what if western states were defined by watersheds?
The story begins with John Wesley Powell, the great one-armed adventurer and geologist. He was made famous for his successful runs through the Colorado River in 1869 and 1872. But perhaps his most important legacy rests in a lesser-known deed: Proposing in 1879 that as the Western states were brought into the union they be formed around watersheds, rather than arbitrary political boundaries. This idea rested on the observation that because of an arid climate, a statewide organization decided by any other factor would lead to water conflict down the road. Powerful forces, most prominently the rail companies, were proposing that state’s boundaries be aligned in ways best believed to facilitate agriculture, and thus best be enabled to capitalize off the lands given to them by the Federal Government. But the West, Powell observed, was too dry and its soils too poor to support agriculture at a scale common in the East.
Powell set out to produce a map, shown above, depicting what these “watershed states” might look like. (Take a look at any map of the union today, and you’ll know how successful Powell was). The rail lobby, buoyed by Charles Dan Wilbur and his theory that “rain follows the plough”, successfully swayed congressional opinion to accept state’s boundaries in their contemporary form.
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The latest from the Beehive Collective! Support the project HERE
It’s done, it’s done!!! We can’t wait for you to see our newest illustration!
Help us print Mesoamérica Resiste, the long-awaited final graphic in an epic trilogy about globalization in the Americas. Now that the illustration is complete, we need your support to be able to share this ambitious project far and wide. Continue Reading →
Vermont Sail Freight is live now on Good Eggs. For anyone hungry living along the Hudson or in NYC. We deliver into your lap by sail barge in October. Stock up on shelf-stable goods for winter.
Dockside deliveries to: Mechanicville, Troy, Albany, Hudson, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Beacon, Peekskill, Nyack, Yonkers, Brooklyn, Manhattan.
Sick a lot? Get some Fire Cider. Primitivist? We have seaweed. Raw foodist? Wheat berries! Baker? Flour. Pythagorean? Break that spell with some heirloom beans. Don’t know what shiso is? Try some shiso!
And about 80 more things from 30 different small organic producers in Vermont and New York State.
In horse pulled wagons stocked with a bicycle powered silent cinema, an Appalachian-balkan-brass-klezmer-dixieland-string ensemble, kinetic sculpture and their signature low-tech theater appliances, the newly formedRural Academy Theater have staged their innovative performances in the town greens, theaters, college campuses, and pastures of Western North Carolina. “By not relying on gasoline powered propulsion or being dependent upon electricity and the typical expensive gadgetry associated with professional theater, we will be traveling and performing at a much more human pace, one that will allow for a more thorough integration into the communities and lives we visit,” said Gabriel Harrell, the theater’s co-founder. Continue Reading →
It’s not everyday that we find a product so PERFECTLY in synch with small research projects.
We’ve been learning about waterproofing for canvas / nautical applications, and here is a home kitchen version!
We like it!
Shu Lea Cheang’s Garlic=Rich Air was an interactive online project that anticipated the year 2030 as a postcapitalist society where the global economy and currencies have collapsed and network media has nearly crashed. In this future world, organic garlic is the new social currency–bought, sold, and traded to establish a new, free media trading system.
Garlic=Rich Air set forth a monetary relationship between URL information and virtual garlic. Visitors were invited to participate online by submitting various URL addresses in return for virtual garlic, or “G,” as Cheang put it. At the close of the G-Mart, virtual “G” was cashed in for real garlic, a commodity that is desired and wholly revered in the year 2030.
We are live, people!