the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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hms beagle’s library is now availble for free online!


At 22, Charles Darwin set sail for a 5-year trip around the world. His notes from the Galapagos and other destinations were central to the development of his theory of evolution through natural selection, which he described in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species. The lost collection of books that kept Darwin company aboard the HMS Beagle and provided inspiration for his work on evolution have been made available online for free!

To check out these texts and collection of amazing images, head over to Darwin Online Beagle Library Project!


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until there are fair wages, we cannot have our cake

Behind the kitchen door
How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions—discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens—affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers’ organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Detroit, and New Orleans.

To read more about this book or to purchase, click HERE!


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slow is fast book & dvd

In September 2012, Dan Malloy, Kanoa Zimmerman and Kellen Keene rode bikes down the California coast hoping to see their home state in a new slower-paced light — surfing, camping, staying with friends and lending a hand wherever they could to earn their keep. The result of the trip is a beautifully crafted book and DVD. Buy it now:

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book: the voyage of the paper canoe

the voyage of the paper canoe

When he was 17, Nathaniel Bishop hiked 1,000 miles across South America. Later in life, he became interested in canoes. In 1874, he set off with a friend in an 18-foot wooden canoe, determined to find the most direct passage along natural and man-made waterways from the cold and rocky Gulf of St. Lawrence to the semitropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

When he arrived in New York, he encountered a manufacturer of paper boats, and he decided these crafts were much superior to the one he had. Ditching his companion and the wooden boat, Bishop set off to finish the trip alone in his new paper canoe. Though he was “frequently lost in the labyrinth of creeks and marshes which skirt the southern coast of this country”, he eventually made it to the Gulf of Mexico in 1875. He had paddled 2,000 miles on his own in a 58-lb paper canoe. If you think this sounds crazy, you are not alone…

Find it HERE

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book: three squares, the invention of the american meal

We are what we eat, as the saying goes, but we are also how we eat, and when, and where. Our eating habits reveal as much about our society as the food on our plates, and our national identity is written in the eating schedules we follow and the customs we observe at the table and on the go.

In Three Squares, food historian Abigail Carroll upends the popular understanding of our most cherished mealtime traditions, revealing that our eating habits have never been stable—far from it, in fact. To read more about this book, click HERE—>

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featured book: we the eaters

Screen shot 2014-05-21 at 2.48.55 PMThe implausible truth: Over one billion people in the world are hungry and over one billion are overweight. Far from complete opposites, hunger and obesity are in fact different manifestations of the same problem: It’s increasingly difficult to find and eat nutritious food. By examining the global industrial food system using the deceptively simple template of a classic American dinner, We the Eaters not only outlines the root causes of this bizarre and troubling dichotomy but also provides a blueprint of actionable solutions—solutions that could start with changing out just a single item on your plate.

 From your burger to your soda, Gustafson unpacks how even the hyperlocal can cause worldwide ripples. For instance: American agricultural policy promoting corn and soybeans in beef farming means we feed more to cows than to hungry people. This is compounded by the environmental cost of factory livestock farming, rising obesity rates, and the false economics of unhealthfully high meat consumption.

The answer?  Eat a hamburger – just make it much less frequent and a smaller, sustainably raised, grass-fed one. 

Gustafson—a young entrepreneur, foreign policy expert, and food policy advocate—delivers a wake-up call that will inspire even the most passive reader to take action. We can love our food and our country while being better stewards of our system and our health. We the Eaters is nothing short of a manifesto: If we change dinner, we really can change the world.
Purchase We the Eaters at Amazon or via indiebound

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a cool virtual library for you to explore

international theatre of the oppressed

The International Theatre of the Oppressed Organisation will not be just one Center more, but an Organisation dedicated to help all Centers to develop themselves, so that they can help other TO groups to grow and develop. The Organisation is carried by the combined power of experienced Jokers across the globe.

