Author Archive

Litter as horror

By Jen
This is a pretty excellent anti-litter PSA I think, by David Lynch — thought I’d share.


Urban Map

Has anyone else been having the hardest time adding site tags to the map? The google map keeps switching information around on me, losing data … it’s driving me batty.


Heritage of Splendor

By Jen

Al Gore has nothing on Ronald Reagan.

The whole thing is really interesting (The third grade litterbug art contest is amazing), but here are some relevant quotes:

5:15: “…The litter problem seems to get worse, sadly and ironically because of scientific advances in modern living…the art of modern packaging has helped to make our outings even more enjoyable. Almost anything we need is conveniently available. But it is these wonderful packages, thoughtlessly discarded, which we convert to litter.”

11:17: “The need has become critical to protect and preserve the lovely land we hold in trust for future generations. The time has come to do something. And by a strange paradox, this is really the easiest of all national problems to solve. Instead of going into the ground or into the water, discards go into a litterbag…”

12:43: “We should remember that group effort is simply individual effort multiplied.”

14:00: plug for Keep America Beautiful

More plastics

Some uses of plastic today:

Work Chair (5 hours), had for 7 years

Ice Cube tray (throughout day), had for 12 years

Headphones (3 hours), had for 6 months

shampoo bottle (10 minutes), had for 3 months

Remote control (1 hour), had for 2 years

Gummy candy bag (30 min)

Straw (1 hour)

2 Plastic bags (5 minutes carrying groceries home). Same two bags reused for cat litter disposal (10 minutes).

Mixing bowls (1 hour), had for 2 years

Variety of condiment and oil bottles, had for 1 week – 1 year

Spatula (10 min), had for 3 years

Cutting board (10 min), had for 3 years

1 Plastic sandwich bag (1-2 days sitting in my fridge).

Saran wrap (up to 3 days in fridge)

1 tupperware (up to 3 days in fridge), had for 4 years

One aspect of my life I can’t imagine without plastic:

Cooking. I’m amazed/appalled by how many plastics I’ve used in preparing/cleaning up after my dinner tonight.

By Jen

Hoarding and Household Waste

By Jen

This weeks topic reminded me of a project I saw a couple years ago by artist Song Dong:

Song Dong, Waste Not

Song Dong, Waste Not

Song Dong, Waste Not

From the MoMA site:

“A collaboration first conceived of with the artist’s mother, the installation consists of the complete contents of her home, amassed over fifty years during which the Chinese concept of wu jin qi yong, or “waste not,” was a prerequisite for survival.  The assembled materials, ranging from pots and basins to blankets, oil flasks, and legless dolls, form a miniature cityscape that viewers can navigate around and through.”

In contrast to the orderly  beauty  of the Song Dong installation (which is simulatenously aestheticized/antisepticized), the TLC show Hoarding – Buried Alive depicts the opposite end of the spectrum. The show is crazy … it’s both fascinating and disconcerting to see what happens when the symbolic order of waste/not waste is disturbed.

image from Hoarding- Buried Alive

image from Hoarders-Buried Alive

image from Hoarders - Buried Alive

The Gleaners and I

This weeks readings reminded me of  The Gleaners and I, a documentary by Agnes Varda.  I thought I’d share:

It’s pretty interesting and wide-ranging, covering a variety of subjects from around the world who identify in one way or another as scavangers, pickers, or gleaners.

By Jen

Productivity Site (Lifehacker) and Non-Productivity Site (Do Nothing)

By Jen is about “Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done” — usually tech-oriented.  Here are some sample posts from the site that claim to streamline and accelerate workflows:

How to organize your inbox
How to tweak a google search

I visit the site often — probably more often than is productive. It seems that I am tragically addicted to wasting time by looking for ways to not waste time.

And it makes me wonder: when did productivity stop being a means to an end, but the goal in and of itself?  Why do I constantly look to technology to improve my efficiency?

And here’s another site that also addresses the problem of info overload, but from a totally different angle:
Do Nothing for Two Minutes

I was surprised by how difficult it was for me to sit through the full two minutes without clicking.  But clearly, it’s hit a cultural nerve … according to TechCrunch, the site went from zero to 1 million unique visitors in 6 days (with the average time spent on site being 46 seconds).