I was excited to find these great “Recycled Banner Golden Mean Messenger Bags” DIY instructions a la Freitag bike messenger bags. (Can be made under $5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!). Comfortable, light, tough billboard sign material (waterproof). To view instructions please visit: EEIO Golden Mean messenger bag instructions
In stores, nice bike messenger bags can be $200. Making your own not only saves money but also is good for environment. I just saw a truck driver discard a big piece of truck tarpaulin and now it is lying on the street waiting to be made into bags.
U.S massive high speed rail is officially on the way!
“According to one recent study, implementation of pending plans for the federally designated HSR corridors could result in an annual reduction of 6 billion pounds of CO2” - from High Speed Rail Strategic Plan.
Above: Sledding in Central Park
Above: Sledding in Prospect Park
I was surprised to find out that sledding was and is a lovable activity after the snow storm in New York City Central and Prospect Parks. Next time it starts snowing ( as it does not happen too often nowadays) I am definitely hurrying to the Prospect Park with my sled. But what is even more surprising is that back in the days horse drawn sleigh rides were a popular activity in NYC Central Park during the winter. Back in February of 1876, the NY Times reported over 10,000 sleighs passing through the park in one day.
Above: Sleigh riding in Central Park
“The Central Park blogger recently recalled the days when the sleighs were active, noting: “For most of the latter half of the 19th century, right up until its demolition in 1915, the McGown’s Pass Tavern awarded a magnum of champagne to the first sleigh that reached it each season. The tradition was carried on with the Central Park Casino until it’s demise in 1934.” The NY Times reported on the tradition back in 1910, saying that year the snow wasn’t heavy enough for “good sleighing.” - Jen Carlson, Gothamist
Have you ever walked in or passed by a large bright yellow field of flowers? Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). In agriculture, canola are certain varieties of rapeseed oil, or the oil produced from those varieties. Today 80% of the acres sown are genetically modified canola.
Images from the book Heavenly Visions:Shaker Gift Drawings and Gift Songs.
Nature Deficit Disorder, is a term invented by Richard Louv in his book called “Last Child in the Woods”. Louv writes that children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon include parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of the screen. Recent research has drawn a further contrast between the declining number of National Park visits in the United States and increasing consumption of electronic media by children.
Richard Louv spent 10 years traveling around the USA reporting and speaking to parents and children, in both rural and urban areas, about their experiences in nature. He argues that sensationalist media coverage and paranoid parents have literally “scared children straight out of the woods and fields,” while promoting a litigious culture of fear that favors “safe” regimented sports over imaginative play.
Parents are keeping children indoors in order to keep them safe from danger. Richard Louv believes we may be protecting children to such an extent that it has become a problem and disrupts the child’s ability to connect to nature. The parent’s growing fear of “stranger danger” that is heavily fueled by the media, keeps children indoors and on the computer rather than outdoors exploring. Louv believes this may be the leading cause in nature deficit disorder as parents have a large amount of control and influence in their children’s lives.
Loss of natural surroundings in a child’s neighborhood and city. Many parks and nature preserves have restricted access and “do not walk off the trail” signs. Environmentalists and educators add to the restriction telling children “look don’t touch”. While they are protecting the natural environment Louv questions the cost of that protection on our children’s relationship with nature.
Increased draw to spend more time inside. With the advent of the computer, video games and television children have more and more reasons to stay inside, “The average American child spends 44 hours a week with electronic media”.
Children have limited respect to their immediate natural surroundings. Louv says the effects of nature deficit disorder on our children will be an even bigger problem in the future. “An increasing pace in the last three decades, approximately, of a rapid disengagement between children and direct experiences in nature …this has profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the earth itself.”
Childhood obesity has become a growing problem. There have been multiple studies that show children who go outside more often exercise more.
Attention disorders and depression may develop. “It’s a problem because kids who don’t get nature-time seem more prone to anxiety, depression and attention-deficit problems.” Louv suggests that going outside and being in the quiet and calm can help greatly. Attention Restoration Theory develops this idea further, both in short term restoration of a person’s abilities, and the long term ability to cope with stress and adversity.
In an interview on Public School Insight, Louv stated some positive effects of treating nature deficit disorder, “everything from a positive effect on the attention span to stress reduction to creativity, cognitive development, and their sense of wonder and connection to the earth.” From Wiki.
Reusing old buttons as fridge magnets. By Skin and Tonic Too.
Rings made with old vintage buttons. Found in Red Chair Antiques shop.
The Lightcatcher building (opening- November 14, 2009) designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects will feature multiple exhibit spaces in new climate controlled galleries. The Lightcatcher is designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) Silver standard and includes a “green” roof, providing a venue for the Museum to offer programs around sustainability and conservation.
