Archive for the ‘Dark Mountain’ Category

Grind appalling customer service

January 16, 2022

Grind a chain of coffee shops, started in Shoreditch in 2011. I have never visited a coffee shop, I have tried ordering.

This is my experience of placing an order.

Grind had a Boxing Day offer. I placed an order within hours of the offer expiring.

Order was dumped in the pouring rain by Hermes a week ago last Saturday. I by chance found the box four hours later. One very wet soggy dirty box.

Coffee should be stored in a cool dry place.

I placed the box in a greenhouse to dry. A day later, wet and soggy. Several days later dry. I have yet to examine the contents.

Grind were immediately notified. They offered a refund or a replacement order. I chose replacement.

Early hours of Sunday I ordered a copy the Grind book, Grind: A Modern Guide to City Living. It arrived Sunday. From Amazon safely delivered. Had I ordered from Grind, it would have been dumped by Hermes.

Irony: Grind recommended I ordered from Amazon, even with Grind offering 10% off, it was cheaper to order Grind: A Modern Guide to City Living from Amazon.

I made very clear to Grind, I did not want delivery by Hermes. My request was ignored. I should not even have had to have made the request, order should have been dispatched next day delivery by Royal Mail, all costs recovered from Hermes.

I also recommended Grind terminate their contract with Hermes.

Monday: Confirmation from Grind of my new order.

Tuesday: Confirmation from Grind my new order has shipped.

Friday: Confirmation from Hermes delivery afternoon.

Friday afternoon. Alert from Hermes. will not be delivered until night. No means to respond to e-mail.

A delivery at night is not acceptable.

I patiently wait. No delivery.

Late Friday night, I look out to find dumped on my doorstep. a cold wet foggy night.

Saturday morning, cold wet and foggy, everywhere dripping wet. Had I not by sheer chance found parcel Friday night, I would once again have had a wet soggy, dirty parcel.

No reputable company that cares about its reputation, cares about customer service, would use cowboy Hermes. Did no one carry out due diligence?

I have asked how to terminate my Grind subscription. I am still waiting.

I have asked be escalated to Dave, Grind founder and CEO.

Do not install banking apps on a smart phone

December 5, 2021

Who but a fool would walk around carrying large sums of money in cash, even less carry into a bar or a night club, not unless a drug dealer or engaged in money laundering? To carry around large amounts of cash is asking for trouble. And yet that is what fools are doing when they walk around with a smart phone with banking apps installed access by a fingerprint.

Fraudsters are spiking drinks, stealing smart phones, opening with a fingerprint, then emptying the accounts.

To safeguard never

  • install banking apps on smart phones
  • use on-line banking
  • use fingerprint scanner
  • post personal data on facebook

But something does not add in this story, we are expected to believe cash was emptied in a flurry of activity in the early hours of the morning whilst the victim was comatose.

Why were no AI algorithms triggered to stop the transfer of funds?

A month ago I tried to pay a sum of money for a bill. After entering all relevant details, I was asked to enter a six digit code sent to my phone. This I did. The transaction failed. A couple of minutes later, a message asking me to authorise or deny the payment. I authorised, no payment was made, I was not notified payment had been blocked.

The bank confirmed payment had been blocked. Begs the question why ask me to authorise if my instructions are ignored.

My complaint upheld. Asked to try again. Assured there would be no problems, payment had been cleared, but no guarantee.

I tried again. A repeat of first attempt. Although I am not informed, I find payment has again been blocked. No explanation why.

I am asked to try again.

If I have had these problems with a payment I have authorised, how does money get drained out of accounts in a flurry of suspicious activity in the early hours of the morning?

Faith in Nature offering big discounts to Big Business

July 29, 2021

Faith in Nature not playing fair. Big Business offered big discounts, the retail price less than what Indy retailers paying.

Plastic Free July drawing to an end. It is reasonable to expect Faith in Nature to be supporting small businesses that buy in bulk, offer refill, reducing plastic pollution. But apparently not.

Oxfam Shop, Faith in Nature and Bio D (not encountered before) 20% off.

Next I visit a zero waste shop to refill with Ecoleaf washing up liquid (Suma own brand) to learn the 20% off is cheaper than the zero waste shop can obtain from Faith in Nature.

