Chris Kott

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since Jan 25, 2012
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Recent posts by Chris Kott

I was going to suggest Paul Stamet's work. There are a few mushrooms that contain neurogenerative compounds, and luckily some, like lion's mane, aren't illicit. He tells a story in the YouTube clip I have posted below that details his experience healing a stuttering condition in a dramatic and memorable way, which is probably due to their neurogenerative properties.


EDIT: Sorry, that link is the wrong one. The one I had meant to post was the one below.

1 day ago
Apart from ensuring that there's not too much in-breeding or line-breeding, I don't see keeping individual animal pedigrees as something that is inherently better for individual animals. I think that's more for us, and for the integrity of the system as a whole, not for the specific purpose of improving the experience of any given individual.

Also, wouldn't it be easier to identify the females, and keep track matrilineally? Unless there's only one male, or unless the individual males show physical differentiation, such that individual offspring could be identified by their physical characteristics.

I like the species of thought that determines what is best by emphasising the "chicken-ness of the chicken," for instance. I feel that's the best way to ensure a minimal stress reaction over the course of their lives. And for many, that means having an appropriate place to hide, or to get out of reach, when they even perceive the chance of danger. There doesn't even have to be real danger for them, but if they think it might be there and they can't shelter for their own peace of mind, they are going to feel less pampered.

There are some great answers here, though. Keep 'em coming, people.

1 day ago

paul wheaton wrote:I'm pretty wore out on the topic.  

And when you allow the topic, then I think it will be just a few days until it is the only topic.  

There is all the rest of the internet to talk about pot, religion, politics, whatever.   I just need a place to talk about the stuff I'm interested in without it turning into a site to talk about pot, religion, politics or some other stuff I'm not interested in.  

I choose to draw a line.  And I get the impression there are one or two other people that really like that I draw this line.  If anybody else likes this line I have drawn, please upvote this post.

I get it. And in the end, the only opinion that matters is yours, Paul.

But the distinction being lost is between a horrible vice and an otherwise extremely useful, function-stacking, permacultural plant, that has a place at the table in a variety of spaces where you do show interest, like natural health remedies, fibre, bioremediation, carbon sequestration, and natural building, just to name a few.

And I was just trying to get a better handle on how to best communicate directions towards the appropriate forums, besides; I am not actually arguing the point.

I have already resolved to try and be more careful. I do apologise for any sensitivities I have trampled in trying to better communicate.

In the end, there is neither problem nor solution; it's a procedural issue. And we just have to do the best we can, I guess, until the situation as a whole improves.

I don't see any obfuscation as having happened, except where cannabis was referred to for purposes of qualifying the relevance of the link. Dancing around the word, as opposed to just using it and getting on with the discussion, made it more obtrusive, if anything. I wouldn't have had to clarify which "mystery herb" was being referenced in its own post, for instance.

As you are well aware, I applaud the publishing standards, and what is being done with the Cider Press in the realm of moderating with a view to allowing all reasoned discussion by those who have proven to be able to handle controversial topics, for the most part, most of the time. That doesn't mean that things don't go awry.

I also get that we are bound by operational realities. The fact that industrial hemp is legal at the federal level in the states doesn't keep flamewars about cannabis from cropping up every time hemp for fibre or forage is brought up; so discussions of all cannabis, for whatever purpose, is relegated to the Cider Press. That's inconvenient when having a discussion of the merits of different plant fibres in a historical context for painfully obvious reasons, but we survive it. It's certainly less inconvenient than having the entirely volunteer moderation staff here tied up at all hours with cannabis flame wars.

I don't see there to be an answer short of what's already being done, unfortunately. It just complicates already complicated discussion to not even be able to mention a whole genus.

I suppose there's no clear way to improve on my part. I will just continue to be careful, and to make edits as requested.

Thank you again, and have a great day.

I like trikes, specifically the cargo trikes with the beds on the front. I also like recumbent trikes. For the visibility issue, I have always wanted to see something of an aerial spine from the front wheels to the back, especially on recumbents, with a brightly coloured, probably neon, fibre optic mohawk standing up from it. Good luck not noticing that coming up on your right.

2 days ago
Nooooo, no no no no no. I wish.

As for as I can tell, human tastes are too crude to tell that kind of thing, and are keyed to identifying calorically significant food sources. That's why we like fats, starches and carbs, and sugar.

We will crave salt when we need salt, because for the longest time, it was one thing that we needed to seek out from our food, or else die, seeing as how we essentially evolved to run down game at the height of heat of the day on the savannah. That requires water and all the minerals that we'd sweat out during such endeavours. I have even craved protein-rich sources when I was working out, or just working and protein-starved.

Other than that, I'm sorry to say that while we might be able to learn what specific tastes mean biochemically, so as to assess medicinal value, in terms of what our tastes are looking for, it's still how much energy the food can produce, because before we learned to cook, and to harvest so much of our food from animals, we had to spend most of our time eating just to get the calories we needed, just like anything else relying upon nutrient-dense but calorically deficient food.

2 days ago
The first thing that occurred to me was kobe-breed beef in Japan being fed fine, human-grade grains and massaged with sake by beautiful women. While I know I'd probably enjoy that, I think we need to think more about the animal perspective than the human.

