It has been three months … more than three months since I last wrote anything for this blog. I have both been busy and not busy, depending on the week so I really have no excuse.
What inspired me to log in? Well, to rant of course (what nil percentage of blog posts are not some form of ranting or another, anyhow?) and a facebook status update just didn’t seem adequate. In an attempt to make this more interesting than just another boring rant (or perhaps this makes it less interesting?) I’ll through in some general updates along the way.
Lately, I have been working on rebuilding my road bike. Toronto, it turns out, is really bloody hilly and not so much fun on a rickety, old cruiser bike that weighs as much as I do. As much as I love the cruiser style, I sold my bike in favour of using a road bike for all those times I need to head north in Toronto – which is basically every day. For those who bike in this city, you undoubtedly know what I mean.
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So I haven’t made mention of this on here yet, but I am working with a couple of great people to start up a non-profit organization. I was approached this summer by a good friend and former classmate – with whom I share a passion for primate conservation. He has worked with an NGO in the African country of Cameroon for a couple of years and has been looking to start-up an NPO here in North America to act as a close partner for the NGO in Cameroon. And so, for the past months we have been tinkering away on this and it is starting to pull together. We have gotten some great people on board, have filed for incorporation (and soon will be seeking registered charity status), and we have just launched our website, created (laboriously) by moi.
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For something that is so intensely important to our continued existence, it alarms me how much misinformation abounds about the foods we eat. I find it more alarming how easily much of that misinformation is accepted uncritically.
Food is so essential, you eat all day, every day – if you are fortunate enough to live in an area of the world that has stable and plentiful food systems. Unfortunately many people don’t, way too many people – but that is not what I want to write about. Perhaps because food has such significance to our daily lives and we increasingly know very little about its production, it is easy to fear monger and to promote falsehoods.
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I just read this article from American Forests (a non-profit dedicated to the conservation and expansion of America’s forests) about Portland’s initiative to plant 83 000 trees as part of their sewer management program. It is a good article, it talks about the programs potential as well as the unknowns and criticisms. I look forward to hearing about Geoffrey Donovan’s research into the measurable impact of tree cover on peak sewage flow. He is a research ecologist for the US Forest Service and if your interest is peaked you can find his publications (several of which center around the value of urban trees) if you follow the link.
Urban tree’s have many values other than sewer. I plan on looking through Donovan’s research and the larger research literature about urban forests and write-up my synopsis in the weeks to come. Toronto seems to have decent forest cover in some neighbourhoods, but I would love to get a genuine idea of the state of TO’s urban forest.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the article.
Roman trees framing the Colosseum