Dax's blog

tapped documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-09-01 12:27

I can't remember exactly when I became aware of the problem of bottled water. I do have a post on Relax with Dax (The Scourge of Bottled Water) which was written in April 2006, so probably sometime before then. I personally try not to drink bottled water unless there is no alternative, but many people are still unaware of the damage bottled water does. In fact, when I attended the Eat In Awards lunch, they had imported bottled water on the table even though they are promoting local, organic and fair produce!

the yes men fix the world review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-08-18 17:10

I loved this documentary. I had heard about the Yes Men, but it was great to actually see them in action and learn about the various stunts they pulled. Imagine this, the Yes Men pose as a Dow Chemical spokesperson and inform 300m people on BBC news that Dow has decided to clean up the Bhopal site and compensate the victims. Dow's stock dropped $2 billion in 20 mins!
Why did they do this? To attract people's attention to the fact that the site has not been cleaned up and still leaks harmful chemicals into the groundwater. And that the people are still suffering the after effects of the explosion more than 20 years later but have received no compensation for their suffering.
This is just one of the many hoaxes the Yes Men have pulled off in their unique style. They do it to try and create

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slow food mother city

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-03-17 11:44

Slow Food Mother CitySlow Food Mother CityMy experience is that there is a growing disconnect between people and the food they consume (I use the word consume because I think eating has connotations which often don't apply). I have many friends who cannot cook, many more who struggle to determine the difference between healthy and unhealthy options and most people I know don't have a clue where their food comes from, how it got to them or how it was processed (I could use the word made instead of processed, but again it suggests human intervention which is seldom the case).

This trend is concerning to me, and I am not alone. Slow Food is represented in over 130 countries and has more than 100 000 members. The movement started about 20 years ago in Italy.

a sea change documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Mon, 2010-02-08 10:39

A Sea ChangeA Sea ChangeA Sea Change is a gentle documentary, in contrast to some of the documentaries which give you nightmares for months afterwards like Earthlings. This documentary looks at the topic of ocean acidification which is something most people are not aware of. We are aware that the oceans absorb carbon dioxide, in fact scientists have been looking for ways to make the oceans absorb more carbon dioxide in an attempt to reduce climate change. However, as the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean increases, so does the acidity of the ocean. The change so far has been very slight and mostly in colder areas but the implications are huge.

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when corporations rule the world

Submitted by Dax on Sat, 2009-11-28 09:25

I do honestly believe that corporations are one of the fundamental reasons that the world is in the trouble it is in. So when I'm browsing Kalahari.net and I see a book titled When Corporations Rule The World, I have to buy it and read it.

I know that there are many books on this topic and I'm not sure what made me choose this one. The foreword is written by Danny Glover and Desmond Tutu calls it a 'must read book', but I don't think that is why I chose it. The author, David Korten is highly qualified in the fields of economics and business management, which is good but I didn't know that when I bought it. Whatever it is that made me choose this book, I'm glad it did because it's a very interesting and eye opening read.

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garbage: the revolution starts at home

Submitted by Dax on Sun, 2009-08-16 22:28

GarbageGarbageWhile You Were Sleeping have organised another documentary screening at the Labia. This documentary looks at the issue of waste and is called Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home.

It's a simple and endearing documentary with a powerful and scary message. The producer, Andrew Nisker, decides to get his friend's family to keep all their garbage for 3 months. The purpose is to try and get a better idea of exactly how much garbage a family of 5 produces. At the same time he does some investigation into what happens to the garbage when it gets taken away. He visits landfill sites and recycling operations, as well as interviewing relevant experts.

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heat by george monbiot review

Submitted by Dax on Tue, 2009-08-04 09:22

I've just finished reading Heat by George Monbiot and I love this book. I loved this book before I even read it. Why? Not because I had heard it was good (which I had), nor because I knew what it was about (I didn't). I loved this book because they way that I acquired it was the perfect way to acquire a book.

This book was given to me second hand as a birthday present by a friend. What makes that such a great way to acquire a book? Let me explain: 1) My friend knew I would enjoy it, so it was a thoughtful gift. 2) It was second hand, which means reusing, which beats recycling and certainly beats buying another copy unnecessarily. 3) He didn't have to spend money to give me a gift. Gifting is a massive contributer to over consumption which is a major contributer to the problems the world faces. Why buy people things they don't need? You can read more about my thoughts on gifting here.

Back to the topic at hand. Heat is an excellent book, a book which looks at practical solutions to the problem of Climate Change, or Climate Disaster as George Monbiot prefers to call it. Climate Change sounds like it's no big deal, when it is in fact a disaster.

the nature of life review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2009-07-29 22:37

I've seen many documentaries about climate change in my life and most of them have been quite depressing and leave one feeling a bit hopeless. Nature of Life is the first one I've seen which tackles this topic from a positive perspective. Not only that but it looks at the topic from an African perspective which is also interesting as a lot of other documentaries are Euro centric or US centric.

The first part of the documentary gives a brief overview of the problem of Climate Change, pointing out that people who have the smallest carbon footprints are the ones who, ironically, are going to be affected the most. They illustrate this point by interviewing an African tribe who are struggling to survive because of a lack of rain.

The balance of the documentary looks at solutions that have been developed around Africa to combat climate change.

farming the seas documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Thu, 2009-07-02 01:01

In SA we have 2 major documentary festivals: the Tri continental Film Festival and the Encounters Festival. Both of them are very professional events which provide an opportunity for us to view some excellent documentaries which we might otherwise not get to see.

The 2009 Encounters festival starts on the 2nd July at the Waterfront Nu Metro and boasts another great Selection. of documentaries. Unfortunately, one of their primary sponsors pulled their funding so they will appreciate your support more than ever.

Farming the Seas is one of the documentaries I have watched at a previous Encounters festival, and the topic of the oceans and fishing is getting a lot of attention right now. A new documentary, The End of the Line has recently been released and is causing quite a stir. Hopefully we will get to see it here soon.

stuffed and starved review

Submitted by Dax on Tue, 2009-04-28 22:34

What makes Stuffed and Starved more than just an excellent read is that the author, Raj Patel, is South African. This means that some of the examples he uses to illustrate some of his points are from a South African context rather than the the list of countries generally cited. That's not to say he doesn't talk about other countries, just that he includes examples from SA as well. While he is currently a researcher at the University of Kwazulu Natal, he has degrees from Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell University.

The tag line for the book is: Markets, power and the hidden battle for the world's food system. When I saw that, I knew it was a book I had to read and immediately ordered a copy from Kalahari.net. I was going to say it's not a long read, but I realise that I read it quickly purely because I struggled to put it down. While Stuffed and Starved does cover a lot of concepts and examples I am already familiar with. It combines them, with some things which I did not know, into a holistic view of the food system.

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