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We cover a wide range of topics by all ages for all ages:
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For more information, please see the About Us page.
Centre for Alternative Technology media officer Kim Bryan explores the impacts of the loom band craze
Its a question that has been bothering me for a while as I watch my son Neru gleefully produce another bracelet for his already covered arm. Surely these things must have an environmental impact. I stuck my head in the sand and got on with enjoying my son’s abundant creativity. The thing is, I work at CAT and eventually the niggly voice took over; this is what I found out.
Everywhere you go these days you see them – on trains and buses, at play parks, libraries and schools: tiny colourful elastic bands being transformed into a myriad of different things. The loom band craze has taken of at a phenomenal rate; kids everywhere are getting creative and making jewellery with these easy to use and appealing elastic bands.
Yet the environmental consequences of loom bands are becoming increasingly apparent. A surge in demand has led to the development of new plantations in East Asia, with activists pointing toair and water pollution from the production process. Animal welfare groups have sounded the alarm of the threat to animal and marine life. In addition, the loom bands are not recyclable.
Loom uses non-latex rubber, which means the bands are a synthetic product made largely from silicone. Synthetic materials require less land to produce, but they aren’t renewable, as natural rubber is. Recycling consultants WasteConnect said loom bands are a growing problem;
“They can’t be recycled and when a child does eventually get bored with them and the craze dies out, they will just be taking up space. I really don’t know what can be done with them that would solve the growing problem.”
In the Philippines animal welfare organisation PAWS has warned pet owners to keep their pets away from loom bands due to the risk of intestinal obstruction. In the US some veterinarians have treated dogs and cats with severe vomiting or diarrhea caused by ingesting one or more loom bands. If the animal swallows several bands, an intestinal blockage can form, a problem that can become fatal without surgery. Cats, which have smaller digestive passages, are particularly vulnerable. The bands are also difficult to spot on an X-ray, making diagnosis a challenge.
Wildlife can experience the same effects from elastic bands, ducks are among the most vulnerable creatures, with the bands getting wrapped around their beaks or necks . The animals sometimes ingest the bands, which can cause problems as they pass through the digestive tract. Paul, director of conservation at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said: “’Loom bands, like any plastic item, are capable of persisting in the environment for many, many years and there is abundant evidence of small plastic items making their way into the diets of marine animals and seabirds with tragic consequences. I’d be particularly worried about loom bands being taken to the beach, due to the likelihood of them getting into the sea.”
In the US, an online petition has been set up calling for a ban on the bands until they can be ‘produced and recycled in an environmentally-sustainable way’. The petition says:
“Surging demand for Rainbow Looms has led to the development of new rubber plantations in East Asia. Not only does rubber production task the regional environment, but it also contributes to air and water pollution. The synthetic materials used to produce the looms are not renewable or recyclable.”
The Centre for Alternative Technology runs kids’ activities throughout the summer that make recycled green jewellery. There are some really easy to ideas on line that use natural materials such as clay, stones, shells, yarn, etc. Friendships bands used to be a huge phenomenon and involve plaiting coloured pieces of thread together, resulting in a mini work of art that is biodegradable, easy to do and much more environmentally sustainable. Better get the yarn out then!
Machynlleth, POW SY20 9AZ
The new limits, part of the council’s campaign for safer streets, will apply from Monday the 16th of June. See here for your self in which streets the new limits apply.
Here is the brief sent by the Transport Planning office.
Safer Streets – Better places
Phase 2 of the 20mph programme to be implemented on Monday 16th June 2014 as part of the council’s campaign for safer streets.
As you will no doubt have noticed, the last 2 months have seen the 20mph signage and road markings being installed across the Phase 2 implementation area – this covers many of the residential areas of the city including West Hove, Preston, Hollingdean, Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and East Brighton.
As with the implementation of Phase 1, all the new signage has be “blacked out” initially as the limit is not, just yet in force.
Given the size of the area, it was not possible to implement all the signage and road markings overnight and where road marking have been painted they cannot be covered so will be showing already in many areas.
The legal Speed Limit Orders, which makes the 20mph limit the legal speed limit on those roads where it has been signed and marked, will come into force on Monday 16th June 2014.
A map showing the roads covered by the new limits can be found at:
The black covering on the 20mph signage will be removed on Monday 16th June on all entry ways into the areas but it may, due to the size of the area, take a day or two before all the smaller repeater signs are all completely uncovered.
