Archive for September 2010

Summer in the rainforest was experience of a lifetime   Leave a comment

Amplify’d from hometownargus.com

Summer in the rainforest was experience of a lifetime

Kalinda Kolek is flanked by her father Cary Kolek and stepmother Christine, as they posed in front of a Buddhist temple in Indonesia.

If Kalinda Kolek was assigned to write an essay about what she did this past summer for her English class, she would probably have enough information and photos to produce an in-depth travel piece.

By Charlie Warner

Argus News Editor

If Kalinda Kolek was assigned to write an essay about what she did this past summer for her English class, she would probably have enough information and photos to produce an in-depth travel piece.

While most 15-year-olds might write about a trip to the Black Hills or spending several weeks at summer camp, the Caledonia High School sophomore’s summer vacation was much more extensive and exciting than that.

Kalinda, the daughter of Becky Holzwarth of Caledonia, spent 10 weeks touring the Far East and living with her father and step-mother in the mountainous rain forest of Indonesia.

Kalinda’s father Cary Kolek landed a job at the world’s largest copper mine near Tembagapura, Indonesia. Tembagapura is on the large island of New Guinea, about 500 miles north of Australia.

“My initial reaction when Dad asked me last Christmas if I wanted to spend the summer with him and Christine in Indonesia was ‘NO!’” Kalinda said. “I couldn’t imagine being away from my family and friends in Caledonia for 10 weeks. It took me a long time to agree to go. And I still had second thoughts when I arrived.”

Kalinda’s step mother sent her a detailed map of the Far East with an itinerary of where they would be going. She also provided the information regarding the various shots that would be required to enter the countries they would be touring. Kalinda was subjected to a series of three shots and an oral vaccination.

“When you’re living in the middle of a rainforest, you just don’t know what you might catch, so she had all those to be on the safe side,” Becky noted.

“My friends weren’t surprised when I told them I was going to spend most of my summer half way around the world. I think they would have been more surprised if I would have told them I wasn’t going,” Kalinda said.

The idea of sending a 15-year-old halfway around the world is more than a little daunting. But Becky pointed out Kalinda’s step mother would be meeting her in Los Angeles for the 14-hour trip across the Pacific to Taipei, Taiwan.

“Kalinda’s step mother is a wonderful lady. We get along well with her and I didn’t have any qualms about that,” Becky added.

Kalinda left the second week in June and flew the four hours to LA by herself. In LA she hooked up with Christine and landed in Taiwan 14 hours later, then flew four more hours to Denpasar, Bali, which is part of Indonesia. There they met Cary and spent June 11 and 12 resting up from the long trip and toured the island city.

For the next two weeks Cary and Christine showed Kalinda the many historic temples and sights of Indonesia. They toured Jakarta, which is the nation’s capitol, then returned to Bali for a week of touring and exploring.

“The Buddhist and Muslim temples are just incredible,” Kalinda said, as she called up photo after photo on her laptop during the interview. Kalinda had more than 1,000 images of her summer odyssey on memory sticks.

Kalinda, Cary and Christine then flew 1,500 miles to Timika, which is on the Indonesian side of New Guinea. From there they took a helicopter to the mountain town of Tembagapura, situated 6,000 feet above sea level in the New Guinea rain forest.

While the sights and sounds Kalinda experienced in the larger cities of Indonesia were eye openers, the mountain community of Tembagapura was a cultural shock.

“All the roads were rock roads,” Kalinda began,” and I don’t mean gravel roads. These were rock roads, made out of rocks this big,” she said, holding up both her hands. “There was one grocery store in the town, about half the size of Quillin’s, a small department store that had everything from Tupperware to shirts to all the necessities you couldn’t bring with you when you flew in. There was one restaurant called The Loop and there was a school for kids up to eighth grade. That school was for both the native kids and those of the expatriots who worked in the mines.”

When asked if she got bored during her four-week stay on “the mountain,” as she referred to it, Kalinda replied, “oh yes. There wasn’t a lot for the women to do. The men would head off to the mines and the women might go to the pool or the gym and maybe hang out at The Loop. That was about it.”

