Tuesday, September 30, 2008

$80 Night Vision Goggles! (For Serious!)

Just reviewed on Ars Technica are the Eye Clops Night Vision goggles, which for less than a honeybee will have you rampaging your neighborhood in the dark, Buffalo Bill-style; or doing totally non-creepy things as well. Your choice!

Supposedly just for kids, the Eye Clops can easily be made to fit growns as well.

In a totally non-consumer way, we totally covet these. You reconcile that statement.

(sweet pics via ars technica)

SuperForester Cassie Presents: Bento Box Ring and Cute Cookery!

This just came in from the incandescent, unstoppable SuperForester Cass, (she of the mighty Gravel and Gold blog!) Absorb!

"Hiya Jack!

SuperForest is looking super great! I love your alphabet for peace drawings.
Also, I for one would buy the T-shirt for sure. And I would really, really buy the hoodie.

We had fantastic travels and it was good to take a break from it all, but so good to come home.
And now that we're home, we can get down to the vital business of eating lots of sushi. It seems that no matter where I travel--even to France, the very heart of gourmand rapture--all I crave, seek, downright require is Japanese food. Which got me to thinking....Surely your devoted SuperForesters would agree that nothing covers the Japanese/lunchtime sustainability bases like a hearty bento box. So then, a this-and-that celebration of the ultimate this-and-that apparatus, the mighty bento box:

For a truly tiny bit of this-and-that on the go, it's wise to pack an itty-bitty snack in your essential bento box ring, from the excellent CRAFT blog.

For an awesome kick in the the creativity pants, be inspired by the daily outpouring of one mother's love, creativity, and bento artistry to be found on e-bento. Edible froggies, and octopi, and samurai, Oh my!

To join the whole universe of daily bento blogging, check in with one of the many suggested at cookingcute.com!

If it's the bento accoutrements, (say a hand carved and lacquered Japanese elm bento box,) rather than the contents therein that really get you a-drooling, justbento.com has what you're after.

Might there be something for SuperForest here?

Hope you are very well indeed.


Indeed there is! Thank you so much for the post!


Beautiful Spam Treasures!

I just checked the spam folder in the SuperForest email account, and discovered a little "Spam Treasure!"

Under the subject heading: "That's more meat for me." someone has sent an email of the most insane, pseudo-Age of Innocence, literary hogwash I've yet encountered.

That was my first reaction anyway. Upon really reading it, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few nuggets of "Spam Gold." The zen-like, near haiku phrases, obviously cobbled together by some text program, began to grow on me.

Like this:

"Elinor saw, cherished."

That's beautiful!

Check out this doozy:

"He was neither so unjust, nor so ungrateful, as to leave unusual in children of two or three years old; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of all the attention which, for years, he had received from his niece and her daughters."

And this one:

"When he gave his completely easy. Three thousand pounds!"

I must say, few times have I ever cherished a spam more, and few times have I ever read with such interest so much gibberish.

Thank you "E-Commerce in Finance, Vogt Kaitlin" "

I may not want to buy your generic Cialis, but I love your work.

Little Big Planet + CAD + RepRap = The Make Anything Game?

Good Afternoon!

I was just marveling at the trailer for a new game coming out called Little Big Planet:

As you can see, a huge part of the game play is in designing the levels that you inhabit. This is especially cool because the processing power of the Playstation has gotten so fast that you can create and handle items with stunning real world physics behind their every move.

Create a log and push it over and it will behave like a log pushed over. Differently than, say, a board, or a log with a ball on top, or a sheet of glass.

So a game where you create and modify "real-acting" objects.

Couple that with CAD, the program that designers and engineers use to create 3D renderings.

So now you're playing a game where you create pieces and assemble them into more complex machines, gadgets, buildings, clothing, armor, whatever you like.

I play this cute little game for a while and I assemble a new kind of skateboard for myself.

Wow, a digital rendering of a skateboard! Big whoop, right?

Imagine that after assembling this 3D model, I hit "print."

Imagine that (either in my house or in a business nearby) my rapid prototyping printer hums to life and immediately begins printing a physical model of my skateboard, which I am then free to clean up, attach wheels to, and ride around my neighborhood, (with proper safety gear on of course.)

