Archive for June, 2013

What We’re Reading June 28, 2013

Results are in from the National Concrete Canoe Competition. “It’s not easy making the unsinkable out of the unthinkable.”

The Time you have (in Jelly Beans): Ze Frank shows how we use our 28,835 days, if you’re an average American, using 28,835 jelly beans.

Laughing out loud, lots of love or little old lady? The Oxford English Dictionary looks at some slang that’s older than you might think.

Revealed at last – the real reason Popeye eats Spinach. Now will someone please explain Eugene the Jeep?


This is yet another in a series of posts about what we’re reading at Whole Earth: stories about the environment, ecology, travel, outdoor living, ideas, art, writing, history, science, and creativity, and the people who make it happen. Have a suggestion? Please leave us a comment so we can add it to our reading list.

Eagle Creek: Are you ready to travel?

Eagle Creek believes in the power of travel to make us feel at home in the world. Travel transforms strangers into friends, inspires curiosity and opens us to new experiences. And for over 30 years, Eagle Creek has been providing smart, innovative and durable bags, luggage and accessories to make traveling easier.

So, are you ready to start packing?
Here are a few items from Eagle Creek to make packing and traveling easier.

1. The Silk-Undercover Money Belt worn under your clothes keeps important documents and other personal identification items safe and out of sight. Made from soft-to-the-touch, washable moisture-resistant natural silk fabric, it combines comfort and security.

2. No more worries about leaks or security checks! Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Liquid/Gel Set is a durable, reusable one quart zip-top pouch that meets the 3-1-1 TSA requirements. The color coded tops help you identify what you’ve put into each bottle.

3. Save time, space and hassle when you use Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cube Set to organize your clothes and other travel items. The cubes are made of long-lasting, water and stain resistant material. And they’re translucent, so you can see what’s inside without opening!

4. Eagle Creek’s Cat Nap Blanket will keep you comfy while you’re in transit. Made from micro fleece, it has foot pockets to keep your toes warm and a zippered lap pocket for your iPod™, glasses or book. The pocket also transforms into the blanket’s carrying case.

5. The Sandman Travel Pillow adjusts to your ideal softness and comfort with an easy to use inflation/deflation valve. Close your eyes, and before you know it, you’ve arrived at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

6. Eagle Creek’s Tarmac 22 is perfect for business trips or long weekends and is carry-on sized. Its spacious interior is easy to pack and is expandable, giving you extra room just when you need it!

7. Pack stress free with the ORV Trunk 30. This giant rolling duffle has a large unstructured main compartment with a collapsible mesh divider that’s perfect for organized packing using Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cube Set (see #3).

8. The Pack-It Specter Quick Trip is a duffel style toiletry bag with a large unstructured center space and side pockets, just right for a weekend getaway. It’s made of a durable and water and stain resistant material. And it’s translucent: you can see what’s inside at a glance.

Stop by your favorite Whole Earth Provision Co. store and enter Eagle Creek’s sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for two to New Zealand. Highlights of the trip include a visit to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and a visit to the Hobbiton movie set used in the making of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. You can also enter online and get the details here.

What We’re Reading June 21 2013

Summer is officially here! This week EarthSky introduced us to a Chinese philosopher’s view of the season. We have a new game for you to try out based on Google Street View; meet two sculptors who will amaze you with their creations: one in limewood, the other in stainless steel; and last of all, are deep readers becoming an endangered species? Here’s what we’ve been reading this week:

Today is the Summer Solstice! Let’s celebrate with the Chinese by wearing red, laughing together and honoring the Southness of the summer heat. Read on for more ideas!

If you enjoy wandering around on Google Street View, you’re going to love GeoGuessr. Each round sets you down somewhere on planet Earth. Can you read the clues to figure out where in the world you are? Here’s how to play.

Work in progress by David Esterly

Meet woodcarver extraordinaire, David Esterly, the most accomplished practitioner of the “subtractive art” of limewood carving since the days of Grinling Gibbons in the 17th century. Of his improvement as an artist over the years, he says, “I never had a sense of getting better, but my earlier work gets worse and worse.”

Anthony Howe’s stainless steel sculptures are brought to life by the wind.

When the library of Alexandria was lost to fire, the scarce resource was books themselves. Today, with billions of books in print and stored online, the endangered breed is not books but readers. Here’s Annie Murphy Paul’s plea for the preservation of deep reading and deep readers.


This is yet another in a series of posts about what we’re reading at Whole Earth: stories about the environment, ecology, travel, outdoor living, ideas, art, writing, history, science, and creativity, and the people who make it happen. Have a suggestion? Please leave us a comment so we can add it to our reading list.

Chaco Gives Back 2013

The Sixth Annual Chaco Gives Back program returns to Whole Earth Provision Co. from June 22nd through July 7th. During these two weeks, for every full price pair of Chaco shoes and sandals purchased at Whole Earth stores, Chaco will donate $5 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock. The Friends are planning to use the money raised this year to publish an Enchanted Rock Climbing Guide that will be pocket-sized, easy to read and cover the trails, routes and ethics of climbing in the park.

Chaco Footwear, known for their ‘go everywhere, do anything sandals,’ is a very generous contributor to local causes. Since 2008, they have contributed almost $13,000 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock in response to purchases made at Whole Earth Provision Co. stores. The Chaco Gives Back funds have been used for several projects including retrofitting antiquated plumbing fixtures in the Park to low-flow water saving systems, providing funding for visitor trail maps, and improving the trail system by reclaiming areas where small game trails have turned into human ones, causing erosion.

What We’re Reading June 14 2013

This week hidden patterns are revealed, a new word for something we’ve all experienced, racing a Falcon downhill, “What do you call a …”, and a fun photoshop prank in Finland. Read on!