The mining town did have limited Internet service and Kalinda spent much of her time communicating with her friends back home. “The Internet service was real slow, but it was better than not having service.”

They were also able to view satellite TV, although there were only about a half dozen English channels.

“It rained every day. You just got used to bringing an umbrella with you everywhere you went. If you wanted to see the sun, you had to get up real early. By mid-morning it would cloud up and rain all day. We hardly ever saw the stars. It was usually cloudy at night.”

Towards the end of July, Kalinda admitted she was counting the days and then the hours, as her departure date neared. The day she and Christine were to fly off the mountain and begin the long trip back to the States, they got up at 5:30 a.m. only to be greeted by a thick fog. There would be no helicopter service that day.

The fog lifted, however and Kalinda and her step mother were able to begin the trip home.

The trip home took them through Singapore, whic
h Kalinda described as the cleanest place she had ever been.

“They call Singapore ‘the fine city’ because you can get fined for just about anything. They won’t even allow chewing gum because of the littering issues. And as we approached Singapore on the airplane, a message came over the speaker system that drug smuggling wasn’t tolerated in Singapore. They handle it there with the death penalty.”

While she had second thoughts about embarking on the trip in June, she was very glad she decided to go and recommended a trip like this to everyone.

“I had the chance to see all those beautiful temples, hand-feed a wild monkey in the rain forest, swim with dolphins in Bali and see the world’s tallest buildings in Malaysia. I got to learn about cultures that were very different than our culture here in Caledonia.

“It definitely was a learning experience and an opportunity of a lifetime.”       

 

  You can contact Charlie Warner at
charlie.warner@ecm-inc.comRead more at hometownargus.com

 

Posted September 29, 2010 by dmacc502 in Uncategorized

The Denise MacColeman Daily on Twitter   Leave a comment

You have to see this. Create you own newspaper using followers stories.

