7 books which teach Logic, Debunking, and Critical Thinking

I believe in the scientific method (Wikipedia link opens in new tab) as a way to determine how to discover good information.

I believe that a knowledge of logical fallacies (Wikipedia link opens in new tab) and cognitive biases (Wikipedia link opens in new tab) helps determine what is a bad statement.

I also believe in being kind.

📖Carl Sagan, “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, 1995.

📕Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst, “Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial”, 2008.

📒Julian Baggini, “The Duck that Won the Lottery (and 99 other bad arguments)”, 2008.

📗Debbie Nathan, “Sybil Exposed”, 2011.

📙James Randi, “Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions”, 1980.

📘Martin Gardner, “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science”, 1957 (1976).

And yes, I’ll include one on Art:

📚John Berger, “Ways of Seeing”, 1972.

Running helped ease my anxiety and boosted my confidence

Once I was regularly running and losing weight (zenmode link) I realised this “getting healthy” thing isn’t meant to be a punishment.

I wanted to look after myself instead of hating myself for not looking after myself.

Running and losing weight had given me more confidence in tackling the things I needed to overcome.

Being a little more confident led to wanting to run races/fun runs (zenmode link) and meet up with running friends I’d met online, though that was scary to me.

I used to get pains in my chest and shivering due to anxiety. My doctors weren’t worried about that, but rather the fact that I was taking valium a few times a week to manage the symptoms in the week prior to an event (never the day before an event).

I was given a doctor’s referral to see a neuropsychologist 10 times in a year, free with Centrelink/Medicare Australia, should I need them.

The first appointment was really, really scary to turn up for, no matter who says “stop the stigma” (I think that makes stigma seem more real).

But I was very relieved after I’d been to the appointment. It was such a relief – much more so than a valium used to be (I didn’t quit those straight away. The mind isn’t oftgen that flexible, neither is the body).

From the psychologist I learnt about the nervous system, and the two types of nervous systems – the parasympathetic and the sympathetic. It’s the sympathetic that is most in play when anxious.  The “fight and flight” response.

Since then, I’ve used that knowledge in multiple situations, knowing I (or someone) is acting the way they are because of the need to move and burn energy to escape their fear (zenmode link). I still get scared, but I do tackle difficult issues with a desire to understand them.

It’s quite odd that we live in an age where people are afraid to run.

Having said that, I’m seeing more and more people outdoors exercising than there were 5 years ago, even with COVID-19 restricting much activity.

Running is a virus?

Leave a comment below.

Drawing is Seeing

“Drawing Is Seeing”

"Drawing Is Seeing" - Life Drawing by Carol Pryle Media: Fudebrush Ink Pen on Paper Life Drawing 2019 Framed, 59 cm by 77 cm (23 inches by 30.5 inches) $475.00 including postage (only within Australia).


2 years alcohol-free

After having a day off alcohol on January 31 2018 and feeling so good about it, I haven’t found any reason to drink alcohol since.

Here are a few highlights from practicing self-awareness and moderation since then.

Trained for and ran a 50km run.

Saved over $4,000. ($40 per week formerly spent on alcohol .)

Been using Duolingo daily for over 16 months to study Greek and French.

Drawing daily since October 2018.

Maintaining my 35kg weight loss from 2015-16.

Continuing to log my daily food intake on My Fitness Pal nearly 5 years.

Continuing to be at a parkrun every Saturday.

Exhibiting and selling my Art.

Writing zenmode.org blog.

Implemented home energy-saving and reduced my cost of living.

No-Spend November.

3 months Slow Fashion Season Challenge (bought no new clothes).

Made investments.

Travelled to visit parkruns further afield.

Saved for and travelled from Australia to Europe and met up with friends.

I see no temptations in alcohol any more.

I’m always happy to be free of its ups and downs and its guilt.

drinking alcohol in moderation

The long goal

I’ve had some big lows this year, due to difficult times in the financial planning industry. The brain use and related insomnia was exhausting.

