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So what if we’re doomed? (Down the Dark Mountain) — High Country News
" Kingsnorth embraced Jeffers’ inhumanism, and Tompkins his ideas on beauty. But the immensity of the ecocide demands more. Our grief comes from the takers and their modern machine, which is one of violence and injury. If our sanity is to survive the ecocide, we must address these two pains in tandem: grief for the loss of things to come and the injustices that surround us.

We can do this through beauty and justice, which are closer together than they first appear."



"However, he is also arguing for integrity, which is close to Jeffers’ ideal of beauty: “However ugly the parts appear the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand / Is an ugly thing, and man dissevered from the earth and stars and his history ... for contemplation or in fact ... / Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is / Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of the universe.”

Perhaps, then, the way through the ecocide is through the pursuit of integrity, a duty toward rebalancing the whole, toward fairness, in both senses of the word."



"This is no cause for despair; it is a reminder to be meaningful, to be makers instead of takers, to be of service to something — beauty, justice, loved ones, strangers, lilacs, worms."
apocalypse  climatechange  ecology  anthropocene  additivism  2017  briancalvert  paulkingsnorth  environment  environmentalism  california  poetry  justive  beauty  via:kissane  balance  earth  wholeness  integrity  robinsonjeffers  darkmountain  multispecies  posthumanism  morethanhuman  josephcampbell  ecocide  edricketts  davidbrower  sierraclub  johnstainbeck  anseladmas  outdoors  nature  humanity  humanism  edwardabbey  hawks  animals  wildlife  interconnected  inhumanism  elainescarry  community  communities  socialjustice  culture  chile  forests  refugees  violence  douglastompkins  nickbowers  shaunamurray  ta-nehisicoates  humanrights  qigong  interconnectivity 
february 2018 by robertogreco
The Black Outdoors: Fred Moten & Saidiya Hartman at Duke University - YouTube
"The Black Outdoors: Humanities Futures after Property and Possession seeks to interrogate the relation between race, sexuality, and juridical and theological ideas of self-possession, often evidenced by the couplet of land-ownership and self-regulation, a couplet predicated on settler colonialism and historically racist, sexist, homophobic and classist ideas of bodies fit for (self-) governance.

The title of the working group and speaker series points up the ways blackness figures as always outside the state, unsettled, unhomed, and unmoored from sovereignty in its doubled-form of aggressively white discourses on legitimate citizenship on one hand and the public/private divide itself on the other. The project will address questions of the "black outdoors" in relationship to literary, legal, theological, philosophical, and artistic works, especially poetry and visual arts.

Co-convened by J. Kameron Carter (Duke Divinity School/Black Church Studies) and Sarah Jane Cervenak (African American and African Diaspora Studies, UNC-G)"



[Fred Moten (31:00)]

"Sometimes I feel like I just haven't been able to… well, y'all must feel this… somehow I just can't quite figure out a good way to make myself clear when it comes to certain things. But I really feel like it's probably not my fault. I don't know that it's possible to be clear when it comes to these kinds of things. I get scared about saying certain kinds of stuff because I feel like sometimes it can seem really callous, and I don't want to seem that way because it's not because I don't feel shit or because I don't care. But let's talk about it in terms of what it would mean to live in a way that would reveal or to show no signs of human habitation.

Obviously there's a field or a space or a constraint, a container, a bounded space. Because every time you were saying unbounded, J., I kept thinking, "Is that right?" I mean I always remember Chomsky used to make this really interesting distinction that I don' think I ever fully understood between that which was bounded, but infinite and that which was unbounded, but finite. So another way to put it, if it's unbounded, it's still finite. And there's a quite specific and often quite brutal finitude that structures whatever is going on within the general, if we can speak of whatever it is to be within the general framework of the unbounded.

The whole point about escape is that it's an activity. It's not an achievement. You don't ever get escaped. And what that means is whatever you're escaping from is always after you. It's always on you, like white on rice, so to speak. But the thing about it is that I've been interested in, but it's hard to think about and talk about, would be that we can recognize the absolute horror, the unspeakable, incalculable terror and horror that accompanies the necessity of not leaving a trace of human inhabitation. And then there's the whole question of what would a life be that wasn't interested in leaving a trace of human habitation? So, in church, just because my friend Ken requested it, fuck the human. Fuck human inhabitation.

It's this necessity… The phrase I use sometimes and I always think about specifically in relation to Fannie Lou Hamer — because I feel like it's me just giving a spin on a theoretical formulation that she made in practice — is "to refuse that which has been refused to you." That's what I'm interested in. And that doesn't mean that what's at stake is some kind of blind, happy, celebratory attitude towards all of the beautiful stuff we have made under constraint. I love all the beautiful stuff we've made under constraint, but I'm pretty sure I would all the beautiful stuff we'd make out from under constraint better.

But there's no way to get to that except through this. We can't go around this. We gotta fight through this. And that means that anybody who thinks that they can understand how terrible the terror has been without understanding how beautiful the beauty has been against the grain of that terror is wrong. there is no calculus of the terror that can make a proper calculation without reference to that which resists it. It's just not possible."
fredmoten  saidiyahartman  blackness  2016  jkameroncarter  fredricjameson  webdubois  sarahjanecervenak  unhomed  unsettled  legibility  statelessness  illegibility  sovereignty  citizenship  governance  escape  achievement  life  living  fannielouhamer  resistance  refusal  terror  beauty  cornelwest  fugitives  captives  captivity  academia  education  grades  grading  degrading  fugitivity  language  fellowship  conviviality  outdoors  anarchy  anarchism  constraints  slavery  oppression  race  racism  confidence  poverty  privilege  place  time  bodies  body  humans  mobility  possessions 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Tricia Wang en Instagram: “Sweden has a law called #allemansrätten translated to "everyone man's right" that allows you to access, hike and camp anywhere in nature…”
"Sweden has a law called #allemansrätten translated to "everyone man's right" that allows you to access, hike and camp anywhere in nature, even if it's privately owned, as long as you can't be seen by the owner. This makes the forests of Sweden even more amazing!"
words  sweden  swedish  property  triciawang  2017  ownership  rights  outdoors  nature 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Sonnet: World's Most Advanced Off-Grid Communication Device by Sonnet — Kickstarter
"Send text messages, voice recordings, images, and GPS locations on your phone without cellular coverage, satellite, or Internet access."
meshnetworks  outdoors  communication  hardware  via:clivethompson  mobile  decentralization 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Welcome to Elkus Ranch - UC Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center
"The Richard J. Elkus Ranch is an environmental education center providing unique hands-on learning experiences for Greater San Francisco Bay Area youth. Elkus Ranch is the property of the University of California and was a generous gift from Mr and Mrs. Richard J. Elkus in 1975.

The Elkus family envisioned that the Ranch would provide the University with an opportunity to conduct educational outdoor programs for urban, disabled and inner-city youth. By offering environmental science, California history, animal care and agricultural programs that are scheduled year round, that goal has been achieved.

Located on the central California coast, in Half Moon Bay, the ranch offers diverse programs including those specifically designed for students with special needs, allowing participants to learn about the inter-relationship of the environment and themselves in a rural setting.

In addition, the Elkus family felt that the Ranch would make it possible for youth with disabilities or financial hardships to work, play and learn together with youth from different backgrounds, so that both would benefit by a new understanding of other people as well as by the learning experiences gained at the Ranch.

Each year, Elkus Ranch serves an increasing number of young people with the goal of continuing to provide meaningful learning experiences that will enrich their lives and provide opportunities for growth and development.

Elkus Ranch hosts more than 6,000 youth and adults each year from all over the San Francisco Bay area including: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. Elkus Ranch invites all children to explore the wonders of this outdoor classroom.

The Ranch offers a myriad of educational programs and activities for children of all ages and ethnicities. Individuals and groups participate in day and overnight field trips, community service projects, internships and volunteer opportunities."
classideas  outdoors  environment  education  bayarea  halfmoonbay 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing | TED Talk | TED.com
"Number one: the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is both a precious, unfathomably beautiful gift, and it's impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. …

Number two: almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes — including you. …

Three: there is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you're waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind. This is the most horrible truth, and I so resent it. But it's an inside job, and we can't arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers. You can't run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero's journey. You have to release them. It's disrespectful not to. And if it's someone else's problem, you probably don't have the answer, anyway. …

number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together. They are much more like you than you would believe, so try not to compare your insides to other people's outsides. It will only make you worse than you already are.

Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them or get anyone sober. What helped me get clean and sober 30 years ago was the catastrophe of my behavior and thinking. So I asked some sober friends for help, and I turned to a higher power. One acronym for God is the "gift of desperation," G-O-D, or as a sober friend put it, by the end I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.

So God might mean, in this case, "me running out of any more good ideas.

While fixing and saving and trying to rescue is futile, radical self-care is quantum, and it radiates out from you into the atmosphere like a little fresh air. It's a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," just smile obliquely like Mona Lisa and make both of you a nice cup of tea. Being full of affection for one's goofy, self-centered, cranky, annoying self is home. It's where world peace begins.

Number five: chocolate with 75 percent cacao is not actually a food. …

writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little. When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn't started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads — for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads — and he said to my brother, "Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese."

So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts. If you don't know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should've behaved better. …

Seven: publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine. The most degraded and evil people I've ever known are male writers who've had huge best sellers. And yet, returning to number one, that all truth is paradox, it's also a miracle to get your work published, to get your stories read and heard. Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside of you. It can't. It won't. But writing can. So can singing in a choir or a bluegrass band. So can painting community murals or birding or fostering old dogs that no one else will.

Number eight: families. Families are hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. Again, see number one. …

Nine: food. Try to do a little better. I think you know what I mean.

Number 10 — grace. Grace is spiritual WD-40, or water wings. The mystery of grace is that God loves Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin and me exactly as much as He or She loves your new grandchild. Go figure.

The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and heals our world. To summon grace, say, "Help," and then buckle up. Grace finds you exactly where you are, but it doesn't leave you where it found you. And grace won't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, regrettably. But the phone will ring or the mail will come and then against all odds, you'll get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness. It helps us breathe again and again and gives us back to ourselves, and this gives us faith in life and each other. And remember — grace always bats last.

Eleven: God just means goodness. It's really not all that scary. It means the divine or a loving, animating intelligence, or, as we learned from the great "Deteriorata," "the cosmic muffin." A good name for God is: "Not me." Emerson said that the happiest person on Earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot and look up. My pastor said you can trap bees on the bottom of mason jars without lids because they don't look up, so they just walk around bitterly bumping into the glass walls. Go outside. Look up. Secret of life.

