Mugging It Up!

Tiki Style

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Soon after the island-themed Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s restaurants started serving tropical island cocktails in the early 1950s, the tiki mug came on the scene.

Fun to drink out of and to take home as souvenirs, the ceramic mugs with the smiling tiki god faces became a permanent part of our culture.

Exotic and irreverent, the mugs tell of far-away lands and adventure.

They invite us to indulge in a drink and give in to escapist fantasies far from the maddening crowd.

Filled with Polynesian drinks from rum punch and Singapore slings to mai tais and zombies, the tiki mugs take us away to the South Seas.

More than just kitsch, tiki mugs are recognized as an art form now and are even displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Like the American spirit itself, the tiki mug represents a feeling of optimism and a sense of endless possibilities freed from everyday conventions.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love the playful tiki mugs and the gods themselves, beckoning us to merriment and mischief.

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Waves of Love

Beach Valentine Duet

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Waves break. Hearts ache.

Where is the one for me?

Out there in the sea?

Strolling on the beach, practically in reach?

Looking out from the pier, standing very near?

Surfer girl and surfer guy see each other passing by,

Longing for a beach romance, wanting to take a chance.

Waves break. Hearts ache.

Are you the one for me?

My Valentine you must be!

Whether your Valentine’s Day greeting is serious or funny, whimsical or outlandish, make it your own…and send it to someone you love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunny, Patti & Greg

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Ladders Are The Cat’s Meow

Swiss Kitties On the Prowl

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

From the beaches of Australia to the Alps in Switzerland, people and their cats are sharing each other’s lives. Aussie Robert Dollwett’s cats Didga and Boomer like to surf and skateboard.

In Brasilia, Brazil, when a stray cat kept sneaking into the offices of the Order of Attorneys building, rather than shooing him out, they named him Leon and made him an attorney.

And, in Switzerland this brave kitty rescued a lost hiker.

The Swiss, known for intricate watches and complex banking systems, have developed an ingenious way for their house cats to travel from one point to the other – cat ladders.

Offering kitties the best of both worlds – a warm, cozy home and access to the adventurous outdoors – the ladders are a common sight in Switzerland’s urban cities.

Graphic designer Brigitte Schuster has photographed them for magazines and is working on a book, Swiss Cat Ladders, that showcases the vast array of catwalks from narrow bridges to zigzag configurations and spiral staircases.

SurfWriter Girl Sunny Magdaug, who has lived in Switzerland, says the cat ladders reflect the practicality of the Swiss and their ability to find creative solutions to problems…

even something as simple as letting the cat out.

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New Protection for Pacific Ocean

140,000 Square Mile Coastal Haven

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that new regulations have been finalized to protect the seafloor off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.

These would put an end to deep ocean trawling that damages the habitat of corals and sponges that provide for marine life.

The new protections that go into effect in 2020 cover 140,000 square miles of critical ocean ecosystems.

The nonprofit environmental group Oceana helped to bring about the regulations through its years of advocacy for the region and the scientific research data it gathered showing the damage being done by commercial fishing gear to the ocean floor.

Oceana’s Pacific campaign manager and senior research scientist, Ben Enticknap, said, the regulations are “a win-win for ocean conservation and fishermen.”

“Healthy oceans rely on a healthy seafloor and these new conservation areas will ensure that commercially important fish and other ocean animals, like deep-sea corals, octopus, crab and sea stars, can thrive into the future.”

Environmentalists have long opposed bottom trawl fishing methods because of the destruction caused by the weighted nets that are dragged over the ocean floor to catch the fish in their path.

The protections will enable fish populations to flourish and benefit both the ocean environment and fisheries.

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Kit Kat Candy Wrapper Art

Origami Artworks for the Environment

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Japanese chocolate maker Kit Kat is swapping its plastic candy wrappers for recyclable paper ones that you can use to make origami artworks.

Kit Kat’s parent company Nestle says this should reduce the brand’s plastic waste by 380 tons a year. Nestle wants to have all its product packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.

The new candy wrapper includes instructions on how to fold the paper into a crane – a symbol of happiness and eternal youth throughout Asia.

In Japan it’s believed that if you fold a thousand origami cranes your wish will come true.

Kit Kat hopes its origami paper candy wrappers stimulate interest in origami. The Japanese paper-folding art dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867).

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are Kit Kat fans and love origami. With the new candy wrappers, we can indulge in both – and help the environment, too.

That’s definitely the cat’s meow!

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The Joy of Audrey Hepburn 

A Life Filled with Possibilities

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

Film lovers around the world continue to fall in love with Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993).

She was an incredible actress and humanitarian, who served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, traveling to Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Guatemala, Venezuela and Ecuador.

 

Listed by the American Film Institute as one of the top three actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Hepburn’s beauty and charm left an indelible mark on countless films, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Wait Until Dark, Sabrina, and Charade.

Working with the top directors and leading men of her day, Hepburn held her own alongside Carey Grant, Gregory Peck, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, Peter O’Toole, Fred Astaire, George Peppard, Sean Connery, and more.

Rising to stardom after her breakout performance in Roman Holiday (1953), Hepburn was the first actress to win three awards for a single performance – the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are among Hepburn’s legion of fans both for her magical presence on the screen and her indomitable spirit that rose against adversity, while helping others to do the same.

Even though she had a privileged upbringing, Hepburn, who was born in Belgium to the Baroness Ella van Heemstra, lived in Holland during the German occupation of WWII and barely survived the Dutch famine – an experience that made her want to help those in need.

Always maintaining a positive outlook on life, Audrey Hepburn was more than a star; she was a survivor.

