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Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Training Course Planned For 2011 Field Season

As we approach the month of May and the beginning of another beautiful growing season (finally), I can hardly wait to begin implementing a new field training course entitled Ecological Dynamics Rap or EDR for short. Developed by an award winning forestry consortium out of New Hampshire and packed full of innovative- "outside the box" approaches, EDR promises to revolutionize traditional thinking behind forest management. In fact, two recent studies from the Northeast, U.S. have demonstrated that successful completion of this course can result in positive morale increases of up to 44%! Hurry now to get your order in. No prerequisites needed. Only a desire to learn and have fun! For a brief testimonial please click on the link below:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Climate Change Continues to be of Interest in both Academic and Religious Circles

For those looking for a little deeper exploration of phenology, especially in light of future climatic changes, check out Dr. Rebecca Montgomery’s webinar entitled: Phenology & Climate Change: How Timing of Biological Activity Affects Forests Now and in the Future. Prof. Montgomery presents scientific information in a very non-technical way providing a nice introduction to phenology, it’s historical context, and why it really matters. The hour long presentation is offered in a very down to earth style that is easy to follow and understand. No need for a science background whatsoever. And, if you missed something or want to review it again, you can pause the webinar and scroll back the audio/video. One of things that I found very interesting was a slide on the annual bloom records for the Cherry tree in 
Japan (from 850 AD to the present!). Astonishingly... within the last 30 years, the flowering is occurring much earlier than has been recorded in the last 1200 years. A good demonstration case that seasonal responses of plants are definitely changing. Rebecca provides  other phenological changes occurring locally as well.  

She sums up the webinar with three basic take home messages and provides some implications for forest management in Minnesota:

• Phenology influences forest health and forest productivity.
• Phenology of plants and animals is changing.
• Minnesota’s climate is changing and tree phenology will likely change too.

Resources:Phenology & Climate Change: How Timing of Biological Activity Affects Forests Now and in the Future. Presented by Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Harvard Arboretum:
Climate Change & Cherry Tree Blossom Festivals in Japan.

USA National Phenology Network

Minnesota Phenology Network (Facebook):

MN Climate Change Research Study: B4Warmed- Boreal Forest Warming at an Ecotone in Danger.

                                          B4Warmed Research Plots
                                         Visit here to see more images

As a natural resource professional and a Catholic, I am intrigued over the renewed interest in linking science and religion more closely together when addressing fundamental issues affecting our planet. One of the best examples of that is the current thinking and understanding of global climate change and its impact on creation. In recent years religious leaders have ramped up this environmental and moral discussion to the point that many Catholics are beginning to re-examine their views on the topic. One of the leading advocates in this discussion is the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change – a recent collaboration between the US Catholic Bishops and the greater Catholic community. Earlier this month they teamed up with Ave Maria Press to provide an informative and inspiring webinar entitled: Up in the Sky & Down to Earth: A Catholic Conversation on Climate Change and Creation Care.

Ave Maria Press provides the introduction: “Dan Misleh, the executive director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, teams up with author and farmer Kyle Kramer for this thought-provoking webinar. Dan will discuss Catholic teaching as it relates to environmental stewardship and concern for the common good and the poor, especially in regard to the pressing problem of global climate change. Kyle will share reflections from over a decade of trying to put the principles of good stewardship and simplicity into practice on a small-scale organic farm, surrounded by family members, rural neighbors, and the nearby community of Benedictine monks.
I am sure grateful for Kyle's thoughtful presentation! He brings it all together while providing insight on how to transform our life through the virtues of hospitality and humility, and by honestly re-claming responsibility for our needs. Kyle provides some really simple ways for continuing our efforts to reduce our impact on the climate. It's time well spent listening to this gifted individual. Be inspired!


Up in the Sky and Down to Earth: A Catholic Conversation about Climate and Creation Care from Ave Maria Press on Vimeo.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday Meaning and Reflection

The meaning of Palm Sunday provides an opportune time for us to reflect on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, understanding that our search for God – important as that is – becomes truly meaningful when we begin to discern God’s deep, abiding love and never-ending search for us. Pray for me as I for you.

Palm Sunday from Dan Goren on Vimeo.

“My Kingdom does not belong to this world” (Jn 18: 36)

Our Holiest Week: A Practical Guide to the Liturgies of Holy Week.

Franciscan Radio Palm Sunday Retreat:  with Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Detroit (30 minute MP3 or podcast audio).

Politics and Truth: by James V Schall S.J


Closing Thoughts from St. Catherine of Siena: 

"Let's go out and receive our King, who comes to us humble and meek. Oh let us who are proud behold the Master of humility coming to us seated on an ass! For our Savior has told us that one of his reasons for coming on that beast was to show us what our humanity had become by sin, and to show us how we should treat this ass, our humanity...Oh ancient Truth, you have taught us how we should treat this beast! I want you... to get on top of this ass; master yourselves; be humble and meek. And on what feet shall we get up there, sweetest love? On hatred of apathy and love of virtue. 

