Tag Archives: earth

essence of life.

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 picture from a past solstice celebration

every year

one of my favorite things to teach and share with my class

is the story and traditions of the winter solstice

i get to play the sun

the children play the tilting earth and the seasons

who spin and dance and throw snow

as the season changes

the sun stays in the middle

offering extra light

to the other side of the earth now tilting toward it

knowing it will always return to them

even as our days grow shorter

they quietly rest on the ground

waiting, waiting

only to emerge

when the time is right

  happy to dance once more

in the light of the warm spring sun.

*notes: here is my recipe for the winter solstice, and many thanks to all for your low-tech special effects support of this performance: torn paper snowflakes made by the children, many smiles, a bit of dizziness, a sun doing an interpretive dance, a person to turn off and on the classroom lights at just the right moment, a flashlight, a yellow paper sun, a dj to play the music (‘carol of the bells’ by george winston, and ‘here comes the sun’ by the beatles) at just the right time, and a class full of kinder/whirling twirling planets throwing snow, lying down, and awakening as emerging new life in the spring when the sun returns. somehow it all falls into place, each year a bit differently, as is the way of the world. 

“spiritually, life is a festival, a celebration. joy is the essence of life.”

-agnivesh

in it.

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with the return of the school year

comes the return of our outdoor adventure days.

 

“we could have never loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”

-george eliot

 

 

sun.

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It’s hard not to see, but admittedly if someone wasn’t watching for the phenomenon that unfolded Friday morning, they could have definitely missed it. This does call into question what it means to be seeing the sun. According to the website timeanddate.com, while the claim is technically true, the number of people perceiving sunlight is a bit lower – about 93% of the world’s population.

“no mow,” said the bee.

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bee kind

“for this,
let gardens grow, where beelines end,
sighing in roses, saffron blooms, buddleia;
where bees pray on their knees, sing, praise
in pear trees, plum trees; bees
are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them.”
Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees

on earth day, and every day.

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kinder in their natural habitat capturing the ever-elusive giant stick

 

“live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,

taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the Earth.”

-henry david thoreau

who are the dinos in your neighborhood?

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is this midtown manhattan?
amazing interactive map shows you would dinosaurs roamed your neighborhood millions of years ago
facebook While most of us know that all sorts of prehistoric creatures once inhabited Earth, you might not realize which ones used to wander around your particular city. Thanks to this interactive map, you can easily find out. Type in your city name, and you’ll see it plotted on the globe, along with a list of species whose fossils have been discovered nearby. If you click on the name of a species, a new webpage will open with details, images, and a map that shows where else that species lived.
Omaha, Nebraska, for example, was once home to the pteranodon, the trinacromerum, and the mosasaurus  Those last two are both marine reptiles, meaning that Nebraska used to be underwater—which the globe will show you, too.

In addition to searching by city, you can also see what Earth looked like during a specific time period by choosing an option from the dropdown menu at the top. Choices range from 750 million years ago—the Cryogenian period, when glaciers abounded—to 0 million years ago, which is Earth as we know it today. Using a different dropdown menu on the right, you can view Earth during its many notable “firsts,” including “first land plants,” “first dinosaurs,” “first primates,” and more.

As CNN reports, the map was created by California-based paleontologist Ian Webster, who added to an existing model that mapped plate tectonics and used additional data from GPlates, another piece of plate tectonics software.

“It is meant to spark fascination and hopefully respect for the scientists that work every day to better understand our world and its past,” Webster told CNN. “It also contains fun surprises. For example: how the U.S. used to be split by a shallow sea, the Appalachians used to be very tall mountains comparable to the Himalayas, and that Florida used to be submerged.”

You can find other fun surprises by exploring the map yourself here. For the best experience, you’ll want to access the site from a desktop computer or tablet versus a smartphone.

 “observation: i can’t see a thing. conclusion: dinosaurs.”

-carl sagan

 

 

credits: cnn, mental floss, ellen gutosky, orla, getty images

wolfpack.

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This image of GPS tracking of multiple wolves in six different packs around Voyageurs National Park was created in the framework of the Voyageurs Wolf Project.  It is an excellent illustration of how much wolf packs in general avoid each other’s range.

In Voyageurs National Park a typical wolf pack territory is somewhere around 50-70 square miles but that can vary from year to year. So that’s about the size of the areas marked with the different colors. The white line marks the boundary of the national park.

Wolf packs generally avoid being around each other unless they are fighting for food that may be in short supply. When that occurs, they may engage in battles with other packs in order to continue have their claim on a given location as well as the food found within it.

Wolves may need to shift their territory due to human activity as well. When people clear out part of their natural habitat they may have to find a new route to get to their food sources. This can also create conflicts among the various wolf packs due to overstepping their bounds.

“for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

  • rudyard kipling

 

 

,image credit: thomas gable 

sources: voyageurs wolf project, wolfworlds

origami and chocolate.

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it’s important we each do our part to help Mother Earth

and here is a way we can all pitch in,

with two of my favorite things on this earth,

paper and chocolate.

you are welcome.

Japanese KitKats Are Replacing Plastic Packaging

with Origami Paper You Can Turn into Cranes!

From plant-based, bio-plastic Lego to Adidas’s first fully recyclable running shoe, companies worldwide are working hard to make their products and packaging more sustainable. Last year, food and drink manufacturer Nestle announced that it plans to use 100% recyclable packaging for its products by 2025. As part of that goal, nestle Japan recently released new packaging for its popular miniature KitKat chocolate bars, which will now be wrapped in origami paper instead of plastic.

“Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today,” Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider says “Tackling it requires a collective approach. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, re-use and recycle.” Japan is the biggest market for KitKats, with 4 million being sold every day. By swapping out the candy bar’s shiny plastic wrap for eco-friendly matte paper, Nestlé expects to cut down on roughly 380 tons of plastic each year.

The new packaging is not only good for the environment, but it’s fun too! Each KitKat bar will include instructions on how to fold a traditional origami crane—a symbol of hope and healing. Customers are encouraged to turn their trash into art, with the hope that the paper will remain in use for longer.

The environmentally-friendly packaging debuts with the most popular KitKat Mini flavors—original, matcha, and dark chocolate—but the positive change is just the beginning. Next year, Nestlé Japan plans to release paper bags for its normal-sized KitKat multipacks, and will roll out single-layer paper wrappers for individual KitKats in 2021.

“the visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.”

-malcolm gladwell

 

credits: mymodernmet.com, atlas obscure, emma taggart, nestles japan