Connected Knowledge

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11belfast Coho Site Persp 3There are challenges to forming a harmonious community. But one thing everyone can agree on is the importance of food.

While the local food movement encourages us to shop within a hundred-mile radius, at Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, we have the opportunity to produce hundred-yard food. If we wanted to, we could plant raspberry ‘sharing’ bushes between neighbors yards, spiral herbs outside our kitchen doors, alternate apple and peach trees along the driveway, and dangle grapes and kiwi from the Common House trellis. And if knowing your farmer is key to food security, being your own farmer (even for just a blueberry bush or apple tree) is even better, because then we know what it means to generate life, food and community.

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Screengrab of Debra Levine’s DEMONSTRATING ACT UP Scalar project

Are footnotes obsolete? At this month’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Craig Dietrich suggests crediting other scholars is still necessary, but it’s no longer enough.

The Still Water Senior Researcher and USC digital studies professor argues that run-of-the-mill citation methods don’t cut it in today’s connected world, where technologies like RDF can provide a far richer context and encourage reuse of online scholarship.

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11florianopolis Abciber 8 illWhich is the oldest human record?

In his keynote presentation to the National Symposium of Brazilian Cyberculture, Jon Ippolito argues it is lurking in the Amazon rainforest.

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11orono lgh Digital Humanities 11 illTo coincide with Digital Humanities Week 2011, Joline Blais joins permaculture experts Julia and Charles Yelton, social media hackademic Craig Dietrich, Rural Maine Partners’ Claudia Lowd, and members of the Wabanaki community in hosting “Social Media and Sustainability” at LongGreenHouse, a clearinghouse for sustainable culture on the edge of the U-Me campus.

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Joline Blais in Belfast 2010At the 2010 ESTIA conference “Ecovillages Redefined” on 22 October, Still Water’s Joline Blais gave a presentation on the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage and conducted a discussion on the role ecovillages might play in a sustainable future.

Also presenting at the conference were Roger Kelly of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales and Daniel Greenberg of Living Routes at the University of Massachusetts. Local luminaries featured at the conference included farmer extraordinaire Mark Fulford, LongGreenHouse veteran gkisedtanamoogk, and Belfast Cohousing Equity Member Jeffrey Mabee.

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Anthropologist James Leach presents the Cross-Cultural Partnership as an example of a social “prototype” at “Prototyping Cultures: Social Experimentation, Do-It-Yourself Science and Beta-Knowledge.”

The Cross-Cultural Partnership, a legal template for encouraging ethical collaborations across cultural divides, was the brainchild of Leach, Wendy Seltzer, and othe members of the Connected Knowledge working group organized by Still Water. Leach’s talk at this two-day conference organised by the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid from 4-5 November 2010 is entitled “Prototypes of Engagement: Trust, Transaction, and Digital Partnership.”

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Thoughtmesh Logo smaAccording to Colin Kloecker at the Walker Art Center, ThoughtMesh and The Pool are good tools for a healthy commons. He profiled these two open-source Still Water networks in a post leading up to the kickoff of the Walker’s Open Field initiative last June.

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Walker Open Field LogoThis past year saw several prominent museums open their doors to public participation in ways they had never before, such as inviting visitors to submit works for exhibition or help determine curatorial selections. At the kickoff event for the Walker Art Center’s Open Field program on 3 June, Jon Ippolito contrasts three different models for the commons such institutions can choose from–a market, a zoo, or a tribe.

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Internship 1:
Orono Transitional Landscape Internship
Live-in, low rent permaculture. $300/week rent
May 31-Aug 31
Contact: William Giordano on first class.
Faculty sponsor: Prof. Joline Blais

Sheet mulching with cold frame and greenhouse in background

This internship is a living/learning opportunity that focuses on training and experience. Live and work in your own garden in Orono, and assist in the development of a home-scale edible landscape, in exchange for reduced rent. food harvest and permaculture training in a shared household.

The home, on the south edge of campus, is a transitional edible landscape and includes fruit/berries/nuts, medicinal herbs, kitchen herbs, annual and perennial vegetables, a greenhouse, cold frames and an ebible plant/tree nursery. Interest for summer interns could include engaging any of these areas. Opportunities for permaculture design training and certification available via summer projects/classes. Internships involve 1 day per week in the garden and grounds.

– Live on site for $300/month, and work 8-10 hours/week.
– Laundry/dishwasher on-site. eat-in kitchen, dining room, finished basement, 2 bathrooms.
– 3 Rooms available. 1/8 mile from campus and 1/2 mile from downtown Orono.
– Mature highbush blueberries in July/August
– Pick salad greens from outside the front door daily
– Learn/assist in caring for edible tree crops (plums, pears, apples, butternuts, hazelnuts etc)
– Learn/assist in growing herbal medicines
– Make far less trips to the grocery store
– Help establish a lively evening bonfire/music scene for summer fun
– Connect with Lucerne Lakeside permaculture side for exchanges, swimming, boating, camping


– Garden skills of any kind, or willingness to learn quickly
– Ability to make clear observations and record findings
– Research skills for connecting available models to actual gardens
– Ability to work well on team and on own
– Holistic/Systems thinking an asset, seeing patterns and whole picture as well as local details
– Design & digital skills helpful for documenting (photography, video, web skills)

Internship 2:
Lakeside forest permaculture
One day/week, $50/week stipend
May 31-Aug 31
Contact/Faculty sponsor: Prof. Joline Blais

PDRI_sheetmulching_techniquesThis internship is for a Native American student interested in learning more about your own culture’s gardening methods and permaculture gardening and how to weave the two together. The Internship will involve one day gardening in Dedham, Maine (4-5 hours in the garden, 1-2 hours on the lake–swimming, canoeing, etc), as well as researching your own garden traditions and finding out how to integrate the two together. When Europeans came to this continent they often clear cut forest and planted their own crops. This form of gardening is about making peace in the plant kingdom–learning about polycultures that integrate European and Native types of edible and medicinal plants.

You will also learn about local native plants, especially weeds (which are highly nutritious and healing to earth and body), mushroom, insects, local fauna, medicine and ceremony. The intent is for you to act as an ambassador between cultures, brining the best from both worlds across the cultural divide and into the earth where we all are related. We will document and catalogue this research using digital photography, video, and web skills, as well as writing about our experiences. Our goal is to create enough interest to apply for grants for future funding for ongoing research. Must be motivated, hard-working, enjoy outdoors, enjoy talking to elders, and willing to learn and integrate skills in digital culture, permaculture and Native Culture. Child care possible for young parents interested in this opportunity.

– Lucern, Maine, on the edge of Phillips lake
– One day/week, $50/day

– Eagerness to conduct research in field and in culture
– Keen observation skills of natural and cultural phenomena
– Interest in digital skills
– Connect with LongGreenHouse site in Orono for more urban permaculture options

Fall 2010-Spring 2011 Internships

Fall internships will pick up on the work of both internships, and involve students in UMaine degree/for credit courses. All Students living at LongGreenHouse are required to link at least one of their courses with LongGreenHouse work, whether as a capstone project, a course research project, or an independent study project.

10belfast Coho PrototypeOn 2 May 2010, Joline Blais gives a Permaculture walkthrough and workshop for University of Maine students at the Belfast CoHousing & Ecovillage, Belfast, Maine. Students in Emily Markides PAX class see a real ecovillage under construction and find out how its members balance practicality and idealism from BCHE member Blais and Radical Simplicity author Jim Merkal, who also attended the event.

Shown: BCHE’s zero-energy prototype house, built by G●OLogic.

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