30 September 2008

RPA's Spotlight on the Region

The latest issue of the Regional Plan Association's newsletter, Spotlight on the Region is out. In particular, it includes a closer look at New Jersey's policies for funding highways by Carlos Rodrigues.

Sustainability lecture

The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy invite you to a public lecture and faculty seminar with Dr. Arie Nesher of Tel Aviv University.

The Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture
Politics of the Environment in Israel and the Region
Arie Nesher, Tel Aviv University
October 6, 2008, 5:00 p.m.
Bloustein School, Public Events Forum
33 Livingston Avenue (Civic Square Building), New Brunswick
A reception will follow.
Please RSVP by October 2, csjlrsvp@rci.rutgers.edu or 732-932-2033.

Sustainable Development in Israel
Arie Nesher, Tel Aviv University
Tuesday, October 7, 11:30 a.m.
Lunch will be provided.
Bloustein School, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, Room 369

If you wish to attend the luncheon, please RSVP to Renee Douge at:

Prominent Israeli architect, Dr. Arie Nesher will deliver this year's Bloustein Memorial Lecture. An architect and city planner, Dr. Nesher is Professional Director of the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University. He served as the Chief Architect for the National Project Renewal for the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency, as well as for the Israel Ministry of Housing and Construction. In his architectural practice in Israel and the United States, Dr. Nesher's projects have included design of public facilities, commercial and office space, residential development and rehabilitation, industrial parks and environmental initiatives.

Dr. Nesher has taught courses on environmental planning, urban renewal and the history of modern architecture.

Microsoft's spatial computing

Microsoft is now describing a large cluster of their future technologies as being "spatial computing". This isn't about virtual Earth maps, but about the complex new approach they envision for virtual worlds, 3d interfaces, and cloud computing. The vision is pretty interesting, but so is the term.

29 September 2008

Maps for ideas

In class we talked about some online outlets where you could find interesting maps. I've taken an old list an updated a little:

NJ State Mapping contest - with Rutgers students as winners
ASLA 2008 Student Awards - more than just good graphics
ESRI's Map Museum - maps on virtually every topic
Visual Tools for Planners from the Lincoln Institute - 2 links since I can't tell the difference

Now here is where I go astray:
Hipkiss' Scanned Old Maps - Could give us ideas for faux-antique
Strange Maps - clearly not such good design ideas, but plenty of fun
Data Visualization - a few great examples that have nothing to do with our project
Edward Tufte - a graphics and visualization blog from a real master
things to look at - a blog for graphic ideas

Poll results

The polls are closed. With 100% of the 25 votes in, we see that the most important environmental issue that planners should be working on is...
Wetlands (water quality) (28%)
Transportation (air quality) (40%)
Brownfields (soil contamination) (12%)
Open Space (20%)

We'll try to get a new poll up in the next few days.

4 wins, mixed results

This weeks Sagarins were a mixed bag for my teams even though they all won. An undefeated Kentucky keeps climbing, while the undefeadted Wisconsin and LSU teams are dropping. Even with the USC loss this weekend, they only dropped to 3 while defending BCS Champs LSU won and dropped down to #7. Oh, and Rutgers beat Morgan State by 8 points more than the Sagarin system predicted and they still fell from 85th to 112th. Ah, computers. What will they do next?

28 September 2008

Protecting NJ's Floodplains

The more we talk about flooding in the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed, the more this conference sounds spot on. The New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management is holding their annual conference in late October. The conference is being called, A Vision for the Future: Reducing Flood Impacts in the Garden State.

27 September 2008

Eco-Cities: Urban Planning for the Future: Scientific American

The current issue of Scientific American includes a feature on Eco-Cities called Eco-Cities: Urban Planning for the Future. One of the example is a proposal for Treasure Island.

A different look for an ag school

There have been quite a few different design projects over the years wherein our students find themselves trying to explore a more appropriate design vocabulary for what our school is becoming. As we have transitioned from the College of Ag to the College of Ag and the Environment to Cook College to SEBS, there has remained an interest in creating a structural and visual system that appropriately reflects the nature of the learning that has and will go one here.

Daily Dose looks at a French school of agriculture that has a glassy proposal for structures that fill this bill. What I don't see is a means for finding the funding.