For anyone who's had a dog made to feel uneasy by some environmental trigger, fireworks or thunderstorms come to mind, it should be obvious that even a creature who's lived so closely with humans for so long in their development isn't comforted by the same things that comforts their humans. Giving a dog a hug and pats doesn't really make them feel any better about the sky exploding. In fact, their human being so worried about their canine being so distraught is bound to make things worse. Aside from a sound-proofed space, I don't think anything could make a noise-averse dog feel better in those circumstances, but for the one who confidently commands and rewards to suddenly be worried and looking to the canine for cues is strange behaviour. Dogs like routine and the normalcy that follows it, and the predictability of their human acting as their human does.

Most of these animals are prey for something in the wild, which means that their sense of safety is informed by that predator fear. For some that means plenty of cover that also function stacks as some of their forages of choice. For some, that means really good sight lines, and the ability to herd together for safety.

It also means more subtle things, in my opinion. Let's take rabbits, for example. They are prey animals. For that reason, they generally don't want to be picked up, because if a predator were to do that to them, it would mean imminent death. It is so ingrained in them that if you flip a rabbit upside down, which I entreat you all not to do, except at extreme need, they go into a state of shock-driven paralysis, which can actually cause heart attacks in weaker individuals. So for rabbits, one of the things we can try to do is have a system that emphasizes that rabbits are not handled in that manner, except at extreme need.

Now I am not saying don't pet rabbits, and don't get cuddly with them. I'm saying that to properly show them affection, it has to be on their terms. It is necessary, because we are such large creatures that smell like omnivores, to get down on their level in order for them to get to know and trust us. If we pick them up and insist they sit on our laps, some part of them, even if they sit still for it, will be certain that hungry jaws are soon to follow. If we get down, on the ground, go nose-to-nose, and massage their cheeks and the tops of their heads, from the nose, between the eyes, to behind and between the ears, well they'll see that we most certainly aren't rabbits. But they have all four on the floor, they can escape any time they choose, and from their perspective, the finger caresses they are receiving are really close to the way rabbits are groomed by their herdmates.

But to treat such an animal as though it were a dog or a cat isn't pampering that animal, even though a cat or a dog might consider it as such. They aren't comforted by the same things, and their anxiety isn't triggered the same way either.

So to truly pamper all of our animals, I think it's necessary to take onesself out of one's human perspective (and even for vegans, it's helpful to assume that they view you as an omnivore), and try to view their environment and interactions with humans as potential prey animals would view their environment and interactions with a potential predator.

I definitely agree that making sure they have endless clean drinking water and a constant source of food that is safe to eat as much of as they like (hay for rabbits, for instance, as opposed to a more nutrient-dense pellet, that can cause bathroom problems and/or overfed conditions), and a variety of foods that they like to supplement with, are steps that can keep animals from getting sick, or resorting to behaviour that might injure them, like eating medicinals because their regular feed is contaminated.

But for it to be a proper pamper, it can't be just the kobe beef pampering, a human-centric judgement. It needs to be an [insert specific animal here]-centric assessment of how they see their existence, which is a lot more difficult than assuring they have proper feed, shelter, and room to move.

Though don't discount the massage thing. I have found that my rabbit loves full-bunny massages. She actually gets tiny bunny knots, and will binky around after I work them out. It's just that pigs will probably prefer to be massaged with mud or pig shit, for instance.

One other thing that occurs to me is insects. If there was something that could be used as a scent deterrent against biting insects, something herbal, it would probably result in less animal stress. If this were a spray that could be applied to each animal as it exits its shelter, semi-regularly and certainly after every rain or when insects seem to be bothering them most, it might result in more time grazing/foraging and less time tail-flicking and running away from clouds of insects. It might, in some animals, also cut down on insect-borne parasites or infection of insect wounds.

I would also explore herbal calmatives, at least insofar as ensuring that those herbs that are safe for that purpose are present in their paddocks' animal medicine chest. If chamomile, or any other herb that produces the desired effect without side-effects, is safe for them, I would make sure there's lots of it available. If they need a calmative, they can treat themselves to it. I don't think cows can get stoned on chamomile, but I know that my rabbit sure loves the taste. I suppose the greater observation here would be to make sure they have a fully stocked animal apothecary in addition to way more optimal forage than they could ever run out of, so they don't try eating medicinals as roughage.

These are just a few thoughts. I would love to see other ideas. It's an important sphere within the realm of permaculture that could really be done well by those that care.

2 days ago
I am definitely not here to quibble, because quibbling is beneath me, and it's demeaning and mildly insulting to have strongly held legitimate opinions referred to in that manner.

The way the rules are being implemented makes it difficult to refer people on this site to the appropriate forum in which discussions on cannabis for medical purposes can be held. If I can't say, "Cannabis is also good for this medical application you're talking about, but for further details, we have to go to the Cider Press," how does anyone find the discussion, unless their only purpose is to discuss cannabis?

So I hope you'll forgive me my occasional slip-up. Because of the way the rules are being implemented, this sort of situation is bound to happen. I am happy to edit my posts, as always, to conform to the publishing standards, rigidly prohibitive thought they might seem at times when applied outside the context of being nice.

So instead of this scenario, how about we sketch out the specific language that can be used, in the context of referring people looking for help, to the appropriate Cider Press forum. Is it okay to drop a link to it, and refer to the subject matter obliquely as, "...another sometimes effective herbal remedy that may or may not be available/legal where you live...", or is there some other bit of code clean enough to use and still be informative as a signpost?