Visit to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens

I wanted to share some photos from my first visit to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Conservatory this month. It was a warm escape from the bitter cold weather. The conservatory displays plants from three major biomes around the world: tropical, temperate, and arid. I learned about plants that I take for granted, (did you know that black pepper grows on a vine?), and found artistic inspiration from the natural patterns in plants. I also found inspiration from a unique sculptural planted kaleidoscope in the gardens. The incorporation of plant growth into the kaleidoscope ensures that you will only see that geometric image once and it will always be a fresh experience. Such as great reminder of how substantial moments are. This was a peaceful one for sure.

Your Warming World – Climate Change Map

New Scientist’s Your Warming World uses data from NASA’s surface temperature analysis to illustrate climate change around the globe. Explore where you live to see the pattern and compare it to the overall global analysis. You can also compare the shift in temperature to other time periods of a 20-year duration at the same location. Most importantly, make a point of sharing this map with any climate change denying friends and family. This is a great tool to visualize abstract statistics!

Source: New Scientist, Your Warming World

Saving Sochi’s Strays

PovoDog, a shelter funded by a Russian billionaire has rushed in a last-effort save hundreds of strays before the 2014 Winter Olympics begin today in Sochi.

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The New York Times writes:

Lying past a cemetery, at the end of a dirt road and without electricity or running water, the makeshift PovoDog shelter is already giving refuge to about 80 animals, including about a dozen puppies.

Local animal rights workers say many of the strays were pets, or the offspring of pets, abandoned by families whose homes with yards were demolished over the past few years to make way for the Olympic venues and who were compensated with new apartments in taller buildings, where keeping a pet is often viewed as undesirable.

In recent months, residents of Sochi have reported seeing dogs shot with poisoned darts, then tossed into waiting trucks. Aleksei Sorokin, the director general of a pest control business, Basya Services, has confirmed that his company has been hired to catch and kill strays, telling local journalists the work was necessary.

A huge thank you to ProvoDog for stepping in.

Photo Source: Sergei Ilnitsky, European Pressphoto Agency
Source: David Herszenhorn, Racing to Save the Stray Dogs of Sochi, The New York Times, 5 Feb 2014