Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Only Fruit Tree You'll Ever Need

I'd love to have one of these in my garden!

Sam Van Aken, an art professor from Syracuse University, has developed the incredible Tree of 40 Fruit. In 2008, Van Aken learned that a very old orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be shut down due to a lack of funding. Van Aken wanted to preserve the unique heirloom, antique, and native varieties of stone fruit so he bought the orchard and over the years grafted parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree. He has grown 16 of the trees so far.

More: Science Alert 

Lilica the Dog Travels Four Miles Every Night to Feed Her Animal Friends

Lilica was abandoned at a junkyard in San Carlos, Brazil, when she was just a puppy. The junkyard caretaker took her in and cared for her along with other animals in the junkyard. Eventually Lilica had pups and she travelled far afield, rooting through garbage cans to find food for them.
One night a dog lover named Lucia took pity on the dog and gave her a bag of food which Lilica took  back to her pups. Once the pups were adopted Lilica has continued to walk four miles each night to take the parcels of food prepared by Lucia back to her animal friends at the junkyard .

More: Collecting Oddities

Where Rickshaws Go To Die

Pedal-powered taxis, a fixture on the streets of Bangladesh for generations, are now threatened by Indian-built battery powered tuk-tuks and stricter safety regulations. Up to 15,000 unwanted rickshaws have been dumped on a patch of land in the Mirpur area of Dhaka.

Some of these vehicles were abandoned by their owners, while others were seized by police officers from drivers, some reportedly as young as 12, who failed to provide the proper operating permits.

More: Urban Ghosts

Eastern European Cities Plated

Buenos Aires based food stylist Anna Kevilla Joyce transforms food into a work of art.
These Eastern European cities on a plate are composed of ingredients that capture the essence of the respective place.

Via Foodiggity


I have always wanted to visit Havana but keep putting it off. Perhaps this will be the year.
This haunting video was shot over a few days in January 2013.

In Havana from Ezaram Vambe on Vimeo.
Photography, edit and color grading by Ezaram Vambe
Music is "Tarrega Minor" by Broque - Licensed from marmosetmusic.com

Via Curiosites de Titam

The Lucky Iron Fish Project

Half  of Cambodia's pregnant women and children suffer from iron deficiency which can lead to lethargy, impaired growth and cognitive development in children, and increased risks of premature delivery and maternal mortality. Cooking in iron pots transmits iron to food but are not affordable for those who could benefit most from extra iron in their diet.

Dr. Christopher Charles, a Canadian epidemiologist in Cambodia, distributed pieces of iron to local women to place in their aluminum pots to see if there would be a beneficial iron transfer but local women were reluctant to use the iron chunks in their cooking.
Then Charles learned of a fish known as try mantrap. This symbol was believed to bring luck, health, and happiness. He distributed iron replicas of this fish and women started cooking with them. Within 12 months, Charles reports, anemia in villages where the fish was distributed virtually disappeared.

Find out more about the impact of Lucky Iron Fish Project.

More: The Atlantic

Thanks Bruce!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Monty Python Fan's Dream Come True

Watch All of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python Animations in a Row

More: Open Culture

Alberta Artist Uses Unique Method To Protect His Land

Peter von Tiesenhausen is an Alberta artist whose multidisciplinary practice includes painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, installation, event, video and performance. The land where he lives constitutes his primary and ongoing artwork. When oil interests wanted to drill on his property in Demmit, Alberta he found a unique way to protect his land. By copyrighting his property as an artwork, he has prevented oil companies from drilling or running a pipeline through it. As an ongoing artwork, all 800 acres are protected; any change made to the land constitutes a copyright infringement.
The video below features a dance performance piece at the Leighton Arts Centre using one of von Tiesenhausen's sculptural pieces. The 1000 poles were harvested from his own woodlot.

Video: The Chapel

The Cornish Beaches Where Lego Pieces Wash Up

In 1997, a ship was hit by a wave that tilting the ship 60 degrees one way, then 40 degrees back, sweeping 62 containers overboard about 20 miles off the Cornish coast. One of the containers held millions of pieces of Lego which continue to wash ashore to this day.
People collect the pieces they find on the beaches. Tracey Williams runs a Facebook page which keeps track of Lego pieces which have turned up as far away as Melbourne Australia.

Lost Lego Pieces
Cargo included:
Toy kits - Divers, Aquazone, Aquanauts, Police, FrightKnights, WildWest, RoboForce TimeCruisers, Outback, Pirates
Spear guns (red and yellow) - 13,000 items
Black octopus - 4,200
Yellow life preserver - 26,600
Diver flippers (in pairs: black, blue, red) - 418,000
Dragons (black and green) - 33,941
Brown ship rigging net - 26,400
Daisy flowers (in fours - white, red, yellow) - 353,264
Scuba and breathing apparatus (grey) - 97,500
Total of 4,756,940 Lego pieces lost overboard in a single container
Estimated 3,178,807 may be light enough to have floated
Source: Beachcombers' Alert, vol 2. No 2 1997

Sea debris and plastic don't go away and the pieces that remain in the water are deadly for wildlife which ingest them. Unfortunately legislation cannot always prevent containers falling into the ocean as a result of violent weather. On the positive side the pieces that wash up tell a lot about the mysterious world of oceans and tides.
More: BBC News 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vintage Farm Stands

I'm fortunate to live in the Niagara Peninsula which is known for its fruit and vegetable bounty. We took highway 8 from Hamilton to NOTL yesterday and saw a lot of stands like these along the way.

See more vintage pictures of farm stands from the Library of Congress.