Posted September 29, 2010 by dmacc502 in Uncategorized

Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010   Leave a comment

An Indian worker carries sand on her head outside Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for the Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. Frantic last-minute preparations for the Commonwealth Games were paying off, international sports officials said Friday, with armies of cleaners making progress at the fetid athletes’ village and foreign teams announcing they planned to attend the troubled competition.
A supporter of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez dressed in a devil costume, symbolizing the U.S., poses for a picture at a campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. Venezuela will hold legislative elections on Sept. 26.
Congolese soldier stands ready, at the small town off Walikale, Congo, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. Violence is reaching new levels of savagery and spiraling out of control in this corner of Congo, where the competition for control of mineral resources has drawn in several armed groups, including the Congolese army.
Each week, the Denver Post compiles some of the week’s most poignant photos from around the world.
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
1
A hawk perched on a tree at the edge of Randleman Lake is framed by the harvest moon, near Branson Davis Road in Randolph County, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/News & Record, Joseph Rodriguez)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
2
An Indian worker carries sand on her head outside Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for the Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. Frantic last-minute preparations for the Commonwealth Games were paying off, international sports officials said Friday, with armies of cleaners making progress at the fetid athletes’ village and foreign teams announcing they planned to attend the troubled competition. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
3
Visitors enjoy a ride on a amusement park ride at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
4
In this photogaph taken on September 23, 2010, five-year-old Silpha Maharani takes a nap beside chess boards while Indonesian rising chess star, 14-year-old national junior chess champion Masruri Rahman (not pictured), plays simultaneous matches against 200 students at a Jakarta gymnasium during an exhibition game celebrating national sports day and promoting chess to youngsters. Masruri won the gold medal in the 13-year-old division at the 5th World School Chess Championship in Greece in 2009. The junior high school student comes from a poor family of six children, his father, who taugh him to play chess, earns a living as an autorickshaw driver while his mother accompanies him during his games. ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
5
Pakistani activists of the hardline party Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) shout anti-US slogans and burn tires during a protest in Lahore early on September 24, 2010 following the sentencing of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years in prison for trying to shoot US officers. A New York court found Aafia Siddiqui, 38, who had been dubbed “Lady Qaeda” by the US tabloids, guilty for attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan, in a high-profile case sparking outrage in Pakistan. TOPSHOTS Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
6
A supporter of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez dressed in a devil costume, symbolizing the U.S., poses for a picture at a campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. Venezuela will hold legislative elections on Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Leonardo Ramirez)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
7
Newly trained female officers of Afghan National Army take front seats as a new batch of officers attend their graduation ceremony at National Army’s training center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
8
A man walks past a wall painted with the portrait of VenezuelanPresident Hugo Chavez in Caracas on September 22, 2010. Next September 26 parliamentary elections in Venezuela will likely reduce President Hugo Chavez’s sway on the national assembly by giving the opposition its first voices there since it boycotted the last vote in 2005. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ/AFP/Getty Images
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
9
People bath with sewage waters on a street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. In background, buildings damaged by Jan. 12 earthquake. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
10
Lisette and Bastian Gallardo, grandchildren of Mario Gomez, one of the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose mine, play next to the camp near Copiapo, 800 km noth of Santiago, Chile, on September 21, 2010. The RIG-421 drill, the fastest of three drilling machines brought in to help rescue the 33 trapped workers, started working on the eve drilling a 60-centimeter (24-inch) hole — about the diameter of a bicycle wheel — that the miners could then pass through. Whichever escape tunnel is finished first will have to accommodate a special bullet-shaped capsule which will haul each of the miners to the surface. ARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
11
Congolese soldier stands ready, at the small town off Walikale, Congo, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. Violence is reaching new levels of savagery and spiraling out of control in this corner of Congo, where the competition for control of mineral resources has drawn in several armed groups, including the Congolese army. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
12
Afghan children fight to grab balloons during a function celebrating International Peace Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
13
A visitor studies an exhibit by photographer Manuel Pandalis, at the Photokina imaging fair in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. The world’s leading photo fair opens its doors until Sept. 26, with about 1,250 exhibitors from 45 countries showing all aspects of photographing and imaging. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
14
A Hong Konger strolls under lighting of small bulbs set up at popular Victoria Park to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong on Tuesday, September 21, 2010. Like ancient Chinese poets, Hong Kong people appreciate the beauty of the full moon in the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Wednesday September 22, 2010 this year. Chinese people believe that on that day, the moon will be the biggest, roundest and brightest, and the term “round” implies family reunion in Chinese. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Pictures of the Week: September 24, 2010
15
An Indian Muslim looks on as Monsoon clouds hover over the Jama Masjid, one of India’s biggest mosques in New Delhi, India, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. India is experiencing an excessive rainfall this season after a drought last year. The annual monsoon season from June to October brings rains that are vital to agriculture in India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

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Posted September 28, 2010 by dmacc502 in India

Stories Of The Dead And Famous. And Just The Dead.   Leave a comment

Book of the dead (fragment), ptolemaic period....Image via Wikipedia

Louis Caravaque's portrait of Catherine the Great.

Wikimedia Commons

Louis Caravaque’s portrait of the Great DuchessCatherine Alexeyevna, who would later become Catherine the Great.
The Book Of The Dead by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd

Crown Publishers

The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure 
By John Mitchinson and John Lloyd
Hardcover, 448 pages
Crown
List price: $22
text size A A A