26 September 2008

Weekend viewing

A classic little film about making British OS maps.

h/t to OpenGeoData

Go to the Yucatan!

Now is the time to sign up for the Rutgers LA winter 2008/2009 course in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. This class can count as either your jr/sr colloquium or a multicultural class (but not both). It will be taught by Jason Husveth. UPDATED: Check in with Rutgers Study Abroad http://studyabroad.rutgers.edu/index.html Phone: 732/932-7787

On an unrelated note, Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico has just visited New Brunswick announcing his intention to open a consulate here. According to the Home News and Tribune:

Latinos, and Mexicans in particular, make up a sizable portion of Central Jersey's population. According to census figures released in May, the Latino population in the state grew by 1.25 percentage points, to 1,382,000 from 2006 and 2007. Latinos in New Jersey account for almost 16 percent of the state's population, a percentage near equal to country's overall Hispanic population.

The NY Times Great homes page has the Yucatan Village and Resort. This is NOT where our students will be staying.

Still more meetings

The NJMC Sustainable Communities Planning Seminar is being held on October 1st in the Meadowlands. It appears to be emphasizing real things that can be done to green up a community. One of the speakers, Ariane DeLafosse, is a Rutgers grad and another, Kevin Lyons, is a Rutgers employee.

25 September 2008

Basketball season is already here

Here is the proof.

Sanborn Maps as a resource

It turns out that Princeton U's Library has posted a pretty significant collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.

While the collection of New Jersey maps is fairly extensive, it isn't all scanned yet. The key to using this for much of New Jersey is that you have to first download their excel spreadsheet and click on the link for the appropriate set of Sanborn maps.

I've posted my photos of Sanborn maps from the Library of Congress map vault. The top photo shows some red brick buildings near the blue stone construction of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. You can even see that the area behind home plate was brick construction, which shows in some of the photos. The maps are great because they are so detailed and help track change over time.

Renzo Piano's California Academy of Science

Renzo Piano's new building just opened this week in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Treehugger offered a preview a few months back. And now the NY Times has posted a review and slideshow. No single photo tells the story. (The above photo is from Wikicommons)

23 September 2008

East Brunswick bus and parking conflict

At a time when more communities are trying to help commuters cope with gas prices by promoting mass transit, East Brunswick finds itself with a problem. Their efforts to promote a linkage between a private bus line and a new parking deck have left the public bus line feeling left out.

The new Places and Space poll

I'm trying out the new polling widget from Blogger.com, in the right-hand column. I've started with a cheesy question about planning priorities and will report results next week. If it seems like we get some use out to fit we might try more interesting questions.

22 September 2008

Blazing a new trail across the midwest

I seems that more and more people are taking the call for a Great Plains Trail seriously. It would be a National Trail, like the Appalachian Trail, and capture the Genius Loci of the Midwest. That is why its primary proponents are all from around here.

Lecture: Landscape Architecture in the New Renaissance

Landscape Architecture in the New Renaissance: A discussion on career paths and resources for professional growth
Nicholas Tufaro, PP, CLA, RLA, ASLA
Principal Planner, Division of Environmental, Parks and Comprehensive Planning. Middlesex County Planning Department

Department of Landscape Architecture Lecture Series
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
4pm in the Cook-Douglass Lecture Halls Room 110

Park(ing) Day

Park(ing) Day seems to have been pretty successful in generating some creative solutions.

Alan Berger in the Times

This morning's NYTimes takes a look at the role that landscape architects can play in bringing new life to a damaged landscape. They focus on Alan Berger's stint as a Rome Prize Fellow where he has looked at the Latina marshes:
For places as far gone as this one, however, a new breed of landscape architect is recommending a radical solution: not so much to restore the environment as to redesign it.

“It is so ecologically out of balance that if it goes on this way, it will kill itself,” said Alan Berger, a landscape architecture professor at M.I.T. who was excitedly poking around the smelly canals on a recent day and talking to fishermen like Mr. Assunto.

“You can’t remove the economy and move the people away,” he added. “Ecologically speaking, you can’t restore it; you have to go forward, to set this place on a new path.”

The article makes it sound like his plans are contrary to traditional WWF or TNC approaches, but even they are more appreciative of compromise than this makes it sound. And, while some see this as controversial, it isn't any different that what we have seen Jean Marie Hartman doing in the Meadowlands. Sometimes going back isn't even an option.

