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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 8,666

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A classmate’s parting gift for Boston Latin class

Source: Boston Globe

Phillip Sossou spent the past four months secretly sketching portraits of seniors at Boston Latin School, capturing their smiles, the glint in their eyes, the contours of their faces.

And early Friday morning — the final day of classes for seniors — the Roslindale teenager went to the school with six friends and finished affixing 411 charcoal portraits along the first-floor walls.

It made for a stunning display of school pride, a gift Sossou said he wanted to leave with his classmates.

“Our class has been kind of divided,” said Sossou, an 18-year-old. “Having these pictures helps us to embrace our diversity.”

Latin School has been mired in negative news after allegations of racism surfaced, with students of color complaining that administrators were slow to respond to the use of racial epithets at the school.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/27/boston-latin-student-creates-charcoal-portraits-graduating-classmates/jc12pachooSlIupOWg8hWK/story.html

Thailand’s Controversial "Temple Tigers" Are Finally Free

Source: The Smithsonian

Earlier this week, Thai authorities seized dozens of tigers from the country’s so-called “Tiger Temple” after years of accusations of animal abuse and wildlife trafficking. The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Temple, as it is officially known, is located west of the capital city of Bangkok and became infamous several years ago as photos of tourists posing with tigers at the supposed sanctuary went viral.
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During a raid conducted this week, Thai officials found 137 captive tigers, as well as 40 dead cubs kept in freezers on the premises.

"When our vet team arrived, there were tigers roaming around everywhere," Wildlife Conservation Office (WCO) director Teunjai Noochdumrong tells Kocha Olarn and Radina Gigova for CNN. "Looks like the temple intentionally let these tigers out, trying to obstruct our work."

The temple has long been a popular tourist site for visitors looking for a hands-on experience with the big cats. For a $273 donation, visitors to the self-proclaimed sanctuary were allowed to pet, feed, and bathe the suspiciously calm tigers, Sarah Emerson reports for Motherboard. Reports and investigations over the years have suggested that the temple not only drugged the tigers to keep them docile for tourists seeking selfies with the endangered animals, but also was actively involved in illegal tiger trade.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/thailands-controversial-tinder-tigers-are-finally-free-180959283/

A pick-me-up for my fellow Sanders supporters:

Suzanne Vega - Left Of Center

Rotate this: A tiny house in Portland can follow the sun

Source: Treehugger

A hundred years ago, George Bernard Shaw did his best work in his rotating writing shed. There are some big advantages; he could turn it toward the sun when it was cool, away from it when it is hot. Lester Walker notes that "it could be manually turned to follow the arc of the sun. He worked alone and loved his privacy; he even adjusted his telephone for outgoing calls only." (More on Shaw's hut here)

Now, Portland Oregon's Path Architecture has built 359, a bigger shed that does much the same thing; it is 12 feet by 12 feet and has it all. Compared to the 8'-6" of your standard tiny house, it is really roomy inside.

There is an off-grid design with composting toilet and solar on the roof, shown on the model;

This built version is tied to city services with a flush toilet, the waste going through a rotating coupling used in the natural gas industry that is in the dead center of the turntable. Electricity and water connections are the reason it only turns 359 degrees, so that they don't get all twisted up, but Benjamin Kaiser tells TreeHugger that "for the next version, however, we have that licked too."

More: http://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/rotate-tiny-house-portland-can-follow-sun.html

The 10 Must-Watch Movies Leaving Netflix Next Month

Source: Wired

It’s nearly June, which means that not only is summer fast approaching, but so is LGBT Pride Month. Before we all make with the constant BBQs and dancing in the streets, though, we should probably clear out the ol’ Netflix queue. Given the occasion, a good handful of our expiring picks this month either have LGBT themes (Paris is Burning) or at gay icons (Madonna: Truth or Dare), while others are just here because—well, because Bill Murray’s in them. And really, that’s enough—unless you’re talking about Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, and really, would we do that to you?


