Friday, February 23, 2007

In the palm of your hand

Just found out about a really stunning and beautiful project, "Of All the People in All the World" at MassMOCA. It is a "mind-blowing art installation/performance piece/statistical study unlike anything you have ever seen" (thats from the MM site), by the UK artist's collective Stan's Cafe.

I always think that large numbers are really complicated for out minds to understand. In fact, apparently the largest number we can comprehend is about 100,000. I think that might even be a stretch, I would consider that for most people it is a lot smaller than that.

Anyway, this project give vision to the numbers game. There are huge piles of rice on view, each single grain of rice (that's small) represents a single person. Like you, or me. The piles are then measured out to represent various statistics, such as the number of people in the US in prison, or the number living in gated communities, number of illegal aliens etc.

It is such a wonderful, shocking and powerful image. They have been doing this around the world (UK, Australia, US, etc).

Maybe they can do one representing the number of people who will be forced to migrate due to climate change...

(Natalie Jeremijenko is showing at MassMOCA right now too)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Simply Brilliant (and brilliantly simple)

I haven't had much time for much of anything outside grant applications and community outreach (which, yes thank you, is going well!).

But in a tiny bit of downtime that I took this evening I went to read a friend of mine's new blog - I've read her writing before and always enjoyed it, but reading through it again this evening I realize how incredibly brilliant she is (don't blush its true!). I am really glad that she has a blog, as I think its a perfect outlet for her.

Mostly she writes about simple stuff, her morning routine, laundry, life in NYC, but its written with unabashed candor and a beautiful sense of humor.

Seriously, go read some. And be sure to leave comments, because she will appreciate that.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

the name game

With some feedback from a couple of resources, I am changing the name of the project from "sea Change" to "High Water Line."

I am working to update the website: now at

Here's the reason for the name change. Originally conceived as a smaller project, with more of an artistic bent - the cleverness of the name "Sea Change" seemed to suit it well. As the project has grown, and the project becomes more about outreach, public interaction and attention on global warming, a more direct and understandable name was needed. Hence, "High Water Line."

IPCC for you and me....

Favorite IPCC headline (courtesy of Grist) "IPCC, Yeah, you know me"
Favorite footnote in IPCC "Summary for Policy Makers": In this Summary for Policymakers, the following terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood, using expert judgement, of an outcome or a result: Virtually certain > 99% probability of occurrence, Extremely likely > 95%, Very likely > 90%, Likely > 66%, More likely than not > 50%, Unlikely < style="font-style: italic;">Very unlikely < style="font-style: italic;">Extremely unlikely < 5%."
Favorite gratuitous scientific term in IPCC SPM: Anthropogenic (from Merriam-Webster: of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature)
Number of acronyms in IPCC SPM (including IPCC and SPM): around 20
Favorite IPCC SPM acronym: LOSU (level of scientific understanding)

So that was a fun read. Nothing really surprising, wouldn't expect there to be with 192 countries having to sign off on it. And this is only the first of four reports. I am holding out for the April release of the affects of climate change (this was the scientific basis report).

Also pretty interesting about Gore getting nominated for a Nobel.