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Podcasts

Audible Story Sharing For Sustainable Living.

Banff, Film preview, Interview, Mountain Film, Podcast, Video / 01.02.2010

An interview with adventure filmmaker Bryan Smith

It’s been more than a month since the last podcast. Thanks to everyone for all the emails and Facebook messages asking for the next edition. After an action packed first season of production, the realities of life came crashing down like a devastating wave. The recession of 2009 made times a bit tough. Simply put the project was placed indefinite hold while I scrambled together a few odd writing jobs through the end of December and all of January. I had to work to make enough cash to pay our property tax bill. I’m happy to say that I recently wrote a fat check to city of Madison and now the project is back on track.

[caption id="attachment_2487" align="alignleft" width="358" caption="Bryan Smith"][/caption] I’ve learned a lot through that first season. With the collapse of traditional media, as newspapers and magazine continue to fold up under the weight of an antiquated model of communication, I’ve discovered that this form of storytelling, sharing music, art and adventure online is the wave of the future. With many creative souls out there building new high quality content for Internet there’s no shortage of great stories to tell. If you’ve been following along on the blog and on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been more than a little busy still traveling and finding new subjects to share with you. And in the process I’ve become thoroughly inspired by the work of many others who are pushing the boundaries of creative expression as they explore the heights and depths of the human spirit. You’ve heard me mention my friend Fitz Cahall. He’s the creator of my favorite podcast The Dirtbag Diaries. Fitz has new project that recently posted the Internet, a series of short films that depict the lives of adventurers chasing their passion through course of a year, a season. I connected with Fitz toward the end of last year during the Banff Mountain Film Festival. There I saw the premiere edition of the 22 part film series The Season. It’s an exciting yet, moderately paced thoughtful contemplation on what motivates ordinary people who do exceptional things in the outdoors. At the Banff Centre for mountain culture, in Alberta Canada, I also met Fitz’s partner co-producer and director of the Season Bryan Smith. Produced exclusively for distribution online, the Season brings Internet adventure storytelling to a new level. Directed by Bryan Smith this new film series illustrates the narrative behind the lives of people like each of us who aspire to lead a rich live in adventure.
Podcast / 18.12.2009

DogSledding_001

Now that winter is here it’s a good opportunity to discover that despite the cold there were many opportunities to enjoy your time outside. Hopefully you get out to ski or ice climb or skate or make angles in the snow.  By far one of the coolest moments I had last winter was the better part of a morning I spent riding through the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a dog sled. I’m not sure what I expected but I can tell you that it was nothing like anything I could have imagined.

It was one of those days in winter when the overcast sky ironically blocks out the sun’s rays but still traps the ambient heat of the air. There was no wind. So the temperature was a pure 20 degrees. Everything, the sky, the leafless trees, the ground packed in ice and snow seemed cast in monochromatic shades of black, gray and white. Most every aspect of the landscape was utterly still.

But piercing the silence came the sound of barking dogs. Not the least bit disturbing, the noise the dogs made seemed a natural part of this particular environment, like a pack of wolves answer the call the of wild.

Each of the dogs yipped and yelped their excitement because as I came to discover pulling a sled in flashes of fangs, claws and muscle along these frozen trails is exactly what they were born to do. I would find that riding a dog sled is as thrilling and natural an experience as you can have.

