Sunday, August 25, 2013

Basho and the Grebes

Basho, grebes, endangered species, extinct species
The Japanese haiku poet Matsuo Basho

I've been writing stories about recently extinct species to raise awareness that the latest spasm of species loss, which we are in the midst of, includes much more than the Dodo, the passenger pigeon and the great Auk. One of my stories, "Basho and the Grebes," was just published in the online journal Toad. The story begins like this:
This is a story that ends prematurely. Once there was a diving bird that lived happily on a lake. This grebe, like grebes everywhere, had an elaborate mating ritual. Males and females faced each other, bobbed their long swan necks and preened their feathers in rhythm. They dove into the shallows, rose up breast to breast and, feet paddling furiously, waltzed around each other with a bill full of reeds as if proposing to build a floating nest together. Then they dashed side by side across the surface of the lake like fools in love before diving under.
You can read the rest of the story, and find out how the great Japanese haiku poet is connected, here.

And, the clip below shows aspects of the grebes' mating ritual (the same clip is here):


Monday, August 19, 2013

World Orangutan Day

orangutans, palm oil

Welcome to the inaugural World Orangutan Day!

Orangutans live only in Borneo (Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Known
as "persons of the forest", they are highly intelligent and have their own culture, yet they
are losing habitat because of our demands for palm oil.

Here's how you can help celebrate World Orangutan Day
1) spend 1.5 minutes educating yourself with this gonzo Greenpeace ad:

2) Check your shopping basket. If you're buying "vegetable oil", pre-packaged
snack foods by the corporate food giants like Nestle, or products where the
saturated fat content is more than 40% of the total fat, then you're buying palm oil.
Destruction of rainforest in Sumatra and Borneo for palm oil plantations is a leading
cause of orangutan endangerment. See the Say No to Palm Oil guide for more information.

3) Spread the word. Share this post. Join the Facebook event. Sign a petition.
Find a way to give orangutans a voice. They're depending on us to do what's right. Let's
all show the orangutans some love today and everyday!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monsanto vs Democracy

Here's a word cloud of my recent posts. How come it's easy to find Monsanto but difficult to find democracy? That "endangered" seems to be trying to tell us something too. And hey, that's not Obama under Monsanto's thumb is it? I sure hope not...
word cloud, endangered species, Monsanto, democracy