Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Color is your Diet

Most of you might think the basic food groups are cheese, wine and coffee. However, there is something to be said about colorful food that simply tastes so delicious and fresh.

Thanks to Tattfoo Tan, a Malaysian-born artist who lives in Staten Island, New York, we can now better understand how to nourish our bodies. He takes regular trips to the Union Square Greenmarket and started the Nature Matching System.

The concept is simple and designed to extract 88 colors that would best represent 88 different fruits and vegetables. The magic 88 were developed as a reminder to consume your daily recommended doses of color. One might think of these intense colors as nature’s nutrition labels. Ruby reds, deep purples, vibrant yellows....all the vitamins and compounds that play a vital role in filtering out all the junk and free radicals. To learn more about the Nature Matching System, click here.

Sunglasses for The Earth

National Geographic had a “big idea moment” in their August 2010 edition. I felt it was relevant to reiterate this topic as it touches on geoengineering and called for giving the Earth big sunglasses. This scientific, wacky idea sounds simple in theory with a goal of combating global warming by essentially making our world cooler. If we can’t reduce our reliance on fossil fuels fast enough, then this is one of many Plan B’s in our pocket.

The radical technique calls for shooting up (more like beaming up) tons of tiny particles, mostly sulfate, in the stratosphere. The mechanism for blasting up these sulfates soldiers could be planes, battleship guns, rockets and even balloons. This cloud of sulfate disks, thin as a Kleenex, would help to dim or reflect sunlight around the Earth by 2 percent, substantial enough to cool our planet.

You are probably thinking…yeah right? How is this possible?

When you crunch the numbers, this could be a mega shade about 60,000 miles long and about 1 million miles away from the Earth and 92 million miles from the Sun. With that much time and money, couldn’t we reduce our fossil fuel consumption, take our foot off the gas, and actually change our behaviors? Unfortunately, some believe that the recession is still to blame, which is why we haven’t made true progress toward this goal.

My philosophy: There are no mistakes; only lessons. I hear Arizona has sunny days and could use some cooling.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nano Man and Big Food

Space travel, visiting other planets, engineering healthy food...can we really put all of that in one sentence? The answer might be yes given the intelligence and new thinking from three experimenting minds.

One is Manfred Clynes, who coined the word cyborg more than 50 years ago, and the second individual is Craig Ventner, famous for sequencing the human genome. Combine these great accomplishments together and you have Arne Hendricks who wonders whether it might be possible to just re-design humans. The approach of altering mankind to be 19-inches tall and 4 pounds sounds crazy, right? Yet he has spent the past several years seriously researching the possibilities and implications of shrinking the human species. As he explains on his project website:

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative design research about the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimeters [19.7 inches]. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?

I know you are getting excited plus questioning the whole concept; however, imagine baby pineapple fruit, mini-cows, and more. From a scientific approach, this could translate into less energy requirements, less food, smaller footprints, and potentially less garbage. From an emotional and natural perspective, it sounds completely wacky. In today's age of complete out of control consumption, you have to give these guys credit for re-thinking our approach to food, genetics, and space technology.

If anything the Incredible Shrinking Man research project could yield evidence for improving farming and agricultural to medicine and technology. We know this small methodology has nano-lifesavers and the field of nanotechnology is expanding far and wide with nanobots, nanofabrics, nanochemistry and other nanomaterials. We are a small world after all, but we still have big problems to solve. Consume Less. Conserve More.

Source: Good, 2011

Reverse Graffiti

The urban land artist, Anna Garforth from the UK integrates her interest
in urban ecology and sustainability through her creative practice. Some of us know this art as "graffiti art" and it crosses many different mediums such as reusing materials, plants, moss, reverse graffiti, chalk, or the use of other natural resources. Various activities have driven her to discover and understand more about her natural surrounding and express this passion through the following projects.

Rethink is an installation set up in front of regents canal in London, England which is an electrical power site with two main resources: gas and water. This simple word communicates a need to rethink what our society consumes and how we collectively use our resources.

Head Gardener is a guerrilla gardening project. The approach involves turning milk bottles into characters with plant hair styles. Some of these guys took to the streets, while others couldn't handle getting their hair wet.

Have you seen any local graffiti art? Share with us on Twitter @GoSustaino and Facebook.