“St. Louis Weather”

July 8, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Posted in Environment, Matthew Hurst, Photo Essay, stl | 2 Comments
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Snow in the Springtime

Snow in the Springtime

Ever since I was a young lad I have heard people discuss this Midwestern city’s propensity towards extreme fluctuation in weather patterns, using the aforementioned quote in the title as a colloquial shorthand for this phenomena.  Like most Midwestern cities St. Louis is indeed to rapid temperature changes which often result in pressure changes – in the summer this brings in strong thunderstorms, and in the winter a sunny day could be the precursor to cold-air snowstorms (as seen in this photograph of snow fall on a sunny spring day).  Of course I still find it curious that people in the metro area like to treat this as a local phenomenon rather than a regional in their particular attempt to describe such everyday life as part of “St. Louis Weather”…

the sun is shining on the snow

Rivers and Music at the Tap Room Tonight

May 28, 2008 at 11:45 am | Posted in Concert, Environment, Events, Movies | Comments Off on Rivers and Music at the Tap Room Tonight
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OSC LogoBackstory:

During the day, I work for a non-profit organization called The Open Space Council that works for land and water conservation in the St. Louis area. One of our biggest projects is Operation Clean Stream, a volunteer stewardship program that has gotten thousands and thousands of volunteers to clean up the Meramec River for the last 41 years. Pretty amazing. Well, we just produced a documentary called Meramec River: Miracles and Milestones documenting the success of this cleanup project in restoring the Meramec from a dumping ground back into a beautiful river.

What this means to you:

Tonight, we are showing our film at the Schlafly Tap Room at 7:00pm. The documentary is about half an hour long, and following the film we will have live music from local alt-country / folk bands Auset and Rough Shop. We are asking for a $5.00 cover charge, which will include one free beer and snacks. Proceeds will go to continued conservation work on the Meramec River. And if you have ever floated on the river (and chances are you have) then you can surely give a little back!

3 things (we wanted to write about)

May 2, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Posted in comics, Environment, Events, Matthew Hurst, Spring, Webster University | 2 Comments
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May 3rd could be the busiest day on your social calendar…if it weren’t also finals season. So here are at least 3 ongoings around St. Louis we meant to write about (and one more we already have) but haven’t gotten around to during finals.

  • Webster University will be hosting a Global Ecology Conference, which looks a lot more interesting than that sounds. Starting at 10am learned people will be giving lecture until 5pm, including visiting professor Kumar who has organized the conference. Or you can skip class and show up for vegetarian dinner with local eats, cocktail, and famous vegan and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich. The whole day is only $15 for students (free for Webster Students) or $25 for the general public.
  • Some enterprising business folk have organized a fiesta on Cherokee Street so that we can celebrate Cinco de Mayo (on the 3rd of May). And a couple other spots around town will be hanging up pinatas and serving cervesa this Saturday.
  • Free Comic Book Day is on Saturday. Check the site for the closest participating store near you, but we would suggest running but Star Clipper in the Delmar Loop, who will host live appearances by a pair of superheros. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the display from the 3rd annual Munny Show and pick up your free comic book.
  • Kinematifest, Webster University’s first animation and interactive media festival.  Films will be screened almost immediately following that Ecology Conference Dinner

Keep up with local events, even when we don’t have time to write about them – subscribe the 61revised.com events calendar.

Earth Day In Your Own Backyard

April 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Environment, Events, Spring | Comments Off on Earth Day In Your Own Backyard
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St. Louis Earth DayCalling all tree-huggers, earth-muffins, granola-munchers and anyone who just thinks this planet of ours is pretty swell!

The 19th annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival will be held this Saturday, April 20th on the grounds of The Muny in Forest Park.

From the St. Louis Earth Day website:

“In Your Own Back Yard,” this year’s festival theme, highlights local initiatives and practical environmental advice that can be implemented in communities throughout our region. The festival will be a channel to connect festival goers with conservation groups, local and regional energy initiatives, native gardening, local food producers, and promote the ideas of healthy, active, low-impact living!

Earth-loving events will include booths from your favorite eco-conscious vendors, hands-on educational activities, an All-Species Parade, a Peace Garden, and various forms of delightful entertainment.  The festival goes from 11:00am to 6:00pm and is free and open to the public, even the “well-behaved and leashed” canine public!

Help Get Clean Energy for MO

March 21, 2008 at 8:44 am | Posted in Environment, Events, politics, Volunteer | Comments Off on Help Get Clean Energy for MO
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RenewMOReady to dip your toe into a little local political activism? Do you feel strongly that we should do whatever it takes to provide for a cleaner Missouri? Are you in favor of getting your energy from cleaner, alternative sources? Well here is your chance to really do something about it!

Renew Missouri currently needs volunteers to collect signatures to get a Renewable Electricity Standard for Missouri on the ballot so Missourians can vote on it. To get an initiative on the November 2008 ballot, 130,000 voter signatures are needed statewide.

