1. Bats Being Devastated By "White Nose Syndrome"

    jake on 2008.04.17 at 06:42 pm

    Here come the mosquitoes.

    My parents’ property includes a big chunk of wetlands. There is also a small wooded area across the yard. These woods were once home to many bats. As it grew dark in the summer you could watch them journey across the yard for a dinner of bugs. At least until a few years ago when our neighbor unnecessarily cut down a large section of trees and the bats disappeared. We miss them and their taste for mosquitoes.

    Now bats in New England (more recently including Connecticut) are being threatened by a new ailment, “white nose syndrome.” Not a lot is known about the fungus but scientists are investigating.

    Bats with this white–nose syndrome have the white fungus on their noses and occasionally other parts of their bodies. It is unknown if the fungus is causing the deaths or is symptomatic of a disease. Human health implications are not known; there is no information indicating that people have been affected after exposure to the white fungus.

    Lets hope they find a way to stop this before it becomes more widespread. Even if they creep you out, like spiders, bats are very beneficial to us.

    Posted in: Environment · Nature · Science

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  2. Irony, Greed, Hypocrisy, Bluster and Snow

    brian on 2007.12.29 at 03:56 am

    I followed a link today to this video, Sabotage Stupidity which resides on The Burton Snowboards website. It’s a series of marketing videos that are very clever, and very “in-brand” for Burton. Sabotage Stupidity is the name of Burton's campaignI’ve long had a lot of respect for Burton. They were a pioneer (but not inventor) of the snowboard, with a distinct style and attitude that really set the tone for the whole budding snowboard industry. Snowboarding itself really had to swim upstream. For many years, snowboarders were second-class citizens on the slopes–if they were even allowed on the slopes. It’s a classic story, they were different and thus they were not liked. Of course, as with any situation like this, there were a few punks who made trouble on the slopes and gave everyone else a bad name.

    What follows is a story of silly discrimination and silly corporations… and what else? Money.

    Read More

    Posted in: Design · Environment · Nature · Sports

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  3. The Story of Stuff

    jake on 2007.12.05 at 02:17 pm

    When I was in elementary/middle school the beginning of the year brought many new things. New books, new friends (hmm… maybe not), new classes, and new stuff. While new clothes may have been superfluous the biggest waste I’d have to assign is to sneakers. Every year you’d walk into school with shiny new Air Jordans that hopefully your mom found at a reasonable price. But the majority of the time this had nothing to do with your old sneakers falling apart or your feet growing too fast. It was simply a status symbol. I recall even being jealous of the kids who could buy a new pair over winter break. Why would we need all those, fully functional shoes?

    The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard This question has bothered me for years and is related to a new video by Annie Leonard. The Story of Stuff is a twenty minute video where Annie breaks down and points out the issues with our consumer culture. It was originally a slide show presentation (just like Al! only less controversial and less vice presidenty). This video will make you cry on Black Friday.

    My uncle mentioned this to me on Thanksgiving and this season is very fitting for a viewing. I’m glad that it’s getting recognition around the Internet.

    Posted in: Environment · Movies · Nature

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  4. If you only see one movie in your lifetime.

    brian on 2007.01.08 at 01:49 am

    “In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.”Roger Ebert

    “There is no controversy about these facts. Out of 925 recent articles in peer-review scientific journals about global warming, there was no disagreement. Zero.” – Al Gore

    It took me until tonight to see this movie, which is available “onDemand” for Comcast cable subscribers for $3.99. I later found out I could have watched in HD for $5.99 The nice thing about onDemand is that I didn’t have to use fossil fuels to get the movie from the store.

    There’s really no reason you can give me that you shouldn’t see this movie, if you haven’t already. Up to and including the fact that the movie is actually entertaining. I’m contemplating buying the DVD and lending it to everyone I know. Would you like to borrow it? Please?

    “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative…your mind will be changed in a nanosecond.” – Roger Friedman of

    Posted in: Environment · Movies · Nature · Politics · Weather

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  5. Visit Glacier NP Remotely

    brian on 2006.04.28 at 11:22 pm

    With birds singing, water gently lapping on the shore, a slight breeze, and temperatures in the high 60s, it was a glorious spring day at the foot of Lake McDonald. - photo courtesy David Restivo, for the NPS - used without permission,I don’t live anywhere near Glacier National Park in Montana. Anyone who knows me and my interest in wide-open spaces knows I wish I did. That’s why I’m thankful I found eHikes, an outstanding piece of “multimedia” (an overused buzz word that was sent out to pasture, but is actually the most descriptive in this instance, since the presentation made use of QuickTime video and VR, still photography and with Flash for interactivity) of a couple hikes within the park.

    Go now. Less talk, more clicking.

    PS – they also have ‘eTours,’ Podcasts (audio, video), and more still and moving imagery.

    Posted in: Nature · Science · Web

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  6. Adirondack Images Posted

    brian on 2005.11.03 at 05:05 pm

    Finally posted my images of our short trip to the Adirondack this October. You can find them in two locations:

    Total set —

    dotMac Photo Album ADK 2005

    Limited, higher-resolution size set with CC-license

    Flickr: ADK October 2005

    The Flickr set has a resolution up to 1280px so you could use as a desktop picture, should you choose.


    Posted in: Nature · Photography

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  7. DM's Sustainable Life

    brian on 2005.09.12 at 03:02 pm

    Dave Matthews often takes his musical profits and reinvests in the Earth. One such effort is his organic farm and vineyard, outside of Charlottesville, VA.

    Rocker and gentleman farmer-vintner Dave Matthews is on a mission to promote sustainability, starting with the vegetables, grapes, cattle and chickens on his property in Virginia wine country. – Gerri Hirshey, for

    Posted in: Music · Nature

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  8. The Uses of Disaster

    brian on 2005.09.10 at 02:08 am

    The Uses of Disaster An outstanding piece on the greatness of human nature after a disaster… and the general failure of imposed authority.

    Posted on Friday, September 9, 2005. This essay on the relationship between disasters, authority, and our understanding of human nature went to press as Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The excerpt below is followed by a postscript, available only on the Web, that specifically addresses the disaster in New Orleans. Originally from a forthcoming issue of Harper’s Magazine, October 2005. By Rebecca Solnit.

    Posted in: Nature

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  9. Trees and Water

    jake on 2005.08.26 at 05:19 pm

    Just a couple quick links relaying things about the world outside.

    • Trees don’t suck up carbon dioxide as hoped – Not a definitive result. But it does make some sense. Excess of even good things in humans is expelled. If you’re going to the gym a lot and eating a great amount of protein your body willl only absorb a certain amount. No matter how much more protein you consume. Perhaps there is a separate catalyst to discover that will allow the trees to absorb more.
    • Life Straw: All You Can Drink For A Year! – This is a beautiful contraption, only costing $2 US, all we need is someone to get these where they’re needed. It amazes me how much suffering and poverty still exists after so much money gets thrown at the problem.

    Posted in: Nature · Science

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