Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For Those Simpsons Fans

When trying to describe EarthFirst! to a friend of mine after class today, he said it sounded like something from The Simpsons. Considering the group started in '79, I knew it existed way before the TV series came into existence, but I figured there may see some connection so looking it up was worth a shot.

Turns out that he wasn't that far off. The Simpsons had taken a swing at the environmentalists. In an episode from November, 2000, titled "Lisa the Tree Hugger", Lisa meets a guy from a radical environmental group called "Dirt First", and ends up joining to help them protect a historic redwood tree. On of the jokes of the EarthFirst! spin-off is that the leader of the group named Jesse Grass claims to be a "Level 5" Vegan, refusing to eat anything that casts a shadow.

The writer behind the episode, Matt Selman, is a Simpsons veteran with multiple awards, including a handful of Emmy's, to his name. He was even one of the writers personally courted by Matt Groening to help write the 2007 Simpsons movie. In his own personal blog, Selman uses some interesting techniques, including some made up super villains to make some environmental statements.

He's not quite "Dirt First" material, but he's got a green side to him.

More on EarthFirst!

The following excerpt is from the EarthFirst! website:

Are you tired of namby-pamby environmental groups? Are you tired of overpaid corporate environmentalists who suck up to bureaucrats and industry? Have you become disempowered by the reductionist approach of environmental professionals and scientists?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Earth First! is for you. Earth First! is effective. Our front-line, direct action approach to protecting wilderness gets results. We have succeeded in cases where other environmental groups had given up, and have drawn public attention to the crises facing the natural world. . . .

Earth First! is different from other environmental groups. Here are some things to keep in mind about Earth First! and some suggestions for being an active and effective Earth First!er: First of all, Earth First! is not an organization, but a movement. There are no "members" of Earth First!, only Earth First!ers. It is a belief in biocentrism, that life of the Earth comes first, and a practice of putting our beliefs into action.

Very interesting group to study if you're interested in environmental organizations.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mickey's evolution


It's incredible to see just how much Mickey Mouse evolved in a time span of less than 10 years. The character transformed from a rather bawdy rat to a refined mouse with with humanlike physical characteristics. Mickey even took on humanlike proportions so that it would be an animated character that people would relate to and thereby be more drawn to.

-Robin Simpson

The evolution of Mickey Mouse

Here is a link to Stephen Jay Gould's classic essay, "A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse." Enjoy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just trying to see if posting from here goes to the blog.
Great first class!

1st class

I get the feeling I'll enjoy this course, and think I may already have a term paper idea. I don't want to get too ahead of myself though, so I'm keeping my mind open!

Sponge Bob and philosophy

Hi everyone,
welcome to another action-packed semester of "Nature and Culture."

Ran across the following brief analysis of Sponge Bob cartoons, "The Tao of Sponge Bob."

Never too early to start thinking of paper topics. ;-)