“The basic concept for this new museum is that museum turned inside out—to make the building as active on the outside as it will be on the inside. An iconic 36-foot-tall, 180-foot-long translucent wall, “the lightcatcher,” is conceived as the focal point and backdrop to a central courtyard that will become a new gathering place for the city. The exterior of the museum will be an invitation to engage in art and will allow pedestrians walking by to view the art and activity within” - Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Mandra on Earth Day Network writes: When I was a child, the cornflower was a very common view in every grainfield in Sweden (we grow barley, wheat, rye and oat), as in many other countries. Then, because of the over-use of herbicides, they disappearded, I haven’t seen them in over 40 years!
When I last traveled from my country-house to Stockholm - they where suddenly there again! Not everywhere, of course, but i saw a huge field with this blue in it - it was a lovely scene! :—)
Centaurea cyanus (cornflower) in the past often grew as a weed in crop fields all over Europe, hence its name (fields growing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, or oats were formerly known as “corn fields” in England). It is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat.
Biodegradable moss planter(organic carpet consisting of assortment of mosses) by Japan-based flower artist Makoto Azuma
Humming bird, detail
Crimson necked bullfinch
An Earthship is a type of home made of natural and recycled materials. Earthships designed by Earthship Biotecture and are built from 45% recycled materials - tires, bottles, cans. Earth-filled tires utilize thermal mass construction to naturally regulate indoor temperature. Earthships also usually incorporate their own special natural ventilation system.
Earthships are built to utilize the available local resources - energy from the sun, rain. For example, windows on the sunny side admit light and heat, and the buildings are often horseshoe-shaped to maximize natural light and solar-gain during winter months. Likewise, the thick, dense outer walls provide effective insulation against summer heat.
Internal, non-load-bearing walls are often made of a honeycomb of recycled cans joined by concrete and are referred to as tin can walls. These walls are usually thickly plastered with stucco.
The Earthship costs next to nothing to operate annually and is independent of all municipal utilities. Earthship Biotecture has a building prototype that harvests its own electricity and water; contains and treats its own sewage; and heats and cools itself without fuel and produces a significant amount of food.
Glass house made from recycled glass windows in Freetown Christiania, neighborhood/commune in Copenhagen, Denmark created during the hippie movement. Christiania has its own flag and its own set of rules independent from the Danish government. Within Christiania itself no cars are allowed, stealing is forbidden as well as violence, guns, knives, bulletproof vests, hard drugs and bikers’ colors.
Emergency Response Studio, by Paul Villinski, is a solar-powered, mobile artist’s studio, rebuilt from an old trailer. An artist needs to be mobile and free just in case of the ocean water rising because Greenland is melting, and other devastating natural disasters, such as Katrina in New Orleans.
I love the idea of a virtual interactive fish aquarium mainly because you do not have to have a real fish aquarium and because by adding it to your desktop, website and google you can look at it every time you go on your computer.
P.S ( It is really fun to feed them!)
You can change the fish colors, fish food color and background. This is how my fish aquarium looks like:
Rooftop Films will screen “No Impact Man” on Thursday, June 11th in Williamsburg. No Impact Man is a documentary by writer-environmental activist Colin Beavan who challenges himself and his family to live for one full year in New York City without making any environmental impact. Impossible?? I will be going to see it on June 11th if anybody wants to join please let me know.
By the way, I think turning roof tops into small movie theaters is a great idea - smart use of roof space plus you are watching movies outdoors surrounded by the beautiful view!.
Scottish Highlands area is an amazing and magical place that is definitely not from this world. Steep bare mountains, strong winds, rainfall , swampy grasslands and many waterfalls, they hide one of the strangest animals - Kyloe.
Kyloe or Highland Cow is an ancient Scottish breed of beef cattle with long horns and long wavy pelts. ( They look a lot like mammoths or at least like giant,big headed, hairy cows) Highland cows are known are a hardy breed due to the rugged nature of their native Scottish Highlands, they graze on plants many other cattle avoid.
Other inhabitants of the Highlands are lots and lots of sheep. Sheep is everywhere.
This is a Folk Architecture Monument by Tomas Dzadon, Chezh Republic. Tomas writes: “The mistake is made. The socialist urban projects destroyed the marvellous countryside. I grew up in such an utopic project. I was lucky to be able to watch the Tatra mountains from my window. Finally that blocks were not so bad. The proportion changed. From family houses to 13-floor blocks. From houses built by their owners to flats built by the regime”.
Projekt Mobilivre - Bookmobile Project is primarily based in Montreal and Philadelphia. It is a trailer converted into a small mobile gallery and library that showcases handmade books and zines from all over the world. Traveling through Canada and US, this bookmobile visits community centers, schools, colleges, libraries, festivals and artist-run centers. I happened to run into Mobilivre-Bookmobile while I was studying at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and was stunned by the idea of a traveling gallery/library.
