Earth Day 2017: Let’s stop industrial-scale burning of wood for energy

This year's Earth Day (22 April 2017) has as its theme "Environmental & Climate Literacy." In that spirit, I'd like to suggest that environmental and climate literacy require attention to the impact of industrial scale burning of forests, and the question of whether it makes sense as an investment in reducing carbon emissions. Yesterday there were articles in … Continue reading Earth Day 2017: Let’s stop industrial-scale burning of wood for energy

Settlements on Mars? Start in Earth’s deserts

Elon Musk's introduction of SpaceX's plans to go to Mars was long on the how to get there, but short on the "now what?" once passengers land. What would cities on Mars look like, and how would they solve the material and social challenges they would encounter from the moment they arrive at their destination? … Continue reading Settlements on Mars? Start in Earth’s deserts

Terralingua’s Langscape, CFP extended

Terralingua has extended the deadline for submission of proposed articles for the next edition of its Langscape magazine until 1 August 2016. This is for a second issue on the theme of "Voices of the Earth" (Vol. 5, #2, Winter 2016). See earlier post on this blog about the previous issue for discussion of the … Continue reading Terralingua’s Langscape, CFP extended

Mountainbiking in the Futa Jalon, 1986-87 (a Peace Corps retrospective)

A recent story in Wired magazine, "The Roots of Dirt: How Mountain Bikes Went From Clunkers to Global Phenomenon," brings to mind a brief personal experience with the genre in Guinea, West Africa in the mid-1980s. Since bicycling in the Vienna, Virginia area was a topic on this blog previously, I thought it would be … Continue reading Mountainbiking in the Futa Jalon, 1986-87 (a Peace Corps retrospective)

Sumbala, and the shifting worlds of locust beans & soybeans in West Africa

One of the two foods highlighted in my chapter about soybeans in Africa in The World of Soy (published already 8 years ago now) was a pungent West African condiment, traditionally made with "African locust beans" but increasingly with soybeans, and known by various names such as: sumbala, sunbala, or sungala (in Manding); daddawa or … Continue reading Sumbala, and the shifting worlds of locust beans & soybeans in West Africa

Terralingua “returns to its roots” (a CFP)

Langscape, the magazine of the NGO Terralingua, just extended the deadline of the call for abstracts for its spring issue. Extracts from the call (with February 7 deadline!) are copied below, but what caught my eye about this particular issue was how its theme, "Voices of the Earth," was framed as "going back" to Terralingua's … Continue reading Terralingua “returns to its roots” (a CFP)