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By Alexander Fattal

This innovative and thought-provoking documentary subtly explores the difficult issues that arise when the ethics of deforestation and the ethnographic encounter intersect. The film incisively poses the question: "Who has the right to cut... both trees and film footage?"

Seemingly an observational ethnographic immersion in life along the waterways where the sweet water of the Amazon basin mixes with the salty Atlantic Ocean, the film is suddenly interrupted by questions about the ethics of including images of deforestation, which could land the protagonist in trouble with Brazil's environmental police. The editing waxes experimental, prompting the viewer to revisit editorial decisions, while bringing the family being filmed into the editorial decision-making fold.

The film ruminates on the global ethics of deforestation as it illustrates the relationship of deforestation to the harvesting of a?ai, Brazil's latest boom crop that is now a key ingredient of popular energy drinks and a staple of Oprah's diet. A?ai is harvested by ascending into the tops of skinny palm trees, offering stunning visuals. The penultimate scene unexpectedly and evocatively ties the themes together in an act of animal acrobatics, defying the audience's expectations.

The ecological connections between waterways, flora, fauna, and humanity subtly intertwine to make viewers contemplate all that we are losing in the continual deforestation of the Amazon as well as the multiple levels of complicity in that loss.

DVD (Color) / 2010 / 30 minutes

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This collection of 34 video clips explores the environment and facets of physics.

Video clips include...

Our Environment
  • The Science of Ice and Snow: How Do You Photograph a Snowflake?
  • The Science of Ice and Snow: The Making of a Snowflake
  • Valuable Oil: The Origins of Crude Oil
  • Valuable Oil: A World Without Petroleum
  • The Tree, Nature's Great Survivor: How Alders Communicate
  • The Tree, Nature's Great Survivor: An Oak's Story
  • The Tree, Nature's Great Survivor: How Trees Get Water and Nutrients
  • The Tree, Nature's Great Survivor: Tree Habitat
  • Raindrops: How Rain Is Formed
  • Raindrops: It's Raining Cats and Dogs
  • Raindrops: A Closer Look at Raindrops
  • Living with Volcanoes: How Volcanoes Are Born
  • Living with Volcanoes: Laboratory Volcanoes
  • Water, Source of Life: How Water Came to Be on Our Planet
  • Water, Source of Life: Cloud Catchers
  • Water, Source of Life: Protective Reflex for the Respiratory System
  • Water, Source of Life: Fluid Loss in the Sauna
  • Precious Salt: A Profile of Salt
  • What Has Happened to the Climate? Wrapping a Glacier

    Understanding Physics
  • The Secrets of the Quantum World: Max Planck
  • The Secrets of the Quantum World: Lasers
  • The Secrets of the Quantum World: Physics on the Sports Field
  • Light Phenomena: Holography
  • Light Phenomena: Luminescent Bacteria on the Apple Tree
  • Light Phenomena: Secrets of Biology Revealed by Light
  • Light Phenomena: A Night in the Zoo
  • Light Phenomena: Wet Surfaces Look Darker
  • Hydrodynamics: Water Resistance
  • Hydrodynamics: Underwater Properties of a Rugby Ball
  • Thermodynamics: The Thermal Effect
  • Thermodynamics: Detonating Gas Effect in the Forge
  • Newton's Laws: Eggs and Gravity
  • Newton's Laws: Earth Rotation
  • Putting Electricity to Work: From the High Wires to the Plug -In

    Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan.

    DVD / 2008 / 94 minutes

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    Collaborator: Judy Garrett.

    Increase students' level of learning the Art of Landscaping with this on-site field trip hosted by Howard Garrett, author and Landscape Architect. He shares his secrets of the professional landscape design process including buying, planting, construction and maintenance to create a home landscape. Topics include working with a budget, site analysis, demolition plans, layout and grading plan, planting plan, irrigation plans, lighting plans, dimensional drawings and more. Enjoy a shopping trip to a nursery to select healthy plants for specific projects. Learn to evaluate plants, organic soil amendments, growing media and other factors of the buying experience. Watch proper planting techniques for trees, shrubs, grasses, groundcovers, vines, flowers and container plants.

    DVD / 2004 / 112 minutes

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    Get a current and comprehensive view of the profession known as arboriculture. This terrific new two-part program has detailed sections on the current safety requirements, planting and staking ornamental trees, climbing, lift-truck operation, pruning and analyzing tree problems. See how to use ultrasound technology for generating computer images of the trees interior condition. The program takes a look at the latest tree-care equipment and materials being used and developed in the United States and Europe. There is no better film on this important topic.

    DVD / 2001 / 41 minutes

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    Live-action program footage stimulates interest in forestry and provides an excellent foundation for contest teams. The featured expert has coached three first place teams in the Southern Region FFA and 4-H Forestry contests and 15 first place teams in the Texas State Contest. He discusses and demonstrates 10 of the 12 parts of the Texas State Woodland Clinic Contest: pine identification, rate of growth, selective thinning, tree volume, wood products, wood identification, site index, cull tree removal, woodland suitability, using a compass and pacing.

