I'll admit that I attended one TINY textbook fire as a teenager. It was somebody's math book, and we just stuck it in a park barbecue and then melted some cups over it, nothing particularly Fahrenheit 451. But there are better ways to dispose of textbooks that you hate, or just don't need anymore, but for whatever reason can't sell back. Chinese artist Liu Wei, for instance, does it by making spectacular carved-book cityscapes.
Back in 1962, Brendon Grimshaw bought Moyenne Island, in the Seychelles, for £8,000 (which at the time would have been about $22,000). He started living there in 1972, and since that time he's been the island's only permanent resident -- aside from the 120 giant tortoises for whom Grimshaw's island is a sanctuary. The video above features an obnoxious dipwad getting fake-overexcited about everything ("oh my god, there's a TORTOISE on your PORCH!!!!"), but ignore his capering: Grimshaw is genuinely cool.
Back in 2010, Greenpeace filed a Freedom of Information request covering endangered species affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill. They just received a response from NOAA, and it included more than 100 photos. They're disturbing: The ones Greenpeace has released so far show endangered Kemp Ridley's sea turtles, dead and covered in oil.
Adam Yauch, aka MCA, was the co-founder and beating progressive heart of the Beastie Boys, who not only made some of the most defining music of the 1980s and '90s but were among the first celebrities (at least in my memory) to go activist without sacrificing their cool. Yauch, who died today at the criminally tragic age of 47, didn't just fight for his right to party; he partied for his right to fight.
Most people associate Beastie activism with their vocal support of Tibet, which sprang from Yauch's Buddhism. But just in case you were looking for another reason to love the man and regret his loss, here's a less-known story: MCA also used his money and influence to support and distribute a powerful documentary on the water crisis, which pissed off water giant Nestlé so bad that a rep stormed out of a screening -- at a film festival Nestlé had paid for.
Saturday is the night to engage in your moon-related activities -- blow it up, write your name on it, release your singing marmoset creatures, whatever -- because you’ll have a pretty good view. It's a “supermoon,” where the moon is closer to earth in its orbit than normally -- and it's going to be the biggest, brightest full moon of 2012.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a draft [PDF] of its new rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. These rules were last revised in 1988, and they're being updated to deal with the current fracking boom (the BLM says 90 percent of new wells going in on public land are using fracking). The rule update is also meant to show some smidgen of federal leadership on questions like "Should natural gas companies reveal what's in fracking fluid?" and "How are we going to at least try and prevent this stuff from contaminating the water?"
The BLM's answers right now are:
Yes, companies have to share what's in fracking fluid, but only after they pour it into the ground.
We're going to require some tests to make sure the well is pretty solid. But not any tests the industry wasn't using already.
It's all very well to talk about the urban jungle, but how often are you supposed to water it? Carmichael Collective's tongue-in-cheek urban plant tags offer care instructions for metropolitan flora like benches, fire hydrants, stop signs, and mailboxes.