If you are interested in volunteering, there are two upcoming training events (from an email from Renew Missouri):

Signature Gathering Happy Hour, Friday (TONIGHT!), March 21 at 5:30 p.m. at CooperElla

Meet us in the heart of Maplewood, at CooperElla, on Friday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m. for a signature gathering happy hour. We’ll conduct a short volunteer training, and support this locally owned business. They offer sandwiches, coffee, teas, wine, and Schlafly beer products. We can practice our petitioning best practices around downtown Maplewood after the event.

Cooper Ella is located at 7401 Hazel, Maplewood, MO 63143 Click here for maps and directions.

To RSVP, please Jessica Post at 573-230-9807.

Signature Gathering Training at Wash U, Monday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Join the best students activists in the region for a signature gathering training on the Wash U campus. The training is 7 pm on Monday, March 24 in Friedman Lounge, which is in the Wohl Center on the South Forty (accessible via Shepley Drive).

Nonstudents can park in metered spaces on the Wash U campus, on the left before the Wohl Center. For a campus parking map, or for questions, call Brian DeSmet at 314-727-0600.

Film Geek Week – Festival Edition

March 12, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Environment, Film Student Fridays, Matthew Hurst, Webster Film Series | 1 Comment
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This week more documentaries are heading our way than the True/False Film Festival was prepared to deal with.  Let’s get started right away (ie tonight) for a quick rundown of some films you might want to check out if you’re of the persuasion to call yourself a film geek.

  • KDHX recently ran a worldwide documentary challenge, and will screen some of the films from St. Louis for FREE tonight starting at 7pm.  They listed these details:

    Last week, 122 filmmakers from 16 countries set out to make a documentary in 5 days as part of the KDHX-produced International Documentary Challenge. They were assigned a documentary genre (character study, music, political, etc.) and the theme of “Change”. Tonight, we will present a free screening of the St. Louis area produced films (along with some other standouts) at the Webster Film Series.

    And with a theme like “change” you know Obama supporters are bound to show up in droves, so show up early.

  • In the Midwest, corn is a fact of life.  Enough so that addresses like MOCorn.com exist for a reason.  And besides being in pretty much everything we eat, it shows up in other products as well.  That’s the premise behind the film King Corn, which will be screened for FREE in the Missouri History Museum on Thursday March 13th starting around 7pm.  After watching a film they describe as “Two recent college graduates embark on a mission to see where America’s food comes from,” you might want to stick around afterwards for a panel discussion of the film which could inspire you to try doing the same.
  • Oh yeah, there’s a little film festival taking place this weekend called Q-Fest.  And with the exception of a film called Itty Bitty Titty Committee, it might be little but it’s also a big deal.  This film festival celebrating diversity of cultures and sexual orientation, starts Wednesday March 12th at 8pm in the Mad Art Gallery and continues all weekend in the Webster Film Series.  Not only is this probably your best bet if you rather wouldn’t watch any more documentaries this week, but you’ll also be supporting your neighbors and getting a perspective of storytelling seldom condensed into the same place.  Check their listings for the full list of films and times.

Clean up St. Louis

March 11, 2008 at 1:32 am | Posted in Environment, Matthew Hurst, Spring | Comments Off on Clean up St. Louis
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The ice is thawing and the grass is peaking through the snow, leaving behind a trail of fallen branches and litter trapped beneath the permafrost.  It’s that time of year again – spring cleaning.  Which means it’s time for Operation Brightside to begin Project Blitz.

Instead of dropping bombs, Project Blitz aims to drop bulbs, or at least plant flowers, along with a block by block cleanup of our neighborhoods.  This annual cleanup of city streets, and collection of our homes’ recyclable appliances (among other things), is coming to a neighborhood near you starting on Saturdays between March 29th and May 17th – check their website for details.  It might be easy being green, but sometimes the best place to start is by rolling up you sleaves and cleaning up your neighborhood.

You can learn more about the purpose of this spring cleaning blitz on their website, or in the post we wrote about last year’s Blitz.

It’s easy being green

March 7, 2008 at 12:15 am | Posted in Environment, Events, Matthew Hurst, shopping | 2 Comments
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Full Disclosure: I drove a hydrocarbon-powered combustion engine automobile without carpooling to the StLouisGreen.com website launch party this last Thursday night.  But considering the long line of cars parked along West Park Avenue, and the relative absence of bikes chained in front of the Tarlton Corp building the party was being hosted in, I don’t think I was alone.  Clearly everyone was eager to embrace public transportation and maybe hug a couple trees.

StLouisGreen.com is a website that knows its limits, so instead of trying to correct our degenerative transportation infrastructure, StLouisGreen used it’s launch party to promote local bicycle businesses as a means of individual transportation.  A quick visit to their website, which 52nd City correctly observes had been up and running already, reveals a blog with some transportation tips and other ways to conserve energy and resources; now I know I should unplug my laptop and other devices with rechargeable batteries since they consume energy unnecessarily after they’re fully juiced. 

