Do you ever find yourself googling from one article to the next, going from diverse topics like The Secrets of Life in Soil, to How To Use a Car Alternator to Generate Energy, or just for the day decide to memorize all the U.S. presidents? I do stuff like this all the time.
I get reading one article and I see a reference to something that peaks my interest, and I jump over to learn more about that and then that article ignites more curiosity - perhaps a person or place -- and I'm off again. Pretty soon I have 20 browsers open.
I've bookmarked some, cut and pasted interesting points from another, turned some articles into pdf's to have as a reference at another time where I file in my DOCs folder. If I could retain all that I read, it would be impressive, but I don't. Stuff goes in one ear and slowly seeps out the other. But I love learning new things and when I'm taking in new information it's a natural high. I guess you could say it's a hobby. So, yesterday I landed on Mt. Rushmore. If I ever knew the history, I'd forgotten it. Wow! What a bizarre and fascinating story!
(A side note: one of my research detours landed me on a story about: "The only All-Woman Supreme Court in Texas was appointed by Gov. Pat M. Neff in 1925 to hear the case W. T. Johnson et al. v. J. M. Darr et al." See here for the link to this interesting article!)
I learned that Mt. Rushmore is the world's largest sculpture. The video above is marvelous in explaining and visually demonstrating how the sculpture was constructed. I've always wondered how super sized images are made to such perfect scale. Now I know! It's all done with math. A smaller sculpture is made and then a point is established on the sculpture from which all other points are measured in degrees and percentages. Those measurements are applied, as in this case, to the granite hillside in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Workers were suspended by cables sometimes on wooden platforms and sometimes just with harnesses from where they used heavy jackhammers to chip away at the granite and go to exact depths based on the mathematical calculations. Inhaling the dust from the drilled granite caused early deaths for many workers. At one point, after 18 months of sculpting Thomas Jefferson, it turned out there wasn't enough granite to complete him. They had to blast away all their work to reach a new level of granite and start all over.
Construction for the project was started on October 4, 1927 and completed in stages. "George Washington's head was started first. Due to the economic instability of the United States caused by the Great Depression, it was completed in seven years, and dedicated to the public on Independence Day 1934. Thomas Jefferson was finished in 1936. On July 2, 1939, Roosevelt's head was dedicated and lastly was Lincoln's dedication on September 17, 1937." [Wikipedia]
Probably the most fascinating and unexpected description about the project was that of the sculpture who inspired Mt. Rushmore. He was described as a "fletching blowhard, an egonamiacal genius, hard headed, self absorbed, charmer who traveled in a self-generated whirlwind." The video I've posted has interviews with people who add more adjectives and stories about his sometimes insane tactics and outbursts. He died before the completion of his project and it was finished by his son, Lincoln.
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
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