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Michael A Koontz
36,823 followers -
Author & Photography. Health & fitness, science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View.
Author & Photography. Health & fitness, science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View.

36,823 followers
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midsummers magic
creativity is a combination of having a thirst and desire for the discipline of exploring the world, and a fully alive spirit to consume all that life has, and to finally, spit it all out in a new shape and form for others to indulge in.

I walked quite slow
down the slope of midnight's snowy mountain
never straight
was the strangeness
of the line that led me, into this
place, of old
and ancient
souls that gather
like clay and stone and living bark

that slowly
grow and bend their way through life
as the tidal wave of time
cascades
across and down
the way
into this glade
I had found





In the presence of the night
they whisper to each other
like phantoms of the coming age,
here
they stand in silent
sacrament
and in pagan ways, the kiss of life
they exchange
growing words born
from
a language no one, never heard







beings, of the
multitude
they perhaps
converse,
in silence
like
they are,
the
quantum entanglement
and soon will share, the secrets
of the universe
hiding just outside, of eye
and mind



together
those that have, all watched and learned
how to reach

for the stars that are hiding
at the edge
of our wily mind






But standing here
at this open glade
all
I ever see
is the mirage
image of your naked skin and flowing hair
one arm
moving down
towards the water not yet frozen
like a mirror phantasm, seen through distant space





Someone pulled the veil of snow to cloak and hide this world
and now we stand
around this circle dressed in springtime green
my eyes can see
the way you dance between the birch tree white
the rings of water
that swirls and hurls at every step that is taken
with the assembled trees




a howl and growl
reveals the wild
as the brown bears gather
right next to the pack
of hunting wolves that endless run

and now it is, quite peculiar, I find myself
standing
with the wilderness
buried by the snow and ice that
wraps around our warming blood
we transcend the land and water
as
natures
speak

through us all



the murmur spreads and rise
far across
the sky and tidal wave that blackens
when the ravens
herald
this worlds summon

and here we stand
in snow and dark
ice and spring, eternal sun
and we find ourselves
quite transfixed
as we witness the unfolding dance
of life and you

until the moment
when more ancient ones
those that slumber, beings of this world, rise up too

from their graves and earthly soil, like the trees that never bow
and soon we all
find ourselves

dancing
like the pagans, sinful free,
with the flowers
and the tree
that holds the sun
and chasing moon in this dance that never settles

music of the day
Brazen Splendour by Netherbird
https://open.spotify.com/track/0cuJioAqJG1pv3ZAIL3IJj


website article
https://www.anorseview.com/?q=midsummers-magic-scandinavia
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homemade vegan burger
this tasty post workout treat was made with fresh tomatoes, fresh onion, a little cheese and quinoa and beans.
Pure tasty and protein rich heaven.

Beans.
Contain about 7-8 grams per 1/2 cup. And they make for pretty swell veggie burgers. Especially if you combine them with

Quinoa.
Which while being a healthy grain shows up to the world packing nine essential amino acids. And like beans, quinoa contains roughly 8 grams of protein per cup.

Add to that the onions and tomatoes, an apple or two and a slice of cheese and some greens and youghurt on the side and you have one tasty and healthy fitness meal.

nutritional information per burger
roughly

fat 7g
carbs 5g
fiber 4g
protein 13g
salt 0,3g

add for bread ( Skip the bread if you are going for fewer carbs and add more fruit and greens instead, which also ramps up other nutritious aspects )

fat + 4g
carbs + 49g
fiber + 3g
protein + 10g
salt +1g


music of the day
It is not a game, it is an onslaught by lost hope

https://open.spotify.com/track/1v5Ge1zlyRm4Vt1NmBpWRA





Gym diaries, day 8 902
Wednesday, legs and abs

I started my day with a tasty protein smoothie, an apple and black coffee, and a 25-minute walk outside in the sun filled morning.
Which was followed by a workout in the gym.

Legs and abs + another 25-minute post workout walk outside in the still sun filled day.

This day will be rounded off with 60 minutes long and lower paced evening cardio. And one more of these homemade veggie burgers :).
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Fitness challenge for the week.
One barbell equipped with enough weight to equal your own body weight
Your only goal, to do as many controlled and proper, deep squats, as humanly possible for one set, rest for 2 to 3 minutes between each set, stretch and walk, do not sit your ass down, and do it all again, in total 4 set.

