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  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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May 23 2011 2 23 /05 /May /2011 15:08

Writing a thesis involves being clear about your subject matter, your research question and your conclusion. You need to conform to all academic requirements appropriate to publishing research papers. Important elements such as the bibliography, index and glossary must be included.

How to write a good thesis

Writing dissertations

You may be facing the challenge of writing a doctoral thesis or a Ph.D. dissertation. Firstly, clarify your research question with your tutor to ensure that it is workable in the time available. Make sure that your thesis abstract specifies the question, the research methods and the conclusion reached. Then, ensure that you are absolutely clear in your own mind about what you want to say since unclear thoughts produces poor writing.

Planning your work

Rushing through the conclusion, or ending your thesis a couple of days before deadline is always a danger. Schedule your research work and writing as per a realistic timetable. You may wish to write one section or chapter at a time and then have it read over. Ensure that your introduction is carefully done and that it clearly defines the research question. This step is important since a weak or confused introduction can confuse the whole project. Be sure to have enough time to amend mistakes, if any.

The conclusion

The conclusion is important. Some theses can have quite weak conclusions, so make sure that your conclusion is strong enough. A mere summary of what was to be said is insufficient. Since a conclusion draws on material from the thesis, you should not include new arguments but rather discuss the existing ones. Do not be too committed your conclusion since you will have to discuss the degree to which further research can be added to your ideas.

Academic requirements

Academic writing

Academic writing requires that you back up your arguments with evidence. This means that you need to include a comprehensive bibliography in your thesis. If you refer to any passage that is located in a particular book, include the necessary footnotes.

Make sure that your references and footnotes conform to academic conventions. You need to state the page, author, publisher and date and place of publication. Ideally, footnotes will go at the bottom of the page. You might also include a glossary of terms and an index.

Final word

The services of professionals are highly useful. Using a proof reader or copy editor is important because it is not very easy to spot one's own mistakes. Similarly, you should have the thesis prepared by a binding service. This is especially important for doctoral theses, as they are stored in the university library. You might also seek the services of a professional indexer.

Master’s Thesis
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May 16 2011 2 16 /05 /May /2011 13:23

The principle behind fair trade is that purchasing is not merely a matter of self-interest, but has an ethical dimension. Fair trade ensures that goods are labelled and marketed with sufficient information about their environmental and social impact to facilitate ethical purchasing decisions. Fair trade clothing ensures that ethically run companies are marketed to ethical consumers.

The principles of Fair Trade

Ethical Trading

Fair trade is about ethical and eco-shopping. Its principle is that buying goods should not be just a consumer decision, but is also an ethical decision in which the impact of your purchasing decisions upon the environment and upon the workers who produce the goods must be seriously considered. It recognizes that if consumers buy clothes from companies that oppress workers and/or whose business is not run in an eco-friendly manner, they are responsible for backing an unfair system.

Organic shopping

Environmentally conscious shoppers want to know that their purchasing decisions are not harmful to the environment. The fair trade logo shows them that the goods have been produced in an environmentally friendly, sustainable way. For example, fair trade would promote organic cotton rather than non-organic. Take another example, if wool is being used the fair trade logo would indicate that the animals used were not being maltreated.

The reason to be concerned

The pressure behind this concern for eco-clothing is that some forms of production are environmentally harmful. Cotton, for example, drains the soil of nutrients if it is grown on land for several years running and can leave land devastated. Fair trade supporters realize that if they buy cotton from ecologically unsustainable sources they are participating in the destruction of their own environment.

Why Fair Trade clothing

The clothing trade sources goods from a wide range of factories. Some of them are responsible, but others are not. Places nicknamed sweatshops employ child labour or underpaid women at very low wages. The working conditions are unhealthy and unsafe. These workplaces can produce goods cheaper than honest workplaces can do, so they tend to gain an unfair advantage. Fair trade supporters know that if they buy goods made in these sweatshops they are helping to support injustice and the system that produces it, so they decide to support employers who operate in an ethically acceptable manner. They see ethical clothing as the way to establish a new, ethical world economic order.

