THIS PAGE IS A LIVING DOCUMENT, PERPETUALLY IN PROGRESS
Jack said that he and Marie had traveled to most of the continents. And, so, it seemed like an interesting idea to start a page about interesting places to visit.
The continents, as they are named today, are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania. It might be noted that Oceania includes not only Australia and the island nations surrounding it, but also the Bonin Islands (Japan), the Easter Islands (Chile), and even Hawai'i (United States). Clearly, the lines of demarcation have more to do with geographical location than with political ties.
Which islands did Jack and Marie visit? Well, Jack didn't list them. We do know that they visited Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Five out of seven isn't bad, and they may have visited even more!
Classical Music in a Kenyan Ghetto
Fires burn in a landfill next to the area where the Ghetto
Classics Orchestra is tuning up. The musicians are not highly paid members of
the Met, but they do love music, and they are learning their art and sharing it
with others in their far-from-upscale neighborhood. It is a project of the Art
of Music Foundation, which was established “in 2009 to enrich the lives of
young Kenyans through music.” They performed the classics and the
contemporaries and have even performed for Pope Francis!
Read more about the Ghetto Classics Orchestra.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
There's a splendid hotel in Kenya. Architecturally, it looks like an English Edwardian manor house. It is very upscale and very expensive. Visitors say it is well worth making the journey and paying the price. You see, all around Giraffe Manor live African safari animals, including giraffes. The giraffes are entitled to come close to the house and even will stand at the windows and wait to be fed dietary pellets, which are created especially for them. But your visit does not have to be limited to feeding the giraffes. Sign up for a safari, and you can see all the animals that are native to the region.
Learn more about it on Netflix by watching the series Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby.
No School Buses for These Children
In the Himachal region of India, children must step from
rock to rock to cross a raging river in order to get to school. It’s all a part
of the monsoon season, and it sends children to school with wet clothes and
When you see the picture, you’ll find it difficult to believe you’re in the Baltic Sea, just south of Sweden. The scene looks like it might have come from the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean. It seems that Bornholm is a summer retreat for city dwellers, who need a place to hide away. Who’d have thought . . . ?
Read more about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/t-magazine/travel/bornholm-island-denmark-travel.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Ftravel&action=click&contentCollection=travel®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
The Lingering Mystery of the Unicorn Tapestries
Woven in France by an unknown artist in the 15th and 16th centuries, “The Hunt of the Unicorn” comprises twelve tapestries that go together to tell a story. They were purchased in France by John D. Rockefeller and later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters Gallery, where they remain on display.
Read the story and see pictures of the tapestries: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-mystery-mets-unicorn-tapestries-remains-unsolved
Preserving Our National Parks
In September 2016, the man in the White House set aside ocean waters in the Hawaiian archipelago as a marine sanctuary. Now, the Trust for Public Land has purchased 400 acres of meadowland and donated it to the National Park Service as an attachment to Yosemite National Park in California.
In a day and age when certain factions would like to return the national parklands to the public to be subdivided and conquered by business interests, this addition to Yosemite is good news, indeed!
The Lost Architecture of the San Fernando Valley
Where did all the fine architecture of the early 20th century go?
Richard Neutra’s post-modern contemporary design suggests that his brief period of study under Frank Lloyd Wright just may have happened when Wright was designing Taliesen West. Ayn Rand once owned it. Now, it is no more.
Enjoy seeing pictures and reading about several distinctive properties that once graced the San Fernando Valley of California.
Run Across the United States
Ernie Andrus just completed a cross-country run from San Diego, California, to St. Simons Island, Georgia. That, in itself, is remarkable. What makes it even more astounding is that Ernie Andrus is 93 years old. He was 90 years old when he began his trek in August of 2013. As if that isn’t sufficiently noteworthy, Ernie Andrus made the run in an effort to raise the funds necessary to take a World War II ship to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Ernie Andrus served aboard the ship as a medic during the war.
The ship in question is USS T-LST 325, a tank landing ship. After entering service in 1942, it served in the Mediterranean Sea before participating in the D-Day Invasion and landing at Omaha Beach. After being struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1961, it was transferred to the Maritime Administration in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. In 1964, it was sent to Greece as a grant-in-aid; there it served until 1999. Ever since, it has been a museum ship and is currently berthed in Evansville, Indiana.
Ernie probably did not raise as much money as he had hoped, given the huge cost of taking a ship to Europe, but he did raise more than $16,000 plus direct contributions and nearly $50,000 in contributions toward the cost of his run. Most of all, he helped to bring publicity to the need to save and restore our vintage ships.
The movement to save and restore old ships is very active at present. The two surviving and fully operational Liberty Ships are being restored and maintained in Baltimore, Maryland, and San Francisco, California. The SS United States Conservancy is restoring the fastest cruise ship on record. An individual, Christopher Willson, with help found on Craigslist is helping to restore a cruise ship, the MV Aurora (formerly the Wappen van Hamburg). The United States Lines, which sailed the SS United States, is helping him financially.
Touring Biosphere 2
You don’t have to be one of NASA’s specially selected biospherians to get a peek inside Biosphere 2 in the Arizona desert. All you have to do is gather your hiking shoes, water bottle, sunscreen, and physical stamina – and the $40 entrance fee, of course.
Biosphere 2 was built by NASA 30 years ago to see whether
human beings could sustain life in the harsh environment of, say, Mars or the
moon. One of the first questions NASA had to answer was whether inhabitants
could be chosen who could get along with each other in an enclosed environment.
Another was whether they could produce enough of their own food to sustain
them. And, of course, they had to know that enough oxygen could be produced in
the hydroponic environment to sustain them. NASA learned a lot, and
compatibility, nutriment, and oxygen all proved to be problems for the
biospherians. Tales at the time were of outsiders sneaking McDonalds hamburgers
in to them.
An interesting read might be about how long-term dwellers of the International Space Station manage to survive when the biospherians experienced such difficulty. This article doesn’t answer that question, but it might prompt you to spend a few hours under the Arizona sun.
Read more about Biosphere 2 and how you can take a tour: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/findery/biosphere-2-real-life-rea_b_6646924.html
Experience Maori Culture in New Zealand
The Maori people of New Zealand originated in the same
region as the Hawaiians. Their languages are very similar to this day. Learn a
bit about the Maori culture in this article:
Celebrate Our Similarities, Not Our Differences
The movie Arranged (2007) is about looking for the similarities, rather than the differences among people.
When two first-year teachers – an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim – at an inner city Brooklyn school work together, they become friends and learn that they have many more interests and opinions in common than not. They use their learning experience to help their students learn to accept classmates who come from different backgrounds, even as they use it to help each other learn how to live in today’s world without abandoning the traditions in which they grew up. Along the way, they teach their students and themselves to share a bit about themselves in order to appear less strange and unapproachable to others. After all, hatred stems from fear, which stems from the unknown. If we can get to know each other, we have less to fear and, therefore, less need to hate. This is a beautifully told story.