San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers and their director Corey Chan are dedicated to telling stories that are thousands of years old. Though traditional dance, music, costume-making, and story translation, they hope to help preserve and pass on these ancient stories by performing them for younger generations. From KQED Arts:
In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful. “The audience struggles with the lion,” says Chan. “Sometimes the lion looks so frustrated because it can’t do what it wants to do.” But his triumph, when it comes, is all the sweeter for the obstacles…
Though the dragon dance is more festive and less layered in meaning than the lion dance, the dragon has great significance in Chinese culture as well. “The dragon is the ultimate symbol of the Chinese people, who call themselves the descendants of the dragon,” Chan explains. “The ancients believed different dragons controlled rainfall and flooding; they brought life-giving rain to the crops which sustained a nation, or they caused the catastrophic floods that wiped out millions. No wonder dragons were considered the loftiest, most powerful and most fearsome of creatures.”
In the archives: another dragon, more storytelling and the influences of different cultures.
Some related favorites: The Last Ice Merchant, a música portuguesa a gostar dela própria, and Māori dancers perform a Haka dance.
From KQED Science, find out how San Francisco’s 600 tons of compostable waste can be transformed into a dark, nutrient-rich material that will not only feed plants to improve the quality of what we eat and drink, but that also has the potential to offset America’s carbon emissions by over 20%. Above, agronomist Bob Shaffer takes us Inside the Compost Cycle.
Food scraps, mostly compostable, are over 30% of everyone’s garbage, and could instead help turn poor dirt into nutrient-rich soil where you live. If you’re interested in learning how to compost, check out these excellent links:
Watch more videos about sustainability, including the Moser Lamp, shaggy lawnmowers, Pierre’s high school greenhouse, Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, and how to use a paper towel.
This is the first footage ever filmed of the Grimalditeuthis bonplandi, a deep-sea squid, captured on video by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California.
This squid is a fascinating one, not only because it’s a squid. It’s two tentacles and eight arms are unique because the animal doesn’t seem to have a way to lure or grab prey — no suckers, no hooks, no sticky pads, and no photophores, light-emitting cells that help creatures like the anglerfish hunt for food.
Scientists think that the creature is luring food by waving its tentacle clubs like small prey, perhaps encouraging other animals to flash their own deep sea lights, or by creating attractive, low frequency vibrations, or by making a path of turbulence in the water that causes prey to follow in hopes of food or a mate.
But it’s all a bit of educated guesswork until they get more video! For details, check out Scientific American. And then click here to stay underwater with some squids.