Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unicorn Tapestries Continued

So Samantha beat me to creating a post about the Unicorn Tapestries, but I would like to elaborate on them a little bit. I had done a presentation on Medieval art and architecture for my World History class, and here's a couple of interesting points about the tapestries.
(Be sure to check them out first on Samantha's link)

1. Some interpret the Unicorn to be a symbol for Jesus Christ.
If you take a look at the series of tapestries, it roughly follows the story of Jesus Christ: the healing/celebration, the persecution, the killing, and the resurrection. And that one seductive-looking lady has been thought to represent Mary Magdalene. The Biblical symbolism of the Unicorn is much like the sanctifying of the stag we read about in Cromwell. And if you think about it, Unicorns are more or less similar to stags, right?

2. The initials A and what looks like a backwards E are hidden in most tapestries.
In the first tapestry, the letters are depicted by tree branches, in the second one, they are decorations on the fountain, and so on. I find the discreet manipulation of nature (in this case branches) to indicate a name very interesting.

I hope this sparks further interest in the Unicorn Tapestries. They're really beautiful.

"When the Day After Tomorrow Has Come"

Here's another interesting artilce from the NYTimes. Talks about how we need to prepare for a future climate crisis by testing right now. "Geoengineering" seems to be the key word. Yesterday we read about how Mesopotamia learned how to farm, today we read about how we can engineer the entire planet to be cooler. Scary thought.

FDA Regulating Antibiotics in Agriculture

Here's an interesting article from yesterday's New York Times about the F.D.A. taking steps to regulate the use of antibiotics in agriculture.

Female gladiators?

This article here shows that not only were gladiator remains indeed were found in England but also evidence in burial sites suggests that women may very well likely have been gladiators for a period of time as well. Also, J.K. Rowling totally knew about the Roman emperor at the time (Septimus Severus). Also, I thought this was kind of funny:

Schools and Technology

Today, while in lecture, I was thinking about technology and how schools use it to their advantage. I wrote this paragraph for my personal blog about this back in the beginning of the 2009 school year:

I've never really noticed how much power people use for technology. I glanced at the floor in my US history class today and my eyes were drawn to the power cord. Every outlet was occupied by a plug. I looked at the new smart board that every classroom received over the summer. Do schools really need these technological advances?

So, recently I have been contemplating about how we, humans, use so much power per day and do we truly need to use these technologies. I think the old chalkboard way worked pretty well before institutions became involved with projectors.

The Unicorn Tapestires

This link gives a connection between the tapestries and "the noble sport of hunting."

What to do with the bodies? Two thoughts...

A recent NPR story covers the unearthing of what may have been a gladiator burial ground... in England! Evidence? Skeletal remains exhibit bite wounds from large predators, decapitations, and other dramatic injuries. Indications also, from the bone density, that these were extremely muscular men (like the proto-human woman mentioned yesterday). Listen here:

In a more contemporary consideration (not specific to gladiators!), how 'bout this for an option? Is this "civilized"?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stephen Colbert Satire

When I saw Allison's Jon Stewart clip, I had to post a Stephen Colbert clip. While discussing the self defeating tendencies of opposing environmentalists, I was reminded of this clip. It's a little long, but well worth it. If you have 10 minutes to spare in between reading, this clip is sure to make you laugh while giving you another modern example of environmentalist vs. environmentalist.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Science Catfight - Joe Bastardi vs. Brenda Ekwurzel
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

No Impact Man

The discussion of Joseph Knowles on Monday made me think of the year that Colin Beavan spent gradually trying to eliminate his environmental impact by giving up what many people view as necessities and conveniences of modern life. Although he didn't forgo clothing and return to the wilderness, he did make drastic lifestyle changes as the year progressed in order to have a non-existent carbon footprint while living in New York City with his wife and young daughter. Perhaps his journey can be viewed as a more modern form of primitivism?

He gives a detailed account of the year in his book, No Impact Man, but his blog contains many of the steps that he took (some that are easy for most people to implement in their own lives, others not so much), as well as other interesting information on current environmental issues. Every few months he organizes a "No Impact Week," where people can try to implement his year long program over the course of a week.

How long solving environmental issues might take

In light of how long society has been dealing with environmental issues, as we learned with Pan's Travail, here's a look at how long it has taken (and might take) to solve one of our biggest environmental issues. A clip for Jon Stewart Fans. The whole episode is great, but the clip I'm talking about begins at 6 minutes and 50 seconds.

please ignore the commercials before the clip

The Kinks - Apeman promo film - full length

as promised, the original music video for The Kinks's Apeman. Enjoy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Welcome to Nature and Culture, Summer College Edition

Hi everyone,
you should have received invites from "blogger invites" via email. Just follow the instructions for signing up. thanks, and look forward to your posts and discussions!


ps. any alums from the spring semester want to stay on the blog, just email me and I'll put you back on. thanks. -jt

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saw this wall-painting in Gorumara National Park, North Bengal, India. I thought that this was another manifestation of the man vs wild, 'man should stay away from nature' ethos. India, for one, can hardly afford to pay homage to the wilderness ethic; even the most famous, secure tiger reserves and national park have large populations of indigenous people residing in the core, 'inviolate' areas. Hardly ideal conditions for propagating a wilderness area.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Suicide University

Here is a movie that I made for my Alternative Term Paper. It deals with the darker side of Cornell and it’s reputation for being a Suicide School. With the campus environment as the back drop, my short film delivers a raw visual experience that is intended to disturb you as well as inspire you to think differently about Ithaca, Cornell, and the surrounding environment. Enjoy!