genital/orgasm Overlook. Further hypothesis testing was conducted using both correlation and regression analyses. Sexual-mindfulness was associated with Relationship and Sexual Satisfaction in correlational and regression analysis. Spiritual Purpose was negatively associated with Relationship Satisfaction in correlational and regression analysis. Genital/orgasm Overlook was positively associated with Relationship Satisfaction in correlational and regression analysis. Implications of the results are discussed exploring possible implications for romantic relationships.

Categories: Healthy sexuality

Velorution acquire alwaysriding.co.uk to accelerate online growth

velorution - Wed, 2019-01-02 21:17

Following a year of rapid expansion Velorution, London’s leading Electric and Urban cycling retailer is really thrilled to announce the acquisition of Always Riding the global online retailer of stylish and technically advanced cycle clothing, accessories, bags, bikes and cycling lifestyle products.
https://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/

Conrad Lewis Velorution’s managing director ”The Always Riding online business was established in 2008 and has grown an extensive customer base of over 20,000 active customers ,a top notch customer service (a Google Certified Store no less) and unique brand selection for road, trail and urban / city cycling. Velorution shares similar values which makes the acquisition a perfect fit for our business and will accelerate our online growth to reach a larger global audience

alwaysriding.co.uk will continue to run as an independent web business enhanced by the addition of our sales and marketing team and extensive product lineup”.

 

Jonathan Cole Velorution’s Chairman” 2019 is going to be a very important year for Velorution. We are currently crowdfunding on the Seedrs.com platform to enable the opening of two more electric and folding bike stores and grow our online business and we are currently at 74% of our target. The acquisition of AlwaysRiding comes at a perfect time and will supercharge our global online ambitions as we continue to grow the Velorution brand”

Categories: Liveable cities

The Genius of Many Minds, The Effort of Many Hands

Organic consumers - Thu, 2018-12-27 18:45
December 27, 2018Organic Consumers AssociationRonnie CumminsAll About Organics hands_working_together_business_1200x630.jpg

“New models are emerging today . . . from the longing in many hearts, the genius of many minds, the effort of many hands to build what we know instinctively that we need.” - Marjorie Kelly, “Owning our Future.”

Last week, the USDA released its final rules for GMO labeling. As predicted, the federal law is full of loopholes. So full of them, that the law can easily be summed up in two words: a joke.

With your help, OCA fought long and hard for your right to know if your food contains genetically modified ingredients.

But even under Obama, who campaigned on the promise of your “right to know” about GMOs, federal lawmakers sided with Monsanto.

Betrayed by the politicians elected to represent us, we stepped up our education campaign. We ratcheted up the pressure on corporations, using boycotts and lawsuits.

We may not have won the GMO labeling battle—which was always a means to a bigger end. But thanks to you, we are winning the war against Monsanto and Big Food.

Now, with a roster of newly elected members of Congress who understand that we must connect the dots between food, farming, environmental, climate and economic justice policies, we’re standing on the brink of an unprecedented opportunity to transform our food and farming system.

We need your help to make the most of this opportunity.

If you make a donation to OCA between now and December 31, your gift will be matched by the Mercola.com’s charitable foundation. You can donate online, or by phone or mail, details here.

How do we know we’re winning the war against Monsanto and Big Food?

Junk food sales are down. Local citizens are rising up against factory farms.

Monsanto lost the biggest lawsuit it’s ever faced, when a jury unanimously decided that Roundup weedkiller caused Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. The company still faces more than 9,000 lawsuits by other cancer victims. 

Meanwhile, Monsanto’s new parent company, Bayer, is struggling under the weight of plummeting stock prices.

At least 13 countries, including France and Germany, are moving to ban glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup. 

In the U.S., while the EPA drags its feet, cities from Sonoma, California, to Bethesda, Maryland, are weighing their own bans on glyphosate.

Progress may still be too slow, but make no mistake: An educated citizenry is demanding—and getting—change.

But perhaps the best news to come along in awhile is something called the Green New Deal. 