Diversity, Interview, Podcast / 11.12.2009

MajoraCarter_001

An interview with urban

revitalization strategist Majora Carter

JTP: Delegates from about 190 countries are gathering over the next two weeks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Although this is a landmark event, the largest meeting ever to discuss the environmental future of our planet. I’m a little concerned that we may not be talking about the most important issues. The other night on NPR David Kestenbaum reported on the first day of the conference. In his report on All Things Considered he said everyone pretty much agrees that we have to do something about climate change. But how I see it where the problem lies is that the delegates also seem to share the same disagreements NPR: In fact most of the disagreements, they’re all about money. Developing countries like Bolivia are arguing “Hey The global warming problem? you in the developed world made it. So to solve it you’re going to have to give us money to adapt and to keep our emissions down as we grow. JTP: The industrial growth that caused the climate change crisis in the first place will apparently continue. You see it seems that the Copenhagen delegates are really only arguing about who gets to continue to pollute the atmosphere with carbon gas emissions and how much. The conversation so far seems to be relegated to trading carbon credits for cash so the developing world can continue to build factories and produce consumer goods. But at what cost? What about the environment? And what about millions of disenfranchised people in the U.S. and around the world that will be most directly impacted as our planet’s climate continues to change in the wake of human progress? I won’t be attending the conference in Copenhagen. But a few weeks ago I did attend the Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoors conference in Atlanta. A few hundred African American Environmentalist gathered to talk among other things about the role people of color can play in protecting the natural world. There I met Majora Carter, the 2005 winner of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. She received $500,000 to developed her ideas on creating sustainable urban communities. And while we didn’t talk about Copenhagen in particular Carter has a rather unique perspective how best to curb some of the social effects of Climate Change. Carter: The McArthur Foundation dubbed me an urban revitalization strategist. Which I love, because of the work that I did around pioneering one of the first green jobs training systems in the country, really doing community based, led project development in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country that’s also one of the most environmentally challenged. And the idea was that you can do development that met both the environmental as well as economic needs of a very poor communities and give them the tools they need to enjoy it and be a part of its development. JTP: The environmental issues that our planet faces aren’t limited to carbon emissions. Though green houses gases are indeed the primary cause of global warming it’s the institutions and practices of human behavior that create them. Carter believes that we need to develop community based initiatives that produce green jobs and allow ordinary people take an active part in the cessation carbon emitting industries.     In order to make lasting change in the fight again climate change we have to rethink how we develop and live in our urban centers. And for many communities around world that’s going to mean taking a hard look at issues of social justice, how we treat the urban poor as well as racial and ethnic minorities. I’m James Mills and you’re listening to The Joy Trip Project.
Art, Podcast / 04.12.2009

JC_000BAn interview with climber/artist Jeremy Collins

There’s a point in the human experience when thought, emotion and action combine. It’s at that moment when we create a unique expression of utter and sublime beauty. Share it with others and it becomes art. In the world of adventure, on high mountain peaks or across vast tracts of rocky desert, art takes the form of photography, filmmaking, poetry and literature. But in the hands of Jeremy Collins, a self-described climber artist, the thoughts, emotions and actions of climbing combine to become breathtaking paintings, drawing and illustrations. A rare and emerging talent in the world of adventure art, Jeremy is a frequent contributor to magazines and books. He also creates prints for commercial distribution. In this video edition of the Joy Trip Project Jeremy shares the story behind his passion for the outdoors and inspires those who see his work to follow along on the journey.
Podcast / 27.11.2009

An interview with Rick RidgewayRick_Ridgeway

In 1978 Rick Ridgeway was on the first American team to reach the summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. After a long career as a professional adventurer Ridgeway is now vice president of environmental initiatives at the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Today he’s devoting his life to the preservation of wildlife corridors across North America. Working with a coalition of environmental protection groups and major corporations Ridgeway is helping to establish and maintain clear pathways that allow animal species to travel freely from one habitat to another. Called Freedom To Roam this program aims to raise awareness for the importance of wildlife protection by telling the stories of the animals themselves. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="322"] M3's Route to the summit of Mount Cleveland[/caption] Like humans animals have the same inherent need to move from place to place. Species such as caribou, wolves, elk and mountain lions traverse the landscape traveling hundreds of miles between grounds used for breading, hunting or grazing. And in some cases just like humans, to simply live out their lives in the joyful pursuit of happiness. But in our rush to develop and civilize the natural world human beings are disrupting wildlife corridors through which these animals pass from one habitat to the next. And in the process we’re putting at risk our own future on the planet. In this edition of the Joy Trip Project environmental activist Rick Ridgeway shares the story behind his work to protect these passageways while defending our Freedom to Roam.
Podcast / 18.11.2009

A Joy Trip Flashback: Remembering Todd Skinner

Todd Skinner3I got an email from an old friend, Amy Skinner.We hadn’t connected in a while so it really good to hear from her. Her message read, “Thought you might get a kick out of my son's third grade writing assignment. We're going to have to have a little talk about plagiarism, but it's apparent that he has listened to your podcast many times.  I have it on my ipod and he loves to listen to it.” Jake_001In the body of the message Amy included a scanned image of her son Jake’s writing assignment. Written in pencil on wide ruled paper, the little boy liberally quoted without attribution from a story I produced in 2006. I have to say I didn’t mind at all. In fact I was touched to point where I was almost brought to tears, because Jake’s writing assignment quoted from the story I produced on his father’s memorial service. They say that imitation is the sincerest from of flattery. Jake’s use of my words from this story let me know that in a small way I’ve helped him to remember his father. Todd Skinner was a good friend and three years after his death many people still remember him and what he meant to the outdoor community. And just so we don’t forget in this special edition of the podcast I’m bringing you a Joy Trip flashback, a celebration of a life well lived.    
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