GREEN PORNO: Don’t get too excited. Green porno consists mainly of one nutty actress dressing up in goofy costumes like animals and insects and providing humorous descriptions of procreation in the wild kingdom. Beginning in 2008, Isabella Rossellini has written and co-directed a series of short films for the Sundance Channel that give viewers unique takes on the sex lives of such creatures as the duck, the snail, the dolphin and even the anchovy. The first series of shorts was called Green Porno. The new series is called Seduce Me. According to journalist Ian Sample, “[Rossellini] just wants to amuse us… and teach us some hard science about the birds and the bees.” In one video about the mating habits of salmon, Rossellini—wearing goggles, a body stocking and a paper hat, Sample tells us—tries to seduce a salmon puppet. “Here are my eggs,” Rossellini cries. “Spray them with your sperm!” Beginning February 11, eight of Rossellini’s films will be screened at the Natural History Museum in London as part of the exhibition “Sexual Nature.” The exhibition runs through October 2. According to Sample, “The museum decided to host the films because, amusement value aside, they are scientifically accurate.” You can hear a podcast of Sample’s Q&A with Rossellini. It was posted February 6 at www.guardian.co.uk/film. JC
MAKING GREEN EASIER: Going green can seem like an inconvenient, involved process. National Geographic magazine recently launched a new online Green Guide to dispel that myth. The program is designed mean to provide people with quick, easy ways to reduce their environmental impact. Tips on how to reduce emissions, conserve water and save power are frequently posted on the site. Green news is also available. National Geographic has always been one of the natural world’s biggest promoters, so their move towards environmental consciousness makes sense. Two of the biggest features on the site are the Green Guide Buying Guide and The Great Energy Challenge. The Buying Guide provides information on how to make your home purchases, including appliances, as environmentally friendly as possible. The Great Energy Challenge includes environmental news, quizzes and lifestyle challenges meant to raise awareness of our current energy situation. Participants can keep track of the energy they use in day-to-day life and the impact of what they waste. To start doing your part, go to www.thegreenguide.com. AM
THE MUSSELS ARE BACK: Three years after the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge helped rescue 16,000 mussels—including 128 endangered northern riffleshells and 19 endangered clubshells—from an Allegheny River bridge demolition, the bivalves are now thriving, according to a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Some are back under the bridge at East Brady, Pennsylvania. Others are improving habitat and human health more than 100 miles away in the Monongahela, Elk and Ohio Rivers. When mussels are in harm’s way, biologists usually move them a short distance upriver. But in this project, they moved them to several distant sites to foster broader-scale conservation. “It’s really the first time we know of that these animals were moved far off site and benefited other streams needing a boost,” says Ohio River Refuge biologist Patty Morrison. For example, the project restored eight mussel species to the refuge’s stretch of the Ohio River. Some species had been absent from the river for almost 100 years because of upstream industrial pollution. Learn more at www.fws.gov/refuges. JCMORE REFUGE STUFF: The National Wildlife Refuge System will celebrate its 108th birthday March 14. On that day in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt created the first wildlife refuge at Pelican Island in Florida. Today, the system includes over 500 refuges across the country supporting thousands of different species. Roosevelt would go on to kill thousands of animals in Africa, but he still did good. According to Roosevelt, “Wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people who are alive today, but the property of unknown generations, whose belongings we have no right to squander.” To celebrate of the system’s creation, open houses will be held across the country at various refuges. In many locations there will be parties and live music for visitors. Support your local refuge and maybe we’ll be able to keep it up for another 108 years. To find out if there’s an event near you, go to www.fws.gov/refuges. AM
NO, BUBBA, THAT’S A KIDNEY-LEAF BUTTERCUP: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is kicking off a new schedule of classes for its spring semester at The Gardens. The Gardens will offer a wide variety of classes, from botany to photography to flower arranging. The Gardens is offering a new Certificate in Native Plant Studies this spring, with assistance from Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, the Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance and Aldridge Botanical Gardens. The curriculum combines core courses, electives, field trips and volunteer service. Core courses will be offered every other month, as will various electives. Students may begin their certificate with any course, but the Gardens suggest starting with the Introduction to the Study of Native Plants, to be offered in May, to gain a basic understanding of the program’s scope. Certificates will be awarded to those who fulfill requirements within three years, but anyone is welcome to attend any of the courses. Contact Kaul Wildflower Garden curator John Manion at (205) 414-3985 or email@example.com for details. Learn more about all of the Gardens’ educational programs at www.bbgardens. org. JC
Jesse Chambers is a Birmingham Weekly contributing editor. Andy McWhorter is a Weekly editorial assistant who also writes the “Hot Seat/Limelight” feature. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.