21 September 2008

Quick peek at football

While the winners are holding pretty steady, Kentucky's off day and Rutgers loss didn't hurt them much either. You can decide for yourself. Here are the latest rankings from Sagarin:

19 September 2008

Sierra Leone President speaking at Rutgers

It isn't every day that you get the chance to see the leader of a sovereign nation speak. Living close to the UN, I guess we have a few more chances than people living in Maine. But this is really close (note the mention of Franklin):

His Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, to discuss progress, democracy and commerce

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- On the eve of his appearance before the United Nations, his Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, will speak at Rutgers University on Sunday, Sept. 21.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 4 p.m. at the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue. The program is sponsored by the Rutgers' Center for African Studies, the School of Arts and Sciences' Office of International Programs, the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"The invitation to President Koroma sends a strong signal to African immigrants to New Jersey that Rutgers wants to engage with and welcome you to our community," said David McDermott Hughes, director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers.

President Koroma was sworn in as president in September 2007 after a free election. Sierra Leone is located on the West Coast of Africa and has a population of approximately 6.2 million. Many immigrants from Sierra Leone reside in central New Jersey near the university's New Brunswick Campus. For example, the population of Franklin Township includes at least 7 percent Sierra Leoneans.

President Koroma will be accompanied by his ministers of foreign affairs, education and economics and will answer questions from the audience. He is scheduled to speak to the United Nations Assembly on Monday, Sept. 22.

Some good news for Rutgers

An anonymous donor has given $13 million. While always appreciated, it is especially valuable at a tough budget time.

16 September 2008

Childhood obesity study

A few months ago we embarked on an interesting project at CRSSA where we are helping look at urban patterns of childhood obesity. The spatial analysis will compare patterns of incidence of childhood obesity with environmental factors. This project is being supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I mention it because it is the reason that I expect to be posting more obesity-related links, and I have created a new "obesity" tag for these posts. Stay tuned.

More Sourland land

The Sourlands just got bigger.


In a rather prescient move, last summer Pruned posted some historic photos of Galveston's attempt to defy nature. More recently, The Big Picture has posted some photos of Ike's damage.

15 September 2008

Free NJ Transit for students

NJ Transit is letting students ride free until September 21! So what are you going to do?

14 September 2008

The Legends of the Stony brook Millstone Watershed

This is turning out to be a culturally rich watershed where many interesting and odd things have happened. I'll start my list with the hopes that the comments will fill up:
George Washington slept here
The creepy Skillman stories
Albert Einstein
Elsie the Cow
Independence Day
War of the Worlds
Cannonball scars
The Beautiful Mind mathematician

The Lindbergh baby kidnapping happened either in the watershed of very nearby.

13 September 2008

ESRI mapping tips

A recent post on the ESRI Mapping blog caught my eye, not so much for the tip it gave, but instead for the admission that knowing basic ArcGIS is different than knowing how to put together those steps elegantly.
It’s been possible to do this sort of thing in ArcGIS for many years, though it took knowing the combination of steps and tools to use.
This is true of some things in Illustrator or Photoshop too. Sophisticated treatments sometimes require multiple steps that aren't obvious, even when you know each of the individual actions.

Bayview Rural Village

I first read about the Bayview Rural Village in southern Delmarva in the book, Design Like you Give a Damn. The residents of Bayview, many descendants of slaves from that area, were living in very rundown housing that reportedly was without running water or electricity. The new community was designed to create not only livable housing but a neighborhood surrounded by farmland that the community would farm. This really is meant as a sustainable place in the sense that the community was designed in connection with a primary source of financial and edible sustenance.

These photos don't capture that very well, but since we were driving by, it seemed like I should at least snap a couple shots.

Monica Turner on the Radio

WPR's Here on Earth recently had Wisconsin landscape ecologist Monica Turner on to talk about NAture and Culture. You can listen here.

12 September 2008

Greetings From Asbury Park

The New Jersey Film Festival is screening the local documentary, Greetings From Asbury Park, on Friday September 19th at Rutgers' College Ave Campus. The screening will include an appearance by the filmmaker, Christina Eliopulos. NJN has info and a preview.

