Broken Nature

02019-02-24 @ 17:02

Designers don’t have power to stop extinction says Paola Antonelli
Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, the XXII Triennale di Milano, will bring together 120 architecture and design projects from the last 30 years that explore humankind’s fractured relationship with the planet.

The whole interview is worth reading, because it is truly perspective changing.

Artist/Naturalist Nils Udo

02009-02-18 @ 12:02

Artist/Naturalist Nils Udo
It was toward the end of the dry season. It had not rained for months. The earth was concrete hard. We had to proceed most carefully so as not to damage the more delicate roots. Seven people dug, scraped and shoveled for a week. After the photograph, the hole was, of course, filled in.
– Nils Udo

Painted Lady

02008-10-06 @ 13:10

American Painted Lady – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) is a butterfly that is found throughout North America.

I have hundreds of these in my yard this month.

Go Ecuador!

02008-09-03 @ 12:09

Putting nature in Ecuador’s constitution – Los Angeles Times
This month, Ecuador will hold the world’s first constitutional referendum in which voters will decide, among many other reforms, whether to endow nature with certain unalienable rights. Not only would the new constitution give nature the right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution,” but if it is approved, communities, elected officials and even individuals would have legal standing to defend the rights of nature.

Inclusivity is the buzzword (((at least I think so))) for the next decade. And we can’t stop at finding ways to include marginalized people, we have to include animals and indeed the whole ecosystem if we are to survive. We cannot let anybody mess with the ecosystem (((and our great grandchildren’s world and well-being))) without notice. I read that last sentence from the linked text above and have to applaud it.

Worlds oldest living root system

02008-04-22 @ 10:04

Worlds oldest living root system
Roger Kennedy brought this story to my attention about a spruce that was nearly 10,000 years old on the mountainous border between Sweden and Norway.  As it turns out the trees themselves last several centuries, but their root systems live on.  It is postulated that the root system of the one pictured above basically started at the end of the last ice age, and has lived on in the harsh and isolated landscape ever since.  As the Bristlecone adage goes “adversity breeds longevity”.
(Via Long Views)

Japan denies whaling allegation

02008-03-11 @ 07:03

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japan denies whaling allegation
Japan has denied paying for delegates from small states to attend international whaling negotiations. The statement follows a claim from the Solomon Islands that Tokyo had usually funded its attendance at meetings of the International Whaling Commission.

Anti-whaling campaigners have accused Japan of vote-buying to support its bid to end a ban on commercial whaling. In recent years, a number of small countries have joined the IWC, many with little history of hunting whales.

One of these countries, the Solomon Islands, was conspicuously absent from a meeting called by the commission in London last week. The islands’ Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, said on Saturday that his country had not attended because it no longer wanted to accept Japanese assistance. He said Japan had usually paid for the Solomon Islands to go, although he did not say how much money was involved.

Turtle tracked

02008-02-08 @ 07:02

Turtle tracked on epic 13,000-mile journey – Times Online
A turtle has been tracked on an epic journey almost 13,000 miles long to notch up the greatest distance yet recorded for the marine creatures.

The journey took the endangered leatherback turtle 12,774 miles (20,558km) from a beach in Indonesia to the west coast of the USA and part of the way back again.

It is likely that the swim would have been even more impressive had the satelite tagging device strapped to the turtle been able to continue to transmit data after 647 successive days. The battery ran out close to Hawaii.

During the journey the leatherback dived as much as 1,000 metres (3,300ft) beneath the surface of the waves into complete darkness.

The century palm

02008-01-18 @ 08:01

Long Views » Blog Archive » The century palm
“It’s spectacular. It does not flower for maybe 100 years and when it’s like this it can be mistaken for other types of palm,” said Mijoro Rakotoarinivo, who works for the London botanical gardens in Madagascar.

“But then a large shoot, a bit like an asparagus, grows out of the top of the tree and starts to spread. You get something that looks a bit like a Christmas tree growing out of the top of the palm,” he said.

The branches of this shoot then become covered in hundreds of tiny white flowers that ooze with nectar, attracting insects and birds.

But the effort of flowering and fruiting depletes the tree so much that within a few months it collapses and dies, said [Dransfield].


02007-08-22 @ 06:08

Arctic Ice at All-Time Low
Just last year the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Serreze said that the Arctic was “right on schedule” to be completely free of ice by 2070 at the soonest. He now thinks that day may arrive by 2030.

Another article and more links can befound here. Seems to me that, unless you are planning on leaving this planet soon, this is not the time to discuss whether Global Warming is largely man-made or a natural occurrence. That would be like discussing how a fire started instead of trying to put it out or cutting off your finger and discussing why that happened rather than grabbing the finger and running to the hospital. There are things we can do and we better start this summer.