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of
energy, frequency and vibration
.” Nikola Tesla

Resistentialism – seemingly spiteful behavior manifested by inanimate objects. (from The Insomniacs Dictionary)

The BBC Earth Unplugged captured a Falcon, the fastest predator on Earth, “hunting” a downhill racing champ. Here’s the pursuit, who won, and how it was filmed.

John Katz Department of Statistics NC State University (Go Wolfpack!)

So what do you call a sweetened carbonated beverage? John Katz’ map shows you the regional distribution for the terms soda, pop, coke or soft drink. Using the big map, you might think that everyone in San Antonio says soda. But by calling up the San Antonio’s results, you’ll see that 51.3% say soda, 34.8% say coke, 7.8% say soft drink and 6.1% say pop. Have fun browsing through the Dialect Survey’s 122 questions and individual results from towns and cities across the country!

Waiting for the bus can be so boring, unless you happened to be at this bus stop in Finland….


This is yet another in a series of posts about what we’re reading at Whole Earth: stories about the environment, ecology, travel, outdoor living, ideas, art, writing, history, science, and creativity, and the people who make it happen. Have a suggestion? Please leave us a comment so we can add it to our reading list.

2013 Texas State Parks Month Recap

The results for Whole Earth Provision Co.’s 2013 Texas State Parks Month are in! On May 23th, we presented Texas State Parks with a check for $31,373, proceeds from an in-store fund drive and from ticket sales for the Banff Mountain Film Festival. This was the second year that Texas State Parks was chosen as the beneficiary.

We wholeheartedly thank our customers and everyone who attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival presentations for their generosity in giving to such a worthy cause. As Texans we are blessed with opportunities for an amazing range of outdoor adventures. Our state parks offer rivers, mountains, canyons, caves, lakes, beaches, springs, piney woods and forests, hiking and biking trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sailing and the opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife. Thanks to Texas State Parks, these magical places belong to the citizens of Texas and are available for all of us to visit and experience. We encourage everyone to take full advantage of these, our Texas treasures. Get out and visit a Texas State Park near you. You’ll have fun and your visit supports our great Texas State Park system.

What We’re Reading June 7, 2013

This week we’ve been reading about the equator, hurricane preparedness, adventure books for summer reading and welcoming two new links in the great chain of being.

“It is true that in space, directions don’t exist. On Earth, however, east is our most universal orientation. One loses sight of the southern celestial hemisphere when facing north, and it is only by gazing east that one can see both the northern and southern constellations simultaneously as the stars pass by overhead. As our planet hurtles through space, whipping around on its axis, the Sun and the stars, time and the future, approach us from the east. There is nowhere we can better appreciate the movement of the skies, better understand our place in the universe, than when we stand on the line that wraps around the middle of the Earth and watch the heavens streaming towards us.”

Kurt Hollander tells the story of the equator and how it affects our sense of place and how we view the rest of the world.

Are you prepared for a hurricane? EarthSky has a supply list to help you stock up and be ready, just in case.

Looking for a great read this summer? One of our favorite reading lists is National Geographic’s Extreme Classics: The One Hundred Greatest Adventure Books of All Time. Marco Polo (1298) is the oldest adventurer on the list. He’s joined by Peter Matthiessen, Beryl Markham, Ernest Shackleton, John Muir, Mark Twain and 95 other authors, many of whom you may not recognize. But trust us; you’ll be glad to make their acquaintance.

It’s official. Jim Morrison really is the Lizard King.

“So there may now be the ‘into Africa’ problem.” That is: How and when did some primates finally make it to Africa, which was an island as recently as 38 million years ago, to set in motion the emergence of the human species?”

Archicebus achilles: It’s tiny; it’s a primate and it’s pushed the primate family tree back to 55 million years.


This is yet another in a series of posts about what we’re reading at Whole Earth: stories about the environment, ecology, travel, outdoor living, ideas, art, writing, history, science, and creativity, and the people who make it happen. Have a suggestion? Please leave us a comment so we can add it to our reading list.

Georgean and Paul Kyle and the creation of Chaetura Canyon Preserve

The June 2013 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine includes a tribute by Carter P. Smith to the work of Georgean and Paul Kyle. Austinites may know the Kyles as the craftsworkers at Rootin’ Ridge Toymakers or as crusaders out to save endangered Chimney Swifts. Smith’s article describes their work to reclaim Chaetura Canyon from an overabundance of deer and cedar trees and the subsequent return of native plants and wildlife. It’s an inspiring story that highlights the power of many small acts to add up to significant achievements. We hope you’ll enjoy the article and watch the Central Texas Gardener’s video tour of the Chaetura Canyon.

National Trails Day 2013

Saturday, June 1st, is the 20th annual National Trails Day. Sponsored by the American Hiking Association, the day promotes hiking and the protection of natural lands surrounding trails. There are special events around the country and lots here in Texas. We’ve put together some links to help you find your way to celebrate.

Texas Parks & Wildlife has National Trails Day events at Parks all over the state. Chances are very good that you’ll find one close to you!

Austin Parks Foundation celebrates National Trails Day with volunteer service opportunities on trails around town.

In the Dallas area you can celebrate with six local hikes or join in the clean up effort at Fish Hole Lake, or join up with the Texas Nature Conservancy for trail work and a guided hike at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve.

In Houston the Armand Bayou Nature Center has scheduled a full day of activities or you can help with trail work at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.

In San Antonio you can head out to Government Canyon State Natural Area– (you’ll need to RSVP) to celebrate . The Rivard Report takes a look at the history of one of the oldest trails in Texas – El Camino Real or the Old San Antonio Road. See if you can find traces of the trail using El Camino Real de los Tejas interactive map.