Archive for October, 2011
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Who Left A Tree, Then A Coffin In The Library?
It started suddenly. Without warning. Last spring, Julie Johnstone, a librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, was wandering through a reading room when she saw, sitting alone on a random table, a little tree. It was made of twisted paper and was mounted on a book. Gorgeously crafted, it came with a gold-leafed eggshell broken in two, each half filled with little strips of paper with phrases on them. When reassembled properly, the strips became a poem about birds, “A Trace of Wings” by Edwin Morgan. What was this? Chris Scott/flickr “This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…” said a note, addressed to the Library by its twitter name “@ByLeavesWeLive”. There was no artist signature, no one to thank. The staff, totally nonplussed, asked on their blog if anybody knew who made it. They described the gift as a “poetree” and waited. Nobody claimed... Continue Reading
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Is it Just Me, Or is it Getting Kinda Crowded in Here?
Though it’s impossible to say exactly when it will happen, demographers have chosen the date to mark the milestone. Humanity remains on a steep growth curve. It took only a dozen years for humanity to add another billion people to the planet, reaching the milestone of 7 billion Monday — give or take a few months. Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the “symbolic” date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it’s impossible to know for sure the specific time or day. Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion... Continue Reading
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Keep Wall Street Occupied
Postage Paid Protest of the Day: YouTuber ransackedroom — a San Francisco-based “poet, editor, and marketer” — has come up with a rather ingenious way ordinary people can support the Occupy Wall Street movement without ever leaving their homes. It involves taking the business reply mail envelope that comes with most unsolicited credit card offers, and sending it back to the banks with a message inside that ransacked hopes will help open “a dialogue.” He says: This isn’t really about running up the postage bill on the big banks, although that’s a nice side effect. The real effect of this... Continue Reading
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David de Rothschild Prepares for a New Adventure in the Amazon
(Interview between treehugger & David de Rothschild) For the Plastiki expedition, David de Rothschild sailed across the Pacific in a boat made of plastic to raise awareness of ocean pollution. His newest adventure, which sets off next week, will take him into the heart of the Amazon region in Brazil. TreeHugger: We hear you’re preparing for another adventure. What’s the destination this time? David de Rothschild: Yes, I am getting ready for another adventure. We’re heading off for the amazon early next week. Part of the team is already down there now. It’s a pretty interesting adventure, and we will... Continue Reading
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Spirit of Hope Urban Farm: Filling Food Pantries, Strengthening Communities in Detroit
In the latest issue of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, Kelli B. Kavanaugh profiles one of Detroit‘s urban farms. The Spirit of Hope Urban Farm is located on the grounds of Spirit of Hope church, just two miles from downtown Detroit. It is a great example of what a small farm can do for a community, and provides plenty of lessons for those of us who grow in urban areas. The garden’s founder, Kathleen Devlin, asked the church’s pastor if she could start an urban farm on the church’s grounds which encompass over 12,000 square feet of growing area. He... Continue Reading
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Lessons From The Lorax
The Lorax is a glorious creature, who embodies the environment and acts as the guardian of green. He is the “voice of the trees” and attempts to fight a lonesome battle against the giants of industry, the Once-ler. Overall, his message rings true to the folks here at Urban Times, as we also believe that without action, no solutions can be assembled. Where the story of The Lorax hits the nerve is exactly where we diverge however, Seuss emphasizes the woe and sacrifice attached to the battle of the environment at the time (1970s), whereas we like to think of... Continue Reading
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Unthink, the ‘Anti-Facebook’: A Social Networking Revolution
Unthink says it is starting a social networking revolution. And it is serious. According to CNET, Unthink promises to “emancipate social media” and “unleash people’s extraordinary potential.” The Unthink homepage even features black and white photos from the Civil Rights Movement as its background. It will be the “anti-Facebook.” Unthink backs this proclamation by stating that, as an online social networking hub, it will be free of “privacy issues,” “endless redesigns,” and “commercial junkyards” for shameless promotional ploys. Individuals can sign up for an invitation code once an email address is submitted. Users will be able to own their data... Continue Reading
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Makin’ It: Meg Paska, Urban Beekeeper
Meg Paska is an urban beekeeper, backyard farmer, and self-sustainability advocate living in the backwoods of Brooklyn, New York. Her adventures detail on raising chickens in a small backyard, brewing beer in the basement, and harvesting honey on rooftops will be richly explored in a forthcoming book. In the meantime, she keeps the wonderfully robust blog, Brooklyn Homesteader. Why bees? Bees sort of came into my life through a series of experiences in self-sufficiency over the years. I always enjoyed being outside and had an affinity for gardening and, more importantly, eating. I’m rather self-indulgent by nature. I got really... Continue Reading
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21st Century Gargoyles Are Drawn on Found Paper and Decorated with Recycled Trash
Gargoyles and monsters are usually the domain of medieval art, hanging off of Notre Dame and dealing death in fear inspiring paintings. But artist Keri Rosebraugh has revived the motif, and she’s added another element as well. Her gargoyles are drawn on found paper and wood, and brightened up with colorful pieces of repurposed trash. Many of the Portland-born, LA-based Rosebraugh’s works have clear environmental messages, railing against factory farming and industrial pollution. On her blog, she writes: Expressing the importance of protecting and improving our environment directly through her artwork, Keri’s paintings seek to inform, encourage, and inspire others... Continue Reading
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