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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for March, 2008

Catch Their Drift

Posted by Rick | March 31st, 2008 | Filed under Design, Outdoor Sport, Positive Change

spreads_72-73.jpgBased out of the UK, Drift Magazine strives to recapture the lost soul of surfing, similar to the way the esteemed Surfer’s Journal and Surfer’s Path highlight non-commercialized, environmentally-minded content in their publications. One look at the magazine’s design and photography clues you into the fact that something different is going on at Drift. Artful, thoughtful imagery and insightful stories grace the pages of their first three online issues, which are available for download HERE. Now the magazine is venturing into the printed realm, and I wish them the best of luck. Being a surf-blogger in my other life, I’ve always appreciated the respect they show for everyday surfers by highlighting blogs in their newsletters and soliciting content from “non-professionals” who have stories to tell about their experiences in the ocean.

What’s Wrong with Slow Food?

Posted by admin | March 28th, 2008 | Filed under Personal Reflection, Sustainability

Picture 1.pngLast year I wrote a post about a lecture I attended by Carlo Petrini who is the Founder and President of Slow Food International. It was quite a remarkable evening.

In the current issue of Metropolis Bruce Sterling, one of the more provocative and prescient thinkers of our time, has written a biting critique of the Slow Food movement in which he says, they’ve “…become a global movement to combat globalism,” and argues that it’s a movement that serves the elite.

An equally strong and entertaining rebuttal immediately appeared on the Slow Food USA blog written by Chef Michael Friese.

Let the debate begin.

The Front Fell Off

Posted by admin | March 26th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Sustainability

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Clarke and Dawe comedy duo appear weekly on a show called “A Current Affair.” Here they engage in an hysterically funny sketch pertaining to a 1991 oil spill off the coast of Western Australia when a tanker named Kirki lost its bow. Think corporate spin at its finest. Exxon could have used these guys when the Valdez went down.

Poetry Posts

Posted by Rick | March 24th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Personal Reflection, Positive Change


Walking through my neighborhood, I came across a wooden post near the sidewalk with a small case at its top. Inside the box frame, there was a poem called “Bird Watching,” available to anyone who might be walking by. I was impressed with the work, especially a part that asked what the point is of bird watching:

What is the point
of spending precious time
and hard-earned dollars
to wander the globe, only to learn
that someone has gobbled up
the nesting ground,
or filled the marsh,
or paved the meadow,
or poisoned the pond,
or clear-cut the forest,
or built a boundary wall
at the river’s edge?

Read More »

Branding by the People for the People

Posted by admin | March 21st, 2008 | Filed under Compassionate Capitalism, Design, Outdoor Sport, Positive Change

Picture 1(2).pngTake a bit of entrepreneurial flare, mix in a bit of eco consciousness along with a dash of digitally enabled community participation in the form of “crowdsourcing” and “crowdfunding” and what do you get? How about Nvohk (pronounced “invoke”) ” an eco-friendly, surf inspired clothing manufacturer that appears to be decidedly democratic in its management approach. The concept: You sign up for free and when membership hits 20,000 everyone invests $50 a year. In return, you get a say in the management of the company, including — according to its founders — major business decisions like logo design, product design, athlete selection and advertising direction. You’ll also have a voice in choosing what charities receive 10% of net profits and 35% of net profits will be directed back to members via award points. As of March 21st, over 2106 future members had signed up. This experiment is one to watch, if not participate in. It will certainly test the power of crowds and our capacity for collective decision-making.

How It All Ends

Posted by Pierce | March 19th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Positive Change, Sustainability

In this video a high school science teacher takes a Pascal’s Wager approach to climate change. The protagonist artfully applies 17th century French Philosophy and rational thinking to an otherwise mixed scientific/emotional decision analysis. It’s a fun, philosophical, “monologue-debate” on the world’s hottest topic. Check it out.

4:30 AM

Posted by Rick | March 17th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection


There was a time when those numbers used to scare me.

Now I’ve grown accustomed to seeing that time blinking on the alarm clock as I bottle-feed the baby in the morning. So last week, when I decided to go surfing at 4:30 AM (leaving my wife with our infant until noon), I actually looked forward that ungodly hour. As a matter of fact, I woke up at 3:30 in anticipation of perfect waves peeling in the half-light of dawn.

The forecast promised epic conditions: 7 feet at 14 seconds with mild offshores. My surf buddy arrived right on time in his veggie-oil rig and we departed at quarter-to-five, leaving the smell of fried wontons in our wake. On the ride along empty freeways, over the oily river, past the drowsy city, and through the dark woods, we joked about our daily lives”the ups and downs of fatherhood (me), dating (him), and of course the surf we’d be enjoying soon.

The ocean obviously hadn’t read the report. We were the first ones in the water, but the waves were bumpy and crossed up. We surfed for a few hours, milking as much fun from the session as possible, but in the end only caught a handful of waves each.

A quick change and hike back to the car and we were on the road again, talking about the waves we got, the week ahead, and our next corn-oil-powered dawn patrol.

My wife asked me if it was worth it as I stumbled through the front door at noon with my surfboard under one arm and a dripping wetsuit over my shoulder. I smiled and she rolled her eyes. Would I do 4:30 again? Maybe 5:30, considering the time change.

Are you really aware?

Posted by Rick | March 14th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Positive Change

Picture 6.png

This public service announcement by Transport for London is one the best viral campaigns we’ve seen to raise awareness of the cyclist in your rear view mirror. Check it out.

Epicocity: Paddling for Positive Change

Posted by Alex | March 12th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Positive Change, Sustainability

Picture 5.png

Two weeks ago, under an unseasonably hot February sun, I sat outside a Portland café and and listened to Trip Jennings, Kyle Dickman and Andy Maser eagerly describe their latest endeavor, The Epicocity Project. Three young guys with infectious enthusiasm for kayaking, they’ve set out on a 4-stage adventure to paddle rivers in biodiversity hotspots around the globe. Their first stage in Papua New Guinea won Trip “Adventure of the Year” honors from the National Geographic Society; no small achievement for a group whose oldest member clocks in at the ripe old age of 25.

Picture 4.pngToday, we received a dispatch from the team, which is now halfway around the globe. Trip, Andy and Travis are just beginning the second leg of their journey: This month, they’re attempting to make the first descent of the Upper Salween River in China, which passes through one of the least explored areas on the planet. By paddling and filming what is now China’s longest undammed river, they hope to raise awareness of an ecologically rich region that is threatened by a 13-dam hydro-electric project.

In the months to come, we’ll be featuring some of the resulting footage from their travels on The Collective. Until then, you can follow their adventures on the Upper Salween at http://china.riversindemand.com/.

Why Didn’t We Think of That?

dsc_9003low.jpg It’s not often that I envy other cities for their bike-related policies (Portland being such a poster child, in that department), but this is pretty impressive: a formalized bike-sharing program in Barcelona that’s much like Zip Car here in the states, only better, because it cuts out the car part.

Only begs one question: Why haven’t we done this yet in the States? Or have we?
Found via Out There Biking.