Sustainability & Environment

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Dropping Knowledge - Table of Free Voices. All Nothing: Poetic 1978 Animated Allegory about Mankind's Greed. By Maria Popova Frédéric Back’s beautiful short film about harmony and the tragic entitlement of our species.

All Nothing: Poetic 1978 Animated Allegory about Mankind's Greed

French-born artist and activist-filmmaker Frédéric Back got his professional start in Canada in the 1950s, where he was asked to draw still images promoting moving pictures at Radio-Canada’s graphics department. In 1967, his giant stained glass mural entitled L’histoire de la musique à Montréal (“history of music in Montreal”) became the first work of art to be commissioned for the Montreal metro system. But most striking of all are his animated short films. In 1978, his Tout Rien (“All Nothing”), a delicate and pensive 11-minute animated allegory set to the music of Igor Stravinsky about how our human greed is stealing the happiness of our species, earned him an Oscar nomination. Possessions, like happiness, are always eluding our grasp. The following year, while working on another film and applying a coat of fixative to a drawing, the fumes got into Back’s right eye.

Destigmatize Regifting. By Maria Popova How to give and receive with honesty, love, and no guilt.

Destigmatize Regifting

The season of giving is upon us — a time to receive a lot of stuff we don’t really need from people we care about, give them stuff they don’t really need in return, and do it all graciously, dancing a dance of feigned stuff-needing. But what if we could pass that stuff we don’t really want or need along to someone who might? What if we could normalize regifting, remove the guilt that bedevils it, and bake it into the gift-giving process from the get-go as an open and beautiful expression of honesty? Introducing the Brain Pickings Regifting API — a free set of tools that aim to remove the social stigma from regifting, letting your loved ones know that you openly endorse regifting and encouraging them to pay your gift forward if there’s someone in their lives better suited for it than themselves. . [ download hi-res PNG ] [ download vector file ] [ download hi-res PNG ] [ download vector file ] [ download hi-res PNG ]

Sustainability, Environment, Progressive Politics, Peak Oil, Being Green. This Awesome Urn Will Turn You into a Tree After You Die. You don't find many designers working in the funeral business thinking about more creative ways for you to leave this world (and maybe they should be).

This Awesome Urn Will Turn You into a Tree After You Die

However, the product designer Gerard Moline has combined the romantic notion of life after death with an eco solution to the dirty business of the actual, you know, transition. His Bios Urn is a biodegradable urn made from coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose and inside it contains the seed of a tree. Once your remains have been placed into the urn, it can be planted and then the seed germinates and begins to grow. You even have the choice to pick the type of plant you would like to become, depending on what kind of planting space you prefer. I, personally, would much rather leave behind a tree than a tombstone. Editor's Note: The Bios Urn is a patented design of Estudimoline, the design company of Gerard Moline, a Catalan artist and product designer who designed Bio Urn for animals in 1999.

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