We often hear from our supporters that we shouldn’t mix food with politics. But if the GMO movement taught us anything, it’s that policymakers—especially those who line their campaign coffers with donations from Monsanto and Big Food—wield tremendous power over consumer rights when it comes to food (and the environment).

The authors and supporters of the Green New Deal understand this. They also understand that food and farming policy, which currently favors industrial factory farms, is directly related to poor health, a polluted environment, declining communities, and the climate crisis.

Newly elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently told Bon Appétit she sees food at the center of many pressing issues, from ethics to climate. She told the magazine:

“The food industry is the nexus of almost all of the major forces in our politics today. It’s super closely linked with climate change and ethics. It’s the nexus of minimum wage fights, of immigration law, of criminal justice reform, of health care debates, of education. You’d be hard-pressed to find a political issue that doesn’t have food implications.”

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, Democratic Socialist, Libertarian, or just plain apolitical, if you care about food, health or the environment, you should be encouraged by Ocasio-Cortez’s statement. And you should get behind the Green New Deal.

We are encouraged. And we are mobilizing.

We believe 2019 has the potential to be a great year for the food movement—but only if we fight for it. Only if we pressure lawmakers, as never before, for transformational, not incremental, change.

If we want to transform our predominantly degenerative food and farming system to a regenerative one, we’re going to need drastically better food and farming policies.

We’re going to need the “genius of many minds, the efforts of many hands.”

We’re going to need you.

Please consider a generous donation to our year-end fundraising campaign. Make your donation to OCA between now and December 31, and Mercola.com’s charitable foundation will match your gift. You can donate online, or by phone or mail, details here.

Tell Bayer CEO Werner Baumann: Think Roundup Lawsuits Are a ‘Nuisance?’ Imagine How Cancer Victims Feel!

Organic consumers - Wed, 2018-12-19 22:17
Belong to campaign: Millions Against MonsantoCategory: Genetic EngineeringTags: #MonsantoTrialArea: USA

More than 9,000 lawsuits are now pending against Monsanto, by people who allege that exposure to Roundup weedkiller caused their cancer. 

Most of the people behind these lawsuits have stories not unlike the one told by Dewayne Johnson, during his landmark jury trial. Like Johnson, many of these people have non-Hodgkin lymphoma—or they have family members who have already died from the disease. 

To Monsanto’s victims, these trials are a way to hold Monsanto accountable for its crimes.

But to Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer (which acquired Monsanto last year for $63 billion), these lawsuits are just “nuisances.” 

TAKE ACTION: Tell Bayer CEO Werner Baumann: Think Roundup Lawsuits Are a ‘Nuisance?’ Imagine How Cancer Victims FeelRead more

Demand Your Right to Know About Toxic Sewage Sludge!

Organic consumers - Wed, 2018-12-19 20:17
Belong to campaign: Save Organic StandardsStop Toxic SludgeCategory: All About Organics, Food SafetyArea: USA

Sewage sludge: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) euphemistically calls it “biosolids.” But what is it really? And why should you care?

As an article from In These Times explains, sewage sludge is:

. . . whatever goes into the sewer system and emerges as solids from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Sludge can be (its exact composition varies and is not knowable) any of the 80,000 synthetic chemicals used by industry; new chemicals created from combining two or more of those 80,000; bacteria and viruses; hospital waste; runoff from roads; pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs; detergents and chemicals that are put down drains in residences; and, of course, urine and feces flushed down toilets. 

This toxic stew is sold to farmers who use it to fertilize food crops—a fact most consumers don’t know, because food producers and retailers aren’t required to tell you.

TAKE ACTION: Ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor the Sewage Sludge in Food Production Consumer Notification ActRead more

A Personal Message from Ronnie Cummins

Organic consumers - Tue, 2018-12-18 17:09
December 18, 2018Organic Consumers AssociationRonnie CumminsAll About Organics planet_hands_tree_seedling_1200x630.jpg

Now and then I think back to the first days of OCA.
 
