In a war with many villains, these are the good guys. Seven days inside the life-and-death world of Syria’s first responders — the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos.
Whatever you think about the politics of water resources, about saving salmon or bees, about farming practices and over-irrigation, about climate change or human responsibilities or just bad damn luck, this superb article is a reminder that all big stories are made up of many small ones, no less important for their size, each deserving of our time and empathy.
"So I pray for this vanishing valley. I pray for vanishing crops, may the land flourish. I pray for vanishing groundwater, may it be replenished. I pray for vanishing smelt and salmon and bees, may they thrive. I pray for politicians and the vanishing desire to empathize, may solutions be found. I pray for the vanishing dreams of farmers who’ve already lost, and for those frightened for the future, may they find peace. I pray for vanishing field workers and the businesses closing and cities desperate for water, for all those made to feel invisible and silenced, may they be seen, may they be heard."
Many thanks to RYOT for bringing this to my attention - the Japanese sport of bo-taoshi involves two teams, each of 75 men, warring over a 30-foot wooden pole. One team is trying to tip it over to an angle of 30 degrees, the other team is trying to stop that.
That’s it. The whole sport. And it seems there are very few rules about what goes on in the huddle. Oh, and apparently this is played in schools on annual sports days. I feel like we missed out.
Definitely worth a watch.
Photo by Ton Koene
Elizabeth Rolfes, Doctor, from Germany
"I remember one woman who was in labor in a village for several days. She was afraid to come to Bossangoa hospital because of the violence. She was treated in the village but didn’t deliver, so they tried to tear the baby out, which didn’t work. In the end she walked forty kilometers [about 25 miles] to the hospital. The baby died after one or two days, and the woman was horribly injured. Now she has long-term consequences from her fear. Her baby is dead and she has a fistula.”
So incredibly thankful for the health care I have access to and take for granted.
A salt mine in Romania ceased excavations in 1932. After that it was used for a variety of things, including a bomb shelter during World War II, before being converted into an underground amusement park in the 1990s. How awesome is that?
According to this article on RYOT, the park has an amphitheater, a ferris wheel, a bowling alley, a mini golf course, tennis courts and an underground lake that you can paddle boat on.
You can see more photos and a short video about the park here.
Attention New Yorkers! #Manhattanhenge returns tonight and tomorrow.
This is the phenomenon when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid. A rare and beautiful sight.
Tonight is the first of the four nights of Manhattanhenge. Get all the details about how best to experience it here, straight from Neil deGrasse Tyson!