Traidcraft is a good example of a fair trade organisation. It combines a trading company that gives a fair price to producers with a development charity that works to promote fairness in the workplace, e.g. fair wage and safer, more humane working conditions. Traidcraft believes that supporting fair trade makes for a better world.

botanique....leger et transparentIroning shirts
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Sustainable development
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May 13 2011 6 13 /05 /May /2011 11:44

The American Bible Society was founded in the nineteenth century by people who wanted to distribute the Bible to others around them. Since then, it has grown from a national society to an international organization and has distributed the bible in many languages and to social groups who may have little access to it, and it has developed some supporting ministries.

The beginnings of the society


The society was established in New York 1816 by American Protestants who were strongly anti-slavery to distribute the King James Version of the Bible as widely as possible. The first president was Elias Boudinot, but there were significant luminaries such as John Jay, the chief justice of the supreme court, who became president in 1821. After it was established forty three local American bible societies amalgamated with it with it.


While originally Protestant, it is non-denominational and open to all Christians. It is a non-profit-making organisation, ploughing its profits into Bible distribution. Its aim is to make the Bible available to the widest possible readership in a form that they can afford. It does this by translating the Bible into as many languages as possible. The first native American translation was produced in 1818 and others have followed. Chinese translations were published in 1834, commencing a long commitment to the spreading of the gospel in China.

The Good News Bible

The society published its own translation, the Good News Bible, which is in simple language easy for young people to understand and illustrated with line drawings.

Availability of material

Support materials for Bible study also form part of the society's work, these being produced in a variety of media, including cassettes,discs and online Bible materials, including the KJV Bible online and Good News Bible online. It has developed a Bible verse finder, an online search tool aimed at those interested in finding out more about the Scriptures.


Ongoing military commitment

The society's commitment to the military produced pocket Bibles to give to soldiers in the American Civil War. The society has co-operated with Catholic and Protestant military chaplains to provide Bibles to all the U.S. forces. The society also is responsible for providing Bibles in hotel rooms free of charge.

Victim support

Furthermore, Scriptures are given to the victims of natural disasters, such as the Asian tsunami and hurricane Katrina victims. However, this does not take the place of physical relief but accompanies it.


The society, which is still based in New York, has a large museum containing Bibles in all languages and translations. The museum rescues translations of the Bible that might be lost. The collection extends to 45000 volumes. The society has just developed an internet ministry.

bibleBiblevintage bible book studio isolated
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May 9 2011 2 09 /05 /May /2011 10:23

Trout fishing can take place in streams, estuaries or at sea. You will need to acquire the right kit, learn the complex feeding habits of the trout and select the right kit for the time and place at which you are fishing. You will need to understand the sort of baits that attract trout to the hook. This article aims at giving you such information.

The basics

Trout habits

To catch trout, you should learn about their habits. They are a river fish which can move to the sea. However some trout, known as slob trout, stay in estuaries. Inland trout can be found in many streams, but the best fishing is in chalk streams or alkaline lakes. The two species are brown and rainbow trout, brown being the more common.


Go to an angling shop and seek advice before buying. A nine foot rod is not all that you need. You should purchase lines, flies, weights and hooks. There are sinking lines, which enable you to take trout on the bottom, and floating ones, which enable you to stay near the surface. You use the latter when fly-fishing.

You will need to purchase a reel. Make sure that your purchases relate to equipment for trout angling. A variety of flies will be on sale. Buy a selection and be prepared to add to it over time.

Fishing secrets

To be a good angler, you need to learn knots, otherwise the hook comes off the line.

  • Get a good book on angling and practise knot making. You will also need to have casting skills. These are best learned in the company of a skilled person, so be prepared to take some fishing lessons.

  • At first go fishing in the company of an experienced person. Reading a fishing magazine will also help you.

Going fishing

Good anglers learn the habits of the fish. Trout are omnivorous. Sometimes they feed on the bottom, where they eat crustaceans and smaller fish. At these times, using a fly is useless. Baiting with a worm or snail would ensure a better catch.


At other times they approach the surface, and you can tell by the presence of ripples that reveal that a trout has just taken a fly.


  • At these times, attach an artificial fly to your hook and cast for the trout. You should try to aim your cast near the trout's location. If you feel the line go taut, this mean that a fish is pulling on it.

  • Let the hook sink in and then begin to reel.

