Made in Detroit

It seems that about 1/3 of Detroit has gone to seed.  In the past fifty years, since they heyday of Motown, the population has dropped from 2 million, to less than a million.  An article in the blog City Farmer  discusses current serious interest in converting vacant land to urban farms.  Another blog, Politics in the Zeros, also posted an article on this subject recently.

Here in Amsterdam, an astonishing film was shown at Arcam  last week. Made In Detroit by Dutch documentary filmmakers Masha & Manfred Poppenk is about Ferguson Academy for for Young Women in Detroit, an alternative high school which teaches young teen mothers to farm on the schools own grounds, less than three kilometers from the city center.  The farm includes an orchard, dairy, and bee hives, as well as organically grown crops which they sell at Detroit’s Eastern Market.  It is a beautiful and thoughtfully made film.  (Update 2009:  since posting a few hours ago, the film has been blocked pending right, permissions, etc…. hopefully it will be made available again soon.)

Update 30/6/2018: Film title changed at some point to Grown in Detroit.  Ferguson Academy (CFA) closed in 2014.  Another school for teen mothers, Pathways, replaced it, but at a different location and apparently without the farming component. 


Don’t forget

Earth Hour 2009, Saturday, March 28, 8:30 PM.  This global demonstration is a World Wildlife Fund initiative, and is being framed as a the world’s first global election.  The UN Sec General, Ban Ki-Moon, announced UN participation in a new video.   I’m spreading the word on the Zeeburgerkade!

Update 30/6/2018: Earthhour 2018 video.


Immigration Exploration


The NY Times published this Immigration Explorer interactive map with some fascinating information about immigration in the US since 1880, a great example of using Flash for visualization of data over time.   You can view populations by country of origin as well, through time, though unfortunately not Dutch settlers.   Note all the Russians in Alaska!  (Of course a small number, but a significant percentage.)  The map was made with data from Social Explorer, which looks like an interesting service, though their pricing is not clear.

NYT seems to have their own flash developers, like Matthew Bloch, who studied at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (go Badgers!).  Matthew, with Prof. Mark Harrower of Colorbrewer fame, also developed Mapshaper, an online service for simplifying shape files. I can use this!  Note: the map on the right is extreme… many usable gradations exist between the two.  (This is really for GIS techies.)

Update 30/6/2018: A newer map, still using old (2007) data Migrations Mapand this good website from Pew Research showing world migration (legal)… doesn’t seem to count refugees.