September 19, 2010

Catherine the Great wasn’t really named Catherine, and she hated being called “Great.” These and more intriguing facts about the dead are unearthed in John Lloyd and John Michinson’s new book, The Book of the Dead.
In their book, the comedy writers highlight the quirky, sweet and strange about 68 people they call “the justly famous and undeservedly obscure.”
One chapter tells the story of Ada Lovelace, whose father was the poet Lord Byron. The relationship between her father and mother was so bad that she was banned from Byron’s household and her mother refused to let her study any kind of literature. Understandably, she didn’t become a great poet or writer, but she did develop into a mathematical genius.
“She wrote the very first computer program,” Lloyd says, “which is really an extraordinary thing, when you think that this is in the first half of the 19th century. And if you look on Microsoft stickers, on their logo, their hologram, is a little picture of Ada Lovelace.”
Back to Catherine the Great, though. Her real name was Sophie, and, according to Lloyd and Mitchinson, her death had nothing to do with a horse, thank you very much. Her son was apparently responsible for spreading that nasty rumor  after her death.
“It’s a shame that the one story we remember her for is one that turns out not to be true anyway,” Mitchinson says. The authors argue she should be remembered for her strength as a ruler.
“She completely transformed the city of St. Petersburg. She built lots of buildings. But also, she created a new set of laws based on enlightenment principles,” they say, ideas which inspired America’s Constitution.