  • Unless you can keep the trout, unhook it and throw it back.
Brown trout in the Arctikum museum, in Rovaniemi, Finland. Taimen ArktRainbow trout | Source Originally from http://en. wikipedia. org en. w
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Sea animals
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May 9 2011 2 09 /05 /May /2011 08:11

Self-publishing online is becoming far more common as authors bypass traditional publishing companies, who publish in the traditional way. The work needs to meet the professional standards expected of a printed book. There are several companies which provide aspiring authors with outlets for instantly printed work, but it is also possible to publish yourself without them.

Making your work professional


Self-publishing online is a growing industry as new technology makes small or single print runs economically worthwhile, or as whole works can be read off the Internet or as an e-book.


If you wish to print your own book, you need to ensure that it meets professional standards. This means that it should be well-written and should be carefully edited. The editor will check for spelling and grammatical errors and also pick up on any areas where you might head into trouble with libel laws, etc.

On demand publishing

While traditional publishing companies printed large book runs and were left with surplus [remaindered] stock, modern technology has made it possible to print and bind an individual book within a short time, and still make a profit on each one. Some companies will print your books and sell them to readers, but some large bookshops now have their own machines that run off copies of printing on-demand books.

The advantages of working through a company

Authors are not always good business people, so while they can often write books well, they are not necessarily good at the marketing/business side of the operation. Creative people often benefit from the help of people with business skills.


The on-demand publishing companies often have sophisticated marketing operations and are able to get your work onto major online booksellers. These booksellers know these companies well and are aware of what books are on their lists.

E-book publishing

Companies can be into e-book publishing besides traditional printing, and they may be be able to have the book downloaded into a computer or electronic reader.

Library books placement

They will also take care of the official side of the operation. It is a legal requirement that six copies of every book published in the UK must be sent to the six libraries of record, the national libraries of England, Scotland and Wales, and the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin. Companies can also get your book reviewed in the press, which is good advertising.

Online advertisement

Authors can be totally independent and sell their work via their own website. You must advertise the website in several ways and you will have to arrange your own reviews etc. Unless you want to give the book away, you must make arrangements to receive online payments through the website.

ebook reader in mostra
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Digital & online
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May 6 2011 6 06 /05 /May /2011 10:08

Helping endangered animals involves understanding the causes, nature and extent of the danger that an animal species faces. Having established this, we must work out what the human contribution to the cause of the danger is. We must then work out what we can do to rectify the danger so that that the species is preserved.

Action with understanding

Understanding the causes of endangerment

We must make sure that we understand why a species is endangered.

Loss/destruction of habitat

Danger generally derives from loss of habitat, which means that food supplies, shelter and breeding opportunities become limited. Sometimes habitat problems are nothing to do with human activity. For example, koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves, so they are vulnerable to damage to that tree. Humans also contribute to destruction of habitat, for example in Borneo, where orang utans are under threat from logging and deforestation.

Understanding the human contribution

We have to determine what humans are doing and who is to blame.


We might identify problems of criminal activity, such as illegal logging. We might also find that the activity is legal in its own country, yet ethically wrong. The activities of irresponsible companies and governments will come to our attention.

Fur / ivory trade

The key to helping the animals is to locate the web of economic activities that are threatening them and determine that we will respond to it. This means identifying retail outlets that might be profiting from trade that threatens endangered species,, for instance trade of fur, ivory or crocodile skin.

Using our knowledge

Knowing that a species is threatened by human economic activity enables us to make purchasing decisions, refusing to buy from companies that endanger animals.

Boycotts/protests marches/petitions

We may join boycotts of some companies. However, we must also be vigilant so that materials from irresponsible companies do not slip in unnoticed. We must check the labels very carefully. We might also put pressure on irresponsible governments that tolerate danger to habitat (by swamping them with letters and petitions).


If you want to help to save animals, donate to animal charities working for endangered species. Some charities buy up areas of forest and keep them as reserves.


We need to be aware of companies that pollute the environment and pressurise them through a refusal to purchase from them. Some people might become shareholders and speak up at shareholder meetings against irresponsible policies.

