MST3k Invention Exchanges meets Shark Tank.

If you need me, I’ll be over there, dead from funny.




I love Arizona Wilderness.  It offers that special something which non-wilderness areas can’t match. I should know because I came from Illinois where I hiked many miles of forest and meadow trails.  The hiking was a lot of fun, but I never knew how great hiking could be until I discovered the Arizona Wilderness.

I am blown away by the plethora of Wilderness areas in Arizona.  I can drive from Phoenix in any direction and be in a Wilderness area within an hour.  What is more surprising is how fast one can disappear into these areas and be surrounded by the most amazing scenery anywhere in the United States.

I have hiked Eagletail Mountains Wilderness where I have seen mule deer, wild horses and ancient petroglyphs. I have spent time in the Superstition Wilderness where Gila monsters wander. I’ve walked the Upper Burro Creek Wilderness where wild burros will keep an eye on you while you hike. I have been lucky enough to see the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, where the number of hikers is limited to 50 a day.  I have spent time in the Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness, where one can hike in the river all day admiring Mother Nature’s magnificence.

Arizona Wilderness allows me to explore areas rarely hiked, make new discoveries with every step, immerse myself into the wilderness and experience the wonderment of canyons, rivers, deserts and mountains less traveled.  When I am in Arizona Wilderness I feel the child come…  I get to play all day.  What a great feeling!

-Larry Zuiker, Arizona Wilderness Visitor 


American Quilts and Coverlets

It’s not a big jump from appreciating menswear to appreciating textiles, and the greatest of all American textile arts has to be traditional quilts and coverlets. These are partly about function, partly about art, and partly about the stories and communities they represent. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a particularly good slideshow with some beautiful examples of this craft. An excerpt from the accompanying article:

Bed quilts and coverlets, appliquéd, pieced, embroidered, or woven, are some of the few handmade objects that were created by American women to express their artistry and skill. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, women of all social strata made quilts and coverlets. Although many of these were meant to be primarily utilitarian, they were often designed to be pleasing to the eye as well, and sometimes they were imbued with significance far beyond being simple covers for a bed. During the heyday of quiltmaking in the nineteenth century, America’s increasingly mobile population was moving westward, settling in the wilderness. Easily portable, and certainly necessary, bedcovers might be some of the few decorative objects a woman had in her home. Bedcovers were often wedding gifts, or made by a young woman to take with her to her future husband’s house. If that new home was distant from friends and family, a bedcover became an important keepsake from her old life. Quilts were also made to celebrate the birth of a child, as gifts to thank important members of the community such as the local minister, and even sometimes in the remembrance of the dead.


Another popular type of bedcovering during the second quarter of the nineteenth century was the woven wool and cotton coverlet. While the earliest of these coverlets could have been woven in the home, professionally woven coverlets were more common by the end of the 1820s. They were made by mostly male weavers who set up shop in rural communities throughout the East Coast and Midwestern states. These independent weavers made coverlets, table coverings, and carpets for the local market. Many were immigrants from the British Isles or Germany, both places with large weaving industries firmly in place by the nineteenth century. 

You can read the rest of the article here at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, and check out some more beautiful quilts at the National Museum of American History. The second site is especially nice in that it allows you to zoom in on the pictures, so that you can appreciate the creative use of texture in each of these pieces. 


Snorkeling for Salmon

We join BLM Oregon biologists Bruce Zoellick and Corbin Murphy as they snorkel the Salmon River counting salmon. 

How do you count fish in a river? If you’re a fish biologist working for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), you start by stuffing yourself into a dry suit and then traipsing through the forests and down to the river. With a snorkel and mask you plunge into the river and slither around in search of Coho, Chinook and Steelhead. These fish like to rest and stay cool in the recently built log jams. 

To track how many fish are in the Salmon River, fish biologist Bruce Zoellick and wildlife biologist Corbin Murphy stuff themselves into dry suits and strap on a snorkel to get up-close and personal with the fish. They count fish by species as they snorkel around the log jams and side channels. 