Bookmobile is a vehicle designed as a traveling library. Slumgullion, is a collaboration project that strives to create community, empower young voices, and promote literacy and the humanities through the book arts and zines. It is based in Missoula, Montana. Slumgullion’s bookmobile exhibits handmade books, art zines and is just like a regular bookmobile only it is bike powered!
Pando is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen located in the state of Utah, U.S. All trees in Pando colony are determined to be part of a single living organism with same genetic material and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000 tonnes making it the heaviest known organism and with the oldest root system known in existence at ~80,000 years of age.
Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir in a comic book form in which Marjane describes her unforgettable childhood, growing up during the Islamic Revolution.
Waltz with Bashir - is a 2008 Israeli animated documentary film and graphic novel written and directed by Ari Folman. The film was conceived as a journey in search of Folman’s lost memories from the 1982 Lebanon War. Folman designed the film as an anti-war message.
I am happy to show some of my watercolors at the Eponymy gallery and store. It is owned by Andrea Miller and located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. The store is a mix of vintage and designer clothes, antique mirrors as well as tightly curated modern photography from emerging artists of Humble Arts Foundation.
MANILLA MADE is a blog about all things ethical organized by Helen Cuthbert, a textile designer in UK. All things ethical are all things handmade, recycled, bright and colorful! I love this blog.
My favorite pieces on this blog are: vintage glass salt and pepper shakers, handmade shadow lanterns made out of recycled metal food cans, and soy teacup candles!!!
I always liked how New York City tap water tastes like.Tap’dNY is a new bottled water company based out of New York that sells…....New York City tap water!. actually, New York City water is not that bad since it travels to the city from Adirondack mountains and beautiful pure lakes upstate. TAP’DNY get water from NYC’s public water system, purifies it through reverse osmosis and bottles it locally. This saves miles of ridiculous transportation.
New York City also had a campaign not long ago called Get Your Fill encouraging New Yorkers try to drink tap water all around the city and they even gave out NYC reusable tap water bottles!
You can read NYC drinking water supply and quality report here: Drinking NYC Water Supply and Quality Report
Speaking of houses with grass roofs…this peculiar boat-house is not only floating on the water but also has a green lawn backyard on the roof. It is located in Amsterdam and is a living example of the hippie times that swept through Holland in 60’s-80’s as one Dutch friend of mine pointed out. Not only you are not wasting any fertile soil for the ground of your house, but also multiplying the amount of oxygen released by greens by growing them on the roof. Some will argue with me that this is not too hippie. Then, how about the house below? I believe the owner is growing some very important kinds of weeds….
*above: This house with grass roof is starting to grow a small birch tree.
Is there is anything more green than these houses with grass roofs? Unless they are houses with forest roofs! ha-ha. They are called Icelandic Turf Houses. These photos are taken on North Islands of Scotland and Iceland. Apparently, these turf houses offer superior insulation compared to buildings made solely out of wood or stone. One of the reasons these houses started their existence is that there was not a lot of good timber in Iceland and it was difficult to obtain other construction materials. However, Iceland did have a large amount of turf..
*above: village with grass roofs:
I love Ptarmigans. Ptarmigans are sedentary species, breeding across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America. The Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged; its feathers moult from white in winter to brown in spring or summer. Ptarmigan’s feet are fully feathered to maintain body heat and to act as snowshoes during winter.
Manny Howard wrote a story which I read in New York Times called My Empire of Dirt in which he describes how he attepted to live off the land of his own backyard in the city of New York for one month.
He made a plan of where and what kind of vegetables and greens he will plant and what kind of animals he will grow in his 800 square feet backyard:
A cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers, heirloom tomatoes.
B Rabbit feed, chicken feed, six rabbit hutches, a slaughter station, a refrigerator, and four egg-laying coops.
C 1.Tomatoes, beets, celery, yellow squash, purple eggplant, a fig tree. 2 Collard greens, cucumbers, and callaloo. 3 Cabbage, eggplant, rhubarb, leeks, garlic, onions, fennel, rosemary, thyme, and mint. 4 Corn, broad beans, basil, bok choy, and parsley.
D A duck coop, a duck pond, and two wayward rabbit hutches.
E A high-rise high-capacity chicken coop.
F The potato crop: a raised bed technically known as a “drill.”
|Whatever came out of this project you can read here: My Empire of Dirt. I am going to ruin it for you: it did not end well. To live off the land one needs a much bigger backyard, maybe not in the city and maybe more the size of a real farm. Also, one needs to know well how to take care of plants well. I think to grow additional food for your meal, like tomatoes, strawberries,peas or chives is good in the city, but not a whole meal. Chicken are also possible to grow in the city but for such clustered city like New York, maybe quails since they are smaller?|