Howard Hanson: Pastorale for oboe harp and strings Op.38 – YouTube

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When languages die, ecosystems often die with them | Public Radio International

Living on Earth July 15, 2014 · 12:45 PM EDT Writer Max J. Rosenthal
Photo: An Aboriginal performer in Sydney, Australia.

Aboriginal languages in Australia are among the fastest-disappearing tongues in the world. Credit: David Gray/Reuters You probably know that much of the world’s environment is under threat. But a new study says languages are disappearing alongside plants and animals.

This story is based on a radio interview.
Listen to the full interview (link below).

The study, from the World Wildlife Fund, measured the threat to languages using a scale that tracks how threatened species are. Not only are many languages steadily losing speakers, says co-author Jonathan Loh, but “the rate of decline, globally, is actually very close to the rate of decline in populations of wild vertebrate species.”

There’s the obvious threat of in-demand languages, which many people start speaking more and more as the speakers of smaller languages dwindle.
“Thousands of indigenous languages spoken around the world are being replaced by one of a dozen or so dominant world languages like English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese,” Loh says.

But Loh, who’s also a research associate at the Zoological Society of London, says that languages are dying off due to many of the same issues that plants and animals face.

“Some of the drivers that are driving the extinction of biodiversity — such as increasing global population, increasing consumption of natural resources, increasing globalization and so on — are applicable to languages as well,” he says. And that’s no coincidence.

Loh explains that languages have a lot of specific local knowledge built in. “The cultures have evolved in a particular environmental context, so they have an extraordinary amount of traditional ecological knowledge — knowledge of the local species, plants, animals, the medicinal uses of them, the migration patterns of animals behavior,” he says.

So when the languages die off, much of that knowledge goes with them. “Then children stop learning the language, they also stop acquiring that traditional knowledge,” Loh says.

read more …

Source: When languages die, ecosystems often die with them | Public Radio International

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A Gathering of Giants – bioGraphic

Story and Photographs by Tony Wu

It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky. I’d spent the entire day, and many days prior, scanning the horizon for signs of life.

My small boat bobbed up and down in the swell. Every now and then, a wave crest slapped its fiberglass hull, creating a resounding clap and shooting a curtain of spray skyward.The shimmering glare of reflected tropical light was overwhelming. I squinted and rubbed my eyes as a haze of brine and dissolved SPF 50 blurred my vision.

When a faint puff of condensation shot into the air on the horizon, I thought it was a mirage, an artifact of fatigue and my compromised senses. But when I saw a second, I knew there was only one thing it could be—the exhalation of a surfacing whale.

Excitedly, I counted a third, then a fourth, a dozen… no, hundreds!That’s how I came to witness a phenomenon few have ever seen before.Skimming over the waves, I stopped the boat a short distance from where I had seen the whales’ last blow and slipped quietly into the sea. I could scarcely believe my eyes.

wow. Read this.

Source: A Gathering of Giants – bioGraphic

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We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra — Live & Learn

After a run of darkness (Orlando, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minnesota, Nice), Rebecca Solnit writes an essay for The Guardian titled “Hope is an Embrace of the Unknown” on living in dark times. I’ve shared a few excerpts below. After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many come […]

via We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra — Live & Learn

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“The Summer Day” – Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”


The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and…

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Gloam·ing (n) twilight; dusk. Just One More Listen

Exquisite, haunting, Celtic beauty..

Live & Learn

Shelley Rainey: A beautifully relaxing album. Lie back, close your eyes and let the music wash over you.

Ian CrippsSometimes music stops you in your tracks, sometimes you have to listen, sometimes nothing else matters. Moments that stretch time…This is traditional Irish music played with emotion, with joy for the most part, with sadness occasionally, with beauty always…this is simply music that moves you…Twelve tracks, over an hour of listening but it’s not, you get to the end and hit play again. And again. And time passes, the day has gone and still you are mesmerized. At times reflective, haunting, peaceful, happy this album runs the full gambit of emotions. You don’t want it to end. It doesn’t have to. Just one more listen.

The The Gloaming’s second album can be found here: “2”

Source: Thank you Hammock Papers

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Daniel Lozakovitj, at age 13, plays W.A.Mozart Violin Concerto in G Major- YouTube

This week, Deutsche Grammophon announced that it will begin a ‘long-term association’ with 15-year-old Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovitj. Lozakovitj, the youngest musician currently signed to the label, will record one of the violin repertoire’s most mature works in his first release: the Beethoven Violin Concerto.
Read more:

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“How to Meditate in a Moment” – Martin Boroson

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A Tohunga’s Natural World

Positive by Nature


(*wise person / teacher / one who has been taught the old ways.)

“I think part of the reason why more trees don’t seem to be able to grow now compared with the old days is that they are alone. Because if you go into the bush you never see one kawakawa over there by itself and another over there but itself. They always grow together, like whanau, and thats what trees actually like. The whanau issues and kinship issues come up all the time. People are happier when they live with others – like a family – and its the same for plants. I can always tell people who live by themselves. They act differently, and it shows. With plants, its the same thing, so I grow all my plants in groups, just like the old people did, because then you get more healthy plants and you get better…

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On a grey Friday

This heavy, grey, damp and gloomy morning reminds me of Auckland. And Makarora also, on that day when the rain falling through the leaves, saturating the moss and making slippery the rocks was so in keeping with my mood, and where the kereru perched well out of reach and my heart cried and 9/11 had happened and the world was all awry.. and still is… and still is….

ah well, the lettuce, kale, tomato and herbs on my balcony are loving it, and the flowers, and as for me, as I attempt to soothe these aching joints protesting at the keyboard, I’m focusing on that faint but present glimmer of light out there in the distance.. . that’s where I’m heading, that’s where we’re heading… through the murky mist towards some dimly seen future in which governance is finally aligned with wellbeing and the economy serves life, and body is aligned with spirit and maybe, then maybe, my mokopuna/grandchildren’s lives will be secure..

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