Tag Archives: trees

The Forest 404 Podcast and Experiment – get involved

Stressed or tired after a long day? Listening to nature might help you feel better. Take part in a ten minute experiment to help researchers understand how people respond to the sounds of the natural world.

The Forest 404 Experiment explores how people respond to the sounds of nature.

It’s linked to BBC Radio 4’s new podcast Forest 404, set in a not-too-distant future after a data crash.

The drama’s main character, Pan, works in a data library where she archives audio recordings from the 21st century. One day she stumbles upon a recording of a rainforest and begins a quest to understand its origin and meaning.

The experiment explores Pan’s emotions in more detail, and discover how people from different backgrounds respond to sounds of nature. For more information on how to take part go to https://nquire.org.uk/mission/forest-experiment/contribute

The Forest 404 Experiment is a research partnership between BBC Radio 4, the BBC Natural History Unit, the University of Bristol, the Open University and the University of Exeter.

Becoming A Tree In Virtual Reality

Nest caterpillars in your arms, and watch the days pass.

Sometimes I save articles and then forget about them, which is what happened with this wonderful piece from last year. It’s by Mark Wilson about a VR project from the MIT Media Lab. The title of his article was “Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree” but I’m sure you’d agree that’s something we need even more in 2018.  Enjoy.

“Is it possible to experience being another lifeform?”

That’s the foundational question asked by Tree, an unusually immersive VR app developed at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group. Featured on Prosthetic Knowledge, the short experience places you inside the bark of a tree in the Peruvian rainforest. But you don’t just get a view of the forest around you. You feel it, too.

Because of a suite of technologies, as you rise from the dirt, sprouting from seedling into a full-grown tree, a fan blows wind over your skin, like the passing breeze, as a smell machine pipes in what I can only assume is the fragrant green funk of a forest canopy after the rain. Cont’d at Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree | Co.Design

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Forest Bathing – how to find your regular sit spot

Forest bathing is very much in the news lately. I researched it whilst writing Technobiophilia and I also recommend it in Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age. Most of the techniques I’ve seen involve a fair bit of walking and wandering interspersed with sitting but this is the first time I’ve come across the idea of finding a  place to sit and returning to it regularly for days, weeks, or months, until you become almost a part of it. That seems very appealing.

I found it at In My Nature , the website of a Melbourne, Australia, based company offering a range of retreats including forest bathing. You’ll find lots to read on the site, but here’s a brief excerpt about this interesting forest bathing practice taken from Make your sit spot practice private and intimate.

Go alone

Find time when your chores are done and you can slip away alone. Then quietly approach your sit spot and you’ll notice more. Having established a sit spot routine, you will soon find incredible things happening around you and with you: maybe an echidna will come out of the shrubs and feed a few meters next to you!

Sit for at least 20 minutes – quietly

It’s a practice of being completely present, opening all the senses to become aware of all that is going on in the environment. It takes time for animals to feel safe again to come out and continue with their daily routines. The other part to this routine is about sitting, about stillness. Focus on improving your sit spot and your observation skills. By being a quiet, unobtrusive guest you will learn to make yourself welcome again, as an accepted member of the natural community.

Go to your sit spot at different times, in all kinds of weather

To fully get to know your sit spot, go there at different times of day. Depending on the time of day you will observe different animals and different behavior patterns. Notice the different birds, flowers and animals through the seasons. Big umbrellas are good for rainy but also very sunny days!

Be comfortable and learn to be still

Sit quietly and comfortably as this is the best way to allow the natural world to get to know you as well. After a while, birds and animals may approach you with curiosity. Allow yourself a few minutes to start noticing. Once you sit quietly long enough, the birds accept the fact that you are there and there for good. As they return to their daily tasks, a previously hidden dimension of your landscape opens up. Simply try listening firs to different bird songs until you can distinguish between them.

Read the rest here.

Featured Image: Sit Spot Woman, taken from the article