Nominated for a WHAT?

Something a little bit different today: it seems a fellow blogger has nominated Capacify for a Liebster Award. At first, I thought “urgh – some kind of chain letter thing”. It caused me quite a bit of background research, to understand what it meant. (Meredith at Perfection Pending made some good points in her article about why she doesn’t like the Liebster award…)

Upon reflection, I decided to follow the Liebster process: to acknowledge nomination and make recommendations of my own, in turn. The Internet is all about interconnections, and Web 2.0 doesn’t really operate on a basis of scarcity (other than eyeball-share), so why the heck not? It’s really no bad thing that the person upon whom the award in conferred is expected to make multiple nominations in turn. That just cements together the online community. At least, I think so…

Which is a very long-winded way of getting around to saying “thank you” to Tom from The Sustainabilitist (dot org). I always suffer from this gnawing self-doubt… is anybody out there? Are the viewer stats just evidence of an army of search engine indexer-bots? Am I actually getting through to people? So, it’s nice to hear from people. Also, Tom’s message to me meant that I was introduced to The Sustainabilitist, which has been a delight to read. Everybody and their dog has a moral take on sustainability; the philosophical angle is much neglected.

Ten Questions

As part of the Liebster process (which has morphed a little as it’s been passed down from blogger to blogger) Tom gets to ask me a set of ten questions. I’ve reproduced them below, along with my answers…

What is your favorite hobby, and why?

In my experience, hobbies seem to get suspended by parenthood. I work away a lot, so time at home is family time. Thus it usually involves constructing various permutations of Brio railway layout on the living room floor… but I hope to get back into scuba diving at some point in the not-too-distant future. It’s the next best thing to being a spaceman, quite frankly… and space is sterile; the seas and oceans are full of interesting things!

What is your favourite ingredient for cooking, and how do you enjoy using it most?

Don’t laugh: Quorn chicken-stype pieces. My lifestyle means I often cook for one, and these are a great standby to keep in a small freezer compartment and then fling into a stir fry or something. I’m not a full-time vegetarian, but I like the way these things take on a variety of flavours, and I find them very forgiving of my amateurish culinary efforts.

Who is your favourite author, and why?

I think that would have to be the late Iain Banks. His novels always seemed incredibly real to me.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

I’d go back to New Zealand at the drop of a hat. If anybody needs to ask why, they haven’t been there. (Although, maybe we should keep New Zealand a secret: too many visitors would spoil it.)

What is your favourite time of day, and why?

I like the dead of night. It’s a good time for getting things done. (As long as you’re not intending to use power tools, that is.)

What is the name of your all time, favourite, go-to recipe?

A bhuna (medium curry) made with peppers, mushrooms and some of those fake chicken-style pieces, identified above. Lob in anything else you have kicking around the place, such as sweetcorn, left-over roast parsnips… anything! Perhaps this is why it doesn’t have a proper name of its own. But a bhuna with all kinds of things in it. Yeah.

What type of music do you enjoy listening to?

I’m quite partial to a bit of 1970s rock. Robert Calvert, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull. Queen, maybe. Oh – and if we’re in the import business, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon. Not very fashionable, perhaps… but that bothers me not a bit. I think chart music is the pits – but then, the charts were never meant to be for adults.

What is your favourite season, and why?

I think spring. It’s a time of renewal, with tremendous promise. (And in this hemisphere, spring is springing right now, so that’s nice.)

What social movement do you enjoy?

Enjoy – that’s the key word. A social movement should be fun, or at least cool. Too many civil movements are desperately worthy, but seem like something one ought to be doing, rather than something you’re doing because you love it. Perhaps that’s bad for democracy.

Grassroots movements are more important than ever at a time when party politics and elections every 4+ years seem increasingly alien and irrelevant to ordinary people. Get out and protest your single issue – as long as you enjoy doing so.

And… I’ll leave it at that, adroitly (I hope) and shamelessly (for sure) failing to answer the question.

What do you hope people will take away from your blog?

Obviously, the ideal outcome of this project would be for everyone in the world to realise that the best way to solve the problems of the 21st century is to appoint me as benign dictator. Failing that, I hope that the reader might understand the sustainable supply chain more thoroughly and make a better decision as a result of stopping by. That would be nice.

Additionally, I write in an effort to showcase my own work: blogging and tweeting, etc. seems like a good way to draw attention to the academic papers and presentations that I’ve made available.

And finally…

I need to nominate some other bloggers in order to pass on the baton, and in so doing I have to come up with a list of questions for them. I chose to nominate three blogs, as follows:

Green Living 4 Live
A good place to take the pulse of ‘green’ issues and emerging technologies. I’ve learned a lot from here.

Shed Project
Among other things, Allan demonstrates that a private citizen can get the most from alternative and renewable energy sources, and save quite a bit of money in the process. Also, his creativity is centred upon the uniquely British hub of male space: the shed – where every drawer is a man drawer.

My Sustainability Journey
This is a somewhat different one, because it’s written by students. Each of them contributes a reflection on the principles they have been introduced to, and the activities they have worked through. I don’t know if we can persuade Dr. Cosette Armstrong, academic at Oklahoma State University, to join in the Liebster process… but as a sustainability educator myself, I’m finding the blog interesting on two levels.

Here’s the questions that go to my three vict, er, esteemed fellow bloggers:

  1. If one of the quarks in a hadron is pulled away from its neighbours, why will the the colour-force field “snap” into a new quark-antiquark pair? (Okay, I’m kidding… the real question is: what historical period most fascinates you?)
  2. You have a day at liberty in the nearest big city, but you’re on a budget of just about zero. How do you decide to spend the day?
  3. What’s the secret ingredient of the best blogs?
  4. What social convention could we do without?
  5. What unusual or very personal item do you have to take with you on a long journey?
  6. What’s the most useless gadget, gizmo or gewgaw you were ever given?
  7. What’s the best game (any kind) ever?
  8. What do you think of Facebook?
  9. What slightly embarrassing piece of music is a guilty pleasure, concealed somewhere within your collection?
  10. Smart watches: awesome or gruesome?

That’s all folks! Best wishes to my nominees, who are now requested (according to the much-mutated Liebster rules, in the form they reached me) to…

  • Nominate 3 to 10 blogs and tell them that they have been nominated. Each nominee should have under 200 followers (or not have received the award).
  • Curse Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to the nominating blog.
  • Answer at least five of the ten questions, and propose ten for your own nominees.
  • Write a post containing the answers to the questions you were asked.
  • Post the Liebster Award icon to your blog.
  • Include these rules in your nomination to other bloggers.

Ah, yes. I need to post the Liebster icon. I don’t really want to show it on every article (that seems a bit much) so let’s just lob it in here…

Award logo

Got Liebster?

So, yeah, basically, it’s like a virus. One of those that you only pass it on to people you like. Hmm!