But my hunch is that people will let things slide until…. well, until people see their own investments in danger – see the illustration from Vanity Fair – real estate and industry in major cities on the coast, beach-front property in Florida and elsewhere…


Go it alone

02007-06-02 @ 08:06

Japan threatens to go it alone on whaling – earth – 01 June 2007 – New Scientist Environment
Japan threatened to quit the International Whaling Commission on Thursday after fierce opposition from anti-whaling nations forced it to scrap a proposal to allow four coastal villages to hunt minke whales.

Go it alone on what planet? There is no going it alone anymore. This is one tiny planet and everything is connected. When will governments – the USA on Global Warming and Japan on whaling – get this? The sooner the better for all of us.

Defiant Gardens

02007-05-28 @ 13:05

Pruned: Defiant Gardens
And this link to NPR story.

Very touching.

Which Sting Hurts the Worst?

02007-05-19 @ 09:05

Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog
3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.

Man lets himself get stung by a large variety of insects and rates the pain… quite poetic, like little haikus about pain, life, love?

Snow Peak Chopsticks

02007-05-18 @ 22:05

I bought a set of these chopsticks after seeing a fellow traveler in Tibet use them. From above photo I find out they are even cooler – the wood is from recycled baseball bats. Why not bring your own chopsticks to a restaurant instead of using virgin bamboo or wood sticks? China is introducing a tax on chopsticks, because they are losing their forests… But luckily there is a new movement and more and more people bring their own.

Penguin Gets Wanderlust

02007-05-14 @ 21:05

Penguin Gets Wanderlust, Travels 3,000 Miles (TreeHugger)
Magellanic by name, magellanic by game. One penguin took its famous namesake to heart, waddling 5000km—that’s 3,100 miles for you non-metric types—from its native Magellan islands in southern Chile to Peru’s Paracas national reserve. To put this in perspective, that’s like toddling cross-country from New York to California, which can’t be a trifling feat for a small flightless fowl.

America’s honeybees

02007-05-03 @ 14:05

Mysterious killer of America’s honeybees could make dinner a bland meal – International Herald Tribune
Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of America’s honeybees could have a devastating effect on the country’s dinner plate, perhaps even reducing its people to a glorified bread-and-water diet. Honeybees do not just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops the country has.

Also see this:

Also on the Internet is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein on how humans would die off in four years if not for honeybees. It is wrong on two counts. First, Einstein probably never said it, according to Alice Calaprice, author of “The Quotable Einstein” and five other books on the physicist.
“I’ve never come across it in anything Einstein has written,” Calaprice said. “It could be that someone had made it up and put Einstein’s name on it.”
Second, it is incorrect scientifically, Pettis said. There would be food left for humans because some food is wind-pollinated.


02007-05-02 @ 07:05

David Byrne Journal: 4.24.07: Begone
According to Einstein we’ve got a little over 4 years. Here’s a quote from him:

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

And in today’s NY Times it says that more than a ¼ of the honeybees in the U.S. have vanished. The article continues with a lot of head scratching as to why but sort of says “gee, we dunno.”

In Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, they say,

“Beekeepers on the east coast of the United States complain that they have lost more than 70 percent of their stock since late last year, while the west coast has seen a decline of up to 60 percent.”

Lots of bees in these Austrian trees. The sound was amazing! A constant hum. Alas, I failed to go back to record it.

Zoocheck Canada

02007-03-03 @ 12:03

Zoocheck Canada Inc. – About Zoocheck Canada
For more than 20 years, Zoocheck has been a leading voice for the protection of wild animals. We are the only Canadian organization with a specific focus on captive wild animal issues and problems.


Last week, Zoocheck Canada released The Sad State of Captive Elephants in Canada, a new report by African elephant biologist Winnie Kiiru. After visiting all seven facilities housing elephants, Ms. Kiiru concluded that elephants in Canadian zoos are suffering, primarily due to lack of space, inappropriate social groupings and an unsuitable climate. According to Kiiru, who has extensive experience studying wild elephants in Kenya, every zoo elephant display in Canada fails to satisfy the biological and behavioural needs of elephants. Kiiru went further and said that the practice of keeping elephants in Canada is unethical, unjustified and should be discontinued. You can check out the report here(PDF).

Solo Journey to the North Pole

02007-03-02 @ 12:03

YouTube – Young explorer recounts solo journey to North Pole

Old Seed

02007-02-28 @ 10:02

Seed: I Can’t Believe It’s Science (for Feb. 19, 2007)
In 2005, the seed was finally germinated, and last week Carbon-14 dating confirmed that it probably originated between 66 and 73 C.E. The seed is the oldest to ever germinate. While those who see the sapling claim it looks like any old palm tree, germinator Elaine Soloway notes that the first leaves it sprouted are unusually long. She does not yet know whether the tree is male or female, but if the tree is a female, within a few years she will be able to taste fruit nobody has known in thousands of years.

Just do it.

02007-02-27 @ 15:02

Al Gore – Tell Congress to act on global warming
Sign the postcard to your representative demanding real action on global warming below and I’ll personally deliver it to Washington in March.


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