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A Book Our For Our Collective Sympathies

March 4, 2015
Haunted by her father’s death, Helen Macdonald kept company with a bird of prey. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINA MCLEISH / COURTESY GROVE ATLANTIC

Haunted by her father’s death, Helen Macdonald kept company with a bird of prey. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINA MCLEISH / COURTESY GROVE ATLANTIC

Birds represent something important in our work, and it is not always clear exactly how and why, so every day we try to elaborate it for ourselves as much as for anyone.

If you did not take the moment to watch the video posted yesterday, or read the post from our boys in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, no matter. Today those are complemented by a book review, of all things, that captures the essence of why we find birds so compelling, and helps us understand why their world has come to play such a vital role in this blog:

…Among those who know their birds of prey, the reputation of the goshawk is half Hamlet, half Lady Macbeth: mad, murderous, unpredictable, the kind of creature whose partners and intimates should brace themselves for trouble. “Spooky, pale-eyed psychopaths,”

Read more…

From Behind the Wheel: Pachyderm Lunch-Box

March 4, 2015
Thevara; Photo credit: Diwia Thomas

Thevara Ferry Junction Photo credit: Diwia Thomas

Dirt Candy. Say It. Now Resist. It’s Futile.

March 4, 2015

Whenever we see a story about innovative, excellent food that involves no animals, we check on its suitability for this blog. We are not committed, by any means, to exclusive consumption of vegetarian cuisine but we believe going easy on the meat is a good way to do the green thing. This headline makes many of us who spent time in Ithaca, NY USA think of a certain restaurant, Moosewood by name, that may have been the little sprout in question:

Ben Russell for The New York Times

Ben Russell for The New York Times

Little Sprout Grows Up

By JEFF GORDINIER

Dishes at Dirt Candy tend to be composed and clever, but unapologetically crave-inducing. Here, the cabbage hot pot.

The restaurant Dirt Candy has more space and a renewed mission: to create delicious vegetarian food and change attitudes, too.

Bird of the Day: Spotted Owlets (Pune, Maharashtra)

March 3, 2015

Spotted Owlets by Srinivas Addepalli - RAXA Collective

Mega-Meme Coffee Can Still Surprise

March 3, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 9.28.13 AM

 

We care about coffee. Not only for 10th latitude reasons (geckos and coffee seem to go together), or 1,200 meter reasons (Xandari is perfectly located). Derek gets at it here, but there is more to say and the recent expedition to Ethiopia provides fodder for the next best post on topic. But that will come in due time.  Mainly, we just love coffee and we happen to work in places where it grows well.

So we watch for useful stories about coffee.Below is an excerpt from midway through a great piece from Atlantic‘s website, the most surprisingly interesting written piece on coffee in a long time, and as you have likely noticed coffee stories are a mega-meme these days:

Like many users of the Internet, I had actually already seen “Kill the K-Cup.” The mysteriously anonymous YouTube video was published this January, and spread widely. It spawned a hashtag #KillTheKCup (at the suggestion of the final frames of the video), which is still alive on multiple social-media platforms. Read more…

Hackers, Lentils & Love In A Flower Bed

March 3, 2015
Nursery worker Shivkumari Pate leads children in a learning song. Pate works with the nonprofit Jan Swasthya Sahyog, which developed the first network of community nurseries. Ankita Rao for NPR

Nursery worker Shivkumari Pate leads children in a learning song. Pate works with the nonprofit Jan Swasthya Sahyog, which developed the first network of community nurseries. Ankita Rao for NPR

It would be remarkably easy to fill these pages with stories from India, from various places in Africa and Latin America where we also have projects, that give a strong sense that no matter how quickly solutions get hacked, there are more problems than can possibly be resolved; we spare you those most of the time. Instead, we point to stories like this one (thanks National Public Radio, USA):

…For decades, aid organizations tried to improve the health of moms and babies in Chhattisgarh. Little made a dent. But then a garden of flowers rose up in the state. Read more…

Ornithology + Engineering = Bird Geek Bliss

March 3, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.09.05 AMThere are natural wonders that help answer important questions, such as those about what climate change has wrought in the distant past; and there are wonders of man’s creation that raise important questions, such as whether man can do anything to reduce his impact on climate change if he, collectively, puts his mind and energy into it.

And then there are those who study natural wonders for reasons that appear more prosaic than climate change and yet punch above their weight class in terms of getting the rest of us motivated to participate in solutions; ornithology and its amateur cousin bird watching are two of Raxa Collective’s favorite choices of what to pay attention to, just because:

ScienceTake | Hawk Cam Captures the Hunt

BY Poh Si Teng and James Gorman

Thanks to a helmet camera, researchers discovered that a goshawk mixes its methods of chasing its prey.

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