Habitat for Coho, Chinook, Steelhead, and a smattering of other fish that consider the “wild and scenic” river their home is getting a remodel. Through a cooperative effort, trees have been pulled up and hauled to the river where engineers have built log jams for fish and other aquatic species. 

The Salmon River Restoration Project is a cooperative effort with several partners including the BLM, Freshwater Trust, Nature Conservancy, Portland Water Bureau, and a host of others passionate about aquatic restoration. 

To learn more about the BLM’s fisheries program head on over to: www.blm.gov/or/programs/fisheries/index.php 

You also check out footage of the restoration project in action, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd_NbCZBqjI 

Photos and story by Maria Thi Mai and Michael Campbell, BLM Oregon Public Affairs

(Source: Flickr / blmoregon)


"No bruises!" This crew of six Jamaican workers will carefully pick 20,000 bushels from 6,000 trees over the course of apple season at Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. Fredson Brissett is about to unload his 40-pound basket of Hubbardston Nonesuch. They balance on beautiful century-old ladders to pick from the treetops. "The six of us are like brothers," they tell me. "Like a relay team."

(via npr)


Conservationist shares home with 200 sloths
Monique Pool came to the rescue of the sloths when their habitat was marked for destruction — but she never expected to find so many.


“Wildness, Ed. We’re running out of it, even up here in Alaska. People need to be reminded that the world is unsafe and unpredictable, and at a moment’s notice, they could lose everything, like that. I do it to remind them that chaos is always out there, lurking beyond the horizon. That, plus, sometimes, Ed, sometimes you have to do something bad, just to know you’re alive.”

Dang Chris.


Wildness, Ed. We’re running out of it, even up here in Alaska. People need to be reminded that the world is unsafe and unpredictable, and at a moment’s notice, they could lose everything, like that. I do it to remind them that chaos is always out there, lurking beyond the horizon. That, plus, sometimes, Ed, sometimes you have to do something bad, just to know you’re alive.

Dang Chris.

Stamps & Camps 2014

National Route 66 Museum, OK | Pops on 66, OK | Ryman Auditorium, Nashville | Sunsphere, Knoxville | Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN | Mammoth Cave National Park, KY | Gateway Arch, St. Louis | Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS | Fort Larned National Historic Site, KS | Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, CO


Summing up this month.


Summing up this month.

(via joeblubaugh)

Gonna miss this place for a while. (at Serrano Village Apartments)

Gonna miss this place for a while. (at Serrano Village Apartments)


Happy Birthday, Trill Clinton


Happy Birthday, Trill Clinton


"What Your Junk Drawer Reveals About You" via Linton Weeks

"The Great American Junk Drawer can be an accidental time capsule, a haphazard scrap heap, a curious box of memories and meaninglessness. It can also serve as a Rorschachian reflection of your life.”

Images: Kit Yarrow, Mish/Flickr, Eugene Meidinger/Flickr, NPR


The ‘Juicy’ Standardized Test: How Well Do You Know Biggie’s Anthem 20 Years Later?

This is the “Juicy” Standardized Test. This is not the Fill in the Blank “Juicy” quiz, or the True/False “Juicy” quiz, or the Word Bank Matching “Juicy” Quiz. You won’t be able to weasel your way through it by simply connecting words in the questions that rhyme with words in the responses. This is an adaptation of several statewide exams (New York and Texas, mostly), designed to replicate the rigor of those tests by asserting tiered, higher-order questioning.

It’s 10 questions long. And every question is rooted in “Juicy”-dom. If you’re not very familiar with the song, don’t even bother. Because this is the nerdiest rap thing.

Scroll to the end to see the answer key.

And don’t sit there trying to answer the questions with a browser window opened to a “Juicy” lyrics page. Don’t be a dolt.

Good luck. I hope that you do not die here today.

(Source: upnorthtrips)