Her movies have left indelible memories with all who have seen them and now with the publication of this new book, Always Audrey, featuring never-before-seen photos by six different photographers, there are even more beautiful images to enjoy.

A woman to admire, Audrey Hepburn never stopped doing the impossible.

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Swallows Take Flight

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

San Juan Capistrano’s famous cliff swallows have been taking to the sky to begin their long journey back to their wintering grounds in Argentina, some 6,000 miles south.

Each year around the Day of San Juan, October 23rd, the iconic birds leave the Southern California mission city to go back to Goya, Argentina – a trip that takes about 30 days.

Then, it’s hoped, that as the birds have done for centuries, they will faithfully return to California on St Joseph’s Day, March 19th.

Though San Juan Capistrano is much better known for the swallows’ return in the spring – a time of festivals and celebrations – their fall departure is part of the cycle of life…

and a bond that the two cities share.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have seen the birds’ comings and goings firsthand.

Over the years, a few swallows have even made their way to Patti and her husband Greg’s house to build their mud nests under the eaves. And, when we’re at the mission we always raise a toast to their safe journey.

Swallows and their nests are fully protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

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Marie Tharp Mapped the Ocean’s Depths

Uncovering Underwater Mysteries

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Thanks to the pioneering work of American geologist Marie Tharp (1920 – 2006) the mysteries of the ocean’s depths are a little less mysterious.

From 1957 to 1977 Tharp turned the raw data from researchers’ seismic readings of the Atlantic Ocean sea floor into elaborate maps depicting the contours of the ocean bottom. To the surprise of everyone, the maps showed the sea floor to be diverse and multi-layered, rather than the flat, muddy surface most had thought.

Working at Columbia University’s Lamont Geological Laboratory, Tharp painstakingly drew by hand the underwater mountains, canyons and ridges that make up the Atlantic Ocean’s floor.

A woman in a man’s world, many of Tharp’s ideas about the ocean environment were initially dismissed as inconsequential “girl talk”…only to be proven true later.

She was one of the first to support the then controversial theory of continental drift – that the earth’s continents moved over geologic time.

She also identified the rift valley that runs from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to the South Atlantic, information that would lead to today’s earthquake and tectonic plate research.

Tharp went on to map the Indian Ocean in 1964 and created a world ocean map in 1977, feats that led to her being called “the woman who discovered the backbone of Earth.”

The books Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea, by Robert Burleigh, and Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor, by Hali Felt, both tell Tharp’s story of perseverance to map an ocean landscape that had eluded everyone else.

For her accomplishments Tharp received the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal, the Society of Women Geographers Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Mary Sears Woman Pioneer in Oceanography Award.

In 1997 the Library of Congress named Tharp one of the four outstanding cartographers of the 20th Century, displaying one of her maps alongside pages from explorers Lewis and Clark’s journals and a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

After a lifetime behind-the-scenes Marie Tharp and her maps were finally where they should be – front and center for all to see.

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Photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado

Bringing Brazil’s Forest Back to Life

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

Renowned Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado has used his camera and his artistry to document in black & white some of the world’s most dangerous and desolate spots.

 

After a lifetime of traveling, he was inspired to create something totally different and life-affirming: a living landscape in brilliant color – a forest in the heart of Brazil.

Located in Minas Gerais, some 300 miles Northwest of Rio de Janeiro, on 1,750-acres that belonged to his family, the land was barren from over-farming and ranching.

But, Salgado saw a different image. He remembered the vibrant landscape of trees and foliage teeming with wildlife that had once been there when he was growing up.

 

And, in 1994 he and his wife Lélia set out on an enormous task –

to reforest the land and bring it back to life.

 

Since then the couple has planted over 2 million trees…

and established the Instituto Terra foundation to oversee the work.

And now the land is rejuvenated and filled with the sights and sounds of life.

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Catch the Sustainable Fashion Wave!

Surfwear that Protects the Planet

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

There’s a new design wave in the surfwear industry – “sustainable fashion.”

European designer Anne Prahl, who works with major clothing brands and specializes in sustainable fashions, says we can expect to see, “a new generation of bio-based materials that are lab-grown and engineered, as well as 100% recyclable and biodegradable textiles.”

Prahl believes that “we need to embed sustainability right into our design concepts” from the very start and train new designers to think of how their fashions can be reused and repurposed after their initial use is over.

Adidas is putting recycling in the forefront and partnering with environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans. Together they’ve introduced sneakers made from abandoned gill-nets and turned recycled plastics that were polluting the ocean into fancy footwear. Along with this, Adidas uses color technology that employs less chemicals, water and energy in the dyeing process.

Active sportswear brand Volcom’s PASS (product and social safety) program emphasizes the ethical sourcing of fibers around the world. Volcom’s sustainability expert Derek Sabori told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel that its Farm to Yarn system tracks fibers each step of the way from their origin to destination.

Quiksilver has started using Repreve sustainable recycled fabrics in its Highline collection of boardshorts and is looking for better ways to eco-design its products.

Nike (and subsidiary Hurley) recently announced its commitment to sustainability. New chief operating officer Erick Sprunk says, “There’s no innovation without sustainability.” Nike’s 2019 shoe collection utilizes recycled fibers and plant-based dyes to reduce its carbon footprint.

Outdoor company Patagonia has been a leader in sustainability for over two decades. It’s using recycled wool, down, nylon and polyester in its new line.

Eleven-time World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater, who’s always at the vanguard of change, got on board the sustainable fashion wave last year with his own surf brand Outerknown. “We launched Outerknown to change the game and create clothing that not only reflects our style, but also our values,” said Slater.

Just as the first rule of design has always been that form follows function, now there’s another rule: style follows sustainability.

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