And finally: death. Number 12. Wow and yikes. It's so hard to bear when the few people you cannot live without die. You'll never get over these losses, and no matter what the culture says, you're not supposed to. We Christians like to think of death as a major change of address, but in any case, the person will live again fully in your heart if you don't seal it off. Like Leonard Cohen said, "There are cracks in everything, and that's how the light gets in." And that's how we feel our people again fully alive.

Also, the people will make you laugh out loud at the most inconvenient times, and that's the great good news. But their absence will also be a lifelong nightmare of homesickness for you. Grief and friends, time and tears will heal you to some extent. Tears will bathe and baptize and hydrate and moisturize you and the ground on which you walk.

Do you know the first thing that God says to Moses? He says, "Take off your shoes." Because this is holy ground, all evidence to the contrary. It's hard to believe, but it's the truest thing I know. When you're a little bit older, like my tiny personal self, you realize that death is as sacred as birth. And don't worry — get on with your life. Almost every single death is easy and gentle with the very best people surrounding you for as long as you need. You won't be alone. They'll help you cross over to whatever awaits us. As Ram Dass said, "When all is said and done, we're really just all walking each other home."

I think that's it, but if I think of anything else, I'll let you know."
via:austinkleon  life  living  writing  grace  2017  success  creativity  families  brokenness  advice  parenting  howwewrite  publication  goodness  god  worship  nature  outdoors  ralfaldoemerson  death 
june 2017 by robertogreco
This is what you shall do by Walt Whitman | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."

[via: https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/869982027654733824
https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/868266858633457664 ]
waltwhitman  leavesofgrass  manifestos  god  life  living  wealth  integrity  relationships  nature  canon  unlearning  learning  neoteny  deschoooling  unschooling  freedom  criticalthinking  unknowing  humility  outdoors 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Running Free in Germany’s Outdoor Preschools - The New York Times
"Robin Hood Waldkindergarten, which opened in 2005, is one of more than 1,500 waldkitas, or “forest kindergartens,” in Germany; Berlin alone has about 20. Most have opened in the last 15 years and are usually located in the city’s parks, with a bare-bones structure serving as a sort of home base, but others, like Robin Hood, rely on public transportation to shuttle their charges daily out into the wilderness, where they spend most of the day, regardless of weather. Toys, typically disparaged at waldkitas, are replaced by the imaginative use of sticks, rocks and leaves. A 2003 Ph.D. dissertation by Peter Häfner at Heidelberg University showed that graduates of German forest kindergartens had a “clear advantage” over the graduates of regular kindergartens, performing better in cognitive and physical ability, as well as in creativity and social development.

The American journalist Richard Louv, who coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods,” is cited often by Robin Hood staff, as is “Coyote’s Guide to Connecting With Nature,” by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown. (“Savage Park,” by Amy Fusselman, is another book that chronicles uninhibited play and was inspired by a visit to an adventure playground in Tokyo.) The pedagogical philosophy of waldkitas, which privileges outdoor play and hands-on environmental learning, comes originally from Scandinavia, but, as one teacher put it to me, “they don’t make a big fuss about it like they do here.” The trend’s non-Teutonic origins are somewhat surprising: There might be nothing “more German” than a state-funded preschool based primarily in a forest.

Germany has nearly three times as much protected land as the U.S., proportionate to the countries’ sizes, a nontrivial fact that highlights the way much of the country thinks about nature and its role in the emotional health of its citizens. “It’s terrible that kids today know all about technology but nothing about the little bird outside their window,” Peters said, gesturing out toward the woods and sounding like any number of quotable Germans, from Goethe to Beethoven to Bismarck, all of whom have rhapsodized on the psychic benefits of spending time in the forest. He continued: “In life, bad things happen — you lose your job or your partner or everyone just hates you — but you’ll always have this.”"



"THERE ARE SCATTERINGS of forest kindergartens in the U.S. as well as in the U.K. Even in Japan and South Korea, where education is famously strict, waldkitas are becoming increasingly popular. They have spread mostly through word-of-mouth among parents. And in Germany, it’s not just the wealthy — or the eccentric — who send their children. Like all other preschools in Berlin, tuition at Robin Hood is covered by the government for kids aged 2 through 6 (apart from a 100 euro per month fee because it’s a private school). New York City preschools can cost upward of $40,000 per year."
forestschools  preschool  schools  education  learning  children  germany  parenting  2017  nature  richardlouv  sfsh  amyfusselman  peterhäfner  outdoors  nyc  southkorea  japan  uk  berlin 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Why Dogs Belong Off-Leash in the Outdoors | Outside Online
"If the owners are responsible, the presence of off-leash dogs can actually make the outdoors a better place"



"Responsible Dog Ownership

“I am a huge believer in enforcement,” says Bekoff, arguing that the best way to retain the privilege to walk your dog off-leash in a place like Boulder is to obey the rules—and have a reason to do so. “You need both the carrot and the stick to alter human behavior,” he continues. Having your dog off-leash means you need to be responsible.

There absolutely are places that dogs should not be off-leash, of course. And there are places dogs should not be at all. But there are also areas where human children should not be permitted to wander unsupervised and areas where humans should not tread at all. But just like laws that govern people are written to respect the decision-making powers of reasonable men, laws that govern dogs should also allow for the reasonable man.

I’m not about to let Wiley run amok in a sensitive bird nesting site or let him loose on a beach full of elephant seals. In fact, please give me a sign warning of those things. But on a backpacking trip, while camping, or just spending time in the mountains, I do want him to be off-leash. He’s happier that way, so I’m happier, too. And I don’t want that freedom to be limited by blanket legislation, personal prejudice, or fear.

It is the burden of any dog owner or caretaker to be responsible and considerate. Just like Americans traveling abroad, each of us is an ambassador for our culture. Every time someone steps in dog poop, that’s someone who’s going to thing negatively about dogs. Anyone who’s ever been bitten is going to feel even worse about them.

You know the saying “that’s why we can’t have nice things”? That’s how I feel every time I see a dog barking incessantly, every time I see dog poop laying around on a trail or sidewalk, and every time an armada of untrained chihuahuas attempts to kill Wiley. They never succeed, obviously, and Wiley is convinced they’re just playing, but a bad dog is the product of a bad dog owner. If you and I want to be able to take our dog places, then it’s up to us to make sure the dog is a positive thing, not a negative. There is no excuse: train your damn dog. And pick up his poop.

Want a real villain in this story of pets in conflict with nature? Domestic cats are reportedly killing 4 billion animals per year in the United States and are solely responsible for the extinction of at least 33 bird species. It’s cats, not dogs, that are our real enemies."
dogs  animals  pets  multispecies  outdoors  wessiler  2016  nature  wildlife 
may 2017 by robertogreco
People Of Color And Being Outside In Nature : Code Switch : NPR
"As the weather teeters between 1997 DJ Jazzy Jeff and 2002 Nelly, we've been spending a lot of time staring out the window, wishing to be anywhere but inside: the beach, the pool, the basketball court, Grand Teton National Park.

Well, maybe not that last one. Truth is, people of color aren't heading to national parks in droves. In fact, according to the National Park Service, last year about 80 percent of all national parks visitors, volunteers and staff were white.

And as this Funny or Die video gets at, REI-inspired activities like mountain biking, skiing and whitewater rafting don't really pull in the POCs, either.

But hold on a sec. People of color hang out outside all the time. Aren't we the champions of cookouts, supreme at summer block parties? Critics of anti-loitering laws say they're aimed at keeping us from hanging outside too much, and Mexicans and Mexican-Americans make up the vast majority of people who work the land for food.

Oh, right. Those last two are where it starts getting complicated. There are real reasons, both historical and contemporary, that can make stepping outside in your free time while black or brown a politically charged move.

At the same time, there are some really interesting organizations and individuals pushing the boundaries of what "being outdoorsy" looks like, and we wanted to know what they're up to.

So join us for the Code Switch Podcast, Episode 2: Made For You And Me, as we explore what it means to be a person of color outdoors. Listen as you hike, garden, or stare blankly at the walls of your windowless cubicle, waiting for the weekend."
outdoors  us  race  bikes  biking  2016  losangeles  sanfrancisco  pasadena  swimming  swimmingpools  camping  nationalparks  immigration  refugees  gardens  adrianflorido  shereenmarisolmeraji  leahdonnella 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Get out now
“GET OUT NOW. Not just outside, but beyond the trap of the programmed electronic age so gently closing around so many people…. Go outside, move deliberately, then relax, slow down, look around. Do not jog. Do not run…. Instead pay attention to everything that abuts the rural road, the city street, the suburban boulevard. Walk. Stroll. Saunter. Ride a bike, and coast along a lot. Explore…. Abandon, even momentarily, the sleek modern technology that consumes so much time and money now…. Go outside and walk a bit, long enough to forget programming, long enough to take in and record new surroundings…. Flex the mind, a little at first, then a lot. Savor something special. Enjoy the best-kept secret around—the ordinary, everyday landscape that rewards any explorer, that touches any explorer with magic…all of it is free for the taking, for the taking in. Take it. take it in, take in more every weekend, every day, and quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it. Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.”

—John Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic
johnstilgoe  austinkleon  walking  noticing  looking  observing  seeing  exploration  landscape  attention  serendipity  outside  outdoors 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Natural Atlas · Topo Map
"Map and guide to the outdoors built by the people out in it. Explore 1,000,000+ waterfalls, campsites, trails, and more."



"About Us

Natural Atlas is a platform for outdoor knowledge. We want to build great maps and tools for navigating and learning about the outdoor world.

Community Matters

A local who goes out hiking on their free time is going to know vastly more about the land than a single source ever could. It’s their experiences and their intricate details that are most accurate and interesting.

Small Details Count

Knowing where a tiny spring is, or a bush of wild raspberries, can sometimes make the greatest difference in a trip. You’ll see future updates to Natural Atlas that specifically cater to this.

Landscapes Change

Outdoor maps and information gets stale fast. Mother nature puts in and takes out log crossings every season. Fire pits come and go. From user-powered content to building our own map – we want to minimize friction for updated beta.

Rich Experience

We’ve spent hours scouring maps and guide books – and it’s always been painful going between the two. Natural Atlas is the fix: a great map combined with content on everything on the map that can be searched and easily browsed.

