Count Pier Francesco Orsini (Google auto-translate) was a man much given to melancholy. The premature death of his wife, Giulia Farnese, and other troubles contributing to the decay of the once proud Orsini dynasty, darkened his outlook on life. Like the world-hating Jacques in Shakespeare's As You Like It, he seems to have come to regard the world around him with a somewhat self-advertising disgust. Orsini retreated noisily from the world of human affairs into nature, albeit a nature much improved by art (Google books preview). Those improvements came in the form of larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock, which populated Sacro Bosco ("Sacred Grove"), colloquially called Parco dei Mostri ("Park of the Monsters"). [more inside]
Jurassic Park: High Heels Edition. You loved the endless running in high heels in Jurassic World... Now enjoy them in the entire Jurassic series!
Fifteen miles from Vilnius, Lithuania, in the forest of Nemenčinė, a crumbling, underground Soviet Bunker contains Europe's most terrifying theme park: a KGB torture prison that's still operating on its visitors. [more inside]
At rest in the fields. "Celebrating childhood's end" at Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park, in Cedar Creek, Texas. [more inside]
Parklets! Parklets are popping up everywhere! Parklets are beautiful! A brief history tells of how parklets started in San Francisco with PARKing Day, a topic previously covered. [more inside]
45 years ago today at Montreal's Jarry Park, outfielder Mack "The Knife" Jones hit a 3-run homer and a 2-run triple to lead his Montreal Expos to an 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the first Major League baseball game ever played outside the US (home opener coverage starts at 4:28 of the CBC video). [more inside]
The new Trailer Park Boys seasons 8 and 9 will debut be on Netflix (all round, internationally). In addition, all previous seasons, the new Trailer Parks Boys 3: Don't Legalize It film (in time), and Swearnet the Movie will be available Netflix wide. Reaction to the announcement has been mixed. Particularly from those who have paid for Swearnet.com subscriptions. Mike Smith (Bubbles) responds.
When Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office on Wednesday to become New York City's mayor, one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park. [more inside]
Before the new movie and a new season, Season 8, the official Trailer Park Boys YouTube channel has been launched.
The story of New Jersey's infamous Action Park is retold by visitors and those who worked there and Part 2
A study [PDF] by CUNY Professor Diana Reiss and Rachel Morrison (Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Subprogram in Psychology The Graduate Center of CUNY) was published last week in Zoo Biology detailing for the first time a whisper‐like behavior in a non‐human primate, the cotton top tamarin at the Central Park Zoo. [more inside]
New York City officials are asking visitors to Central Park's Harlem Meer to beware of the northern snakehead fish, a predator common in the rivers and lakes of Asia but considered an invasive species in American waters, which had been spotted. [more inside]
In anticipation of next week's 20th anniversary release of Jurassic Park 3D, Vulture rates the Jurassic Park dinosaurs, from worst to first.
Band-e-Amir is Afghanistan's first national park, struggling to keep tourists visiting its beautiful mountains and lakes.
There is now a live stream of bears gathering to eat salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. [more inside]
"For the last 20 years, the huge rock has lain in the museum's interior courtyard, its many petroglyphs slowly disappearing under a layer of moss and lichen. Next week, it will be repatriated to Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nations and taken back home to the Fraser River at Churn Creek Protected Area, about two hours east of Clinton." [more inside]
"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs." [Discovery.com] Within five years, a woolly mammoth will likely be cloned, according to scientists who have just recovered well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thigh bone. Japan's Kyodo News first reported the find. You can see photos of the thigh bone at this Kyodo page.
"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue." -- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless, explaining that the surge in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1, 2, 3, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ / Photo Gallery / Video. [more inside]
Kamikuishiki was a village in the Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan that gained unwanted international attention in 1995 as a key location for Aum Shinrikyo, the religious cult behind a number of acts of violence, including the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. To change the nature of attention given to the picturesque village, a new attraction was built on the former site of the cult complex: Gulliver's Kingdom, a mixed up theme park with a Scandinavian town, a petting zoo, a French puppet theater to tell the story of Gulliver, and a 45 meter version of Gulliver himself, pinned to the ground. The park was opened in 1997, but Niigata Chuo Bank was facing serious problems two years later, collapsing "under the weight of nonperforming loans." The theme park's owners were the largest borrowers from the bank, and the park closed in 2001. The park was finally purchased in 2002 in the 3rd auction attempt. In 2006, Kamikuishiki disappeared, divided and the parts merged into neighboring municipalities. The next year, Gulliver's Kingdom was demolished, leaving behind photos (new and old), and memories.