I’ve had to cut back a lot of running, and haven’t entered races. Haven’t done any big runs since early in the year. But running a few 5-10 km a week has been sustainable, and kept me my positivity.

We had an amazing speaker at our run club social night, Julian Spence (ran #39 in the world in the marathon at Doha in the world championship in October). He talked about his run club, which includes Steve Monaghetti who won silver in the Olympics.

Julian Spence talked about how so many runners accelerate their training too quickly, and about how football, part of his early career, is not very healthy and has too much drinking.

He said to focus on the long goal, of running regularly and sustainably with your run club mates for years and years, to stay healthy and happy

This helps with recognising when to take breaks and ward off impending chronic injuries.

I’m not saying this is going to get us to the world championships too!

It makes me treasure the love of running, my running friends, and my positivity. I’d rather have those than medals any day.

50 ways I’m trying to save the world

Disclaimer: Brace yourselves, this is going to sound like a brag.



In 1986 I heard David Suzuki on ABC Radio telling Australia about global warming, pollution, and the hole in the ozone layer and decided I would always walk or take Public Transport, and that’s what I’ve done.


I’ve created a survey and petition to improve our regional Public Transport services, which is getting support, and I’ve contacted politicians, transport organisations, and the state government planners, and the local paper are interviewing me next week.


I’ve been eating vegan Food for 4 weeks.  I never liked red meat, and after a kid vegan started bullying me on Twitter, I finally decided that being over 50 I can eat whatever the fuck I want.  People don’t like the idea of being vegan because they don’t want to be bullied the way they bully and insult vegans.  I’ve now started bullying meat eaters on Rate My Plate.


I’d read the full EAT-Lancet Global Health Commission Report July 2019; and since then, its Affordability Study November 2019 confirmed my decision.




Vegan is the optimal health and productivity recommendation from the world’s dietary & agricultural scientists, biologists & food geneticists, and humanitarians, despite what TV told you in 1980.


If we don’t all eat vegan, and if we all only ate mince once a week, a roast or cut of red meat once a month, and had 3 meat-free days a week, then 65 million people would still have to spend 86% of their weekly income on food, and we still would have malnutrition, war and/or food-related family violence amongst the 10 billion people we are going to have in 2050.


We can’t keep using 45% of the world’s arable land on growing food for our food (i.e. livestock fodder) even with optimal yield and distribution rates and minimal food waste.


I’ve got 4 fruit trees in my back yard.


I have only two other food types planted, and I would like that to be more, but I need to set up a drip watering system or do an affordability/ecological study of my own for that.


I’m a member of our local “unpackaged” food collective-buying group, where we split bulk orders of various ethical food and household products.


Our house has an electricity provider which supplies the grid with Energy generated from a hydroelectric scheme in Tasmania.


My personal Investments are in sustainable/ethical funds & companies & technology.


I created a spreadsheet for our local types of Recycling collection points (lots of things can be recycled by smaller initiatives), and our town council have asked to use my spreadsheet on their website’s recycling page.


Our town collects 3 bins from our kerbside:


  1. FOGO (food, green waste, and organics): big bin, council collection available every 2 weeks;
  2. Paper/glass/plastic: big bin, every 2 weeks.
  3. Landfill: smaller bin, once a week. I have been putting it out every couple of weeks with a small amount in). Still would like to have that close to zero landfill waste.


I also have containers in the house for collecting these things to take to their local recycling collection points:



E-waste (electronic waste);

Plastic bottle tops;

Bread tags;


Dental products;

Printer ink cartridges;

Soft (scrunchable) plastic;


Paint tins & brushes;

Home and furnishing items.



For 3 months this year, I did a Slow Fashion Challenge and online course about global pollution, recycling, Clothing manufacturing, ethical employment, and sustainable development.


I have only bought 1 item of new clothing in the past 7 months. Not bad for a woman!