The winter of 1997-98, hunkered down in our small cabin in northern Minnesota, our then-tiny staff waged its first big battle against Big Food, Monsanto, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
 
Then and now, protecting your right to safe food, and safeguarding organic integrity, were central to our mission. And so were you. Can you make a donation to keep OCA going strong in 2019?

Twenty years ago, as USDA bureaucrats sought to degrade organic standards, we realized they were more interested in rewarding their corporate donors than they were in protecting consumers.

They wanted to allow GMOs and irradiated foods to be certified organic. They wanted to let organic farmers fertilize their crops with toxic sewage sludge.

Back then, OCA was a fledgling organization with scarce resources. No army of social media followers to spread the word. All we had were a couple of telephones and a fax machine.

We were small. But our mission was big . . . and we had you. Together, we took on Big Food and the USDA. And we won.

Today, OCA represents a network of more than 3 million consumers, in the U.S. and Mexico. Together, we are exposing the corruption that lets industrial agribusiness damage our health and environment.

Together, we’re growing the market for organic and regenerative food. We’re building a food and farming system that produces safe, healthy food, protects the environment, nurtures biodiversity—and holds the potential to restore climate stability.

But we can only keep doing this work as long as you support us. If you make a donation to OCA between now and the end of December, it will be matched by Dr. Mercola. Please donate today, online, by mail or by phone, to double your impact!

Right now, the food movement is at a crossroads. We have a chance to reshape our future . . . but only if we act.

Backed into a corner by growing consumer demand for transparency and accountability, the giants of the industrial, GMO food system are lobbying Congress harder than ever to hold on to their “right” to poison and pollute, with impunity.

They may be able to buy their way to securing industry-friendly policies for a while longer. But Big Ag is losing in the courts. And losing in the court of public opinion.

We used the courts this year to stop General Mills from using the word “natural” on their Nature Valley Granola Bars, contaminated with Roundup weedkiller. The same for Post and its Shredded Wheat brand. We forced Handsome Brook Farm to stop deceiving consumers with false claims of “pasture-raised” eggs. We’re also suing Ben and Jerry’s, Monsanto, and other large companies for labeling fraud.

But the movement’s biggest win this year . . . the win that could lead to a long-overdue ban on Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller . . . was a California jury’s unanimous decision to hold Monsanto accountable for poisoning a school groundskeeper and causing his terminal cancer.

The plaintiff in the case, Dewayne Johnson, had good attorneys and a strong case. However, consumer awareness, and years of consumer education and activism, also played a role in the stunning win against Monsanto. Last year alone, OCA invested $300,000 in public education and mobilization around exposing the hazards of Roundup.

We’re already seeing the impact of Johnson’s landmark victory against Monsanto. In the last few months, the French government launched an initiative to phase out glyphosate. Tanzania cracked down on illegal pro-GMO propaganda by ordering the destruction of Monsanto/Gates GE crop trials. And Germany set new restrictions on glyphosate, with an eye toward establishing an end date for its use.

We could be moving toward a global ban on glyphosate, as early as next year. But we need your help. Make your tax-deductible donation by midnight, December 31, and your donation will be doubled.

Here are a few of the ways we’ll put your donation to work:

• OCA is a major funder of U.S. Right to Know, which exposes corruption in the food industry. USRTK published internal emails showing collusion between Monsanto and the EPA. The emails were used in the California trial against Monsanto.

• OCA is a founding member and major funder of Regeneration International, a transnational non-profit network building global regeneration alliances to scale up regenerative organic food, farming, and land use. 

• OCA is collaborating with other organizations and our legal team to stop two major factory farm operations: Costco’s poultry factory farm in Nebraska, and a Norway-based corporation’s proposed salmon factory farm which would pollute the surrounding waterways and destroy 50 acres of  woodlands on the coast of Maine.

We can’t predict with certainty what the coming year will bring. Will politicians and policymakers come to their senses, and ban pesticides? Will industrial food producers heed the science on soil health, human nutrition, and climate change? I can’t say.

But I can promise you this: We will be as relentless as ever in defending your right, against threats old and new, to healthy food and a clean environment.

Nearly 80 percent of our support comes from individual donors. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to double your impact by making a tax-deductible donation before midnight, December 31.