And when I say that StLouisGreen.com knows it’s limits, I mean that StLouisGreen doesn’t try to replace the Sierra Club, but instead promotes the local businesses that promote environmental sustainability and conservation.  Their website is a detailed resource that is simple to navigate, and they do all the hard research work so you don’t have to.  Best of all it connects us with some of those “green collar” jobs we keep hearing about on the election trail.  If you’re interested in going green but don’t have a green thumb like me, I would like to give the website a tentative (green) Thumbs Up.

As for that launch party – Because it was a social event in Saint Louis, green drinks of all kinds had to be involved; even AB was there serving recycling friendly aluminium bottle samples.  But instead of acting as a launch party to introduce the site, the night evolved into a well-catered networking event those entrepreneurs trying to make some green keeping the earth green, trading their business cards printed on recycled paper using biodegradable ink.  Also there was bluegrass music, which is it least partly green.  The website itself was projected in a side room, which made it easy to forget you were attending a party to launch the site and made for a surreal merging of the plugged-in and the homegrown.

Extra Credit: Check out the green features of the Tarlton building and see more of the website launch party in our FlickR photoset.

“Canceled due to Inclement Weather”

February 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Environment, Matthew Hurst, Rants, Webster Film Series, Winter | 5 Comments
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Five words you’ve probably heard more than once today, Or the post that might otherwise be titled “SNOW DAY!”  Of course one of the hurdles in becoming a grown-up person is getting past the fact that something so beautiful can also be so deadly (just ask Lauren Reid).  When you’re a little kid cancellations seem more like setting time aside for fun, instead of the logical protection of human lives that it actually represents.  Still, if you can figure out how to get to Art Hill alive, we can’t recommend it enough.

That is provided you have a great deal of newfound time on your hands, like students from these groups:

  • Dewey Decimal Drinks is being canceled tonight “due to the scary icy weather!”.  Curious Feet kindly requests you to “Please stay home, folks!” and promises to post more information about any replacement dates on that blog.
  • Webster University already closed their doors at 12pm, effective for their the main campus, the Old Post Office, WingHaven, WestPort, Scott AFB, IL and the Community Music School of Webster University.  And they have a cool SMS alerts system :P .
  • Also closed as a result is the Webster Film Series, who were scheduled to screen “The Magic Flute” and say they will try to reschedule the screening at a later date.  They would like you to consider coming to another screening of two different films on Friday and Saturday respectively.
  • Night classes have been canceled for both Sanford Brown College schools and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.
  • Chippewa Chapel @ Off Broadway has been cancled tonight.  Steve Pohlman thinks that “The weather outside is frightful…so stay home tonite!”, but also extends this invitation: “Off Broadway loves you…see you Friday for Jon Hardy.”
  • University of Missouri St. Louis campus classes have been canceled for Thursday.
  • Classes at Meramac Community College, St. Louis Community College, East Central College, have been canceled.
  • Maryville University has been closed all day.  They also have one of those fancy Text Message alert systems.  Missouri Baptist University, which is practically next door, has also decided to cancel.
  • For everyone who’s inner “mom” makes you run to the store when it snows to stock up on milk and bread, Local Harvest Grocery is making the most of it’s day old bread with a one-day sale on Friday February 22nd.  According to their website:

    Happy Snow Day, Everyone! To celebrate the day, we are inviting all of you in the neighborhood to come by and take advantage of some fresh baked treats and some great deals.

    They’ll stay open from 8am to 7pm with deals on coffee, pizza, and some fresh loaves of bread.

  • Fontbonne University has a cool website, which prominently displays their closing with a neat illustration.  But nearby…
  • Washington University bucks the trend and REMAINS OPEN on Thursday February 21st.  If anyone shows up for their classes is an entirely another question.  They must have a lot of data to go over still.

We’ll try our best to keep you updated on any relevant closings we hear about, or else please check MyFoxSTL for a more comprehensive list of schools and organizations “canceled due to inclement weather”.

Drinks and Stuff

February 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Environment, Events | 1 Comment
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This month’s StLGreenDrinks will be screening a 20-minute film, “The Story of Stuff,” which deals with the ‘underside’ of the cycle of production and consumption. In other words, we all have too much stuff; but where is it all coming from and where does it go? So don’t just sit back on your consumerist butt – put your earth-loving cap on, and come out for drinks and discussion!StoryofStuff

The wheres and whens: February 19, 2008 at the Macklind Avenue Deli (4721 Macklind Avenue, at Nottingham). The event starts at 6:30pm, but if you want to order food and drinks you need to be there by 6:00pm. There is a suggested $3.00 donation to keep StLGreenDrinks afloat.

[Little Bit O’ History – GreenDrinks is a worldwide phenomenon that started in London in 1989. A group of environmentally-minded people got together on a monthly basis to imbibe and informally discuss eco-issues. The concept caught on, and has now spread to 321 cities all over the globe.]

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