But before you start, stretch and warm up as you would normally do before a leg workout.

And once you are done with your 4 set of barbell body weight squats x as many reps as it takes for you to reach failure in each set, continue on with your normal leg workout.








Noteworthy
When I say as many reps as humanly possible I do mean that, forget about 8 reps or 10 or 15. Do as many as it takes in each set, even if it turns out that you are as strong and fit as you think and somehow end up doing 50 reps in each set. ( Which I can guarantee that you will not be able to do :P ).

The thing is, it is not about the amount of reps you are doing with this challenge, it is about you pushing body and mind to reach failure in every set instead of being concerned with reaching a given number of reps, so whenever that happens, that is you being amazingly kick ass. And if it happens at 5 reps, that's as great as if it happens at 50 reps.

And do not forget to refuel with healthy food once done, your body will need some proper amount of protein and carbs and quality nutrients to rebuild once you are done with this challenge.



music of the day
The weight of the world by lost hope
https://open.spotify.com/track/3yPZws4G43iluXsgqH6LH9

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The weight of the world is just a fleeting moment
India is a wonderful nation of immense potential and filled with fascinating heritage and culture, but it can also be quite a sad and horrible place for women and children.

We have the ever present and immense pollution and poverty. The inequality that seems almost steeped in the seams of its old and rich history. And almost always guided and directed towards the poor, and more than anything females.


You also have something even worse, related but different. And this sordid face of the underbelly of the rapidly changing but still traditional Indian society is best represented by a road that could be described as the road to hell on Earth.










GB road in Dehli, India is that horrible place that seems to revel in breaking down and abusing human beings, decimating and reducing others beautiful promise and potential to something that is as mundane and taken for granted as a cup of coffee, It is a place that reduces others ( mainly girls ) into something that exists solely for your own daily life to continue as is.







GB road turns people into something that is nothing more than black coffee.

After all, coffee is a life giver in people's ordinary daily life. But it requires no care, no thought, no love, no affection or consideration ( even tho a lot of people absolutely do love their coffee, and even take pride in buying fair trade & sustainable coffee ).

For most, however, that black cup of coffee exists solely for you, right in that moment with no past or present or future to consider.

And that is what GB road in Dehli, India is selling.












It´s just that what they are selling is not coffee, it is people, girls of all ages, to be raped and sold, abused and used with zero consideration, for as long as they can endure it. GB road is selling the message that this is normal and that this is what they are born to endure and that it somehow is your right to abuse those unfortunate girls only life until they die.

That is the daily life and death, the promise and the demand on all the tens of thousands of people living and working in GB road in Dehli, India.

And the thousands of people that make their living on this abuse, the thousands of people that show up on a daily schedule to abuse those that live and work along this road, they are just there for their own cup of morning coffee.


This particular cup of coffee is made of flesh and heart, body and mind, but there is no consideration, no care, no thought, no hope, no relief, no joy and love, no future or past. There is just a cup of coffee to be used and discarded.

At GB road in Dehli, India, hell is alive and well on Planet Earth.









Kids are drugged and abused until they submit to life just being this way, and once they are grown up, broken in to accept this reality they live and work at GB road for the rest of their life, shunned by society, ruined by perceived shame and abuse, and so they live and work and coerce others to do the same until they too die.


Sadly this is not the only place in the world or India that treats females this inhuman way, but this is without a doubt one of the worst places not currently torn asunder by war to be born a girl when it comes down to it.









The horrors of this place and the inequality and abuse of females across India will never end as long as the world keep looking at girls as nothing more than cattle. The perpetuated errors do not have anything to do with tradition, culture or religion. This is about people and selfish minded evil.

It is about not seeing the real value and unlimited promise and potential that lives equally much in all people.

And while we are not all guilty, most of the world is because looking away and allowing society to treat others in this way, that too is allowing this atrocity to continue.








Nothing that is going on at GB road is legal in India, and yet close to 30 million people living in Dehli seem to not see any of this even tho they all know that this is daily life at GB road in Dehli, India.

And more importantly, this is how it is to be born as a girl in India for millions of girls living in what is such an incredibly beautiful nation, a nation with such incredible promise and potential, yet this is the daily abuse and inequality that this beautiful nation allows with cruel negligence to continue.