Urgent Action Needed to Save Organic Standards!

Organic consumers - Wed, 2018-12-12 17:19
December 12, 2018Organic Consumers AssociationAlexis Baden-MayerAll About Organics, Politics & Globalization harvest_vegetables_produce_food_carrots_beets_onions_1200x630.jpg

On Tuesday, December 10, the Senate advanced a version of the Farm Bill, in hopes of passing a bill before the end of the year. While the latest version contains some good news for small independent farmers, it also includes a plan that would weaken organic standards.

Tucked into the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill is a seemingly innocuous provision that would undermine organic standards by severely limiting our ability to get synthetic and non-organic substances off of the “National List” of what’s allowed in organic food and farming.

TAKE ACTION: Call the Senate Agriculture Committee at (202) 224-2035, then click here to email and call your Senators and Member of Congress.

Ever wonder why we call it “organic” agriculture? 

Lord Northbourne, who coined the term in his 1940 book, “Look to the Land,” compared "chemical farming versus organic farming” and described an “organic” farm as one where: “The soil and the microorganisms in it together with the plants growing on it form an organic whole.” 

Sir Albert Howard, who adopted Northbourne’s term for the title of his 1947 book, “The Soil and Health, A Study of Organic Agriculture,” emphasized organic agriculture’s use of organic matter to create rich compost to feed soil microorganisms, improve soil fertility and produce nutrient-rich food. 

The Rodale Institute, founded in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, has elevated the significance of “organic” being “carbon-based.” Rodale’s research shows that if we converted all global croplands and pastures to regenerative organic agriculture we could sequester more than 100% of current annual carbon dioxide emissions.”
 
USDA Organic regulations codify these values, defining organic production as:

A production system that is managed … to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. 

Unfortunately, the National Organic Program has failed to enforce this definition and has instead encouraged the growth of three disturbing trends in the organic industry:

• Factory farmed “organic” meat, eggs and dairy, where animals are kept indoors or out on bare dirt.

• Hydroponic “organic” produce, where fruits and vegetables are grown without soil.

• “Organic” food where the nutrition comes from added synthetic vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

At the crux of each of these issues is a synthetic substance that props up the broken organic system: 

• “Organic” egg and poultry producers can deprive their birds of sunlight and access to pasture only by supplementing the feed with synthetic methionine.

• “Organic” hydroponic fruit and vegetable growers rely on synthetic micronutrients in the absence of soil.

• “Organic” infant formula is a soup of synthetic nutrients.

That’s why, every six months, we take consumers’ demands for real organic to the public meetings of the National Organic Standards Board. The NOSB is the standards-setting body for USDA Organic that decides which non-organic substances can be used in organic food and farming. Every five years, each of the non-organic substances allowed in organic is reviewed by the NOSB. The substance will “sunset” (be removed) unless the NOSB votes to keep it in organic.

The corporations that are making money from the use of synthetics in organic don’t want us to have a voice at the NOSB. They have been lobbying Congress to make make it harder for the NOSB to end the use of synthetics in organic: 

• The poultry and egg industry has spent $1,395,000 so far this year lobbying Congress. Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member and Farm Bill author Debbie Stabenow has been receiving campaign contributions from Herbruck’s, an “organic” factory farm in Saranac, Michigan, that is raising six million birds that produce five million eggs daily.

• The Coalition for Sustainable Organics, the hydroponic industry front group, has spent $180,000 lobbying Congress.

• DSM North America, the company that sells DHA and ARA, synthetic nutrients heavily marketed through organic foods for infants and children, has spent $90,000 lobbying Congress so far this year, and has spent as much as $495,000 in past years.

How would the 2018 Farm Bill make it harder to get synthetic and non-organic substances out of organic?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, which could be voted on as early as today, two-thirds of the 15-member NOSB would have to vote in favor of removing a synthetic material from organic in order to get the material out of organic.

