The Art and Joy of Wood

Did you know that this is the International Year of the Forest? What that is about, I'm not really sure...after all, the forests have been around for a few years before this one. Having an international celebration of the forest brings to my mind images of fur-covered pagan folks dancing with joined hands around a big oak tree, just prior to convening to Stonehenge for the highlight of the party. Count me out for that one.

But around the world, other folks with broader minds are putting together events to celebrate the forest in different ways. We're even having one here at Penn State...I'll blog more about that in the future as our furry, er, enlightened forest fans here in State College formalize the details.

This was brought to mind by an email I received today from Dr. Illias Animon, of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He asked me to remind all you who might be interested, about an upcoming "IYF" conference being held this October in Bangalore, India, entitled Rediscovering Wood: the Key to a Sustainable Future. Sounds like a pretty interesting conference, and for those of you academically minded, the conference organizers are still soliciting proposals for presentations up to July 1st. The line-up of speakers already committed is impressive, including recent Penn State graduate Dr. Sudipta Dasmohapatra and Howard Rosen, recently retired from the US Forest Service.

The conference website includes these two videos produced by someone for the FAO, and they are well-done visual promos of the kind of work you're likely to see if you show up in Bangalore. The conference schedule includes an evening concert of "Music from Wood" and optional field trips to Mysore Palace; Channapatna, famous for its wooden toys and laquerware, and a sandalwood factory.

If you've been considering making a trip to Bangalore, this gives you a pretty good reason to be there this October!

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