Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Best Thing You Will See Online April 26, 2015

Shenandoah National Park

Today I continue my series highlighting interesting open access Flickr photos of all 59 U.S. National Parks. In this post we go to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. 

I'll run through all 59 National Parks in alphabetical order. If you have any photos that you would like to share from any national park that I could post, please send them along. Following the photos, you'll find links to previous On the Brink posts of the National Parks. Check them out to see the beauty of the U.S. National Parks as captured by visitors.

Click for photo credit
Click for photo credit.
Click for photo credit.
Click for photo credit.
Click for photo credit.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
North Cascades National Park
Olympic National Park

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Best Thing You Will See Online April 25, 2015

Caribbean Clean Energy Symposium

My former USF colleague, Dr. Maya Trotz put together the video below about her experiences with the Caribbean Clean Energy Symposium. If you are interested in green energy and/or global cooperation, the video is worth watching. It provides some good context for many of the innovations taking place in the Caribbean. It also highlights some of the political challenges.

The Caribbean nations, for the most part, are not energy independent. They rely on external sources for products like oil and natural gas. For the last decade, Venezuela has been supplying considerable amount of energy to these nations via Petrocaribe. However, Venezuela is pulling back from its support of Petrocaribe due to its failing economy and social unrest.

As a result of this, Caribbean nations are looking at green energy options. The U.S. is also inserting itself in this situation and marketing natural gas alternatives as well.

The video provides great context for understanding the energy situation in the region.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Best Thing You Will See Online April 24, 2015

Top 10 Reasons Why We Need a Long Island Food Conference

A Long Island winery. Click for photo credit. 
As a lead in to the Long Island Food Conference that will be held at Hofstra University tomorrow, April 25th, I have been focusing on food issues on the blog this week. Today, I thought I would clost out this them and specifically write about why we need a food conference on Long Island via a "Top Ten List Why We Need a Long Island Food Conference. To register for the conference, please see this site. Online registration closes at noon today, but walk in registration is welcome at the event.

Here are my top 10 reasons why Long Island needs a food conference.

1. Long Island is a well known food region. It has excellent farms and fisheries. It is known for its truck farms, agritourism, and shellfish.

2. Long Island has historically been a major center of agriculture. Today it has some of the highest value of agricultural products when compared to all other regions of New York. In the past, it was a major national producer of potatoes, oysters, and ducks.

3. Long Island has food deserts. While Long Island has some of the best specialty grocery stores in the world, it also has many food deserts where local residents do not have access to clean and healthy food. We also have many involved with food activism who work hard to feed the hungry across the island.

4. Community sponsored agriculture is growing rapidly. Many Long Islanders are joining community sponsored agriculture farms where members pay a subscription to gain access to local food.

5. Long Islanders seek high quality food. There is no doubt that Long Islander expect good food in grocery stores and restaurants. The food conference highlights this interest in good food. There is a very strong slow food movement across the island.

6. Long Island is home to many well regarded chefs and food writers such as Ina Garten and Tom Colicchio.

7. Long Island is home to some of the best restaurants in the country.

8. Long Islanders are some of busiest people on the planet. How can they find time to get access to clean and healthy food? A conference provides opportunities to learn how to prepare high quality food at home and how to gain access to good products.

9. As an island with a sole-source aquifer, there are many environmental challenges that Long Islanders face. How can we produce food on the island without harming our environment.

10. With all of this interest in food across the island, we need to organize into a food coalition to create better communication on food issues across the region.

If you have any other reasons, please add your thoughts in the comments section of the blog.