And nothing about this will ever end as long as people look the other way, telling the lie to you and themselves that this is what you are born for and that nothing can or should change it.










That final part, that is not just about India tho, that applies to every nation and every culture, and religion, every city, and village across this entire world.

Because the issue is not just about slavery and trafficking.
What is going on at GB road is the extremely bad, that is for sure, but the same issues, looking at other people's actual need and promise, their potential as human beings, their rights and needs and equality as nothing more than a cup of coffee that only exists for you to consume, that issue can also be seen in the way that the entire world treats unemployed and sick people.










It can be seen in how people that are extremely wealthy and powerful, such as Donald Trump treat poor and unfortunate people's right to healthy and safe health care and education, and a livable income of their own. It can be seen all day long for all of life in how the wealthy and middle-income households seem to think that their own personal life can be made better by abusing others future and daily present.

These issues are all real and they are all connected.





We can see the same kind of issue in how some people go about telling each other that killing a female relative just because she fell in love with the wrong person or behaved ( in your mind ) sexually provocative or decided to cast away your abusive religious views is a perfectly reasonable behaviour.

All these things are connected, and they all boil down to how some people across this entire world view other human beings as no more deserving of the things that they enjoy than that cup of coffee which they, in turn, consume each day without a thought.

It can be seen in religious hate, intolerance, and blindness.

Gender fueled inequality and class based negligence. The same issue can even be seen in the wicked fossil fuel industry. The views that not everybody needs proper education, it can be experienced in the lack of healthy water and electricity.








And until all these things changes, one thing is for sure, and that is that Mahatma Gandhi would be utterly ashamed to see that this is still life in India and far too many places in this world. He would without a doubt weep over the fact that about 1 million female kids and 15 million people are living and working as slaves in India right now.

And to put things in context, despite those huge numbers, only 55 people were convicted for buying sex from a minor in India in 2015.










But he would also find hope in that there is those that do spend their daily life and work on creating a real and lasting change. People and organizations such as Freedom firm which while not being perfect ( no one is ) do a wonderful and world improving job.

http://www.freedom.firm.in/


music of the day
The weight of the world by lost hope
https://open.spotify.com/track/3yPZws4G43iluXsgqH6LH9

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As if straight out of the cutesy book 'wind in the willows', the good ol and extremely photogenic water voles ( Arvicola amphibius ) returns from the brink of UK extinction, with a little help from the human hands that orchestrated its near extinction in the first place.

As such, Kielder Forest in Northumberland, England will now get to see 700 Scottish highlander water voles invade and conquer its lush and serene country setting in the summer of 2017.

Not by accident, nor is it born in a devious water vole plot to reclaim the mainland of the United Kingdom. Instead, this is one of the many wonderful rewilding wildlife and sustainable projects going on in Europe right now.





The water vole has had a rough time in good ol England for quite some time having had to withstand 90% of its population being wiped out due to the blind and deaf human hand.





On one hand, the friendly furball known as the water vole ended up out conquered by invading minks which were brought to England courtesy of the inhuman mink farms which the cunning mink rightfully escaped from. And on the other hand, as if that was not enough, the water vole also had to suffer from diminishing natural areas suitable for habitat, due to the negligence and land claims and pollution courtesy of homo sapiens.

And with less than 10% of its population remaining in the wild things were just not looking very good for the iconic water vole, at least not in England.






But on the other side of the border in the land of the highlanders, the water vole was still thriving, living happily far away from UK coal and pollution and escaped minks, and as such, after a few years of hard work and precious time and dedication being spent on securing a suitable natural sanctuary free of pollution and invading humans and minks alike England will now import 700 happy Scottish water voles in the summer of 2017 and hopefully this crew of 700 happy water voles will take to their new English home with reckless abandon and wildly joyous success.



And if they do, the return of the water vole will be one more conservation initiative giving us yet another successful European rewilding story.

music of the day
Bullshit by rise against
https://open.spotify.com/track/4oNN9bbcb663Yqir9RtFMM

website article ( and the book 'wind in the willows' )
https://www.anorseview.com/?q=watervole-returntouk 

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What: A short story in text, plus photography and voice narrated video
By: Mike, in text and photo and video
Collaborators: One or two female voice narrators reading the story with the nature video as the silent backdrop, TBA.

script

This is the world as it ended up in 2050 without science-based climate action, with big oil and coal and other unsustainable practices being left unchecked and untamed, all while we did not take enough real action to clean up oceans and deter unsustainable farming and industrial behaviour around the world.

