100.4 inches

giant-penis-blossom

The size of this year’s “giant’s penis” blossom at the University of Basel’s botanical garden. Officially known as the titan arum or “corpse flower,” the plant is native to the rainforests of Sumatra and is the largest flower in the plant kingdom. This is the third time that this specific flower has blossomed in its 20 years of cultivation in Basel, and is the biggest yet.

There’s No Room for Wild Animals in This Modern World

wildlife-population-cut-in-half

A new report from the Living Planet Index states that world wildlife populations have been reduced to half of what they were 40 years ago. The population of wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish is down by an average of 52%, while the population of freshwater species is down 76%. No word on house pets and zoo animals, because nobody tracks that sort of thing, but those numbers are probably holding steady.

This Week in Photographic Freedoms

upskirt-nature

 

To protect wilderness areas from “being exploited for commercial gain,” the U.S. Forest Service is taxing any professional nature photographer or member of the press wanting to take pictures in National Parks by making them apply for a special permit that can cost up to $1500. Those who do not wish to apply face a fine of up to $1000. Sounds like the USFS is exploiting wilderness areas for their own commercial gain.

Meanwhile in Texas… a court has upheld the right for old men to take creepy photos of kids in public with the option of being free to capture an upskirt of the child’s mother as well.

All in all, it sounds like a tricky situation for a budding professional upskirt photographer whose specialty is hikers in the Texan wilderness.

 

Mountainview

Landscapes in portrait by Mikael Kennedy

Printables

espirit-north-face-chile-argentina-founder-entrepeneur

The Entrepreneur Who Wants to Save Paradise by Diana Saverin

Douglas Tompkins—the founder of Esprit and The North Face—is using his fortune to build massive national parks in Chile and Argentina. But what he sees as philanthropy, local ranchers see as meddling.

Printables

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The End of History? by Noam Chomsky

The short, strange era of human civilization would appear to be drawing to a close.

“This was never wet before”

creek-california

A random benefit from last month’s earthquake in Napa Valley? Water. Lots of it. Seems all that shaking in the earth opened up fissures in the rocks that have allowed massive deposits of groundwater to reach the surface, turning once parched land into pockets of green. At one creek north of Vallejo, an estimated 200,000 gallons of water are flowing daily down the tiny waterway into the bay. Like all good earthly things though, the surplus is bound to stop. As one hydrogeologist said: “There is only so much water in there. As the water table lowers, the water flow diminishes. It’s like a bank account. You’ve just reached into the bank account and borrowed some money, but the spending spree will eventually end.”

Hot Tub Party To Go

portable-collapsible-hot-tub-to-go

The Original Nomad Collapsible Tub sets up in 20 minutes and reaches a water temperature of 100º in about an hour. Just enough time to get a little groovy and ready for relaxing in the wild.

[Read more]

Printables

polar-bear-grizzly

Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear? by Moises Velasquez-Manoff

As climate change alters habitats, once-disparate animals are shacking up, creating hybrids that challenge our notion of what it means to be a species.

Street Art That Kills

olek-underwater-art-mexico

‘Yarn bomber’ turned underwater activist, Olek, is wanted by Mexican environmental authorities after she crocheted over sculptures at the environmentally protected Cancun Underwater Museum, resulting in the possible deaths of marine life growing on the subaqueous works of art. While Olek explained that her stunt was performed “to bring awareness to the state of the world’s oceans and promote the preservation of #marinelife” she herself became part of the problem. As noted by the museum director “believe it or not, there is a lot of marine life growing, incrusted in the sculpture, and we gather that this has killed it.”

[Read more]

The Forest in the Trees

All about Stephen Sillett and his study of Aerial ecosystems.

Saving The Bees One Pair of Boxers at a Time

druthers-bee-boxers

In a buzzworthy move… all of the proceeds from the sale of these ‘Disappearing Bees’ print boxers from druthers go to support the ‘Pollinator Partnership,’ which is the “largest organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.”

[Read more]

New York City Humpbacks

whales-in-NYC

The big fish have come to play. Taking advantage of “cleaner water, more nutrients and less garbage” in the rivers that feed into the Atlantic, this summer, whales and sharks are feeding in abundance off the coast of NYC.

photo by Artie Raslich/Gotham Whale

The Tree of 40 Fruits

sam-van-aken-tree-of-40-fruits

By grafting together branches from various stone fruit trees, Syracuse University art professor and artist Sam Van Aken has, over the course of 9 years, created a unique tree that produces over 40 different types of stone fruits including heirloom peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds.

[Read more]

“The obvious comment is that it looks like God but it could also be Sean Connery or Karl Marx”

man-in-clouds

A face appeared in some parting clouds over Norfolk, England earlier this week

Going Down Through the Door to Hell

door-to-hell

In the charming countryside of gaseous Turkmenistan sits a fiery crater that was created 40 years ago upon the collapse and subsequent burning of a Soviet gas-drilling rig. No one had dared to enter the inferno until 2013, when extreme adventurer George Kourounis rapelled in. This is his story

Forest of Solitude

The Forest Man of India

“Since the 1970’s Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland, into a lush oasis.”

Looks like a pretty satisfying life.

 

Oh Hail No

Just another summer beach storm in Siberia

Morning Dose of Rain Sounds

The Origin of The Sound of Rain by Yugo Nakamura

via, spoontamago

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