Friday, July 12, 2013

The pig of war


Ancient Romans seemed to think that the best way to fight violence was with even more violence. In response to the War Elephant the Romans responded by trying to find ways to ward off the huge beasts. Their solution was to frighten them with a squealing pig and thus the War Pig came into use. This pig of war was drenched in resin and set ablaze to ensure squealing. Hooray for progress!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In the spirit of deer

To continue the trend of deer related posts, I offer a video of the birth of a deer. Okay, you caught me in a lie - I stumbled upon it while I was working on my paper. Here is the culprit that started it all, and the website that led me to the deer video.
  (WARNING: Some of the images may lead to serious digression and procrastination. Viewer discretion is advised).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Walden Pond

While we were talking about Walden pond I was looking up a brief history and came across this


"At one point there was an amusement park built at the western end of the pond, but it burned down in 1902 and was never rebuilt.
In 1961, the Middlesex County Commissioners, then managing the land, proposed leveling a significant portion of the preserve for a parking lot and other "improvements". They had already leveled an acre of woodland for access to the public beach. The Commissioners were sued to stop the destruction of the existing environment. Judge David A. Rose, sitting in the Massachusetts Superior Court, ruled that Walden’s deed donating the property to the Commonwealth required preservation of the land and barred further development. This decision achieved national recognition and Judge Rose received hundreds of letters from school children across the country thanking him for saving the land.
In 1977, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts installed a porous pavement parking area at Walden Pond as a special Technology Transfer demonstration project, following methodology generated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972. The porous pavement still looks good and works well decades later, despite more freeze-thaw cycling than most other parts of the world."

Just in case anyone wanted a short summary of our second lecture. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bambi Meets Hudson River School Artists

Bambi and I are just enjoying Albert Bietstadt's " Call of the Wild " ! We even saw his father when we took this pic ! XD

No Impact Man

After watching a documentary about a man and his family who live an entire year with as little impact on the environment as possible, I decided to look into his project more. I found a website dedicated to the project and thought it was appropriate to share here. There are a ton of helpful links here if you're looking to change your life in an eco-friendly way, or if you just want to learn more about his project!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Deer

My roommate and I heard fireworks from our dorm, so we went outside to look for them. What we found, instead, was a deer! It was just hanging around near the tennis courts by Risley Hall. It didn't run away when people walked by it on the sidewalk; it didn't even jump at all the noise from the fireworks. It had a slight limp, as well, when it walked. A person walking by told us that he had checked the deer for exterior wounds and hadn't found any, so he guessed it might be a muscle strain or something like that. Apparently it's pretty common to see deer, rabbits, squirrel, etc on campus!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Redwood trees

Professor Tantillo talked about how artists struggled to paint the redwoods because they were so large, and I was reminded of a National Geographic issue from a few years ago that had a four-page spread of a redwood tree: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/redwoods/img/redwood-portrait.jpg

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Centralia Fire

Good news: Centralia is NOT in danger of blowing up. The most dangerous consequence of the 50+ year (and running) fire is poisonous gas, which can seep into residential homes.

The article on Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/centralia-pennsylvania-fire_n_1546552.html

Metropolis of Nature: Railways

Cronon's tended to focus on the railways as a key reason for the outward expansion of the United States.I enjoyed this visual guide of railways and movements.Its difficult to imagine that this was built in a 27 years and this must have created and extremely large vacuum of labor and money to be made leading up to the civil war.Why did the south constantly say that the trans continental would split the country? How do you think this rail would affect these people? These are questions that this reading raised.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

John Gast's "American Progress"

After looking at durand's "progress", I was reminded of John Gast's  "American Progress" where I've interpreted an angelic figure leading technology and enlightenment ideals to the west, an area lacking technological advancement or social refinement. I think themes from our class might also be present due to the portrayal of nature on both the enlightened and "non-enlightened" sides of the picture.

Nature loving people



Enjoying nature during our lunch break!!

Geographic expansion in Nature's Metropolis: A Critique

While looking up Christaller and Von Thunen's theories (upon which Cronon relies heavily in his book Nature's Metropolis),  I came across this critique by Brian Page and Richard Walker, entitled "Nature's Metropolis: The Ghost Dance of Christaller and Von Thunen." The paper asserts that these views are outdated and limiting, and that Cronon underestimates the effects of agents such as "conquest, industrial production, agriculture and capital accumulation" in his exploration of geographic expansion.

Here is the link:
http://oldweb.geog.berkeley.edu/PeopleHistory/faculty/R_Walker/Walker_53.pdf

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Great Chicago Fire

http://youtu.be/a3Q3wwRAGiw I know the book doesn't mention the great Chicago fire but I thought this was interesting to watch after reading a good amount of the book so far.

