nature

Greener Consumption: The just-for-kids edition

Greener Consumption: The just-for-kids edition

Sure, kids need lots of stuff, but that doesn’t have to be a reason to compromise your environmental values. From back-to-school shopping to playtime, we’ve found a whole range of products that keep your kids green.

Diego Stocco: The sound of nature

Diego Stocco: The sound of nature

Diego Stocco – Music from Nature from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.

If you ever walk by a guy just smacking a tree branch for apparently no reason, there’s no need for alarm. It may be just musician Diego Stocco. He composes some rad sound musical tracks using samples from nature and other organic objects. The finished product is then all mixed together without any synthesizers, samplers or additional sounds. Instead of the horse or dog whisperer, he’s a nature whisperer who pulls out the melodic quality of our green surroundings. This would be a bit tougher to do in my domicile of New York City. He should do a NYC version and create a song composed from the sounds made by pissed off delivery drivers, honking cabs, police sirens, and Mayor Bloomberg giving press conferences in Spanish (Bloomberg’s Spanish alter-ego on Twitter received HER own New York Times coverage once).

Green tech finds, 9/29/11

Green tech finds, 9/29/11

Lots of green tech on wheels this week: Ford’s concept e-bike, Peugeot’s tiny electric car, and the Air Force’s big move towards EV adoption.

Ford getting into the bicycle business? Maybe: the company released an e-bike concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The frame weighs in at a very light 5.5 pounds, and the electric assist motor can run for 53 miles. (via Matter Network and Rodale)

The printed bicycle: The Aerospace Innovation Centre’s bicycle concept on display at the London Design Festival is made from nylon and created by a process similar to 3D printing. The result: a lightweight frame that’s supposedly as strong as steel. (via Do the Green Thing)

Caption this photo of a whale shark

Caption this photo of a whale shark

Photographer Mauricio Handler snapped this remarkable photograph of a whale shark feeding near Isla Mujeres, Mexico for National Geographic piece on one of the largest swarms of whale sharks ever spotted in 2009. Lucky for the diver in this picture that they only feast on plankton and tiny fish eggs.

Sundance environmental films: nature and the journey

Sundance environmental films: nature and the journey

Stories involving journeys through mysterious, and potentially hostile, natural environments are as old as… well, stories themselves. This year’s Sundance Film Festival features two such narratives in the Spotlight category: Christopher Munch’s LETTERS FROM THE BIG MAN, and Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF. Though quite different in terms of historical setting, each bases its narrative on a trip into the wilderness… and the struggles and discoveries (both internal and external) inevitably accompany such undertakings.

Vimeo of the Week: Water & Rocks

Vimeo of the Week: Water & Rocks

Water & Rocks, New Zealand from Metron on Vimeo. When posting my favorite Vimeo video of the week round these parts I find myself returning to moving, ethereal short films focusing on natural beauty. This week’s choice, Water & Rocks, is one of those types. As I have two friends in New Zealand now I…

What does biodiversity loss cost us?

What does biodiversity loss cost us?

The idea of the value of nature traditionally involves intangibles and aesthetics: beauty, vitality, inspiration, etc. But, of course, natural systems provide more concrete value, too. We almost always think of that economic value in terms of what we can get out of these systems: lumber, minerals, food, etc… but, when intact, they often provide even an even greater “bang for the buck.”

Watch this: lightning strike at 9,000 frames per second

Watch this: lightning strike at 9,000 frames per second

Check out this astounding YouTube video of a lightning storm in Rapid City, South Dakota on June 16, 2010 which was recorded at 9,000 frames per second. This was shot by Tom Warner who records and uploads similar videos. Semi-relatedly: Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning at 1:13 pm (or 13:13)…

Bio-accessories

Bio-accessories

Australian duo Ben Landau and Brittany Veitch created a series of “bio-accessories” or wearable jewelry and adornments injects a bit of nature into an urban experience and lifestyle. The artists explain: Each piece of Bio-accessories incorporates a living organism to accompany the wearer throughout their day, creating a symbiotic relationship. The human tends to the…

Waiting 270 hours for the perfect photo

Waiting 270 hours for the perfect photo

In pursuit of the perfect photo of wild lions in their natural habitat, specifically that of lions quenching their thirst, wildlife photographer Greg du Toit went to extreme measures. After a year spent digging and hiding in various holes and trenches near the lions water fountains in a failed attempt to capture the eye level, up close and personal photos, he took the plunge so to speak into the lions’ watering spots. After a total of 270 hours in the water (3 hours per day, 7 days a week), the photographer finally got the pictures he wanted, but not before contracting some nasty bugs, such as malaria and bilharzia.

Sundance environmental films: the natural environment

Sundance environmental films: the natural environment

They’re big! They’re ugly! And they might give you warts! They’re cane toads… in 3D! Mark Lewis’ CANE TOADS: THE CONQUEST, which premieres at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, isn’t your typical nature documentary. This follow-up to 1988′s CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY portrays the “horror” of an invasive species with a heavy dose of comedy, but still provides a provocative illustration of the ecological damage a non-native “invader” can wreak. Imported to Australia in the 1930s to deal with pests decimating the Queensland sugar crop, cane toads represent “Australia’s most notorious environmental blunder”: they didn’t eat the Greyback Cane Beetles, but did multiply like crazy…

Root for Trees

Root for Trees

On a typical day in NYC you walk by as many as 45 different species of trees, but can you name more than one of them? Far from launching another demanding and guilt-ridden campaign for a charity, Jessica Schweifel, founder of Root for Trees, is asking very little of New Yorkers this year. All she wants…

Timelapse Timescapes

Timelapse Timescapes

Timescapes Timelapse: Mountain Light from Tom @ Timescapes on Vimeo. Tom is back with another breathtaking time-lapse video in his landscape series Timescapes. Using high definition equipment, he’s “dedicated to pushing the artistic boundries of timelapse and outdoor cinematography, with a particular emphasis on night timelapse.” His latest was shot in California’s White Mountains and…

Celebrate the Earth with HOME, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Celebrate the Earth with HOME, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

HOME is a travel notebook, showing landscapes captured from a bird’s eye view above. This film calls for a new awareness, inviting the viewer to stop for a moment in order to look at our planet and realize how we treat her treasures and her beauty.

Directed by internationally renowned French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, produced by world famous director Luc Besson and narrated by five-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close, HOME aims to change the way people see the planet and their impact on it. Shot in high definition in 54 countries and 120 locations over 217 days, the unique and first-time ever all-aerial filming style highlights the Earth’s wonders as well as its wounds and provides a necessary perspective to approach the changing environment.

The Journey of a Seed

The Journey of a Seed

An impressive animated short mixing cut-paper craft and 2D illustration depicting the journey of an apple seed after an apple is consumed. It really is a lot more interesting than it may sound. The Seed from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo. And watch the “Making Of” video: Making of ‘The Seed’ from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.…