11 September 2008

A little football

While it seems a little weird to have Rutgers playing a nationally televised game on 9/11 so close to the WTC site Tribute in Light, I probably should go ahead and roll out the annual Sagarin chart of progress for UK, LSU, UW, and RU. I don't know why I am gdoing it again since LSU finished so far from first place last year , even though they won the National Championship.

LSU (1-0) is holding steady as a top3 team (good enough for now) and Kentucky (2-0) saw a boost after beating Louisville but suffered for not pummeling App St even worse. UW's 2-0 start is treated as solid but Rutgers (0-1) needs that first win to get back into the top 50.

GPS Phones vs. GPS Navigation

It is a little hard to be sure about this trend (as measure by Google Trends), but it looks like GPS phones are catching up with GPS navigation as search terms. Which means that they are increasingly becoming part of the everyday American experience.

Unpaid Internship at Edison Township

Edison Township engineer, John Medina, is looking for
two interns:
1. A 2nd or 3rd year intern specializing in Civil Engineering (College
of Engineering) and/or Landscape Architecture (Cook College) to assist
in design lay-out work using AutoCAD software. Instructions will be
provided through the Township Engineer.
2. A 2nd or 3rd year intern specializing in accounting to assist the
Planning Administrative Officer in escrow accounting/accounts
receivables/accounts payable. Instructions to be provided through the
Administrative Officer.

Internships are unpaid and hours are negotiable but should fall within
M-F 9-5. Any interested students should submit resumes and hours of
availability to John Medina at jmedina@edisonnj.org. For questions, call

ASLA Student Awards

ASLA announced its 2008 student design awards the other day. While clearly elegant design solutions dominate, it is interesting to see how many of the winners relied on GIS for both information and graphics. It is also great to see 2 of my alma maters recognized: LSU and UK.

Distillery District

An old industrial neighborhood in Lexington needs $81 million for improvements. In the abstract this isn't very different than proposals for Paterson NJ, or the areas in DC where the new Nationals stadium was built, but the theme here is a bit more eye-catching - this is Lexington's Distillery District. Once the site of the world's largest distillery, now a proposal seeks to preserve the old structures while using TIF money for infrastructure and attracting businesses to the revitalized area. A bourbon-themed hotel might be a memorable place on the nights of home games at nearby Rupp Arena.

9/11 Memorials

The Washington post has a video about the creative process of the architects of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.

The NY Times talks about the newest version of design plans for the World trade Center site.

Boston.com's The Big Picture has high-res 9/11 photos.

10 September 2008

Live Blog: Clint Andrews on Greenhouse Gases

Live-blogging Clint Andrews speaking on Green House Gas Emissions along the Rural to Urban Transect

Clint began with a summary of recent climate change issues including the most recent IPCC report. He began by describing the role of greenhouse gases in contributing to global climate change. (Natural sinks are an important solution that helps make work for landscape architects.) He quickly moved on to looking at "the next level of detail" to talk about different categories of solutions and the different levels of uncertainty associated with each.

The heart of the talk focused on linking land use and GHG emissions. Settlement patterns can contribute by creating more (or less) efficient landscapes, infrastructure and buildings. The implication is that informed design and planning can impact these outcomes. To compare places in NJ, he used the categories of density gradients from Duany and Talen's Transect Planning. For each of the study areas, he estimated the per capita carbon output by source and sequestration.

Do we rely on behavioural change or technological fixes? Walking is one element. Cogeneration is a potential source of CO2 reductions, too. Electic cars are interesting. But neighborhood design could make a big impact, too. Some of these he called "no-regrets" solutions. Some were still futuristic techno innovations. But our students clearly are going to be dealing with this throughout their careers.

Diverse student body

According to US News and World Report, Rutgers has the most diverse student body of any university on the country. h/t puk

MotorTrends on cartographic trends

Even the gearheads are talking about neogeography. MotorTrends asks whether GPS has killed cartography (and assures you it hasn't quite).

A nice day out

One of the larger municipalities in the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed, Plainsboro, is holding an Art Day Festival and Flea Market this month. It is Saturday September 20th at the Plainsboro Library. It would be a great chance to get a peek at the people and cultural influences in this part of our study region.