I'm going to re-watch these two:

I plan on watching these two for the first time:

Take On Me (a-ha) | FREE DAD VIDEOS

France Decks Out Its National Railway Cars to Look Like the Palace of Versailles

Source: Slate

The SNCF, France’s national rail network, is a fine piece of infrastructure. But unlike the taxis of Mumbai or the long-haul trucks of Spain, French SNCF trains generally have an unremarkable décor that is more about efficiency than inspired design. But in 2012, the SNCF in collaboration with 3M launched Art in Transit, an ongoing project that has redecorated banal train car interiors with recreations of Impressionist art and stained glass from Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, a train station turned art museum. The latest installment features a second edition of Versailles-themed décor inside five cars on the RER C train line that runs between Paris and Versailles.

SNCF said in a press release that the new decorations—which feature details such as bookcases, sconces, decorative wall and ceiling panels, and scenes from the sumptuous gardens covered in a new high-tech plastic film, alongside brightly colored striped upholstery—are evocative of the “richness” of the Palace of Versailles and its grounds. “The scenic designs are adapted to the configuration of the train,” they write, “and are generally lightened to work with the light, colorful new train design.”

More: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2016/05/16/france_s_sncf_decks_out_its_cars_to_look_like_the_palace_of_versailles_for.html

India records its hottest day ever as temperature hits 51C (that's 123.8F)

Source: The Guardian

A city in northern India has shattered the national heat record, registering a searing 51C – the highest since records began – amid a nationwide heatwave.

The new record was set in Phalodi, a city in the desert state of Rajasthan, and is the equivalent of 123.8F.

It tops a previous record of 50.6C set in 1956.

“Yesterday (Thursday) was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country ... 51C in Phalodi,” said BP Yadav, a director of India’s meteorological department, on Friday.

Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June – the hottest months of the year – but topping 50C is unusual.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/20/india-records-its-hottest-day-ever-as-temperature-hits-51c-thats-1238f#img-1

How an Obscure Photographer Saved Yosemite

Source: The Smithsonian

In June of 1864, as Sherman’s armies were moving toward Atlanta and Grant’s were recovering from a bloody loss at Cold Harbor, President Abraham Lincoln took a break from the grim, all-consuming war to sign a law protecting a slice of land “in the granite peak of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.” The act granted the area “known as the Yo-Semite Valley” to the state of California, to “be held for public use, resort, and recreation...inalienable for all time.” It was the federal government’s first act to preserve a part of nature for the common good—a precursor of the National Park Service, now enjoying its centennial—and it might not have happened but for an obscure 34-year-old named Carleton Watkins.

Born in a small town in New York, Watkins headed west in 1849 to seek his fortune in California’s gold rush, to no avail. After apprenticing to a pioneer daguerreotypist named Robert Vance, he made his money shooting mining estates. In the summer of 1861, Watkins set out to photograph Yosemite, carrying a literal ton of equipment on mules—tripods, dark tent, lenses and a novel invention for taking sharp photographs of landscapes on glass plates nearly two feet across.

We associate Yosemite with the photographs of Ansel Adams, who acknowledged Watkins as one of “the great Western photographers,” but it was Watkins who first turned Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan into unforgettable sights. Weston Naef, a photography curator and co-author of a book about Watkins, described him as “probably the greatest American artist of his era, and hardly anyone has heard of him.”

Sketches and awed descriptions of Yosemite’s grand views had reached the East in the mid-1800s, but nothing provoked public reaction like Watkins’ photos, which were exhibited at a gallery in New York in 1862. “The views of lofty mountains, of gigantic trees, of falls of water...are indescribably unique and beautiful,” the Times reported. The great landscape painter Albert Bierstadt promptly headed to Yosemite. Ralph Waldo Emerson said Watkins’ images of sequoias “are proud curiosities here to all eyes.”

Read/View more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/carleton-watkins-yosemite-photographer-national-parks-180959065/
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