Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Hope Blogging

This week, I have nothing to offer but a cursory run-down of some interesting stories.

We-Make-Money-Not-Art on the Edible Estates project:

Fritz Haeg is unleashing an attack on the American lawn, this "carpet of conformity." Over the next three years, Haeg's Edible Estates project will replace the front lawns of nine single-family homes with food-producing vegetable gardens. The families have agreed to maintain the gardens, so the work is a permanent living installation....We're stuck with this idea that plants that produce food are ugly, and lawns that you have to pour chemicals on and mow are beautiful," says Haeg, who hopes his lawns can reverse that thinking.
Treehugger on the Sarkis Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at Hackensack University Medical Center:
[The Center realized that constructing and operating a building with environmental hazards can possibly result in basically a building that made people sick. And since they are dedicated to making people healthier, they wanted to create an environment that would heal. The new hospital not only meets U.S. Green Building Council guidelines for LEED but far exceeds them. They’ve installed systems that save energy and promote clean air and water and they also use environmentally responsible cleaning supplies, linens, medical equipment and even food for the patients. Specific examples include: formaldehyde-free wooden toys and PVC-free plastic toys for children, establishment of a rooftop garden to generate energy savings, cotton insulation made from pre-consumer recycled denim jeans and power receptacles are available in the parking garage for alternative power vehicles. And that’s just to name a few!
Sounds great. Now all we need is universal health care, so that people can afford to visit it.

In Washington, another dam is slated for demolition, and I say good riddance.

NASA engineer Tom Woodbridge thinks he's on the verge of a revolutionary advance in sea power:
His father's idea, to use the rocking motion of the waves to generate electricity, came from looking at his son's Slinky toy back in 1972. After noticing how easily it transferred energy, he thought, why not use something like the Slinky as a coil that rocks?

It's a radical departure from most attempts at ocean-based electric generators, which try to use the force of the waves to turn a wheel....Tom Woodbridge has a system that follows his father's principle of capitalizing on the rocking. But there's no Slinky. Think Pogo Stick inside a floating drum. The rocking motion of the waves pushes a long cylinder of magnets up and down a copper coil.
afghans for Afghans "is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan. This grassroots effort is inspired by Red Cross volunteers who made afghans, socks, slippers, and other items for soldiers and refugees during World Wars I and II and other times of crisis and need." You can also buy patterns, which will support women's literacy classes in Kabul. If you knit or crochet, or no someone who does, you could do worse than steer them to this site.

Last, via Shea Gunther, and purely for your aesthetic enjoyment, The Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated.
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a brilliant photographer who developed a method for producing color photographs without using color film in 1907 Russia....Sergei developed a camera that took three black and white photos in rapid succession shot through a red, green, and blue filter, leaving him, essentially, with three black and white images that are equivalent to the RBG Photoshop channels. Sergei then projected the three channels back through a red, gree, and blue filter on top of one another to get a color image.

The photos have a really dreamy and smooth quality to them and are definitely worth the click to check ‘em out.


Anonymous said...

Phila, thank you for the link to the beautiful Prokudin-Gorskii photographs. I just spent almost a half-hour being transported by these photos. For some reason, I have a fascination with Russian history and culture. "Natasha's Dance" by Orland Figes is a terrific cultural history of Russia and its birth as a nation.

Phila said...


You're very welcome...glad you liked 'em!