Skating in the Alps

Blejsko Lake AlpsBlejsko Lake, Alps – Photo by Karol Nienartowicz

On winter holidays in the lost land of my childhood, I went with my family to this lake in the Alps at a place called Bled, in SLovenia, whilom Yugoslavia.

Imagine that lake, frozen, surrounded by a wonderland of snowy woods, with a castle looming over it on the promontory and the little island with a chapel on it like something out of a fairy tale. That’s the ice I learned to skate on – tossed out in the middle of a borderless, fenceless, edgeless rink and told to skate my way home. And I did. I did. I did. I stayed upright and I stayed graceful. The gift of the fairy lake to a young girl who was learning to dream.

The photo was taken by Karol Nienartowicz, a 29 year old Polish landscape photographer with a passion for the Alps. He goes to the limits and beyond to capture his breathtaking images, BabaMail reports. He’s even spent nights in a tent on a glacier, 13,123 feet above sea level. Now, that’s dedication!.

30 remarkable Karol Nienartowicz photos HERE

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Christmas booksThe paperback of “Random” probably won’t make it under your tree on Christmas morning… but a little note saying that it’s been ordered and it’s on its way DOES fit in your favorite reader’s stocking.

Just saying.

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Poetry BrothelThe Poetry Brothel transforms the Back Room into a poetic paradise for a night. (Photo: Rachael Saltzman)

New York’s Poetry Brothel

Tucked inside an alleyway, down one set of steps and up another, a salon exudes the easy sex appeal that could only manifest in a Prohibition speakeasy, Alexandra Villarreal reports at The Observer. Lipstick red covers the wall and floor. A sparkling chandelier lights up the night.

The Madame and her drunken bouncer introduce the evening’s entertainment, burlesque performers who swing their hips and lift their legs to uproarious applause while whores and their patrons sneak behind a bookcase for time in the shadows.

Read the article

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School libraries are essential for learning

You can’t have learning without the magic of a book. Lose the libraries and you lose… the bedrock. Why is this so hard to understand?

This comes to mind because of an appalling story out of Philadelphia. In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in the public schools. This year there are 11 and only five are known to be actually doing what they were trained to do. Five librarians for the nation’s eighth-largest school district.
School libraryMasterman principal Marjorie Neff sits in the school’s closed library, which was closed last year due to budget cuts. TOM GRALISH

Leaving Philadelphia’s public school libraries without professional staffing is a grave mistake, Carol Heinsdorf tell us at Philly.com. It will have consequences for the students for the rest of their lives. Study after study shows a clear link between school libraries staffed by certified librarians and student achievement.

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WAY above your pay grade

So I’m standing in the bullshit ‘security theater’ line at LAX behind the incredibly beautiful Nichelle Nichols, who played Ulhura on the original Star Trek, Daniel Knauf writes .

At 81, she’s still as gracious, classy and lovely as ever.

Unfortunately, as is the case for many people her age, she has some mobility problems and was seated in a wheelchair as we approached the metal detector. With some difficulty, she got out of the chair to go through the machine, and the TSA Officer waiting on the other side ordered her to take off her shoes….

So when this officious prick asked the Single-Woman-on-Earth-Least-Likely-to-Be-a-Terrorist to remove her shoes, despite her clearly limited mobility, I said (very loudly),

“Sir! That woman is a Star Fleet Communications Officer! She is WAY above your pay-grade! How DARE you ask her to remove her shoes?!”

At this, all the other people waiting in line cheered and applauded, and officer was shamed into waving her through.

It was an awesome moment.

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Why Dogs Never Actually Die.

This guy nails it. I have three of them, sleeping next to MY heart/ That’s a lot of tails. And then there’s the cats that have joined them, too, softly pawing at the heart in question when they’re sleepy and content. Poor heart. So much going on. SO much not forgetting.

Read the essay

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THIS ‘n THAT

Free water, electricity and fuel

Well maybe not exactly, but Panasonic has built a town just outside Tokyo that features homes built with solar paneled roofs and batteries for storing energy, LED street lighting, ride-sharing services, and car charging stations dotting parking lots.
Smart townMore HERE

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How to make street art with moss
Moss-graffitiDYI Cozy Home tells uo how HERE

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Oldest artShell ‘art’ made 300,000 years before humans evolved

Half a million years ago, hundreds of  thousands years before our own species evolved,
a Homo erectus etched a deep zigzag into a clam shell. We will never know what was going on inside its maker’s head, The New Scientist says, but the tidy, purposeful line has opened a new window into the origins of our modern creative mind.

Read the article

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Quote of the Day
QUOTE Chesterson~~~~~
Alma Alexander     My books     Email me

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