Archive for August 2010

What Would Nature Do?

August 18, 2010

What do Velcro, the turbine, and Michael Phelp’s swimsuit have in common?

They were all inspired by nature.

In her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine Benyus describes biomimicry as a “new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems.”

I find this topic fascinating. I first learned of the concept of biomimicry years ago from an article in Utne Reader, Mimicking Mother Nature. More information can be found at the non-profit Biomimicry Institute, and from the TED talk video (below).

It seems obvious that scientists and engineers should be looking to nature for ideas, but what about the rest of us? Could we apply biomimicry to everyday living? It’s time to go outside and start looking at flora and fauna from a new perspective.

Peaceful Paddling

August 17, 2010

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a treasure chest full of lakes and rivers, islands and forests. We Minnesotans are fortunate to have a true wilderness getaway in our own backyard. A five-hour drive from the Twin Cities will bring you to a place where there are no motors. A place where you might catch glimpse of a bear, moose or wolf. A place where you depend on yourself and your companions. If you haven’t experienced the Boundary Waters yet, I urge you to go.

Video clip showing the tranquility of canoeing on Lake One near Ely, Minnesota