How does an ecosystem rebound from catastrophe? Thirty years after the blast, Mount St. Helens is reborn again. Interactive Graphic: Blast Zone. Also see National Geographic's feature article from 1981, chronicling that year's eruption. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
Although banned in 1997, the last several years, Bioprospecting at Yellowstone National Park has become more and more privatized. Research at nearby Montana State University has been underway, using virus cages for next generation flash drives, using fungus to turn straw into olive oil, and algae to turn garbage into hydrogen.
Symbolic Gestures. How, exactly, does a simple picture go about telling you, "Be careful here. It's cold, and sometimes ice forms on the roof, and it can fall off, and it can be sharp, and that can hurt you"? Inspired by the upcoming Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Jesse Smith of The Smart Set examines the pictograph designs that convey important information to park visitors. [more inside]
The first stage of New York City's High Line redesign was opened to the public yesterday, and reviews are generally favorable. The city's newest park (whose concept is similar to Paris’s Promenade Plantée,) transforms an abandoned, above-ground, elevated freight train track into a nine block "lofty expanse of walking and green spaces that stretches 60 feet wide in some spots". It also provides visitors with a unique look at some of the city's architecture and layout. (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
"Soon were the lofty peaks of Corcyra lost to view;Founded by Trojans, populated by Chaonians, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, colonized by the Greeks and Romans, sacked by the Goths, ruled by the Slavs, the Byzantine Empire and the Turks, taken by Manfred of Hohenstaufen, purchased by the Most Serene Republic of Venice, invaded by Ali Pasha and Suleiman the Magnificent, eventually becoming a place of refuge for the likes of Casanova and for hunters and painters, the ancient city of Butrint, a microcosm of Mediterranean history, is a World Heritage Site within a National Park which includes a Wetland of International Importance all of which is being kept alive by a partnership of local, national and international organizations . Come and explore Butrint. [more inside]
We coasted along Epirus, and coming to the Chaonian
Harbour, we drew near Buthrotum, that hill city."
- The Aenid - Book III, Virgil (trans. Cecil Day Lewis)
Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
Bandstand Busking have decided to put liven up the underused bandstands of London by, well, you know, putting bands on in them. [more inside]
Design plans for the much talked about High Line in NYC were unveiled today. It has been hotly anticipated as one of the most distinctive public projects in generations.
Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience - “massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland.” Here's a quick roundup of some commentary. (last link with concept design sketches)
British artist Jason de Caires Taylor creates an underwater sculpture park in the West Indies, not only to "explore the boundaries between art and the environment" but also to portray a beautiful process that happens to be doing nice things for the ecosystem. You can see a video of the sculptures on YouTube.
It's the Vietnam War. Nixon has declared a state of emergency and allows for secret tribunals against anti-war protesters, draft dodgers, and others guilty of "hindering the war effort." They have two choices: spend 15 to 20 years in a federal penitentiary or spend 3 days in Punishment Park, where they will have 3 days to trek 50 miles in the California desert without food and water while on pursuit by armed National Guard and police units. Watch Peter Watkin's (previously) "documentary" of Punishment Park here (Google Video, with strong language ).
The Site of Reversible Destiny is an "experience park" conceived on the theme of encountering the unexpected. By guiding visitors through various unexpected experiences as they walk through its component areas, the Site offers them opportunities to rethink their physical and spiritual orientation to the world. [via]
The Imaginary World "began as an idea to create a fictional theme park. I would create models, drawings, souvenirs, etc to build an entirely fictional place. As the idea grew I created characters to inhabit the park and some of these characters took on lives of their own that went outside the boundaries of the park." found via Andy Partridge
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park (flash) encompasses a whole canyon's worth of buildings that appear to be designed to elaborately showcase the movement of the sun and the moon. And the website for the park is pretty well done. Also see the PBS-supported documentary called "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" from the Solstice Project and a previous Metafilter discussion of archaeoastronomy.
Opening the Gates. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates opens tomorrow and many are excited about this potentially record-breaking public event. The finishing touches are now being put on the saffron-colored structures, which span 23 miles of path through New York's Central Park. Bloomberg hails the project as "a once-in-a-lifetime work of art," but others aren't so sure. For some, the question remains: is this art?
Guerrilla art appeared at Magnuson Park's Kite Hill in Seattle again. This time, a war message, it seems.
The High Line is a strip of elevated railroad on Manhattan's West Side, it runs from 34th Street and 12th Avenue to Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district. It is a treasure now mostly because it's the structure that time forgot. Who'd thought? Discover what could become NYC's highest park.