Who We Are

We grew up in Cody, Wyoming where we – like most locals – got into the habit of hiking without trails. We’d find a place to park and then meander off in a direction that seemed interesting. Other days we’d scour maps trying to find two track roads that ventured to the most obscure places. Natural Atlas is the service we’ve always wanted: a place that catalogs all the small details that make nature and outdoor travel what it is, open to everyone."
camping  hiking  mapping  maps  travel  outdoors  topography  nature 
december 2016 by robertogreco
BBC Radio 4 - Short Cuts, Series 9, Field Guides
"The lessons about love and life that we can learn from a fig, a walk in the woods and a connection to a lost love found in the water. Josie Long ventures outdoors, hearing stories of how human hearts become tangled in the forests, lakes and skylines of the natural world."

[via: https://twitter.com/justinpickard/status/758649803588894720
"Superlative final episode of the current series of Short Cuts, on identity, venturing, and the world outdoors:"]
walking  figs  woods  identity  venturing  outdoors  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
In Praise of Walks and Wilderness | Alpine Modern Editorial
"More full of wonder than your deepest dreams, indeed. I kept looking over to my friend, continually proclaiming: “I can’t believe how happy I am here.” I understood Abbey’s fierce ecological devotion to the place. Preservation begins with appreciation; it begins with experiential love. “Earn your turns,” a friend always calls out, strapping his skins to his skis and hoisting his body up the incline. Another pal takes off to the mountains when big life decisions loom in front of him: “It’s the only place quiet and still enough to think.” One hikes fourteeners to prove to himself that his body is capable of more than he believes and that what others say about him is not the whole story. One of my best friends may have hated the peak I dragged her up during our climb, but afterward she turned to me and sighed, “I’ve never felt more alive or more in love with my body.” Once, on a backpacking trip with high school senior girls, one turned excitedly to me and said, “I haven’t thought badly about my body this whole trip!” I think of my skis hanging over the ledge of Blue Sky Basin, my toes hurting like hell, my legs are tingling and frozen, and my flight-or-fight mode tells me that the drop in isn’t worth the potential outcome of pain. But when I look up at the snow-crested ridges against the deepest blue backdrop I’ve ever seen, I push on and fire up my legs, reminding myself that this view is worth the discomfort it takes to reach it."



"Ecologists speak now of a need for “deep ecology,” not just an understanding of ecological issues and piecemeal scientific responses, but an overhaul of our philosophical understanding of nature. Instead of viewing mankind as the overlord of nature, it’s about revisiting the idea that a give-and-take relationship exists between the human and the nonhuman, a relationship that thrives on mutual respect and appreciation. To develop this sort of appreciation for nature and the nonhuman, it matters that we actually experience it. For many ecological thinkers, walking among mountains can be the first step in healing a false split between body and mind. The grief at the destruction of a beautiful building, the ecstatic joy of a sunrise in the mountains—these moments stem from this unification of the two.

Fragile moments of being that exist in nature

It’s a question of place versus nonplace. In The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities, Richard Sennett points to the peculiarity of the American sense of place: “that you are nowhere when you are alone with yourself.” Sennett speaks of cities as nonplaces, in which the person among the crowd slips into oblivion, only existing inside him- or herself. Other nonplaces look like the drudgery of terminals or waiting lines or places where all eyes are glued to phones. The buildings are uniform, and the faces blur together to create a boring conglomerate of civilization. If to be alone in a city is to be nowhere, the antithesis must be that to be alone in nature is to be everywhere. Nature is a place characterized by its “thisness,” as Gerard Manley Hopkins describes it—a place to enter into that is palpable with its own essence and feeling.

But as we lose our connection to place, as virtual reality turns here into nowhere, we lose our ability to narrate our experiences of nature. Recently, nature writer Robert Macfarlane pointed out that in the Oxford Junior Dictionary, the virtual and indoor are replacing the outdoor and natural, making them blasé. When we lose the language to describe our connection to landscape and place, we lose the actual connection to these things and the value decreases, separating us from the natural. According to Macfarlane, we have always been “name-callers, christeners,” always seeking language that registers the dramas of landscape, and the environmental movement must begin with a reawakening of natural wonder–inspired language.

Perhaps the point of all of this is to work to develop more refined attention, an ability to seek out and perceive fragile moments of being that exist in nature. We must pay attention to our breath and our bodies. Wendell Berry, a prophet of the natural, writes that to pay attention is to “stretch toward” a subject in aspiration, to come into its presence. To pay attention to mountains, we must come beneath them and reach out toward them.

To walk is to perceive

How do we begin? By wandering within the wilderness. Rebecca Solnit’s book on walking comes to mind: “Walking is one way of maintaining a bulwark against this erosion of the mind, the body, the landscape, and the city, and every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable.” While people today live in disconnected interiors, on foot in wilderness the whole world is connected to the individual. This form of investing in a place gives back; memories become seeded into places, giving them meaning and associations both in the body and the mind. Walking may take much longer, but this slowing down opens one up to new details, new possibilities.

Brian Teare is one of my favorite modern poets because his poetry is centered upon Charles Olson’s projective verse and on walking. All his works contain physical coordinates, anchoring each work of art to the place that inspired it. The land becomes the location, subject, and meaning to the thoughts and feelings that Teare wants to convey. As we enter into a field or crest the ridge of a mountain, we perceive the sight of the landscape and experience our bodies within it. We feel the wind and touch the dirt; we see the edges and diversity of the landscape. Perhaps we have hiked a far distance to reach this place and feel the journey within the body. Teare says in one of my favorite poems, “Atlas Peak”:

we have to hold it instead

in our heads & hands

which would seem impossible

except for how we remember

the trail in our feet, calves,

& thighs, our lungs’ thrust

upward; our eyes, which scan

trailside bracken for flowers;

& our minds, which recall

their names as best they can

Sitting on the side of Mount Massive, on the verge of tears, I felt utterly defeated. Our group took the shorter route, which had resulted in thousands of feet of incline in just a few miles, and my lungs, riddled with occasional asthma, were rejecting the task before them. It felt as if all the rocks in the boulder field had been placed upon my chest. My mind went to the thought of wilderness: Was it freedom or a curse? What would happen to me if something went wrong up here? Risk and freedom hold hands with each other in the mountains. After a long break, a few puffs of albuterol, water, and grit, I pulled myself up the final ascent and false summits along the ridge. I have been most thankful for my body when I have realized how beautifully fragile and simultaneously capable it is. On the summit, as we watched thin wispy waves of clouds weave into each other and rise around us, the mountain gently reminded me that I am not in control. I am not all-powerful, and nature’s lesson to me that morning was to respect its wildness.

As in all things, essentialism should be avoided. We live in a world that tends toward black-and-white perspectives, and when one praises the wilderness, those remarks can devolve into Luddite sentiments that are antipeople, antitechnological, and antihistorical. This solves nothing. Advancements in civilization are welcome and beautiful; technology has connected us in unprecedented ways. But as with anything, balance is key. We need the possibility of escape from civilization, even if we never indulge it. We need it to exist as an antithesis to the stresses of modern society. We need wilderness to serve as a place to realize that we exist in a tenuous balance with the world around us. All the political and societal struggles matter little if we have no environment to live in. In a world of utilitarian decision-making, a walk in the woods may be considered frivolous and useless, but it is necessary. The choice to preserve or to dominate is ours. But before deciding, perhaps one should first wander among the mountains."
nature  walking  wilderness  body  fragility  power  control  memory  luddism  decisionmaking  risk  freedom  technology  attention  brianteare  thinking  2016  hiking  robertmacfarlane  essence  feeling  feelings  vulnerability  gerardmanleyhopkins  nonplaces  urban  urbanism  escape  richardsennett  mind  spirit  life  living  mindbodyspirit  haleylittleton  andygoldsworthy  place  rebeccasolnit  wendellberry  walterbenjamin  outdoors  edwardabbey  ecology  environment  bodies 
june 2016 by robertogreco
The Solution to Technology Overload Is So Incredibly Simple | Big Think
"University of Illinois researchers have found that getting outside with family members can help prevent family dysfunction. Previous research had been done on the benefits of walking unto itself, but combining the social element as well brings past studies into a new light.

To clarify, walking itself, even for just 20 minutes, can help you restore your attention. And attention helps you pick up social cues, not feel as irritable, and maintain more self-control than you otherwise would have. All of these factors can lead to functioning more in harmony with those around you.

Attention is a scarce resource in the age of the Internet and constant screen exposure. It’s hard for our brains to have the chance to sit back and have restorative time when there are so many tools, entertainment and advertising devices clamoring for our focus. Taking kids to the park helps parents feel like they can relax a little, they are “on-duty” in a different way. And the ritual itself of going outside with family can have benefits for family functioning.

The question of how to increase our attention spans is a big one, with implications far outside that of this study. It turns out that the human attention span these days has actually decreased to be shorter than that of a goldfish. Back in 2000 (before smartphones became a big thing), the average human attention span was 12 seconds. Now, it is only eight seconds, while the attention span of a goldfish is about nine seconds.

Activities such as “dual screening,” using a smartphone while watching TV is an example, are suspected of contributing to this mass attention deficit. But even for those who aren’t switching back and forth between devices, heavy usage of a smartphone can lead to episodes called “cognitive failures.” Cognitive failures can include forgetting appointments, frequent forgetfulness about what they were planning to do next, and having a hard time concentrating on a conversation.

Getting out for a walk might be even more beneficial for you if you walk in an area with some amount of trees. Even when viewing a street at just two percent tree density, participants in a study noted feeling more relaxed than they did when viewing a street without any trees. Seeing more trees led to further participants reporting stress reduction."
outdoors  trees  health  psychology  technology  2016  families  parenting  screentime  walking  attention  sfsh  social 
june 2016 by robertogreco
On the Wildness of Children — Carol Black
"When we first take children from the world and put them in an institution, they cry. It used to be on the first day of kindergarten, but now it’s at an ever earlier age, sometimes when they are only a few weeks old. "Don’t worry," the nice teacher says sweetly, "As soon as you’re gone she’ll be fine. It won’t take more than a few days. She’ll adjust." And she does. She adjusts to an indoor world of cinderblock and plastic, of fluorescent light and half-closed blinds (never mind that studies show that children don’t grow as well in fluorescent light as they do in sunlight; did we really need to be told that?) Some children grieve longer than others, gazing through the slats of the blinds at the bright world outside; some resist longer than others, tuning out the nice teacher, thwarting her when they can, refusing to sit still when she tells them to (this resistance, we are told, is a “disorder.”) But gradually, over the many years of confinement, they adjust. The cinderblock world becomes their world. They don’t know the names of the trees outside the classroom window. They don’t know the names of the birds in the trees. They don’t know if the moon is waxing or waning, if that berry is edible or poisonous, if that song is for mating or warning.

It is in this context that today’s utopian crusader proposes to teach “eco-literacy.”

A free child outdoors will learn the flat stones the crayfish hide under, the still shady pools where the big trout rest, the rocky slopes where the wild berries grow. They will learn the patterns in the waves, which tree branches will bear their weight, which twigs will catch fire, which plants have thorns. A child in school must learn what a “biome” is, and how to use logarithms to calculate biodiversity. Most of them don’t learn it, of course; most of them have no interest in learning it, and most of those who do forget it the day after the test. Our “standards” proclaim that children will understand the intricate workings of ecosystems, the principles of evolution and adaptation, but one in four will leave school not knowing the earth revolves around the sun.

A child who knows where to find wild berries will never forget this information. An “uneducated” person in the highlands of Papua New Guinea can recognize seventy species of birds by their songs. An “illiterate” shaman in the Amazon can identify hundreds of medicinal plants. An Aboriginal person from Australia carries in his memory a map of the land encoded in song that extends for a thousand miles. Our minds are evolved to contain vast amounts of information about the world that gave us birth, and to pass this information on easily from one generation to the next.

But to know the world, you have to live in the world.

My daughters, who did not go to school, would sometimes watch as groups of schoolchildren received their prescribed dose of “environmental education.” On a sunny day along a rocky coastline, a mass of fourteen-year-olds carrying clipboards wander aimlessly among the tide pools, trying not to get their shoes wet, looking at their worksheets more than at the life teeming in the clear salty water. At a trailhead in a coastal mountain range, a busload of nine-year-olds erupts carrying (and dropping) pink slips of paper describing a “treasure hunt” in which they will be asked to distinguish “items found in nature” from “items not found in nature.” (We discover several plastic objects hidden by their teachers along the trail near the parking lot; they don’t have time, of course, to walk the whole two miles to the waterfall.) By a willow wetland brimming with life, a middle-school “biodiversity” class is herded outdoors, given ten minutes to watch birds, and then told to come up with a scientific hypothesis and an experimental protocol for testing it. One of the boys proposes an experiment that involves nailing shut the beaks of wild ducks.

There is some dawning awareness these days of the insanity of raising children almost entirely indoors, but as usual our society’s response to its own insanity is to create artificial programs designed to solve our artificial problems in the most artificial way possible. We charter nonprofit organizations, sponsor conferences, design curricula and after-school programs and graphically appealing interactive websites, all of which create the truly nightmarish impression that to get your kid outside you would first need to file for 501(c)3 status, apply for a federal grant, and hire an executive director and program coordinator. We try to address what's lacking in our compulsory curriculum by making new lists of compulsions.

But the truth is we don’t know how to teach our children about nature because we ourselves were raised in the cinderblock world. We are, in the parlance of wildlife rehabilitators, unreleasable. I used to do wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, and the one thing we all knew was that a young animal kept too long in a cage would not be able to survive in the wild. Often, when you open the door to the cage, it will be afraid to go out; if it does go out, it won’t know what to do. The world has become unfamiliar, an alien place. This is what we have done to our children.

This is what was done to us."



"If you thwart a child’s will too much when he is young, says Aodla Freeman, he will become uncooperative and rebellious later (sound familiar?) You find this view all over the world, in many parts of the Americas, in parts of Africa, India, Asia, Papua New Guinea. It was, of course, a great source of frustration to early missionaries in the Americas, who were stymied in their efforts to educate Indigenous children by parents who would not allow them to be beaten: “The Savages,” Jesuit missionary Paul le Jeune complained in 1633, “cannot chastise a child, nor see one chastised. How much trouble this will give us in carrying out our plans of teaching the young!”

But as Odawa elder and educator Wilfred Peltier tells us, learning -– like all human relationships –– must be based in the ethical principal of non-interference, in the right of all human beings to make their own choices, as long as they’re not interfering with anybody else. As Nishnaabeg scholar and author Leanne Betasamosake Simpson tells us, learning –– like all human relationships –– must be based in the ethical principal of consent, in the right of all human beings to be free of violence and the use of force. Simpson explains:
If children learn to normalize dominance and non-consent within the context of education, then non-consent becomes a normalized part of the ‘tool kit’ of those who have and wield power… This is unthinkable within Nishnaabeg intelligence.


Interestingly, the most brilliant artists and scientists in Euro-western societies tell us exactly the same thing: that it is precisely this state of open attention, curiosity, freedom, collaboration, consent, that is necessary for all true learning, discovery, creation."



"We no longer frame people as either “civilized”or “savage,” but as “educated” or “uneducated,” “developed” or “developing” (our modern terms for the same thing). But we retain the paternalistic attitudes of our forebears, toward our children and toward the “childlike” adults we find all over the world — a paternalism in which the veneer of benevolence is underpinned by the constant threat of violent force.

Control is always so seductive, at least to the "developed" ("civilized") mind. It seems so satisfying, so efficient, so effective, so potent. In the short run, in some ways, it is. But it creates a thousand kinds of blowback, from depressed rebellious children to storms surging over our coastlines to guns and bombs exploding in cities around the world."
education  unschooling  children  childhood  carolblack  attention  culture  society  learning  wildness  wild  wilderness  thoreau  ellwoodcubberley  williamtorreyharris  schooling  schools  johntaylorgatto  outdoors  natureanxiety  depression  psychology  wellness  adhd  mindfulness  suzannegaskins  openattention  miniaodlafreeman  paulejeune  wilfredpeltier  leannebetasamosakesimpson  consent  animals  zoos  nature  johannhari  brucealexander  mammals  indigenous  johnholt  petergray  work  play  howwelearn  tobyrollo  chastisement  civilization  control  kosmos  colonization  colonialism 
may 2016 by robertogreco
This is why Finland has the best schools
"The Harvard education professor Howard Gardner once advised Americans, "Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States."

Following his recommendation, I enrolled my seven-year-old son in a primary school in Joensuu. Finland, which is about as far east as you can go in the European Union before you hit the guard towers of the Russian border.

OK, I wasn't just blindly following Gardner - I had a position as a lecturer at the University of Eastern Finland for a semester. But the point is that, for five months, my wife, my son and I experienced a stunningly stress-free, and stunningly good, school system. Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation.

In Finland, children don't receive formal academic training until the age of seven. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light.

Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. According to one Finnish maxim, "There is no bad weather. Only inadequate clothing."

One evening, I asked my son what he did for gym that day. "They sent us into the woods with a map and compass and we had to find our way out," he said.

Finland doesn't waste time or money on low-quality mass standardised testing. Instead, children are assessed every day, through direct observation, check-ins and quizzes by the highest-quality "personalised learning device" ever created - flesh-and-blood teachers.

In class, children are allowed to have fun, giggle and daydream from time to time. Finns put into practice the cultural mantras I heard over and over: "Let children be children," "The work of a child is to play," and "Children learn best through play."

The emotional climate of the typical classroom is warm, safe, respectful and highly supportive. There are no scripted lessons and no quasi-martial requirements to walk in straight lines or sit up straight. As one Chinese student-teacher studying in Finland marvelled to me, "In Chinese schools, you feel like you're in the military. Here, you feel like you're part of a really nice family." She is trying to figure out how she can stay in Finland permanently.

In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors, in part because they are required to have a master's degree in education with specialisation in research and classroom practice.

"Our mission as adults is to protect our children from politicians," one Finnish childhood education professor told me. "We also have an ethical and moral responsibility to tell businesspeople to stay out of our building." In fact, any Finnish citizen is free to visit any school whenever they like, but her message was clear: Educators are the ultimate authorities on education, not bureaucrats, and not technology vendors.

Finland delivers on a national public scale highly qualified, highly respected and highly professionalised teachers who conduct personalised one-on-one instruction; manageable class sizes; a rich, developmentally correct curriculum; regular physical activity; little or no low-quality standardised tests and the toxic stress and wasted time and energy that accompanies them; daily assessments by teachers; and a classroom atmosphere of safety, collaboration, warmth and respect for children as cherished individuals.

One day last November, when the first snow came to my part of Finland, I heard a commotion outside my university faculty office window, which is close to the teacher training school's outdoor play area. I walked over to investigate.

The field was filled with children savouring the first taste of winter amid the pine trees.

"Do you hear that?" asked the recess monitor, a special education teacher wearing a yellow safety smock.

"That," she said proudly, "is the voice of happiness.""
finland  education  schools  williamdoyle  health  children  teaching  learning  homework  play  outdoors  via:anne 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Kurt Hahn - Wikipedia
"Six Declines of Modern Youth

1. Decline of Fitness due to modern methods of locomotion [moving about];
2. Decline of Initiative and Enterprise due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis;
3. Decline of Memory and Imagination due to the confused restlessness of modern life;
4. Decline of Skill and Care due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship;
5. Decline of Self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of stimulants and tranquilizers;
6. Decline of Compassion due to the unseemly haste with which modern life is conducted or as William Temple called "spiritual death".

Hahn not only pointed out the decline of modern youth, he also came up with four antidotes to fix the problem.

1. Fitness Training (e.g., to compete with one's self in physical fitness; in so doing, train the discipline and determination of the mind through the body)
2. Expeditions (e.g., via sea or land, to engage in long, challenging endurance tasks)
3. Projects (e.g., involving crafts and manual skills)
4. Rescue Service (e.g., surf lifesaving, fire fighting, first aid)

Ten Expeditionary Learning Principles
These 10 principles, which seek to describe a caring, adventurous school culture and approach to learning, were drawn[by whom?] from the ideas of Kurt Hahn and other education leaders[which?] for use in Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) schools.

1. The primacy of self-discovery
Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

2. The having of wonderful ideas
Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

4. The responsibility for learning
Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

4. Empathy and caring
Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

5. Success and failure
All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

6. Collaboration and competition
Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete not against each other but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

7. Diversity and inclusion
Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate value their different histories talents as well as those of other communities cultures. Schools learning groups heterogeneous.

8. The natural world
Direct respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit teaches[clarification needed] the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

9. Solitude and reflection
Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need time to exchange their reflections with others.