We dream of having a Virtual Libraries of books, thesis, photos, movies and videos about TO in the world, accessible to all. We also dream of an extensive Theatre of the Oppressed Library filled with Real Images and Words. We dream of exchanging knowledge, of creating an international group of Flying Jokers, who can go anywhere in the world to help groups to organize themselves. We dream of creating International Projects to meet our needs. We dream of working in the true spirit of Augusto Boal. These are dreams, but we learned that, if we work hard and if we work together, dreams have the tendency to become true.

Explore the virtual library HERE!

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gone feral

Novella Carpenter’s latest book!index
Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild
Gone Feral is Novella Carpenter’s search for her father. Back-to-the-land homesteader, gifted classical guitarist, Korean War vet, hermit, curmudgeon, George Carpenter has been absent for most of his daughter’s life. But when he officially goes missing— only to be found in a fleabag Arizona motel, escaping the brutal Idaho winter—his daughter is forced to confront the truth: Her time with her dad, now seventy-three years old, is limited, and the moment to restore their relationship is now. Thus begins a journey of discovery that carries Carpenter from her Oakland urban farm to her father’s ramshackle cabin on a quest for connection that reveals who she is and where she came from.

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another cool book!

Learning By Doing At The Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California

Learning_By_Doing_At_The_FarmWEBBeginning in 1968, the University of California, Irvine, was host to an experiment in intercultural exchange and artistic and social scientific learning through practice. Located on the edges of William Pereira’s California Brutalist campus, the Farm was a space for craftspeople from Guatemala, Mexico, and Samoa to demonstrate their skills; a laboratory for new methods in education and research; and an unexpected countercultural gathering site.

Learning by Doing at the Farm reflects upon this unusual experiment, which brought together Cold War politics, modern development, and indigenous peoples drawn into the strange intellectual and cultural circumstances of 1960s California. Through a critical introduction and previously unpublished archival documentation, this book offers a glimpse of various actors’ dreams of what the Farm could become and the collaborations that actually unfolded there.

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a great read/resource: small farm equipment

the farmers library

“Small Farm Equipment” covers many facets of equipment use and maintenance on the small- to mid-size farm. Topics include the following:

  • Mechanical concepts and terminology
  • Best practices and safety around farm equipment
  • Tools for maintenance
  • Tips for shop work
  • Regular maintenance tasks
  • Troubleshooting start-up problems
  • Common small equipment
  • Tractor operation and safety

Written to be accessible and straightforward—detailed, yet broad enough for the variety of skills needed on the diversified farm, Small Farm Equipment offers clear illustrations of tools, parts, and equipment throughout the text.

Small Farm Equipment offers various benefits to daily farm work: Reduce downtime from non-operational equipment. Learn common terminology to better communicate with mechanics and service personnel. Improve the quality of on-farm repairs with the proper tools and methods. Stay aware of safety and working standards on the small farm.

To learn more about this book or to buy it, check out the Farmer’s Library Website. 

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let’s help growing innovation get over the hump!

They are 67% funded with 12 days to go.  Every little bit counts!

Growing Innovation Online Library & Book

Why does this project matter? Because stakes is high! 

In case it's hard to see, this farmer's clever t-shirt says 'stakes is high'
In case it’s hard to see, this farmer’s clever t-shirt says ‘stakes is high’

To make a more serious point, success in agriculture is hard to achieve and harder to sustain. Tens of thousands of small farms go out of business each year. Those that make it often survive on precarious margins. To succeed, most small and mid-scale farmers need to innovate constantly. That’s why farmers go to other farmers for new ideas more than any other source, but most farmers are limited to only a few sources of inspiration.

The online library will provide an especially useful resource for beginning and transitioning farmers. Beginning farmers will find a rich storehouse of ideas for generating agricultural income. Transitioning farmers will find tested models and stories that they can relate to. Could this project be the seed bed for a national agricultural innovation library? It all starts right here!


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