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"In terms of beer, cutting 1 metre of the board cost 54.3 litres of it."

The story of the world’s longest wooden board.
posted by jessamyn on Sep 12, 2014 - 35 comments

Piety and Perversity: The Palms of Los Angeles

Parisians claim that in Paris, one is never more than 400 yards away from a Metro station. In Los Angeles, I am equally certain that one is always within 400 yards of a palm tree. Scores of streets are lined with them; they are ubiquitous in domestic and public gardens; they rise from hilltops; they tower above cemeteries; they front museums, movie studios, hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, modest apartments, and lavish villas; they are clustered around swimming pools; they dominate the skyline — they are everywhere, and have never been more popular. The city’s 200-year love affair with palms has never ceased, and rather than waning, the affair is waxing. From the first palms planted by Spanish padres to the city of Beverly Hills, which recently, in an act of cosmetic alteration, created a palm-lined, palm-bisected thoroughfare on upscale Rodeo Drive, the palm has been the tree of choice for Angelenos. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 28, 2014 - 38 comments

Beware of Wildlife: Use at Own Risk

“Pawzing Workout, Resuming Workout” [YouTube] – A black bear encounter while running in Matcheetawin Trails, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
posted by D.C. on Jun 29, 2014 - 45 comments

The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

Let us arise and plant

The legacy of John Evelyn’s Sylva in 1664, on behalf of the Royal Society, the courtier, garden designer, entrepreneur, bee-keeper, connoisseur, author & celebrated diarist John Evelyn published Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in His Majesties Dominions, which is supposed to have significantly influenced [PDF] forestry in the UK over the succeeding centuries. Now, ‘silvologist’ Gabriel Hemery and artist Sarah Simblet have produced a new work inspired by Evelyn’s—The New Sylva: A Discourse of Forest & Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century.
posted by misteraitch on Apr 10, 2014 - 4 comments

vanishing beauty

Joshua - a time-lapse tribute to the beauty of Joshua trees, native to southwestern U.S. Photographer Sungjin Ahn embarked on his project after learning that climate change could "eliminate Joshua trees from 90 percent of their current range in 60 to 90 years." via PetaPixel
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 12, 2014 - 15 comments

Video Game Foliage

Video Game Foliage. "Making spaces for games is a strange and interesting art. Not being bound by physical limitations makes it possible to create impossible structures, but being bound by the technical limitations of modern computer graphics makes it difficult to create accurate simulacra of even simple objects. So video games cheat, using approximations to create the desired aesthetic result. Plant approximations are especially hard, since organic structures tend to be difficult to describe in terms that graphics cards understand. This creates an interesting design constraint. How do you create representations of plants given the limitations of realtime rendering? I plan to use this blog to show a bunch of games that choose different answers to this question. I hope you’ll join me in looking into the weird world of video game foliage." [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 19, 2013 - 31 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 9, 2013 - 46 comments

When a Tree Fell in the Forest

Redwood Saga (1946) — Once upon a time, how tiny lumberjacks with tools and muscle power fell the big ones.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 9, 2013 - 61 comments

No thanks, I use video games to escape my reality

Are your "friends" pushing illegal marijuana cigarettes? Don't let drugs get in the way of your dream car! Keep sober with these snappy comebacks to narcotics. [SLYT Australian PSA]
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 21, 2013 - 39 comments

Olga Ziemska

Olga Ziemska is a sculptor who works in Cleveland, Ohio. She also has a blog. [Some images may be NSFW]
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 18, 2013 - 3 comments

Can we please stop drawing trees on top of skyscrapers?

Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. However, "There are plenty of scientific reasons why skyscrapers don’t—and probably won’t—have trees, at least not to the heights which many architects propose. Life sucks up there. For you, for me, for trees, and just about everything else except peregrine falcons." [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Mar 26, 2013 - 65 comments

Christmas Tree Science

Pop-Up Forests and Experimental Christmas Trees
posted by ennui.bz on Dec 8, 2012 - 0 comments

What to do with $175,000 in weed found in your back yard

Some evil bastard has stuffed a bag of dope into a hole behind my house and turned my life into the backdrop of a James Ellroy noir.
posted by growabrain on Dec 6, 2012 - 101 comments

Magna Carta 2: promote the general welfare

Destroying the Commons by Noam Chomsky: "The Charter of the Forest demanded protection of the commons from external power. The commons were the source of sustenance for the general population: their fuel, their food, their construction materials, whatever was essential for life. The forest was no primitive wilderness. It had been carefully developed over generations, maintained in common, its riches available to all, and preserved for future generations -- practices found today primarily in traditional societies that are under threat throughout the world." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 2, 2012 - 30 comments

Cambodian Trees

Cambodian Trees by Clément Briend. "La culture cambodgienne est habitée par une spiritualité qui crée une conscience du monde peuplée de génies et d’esprits. Dans le paysage d'une ville endormie, la nuit fait apparaître ces figures divines sur les arbres, permettant ainsi leur incarnation. Par ces projections nocturnes, nous pouvons alors toucher la magie qui illumine leur regard sur le monde." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 16, 2012 - 6 comments

They do it because they can.