Trade prevention

It is also important to prevent trade in endangered species. There is a problem with reptiles being smuggled into Europe as exotic pets, although they are totally unsuitable for this. We should discourage people from keeping these creatures as pets so that they can stay in their proper habitat.

Giant Tortoisegrumpy
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Ecology
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May 2 2011 2 02 /05 /May /2011 10:11

Hydroponics refer to indoor cultivation in a soil-free, chemically neutral medium with the aid of specially designed nutrient solutions and often powerful growth lamps to cultivate in conditions where normal cultivation is difficult. This article shows what equipment is needed and how to go about cultivating vegetables hydroponically. It also outlines different hydroponic techniques and materials available to growers.

Basic principles

Growing without soil

An indoor garden in your basement without soil is possible. Hydroponic growing systems provide a carefully calculated solution (containing all the plant's nutrient) needs in which the roots are immersed. By using this solution in an inert medium, such as rock wool, it provides the support that the soil would offer.

Hydroponics equipment

Hydroponic gardening kits are available from suppliers. It is not just the kit that needs to be purchased, but also the nutrient solution, which must be regularly replaced.

You might also have to purchase plant lamps and a supply of bulbs, because if one fails, the plants will be starved of light. When using home lamps you need to protect your eyes with shades, as the lamps can be very bright.

Tip: You need an adequate power supply. However, try to use as much natural light as possible.

Different methods

Water flow

You may grow plants in static water, for example in Mason jars, which are common in home hydroponics, or you may use running water. If you use static water, be sure to have half the root exposed so that the plant can absorb oxygen.

You will need to change the water regularly. If you use running water, an air pump of the kind used in fish tanks is useful. In this oxygenated water, you can cover the root completely.


Irrigation is used in systems having an inert medium. You may choose between overhead irrigation, which requires sprays on the ceiling, or you may irrigate with water flow from below. Computer-controlled irrigation is very useful, as this optimises the amount of water and nutrient reaching the plant and ensures no shortage.

The medium


Vermiculite is an an artificial silicate. It resembles sand, so it absorbs water well, and is cheaply available.

Rock [mineral] wool is also artificial, but you need to obtain it from hydroponic suppliers. This material, which comes in cubes, is very porous, and allows air and nutrient solution in easily, while providing a firm support for the plant.

Coarse sand will also suffice. Without a medium, plants will need to be supported by twine hanging from a beam. You will need to adjust the twine as the plant grows. The twine should be attached to bobbins, so you can adjust the length easily.

hydroponicsHydroponics Detail
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Plants & flowers
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April 29 2011 6 29 /04 /April /2011 10:39

The article outlines the important safety concerns involved in deciding to cut down trees, when you should cut one down or ask for professional help and how to ensure that you use the proper safety equipment and clothing. It explains how you will go about felling a tree in a safe way.

Safety matters

Basic principles

Tree felling is dangerous. The bigger the tree size or height, the more dangerous the felling process will be. First of all, assess whether you have the skills and tree cutting equipment to fell a tree safely. If not,hire someone who has the required skills.

Tools, training and related safety measures

The equipment will include chainsaw, bow saws and possibly an axe. If you are using a chainsaw, get chainsaw training and wear the right clothing: a protective suit, earmuffs, gauntlets and a safety helmet. This is because in untrained hands, chainsaws can get out of control and injure their users.

Necessary precautions

The larger the tree, the more proper climbing gear is needed, and you must be proficient in using it. Taking a course in tree climbing skills is useful.

Health safety

Furthermore, when felling trees, have someone with you, together with a first aid kit and a mobile phone. Carry tools in a safe way. If you drop an axe on your foot, you can be seriously injured. Wear boots with steel toecaps. You may need ladders for small trees.

The felling process

Thinking ahead

When felling, consider where the tree will fall and what/who it might hit on the way down.

Ensure that the area is secure from pedestrians and animals. Firstly, using the bow saw, trim all branches so that you are left with the trunk. Clear away the branches so that they will not cause anyone to trip.

Then, using a chainsaw or axe, cut a V-shaped wedge in the side of the tree in the direction that you want it to fall, so if you want it to fall northwards, cut the wedge in the north side.

Then start cutting on the opposite side. It is possible to attach strong ropes or cable to pull the tree in the direction in which you want it to fall.