But it is also a world where we did not pick up Universal Basic Income despite the huge shift to smart cities and a major autonomous AI society and workforce.

It is in other words, a pretty realistic but fictional look at how our current day world governed by Donald Trump and people like him for the next 30 years ended up being.




Anyone that like the idea of this realistic, and real life based ( on current day facts and science trajectories ) but fictional story feel free to get in touch if you feel that you have something to contribute as a collaborator.

Outside of one or two female voice narrators for the video, I´d also be interested in teaming up with a solid illustrator. Or possibly someone that is experienced in shooting high-quality nature videos, with or without a drone. 

music of the day
Pyre by Apocalypse Orchestra
https://open.spotify.com/track/4gHz9JscDKxs6dGK4VxEBx

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Adventures of the dangerous lazy bug, issue 1.
The lazy bug is a multi-faceted super villain that manifests like a legion that hides deep inside the mind of every human being. It can be suppressed and be forced to lay dormant in resilient people by physical activity that engages a person's daily willpower and physical capacity, but the lazy bug never goes away.




And every day it will no matter what you do, spend an impressive amount of time and energy to maintain its persistent 24/7 advertisement campaign, selling this sedentary broadcast message that relentlessly trumpets out how glorious the life of the unhealthy and sedentary is.









And that is the danger of its deceptive two punch super power, the power imbued in the left side of its gray matter is the uncanny ability to spread like a virus amongst the homo sapiens, and by now it exists in every one of us, even replicating in our DNA when we consummate, so each new baby is born with it too.

And the other power which it proudly parades around with in broad daylight is the way in which it perpetually brainwashes people, just like the upside down propaganda world of 1984. What is true end up being proclaimed a lie by the lazy bug.







There is no immunity, and the only way to defeat it is by sheer willpower and clear-headed logic that forces you to never forget about the facts and science and life-improving benefits of working out and eating healthy.

And that is the cunning villain that the lazy bug is, it´s true identity comes in the shape of a brainwashing and soul sucking entity that spends its entire life from dusk til dawn selling the mirage of the glamorous life of bad health and sedentary living.





Its entire message is a lie, of course, nothing more than an insidious illusion that will progressively cause you more and more harm. And as such, no one that ever listens to it ever ends up with a better and more joyous life. Instead, as it keeps selling its deceptive message the lazy bug will slowly consume the life blood and energy from its many victims.







The grand nemesis of the lazy bug is the super-hero called "fit and active" which in turn lay dormant in deep sleep inside all of us, so every day, no matter the siren song of the lazy bug, remind yourself to make the conscious and informed choice to improve your own life joy, body, health and mind by consciously waking up the fit and active superhero inside of you by making fit and active and healthy choices this day too.


The joy and benefit of doing that will never end, but neither will the dangerous siren song of the lazy bug and no one is immune, so stay brave and stay determined and save the world :).

Stay tuned for issue nr 2.

music of the day
Pyre by Apocalypse Orchestra
https://open.spotify.com/track/4gHz9JscDKxs6dGK4VxEBx


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Cheetahs have already disappeared from more than 90 percent of their natural habitat in Africa ( not to mention in other areas such as the middle east ), and the wild population continues to decline in an unsustainable way.

Today fewer than 7000 adult cheetahs are estimated to survive in the wild.

Making the cheetah one of the world's most endangered land living apex predators.

But not all hope is lost and there is not just a global consensus that the situation as it is is impossible for the cheetah but plenty of hard work is also being done to rectify the near extinction that awaits the cheetah.

One such small step can be found in the Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi where four wild cheetahs have just been reintroduced to this safe haven, and nation, which with increased effort to create a sustainable and protected wildlife area represents not just a viable future in safety and freedom for the African wildlife, but also a prosperous and sustainable economy and living for the surrounding human society due to proper eco-tourism and sustainable farming.



quote
“The reintroduction of the cheetah is historic for the country and a new era for the park, where the return of large predators holds great optimism for the restoration of the natural system and the conservation of this highly vulnerable species,”
- Craig Reid, Liwonde National Park Manager, said in the statement.

website article
https://www.anorseview.com/?q=malawi-nationalpark-cheetah





Photography by +Morkel Erasmus and if you are curious for more about the Liwonde National park in Southern Malawi you can check out this article by the Endangered wildlife trust.

