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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover

Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Medium)





Sigh Of Relief


I have spent the last eight weeks, in Italy and New York, writing a book of stories about my thirty years of working with communities around the world to manage tropical forests. And now I'm finished. Fifteen chapters and two hundred and twenty five pages. A lot of stories and wonderful memories.  [NOTE: Glad to see that my little bark paper journal from Oaxaca (upper left) made it into the photo].  


MUSE–Museo delle Scienze

Computer tracing of me taking pictures in the fantastic MUSE science museum in Trento, Italy. One of the most beautiful, well-designed, and creative natural history musuems I have ever visited. Biology, evolution, geology, ecology, sustainability, and wonderful creatures hanging in three-dimensional space (see below) above your head as you explore the four floors. Oh, and solar powered, too. Go here for a wonderful short video (in Italian) of how the museum was created. Three days in Trento was definitely not enough. And that castle...


Venetian Still Life


I took a lot of pictures of gondolas and canals and skinny back streets, but this was the image that struck me as the most representative still life of Venice. Beautiful old walls, elegant decay, and rising water levels. And fewer and fewer people actually live in Venice, anymore. I never saw a place to buy groceries, a hardware store, or a laundromat. I worry about the impact of climate change here.



Still going through my images from Italy. The coloful houses, and healthy flowers, on the island of Burano in the Venetian lagoon are shown above. Ready to go back.


Palms and Plane-trees

Image from the Villa Carlotta Botanical Garden in Tremezzo on Lake Como. Pretty easy to grow the plane-trees (Platanus orientalis L.) in northern Italy, I guess, but the palms? And they were all healthy and happy – and drip irrigated. Amazing feat of horticultural prowess. What a beautiful garden.


Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh, the magnificent Sumerian poem dating back to 2100 BCE, is now 20 lines longer. A clay tablet dating back to the neo-Bablylonian period (2000-1500 BCE) has recently been discovered in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The tablet adds new verses to the story of how Gilgamesh and Enkidu slew the forest demigod Humbaba. This is huge. Read the original paper describing the find, which includes the entire text of the tablet both transliterated and translated into English, here. The Epic of Gilgamesh is often regarded as the first great work of literature.


Duomo de Milano

The Duomo di Milano, or Milan Cathedral, is really, really big. It's the fifth biggest church in the world and the second largest in Italy (after St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican); the central approach to the main altar, i.e. the nave, is 45 meters tall. And not only is it big, it's real old, too. Construction was started in 1386, several hundred years before St. Peter's.  Breathtaking, awe-inspiring, humbling. Exactly as it was designed to be, I would imagine.  



Just so you know, this is what God was thought to look like in the 16th century. Sculpture by Battista da Corbatta (1554) of gilded and painted wood, from the exquisite Milan Cathedral. I stopped in front of this statue for quite a while, reflecting on God and religious iconography and large churches. I assume the sphere in God's left hand is the Earth.  


Nothing Behind Your Masks

Graffiti noted on a wall along one of the backstreets in the historical center of Venice. Maybe referring to the practice of wearing masks during the Carnival of Venice to hide the identity of the person? Or maybe not. I thought it a wonderful desktop, and have uploaded a high-resoution copy of the image here.  



Took a while to find it (thx, Elysa), but had a wonderful visit with Michele (shown above) at Veneziastampa. He and his partner Luca have been operating a print shop in the historical center of Venice for over 25 years. He has a gorgeous and meticulously maintained 1950 Original Heidelberg Offset oder Letterset press. His shop is in an old building–Venice old–a few steps from Rialto, and he tells a great story of how they had to knock out the front wall to move the press in. I bought some exquisite book plates and a few cards and had a hard time leaving. Truly a magical place. 

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