    DVD / 2000 / 39 minutes

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    These critical pruning techniques will teach students how to enhance fruit production and overall tree vitality on a variety of different temperate and subtropical fruit trees. No pruning topic is more important to grasp than the management of fruit wood and fruit spurs. Study the pruning techniques that allow light to reach fruit spurs and hangers, increasing their productivity and longevity. See a wide variety of locations and examples as you learn how to shape, thin and strengthen the branching structure. Also learn about pollination, fruit development, thinning practices, and harvesting. A clear and comprehensive treatment of this often confusing topic

    DVD / 2000 / 32 minutes

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    This new program demonstrates the essential pruning techniques needed to prune landscape trees. Journey to the majestic Avenue of the Giants to get a BIG, clear perspective on the science of tree growth. By developing an understanding of how trees respond to the wounds made by pruning cuts, students can finally understand the theory behind the basic principles of pruning tree limbs. See how to safely use and maintain pruning tools as we demonstrate pruning on a variety of landscape trees. Learn about thinning, shaping, shearing, heading back, undercuts, 3-point cuts, and the proper angle of attachment for tree limbs. Learn the artistic and technical aspects of pruning ornamental trees

    DVD / 2000 / 29 minutes

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    This current work is an effective balance of technique and application. This program delivers information in a logical sequence, and forms a functional foundation to approach any pruning job. The topics covered include: why and how plants respond to pruning; proper tool selection and use; why and when you should prune; and pruning for desired results. With beautiful and varied shot locations, see how to apply these pruning principles in ornamental trees, informal and formal hedges, roses, conifers, flowering shrubs and more.

    DVD / 2000 / 27 minutes

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    Nineteen trees are shown, accompanied by an evaluation, identifying characteristics, propagation techniques, environmental enemies, plant culture and uses. The following trees are discussed: river birch, pecan, redbud, flowering dogwood, Russian olive, green ash, thornless honeylocust, althea, crape myrtle, sweet gum, Gullbay (Southern) magnolia, Japanese black pine, American plane tree (sycamore), mesquite, Bradford pear, red oak, live oak, bald cypress and American elm

    DVD / 1992 / 21 minutes

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    Examines the threatened survival of rare trees, the importance of preserving them, techniques (such as grafting) to do so, and the activities of botanists in several species recovery programs.

    DVD / 1992 / 25 minutes

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    A champion team coach discusses the remaining two divisions of the Texas State Woodland Clinic Contest: hardwood identification and timber/forage relationships. Students learn key characteristics to help identify 40 different species of hardwood trees, timber and forage. Close-up shots of bark and leaves of each specimen allow students to see important identifying characteristics.

    DVD / 1989 / 19 minutes

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    Discover the effect of apical dominance and learn how pruning influences plant growth, basic tree forms and pruning needs at planting time You will also see methods that rejuvenate old trees and shrubs. Pruning techniques for conifers, hedges and deciduous fruit trees are demonstrated.

    DVD / 1988 / 23 minutes

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    Trees can be a beautiful part of any landscape
  • Selecting a healthy tree from the wide variety available in a nursery can be quite a challenge
  • The latest planting procedure used for landscape trees is a key aspect for successful growth
  • Trees that are well maintained after planting remain healthy and can add beauty, shade, wind screening, and many other benefits to a landscape
  • This program provides information on how to select trees from a nursery for any landscape environment, proper ways to plant trees, and how to care for newly planted landscape trees

    DVD / 31 minutes

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    International Tree Climbing Champions Rip Tompkins and Ken Palmer host this ArborMaster® Training program series, Chainsaw Safety, Maintenance, and Cutting Techniques. Safe and efficient use of chainsaws requires thorough training. Although DVD's are no substitute for hands-on instruction, this ArborMaster® series is a great addition to any training curriculum. Palmer and Tompkins teach the basics of chainsaw safety and use in an easy-to-understand field application format.

    6 Program set includes:
  • Chainsaw Safety.
  • Chainsaw Maintenance.
  • Notches, Hinges and Backcuts.
  • Felling Techniques.
  • Limbing and Bucking.
  • Chainsaw Use in Trees.

    DVD / 173 minutes

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    In order to properly realize the economical usefulness of woody plants, it is important to understand identification and horticultural properties. This presentation details tree anatomy (i.e., leaves, trunk, branches and roots), providing form and function of each. Students also learn how to evaluate the age of a tree by measuring circumference, determining diameter and radius, adjusting for width of bark and determining width of annual rings. Taxonomy and dichotomous keys are also discussed.

    CD-ROM (Win, PowerPoint Presentation (53 slides))

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    This presentation explains the importance of selecting the right plants for your region and for a desired purpose, along with how to prepare the site, use good planting techniques and give follow-up care. Learn how to install plants available at most garden centers-bare root, container and balled and burlapped. You will also learn the proper way to stake a tree.

    DVD / 26 minutes

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