Friday, July 16, 2010

Thanks for a great class!

Hi everyone,
Just want to thank you all for all your efforts and interest in the class these past three weeks. This blog is always up and running, and I will leave you all on as members until I teach the course again (next January).  So feel free to keep posting items to the blog if you run across anything interesting.

Again, thanks for a great class. 


Thursday, July 15, 2010


I found that song Jim was talking about today called signs.
I think these lyrics relate to our discussion today:

"Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign
And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, man you're some kinda sinner."

Who has the right to keep us away from mother nature?

And the line about shooting trespassers reminded me of Mychal and her Texas mindset, haha.

Black Landowners Fight to Reclaim Former Homes Now Wildlife Refuge

Very interesting story about nature and culture and justice.

Pleistocene Rewilding

Here's a link to what they're proposing:
I'd encourage you to click around a bit... I think you'll recognize some of the "cast of characters" they're associated with (including the author of the intro)...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ABORTION: The Silent Scream Part 1 2 3 4 5 COMPLETE VERSION Pro-life Ant...

Carrot or Stick? Strategies for 1900's bird conservation.

On the one hand, the Lacey Act. On the other hand, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count:

Olmsted and the Arts Quad

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For all the non-believers!

I can go into deep detail about NASA vs. NOAA, but I won't waste my time writing about it. I will just show you. Here is the budget for NASA for 2010 (after Obama's NASA budget cuts):
Link to NASA Budget summary document

Here is the budget for NOAA:

Link to NOAA budget summary:

Also, if quantitative information isn't enough. Here is my main man Colbert:

Training Crows

Our discussion about birds yesterday reminded me of this. While humans are still using nature for their own benefit, in this case it works out for the good of everyone.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On Oil Spills

"Typically, our knee-jerk is to blame the greedy corporations and do-nothing politicians. But how much more could be accomplished if each American accepted that he or she plays a part in the problem and therefore could contribute to the solution?"

An interesting article on our mindset about oil use and the oil spill. Unless we are directly hurt by oil spills or similar issues, how willing can we be to change? It's difficult to find motivation when the result of change isn't terribly evident.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Here is a picture of a really cool kind of tree that I discovered online called the Rainbow Eucalyptus. It's branches have all different colors that are completely natural. I think seeing it in person would definitely be an example of the sublime.

More Lessons Through Cartoons

I was researching for my term paper, which is on Happy Feet, and I stumbled upon this cartoon.
Similar to Happy Feet, the one owl that is different is not accepted by his family. They want him to change and kick him out when he doesn't, but at the end they become proud of him and his differences. I find the beginning of this clip interesting, as it romanticizes nature. Also, they give the animals human traits and emotions to be able to be relate-able to the intended audience, being children. This attempts to send a message across about acceptance and diversity through nature and personified animals. So many messages being sent through cartoons!

Politically Correct Little Red Riding Hood

So for my term paper I am writing about Little Red Riding Hood and I came across this joke. It's interesting because it shows how different the story would be if we include all the environmentalist, feminist, etc. views in a simple story. It also shows how it takes a lot to be politically correct nowadays.

There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only someone took the time to study them.

Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture giver whom she sometimes referred to as "mother", although she didn't mean to imply by this term that she would have thought less of the person if a close biological link did not in fact exist.

Nor did she intend to denigrate the equal value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was the impression conveyed.

One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house.

"But mother, won't this be stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the woods?"

Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.

"But mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?"

Red Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for womyn to oppress each other, since all womyn were equally oppressed until all womyn were free.

"But mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?"

And Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical womyn's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling of community.

"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?"

But Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or incapacitated or mentally handicapped in any way, although that was not to imply that any of these conditions were inferior to what some people called "health".

Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off.

Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence believed that natural predators were in fact intolerable competitors.

Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red Riding Hood felt that in a truly classless society all marginalized peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as valid lifestyle role models.

On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and wandered off the path, in order to examine some flowers.

She was startled to find herself standing before a Wolf, who asked her what was in her basket.

Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own budding sexuality, and chose to dialogue with the Wolf.

She replied, "I am taking my Grandmother some healthful snacks in a gesture of solidarity."

The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop an alternative and yet entirely valid worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I would prefer to be on my way."

Red Riding Hood returned to the main path, and proceeded towards her Grandmother's house.

But because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf knew of a quicker route to Grandma's house.

He burst into the house and ate Grandma, a course of action affirmative of his nature as a predator.

Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist gender role notions, he put on Grandma's nightclothes, crawled under the bedclothes, and awaited developments.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said,

"Grandma, I have brought you some cruelty free snacks to salute you in your role of wise and nurturing matriarch."

The Wolf said softly "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Goddess! Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"You forget that I am optically challenged."

"And Grandma, what an enormous, what a fine nose you have."

"Naturally, I could have had it fixed to help my acting career, but I didn't give in to such societal pressures, my child."

"And Grandma, what very big, sharp teeth you have!"