But let's do this...the channel is open and flowing; so, since we need no provision the ship of our soul, let's proceed to provision it there, at that sweetness of channels, the heart and soul and body of Jesus Christ. We will find that this channel flows with so great a love that we will easily be able to fill our souls. So I say to you: don't be slow to put your eye to this open window. For I assure you that supreme Goodness has prepared the times and the ways for us to do great deeds for him. This is why I told you to be eager to increase your holy desire, and not to be satisfied with little things, because he wants great things! " The Letters of St. Catherine of Siena Vol. 1. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Suddenly Last Summer: A Playlist to Remember St. Dominic's Preview

 Since I just accidently deleted a post that I've been working on for two months, I'll offer this poor substitute collage of sounds and styles including a British family, Finish jazz, bluegrass, rock covers, and live music from Big Star, The Wailin Jenny’s, and Van Morrison. Plus, new songs from the former trucker Watermelon Slim and Daniel Lanois!  A Found OTR playlist from years ago...I'm SO SAD about deleting my real April post... it's going to make me cry!

1. Ramsey Lewis Trio: "Wade in the Water"_ Chess Northern Soul (Chess)
The definitive 60's northern soul-jazz instrumental and spiritual that defines my whole reason for playing music on-air. Of course, Linda Tillery set me straight on the songs poignant origin.

2. Great Lake Swimmers: "Singer Castle Bells"_Lost Channels (Nettwerk)
The clock strikes 3 bells... stage light North.

3. Bjork: "I’ve Seen it All" feat. Thom Yorke_Selma Songs (Elektra)
4. Bjork: "New World"_Selma Songs (Elektra)
An amazing song pairing from the distinctive and creative Icelandic muse. Selma Songs was released in 2000 on the minor film success of Dancer in the Dark. Quickly we understand that Bjork presents us with the challenge: will it be sight or vision; cynicism or hope; relationship or relativism. Bjork captivates with her lyrical charm on these songs. I'm sensing the trees more than the forest. Vincent Mendoza's orchestral blend certainly adds to the albums cohesiveness. A fine example of how Pro-Tools can be put to effective use. AMG writer Heather Phares discusses the album’s flight.

5. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: "Du Du"_World Circuit Presents (Nonesuch)

6. Headlights: "This One" feat. Tristan Wraight_Keep Your Friends and Loves Close, Keep the City You Call Home Closer (Polyvinyl Records)
Successful indie-rock bands build anticipation and sonic momentum on their best songs right? I find this little rock beat to be a prime example. Recorded as part of the Daytrotter Sessions in 2007. Is it any wonder why the Midwest continues to provide inspiration in a sea of mediocrity? I'm still campaigning for all time best title for an EP. Family I

7. The Books: "Cello Song" feat. Jose Gonzalez_Dark Was the Night (4AD)
It can be argued that Nick Drake shuddered at the thought of blending his acoustic guitar with anything other than traditional string and piano (see Bryter Later). The Books recognize that 70's folk-jazz craft, but honor Nick in ways he could never have imagined. Drake-co-phile Jose Gonzalez excels on his vocal muse. Take that.... Byrne and Eno.

8. Nick Drake: "Hazy Jane II"_Bryter Later (Hannibal)
9. Shirati Jazz: "Dr. Binol"_World Circuit Presents (Nonesuch)
Benga music for western followers. Popularized recently President Obama's love for Extra Golden.

10. Dalindeo: "Poseidon"_Open Scenes (Ricky Tick)
Inspired jazz from Finland! A quote from their website, "Before we get too nostalgic and retro here it must be stressed that this is contemporary music and the very sound of now. This is not 'lounge' or your average 'chill out' nonsense, on the contrary. Dalindèo's aim is to bring back the freshness, lightness, beautiful compositions and rhythmic textures of the era and combine it with modern approach. And this is where the producer Tuomas Kallio steps in. Kallio, well known and highly respected man behind The Five Corners Quintet and Nuspirit Helsinki, has been involved with the band ever since their first single release 'Poseidon' and has been a big influence in shaping the sextet's sound. " Harbor Star approved.

11. Maia Sharp: "Angel on my Shoulder"_Echo (Crooked Crown/Blix Street)
A talented female musician whose focus on the song-lyric continues to stir-up the attention of many AAA formats. I simply like her commitment to compositional songwriting. It’s not so much about posing for the attention. Sharp quietly exudes confidence and wins over the heart.  Having released only four albums in twelve years- it's likely Maia spends a lot of time polishing and hemming down her songs…finishing the edges, rounding out the borders. This notes for you. She talks with iprong magazaine about the art of songwriting.

12. Great Lake Swimmers: "Pulling on a Line"_Lost Channels (Nettwerk)
Not of a long of songs today involve the concept of a line. It's impact of implied division or separation, like "drawing a line in the sand." Lead singer Tony Dekker expands on the meaning behind his curious lyric.
The line runs through like a train in a book,
Or metres underwater, ending with a hook
It sways in the air when there's wind enough to lift, The fine ones are boundaries when there is a rift

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, & sometimes it pulls on me

The line, it inks across the freshly fallen snow,
Where only those embracing coldness would go
It whistles and it whispers, and sometimes it howls,
It sings to me sweetly from the trees and in vowels

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, & sometimes it pulls on me

The line, it writes itself across the dark sky,
In the electric flushes ending with a sigh
It weaves itself into a fabric so true,
and flows just like the river, graceful and blue

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, and sometimes it pulls on me

13. Regina Specktor: "Dance Anthem of the 80's"_Far (Sire)
It's not cool anymore to use "quirky" as an adjective to describe odd but creatively inspiring artists. Let's all quit it now. Since the de-frocking of over-baked descriptions, Specktor continues to stretch her muse. For someone associated with an 80's record label, this track is particularly pleasing.