This also marks the return of the cheetah to Malawi roughly 20 years after the cheetah went extinct in the nation.

https://endangeredwildlifetrust.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/cheetahs-return-to-malawi-for-first-time-after-20-year-absence/

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Gym diaries, day 8 889
Thursday is a day of chest and abs ( this week )

A morning walk started out my day.
Followed by a gym workout still early in the day doing my chest and abs.
And in the evening 60 minutes of lower impact cardio rounded of this day.

Noteworthy stuff

Had to post that Day 8 889 included reaching 2000kg per bench press set.

Which while not exceptional made it a very good workout, and absolutely worth an extra mental highlight in the journal of my fit and healthy life.

bench press

2 x warm up set
3 set x 15 reps @ 130kg = 1 950 kg per set ( 4299 lbs/set )

incline bench press

3 set x 15 - 20 reps

pullover dumbbell

3 set x 8 reps + '5 extra dumbbell chest press' reps

Music of the day
Consume.Repeat by This is turin
https://open.spotify.com/track/1Sm6vMUfQwNnbScXSooDBx

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Journal 1 of "a matter of trees".
old barns and never ending love, that was the thought I sort of awakened with, standing outside in the midday sun at this place called home once more. Old thoughts and memories found themselves stirred and served upon a platter of bed sheets and sensual emotions.

Backtracked, through time and history of a multifaceted life lived and worn. I had walked backward like a ghost that had acquired the secret of rewinding that precariously padded wool that was cataloged and labeled as time by the human mind.




Inside this place I was now standing at, layered within the trodden walls of decay that had waited just beyond the empty door frame that spoke out loud to me and the surrounding world.
Together with the withered planks and timber that surrounded me in the shape of old ghosts sprinkled with the persevering fragrance of sheets of lost mold and history, the lost world was all that remained, and inside it all, nothing but silence lingered together with all these things that once had been.

Forlorn beings rich with history but without a voice to speak their own truth.





But standing here, with one foot in the daylight of the changing present, and the other partially planted inside the still living past, what I looked at, and the presence that I could clearly feel inside the floorboards and patchy walls was not a void of forsaken emptiness.

This was not the forgotten world of a history that had been long abandoned.





What I discovered instead was that the shell that remained had found itself a new lease of life and it proudly told me that it was now the home of bees and critters. It described to me how it had weaved a different kind of song now, how it was not defined by the human strain anymore, left behind the world that had been it had transformed into an imprimatur of life and truth that lived alongside the memories of what this world had been forced to be.





And that is how I came to discover that where there once had been a lovers lullaby thought to have been forever lost in a frozen and abandoned wayward past with nothing to fill its empty blanks.

A brand new string of life and love had taken hold and this entire world was now the love nest of bumblebees and lush flowers.

wayward lost
the abandoned
tomb built by time and
pages
turned by
dust and forsaken soil

nothing but
the remnants
of
days long dwindled


but now
there lies
a new love in the nest of bumble bees
and lush flowers, waiting for spring to dress in green
and the glow of beaming color and light to paint the
summer sky
blue and warming yellow.

It was the chirping
of tomorrow
that had greeted me
and not the dusty
wayward past






But did this world still have room for me?.
Could the outside world ever again tolerate the slightest presence of the hominid species?.

Questions that would remain unanswered.
Just the way your old picture frame still hung right next to where our fireplace once had burned.

Like the wall it still clung too, it was worn and broken, the glass was shattered, and half the print itself was gone. What was left was faded by years and weather, torn in half by life and time, like the wall that had crumbled.

But while this was not my beginning, it would be your day zero, so I had to put it all to pen and paper.

The witness account has been faithfully retold, honoring the way it was written down in journal 1 of "a matter of trees".

music of the day
Here be monsters by Apocalypse Orchestra
https://open.spotify.com/track/6Qw5PTgS1ZjOaF4rnOWzzT




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