It can’t be valid if I don’t “like” it or it doesn’t entertain me!

Many react negatively to a piece of art if they don't "like" it, as though it is invalid if it doesn’t provide some immediate and light entertainment or isn’t akin to the experience of shopping for a bland consumer item to match the wall paint! As the emotion of liking is typically overly expressed - and therefore not expressive - it demonstrates a worryingly limited lens through which many view what they come into contact with. And, frankly, a severe lack of exploratory spirit. Don’t give the mainstream a challenge, they can’t “like” it!

Here’s an interview about thinking and feeling far beyond “likeable”:

RSPB Red List for conservation efforts

The RSPB Red List prioritises action for species that need help immediately. Criteria include: 

  • Species is globally threatened.

  • Historical population decline in UK during 1800–1995.

  • Severe (at least 50%) decline in UK breeding population over last 25 years, or longer-term period (the entire period used for assessments since the first BoCC review, starting in 1969).

  • Severe (at least 50%) contraction of UK breeding range over last 25 years, or the longer-term period.


"Prioritising is vital as we don’t have money and resources to work on everything, even within the red list we can’t prioritise action for all 67 species."

What can WE ALL do to help?

The first step is considering what to do in your own outdoor spaces to create better habitats for wildlife. Those who have a garden could consider wildlife friendly gardening - create a pond, plant pollen rich flowers, or plant shrubs with berries for birds.

Cleaning without chemicals

e-cloths FOR cleanING with water, to reduce the major impact OF cleaning chemicals on the environment

e-cloth website says:

  • Paper towels and wipes go to landfill or are incinerated and have a major impact on the environment.

  • Impregnated disposable wipes are particularly harmful, due to their volume and the types of waste generated.

  • There is a significant environmental impact from the production and use of cleaning chemicals in the home, quite apart from the impact of the residues that go down the sink and eventually find their way into rivers and oceans.

  • A significant number of perfumed cleaning liquids, that claim to be natural, have traces of chemicals that many experts believe to be harmful to the environment.

e-cloths are made of man-made fibres and have an environmental impact, of course, but they neither use nor are impregnated with chemicals. The fact that they last for years and can be washed over 300 times, means the environmental impact is significantly lower than other cleaning products and processes.

Help reduce unnecessary waste

Aim for zero waste!

Find a plastic-free and bulk-buy food shop that only sells organic and seasonal produce - from as close to home as possible. Take your reusable containers with you!

Compost food waste or use a Council food waste bin, to help reduce harmful pesticide use.

Ask a community garden or allotment if they can use your brown papers for their compost.

Always seek alternatives. For example, loo roll doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic! Find a bulk buy shop that sells loose rolls, or at the very least wrapped in brown paper.

Treat recycling as a last resort. If you must buy something in a recyclable bottle or container that you can’t reuse perhaps a local school or charity can use the empties for arts and crafts?

If you MUST buy something in packaging that can’t be reused or recycled, return the packet to the shop. If they take greater responsibility for disposal they might re-think the packaging.

Donate unwanted stuff to charity rather then sending it to landfill which comes at great cost!

Quantum Biology

Listen here, BBC Radio 4 The Life Scientific

“Jim Al-Khalili specialised in nuclear physics and spent fifteen years in front of a computer screen trying to understand an exotic and ephemeral sub-atomic phenomenon known as the halo effect. His ‘little eureka moment’ came in 1996 when Jim discovered that, for the mathematics to add up, these halo nuclei had to be a lot bigger than anyone had thought.

More recently he has become interested in quantum biology. It started as a hobby back in the 1990s when physicists were sceptical and many biologists were unconvinced. Since then evidence has been stacking up. Several studies suggest that lasting quantum mechanical effects could explain photosynthesis, for example. 'It maybe a red herring’ Jim admits but Jim and his team at the University of Surrey are determined to find out if the idea of quantum biology makes sense. Could life itself depend on quantum tunnelling and other bizarre features of the sub-atomic world?”

Producer: Anna Buckley