10. Service and compassion
We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school's primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service to others."
kurthahn  learning  youth  fitness  health  skill  care  self-discipline  memory  imagination  consumerism  spectatoritis  locomotion  williamtemple  stimulation  expeditions  projects  projectbasedlearning  self-discovery  howwelearn  outwardbound  unitedworldcolleges  collaboration  competition  nature  outdoors  solitude  reflection  compassion  service  servicelearning  howweteach  education  pedagogy  experientiallearning  experience  success  failure  empathy  caring  responsibility 
april 2016 by robertogreco
ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure | Outside Online
"Some of the best medicine for kids with attention-deficit disorders may be extreme sports and outdoor learning. That's good news, because not only do they need exploration, but exploration desperately needs them."
adhd  parenting  outdoors  children  sports  2016  exploration 
january 2016 by robertogreco
14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden | A Cup of Jo
"On the Law of Jante: There’s an interesting cultural principal here and in a few other Scandinavian countries called the Law of Jante. It essentially means that one individual is not more special than any other, and you’re not to behave as if you are. When I was teaching ballet in Stockholm years ago, I noticed that my students were, indeed, reluctant to stand out. For example, they were quite timid when I asked them to demonstrate steps or propose new ideas to the class."



"On food: One of the funniest food customs I’ve observed here is the national tradition of having split pea soup and pancakes for lunch on Thursdays. The first time a Swede told me that, I thought he was joking, but the opera house where I work serves that meal every Thursday. I think all Swedish schools do it, too, and you’ll see it in restaurants. When Americans think of split pea soup it’s green, but here it’s more yellow, with white and yellow beans, and the meat is a pork sausage that’s sliced into the soup."



"On candy: Swedes eat more candy than anybody else in the world, something like 35 pounds of candy per person per year! Huge candy shops with impressive sections are everywhere. What intrigues me most about the Swedish sweet tooth is lördagsgodis or “Saturday candy.” Every Saturday, kids and often their parents fill bags with their favorite candy. Gummies and licorice are big favorites. Before I became a parent, I thought this was a great idea, but now I’ve seen what sugar does to my daughter!



On coziness: The Swedish word mysig is hard to translate, but technically means “to smile with comfort,” or be cozy. It’s an important concept here, where the winters are long and cold. You see candles everywhere, year round. When I first moved here, it struck me as a major fire hazard! But they’re everywhere and so beautiful. Sometimes we go to IKEA on weekends (“It’s cold and rainy, so let’s go to IKEA!”), and everyone buys their candles there! Everyone has candles in their carts at checkout.

Swedes even have a special word to describe curling up indoors on a Friday night: fredagsmys. You light candles, cuddle under a blanket on the sofa, eat candy and watch a movie. I love that there’s a verb for it."
sweden  coziness  parenting  families  children  astridlindgren  candy  food  pippilongstocking  alfonsaberg  alfieatkins  mysig  napping  fredagsmys  play  cold  climate  outdoors  motherhood  childcare  daycare  parentalleave  lawofjante  collectivism  community  summer  winter  scandinavia  via:jenlowe 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Logan Heights Neighborhood Builds a Neighborhood Park
"They were tired of waiting on the city.

Logan Heights residents decided there was an easier way to get what they wanted — a community park — than by working within established city process.

They’ve got money, land and plans for a park designed by kids in the neighborhood. It’s on Imperial Avenue, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, won’t cost much and is getting done quickly, all with minimal city help.

The Gilliam Family Community Garden & Park will have a playhouse, small amphitheater for movie nights and tables to eat pupusas and tacos from nearby restaurants.

Organizers are aiming to finish in September, after 500 volunteers pitch in for six building days. That would mean the whole thing — concept, fundraising, planning, permitting and construction — could be done in just over a year.

“This is about community members getting shit done,” said Monique Lopez, a volunteer and community activist."



"Last spring, BAME CDC, a community-focused nonprofit in Logan Heights, held a “take back the alley” event, part of a series the group does to help beautify the area.

This one was for the alley that separates homes on Imperial Avenue from a row of heavy-duty industrial businesses — things like auto-wrecking and metal-scrapping — on Commercial Avenue.

The group and a team of volunteers were clearing trash and abandoned large items, and painting murals down the length of the alley.

While putting it together, Avital Aboody, the group’s project coordinator, noticed a vacant lot on Imperial, and thought it’d be a useful staging and storage area. She reached out to the property owner, who said they could use it."



"Everything they’re building at the park is set to be temporary. That keeps down costs, requires less onerous city permitting and gives Gilliam flexibility to develop the property permanently, though Gilliam says he doesn’t have any plans."



"Aboody and her boss had initially been involved in the city’s attempts to rewrite development regulations in the neighborhood.

They found it frustrating and unproductive. The city sent out emails about meetings, but there wasn’t any visual sense in the community that things were happening.

“Even for me, it’s my job to do these things in the community, and I’d miss notifications,” she said. “It’s just not like any other community event, where I’d see flyers all over the place.”

Worse, the whole thing was dominated by a few property owners, she said. And the conversation required too much understanding of process and jargon to be meaningful to any newcomer. The city brought Spanish-English translators, but it didn’t help.

“The whole thing was planner speak,” Aboody said.

For the group and the residents they normally work with, there had to be a better way.

“My approach has been bottom-up, instead of top-down,” she said. “It takes too long, it’s too complicated and people want results now, so what we do is get together and actually do projects.”

“At the end of the day, that’s just a plan,” Lopez said. “People are constantly being asked to give their input about parks or not having sidewalks. They’re tired of talking about it. They want to see something.”

This is right out of the so-called “tactical urbanism” playbook, which calls for improving neighborhoods by finding ways to make immediate, incremental improvements."



"On the last Friday in March, families laid out blankets in the vacant lot, ate tacos and waited for the sun to set so they could watch “The Princess Bride” on a temporary projection screen. Other kids and neighbors happened by and stepped in to see what was going on.

BAME holds movie nights at the lot on the last Friday of every month, asking for $1 per person. It raises a little bit of money, but really it’s for two things: getting the neighborhood used to the space as theirs, and recruiting volunteers for the 500-strong army it’ll need to build the thing in a week come fall.

“Once momentum builds, and the neighborhood realizes what it has, the whole thing will take off and entire families will participate,” said Robert Leathers, the project’s professional architect, with Space 4 Art.

Leathers was brought in to turn ideas from neighborhood kids, gathered in a design workshop last month, into the real thing.

He’s done this hundreds of times in 10 countries and all 50 states, he said, most without any issues.

Underserved neighborhoods like Logan Heights have the greatest need for all-ages outdoor space.

“Let’s face it: One-third of people here don’t have a car, so it’s harder for them to get to regional outdoor spaces like the beach or Balboa Park,” he said.

The playground-treehouse will appeal to little kids and big kids, he said. The garden is meant as an educational tool for families to start their own gardens. And the amphitheater works for anyone.

While they’re collecting enough volunteers to make it happen, organizers are getting their permits in a row.

Though the project was explicitly conceived as a way to bypass city process, the group will end up getting a hand from the city in a couple different ways.

It’ll need special permission from Development Services to use a lot for a park and garden, since it’s zoned for a home. One of the city’s planners for the area is helping with the process.

Councilman David Alvarez’s office also chipped in $5,000 from community projects grants each district can hand out."
sandiego  loganheights  2015  parks  community  lcproject  openstudioproject  outdoors  robertleathers  tacticalurbanism  urbanism  urban 
april 2015 by robertogreco
No Dickheads! A Guide To Building Happy, Healthy, And Creative Teams. — Medium
"There is a perpetuated myth within the design community, that a single visionary is required to build great products. Rubbish. Great teams build great products; moreover, in my experience, the greatest teams prioritize and nurture a healthy and positive internal culture because they understand it is critical to the design process itself.

In 20 years of leading design studios and teams, ranging from a small boutique consultancy to several in global corporations, I have become obsessed with the differences between a successful studio and a merely effective one. Inevitably what makes or breaks a studio depends on its ability to evolve skills and competencies while remaining fastidiously creative. However, simple adaptability is not enough. In an ever-changing hyper-competitive landscape, what I’ve found to be even more important is the value of laughter, empathy, a collective responsibility and a distinct lack of ego.

My measure of success — beyond incredible products — has been creating studios and a studio culture where the creative capacity of the collective team is palpable; where designers love to come to work, and visitors remark how positive and creative it feels.

The following, is an attempt to create a guide for the (often-overlooked, humanist leaning) behaviors that make a studio happy, functional and sustainable. I believe there is a straight line between how the studio feels, how we as designers treat each other, and the innovative impact of the team. The value of articulating the characteristics of an effective studio will hopefully make each team member a more conscientious contributor. Of course, these characteristics will ebb and flow to varying degrees and should not be considered concrete rules. Rather, these behaviors serve as a guideline for creating a consistently positive, and as a result, a consistently more creative place to work.

SAY GOOD MORNING AND GOOD NIGHT … While it may appear trivial, the act of observing (and even encouraging) these subtle cultural rituals increases a studio’s functionality by making it more personal.

BE OPTIMISTIC, EMBRACE FAILURE, AND LAUGH MORE… Design, through a humanist’s lens, sees optimism as a choice and creativity as an optimistic act. Therefore, constant optimism is a key ingredient to iteration. It fuels the persistence and tenacity necessary for sustaining the creative process, especially during challenging times. For example, the difficulty of innovating within a large corporation reflects a work environment where people often say, “No” or “I don’t understand” because change in corporate culture is often uncomfortable and slow. As a result, negativity must be confronted and countered — not just in a brainstorming session or during a proposal — but on a daily basis. …

EAT AND COOK TOGETHER … Team events within a big corporation are set up to facilitate these informal conversations but often do the opposite: you go to a nice restaurant, everyone orders expensive food and lots of wine, they drink until they get drunk, and you go back to your hotel room. One year, our budget ran low so we thought, “What if we did the opposite? Go to the wilderness, buy food, and cook for each other.”

What happened next was amazing! Somebody invariably took responsibility for cooking, another for preparing food, and someone else for laying the table. Without much discussion the whole team was buzzing around the kitchen, like a hive working towards a common goal. There’s something inherently vulnerable about cooking together and for each other. It’s humbling to serve and to be served.

GOOD STUDIOS BUILD GOOD WALLS It is important when you walk into any studio that you feel as much as see what is being built — the studio should crackle with creative energy. Specifically, I believe you can determine the health of any design studio simply by looking at its walls. …

READ FICTION … As designers we are often asking people to take a leap of faith and to picture a world that doesn’t quite exist. We are, at our essence, doing nothing more than creating fiction and telling good stories — an essential part of human communication. Wouldn’t it then make sense to, at the very least, invite fiction into the studio or at the most encourage it to flourish?