More complex jobs

Smaller trees can be felled in one piece, but larger ones are felled in sections, the top being removed first. Tree surgeons rig up a complex array of ropes to ensure that these sections are brought down in a controlled way. Some use a crane. The fallen tree is then cut into sections. Stumps are hard to pull out, so some people leave them and others apply a stump killing powder.

Tree rings from a felled tree with scallop effect tree trunk.1 Tree felling for heathland regeneration at Bickerton Hill (SJ 496 52
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Plants & flowers
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April 28 2011 5 28 /04 /April /2011 19:20

This article shows you how to earn money from writing articles, reviews and other forms of writing. It demonstrates how to be professional in your attitude and ways of working, which will, in turn, enable you to produce the kind of work that editors actually want.

Getting started

Many people dream of writing for money, but no one can write about everything, so decide what is your specialist area. This should be what you you know most about and are most interested in.

You must decide what type of writing to do: e.g.articles, stories, reviews or plays. However, realise that an article is not so easily written. It must be carefully crafted, and you can only do this by editing and making improvements. You need to write what readers will want to read.

Writing professionally

Most people can write something, but if you want payment for writing, you need professional writing skills. Being paid to write means getting an editor to accept your work. It is rare that an editor accepts an article sent by post. You must contact the editor to see what the magazine wants and submit proposals for articles.

Study the magazine and adapt your writing to its style and requirements. If you see an article in the magazine and can think of an article that takes a point further or is a spin-off from it, make your suggestion to the editor. But before you submit the article, ensure that it is double spaced with your name at the top left of the first page, that it has page numbers and that it is presented in excellent English This will show that you have a professional approach. Being professional means carefully editing your work before you submit it.

Developing your skills

Anyone who wants to know how to be a freelance writer must realise that no one is the 'perfect' writer. You can always improve even if you have excellent English, particularly when you are a beginner. There are several courses run by writing school, some courses teach you journalism, and others might teach writing skills in general. You might even want to attend an online writing class or join a local writers' group for feedback on your work.

However, one of the most important ways to develop is to be never fully satisfied with what you have written. Try to constantly improve, and keep working at it. Remember, most writers struggle at first so do persevere!

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April 27 2011 4 27 /04 /April /2011 21:06

Fungi are neither plant nor animal, but a separate category of creature, closer in some ways to animals than to plants.

At school most of us were taught that there are two kingdoms within nature; plant and animal, and that fungi (mushrooms, toadstools etc), being creatures that are stuck in one place, definitely belong to the plant kingdom. However, fungi are strange plants; they have no roots and do not contain any chlorophyll. This initial belief originated with the Greek thinker, Aristotle, and it was then carried-on through the Middle Ages and adopted by the great botanist, Linnaeus. But it is wrong. There are several kingdoms (taxonomists argue about precisely how many). To the previously mentioned kingdoms, we can add fungi, seaweeds and several other microscopic based categories. Perhaps it is a matter of language; the technical name is fungus (plural fungi). The words mushroom and toadstool are popular names, mushroom denoting a fungus that you can eat, toadstool denoting one that you cannot.

Unlike plants, fungi are air breathers, and farmed mushrooms deprived of an air flow become small, brown and inedible. Whilst plants have roots, fungi have hyphae, a large network of threads that absorb nourishment from the soil. A vital difference is that while the plant that you see above the ground is the main part of the creature, the fungus that you see is merely the fruit. The bulk of the fungus lies below ground in a huge network called the mycelium. The visible fungus that you see is to the mycelium what the apple is to the tree.

Many fungi work symbiotically with plants. These are known as mycorrhizal fungi. They weave themselves into the root environment and vastly widen its surface area. This means that they can draw minerals from the soil, some of which are passed onto the plant. In return plant sugars, made by photosynthesis, are sent down to the fungi. As fungi cannot make sugars themselves, or they make them with great difficulty, this is an important contribution. It is the fact that fungi are not plants that enables them to work symbiotically with plants. Their differences make them complementary, in many cases, though there are some parasitic fungi that damage plants, such as honey fungus which damages trees.

Tree Fungustwo taodstools
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Published by Frank Beswick - in Plants & flowers
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