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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for April, 2008

Have Bike, Have Trailer, Will Travel

Posted by Caitlin | April 28th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Positive Change, Sustainability

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A few months ago, our good friend Ian Momsen told us that he was planning a six-month bicycle tour across the US. After a fleeting moment of envy, we knew that exciting adventures and challenges were ahead for this fellow Portlander. Ian’s objective for this trip is to connect people with places across the country through his photography and writing while leaving the smallest carbon footprint he can. Hitting the road with only a few key items”his bicycle, trailer, tent, computer, camera and solar panels (to charge his electronics)”the trip began.

Now, a month and half in and covering over 2,000 miles, Ian’s journey is taking him much further than he had ever imagined. Keeping a daily blog filled with rich descriptions and colorful images of the road, he’s able to bring us along on his amazing ride.

Read More »

Control Yourself

Posted by Rick | April 25th, 2008 | Filed under Environmental Change, Personal Reflection, Sustainability

Picture 4.pngThere’s this band called MGMT (pronounced Management) and most of their music sounds like a debaucherous 3AM party soundtrack, but I was listening to their song “Kids” the other day and I heard these lyrics:

“Control yourself,
Take only what you need from it.
A family of trees falling,
To be haunted.

The water is warm,
But it’s sending me shivers…

Decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn’t hurt a lot
I guess not…”

My interpretation is that these guys are talking about sustainability, global warming and considering the consequences of our actions, so that there will be something left for the “kids” in the future. I could be wrong. Whatever the meaning is, it’s a pretty good jam for a Friday.

endless ocean endless sky

Posted by Rick | April 23rd, 2008 | Filed under Design, Personal Reflection, Who We Are

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It’s kind of a given that the people working at Nau have a passion for the outdoors: skiers, bikers, surfers, climbers and paddlers abound in our ranks, and when our team clocks out at the end of the day, many run (literally) from town to do something fresh and physical. But it came as a happy surprise to me that so many of the people I work with have separate creative lives outside the office. Among my immediate coworkers I have found authors, illustrators, photographers, painters, filmmakers and dancers.

Six months ago, when Eugenie invited me to a performance she was part of called “Endless Ocean Endless Sky” (playing in Austin, TX this weekend), I didn’t quite know what to expect. Choreographed and produced by Tahni Holt, the website for the Portland production was mysterious and poetic. The story, it seemed, was a collection of vignettes 100 “moments” long. Since only ten audience members are allowed in the performance at a time, I made sure to reserve a spot early. Read More »

Talking Images

Posted by admin | April 21st, 2008 | Filed under Design, Personal Reflection, Who We Are

Photographers observe, explore, and comment on the world around them with their lenses. The best of this breed of artist create images that are approachable, clever, aesthetically pleasing, refraining from trying to bash you over the head with their work’s meaning. Like the saying goes, “Walk softly but carry a big shtick.”

As both a photographer and appreciator of this art form, I’m constantly amazed by people’s brilliance and insight, especially when their work deals with environmental issues in subtle and clever ways.

Below are a few of the artists that have influenced my own personal work; the last two images, a landscape by my boyfriend Kevin Malella and another by yours truly, are our own variations on this theme, presenting both the sublime and the surreal in respect to our changing environment. The interpretation is up to you…

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construction108-03-(cohen).jpg Nickel_Tailings_31.jpg Mining-Project-3-(Maisel).jpg



Uranium_Tailings_12-(Burtunsky).jpg Lake-Project-20-(Maisel).jpg



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Photographs (L-R):
1. Dionisio Gonzales – Heliopolis 1
2. Alan Cohen – Construction No. 108-03
3. Edward Burtynsky – Nickel Tailings No. 31 (Sudbury, Ontario 1996)
4. David Maisel – Mining Project 3
5. Edward Burtynsky – Uranium Tailings No. 12
6. David Maisel – Lake Project 20
7. Kevin Malella – Mutated Towers
8. Simone Bogode – River Project No. 3

Hot Off the Web: Wend Goes Digital

Posted by Rick | April 18th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Positive Change, Sustainability

Picture 3.pngWend, one of our favorite outdoor magazines, went digital this month, meaning that you can flip through a virtual copy of the previous month’s issue online. Check out a free version here.

Based out of Portland, Wend is expanding its reach by allowing anybody with an internet connection a chance to dig their first-person adventure stories, environmental reporting and amazing photography. Not only will this allow for richer content in the future (think video journalism and podcasts), but it also has the potential to lower the amount of paper and energy used in circulation. Aside from experiencing “Wend 2.0″ and doing less recycling, subscribers to the digital version also save around ten bucks a year.

For the next year, Wend will offer the previous month’s issue online for free. After that, it will only be available by subscription.

The Camera Steals the Soul: Outdoor Sports in Cinema

Posted by Rick | April 16th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Who We Are

Our Thought Kitchen meetings usually take place at the bar/creperie Le Happy, a little joint around the corner from the office that’s the perfect venue for our informal pitch meetings. It’s usually after a couple beers (or hot toddies) that the best subject matter is born. Such was the case this winter when we began an ongoing discussion about the worst cinematic interpretations of outdoor sports.

What started as a casual conversation about few ’80s date movies blew up into an email rally 20 replies long. From Keanu Reeves’ bro-brah Johnny Utah in Point Break to Stallone’s piton-firing gun in Cliffhanger, no phony stone was left unturned. A month or so later, we had a hefty list of the bad, the good, and the guilty pleasure flicks Hollywood has made about the sports we love.