Storytelling is a craft. It’s emotional and it’s part of the design process. We should therefore read and study fiction.

DESIGN THE DESIGNING There’s one very simple rule when innovating: design the process to fit the project. …

EMBRACE THE FRINGE I believe creative people want “to make”. In corporations or complex projects, the products we make often take an inordinate amount of time. As a result, I assume that most designers (myself included) work on fringe projects — creative projects made outside of the studio. …

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE Language defines the territory of projects. It is therefore important to constantly check that people share the same understanding of a word, phrase or name. Ideally at the outset of the project you should define the language, almost to the point of giving each person on the team a list: when we say this, this is what ‘this’ means. This pedantic approach is particularly important in multicultural studios where a diverse language encourages multiple, sometimes volatile, interpretations …

MEET OUT IN THE OPEN There are very few highly confidential things in an effective studio, so why go in a room and close the door? Instead, move most conversations out in the open. They will be better as a result. …

EVERYONE LEADS AT SOME POINT … At any point everyone should feel the responsibility, or the opportunity, to lead. It is so important to be collectively responsible. No one person can lead these dynamic projects effectively in a studio because they are never two-dimensional. …

INVERT EVERYTHING Designing products for people requires that you get inside their minds, feelings, motivations and values. To do so, a smart designer must invert their own worldview and see the world through someone else’s eyes in order to empathize with them. This ability to empathize with others, a very humanist behavior, is perhaps the most important capability and characteristic of both a studio and a designer. …

HIRE A BOOKIE Competition motivates a team, that’s a given. But betting on shit seems to be galvanizing and brings a team together. …

BRING THE OUTSIDE, INSIDE … We spend most of our time with our colleagues at work rather than with our partners or families. So whether we like it or not, we are all going through this life together. We should embrace that fact.

Yes, I understand people value privacy and you must respect that boundary. But the reality of the modern studio is that boundaries often blur. In fact, I think it is good that they are blurred. Children, pets, and hobbies — shared human connections and interests — promote this intimacy. …

….. ALLOWED! … I believe it is a perpetuated myth that great products are built by a single visionary. Often the people who think they are visionaries are just egomaniacal Dickheads. I honestly believe that great teams build great products and that careers are made by people that prioritize great products first, not their own ambition. …

FIND A GOOD MIRROR The studio mirror is a distinct role and a job title. In our studio Luke’s role was to archive our work and reflect it back to the team in a unique way, much like the documentation of these principles. Pursued with persistence and the eye of a journalist, the Studio Mirror should capture not only WHAT is being made but HOW and by WHOM. This isn’t simply dumping files on a server but rather curating the content in a way that is compelling and consumable for the team. For example, our studio created a quarterly magazine. You can read ADQ2.1: The Launch Issue here."
rhysnewman  lukejohnson  teams  creativity  studios  openstudioproject  lcproject  2015  collaboration  tcsnmy  leadership  open  openness  transparency  process  fun  play  intimacy  sharing  language  storytelling  fiction  walls  design  place  work  food  optimism  failure  laughter  howwework  conviviality  cohabitation  facetime  relationships  publishing  reflection  documentation  jpl  omata  culture  fringe  display  planning  outdoors  criticism  connection  conflict 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Hackaball - A computer you can throw by Hackaball — Kickstarter
"Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games."

"Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program using an iPad app to invent and play games.

It's for kids aged 6 to 10 but we’ve seen younger children have fun with Hackaball with a little help from their siblings or parents.

How does it work?

The computer inside Hackaball has sensors that detect motions like being dropped, bounced, kicked, shaken or being perfectly still. Children hack the ball with an iPad app which allows them to go in and change the behaviour of Hackaball to do what they want.

The paired iPad app comes pre-loaded with several games that can be sent to Hackaball to get kids started. Once they've mastered these initial games, kids can create brand new ones using a simple building block interface, experimenting with Hackaball's sounds, LED lighting effects and rumble patterns. You can install the app on as many iPads as you like, it's free! "
hackaball  balls  2015  ios  ipad  play  games  gaming  outdoors  toys  classideas  gamedesign 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Campo Santo - Firewatch
"A VIDEO GAME BY CAMPO SANTO

Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.

In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio —

and is your only contact with the world you've left behind.

But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have."

[See also (via: http://blog.tanmade.com/post/113092344186/migurski-firewatch-is-a-mystery-set-in-the ):

“Campo Santo Shows You Firewatch”
http://www.twitch.tv/camposanto/c/5068947

developer's blog
http://blog.camposanto.com/ ]
games  gaming  wilderness  videogames  outdoors  wyoming  camposanto  edg  radio  toplay 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Top Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris lives by his own code
"HE HAS ALWAYS lived by his own code, no matter what anyone thinks: a three-sport star athlete in high school who spent weekends camping alone; a hippie who has never tried drugs; a major league pitcher whose first corporate relationship was with an environmental organization called 1% for the Planet. He is 21 and says he has never tasted alcohol. He has had one serious relationship, with his high school girlfriend, and it ended in part because he wanted more time to travel by himself. He was baptized in his baseball uniform. His newest surfboard is made from recycled foam. His van is equipped with a solar panel. He reads hardcover books and never a Kindle. He avoids TV and studies photography journals instead.

"Nonconformist," reads one sign posted inside his VW."



"Before the Blue Jays understood his convictions, Norris felt like the team had trouble making sense of his unpredictable life -- coaches, teammates and executives asking him questions that indicated a measure of unease. Why, with seven figures in the bank, did he take an offseason job working 40 hours a week at an outdoor outfitter in his hometown of Johnson City, Tennessee? Would it do permanent damage to his back muscles to spend his first minor league season sharing an apartment with two teammates in Florida and sleeping only in a hammock? Why had he decided to spend his first offseason vacationing not on a Caribbean cruise with teammates or partying in South Beach but instead alone in the hostels of Nicaragua, renting a motorcycle for $2 a day, hiking into the jungle, surfing among the stingrays? And was that really a picture on Twitter of the Blue Jays' best prospect, out again in the woods, shaving his tangled beard with the blade of an ax?

It was all so damn … unconventional. And yet for some reason, in Norris' case, it also seemed to be working, so the team's curiosity never rose to the level of complaint. "He takes care of himself as well as anybody we've got," says Tony LaCava, Toronto's assistant general manager. "He's in great shape. He competes on the mound. If that wasn't the case, maybe we'd be more worried about some of the other stuff. But right now, the van and all that is secondary. He has great values, and they're working for him.""



"For almost 80 years, his father and grandfather owned and operated a small bicycle shop in car-dependent Johnson City, and their store was not only a place to sell bikes but a way to spread their family values and popularize a belief system. Play outdoors. Love the earth. Live simply. Use only what you need. Norris spent his childhood outside with his parents and his two older sisters, going for weekend bike rides and hiking trips, playing football, basketball and baseball. In school, he was a varsity star in all three, but it was baseball -- and particularly pitching -- that most aligned with his personality. Being alone on the mound reminded him of being out in the wild, where he was forced to solve his own problems and wrestle with self-doubt. "I was a good pitcher because I was already good at taking care of myself," he says. "I love having teammates behind me, but I'm not going to rely on them. It can get quiet and lonely out there when you're pitching, which drives some people crazy. But that's my favorite part.""



"On the morning in 2011 when his $2 million signing bonus finally cleared, Norris was in Florida with the rest of the Blue Jays' new signees. All of their bonuses had been deposited on the same day, and one of the players suggested they drive to a Tampa mall. They shopped for three hours, and by the time the spree finally ended they could barely fit their haul back into the car. Most players had spent $10,000 or more on laptops, jewelry and headphones. Norris returned with only a henley T-shirt from Converse, bought on sale for $14. It's been a fixture of his wardrobe ever since.

It unsettled him in those first months to see so many zeros on his bank account balance -- "Who am I to deserve that?" he wondered. "What have I really done?" -- so he hired financial advisers and asked them to stash the money in conservative investments where Norris wouldn't have to think about it. His advisers deposit $800 a month into his checking account -- or about half as much as he would earn working full time for minimum wage. It's enough to live in a van, but just barely. "I'm actually more comfortable being kind of poor," he says, because not having money maintains his lifestyle and limits the temptation to conform. He never fills Shaggy beyond a quarter tank. He fixes the van's engine with duct tape rather than taking it to a mechanic. Instead of eating out with teammates, he writes each night in a "thought journal" that rests on the dashboard.

"Research the things you love," he wrote one night. "Gain knowledge. It's valuable."

"Be kind. Be courteous. Love others and be happy. It's that simple."

"Where else can you be as free as by yourself in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the ocean, or on the peak of a mountain. Adventure is freedom.""
2015  danielnorris  bikes  biking  small  outdoors  baseball  edg  srg 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Unschooling: The Case for Setting Your Kids Into the Wild | Nature | OutsideOnline.com
"There’s a name for the kind of education Fin and Rye are getting. It’s called unschooling, though Penny and I have never been fond of the term. But “self-directed, adult-facilitated life learning in the context of their own unique interests” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so unschooling it is."



"Fin and Rye are proficient with most of the hand and power tools that form the backbone of any working farm. By the time they were eight, both of them could operate the tractor and, in a pinch, drive the truck with a load of logs. They split firewood alongside us, swinging their mauls with remarkable accuracy. They are both licensed hunters and own .22 rifles and 20-gauge shotguns. They wear belt knives almost everywhere, oblivious to the stares of the adults around them, some concerned, some perplexed, and some, it often seems to me, nostalgic.

Our sons are not entirely self-taught; we understand the limits of the young mind and its still-developing capacity for judgment. None of these responsibilities were granted at an arbitrary, age-based marker, but rather as the natural outgrowth of their evolving skills and maturity. We have noticed, however, that the more responsibility we give our sons, the more they assume. The more we trust them, the more trustworthy they become. This may sound patronizingly obvious, yet I cannot help but notice the starring role that institutionalized education—with its inherent risk aversion—plays in expunging these qualities."



"“I look back at unschooling as the best part of my life,” Chelsea Clark told me between classes at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she was accepted on full scholarship after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the university’s undergraduate program. “It was a huge advantage, actually. I had the confidence of knowing what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t burned out on classroom learning like most college kids.” Chelsea was unschooled throughout her high school years in the small town of Dorchester, South Carolina.

Still, perhaps the best answer I can give to the question of what price my children might pay is in the form of another question: What price do school-going children pay for their confinement? The physical toll is easy enough to quantify. Diabetes rates among school-age children are sky-high, and the percentage of 6-to-11-year-olds who qualify as obese has nearly tripled since 1980. And what do children do in school? Exactly. They sit.

