New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is hosting an exhibition on refugee shelters to kickstart dialogue on the design challenges caused by humanitarian crises. Entitled “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter”, the show looks at emergency housing in contemporary crisis zones. It is the first time a major museum has explored the plight of the[.....]
(Photo by Artyom Krivosheev/Barcroft Images/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2016) Anyone with a Facebook account knows people love pictures of adorable animals. Photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam are tapping into that animal magnetism to boost support of wildlife conservation. Their second annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is inciting “conservation through competition”, helped by heaps of[.....]
Remember that quirky Yael Mer inflatable dress that could save your life when disaster strikes? These floating homes go to the next level: Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the Caribbean. Would the damage be less devastating if you lived in a floating home? Perhaps, but you’ll have to serve up more than pretty renderings[.....]
Tomatoes are full of lycopene, the cancer-busting carotenoid responsible for the reddish colorations in vegetables and fruits. Red peppers are packed with phytochemicals and beta-carotene, which flood your system with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Meet a delicious concoction that combines both in an ancient Middle Eastern recipe with decidedly modern health benefits. Science says the sense[.....]
France has passed a new law that bans cups, cutlery, plates, and takeaway containers made from plastic. It’s The part of the nation’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which will also carry out a ban on plastic bags in grocery shops and markets beginning in July. The law comes into effect in 2020. French President[.....]
Say hello to the “Anthropocene”, a new geological epoch brought about by humanity’s impact on planet Earth. A team of geologists say that ash from fossil fuels, plastic waste, rising seas (which are triggering a dramatic increase in upland erosion), and radioactive particles littered by nuclear bomb tests are all contributing to permanent changes in Earth’s rocks.[.....]
Three public spaces in downtown Amman have been temporarily re-purposed as platforms to promote contemporary design from Jordan and the wider region. This is Amman Design Week, a first-time consolidation of the kingdom’s artistic capabilities, established and emerging, and the excellent choreography of its exhibits rivals that in any world-class city. Supported by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al[.....]
The sun may be setting on a popular morning brew. According to a new report issued by the Climate Institute, global warming will underpin an estimated 50 percent drop in coffee production by 2050. Bad news for coffee lovers, but catastrophic for the 120 million people in dozens of mostly developing nations who depend on[.....]
Last week in Florida, a judge ruled on an ordinance banning front yard vegetable gardens. This allowed the upscale village of Miami Shores to take legal action against residents who to grow food in their yards on the grounds that vegetable patches are “ugly.” Seems, in at least one part of America, that growing your[.....]
It’s coming up on two years since Cameron Sinclair announced the shutdown of Architecture for Humanity, probably the best thing to ever emerge from an architect’s imagination. That San Francisco-based nonprofit brought pro-bono architecture to the world’s neediest communities. Now a young husband/wife team have stepped into the void, launching a venture to make affordable, ecological housing accessible to[.....]
Dip a dowdy dress into one of the world’s saltiest lakes and see what happens. Artist Sigalit Landau did, and ended up growing a crystalline gown straight out of Frozen. Take a look at these images. It’s unlikely you can “Let it go”.
A weightlifter from Kiribati is our favorite Olympian. After completing a move called the “clean and jerk lift”, he steps away from the barbell and transitions into jubilant dance. He wasn’t celebrating his sixth-place finish in the 105kg weightlifting competition; he’s not aiming for gold on social media. His message is serious, belying the grin[.....]
Our planet is passing through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, a once-in-133-years-or-so event happening this year from July 17 to Aug. 24. But this week we encounter the densest area of this celestial debris field when we’ll spot the most meteors in the shortest time period. So why are you reading this article? Grab a blanket,[.....]
Beirut art collective Dictaphone Group is combining activism with show-biz in a fight to preserve Lebanon’s public spaces. Their series of interactive performance pieces is inciting hipsters and historians to join up in protest of Beirut’s unbridled development plans. Tension is never far below the surface of the capital’s staunchly secular social scene. Tagged as the[.....]
Take empathy to a new level by living just like a displaced person. A group of Syrian refugees advertised their camp tent as a rentable destination on Airbnb, offering intrepid travelers “scorpions, dehydration and broken promises”. They describe the Ritsona, Greece refugee camp, about 80 kilometers north of Athens, as “the most unique neighborhood in[.....]
It’s common knowledge that cows destined for the meat aisle are shot up with antibiotics and fed water and chow dosed with lower levels of the same, intended to promote growth and reduce disease. Turns out this does more damage than just create drug-resistant microbes. A recent study suggests they could also be boosting greenhouse gas[.....]
This year’s World Environment Day (WED) put a high beam on illegal trade of wildlife. Event sponsor, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), called on everyone to “go wild for life” and take action to help safeguard species under threat. In Saudi Arabia, a team of environmentalists and corporate volunteers took to a beach along[.....]