All I was doing was playing a game, and I inadvertently created a physical object.

That is a mind-boggling thing to be able to do, and yet you could do it this very day.

Imagine how easy it will be to train entire generations in the art of digital design and assembly?!

After all, they'd only be playing games!

It gets even better...

Imagine a complex, multi-player game where your team's mission was to finish puzzle pieces and slide them into a communal digital space, where more players would kludge them together to form larger, more complex objects.

You could build anything.

Need an entirely new type of helicopter? Program the game to treat the object the teams are creating as if it were in a wind tunnel. This would allow real-time flight testing of our helicopter as it is assembled.

Now, do the same for a nuclear reactor. Make the game about efficiently using heat energy. Most efficient design wins.

This is about the inevitable crowd-sourcing of design and invention. By playing simple games, we can all be aeronautical engineers, nuclear reactor designers, fashion magnates.

Right now we have data and call centers in India, working for pennies on the dollar answering phones and dealing with reservations. Imagine the untapped potential of those petabytes of human processing power. Right now that power is being squandered, but give every one of those people a copy of the Make Anything Game and let them go to work collectively on every design and engineering hurdle known to man.

Massive parallel crowd-sourced design.

Now, imagine China getting really into this.
They make everything as it is, imagine if they designed it all as well.

What's really noodle-baking is that this brave new tech will be quaint in 15 years. Quaint! Like a slow ride on a gentle horse.

What will the world be like when everyone is playing the Make Anything Game?

You want to succeed in the brave new world? Play lots of games and get used to working with others.


The CAPtivate Lamp

It's a fact that only 5.5% of plastic bottles used in Great Britain are recycled. This is a pity since the plastics can be reused. Reused can be in a consumer way, like taking the bottle in, melting it and making a new bottle out of it. But reused can also be to use it in for instance an art project.

And this last thing was done in an excellent way by British design corporation LulaDot. This is the CAPtivate Lamp.

The entity has been made out of, indeed, bottle caps. But there's more.

The lamp is available online through LulaDot's website. For a mere 115 GBP it's yours (roughly that's $207). But when you get the lamp all the tops aren't screwed on the lamp. LulaDot gives you about 40 tops to screw on but the rest you'll have to collect yourself. And here comes the great part, the color of the tops creates the color that the light will have.

For example, if you screw on a load of orange Fanta tops the light will become orange. If you choose for Coca-Cola-red the light will become red, and so on.
The great part is that the end user determines how the product looks and can customize it in unlimited ways.


SuperForester Jon Presents: the Clinton Global Initiative Citizen Awards!


SuperForester Jon
has just written in with a thrilling play-by-play of the recent Clinton Global Initiative Citizen Awards Dinner.

Take it away, Jon!


I wanted to write you right away after coming home from the Clinton Global Citizen Awards tonight. I was so totally inspired and excited by what they presented as part of the Clinton Global Initiative.

First off, they honored Peter and Jennifer Buffett for commitment to leadership in philanthropy. They are co-founders of the NoVo Foundation. Peter is Warren Buffett's son, and he described his father's strategy of buying undervalued investments and watching them skyrocket when the world realized their value. He looks at his job as much the same - investing in something undervalued - girls - and watching the world change because of it. A huge return on investment. They've pledged millions to rebuild the education systems and address violence against women in post-conflict West Afirca, and they've joined a funding collaborative called "the girl effect" (not sure if related to girleffect.org) to promote the empowerment of adolescent girls as a way to end the cycle of poverty.

They honored Sheri Liao (for commitment to leadership in civil society), who is a huge environmental activist in China. After the recent earthquakes, she and her NGO Global Village of Beijing were able to work with the government to make new housing sustainable. That's right - they're working WITH the Chinese government, making a difference in partnership with what others might see as intractable.

They honored Julio Frenk (commitment to leadership in public service), who, as minister of health for Mexico, expanded health care to 50 million uninsured Mexicans.

And for commitment to leadership in the corporate sector, they honored Neville Isdell, the Chairman of the Coca Cola Company, for his massive initiatives worldwide.

