Friday, July 10, 2009

"National Parks: America's Best Idea."

Ken Burns, who lives near my home in Vermont, is due to release his new movie this fall, called, “National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” This is a timely movie for this class!  Ken Burns has created so many beautiful films that I love and he is a great story teller; however, I imagine looking more critically at the romanticized tendencies when talking about what National Parks mean to people and will be very interested to see how he discusses the Native American people…As we read about in Uncommon Ground, the establishment of Yosemite National Park, through the eyes of the indigenous people, couldn’t have been America’s best idea.  I hope he addresses the controversy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Good Luck!

Tomorrow is our final exam so i just wanted to wish everyone GOOD LUCK!

I know we have all been working really hard and we will all do well on the final tomorrow.

I hope everyone remembers to get to sleep early and eat a good hearty breakfast!

I will see everyone tomorrow at 9:30 =]

and again, GOOD LUCK

(I thought this cartoon/picture was funny)

(I wonder if they would be the same railroad spikes from any of the Hudson River School paintings?)

Organic Food Movie

Here’s a link to the new movie, Food Inc., that promises to have interesting connections between our culture and the environment, industrial farms and government; as discussed in discussion, why eat organic food? 


Existence is then
identified as that which is expressed by the existential quantifier of the predicate
calculus, as for example in Quine's famous `criterion of ontological commitment',
according to which to be is to be the value of a bound variable in a true first-order
formalization of a natural scientific theory (Quine, 1953).

I think this might be the most complicated sentence I've read in my life. Does anyone know what it means?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Using Bambi to Warn about Forest Fires

Hey guys, I just saw this add on a website and thought it was pretty interesting how it uses the screenshot from "Bambi." Looks like the movie is still being used to influence people today.

Hey everyone, I found a website pertaining to the cheap car from india, also know as the nano, we were talking about in discussion today. The stating price for the Nano is $2,200 and it is made by India's Tata Motors. Here a website explaining all of the information about it:

Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited does a lot to help the environment, and is more powerful than the WWF, the NWF, and the Audubon Society. The Nature Conservancy, however, trumps it with a billion dollar budget.(Total Revenue of NC =1,017,114,358;Total Revenue of Ducks Unlimited =$210,825,782 ). However, Ducks Unlimited has been around longer, and it has 40,000 volunteers and is supported my hundreds of thousands of loyal sportsmen. As well, its aim has been more targeted--saving ducks--and it has obviously been very successful. But, overall, sportsmen aren't alone in paying for land protection--the Nature Conservancy has protected 119 million acres of land since its founding.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Actuality Films

Here is a link to an interesting article that follows up on what Prof. Tantillo was talking about today concerning the loss of interest in these landscape films as opposed to the Hudson River School paintings. Apparently, the new technology imposing on these landscapes were impossible to ignore in these films and even with the framing elements similar to the ones that the painters used, the sublime effect that viewers enjoyed was impossible to recreate using film.

Origin Saunter

Hello again. Another random thought that came while I was trying to go over my essay. Remember when we read "Walking" by Thoreau and he made up the history of the word saunter? We never figured out where it actually came from. According to Merriam-Webster, saunter may have came from the Middle English word santren, which means to muse. No origin has been proven true, though. Thoreau= a goof.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Conquering Niagara Falls

I was looking at a website which focused on some of the people that tried to get over Niagara Falls. I thought that these stories were the most interesting. Bobby Leach made it over the Niagara Falls in a steel barrel, but died while touring because he slipped on an orange peel. Jean Lussier survived the trip over the Falls in a rubber ball. Robert Overtracker went over the Falls in a jet ski to promote awareness for the homeless (?), planning to survive with a parachute. However, his parachute did not open and his body was never found. Kirk Jones was able to survive the fall without any protection, but ended up being fined over $2,000 and banned from ever entering Canada. Here's the website; it has a perfectly timed picture of the guy going over the falls in a jet ski.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dr. Seuss Book

Hey everyone, today I was in a book store and randomly I started reading a Dr. Seuss book called Horton hatches an egg and half way through the book it shows characteristics about humans interfering with the animals and hunters take Horton the elephant from his natural habitat and they exploit him and make him endure a terrible sea voyage. The hunters sell him to a circus and Horton has to go through horrific events all because of the hunters thought they could do whatever they want to innocent animals haha. I just thought that was really interesting and I think people should find it. Read it and just experience that weirdness!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why Chicago For The World's Fair

Today in discussion i was curious why Chicago was the designated city to hold the World's Fair.