On the surface that might sound reasonable. But here’s the deal. Historically, the NOSB would approve a synthetic chemical for use in organic solely on a temporary, five-year basis, until an organic alternative became available. After the five-year period was up, the synthetic ingredient would automatically drop off the list of allowed substances. The only way it could stay in organic, was if two-thirds of the NOSB members voted to keep it there.

The change being proposed in the Farm Bill—which allows a synthetic material to stay on the list indefinitely unless voted off—was actually already enacted through a policy change, during an NOSB meeting in 2013. That controversial decision, opposed at the time by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), principal authors of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, triggered protests and a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The lawsuit was dismissed in May of 2018. However, the court provided the plaintiffs, which include Organic Consumers Association, a roadmap for a future legal challenge. Here’s what that looks like: We need to wait for the five-year approval period for a synthetic material to expire. If the material isn’t re-approved by a two-thirds vote, and isn’t dropped from the National List, we could mount a legal challenge to get the material removed.

That’s exactly what proponents of the proposed change to the Farm Bill don’t want to see happen. So they’re using the Farm Bill to legislate the change, in a move aimed at preventing the courts from overturning the 2013 NOSB policy change.

TAKE ACTION: Call the Senate Agriculture Committee at (202) 224-2035, then click here to email and call your Senators and Member of Congress.

Photos to Fire Up Campaigns & Protect Privacy

Flickr: AFGE

Dear Nancy: Our last two year-end campaigns were centered around client stories, each powered by a photo or two. We got fantastic feedback on these stories and I planned to feature similar profiles this year.

That plan changed radically last month when our social workers urged us to put our clients’ privacy first and stop using client photos. Our staff has agreed to respect their expertise and honor their request.

What are some practical alternatives I can put to work in these last few weeks? And how do I move forward with client photos in the future, as our stories are far less memorable without them?

Answer: You’re facing a tough situation, but you can still mobilize stories and photos in for year-end (and beyond).

You’re 100% right to rely on stories as a quick and reliable emotional hook. They help bring your stories (and your people) to life, making it quick and easy for prospects and donors to feel like they’re “meeting” your protagonist. The more real your protagonists, the more supporters will relate to them personally, e.g., this could be my friend, my family, or even me.

When you connect the dots between your organization’s impact and what supporters already know and care about (such as their family’s and friends’ well-being), you’ll build trust and rapport with them.

There’s more—Your stories about individuals who have benefited from your donors’ gifts show supporters the impact of their donations, which brings them closer. In turn, they’re more likely to donate again now and in the future, and to share your organization’s stories and successes with friends and family.

How to Handle this Year’s Year-End Campaign

But right now, time is short. You’re nearing the finish line on this year’s campaign although your digital platforms enable last-minute revisions (blessing and curse, right?) Take these three steps to tweak this year’s campaign to maximize giving given your unexpected constrictions:

1) DON’T use client photos as is for this year-end campaign.

Trust your social workers’ understanding of what is best for your organization’s beneficiaries. Despite the late timing of their request, your mission comes first. Respect their expertise.

2) DO feature client stories and testimonials with any or all of these adjustments as guided by your social worker colleagues:

  • Change client names
  • Revise story details to make protagonists unrecognizable
  • Create a composite story based on a few individuals to illustrate a fuller picture of your program or service.

3) DO use any or all of the following to illustrate your beneficiary stories:

  • Photos of staff members or volunteers (for example, a staff nurse giving a flu shot to a client whose back is turned to the camera or a volunteer team packing bags of food for holiday distribution)
  • Use edited client photos with faces obscured, individuals positioned, or shots cropped so that the individuals won’t be recognized. You should have releases from subjects even if they can’t be identified, and clear this approach with your social workers.
    • We have experimented with non-identifying photos of the child and photos of volunteers and parents. To our surprise, some of these photos have proven to be even more powerful than the kids’ expressions of excitement,” says Angela Crist, former executive director of Findlay Hope House.
  • Feature photos of elements central to your client’s story such as the set of keys and drivers license pictured below.
  • Stock photos.