There have been and will continue to be communications (e.g., press releases, advertising, radio, website, social media, emails such as this one) both city wide and targeted in the directly affected areas in the past few and coming weeks to alert drivers and other road users to the change in the speed limit.
The implementation of this second Phase was approved, with cross party, unanimous, support at the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) Committee in March 2014
The printed decisions and minutes of the March Committee can be found on the Council website at:
and the Committee report relevant to this decision can also be found on the Council website at:
Green Party parliamentary candidate Davy Jones discusses the housing crisis, particularly in the private housing sector with Amanda and David from the Living Rent Campaign.
This week, on the eleventh anniversary of the Iraq War, Davy Jones hosts a discussion in which Jo Wilding talks about her experiences in Iraq just as the war was starting and thereafter. Riad El-Taher talks about the war the reasons why it happened and the roles of some of the major players.
LISTEN HERE TO LATEST INTERVIEW ON FRACKING .
Listen here to the newest show from Meredith Collins, editor with local independent publishers Pighog , where she talks to poet Brendan Cleary. The Pighog Literature Review is a weekly look at good reads , poetry and prose, written and published right here in Sussex. She will be discussing books for all ages including tasty treats for winter nights that even the thorniest non reader will be unable to resist. More info at http://www.pighog.co.uk/about/index.html
Below is a short intro from Pighog website — go there to find details of their events etc!
Pighog is an award-winning independent publisher creating groundbreaking experiences of the written and spoken word. We publish high quality original work for a diverse range of regional, national and international voices.
We are known for discovering exciting new talent and for our unique and distinctive publications. Our aim is to present high quality work through high quality presentation — in print, online and live. We were shortlisted for the prestigious 2012 Michael Marks Publishers Award and Charlotte Gann’s The Long Woman was shortlisted for the 2012 Michael Marks Pamphlet Award. Sarah Jackson’s Milk was shortlisted for the same award in 2008. We have also won a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice Award for Lorna Thorpe’s Dancing to Motown.
Our approach is eclectic. We do not back any particular literary ideology but prefer to offer our readers a stimulating choice of well-made work. Our artistic eclecticism is complemented by our dedication to regional voices. Our Sussex Series has brought attention to a group of writers who have been termed the ‘Beach Generation’. We are now developing a series devoted to poets from Munster in Ireland. We have international connections with poets, publishers and organisations in Canada, India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile, Finland, Germany, Holland, Jamaica, Scandinavia, Slovenia, Spain and the USA.
We are committed to both traditional and new media publication. We are the first publisher to issue a book via Twitter, sending out a guide to writing poetry as a series of Tweets. In 2009, Pighog launched its first writing competition (for writers of fiction for children and young people) and in 2010 has taken over responsibility for Pulse: Brighton International Poetry Festival, which in 2010 was based around the literary weekend party Pigbaby.
Looking ahead, we are developing a new series for emerging poets (Pighog Passports) as well as pamphlet collections of short stories.
We believe that language is energy and that literary works harness that energy to create feeling, insight and imaginative experience to change minds and lives.
“Pamphlet poetry, for me, is one of the most revolutionary and exciting forms of art. Not least, because it bypasses fashion and establishment and social clique and gives an opportunity to everyone who thinks they have something good to say through poetry to try. That equally on the receiving end, it transcends the values of class and culture and even education, to reach anyone who has an art and desire to be human.” — Lady Marks from her Inaugural Address to the 2008 Michael Marks Awards at the British Library.
What future for Palestine: What can be expected from the international community? — Joint Brighton UNA/BHPSC Discussion 27th Sep
Joint Brighton UNA/BHPSC discussion meeting
Saturday 27 September 2014
Dorset Gardens Methodist Church Hall
Dorset Gardens, Brighton BN2 1RL
(Dorset Gardens runs between St James’s Street and Edward Street)
Musheir El Farrah
Mushier is Chair of Sheffield PSC. He is originally from Gaza and has family still there including his sister, Mona El Farrah, who is a doctor at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Musheir is the author of a book about the 2008–9 Israeli assault on Gaza, When the Sky Rained White Fire (Sheffield PSC, 2012).
