Arts

#951 Plastic elephants are saving environments

Ocean Sole rhinoceros

Kenya’s beaches are littered with discarded flip-flops. The good news is that many of them are being turned into colourful works of art. Ocean Sole was started in 1997 by Julie Church, a marine conservationist from Kenya. Working on a…

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#949 Shane Koyczan, the people’s poet

Shane Koyczan

It’s a good thing I was not drinking coffee when I listened to Shane Koyczan’s TED talk, “Blueprint for a Breakthrough.” I would have shorted out my keyboard when he came to this line, early in the talk: I’ve been…

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#940 Music for the masses

Queensland Symphony Orchestra shoot

If you have followed this blog for a while, you will know I am a sucker for flash mobs. Joy, love, creativity, and community are all mixed in together when people gather to bring something special to a public venue.…

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#937 Seniors ham it up to Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop hit

Waverly Mansion residents

Residents of the Waverly Mansion in London, Ontario are not settling for a boring stay in an assisted-living facility. With the urging of their recreation co-ordinator, Sarah Urquhart, the oldsters are becoming a YouTube sensation. Urquhart had no idea her…

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#934 The ephemeral snow art of Simon Beck

Simon Beck's Snow Art

When he is at home in Berkshire, England, Simon Beck makes orienteering maps. But it is what he does in the French Alps, where he translates that skill into snow art, that has caught the world’s attention. He plots out…

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#933 The train maker’s big-hearted love

Will the Train Maker

When I learn of something that gives me a surge of hope, I head straight to Ecosia (Plant trees while you search the Internet) to find out more. That did not work when I wanted to learn more about Will,…

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#931 And still the joy lives on

Painting by Hilda Gorenstein (Hilgos)

Hilda Gorenstein was a gifted artist. Born in Montreal in 1905, she grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Chicago’s School of the Art Institute. To avoid the prejudice against women artists, she signed her works, “Hilgos”. Her watercolors,…

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#930 Music to still the beast

David Martello in Turkey

Istanbul’s urban landscape is packed with roads and buildings. What it lacks are trees, flowers, bushes—the kind of green amenities we need to be fully healthy. The city’s Taksim Gezi Park is an oasis in the urban jungle, one of…

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#927 A gift from Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger at the 2007 Clearwater Festival

When I met Pete Seeger at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, I was in awe for about five minutes. By then I was so comfortable talking with him I felt as if I were chatting with a long-time…

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#917 Dance breaks down their prison walls

Photo of Susan Slotnick and four members of Figures in Flight Released dance company

At 68 Susan Slotnick is not interested in retiring. She has dancers to train. It is what she has been doing for decades with children, teens and adults in New Paltz, New York. But for the past seven years she…

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