Here are two creative examples of memorable photos that protect client dignity and privacy, from Advocates, Inc.’s Facebook page:

“[I look] forward to everybody sharing what is going on…[and] hearing that people are positive, always seeing the silver lining.” – Shaun Grady, Brain Injury Survivor & Co-Facilitator of Advocates’ Brain Injury Survivor Support Group. Read more about the support group that meets twice a month for survivors to share their struggles, stories, and resources: http://bit.ly/2JcwB57

CAVEAT: If you use stock photos, change story details or client names, or create composite stories, say so!

Here’s a model disclaimer from fundraising copywriter Lisa Sargent: “At [org name] we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.”

Maintaining client dignity and safety is crucial for every organization. However, photos and stories are too valuable an engagement tool to forego altogether. Follow this 7-point checklist for ethical storytelling to shape photo-illustrated stories that meet client privacy standards and spur your people to donate and spread the word.

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your inbox!

Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

Categories: Non profits

Colourbolt x Moulton collaboration: Moulton XBlack

velorution - Tue, 2018-12-11 12:33

A few words by Colourbolt: "A collaboration with Moulton, the X-Black is a glorious concoction of their inimitable frame design and our unmistakeable aesthetic.

The X-Black is no normal ColourBolt, but rather a collaboration project with our friends at beloved British builder, Moulton Bicycles. Produced in partnership, using one of their iconic X frames as the basis, but with plenty of our signature hallmarks, this is a model we’re extremely proud of.

Moulton’s iconic X frame was  designed with lightness, stiffness, speed and comfort in mind – perfect for use in an urban life. The angle of the seat tube gives a more relaxed position without heavily compromising efficiency, while the flat bars and higher cockpit encourage riders to sit up and take in the world around them. And then of course there’s the brand’s pioneering suspension system to soften the ride – definitely a first for us.

The frame is painted with our Drenched Black finish, a super-tough industrial powder coat that is designed to withstand virtually anything that can be thrown at a bicycle. Originally conceived as a coating for our winter training bikes, Drenched has a raised, textured effect – which really has to be touched to be appreciated.

The rear of the bike was specially modified for the X-Black with 135mm axle spacing – allowing for the addition of a Chris King single-speed hub. The use of Chris King hubs has been a hallmark of our single-speeds for a while so we were delighted to include one on this build.

The bike rolls on Moulton’s 17” wheels, with Schwalbe Kojak tyres and boasts a black Brooks C15 saddle. The stem is also Moulton’s own design – a unique and tricky-to-perfect wishbone construction built out of stainless steel, and polished to a mirror finish. A Chris King headset adds another premium touch.

The stunning chainring on the X-Black is a Bespoke Chainrings De Luna, with 60 teeth – providing plenty of zip when riding around the city. And of course, there’s a single coloured bolt, the definitive marker of a ColourBolt machine."

The bike can be preordered from our Velorution store.

Read about it in The Guardian here and in an article by Velo City Girl here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Liveable cities

Velorution Crowdfunding Launch with Seedrs

velorution - Tue, 2018-12-11 12:15

On Thursday 29th November we launched our crowdfunding campaign with Seedrs and opened up to the public.

Velorution is one of London’s leading electric and urban cycling retailers. We aim to bring the most innovative electric and urban cycling products to our customers, the Velorutionaries.

Since our crowdfunding in 2016, we have opened 3 permanent stores and have already turned over £500k this year from those three stores alone.

Velorution's seasonal concessions and pop-ups in Selfridges and Lululemon drive valuable brand awareness and sales of our urban and electric offering. We plan to expand this program with more exciting brand partners.

Our latest store format, Velorution Electric, has shown strong growth and profitability, as it requires a much smaller retail footprint and delivers a very attractive yield.

The strategy is simple: continue to roll-out the Velorution Electric format stores (with 2 planned for 2019), whilst growing the mixed urban and electric offering through our existing estate and e-commerce channels.

Intended impact

Velorution's goal is to celebrate the wonderful forms of electric and urban cycling, and encourage people to fall in love with riding through cities on beautiful and innovative cycles, designed to the highest specifications and equipped with the most stylish apparel and accessories from around the world.