The cartoon, Peace on Earth

"Thou shall not kill."
"Ye shall rebuild the old wastes."

What this cartoon tries to teach is great, but I think it is a bit absurd that animals fully adopt human cultures: they wear clothes, live in a town, have own properties, etc. The ending of the cartoon, the scene of rebuilding the "unnatural" and "competition- provoking" society, only makes this cartoon less meaningful.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Native Americans and Alcoholism

In The Ecological Indian, the Native American's seemingly insatiable desire for liquor reminded me of a common conception (or rather, misconception): Native Americans are drunkards. The truth of the statement is up for debate. However, some studies now suggest that it might be in their "nature" to drink after all.

Here's the link.

Critics

"When the teddy bear craze struck the U.S. in 1906, there was a serious debate over the effect that stuffed animals would have on children; some feared that small girls who played with plush bears instead of baby dolls would be inadequately prepared for motherhood" (187). -The Bambi Syndrome

Sometimes, I find the human race just utterly disappointing.
Because playing with plastic dolls is the way any little girl should learn to be a mother.
"Now, dear, this doll will make you into a great mom. Feed the doll, and nurse it, and pretend it's your own child. Stuffed bears are silly. Those are just animals." What.
Because little children learn their values and actions through their toys and not through their parents.

That's the thing that bothers me about Disney critics. They blame the Disney movies for raising unrealistic expectations of "happily-ever-after" in children, instead of maybe, mmm, looking at how they can improve their parenting. 'Everyone gets a happy ending, which just doesn't happen in the real world, and we should stop feeding our children the idea that it does.'

Um, how about explaining to your kid that it's just a movie. How about letting your child enjoy the magical worlds and vivid storytelling created by Disney, but teaching them that what they should take away are the lessons and insights, not the happily-ever-after?

When I grew up watching (and loving) Disney movies, I never expected some dashing prince to come and fall in love with me. It was an animated cartoon movie, for God's sake.
There were talking closets. TALKING CLOSETS. 
Even as a 5-year old, I knew these movies were just for enjoyment. Just like any other movie out there, ever. I just loved all the wonderful stories and the music and the beautiful animation. I appreciated it, not because it gave me some twisted view of reality and some false expectation of love, but because it made me feel happy and warm.

The same question can then be raised to the critics of Bambi. Hunters complained that Bambi portrays Man and Hunting in a negative light, while romanticizing the animal. How about: Bambi is an animated cartoon with talking animals. Give people a little credit, that maybe they don't base their whole ideologies on animated features. Ok, so they may be a little influenced because of how cute the animals look, which, in that case: raise awareness on the 'truth' of hunting. Tell the world how hunters actually help the environment and keep animal populations stable, or whatever. Educate, rather than blame.

It is true that Bambi has had an influence on mass culture, and how some people think of nature.
But blaming and getting angry at a movie for supposedly propagandizing the world against hunters?
I don't know about that.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bambi meets Godzilla

I saw this short film mentioned while I was reading Lutts and decided to look it up:

http://vimeo.com/9230887

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Do You Want to Learn More about William Cronon?


William Cronon       Reading "The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature" in Uncommon Ground, I could broaden and deepen my understanding of nature. First of all, I was fascinated by Cronon's novel idea that "far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, [wilderness] is quite profoundly a human creation- indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history" (69). I have never thought in a way that wilderness is not an untouched ground that has nothing to do with human but a created ground that is the very reflection of our culture and history. Moreover, I became to advocate his assertion that we are obsessed with dualism. That is, we often tend to have "a set of bipolar moral scales in which the human and the non-human, the unnatural and the natural, the fallen and the unfallen, serve as our conceptual map for understanding and valuing the world" (89). As he claims, we will be able to better understand the nature and world we live in when we explore the middle ground where "we actually live" and "make our homes" (86).

You can see biography, interviews, and photos of William Cronon in the link below.

http://www.williamcronon.net/interviews.htm

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Study like a scholar, scholar

In honor of our trip to the library today.
         Orpheus was referred to as an epitome of harmony with nature in Pan's Travail, "Orpheus is shown in art and literature as expressing the harmony of nature;" (Hughes, 54). This concept forced me to pause for a moment because the mythological tale of Orpheus highlights the way in which he goes against death. Orpheus attempts to revive his beloved Euridice and reverse death, the most natural occurrence at the end of any living being's life. The perfect harmonization with nature is thus disillusioned. Can Orpheus properly fulfill the description offered?