The Wolf could not take any more of these specist slurs, and, in a reaction appropriate for his accustomed milieu, he leaped out of bed, grabbed Little Red Riding Hood, and opened his jaws so wide that she could see her poor Grandmother cowering in his belly.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" Red Riding Hood bravely shouted. "You must request my permission before proceeding to a new level of intimacy!"

The Wolf was so startled by this statement that he loosened his grasp on her.

At the same time, the woodchopper burst into the cottage, brandishing an ax.

"Hands off!" cried the woodchopper.

"And what do you think you're doing?" cried Little Red Riding Hood. "If I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my own abilities, which would lead to poor self esteem and lower achievement scores on college entrance exams."

"Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species! This is an FBI sting!" screamed the woodchopper, and when Little Red Riding Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head.

"Thank goodness you got here in time," said the Wolf. "The brat and her grandmother lured me in here. I thought I was a goner."

"No, I think I'm the real victim, here," said the woodchopper. "I've been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected flowers earlier. And now I'm going to have such a trauma. Do you have any aspirin?"

"Sure," said the Wolf.


"I feel your pain," said the Wolf, and he patted the woodchopper on his firm, well padded back, gave a little belch, and said "Do you have any Maalox?"


Yellowstone National Park

Following the topic of national parks, my mom is at Yellowstone National Park in Montana. She sent me some pictures that I want to share with the class. I think it is interesting that the photo with the water down the middle follows the typical Hudson River School painting formula.

avatar vs firelord ozai

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arid Australia Turns to Desalinization

This is an interesting article on how Australia plans to use technology to cope with its drought. The second is a sort of companion piece that was linked through the first one. This definitely plays into the concept of how progress can hurt.

Captain Planet -P1- A Hero for Earth Pilot Episode Intro 80's 90's Carto...

This show I think relates exactly to our class and how a kids tv show tried to enstill enviornmental awareness. By relating the fact that earth could be saved by kids, the catch phrase being "the power is yours" gave kids the idea that it was up to them to help our world. I also find it interesting that the show had humans as both the villains and heroes, showing that people can both destroy and save our planet.

Hunting Wabbits

This is a clip of the classic cartoon Looney Tunes with Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. The clip starts off with a typical hunting scene. This includes Elmer Fudd using hunting dogs to find a rabbit, dogs that can't talk though the rabbit can. When Fudd gets notice that he will receive 3 million dollars if he doesn't hurt animals he stops hunting. This shows how important receiving that money is to him since he already had Bugs Bunny cornered. The clip goes on with Bugs taking advantage of Fudd and in the end Fudd doesn't receive any money at all and goes back to hunting Bugs. I find it interesting that Fudd has no true emotion toward the killing of animals for his benefit, all he cares about is money and profit. This expresses the lack of morality behind the hunt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

This movie could not be a more perfect commentary on much of what we have been discussing and reading about.

Courtesy of
Ferngully is a rain-forest, it is home to a race of fairies who have never seen humans and believe Humans don't exist and only exists in stories. That is until the arrival of Batty, a wacky bat who tells the Fairies that he has seen the Humans. Curious, when she sees smoke from Mount Warning, a fairy named Crysta travels beyond Ferngully and discovers a group of humans is destroying the rain-forest. Crysta discovers a human named Zak who is helping destroy the rain-forest and accidentally shrinks him. Once discovering the beauty of Ferngully, Zak and Crysta learn the Fairies and Ferngully itself are in mortal danger, when the humans free Hexxus, a evil oil-like creature who along time ago was turned into a tree when he tried to unleash chaos in Ferngully and has taken over "The Leveler" a logging machine as he begins his evil scheme to destroy Ferngully and only Zak, Crysta, Batty, Pips and The Beetle Boys can defeat Hexxus and save Ferngully from destruction.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Episode 2 Part 1

Avatar recruiting Eco-terrorists?

Here's an article about how Avatar is pushing people to start using violence to protect their planet from "being annihilated."

Total Eclipse [of the heart]

A very cool natural phenomenon is happening tomorrow. In this article there's an interesting underlying story about the damage the influx of tourists will cause and how the legendary island is already suffering from environmental degradation.

on another note, found this in an article I was reading for my research, just a fun light hearted fact: "half of all American pets received Christmas gifts in 1995"
but it makes you think - imagine how many people went without presents that year. imagine the health care these pets get in comparison to some humans...

Nature in a Culture (One of the Best Cultures)

In Germany, an octopus called Octopus Paul has correctly predicted the outcome of every game Germany has played so far. It could be a mere coincidence, but the mystic vibe Octopus Paul produces is enough to capture the minds of many World Cup fans.,0,6992732.story

For those who can't be bothered to read the article:
Octopus Paul's last two predictions--Germany defeats Uruguay for third, and Spain defeats the Netherlands to win its first ever World Cup title.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Speaking of Backwards Progression

Commentary from Emily:

A lot of times progress is for economic reasons. The venom manufacturer shut down since the snake bites were so rare that they weren't making any profit. Coral snake bites have been a bigger threat since the production has been controlled for economic reasons.

