My film Beyond Plastic, a science documentary short I created in my biomimicry graduate program at Arizona State about plastic pollution, is a semifinalist in the Vienna Science Film Festival! It’s the first of a series of science communication shorts I’m making.
I dream of a New York City that is beautifully integrated with nature—clean, green, healthy, and sustainable for all beings who call it home.
It’s going to take a while but I think we can get there. And I’m committed to doing what I can to make that dream a reality.
The flatworm is my spirit animal. These badass animals won’t be stopped. Cut them in 1/2, they become 2 worms. Split their head, they grow 2 heads. Lose an eye, they grow a new one. Stick an eye on a flatworm that lacks eyes, the eye becomes fully functional.
Pieces of flatworms that are one-279th become whole flatworms again. They overcome every obstacle put in their way and become even better for it, again and again and again. You can’t beat ’em. They clap back. That level of resilience is my goal.
Read more about these wondrous animals at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/science/flatworms-eyes-regeneration.html
Today’s Tax Day. Because I work for myself, today I had to pay my Q1 & Q2 2020 estimated taxes. And I’m grateful for it. It may sound strange to think of paying taxes as something to be grateful for. But I am. Grateful that I do the work I do, especially now, and because that money funds so many programs that help others. I used to be one of the people it helps. Now, I’m able to give back. And that is no small accomplishment.
After heavy rains, I’m reminded of the life that thrives below ground, teeming, waiting for its time to rise into our view. I snapped photos of these fantastic fungi this morning while walking my dog, Phineas.
Fungi are the OG internet, a.k,a. the Mycelial Network and Wood Wide Web. Mycelium have millions of tiny threads below ground that connect all the trees and plants in an area to one another. This network transports water and nutrients such as nitrogen, carbon, potassium, and phosphorus for the fungi, trees, and plants.
The Mycelial Network also builds the immunity of plants and trees, and serves as a communication network to allow plants and trees to “talk” to one another. It’s one of the most incredible parts of our natural world.
Fire as a chemical process permanently transforms everything it touches—people, wildlife of every kind, land, water, and spirit. Bravo to the people of Paradise, California, Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein, and National Geographic Docs on the premiere of the stunning documentary, Rebuilding Paradise about the wildfire that ravaged the town last year.
I feel so fortunate that I was able to attend the online event. The film makes a powerful case for sustainable resilient development and climate change mitigation while telling a very human story. For more information, please visit the film’s website RebuildingParadise.Film.
If you need some good news about COVID in your timeline, here it is: for the first time since the pandemic began, NYC has had no deaths from COVID in the past 24 hours. The turnaround in New York City’s numbers has been a massive community effort and I’m so proud of how we pulled together to take care of each other. I love you, New Yorkers! Please keep wearing your masks.
Here’s a news story about New York City’s numbers and our recovery: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/new-york-city-without-coronavirus-deaths-for-first-time-since-start-of-pandemic/2511864/
Have you ever loved a book so much you hug it and you’re sad that it’s over? That’s how I feel about Braiding Sweetgrass by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. Luckily, I got to hear Dr. Kimmerer talk to Alie Ward today on the Ologies podcast. So many smiles. https://www.alieward.com/ologies/bryology
I started reading this book during the darkest days of COVID here in NYC. The book became a friend. I would read a few pages in the morning and a few at night to find hope, courage, and wonder in the natural world.
Thank you, Dr. Kimmerer and Alie for this beautiful episode! Now I’m taking my loupe out for a walk to look at the micro-forest in moss.
How do we regenerate NYC as a healthy, clean, joyful, equitable, beautiful, loving city for ALL with the best education, healthcare, & opportunity? What if that’s not a pipe dream but the goal? How would the NYC budget need to change to support that? I’m dedicated to answering these questions as I write the research proposal for my PhD application in Sustainable Urban Development.