Microbes and Humans: The Science of Living Together

From The Forum, BBC World Service.

“The Obama administration recently announced it will spend over a hundred million dollars on deepening our knowledge of the human microbiome – the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other organisms which make their home in and on our bodies. Bridget Kendall is joined by three people whose work in different ways enriches our appreciation of the world of human microbiota – the epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse, microbiology educator Christine Marizzi and gut flora researcher Jeroen Raes.”

Hear here.

(Photo: The NYC Biome MAP part of the Collective Urban Biome MAP project. Credit: Genspace NYC and The DNA Learning Center)

Thanks again to DMF.




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Filed under Animals, plants, biopolitics

Conscious Decoupling

by Meg Holden (from Center for Humans & Nature)

The means to stave off ecological disaster from an unstable climate with much more energy in it, without utter shock, hysteria, and abdication of our North American ways of life, is to decouple economic prosperity from resource use. Crazed, desperately inventive scientists, cloistered away in parts of the world like Snowmass, Colorado, and Wuppertal, Germany, have come up with equations to help us achieve this decoupling. Double the efficiency of the resources you use, cut overall resource use in half, and then swap out 50 percent of the remainder of energy used, for renewable sources.

Continue reading here.

See the City Creatures blog here.

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Filed under Climate Change, economics

Environmental Graphiti: art meets science

Artist Alisa Singer


“This series represents some of the compelling facts about climate change based on the artist’s source of graphs, charts or maps.”

[Please click here to see data source.]




Read more and see more artwork here.

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Filed under Art, Climate Change

Shifting toward an Ethics of Sanctuary

Shifting toward an Ethics of Sanctuary

“If Harambe and his gorilla family lived in sanctuary rather than on display at the Cincinnati Zoo, he would still be alive. No curious child would have been in a position to crawl into the enclosure and no care staff would have had to make the horrible decision to kill a highly endangered gorilla. The gorillas would interact with each other and caregivers when they decided to; would exercise their bodies and minds as they wanted; and would be free to make choices about how to spend their time. Many respectable sanctuaries report on the personalities and interests of the animals who live there, so the public can get to know them. Some sanctuaries have live webcams. Supporters may be invited to pitch in on site and special educational activities might be arranged, but the animals decide whether they want to be seen by the occasional visitors. Harambe’s curiosity could have been safely peaked in such an environment and he would have been able to continue to develop into a majestic silverback adult.”

Continue reading below.

Source: Shifting toward an Ethics of Sanctuary


Filed under Animals, Environmental Ethics

Comment article by Aseem Shrivastava on the death of a gorilla in Cincinnati Zoo: A dumb primate?

“An old man can cry, too. He was a special guy in my life… a gentle giant. Harambe was my heart. It’s like losing a member of the family… I raised him from a baby, he was a sweet cute little guy. He

Source: Comment article by Aseem Shrivastava on the death of a gorilla in Cincinnati Zoo: A dumb primate?

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The Weaving: Artwork Consumes Waste Materials


Angela Guest

The Weaving is a processual, impulsive, lifelong work with no set out design. I add to it when I can and with whatever fabric I can get my hands on, from friends and from myself. An addition to contemporary textile work, it is experimental and expressive, lacking any sense of tradition or control. With my roots as a painter, I attempt to treat fabric like paint; a strip of fabric is not too different from a stroke of paint, and an oil painting can become part of a weaving.

Through the large consumption of unwanted clothing and all the memories attached, The Weaving has evolved into a looping, folding monster and odd character in my life. It is adaptable. Wherever it goes it shape shifts to its setting and finds a home there. Splayed on my apartment floor, draped over a wall divider at the IAMI Showcase, placed on hooks in the capstone classroom, and nailed to the wall everywhere else. The goal is for The Weaving to get shown in as many settings as possible so that the public can keep track of its progress in size, in complexity, and in accumulation of memory.

How you’re seeing The Weaving now is only a step in its life, it is a project in flux with the potential to keep growing even after my death.


Weave early

Two Halves Merging Weave

weave monster betterWeave at IAMI



Angela is an oil painter living and working in Chicago, IL and is studying art with minors in Anthropology and Art History at DePaul University. She is a gallery monitor at DePaul Art Museum, an intern at Defibrillator Gallery, and the student curator at the DePaul Art Department for the 2015-2016 school year.

Angela has shown her work three times in the DePaul annual group show, IAMI, and has also had the honor to show two of her paintings in a 2015 juried show, hosted by the University Club of Chicago. Her work has recently been published in the 35th and 36th edition of Crook & Folly.



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Filed under Art, Urban Ecology

The Mythology and Anthropology of Climate Change

From our good friend Bill Jordan at Environmental Prospect.  Go see what they’re up to here.



Shakespeare’s fairy queen asserts—in fact, takes for granted—that there is a robust, causal connection between the conduct of ritual and the order of nature. If you neglect the rituals on which the order of nature depends—or if your estranged husband interferes in them—then “the seasons alter”. Of course, this is a fairy story. But there are good reasons for taking fairy stories seriously, and that seems to be the case here.

To see why, let’s jump ahead four centuries to take a look at the work of anthropologist E. N. Anderson. Anderson, who teaches at the University of California-Riverside, has spent his career studying the ethnoecology of traditional societies, including extensive fieldwork in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia and with the Yucatec Maya in Mexico, and less extensive studies in some two dozen other countries, including Australia, Madagascar, Scotland and Ireland, Turkey, northern California and the northwest coast of the U.S. and British Columbia. This gives him a seriously in-depth, cross-cultural perspective on how, to borrow a phrase from Jared Diamond, societies choose to succeed or fail in the essential task of achieving a sustainable relationship with their environment. This perspective, elaborated in three books published over the past 20 years, is in remarkable agreement with Titania’s insistence on the necessity of ritual.

Read more here.

See scene for A Midsummers Night’s Dream produced by Bill Jordan here.

Image: banner from Environmetnal Prospect.

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Filed under Art, Climate Change, Uncategorized