Inactivity is also bad for the brain. A 2011 study by Georgia Health Sciences University found that cognitive function among kids improves with exercise. Their prefrontal cortex—the area associated with complex thinking, decision making, and social behavior—lights up. The kids in the study who exercised 40 minutes per day boosted their intelligence scores by an average of 3.8 points.

Yet the physical and cognitive implications of classroom learning have played minor roles in our decision to unschool Fin and Rye. It’s not that I don’t want them to be healthy and smart. Of course I do—I’m their father.

But, in truth, what I most want for my boys can’t be charted or graphed. It can’t be measured, at least not by common metrics. There is no standardized test that will tell me if it has been achieved, and there is no specific curriculum that will lead to its realization.

This is what I want for my sons: freedom. Not just physical freedom, but intellectual and emotional freedom from the formulaic learning that prevails in our schools. I want for them the freedom to immerse themselves in the fields and forest that surround our home, to wander aimlessly or with purpose. I want for them the freedom to develop at whatever pace is etched into their DNA, not the pace dictated by an institution looking to meet the benchmarks that will in part determine its funding. I want them to be free to love learning for its own sake, the way that all children love learning for its own sake when it is not forced on them or attached to reward. I want them to remain free of social pressures to look, act, or think any way but that which feels most natural to them.

I want for them the freedom to be children. And no one can teach them how to do that."

[See also: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/09/04/345827467/these-kids-grew-up-with-the-woods-as-their-only-classroom OR
http://www.wbur.org/npr/345827467/these-kids-grew-up-with-the-woods-as-their-only-classroom ]
benhewitt  homeschool  unschooling  education  parenting  vermont  2014  nature  learning  howwelearn  petergray  families  responsibility  tcsnmy  glvo  edg  srg  outdoors  risk  risktaking 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Official BioLite Site | Home of the CampStove
"BioLite Stoves make cooking on wood as clean, safe & easy as modern fuels while generating electricity to charge phones, lights and other electronics off-grid"

[See also: BioLite BaseCamp
https://vimeo.com/98297569

"The BioLite BaseCamp is a complete off-grid cooking and energy solution for groups, powered by wood. Thoughtful features like folding legs and a one-touch grill-to-boil lever make it easy and comfortable to use while BioLite's unique technology captures waste heat to produce electricity. The large cooktop and side fuel entry enable large-format cooking while an accompanying USB light aids in nighttime or low-light conditions."]
camping  equipment  via:steelemaley  outdoors  chargers  stoves  wood  biolite 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Introducing Mapbox Outdoors | Mapbox
[See also: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/outdoors-design/ ]

"A beautiful new map designed for outdoor adventures.

Mapbox Outdoors is ready for anything: it includes thousands of biking, hiking, and skiing trails on top of detailed terrain with elevation data. Off the beaten path, find marked creeks, mountain peaks, and other geological features. What would your activity tracker or travel website look like if it cared about more than just highways?

The magic of Mapbox Outdoors is refined, curated data from dozens of sources --- combined into a seamless layer. Then with Mapbox's customization technology, the visual possibilities are endless.

Outdoors is the result of incredible improvements to our raw data sources and rendering technology. To make the map globally accurate, we improved elevation data in 9 countries. Even at the highest zoom levels, elevation lines and labels show every summit and crag. Landcover data colors every part of the surface to show the shape of the woods or a marsh in the valley.

Unlike most other maps, we store and render terrain as vector data, so it's highly customizable: you can change colors, fonts, and labels to match brands, apps, and experiences. For instance, you can render contour lines transparently to show elevation on top of satellite imagery.

As of today, Mapbox Outdoors is available for Enterprise. This summer we will roll it out for all Mapbox plans."
maps  mapbox  via:steelemaley  mapping  outdoors  topographicalmaps  topography  terrain 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Changing Places: Children's Experience of Place During Middle Childhood [.pdf]
"This thesis explores the role of special places—forts, dens, and hideouts— during middle childhood (ages 6-12). Natural settings have traditionally been children‘s special places. Research has demonstrated the importance of outdoor special places in children‘s lives including: helping children to develop and form bonds with the earth, and as locations for both privacy and socialization. The landscape of today‘s childhood is undergoing dramatic shifts and researchers posit that children‘s special places are shifting toward indoor settings.

This thesis seeks to understand children‘s experience of place in the Humboldt Bay region of Northern California. ‘Children-centered,’ qualitative research methods include interviews and an analysis of participants’ drawings and photographs. This thesis primarily examines how children‘s special places contribute to child development, place attachment, and environmental stewardship values. More generally, this thesis asks children to reveal what places they consider to be ‘special.’

Results build on previous research and suggest several findings concerning the significance of children‘s special places. First, children still prefer outdoor places as their special places. Second, outdoor special places are important for holistic physical, cognitive, and social development. Third, both indoor and outdoor special places are vital to children‘s emotional development because these places act as refuges and sites for emotional regulation. Fourth, children care deeply about their outdoor special places and express environmental stewardship values concerning these places. And last, special places facilitate healthy place attachments.

This thesis recommends that people who are involved in the processes and structures that shape children‘s lives recognize the value of outdoor special places and provide children with time, freedom, and access to natural landscapes."
place  middleyears  2009  chelseabenson  forts  dens  hideouts  children  play  outdoors  via:steelemaley 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Duke Riley :: Artist + Patriot
"My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy. I am interested in the struggle of marginal peoples to sustain independent spaces within all-encompassing societies, the tension between individual and collective behavior, the conflict with institutional power. I pursue an alternative view of hidden borderlands and their inhabitants through drawing, printmaking, mosaic, sculpture, performative interventions, and video structured as complex multimedia installations.

I often work in the tradition of field naturalists, seeking and gathering data, artifacts, and specimens outdoors, transporting them inside for closer observation and study, displaying them in museum-like diorama settings. I combine populist myths and reinvented historical obscurities with contemporary social dilemmas, connecting past and present, drawing attention to unsolved issues. Throughout my projects I profile the space where water meets the land, traditionally marking the periphery of urban society, what lies beyond rigid moral constructs, a sense of danger and possibility."

[via: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/arts/design/avian-artistry-with-smuggled-cigars.html ]
art  artists  brooklyn  dukeriley  outdoors  frontiers  borders  urban  autonomy  margins  macollectivebehavior  borderlands 
october 2013 by robertogreco
An interview with Max Shron
"What would be your dream setup?

Someday perhaps I will go around carrying only a book, a change of clothes, a pen, a water bottle, a folding umbrella, and a little capsule that turns into my livelihood when opened. Rollable hi-res screen and keyboard, tiny computer the size of a cell phone or smaller but as light as a pen, with high-speed satellite connectivity anywhere on the globe. In this world, my sleeping bag, pad and windproof hammock weigh only a pound put together. For half of the year I travel the world, alone and with companions, with a small bag slung over my shoulder like Kwai Chang Caine. We sleep outdoors, travel on trains, and a few days of the week sit some place cozy and create beautiful software or solve interesting problems that improve the world."
outdoors  travel  via:bettyannsloan  2012  neo-nomads  nomads  thesetup  maxscron  usesthis 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Children's Books Lose Touch With Nature - NYTimes.com
"A group of researchers, led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s J. Allen Williams Jr., examined the pictures found in the pages of Caldecott Medal-winning books from 1938 (the first year the prize was awarded) to today. They looked for images of a natural environment (as opposed to a “built” or “modified” environment like a house or park) and of wild animals (rather than domesticated or anthropomorphized creatures). What they found probably doesn’t surprise any parent or child for whom the world of “Blueberries for Sal” is completely alien: where once children’s books offered essentially equal illustrative doses of built and natural environments, natural environments “have all but disappeared” in the last two decades."
children  outdoors  naturalenvironment  caldecott  2012  trends  nature  childrenliterature  books 
march 2012 by robertogreco
YouTube - Audubon Society of Portland: Marmot Cabin on the Joe Miller Wildlife Sanctuary
"Experience an unforgettable overnighter at our rustic cabin in the foothills of Mt Hood, Groups will meet our Naturalists at the "Marmot Cabin" (near Sandy) & have the site to themselves as they explore a remote Wildlife Sanctuary. Children will seek out signs of Beaver, Deer & Elk as they venture through the lush vegetation of a pristine riparian zone. Students learn to read animal sign, identify plants & interpret the landscape, honing their own naturalist skills along the way. After dinner, students will venture into the darkness in search of bats & owls, & return for an educational program on these nocturnal creatures. In the morning, children will get to learn even more about our native animals via a hands-on study of pelts, skulls & specimens. We will design a program that builds, expands & enhances your environmental curriculum."

[More at: http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/school-programs/overnight AND http://trackerspdx.com/youth/outdoor-school.php ]

[See also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/audubonkidspdx/5759352809/ ]
portland  outdoors  outdooreducation  audubon  oregon  marmotcabin  sandy  mthood  naturalists  nature  education  camps  cabins 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Jane Goodall, Illustrated - Video Library - The New York Times
"Two new children's books explore the life of Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee expert and prominent conservationist. The Times spoke with Dr. Goodall about living out her childhood dream"
children  science  books  janegoodall  tcsnmy  women  childhood  inquiry  curiosity  emergentcurriculum  experimentation  risktaking  failure  patience  booklists  tarzan  drdolittle  outdoors  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  naturedeficitsyndrome  unstructuredtime  freedom  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  parenting  openendedtime  time  observation  noticing  howwelearn  teaching  learning  girls  video  interviews  gender 
may 2011 by robertogreco
RoachBall :: 0009.org
"a sporty mashup between cricket, dodgeball, soccer and kickball played in a bocci ball court"
dodgeball  cricket  soccer  bocceball  sports  play  games  fun  outdoors  tcsnmy  classideas  projectideas  kickball  bocce  roachball  futbol  football 
december 2010 by robertogreco
ViewRanger : Off-road Topographic Map Navigation, Sports GPS, Buddy Beacon Tracking and Location-Based Content
"ViewRanger™ is a unique mapping, navigation, tracking, and information tool for mobile phones that provides information about your immediate surroundings through a natural and intuitive display. ViewRanger transforms your iPhone, or your Android or Symbian based smartphone into a fully featured trail navigation system.