Over the past 6 years, electric bikes have been a core component of Velorution’s offering.

Expert staff in all of our stores, 7-day-a-week test rides and attractive financing offerings have been key components in switching the daily commute of many Londoners to the e-bike movement.

The growth in this market is set to continue as the UK follows the commuter trends in Europe and, in particular, Germany.

In our view, Velorution is in a prime position to lead and service the growth of the e-bike market and zero-emissions green initiative in the UK over the coming years.

...

Read more here

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Velorution Crowd Funding meeting
29.11.2018
Gretel Ensignia

Categories: Liveable cities

Did Dow Chemical Fake Safety Studies on Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos?

Organic consumers - Thu, 2018-12-06 03:47
December 5, 2018Organic Consumers AssociationJulie WilsonEnvironment & Climate, Genetic Engineering, Health Issues tractor_pesticides_1200x630.jpg

We’ve known for a while that Monsanto buried the truth about Roundup weedkiller by ignoring concerns by its own scientists. Now it seems Dow Chemical Co. has been using the same playbook.

Dow (renamed DowDuPont after its 2017 merger with DuPont) likely knew for decades that its widely used chlorpyrifos insecticide is harmful to humans—especially children and developing fetuses. But the company hid that information from regulators, both in the U.S. and EU, according to a new study, published in the journal Environmental Health.

The revelation comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is duking it out in the legal system over an August 2018 court ruling requiring the agency to finalize a the ban on chlorpyrifos that was originally proposed under the Obama administration, but overturned after Trump took office. 

On September 24, the EPA—the agency charged with protecting us from environmental contaminants—asked the courts to rehear the case. The move means that chlorpyrifos is still being used while the request for a rehearing plays out in the courts. Organic Consumers Association is collecting signatures on a petition to the EPA, asking the agency to rescind its request for a rehearing, and ban chlorpyrifos now.

In California alone, 800,000 acres and dozens of crops continue to be doused with a pesticide that Beyond Pesticides describes this way:

A neurological toxicant, chlorpyrifos damages the brains of young children: impacts of exposure, even at very low levels, include decreased cognitive function, lowered IQ, attention deficit disorder,and developmental and learning delays.

Dow Chemical study produced ‘misleading’ results

The scientists who conducted the new study used public information requests to expose the raw data behind safety studies Dow submitted to European regulators in the late 1990s. 

The data is of particular importance as it was used in the EU’s decision to approve chlorpyrifos in 2006. The same studies were also submitted to officials at the EPA.

The study’s authors attempted to replicate the findings in Dow’s original study. But they discovered serious flaws, even omissions, in the company’s analysis. The industry study found “no selective effects on neurodevelopment” in rats, even at high levels of exposure to chlorpyrifos. This contradicts mounting evidence linking chlorpyrifos to neurodevelopmental problems in developing fetuses and young children—even at very low levels. 

The scientists found “treatment-related changes in a brain dimension measure for chlorpyrifos at all dose levels tested.” These findings went unreported in Dow’s original analysis. In other words, Dow’s own data showed that chlorpyrifos hurt rats, but company didn’t communicate that fact to regulators. According to the study authors:

We further found issues which inappropriately decrease the ability of the studies to reveal true effects, including a dosage regimen that resulted in too low exposure of the nursing pups for chlorpyrifos and possibly for chlorpyrifos-methyl, and a failure to detect any neurobehavioral effects of lead nitrate used as positive control in the chlorpyrifos study. 

Our observations thus suggest that conclusions in test reports submitted by the producer may be misleading. This discrepancy affects the ability of regulatory authorities to perform a valid and safe evaluation of these pesticides. The difference between raw data and conclusions in the test reports indicates a potential existence of bias that would require regulatory attention and possible resolution.

Chlorpyrifos applied to 50 different crops

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide (OP) widely used in agriculture, is approved for use in 100 countries. The insecticide is used on an upwards of 50 crops including almonds, cotton, citrus fruits, grapes, corn, broccoli, sugar beets, peaches and nectarines. 

Despite being allowed on all these foods, chlorpyrifos was banned for indoor home use in 2001.