All amazing examples of people choosing to make a difference and doing so.

The cool thing about CGI is that they require commitments, and the corporations and public figures (including many heads of state) that attend must make and keep their commitments in order to participate in CGI. CGI monitors them regularly too.

Check this out:

"Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 1,000 commitments valued at upwards of $30 billion to impact more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries."

"After attending thousands of meetings during his career in which urgent issues were discussed but no action was taken to solve them, President Clinton saw a need to establish a new kind of meeting with an emphasis on results."

Their program is entirely based on real commitments:

It is entirely up to each CGI member to determine what they would like to do, and the commitment can be of a financial or non-financial nature. To date, CGI members have developed nearly 1,000 Commitments to Action that vary across sectors, geographical areas, and types of activities.

Members can develop their commitments throughout their membership year. CGI supports the development of commitments by facilitating dialogue across sectors, providing opportunities to identify commitment partners, recognizing and showcasing the actions taken by members, and communicating results. However, CGI neither gives nor receives funds associated with member commitments and does not engage in their implementation.
Commitments must meet the following criteria:

* New
CGI members address a wide array of challenges. Some commitments involve new approaches, while others draw on promising solutions that can be scaled up or replicated. CGI only asks that members add to their current efforts.

* Specific
Commitments should articulate a desired outcome and approach to tackling a specific problem, have clear and feasible objectives within a defined period of time, and incorporate an effective approach to implementation.

* Measurable
CGI commitments yield measurable results. Over the course of each commitment, CGI asks members to provide regular progress reports. By asking members to track and report the impact of their commitments, CGI can provide diverse audiences with useful information that will help inspire further action on global issues.

It's incredibly inspiring stuff and it's making a real, tangible, measurable difference worldwide.

The other thing about this event that totally rocked my world were the awards themselves. Goncalo Mabunda from Mozambique uses weapons and turns them into art. Seriously. The award itself is a beautiful sculpture made from bullet casings.

More of his work can be seen here:

Goncalo Mabunda 1

Goncalo Mabunda 2
Goncalo Mabunda 3

Swords into ploughshares.


All my best,


Great Quote by Ryan Singel on Wired.com

Good Morning All,

I was just reading up on wired.com and came across this marvelously prescient line:

"Of course, once the world is saved from global warming, we will need to be entertained..."

-Ryan Singel

I think that since "saving" the world from global warming is well within our reach, we can all begin to look forward to this Era of Entertainment.



Monday, September 29, 2008

Dr. Taylor's Terrifying Timepiece! - The Corpus Clock & Chronophage

Dr. John Taylor has invented an entirely new species of clock, one with no hands at all, and a scary "grasshopper" that rides atop it!

"Known as the Corpus Clock, the machine has been invented by and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college's new library building.

Dr Taylor, an inventor and horologist, has put 500,000 pounds of his own money and seven years into developing the clock, which has been inspired from a design by a clock made by the legendary John Harrison, the pioneer of longitude."

Here's the wild beastie in action!

DesignBand - Bird Turf Urban Birdhouses!

In most cities, where you see power lines you'll undoubtedly see a pair of sneakers chucked over them, hanging in the breeze.

has very cleverly upended this meme with their spicy idea: Bird Turf!

"an urban birdhouse inspired by the uniquely American act of throwing shoes over powerlines... Bird Turf proudly reclaims city space for natural habitat by manipulating a distinctly cultural typology."
In other words, if you've gotta chuck something over a power line, donate those old Jordans to Goodwill and chuck these instead!

Nicey nice nice.

A chirpy chirpy "thank you!" to the good people at DesignBand.

Ask SuperForest: Iman's Question!

Yay! Our second question for Ask SuperForest, this one from SuperForester Iman:

"Howdy Superforesters!
I just realized you guys had an advice column. Its really perfect that the universe threw your email my way because oddly enough, I need advice.

I'm really involved in an Environmental club at my school and we recycle every Friday, but for some reason, I guess high school kids aren't that into recycling on their Friday afternoons. So I really have two questions, first, do you have any suggestions for methods of luring kids into recycling? (haha) And second, do you have any suggestions for an environmental club in general? Anything goes! I just want to make the club as radical as is humanly possible! Thanks a lot friends.
Keep it funky,


A truly great question.

