Archive for Science

the CLEAR Act explained in under 3 minutes

The Clear Act – a piece of climate change legislation clearly explained in 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Pretty impressive stuff from Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins

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National Get Outdoors Day

DreamWorks Animation, the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council partner to launch a new series of tween-targeted public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Shrek characters that aim to get kids/tweens to spend more time outdoors with nature as part of the Re-connecting Kids with Nature campaign. The PSAs, which will be distributed to 33,000 media outlets nationwide, will be introduced today at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a day ahead of National Get Outdoors Day. Created pro bono by DreamWorks Animation and Turbine Boost, the PSAs direct kid/parents to DiscoverTheForest.org, where they can find suggested outdoor activities and educational and conservation information. Kids/parents can also access an interactive tool (also available via mobile devices), powered by Nature Find and Google Maps, where they can search for nearby forests and parks to explore. Additionally, the Brigham Young University Ad Lab developed a second series of radio, outdoor and online ads to further reach tweens with the messaging.

via Cynopsis

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World Oceans Day

In light of what’s going on in the gulf, this seems both incredibly important and incredibly weird:

The 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, will be honored as Random House Children’s Books, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, The Ocean Project, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are teaming up to celebrate World Oceans Day, held annually on June 8. Seventy-five AZA accredited zoos and aquariums nationwide, and 600+ Ocean Project partners worldwide are set to host family events inspired by One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, with the goal of teaching kids about our ocean’s and what we can do to protect the oceans and the diverse life forms the live in them. Further information about World Oceans Day can be found at theoceanproject.org/wod/index.php

Via Cynopsis

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I Heart Fizzy’s Lunch Lab

Dave Schlafman, Heartwood animator-director, is also the creator of Fizzy’s Lunch Lab and he and his partner Evan Sussman have a bunch of new episodes on the web including a love letter music video called Give Your Heart a Valentine. Check it.

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Michael Pollan: Brevity and Humor

I love this quote from a New York Times Q&A with food and eating icon Michael Pollan:

Q.
In compiling the new food rules, was brevity important to you?

A.
Brevity is important, and humor is important. This isn’t a somber book at all. One that came through the Well blog, “Don’t buy cereals that change the color of the milk,” that’s a nice way to get at don’t buy things with strange ingredients, colors and additives. I want rules to be vivid and sticky, easy to remember. I don’t want people to have to carry the book around with them. I was looking for cultural blips that will stick in your head.

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We shoot for that sensibility at Heartwood USA.

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Silence of the Bees

Just posted the script for Silence of the Bees – Heartwood USA’s episode on colony collapse disorder. Check out the rough draft here (pdf).

CCD – the dramatic and mysterious disappearances of entire bee colonies – is just one of the threats facing bees. Varroa Mites, Tracheal mites (yup, these guys infest the breathing passages of the honey bee) Chalkbrood, Stonebrood, Acute bee paralysis virus, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Paralysis Virus, Cloudy Wing Virus, Deformed Wing Virus, Sacbrood virus.

Basically, it sucks to be a working honey bee.

The experts aren’t certain what’s causing CCD. Scientists are testing hypotheses involving pesticides, climate change, cell phone frequencies and overwork! CCD is already having a big impact on the many farms that rely on bees to pollinate their crops. According to Help the Honey Bees, a site set up by Hagen Dazs, “one out of every the three bites of food an average American eats is directly attributed to honey bee pollination.”

I love Haagen Dazs’ approach to educating folks about it. Check out this great video. I think this is everything an advocacy video should be:

Break dancing bees are silly, but it’s silly with a grounding in fact. Bees actually do a wiggle called the honey dance when they find a juicy source of nectar. Likewise, CCD is totally mysterious. Bee keepers arrive to find a colony just gone.

I hope we capture that same sensibility in our Heartwood episode. We take a somewhat Star Warsian approach to the story. We hope you enjoy. If you work in this field, I hope you post a link to our script!

Burt’s Bees is also working to educate people about this issue. Check out their video:

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Silver lining to Gallup’s global warming poll?

Gallup out with a new poll on American attitudes about global warming.

Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated.

But the kids are alright:

The views of 18- to 29-year-olds, the age group generally most concerned about global warming and most likely to say the problem is underestimated, didn’t change.

Deniers and professional skeptics take a toll

Deniers and professional skeptics take a toll

But, I don’t think we really have time to wait 20 years till the 18-29’s are in charge of policy, now do we.

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