Welcome to the 90th volume of WizeWorld: a collection of stories and sounds to round out your week, pique your curiosity, and widen your wizdom.
This week’s theme is the power of nature.
How does nature change the way we live our lives, and how can we bring nature into our cities, homes, and even our fridges? This week, we’re looking at the doctors, scientists, and artists who do just that. At Wize, nature is the very foundation of what we do: without the coffee plant itself or the farmers who harvest its leaves, we couldn’t make and produce our delicious iced or dry teas.
We’ll be looking at:
- A doctor’s struggle to give up sugar
- An interview with surfer Emily Ballard
- Henrique Oliviera's monumental art installations
- Snow Jams, a playlist from Wize athlete Truth Smith
- The company that uses moss to help cities breathe better
In The Guardian, Dr. Raj Telhan details his struggles to give up sugar in the wake of the first year of the pandemic. Dr. Telhan describes that, at least in part, it was an attempt to regain a sense of control in a period of such enormous uncertainty. He also decided to sit a medical-board exam on dietetics, metabolism, and appetite to ground his personal experience in hard science. And yet Dr. Telhan admits that despite all of his professional knowledge, he initially found that giving up sugar was nearly impossible. Telhan takes us on a long journey to discover why mastery of his own appetite was so difficult—looking to everyone from Plato and Freud to the advertisers of Lay’s potato chips. The result? Dr. Telhan ultimately found a method that seems to be working for him, but his larger questions about the addictive nature of sugar and its impact on our appetites and metabolism linger. We find that replacing high-sugar foods or drinks with more sustainable alternatives is one great option—like subbing out a high-sugar iced tea for a delicious can of Wize.
This week’s interview with surfer Emily Ballard comes from the Wize archives. Ballard began her love of movement with a love of dancing, and said that surfing felt like a natural extension of dance. Despite growing up on what she calls the “surfless” side of Vancouver Island, she got to visit Tofino as a kid eventually moved out to Tofino from Nanaimo when she turned 18. She now enjoys surfing, gardening, and generally living the surf lifestyle—which, in her mind, doesn’t include sugar-loaded beverages. She began drinking Wize as a way to cool off when landscaping and hasn’t looked back since.
Colossal brings us the monumental art installations of artist Henrique Oliviera whose work literally erupts from ceilings, floors, and walls. He sees his art as a comment on the relationship between man-made structures and the power of nature; with pieces that include the gnarled roots and trunk of a tree pushing up through a concrete floor and into a ceiling. Or smaller items like twisted tree trunks coming out of a fireplace or chest of drawers. He uses various organic materials such as bricks, wood, PVC, tree branches, mud, and other found items to complete these masterpieces, along with plywood fencing from his home city of São Paulo. Visit Colossal’s site to view the full series.
Winter may be over, but we’re already looking forward to the next ski season. That’s why we’re serving up this throwback playlist from Wize athlete, snowboarder, and skateboarder Truth Smith. Snow Jams is filled with songs from The Lumineers, Beach House, J. Cole, Offset, and more. Warm up with this perfect fireside set.
Positive News brings us the story of a Dutch start-up Respyre that’s helping cities breathe by allowing moss to grow on the sides of its buildings. Respyre has pioneered the use of “bioreceptive concrete” that allows for the growth of moss over time, but they confirmed that moss can also be added to existing structures. And, because moss has rhizoids instead of roots, its growth is non-invasive to the structure and soundness of the building as it grows. Why moss? Moss absorbs CO2, filters out pollution, resists graffiti, requires minimal maintenance, and supports wildlife. It’s still early days, but Respyre has stated that they’re already working to make their design more affordable and to use recycled concrete to help it grow. Either way, it’s a win for people and the planet.
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