Article found by Me:>1=32001

Molly Maguire

These articles state that The Molly Maguires obtained their name from an Irish widow that fought against the landlords that wanted to take her land back because she was Catholic. Tenant farmers in Ireland began cross-dressing and rebelling against the Protestant landlords. They would tell,"Take that from a son of Molly Maguire!"

I'm really glad that the coal miners didn't cross dress...

Devil in the White City

For anyone interested in reading further into the Fair we read about in last night's reading, this is a very interesting book. It's called Devil in the White City. It's about a serial killer who uses the Fair to find his victims. Very dark but also compelling.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A great cartoon I stumbled upon.

I had a great laugh when I saw this browsing the web. Hope you all like.

thunder mountain railroad!

This week we have been talking a lot about railroads and trains.. and so it reminded me of my favorite ride at disneyland in Los Angelos, CA! :) It's called Big Thunder Mountain, Even though this ride was basically based on like the gold mine back i the 1800s in the southwest, I just thought i would post a link about this ride and the legend behind Thunder Mountain. And I post a wikipedia link just about it!

Solar Powered Plane

Perhaps this is another step towards making transportation greener in the near future.

Source of Cornell's coal

This website lets you enter a zip code (Ithaca is 14850) to see where the coal for your electricity comes from, and the type of mining used to extract it:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Alaskan family lives isolated life in vast wildlife refuge"

as luck would have it . . . on CNN today:

Some of the last people allowed to live in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There's an overview of the documentary on the CNN website.

Caspar David Friedrich Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

I know that during class we were wondering who the man was that Friedrich captured in his renowned painting. The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog is actually a self-portrait portraying the world from Friedrich's viewpoint. The link further describes Friedrich's inspiration for his painting.

Grizzly Man

Alright, so the Yosemite Mountain Double Rainbow video kind of triggered my memory in terms of crazy people out in the wild. In AP Environmental Science this past year, we watched a film after the AP Exam called the Grizzly Man, which is about a guy who goes out into the wild to live with and protect bears. Personally, I feel like he probably did more harm than good to the environment by being there, but I highly suggest you all go watch the movie and formulate your own opinion. These are just a few clips that are absolutely hilarious (my whole class was dying when we watched this). The first one is his attack on the National Park Service after they declared it illegal for him to camp out in the wild for certain periods of time, and the second one is of him "praying" for rain.

You guys are seriously going to thank me for this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Relatively recent article on research done for microbial decomposition of plastic. Pretty sick.

Man vs. Wild - Alaska Icebergs

Are rainbows sublime?

you be the judge.

The commentary this video has received is also worth taking a look at. Enjoy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

BP oil dispersant

I came across an article about the BP oil spill. In an effort to reduce the amount of oil that surfaces for satellite pictures, BP has been spraying mass amounts of dispersant on the surface of the water. This dispersant has highly dangerous effects on not only the animal life, but also humans trying to clean up the oil spill. I find it shocking that BP continues to negatively effect the environment; you would think that after one of the worst environmental catastrophes in human history, you would make an attempt to clean up the gulf, not hurt it even more.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains

Check out this link for the full list of the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Heroes and Villains. "Man" from Bambi ranked #20 on the villain list--not bad for a character who never appeared on screen. Also look for Robin Hood and Gladiator on the heroes list.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

China Jails Tibetan Environmentalist

We have so many amazing freedoms here in the US that enable us to explore our opportunities with the environment. Imagine living in a place where it was illegal to promote recycling and reforestation...

Friday, July 2, 2010

interesting website that puts the geographical extent of the gulf oil spill into perspective. in the same sort of way that i felt disconnected and skeptical of the extent to which romans slaughtered animals in the colosseum, a lot of times when reading about the oil spill (or any disaster) i don't quite get how bad it is. this website shows how far the oil is spreading - how much land it would cover centered on your hometown.


This is the company that my conversion kit was purchased through. Although I am only about halfway through the conversion process, it has been fairly straight forward; the DVD that comes with the kit really helps with any areas that are confusing in the manual. Of course, an basic understanding of how a car engine works and knowledge of how to do the rewiring parts (at least for this system) is needed (my dad and I are working on this project together).

Plastic eating bacteria

I mentioned to my group in discussion and a few people expressed interest in it. Here is the article:

Oh, Bambi

Saw this ad today. Oh, Bambi, still teaching people today.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

real talk on civilization and nature

here's a link to the full movie:

Green Grease Guzzlers... the trailer

Culture around campus/ town

Free music!

Thursdays, downtown Ithaca (Commons):

Fridays, on campus (Arts Quad):

Sundays, on campus (Annabel Taylor Hall):
the sons also draws episode of family guy season 1 episode 6 reminded me of the reading last night on walking and also the idea of connection to a higher being in uncommon ground. i cannot find the clip but you should watch the episode