Justice Alan Page received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, on Friday. His list of accomplishments is long but someone very important was missing during the ceremony. Read more about why this is our Photo Of The Week:
World’s Tallest Statue
India’s “Statue of Unity” unveiled, at twice the height of Statue of Liberty. But it won’t hold the record for long.
- Honoring founding father Sardar Patel, country’s first minister after British colonialists left in 1947.
- 597 feet tall.
- Took 33 months & more than 2,000 workers to build costing $430M.
- Will include a museum with 40K documents & 2K photographs on Patel’s life and work.
WHY TIMING MATTERS
- Prime Minister Modi, elected in 2014, up for re-election next year.
- Statue is a metaphor for India’s status as a rising superpower.
- Meanwhile, records show Modi’s economic promises have not been fulfilled.
- Critics call project “election gimmick” with money that could have been spent on the poor.
It's the world's tallest statue - for now. Elsewhere in India, Modi's political party just started construction on a statue that would be 100 feet taller, costing $100M more at $500M. It's expected to be completed in 3 years.
The civics part of the naturalization exam requires applicants to correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions out of 100 possible civics questions.
The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services administers the questions in person; the questions are picked at random.
1. When was the U.S. Constitution written?
2. How many justices serve on the U.S. Supreme Court?
3. Who did the U.S. fight in World War II?
1. Constitution written? 1787
(13% Answered Correctly)
2. Supreme Court Justices? 9
(43% Answered Correctly)
3. WWII enemy? Japan, Germany, and Italy
(40% Answered Correctly)
“Unfortunately this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the U.S. Citizenship Test.”
Something To Consider:
- Younger Americans did the worst. Only 19% of those younger than 45 passed the exam.
- More than 70% of respondents couldn’t name original 13 colonies.
- While survey was given to respondents on paper with multiple choice answers, those trying to pass citizenship test must answer questions verbally.
Informed or not, voters are headed to the polls next month, and both parties use American history to bolster their platforms. The question is: do Americans know enough to understand what's true American history and what's not?
“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
“Going, Going, Gone…”
Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” sold for an artist record $1.4M at a Sotheby’s auction on Friday.
Moments after the gavel fell, an alarm sounded and the painting began to self destruct running through a shredder in the frame, emerging in strips.
Who Is Banksy?
- Graffiti artist, painter, activist, filmmaker & provocateur who’s identity hasn’t been confirmed.
- Began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England in 1993, retreated into anonymity to avoid police & create buzz.
- Calls art world the “world’s biggest joke” and “a rest home for the overprivileged, pretentious & weak.”
Banksy Was Here
Known for his mischievous & satirical images of the art world he loathes, even sneaking into famous spots adding his own artwork:
- Mona Lisa plastered with a smiley face sticker at the Louvre.
- Inflatable doll dressed as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland.
As his notoriety has grown, critics charge he’s too far removed to truly represent the subculture he works to represent.
“I give away thousands of paintings for free. I don’t think it’s possible to make art about world poverty and trouser all the cash.”
Fetching more than 3 times estimates, “Girl With Balloon” may increase in value following the historic shredding. Sotheby’s insists it was not in on the joke, but critics wonder. As for Banksy, despite posting about the incident on social media, he's got no plans to reveal his identity.
Rare Quintuple Rainbow
“The colors were incredible. It didn’t seem real.”
Photographer John Entwistle was on his Jersey Shore patio with his 11-year-old daughter as the remnants of Hurricane Florence rolled through leaving 5 rainbows in its wake.
After sharing the photo on his social media, NASA featured its as its “Astronomy Picture of the Day.”
“In general, supernumeraries are quite common. There are many pictures of 2 or 3 supernumeraries, but the appearance in nature of 5 supernumeraries is exceptional.”
NASA explains supernumerary rainbows only form "when falling water droplets are nearly all the same size" with sunlight not only reflecting from inside the raindrops, but "interfere, a wave phenomenon similar to ripples on a pond when a stone is thrown in."
Alex Honnold (33) completed this amazing feat June 2017. His journey is featured in a National Geographic documentary entitled "Free Solo." It hits theaters on Friday, September 28th.
“…in the blink of an eye…”
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for the opportunity to go back to that day and make it different. But now we have the opportunity to make other parents day’s different.”
Every single day in America…
3 children will die from drowning.
What You Should Know:
- Drowning is #2 cause of accidental death in kids (0-14); #1 cause of death is car crashes.
- Men & boys are more likely to drown; 80% of deaths are male.
- For adolescents and adults, alcohol involved in up to 70% of drowning deaths.
- July/August = deadliest months.
HOW THE SUIT WORKS:
- 5 mini jet-fuel engines: 2 worn on each arm & 1 on the back.
- Set a Guinness World Record flying at 32mph.
- Flights last 3-4 minutes.
Ready for Liftoff?
- It costs $450K, and only 9 are available for sale at Selfridges Department Store in London.
- Gravity, the suit’s maker, has requests from Mission Impossible & James Bond filmmakers.
The US Army is also testing & prototyping Iron Man-like suits in order to test how electricity production can be used to avoid dangerous resupply stops, reducing logistics on the battlefield. Read on here:
“The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided. Predators thrive in silence.”
Wait… BLUE Flames?
When the lava buries plants, methane gas is produced. Methane can seep into the ground & produces a blue flame when ignited.
The blue flames are only visible at night, making it hard to judge how widespread they are.
Scientists are now concerned the methane may cause explosions.
Mother Nature has put on quite a show... Kilauea’s eruption has also generated earthquakes, gushing molten rock, giant ash plumes & sulfur dioxide. No sign when it will end, but scientists say its similar to one in 1955 that lasted 3 months.
Why Does This Matter?
- Father Benoka use to live and work in Mosul and survived the ISIS invasion. He says Christians *still* face the threat of genocide.
- The Shiite Muslim majority govt in Iraq & Iran’s Shiite regime work together through “Shiite Militias”.
- Benoka says he believes the goal of these Shiite Militias inside Iraq is to push out minorities and claim land for Iran.
This unique perspective comes from an area few journalists venture. As focus remains on the "Iran Deal" overall, we want to share the experience of someone on the ground in the Middle East. It's one story - We look forward to telling more.