Tag Archives: world

Historical World War II air map – Denver as the center of the universe

To understand this map, think of Denver as the center of the universe. Created during World War II when airplanes were becoming common. It was an “air age” that shrunk the world down to flyable chunks, and new maps were created to show distance – in one tank of gas or two.

 

From Mapping the Nation

 

source: Mapping the Nation

My Manifesto – the Zeitgeist of sustainability

This will be the fifth manifesto I’ve written. And every one of them has had a noble goal and ambitious hopes. I like to shoot for the stars and see where I end up.

My goal is to be the Zeitgeist of sustainability.

Zeitgeist - “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.”

- the defining spirit of a particular period as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

I want to create a spirit of sustainability that spreads across this country. An idea that people can believe in and feel proud of. And this goes beyond Republican or Democratic differences. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Texan in a drought or a New Englander in a Prius. We can all agree on sustainability.

But we don’t agree and that’s the problem. There are too many messages out there and each one points in a different direction. Leaving us in a state of confusion, unsure of what to do but wanting to do something.

And I know this is true. I talk to many people and all of them want to do something. They agree with the principles of sustainability, but none of them agree on global warming, climate change, organic, energy, etc.

And they don’t need to. It’s all for the same cause. We just need to keep the focus on sustainability. That is where the Zeitgeist comes into play. A German word that is almost mystical in how it happens – millions of people coming together because they feel the same way about something. It doesn’t happen often, especially without war, but it is happening here.

We just need someone to write about it. To say what everyone is thinking and make it so well known that it becomes the new way to do things.

That is my job and I have spent years studying and learning about sustainability. I’ve been to the White House for discussions and into people’s garbage. Surprisingly, the whole thing breaks down into four topics:

  • Overcoming obesity
  • Living zero waste
  • Strong local economies
  • Clean air

The first one, obesity, is the most important of them all. It is impossible to be healthy and pollute the planet. And that’s the message I want to convey. This isn’t about sacrifice and loss, nor hard choices and spending money. All that is noise pollution and marketing.

The truth is that when you improve your life, you improve the planet. And this blog will teach you how to do so. With all the relevant facts and personal stories – plus the bigger picture to let you know you are affecting the world.

And all you have to do is make your life better.

European Union leads the world in renewable energy – achieves 100 GW of wind power

Renewable energy continues to surge in the European Union (EU). The latest achievement is 100 GW of wind power, the equivalent of 62 coal power plants. The growth has been fast, “it took twenty years to get the first 10 GW grid connected…only 13 years to add 90 GW.” And half of that was added in the last six years.

To produce the same amount of electricity with coal – in one year – would require the mining, transport and burning of 72 million tons of coal, at a cost of $6.48 billion.

For a broader perspective, the United States is also booming having recently achieved 50 GW of installed wind power. But the most important number is the total electricity used in the EU – 3.6 million GW. And this wind milestone only represents 0.003% of that. Like an ant standing at the foot of the mountain.

The good news is that growth is continuing at a rapid pace – 13-16% in each of the past 5 years – and only a tiny fraction of “Europe’s vast domestic wind energy resources” have been put to use. Follow the curve of this graph and you can see where the future is headed:

 

source: European Wind Energy Association

 

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20 of the world’s most remote islands

If you want to get away from it all – here’s the book for you. Roger Lovegrove has visited – and photographed – 20 of the world’s most remote islands. From the far south Atlantic to the viking north, these are forbidding places.

The book is called, Islands Beyond the Horizon, and here are three of those desolate realms. You can find all twenty at The Telegraph.

 

Islands Beyond the Horizon

 

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Creativity: giant colored pencil art installation, that “both awes and threatens”

JeannieJeannie:

The Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is a fantastic and wonderfully impractical art space in Japan, where artists from around the world have scattered large-scale installations across 160 kilometers of land.

In the midst of this art field is this set of giant colored pencils from Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, titled “Reverse City:” enormous colored pencils hewn from trees dangle 2 meters above the ground, pointing down at the visitors below.

 

 

More about this installation:

On each pencil is written the name of one of the countries of the world. The giant pencils are variously colored; some are short, some are tall…Suspended upside-down, the points of this colorful city are aimed at human visitors who, looking up at it, feel both awed and threatened.

 

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History of the Steel Pan – musical instrument from industrial waste – beloved in Trinidad

BBC wrote an interesting piece on the history of the steel pan:

Amid the electronica of 20th Century music one new instrument stands out for its simplicity. The steel pan, possibly the only instrument made out of industrial waste, has become an icon of Trinidadian culture.

