Short Takes: News From All Over

Victory Gardens 2007+
By Victory Gardens 2007+
Throughout World War I and II, the government pushed Victory Gardens as a homegrown means of alleviating food supply woes. The patriotic plots produced 41 percent of our nation’s veggies, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park alone supported 800 war gardens. Now, gardeners in the area are drawing on those historic roots with their Victory Gardens 2007+ pilot program. The project aims to foster sustainable urban food production by distributing gardening starter kits (via an ecofriendly tricycle) and creating a seed bank to preserve the area’s crop diversity. — Anna Cynar

15 Green Musicians and Bands
Grist has scoured the music world and compiled a list of the top 15 environmentally conscious musicians. Pearl Jam tops the list for the grunge gang’s contribution to organizations working on climate-change issues. Other honorees include: Willie Nelson, a high-profile biodiesel advocate and producer; hip-hop group the Roots, who distributed autographed compost bins at a pre-Grammy party this year; and outspoken vegans Thom Yorke and Moby. Also highlighted are some of the largest, greenest music festivals. — Chris Gehrke

Writing on the Wall
By Samir S. Patel, Archaeology
Although Cassidy Curtis claims he’s not an archaeologist, his Graffiti Archaeology Project is drawing attention in the field. Curtis, an animator at DreamWorks, began charting the artistic evolution of graffiti-laden walls by laying one photograph from the same wall atop another. Archaeology reports that the dynamic project has sparked a lively discussion among academics about the treatment of modern artifacts. It’s also attracted roughly 3,000 like-minded enthusiasts to Curtis’ Graffiti Archaeology group on the photo-sharing site Flickr. — Eric Kelsey

Screen Shot
By Michael Byrne, WillametteWeek
Fortunately, there’s more going on in the world of music videos than six-figure budgets and TRL. Since sharing videos online has become infinitely easier, music videos have been finding their audiences in off-the-beaten-path internet forums. Innovative directors with big ideas and small budgets can reach more viewers without MTV’s ‘dollar-fueled steamroller of hype,’ writes Michael Byrne in the Portland alt-weekly Willamette Week. Five clips included with the piece testify to the city’s thriving community of directors and musicians experimenting with the medium. (Thanks, — Julie Dolan

One of the Guys
By John Ibson, American Sexuality Magazine
The lack of physical intimacy among American males is overtly apparent in nearly every aspect of their lives. This ‘space between men,’ John Ibson writes, results from increasingly prevalent feelings of homophobia. Ibson has explored the phenomenon through an archive of photos taken in the last century. Photographs before the 1930s reveal what Ibson calls ‘a lost world of American men,’ as subjects pose comfortably on each other’s laps and hold one another’s hands. — Cara Binder

Peace Keepers Embedded on Campus
By Carolyn Goossen, WireTap Magazine
When serious interracial fights broke out in two San Francisco Bay Area high schools, the cops were called in and classes were canceled. Youth Together, an Oakland-based organization that promotes leadership development and interracial dialogue among young people, launched a different response. The group reached out to two key players in the brawl, who then helped to forge peace between the groups. ‘These are the youth who don’t trust adults because they have typically been wronged by them,’ explains Youth Together organizer George Galvis. ‘Yet they wield incredible influence among their peers.’ — Cara Binder

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