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The Navigation of Salmon as Cultural Analogy

There is this stunner of a word in the English language – murmuration. It is the word for a flock of starlings who engage in this pulsing and shifting synchronized flight that makes for gaspingly beautiful fluid shapes. Seemingly every bird knows exactly when to turn and how far while maintaining speed with the entire…

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Queen of the Yakut Spirit Fashion

If you walk in sustainability or locavore circles you might come across the term ‘100 Mile Diet.’ The term, which became popular in the early 2000’s, derives from a book written by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon about their experience with eating only foods that came from no more than 100 miles from their home…

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The Judean Date Palm is Coming Back

When you think of the Middle East you mostly think of it as desert. And that is true, mostly it is that. But there was a time it was different landscape. Dry, yes, but more green than you might have thought. There are the famed cedars of Lebanon – once a deep forest there. And…

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The Making of the Norwegian Lime Bast Rope

If you are like me you don’t think too much of string or rope or cord. You pick it up at the store or get a roll of it delivered on Amazon but cordage is astonishing and one of the most amazing inventions or discoveries made by humans. The first houses were held together with…

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The Last Thatcher in Wales

‘They thought they were giving us a gift’ he said, ‘but they really took something away from us when they forced those cinderblock houses and corrugated metal roofs onto us. This is the beginning of a story that I heard an older man, Martin Prechtel, from Guatemala speak of when recounting part of his youth…

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The Resiliency of the Older Forest

If you are on top of reading about what is happening to the climate and the impacts it is having on all life it is easy and understandable to be frightened. Properly so. It’s scary. You can go down the line and look at the way the spiraling climate is impacting people and where and…

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Good News! Europe is Taking Down Its Biggest Dam

  For nearly 100 years the Sélune River in Normandy has had two dams installed on it – the Vezins and the La Roche Qui Boit. And just a few weeks ago the first irreperable breach was made in the the Vezins dam kicking off the largest individual dam removal project in Europe ever. The…

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The 8.5 Million Pound Boulder and What It Might Ask of You

  A few months ago near Telluride, Colorado there was a giant landslide and two very large boulders  ended up blocking Highway 154. Nobody got hurt but plenty of inconvenience for many days as workarounds got devised. The smaller of the two boulders weighed about two million pounds and was blown up and carted off…

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A Bridge Made of Grass

The patron saint of bridges is St. Bénézet. Bénézet had a dream that an angel commanded him to build a bridge across the Rhone river in his town of Avignon. Nobody believed it was possible but he allegedly lifted a stone that thirty men could not lift and dropped it in the river as the…

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The Old Occitan Tongue

Unless your ancestors are from the the south of France you might not have even known that Occitan was a language at all. But for a long time this language was a common tongue across a decent swath of Europe. How have you never heard of it? Maybe you have heard of the The Troubadors,…

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