Lecturer in International Law, University of Sussex. Michael’s research interests cover international humanitarian law, war crimes and human rights and in particular the role and impact of international law on the question of Palestine. Joint author of Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism & International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. (Pluto Press 2012).
A third speaker is currently being confirmed but in the meantime please put this date in your diaries.
Light refreshments provided. Free admission.
2014 is the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people and yet on 30 July, the Commissioner-General of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNWRA, said about the shelling of a school in Gaza where sheltering children were sleeping, “This is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the World stands disgraced”.
The tragedy of what has just happened in Gaza must make us all question what can be expected from the International Community. We will be addressing these issues and discussing what we can do at this meeting jointly organised by Brighton & Hove PSC and Brighton & Hove United Nations Association.
15 Campaigners from Balcombe, Barton Moss and across the country have blockaded both entrances to the IGas headquarters, 7 Down Street, Westminster, London, W1J 7AJ. Police have arrived at the site alongside security, but look unlikely to act soon.
http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/uncategorized/my-quick-status-post-2/ — in London, United Kingdom.
BREAKING!Cuadrilla’s Blackpool offices have been occupied: https://www.facebook.com/britainandirelandfrackfree/photos/a.450730781619619.127432.412063865486311/943041179055241/?type=1&theaterRathlin’s Crawberry Hill site gates have been blockaded: https://www.facebook.com/britainandirelandfrackfree/photos/a.450730781619619.127432.412063865486311/943035289055830/?type=1&theater… See More
This Sunday 24th August 12 up-and-coming local bands have given their time for free to play one of the last festivals of the year to support a Brighton children’s charity.
This free event is being held indoors at the Hove Park Tavern, Old Shoreham Road, Hove and is raising funds for Brighton’s Whoopsadaisy charity who help children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders, to live life as independently as possible.
Like any good festival, children are welcome and BBQ food is available. The music ranges from folk, blues and ambient to rock, so everyone will be catered for whilst raising money for this great local charity.
Organiser Phil Nye said “When this event was last run, over £1,200 was raised however this time we have increased the number of bands on the day and hence have moved to a larger venue.”
“We would love to see as many people as possible, all are welcome and it will be a great afternoon of music and fun.”
Sue Woolford from Whoopsadaisy said “We’re thrilled that Phil is continuing his fantastic support for Whoopsadaisy through these music events. It will be great for our profile and for our fundraising, and will mean that more local children with cerebral palsy — and their families — will receive the support they need”
When the last event was held last year over £1,200 was donated. The promoters plan for this next event to be much bigger and to raise even more money on the day through donations and local businesses who are being given the opportunity to sponsor the groups.
The music starts at 2pm and the day should finish around 11pm giving the festival goers the Bank Holiday Monday to recover!
LISTEN HERE Cypher Under the Station this week sees The Other Guy take the subs bench with a broken hand, and Isle-of-Wight stalwart 8man take the mic for some enlightenment,
Sign Avaaz Petition + Desmond Tutu ‘My plea to the people of Israel: ‘Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine’
This campaign is gathering real pace. Russell Brand has recorded this video backing the campaign,. Avaazers in the UK are campaigning to end arms sales to Israel as the government there initiates a review. And shockingly, even the US government cancelled a shipment ofhellfire missiles to Israel!
The pressure is working — so let’s keep it up! sign the petition here
My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land
The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.
If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.
A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens … as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.
I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”
Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.
I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.
“I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said.
Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar.
Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.
We have also recently witnessed the withdrawal by Dutch pension fund PGGM of tens of millions of euros from Israeli banks; the divestment from G4S by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the U.S. Presbyterian Church divested an estimated $21 million from HP, Motorola Solutions and Caterpillar.
It is a movement that is gathering pace.
Violence begets violence and hatred, that only begets more violence and hatred.
We South Africans know about violence and hatred. We understand the pain of being the polecat of the world; when it seems nobody understands or is even willing to listen to our perspective. It is where we come from.
We also know the benefits that dialogue between our leaders eventually brought us; when organizations labeled “terrorist” were unbanned and their leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were released from imprisonment, banishment and exile.
We know that when our leaders began to speak to each other, the rationale for the violence that had wracked our society dissipated and disappeared. Acts of terrorism perpetrated after the talks began – such as attacks on a church and a pub – were almost universally condemned, and the party held responsible snubbed at the ballot box.
