Boing Boing 

Hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags


Argentine artist Tomás Saracen's installation, Becoming Aerosolar, is a gigantic hot-air balloon made from recycled plastic bags.

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Massive sculpture covers saplings with plastic bags

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This year's non-traditional gallery exhibits at Art Basel Unlimited include Pascale Marthine Tayou's Plastic Tree C.

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New NASA imagery reveals extent of tar on Santa Barbara beaches left by Refugio oil spill

AVIRIS-NG red-green-blue (visible) aerial image of the Refugio Incident oil spill, showing oil on the water and on nearby Santa Barbara Channel beaches. NASA/JPL-Caltech


AVIRIS-NG red-green-blue aerial image of Refugio Incident oil spill, showing oil on the water and nearby beaches. NASA/JPL-Caltech

When an oil pipeline ruptured near Santa Barbara, California, on May 19, it leaked 105,000 barrels of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach, and another 21,000 gallons into the Pacific Ocean in the north Santa Barbara Channel. The Refugio Incident created an environmental nightmare for local beaches and wildlife, which continues still.

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What's in the Pope's barn-storming environmental message?


There's a lot to love in the Pope's new encyclical on climate, poverty and the environment, and even the terrible stuff is de-emphasized.

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FBI spies on tar sands opponents under banner of "national security"


They've followed Canada's RCMP in classifying tar sands opponents as threats to national security and fair game for intense surveillance.

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The Subprimes: a novel of the Piketty/Klein apocalypse

The Harvard Business Review asked me to review Karl Taro Greenfield's magical econopocalypse novel The Subprimes, and I was delighted.

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Portraits of e-waste pickers in Ghana


German photographer Kevin McElvaney shot portraits of the itinerant pickers who work on Agbogbloshie, the toxic e-waste dump outside of Accra, Ghana.

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Pickups, SUVs dominate map of most popular vehicles by state

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Every Car Listed published some interesting maps about America's gas-guzzling habits. In 42 of 50 states, the most popular vehicle is a pickup truck or SUV.

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Pacific Edge, the most uplifting novel in my library

This utopian story, about a world where people live together without the need for extreme haves and have-nots, is available as a DRM-free audiobookRead the rest

No charges for Japanese man who dumped a quarter-ton of porn in a park


70 year old Hideaki Adachi said he was disposing of the porn for a sick friend, and he assumed that the park's population of homeless people (with whom he volunteers) would arrange for its disposal.

(via JWZ)

Handbook for fighting climate-denialism


From 2011, Skeptical Science's excellent Debunking Handbook, a short guide for having discussions about climate change denial that tries to signpost the common errors that advocates of the reality of anthropogenic global warming make when talking to people who disbelieve.

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Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming conference, Medford, Mass, Nov 21-23


Gmoke sez, "As someone who lives halfway between Harvard and MIT and has used that opportunity to monitor the scientists on climate change and energy, this is the first time I’ve seen anyone address these issues from the ecosystem perspective."

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Canadian government threatens bird watchers for writing concerned letter about bee die-off


Dave writes, "A birdwatching group sent a letter to two federal cabinet ministers citing concerns over the effects of certain chemicals on the life of bees. Shortly thereafter, they received a threatening letter from Revenue Canada telling them to stop with the political actions."

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Pakistan's scorpion hunters

In Pakistan, a black scorpion weighing 60 grams sells for around $50,000 to medical researchers. Al Jazeera's Maham Javaid investigates the country's scorpion trade and its possible harm to the country's ecosystem. From Al Jazeera:

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Shahid and Sohail, two friends who grew up together in a housing colony in Sindh province's Thatta district, have never been scared of the scorpion's venomous sting.

"As teenagers, we caught and killed scorpions as a game," Sohail told Al Jazeera. "Last year we found out that if we caught a live one, we could be instant millionaires."

On the hottest nights of the year, these hunters search for the nocturnal creatures in the 200-hectare dry forest behind their colony. Scorpions hibernate in cold weather, so Sohail says it is easier to catch them when it's hot.

Their broker, Faraz, is constantly in contact with other brokers who can sell the scorpion to foreign companies for thousands of dollars.

"I spend all my spare time connecting scorpion buyers with sellers," Faraz, who also works at Karachi Port Trust, told Al Jazeera. "When a big deal goes through, it will be like winning the lottery."

"The scorpion hunters of Pakistan

20 meaningful things you can do about climate change


Michael sez, "As a volunteer climate change campaigner, over the years I've seen a number of lists of things people can do about climate change. They're often unconvincing."

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Kickstarting a DIY back-yard Tar Sands Kit


Jeff sez, "Turn pristine ecosystems into high-octane fuel in your own home -- all ages!" Public Lab'skit helps you understand the devastation and health risks from tar sands extraction by letting you boil your own back yard for oil.

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US Forestry Service wages war on photography in national forests


The new, stupid ban on "professional" photography violates the First Amendment, the Service admits that there's no actual need for it, and it will undermine the visibility of the national forests at a time when they are under unprecedented threat from developers, the energy sector, and mining.

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