A step into the wilderness with no path in sight, the only certainty is the next crunch of leaves.
One can’t see the forest for the trees without first seeing a tightly sealed version of the world. Each stick of bark aggregates into a sum of parts individually wrapped and bending into each other — passing signals above the shrubby floor.
For better or worse, humans have the elemental need to keep moving on terra firma. Unlike water running effortlessly over rocks, we force progress by messing up the Earth that feeds us.
We put our minds in the void and bleed design everywhere. Restless, the mind and energy keep going. Life is one big party.
We build societies, unplanned, over and over again “on top of ruins“, sucked into history. While humans may be disorderly, at least the cosmos tells the truth. Now we have to consider the unexpected and negotiate for a vastly more dependable calm.
For every action, there’s a reaction. Thankfully, while the left brain remains fixated on the individual trees, the right brain plants new ones. Growth by giving back also flows from brain to brain, in accord with more universal vibrations.
As they say, “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
Get yourself a prescription to nature. It’ll improve your mental and physical health. That’s according to doctors in Scotland who are recommending that people in the Shetland Islands get outside more often.
The program outlines a recommended outside activity per month. For instance, in January you can create a windsock to grasp the full power of the wind. In March, one can “borrow a dog and take it for a walk.”
We belong in the wild, unmoored from the tyranny of our seats. When we disconnect and move outside, we connect with terra firma and reconnect with ourselves. Take your body and thoughts for a walk.
If you were the next Forest Gump and wanted to walk Earth in a straight line without hitting the water, here’s your guide.
The path starts east in China and ends in Liberia.
Lace up those walking shoes, we’ve got a project for you. An intrepid cartographer has, with the help of Google Earth, tracked down the longest-possible straight land path on earth – and it starts in China.
Just start walking due west from Shitangzhen, a town south of Taizhou, in Zhejiang Province. Keep on moseying, and in about 589 miles you’ll hit Wuhan. You will then, eventually, pass just south of Xi’an and (sooner or later) hit Qinghai. Getting tired yet?
After a brisk hike (i.e. crossing the Himalayas) you’ll end up in Tajikistan. From there, it’s just a quick poke through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt (right through the heart of Cairo!) Libya, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast and, finally, hit Liberia.
The design for Animal crackers just got an update.
Due to mounting pressure from animal rights group PETA, Nabisco removed the cages from its iconic cracker box. The updated version shows the animals roaming free.
The redesign of the boxes, now on U.S. store shelves, retains the familiar red and yellow coloring and prominent “Barnum’s Animals” lettering. But instead of showing the animals in cages – implying that they’re traveling in boxcars for the circus – the new boxes feature a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla wandering side-by-side in a grassland. The outline of acacia trees can be seen in the distance.
Said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman:
“The new box for Barnum’s Animals crackers perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows.”
This is the first significant redesign since Nabisco launched the crackers in a 1902 partnership with the now-defunct Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus.
There’s an interesting piece in The Economist about the link between rainfall and the rise and fall of Roman emperors.
One such lesson is how drought affected the stability of the Roman empire 1,500 years ago. In a new paper published in Economics Letters, Cornelius Christian of Brock University and Liam Elbourne of St Francis Xavier University identify a strong association between rainfall patterns and the duration in power of Roman emperors. The academics hypothesise that lower precipitation reduced crop yields, leading to food shortages and eventually starvation for soldiers stationed at the empire’s frontiers. As a result, troops were more likely to stage mutinies and assassinate their emperor.
The data, collected from oak tree rings, shows hungry troops peaking in revolts around The Gordian dynasty from 235 AD to 285. Invasions and the economic plight brought on by droughts were also contributors.
The academics combine data on assassinations—some 25 emperors were assassinated, roughly one-fifth of the total—with precipitation data collected from rainfall-sensitive oak-tree rings across the Roman frontier in France and eastern Germany.
Today’s natural disasters in California, Greece, and Japan due to heatwaves may not lead to overthrows, but they don’t augur well either.
It might be easy to dismiss the lessons from 1,500 years ago. Ancient Rome had little ability to store grain for long periods or irrigate crops. Yet, to this day, dictators rely on an obedient army to retain power. And more broadly, it has been long established that adverse weather causes economic shocks that lead to unrest, and even to civil war.