“There is something about the steel pan and Caribbean music in general that resonates with the rest of the world,” says Professor Tim Wall.

The music has been keenly adopted by the pop world. The Hollies used the sound of the steel pan in their song Carrie Anne, Prince used it in his song New Position.

 

Go ahead and read the full story, but make sure to compare these two steel pans. They will get you in the right frame of mind.

Here is one you can buy new for $150:

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Crowdsource the launch of a nano-satellite into space – Kickstarter

We are developing a nano-satellite, and mobile apps to go with it, as the focus for a global education and public outreach campaign. The satellite, called SkyCube, is a 10x10x10 cm “1U” CubeSat intended for launch as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2013. Orbiting more than 300 miles up, on a path highly inclined to the Earth’s equator, SkyCube will pass over most of the world’s inhabited regions.

SkyCube will take low-resolution pictures of the Earth and broadcast simple messages uploaded by sponsors. After 90 days, it will use an 8-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide powder. SkyCube’s balloon will make the satellite as bright as the Hubble Space Telescope or a first-magnitude star. You’ll be able to see it with your own eyes, sailing across the sky. But SkyCube’s balloon isn’t just for visibility. It will – within 3 weeks – bring SkyCube down from orbit due to atmospheric drag, ending the mission cleanly in a fiery “grand finale” that avoids any buildup of space debris.

 

PLEDGES

$1 - Sponsors 10 seconds of the mission. You can broadcast one (1) 120-character message from the satellite.

$6 - Sponsors 1 minute of the mission. You can broadcast six (6) 120-character messages from space, and request one (1) image from the satellite.

$100 - Sponsors 15 minutes of the mission. An ideal family pack – we’ll send you two (2) SkyCube mission T-shirts! And you can broadcast one hundred (100) 120-character messages from the satellite, and request twenty (20) images from the satellite at any time during the mission.

$1,000 – Sponsors 2 hours of the mission – a great high school or university classroom sponsorship package. We’ll send you a radio receiver which you can use to detect transmissions from SkyCube and other satellites already in orbit! You’ll also get a flying SpaceX Falcon 9 model rocket, and twenty (20) SkyCube mission T-shirts. You can broadcast one thousand (1000) 120-character messages from space, and request up to two hundred (200) images from the satellite.

 

Learn more, join the project - SkyCube: The First Satellite Launched by You!

 

 

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A century of Olympic posters

‘The Start of the Sprinters’ Dash’. Yusaku Kamekura (art director); Osamu Hayasaki (photographer)

 

 

Images from the book “A Century of Olympic Posters” by Margaret Timmers:

As snapshots through time, Olympic posters provide a fascinating record of our world, a lens through which we can explore links between sports and art, politics and place, commerce and culture. A Century of Olympic Posters offers an intensely visual representation of the modern Games, and shows the evolution of the Olympic Games poster as well, from the first official poster for Stockholm in 1912 right up to the present.

 

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National Geographic premieres new show – Comic Store Heroes

This is Comic Store Heroes, a wild and wacky adventure into the subculture of comic book super fans, where dreams are everything… and with a bit of faith and spandex, they really can come true.

Amid the dark and dangerous shadows of New York, the real life Gotham City, shines a bright light that lures comic fans from every corner: America’s largest comic store, Midtown Comics. While dealing with eccentric super fans, daily battles for geekdom supremacy, men dressed as bananas, and one million customers a year, boss Gerry is also preparing for the biggest day of his comic year – New York Comic Con. And it’s just six weeks away!

So he’s put his main men, Thor “The Marketeer” and Alex “The Negotiator” on the case. Thor has to track down a comic celebrity to appear at the store’s Comic Con booth, while Alex has to buy 10,000 old comics from super-collectors to then sell at the Con as well as completing a personal mission for his boss: finding Gerry’s elusive holy grail comic, “Hot Stuff, The Little Devil No.1″. This was the first comic Gerry ever read as a kid, and without it Midtown Comics wouldn’t exist. As an incentive, Gerry has offered Alex a cash bonus if he finds it. But it’s gonna be a hell of a challenge – it’s one of the rarest comics in the world!

Comic Store Heroes, premiered Friday, July 13th at 8P et/pt.

 

Source: National Geographic Blog

 

 

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