Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

This Site has Moved to

Click Here to Vist NEW Site:

I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out:


January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

They went to Jail, I wrote a Letter!

So here’s the story, at the UN Climate Summit last month in Copenhagen.  A group of four managed to get into a dinner party where world leaders were dining with the Queen of Denmark and they held up a banner demanding they take action against global warming.  I’m a Greenpeace member, so I while these people went to jail I sent the letter below when the Executive Director Kumi Naidoo reached out and asked its members.

Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Faced with the unique opportunity to stop climate change in Copenhagen, world leaders offered instead an historic failure.  In sharp contrast, we and the world’s environment, hunger, and justice groups are mobilizing the largest movement civil society has ever witnessed, to demand a fair, ambitious, legally binding climate treaty.
I stand in solidarity with those who have taken non-violent direct action or committed peaceful acts of civil disobedience to demand climate justice. That includes the four Greenpeace activists who were detained without trial in Denmark for holding up banners at a head of state dinner. I have contributed to their action by supporting Greenpeace — financially, morally, or in my day to day life.  If the response of governments to the threat of climate change is going to be preventive detention of those likely to support or commit acts of civil disobedience, count me among the 15 million people you may need to round up.
I urge you to recognise that civil disobedience to demand action against so grave a threat is an act of community service.
Yours faithfully,


The four activists have been released.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Community Economic Development (CED), Government, Great Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Politics, Social Media, Sustainability, War | , , | Leave a comment

Google Strikes Back at Rupert Murdoch!

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, strikes back at Rupert Murdoch in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal (which is owned by Rupert Murdock by the way). Before we get to the good stuff I’ll quickly explain who Rupert Murdoch is for those who don’t know.  He owns lots of media outlets (Newspapers, Magazines, Radio Stations, TV Networks, Cable & Internet Companies etc.) He is the founder, a major shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation (News Corp).  He’s been in the news lately because he wants to ban Google from searching his sites and has been trying to make an agreement with Bing (Microsoft).  I don’t think he should be able to control the message people can and cannot hear.  I think and I hope he loses big on this!

With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame. Much of their anger is currently directed at Google, whom many executives view as getting all the benefit from the business relationship without giving much in return. The facts, I believe, suggest otherwise.

Google is a great source of promotion. We send online news publishers a billion clicks a month from Google News and more than three billion extra visits from our other services, such as Web Search and iGoogle. That is 100,000 opportunities a minute to win loyal readers and generate revenue—for free. In terms of copyright, another bone of contention, we only show a headline and a couple of lines from each story. If readers want to read on they have to click through to the newspaper’s Web site. (The exception are stories we host through a licensing agreement with news services.) And if they wish, publishers can remove their content from our search index, or from Google News.

here’s even better stuff:

It’s understandable to look to find someone else to blame. But as Rupert Murdoch has said, it is complacency caused by past monopolies, not technology, that has been the real threat to the news industry.

Kudos to the WSJ for running the piece—assuming some editor didn’t lose his or her job for doing this. I just can’t wait to watch Google and News Corp go at it.

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Ads, Blogging, Business, Business Development, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Government, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Marketing, Politics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Sustainable Community Development, War, Website | | Leave a comment

President Brack Obama to Address the Nation Later Today (30 000 More Troops to Afghanistan))

** A new objective in Afghanistan…

President Barack Obama plans to send 30,000 to 35,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan,it will be the largest single U.S. deployment since the 2003 invasion of Iraq,”  He will address the nation later today (December 1st 2009)

I don’t envy this mess and responsibilities that he has inherited.  But this might be a big mistake!  I know there will be a back lash from the people and republicans!  But who knows this might be part of a bigger plan and I hope its not just about a war that will stimulate the US economy.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics, War | , , | Leave a comment

“Is the Golden Temple all real gold?” asked Canadian PM

During his recent visit to the Sikhs’ holiest shrine, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper could not believe that the Golden Temple was all covered with real gold. Harper was so struck by the sight of the resplendent Sikh temple that he asked someone in his entourage whether it was all real gold.

“When the prime minister had his first glimpse of the Golden Temple on that beautiful sunny day, he asked someone next to him: Is it real gold? ‘Yes, it is real gold, sir,’ the person told the prime minister,” says Amritsar-born Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia who was one of the eight top Indo-Canadians picked up by the prime minister for his India visit.

Toronto-based Ahluwalia, who runs one of the biggest diagnostic centres in Canada, says, “The Canadian prime minister was thrilled by the golden beauty of the temple and kept looking at it. He paid his obeisance, made an offering of Rs 1,000 and received a siropa.”

Alhuwalia, who moved to Canada more than 25 years ago, said, “There were thousands and thousands of people to see the Canadian prime minister. Seeing this welcome in my hometown, I told his executive assistant (Jeremy Hunt) that the PM is more popular here than the fifth Beatle. There was so much response and energy.”

