“A forest is much more than what you see… Underground there is this other world — a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as though it’s a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence.” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.
Find more great resources on trees at Brain Pickings.
Read about the must-read book The Hidden Life Of Trees.
“Inspired by the “Overview Effect” – a sensation that astronauts experience when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole – the breathtaking, high definition satellite photographs in OVERVIEW offer a new way to look at the landscape that humans have shaped. Benjamin Grant, creator of the Instagram project Daily Overview from which the book is inspired, discusses how the project and book came about.”
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Find the book Overview here.
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“The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of Earth and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. ‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect and features important commentary on the wider implications of this understanding for our society and our relationship to the environment.”
“Our project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect. This term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That’s the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire.
From our line of sight on the earth’s surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. We believe that beholding these forces as they shape our Earth is necessary to make progress in understanding who we are as a species, and what is needed to sustain a safe and healthy planet.
As a result, the Overviews (what we call these images) focus on the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape. Each Overview starts with a thought experiment. We consider the places where man has left his mark on the planet and then conduct the necessary research to identify locations (and the corresponding geo-coordinates) to convey that idea.
The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head. However, once we have that attention, we hope you will go beyond the aesthetics, contemplate just exactly what it is that you’re seeing, and consider what that means for our planet.”
Earth is truly beautiful when viewed from space. The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new selection of particularly interesting images from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites, prolific sources of data for earth scientists. WIRED magazine selected their favorites from the USGS’ Earth as Art collection, which will take you on a tour of the world from the glaciers of Antarctica to the deserts of Algeria.