09 September 2008


It was a pretty busy weekend for New Jersey's Governor Corzine. On Friday he accepted the minutes of the Highland Council, which had the legal effect of launching the controversial Highlands Plan. On Saturday he signed several bills into law including a few that appropriated funds for land preservation:

(Watson Coleman/Gordon) – Revises regulation of landscape architects
This law raises the status of landscpes architects as a profession by advancing them from certification to licensure.

A-2867/S-1919 (Greenwald, Malone, Cryan, Biondi, McHose/Sarlo, Van Drew) - The “Permit Extension Act of 2008”
The omnipresent Jeff Tittel called it "one of the worst environmental bills ever passed by the New Jersey legislators and one of the biggest giveaways to developers in the state's history."

The Chrome comicbook

Google has produced a comicbook to promote and explain their new Chrome browser. It is a creative, and unusual, way to present this information.

08 September 2008

UPDATE: Clint Andrews Lecture

Green House Gas Emissions along the Rural to Urban Transect
Clint Andrews, Bloustein School of Planning and Policy
Wednesday Sept. 10, 2008 4:00 PM
The lecture will be in Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall Room 110

This talk will show how land use relates to greenhouse gas emissions. It links settlement patterns to greenhouse gas emissions via landscape impacts (deforestation, carbon sequestration by soils and plants, urban heat island), infrastructure impacts (transportation-related emissions,
waste management-related emissions, electric transmission and distribution losses), and buildings (residential, commercial). Exploratory case studies of New Jersey municipalities lying along a gradient of increasing population density suggest that per-capita carbon dioxide emissions vary widely, following an inverted “U” shape, with post-war suburbs riding the pinnacle. Reflecting their central regional roles, municipalities with good jobs-to-housing ratios have higher per-capita emissions because they host both residential and commercial buildings. Buildings typically contribute more emissions than personal transportation. Vehicle-miles traveled per capita shrink most dramatically at very high population densities and where transit options exist. Changing land-use patterns is a political challenge because localism and outdated zoning ordinances subvert regional solutions. Technical fixes, especially green buildings, must be part of the solution.

Sense of place places

In our studio we are exploring some different landscape architectural experiences hoping to develop a better response and sensitivity to inherent sense of place.

As a first example I offer up a road in Central Kentucky's horse country that used to be called Paris Pike. It wound through and around and past elegant horse farms, beautiful rolling hills, and historic stone walls. But it was twisty and windy and, often enough, deadly. So, for almost as long as I could remember, there was talking of widening the road, but with great opposition since standard KY DOT safety improvements would have destroyed the character of one of America's great scenic drives. After decades of talk, a design team was finally assembled to create a more context sensitive solution. They found a variety of creative solutions - like splitting the road ribbons apart and around old trees and fences and building some new fences and walls that enhance the experience - that stand as a testament to how designers should contribute on a project like this. Led by Jones and Jones of Seattle, the final solution is subtle and elegant, and the drive along the Paris-Lexington Road is still one of the great scenic drives in the US.

What are your examples?

Searching for the Jersey Devil

Getting serious about the search for the Jersey Devil, the NY Times Dan Berry heads out with what looks like a senior team of scientists (except for the senior and scientist parts).

06 September 2008

Science Friday

Last week's Science Friday on NPR took a closer look at the new GeoEye satellite which promises to deliver high-resolution, on-demand imagery.

Lecture: Green House Gas Emissions along the Rural to Urban Transect

Green House Gas Emissions along the Rural to Urban Transect
Clint Andrews, Bloustein School of Planning and Policy
Wednesday Sept. 10, 2008 4:00 PM
The lecture will be in Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall Room 110

05 September 2008

More students seeking UK architecture degrees

Building Design reports on a substantial increase in interest in architecture in Britain. I wonder if we'll see parallel statistics for the US and for Landscape Architecture.

Water pollution gets worse in New Jersey

Bill Wolfe posted a summary of a new report by the NJ DEP on declining water quality in NJ. UNfortunately I cannot get the link to the DEP report to work right now. But Wolfe reports that the DEP lists over 1,000 streams for which water quality is impaired.

(I don't know if the Pequest, pictured above, is on the list or is one of the remaining clean ones. But its reputation as a trout stream and great place for hotdogs is strong.)

