Friday, April 27th, 2012

The Search For The Oldest Living Thing In New York

Antarctic Beech Fairy Ring #1211-P1020362 (12,000 years old, Queensland, Australia)

For the past six years, Rachel Sussman, 37, has devoted her life to chronicling the oldest living things in the world before they disappear. A photographer by training and hedge scientist by necessity, her photos are a mix of Annie Liebovitz and Ansel Adams: portraits whose subjects happen not to be human. Sussman has chased down nearly three dozen different organisms, a 400,000-6000,000 year-old bacteria in Siberia, a 2,000-plus year-old olive tree in Crete, and some 3,000 year-old lichen in Greenland, to name a few. She spent February and March chasing down 5,000-year-old moss in Antarctica. [...]


This Week's Tech Conference: Three Days Inside the Bubble

By the time I took my seat at [TechConference] on Monday, I had already seen its host’s logo 51 times. The name was printed twice on my conference badge, five times on the lanyard holding that badge, 16 times in the conference agenda, nine times on the side wall of the conference’s main hall, and finally all over the 20-logo tessellation on the stage background. (A giant wooden statue outside the front door spelled out its initials, but we won’t count that.) As I sat down for the first panel, heavy synth-and-bass beats shook the speakers overhead. It was the conference’s theme song. The only lyric: The conference’s name, [...]


Last Night's Ruckus: The Great Walk-Out on Cathie Black

Last night in Fort Greene, more than a thousand people came to shout their way through a hearing. They were at the Brooklyn Technical High School to voice rowdy opposition to the shuttering of twelve more New York City public schools. Earlier this week, the city’s Panel for Education Policy—a body separate from the Department of Education, though filled with a majority of Bloomberg appointees—had already voted to close ten schools. So last night, everyone was back for a second helping—and the teachers’ union and its supporters came hungry.

Before the meeting, the union rallied its members along Dekalb Avenue for more than an hour. The union was here [...]