John Muir on What Nature Can Teach Us About Life


John Muir on What Nature Can Teach Us About Life

Few names are as synonymous with nature as that of writer and naturalist John Muir. Muir was born in 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland, and his family immigrated to the United States in 1849, initially settling in Wisconsin. As a young man, Muir traveled the northern United States and Canada, then went to Cuba and Panama. His travels continued, but he made California his home in 1868. And it was in California that Muir found his greatest inspiration: the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite.

Muir spent much of his time in the Sierra Nevada, calling it “the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have ever seen.” In the 1870s, he began studying the range extensively, and his writings attracted the public’s attention. His readers were inspired by the way he wrote about mountains, glaciers, and forests, and the way he captured nature in all its glory. He became a celebrated naturalist and environmental philosopher, and his words carried weight. In 1890, Muir was instrumental in convincing the U.S. Congress to create Yosemite National Park, which paved the way for the National Park System. When Muir published Our National Parks, he came to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1903, the two men met in Yosemite, where their conversations helped shape Roosevelt’s groundbreaking conservation programs.

Today, John Muir is often called the father of the National Park System. He was a man of great passion and great learning, and his greatest teacher was nature. The wilderness, for Muir, was a place of both exceptional beauty and knowledge. As Muir famously said, “One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.” It’s a sentiment he would repeat in numerous works and speeches. Here are 14 quotes from Muir about the lessons nature has to teach us.

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand.
– “The Mountains of California,” 1894

Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine-trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
– “Speech at a meeting of the Sierra Club,” 1895

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
– “Our National Parks,” 1901

I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.
– “John Muir quoted by Samuel Hall Young in “Alaska Days with John Muir,” 1915

Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights. All is divine harmony.
– “A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf,” 1916

In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
– “Steep Trails,” 1918

It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree.
– “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir,” 1938

The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains — mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.
– “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir,” 1938

How little note is taken of the deeds of Nature! What paper publishes her reports? Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds, or the written music of water written in river-lines? Who reports and works and ways of the clouds, those wondrous creations coming into being every day like freshly upheaved mountains? And what record is kept of Nature’s colors — the clothes she wears — of her birds, her beasts — her live-stock?
– “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir,” 1938

One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. All that is required is exposure, and purity of material.
– “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir,” 1938

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.
– A note written by John Muir in the margin of volume I of “Prose Works” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all travel the milky way together, trees and men.
– “A Wind Storm in the Forests of the Yuba,” “Scribner’s Monthly,” 1894

Surely all God’s people, however serious and savage, great or small, like to play. Whales and elephants, dancing, humming gnats, and invisibly small mischievous microbes, — all are warm with divine radium and must have lots of fun in them.
– “The Story of My Boyhood and Youth,” 1913

Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.
– “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir,” 1938


6 Famous Movie Lines By Screenwriters You’ve Never Heard OfApril 7, 2021

Share using facebook
Share using twitter
Share using email

All great movies begin on the page. Screenwriters labor for years over their words, striving to draft stories that will resonate through time. After directors, actors, producers, cinematographers, and designers have all worked their magic, it can be easy to forget how the project started. Only a handful of writers ever gain celebrity status for their work (think Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola), while many others go unnoticed by the public, despite writing some of the most enduring lines in film history. In honor of these unsung heroes of the entertainment industry, we’ve compiled a list of famous movie lines by writers you may never have heard of.

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.
 Paddy Chayefsky

Even if you’ve never seen the 1976 film Network, chances are you’ve heard the line. It was originally delivered by actor Peter Finch playing TV newsman Howard Beale. In the scene, the character, who is about to lose his job and coming a little unhinged at the prospect, engages in an on-air rant for the ages, insisting that people go to their windows and yell it with him: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” The spectacular speech was penned by writer Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky. In his 30-year career, Chayefsky is credited with dozens of movies, plays, and TV series. He won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth before his death in 1981.