NY Times lauds EPA on decision

An editorial in today's NY Times recognized EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson's successful efforts to fight the US Army Corps of Engineers and kill the Yazoo Pumps project in Mississippi. The project has been in discussions for around 60 years and was described by the Times a a major pork barrel project that would be both costly and environmentally reckless.

04 September 2008

Visualizing Early Washington

Every three or four years we take our students on an extended field trip in Washington, DC. And, as we stand near the Jefferson Pier and look North towards the White House, I point out that everything to our left used to be water and the areas to our right were sheep or cow meadows with one museum in the field. To help, we look at a couple of old drawings and leave the rest to their imagination.

Now they can stop imaging what the city was like. The Chronicle reports on a Washington Post Magazine report on the UMBC Imaging Research Center's project Visualizing Early Washington. This includes some 3-d video that really captures the dynamic nature of the District, even if it isn't really within the United States.

03 September 2008

Live Blog: Dean Cardasis, Against the Grain

As often as possible, I will be live-blogging the landscape architecture lectures again this semester. I'll try to clearly mark directly quoted words (or close to it), but the frantic pace of live-blogging and the multi-tasking it requires can make it harder than in a normal academic setting.

Dean Cardasis, FASLA
Graduate Program Director
Rutgers Department of Landscape Architecture
Against the Grain: Jersey Roots in the Art of Sustainable Landscape Design

He began with some background about James Rose, the well-known landscape architect who was an important leader in the modernist movement. Rose rose to prominence in the 1930s due, in part, to some of his writings that helped establish this design revolution. Cardasis is an expert on Rose and the director of the James Rose Center.

Rose's gardens included a lot of plant materials because he wanted them to be so alive. He "sought an essential quality" in each of his projects that belonged to that site. It wasn't something you could manufacture, but you could uncover. He sought a timelessness in his projects that could allow them to endure - but his materials might not have been so timeless.

Rose enjoyed using what was already on the site. Taking advantage of the biophysical properties was not only efficient, but respected the greater truth of the site. He didn't like to bring in rocks, but he did like to use the ones already there to create space and bring ou the most of what was already there. Cardasis speculates on the possibility that Rose was the first landscape architect to use railroad ties in a garden. But he also used old doors for benches, copper roofing was turned into sculpture.

He is sometimes recognized for shunning 90 degree angles. "Why 90? Why not 89 or 92?" It all seemed an artificial construct to him.

Other signature ideas included:
  • Create shallow terraces and depressions
  • Use native, durable plants - "plants require deeper knowledge and familiarity than any other materials".
  • Interlock existing features with new ones
  • Use permeable materials
Cardasis points out that Rose "gave a strong form and meaning to the landscapes on which he worked while preserving natural features and themes". This not only made him a pioneering modernist but also a predecessor of today's sustainable approach to landscape architecture.

Korean Campus Valley

A campus in Korea has a building that is a landscape (pdf). Or is it a landscape that is a building? (Archidose has the non-pdf version)

02 September 2008

LECTURE: Environmental violence and crises of legitimacy in New Caledonia

Title: Environmental violence and crises of legitimacy in New Caledonia

Leah Horowitz
9/12 at 2 pm
B120 Lucy Stone Hall; Livingston Campus

This paper addresses the question of what hidden tensions shape environmental conflicts by investigating the responses of residents of villages near a mining project in New Caledonia to Rhéébù Nùù, an indigenous environmental protest group. An overlooked and yet crucial factor in local support for the protest group was a lack of faith in the government and, more fundamentally, in the democratic system through which representatives were elected; instead, villagers put their faith in a revitalization of customary authority. Thus, this environmental violence masked a crisis of political legitimacy, grounded in a history of opposition to the colonial power. However, not all community members felt that Rhéébù Nùù indeed had the support of customary authority, and many disagreed with the group’s violent tactics. Thus, an examination of specific histories and cultural forms is necessary in order to understand people’s choices about who best represents their interests and, thus, to whom they should give their support in instances of environmental conflict.


Good Magazine has posted an interactive map feature letting you track notable historic and literary pathways across the globe. Wanderlust, as it is called, maps out the ocean journeys of the Pequod, HMS Endeavour, and Columbus but it also has land routes like those of Kerouac and the Old Silk Road.

01 September 2008

Old news grab bag

The start of the semester and a holiday weekend leave me too far behind to elaborate. But here are a few recent news articles that I might have written about if I had time: