Written following a visit to the exhibition on colour at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology in Cambridge

Tapirage is performed through the external and/or internal application ofplant- and/ or animal-derived substances to particular species of bird. According to the sources compiled by Teixeira, these substances fall into three groups: plant dyes; blood and/or skin secretions from toads and frogs; and fats from fish, from pink river dolphins, from turtle, chicken or crocodilian eggs, or from plants, such as dende oil.12 The application itself takes two principal forms. The first, an external application, involves plucking feathers from the living bird and rubbing the exposed, traumatized follicles with an unguent of one or more of these substances. In time, the feathers to grow back in a new color, almost always partially or fully yellow.”


Crafts of Color: Tupi Tapirage in Early Colonial Brazil
Amy Buono
Chapman University, buono@chapman.edu

Lignite Mine Expansion

Lignite, sometimes called ‘brown coal’, is a soft, brown sedimentary rock that is essentially compressed peat. It is used almost exclusively as a fuel in steam-electric power stations. Lignite is a poor fuel. Compared to other types of coal it produces less heat and more carbon dioxide and sulphur. Some brown coal contains toxic heavy metals that get burned off or remain in the fly ash.

Lignite Or Bust

But if it’s all you’ve got then that’s what you burn, up and until someone points out what a bad idea it is environmentally. The Garzweiler surface mine in Germany is an opencast lignite mine. It’s huge, a long scar stretching north west to south east covering 48 square km.

And now for the news. It’s going to get bigger.

Because Russia turned off the gas tap, RWE who own the mine need more space. So an array of eight wind turbines near the Garzweiler mine are being removed to increase the opencast area so it can mine more lignite. Under its licence, Energiekontor, which owns the wind turbines, has to dismantle the turbines by the end of 2023. Why, I don’t know. Three turbines have gone, already.

I guess that if the lignite mine did not need the space, then eight new wind turbines could have gone up. But that’s not what’s happening. So no Russian gas, but home grown lignite.

What is the overall balance of environmental cost? It’s worse, that’s clear. How much worse, I don’t know. But lobbyists at COP27 are promoting gas as a clean fuel…

Shut The Door – Government Petition

Some problems are overwhelming, the problem of energy escaping from shops with open doors is easily solved. Shops (with few exceptions) put fear of missing out on potential customers above the desire to conserve energy – whether heating or air conditioning,

No shop would feel disadvantaged if all shops were required by law to close their doors so as not to leak their energy to the outside world.

I have started a petition to UK Government. It needs five supporters to click the link the Government provided in order for the petition to be registered.

The petition:
To save energy, require shops to keep their doors closed during opening hours.

What I want Government to do:
Introduce legislation requiring all shops to close their doors (that is, not open wide) during opening hours. This proposal is not solely about the current high cost of energy, but about wasting precious energy and the costs of producing it on a planet that is warming uncontrollably.

Why I want Government to do it: 
We all understand that shops need to be welcoming to customers, but customers would quickly realise that a closed door does not mean a closed shop. Shops (with few exceptions) put fear of missing out on potential customers above the desire to conserve energy – whether heating or air conditioning, No shop would feel disadvantaged if all shops were required by law to close their doors so as not to leak their energy to the outside world.

Note that you have to be a UK citizen to sign the petition.

Click this link to sign the petition:


The Impetus For This

For years my wife, Tamara, has been speaking to managers in shops and supermarkets talking to them about the heat they let escape through the doors they leave open wide. By keeping at it, she has seen the attitude of shop managers change over the years from ‘who is this person coming to make my life difficult?’ to be more positive and understanding.

And who wouldn’t change their attitude once they see the bigger picture about the risks to Earth’s environment.

They say that if you want to sell something to a customer you have to bring it to their attention eight times before it penetrates the layers of consciousness.

So this is me acknowledging that Tamara has kept on and on, and not been dissuaded. 

We know there is legislation on closed doors in France. So today, I thought – how hard can it be for Government to legislate on this, so I made a start with a petition. 

Tate Modern Greenliness

Information poster on the wall by the ground floor baggage store.

  • We are updating gallery room lighting with low energy lights
  • We use 100% renewable energy We recycle 70% of our waste. Anything that can’t be recycled is diverted from landfill and turned into energy
  • We’ve committed to reducing our emissions by 50% by 2023
  • We actively reuse our exhibition materials
  • We only use natural ventilation in the public concourses and use rainwater to flush toilets in the Blavatnik Building
  • We make our own honey, encouraging bees with rooftop hives

These are some of the things we are doing to reduce our energy consumption, be more sustainable and to support local biodiversity.

Find out more at tate.org.uk/about-us/tate-and-climate-change

Bar-tailed Godwit

Reported in lots of places, this is from Tge Week 5 November 2022

A bar-tailed godwit has set a world record by flying at least 8,425 miles from Alaska to Tasmania, without pausing to eat, drink or sleep. The fivemonth-old bird, which had been fitted with a 5G satellite tag, set off
on 13 October, and touched down in Ansons Bay in northeast Tasmania just 11 days later. Its route had taken it over several islands in Oceania, including New Caledonia, but it did not take the opportunity to stop off to refuel. Eric Woehler, a researcher at BirdLife Tasmania, said the godwit had probably lost “half or more of its body weight” over the course of its marathon flight.

American Independence

Text for an exhibit in an exhibition on protests around money at the Fitzwilliam Museum, on now November 2022.

Bills of credit
1776 Banks in Colonial America are forbidden by Britain. So paper notes are ‘bills of credit’ rather than ‘banknotes’ This 40 shilling bill, issued by the Colony of Rhode Island, is signed by William Ellery, a lawyer, merchant and revolutionary, who goes on to become a signatory of the US Articles of Confederation and Declaration of Independence. The first American bank opens in 1784.