Ooh, my favorite!


Summer Solstice
June 21, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, Simply Amazing

Live it up! Today is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. If only the weather knew this and was just a touch warmer.

I figured a good way to celebrate the sun setting at 8:34 PM here in SF was with some lovely images from National Geographic. (Seattle’s sunset time is 9:10 PM, you lucky dogs.)

See what time sunset will be in your city here.

Instabilities in the sun’s magnetic field led to an explosion visible as a loop in the lower left.

Plasma pushes and drags magnetic fields into lines that cause these loops that can reach as high as ten earths.

A quiet day on the surface of the sun, no storms, just these lovely loops.



Rights for Future Generations
June 10, 2010, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Clean, Green, Nature, Simply Amazing

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Another one of my childhood heroes celebrates an anniversary today. A decorated French Naval officer, co-developer of the “aqua-lung,” the grandfather of underwater exploration, and a true conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau would turn 100 today!

Joyeux anniversaire le Commandant Cousteau!

His Rights for Future Generations campaign is something very dear to my heart; it’s because of his work that I am so passionate about clean water and working to save our oceans from pollution. My heart is heavy recalling the day of his passing in 1997, but it’s most heavy knowing that on this day, in this year, we are fighting to save our oceans on a bigger scale than ever before.

I’ve been following his grandson Philippe Cousteau as he is leading cleaning efforts in the Gulf of Mexico (he was the first diver to enter the polluted water). Please visit his blog and his non-profit EarthEcho to see how you can help clean up the gulf, but also to see how the Cousteau legacy is still alive and well.

P.S. – Check out Google’s homepage today to see another great logo tribute.



Remembering Jim Henson
May 17, 2010, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Simply Amazing, Smile
(c)Bernard Gotfryd

If you do one thing today, it should be this…you MUST check out what some of the writers at GeekDad have pulled together in remembrance of Jim Henson’s passing 20 years ago.

I grew up watching obsessing over Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street, and when I got a bit older I would watch The Muppet Show reruns on Nick at Night. I still get teary-eyed when I think about hearing the news that he had passed away. You know when people ask which five people you’d have over for dinner, alive or dead? It’s always so hard to answer in that moment, but I will always have a spot saved for Jim Henson.

All of the videos from his memorial in 1990 are posted over at GeekDad, but here’s a favorite of mine with Big Bird singing It’s Not Easy Being Green. These are probably some of the most touching and meaningful moments you’ll ever see, so please, please, please check them out.



RARE
May 17, 2010, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Clean, Gift guide, Green, Nature, Simply Amazing

National Geographic and photographer Joel Sartore present RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, the result of a three year investigation on the nation’s disappearing plants and animals. For over 2o years Sartore’s been photographing for National Geographic, focusing on endangered species and land issues, so this book promises to be amazing!

Have you seen the Planet Earth episode where the polar bear swims endlessly searching for food? I was a wreck at the end, but it reaffirmed why I choose to live as clean as possible. See the list that Joel has compiled below to help each of us make a positive impact. Oh, and by the way, if you’re still using chemicals to treat your lawn you should be slapped! (I’ll end it at that, although I could go on.)

Threatened – Polar Bear

NOW EXTINCT – Bryn, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit

Threatened – Bog turtle

Want to know what you can do to help? Here are a few simple, concrete action steps that you can take to help save endangered species.

1. Be an informed citizen. Learn what the environmental issues are in your town, state, nation and even globally.

2. Reduce, reuse, and recycle whatever goods you buy. Try to leave the smallest ecological footprint that you can each day.

3. Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Better yet, take public transportation or ride a bike once in awhile. If everyone did their part, there would be no need for us to drill in the last wild places left on Earth, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

4. Don’t use chemicals on your lawn. They end up polluting the soil and water. And think twice before turning your sprinklers on. It’s a waste of water, something that is becoming scarcer every year. You’ll save time, money, and prevent pollution because you won’t have to mow nearly as often. Around the U.S., many citizens have planted native vegetation instead of bluegrass, resulting in a minimal need for water and care.