And this overwhelming welcome for the Canadian prime minister in Amritsar was reported back as “chaos’ by the Canadian journalists accompanying Harper.

“From the viewpoint of the Canadian media, it was chaos, but it was excitement and energy generated by the prime minister’s visit,” added another entourage member and biggest Indo-Canadian landlord Bob Dhillon.

“When the PM came to the Golden Temple, he was treated like a rock star. There were 100,000 people and the energy was overwhelming. The amount of respect the prime minister got there surpassed anything I have seen in my whole life,” the self-made multi-millionaire said.

“Personally, I went to the Golden Temple for the first time in my life, and the irony is that it was the prime minister of Canada who took me there. It was an uplifting spiritual experience for me,” said Calgary-based Dhillon whose Mainstreet Equity company has more than 6,000 rental properties across Canada.

“The sight of tall Nihang Sikhs throwing a security cordon around the Canadian prime minister was just unbelievable,” added the second biggest landlord in Canada.

Dhillon said, “During the state dinner at Hyderabad House, when I told prime minister Manmohan Singh that I am the biggest Indian landlord in Canada, he put his hand on my shoulder said: ‘I am very proud of you.’ I will never forget that.”

(Author Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics | | Leave a comment

Gross National Happiness Index Vs. Consumption (GDP)

From an ecological and community focused perspective, how can we expect our communities to change in these ever-changing times when we measure growth and success based on consumption (GDP)?  The concept of gross national happiness (GNH) is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than gross national product.  Below you’ll find out the basics of GNH and I’ll be sure to blog about GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) in a later post as it’s just as interesting.

History of GNH

The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan‘s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization, soon after the demise of his father, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for Bhutan’s five-year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country.

Principals (How ti works)

There is no exact quantitative definition of GNH it refers to the concept of a quantitative measurement of well-being and happiness. The two measures are both motivated by the notion that subjective measures like well-being are more relevant and important than more objective measures like consumption. It is not measured directly, but only the factors which are believed to lead to it.  While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

GNH has grown and expanded over the years, the metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking 7 development areas including the nation’s mental and emotional health. GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following measures:

  1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
  2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic
  3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses
  4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
  5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
  6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
  7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

Another Link: GDP & GNP Explained in an understandable way.  (below link)

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, Government, Information Technology (I.T.), Politics, Sustainability | | Leave a comment

The Smart Electrical Grid

US Secretary Steven Chu announced a $620 million investment in the “Smart Grid” — building on a $3.4 billion investment announced by President Obama last month as part of the Recovery Act.

So what is a “Smart Grid?”  How will it save your family money?  Check out this video:

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

The First State Dinner: President Obama Welcomes Dr. Manmohan Singh of India

This is truly an amazing picture and moment in time.

A Black President of the United States of America and a Sikh as the Prime Minster of the Republic of India.  Two of the most highly capable and intellectual minds of our time recognized purely on substance.

In honor of the arrival of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and his wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will held the first official State Dinner of the Presidency. The event was a celebration of President Obama’s deep respect for India and its people, setting the tone for a long-lasting relationship between the nations.

President Obama spoke of the enduring bonds shared by the US and India, and looked forward to continued cooperation rooted in strong democratic values:

And as the world’s largest democracies, we can keep faith with our common values — speaking out and standing up for the rights and dignity to which all human beings are entitled; and
showing that nations that respect the rights and aspirations of their people are ultimately more stable, more secure and more successful.

This is the India that America welcomes today — a leader in Asia and around the world.  (Applause.)  These are the challenges we are summoned to meet in partnership.  This is the progress that is possible — today and in the days and years ahead.

And, Mr. Prime Minister, as we build our common future, we can draw strength from our shared past.  For it was exactly 60 years ago, in a ceremony not unlike this, that an American president welcomed to the White House the first prime minister of an independent India.  And while the decades that followed were not without their challenges, the spirit of that first visit is with us today — the same sense of possibility, the same hope for the future.

For those Fashion lovers, Michelle Obama’s dress was designed by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan


November 24, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics | , , , | 1 Comment

The White House going Open Source

White House announced via the Associated Press that is now running on Drupal, the open source content management system. That Drupal implementation is in turn running on a Red Hat Linux system with Apache, MySQL and the rest of theLAMP stackApache Solr is the new White House search engine.  This move is huge win for open source movement and to bridge the digital divide amongst all of us who can benifit from technology.

This is one step forward for all the people of the world.  If government can adopt open source technologies and web 2.0 it would truly make a more democratic society.

November 24, 2009 Posted by | Business, Creativity, Government, Information Technology (I.T.), Open Source, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

Betting On Free Trade 1988 (What a mistake)

1988 – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Liberal leader John Turner go toe-to-toe on the free trade issue during the 1988 federal election. The barbs fly freely on CBC-TV’s “The National.”

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Economics, Government, Politics, Taxes | , | Leave a comment