November 29, 2012

I thought this was interesting.  Shows how we value certain animals over others.

Paul Kuczynski – more paintings that question various aspects of our society.  Many of them have to do with what we’ve been talking about in class.

Lady Gaga Ferns

November 26, 2012

Two species of Fern have been named after Lady Gaga.  Scientists say that they both have DNA sequences that begin “GAGA” and that they resemble the singer’s frequent costumes.  “We wanted to name this genus for Lady Gaga because of her fervent defense of equality and individual expression”, says Professor Pryer, one of the scientists responsible for this naming.  The ferns reproduce, like most, homosporously.  They also are able to produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant – through asexual reproduction and their high number of chromosomes.


Lawn People

November 14, 2012

Why do people who are more educated seem to be the ones using chemicals on their lawns?

a look at apolitical ecology

1-Choice-they just chose to do regardless of consequences.

2-culture- the behavior is embedded in the individual’s life and tradition.

3-economy- people usually influenced by the “culture” aspect market for the behavior and promote it. YAY Capitalism

4- human vs nonhuman- we tend to think that we control the outcome of all things
“The proposition that the lawn is a political and economic network also should provide us with a better portrait of       our selves” (pg 14)

– “Material ideological apparatus” : a whole of system of ideas through the elements of the ECONOMY are represented back to individuals as a NECESSARY  and sensible, immediate daily way of life”(pg 15)

Are Lawns an expression of American culture?

-” Of the fifteen major world crops today, ten of them are grasses”

-The lawn became a space in gardens in France in the 1500’sv and even more “important” in 1700’s England, when it arrived to the US it was in public places and still imported.

-Aesthetic- The lawn was to be an open space, “inviting” like the parks where people were to be as  a community.
In the early 20th century  the aesthetic rules of the lawn was desired but few people actually had space for it.

after WW II people began to move more and more to the suburbs for variety of reasons thus “culture lawn” was more prevelent

The grass will be just fine with minimum care so why do we put so much time into it?
-“the grass has to be all one color texture and weed-free”

So naturally it is hard to keep the grass this way!

-it will pollinate, natural browning, insects will come,it will seed and decaying components.

Why do we even have neighborhoods who have a standard Lawn “rule” 

start at 3;04






Eco-friendly mosquito killer for the lawn

November 14, 2012

Mosquitoes are annoying to both man and beast. Some mosquitoes, however, can transmit diseases. Although the application of pesticides on lawns will kill mosquitoes, these agents can pose risks to human health and the environment. Some biological pest controls are safer than conventional pesticides, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Botanical Controls: Volatile oils in some plants can repel and kill insects. Organic lawn and garden products formulated to counter mosquitoes often contain a combination of plant oils, including the essential oils of rosemary, thyme, peppermint, sesame, wintergreen and thyme

Microbial Pesticides:Microbial pesticides are naturally occurring microorganisms, such as fungi or bacteria. The most commonly-used microbial pesticide is Bacillus thuringiensis, each of which produces a unique combination of proteins that target and bind specifically to gut-receptor cells of mosquito larvae as they feed, causing them to starve.

Beneficial Insects: The praying mantis feeds on mosquitoes, as well as other common lawn and garden pests.

Bats: Another weapon in the war against mosquitoes on the ground is to fight from the air. Many of the more than 1,200 species of bats aggressively hunt flying insects.To employ bats as a natural mosquito control, you must purchase or build bat houses for them to roost in.


The Grass isn’t Always Greener..

November 14, 2012

NatGeo actually has had a lot to say about lawns over the past decade, from the frivolous golf courses that dominate the American Southwest (that is still stuck in a drought, by the way) to our obsession with our lawns here in the Midwest.

Here is a website dedicated to “Lawn Science” do people get degree’s in this?

And here’s a weird one.. A website called Christian Science Monitor (actually reports pretty unbiased information) talks about .. you guessed it suburbia’s obsession with their lawns. This article was published in 2006, so clearly this has been growing for a long time.

Or did you read any of the articles about people getting in trouble with their communities because instead of a lawn they had large gardens. So not only do we care about our lawns we care about their lawns.. where do you think this comes from? Where do you think it will take us?


Lawn people

November 14, 2012

This is what I think of when I hear lawn people .. now go ahead and imagine all your neighbors being stuck in the ground and climbing out. Perfect.

To me, your yard should be full of things you can eat and untamed bushes and flowers. I would never cut the grass if I thought I could get away with it. My neighbor across the street cuts his grass every single day. WHO IS THIS MAN WHO CAN SPEND THAT LONG DOING THE SAME THING EVERY DAY?! How do American’s have so much time to spend on our lawns!?

Growing up my yard backed into a farm field, which in turned backed into the woods.. our yard was the beginning of a jungle, a stage, a resting place. Our yard was an in-between of sorts set between the house and the wild, and as children we loved it.

My family in Arizona has astroturf instead of grass. Weird that even though they have lived there for years they still don’t feel right without having that greeness in their backyard. They also have walls around their yards, that are so high that you can’t even lean over them to talk. Here in the Midwest lawns are a social meeting place, so even among American’s our lawns mean different things.

How much money do you think the average American spends on their lawn? And what about the people that hire someone else to take care of their grass. Think about that for a moment.. there are American’s that have enough money to PAY someone to come take care of their grass.. what?!

I think it’s funny that we think of our grass as “natural” who honestly believes they’ll find that just out and about? I tried to Google lawns from other countries.. and got nothing.

Lawn People

November 14, 2012

Over all I found this book very interesting. It amazes me how many people are concerned about how their lawns look and how much money they put into them. As the book pointed out it tended to be the educated and wealthy that tended to put the most time into their lawns. What bothers me the most is that some people care more about their lawns than their pets going as far as putting boots on dog feet so they can go out.  In my world pets come first then the lawn. I don’t understand why it is so important to have a nice lawn. Sure if you live in an area that requires you to up keep you lawn I guess I get it but all the chemicals and fake grass where is the point? Especially when our fresh water reserves are starting to dwindle and we waste it on our lawns. There are ways to water you lawn and be “green” about it (before 10 am or after the sun starts to set. This reduces evaporation which then doesn’t “burn” the grass), but no one seems to care. Over all this book was an eye opener to the history of the grass and how people view it.

As a child I never had a huge lawn, though I did have a decent sized one. I often played in the front or back yard either by my self or with the dog/s. I often went out after storms and collected worms to make worm soup. I always played out side on the lawn: I had pretend picnics, laid in the sun, played, and so many other things out side in the yard.