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Category Archives: Environment

Cell Phone Service on Mt. Everest

From the Huffington Post:
KATMANDU, Nepal — You can’t get away from a cell phone call, even at the top of the world.
Thanks to 3G towers newly installed near Mount Everest’s base camp, explorers can surf the Web, tweet and post Facebook updates without worrying that their signals will disappear into thin air.
The new high-speed service, [...]

A Ten-Year Plan to Support Biodiversity

Representatives at a United Nations conference on biodiversity in Japan are said to have just reached agreement to protect at least 17 per cent of land areas and 10 per cent of oceans by 2020. (The Convention on Biological Diversity site is here.)
Despite divisions between rich and poor countries, they also agreed on a system [...]

Of Synthetic Cells and Digital Media

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Thanks to J. Craig Venter’s just-announced “synthetic” cell, there now exists “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” His team managed to synthesize a length of DNA consisting of a million units and plant it into a bacterial cell, taking over the cell’s functions via what is referred [...]

“Bodies in Question,” After Photography in French

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I have just curated the New York Photo Festival exhibition “Bodies in Question,” concerning human and virtual bodies, the ailing planet, and the troubled body politic, with fourteen artists represented. An excellent analysis of the exhibition by Leo Hsu appears on foto8.com, focusing on Marc Garanger’s 1960 identity photographs of Algerian women made for the [...]

Wary of the Wolf

Seems that Photoshop is not enough. Now the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” Award, administered annually in Britain through the Natural History Museum and the BBC Wildlife Magazine, has had to be rescinded due to the use of what is now said to be a tame wolf to get a better picture (left).
Spanish photographer José [...]

Code Green

There are serious efforts underway to develop barcode scanners for consumers that immediately rate a product on its nutritional value and its impact on health. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has just announced that it will be working with other massive retail chains, environmentalists, suppliers and academics to come up with a standardized “green” rating [...]

Future Justice

There is a scene in Chris Marker’s 1962 movie, La Jetée (The Jetty), where the protagonist manages to travel into the future to ask for an energy source to save the present-day world. The idiosyncratic reasoning is that, since the world survived, the future must owe something to its past.
Now we have the World Future [...]

The Planet Needs You: 350.org

I saw Jim Balog’s photography of “Extreme Ice” on television’s NOVA two weeks ago depicting the accelerating melting of glaciers nearly everywhere. It has been difficult for me to sleep since. As I close my eyes I see gigantic glaciers the size of small countries turning into running water, as if a tap has started [...]

Extreme Ice

Jim Balog is one of the truly innovative photographers trying to tell us what is going on in our world. His earlier work Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife, was a series of studio portraits of animals, many of them nearly extinct, presented as individuals in front of seamless paper. It was a way [...]