From Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration. Photography by Niki Feijen.
Over the past few months, we’ve been posting a lot of interesting articles, pictures and titbits that we’ve found while poking around online on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we figured it was about time to start sharing some of the best bits on here, too. So, from now on we’ll be doing periodic roundups of things we think you all might find interesting. So, without further ado, here are some things that have caught our attention:
- It’s time for harmony between science and spirituality, an article from Positive News on reuniting reason and religion.
- Beyond money: living without the illusion of independence. Another Positive News piece, this one on the possibilities of gift economics and a moneyless society, from the author of the Moneyless Manifesto.
- On a more photographic note, Dark Pripyat shows us the exclusion zone around Chernobyl, 27 years on. It turns out that Nature is capable of reclaiming almost anything, no matter what disasters we inflict upon it. While the impact of what happened at Chernobyl is still felt amongst all its living things, it is at least a small reassurance.
- Also in the news this week, and peering into the dark waters of prehistory, the latest DNA analysis of our ancient ancestors has shed light on how hunter-gatherers all but disappeared on the arrival of agricultural settlers during the Palaeolithic.
- And, on looking into the dim and distant future, the BBC has also given us some interesting thoughts on possible human extinction, and why it may not come from the places you’d expect.
Finally, this week saw the coming and going of May Day (or Beltane, if you prefer) which traditionally marks the first day of summer. And, although this year has seen the area around North Wales swallowed by snows in the middle of March (and the hawthorn that usually signifies the passing of the seasons is not yet in flower), it is growing warmer every day.
In this part of the world, the first day of May is known as ‘Calan Haf’, and it comes with its own unique and interesting collection of folk practises and legends.
Of course, May Day also has a long tradition of protest and activism, like the Haymarket protests of 1886 in which a number of people were killed. The protests were a contributing factor in the establishment of the eight-hour work day.
For as long as human beings have been living by the progression of the seasons (which is pretty much forever), we have been writing songs, stories and poems about these transitional times between summer and winter and back again. One of the oldest of these (and one of the first that I can remember being taught in school as a kid) is the 13th century rota, ‘Sumer Is Icumen In’.
It seems a fitting point on which to end this week. Until next time!
Sumer is Icumen in,
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Grows the seed and blows the mead,
And springs the wood anew;
Ewe bleats harshly after lamb,
Cows after calves make moo;
Bullock stamps and deer champs,
Now shrilly sing, cuckoo!
Wild bird are you;
Be never still, cuckoo!