Chlorpyrifos and other OPs are highly controversial due to the damaging effects they have on the human nervous system. The class of pesticides works by blocking an enzyme needed by the brain to regulate communication between nerve cells. 

As a result, exposure to chlorpyrifos, including at low levels, has been shown to cause neurodevelopmental effects such as decreased cognitive function, lowered IQ, attention deficit disorder and developmental and learning delays in young children. Chlorpyrifos also has been linked to a loss of memory in farmworkers.

Given the evidence of harm caused by chlorpyrifos in humans, and especially children, any push to keep the chemical on the market is nothing short of unconscionable.

"What type of society poisons its children?” said Andre Leu, author of “The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” in an email to the Organic Consumers Association. “This shows the corruption of the Poison Cartels and how they are damaging the developing brains of children—they must be stopped!"

Several U.S. states have moved to restrict or ban chlorpyrifos, including California, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey. In June 2018, Hawaii became the first state to ban it.

California, which applies chlorpyrifos to more than 800,000 acres and on dozens of crops, has proposed several restrictions on the use of the insecticide. Through its Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), the state is pushing to ban all aerial application of chlorpyrifos, as well as discontinue its use on most crops. 

DPR is also recommending a quarter-mile buffer zone during all allowed applications of the pesticide and for 24 hours afterward, and a 150-foot setback from houses, businesses and schools. 

Julie Wilson is communications associate for the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). To keep up with OCA news and alerts, sign up for our newsletter.

3 Tools Power Ambassadors to Success

We all have an incredible marketing and fundraising resource right in front of us—our colleague, board member, and loyal volunteer ambassadors. But most of us look right past them!

You STILL HAVE TIME to launch your team of messengers to advance your campaigns. They’re already fans, so many of them will be eager and effective fundraisers. So that’s all good. However, your ambassadors’ reach, engagement, and ultimate impact on donations is directly related to saying the right thing at the right time. And it can’t be a script, repeated from everyone to everyone. Spamming robots just don’t work. But…

Provide these three message tools to your ambassadors, and you’re golden. They’ll ensure your ambassadors’ comfort and confidence, so they’re more likely to reach out to friends and family members (a.k.a. donors and prospects). Plus they’ll boost the odds prospects hear the kind of consistent yet personal outreach that generates true engagement and the actions you want!

1) Your #1 tool! Ready-to-use email signatures make it easy for your ambassadors to close their emails in a way that’s hard to ignore or forget. That means more recipients will respond and spread the word to family and friends.

Take this memorable email signature from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

2) Graphic badges ready to cut-and-paste into your ambassadors’ emails, tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts.

Who can resist a face like this?

Or a laugh like this one?

3) Cut-and-paste templates like this email for teachers to customize when fundraising via DonorsChoose.org

Create the templates you anticipate your ambassadors will need most frequently. Have no idea? Ask them!

Get these three tools in your ambassadors’ hands a.s.a.p. so they generate as much engagement and action possible, with the greatest ease and confidence. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

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Categories: Non profits

Groovy Tuesday

Organic consumers - Tue, 2018-12-04 16:45
December 4, 2018Organic Consumers AssociationAll About Organics thank_you_1200x630.png

Not to sound like a broken record, but . . . without you, we simply wouldn’t exist.

Thank you for investing in Organic Consumers Association on  #GivingTuesday.

Thank you for sharing our vision for—and our commitment to—a safe, healthful and just food and farming system.

And thank you for inspiring us to work harder and smarter, even on those days when the deck seems stacked against us.

If this was your first donation, welcome! We look forward to partnering with you on future projects and campaigns.

If you are a long-time supporter and repeat donor, thank you for being there for us, once again.

#GivingTuesday marked the launch of our critical year-end fundraising campaign. From now until midnight December 31, all donations will be matched, dollar for dollar.

Thank you for being there with us in 2018, and for making our #GivingTuesday so successful.

We look forward to working together in 2019, as we continue to expose the corporations that pollute our food and environment, and push for the transition to an organic, regenerative food and farming system.