The exhilaration that followed our voting together for the first time was not the preserve of black South Africans alone. The real triumph of our peaceful settlement was that all felt included. And later, when we unveiled a constitution so tolerant, compassionate and inclusive that it would make God proud, we all felt liberated.
Of course, it helped that we had a cadre of extraordinary leaders.
But what ultimately forced these leaders together around the negotiating table was the cocktail of persuasive, nonviolent tools that had been developed to isolate South Africa, economically, academically, culturally and psychologically.
At a certain point – the tipping point – the then-government realized that the cost of attempting to preserve apartheid outweighed the benefits.
The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo.
Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.
Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.
Ultimately, events in Gaza over the past month or so are going to test who believes in the worth of human beings.
It is becoming more and more clear that politicians and diplomats are failing to come up with answers, and that responsibility for brokering a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land rests with civil society and the people of Israel and Palestine themselves.
Besides the recent devastation of Gaza, decent human beings everywhere – including many in Israel – are profoundly disturbed by the daily violations of human dignity and freedom of movement Palestinians are subjected to at checkpoints and roadblocks. And Israel’s policies of illegal occupation and the construction of buffer-zone settlements on occupied land compound the difficulty of achieving an agreementsettlement in the future that is acceptable for all.
The State of Israel is behaving as if there is no tomorrow. Its people will not live the peaceful and secure lives they crave – and are entitled to – as long as their leaders perpetuate conditions that sustain the conflict.
I have condemned those in Palestine responsible for firing missiles and rockets at Israel. They are fanning the flames of hatred. I am opposed to all manifestations of violence.
But we must be very clear that the people of Palestine have every right to struggle for their dignity and freedom. It is a struggle that has the support of many around the world.
No human-made problems are intractable when humans put their heads together with the earnest desire to overcome them. No peace is impossible when people are determined to achieve it.
Peace requires the people of Israel and Palestine to recognize the human being in themselves and each other; to understand their interdependence.
Missiles, bombs and crude invective are not part of the solution. There is no military solution.
The solution is more likely to come from that nonviolent toolbox we developed in South Africa in the 1980s, to persuade the government of the necessity of altering its policies.
The reason these tools – boycott, sanctions and divestment – ultimately proved effective was because they had a critical mass of support, both inside and outside the country. The kind of support we have witnessed across the world in recent weeks, in respect of Palestine.
My plea to the people of Israel is to see beyond the moment, to see beyond the anger at feeling perpetually under siege, to see a world in which Israel and Palestine can coexist – a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign.
It requires a mind-set shift. A mind-set shift that recognizes that attempting to perpetuate the current status quo is to damn future generations to violence and insecurity. A mind-set shift that stops regarding legitimate criticism of a state’s policies as an attack on Judaism. A mind-set shift that begins at home and ripples out across communities and nations and regions – to the Diaspora scattered across the world we share. The only world we share.
People united in pursuit of a righteous cause are unstoppable. God does not interfere in the affairs of people, hoping we will grow and learn through resolving our difficulties and differences ourselves. But God is not asleep. The Jewish scriptures tell us that God is biased on the side of the weak, the dispossessed, the widow, the orphan, the alien who set slaves free on an exodus to a Promised Land. It was the prophet Amos who said we should let righteousness flow like a river.
Goodness prevails in the end. The pursuit of freedom for the people of Palestine from humiliation and persecution by the policies of Israel is a righteous cause. It is a cause that the people of Israel should support.
Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.
He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.
10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation
Under a coalition of Israeli left-wing political parties and organizations, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in the largest anti-war demonstration since the outbreak of violence in Gaza.
Some 10,000 Israelis flooded Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square under the slogan “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war” in the largest anti-Gaza war demonstration in Israel since the outbreak of hostilities more than one month ago.
Thousands gather at a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv, calling for a just peace and an end to violence in Gaza, Tel Aviv, August 16, 2014. (photo: Activestills)
The protest was scheduled to take place last week, but was postponed after the police and Home Front Command revoked its permit, ostensibly to stop large gatherings during a time when missiles were being fired at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. Roughly 500 non-aligned activists flooded Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square anyway, in defiance of the ban.
