Month: September 2012

Alone in the Wilderness Wordle

Solitary Man: Alone in the Wilderness

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was fortunate enough to have access to a great public television network. Its programs sparked my love for cooking, cultivated my love for wacky British humour, and broadened my knowledge base and enthusiasm for science and the natural world. One of the network’s most memorable shows, Alone in the Wilderness, aired frequently during pledge weeks. The documentary revolves around Dick Proenneke, a retired mechanic, carpenter, and handyman, living in solitude at Twin Lakes in Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park. Alone in the Wilderness depicts Proenneke’s first year out in the wilderness in 1968 as he single-handedly builds his log cabin. Most of the colour footage used in the film was shot with a stationary 16mm tripod-mounted camera and accompanied by commentary on his day-to-day experiences. In the film, Proenneke fully embraces the formidable challenges of living alone in the Alaskan wilderness. To be able to live in solitude in such a harsh environment requires all of his considerable skills and life experience, along with an appreciation for the …

Avatar: The Last Airbender Wordle 3

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Balance and Moral Courage

It may seem excessive to devote an entire write-up to a single character, but I believe Aang, the chief protagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender, warrants such an exploration. In an age of brooding, melodramatic, and angst-filled heroes, Aang provides a refreshing counterexample to what it means to be an emotionally intelligent, internally resilient, and ethically principled individual. His role as the outsider to a war-torn world, coupled with his unique upbringing and temperament, makes his character growth throughout Avatar fascinating to watch.

A Resilient Society, by Joyroots

A Resilient Society, by Joyroots One of the great things about writing Ekostories is that I come across the musings of very thoughtful people within the blogging community. They often serve as the germs of inspiration for my own essays. While ruminating on the notion of resilience in individuals and cultures in last week’s Avatar: The Last Airbender piece, I came across an excellent essay, courtesy of Joyroots.com, that explores the idea of social resilience in great detail. While the piece is lengthy, the content is written in accessible language, brilliantly organized, and filled with thoughtful hypotheticals, historical anecdotes, and insightful visuals. Here are some of the excerpts: Why is resilience so important? While it’s nearly impossible to foresee and plan for every future event, there are attributes that can help a person or system to better adapt to any change, and find fulfillment in the vast range of circumstance that the world tends to offer. Because the impact of change on our lives often depends on the gap between our expectations and our reality, …

Avatar Four Elements by Ebelin

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Forces for Change

One of the most well executed aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender is its depiction of the four elemental nations of its fictional world. The depth and care taken to create the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads contributed enormously to the richness of the show, creating a world of diverse cultures and perspectives.  This helps to separate Avatar from many contemporary and more derivative works of fantasy. Embedded within the fictional world of Avatar is the idea that each society and its people reflect the tendencies of their  element.  But after a century-long absence of the Avatar, the nations have become stagnant, unbalanced, dysfunctional, and in need of serious reform. In this entry, I’ll explore how the protagonists of Avatar serve as agents of change in the world by embodying the best qualities of their respective elements.