Needing a bit of clarification, we wrote this to Iman:


We have a huge number of responses to your question!

But first, we need to ask a few things:
How does the club work? Who runs it? How many members does it have?
Do you make any money from recycling?
Is any sort of credit given for taking part in the club? Is that a possibility?
What is the club currently called?

Let us know.

-Team SuperForest"

Iman replied:

"That's so wonderful!

1. We meet up every Friday afternoon to recycle but we do meet often during lunch; It is run by us students and our leader is open to any ideas we come up with; We have about ten at the moment
2. We make about 100 dollars a week from recycling
3. Well...as for "credit" we get listed in the yearbook and we get t-shirts, I'm not entirely sure if that answers the question...
4. We are simply called the "Environmental Club", a little boring so if you have any ideas that'd be great! I really want to start a branch of the club that refers to "What we're saving!" Because we tend to focus so much on trying to save our forests that we never get out there and enjoy them. So if you're all in a sort of naming mood, we also need a name for the branch that would direct hikes and those sort of outdoor activities.

Thanks very much Jackson and all you lovely SuperForesters, I know that this will make the club even better than it already is, nonetheless generate interest in it. This happens to be "club week" at my school so the timing could not have been better. The Universe never ceases to amaze me.

Keep it funky,

Okay, let's get answerin'!


Firstly we'd like to congratulate you on your energy and involvement in the "Environmental Club." It is a great and noble thing to give your time to building a better present.

All of Team SuperForest recieved a copy of your question and our answers vary from person to person. (Iman will receive the full email chain of our compiled answers.)

Our many answers had a few points of convergence and here they are:

"How to "lure" kids into recycling?"

Step One: Sell it.

Firstly, sometimes people have negative reactions to words like "environmental," "recycling," and the like. Fine, call it something else.

"Environmental Club" could just as easily be named "Future Resource Captains" or "Materials for Profit," or "Trash for Cash" or something that appeals more to people's sense of worth. Be creative. If Environmental Club whiffs too strongly of "green" or "hippie," then call it something else.

This is a great opportunity to be flexible and rethink your branding!

I mean, you're taking something that people have designated as worthless (trash) and you're sifting through it and "revaluing" it. Their trash becomes your profit. A name that plays on this sense of rediscovery is great. You're practically treasure hunters!

Calling your club "Treasure Hunters Inc." would do a lot more to fire people's imaginations than Environmental Club. You get what we're saying? Make it appealing.

"Any suggestions for an environmental club in general?"

Step Two: Advertise it.

You know what is free right now? Starting your own blog.

Treasure Hunters Inc. The Blog!

Go on blogger, or wordpress, or any other blog-hosting site and get your blog started ASAP.

This will serve a huge variety of functions. It will allow you to get info about your club into the world in a searchable manner. It will let you keep tabs on your members, and allow your members to communicate amongst themselves. It will start a snowball of networking and information generation that you can use to your benefit.

This blog can last and last and last. Imagine handing down the reigns of the Treasure Hunters blog to a younger generation of students, who in turn can use it to generate influence and change. Very powerful stuff. Then it wasn't just a club, but rather, the beginning of a LEGACY.

Start a blog, let people know what you're doing and how they can play along.

This will also be a great asset if you decide to team up with local businesses and get into some serious environmentalism, as they can check you out online, see who you are, email you, etc.

Which leads us to...

Step Three: Redefine Environment.

As an environmental club, it is imperitive that you retake the meaning of the word "environment." As we say in the SuperForest Humanifesto, the environment is everything that disappears when you close your eyes.

It would send a powerful message to your fellow students if one focus of your club was on your school itself. Particularly it's grounds and buildings!

Look around you. That squeaky step? Talk to the janitor or maintenance staff about getting it fixed. Blog about "Mission Squeaky Step." Take pictures. Interview the maintenance crew. Post it all. Most importantly, get that step fixed.

Take the responsibility of the look of your school onto yourselves and see what happens.