Excerpt: ‘The Book Of The Dead,’ Chapter One

The Book Of The Dead by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd

Crown Publishers

The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure 
By John Mitchinson and John Lloyd
Hardcover, 448 pages
Crown
List price: $22
“There’s Nothing Like a Bad Start in Life. Whoever has not got a good father should procure one.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
Our early experiences shape our character and the way our lives unfold, and a poor start can, of course, blight a person’s prospects forever. But there is a more mysterious path that leads from truly dreadful beginnings to quite extraordinary achievement. As the Canadian novelist Robertson Davies put it: “A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life.”
Some of the most famous people in history had childhoods that were wrecked by a dead, absent, or impossible father. We have chosen eight, but the list could have been twenty times as long. Once you start to notice, they sprout up everywhere: Confucius, Augustus Caesar, Michelangelo, Peter the Great, John Donne, Handel, Balzac, Nietzsche, Darwin, Jung, Conan Doyle, Aleister Crowley—all of them victims of what psychologists would call inappropriate parenting.
In the five hundred years since his death, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) has become our model for the solitary genius, the ultimate Renaissance man. The common wisdom is that, as with Shakespeare, we know his work in great detail but next to nothing about his life. This is a myth. In fact, and again as with Shakespeare, we know much more about Leonardo than we do about the vast majority of his contemporaries. We know he was illegitimate, the son of a notary in the small Italian hill town of Vinci, and that his mother, Caterina, was either a local peasant or an Arabic slave (recent analysis of the artist’s inky fingerprints tends to suggest the latter). His father, Piero, quickly married off Caterina to a bad-tempered local lime-burner* and the young Leonardo found himself abandoned. His father went on to marry four times and sire another fifteen children; his mother also had new children of her own and refused to treat Leonardo as her son. Worse still, as a bastard, he was prevented from going to a university or entering any of the respectable professions, such as medicine or law.
Leonardo’s response was to withdraw into a private world of observation and invention. The key to understanding his genius isn’t in his paintings—extraordinary and groundbreaking though they are—but in his notebooks. In these thirteen thousand pages of notes, sketches, diagrams, philosophical observations, and lists, we have one of the most complete records of the inner workings of a human mind ever committed to paper. Leonardo’s curiosity was relentless. He literally took apart the world around him to see how it worked and left a paper trail of the process. This was firsthand research: He had to see things for himself, whatever that meant. He personally dissected more than thirty human corpses in his life time, even though it was a serious criminal offense. This wasn’t motivated by any medical agenda: He just wanted to improve the accuracy of his drawing and deepen his under standing of how the body worked (he ridiculed other artists’ depictions of human flesh, saying they looked like “sacks of nuts”). Out of the notebooks flowed a succession of inventions, some fantastical but others entirely practical: the first “tank,” the first parachute, a giant siege crossbow, a crane for emptying ditches, the very first mixer tap for a bath, folding furniture, an Aqua-Lung, an automatic drum, auto matically opening and closing doors, a sequin maker, and smaller devices for making spaghetti, sharpening knives, slicing eggs, and pressing garlic. It was here, too, that Leonardo recorded his re markable insights into the natural world: He was the first to notice how counting tree rings gave the age of the tree and he could explain why the sky was blue three hundred years before Lord Rayleigh discovered molecular scattering.
Each page of the notebooks looks like an excerpt from a vast handwritten visual encyclopedia. Paper was expensive so every inch was covered in Leonardo’s neat script, all of it written back to front, which means you need a mirror to make it intelligible. No one knows why he chose to write this way. Perhaps as a lefthander he found it easier writing right to left; perhaps he didn’t want people stealing his ideas. Whatever the reason, it’s the perfect physical representation of his awkward genius. Leonardo didn’t really care about fitting in or what others thought. He was a vegetarian when almost no one else was because he empathized with animals (one of his obsessions was setting free caged birds). Despite being commissioned by some of the most powerful grandees in Europe, he rarely finished any project he started. What mattered to him was to be free to do his own thing, to achieve the control over his life that had eluded him as an abandoned child:
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Most of us picture him as he appears in the one authenticated self-portrait: a sixty-year-old, bald, and bearded sage, a loner. But the young Leonardo was something quite different. His contemporary, the biographer Giorgio Vasari (1511–74), was unambiguous: He was a man “of physical beauty beyond compare.” And that wasn’t all, he was freakishly strong:
“There is something supernatural in the accumulation in one individual of so much beauty, grace, and might. With his right hand he could twist an iron horseshoe as if it were made of lead.”
And a charmer:
“In his liberality, he welcomed and gave food to any friend, rich or poor . . . his speech could bend in any direction the most obdurate of wills.”
But cross him and you’d have to deal with his “terrible strength in argument, sustained by intelligence and memory.” This is Leonardo, the gay Florentine about town, who was anonymously accused (and acquitted) of sodomy, whose teenage pupil and companion was known as Salai (“limb of Satan”), the precocious artist whose collection of pornographic drawings was eventually stolen from the Royal Collection in Windsor Castle, according to the art critic Brian Sewell, by a distinguished German art critic in a Sherlock Holmes cloak:
There is no doubt that the drawings were a considerable embarrassment, and I think everyone was very relieved to find that they’d gone.
The older sage and the racy young Adonis were both products of the same self-confidence. It was driven by study, by his attempt to come up with his own answers, the process he calls saper vedere, “knowing how to see.” “Learning,” he once wrote, “never exhausts the mind.” It was what had sustained him as a child and there were times when it still gave him childlike pleasure. Once, in the Vatican, he made a set of wings and horns, painted them silver, and stuck them on a lizard to turn it into a small “dragon,” which he used to frighten the pope’s courtiers. On another occasion, he cleaned out a bullock’s intestines, attached them to a blacksmith’s bellows, and pumped them up into a vast malodorous balloon, which quickly filled the forge and drove his bewildered onlookers outside.
Leonardo was brilliant, but he was not infallible. He didn’t invent scissors, the helicopter, or the telescope, as is frequently claimed. He was very bad at math—he only mastered basic geometry and his arithmetic was often wrong. Many of his observations haven’t stood the test of time: He thought the moon’s surface was covered by water, which was why it reflected light from the sun; that the salamander had no digestive organs but survived by eating fire; and that it was a good idea to paint his most ambitious painting, The Last Supper, directly onto dry plaster (it wasn’t; what you see today is prac tically all the work of restorers).
Also, because his fame in the years after his death was almost exclusively tied to a small body of thirty completed paintings, he was to have almost no impact on the progress of science. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that his notebooks—and their revolutionary contents—were fully deciphered.
Leonardo died in France at the age of sixty-seven. The legend has it that his new patron, King Francis I, sat by his bedside, cradling his head as he lay dying. It’s tempting to see this symbolically as the abandoned child finally getting the parental love he never had as a boy. But whatever he lacked, he had more than made up for it. As the king said: “There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo.”
Reprinted from the book The Book of the Dead by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. Copyright © 2010 by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Posted September 19, 2010 by dmacc502 in History

Farming by the Moon « COUNTRY FOLKS   Leave a comment

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Shipwreck survivor recalls how town altered his idea of race   Leave a comment

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