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SHFT Sampler 1-7-11

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Weekly links: Gordon Matta-Clark's eco-art bent, mysterious bird deaths, and more.

Gordon Matta-Clark was an eco-art O.G.. In the 70s, Matta-Clark's conceptual projects included recycling glass bottles, digging out a basement to create a “guerrilla” garden, and turning a dumpster into an open house. An exhibition centered on Matta-Clark's time at 112 Greene Street, one of the first artist-run venues in New York, opens this weekend at David Zwirner in NYC. In a......read more

Mass Animal Deaths

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What really did them in?

When 5,000 red-winged blackbirds dropped dead from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year's Eve, people got a little freaked. A few day's later, 500 dead and dying red-winged blackbirds fell onto a Louisiana highway, and no one felt any more comforted. Experts try to allay our fears. "It's not surprising if it's one or two events like this," said Melanie Driscoll, a senior bird biologist......read more

Spontaneous City by London Fieldworks

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Bespoke bird boxes carry message about dwindling biodiversity

The keen eyes at Ignant have hipped us to this interesting project from artist duo Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, together known as London Fieldworks. The project, called Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven, is a series of interventions in London’s green spaces, involving the mounting of bespoke bird boxes on trees of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). The artworks, which act as homes for......read more

Goth of the Bay

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The Duck Version of Sid Vicious

I remember spotting my first red-breasted merganser in Brooklyn as it paddled along the bulkheads lining Jamaica Bay. It was a strangely warm February day, snow lingered amid the shoreline grasses and the bird peeked in and out of a drifting, intermittent fog. I was an excited young bird-watcher, and any bird was worth looking up in one of the three field guides I carried with me. I had been......read more

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

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Cornell University's bird lab is offering big bucks as reward for sighting of ultra-rare-if-not-extinct ghostbird, last seen in 1964.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is offering a reward of $50,000 to the person who finds them an ivory-billed woodpecker. Officially listed as critically endangered, the ‘pecker hasn’t been seen for certain since 1964. ...read more

SHFT SAMPLER 6-10-10

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The first edition of our new, weekly assemblage of links from around the web.

Give us some of those good vibrations. How everyday behaviors can produce clean energy. Livable cities all have one thing in common; they're designed for people, not cars. It's hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. What does that mean for the worst oil spill in U.S. history? Now that's sustainable architecture. Straw, string or human hair, urban birds build nests with......read more

Jonathan Franzen: Liking is for Cowards

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Technology is no alternative for love, argues American novelist

Jonathan Franzen is the author of the acclaimed recent novel, "Freedom," and an avid conservationist and bird watcher to boot.  In a weekend op-ed for The New York Times, Franzen takes us on a fascinating exploration that finds unlikely links between consumer technology, love, and environmentalism. [T]he ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world......read more

The World's First Bird-Friendly Wind Turbine

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New wind power tech designed with specific intent of saving avian lives

Clean though wind power may be, it doesn't come without its own environmental concerns, chief among which is the fact that birds and bats share the unfortunate habit of flying into spinning turbine blades.  Raymond Green, an 89-year-old World War II veteran, has developed a new bladeless wind turbine that he claims will save the lives of avian creatures. Carrying the slightly wordy......read more

SHFT Sampler 4-8-11

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Group calls for "bird smart" wind power, Senate thwarts anti-EPA bill, Toyota sells a million hybrids in the US, and more.

For the Birds: The American Bird Conservancy posted a video showing a vulture getting taken out by a wind turbine, part of a campaign calling for "bird smart" design of wind power projects. Hmmm. (via Dot Earth) Phew! In a 50-50 vote, the Senate rejected the GOP's attempt to permanently block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Recycled Rug: The recycled ANY rug from the Piadao Group is......read more

SHFT Sampler 12-3-10

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Weekly links: Obama nixes offshore plans, mercury turns birds gay, and more.

Adorbs alert! Discovery assembled an "awwww"-inspiring slide show of endangered baby animals. Are fixies over? We have no idea, but this bamboo joint from Germany's Arndt Menke-Zumbragel tells us no. Lance Armstrong is down too. The world's most famous cyclist called it a "killer wooden bike" on his Twitter. Can't disagree. Check out those rear forks! ......read more

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