All of a sudden you go from a fringe group who digs through trash to the amazing Treasure Hunters who fixed the step, painted the walls, planted those new apple trees in the quad, worked with other students to make cool new recycling bins, got the principal to make detention about sweeping the front walk, etc.

And your new blog will allow you to reach out to local hardware stores or nurseries and perhaps convince them to donate goods or services. Stores always have surplus, and giving that surplus to a needy cause (i.e. you.) is a win for everybody.

Set yourselves a list of things that you don't like about the environment of your school and one by one work to make them better. And blog, blog, blog! Let the undecideds check you out online and follow your exploits, thrill at your progress.

Step Four: Celebrate.

One of the best quotes I've ever heard about revolution is this: "If there isn't going to be dancing, then count me out of your revolution."

So, we must have some dancing!

You say that Friday is the day you meet up to recycle. That's kind of a game killer. Who wants to stay after school on Friday?

What we suggest is this: If it's possible, can the recycling component of your activities be handled on a "little bit each day" basis? As in, can you recycle a bit each weekday and save your
Fridays to meet up, discuss the weeks adventures, and hopefully celebrate your successes?

You're making money from your efforts. Make sure that you're using it to encourage your team. Get some movies! Pop some corn! You've worked hard all week, and you should allow yourselves to blow off steam. Watching the Planet Earth documentary series while you take turns blogging is a grand and fine way to pass an afternoon.

We here at SuperForest would very much like to see your blog up and running by the end of Oct. if not sooner. (Then we can link to it! And you to us! The snowball continues rolling!)

Furthermore, we pledge to help in any way we can. Whether it's blogging tech support, or further questions you may have, or just a compassionate ear to listen to your woes, SuperForest will be there to help support you and ensure that you succeed.

You have the tools and the talent.

Good on you, Iman.

Love to you and your club.


Team SuperForest

p.s. Got questions? Trust in the genius of the collective!
Send your questions to asksuperforest(at)gmail(dot)com.

Kinship With All Sharks

Yes... sharks! Those man eating super-predators that glide through the collective fears of millions upon millions of us rational, nature loving folk.And maybe you've already heard the statistics: for instance only 4 of 360 species of sharks ever attack humans, most of those accidental. Or that the odds of a shark attack are way way lower than say, getting struck by lightning.

I'm guessing you're not running for the water just yet, (you're running out of it, thank you Mr. Spielberg!) And I get it, believe me... a waterboy from Hawaii who's swam with sharks on a number of occasions. I know. It can be a disconcerting experience. It's also an amazing one.

And while I'm not trying to pet the things or hypnotize them like this crazy dude:

I do respect their intelligence, beauty and power. Up close you have to. Because man isn't the only great species ever to have evolved. Which is why I urge everyone to watch this film:

The simple truth that Sharkwater raises is that we fear what we don't understand. And too often we seek to destroy what we fear. Instead we should learn to appreciate and understand all life. And protect it.

That doesn't mean you have to go out and commune with a shark. But consider it next time you're in the ocean. That shark you so fear... is probably more afraid of you.

-Always merry and bright,

Blue Monochrom - Dumpster Tub

I will probably agree with you when you say that dump-containers look dirty and that they can't be used for sanitation purposes.
But Michel de Broin proves the opposite. He transformed a dumpster into a... tub. Indeed.

I must admit it looks quiet cool. With all the pipes which are used by the pool's pump it looks like an industrial masterpiece. Not to speak of the pool stair that hangs out of it.
Blue Monochrom, that's the name of de Broin's pool/dumpster, can almost contain 1700 liters of water and the inner wall is covered by a water resistant material (probably the same that's used in regular pools).
That's what I call recycling!

via:makeblog:michel de broin


Space X's Falcon 1 Makes it to Orbit!!!


Main booster separation.

Pop them corks!

Wow! What a week for space exploration.
First the Chinese spacewalk, and now Elon Musk's company Space X has successfully launched a vehicle into orbit.

We are now entering the age of commercial space travel. No longer do our Earthly borders matter, from this point on there is only one border. The gravity well between Earth and space.

Check out the screams of amazement in the background of this incredible video:

We are just (choke!) so proud to be human today!

