Tags >> Science
Nov 10
2009

Ancient Maps

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , Science , research , nonprofit orgs , media , literacy , international , Ideas , history , events , education , arts

Bruce Robinson

Western Civilization’s understanding of the size and shape of planet earth can be traced through the maps and atlases that were published three to five  hundred years ago.

Even before Columbus made his first westward voyage, it was generally accepted that the world was round, says map collector Henry Wendt (left). But the size of the globe was thought to be much smaller than it actually is.

 

The earliest printed maps are not just a record of growing cartographic understanding of the world, explains map collector Henry Wendt. They also document the powerful influence of the Church in the European view and understanding of that world.

The exhibit drawn from Wendt's collection, Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps 1472-1700, continues through January 17, 2010 at the Sonoma County Museum.

 

Nov 06
2009

Daily Acts

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sonoma County , resources , Petaluma , open space , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , food , farms , environment , education , community , climate change , carbon , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Daily Acts, a Petaluma-based dedicated to sustainability and transformation, works, its founder says, by exercising “the freedom to act without having all the answers.”

As the impacts from Daily Acts ripple outward from the North Bay,  founder and Executive Director Trathen Beckman says they are looking for new ways, and new partners, to help expand their influence.

From conservation to graywater reuse to designing and installing permaculture landscapes, many Daily Acts projects now are focused in one way or another on water. Which, when you think about it, is only natural.

  This was the postcard invitation to the fundraising (and networking) breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 5. Part of the program was a informational video about the organization, created by local filmmaker Eve Goldberg. You can also see it here:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6_BIsoVNOk 300x300]

Nov 05
2009

Voyage of Discovery

Posted by Bruce Robinson in tourism , students , rights , religion , poverty , ocean , international , Ideas , Green , environment , education , coast , climate change , carbon

Bruce Robinson

There’s nothing like seeing other parts of the world first-hand to give one a different perspective on “home.” A Sonoma State professor who did just that last summer with his students in the international Semester at Sea program, reports back.

The Semester at Sea program offers educational voyages that go completely around the world, and shorter trips, such as the summer voyage in which Rocky Rohwedder participated. Rohwedder, a professor of Environmental Studies, explains how that was structured.

That sequence was set up to ease the touring students into new cultures, by beginning with western European nations that have much in common with the United States. But as they traveled eastward around the Mediterranean, Rohwedder recounts, the changes became more dramatic.

As he traveled, Rocky posted regular blog entries from the trip, with many photographs embedded. In this one, he is seen with his son Ryder, in a public marketplace in Fes, Morocco.

 

Click here to find out how to apply for a semester at sea.

Nov 03
2009

Contagious Love Experiment

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , veterans , speaker , Sonoma County , protest , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , government , events , California , bicycle , activism

Bruce Robinson

Two Iraq war veterans turned peace activists are winding down their cross-country bicycle tour with a visit in Santa Rosa today, one of the last stops in what they’ve dubbed their “Contagious Love Experiment.”

As a soldier, Conner Curran came to believe that the use of force could be justified if it was used to accomplish something good. But he says being a soldier taught him that belief was not really true.

It’s a bold undertaking, setting out to ride across the country, not knowing people in most of the places you’ll wind up in. But Josh and Conner have made good use of some online resources to help smooth their way.

On their Contagious Love Experience blog, Josh and Conner take turns reflecting on their various day-to-day encounters and experiences. They also detail their personal histories and reasons for what they are doing. This is an except from Josh Siebert's account:

"When I got back from my 14 month deployment to Iraq in April of 08, I planned on taking the money I had been given to kill and destroy my nation’s “enemies” and walking to the military pay headquarters and giving that money back, telling them it wasn’t something I’d participate in anymore and if I had to serve the rest of my enlistment in jail, then that’s where I needed to be.

"Then I learned of conscientious objection, a militarily recognized status that someone’s beliefs has changed so that they are no longer compatible with war. I debated with myself over which option to take. Finally, I figured that as many problems as I had with the system, at least they showed some degree of respect for people’s beliefs, so I would give it a fair shot.

"As I waited until April of 09 for final approval, my plan of spite, of throwing the money back in the government’s face evolved into the walk I’m on now. If I am saying no to war, I want to find out what to say yes to. I want to take a negative and invest it into a positive. In a country where war is preached from the churches, I want to do a little to remember the man who those churches are built for, the man who visited the orphans, served the poor, clothed the naked, fed the hungry… and loved. So that’s what I’ve set out to do and I hope that that love is contagious."

Josh Steiber and Conner Curran with bring their Contagious Love Experiment to the Sonoma County  Peace and Justice Center, 467 Sebastopol Avenue (near Julliard Park)  in Santa Rosa, on Tuesday Nov. 3 at 7 pm

To see where Josh and Conner have been, and where they are headed, view their itinerary here and scroll down to get to the current  month. You can also watch this video about their trip.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxdFNbyrW6Y 400x400]

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