Friday, March 7, 2014

Macfarlane's 'The Wild Places' explores ancient lands and cultural connections
'The Wild Places' Robert Macfarlane, Penguin, 2008, 321 pages. We step outside of the United States with Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places. We live in a culture of predominantly western thought, and the “mother country” of the British Isles (England, Ireland and Wales) carry, perhaps, little relevance to our sense of wonder. The Old World is often seen as paved over and ridden with a histories of human impact. England evokes images of Buckingham Palace and Tudor houses, while Ireland captivates with its castles and pubs. Surely, kilt wearers march and blow bagpipe down oddly-angled cobblestone streets in Scotland, while sheep graze pastures in Wales and tight-pants crooners like Tom Jones dream of hitting it big in the US. Macfarlane shatters the accuracy of these stereotypes as he tours the wild places that nurtured the development of western ideology. The journey begins in a Beechwood tree... Keep reading at

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chance for captured orca featured in ‘Blackfish’ to go free

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently proposed a rule to grant Lolita, an orca living alone in a small pen, the same status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that covers all other Southern Resident orcas—the pod that she was captured 1970 (see video). This action follows a campaign that included a petition by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Orca Network, and others. Lolita may escape her servitude in the smallest orca pen in North America--an enclosure so small it has been called a Miami whale puddle. Mate may have committed suicide in response to captivity Continue reading at

Beef and butterflies

Photo courtesy of Environmental Defense Fund Austin-area ranchers  and conservationists show beef and butterflies  can thrive...