Tuesday 27 December 2016

Post-Boxing Day Specials

Ginkgo fall colors

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” (Iris Murdoch) 

We’re mixing things up a bit for the holidays. Here are 6 items (and a bonus) to stir your imagination.

Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot
“Common on city streets from Beijing to London and Tokyo to New York, ginkgo is an increasingly common backdrop to the bustle of modern city life. It is hard to imagine that these trees, now towering above cars and commuters, grew up with the dinosaurs and have come down to us almost unchanged for 200 million years….This book, an abridged global biography, sets out to tell ginkgo’s evolutionary and cultural life history.”

Ginkgo by Peter Crane is available on Kindle.

Your Own Plastic Workshop
Dave Hakken has a plan that will allow people anywhere in the world to transform plastic waste into valuable things. Precious Plastic is offering open-source blueprints so you can build your own plastic recycling machine. The machine chews it up, spits out plastic filaments that you can then turn into hats, lamps, dishes, toys, and more.

The Naturalist Lens
Naturalist and photographer Evan Barrientos shares his passion for nature on his blog, The Naturalist Lens.

“Every once in a while when I am out in nature, I come across something incredible. Sometimes it’s a rare glimpse of amazing animal behavior or a closeup look at a bizarre species. Whenever I have these experiences, my first reaction is to share them with other people. Why? Because it’s too easy to under-appreciate nature, even for us outdoor enthusiasts. How often on your hike do you stop and sit for twenty minutes, noticing the endlessly amazing insects around you? But if you don’t realize what extraordinary things are out there, you’re less likely to take the time looking closely for them. The purpose of this blog is to share my favorite natural experiences with other people in the hopes of inspiring them to appreciate that natural world and explore it slowly and carefully themselves. Currently, this blog focuses on nature in and around Bozeman, Montana.” 

Endangered Animals and Extraordinary Images
If you’re looking for something different to watch, check out these two features on Netlix:

Last Chance to See: “Nearly 20 years after he and famed author Douglas Adams searched for the world’s most endangered species, zoologist Mark Carwardine teams up with funnyman Stephen Fry to revisit those same animals.”

Tales by Light “follows renowned photographers as they explore far-flung locales, capturing extraordinary images that present nature and culture in a new light.”

If you read French, you'll enjoy Socialter magazine, “un magazine 100 % dédié à l'économie nouvelle génération et aux créateurs de solutions innovantes. Ce media est le porte-voix d'une nouvelle génération tournée vers la création de solutions efficaces et innovantes pour le plus grand nombre.”

Recent issues have covered combatting planned obsolescence, permaculture, cities without cars, the sharing economy, and energy co-ops.

Socialter is on Facebook with links to a wide variety of articles.

Elva’s Field Notes
Elva Paulson describes her online musings as “an artist watching nature and nature watching an artist.” You're sure to enjoy Elva's Field Notes; her pen-and-ink sketches are a delight.

Wildlife Photography Award Winners
And a bonus item: This year’s award-winning international wildlife photographs.