Views from the Edge

Books are Getting a Buzz

The winner of the 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize was awarded last week to Barbershop Books, a program that adds a reading space to local barbershops. The initiative was started by Alvin Irby, a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, who specifically wanted young black boys to have a reading space that is fun and stress-free.

Pacific Climate Warriors are Raising a Paddle

A delegation of the Pacific Climate Warriors, a 350.org climate activist group from the Pacific Islands, are arriving in Canada today to raise a paddle. During their 9-day trip, they will tour the tar sands in Alberta, engage in public events, and meet with various Indigenous Communities in Western Canada.

Abstracting Industrial Scars

 J Henry Fair doesn’t really consider his mesmerizing aerial photographs art. He sees them as documents or intricate studies that tell a complete story about the things we take for granted on our planet.

Designing Data

Do you love data visualization as much as we do? Enjoy these ten TED-compiled Hans Rosling talks with animated statistics about the world’s population, put together after Rosling’s death in February.

Short Answers to Some Hard Questions

Wrapping your head around climate change can often feel overwhelming. Many people experience environmental apathy or even grief when trying to comprehend the enormity of the situation.

Freedom For Some, But Not All

The Guardian recently published an article called, “Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor—that’s what Trump and Brexit are about”. While the title certainly speaks for itself, the author delves into what the term “freedom” often entails. He suggests that the propaganda of freedom promised by the Trump Administration and Brexiters is really “the freedom of the very rich to exploit us”.

Waterloo to Teach the Rest of Us New Tricks

Waterloo, Ontario will begin a pilot program to turn dog waste into energy and fertilizer. Our current mode of disposing dog poop leaves municipal garbage bins up to 80% full of just doggie bags. This is a shockingly high percentage, considering how much garbage is produced every year. To address this problem, one man in Waterloo borrowed an old idea from rural life and updated it for the city. Small green receptacles will be placed in parks in Waterloo (starting with three parks for the pilot) for the special disposal of dog poop.

Recharge in Quebec’s Cottage Country

Rawdon, Quebec is a cottagey town to the north of Montreal with a population of only 11,000. Yet Rawdon and the surrounding region of Lanaudière have the highest per capita rate of electric car ownership in Quebec, as The Star reports. What makes this tiny town so eco-friendly?

The Canary in the Coal Mine

A museum that celebrates the founding of the coal mining industry in a small town in Southeast Kentucky will soon be powered by clean, renewable energy. Owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum has ironically found a new way to cut down costs: solar energy.

Just in Time for Spring: the Hidden Beauty of Pollination

It’s a good time to revisit this 2011 TED talk by Louie Schwartzberg. He is a time-lapse nature photographer whose work is all about what we cannot see. In this talk he zeroes in on pollinators--hummingbirds, bees, bats, and butterflies--and how colony collapse disorder is possibly the most serious problem we face today.