Eight pounds in as many weeks. Painlessly (and surprisingly) gone. Not enough to drop a dress size, but enough to send me hunting for a belt. And I credit…mindful eating. After a lifetime of core health beliefs built on the twin towers of eating less and moving more, this stuns me. Does it really come[.....]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last March defined a plan to create a team of refugee athletes to compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics, a scheme first announced at the United Nations (UN) in October, as record numbers of migrants and refugees fled war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. IOC[.....]
Controversial weedkillers sold by Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow face an uncertain future after a European Union (EU) committee failed to reach consensus on new licensing for glyphosate, the primary ingredient across all brands. It is the second time the European Commission stalled on re-approval, and may result in a recall of the products from all[.....]
For five years a set of unfinished twin towers have stood watch over Amman, Jordan, construction halted – allegedly crippled by lawsuits. The filthy glass facades soar above a street-level footprint ringed by old hoarding, abandoned building material and trash. The empty skyscrapers stand in silent testimony to both the 2008 world financial crisis and[.....]
A recent study released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) concludes that the current drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant – which includes Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey – is the region’s worst dry spell since 1100 C.E.
We love to report on eco-jewelry, from charms made from beach sand or breast milk to necklaces made from recycled teeth and bones. Now a Canadian jeweler is creating miniature landscapes made from wood, jewelry resin, and beeswax – forming frozen vignettes of natural settings that you can wear on your fingers.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) upped the wackiness factor of its portfolio of national mega-projects, announcing plans to build an artificial alp so the country can control its weather. Scientists will investigate if a man-made mountain will increase precipitation in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi in this nation where rain falls just five days[.....]
A global consortium of engineering and renewables industry giants kicked off a project to build a suite of solar power generating plants in Egypt to produce 2 gigawatts (GW) of electricity and valued at USD $3.5 billion. Terra Solar announced their plan on Friday, adding that they will also build a 200 MW PV module and inverter manufacturing[.....]
An octopus at New Zealand’s National Aquarium decided he’s had enough of life in captivity and deftly devised his own escape to the sea. His amazing getaway won Inky the octopus instant fame, and raises new questions about cephalopod intelligence.
The World Bank, the biggest provider of public finance to developing countries, has earmarked 28% of its 2016 budget for projects that mitigate climate change, according to a statement released on Thursday. All of its future spending will take global warming into account, and all projects considered for WBG funding, including health and education, will now[.....]
‘Everything in moderation’ is good advice, especially when it comes to sunshine. Humans know this, especially in the Middle East, mastering all means of shading devices, and protective clothing. But what if you are an organism without access to sunscreen? Two scientists at Israel’s oldest university have discovered how bacteria protect themselves from overexposure.
The weeks that girdled Christmas and New Year’s had me living like a fois gras goose, endlessly stuffed with food and drink as my family raced from Jordan to England to the US for clan-centric rituals ranging from a funeral to a birthday, with the usual winter holidays in between. I recently scanned the snapshots,[.....]
Zaha Hadid, the first female architect (and first Muslim) to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, died yesterday in a Miami hospital after suffering a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. The Iraqi-born mathematician and architect whose designs were both celebrated and divisive, was 65 years old.
United Nations-sponsored World Water Day was celebrated this week in a series of events around the world ranging from races to speeches to demonstrations of how individuals could conserve consumption of this most-critical of natural resources. To mark the occasion, two experts in international water policy have co-authored an Op-Ed exploring the future of water,[.....]
Earth Hour is upon us. It comes every year on Saturday 19 March, as the clock strikes 8:30 PM around the globe. It’s a worldwide movement that aims to unite the global community on a broad range of environmental issues, working on a grassroots level to enact mass behavioral change. Join the fun by turning off[.....]
Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, scientists from Dublin and Belfast have evidence that stone age Irish settlers had genetic origins in the Middle East. Thank the Vikings for the DNA that gave rise to red hair and freckles, introduced when they invaded the island nation at the end of the eighth century. But[.....]
Instagram photographer “m1rasoulifard” has been creating a visual catalog of Iranian architecture, shooting the interiors of mosques, such as Hazrat-Masoumeh in Qom (above), and cultural centers, like the Chaharbagh School in Isfahan. His images capture intricately detailed interiors rich in texture and kaleidoscopic colors. Tuck into this visual feast of Iran’s splendiferous ceilings; scenes lost to[.....]
Morocco has activated the Noor I concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the first part of a three-phase development in the Sahara Desert intended to supply more than a million homes with electricity by 2018. The 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors of Noor I, which sits on thousands of acres of desert terrain near Ouarzazate, will generate up to 160[.....]