I’ve got into mending and Repairing things a lot and designing and sewing things again.


I use the Ecosia Chrome Extension for searching the internet, which is a non-profit Tree-Planting initiative which has so far planted 65 million trees using ad referral click income to fund its work.


I follow the world’s leading dietary and fitness scientists, the UN, climate activists, Reuters, AFP, NYT, global share markets, developments in Universal Basic Income pilot studies (great results in Africa recently), I read/listen to the pioneers in Circular Economy and their books, and I follow news of the countries who are implementing Circular Economy plans, I am one of The World Economic Forum’s “top fans” on social media, and a (verified) former head of the UN started following me on Twitter the other day.


I’m on a mission to save the world!!

(50 sounds like a rough guess at the stuff in this post, but this doesn’t count writing about and discussing politics, economics, logic, social media, art, weight loss, health and fitness, and facilitating and coaching running.)





Vegetable Dumplings

Vegetable dumplings (or they could be fried slugs, not quite sure, they were in a box).

Ketjap Manis & Sriracha Sauce for dipping.

Green Leafy Stuff with Lime Juice, Walnut Oil, and Sesame Seeds.

Real Raspberry Liquorice and a Carob bear (for when you’re meh with chocolate and sugar hits in the supermarkets).

Some sort of Dandelion/Chicory “Coffee “made by a local Barista (probably called Catweazle) which actually doesn’t make you feel weak in the veins or nauseous or high/low/high/low all day like the Coffee Rollercoaster.



Vegan, Veggie Burger, Recipe, hummus, tomato, sriracha, hangry,

Sad Veggie Burger

(It’s actually suitable for veg%ns but we won’t mention the ve-jay-jay word so you don’t get traumatised by feeling the pressure to reject wartime ideals of nutrition.)




Crusty, nuclear-winter-white bread roll.

Frozen fake meat burger that people will say is carcinogenic despite less evidence for that than there is for Nessie.

Sriracha sauce. End of.

Olive oil spread (I can’t believe it’s not rancid yak butter).

Hummus with a dollop of some sort of garlic crap that you get charged extra for.

Ye Olde Dieter’s Nemesis – Lettuce leaves.


Mini, orange tomatoes (had to use those up).

Baked pea crisps, which look just as “toxic” on the nutrition label to anyone who is just informed enough to be detrimental to their own health, except they aren’t the same old thing we’ve been eating since Benny Hill was cutting edge.

Vegan, Recipe, Pulse Penne Pasta, Aldi, peas, chickpeas, borlotti beans, lentil flour, pumpkin, edamame, tomato, red capsicum, chilli, vegan cheese, hangry

Vegan Pulse Penne Pasta

I have a heartfelt belief that my diet should be expensive, time-consuming, and attract insults about my social agenda.

I’m over 50, started eating a vegan diet 3 weeks ago. This is my latest batch of lunches/dinners to nuke in the microwave for when I’m hangry.


Pulse Penne Remano


Pulse Penne Pasta Preparation

Pulse Penne Pasta (Aldi brand made of peas, chickpeas, borlotti beans, & lentil flour),




red capsicum,


vegan cheese probably made of someone’s old polyester running T-shirts,

spring onion,

olive oil,


It took about 30 minutes to prepare, cook, and serve in the storage containers.

Nuked the pumpkin and edamame.

Boiled the pasta in a pan of water on the stove then drained it, put in everything else, then served it in containers for freezing.

Made it look traditional by adding the spring onion and plastic-looking bio cheese (I’d rather not think about the mental picture that name gives me).


I could post all the nutritional/energy/macronutrient details because I’ve been an obsessive kilojoule counter for nearly 5 years and lost 35 kg, but you’re probably already freaking out about my apparent sense of superiority and food perfectionism.

Disco version: One of 4 servings in a batch of instant meals that keep me full for ages.


Pulse Penne Pasta


What’s the verdict?

Love or hate?