ViewRanger is ideal for tourists, walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers, horse riders, geocachers, river boaters - in fact anyone who enjoys the outdoors."
gps  maps  mobile  software  symbian  android  iphone  ios  applications  mapping  outdoors  via:preoccupations 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Island Packers
"Cruising the California Channel Islands for education, recreation, and research since 1968. Let your island adventure begin with the experienced crew from Island Packers. Providing first rate transportation services for island hiking, camping, kayaking, whale watching, school field trips, sightseeing and harbor cruises. We travel to all five islands in the Channel Islands National Park."
channelislands  california  camping  diving  ferry  kayaking  outdoors  santabarbara  travel  islands  campgrounds 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Pruned: Wetground
"Above is one of six natural playgrounds to be built or already installed in the Netherlands under the fantastically named Mud in Your Pants project. Gone are the plastic fauna, the jungle gyms and their garish paint jobs, the asphalt and the concrete. They've been replaced with real rocks, real plants, real wood pieces, real critters and real soil. Kids will dirty their clothes, scratch their knees, perhaps bruise some bones. These are all good things, as the other option is hours of inactivity in front of the computer or television. A minor infection on a cut or setting the stage for a lifetime of obesity, diabetes and asthma?"

[links to: http://www.knhm.nl/hoofdmenu/onze-projecten/projectenlijst/modder-aan-je-broek ]

[related, but not so natural: http://pruned.blogspot.com/2010/04/playtime.html ]
playgrounds  play  risk  children  outdoors  safety  nature  natural 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Forest Kindergarten at Waldorf School in Saratoga Springs - NYTimes.com
"Schools around the country have been planting gardens and planning ever more elaborate field trips in hopes of reconnecting children with nature. The forest kindergarten at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs is one of a handful in the United States that are taking that concept to another level: its 23 pupils, ages 3 ½ to 6, spend three hours each day outside regardless of the weather. This in a place where winter is marked by snowdrifts and temperatures that regularly dip below freezing."
education  teaching  kindergarten  environment  outdoors  nature  green  forest  environmentaleducation  unschooling  deschooling  exploration  children 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Noisy Decent Graphics: The Hidden Park - iPhone game
"It's an ambitious game that uses the iPhone's GPS, the camera and the speaker to create a sort of ARGish geo-cachingish mash up for families. You pick a park, head down there with the kids and run around solving clues and puzzles and trying to find the magical creatures...The best bit as far as the kids were concerned were these brilliant little photos created by standing in exactly the right spot...It seems to make sense in an emerging post-digital world. It takes something you can't do on a screen (going outside and run round a park) and merges it with something you can't do with twigs or paper (animate creatures over pictures etc). But also it takes the best bits of those worlds, going to the park is a good fun thing and gps and camera etc uses the best of the iPhone. That's smart and importantly it doesn't feel forced or false. Throw in gaming on the top and you've got a very interesting mix."
iphone  applications  games  gaming  arg  children  thehiddenpark  via:preoccupations  gps  augmentedreality  location  play  outdoors  videogames  geocaching  ios  ar 
september 2009 by robertogreco
30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play | GeekDad | Wired.com
"When I was a kid, we played outside with the other kids in the neighborhood with most of our free time. We also made the most of recess at school. We kept ourselves quite occupied without any of today’s modern technologies. Listed below are some no-tech games that you may have enjoyed as a kid. I sure did. Some can be done indoors. Some can be done by yourself or with just one friend. But most of them are best when done outside with a group of people. Also, most of these games can be changed or improved by making up your own rules. Use your imagination!"
kids  games  children  outdoors  playgrounds  childhood  culture  play  gaming  parenting  diy  fun  glvo  srg  sdg  tcsnmy 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Cancer Specialist: Sun Exposure Does Not Cause Melanoma | KPBS.org
""As the incidence of melanoma has risen it's also paralleled a change in behavior that's going on all across the world, and that is people are working indoors."
health  cancer  outdoors  melanoma  skincancer  sun 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Cotton Wool Kids | Free Video Clips from Channel 4
"Britain has the unhappiest kids in the western world, and 80% of children spend their free time in doors.This film will spend time with the parents too scared to give their children a childhood."
uk  parenting  fear  children  childhood  happiness  outdoors  film  documentary 
february 2009 by robertogreco
iTrail
"iTrail uses the iPhone's GPS capability to track your progress along a trail, jogging path, etc. The reviews at the iTunes Store aren't glowing but we found that it worked pretty well for us. Here are a couple of graphs generated by iTrail of our hike:"
iphone  applications  hiking  gps  elevation  outdoors  ios 
october 2008 by robertogreco
How far did you roam as a child?
"Things have certainly changed. How far did you roam as a child? How far did your parents and grandparents roam? Would be happy to read your own stories…
children  freedom  outdoors  safety  space  exploration  learning 
august 2008 by robertogreco
hustler of culture: Little Thinkers/Tinkerers
"I'm all about kids running around, experimenting, and getting hurt and learning from it. Maybe, a reality check or a small dose of survival of the fittest? Enough coddling. Enough of this arrested development, already. We all need a little trauma to help us grow as people!...The Tinkering School sounds refreshing in a world where too many kids' lives are governed by fear. We know free range chickens are healthier than their caged counterparts. So why not encourage free range kids too? Please don't rob your children of the important early independence and exploratory phase of their lives."
parenting  children  freedom  tinkering  society  fear  safety  via:blackbeltjones  childhood  exploration  learning  outdoors  making  education  unschooling  deschooling  gevertulley  tinkeringschool 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Outstanding in the Field
"Set between the soil and the sky, Outstanding in the Field's long, linen-draped table beckons adventurous diners to celebrate food at the source. Bringing together local farmers and food artisans, chefs and winemakers, we explore the connection between the earth and the food on your plate. Join us as we feast on the gifts of the land."

[see also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12493564@N06/sets/ ]
food  local  green  events  bayarea  california  agriculture  outdoors  culinary  farms  farming  organic  hyperlocal  locavores  restaurants  slow  sanfrancisco 
august 2008 by robertogreco
No Student Left Indoors: Creating a Field Guide to Your Schoolyard
"Helping K-12 Teachers and students to discover, explore, observe, and record the nature in their schoolyard. For urban, suburban, and rural schools"
education  learning  outdoors  naturedeficitdisorder  lessons  nature  weather  schools  curriculum  teaching  students  children 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Ambient Wood I
"outdoor playful learning experience. Pervasive technologies are used to digitally augment a woodland in a contextually relevant way, enhancing the ‘usual’ physical experience available to children exploring the outdoor world."
citizenship  environment  gaming  geography  geotagging  mobile  photography  video  education  phones  learning  objects  outdoors  experience  mobilelearning  pervasive  schools  location-based  locative  spimes  ubicomp  everyware  children  flickr 
april 2008 by robertogreco
The Myth of the Media Myth: Games and Non-Gamers | MetaFilter [via: http://www.kottke.org/remainder/08/04/15360.html]
"On the whole, Outside is overrated, and many gamers will find themselves forced by friends and family to play it against their will, but it still deserves a high rating. I give it 7/10, and look forward to improvements in future patches."
games  gaming  play  humor  parody  reviews  videogames  outdoors  via:kottke 
april 2008 by robertogreco
DISCOVER.com - Biologist EO Wilson Says Soccer Moms Are Natural History’s Enemy
"says worst thing parent can do for child is take him to botanical garden where all trees are marked & labeled. Instead, “Go to seashore and give them a pale and bucket. Let them experience nature…and then come back and ask questions,”
eowilson  parenting  children  nature  outdoors  schedules  activities  time  play  experience  learning  creativity  imagination  naturedeficitsyndrome 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Geekdad - Wired Blogs
"If you've got some Alka-Seltzer tablets, a drill, some string, and lots of water, you've got all you need for a fun, summer-time (outdoor) game."
games  fun  outdoors  play  summer  water  science  alkaseltzer 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Intelligent Play - home
"The i.play system represents a significant breakthrough in children’s play. Combining interactive electronics with conventional playground equipment, it has been created to break the vicious cycle of sedentary behaviour resulting in rising childhood ob
playgrounds  sports  technology  children  play  outdoors  health  obesity 
july 2007 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Cambridgeshire | No playground for 'super school'
"The most expensive state school in the UK will not have an outdoor space for students when it opens in September."
schools  schooldesign  insanity  play  outdoors  children  education  architecture  design  landscape  uk 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Outdoors the new in place to learn
"Reputable studies have shown that environmental education experiences improve all learning -- especially that of math and science."
education  math  nature  science  outdoors  learning  schools  children  scores  testing  curriculum  biology 
april 2007 by robertogreco
Cruel 2 B Kind - a game of benevolent assasination
"At the beginning of the game, you and a partner-in-crime are assigned a secret weapon. To onlookers, it will seem like a random act of kindness. But to a select group of other players, the seemingly benevolent gesture is a deadly maneuver that will bring
games  play  arg  social  videogames  mobile  pervasive  participatory  outdoors  networking  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  wireless  cities  community  urban  street  locative  interactive 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Leave No Child Inside | by Richard Louv | Orion Magazine March-April 2007
"The movement to reconnect children to the natural world has arisen quickly, spontaneously, and across the usual social, political, and economic dividing lines. Read Richard Louv's article about this crucially important groundswell in the March-April 2007
children  nature  outdoors  parenting  play  environment  education  ecology  culture  community  youth  meaning  teaching  life  green  games  freedom  place 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Generation 'In' gets a new nudge: Go out and play | csmonitor.com
"Alarmed, conservationists and government officials are looking for ways to reverse the trend. Connecticut has already started, with a new campaign this year called "No Child Left Inside." The idea: bring families back to parks, families like the Verdones
children  health  play  outdoors  nature  society 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Libre Map Project - Free Maps and GIS data
"The purpose of the Libre Map Project is to aggregate and make digital maps and related GIS data available for Free."
mapping  maps  opensource  outdoors  reference  resources  collaboration  camping  data  GPS  usgs  government 
september 2006 by robertogreco
Free the Maps
"I am currently coordinating with the Internet Archive to get a few web pages together so people can find and download the maps. Internet Archive employees are busy people, so please be patient while we get things set up."
activism  camping  commons  community  copyright  data  geography  visualization  outdoors  mapping  maps  government  information  usgs  public  travel  tools  reference  urban  us 
september 2006 by robertogreco
Paris Parks @ National Geographic Magazine
"Why are citizens of the City of Light so intent on finding space for parks and gardens, for street trees and nature strips? For that matter, why would any city go to the bother and expense of growing green space in the stone and steel of an urban environ
architecture  life  cities  paris  europe  parks  outdoors  society 
september 2006 by robertogreco
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