Making a Difference

The other day, a friend of mine expressed some good-natured  job-related frustration, posting to his Facebook status that he would like to find a job that somehow would include “making (his) own hours, lots of time outside when it’s nice, and low stress.”  And then he asked “Anyone have a job like that?”  While my friends replied with helpful and well-meaning career suggestions such as hobo, moonshiner, freelance lumberjack, and Snooki, I sat back with the always-attractive openmouthed revelation look all over my face, thinking “Oh wow… I have a job like that!”  And then of course I commented that he always could apply to go and teach in Georgia, which was mean because like most adults my age (who aren’t me), dude has obligations that keep him here.  I mean, he could, but that feat would take some significant life-rearranging.

I feel that this reminder could not…

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Ruth Clemmer never dreamed that a mammoth from the Ice Age would be named after her. After all, she was a retiree from the world of finance. But today, Ruth has formed a bond with Clem – an extinct mammoth that inhabited the site where she regularly digs – some 26,000 years after he roamed the earth.

The Mammoth Site
Imagine traveling back to the time when Ice Age mammoths roamed the Great Plains of North America. And imagine a sudden collapse of a 60-foot deep sinkhole. Bubbling from the bottom, a warm spring percolates through the layers of limestone, creating a large, steep-sided pond. Picture thirsty animals venturing down to the water below. After drinking from this pond, the animals are unable to gain a foothold to escape. The sinkhole is a deathtrap. The mammoths are still buried there today. They are being unearthed one-by-one by volunteers from across the…

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For this week’s blog, my intention was to share the adventures of Carol Sellers who recently returned from Egypt on her 6th Earthwatch Expedition, Red Sea Dolphin Project. While gathering details from that adventure, I discovered that her first expedition was taken twenty years ago: Madagascar Lemurs. As a result of this trip to Madagascar, Carol’s daughter Laurel launched a fashion accessory business in New York, importing the works of artisans from Madagascar. Today, Laurel’s company, Mar Y Sol, provides jobs to hundreds of Malagasy artisans who make raffia hats and handbags sold across the globe.

I never would have learned Laurel’s story if not for hearing Carol’s first. It is truly amazing how participating in an Earthwatch Expedition can change your life, as well as the lives of those you interact with – now, and for generations to come. You’ve got to read this…

Carol’s Story –…

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Little London Observationist

It’s been a while since we checked in with John Kortland, so shall we see what he’s been up to? Here’s 30 pictures of Londoners he recently added to the Flickr pool, along with his captions. Leave your faves in the comments:

Running For A Cab [Explored # 422]Running for a cab

Fed UpFed up

London 2012London 2012

Leap Of FaithLeap of faith

Artist And VictimArtist and victim

Everybody Needs A HugEverybody needs a hug

Ferret WalkingFerret walking

Fun Guy HatFun guy hat

Mat And The Bag ManMat and the Bag Man

Mr FoggMr Fogg

Not A Rampant RabbitNot a rampant rabbit

Unusual HatUnusual hat

Travelling To WorkTravelling to work

Thats A Good One Of YouThat’s a good one of you

Suspended AmimationSuspended animation

Coke And A SmokeCoke and a smoke

Long And CurliesLong and curlies

Essential SuppliesEssential supplies

Relaxed RizlaRelaxed Rizla

Must Have Been A Bet !Must have been a bet

Painted LadyPainted lady

Panda PopPanda pop

I've Told You Till I'm Blue In The FaceI‘ve told you till I’m blue in the face

My Girlfriend Is So HotMy girlfriend is so hot

Rainproof RabbiRainproof Rabbi

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We Know What You Did This Summer–Because You Told Us!

One of the great annual traditions at Earthwatch is the flood of enthusiastic, inspirational, first-person reports that come in from so many volunteers, fellows, and researchers during our busiest fielding months, typically June through September. If the organization ever needed to answer that traditional classroom question, “What did you do on your summer vacation?” (or “holiday,” as you prefer), we’d be all set. And with more and more Earthwatchers using mobile devices and laptops in the field to post to blogs, video sites, picture sites, and more, it’s getting easier to see all the fun and hard work that’s going on all over the world, almost as it happens.

(And when Earthwatchers tweet from the field and use #globaltweet, others can see where that work is making an impact on the Global Tweets map.)

So, in the grand blog…

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Pop Ups

Pop Up

I love the idea of pop up businesses.  There is something a little Harry Potterish about them.  One day they are there, another day not.  You could walk down the same street every single day, and never know what stores you might see, or how long they will exist for.  Its also a little like belonging to a secret society or stalking your favourite pop star, you have to stay on the ball, and in the know, to make sure you are up to date on where the next location will be, especially if its a company offering a service that you really like and you have become a loyal customer. Just like the concept of the ‘secret cinema‘.

Up North 

Two very good friends of mine in the UK have decided to offer this kind of service, and I’m sad that I’m not in the UK to make the most of their wares and to support them both, especially as they have been massively supportive in my Georgian endeavours and setting up OPG.  They are both very creative and hard working people, with such a range of talents that I almost feel they are wasted in normal every day life.  And who knows, maybe one day OPG will have some kind of launch party which involves both of them.

San Francisco

Pop up stores are not a new things, and San Francisco has been using this concept to help embrace neighbourhood revitalization.

According to SQFT, pop-ups have the potential to bring a buzz of activity to the area by boosting foot traffic, supporting existing business, and potentially luring permanent businesses. “Temporary leasing allows creative entrepreneurs access to spaces typically beyond their budget, enables landlords to recoup taxes by testing multiple uses, and brings activity even amidst uncertain planning and development processes,” the organization writes in a press release.

Pop Up Thai

My friend Helen makes the most amazing Thai food as well as sushi and has spent several years in the restaurant business as well as being a brilliant artist and doing a lot of OPG’s artwork, for our workbook, for the row, and for our marine debris project for PADI Aware.  We’d love to visit their pop up Thai restaurants.

Glamourama Ding Dong

My other friend Madame Tukatz, is a fabulous vinyl DJ, and also a make up artist and hairdresser, working for lots of film productions and also this brilliant studio in Manchester who take photos of people with tatoos, piercings, and also do some great themed shoots.  Very excited that they will be one of three studios doing our photo promos for the row.  Tukatz will be offering a series of pop up make overs and vintage hair do’s across Manchester, and I highly recommend you check out her blog ‘Glamourama Ding Dong‘ for all the details.

And who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to visit both pop ups myself!


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Little London Observationist

I came across Emma through an article she wrote on London’s East End in my favourite travel magazine, Afar.  Now her priority is the Olympics. She has been a journalist for 12 years, and lived in London for all of them. Her special interests include cricket, theatre, film and, most recently, bluegrass music; as deputy editor of the Observer magazine she tries to write about any or all of them whenever she can get away with it. 

LLO: You recently wrote an article on East London for Afar magazine. Did you happen upon any interesting little London discoveries whilst you were wondering around the area?
EJ: I’d never really ventured into that Hackney Wick/Stratford area of east London before so almost everything was new to me. I think my favourite discovery was Fish Island; the artists’ colony there is so hidden that you can actually walk around these streets of dilapidated old…

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