Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

08 OCTOBER, 2009

Last Day to Vote for Google’s Project 10^100

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What tsunamis have to do with online banking, public transit and better street cred for geeks.

Last fall, Google launched Project 10^100 — a global call for world-changing ideas that help as many people as possible. After over 150,000 submissions from more than 170 countries, 16 inspired finalists emerged and The Big G handed it over to us the people to cull the top 5 who will enter an RFP process and hash it out for the grand funding.

And today, October 8, is the last chance we the people have to cast our votes for ideas that range from fighting for a positive media depiction of scientists, to free online education, to a global genocide monitoring and alert system.

So go ahead, take a look at the contenders and make yourself heard. It may sound like a pageant line, but we are indeed the world — our actions and choices drive its direction, so if Google is willing to put some money into something good, we better make sure it’s the best possible. Vote now.

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29 SEPTEMBER, 2009

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind: Innovation Against All Odds

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What a 14-year-old African boy can teach the world about ingenuity and innovation.

In July, we had the pleasure of meeting inventor and TEDFellow William Kamkwamba. Today, the world welcomes his brilliant new book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope — a wildly inspiring recount of how, at the age of 14, he built an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts and scrap.

To truly get a sense of how incredible this young man is, and how big he dreams, be sure to watch his fantastic talk from TEDGlobal.

We couldn’t recommend The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope more strongly — so grab yourself a copy and generate some mental electricity from this powerfully inspirational story.

And, speaking of book recommendations, we’ve launched a little spin-off project — follow @GreatReadFeed on Twitter for a curated stream of book recommendations spanning the entire spectrum of culture with must-read classics and hidden gems across subjects you didn’t know you were interested in until, well, you are.

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24 SEPTEMBER, 2009

Creativity for Sustainability: Glove Love

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All gloves are off in the war on climate change, or what models have to do with natural history.

We love Green Thing. And now, their latest project is giving us all the more reason to. Launching at London Fashion Week this week, the GloveLove project reunites the world’s lost single gloves in a charmingly clever promotion for GT’s anti-waste initiative, All-Consuming — the art of wasting nothing and using everything.

Each newly paired set is washed, repaired and re-packaged by hand with recycled nametags and labels that explain the stories behind each glove.

Glove Love is brilliant, romantic, original, funny and green.” ~ Emma Thompson

The effort is backed by socially-conscious celebs like Eva Green, Lauren Budd and Emma Thompson, and has already received hundreds of glove donations from both everyday folks and the lost-and-founds of organizations like Transport for London and Britain’s Natural History Museum.

GloveLove is a lovely illustration of the idea that creativity is a powerful tool for propelling sustainability — and one more inspired way for Green Thing to put their money where their mouth is in backing their “Creativity vs. Climate Change” mantra.

Give a glove to contribute to this wonderful project, and the good folks at GT will even let you know when your glove has been paired up and found its glovelover soulmate. Or, get yourself a brilliantly, colorfully mis-matched pair with character and a story for the non-price of £5.

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23 SEPTEMBER, 2009

Short Film Spotlight: Greenpeace Global Voices

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What the streets of Delhi have to do with the halls of Copenhagen.

Today, we bring you an exclusive pre-premiere of the new Greenpeace International Global Voices short film from director Philip Bloom. [Correction: As Philip kindly pointed out, his role was DP — the spot was actually directed by Lucy Campbell-Jackson.]

Set to launch on MTV in the next few days, the beautifully shot spot promotes Greanpeace’s MyVoice initiative. Quiet and unsensationalistic, the ongoing project illustrates the powerful impact of global warming through the individual voices of the diverse people whose everyday lives are affected and threatened by this environmental apocalypse.

There’s a certain Chris Jordanesque approach to the problem — knowing that global warming is already claiming 300,000 lives each year is one thing, but seeing and hearing the visceral human element behind it, the personal story buried in the alienating stats, is quite something else.

The effort is part of the TckTckTck campaign, a global partnership for citizen-powered climate action, leading up the the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen on December 7. Visit The Climate Orb to submit your story and join the movement.

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18 SEPTEMBER, 2009

Seafood Sexytime: Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno 3

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What Pizza Neapolitana has to do with orgies and the future of the oceans.

Early last year, iconic Italian actor, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model Isabella Rossellini made waves when she signed on to do Green Porno, a series of short films for Sundance Channel exploring, to put it bluntly, the sex life of bugs.

Now, she’s back with Green Porno 3, charmingly weird and brilliant as ever. This time, she explores the hot-and-steamy of marine life.

From anchovy orgies, to elephant seal harems, to the 3-heart, 18-arm, 2-penis sexomatic squid, the series is every bit as awkwardly amusing as it is enlighteningly educational — a delightful intersection of scientific accuracy and old-timey theatrics.

We couldn’t help appreciating the subtle environmental commentary of the series. Each episode opens with a cooking scene, then delves into the magnificent, intricate marine system that somehow ended up on the plate — a timely reminder that our collective choices are precisely what caused the rather serious current overfishing crisis.

Catch Green Porno 3 online for some nerdy-artsy edutainment, and if you happen to be on the iPhone team, do the oceans a favor by grabbing Seafood Watch, a nifty free app that helps you make sustainable food choices.

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