At tonight’s demonstration the major left-wing parties, including Meretz and Hadash, as well as Peace Now and other left-wing organizations, joined tonight’s demonstration, calling for a wide range of demands, from continuing negotiations between Israel and Hamas to an end to the occupation and Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Many who have demonstrated throughout the past weeks of hostilities expressed disappointment at Meretz and Peace Now for their refusal to support anti-war demonstrations until now.
Meretz MK Zehava Gal’on addressed the protest, affirming that her party was against the Israeli military operation in Gaza all along. She lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not immediately recognizing the Palestinian unity deal and instead choosing war.
To large applause, Hadash MK Mohammad Barakeh stated in Hebrew and Arabic, “We are building a partnership against the occupation, for a free Palestine.” He continued, “We are here for a two-state solution, for life and a future for people in Gaza and the South.”
Famed Israeli author David Grossman addressed the large crowd, saying, “We won’t be able to breathe deeply in Israel as long as people in Gaza feel choked,” adding, “We will always be neighbors with people in Gaza. We must live together.”
Israel author David Grossman speaks to a crowd of 10,000 anti-war protesters in Tel Aviv, August 16, 2014 (photo: Activestills)
Naomi Tzion, a resident of Sderot, called on the crowd to think of those in Gaza who have now been made refugees twice or thrice, adding, ”The true spitting in the face of the residents of Sderot? The attempts to paint us all as a single stereotyped collective.” Gaza is “the biggest jail in the world,” she continued.
Along with anti-war sentiment, protesters expressed their anger at the Israeli government for its lack of leadership, chanting “Bibi, go home!”
According to the protest organizers, the demonstration was organized to send the following message to Israel’s political leaders:
“The next round of fighting can be prevented. No to the way of wars – we must have a political solution! After an agonizing month of war and death, in the face of mounting waves of incitement and hatred, which increasingly tear up the Israeli society, we stand up to demonstrate for peace and for democracy.”
The rally at Rabin Square came two days after another demonstration was held to express solidarity with the residents of communities along the Gaza border.
Rampion Current Status
We’ve now been awarded consent to construct and operate Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. Consent has been given for a wind farm of between 100 and 175 turbines to be installed off the Sussex coast. We’ll be updating these pages soon with more information.
If you’d like to view our final proposals, please click the links below.
For any other enquiries about the Rampion project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 603 721.
Our Pledge to Save the NHS! What you can do now.…
Can you join us? Let us know if you can help out for a while at any of these stalls or if you plan to come to our meetings. We also have working groups for our Roll of Dishonour, Pledge to save the NHS, & SMS campaigns, if that is more your style. Let us know!
Sat 6 Sept
999 Call for the NHS –People’s #march4nhs Rally for end of march from Jarrow
Westminster London– details to follow
Tues 9 Sept
Health and Well Being Board
4pm Hove Town Hall
(lobby for SMS tbc)
Tues 9 Sept
Sussex Defend the NHS organising meet
7pm Brighthelm Centre
Wed 10 Sept
Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
4pm Hove Town Hall
Tues 23 Sept
B&H Clinical Commissioning Group Board and AGM
2–4.30 & 4.30−6 Brighthelm Centre
Tues 14th Oct
Health and Wellbeing Board
4pm Hove Town Hall
Thurs 16th Oct
Policy and Resources Committee
4pm Hove Town Hall
Lots more happening Sept and October – dates to follow soon!
The speaker this time at the United Nations Association Meeting was Peter Crowhurst, who is a retired history teacher and the current Chair of the North Laine Community Association in Brighton.
With the increased presence of the Green Party in both Europe and on our own turf after the recent elections, the climate change dialogue is becoming more and more transparent. Below are links to two pieces of propaganda: the first being the Exxon Outlook for Energy 2040, a publication aimed at Exxon shareholders and the politicians who work for them; the second being a report from the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, backed by science and science alone.
The former makes no mention of methane and fails to acknowledge the rapidly accelerating climate change crisis. The latter uses information from the IPCC to try and identify areas of weakness and formulate some progression from where we are now, placing serious catastrophe within a four year reach. Who are you going to believe?
Download the Exxon report here:
View and share the AMEG information here:
Live Classical Recital with the fantastic Rachel Gorman. In this 40 minute intimate show, Rachel showcases a repertoire of;
–Mozart– K454 Sonata in Bb for Violin and Piano
–Ysaye– Ballade for Solo violin
–Messiaen– Theme and Variations