The Future Of News

2503_cover_beigeThe purpose of this, where I am typing this just now, is to share information. Sometimes that information comes in the form of a personal story, which is highly subjective but informative about the challenges, the innovations, and accomplishments related to conservation and the wellbeing of communities around the world. We depend on the New York Times for this kind of information every day, and more days than not we link out to stories they publish related to the environment, community, or other topics of interest on this platform; so this story matters to us:

ARTHUR GREGG SULZBERGER doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business. He was young, he says, no older than 6, when he shuffled through the brass-plated revolving doors of the old concrete hulk on 43rd Street and boarded the elevator up to his father’s and grandfather’s offices. He often visited for a few minutes before taking a trip to the newsroom on the third floor, all typewriters and moldering stacks of paper, and then he’d sometimes go down to the subbasement to take in the oily scents and clanking sounds of the printing press. Continue reading

Art as Public Domain

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher by Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
by Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)

In these current times when Art, Culture and Civility appear to be under constant attack, news that museums and galleries – both private and public – are opening their virtual archives of Public Domain artworks to be just that, public, is newsworthy.

For example, a click on the image to the left takes viewers to the Metropolitan Museum’s website that includes not only the full details of the painting (description, catalogue entry, provenance and exhibition history, etc.), but also a hyperlink to a map of the gallery where viewers can find the actual painting, and related objects within the museum’s vast collection.

We’re happy to know that museums, whether virtual or physical, still provide inclusive space to breathe deep.

Met Museum Makes 375,000 Images Free

Continue reading

Model Mad, Basketball

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Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is one of Under Armour’s highest-paid endorsers. Credit Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

Still no shortage of model mad stories two weeks in to this series. Are we all ready to “jump off” like this man, who put a good portion of his livelihood on the line to speak his mind:

Stephen Curry became the latest athlete to weigh in on President Trump when he took issue with comments made about the president by the chief executive of his primary sponsor, Under Armour.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Under Armour’s Kevin Plank described Trump as “a real asset” to the country.

In an interview on Wednesday with The San Jose Mercury News, Curry responded, Continue reading

Coastal Preparations

Thanks to the Nature Conservancy’s Cool Green Science, and specifically Lisa Feldcamp, for this note and video on adaptive coastal folks:

“It hurt my heart to see how [the beach] had been deteriorated,” says Norris Henry of St. Andrew’s Development Organization. “I know in the past there was a nice beachfront, where you can play cricket, you can play football, you can run. But it’s so sad to see it is no longer there.” Continue reading

Model Mad, Literary

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The Cold War–era writings of the Czech writer Václav Havel offer ideas on how dissidents can resist “the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power.”PHOTOGRAPH BY MIROSLAV ZAJIC / CORBIS VIA GETTY

This post by Pankaj Mishra fits the bill for the theme we have been following, as the excerpted several paragraphs below will illustrate:

VÁCLAV HAVEL’S LESSONS ON HOW TO CREATE A “PARALLEL POLIS”

…Born in 1936, Havel came of age in Czechoslovakia, whose Communist rulers repeatedly imprisoned and continuously surveilled him while suppressing many of his writings. Defiant right until 1989, when he engineered the fall of the Communist regime, Havel came to be celebrated in the West as a “dissident,” a word commonly used to describe many in Communist countries who valiantly struggled against a pitiless despotism. Continue reading

Model Mad, Magazine

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Mother Jones staffers celebrate after winning the 2017 Magazine of the Year award.

We are not normally watching awards shows, but this story catches our attention because of some notable winners in the world of magazines, some of which we monitor regularly for stories relevant to our purpose. And in particular at this moment, when we have been monitoring the news for examples of creative protest, we realize that we had neglected or avoided some of these publications because of their partisan positioning (there is enough of that without our joining in). But this magazine today joins our list of regularly monitored sources because they have been relentlessly pursuing important stories, for a long time: Continue reading

Pigs Provisioned Properly

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This wild hog from Hawaii was raised at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo. Feral pigs in the wild tend to eat anything containing a calorie — from rows of corn to sea turtle eggs, to baby deer and goats. Rae Ellen Bichell/NPR

We appreciate the excellent science produced by employees of the federal government of the USA, both the theoretical and applied problems they tackle depending on their specialty. Thanks to those who deal with creatures like this, who have in common with their feline counterparts in some locations the misfortune of bumping up against human interests. Figuring them out and accommodating them humanely seems a worthy scientific cause:

Scientists Get Down And Dirty With DNA To Track Wild Pigs

by Rae Ellen Bichell

In the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, a gravel road leads to a 10-foot-tall fence. Type in a key code, and a gate scrapes open. Undo a chain to get behind another. Everything here is made of metal, because the residents of this facility are experts at invasion and destruction. Continue reading

Model Mad, Museum

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“K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I)” right, by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

When the two words model mad first occurred to us, it was simply to thank one of our favorite people for continuing to resist wrongness in new, clever manner, without losing his cool and thereby keeping it effective. Since then we have found a story almost every day that illustrates the fertile ground of protest created in recent times. And today, thanks to the New York Times, we see another one:

MoMA Takes a Stand: Art From Banned Countries Comes Center Stage

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President Trump’s executive order banning travel and rescinding visas for citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations does not lack for opponents in New York — from Kennedy Airport, where striking taxi drivers joined thousands of demonstrators, to the United Nations, whose new secretary general, António Guterres, said the measures “violate our basic principles.

Now the Museum of Modern Art — which in past decades has cultivated a templelike detachment — is making its voice heard as well. In one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution, the museum has reconfigured its fifth-floor permanent-collection galleries — interrupting its narrative of Western Modernism, from Cézanne through World War II — to showcase contemporary art from Iran, Iraq and Sudan, whose citizens are subject to the ban. A Picasso came down. Matisse, down. Ensor, Boccioni, Picabia, Burri: They made way for artists who, if they are alive and abroad, cannot see their work in the museum’s most august galleries. (A work from a Syrian artist has been added to the film program. The other affected countries are Somalia, Yemen and Libya.) Continue reading

Model Mad, Governor

Thanks to the New Yorker website for this one. No image required. These two paragraphs say plenty about a model mad governor of one state of the union that is resisting the dark clouds of the new political climate, but do read the whole post:

…“At my age, I can go pretty solidly for twelve hours,” Brown, who is fifty-six years old, said. “So, if you have a nine-to-five job, that gives you a couple of hours to be at your local airport to protest the immigration order. Continue reading

Model Mad, Boycott

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Travis Kalanick wrote in an email to Uber staff on Thursday that he stepped down after he spoke with Trump about his immigration executive order ‘and its issues for our community’. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

We appreciate the Guardian’s continued attention to stories that illustrate model mad
actions, wherever or however they might happen. The fertility of the soil, the richness of the ecosystem in which people are expressing themselves in novel model mad manner, is helping us imagine we will see through the dark cloud sooner rather than later:

Uber CEO steps down from Trump advisory council after users boycott

Travis Kalanick says participation in president’s strategic and policy forum has been ‘misinterpreted’ as endorsement of Donald Trump’s agenda Continue reading

Model Mad, Effective

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Utah’s congressional delegation has vigorously fought to open Ute tribal land, currently partially protected by the Bears Ears National Monument, above, to drilling. Photograph: Francisco Kjolseth/AP

Thanks to the Guardian for first bringing this to our attention, another example of model mad, and a pretty big deal too:

Waterway Blockage, Beautiful & Beastly

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Norton Mill Dam view from the bridge. Photo © Lia McLaughlin / USFWS through a Creative Commons license

Thanks to the Nature Conservancy’s Cool Green Science for this story:

Outtakes: Exploring America’s Most Dammed Waterways

by JENNY ROGERS

Sally Harold has one eye on the river and one on the cars whizzing by as we stand on a road near the freeway. A river restoration specialist for The Nature Conservancy’s Connecticut River program, she’s showing me a map of the state, obscured with dots representing dams. To our left, a burned-out mill building looms over a small river. To our right, the road that leads northeast to Hartford. Continue reading

Model Mad, March

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A women’s march in Fairbanks, Alaska, last month. The movement inspired a group of scientists to organize their own demonstration in Washington. Credit Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, via Associated Press

We have not had a shortage of model mad stories, which may be the silver lining to the cloud, so thanks to the Science section of the New York Times for this contribution:

Listen to Evidence’: March for Science Plans Washington Rally on Earth Day

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Within a week of its creation, the March for Science campaign had attracted more than 1.3 million supporters across Facebook and Twitter, cementing itself as a voice for people who are concerned about the future of science under President Trump.

Now, hoping to transform that viral success into something approaching the significance of the women’s march last month, the campaign has scheduled its demonstration in Washington for Earth Day, April 22. Continue reading

Model Mad, Canada

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Canadian scientists were not allowed to talk to the media on certain topics during the premiership of Stephen Harper. Photograph: Alamy

Thanks to the Guardian for reporting on the decision by some Canadian scientists to model mad in that distinctly polite, mild-mannered and highly effective way they have of doing things up north:

Canadian scientists offer support to muzzled US counterparts

For nine years under Canada’s previous government, science suffered harsh restrictions. Now US scientists may be facing a similar fate

by Ashifa Kassam in Toronto

Canadian scientists – who were muzzled for nearly a decade by the country’s previous Conservative government – have been making contact with their counterparts in the US to offer their support and solidarity amid mounting fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will seek to suppress climate science.

For nine years, scientists with Canada’s federal government grappled with what many described as an all out assault on science. Continue reading

Model Mad, Alt

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Multiple Twitter accounts claiming to be run by members of the National Park Service and other U.S. agencies have appeared since the Trump administration’s apparent gag order. The account owners are choosing to remain anonymous. David Calvert/Getty Images

Thanks to Wynne Davis at National Public Radio (USA) for It’s Not Just The Park Service: ‘Rogue’ Federal Twitter Accounts Multiply, another example of model mad:

“Rogue” accounts that have the look of those by real federal agencies are spreading like wildfire on Twitter.

The AltUSNatParkService Twitter account has gained more than 1 million followers and inspired the creation of many more “unofficial resistance” accounts for specific national parks and other entities, including accounts like Rogue NASA and AltUSForestService. Continue reading

Model Mad, Corporate

oh418v0r-1Thanks to EcoWatch for identifying these companies for speaking out, as is their right and responsibility as much as their self-interest–a good self-interest in conservation–and providing another example of model mad, corporate style:

The most anticipated outdoor recreation event of the year just finished in Salt Lake City, Utah, where hundreds of outdoor brands from small business outfitters to industry pioneers like Patagonia and Black Diamond Equipment gathered to witness the cutting-edge in outdoor gear. Continue reading

Model Mad, 314

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The website itself is not exactly scintillating, but click the banner above to read the mission statement. Better yet, read Ed Yong’s scintillating explanation of how and why this organization came to be, and what it is doing:

For American science, the next four years look to be challenging. The newly inaugurated President Trump, and many of his Cabinet picks, have repeatedly cast doubt upon the reality of human-made climate change, questioned the repeatedly proven safety of vaccines. Since the inauguration, the administration has already frozen grants and contracts by the Environmental Protection Agency and gagged researchers at the US Department of Agriculture. Many scientists are asking themselves: What can I do? Continue reading

Model Mad, NPS

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Redwood national park in California. Photograph: Jeffrey Schwartz/Alamy

We like what we see of the madly determined folks risking their professional careers in the interest of the environment and social justice:

National Park Service climate change Twitter campaign spreads to other parks

A day after three climate-related tweets sent out by Badlands National Park were deleted, other park accounts have sent out tweets that appear to defy Trump

The National Park Service employees’ Twitter campaign against Donald Trump spread to other parks on Wednesday, with tweets on climate change and a reminder that Japanese Americans were forcibly interned in camps and parks during the second world war.

A day after three climate-related tweets sent out by Badlands National Park were deleted, other park accounts have sent out tweets that appear to defy Trump. One, by Redwood national park in California, notes that redwood groves are nature’s number one carbon sink, which capture greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming…

…Golden Gate national park in California said in a tweet that 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row. The tweet directed readers to a report by Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as Noaa…

…The tweets went beyond climate change.

Death Valley national park tweeted photos of Japanese Americans interned there during the second world war, a message that some saw as objecting to Trump’s pledge to ban Muslims from entering the country and a proposal to restrict the flow of refugees to the United States…

Read the whole story here.

Farmers, Chefs & Connections

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Farmers and chefs looking for their perfect match at Bluejacket, a restaurant and brewery in Washington, D.C. Dan Charles/NPR

Thanks to the folks at the salt, over at National Public Radio (USA), one of the greatest investments any country has made in broadcast news and features:

‘Speed Dating’ For Farmers And Chefs: ISO A Perfect Local-Food Match

By Dan Charles

…Ashley Heaney and Mark Heaney, from Green Acres Family Farm in Gapland, Md., are sitting in a booth on one side of the room, looking expectant and a little tense. They have a cooler full of eggs from their pasture-raised chickens beside them. This is their chance to show off those eggs to a collection of big-city chefs.

They’re here for matchmaking, though not of the romantic sort. It’s an annual “speed-dating” event where farmers get set up with chefs, in an effort to put more local food on restaurant tables. Continue reading

Mad, Yes

0115-bks-ivorytower-blog427-v3As we approach our 8,000th post on this platform we realize that for the nearly six years we have been posting there was plenty of hopeful, helpful news related to community, collaboration and conservation–the themes we committed ourselves to at  the outset.

Times seem different now, to state the obvious. And yes we are “mad” about what is happening around us. Madly determined. It will take discipline to remain focused and find the news that fits our purpose here. But we intend to.

The point has not been to ignore the bad news, of which there has been plenty in recent years, but to share a few notices each day that highlight better news. Or possible solutions. The spirit of our intent, which has been to support “the fight” as needed but remain civil to the end, is captured well in this book review:

How to Be Civil in an Uncivil World

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