The list grew so long that we had to break the post into categories based on the sport genre being butchered. Since it’s still ski season for some of us, we thought we might as well start there.

SKIING/SNOWBOARDING

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THE BAD (click for clips):
Ski Patrol
Downhill Willie
Frostbite
Ski School 1 & 2
Snowboard Academy
Winter Break
Aspen Extreme

THE DECENT/FUNNY:
Downhill Racer
Hot Dog
Out Cold
Better Off Dead

THE GUILTY PLEASURES:
Ski Party
Fire & Ice

Stay tuned for the next installment: totally bogus surf films…

If You Knew Everything About Tomorrow, What Would You Do Differently Today?

Posted by admin | April 14th, 2008 | Filed under Compassionate Capitalism, Design, Positive Change, Who We Are

Faith_Logo.pngSo asks Faith Popcorn, who has created quite a reputation for what she calls “applied futurism.” By that she means weaving the future into the everyday texture of companies and brands. Faith and her gang have come up with a list of predictions for 2008. One in particular caught my attention. It’s titled “Reactions to Cashing Out”:

Lagom: From the Swedish, most commonly translated as “just enough.” It’s an approach to both design and consumption that explains the essence of brands like Ikea and Volvo. We see notions of “minimalism” and “sustainability” taking on significant currency, as even Americans reject hyper-consumption as not just excessive, but actually damaging to themselves, others and to the planet.

KarmaCapitalism: As “Cashing Out” rises to this level of prominence, we’ll see a basic shift in the identity/mentality of people, as they make the transition from “consumer” to “citizen” ” recognizing that every act of consumption has cost and consequence beyond the transaction, and that every transaction is a “vote” in favor of the offering entity, and against the options not chosen. To compete, companies are going to have to weave “goodness” as a fundamental intent into their corporate culture. Bringing on a dash of “corporate responsibility”; whether the mere monetary commitment to a cause, or some more symbolic gesture, will not suffice to curry favor with the citizen. In a world of transparency, where every corporate practice is knowable, they will be watching and exercising that all-important vote of the purse.

Hmmm. As we like to say: that was then, this is Nau.

Like Cobblestones?

Posted by Alex | April 11th, 2008 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Partnerships, Positive Change

Slipstream11.jpgThis Sunday, April 13th marks the 106th running of one of cycling’s most famed one-day classics: the Paris-Roubaix. Covering 260km (that’s 161.5 miles) of pavement, country roads, and mud (usually), Paris-Roubaix is perhaps best known for winding over more than 50k of wheel-grabbing, historic cobblestones. And while it’s always a fun race to watch, this year we’re particularly excited to follow the riders of the emerging American team, Slipstream/Chipotle.

Directed by former US Postal Serive (among other teams) rider and US Time-Trial Champion Jonathan Vaughters, and boasting A-list cyclists like David Zabriskie, David Millar, Tyler Farrar and Christian Vande Velde, Slipstream/Chipotle is more than just a stacked team, however. With doping scandals grabbing headlines and threatening the future of pro cycling everywhere, they’ve gone to the pavement to design a team that will bring clean sport back to the peleton.

Given their commitment to making change, we’re proud that they’ve chosen Nau as the team’s off-bike clothing provider. So while you won’t see a Nau spandex TT suit anytime soon, you will catch the riders and the support staff sporting the gear. And with the announcement last week that the team has received a bid to the Tour de France, we’re looking forward to seeing it in Paris as well!

You can read more about the team’s commitment to untainted sports performance, and follow their progress over the cobbles to Roubaix, at www.slipstreamsports.com.

Oh Canada ” My Home and Native Land ” Announces the Largest Land Withdrawal for Protection Ever in Canada

Picture 6.pngA few years ago I had the good fortune of paddling the Mountain River located in the Mackenzie River Valley in the Northwest Territories. That adventure inspired a trip that is currently in planning. I depart on June 27th for a two-week paddling trip on the Snake River in the Yukon. Those trips and others like them, combined with the fact that I’m Canadian, have engendered a life-long interest in wilderness preservation.

That’s why I read with interest the Canadian government’s announcement about the creation of a new national park. It’s called Naats’ihch’oh, which in the Dene language refers to Mount Wilson, a major landmark in the area and means “pointed like a porcupine quill.” The plan is to convert 25.5 million acres of northern boreal forest into a new national park and wildlife protection areas. For those who are counting, that’s about 11.5 times the size of Yellowstone Park.

Picture 7.pngThe boreal forest comprises a band of trees about 1600 miles wide that spans across much of Canada ” just below the arctic tundra ” and continues in northern Scotland, Scandinavia and Russia. Large numbers of migratory birds and waterfowl make their summer home in the boreal. It’s also an important habitat for grizzly bears, dall sheep and woodland caribou and its trees are believed to play an important role in offsetting the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also excellent news, given the accelerating industrial activities such as the Mackenzie Gas project (including a proposed pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley) and unprecedented uranium exploration east of Great Slave Lake.

The First Place

Posted by admin | April 9th, 2008 | Filed under Personal Reflection, Who We Are

Photo: tlianza

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the idea of inspiration. Where it comes from, when it arrives, how it is born. Like many, my earliest and most powerful source of inspiration was the outdoors. Recently I’ve been reflecting on the literal source of these feelings: the first place I discovered them.

This weekend I visited my family in San Diego, where I grew up, and went for a run on the cliff trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve. It’s a place I have spent countless hours in since I was a child, exploring and discovering the quiet wonder of the earth. While I think of it as a profound spot, it was not until this trip that I realized how important it was in my development of a relationship to the outdoors. Read More »