More often than not, when we tune in to cable or fire up the Web, we are staring into the mirror, not looking out a window. If we did look out a window, we’d see government officials talking past and around one another as they all fall down a flight of stairs, perhaps a perfect reflection of the people they represent.
This short piece by David Carr is very much worth reading. He essentially calls out the American people and their representatives for filling their lives with news suitable only to their own opinions- stuck in our ways and rarely looking through the window to see what else is out there. Something I’m guilty of- and something we all should make a conscious effort to avoid.
It’s an issue that has led in part to the government shutdown. The same shutdown that is currently destroying my opportunity to join a research team in Antarctica and crippling our entire nation’s scientific endeavors there. Add it to the list of complaints about our leadership at the moment.
The international space station is one of humanity’s great engineering triumphs.
Succinct article about NASA and the future of the ISS from the Washington Post- although it doesn’t quite do justice to the amount of international collaboration involved. Still, it is well illustrated with beautiful pictures- new dream job? NASA support diver at JSC.
In other news, after a busy summer teaching sailing I’ve got some big plans for traveling this winter so keep posted for pictures and updates!
After some releases here and there, King Krule is set to release a proper debut album. The thing is titled 6 Feet Beneath The Moon and will be released on August 24 on the prestigious XL Recordings along with True Panther. Mixed by Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Deptford Goth, How To Dress Well), the King heads into an even more lo-fi direction with the first taste Easy Easy off the record.
Christopher Alberts, the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Geographic Channels, told me that they have “one of the best policies there is”, but refused to send it to me or tell me anything about it.
Why are these factual networks, whose survival depends on building trust with their audiences, so reluctant to clarify their ethics policies with respect to wildlife?
What does it mean for conservation if high-rating shows on leading channels are portraying wildlife in a negative, seemingly misleading way to millions of viewers worldwide? And why are so few people saying anything about it?
The Guradian’s Adam Welz eviscerates NatGeo, Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channel’s horrific violence against animals, including shooting bears, wolves, wolverines, crocodiles, snakes, and many other animals in full view of the camera.
Welz’s piece struck a cord with me this weekend. This is not education, it’s promotion of fear of nature for ratings and money. It’s exploitation to the vilest degree. I believe these channels have to answer for this bizarre blood lust. The Guardian’s environmental blog
The soundtrack to The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann’s latest high-end refurbishing of a lived-in classic, doesn’t try to re-imagine Jazz Age tunes in a modern context. Instead, it attempts to transplant the sensibility of the 1920s to the hip-hop era, with genre-busting collaborations overseen by Jay-Z.
I have watched with a kind of petrified fascination in recent years as the world creeps closer to what looks to me like disastrous climate change. The poles are melting. Ocean levels are rising. The face of the planet is torn by unprecedented natural disasters. States of emergency have become so routine that governors always seem to be proclaiming one. Do they have drafts of proclamations on file?
The political responses to this condition seem to fall along party lines. Democrats think legislation is needed Republicans don’t want the feds interfering with private enterprise. Vested interests weigh in. Pork barrel projects are protected by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Washington fiddles. Earth burns.
I get stirred up more than many people, because I see so many documentaries. Yes, they’re “biased.” There’s much less motivation for an “unbiased” documentary. Docs are usually made by people who have something they think you should know. There is little motivation for objectivity, something people forget when yet another doc comes along. And there are so many causes! Genetically modified crops! Chemical fertilizers! Trademarked genomes! The downside to wind power! An explosive-blowing doc like Chasing Ice comes along, and hardly causes a stir.
I write an entry. It rounds up the usual comments. We’re stuck. Just today, however, a glimmer of hope shone on the political front. I read on Bloomberg:
“President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.”
“Consider.” Not the most electrifying word I can imagine. Yet consider the response. I read on: “It’s got us very freaked out,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Southern Co. The standards, which constitute guidance for agencies and not new regulations, are set to be issued in the coming weeks, according to lawyers briefed by administration officials.
“Freaked out.” You know what has me freaked out? I consider it a real possibility that millions now living will die as a result of the interests of the National Association of Manufacturers and its 11,000 members.