Trees are Freaking Awesome! (SLYT)
posted by klausman on Oct 31, 2012 - 29 comments

The vanishing groves

The vanishing groves: A chronicle of climates past and a portent of climates to come – the telling rings of the bristlecone pine.
posted by homunculus on Oct 17, 2012 - 19 comments

Blue will speak for the trees

Blue trees are to be seen in cities around the world, a colorful plea to save the trees. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 7, 2012 - 27 comments

Greenbacks

Last week, I wrote about how urban trees—or the lack thereof—can reveal income inequality. After writing that article, I was curious, could I actually see income inequality from space? It turned out to be easier than I expected.
posted by infini on Jun 1, 2012 - 43 comments

Christopher Alexander lectures at Berkeley

Legendary architect-philosopher Christopher Alexander delivers a fascinating lecture at Berkeley, in which he criticizes "modular" design and offers a radical new vision of architecture's relation to nature. Alexander is best known for A Pattern Language, which aimed to make buildings and towns more "alive" through a series of pleasing and comfortable patterns (five sample patterns can be found here). His most recent work, the four-part The Nature of Order, theorizes that life, whether organic or inorganic, emerges from a single simple process, which can be found on page 4 of Amazon's preview of the third volume. In the first volume Alexander lists fifteen properties that make a structure whole. Also worth reading: Alexander's classic essay A City is not a Tree.
posted by Rory Marinich on May 9, 2012 - 28 comments

Getting wood

Romeyn Hough's American Woods is one of the most astonishing books of the late 19th century, a 14-volume set containing a thorough survey of the trees of the U.S., complete with thinly sliced samples of the wood of each tree. Complete sets of this mammoth undertaking are today rare and highly prized.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 28, 2012 - 4 comments

Bad Reception? This'll make it oakey-dokey.

Spray-on Nanoparticle Mix Turns Trees Into Antennas.
posted by storybored on Feb 20, 2012 - 35 comments

The sound of the ages

Years by Bartholomäus Traubek: a record player that plays slices of wood.
posted by functionequalsform on Jan 20, 2012 - 18 comments

I have no idea how these goths climbed up these trees, or why.

Goths up trees.
posted by LSK on Jan 5, 2012 - 61 comments

A Brief History of Palm Trees in Southern California

Of the hundreds of species of palm trees you might find in southern California, only one is native to the state, and that shaggy specimen is naturally found around springs and arroyos in the desert southwest, not lined along beach community parks and streets. How did a desert tree become an icon of fruitful turn of the twentieth century Los Angeles, the former garden city? KCET writer Nathan Masters provides a brief history of palm trees in southern California. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 15, 2011 - 23 comments

Canopy Roads

Canopy roads are awesome, iconic features of rural Florida, beautiful, red, bright, green, yellow, normal.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 9, 2011 - 29 comments

Death of Wangari Maathai announced.

I am sorry that Wangari Maathai, inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner famous for tree-planting programme, has died.
posted by maiamaia on Sep 26, 2011 - 28 comments

1 1 2 3 5 Eureka!

13-Year-Old Makes Solar Power Breakthrough by Harnessing the Fibonacci Sequence After studying how trees branch in a very specific way, Aidan Dwyer created a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. [more inside]
posted by jillithd on Aug 19, 2011 - 105 comments

Arboreal Art in Nature

"Magnificent and Weird Trees" Also see, Living, Growing Architecture.
posted by zarq on Jul 10, 2011 - 18 comments

Leafsnap

Leafsnap is a free field guide for iPhone (Android coming soon) that uses the phone's camera and some biometric processing to identify trees by the shape of their leaves. Development was financed by the National Science Foundation (NYT article), and includes research by Columbia University, University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution.
posted by swift on May 19, 2011 - 47 comments

City of Trees

A map of every street tree in Washington, DC.
posted by schmod on Apr 29, 2011 - 33 comments

Cannabis culture

Cannabis Culture
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 3, 2011 - 59 comments

Don't wait for Arbor Day!