E.T. phone home.
 Melissa Mathison

Melissa Mathison’s screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial earned her an Academy Award in 1983. Anyone who grew up in the ‘80s will have trouble hearing the words “E.T. phone home” without raising a finger to point at the sky. It’s the iconic  moment when Eliot (Henry Thomas) finally realizes what his new alien friend is trying to tell him. What most of us don’t know is that Mathison was also the writer behind a number of other memorable movies, including The Black StallionThe Indian in the CupboardKundun, and The BFG, which was released in 2016, shortly after Mathison’s death in 2015.

Wax on, wax off.
 Robert Mark Kamen

In addition to his 1984 film The Karate Kid, Robert Mark Kamen wrote The Fifth ElementA Walk in the CloudsGladiator, and many more. His list of credits is impressive, but it’s this line — “wax on, wax off” — that echoes through the ages. Thanks in large part to actor Pat Morita’s delivery, the words evoke the image of a wise master bestowing wisdom that the student has yet to understand. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kamen was quoted as being surprised that the famous words were even remembered. “The crane at the end…” he said. “I wanted that to be the big moment. If I thought anyone remembered anything they’d remember that.”

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
 Christopher McQuarrie

Iterations of this quote have appeared in literature for nearly 200 years, but it was screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie who gave it to the pitiful character of Verbal Kint in the 1995 movie The Usual Suspects. McQuarrie won the Oscar that year for Best Original Screenplay and went on to write The Way of the GunJack ReacherThe Mummy, four Mission Impossible screenplays and the 2021 reboot Top Gun: Maverick. In fact, if you’ve heard McQuarrie’s name anywhere lately, it’s probably been in association with Tom Cruise, as the two have worked on several recent projects together.

That’ll do, pig.
 George Miller

Born in Australia, screenwriter George Miller is best known for his film Mad Max: Fury Road, which is widely hailed as one of the greatest action films ever made. But his portfolio has a soft side too, as evidenced by the touching family film Babe. In the movie, James Cromwell plays Farmer Hoggett, a reserved man not prone to lavish words. When his pig wins the sheep herding competition, the farmer looks down and simply says, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” Miller’s production company acquired the rights to the story in the 1980s, but it took a decade for the available technology to catch up with Miller’s aspirations for the film. When it was released in 1995, it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effect for its depictions of talking animals.

Wakanda forever.
 Ryan Coogler

This traditional greeting from the fictional land of Wakanda is always given with the right arm crossed over the left. The phrase, which has come to signify dignity and excellence, was co-written by Ryan Coogler, who was 32 years old when Black Panther was released in 2018. His previous screenplays include Fruitvale Station (nominated for 57 different awards) and Creed (which earned Sylvester Stallone an Academy Award nomination in 2016). However, it remains to be seen if screenwriting will be Coogler’s legacy. He is slated to direct the Black Panther sequel in 2022, and the recent film Judas and the Black Messiah, which Coogler produced, has been nominated for six Academy Awards.

6 Famous Movie Lines By Screenwriters You’ve Never Heard Of


6 Famous Movie Lines By Screenwriters You’ve Never Heard OfApril 7, 2021

Share using facebook
Share using twitter
Share using email

All great movies begin on the page. Screenwriters labor for years over their words, striving to draft stories that will resonate through time. After directors, actors, producers, cinematographers, and designers have all worked their magic, it can be easy to forget how the project started. Only a handful of writers ever gain celebrity status for their work (think Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola), while many others go unnoticed by the public, despite writing some of the most enduring lines in film history. In honor of these unsung heroes of the entertainment industry, we’ve compiled a list of famous movie lines by writers you may never have heard of.

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.
 Paddy Chayefsky

Even if you’ve never seen the 1976 film Network, chances are you’ve heard the line. It was originally delivered by actor Peter Finch playing TV newsman Howard Beale. In the scene, the character, who is about to lose his job and coming a little unhinged at the prospect, engages in an on-air rant for the ages, insisting that people go to their windows and yell it with him: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” The spectacular speech was penned by writer Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky. In his 30-year career, Chayefsky is credited with dozens of movies, plays, and TV series. He won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth before his death in 1981.

E.T. phone home.
 Melissa Mathison

Melissa Mathison’s screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial earned her an Academy Award in 1983. Anyone who grew up in the ‘80s will have trouble hearing the words “E.T. phone home” without raising a finger to point at the sky. It’s the iconic  moment when Eliot (Henry Thomas) finally realizes what his new alien friend is trying to tell him. What most of us don’t know is that Mathison was also the writer behind a number of other memorable movies, including The Black StallionThe Indian in the CupboardKundun, and The BFG, which was released in 2016, shortly after Mathison’s death in 2015.

Wax on, wax off.
 Robert Mark Kamen

In addition to his 1984 film The Karate Kid, Robert Mark Kamen wrote The Fifth ElementA Walk in the CloudsGladiator, and many more. His list of credits is impressive, but it’s this line — “wax on, wax off” — that echoes through the ages. Thanks in large part to actor Pat Morita’s delivery, the words evoke the image of a wise master bestowing wisdom that the student has yet to understand. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kamen was quoted as being surprised that the famous words were even remembered. “The crane at the end…” he said. “I wanted that to be the big moment. If I thought anyone remembered anything they’d remember that.”

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
 Christopher McQuarrie

Iterations of this quote have appeared in literature for nearly 200 years, but it was screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie who gave it to the pitiful character of Verbal Kint in the 1995 movie The Usual Suspects. McQuarrie won the Oscar that year for Best Original Screenplay and went on to write The Way of the GunJack ReacherThe Mummy, four Mission Impossible screenplays and the 2021 reboot Top Gun: Maverick. In fact, if you’ve heard McQuarrie’s name anywhere lately, it’s probably been in association with Tom Cruise, as the two have worked on several recent projects together.

That’ll do, pig.
 George Miller

Born in Australia, screenwriter George Miller is best known for his film Mad Max: Fury Road, which is widely hailed as one of the greatest action films ever made. But his portfolio has a soft side too, as evidenced by the touching family film Babe. In the movie, James Cromwell plays Farmer Hoggett, a reserved man not prone to lavish words. When his pig wins the sheep herding competition, the farmer looks down and simply says, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” Miller’s production company acquired the rights to the story in the 1980s, but it took a decade for the available technology to catch up with Miller’s aspirations for the film. When it was released in 1995, it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effect for its depictions of talking animals.

Wakanda forever.
 Ryan Coogler

This traditional greeting from the fictional land of Wakanda is always given with the right arm crossed over the left. The phrase, which has come to signify dignity and excellence, was co-written by Ryan Coogler, who was 32 years old when Black Panther was released in 2018. His previous screenplays include Fruitvale Station (nominated for 57 different awards) and Creed (which earned Sylvester Stallone an Academy Award nomination in 2016). However, it remains to be seen if screenwriting will be Coogler’s legacy. He is slated to direct the Black Panther sequel in 2022, and the recent film Judas and the Black Messiah, which Coogler produced, has been nominated for six Academy Awards.

WaterWorld Day


Did you know…

… that today is Waterworld Day? Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner, opened in 1995. Costing almost $200 million to make, it was the most expensive movie ever made at that time because of crew injuries, tsunami warnings, a sinking set, disputes between Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds, the director and more. The film grossed a mere $88 million at the U.S. box office but did much better overseas, with $176 million at the foreign box office.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“You have to decide if you’re going to wilt like a daisy or if you’re just going to go forward and live the life that you’ve been granted.”

— Kevin Costner

International Tiger Day – 29 July


International Tiger Day – 29 July

Tiger day July 2021

This day is commemorated to raise awareness about tiger conservation.

Content marketing ideas:   

  • Listicle idea: X Things you can do if an animal escapes from the zoo
  • Infographic idea: X Fictional tigers you should know about
  • Video idea: How does a tiger’s stripes help with camouflage?
  • Podcast idea: Are forest reserves better than forests to ensure tigers’ survival?

A brand campaign that worked:

This ad by Australia Zoo shows the majesty of tigers and why they should be saved at any cost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3FnM3u02-I