Did you know that there was a big meeting of world leaders and environmental organizations last week in Brazil? It’s OK if you didn’t: judging from the outcomes, neither did most of the participants. Billed as “Rio+20,” a recognition of the monumental Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, this meeting could only come up with a reaffirmation of the goals set at the earlier event. That’s right: three days of meetings involving 100 world leaders and 50,000 participants total could only say “Yes to what we said twenty years ago.”
We’ve all had our share of dubious Facebook friend requests – that regrettable one night stand you’d almost succeeding in forgetting, your former therapist, your ex, your mom. But what about a Facebook request from your unborn child? A bunch of guys in Brazil were recently friend-requested by babies with their own name, plus the “Jr.” suffix. It turns out that these friend requests were actually from a condom company.
Ever marvel at how a particular font can totally change the tone or meaning of your text? You’d never write, say, an academic research paper in Comic Sans (see “I’m Comic-Sans, Asshole,” for a strong rebuttal) because it would make your thesis seem flaky or unserious. Nor would you choose Cooper Black (a big, bulky typeface) for a casual e-mail to your boss, lest he or she think you were trying to outmuscle them…
For a guerrilla marketing campaign for a skateboard shop in Curitiba, Brazil, designer Beto Janz merged two popular motifs and cultural symbols by shaping used and broken skateboard decks into skulls and leaving them on the streets surrounding popular skateboard parks in the city. [Via]
In April, I took note of James Cameron’s efforts to stop the building of the Belo Monte dam on Brazil’s Xingu River. Actress Sigourney Weaver (a co-star in Cameron’s AVATAR) joined Cameron on one of his trips to Brazil, and has now collaborated with Amazon Watch, Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu River Forever Alive Movement), and International Rivers to produce a 10-minute video (above) showing the probably impact of the dam project on indigenous people in the region, biodiversity, health, and even climate change (which were outlined in the previous post).
Is blockbuster producer/director and self-proclaimed “king of the world” James Cameron powerful enough to take out a dam single-handed? Well, no… but the creator of AVATAR has apparently been moved by his own film’s exploration of “the destruction of the natural world by expanding industrial interests, and the consequent impact to Indigenous populations.” Since February, Cameron has become passionate about stopping the building of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and has joined with indigenous leaders and activists to protest the opening of the bidding process for the project (set to begin on April 20th).
If you regularly recycle household materials, you’re likely moved by a spirit of doing something good for the environment. For many residents of the developing world, though, “recycling” materials thrown out by others is an act of survival. There’s likely no better place to witness this dynamic than Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, and photographer Vik Muniz made the landfill, and the catadores that reclaim materials from it, the subject of a series of photographs (shown as a part of his The Beautiful Earth exhibit).
An interesting tour of Sao Paulo’s streets and buildings led by Joao Wainer, who explains pixação, a form of graffiti unique to this region. The night vision shots of locals climbing buildings to leave their paint marks are particularly hair-raising. [Via]