Cloning trees to stop global warming! Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is a non profit organization that creates clones of ancient trees and uses them for the purpose of functional forestation. They are doing their part to stop deforestation and fight global warming by planting these cloned trees in different area across the planet. They are also preserve some of the oldest living things on the planet for future generations as well!
posted by Mastercheddaar on Mar 14, 2011 - 63 comments

All around the mulberry bush...

I was doing some research on Dryads when I stumbled upon the TreeSpirit Project. To cut to the chase, it appears to be a series of artful, tasteful photographs of people dancing butt-naked around trees. What more can I say? Well, other than NSFW, obviously...
posted by jim in austin on Mar 12, 2011 - 39 comments

Isle of Tune

Welcome to Isle of Tune. A music sequencer for the modern colonial. (Flash)
posted by eyeballkid on Dec 17, 2010 - 11 comments

Sugaring is never that far off

Old man winter has arrived. That means sugaring season and maple syrup (pdf) production is not that far away. Creamed, crystalized or liquid, there are treats for everyone. Previously
posted by woodjockey on Dec 4, 2010 - 25 comments

Japanimation in a very large nutshell

Every Anime Opening Ever Made (an admittedly exaggerated title) is a SLYT romp through the repeating themes in 93 different opening sequences, compiled by Derek Lieu (via Neatorama) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 29, 2010 - 34 comments

Bark, An Intimate Look at the World's Trees

The World's Most Beautiful Bark (Or: Trees Worth A Closer Look) l Photographer Cedric Pollet travels the world, barking up trees for a living l A little about the photographer l More of the beautiful images from his book and more.
posted by nickyskye on Nov 14, 2010 - 10 comments

I never saw a discontented tree.

They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fasted rooted they travel about as far as we do. The quote is from John Muir, of course ("John o' the Mountains"). I guess there's a lot of these beauty of trees sites, but this is the first one I've encountered, and it's stunning.
posted by softjeans on Oct 7, 2010 - 10 comments

Poems that earth writes upon the sky

My friend, the dead tree. For five years, Kevin Day has been photographing a single dead tree at Langley Country Park in Berkshire. He talks a little about the process at theMET.
posted by le morte de bea arthur on Sep 29, 2010 - 4 comments

Trees as far as the eye can see

Want a forest but don't have the space? Get a tree and four mirrors and make your own Unlimited Urban Woods
posted by Baldons on Jul 21, 2010 - 58 comments

Lake Ontario will also be drained in case of squirt gun attack.

In preparation for the upcoming G8/G20 summit in Toronto, security forces (who have already removed mailboxes, bus shelters and garbage bins, as well as shutting down cell-phone towers) are removing saplings from the streets on the theory that they can be uprooted and used as weapons by protesters. RCMP Constable Wendy Drummond explains that it is "like child-proofing your home." [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Jun 16, 2010 - 100 comments

Devastation in Leamington

News, photos and video of the devastation has begun to appear online, as power is restored to the area: the storm that hit Leamington Ontario early Sunday morning was part of a system that killed 7 people in Ohio, but which incredibly caused no fatalities when it hit in the Canadian town of 20,000.
posted by HLD on Jun 9, 2010 - 23 comments

Heavy Baggage

Forest Facts, a site that details the struggle between the Western Canadian silviculture & reforestation industry and the Mountain Pine Beetle. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on May 30, 2010 - 16 comments

amazingly old trees

The 10 oldest trees on Earth. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 28, 2010 - 41 comments

'80s Obscura

Obscure, overlooked, early '80s new wave/electro/artpunk. JOHN FEKNER CITY SQUAD: Player on left. Try 2 4 5 7 9 11. Or better just listen to them all. Eighties synth wave doesn't get much better than this. Sound collage at the next level. Throbbing synths + icy guitar: Beautiful Skin - Harsh distraction. Gods of psychedelic coldwave, Lives of Angels (Gallis Pole). Trees: Sleep Convention. And Necropolis of Love (yes, that is how we danced in the eighties).
posted by puny human on May 11, 2010 - 13 comments

The Trembling Giant

Pando : The Quaking Aspen [more inside]
posted by quin on Mar 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Treehouses for grownups

Whole Tree Architecture - if you'd like a house built by pioneering architect Roald Gundersen, your first step might be to hike in your nearby woods to choose some young, wind-bent, and diseased "Charlie Brown" trees. Small diameter round trees have 150% the strength of milled lumber and twice the strength of steel in tension. Besides structural and environmental advantages, whole trees make for some beautiful and naturally sculptured environments. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 22, 2009 - 35 comments

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