Going Back to the Melon

The watermelon has long inspired artists, such as Giuseppe Recco's Still Life With Fruit (1634-1695). The first color sketches of the red-fleshed, sweet watermelon in Europe can be found in a medieval medical manuscript, the Tacuinum Sanitatis.  PHOTO: Dea, A. Dagli Orti/Deagnostini/ GETTY

The watermelon has long inspired artists, such as Giuseppe Recco’s Still Life With Fruit (1634-1695). The first color sketches of the red-fleshed, sweet watermelon in Europe can be found in a medieval medical manuscript, the Tacuinum Sanitatis. PHOTO: Dea, A. Dagli Orti/Deagnostini/ GETTY

Watermelon may be the best picnic dessert nature ever created with its sweet juice cleverly bound inside that spongy red (sometimes yellow) matrix, and fully protected by psychedelic green rind. And no matter how you slice it, this green cannonball of nutrition is attracting scientific attention as an elixir that reduces muscle pain after workouts and a whole lot more. And the myriad ways it lends itself beautifully in the kitchen. But what about its history? Continue reading

When It Takes Plastic Balls to Fight Drought

A small portion of the 90 million black plastic balls added to the Los Angeles Reservoir on August 12, 2015. Image credit: AP/Damian Dovarganes

A small portion of the 90 million black plastic balls added to the Los Angeles Reservoir on August 12, 2015.  Image credit: AP/Damian Dovarganes

In a drought, every drop of water is precious, including those lost to evaporation in the hot summer. But in a massive open reservoir, how do you prevent that from happening? Facing a long-term water crisis, officials concerned with preserving a reservoir in Los Angeles hatched a plan: They would combat four years of drought with 96 million plastic balls. On Monday, the 175-acre Los Angeles Reservoir saw the final installment of the project: 20,000 small black orbs that would float atop the water.

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From West to East: A Road Trip Journal (Part 2)

Carl on McClures Beach

This is the second in a series of posts on a summer trip; see the first here.

In the afternoon we were off, driving up the west coast without any real plans; we knew we wanted to be in Seattle in four or five days, but that intervening time period was ours to spend as we wished. From a quick glance at the map, we thought that Point Reyes, a national coastline a few hours north of the bay area, Continue reading

A Learning Laboratory (Stop Motion Video!)

Yesterday, Jonathon, Siobhan, Milo, and I moved into one of the new Raxa Collective properties under development. As the four of us huddled silently under our covers, the backwaters of Kerala’s nighttime accompanied Jonathon’s ghost stories…

Instead of spooky tales, though, today I want to share with you another story Jonathon narrates, Raxa Collective presents “A Learning Laboratory.” It’s a short video, Jonathon (narrator), Sunnie (illustrator), Siobhan (director), and I (producer) put together with the help of all the staff and summer interns to highlight some of the best anecdotes of how Raxa Collective’s Cardamom County ecolodge has acted as a “learning laboratory” for its staff, international trainees, and summer interns.

Enjoy!