Something very wrong here. Plastic Free July, encourage less use of plastic, but not Faith in Nature who would rather encourage use of plastic by offering big discount to Big Business charity but not to local Indy businesses.

Bio D very strong containers, made from recycled plastic. Very good for reuse and refilling. What are the contents like? That I do not know. Nor do I know if supply in bulk for refill.

Riverford declare Climate Emergency

May 16, 2021

Riverford Organic Farms are best known for their veg boxes, but they also supply individual orders of fruit and vegetables and recipe boxes.

Organic is not sufficient, we have to look after the soil, regenerative agriculture, rewilding, how do we ship, where do we ship from, what is our carbon footprint, are we carbon negative?

We must look at lifecycle costs. Too many businesses, hype, greenwash, one part of their business, to draw our attention from other aspects.

An example would be Nestle and the podback scam, to draw attention away from other aspects of their business. Do not be fooled, buy coffee capsules from reputable coffee roasteries.

  • Kiss the Hippo – compostable
  • Colonna – aluminium and compostable

Riverford ship in cleverly designed boxes which can be reused, when reach end of their life can be shredded and composted.

Within the box, loose fruit and vegetables, packed in paper bags or compostable plastic bags or in small boxes of compressed card.

The large box collected on next delivery, the compressed trays used for kitchen waste to transfer to the compost heap, used as seed trays, when reach end of life pop on the compost heap.

The carbon offset scam tends to be just that a ploy not to reduce carbon emissions. Planting a tree that takes at least 20 years to reach maturity does not offset an easyJet flight of four hours.

We are not only facing a Climate Crisis, we are facing an ecological crisis, mass species extinction.

Riverford will be increasing biodiversity on their network of farms.

Mark Zuckerberg leave our kids alone

May 5, 2021

Not satisfied with being complicit in teen and pre-teen self-harm and suicides reinforcing narcissistic syndrome with selfies, Zuckerberg now plans to launch Instagram for Kids, aimed at pre-teens.

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get worse, could not sink any lower, it invents a fresh kind of hell — Instagram for Kids.

Leaked documents show Facebook is developing a photo-sharing app for under-13s — hoping to get them hooked early on likes and comments about their appearance, and harvest their data for profit.

There is growing opposition to expansion of the evil that is Instagram and Facebook.

Reasons not to use Instagram:

  • owned by facebook
  • theft and abuse of personal data
  • claim ownership rights over images posted
  • images do not appear on twitter
  • complicit in teen and pre-teen self-harm and suicide
  • reinforces narcissistic syndrome through encouragement to post selfie

Instagram is already a nightmare for children, with teenagers getting harassed and abused on a constant basis — 59% of teens have been bullied online, and surveys show Instagram is the worst offender.

Talking to Primary schoolchildren, they tell me of bullying at a Secondary school, to which the school turns a blind eye, of a rape culture, of their friend who jumped to her death off a bridge in front of a train.

This is the world that Facebook has created.

Psychologists say it would be even more harmful for younger children, who are at a crucial stage of development and  cannot cope with the relentless pressure of social media.

Facebook claims it’s doing this to make kids safer — because it can’t keep them off Instagram. But that’s like saying let’s promote child porn to keep kids away from adult porn.

Since when has Facebook cared about the harm it causes?

Please sign and share the petition calling on Zuckerberg to Leave Our Kids Alone.

Big Tech must be broken up. Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Big Tech must be hit with a windfall tax and a revenue tax,

Amazon under threat in Brazil

April 15, 2021

The Indigenous People of the Amazon are under attack.

President of Brazil Bolsonaro wants to open up some of the most fragile rainforest to predatory mining companies.

Bolsonaro says it’s his ‘dream’ to open up the Amazon rainforest for mining but for the Indigenous People who call it their home, it’s a nightmare.

Ripping up the land to mine for gold and diamonds will devastate the precious ecosystems and the Indigenous communities who have protected these sacred lands for years.

Thirty years ago Brazil’s constitution put these Indigenous lands out of bounds.

But ever since Bolsonaro came to power, mining giants and small-time prospectors have been clamouring to get their hands on the Amazon’s treasures. Unless we stand-up and stop Bolsonaro’s plan, this could be their golden ticket.

