• Insecurity in Central America, a little heard story

    I just come back from Central America where I was doing a consultancy for a humanitarian organisation and, given that we don’t hear much about the region in the news, I thought you might be interested to know a bit about it. The organisation has been operating there for decades but has recently questioned its presence given the drastic deterioration of the security there in the last three years. Indeed, statistically, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (now known as the “Northern Triangle of Death!”) are amongst the most dangerous countries on earth. While in each of these countries, the levels of insecurity vary from one area to another, this means…

  • Living well in the West Bank?

    If you follow this blog regularly (which we are grateful for! :-)), you know that I’ve recently come back from the Middle-East and already expressed some reflections about my stay in Israel in a previous post. Today I would like to share some thoughts about my stay in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As you know, ‘Palestine’ does not exist as a legal entity (although around a hundred countries recognise it as a country and it is likely more will later this year) and is rather referred to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, composed of two disconnected and fragmented territories, namely the West Bank and the Gaza strip. While the former is…

  • John Cleese on ‘Alerts to terror threats in 2011 Europe’ – very funny!

    It sounds like geopolitics, but it actually is very very funny… It will enlighten your day!   “The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada. The Scots have raised their…

  • Reflective impressions of Jerusalem

    I am pretty lucky as my job frequently brings me to diverse places of the world. This time, I just come back from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) composed of the West Bank and of Gaza where I spent the last three weeks. Although I was based for most of my stay in the recluse/closed down Gaza strip (indeed inaccessible to most), I nevertheless also had the chance to stay few days in Jerusalem. This post then relates my impressions of Israel, while I’ll write two other posts about the West Bank and Gaza. I’ve been wanting to visit Jerusalem for a looooong time, and indeed, my expectations were…

  • Coming out – or more about who we are…

    Dear readers, First of all, let us thank you for you interest in Making Sense of Things. We are in particular grateful for the comments you leave us, as they inevitably stir further thinking and exchanges. Balancing openess with privacy is always tricky on the Web, but given your overwhelming welcoming, positive and constructive response, CJG and I have decided to be a bit more open about ourselves. So in reality our names are Carly and Jean. We’ve just moved out from Brisbane (Australia) where we’ve stayed for the last 10 months and have flown back to London UK, where we’ll be staying for a couple of months. Carly is 31, has worked…

  • Few days at the farm…

    A few days ago, CJG and I were invited by Elisabeth Fekonia to spend few days at her farm, in order to give her a hand with the garden and the animals. We accepted gladly as we knew that in addition to being helpful, we’d also learn a lot. Indeed, Elisabeth is the person who taught us how to make homemade brie, cheddar, cottage cheese, butter, ghee, sour cream, yoghurt and kefir – all of this in a one day workshop only! But she also knows how to make sourdough bread, miso, saurkraut, rennet, soap (out of pig fat), sponge (out of the luffa vine), as well as how to…

  • Contest! Guess who are these smallest-eggs-ever from?… There is a prize for the winner!

    Check this out – our flatmate just found these eggs behind the books on her shelf. To give you a better idea of the size, we’ve added a 50 cents coin by their side… So what kind of eggs do you think these are?… Leave us your answer in the comments, and we’ll offer a surprise to the first who provides us with the right answer 🙂 Come back in few days to get the answer!… UDPATE: We have a winner here! In addition to the comments visible hereunder, we’ve also received a number of emails – but all provided wrong answers though. So the correct answer is given by…

  • Yuk!… How long do you think you can keep a McDonald hamburger without it decomposing?

    So, how long do you think you can keep a McDonald hamburger on your shelf, without it decomposing? 2 hours? 8 hours? 2 days? 2 weeks perhaps? Nope, you are still far from the truth… Believe it or not, according to Karen Hanrahan, you can keep it for 12 years! And counting! As you can judge by yourself on the picture below, it looks exactly like a fresh one… The hamburger on the right is from 2008; the one on the left is from 1996. So let’s make sense of that. We know that any food decomposes rather rapidly right? Think of leaving your bread on your kitchen bench. It goes…

  • Is organic food elitist?

    Dear readers, although the current post can be read in and for itself, please note that it is a continuation of our two previous posts “Why we’ve decided to stop buying food from supermarkets…” and “Who is the ‘authority’ that said that Coca-Cola was safer to drink than raw milk?” So, let’s consider whether organic food is elitist. First let’s ask the question, is cheap food really cheap? Yes, we understand that an industrialised jam sold for $3.50 is cheaper than an organic jam sold for $5.70, but behind the price tag, one needs to also consider the ‘hidden’ costs of industrial food. Let’s, for instance, consider the environmental costs. According…

  • Who is the ‘authority’ that said that Coca-Cola was safer to drink than raw milk?

    In  a previous post, we shared why we’ve decided to move away from industrialised processed food and stopped buying food from supermarkets. For instance, we recalled that as far as our hormones and metabolism are concerned, there’s no difference between a bowl of unsweetened corn flakes purchased in a supermarket and a bowl of table sugar… So what does it have to do with the present post, i.e. ‘who is the ‘authority’ that said that Coca-Cola was safer to drink than raw milk?’ The question stems from the fact that the cola drink, which is an unhealthy drink if one looks at its proportion of sugar (or worse, sucrose or…

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