Sit four people around the dinner table, and at see that least three are tethered to their smartphones (well, someone’s got to cook and serve). What’s a conversation-starved hostess to do? Head to IKEA Taiwan where designers have cooked up a table that encourages real-time relationships, eye contact and chat. You remember those once-essential ingredients to a[.....]
Interior Design & Textiles students from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) have designed a piece of clothing with three distinct uses: it is a weather-proof coat, a sleeping bag, and a tent. Their prototype aims to meet the immediate needs of migrating people, with pockets specially designed to store passports, personal documents, and phones.
China’s state-owned ChemChina tendered a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta today as part of a strategy to improve domestic food production. Remember the classic board game Monopoly? It’s being played by multi-national agri-businesses in attempt to control the world food supply chain. China is the largest agricultural market on the planet. Syngenta’s[.....]
Google did a doodle marking the 151st birthday of the pharmacist who helped us navigate the chili peppers, the tiny veggie with the power to drop diners to their knees. Wilbur Scoville was the first person to measure the heat of peppers. His heat scale is still in use today, scoring the piquancy of peppers. (What[.....]
A new report from the Climate Council of Australia revealed that last year’s global average temperature was the highest since global records began in 1880, with 2015 experiencing its hottest year on record – again – besting the 2014 stats by a jaw-dropping 0.16°C. To paraphrase Paris Hilton, that’s hot.
Soup for Syria is a beautiful new cookbook of delicious and easy-to-make recipes guaranteed to fill your belly and feed your mind with heightened humanitarian awareness. But at its heart it is a cookbook, a perfect primer for any cook seeking healthy and flavorful food made with no-fuss ingredients (mostly vegetarian) found in supermarkets everywhere.
Does nature have a marketing problem? Headlines about climate change, extreme weather, and their catastrophic impacts to the built environment are overwhelming. It’s easy to feel helpless and at a loss for meaningful action. So the folks at a Colorado-based grassroots environmental group decided to do a bit of alchemy, mixing beautiful images of the natural[.....]
The Paris Conference of Parties has officially ended with 195 nations signing up to a partially legally binding program of measures for curbing climate change. Green Prophet’s read the 31-page agreement and we urge you to do the same. Find the full report here, saving you an unnecessary online search (which Google estimates as producing 0.02 grams of[.....]
As the world awaits the release of the final draft agreement emerging from the COP21 climate talks – expected this morning – longtime expert in water policy, Dr. Sundeep Waslekar explores one specific aspect of climate change in the following article, providing clear insight into the future of water, not only as a critical resource for all[.....]
Global climate talks expected to close today in Paris have extended into Saturday, according French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Appearing last night on French BFMTV he said that he would present a new compromise text for a deal to combat global warming on Saturday morning. The extra day of negotiations aims to reach accord between the[.....]
While UN climate-conference delegates seek ways to cut world reliance on high-carbon fuels like oil, OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) confirmed that it would keep producing oil at current levels, estimated in excess of 31 million barrels a day, despite prices that continue to plummet. Arab activists are on the case. Earlier[.....]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) must keep pace with the rest of the world and push for a future fully powered by renewable energy, says IndyACT, the leading Arab non-governmental organization working on climate change policy.
Croatian architect Nicola Bašić added a sensual dimension to a waterfront promenade in Zadar, Croatia by using wave energy to create sound. His concrete “sea organ” harnesses kinetic energy from the Adriatic sea to create random – but soothing – harmonized notes. It’s a bit of a riff off Nero fiddling while Rome burns; as the “music” increases[.....]
American media giant 20th Century Fox has teamed up with United Arab Emirates Al Ahli Holding Group to build a theme park in Dubai, set to open in 2018, that will feature attractions based on blockbuster movies such as “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes.” So the UAE builds another resource-guzzling folly for audiences[.....]
It’s raining cats and dogs in Amman, Jordan now, closing roads (flooded underpasses), some schools, and many offices. It’s the usual drill for a city ill-equipped for atypical weather. Now online transportation giant Uber is helping to “rain down more dogs” for a limited time today in what could be the world’s most adorable fundraiser.
Following Israel’s smart solar trees, the Dubai Municipality is rolling out a series of “community tech hubs” based on 3D printed palm trees that collect solar power. The stations are also where users can recharge their phones, tablets and laptops, enjoy free WiFi, and check in on local weather and news. The Smart Palm initiative aligns with[.....]
The European Charter against food waste was just presented at Milan Expo 2015, two weeks before the end of the six-month-long world’s fair which was focused on feeding the world. Drafted by over 40 schools across seven European countries, and with advice from 50 municipal governments, it outlines concrete actions for cutting food waste from homes, supermarkets[.....]