This attack on these Indigenous Peoples’ lands is an attack on all of us. Our survival depends on the Amazon rainforest, and the Indigenous People that nurture it.

Now those fighting on the frontlines, like our allies at the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and the Pariri Indigenous Association need our help. Let’s stand with them in their hour of need.

Please sign the SumofUs petition calling on Members of the Chamber of Deputies to stop this destruction of the Amazon.

We call on you to vote against Bill 191/2020 and continue to uphold the ban on mining and water companies accessing constitutionally-protected Indigenous lands.

Contrast Brazil with Peru. In Peru, cooperation with indigenous communities, growing of coffee in the shade under the canopy of the trees is helping to protect the Amazon.

Cressida Dicks should be fired

March 15, 2021

As a former Police Minister and notwithstanding the lockdown and pandemic, this has got to be the most absurd, stupid and often brutal police response to a peaceful vigil. Hobnail booted, thick response when smart, risk assessed, intelligence-led policing was demanded. Sad night. — Tony McNulty

The Met’s overnight statement is an exercise in passing blame downwards. A princess was there: you think there were no political decisions made? Or public order plans set? Even if it was only the unit concerned out of control, who created the culture? — Paul Mason


Appalling scenes Saturday night, Met Police manhandling women at a peaceful vigil. A vigil for a Sarah Everard, a serving member of the Met Police charged with her kidnap and murder.

Sickening the statements from the Met Police the following day, we had to act the vigil was not safe.

Was it made safer, Met Police in the face of those at the vigil, pinning women to the ground, adding to the numbers present?

Unbelievable arrogance Cressida Dicks, unfit to hold office and should be fired.

What is equally of concern, today the government will try to force measures through Parliament, draconian measures, increased Police powers, to stop the right to demonstrate.

We have the right to peaceful assembly, to demonstrate.

The tweets speak for themselves.



Energy from waste incineration is not green energy

March 13, 2021

An excellent Channel 4 Dispatches programme The Dirty Truth About Your Rubbish only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Gordon Brown had a wheeze of off balance sheet accounting, the PFI scam. It made public spending look low, a prudent Chancellor. Infrastructure, hospitals, schools, incinerators, built by the private sector, leased by the public sector, for which the tax payer is paying ten times the original cost.

Incinerators have to be fed. Local authorities sign contract for minimum waste. If fall below, they pay penalties. There is thus a disincentive to reduce waste.

Government needs to step in and annul these contracts.

Incinerators emit CO2. They should be forced to buy carbon credits for their emissions, and be hit with a carbon tax.

Incinerators emit carcinogens and other toxins.

Mass is not created or destroyed by incinerators. What is left residual waste, plus what goes up the chimney.

The residual waste is heavily contaminated with heavy metals.

A scandal several years ago, residual waste spread on an allotment in the North East, the Byker ash scandal in Newcastle – in which the city council was prosecuted after 2,000 tonnes of ash from the old Byker incinerator was found to contain potentially cancer-causing dioxins.

Incineration is not green energy, it is dirty energy. It is also destroying valuable resources which should be recycled, or placed in an industrial biodegrader.

All these measures in place, many incinerators would no longer be viable, and those in the planning stage shelved.

The figures published by local councils for recycling, are for that collected, it does not mean that collected is recycled. it is going to incineration.

Local councils need to do more to encourage recycling, some do, most do not.

We all should do our part, reduce, recycle, reuse.

We should also tackle the worst offenders, Waitrose and M&S obscene levels of plastic packaging. Is it really necessary bananas in a plastic bag, a coconut shell hacked off, then wrapped in plastic shrink wrap?

Mindful Chef, owned by Nestle, deliver recipe boxes, overpackaging, obscene use of plastic. Their frozen food boxes, a card sleeve, plastic film over what appears to be a paper tray, a plastic-lined paper tray.

Waste does not exist in the natural world either in time or space, the output of one process is the input to another, a closed loop system. We should emulate the natural world.

In Lincolnshire, the official green agenda carbon neutral by 2050, two decades too late, opposition to on-shore wind turbines, support for oil and gas exploration.

Facebook declares war on Australia

February 18, 2021

Intimidation of Australia a small insignificant country by Facebook not acceptable.