Great Job to the people at Space X; and of course to China, our allies in the East.

Nat Geo Presents - Best Science Images '08!

Science! Oh yeah, sweety sweet science! So much funny fun fun! Science! Bum-ba-dummmm!


Nat Geo has released their picks for Best Science Photos '08, and they are stunnifying.

The Great Schlep!

Comedienne extraordinaire Sarah Silverman has just released this incredibly hilarious and profane video for The Great Schlep.

The Great Schlep is a movement aimed at getting young Jewish kids to fly down to Florida, visit with Grammy and Grampa, educate them on the necessity of an Obama presidency, and get them to cast their vote for the man.

(Yo, this is Sarah Silverman. I'm serious when I say it gets profane. That said, this is lovely, uplifting, and hilarious.)

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.


We Pr'Obama! We say G'Obama!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kinship With All Dolphins

Have you ever been on a date where you have so little in common with the other person that you find yourself asking them 3rd grade questions like "if you could be an animal, what animal would you be?" No? Well try it sometime, it may just turn your night around. Me, I'd choose a dolphin.

They are amazing animals. I have rarely felt more awestruck and humbled than when swimming alongside them in the wild.

If you've never done this before, it's an incredible experience. One of those 1001 must do's before hitting the big jackpot in this game of life. Speaking of which, I've just added lion cuddling, personal jet-flight, and wingsuit gliding to my list.

But what I never knew before about dolphins and just found out (thank you Neal), is that they can do this:

Ok, so humans can do that too...but we can't play with our rings or bounce them through the water. How do dolphins do it? Theories abound, but no one's really sure. The one thing I do know is that it looks really, really fun. They've got to be at least as smart as we are.

So make sure you buy dolphin safe tuna, so that this won't ever happen!


"Z" is for Peace.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kinship With All Lions

In line with this week's Kinship with all life theme, I present Christian the Lion:

Amazing... cheesy music and all.


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's buzz lightyear!

No it's FusionMan! Swiss pilot and skydiver Yves Rossy is now the first man to fly the English Channel with a jetpack. The future is here, kiddos... and it needs to be seen to be believed:

I don't know about you, but I was one of those little kids that always wanted to fly. That's actually not true, I wanted to breathe underwater, my twin brother wished he could fly. And not like superman or buzz lightyear (he was after our time)... more like a flying squirrel.

Which is totally awesome, not embarrassing. Just ask this guy:

It never ceases to amaze me what man can dream up and accomplish. Now if only someone could figure out how to breathe underwater...


Friday, September 26, 2008

Have a Great Weekend!


It's been a great week. A great month. A great time to be SuperForesting.

Have a safe and happy weekend, y'all!

See you next week with lots more righteous sustainability sweetness.


Team SuperForest.

Operation NICE

Good Friday Ya'll!

I just ran across a most excellent blog and immediately thought of SuperForest's Humanifesto.

So naturally, I have to post it.

Operation NICE is the name. It is filled with all kinds of great ideas on how to share your niceness with others.

But don't take my word for it, here is the first post of the blog, from creator Melissa Morris Ivone:

The other day I was waiting for an elevator in my building with one other gentleman. As the elevator arrived, I hesitated. I usually let others enter first, as a courtesy. But this gentleman held out his hand, motioning me to the door. As I walked through, he said with a chuckle, "You didn't really think I was going to walk in here first, did you?" I responded, "Well, I don't like to take anything for granted nowadays."

That one minor gesture brightened my day! I started to think, "What a great world this would be if everyone had consideration for others." It's a shame that that's not the case currently. It's obvious that common courtesy is lacking in society today. Just drive down a major highway and you'll see that.

What we all need is a little NICE.

Operation NICE encourages individuals to be proactively NICE. Stop by to read some positive, upbeat news stories (yes, they exist) about nice people. Download some tools (coming soon!) to help you in your quest to communicate the concept of niceness. Share a story or two about how someone made your day.

It is not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game ever starts.
- Addison Walker

Beautifully put.

So do yourself a solid and check out Mrs. Melissa's awesome blog, and spread some nice this weekend!

Sincerely yours,