Well... After some google searches i found the answer. It was written by Paul Barrett from the Illinois Institute of Technology

"For the business and civic leaders of Chicago, the World’s Columbian Exposition was the climactic event of a ritual by which the city “came of age.” [1] Chicago engaged in a long political struggle with New York and other Eastern cities for the right to hold the exposition: in the end, Chicago simply out-bid its rivals. Land and facilities were donated by business and the city, and most of the construction expenses were borne by local business."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Matilija Dam

Here's the link to a surfrider chapter from my town. Basically the goal is to remove this dam about an hour north east of the coast in order to free 50 years of sand to the eroding beaches. the majority of beaches in California are points, where at the top of the beach there is a river or stream delta feeding sediment from the mountains to the coast.


Our neighbors...

... were perched, so to speak, right outside Bradfield Hall this morning! This picture is from my phone, so not great resolution, but it shows just how habituated this guy/gal must be. Certainly wasn't scared of me! The other one was up on the light directly in front of the building, but this one stuck to the ground for quite some time.

Chicago going "Green" ?

This isn't exactly too recent but i was looking up information on Chicago in Google and i found this article and i thought it was kind of interesting =]

Exelon and SunPower to Develop Nation's Largest Urban Solar Power Plant in Chicago

04/22/2009 - Exelon and SunPower today announced an agreement to develop the nation's largest urban solar power plant at a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side. The 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) facility is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

The $60 million project is contingent upon Exelon receiving a federal loan guarantee under the recently passed federal stimulus legislation formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes provisions for investment in green jobs and emissions reduction. Exelon is seeking a loan guarantee for up to 80 percent of the project cost from the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGPO).

Exelon plans to lease 39 acres of the West Pullman Industrial Redevelopment Area from the City of Chicago for the project. The former industrial site is a “brownfield” property that will be redeveloped for productive reuse. Exelon Generation will own and operate the plant and market the electricity and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) it generates. SunPower, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, will design, manufacture and install the solar system.

“With nearly 2,000 megawatts of renewable power in our energy portfolio, including hydro-electricity, wind, landfill gas and solar, Exelon is investing aggressively but wisely in renewables as part of our comprehensive environmental strategy, Exelon 2020,” said Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe. “As a provider of electrical service in urban areas, we understand the importance of finding urban locations for renewable energy and we are pleased to bring the largest urban solar installation to West Pullman, helping to revitalize an area where industry once thrived.”

The project’s 32,800 solar panels will convert the sun’s rays into enough clean, reliable electricity to meet the annual energy requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 homes per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s system for calculating emissions savings, the installation will displace approximately 31.2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 cars off the road or planting more than 3,200 acres of forest.

“Today, SunPower’s solar PV technology can be implemented anywhere and at any scale – from rooftops, to parking lots, to utility-scale power plants, and urban industrial sites,” said SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner. “Delivering a 10-megawatt solar plant in a space-constrained, 39-acre area is only possible using SunPower’s high-efficiency solar technology, which generates more power per square foot than competing technologies.”

Exelon and SunPower’s environmentally sustainable design supports the City of Chicago’s efforts to create an environmental legacy for its residents. The project will create about 200 jobs at prevailing wage rates during construction, maximizing the use of local labor and providing job training opportunities. The solar power systems will consist of many U.S.-made components, including steel tubing sourced from businesses on Chicago’s South Side.

“Exelon’s planned solar installation will benefit the West Pullman community in many ways, including increased economic activity, new jobs, and the revitalization of these unused parcels of land,” said Chicago 34th Ward Alderman Carrie M. Austin. “Exelon has always been a great corporate citizen to Chicago, and I look forward to working with Exelon and the community to bring this high-tech solar plant to the West Pullman area.”

SunPower solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar panels and two to four times as much power as thin-film solar technology. Exelon selected SunPower® Trackers, solar tracking systems that tilt toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing daily energy production by up to 25 percent, improving the economics of solar power and reducing land-use requirements. SunPower has installed more than 500 solar power systems totaling more than 400 megawatts worldwide, including solar power plants in Europe, Asia and North America.

The project supports Exelon 2020, Exelon’s strategy to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020. Among other things, Exelon 2020 calls for Exelon to offer more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace that will replace electricity generated by higher-emitting energy sources.

Wal-Mart Museum

Hey, I found a website discussing the details about the Wal-Mart art museum we talked about today in class and wanted to share it with everyone.