Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Facts, New or Not

Some ofyou might know some of these facts but how many of you can say you know them all?

✦ Composer John Cage co-founded the New York Mycological Society. Cage's knowledge of mushrooms  was so extraordinary that in 1959 he won millions of lire on an Italian quiz show after responding to esoteric questions about mushrooms. Here's an article, "Sounds and Mushrooms", from The New York Times archive about Cage's For the Birds. Cage co-wrote with Lois Long and Alexander Smith The Mushroom Book, published in 1972. Here's Cage's "Mushroom Haiku" by Basho:


✦ The Charity Commission for England and Wales officially recognizes Druidry as a religion under charity law. The Druid Network, which spent four years on its effort to be recognized, has the right to receive tax breaks and status equivalent to recognized, more mainstream faiths. (An article about the commission's 21-page ruling, issued in October, is here.) There's an Irish Druid Network, too.

✦ The red sandstone of Legend Rock northwest of Thermopolis, Wyoming, reveals hundreds of Native American drawings. A historic site, Legend Rock's documented carvings include an animal like an antelope, a figure of a human, and a life-size hand. An informative article, "Portals to Other Realities", was published not long ago in the Wall Street Journal.

✦ If he obtains the necessary permits, the artist Christo and his team will install 5.9 miles of silvery and luminous fabric panels above the Arkansas River in south-central Colorado. Efforts to obtain the permits for the project exhibit, Over the River, have been ongoing since 1997. This factsheet describes what it will be like to kayak down the river with the fabric suspended above.

✦ China's lunar orbiter Chang'e-2, sent into space on October 1, 2010, is named for a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon. ("China Launches Second Lunar Exploration Probe", Science News Daily, October 2, 2010)

✦ The French may be miffed! Eurostat reported last month that in every country outside England and Ireland, English tops the list of foreign languages studied in secondary schools.  ("English Becomes Europe's Second Language", Telegraph, October 4, 2010)  Go here for Eurostat's findings.

✭ It seems there's some dispute about the size of the world's largest statue of Jesus, which Swiebodzin, Poland, now claims. This AP article says the height is 108 feet. According to this Krakow Post article,  the village's "Christ the King", as the sculpture is known officially, is 35 meters without its base (115 feet) and 52 meters with its based (170 feet high), with outstretched arms extending almost 80 feet. The New York Daily News maintains the height is 167 feet. Designed by town's priest, costing $1.5 million (paid by the town's residents), the statue is made of plaster and fiberglass.

Just to keep things in perspective: In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the world-famous "Christ the Redeemer" is 38 meters or 125-feet high (the Telegraph agrees then a paragraph later says the height is 130 feet; Wikipedia, believe it or not, lists the height as 39.6 meters or 130 feet). Here in America, the so-called "Touchdown Jesus", in Ohio, was a mere 60- or 61-feet high (depending on which source you use), until it burned to the ground this past summer; it was, moreover, just a bust. Fox/WXIX reports it will rise again, this time with a body.

5 comments:

M.L. Gallagher said...

Well, imagine that!

I'm impressed by 13 years of trying to get a permit! wow! That's perseverance.

And mushroom. Oh my. Some of them must be pretty magic!

Joyceann Wycoff said...

What would I do without you?!! This is so fun ... and useful. I put the Christo installation on my calendar, made plans for a road trip to Legend Rock, and enjoyed all of this thoroughly.

n. davis rosback said...

fun post.

i enjoy the info on cage and the video. i am going to pass that along to jack czarnecki.

i have been to thermopolis wyo. and soaked in the non chlorine pool at the motel. missed seeing the wall though.

n. davis rosback said...

fun post.

i enjoy the info on cage and the video. i am going to pass that along to jack czarnecki.

i have been to thermopolis wyo. and soaked in the non chlorine pool at the motel. missed seeing the wall though.

A. Jay Adler said...

Thanks for the reminder about Legend Rock. Not for the first time (and I'm sure there will be more) you've given me material for a post - with a tip of the hat, of course.