This is Big Tech colonisation

Australians awoke to find their news sources cut off, government information, fire service, information on coronavirus, charities, but left untouched fake news. From outside Australia it was not possible to access Australian news sources.

Facebook is a cesspit of fake news. Facebook enabled Trump, enabled the storming of Capital Hill on 6 January 2020.

Facebook is a parasite on the work of creators. The content of facebook is not created by facebook, it is created by its users, by hard working journalists, by news organisations, by musicians, artists, friends sharing pictures. None of this information has been created by faceboook but facebook profits from all these content creators.

Facebooks claims ownership of our data, of the data trails we leave behind.

Facebook is controlling the flow of information.

Marc Zuckerberg a thug.

Facebook must be broken up, stripped of WhatsApp and Instagram.

When G7 meets, must agree a revenue tax on Big Tech, levied where the revenue is generated. But G7 needs to go much further, there has to be international regulation of Big Tech.

We can all act.

  • do not use instagram or whatsapp
  • overwrite and delete all personal data
  • never tag friends
  • never quiz game survey

Facebook is a threat to democracy.

Were Facebook a state, Facebook would be seen to have declared war on Australia. And that is how it should be viewed, an act of aggression by facebook against a sovereign democratic state.It does not matter what we think of Australia, Australians or the government of Australia, this is an attack on democracy. Australia today, which country next?

A better fake milk?

January 11, 2021

Eating avocados on toast and drinking almond milk won’t save the world. — Glen Burrows

Plant-based food. The latest Big Business con, peddling ultra-processed crap at massive profit, putting family farms out of business.

Do not take my word for it, take a long hard look at the long list of ingredients.

Occasionally I try. I tried fake-meat cocktail sausages from M&S, only because reduced. They were disgusting, one bite was enough to turn stomach over. Thrown out for the wildlife. Even after days of hard frost, food scarce, remained untouched.

Food scientists devise novel ways of peddling cheap ingredients laced with additives.

We are into second week of the gimmick of Veganuary. Always hyped how many signed up, rarely mentioned the numbers that drop out. And it is neither healthy nor good for the planet.

Vegetarian even vegan, can be healthy, delicious, it does not have to be over-processed meat imitations, unhealthy alternatives.

For many years I used to eat in Food For Thought in Covent Garden, excellent food, sadly no more, forced out of business by greedy landlords.

Fake milks cause environmental damage. Soy destruction of rainforests, almonds grown in California drain the water table, then consider the pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilisers, water run off, flash floods.

Fake milk makes disgusting coffee. Of all the fake milks, oat-based marginally better, Minor Figures cheap and nasty. When seen in a coffee shop is because they are not willing to spend the money on a superior alternative. Oatly marginally better, the best of a bad lot, but now owned by Vulture Capitalists and thus not an ethical choice. None of these fake milks will make a decent cappuccino. The best that can be done blend the milk in with the coffee to make a muddy brown singularly unappealing coffee.

Somewhat ironic, lesswastelaura, posts her ethical concerns on Instagram.

If do not wish for milk, real milk, for whatever reason in your coffee, ethical, lactose intolerant, then drink V60 pour over in a speciality coffee shop.

Support regenerative agriculture, agroforestry. Grass-fed cows, the grass is a carbon sink, improves soil structure, good for wildlife, reduces runoff and flash flooding. Contrast with rows of monoculture crops, poor soil structure, runoff and flash floods, bad for wildlife, no carbon capture. The artificial fertilizers, which run off into our rivers, are manufactured from fossil fuels.

Replacing factory-farmed meat with processed vegan food, is not solving a problem, it’s shifting it somewhere else.

If like me, enjoy a cappuccino, then maybe, and it is a Big if, I have yet to try, then maybe Rebel Kitchen Mylk for Baristas.

Rebel Kitchen claim a better fake milk for baristas. Is it? Is it good for the environment?

Rebel Kitchen do at least appear to be making an effort to be environmentally sustainable. It was also interesting to hear an explanation and rationale for each of their ingredients. How many food scientists would have the honesty and integrity to offer an explanation for each of their ingredients?

Nothing beats raw unpasteurised milk off a farmers market added to muesli in the morning.

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