Category Archives: green

We’re still following that gyre, and yes, that is a bird full of plastic: “What happened to that disposable Solo cup—the one you used once at a work party—after you tossed it into the garbage? For that matter, what happens to any of the countless plastic products (shopping bags, coffee stirrers, water bottles, etc.) we use and then discard on a daily basis? Of course, conventional plastic doesn’t readily biodegrade; so where is it now? If you live in North America or Asia, there’s a chance that cup is trapped in a broad ocean current, known as a gyre, in the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean along with an untold number of other pieces of litter in what has been named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Read the interview with Gyre photographer Chris Jordan.  Or just check out his work.

Panda Pr0n?

Pandas are known to be isolated creatures and poor breeders, and in captivity the problem may be exacerbated. Zhihe and his team have tried a number of measures to try to cure the male panda of his woefully low libido — including showing videos of fellow pandas making love.

In the privacy of their own cages, captive male pandas watch the sights and sounds of love-making on TV. Hopefully, Zhihe says, they’ll be aroused.

“We’re sure the sound of the video will stimulate the panda and the males’ interest,” Zhihe said. LINK

Sweet Spinach and Winter Gardens

I was reading NPR today and found an article about a food program initiative on educating youngins about health. As you may know, Michelle Obama has made childrens’ nutritional health one of her top priorities and is therefore invited the Share Our Strength program to peruse the white house winter gardens and to get a kitchen lesson from the White House Chef (the bald cat). Check out “Kids Taste A Sweeter Veggie, White House Style” via the NPR webpage.

I learned all sorts of ninjarish facts, for instance how spinach tastes sweeter when grown at colder temperatures. In short, I really liked the article.

Apparently, there are a whole bunch of greens that can be grown in colder (all the way down to freezing-ass) temperatures with the help of a cold-frame (pictured below) and a little patience. The fact that the First L. is down for this ish is ICE COLD. That’s good, I mean, like… it’s awesome. One of the best articles I read today was about winter gardening in Colorado. I’m not going to go into detail here but, checkachecka check it out!

UNDERCOVER: Gardening in Colorado throughout winter in a cold frame” (via Front Range Living)

Paul Nicklen Photography

So, I sometimes wonder how these climate change skeptics have any legs to stand on, considering that glaciers are literally falling every day into the damned ocean, like Madd Maxx and the Thunderdome. Remember back in the 80′s and 90′s when DuPont made the hole in the ozone layer, by itself? Well, many conservation efforts were sparked from that alone, including a national debate on everything from preserving whale environments to stopping forest fires (am I exaggerating the national outrage?). At least, that’s how it it was when I was a kid and watching Nickelodeon with Linda Ellersby. The point is that conservation of wildlife in arctic regions is now almost an afterthought, considering that the very ice that sustains these species is disappearing rapidly.

Now, I can agree with anybody who doesn’t think the cuteness of a polar bear is a reason to care about the environment, but, my ninjas, we’re talking about the safety of the entire planet now. Even if you’re a skeptic about whether global warming is man-made or fake, newsflash, YOU SHOULD STILL BE SCARED. It’s not like natural disasters are going to somehow distinguish between democrats and republicans. If you STILL disagree, let me say that there is ample evidence that the glaciers are melting. It doesn’t take a bartender to know what happens when you put a bunch of ice into a cup full of liquid. So, tell your friends to CUT THE SHIT, and let’s do something about this.

The point of this post was to highlight National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, but, as you can see, I went on a bit of a rant. Paul grew up in an Inuit community, which probably explains why he primarily focuses on the Canadian Arctic for his subject matter. I posted this article just because it strikes me as awesome when somebody loves something so much that they dedicate their entire life to it, like a ninja to destruction and rebuilding.

Besides, it also bears to mention that Paul is a certifiable badass. He’s crashed small planes in the arctic and survived. The ninja lies out in the freakin blizzard, just for FUN. Seriously. Go read the article.

Oh yeah, he also takes cool pictures.

The Botany of Desire

I was flipping through the channels the other week- that’s a lie-my home TV is just usually on PBS- and I saw this “Botany of Desire” program. It’s based on a book by Michael Pollan (he should win an aptonym), the dude who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma amongst other titles, which are all highly recommended reads, for those of you who need to be told to read a book now and then.

The Botany of Desire mainly deals with four plants [canibus, tulip, potato, and apple] and how they’ve domesticated humankind over their existence. Even more than that, Botany is an exploration into how animals and plants coexist, enable, and even manipulate each other on a macro scale.

Anyway, I was excited to watch this program, and not just because it passed the time on the stationary bike (or because of the orange and green nuggies in the preview). I think you’ll like it if you give it a few minutes of attention. Don’t ya just love PBS? Support them, my ninjas, please.

Click here to watch the Full Length Program

foto av dagen 06.20.09

my first attempt at growing vegetables: a little photo diary…

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seedlings popped!

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slow bolt cilantro looking excited to have found the light.

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the vegetable garden plot.  i had to relocate 7 roses: not fun.

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mexican spice basil!  so pretty.  sadly, they died when i was away for 5 days.

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royal purple beans.  i was afraid i was going to have a hard time distinguishing between the beans & the weeds…turns out they are quite distinct.

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this is about 6 weeks after planting the seeds.

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Roebson & Chadwick tomatoes.  yum.

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tomatooooes.

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trying again with the mexi spice basil.

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teeny tiny basil leaves!

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i had no idea my royal purple beans were going to sprout royal purple flowers!  pretty!!

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beans growing quite tall.

i just planted the tomatoes out in the garden, so i shall have more updates soon.  i hope they make it!!

BikeWise

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BikeWise is a great new interactive resource for bicyclists to report incidents of crashes, safety hazards & thefts.  The idea is that anyone who is involved in or witness to an incident logs a report into the BikeWise database.  BikeWise then records & organizes those incidents by city, state and country and displays them on an interactive google map.  You, as a cyclist can pull up a map for any area or view a list of incident reports. From Worldchanging:

Although the site’s creators are based in Seattle, this tool is available for cyclists everywhere. The site (with about 90 percent accuracy) can sense your location, and will pull up information for the city you are surfing the web from. I think it’s great that Bikewise has created a space for people to talk to each other about how to make their city a better place. The trick will be getting enough users to generate reports to make the data useful for people like city planners, analysts and public policy officials. So, if you’re a cyclist, head to Bikewise and get the conversation started!

That last point is critical – as of today, there are only 11 states reporting any accidents, 18 reporting hazards and incidents, and in total there are maybe a few dozen incidents reported for 2009 in the whole US.  Hopefully word will spread so this tool can be put to use.  If the BikeWise developers are correct in saying that over 75% of cycling crashes go unreported, then no wonder city planners keep ignoring our pleas for bike-safe roadways.

It looks like the site is still a work in progress.  The interactive maps are pretty user-friendly, but the incident reporting could use some organizational improvements, like organize by date, incident type, etc.  It would be especially useful to planners & city officials to be able to download the database info into an excel spreadsheet of some sort.  Maybe this is in the works.

So…let’s start reporting!