5. Support groups that are trying to do the right thing such as The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund. Locally, the Conservation Alliance of the Great Plains does good work, supporting education and advocacy here in the Heartland. Joel Sartore is a founding member of this group.

6. Vote. We citizens tend to get the government we deserve. We elect politicians to represent our interests. Only when the majority of voters respect and care about nature will we begin to see the political changes needed to start saving the earth.


Threatened – Atlantic loggerhead turtle

Endangered – Hibiscus flower

-  All images via Joel Sartore. Please visit his site to see more beautiful photos!

-  Buy the book here.



Giant solar waterfall for 2016 Olympics
May 11, 2010, 10:44 am
Filed under: Simply Amazing

One of the centerpieces for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may be this colossal solar-powered waterfall. While this is just one of the entries I can’t even imagine how this could be topped; I’m completely in awe by these concept drawings and its claims.

The waterfall will have a platform of solar panels will harvest energy to pull sea water up to its top. The resulting falling water will power turbines that can produce a constant stream of energy to be used at night and also by the city of Rio!

Some of the fun stuff will include an amphitheater, auditorium, cafeteria, and shops on the ground level. If you want to head to the top, a leisurely climb through the inside and you can take in the beauty of Rio de Janeiro and try your hand at bungee jumping.

The concept and design come from Swiss architecture firm RAFAA. And while this would truly be an awesome sight, they would like it to be more than a landmark:

“The aim of this project is to ask how the classic concept of a landmark can be reconsidered. It is less about an expressive, iconic architectural form; rather, it is a return to content and actual, real challenges for the imminent post-oil-era. This project represents a message of a society facing the future; thus, it is the representation of an inner attitude. Our project, standing in the tradition of “a building/city as a machine”, shall provide energy both to the city of Rio de Janeiro and its citizens while using natural resources.”

Brilliant!

[via LikeCool]



The Dubai Fountain
May 4, 2010, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Simply Amazing, Videos

Check out the beautiful Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest.



Eyjafjallajökull video
April 28, 2010, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Nature, Simply Amazing, Videos

Video of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull. In addition to the smoke and spewing lava you can see the shockwaves! This truly is a living planet, kinda gives you shivers.



Bob’s Red Mill
March 31, 2010, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Food, Organic, Simply Amazing

This is a great story!

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Products has been a staple in my kitchen for years because of their awesome selection of organic, whole grain, and gluten-free products. (Flaxseed meal, whole wheat flour, and polenta corn grits are a few favorites.) The name may not grab you, but I bet the label will seem familiar. With over 400 products and over 30 years in the business, chances are you’ve bought something or at least seen it on the shelves.

Ok, here’s the coolest part…

On Bob’s 81st birthday last month, it was announced that an Employee Stock Ownership Plan would be created, making Bob’s Red Mill an employee-owned company, even with several opportunities to sell for much, much more. I love stuff like this! Somehow I can’t wait to restock.



Discovery Channel’s “life” series
March 24, 2010, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Nature, Simply Amazing, Uncategorized

Without cable TV I’m a bit slow to hear about the latest programming news, and while I don’t miss television there are some instances where I wish I could flip it on and watch something like Discovery Channels new Life series. The follow-up to the masterpiece that was Planet Earth promises new filming innovations and of course beautiful scenes, interesting creatures, and intense sequences.

It premiered last weekend, but you can catch it this week as well. I beyond adored the Planet Earth series, so I can’t wait for this to be released on Blu-ray.

Pre-order through Amazon: Blu-ray, DVD.

[Images via BBC]



Animal camouflage
March 23, 2010, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, Simply Amazing

The Conservation Report has the coolest sets of animal camouflage on their blog. I’ve picked a few favorites to share with you, but be sure to click to see more from each of the photographers who were kind enough to share their images on flickr.

There’s a caterpillar here…

Image via WohinAuswandern

This humming bird is easier to spot, but so pretty among the flowers…

Image via Danny Perez Photography

I’m not a spider kind of girl, but have to give credit to the crab spider…

Image via Crfullmoon

The rare pygmy sea horse, just discovered not too long ago. Yes, he was that good at hiding…

[via Raymond]

[via Conservation Report]




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