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 is not gambling on our future! It has just 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 […]
‘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 […]