GOOD

Guerrilla Gardening for Gamers

"The Earth laughs in flowers." -Ralph Waldo Emerson In most videogames, plant life is merely party of the scenery-which is why...

"The Earth laughs in flowers." -Ralph Waldo EmersonIn most videogames, plant life is merely party of the scenery-which is why I was surprised to find that in the new action shooter game Battlefield: Bad Company 2, players can actually knock down trees to clear the way for tanks. It's not quite the model of conservation the Sierra Club has in mind, but at the very least it reminds us that plants are more than a prop.Game designer Miguel Sternberg wants to take that a step further. In Guerrilla Gardening: Seeds of Revolution, General Bauhaus has removed all of the city's plant life and it's up to Molly Greenthumb to reclaim urban space in the name of nature. The game preview shows flowerbeds brightening up desolate town squares, public parks projects, and characters hiding behind trees to sneak past cops. Sternberg says that originally the idea stemmed from an interest in street art, but changed course when he read about a group of renegades covertly turning urban plots into flowerbeds. "I wanted to explore the relationship of public space and private space," he says.Sternberg was one of the early founders of Capybara Games, which has gone on to gain renown for its successful Critter Crunch. Wanting to step out on his own, he left to start Spooky Squid Games. Right now, the gardening game is still a prototype-about "half-way finished." Sternberg hopes to be able to sell Guerrilla Gardening on digital distribution platforms like Steam, Direct2Drive, and Xbox Live Arcade.While Sternberg's game is decidedly lo-res, one of the benefits of the increase in graphical capabilities in games is the realism of plantlife. I had a friend who would often invite girls to his apartment to show them the remote African landscapes in Far Cry 2. To him, it was no different than a walk in the park or a sunset on the beach-you sit, look, and reflect. He saw the beauty on-screen as a worthy echo to places he didn't have immediate access to, and he wanted to share them with others.Thatgamecompany's Flower shares the theme of reclamation with Guerrilla Gardening. In the downloadable game for PlayStation 3, you control a flock of petals and turn fallow ground into lovely pastures of wildflowers. The game's final level sends you to an abandoned city which soon becomes overrun with plants: a scene from Alan Weisman's The World Without Us that projected the planet's reaction to mankind's disappearance.Sternberg hasn't played Flower, but says he plans to. In fact, he only recently tried his hand at guerrilla gardening and signed up to do a project with the Toronto Public Space Committee. Thankfully, he was assigned to a detail close by. "It was a median at the end of my street," he says. It's probably not a bad idea for Sternberg to stay close to home. He's got a lot of work to do.


Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics