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February 24th, 2011

Let’s Pollute!

letspollutestilli

Last weekend we watched the Oscar-nominated short film Let’s Pollute! at the The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA.

Director Geefwee Boedoe uses reverse psychology and humor to get us to think about our impact on the environment. This satire whisks us through history right up to things we can do today to continue pollution. Will this encourage us to make better choices? Or will we continue with our culture of disposability and environmental destruction?

I also love Boedoe’s illustration style and presentation–we’re watching 1950s-educational-film. He gave me permission to post some stills from the movie. Here are some images about the average American family, working hard through each era to do their part by polluting as much as they can.

Back in the days of yore, people used to repair things:

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Repairing things and using things more than twice doesn’t cause pollution fast enough, so people invented THE MACHINE:

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Today you too can be doing your part to pollute! Turn on every light in your home:

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Still from Let's Pollute © Geefwee Boedoe

Seeing Let’s Pollute! right after our Carbon Nation field trip has kept me thinking about the small things we can do every day to create less waste. It’s a topic that comes up a lot at our office—just ask my plastic-free coworkers about their efforts.

Look for screenings of Let’s Pollute! and the other nominated animated shorts here. (It’s too late to see  the animated shorts at the Colonial, but you can still see the live shorts at 7:30 there tonight.)

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(A bit of 1950s trivia about the Colonial Theatre: It’s the theater people fled from in the Steve McQueen version of The Blob.)

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February 23rd, 2011

Morris Arboretum part 1, Bloom Quest

The witch hazels are in bloom at the Morris Arboretum. I’ll have to edit my photos tomorrow or later in the week. In the meantime, here is another sign that it’s almost spring. And apologies to the kindly Arboretum walker who thought I’d collapsed on the pavement when I was stretched out photographing this little bloom. “THANK YOU for moving,” she said. Nancy and I think it is winter aconite (Eranthis).
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February 17th, 2011

Can I blog about you? The Wendy Wolf edition

We went to Earth Bread + Brewery see Wendy Wolf’s art. I know Wendy from my Alfred University days, and I think she makes the coolest necklaces and Halloween costumes and artwork. Some pieces from her “Natural Repetition” series are on display at Earth Bread + Brewery until April 3. I’ve been trying to get to one of her art shows for months, and I was so excited that she wasn’t at her studio and could join us for dinner.

Wendy Wolf's art on display at Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia PA

Wendy Wolf's art on display at Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia

After we finished eating, Wendy walked me through the show. I wish wish wish I’d done a video interview of Wendy talking about her work. Since I think Wendy’s own words are far more interesting than my paraphrasing, I emailed her last night and got her artist’s statement about the show.

“The series Natural Repetition began during a residency at Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture) in Scottsdale, Arizona. The residency gave me the opportunity to create an outdoor installation piece. While exploring the grounds, I found an orchid tree whose leaves looked very similar to the repeated marks I had been working with in my painting and cut paper series. I processed the leaves by tracing and reproducing them in paper as I had been doing with the marks in my paintings. As soon as that first strand of leaves was installed in the courtyard, it completely changed the way people interacted with the space. Instead of walking through with their heads bent down, they stopped and looked up—seeing this beautiful tree above them—and spent time exploring and making personal associations with my paper leaves. I was thrilled to watch hundreds of people walk through the space (on daily tours) with expressions of delight. That installation has since led to a whole series of work based on different locations and the natural repetition found in various types of plants.”

You can see pictures of the earlier outdoor installations here.

The current show features works made with turkey oak leaves, ginkgo leaves, basswood, bamboo, and these really lovely box elders.

Box Elder No. 1 Wendy Wolf©2010

Box Elder No. 1 Wendy Wolf©2010

 Box Elder No. 3 Wendy Wolf©2010

Box Elder No. 3 Wendy Wolf©2010

Some of the leaf shapes in her work have insect and weather damage. Right after she told me about the art she made from her (master gardener) mother’s poor slug-damaged hostas, I asked, “Can I blog about you at work?” I love the hosta series. Yes, it’s true the slugs destroyed the plants, but Wendy said her mom finally has some of her art hanging over the sofa. Who ever knew that insect damage could be so beautiful? I love it!

Hostas No. 1 Wendy Wolf © 2009

Hostas No. 1 Wendy Wolf © 2009

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February 10th, 2011

Field Trip!

Every now and then the Organic Gardening team takes a little field trip. Today we’re going on a field trip, to see the film Carbon Nation. I love the tag line.  “A climate change solutions movie (that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change.) The premiere is tonight at Lincoln Center, and there will be a Q&A with the director after the film. I’m sure we’ll all have more to say after we get back, but if you can’t wait, check out the Carbon Nation website, you can find a list of action items. You can also get information on arranging a screening in your town.

I’ll be back next week with more pictures or a longer entry. In the meantime, if you are one of my relatives who faithfully reads this blog, you can see me briefly appear in a Rodale.com video about organic chocolate. Now I’m going to get ready for the big premiere.

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February 3rd, 2011

checking in from production…

We’re almost done with the April/May issue. We’ve sent all of the color over for proofing, and have most of it color corrected. Gavin is choosing Pantone colors, checking files and finalizing layouts.  Nancy is furiously copy editing and sending pages to be proofed. Our in boxes and “to do” lists are filling up with things we’ll need to address after we ship. This is the part of the issue (and the winter) where everyone gets forgetful and tired, and scrapes the bottom of the jar for the energy and focus to finish things up.

acorn

The issue will soon be at the printer, but winter will remain. While waiting for a new batch of proofs, I went looking for tips to kick the winter blues and for a blog post Maria Rodale once wrote on recharging your batteries. This weekend I’ve vowed to unplug and recharge and get outdoors no matter how cold it is, and I’ll get back to one of my favorite places soon enough. In the meantime, I’ve got to go move some files…

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